Marshmallow’s Guide to the Pathfinder RPG Fighter (2016)

Hi there, it’s been a while since I’ve updated or even looked at this, as you may know I took this down when Paizo announced their Pathfinder 2nd Edition, I really didn’t think this was going to be as popular as it was, so after being hit with a few requests I put this back up. In good faith to Paizo, I’ve left up all the links that were present to the official sources for the references here.

Now, I haven’t been around the Paizo community in a while, and there’s a reason for that. Mostly, after trying it out and being very active in the play test for PF2, I realized it wasn’t the game for me, thing is, D&D 5e isn’t the game for me either.

If I may use this space, I’d like to share with you a project I’ve been working on since around that time, I’ve decided I’m going to put myself out there and start my own RPG company and build up my own game, and I want to share it with all of you. As of this writing (4/19/21), I’m still putting together my official website, but I’ve got a link here for you:

http://kck.st/2RMWcXA

My goal is to build a platform that lets you use this idea and the tools that I’ve made here to fully tap into your creative potential and profit from your own designs and labor. All of the homebrew settings, characters, and the like can be monetized using the Public Copyright License I’ve gotten written in addition to my OGL, both of which are already done. For the most part, so is the beta, save for what our design goals for the play test are.

I’m going to be doing a public play test of my own, which will likely go live on my own site in a couple of weeks, or however long it takes. I’m very excited about this project and I hope you’ll check it out and give it a try!

-master_marshmallow

Marshmallow’s Guide to the Pathfinder RPG Fighter (2016-17)

Hello all, so I see you’re interested in the fighter class, and somehow the vast multitude of other guides hasn’t quite scratched your itch. Perhaps they were out of date, didn’t include the options you were considering, or the playstyle of the writer didn’t mesh with yours. What your author (me) intends to do is enlighten you to the more obscure and far reaching options which give the fighter the edges he so desperately needs to shine in the crazy complicated RPG that Pathfinder has become as of the time of this guide. I’m neither omniscient nor infallible, and I don’t know every single feat out there.

Who is the fighter? That’s an important question, and it has a lot of answers as this year specifically the class has entered its “rules bloat 3.x phase” of needing obscure and crazy resources to really function on the level of some of the other classes. My guide here will primarily focus on the newer options available to the core fighter class, and in doing so I hope to cover the bases of what to expect and what to desire from your fighter. Eventually, I plan to cover the archetypes in depth (including the newer options) but to start we gotta look at just the options available to what’s printed in your Core Rule Book. I plan to cite all sources for options that don’t come from the RPG Line, and intend to link where you can purchase any of the options you find are worth your dollars. The big three are:

Pathfinder Unchained: Many people were upset that the fighter class didn’t get a full rewrite in Pathfinder Unchained. Many people also didn’t read the entire book and are unaware of all the goodies fighters actually got in it, I plan to cover that. The main options to look at here are in the form of the Combat Stamina rules.

Weapon Master’s Handbook: This was the big release this year that got all the fighter hype started, within it came the first iteration of Pathfinder’s alternate class features for the fighter.

Armor Master’s Handbook: Picking up where Weapon left off, this release included even more options and alternate class features.

How to read this guide: Much like most of the guides you have seen on the internet, I will be using a color coded system to rank options on their overall effectiveness, coupled with a general description and organization of my rationale behind such:

Amazing, better have a good reason not to take this

Pretty damn good

Mediocre, but not necessarily worthless

Worthless most of the time, save for corner cases

You may notice that orange is missing from the normal colors of most guides. Given the large amount of options available, it is my experience that most options that fall into the orange category generally are as bad as the red ones, or as good as the green ones. It’s also hard to see. What you already know from reading other guides still applies, as blue is a solid choice, but purple stands out as being far above it as something you need to consider.

Table of Contents

The Fighter (Class Overview)

RE: House Rules

Attributes

Non-Combat Roles

Roles in Combat

Skills

Races

Core Races

Featured Races

Advanced Weapon Training

Advanced Armor Training

Feats

General Purpose Feats

Class Feature Staples

Bravery Feats:

Intimidate Feats:

Intimidate Animals (Ultimate Wilderness): if you plan on building for this, you can frighten animals instead of making them shaken. Steep build requirements though.

Weapon Feats:

Creative Weaponsmith [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): you get to pick any weapon modification, and if you invested into craft (weapons) and Knowledge (engineering) and add it to your weapon for the day. Only works for you, but it’s so good.

Defensive Feats:

Class Utility Feats:

Anti-Mage Feats:

Combat Specialization Feats

Combat Specialization by Role

BFW

Ranged

Tank

Power Turtle

Duelist

Two-Weapons

Switch Hitter

Maneuver Monkey

Teamwork Feats

Style Feats

Critical Feats

Mastery Feats

Weapon Mastery Feats (Weapon Master’s Handbook)

Armor Mastery Feats (Armor Master’s Handbook)

Shield Mastery Feats (Armor Master’s Handbook)

Item Mastery Feats

Traits

Campaign Traits

Combat Traits

Equipment Traits

Faith Traits

Family Traits

Magic Traits

Regional Traits

Equipment

Mundane Gear

Adventuring Gear

Weapons

Simple Weapons (Melee):

Simple Weapons (Ranged):

Martial Weapons (Melee):

Martial Weapons (Ranged):

Exotic Weapons (Melee):

Exotic Weapons (Ranged):

Weapon Modifications (Adventurer’s Armory 2)

Armor & Shields

Light Armor:

Medium Armor:

Heavy Armor:

Shields:

Armor Modifications (Adventurer’s Armory 2)

Special Materials

Alchemical Items

Magic Items

Magic Weapons

+1 Abilities

+2 Abilities

+3 Abilities

+4 Abilities

+5 Abilities

Flat Cost Abilities

Magic Armor

+1 Abilities

+2 Abilities

+3 Abilities

+4 Abilities

+5 Abilities

Flat Cost Abilities

The Fighter (Class Overview)

Hit Dice: d10s, only the barbarian has better. 

Saves: Good Fort, bad everything else

BAB: as good as it gets

Skills: we’ll get there, don’t fret I’ll cover this

Weapons and Armor: you’re the only class that gets tower shields, and you get all the weapons and armor save for exotics.

Starting Wealth: you are tied with paladins and rangers for the best, PFS players should rightfully feel shafted

Class Features

Bonus Combat Feats: your bread and butter, it’s why you take this class. It’s also why everyone one else considers level dipping this class.

Combat Feat Retraining: Every four levels you can swap one of your previous bonus feats for one that you now qualify for, amazing and often forgotten about.

Combat Stamina: the Unchained Fighter’s hidden class feature, this not only gives the fighter a resource tool, but it also has narrative purpose in forcing the fighter to consider how much energy he is spending in any given combat, as well as giving the fighter his much needed ‘bypass’ of feat prerequisites that newer classes like the brawler and swashbuckler have baked into their primary class features, namely skipping the INT 13 prerequisite for most, if not all combat feats that list such (it does however function similar to grit in that you must keep at least one point of stamina in your pool to retain access to those feats).

Bravery: fear saves are few and far between, this was mostly considered a worthless class ability before the very options that prompted this particular literature’s creation were produced.

Weapon Training: In the beginning, this was considered a useful ability only for either your first or sometimes secondary weapon groups; any after that were considered extraneous and useless. 

Advanced Weapon Training: With the advent of our aforementioned resources this class feature has become a gateway for accessing what are considered the real class features of the fighter.

Armor Training: Your author has always had a much higher opinion of this class feature than the rest of the entire internet put together. Full movement in armor, and improved AC access are great; however they do induce a MAD factor upon the class which point buy players may not appreciate. 

Advanced Armor Training: The newer options grant alternatives which free that one weakness of this feature, and even give away some newer and sometimes even better alternatives.

Armor Mastery: It comes online very late, but it mirrors the barbarian’s DR once you get it.

Weapon Mastery: Most builds will focus on one single weapon, and for those more common builds this ability is absolutely fantastic.

RE: House Rules

Question friend- are you familiar with the rules on Combat Stamina? Are you a DM or a player frustrated with the lack of abilities fighters seem to have? Do you use Unchained classes like the rogue, monk, or barbarian? Consider this your author’s advocacy for both reading and implementing the system into your game. While I understand it may not suit everyone’s needs and it may just not seem like enough on its own, I am writing this guide with some sort of assumption that you will at least consider it. On the whole, it is best considered to be a fighter exclusive thing, being granted to fighters as a free feat at 1st level, and being taxed on other classes as a feat that must be taken (making it the Eldritch Heritage/Amateur Gunslinger of the fighter class) separately. The exact details of this are listed in Pathfinder Unchained as “Free for Fighters.” Out of respect for those who either will not use it, or are barred from doing so (be it a lack of resources, or a forum of play in which it is prohibited like PFS), I will be including my ratings separately for how Stamina interacts with your other options. Such ratings [will appear in brackets after the option, with a coloration that defines the effectiveness of its Stamina Trick]. When considering the options that have stamina tricks, or options that having stamina may change the effectiveness of, remember that already good options will still be that good, even if its Stamina Trick isn’t. Rule of thumb should be to always consider the option based on the better of the two ratings you see. Options specifically unavailable in organized play, like PFS, will be slashed out.

Stamina itself is a system which gives a small mechanical boost to the fighter, it’s a pooled resource. Beyond the boosts to the combat feats, the system itself includes a method to increase the fighter’s attack roll based on the number of points you spend. This is an important class feature to employ because most, if not all, other martial classes have some sort of feature (beyond Weapon Focus) to improve their ability to land a hit at first level. The fighter’s ability to use this system to boost his own combat feats is simply icing on the cake when coupled with the baseline features of bypassing feat prerequisites and having that small little umph to have a mechanical advantage to parallel the other classes that it’s compared to.

As written, the only way to get back stamina is by resting in one minute increments, make sure you know the rules for fatigue, and make sure you and your DM have an understanding on how you both decide effects which eliminate fatigue interact with regaining and using stamina.

Attributes

STR: you need it to wear armor, carry your gear, and to hit and deal damage

DEX: you need it for AC, to cover your reflex saves, and for a lot of skills. Sometimes you need it for attack rolls, and in niche cases, damage as well

CON: you need hit points, you want good Fort saves

INT [S]: once upon a time this class fought for decent stat distribution because this was a much needed stat for the Combat Expertise and INT 13 prerequisite problem. It also gave you some much coveted skills that you didn’t have access to. Combat Stamina and Versatile Training fixes those problems with this attribute, though it’s still useful for the actual skill checks themselves. Dumping to 7 is effectively the same as an 8 as far as skill ranks per level go.

WIS: this covers Will saves, a very important weakness, and some important skills

CHA [S]: this has some decent uses in feat prerequisites as well as being used for many out of combat skills, but mostly is not as important as the other stats

Arrays: Considering the “norm” on most guides assumes you use a 20 point buy, there are some go-to arrays depending on what you may want to consider in no particular order:

Not worried about mental stat prerequisites for feats

(Physical) 16 14 14, with racial bonuses favoring your primary stat for your chosen combat role

(Mental) 12 10 8, with secondary racial bonuses favoring your chosen stat for your non combat role

Worried about mental stat prerequisites for feats:

(Physical) 16 14 14, with racial bonuses favoring your primary stat for your chosen combat role

(Mental) 13 11 7, with secondary racial bonuses favoring your chosen stat for your non combat role

Highly specialized for a particular role:

(Physical) 17 13 14, with the 13 being placed in a statistic that requires it for prerequisites

(Mental) 13 10 7, with the 13 being placed in a statistic that requires it for prerequisites

Maxed physicality, forsaking other roles and feat prerequisites:

(Physical) 18 12 14, with the racial bonus generally improving the 18

(Mental) 12 7 7, generally using the 12 for your chosen out of combat role

You may find some play room with these, as certain races may enable you to invest an 11 in a particular stat to gain access to feat prerequisites, which could give you more room in other areas. You certainly don’t have to dump any stats, but it helps when specializing in both a combat and noncombat role for yourself.

Non-Combat Roles

The fighter is a class that focuses primarily on combat, so when deciding what you want your out of combat role to be, you must be considerate of the fact that it will require building and investing your attributes, skills, and feats in certain ways. Generally speaking, the fighter is “the weapons and armor guy” and all fighters are going to be played in a similar manner in regards to whether or not they value coin or equipment as far as spoils of adventuring go. How you choose to invest your best mental stats will affect your build and ideally your personality as well, which would affect your choices in making the best fighter for you. Normally, none of these rolls are intended to dump WIS, as it is an important defensive stat, and these were written with the presumption that you won’t want it to be your dump stat, meaning you will dump either INT or CHA, should you dump anything; regardless, the stats with the (-) in front of them represent the overall reliability of the skills which use the associated attribute in that particular role.

The Strong Silent Type (+WIS -CHA): CHA based skills are more or less not your best option, so invest into things that benefit WIS like Perception, Profession, or Sense Motive. Dumping CHA means INT won’t generally be negative and you will have more skills to invest into choices. Your character won’t be doing a lot of the talking, so more skills based on adventuring will be common, and if you want to use intimidation you will need to spend more resources to be effective.

The Soft Spoken Guy (+WIS -INT): INT based options can be very useful, but not essential in your chosen role. Being able to have a strong mental defense can help against what you face and having better awareness in your skills is never bad. This also is the most friendly for maintaining a strong WIS and having CHA based skills like intimidate, diplomacy, or UMD. You will end up spending more feat resources on skills than other fighters will however.

Mr. Personality (+CHA -INT): CHA 13 gives you access to some feats, one of which will be covered at lengths later in this guide. Intimidate is a great skill with a lot of uses, and so are Use Magic Device and Diplomacy. Generally speaking Mr. Personality fighters won’t be that smart, and use INT as their dump stat, so expect to be role playing a loudmouth who loves to talk nonsense. You will have to spend resources on skills.

*It is possible to see Mr. Personality types who are naive, or weak willed until their Bravery gets improved upon, such builds do the unthinkable and dump WIS, but have access to more feats and skills at the cost of their mental defenses and general lack of awareness.

The Snob (+INT -CHA): investing into INT usually leaves a low CHA, and fighters built this way can come off harsh when role playing. Knowledge checks are common, as are craft checks. These fighters know their equipment and can come off as greedy since they typically excel at crafting and want the most amount of coin possible to invest in either buying or making their gear better. Also known as the blacksmith, they have more skills than most fighters.

Any of these roles can be effective, and should all be considered equal depending on the specifics of your own play style and your vision for your character.

Roles in Combat

The fighter has a multitude of roles they can fill in combat- pretty much any that require you to make attack rolls with a weapon. Through their large number of additional feats and newer options they picked up with Advanced Weapon Training you may find yourself asking: why bother with those other classes or why bother with this one? It is important to understand the fighter’s strengths at covering these roles and not try to force yourself into a niche that makes your character redundant or useless when compared to a class that is designed for the role you have chosen in combat.

The fighter is designed to do damage, first and foremost. Weapon Training and the fighter exclusive feats mostly rely on flat bonuses that apply to all of your weapon attacks, rather than on attacks against specific targets (like smite evil or favored enemy). When considering this basic design of the class, the more rewarding options will be the ones that can optimize this damage output while spending the least amount of resources on it, being the logic being used to determine any particular role’s rating in this guide. In parentheses next to the name of the role, you will see the primary stat that you can generally expect from choosing that role, and when mixing and matching the attributes from the arrays above you can assemble your character accordingly.

BFW (STR)– This is the most straightforward role that most players jump right at. Typically you have a greatsword, earthbreaker, or other big two-hander and go to town smashing, chopping, or stabbing your enemies. This role is the least feat intensive and offers the most freedom in terms of equipment, attributes, and versatility. You could even spend your extra feats on half-investing into another combat role, if you don’t want to focus on picking up out of combat utility.

Ranged (DEX)Archery is very rewarding, but very feat intensive and you may find yourself starving for choices other than doing archery things. Thrown builds require more feats, and specific items. Guns and Crossbows are both done better by the Gunslinger.

Tank (CON)– As far as Pathfinder RPG is concerned, the only real way to tank is with certain feats like Antagonize or Call Out, which isn’t useless by any means but you must also consider the fact that this isn’t an MMO where enemies can be forced to attack you without reliable tactical positioning. Tanks in this guide purposely lower their defenses and make the most spectacle on the board to make themselves the most obvious and easy to attack target, taking the damage from attacks that otherwise were meant for one of your teammates. It can be done, and done well, but it requires a lot of feats and monetary investment, and you more or less must own adamantine armor.

Power Turtle (STR, DEX, or CON)– Fighters are the best at armor, ever. They are also the best at shields, ever. This role covers sword and board and its variants. It is feat and equipment intensive, though. You will most likely be spending your resources improving your AC, making yourself nigh untouchable and thus a very unattractive target by your enemies (the opposite of a tank by this guide’s standards). Expect your allies to suffer, and to be in longer fights because of it. Optimally, you use your shield as a primary weapon to maximize defense and minimize costs.

Duelist (DEX)– Dex fighters have their merits. You have the benefit of not needing to invest too much into STR, as there are many options to use a different ability in place of it for both hit and damage. You will notice your damage may still not be on par with the BFW or Archer, but these builds do offer more attribute freedom which can give you more out of combat versatility. Before the newer options were released, this was red, as it never could compare to classes like the Swashbuckler and Daring Champion (Cavalier).

Two-Weapons (STR & DEX)– yuuuuuuck. Two weapons can work, to be sure, but not very well in practice. Your lack of mobility will be your Achilles heel, and you will find yourself starving for feats, coin, and damage output. You need all the stats, STR for damage, DEX for feats, and CON to not die. There are newer options available however that can make this style not as attribute intensive, including ways to add different attributes to damage in place of STR, but each one of those comes from a feat or magic item and you might find yourself actually running out of feats. To be able to make more than one attack after moving, you will be taxed either another feat or you will have to take an archetype that is generally considered weak by this guide’s standards and it still won’t happen until around level 11. If you really want it though, you can build for it and have some versatility in being able to use light weapons that can also be thrown, allowing you to cover ranged and melee with the same weapons. 

Mix it Up, Switch Hitter (STR & DEX)– With the large number of feats available, you may actually be able to mix roles; you won’t be the master of one of them, but it can still be a somewhat viable choice. It’s very feat and equipment intensive however. It is possible to have one style trained up as well as one of the purple roles listed here, but the difference between one of those roles and the switch hitter comes down to spending your leftover resources on picking up a secondary role in combat rather than more non combat utility and these types of characters can seem boring or one dimensional when playing them. You also are going to keep two of your weapon groups instead of the one that most specialized fighters get which will cut down on your ability to access more Advanced Weapon Training options.

Maneuver Monkey (STR or DEX)– Generally speaking, you will find that classes other than yours can do this better like the Brawler, though the Lore Warden archetype makes a strong case against that. Most of the maneuver feats have a prerequisite of INT 13, which the Stamina System is designed to fix. In any case, most of the time you will be taxed the feat Combat Expertise, and your role in combat will be secondary to a bigger damage dealer since you’ll be spending actions and feats on performing maneuvers instead of attacking. Expect to need someone else on your team to do the heavy lifting as far as damage output goes. This also becomes a less reliable role as the game progresses to later levels when you start encountering less humanoid enemies and more monstrous ones that may be resistant or immune to your maneuvers. You can’t disarm something with claws, and you can’t trip something that’s flying, etc.

The exception to this however, is Sunder, which is something most fighters can look into as the Anti-Mage Fighter is based off it, and you actually use sunder on things other than… things.


Skills

The fighter has the absolute weakest showing for skills in the game, and this is something that has been debated, discussed, and pondered over for years. Being that you have very few skill ranks, you must be considerate of just how much you can invest in any one skill. With the various other options out there however, you can pick up some of these at full ranks for free. Anything purple will be something to make sure you have maxed or at a high enough bonus to pass most skill checks on a 10. Your lack of ranks per level means you will be doing a lot of mixing and matching skills, without investing fully into them like other classes may have the freedom to. This is why humans and half-orcs are purple, and you can expect to spend your favored class bonus on this every level.

Since I’ve brought Unchained up a lot, remember to ask your DM on skill variants and whether or not you are using the Background Skills or Alternate Craft and Profession optional rules, as they really can help round out your fighter and change your chosen role(s).

*marks a class skill, italics marks a background skill

Acrobatics (DEX): this is actually a fairly important and useful skill, and sadly it isn’t one of your core class skills. Good news, there are a multitude of ways to not only have this maxed, but also to pick it up as a class skill.

Appraise (INT): some rare out of combat utility.

*Artistry (INT): typically, this will always be worse than craft for you.

Bluff (CHA): this can help with narrative power, and can be used to feint in combat

*Climb (STR): normally you won’t see absurdly high DCs for this, but you have to be wary of it if it comes up.

*Craft (INT): this can help a lot, since you are the armor & weapons guy you can expect this to matter since you want to make sure you can get gear and get it for as little coin as possible

Diplomacy (CHA): it covers a lot of bases, and if your party needs it covered you have the means to pick it up as a class skill, usually better off letting someone else handle it though.

Disable Device (DEX): you really don’t have the skills for it.

Disguise (CHA): if you’re going the Intrigue route with your campaign, it’s great; if not it’s worthless.

Escape Artist (DEX): if you expect to be tied up or grappled a lot, you’ll want it. Max it or leave it.

Fly (DEX): you can’t get it normally, so when you eventually get it you’ll need a feat or an item to give you the ranks, but it is important; though some DMs don’t enforce the rules on it due to it’s handling in 3.x. Check first.

*Handle Animal (CHA): are you making a mounted build? Play a cavalier. Are you making an animal training guy? Play a ranger, hunter, or druid.

Heal (WIS): first aid can matter, mostly at lower levels, that said there are better options.

*Intimidate (CHA): great utility both in and out of combat, and you do it the best. It can be maxed out with feats, so you may only need to invest a single rank.

Knowledge (Arcana): super useful for identifying enemies among other things like class features, and metamagic feats, it’s also a general purpose knowledge which covers most magic items and if you are going to be playing in a game where your DM is stingy on what kind of equipment is available, this could become invaluable for accessing some of the more important items.

*Knowledge (dungeoneering): it can be used a lot in caves and, well, dungeons. Identifies enemies.

*Knowledge (engineering): in some cases, this can be used for feat prerequisites and in vehicular combat, but it has no uses in identifying enemies.

Knowledge (geography): maps, boring, no enemies.

Knowledge (history): campaign dependent, no enemies.

Knowledge (local): In Spymaster’s Handbook, this skill had more uses added to it allowing you to identify feats and class features of enemies, it’s also used to identify humanoid enemies (one of the most common types). That’s all on top of its large number of preexisting uses making it superior to (history) and (nobility) put together.

Knowledge (nature): it’s better than geography, and it can be used to identify enemies and some class features, it can also be used to sail a ship.

Knowledge (nobility): niche versatility, in Spymaster’s it got a boost in identifying the Teamwork feats of enemies, but it doesn’t identify any enemies itself.

Knowledge (planes): another skill to identify enemies.

Knowledge (religion): great for campaigns that rely on it, and it identifies enemies and some class features.

Linguistics (INT): languages are nice narrative tools, and it definitely isn’t useless.

*Lore (INT): you can use this for some very specific situations, and in campaigns where it can effectively replace a knowledge for identifying a specific type of enemy or other relevant check whose knowledge you don’t get as a class skill.

Perception (WIS): see the internet for details on this, it’s helluh useful and you will do whatever you need to to boost it and/or get it as a class skill.

Perform (CHA): unless you are building specially to use this, don’t.

*Profession (WIS): like craft, this has a lot of uses. If you end up going Master Craftsman, then (tailor) is one of the best choices, though (sailor), (driver), and (soldier) have mechanical uses.

*Ride (DEX): most of the time you can expect to end up riding a horse, even if you don’t have to train it. It also covers vehicles to an extent so it might be worth a rank or so.

Sense Motive (WIS): this covers a lot of things from social encounters to helping defend yourself against bluff checks to feint in combat.

Sleight of Hand (DEX): you’re honestly better off just using the Steal combat maneuver and not trying to be sneaky about it.

Spellcraft (INT): it has its uses, but unless you have ways to detect magic those uses will be very limited.

Stealth (DEX): for some campaigns this can really matter a lot, though generally speaking it’s not needed, but it’s also never useless.

*Survival (WIS): if you don’t have access to magical ways to feed yourself or to follow tracks, definitely expect to want this, even if it’s not maxed.

*Swim (STR): see climb

Use Magic Device (CHA): this skill has amazing utility, and qualifies for a lot of feats. Figure out to what extent this skill will be useful for your specific character and invest ranks/feats/traits accordingly.

Races

Core Races

Dwarf (+2 CON, +2 WIS, -2 CHA): rarely will you see a dwarf who plays the role of Mr. Personality (at least not well). Dwarves have great defenses, can get bonuses to craft checks, and start with darkvision. They make fantastic tanks and power turtles.

Elf (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CON): that hit to CON is painful, in every way possible. That said, many elves will find themselves doing very well as duelists or archers. Racial variants can mess around and give you some really cool things as well like better initiative and perfect vision. The INT bonus helps shore up the skill point dilemma.

Gnome (+2 CON, +2 CHA, -2 STR): taking a neg to STR definitely puts these little guys in the “no” category. I’m sure someone can define for me a decent build that can kind of make up for what it loses, but overall these guys make better sturdy spellcasters than little sturdy tanks. Desna’s Shooting Star (Divine Anthology) is their one viable way to build, but it lets them do a lot.

Half-Elf (+2 variable): Much like their parent races, half-elves actually have a large number of really cool options that can make them super useful both in and out of combat. Choosing a favored class that you never plan to take can get you access to wands, like utility or healing, with no UMD required, and they can manipulate their Skill Focus feat into a lot of other useful things. They can almost do everything an elf can do better, but are below humans even though they get all their choices.

Half-Orc (+2 variable): Do you want to intimidate? Do you want extra skills per level? Do you want proficiency with some really cool weapons? Do you want to keep fighting at negative hit points? Do you want perfect vision? You can do some or all of these things with this race, they are fantastic. Anything orcs or humans get, these guys do too.

Halfling (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 STR): by far and wide superior to the gnome for this class in almost every way, these little guys can make decent archers (even with gimped damage) and great duelists who focus on DEX. They even have variants that give them full move speed and bonuses to stealth.

Human (+2 variable): the gold standard for racial options. If you are trying to optimize your character, you more or less have to choose between this and the half-orc deciding only on whether or not the extra half-orc stuff like darkvision and weapon familiarity are worth the extra feat on your specific build. There’s a lot of human exclusive feats that the bastard races get too.

Featured Races

Aasimar (+2 WIS, +2 CHA): Aasimar are a very fun race with so, so many good options. If you don’t own Blood of Angels, you should at least check it out. You get a SLA which can be traded for different stats, you also have various other racial choices like picking up the (human) subtype and being able to grab the human exclusive feats. If you don’t get access to those toys though, consider this race green.

Catfolk (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 WIS): As far as the beast races go, catfolk tend to serve better as bards or even rogues. They can make decent Mr. Personality types who build for it, but are more or less shoehorned into that role thanks to the WIS penalty.

Dhampir (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 CON): These guys are hard to rate, they don’t get much as far as fighting goes. Much like the Aasimar, they have a number of multiple racial options in Blood of the Night, and some of them aren’t that bad, but you’re gonna be looking at a penalty to an important stat pretty much no matter what, and that negative energy affinity works better for classes who naturally get some sort of negative energy access.

Drow (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 CON): Dark elves, they work great in darklands style campaigns thanks to that vision. They get an exclusive archetype that turns them into a pseudo-arcane archer, but it gives up Weapon Training. Ultimately, when compared straight to elves for this class, elves win.

Fetchling (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 WIS): much like catfolk, this race lends better towards something that can benefit more from the options the race has. Something that sneaks around more like rogues or slayers are better off being these, and that WIS penalty is a deal breaker.

Goblin (+4 DEX, -2 STR, -2 CHA): well, if halfling’s rating was any indication, these guys are suped up versions of them. Better DEX, better speed, better stealth.

Hobgoblin (+2 DEX, +2 CON): just look at those stats, and darkvision!!! Other than that, the race is pretty bland. They can give up darkvision for natural armor, and have some cool alternate features for niche campaigns.

Ifrit (+2 DEX, +2 CHA, -2 WIS): we’ve been here before, those stats hurt and unless you plan on building around using fire, most of those racial features will not come up. They can get access to human stuff though, which makes them a step above the other races with this stat distribution.

Kobold (+2 DEX, -4 STR, -2 CON): oh gosh, what am I to do? I love these little guys, but as a DM where I can actually swarm with them. They have an exclusive archetype, but it’s useless without a bunch of them.

Orc (+4 STR, -2 INT, -2 WIS, -2 CHA) [S]: If you don’t wanna be stuck in the dark, you need to go with a melee guy. The bastards are overall a lot better, as they get access to anything the orc would get anyway, and have a lot more going for them. Stats hurt, even with +4 STR. Great for melee though.

Oread (+2 STR, +2 WIS, -2 CHA): this is a race I can get behind. Great stats, great racial options, access to human stuff, access to dwarf stuff, the only real downside is the slow movement speed.

Ratfolk (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 STR): the bestial counterpart to the halfling. INT is nice, and they get a racial exclusive archetype now which is one of the only viable ways to make alchemical weapons work with the fighter. It has it’s niche, but it’s not bad if you go for it. They can make okay duelists and archers as well.

Sylph (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CON): much like elves, you find yourself stuck in a few different combat roles thanks to your stats. They can do a lot of great things though as they have amazing racial options like flight and access to the human exclusive stuff.

Tengu (+2 DEX, +2 WIS, -2 CON): this race is one of the few that can make two weapons work. They get access to all the cool swords that work well as two weapons, and get a racial boost to DEX to help with the prerequisites.

Tiefling (+2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 CHA): the mother lode of racial options. These guys have as many or more racial choices as the Aasimar did, and can get some even cooler stuff. Stats aren’t bad either. Blood of Fiends includes variant stats and the like, with Inner Sea Races they can also get human stuff.

Undine (+2 DEX, +2 WIS, -2 STR): taking a neg to a primary stat isn’t that good. They are more or less forced into a duelist role. The bonus to WIS does justify making one though, if only to shore up that weakness. They have good vision, can swim, and have access to human stuff so it’s not all bad.

Advanced Weapon Training

Having had releases in Weapon Master’s Handbook, Magic Tactics Toolbox, and Blood of the Beast, a lot of these ‘real class features’ for the fighter can be hard to find. I can’t copy/paste their full descriptions, but I can link to someone who can, and I can link to the sources that you might need in case you want to own them yourselves. These come online starting at 9th level, and in order to take one you give up your weapon groups beyond your first. There’s also a feat accessible exclusively to those who have the Weapon Training Class feature and 5 levels that count as fighter levels, that can be taken once for each 5 fighter levels you have (so brawlers, warpriests, and magi who pick it up with variant multiclassing can too!).

Abundant Tactics (Ex) [S]: This is a big one, for reasons that we’ll get into once we get into feats. It gives you more uses per day of useful feats that are limited, based on your highest weapon training bonus. Top choices from the tip of my tongue are Barroom Brawler and Spellshatter.

Armed Bravery (Ex): Remember when I said Bravery was basically useless? It is now the exact opposite of that.

Combat Competence (Ex): By the time you can actually take this, unless you are building very specifically for high levels using the human feats that let all your weapon focus feats apply to the entire group, you won’t need this.

Combat Maneuver Defense (Ex): It’s situational considering how often Combat Maneuvers are rumored to come up, but it is one of the few ways to make sure your fighter is better at them than anyone else.

Dazzling Intimidation (Ex): Mr. Personality fighters will love the crap out of this. If you ever worried about beating Intimidate checks, worry no longer. It also reduces the action cost for Dazzling Display.

Defensive Weapon Training (Ex): Are you using two weapons, a bow, or a BFW? This is a great way to add a small little boost to your AC and it’ll eventually scale up to +6. There’s other ways to do this, but not ones that don’t cost money and feats.

Effortless Dual-Wielding (Ex): From Blood of the Beasts, this is a must for two weapon guys who want to use anything other than a light weapon. You can treat all one-handers from the same group as light weapons for the sake of Two-Weapon Fighting.

Fighter’s Finesse (Ex): It’s Swashbuckler’s Finesse, but for fighters. They deserve to have it, it’s a damn shame it takes so long to get it. Duelist fighters who want to switch weapons will appreciate it.

Fighter’s Reflexes (Ex): Factoring in the Gloves of Dueling (more on those later), this effectively scales up to giving you the equivalent of a good Reflex save which was a weakness of yours. A must on fighters who expect to face a lot of fireball slinging enemies, and generally a good pick if you don’t have any more holes to fill in your build.

Fighter’s Stamina (Ex) [S]: If you didn’t get Combat Stamina for free at first level, you can get it for free now. If you did get it for free, you get Extra Stamina instead. 

Fighter’s Tactics (Ex): It’s the Inquisitor’s solo tactics, but for fighters! This has a large amount of uses depending on your combat role, and if you ever read through a guide on Teamwork feats then you’ll know this can be either worth the weight of the book you bought in gold, or situationally worth dirt. Some great uses for archers and anyone who expects to flank a lot. You could ideally even look into the hunter’s bag of tricks.

Focused Weapon (Ex): It’s the warpriest’s damage, but for fighters! Were you ever concerned with your chosen weapon just not having a high enough damage die to justify its use? Did you pick up a really cool weapon (magic-wise) that you wish was better? Problem solved. Zen Archers can go cry, this isn’t their house anymore.

Inspiring Confidence (Ex): Rerolling a save is great, but it’s on fear effects, and we’ve covered how common those are.

Item Mastery (Sp): This is one of those options that has an amazing amount of utility, but it’s better off not being taken as an in-stone choice unless you are building for Dimensional Dervish. When you get to the section on Schr?dinger’s fighter you will understand. You do have to have ranks in UMD to use it, so build choices will vary in who uses this.

Knockout Training (Ex): It’s the monk/brawler’s ability to deal nonlethal damage with no attack penalty, but for fighters! And it’s better!

Trained Grace (Ex): This one is hard to rate fairly. Most of the time, the duelist builds that want this already have something else going on instead of STR for damage. If you happen to be running that two-weapon build with weapon finesse and double slice this becomes essential.

Trained Initiative (Ex): It’s Gunslinger’s Initiative, but for fighters, and… better? Overall this is really good if you have a Dueling weapon or if you really want to max out that initiative check. Rumor has it there’s some sort of fighter vs. spellcaster contest going on somewhere on the internet where initiative rolls are fairly important.

Trained Throw (Ex): Thrown builds can be fun, unfortunately the Belt of the Mighty Hurler isn’t going to be that good if you want to use this, which creates some MAD. It does give you some options for making thrown builds work which is a good thing though, with the right feats you can match or even surpass archery with this.

Versatile Training (Ex): Here it is, the thing everyone has been complaining about since the CRB came out. Did you dump INT? Are you upset that you lost out on some skills? Fear not! Depending on your weapon group you can get two skills maxed out for free! If you pick a skill with this you already have trained, you can get a free rebuild of any other skill you want. Anyone can pick Bluff or Intimidate, and the list goes on. Archers and throwers will be exceptionally happy as they can pick up Perception as a class skill. You can take it up to two times, but you probably won’t.

Warrior Spirit (Su): It’s the paladin’s bonded weapon, but for fighters… and it’s great. Pick any weapon quality you want, on the fly, 1+weapon training times per day. If your weapon is already magical, you get to stack whatever bonus you have leftover on top of it. Again, once we get to Schr?dinger’s fighter this will make so much more sense, especially once I bring up the Training property that came out in Inner Sea Intrigue. Take this because take it. Also pay attention to how it interacts with the Item Mastery from the same book (Magic Tactics Toolbox), since you could theoretically obtain and qualify for any of them in one turn.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): Free feat, and it’s a good feat. We’ll cover the Weapon Mastery feats in their own section later once we get to feats.

Weapon Sacrifice (Ex): You have to give up one of your precious weapons, in a post golf-bag needing era this could come down to a fate worse than death so you have to decide whether or not it’s actually worse than death.

Weapon Specialist (Ex): This is a tricky one to rate because for two feats anyone who counts as a human can do the same thing, granted not until 16th level. If you’re not a human and you really want to be able to use any weapon in your weapon group, this is what you want.

Advanced Armor Training

As a sequel to Weapon, Armor Master’s Handbook had a lot of pressure on it to produce options that we loved and wanted to use, needless to say I’m still writing this guide. You can start taking them at 7th level and it replaces the increase to the max DEX and ACP reduction beyond the first, but it doesn’t prevent you from gaining the ability to move at full speed. It is also accessible through a feat, but it can be taken every three levels instead of five. It’s usually worth taking once or twice. Like how Weapon Training (and thus any Advanced options based off your weapon bonus) was enhanced by the Gloves of Dueling, you technically gain access to one more of them through the Sash of the War Champion.

Adaptable Training (Ex): Less useful than Versatile Training, you still have the ability to pick up some really useful skills. Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and Intimidate are the big options here, being much less restricted than Versatile Training was. Again, you get to pick it up as a class skill.

Armor Specialization (Ex): This one is a big one, as it solves the biggest problem that Armor Training had with the class, the MAD issue with DEX and STR. With Armor Specialization, you get a flat bonus to the total armor bonus based on your level, capping based off the weight class of the armor. Since fighters get heavy armor proficiency anyway, and can move at full speed in it regardless of how high you want to invest in DEX, you could leave your DEX at 14 and never consider boosting it without feeling bad about it. It also lets you get some of the highest armor in the game. Fighters planning to wear heavy armor don’t even need a color for this, it’s beyond purple.

Armored Confidence (Ex): Again we get another bonus to intimidate, which at this point seems ridiculous considering the fighter’s multitude of ways to improve that particular skill. You don’t even need a good CHA to have some of the highest intimidate checks in the game, and you even get a bit of a defensive bonus against other intimidate checks, though that probably won’t matter in the long run.

Armored Juggernaut (Ex): Okay, this one is really, really, REALLY worth looking at. It basically gives you the barbarian’s DR class feature, but it stacks with the bonuses from adamantine armor and from Armor Mastery. Tank fighters absolutely NEED this.

Armor Sacrifice (Ex): Like weapon sacrifice, only you get the option of giving up your shield or armor instead. This is great because you can deflect a killing blow or critical hit and just throw away a shield that you don’t care about. However it runs into the same problem of a fate worse than death.

Critical Deflection (Ex): This one is a bit more situational, and there are plenty of other abilities (like the one above) which can deflect actual killing blows without worrying about dice rolls.

Master Armorer (Ex): !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If that doesn’t explain how good this is, then it’s going to be hard to really break down just how important having access to whatever magic armor or shield you want is. When you read the section on equipment, remember that none of that will be off limits to you (as far as armor) barring anything the DM purposely bans. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in the same book this was printed in there are two different armor enchantments that grant flight to the wearer of heavy armor.

Quick Donning (Ex): Does your DM make a big deal about getting into and out of armor? Take this, if not then skip it.

Steel Headbutt (Ex): The really cool thing about this (aside from getting another attack) is the fact that you get another “always on” weapon that you can enchant with those pesky enchantments that are require you to be wielding it.

Unmoving (Ex): Like the Advanced Weapon Training option “Combat Maneuver Defense (Ex)” above, this is situational depending on the type of game you expect to be playing in. If you want it, you can have the best CMD mechanically possible with a player character.

Feats

The entire fighter class has always been about feats, and in Pathfinder this becomes more and more important as newer classes get buffs and fun options to play with that aren’t necessarily gated by feats. Feats themselves have types and subtypes that affect whether or not you qualify for them as bonus feats, or if you have to use them with your regular progression. Plus, there are some feats that are designed to be hidden class features of the fighter, since they require a certain number of fighter levels to take. This is going to be the longest section of this guide, and feats will be broken down into a few different categories to make it easier to navigate the guide and understand the purpose that this or that feat serves as far as building your character will go. 

It is important to note that the fighter has a class feature that enables you to retrain one of your old feats gained through your fighter bonus feats, and you can qualify for it at that present level. It only happens every four levels, but those levels become important to plan a build around as you may find ways to upgrade an old feat into a newer option that becomes available to you at your new level, which may invalidate or surpass the option you took before. On your character sheet, make sure you keep a note of what feats qualify for this feature and know which ones you need at earlier levels vs. which ones you want to keep around for a while. This could affect your build significantly, since some feats are only useful at lower levels and others may hold your entire build together throughout your adventuring career.

As far as general feats go, it is also important to remember that you do get 11, sometimes more, bonus combat feats and it may not be worth spending all your feats on combat. Thanks to the newer options and some magic items, the fighter can actually take advantage of having some variable feats which don’t need to be permanent choices, and the feats that do end up being permanent should all be ones that you won’t regret wasting normal progression feats on that you might want to retrain out of later. There’s a lot of books out there, and a lot of feats and I may not cover anything and everything that you might want to consider for your fighter, and some of those feats are very obviously designed for other classes to pick up so I can’t cover everything. 

Feats are going to be organized into seven main categories in this guide: General Purpose feats that must be taken with your regular progression, Class Feature Staples which are generic and more common choices for any and every fighter of any style, Combat Specialization feats that flesh out your particular style, Teamwork feats and their applicability to your class, Style feats which come in the form of chains which can only be used one at a time, Critical feats to enhance your critical hits, and Mastery feats which are intended to be exclusive to the fighter and are generally speaking more powerful than normal feats. Why did I agree to write this guide? Good-bye sleep.

General Purpose Feats

Most, if not all of these feats are intended to be used to add to your role out of combat, and you normally don’t want to invest all your feats on these, as the fighter’s role is more generally purposed towards combat effectiveness. Some of the racial feats are mentioned here, but normally unless they offer something truly amazing (like new senses, feat accessibility, or new types of movement) you would want to look at other options.

Acrobatic: the skills this covers are ones you can expect to see often, and if you’re really running low on general feats to take (you won’t be) it can help. Since you don’t get Fly as a class skill, finding a way to get this feat could be a decent alternative if your flight is lacking.

Acrobatic Steps, Nimble Moves: this is a small chain that can matter in some scenarios when you really need movement or to be able to charge. At later levels, flight invalidates this though.

Acute Shot (Magic Tactics Toolbox): this can be extremely helpful for builds that have lower to-hits or against enemies who stack AC, since being able to hit is more important than damage.

Additional Traits: When you read the section on traits, you will understand why this is a great feat as fighters have a lot of traits that are helpful to specific builds and you may find that two or three aren’t enough.

Alertness: simply taking this feat itself is a trap, as there are ways to effectively gain this feat without needing to take it (like gaining a familiar). Still, two of the most important skills in the game.

Altitude Affinity: most of the time, you will never need this and Endurance is mediocre.

Amateur Investigator: Snob fighters can use this to shore up low knowledge rolls, but beyond that it’s not that great. There are better choices.

Ambush Awareness (Ultimate Wilderness): if you already have Alertness, then you can take the total defense action during the surprise round, even if you fail the perception roll. Great for Familiars.

Ancestral Scorn (Tiefling): it has it’s uses, but limited uses. Only take in a game where you expect to see it a lot.

Animal Affinity: cavaliers and rangers do it better, not worth wasting resources to be worse off

Antagonize: do you want to tank? This is how you tank. For tanks it’s purple.

Aquatic Advantage (Monster Codex): Undines are basically the only race that get this (at least that we’ve covered). In wholly aquatic campaigns it’s great, otherwise meh.

Arcane Vendetta (Inner Sea World Guide): this has a lot more use than most people realize, and you could build to be the anti-mage fighter (more on that later) and for that purpose this is great. Requires full investment in spellcraft though.

Arcing Lob (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): alchemical weapons aren’t really your bag, and only targeting large creatures makes this situational unless you pick this up with Barroom Brawler, and have a large enemy surrounded by adjacent allies.

Arctic Adaptation (Ultimate Wilderness): generic feat that treats cold weather as less severe by one step. Wands tho.

Armored Aegis (Path of the Hellknight): hello useful feat, this gives you some much needed condition removal, though you gotta join the Hellknights.

Athletic: if you could get it for free it would be okay, but it is tied directly to your investment so I would skip it. Yeah, so Ultimate Wilderness came out and now you need this as a prerequisite for the Totemic line which at the very least is access to pounce. This got a buff.

Believer’s Boon: hear me out, there’s a lot of good cleric domain abilities you can grab. Best ones to look at are Tactics subdomain for initiative, Travel for avoiding difficult terrain, and Restoration subdomain for condition removal. Requires WIS 13, but it can be really worth it if you make the right choice.

Believer’s Hands: You gotta be LG, but it gives you some self healing. As a fighter, you’re one of the few classes that actually could spend the two feats to grab this, if you want to build for it you can have amazing self healing by mixing Fey Foundling and VMC cavalier (Order of the Stars) for full paladin level progression for this. If you took the Restoration subdomain, you can have some great self-sustainability.

Betrayer: this has some great narrative purpose, but it does require you to build around using diplomacy and intimidate which may not be an option depending on your skill investment.

Bloodletting [S] (Faiths of Corruption): Are you evil? Why isn’t this a combat feat? I’m so confused. Bleed damage on a crit.

Bolstered Resistance: tanks might not even want to take this, since it gives you the fatigued condition which sucksssssss.

Breadth of Experience (Elf, Gnome, or Dwarf): this feat can be very useful in campaigns where you need to make a lot of knowledge checks, and it boosts all of them. Master Craftsman users will also love the small boost.

Bred Commander (Hobgoblin): if you’re using Mass Combat and you’re a hobgoblin, this is purple.

Brutal Obedience (Path of the Hellknight): you have better options to gain any of these benefits permanently or better versions of them.

Butterfly’s Sting (Critical, General?) [S]: why isn’t this a combat feat? It’s great if you build around team efforts and choose to use high crit range weapons and your buddy uses a high crit multiplier.

Careful Reader (Occult Origins): if you expect to see a lot of saves like this, it’s really good, but normally these will be Will saves and you’re better off investing in something that improves all of them (like Bravery).

Careful Speaker (Inner Sea World Guide): solely a role playing skill, bonuses to protect yourself from scrying seem cool, but mostly impractical.

Childlike (Halfling): if you’re going to use it a lot, good, but you probably won’t.

Child of Two Fates [S] (Inner Sea Races): your teammates won’t be taking teamwork feats, and if they do they’re probably cavaliers, hunters, or inquisitors who don’t need you to have them anyway.

Clarity of Pain (Horror Adventures): this is another way to cover a serious weakness from your poor will save, though it’s prerequisites are harsh.

Cold Celerity (People of the North): in campaigns where this is common, you’ll love it, though it really could be used on a more important feat.

Combat Advice (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): better off just hiring or befriending a bard for better competence bonuses.

Conceal Scent (Land of the Pharaohs): this can work well if you plan to face enemies with scent, but your whole team needs it. Pass.

Cooperative Crafting: this has a lot of uses if you want to help your crafting partner or if you plan to craft things yourself. Extra useful if you have a familiar or cohort that can also use it.

Cosmopolitan: what a feat, you can grab a couple class skills that you were missing, and get a couple extra languages. Do not doubt this feat’s usefulness, though you may be able to accomplish the same or better with Additional Traits.

Cover Tracks (Ultimate Wilderness): you may be the ‘survival’ guy in your group and this helps you make it harder to track your team. If your DM punishes you for making camp this can help with that.

Cry Challenge (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): tanks should consider this if only for the fact that drawing the enemy’s attention to you is your main job.

Cunning (Villain Codex): Wow!!! It’s toughness for skill points, which is one of the things you want more than anything. Totally worth a feat for fighters, maybe even some of the other classes who have lower skills, but fighters most of all because well, you know, feats.

Cut your Loses (Pathfinder Society Primer): this is more useful than you think, since there will be many times that someone has to drop something useful in the throes of combat, and someone needs to be able to pick it up. Carrying Capacity is also an important statistic to consider if you don’t have STR or a handy haversack yet.

Deceitful: Do you plan to bluff a lot in combat? Do you play in a game where disguise is going to matter? Would you be better off playing a different class?

Deceptive Exchange: you don’t really have the class features to make this work, unless you plan on making cursed items that somehow also don’t affect you.

Deepsight: improved darkvision will never, ever be useless, though there are other feats with more utility.

Deft Hands: this isn’t your job

Desert Dweller (Inner Sea World Guide): someone will be able to cast endure elements, otherwise wands are cheap and someone can use it.

Diehard: you have better options, and you shouldn’t plan around being so close to death that you’ll need this. That’s a loser’s mentality.

Dimensional Agility, Assault, Dervish, Maneuvers, Savant: really consider these when you have to look at Item Mastery feats, since it’s one of the few ways to get pounce as a fighter. It’s unclear as to how Teamwork Feats work with Savant, but it’s still nice to have.

Dislocate (Path of the Hellknight): don’t let yourself get tied up, if you do, make sure you have friends that can help.

Disorienting Maneuver: why isn’t this a combat feat? If you’re already moving and you want to hit someone, this feat makes acrobatics essential and in some ways better than charging.

Disposable Weapon: a fate worse than death

Divine Defiance (Faiths and Philosophies): works great in campaigns where you expect to see a lot of divine casters and divine casting enemies.

Dragoncrafting (Dragonslayer’s Handbook): this has a lot of flavor, but it’s nowhere near as good as it was in 3.5, the best thing you can make is the weapon grip which isn’t worth a feat, better for NPCs.

Dragonheart (Dragonslayer’s Handbook): in a dragon heavy campaign, every little bonus helps, but there are better options that work more universally.

Druidic Decoder (Faiths and Philosophies): it’s the only way to get druidic as a non druid, cool. Cool, but useless.

Eagle Eyes: Are you Legolas? Gets rid of sight based penalties at long distances on perception checks, never useless.

Edge Runner (Heroes of the Streets): never underestimate the stupidity of needing balance checks in dungeons or needing full speed or not being flat footed when doing so.

Eldritch Assault (Magic Tactics Toolbox): this has some uses, but really isn’t worth building around since you don’t have spellcasting to grant yourself the types of concealment you need. Auto-confirms crits once per round.

Eldritch Heritage, Improved, and Greater: this requires CHA investment, but it’s one of the few reasons to do so. There are a lot of good abilities to grab like an Arcane Bond to make your own magic weapon or get a familiar, and eventually the ability to get wings or flight. Orc and Abyssal give you STR bonuses.

Exotic Heritage (Ultimate Wilderness): you can use this instead of skill focus to gain the benefits of the Wildblooded bloodline of your choice if you go down the Eldritch Heritage chain. I like Pit-Touched, Sylvan gives you an Animal Companion, and Bedrock can give you DR.

Endurance: plan on only going medium for armor? Have the money for mithral plate? Like Quick Donning (Ex), this only matters when you have a DM that makes it matter.

Esoteric Advantage (Pathfinder Society Primer): if you’re already building to be good at knowledge checks, a small boost to damage can’t hurt.

Esoteric Linguistics: Linguistics instead of UMD or spellcraft for scrolls, if you want it take it.

Evolved Familiar: an Eldritch Guardian or Eldritch Heritage fighter who plans to use their familiar in combat has a lot of neat options to choose from.

Expert Driver: this matters only if you are in a game where vehicles matter, but if you are it matters a lot.

Extra Lay on Hands: if you took Believer’s Hands this is useful, if you are taking VMC cavalier with it, it’s essential.

Familiar Bond & Improved Familiar Bond (Familiar Folio): Just take the Eldritch Guardian archetype, it’s better in almost every way. If for some reason you decided to go the route of the Familiar Bond way to gain a familiar, you get taxed an extra feat to get it to work properly. The Eldritch Guardian has to give up 2 bonus feats and gets better stuff anyway, and people who take Eldritch Heritage also get to benefit from Skill Focus (Knowledge Arcana) which is also better, pass.

Far-Roaming Familiar (Familiar Folio): if you want your familiar to be a scout, this can work well, though it’s often not recommended to do so.

Fast Healer: it’s prerequisites suck, but it doesn’t.

Fast Learner (Human): hit points and skill points every level, it’s like either toughness or cunning at the same time, and it stacks with both.

Fey Foundling (Inner Sea World Guide): when you look into ways to make your fighter better at living, this is incredible. It’s normally a paladin trick, but it’s worth looking at and combining with some other choices.

Field Repair: this feat is awesome if you want to take the Advanced Weapon or Armor Sacrifice options, since you can fix your gear with no cost. A great reason to invest in craft, tanks consider this purple.

Fight On (Dwarf, Orc): it’s best to not plan on needing this, which means it’s best to not consider it.

Fleet: don’t ever expect to use this, you’re the armor guy.

Flying Tackle (Dirty Tactics Toolbox): this isn’t a combat feat? Weird, it’s also mediocre considering overrun is in many ways inferior to trip, and grappling means you aren't using a weapon.

Focused Disbelief (Faiths and Philosophies): SR like a monster gets, but only against divine magic. Campaign dependent, and you also have to watch out for blocking your own divine caster’s buffs and heals.

Free Spirit (Inner Sea World Guide): stacks with Iron Will and other bonuses because it’s morale, which means it can be good if you are really scared of mind-affecting things and think you need it. Overall though, it’s a bit redundant and the bonus can be covered by allies.

Godless Healing (Inner Sea World Guide): the healing effect from this will always be less than the one you could get from having a god with Believer’s Hands. Doesn’t restrict alignment though.

Go Unnoticed: this is great for halflings that happen to be rogues. You aren’t at least one of those things.

Great Fortitude: of all the save boosting feats, this one is the worst option for you since you already have good Fort saves. That said, if you need it due to a low CON or something, it’s here.

“Hand” feats; Possessed Hand, Hand’s Autonomy, Hand’s Detachment, Hand’s Knowledge, Hand’s Sight (Haunted Heroes Handbook): all of these feats have great value and flavor, though they take up a lot of feat slots you may not have. Two-Weapon fighters need Hand’s Autonomy.

Heroic Defiance & Recovery: their prereqs aren’t that good, and you have better ways of avoiding these conditions.

Improved Familiar: this has so much potential if you have a familiar, and it could seriously have its own guide.

Improved Great Fortitude, Iron Will, or Lightning Reflexes: aside from using them as feat prerequisites, any of these could save your butt. My money's on Iron Will mattering the most.

Ironguts (Dwarf, Orc): nauseated and sickened suck, but Great Fortitude does this and more.

Ironhide (Dwarf, Orc): improving your AC is always good, stacks with an Amulet of Natural Armor, qualifies you for Improved Natural Armor if you want it.

Iron Will: Will is your weakest save, and also the most devastating to lose out on. Not essential anymore thanks to the improvements available to Bravery, but it still isn’t ever going to be worthless.

Island Blood (Inner Sea World Guide): much like Cosmopolitan, you can use this to pick up some class skills that you were missing, one of the only ways to get Fly as a class skill btw.

Keen Scent (Orc): scent is really cool, and it makes survival an awesome skill and it has incredible non-combat utility as well as being usable in combat.

Leadership: this feat gives you an extra character, most DMs ban this.

Learn Ranger Trap: well, you can make traps. Most of them aren’t worth the time or money, especially considering you can’t make magic ones.

Legacy of Heroes (Champions of Purity): holy weapons are a thing, but you have better options for improving damage and shouldn’t be spending feats on this.

Lifeless Gaze (Horror Adventures): small boost against mind-affecting effects, and a small boost to bluff. It’s not bad, and it does offer some nice protection from mental attacks.

Lightning Reflexes: Reflex is another bad save for you, but DEX is one of your main stats, and generally speaking most reflex saves equate to damage and rarely anything else. 

Light Step (Elf): in natural terrain, you never have to worry about difficult terrain.

Lucky Halfling (Halfling): this is better on paladins who stack their saves.

Magical Aptitude: while these are both useful skills, this normally won’t be worth wasting a feat on, since the DCs are either fixed or inaccessible to you anyway.

Master Craftsman: this feat is incredible, but costly. It’ll take two feats to use properly, and requires you more or less to max out your chosen skill. You also are locked into whatever skill you chose to make the items you want, so you can’t necessarily gain the versatility that a normal spellcaster could get from taking one of these item creation feats. (Tailor) is the best choice to take Wondrous Item, as it covers your clothing and can get you access to class exclusive items like the Gloves of Dueling, Sash of the War Champion, and important items like your Belt of [stats], Cloak of Resistance, and Boots. If you took Master Armorer, then your DM may not allow you to take it a second time, but you shouldn’t get greedy at that point.

Golden League Tattoos (Spymaster’s Handbook): being able to take 10 on any intimidate check is worth bringing this feat up at all, but it has great utility if you are in an intrigue based game or use social combat.

Nature Soul, Animal Ally, Boon Companion (Faiths & Philosophies, Animal Archive): take these if you are ever looking into methods for using an animal companion, and you don’t want to bother with Eldritch Heritage cheese or Variant Multiclassing. If you build for this, consider the Tactician or Drill Sergeant archetypes as they can grant your allies (thus your companion) your teamwork feats and this opens up all the cool Teamwork feats that came out for the hunter class in the Advanced Class Guide. Nature Soul is weak, though survival and knowledge (nature) can both be useful skills in the right campaigns, but it’s a feat tax.

Necromatic Affinity (Inner Sea World Guide): this is a feat that allows you to be healed by inflict spells, so if your group is going evil and you have a cleric throwing those around it’s worth mentioning. Needs CON 15 though.

Noble Scion (Inner Sea World Guide): this works better on classes who have either a spellcasting or otherwise CHA focused build.

One Eye Open (Melee Tactics Toolbox): You no longer need to stand guard at night, you can just sleep and you’ll notice any threats you would have had you been awake anyway. If your DM likes to make this an important part of the game, it’s purple.

Orator: this lets you consolidate Diplomacy and Bluff into the skill Linguistics, but not to feint or gather information. If you don’t have the skills to have both, or don’t have the CHA to use either this can be a great alternative. Requires skill focus though.

Persuasive: Diplomacy and Intimidate are two important skills, but you have plenty of ways to boost them without needing to waste a regular progression feat on them unless you think it’s really important, or need it for a prerequisite.

Prodigy: much like the other skill boosting feats, unless you really need the bonuses as high as possible then don’t bother. This can help with crafting, but unless you are really wanting to make sure you can make your own stuff skip it.

Racial Heritage (Human): this feat is great because it opens doors to get access to some of the other awesome racial feats out there, my favorite is nabbing the dwarf abilities and getting Spellshatter on any race that counts as either human or dwarf, of which there are a lot.

Razortusk (Half-Orc): it’s an extra attack, and another thing that Half-Orcs get.

Rhetorical Flourish: confusing and dumb, just take Skill Focus (Diplomacy) or Persuasive if you want bonuses that bad.

Run: you’re the armor guy, remember?

Scale and Skin (Magic Tactics Toolbox): have a friend that likes to cast haste? Now it gives you a boost to your natural armor as well. Gets better later on.

Scholar (Inner Sea World Guide): Knowledge checks are some of the ones whose DCs actually matter, and you could actually get decent use out of this for identifying enemies or out of combat utility.

Schooled Reserve (Blood of the Night): it’s almost good, but very situational unless you plan to fight vampires and only vampires.

Scuttle (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): crawling around isn’t worth wasting a feat on.

Sea Legs: your 3 physical skills, acrobatics, swim, and climb; effectively this feat buys you six skill ranks for the price of 5 in profession (sailor). If you’re already going the (sailor) route it can be worth it.

Self-Sufficient: skills aren’t that useful, neither is the feat.

Sense Loyalties (Spymaster’s Handbook): this feat is super complex, and requires some high skill checks. It’s really cool, but it’ll only be useful in specific scenarios.

Shadow Shroud (Tiefling) (Monster Codex): a few times per day you can give yourself concealment as an immediate action. I’d rather negate the hit or damage somehow.

Sharptooth (Ratfolk) (Monster Codex): gaining a primary natural attack is awesome!

Skilled Driver: if you need someone who can drive vehicles well, do it.

Small But Deadly (Kobolds of Golarion): if you are making a small race and you want to go melee, this is a no-brainer, unless it doesn’t work? I’m not sure, there’s no rulings on how it works exactly.

Smell Fear (Orc): this feat has two uses, one: it improves your Perception rolls on shaken targets, two: it replaces Sense Motive with Perception so long as the subject is shaken, luckily you can build an Intimidate monster and can more or less guarantee that.

Spear Dancer [S] (Inner Sea Gods): not a combat feat, and dazzled sucks regardless of having a Stamina Trick.

Splash Weapon Mastery (Adventurer’s Armory): if you’re making the ratfolk build, this replaces Far Shot for you.

Squire (Knights of the Inner Sea): it’s baby Leadership, but it’s weaker.

Stalker’s Focus: there’s actually a lot of really cool and useful hunter tricks here, effectively gaining a little bit of spellcasting.

Stalwart & Improved Stalwart: I can’t figure out how this interacts with Armored Juggernaut, since it explicitly states that it stacks with it since it’s a class feature, and Armored Juggernaut says it stacks with adamantine armor, but Stalwart says it doesn’t stack with adamantine since it’s not a class feature. I’m sure table variance will determine whether or not this feat is purple for tanks or red for them, so be prepared to have a confused talk with any DM you bring this to.

Steadfast Personality: well, what Will saves are you worried about that aren’t mind-affecting? If you built a Mr. Personality type fighter who put his dump stat in WIS this feat is actually not too bad. If you take this feat, you could also build a Snob who dumps WIS, but the entire build is based on this feat.

Stealthy: You’re wearing armor remember? Not your job.

Steel Soul (Dwarf): yessssssssssssssssssss better saves against the things you need better saves against.

Stone Sense (Dwarf): tremorsense is something that can be useful, but it’s range is weak.

Strong Comeback: this isn’t bad if you have a lot of abilities that offer re-rolls.

Studied Combatant: too limited, and Am Investigator isn’t that good of a gateway feat.

Sure Grasp: how often are you going to be climbing? How often will flight not be an option? Hopefully never by the time you’re done reading this guide.

Survivor (Inner Sea World Guide): this feat actually might justify Endurance and Diehard, tanks consider this blue.

Sycophant (Agents of Evil): once per day you can convince an enemy to hit you with nonlethal instead of lethal. What? I’d rather convince them to not hit me….

Torchbearer (Dungeoneer’s Handbook): it’s another pseudo-Leadership that you can get early.

Totemic Initiate, Disciple, Master (Ultimate Wilderness): this feat chain alone is worth buying Ultimate Wilderness. You get to pick any of the totem barbarian rage power chains, so long as you aren't lawful and you’ve taken Athletic. Who cares? Natural attack builds just because a thing, you just got better defenses, and you can get pounce with your natural weapons. And that’s only based on Beast Totem, there’s so many good choices here. You get pounce, which makes Athletics good now. Let that sink in. It’s only for Natural builds, but it’s still good.

Toughness: it’s like buying in a higher CON score, great when you need it or when you don’t know what to take.

Truebreed (Inner Sea Races): of all the feats I’ve mentioned, this is the first one that makes you worse. Eff this.

Uncanny Alertness: as far as feats go, the bonus is too small and it’s gratuitous.

Wasp Familiar (Dirty Tactics Toolbox): since CN is a very popular alignment, and the wasp is a better version of the Greensting Scorpion (which is already one of the best familiars), and it’s done in a single feat, plus free Alertness means you get two feats for one, this is amazing!

Well-Prepared (Halfling): it’s a reason to invest into either Sleight of Hand or Survival, it’s uses are a bit on the low end however, it’s a great narrative tool and I personally think it’s hilarious.

Word of Healing: since we already brought up the combos for getting Lay on Hands, this feat could be helpful in keeping someone other than you alive in a pinch (like the healer). It’ll seem useless until that one time when you need it which will justify every other time you don’t.

Wildling, Mind, Stride (Ultimate Wilderness): you can now gain Wild Empathy like a druid or ranger, and now there’s a bunch of feats they get. You get to take INT damage to reroll mind-affecting saves (good). Then you get to add 10ft to your movement speed, and it makes no mentions of what armor you’re wearing. All nice things.


Class Feature Staples

These feats are ones you can see on most, if not all fighters. They transcend the rest of the feats you can see and most of them are Combat Feats that can be taken as one of your bonus feats. These are options any and every fighter should consider in the same way that druids consider Natural Spell or clerics consider Divine Interference. Some of them interact with your class features directly, and others are just strong universal options that your class features are enhanced by.

Bravery Feats:

Improved Bravery [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): this is an important one, and it’s one of the main reasons to invest in a CHA 13. I’ll ask you to really consider what Will save based effects you are afraid of that aren’t mind affecting. If you are lacking the resources to invest in Armed Bravery, this is the alternative. You should also consider taking this as one of your bonus feats, and retraining out of it once you have sufficient levels to have access to Armed Bravery as a straight upgrade. Combined with Steadfast Personality, you can have a great CHA based character.

Bravery in Action (Divine Anthology): Desna or Cayden Cailean have some amazing options for fighters. This lets you stack Bravery on your initiative checks, if you wanted a bonus that scales better than improved initiative. Also, it stacks with improved initiative.

Unbound Bravery (Divine Anthology): another Desna or Cayden Cailean feat, this one gives you the Bravery bonus on Escape Artist checks and combat maneuvers to escape a grapple. It also gives you the ability to give this bonus to an ally once per day which gives you a buff. Its uses are limited and niche, but it does what you want it to if you want it.

Undaunted Bravery (Divine Anthology): Intimidate Monsters get yet another way to have their intimidate checks become monstrous. It also ups your own DC to be intimidated which is a great defensive ability few other classes get, except paladins. Screw paladins.

Inspiring Bravery [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): if you took Improved Bravery, all allies within 30 ft gain your bonus on Will saves. Eventually this scales even better than Aura of Courage even if you didn’t take Improved Bravery. This is an amazing team buff since Bravery has no type to its bonus.

Social Bravery [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): this is redundant with Undaunted Bravery in some ways, but not in others. You now can add your Bravery to the DC to both demoralize and to feint you, and on diplomacy DCs against you. Cherry on top, it gives a Morale Bonus to your intimidate and bluff checks which technically stack with Undaunted’s untyped bonus. Seriously, an intimidate monster.

Quick Study [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): this requires some role playing, but you get a variable feat that you can retrain out of once it’s no longer useful. Gotta be 10th level, and it requires you have Bravery. One of the puzzle pieces of Schr?dinger’s fighter!

Intimidate Feats:

Martial Dominance [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): This feat is wishy washy on how useful it really is. One one hand, it’s utility is immeasurable since it gives free ranks in intimidate at the cost of one rank. On the other, it can’t be taken until 5th level, which means you wouldn’t want to take it until 6th since you would want this as a variable/retrainable feat. If you can deal with not investing any more than a single rank into Intimidate until then (you might actually), it is well worth the wait as it can be really handy to pick up those ranks only when you know you’ll need them, since not all enemies can be intimidated. It can also be useful to just pick up. If you dumped INT and want more skills, this is one of the good choices.

Intimidating Prowess [Combat] [S]: Add STR to intimidate in addition to CHA! If you didn’t invest much into CHA, or are holding out to take Martial Dominance, this can be one of those ways to make your intimidate even better. Seriously, an intimidate monster! Stamina lets you avoid size penalties against big foes.

Shocking Bellow [Combat] (Monster Codex): requires Intimidating Prowess, but lets you basically have Dazzling Display as a free action or you can act in the surprise round! Amazing

Cornugon Smash [Combat] (Cheliax, Empire of Devils): what a feat! If you are building someone with Power Attack, you get to make intimidate checks for free! If you want to make the intimidate monster you need this.

Hurtful [Combat] (Monster Codex): what a gem, if you happen to have successfully demoralized an enemy you can spend your swift action to get a free melee attack against them. Combine this with the other options to get free checks and you can get yourself free attacks!

Pile On [Combat] (Monster Codex) honestly, if you’re building the intimidate monster you’ll most likely be able to inflict their shaken condition every round for free anyway, no need to give up damage.

Bullying Blow [Combat, Orc] [S]: standard action attack at a -2 penalty seems rather weak when Cornugon Smash is right there. Stamina lets you do it as part of a full attack, and it’s not like you’d be full attacking all the time anyway, but still taking the penalty for something you could have a better feat for is weak.

Dreadful Carnage [Combat] [S]: the core equivalent to Cornugon Smash. Has steeper prerequisites, requires Furious Focus (which also requires Power Attack), and only works when you take down an enemy. You get to demoralize all enemies within 30 feet, awesome!

Frightening Ambush [Combat] (Dirty Tactics Toolbox): if you hit a flat-footed enemy you can demoralize as a free action. Great if you have someone on the team who feints, but most of your abilities already demoralize them.

Antagonize: this one isn’t a combat feat, so you gotta be careful about which feat slot you use on it. You pick an enemy, then you either use Diplomacy or Intimidate on them (hint: you won’t use Diplomacy) to draw their attention to you and only you. Tanks want this.

Call Out [Combat] (People of the River): this is the Player Companion upgrade to Antagonize, you make an intimidate check and if you succeed the opponent is challenged to a duel. You can find the rules for this in Ultimate Combat. It’s not limited to 1/day, and depending on how monstrous your check is they have a set number of rounds they cannot withdraw within. Tanks need this.

Dazzling Display [Combat] [S]: this is the feat you want if you’re going to be doing something other than attacking enemies. It’s a full round* but you can intimidate all enemies within 30 ft.

Disheartening Display [Combat] [S]: upgraded Dazzling Display increases the fear category of already scared enemies. Intimidate monsters love it.

Shatter Defenses [Combat] [S]: if you have Dazzling Display, you make the enemy flat-footed for the rest of the turn after you hit them. This can make lading your iterative attacks much easier.

Deadly Stroke [Combat] [S]: Holy crap, the Dazzling Display line is awesome! It sucks that this requires a standard action attack, but you “auto-crit” with it. Shatter Defenses makes this feat work always, and stamina lets you do it even more than always.

Brutal Coup de Grace [Combat] (Horror Adventures): instead of making an intimidate check, enemies make a Will save that is CHA based. Gory Finish or Dreadful Carnage are superior in every way for you.

Gory Finish [Combat] [S]: If you have Dazzling Display, this does effectively the same thing as Dreadful Carnage but isn’t level capped.

Enforcer [Combat] [S]: when you do nonlethal damage, you get a free intimidate check. It’s like Cornugon Smash but worse, makes sense for an RPG Line release. Stamina frightens them, that was dramatic….

Warning Shot (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): instead of making a normal attack roll, you can intimidate them with a ranged touch that does no damage. Ummm okay?

Intimidate Animals (Ultimate Wilderness): if you plan on building for this, you can frighten animals instead of making them shaken. Steep build requirements though.


Weapon Feats:

Weapon Focus/Greater Weapon Focus [Combat] [S]: they are staple feats for the fighter, and most fighters you see will take this on their primary weapon. No statistic is more important to a fighter focused on damage more than the attack roll, so these are rated highly for that reason. Weapon Focus is also a prerequisite for like, everything, making it vital to most builds.

Weapon Specialization/Greater Weapon Specialization [Combat] [S]: you will already have decent damage numbers thanks to Weapon Training, but these feats are here to pump those numbers up even higher. They’re boring, and offer little other than bigger numbers, but if your job to your party is to provide those numbers you need these.

Weapon Adept [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): select a weapon modification; they’re like cool little add-ons to weapons, more on them later, you basically gain proficiency with it, and can add it to whatever weapon you upgrade to without penalty. A couple are nice.

Modified Weapon Proficiency [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): you select a weapon to always be proficient with, regardless of any weapon modifications on it. This isn’t bad if you plan on going the golf bag route.

Martial Focus [Combat]: this feat mainly exists for other classes to copy your Weapon Mastery options. Still, flat +1 on damage across your entire weapon group isn’t bad, just boring.

Martial Versatility [Combat, Human] [S]: humans and anyone that counts as human can apply a single one of these feats to another one in the same group. Stamina says you just get it on any weapon. If you want to use it on multiple feats however, you’ll have to either take it multiple times, or wait until level 16 to take-

Martial Mastery [Combat, Human] [S]: humans with this feat can treat any weapon in their group as having the same feats. This feat supersedes the Advanced Weapon Training option. Stamina means you literally have all the feats on all the weapons.

Improved Critical [Combat] [S]: this feat is a point of contention for many, as other classes can add keen to their weapons as early as 5th level. You can too now, with Warrior Spirit. So why does this feat need to exist? It really shines at later levels when you have the money to put oodles of enchantments on your weapon and don’t have enough enchantments left for keen without going over your limit of 10. Stamina let’s you “crit” even if you don’t crit if your roll is close enough.

Quick Draw [Combat] [S]: this feat matters a lot if you care about not having to waste an action in combat drawing a weapon, which should be most of you. It’s stamina trick is also a strong option because stowing a weapon is normally a lot more effort than just dropping it, which can lead to problems. It also has no cost, just requires you maintain a stamina point, like grit. For switch hitters, absolute necessity. It has that neat trick with Trained Initiative as well, making Dueling weapons very attractive options.

Quick Stow [Combat] (Villain Codex): In case you were ever curious, No, you cannot stow your weapon as a free action because you have Quick Draw. If you aren’t using stamina, then consider it for switch hitters, though it’s still hard to justify when QD’s stamina trick is just so much better.

Penetrating Strike, Greater Penetrating Strike [Combat] [S]: were you ever concerned with bypassing typed DR (magic, S, B, P, or alignment)? Don’t be! Stamina lets it apply to all your weapons and your allies! Greater gets past up to 10 points of DR, or 5 points of DR/-.

Weapon Trick [Combat] (Weapon Master’s Handbook): this has a large list of options available, depending on your chosen weapon style and combat role. Being able to take 10 on intimidate checks with a two-hander is one that stands out, crushing armor and inflicting the fatigued condition with two-handers does as well. Notable, at BAB 11 and with (eww) Improved Vital Strike this is the only way to get two attacks as a standard action with two weapons. Necessary for them, but really feat expensive.

Creative Weaponsmith [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): you get to pick any weapon modification, and if you invested into craft (weapons) and Knowledge (engineering) and add it to your weapon for the day. Only works for you, but it’s so good.


Defensive Feats:

Dodge [Combat] [S]: very few feats offer what dodge offers, like Toughness and Cunning, this feat effectively buys you the benefits of having DEX 2 points higher for a specific purpose. It’s also a gateway feat, and it improves touch AC. Boring, but solid.

Mobility [Combat] [S]: if you plan on moving around a lot and can’t/don’t want to Acrobatics to tumble around, this feat makes it a lot easier to do so. It’s stamina trick has no cost, you just get even more of a bonus just for having it.

Just out of Reach [Combat] [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): +4 dodge bonus against enemies using reach, of which there will be a lot. Useful feat, great with Barroom Brawler. Stamina makes it work on any melee attack. Dumb.

Reach Defense [Combat] [S] (Dragonslayer’s Handbook): another alternative to dodge that combos well with Just Out of Reach. It also stacks. Stamina buffs your allies!

Artful Dodge [Combat] [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): an alternative to dodge, this feat works well on characters who want more attribute versatility and to swap the importance of DEX with INT, as far as feats go. Building for this has it’s uses, like guaranteeing more skills. Stamina gives you more dodge bonuses based on how many enemies you’re engaging.

Defensive Weapon Training [Combat] [S]: Pick a weapon group (other than natural weapons), against that group get +2 dodge. Stamina lets you switch the group. Solid, great for Barroom Brawler. Green if you’re not going against enemies using weapons.

Combat Expertise [Combat] [S]: this feat. this f***ing feat. It’s uses are redundant with fighting defensively, and it’s even cited as such in most abilities that trigger when using it or fighting defensively. It also has that prerequisite that we all hate. What’s that? Stamina fixes that? It also negates the penalty on it if you’re using Stamina to increase your attack roll normally? Well, take it or leave it, if you need it for prerequisites, don’t, get Dirty Fighting instead. If you are using stamina, it might actually be worth it, plus you don’t have to have INT 13. Unchained Fighter, it happened.

Armor Focus [Combat] [S] (Armor Master’s Handbook): unlike martial focus, this feat actually can come in handy more often if you want the defenses. Other classes need it to get armor mastery feats, but you can just take it for shiggles. Stamina gives you 1 more for a round.

Improved Armor Focus [Combat] [S] (Armor Master’s Handbook): Reduce ACP by 1, if that matters to you. Stamina negates the penalty on one skill check.

Armor Trick [Combat] [S] (Armor Master’s Handbook): this is one of those feats that has a long list of options based on what you already have and what you are already planning on doing. Most of them aren’t that useful. Most of these are better for classes that don’t have Armor Training. Stamina will let you do whatever with it, if you care (you don’t).

Armor Adept [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): this is great if you have a feat to burn, or buy, whatever. It lets you bypass the Drawback on a single Armor Modification. It’s important for characters who want to use their DEX/Armor ratio to its max. For the number crunchy guys, it also has other cool uses, for different modifications.

Creative Armorsmith [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): gotta invest into craft (armor) and knowledge (engineering), but you get to add an armor modification to yourself for the day. It lets you pick.

Shield Focus/Greater Shield Focus [Combat] [S]: much like Armor Focus, shield focus and greater shield focus just offer little bonuses here. That said, they can really stack your AC when you combine all your options, and you can become untouchable by conventional weapons in ways that make new Crane Wing look like a joke…. Wait….

Missile Shield [Combat] [S]: you have to be joking, dammit Crane Wing! It’s deflect arrows for fighters, and Stamina lets you do it with a buckler and/or flat-footed.

Improved Shield Focus [Combat] [S]: Armor Training only reduces your ACP from armor, this reduces it from your shield as well. A masterwork heavy shield with this feat has no ACP, that can be useful if you want to use something other than a Mithral Heavy Shield. Other classes need it for Shield Mastery feats, you don’t.

Shield Specialization/Greater Shield Specialization [Combat] [S]: bonuses to negate crits seem boring, until you need them. Being able to negate a crit 1/day is really good. Being able to spend stamina to negate a crit 2/day is even better.

Covering Shield [S] (Dragonslayer’s Handbook): Add your base shield bonus plus feats to reflex saves vs. area effects. For Stamina you can gain your enhancement bonus too, nice.

Shield of Swings [Combat] [S]: this feat is really not fun, but it used to be the only way to get a shield bonus to AC with the BFW guy. There are newer, better options.


Class Utility Feats:

Advanced Weapon Training [Combat] (Weapon Master’s Handbook): in case you forgot me mentioning it earlier, this feat exists to give you more of you class features, like Extra Magus Arcana or Extra Rage Power. It is gated by levels, and you can only take it once for every five levels you have. Remember, options like Barroom Brawler make it better not taking this, leaving you with an “open AWT slot” able to pick up any one of them on the fly. It’s a high level thing, since it really won’t be an option until around 10th level, you still might consider not taking this until then and it could be worth it for the added utility. Or take it and retrain out of it at 8th, just to get it back at 9th for free and retain your Barroom Brawler utility.

Advanced Armor Training [Combat] (Armor Master’s Handbook): Just like the Advanced Weapon Training feat, this one is also gated by levels, though only once every three levels meaning you can pick up a few more of these. Just like the other feat, you might consider not even taking it once or twice to have the option available to take on the fly with Barroom Brawler or with the other options you could have to have variable feats. Builds that value DEX and mobility should consider this feat much more than others since being able to have that higher max DEX is a strong class feature, which makes some of these options really REALLY strong as feats.

Extra Stamina [Combat] (Pathfinder Unchained): it’s your version of Extra Lay on Hands/Extra Rage/Extra Performance, etc. If you’re using the Stamina System and you want even more utility, or if you have stamina tricks that require you to spend a lot of points to do something awesome, consider this.

Push the Limits [Combat] (Pathfinder Unchained): This gives you a secondary pool of stamina to use once your first pool hits 0, and you can use this one while fatigued. AMAZING EXCLAMATION POINT

*-*Barroom Brawler [Combat]*-* [S]: this is the Amateur Gunslinger/Eldritch Heritage of the Brawler class whom you are very jealous of. 1/day you can nab any combat feat you qualify for for 1 minute (so, a combat, more or less). This feat’s utility is beyond measure, and it’s the gold standard for choices for Abundant Tactics. This should be your 4th level feat on any fighter. Normally, it’s a move action, but with stamina it’s a swift. Even better. A very good combo for this feat is to use it to grab an Advanced Weapon Training or Advanced Armor Training feat that isn’t worth fully investing your build into, but has some one-off uses. Same could be said for many of the non blue or purple feats listed on this guide. With this feat, none of that is off limits. It can also help finish a feat chain early if you simply didn’t have enough feats for it, or if you invested into two different feat chains, but didn’t take the last/latest feat in that chain yet. Yet another piece of the Schr?dinger’s fighter puzzle.

Note: the class feature this is based off does not have a limit to being able to choose different feats, should you use it more than once in a day, but thanks to the FAQ on temporarily gaining abilities we know that you could in theory gain multiple different feats, but if that feat can only be used 1/day it still can only be used 1/day. Check if your DM will rule the Abundant Tactics combo to work like Paragon Surge and whether or not you need to “prepare” what feat you will be taking for the whole day, if you take Abundant Tactics on this that is.

Note 2: buy a book, or save a list in your phone or tablet with all your choices for this feat broken down with what they do, when they’re useful, and what stamina trick(s) you have access to. There’s gonna be a lot to remember and a lot of niche feats that aren’t worth taking normally that are totally awesome in specific scenarios. Buy a little notebook solely for this purpose, like a spellbook, but for fighters. You cast sword.

Improved Initiative [Combat] [S]: this is an incredibly generic feat that many characters consider, but for fighters it has an added boost. 10 Stamina points is a lot, but if you really need to go first, the fighter not only has the means to pump his initiative as high as a diviner wizard, but you even get to skip the die roll and treat it as a Nat 20. Do not overlook this.

Combat Reflexes [Combat] [S]: If you have the DEX for it, this feat can be amazing. Stamina gives you a second chance if you really need that hit.

Combat Patrol [Combat] [S]: Increase your threatened area to be able to take attacks of opportunity anywhere within that area. Situational, but it has its uses. Stamina lets you avoid provoking.

Second Chance, Improved Second Chance [Combat] [S]: this feat is amazing, from levels 6-11 you effectively give up your second iterative attack if you need to in order to re-roll your first attack (with all relevant modifiers). So in other words, both/all your attacks are at full BAB if you miss the first time. With Stamina, you spend a lotta points to keep this feat being useful until level 16, at which point you gotta ask is a third attack at -15 better or worse than re-rolling your main attack? This doesn’t work on builds who use feats to gain extra attacks (like TWF or Rapid Shot) but it’s amazing for all other fighters. Improved Second Chance lets you keep making your attacks anyway, with a -5 penalty but its stamina trick lets you keep spending 5 stamina to reroll them.

Dirty Fighting [Combat] (Dirty Tactics Toolbox): This is mostly a feat that exists to mitigate the fact that fighters suck at combat maneuvers. If you aren’t using Stamina, this feat is a gateway to getting access to feats that require INT 13 for combat maneuvers and only for combat maneuvers, but it lets you skip Combat Expertise and Improved Unarmed Strike plus it lets you forgo the need for said feat(s) if you are flanking. Solid if you need it for your build.

Modification Trainer [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): so if you’re the weapon and armor guy, this lets you add the proficiency you got for taking either Weapon Adept or Armor Adept to a number of your allies equal to CHA. It’s a unique party buff, but it’s something you can eventually offer to the whole party if you invest into it. A solid choice for Mr. Personality fighters.

Modification Mastery [Combat] (Adventurer’s Armory 2): you gotta take a whole feat chain to do this, but if you take Weapon/Armor Adept (or both), AND Creative Weapon/Armorsmith (or both), respectively, plus Modification Trainer then you can modify your allies weapons/armor and they can be trained to use them. Can be fun if you go for the ability to switch some feats around on a daily basis. Another group buff thing, because you’re the weapons and armor guy. You could effectively give the party +2 AC everyday from benefitting from a higher DEX maybe in armor that they otherwise wouldn’t use. This has incredible utility.


Anti-Mage Feats:

Disruptive [Combat] [S]: normally, this feat only works if you are both in the enemy caster’s face and you haven’t used all your attacks of opportunity, but making their concentration checks more difficult requires them to have Combat Casting to mitigate the penalty. Stamina lets you use this even if you don’t have any attacks left in the round.

Spellbreaker [Combat] [S]: holy crap! If the enemy caster can’t make their concentration check, you get an attack of opportunity anyway. If you spend Stamina you daze them or stagger them. Astonishingly amazing!

Ray Shield [Combat] [S]: if you’re using the shield feats, you can deflect any ranged touch with it, but you’re shield suffers the effects, unless you spend stamina, then it doesn’t.

Shatterspell [Combat, Dwarf] [S]: Spell Sunder for fighters, like the rage power. You have to be a dwarf, or be able to take Racial Heritage (Dwarf), but we’ve covered that a lot of races can treat themselves as human and can take this feat anyway with some investment. Stamina gives you an extra use per day, and this is another amazing choice for Abundant Tactics.

Sunder Blessing [Combat] (Agents of Evil): Spell Sunder against divine spells or divine casters, no limits per day, don’t have to be a dwarf. Nuff said.

Teleport Tactician [Combat] [S]: limited utility since not all enemies will be teleporting around, but if you can expect to see it you can expect this to be useful. The save for stamina is negated on a success rather than lessened to staggered, but it’s still pretty good.

Dimensional Awareness, Dimensional Disruption [Combat] (Monster Summoner’s Handbook): bonuses to hit summoned creatures before they show up. Useful against summoners, and with good positioning, never any other time. Steep prerequisites.

Disrupting Shot [Combat] [S]: Disruptive for archers, stamina increases range. Requires a readied action, normally a good tactic anyway against casters.


Combat Specialization Feats

This is the ‘meat and potatoes’ section of the guide for most readers. I’ll be going through perceivably all the combat feats one could consider for their fighter, and rating them individually based on their merits in their best possible role. When reading these, remember that your chosen role in combat may or may not benefit as much from this feat or as little as it’s rated here, and it is recommended that you consider what your chosen role is first and foremost before selecting any of these feats. Good-Bye sleep. All these feats are [Combat] feats, and so I won’t be including that tag in these descriptions, if only to make writing it faster and more efficient.

Agile Maneuvers [S]: Weapon Finesse often covers this, still if you need it you need it. Stamina lets you get around size penalties for small races who focus on DEX.

Alchemical Strike (Magic Tactics Toolbox): it works for the Ratfolk build that uses alchemical weapons, increasing your DCs; unfortunately it reduces you to one attack per round.

All-Consuming Sweep (Harrow Handbook): I didn’t even know this feat existed before I started writing this guide. I regret that, since you damage yourself just to be able to cleave and vital strike at the same time.

Amateur Gunslinger [S]: You get a second deed, and can spend stamina instead of grit to use them, but at the cost of 5 stamina. Ewwwwwww, just make a real Gunslinger.

Amateur Swashbuckler [S]: No parry and riposte, 0/10 would not take, Same stamina trick as before, assume you can’t get parry and riposte that way either, though if you can, DO IT.

Ancestral Weapon Mastery (Inner Sea Races): Automatic proficiency with all of your racial weapons, and variable Weapon Focus with one of them if you’re already proficient with any of them. This feat replaces Weapon Focus if you plan on using racial weapons, if only for the cool factor.

Anticipate Dodge [S]: this feat isn’t useless if you can expect to go against enemies who have dodge bonuses, though brawlers and monks can get it earlier. Good for Barroom Brawler and Schrodinger’s fighter. Stamina ups the bonus.

Aquatic Combatant (Melee Tactics Toolbox): did you ever want to use a slashing or bludgeoning weapon underwater and don’t wanna buy a Shark Tooth Amulet? Did any of those words just now mean anything to you? If you need it, take it, if you aren’t expecting to fight in water a lot, then don’t.

Arcane Armor Training, Mastery [S]: Child of Acavna and Amaznen fighters are the only ones who should consider the former, like in the entire game. Never consider the latter, you won’t need it. Stamina makes it free.

Arcane Strike [S]: again, staple feat for Child of Acavna and Amaznen fighters, since it makes up for the damage you lost on Weapon Training. Stamina extends it so you can use your swift doing other things.

Armored Athlete [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): You have Armor Training, if you cared about this, then take Advanced Armor Training as a feat instead and don’t take this. Stamina however lets you take 10 on these if you otherwise couldn’t.

Aquatic Combatant (Ultimate Wilderness): if you’re playing in an underwater campaign, this is a great feat. It does everything you’ll need in such a game, plus you can already plan on needing swim trained. Niche.

Bashing Finish [S]: free attacks are cool, gotta land a crit and gotta be built for it which is a bummer. Stamina lets you do it even if you don’t confirm the crit.

Battle Cry [S]: a target for Abundant Tactics, requires CHA 13, and you get to add +1 morale bonus on attack rolls. Flagbearer is better.

Beast Hunter, Improved, Greater (Ultimate Wilderness): pick a ranger favored terrain, and gain some small bonuses there against wildlife. Another niche feat chain.

Branch Pounce (Ultimate Wilderness): this is something new to look at, if you drop down from above, like with climbing a tree, or otherwise launching yourself into the air via flying/whatever, you get to deal your falling damage to the target as part of a charge. You reduce the damage to yourself by 10ft. The acrobatics check still applies to reduce it by another 10. Depending on how willing you are to take damage, you may be able to deal a lot with this on a flying build. Couple it with Death from Above to make sure you never miss.

Betraying Blow: if you’re building for nonlethal, and you’re fighting alone, you get to do more nonlethal.

Bladed Brush (Paths of the Righteous): Wow, everything that’s bad about slashing grace is negated with this feat, you get to use a glaive as a finesse weapon and you can get DEX to damage with it no problem. I think you get 1.5x DEX with it being a two handed weapon. Also as a move you can switch your grip to treat the weapon as reach, or not. Shelyn worshipers got something cool!

Blind-Fight, Improved, and Greater [S]: are you going to fight a lot of enemies with concealment? Yes, you are. You might not think you are, but you are. Stamina lets you avoid that miss chance instead of re-rolling it. Improved’s stamina trick lets you treat total concealment as partial; Greater’s stamina trick works against blink. Amazing Barroom Brawler options.

Blinding Flash (Dragon Empires Primer): dazzled sucks, so does this.

Blood Spurt (Horror Adventures): this feat is hilarious, if you get hit with bleed damage, you can aim your blood at them and potentially blind them. You can even do it to yourself, but you have to plan on taking bleed damage, ouch.

Bloody Assault [S]: aside from sounding incredibly British, this feat sacrifices attack bonus for 1d4 bleed damage, which isn’t bad as far as bleed damage goes. Still, bleed only works on so many enemies and only for so long. Stamina mitigates the attack penalty.

Bloody Vengeance (Inner Sea Gods): I can’t help but read these to myself in a terrible fake English accent. This feat isn’t as good as the last one, skip it.

Bludgeoner [S]: building for a nonlethal build? This negates the penalty, and stamina treats your weapon as bigger. Good for what it is, but what it’s good for isn’t good. Got it? Good.

Body Shield [S]: you’re not the grapple guy, though this feat is great for the grapple guy. Stamina is good for when you are grappled, but you still gotta take the feats for it.

Bodyguard [S]: don’t expect to take this unless you take the Teamwork feats that make it work really well, and only if you plan to literally bodyguard an ally. If you need it, take it with Barroom Brawler.

Break Guard [S]: Are you planning to build for both maneuvers and TWF? You can disarm and get an attack in. Too bad building for it isn’t good.

Bullseye Shot [S] (Inner Sea Gods): +4 on your next attack roll with a move action, or a swift action with stamina.

Improved Bull Rush, Greater Bull Rush, Quick Bull Rush, Bull Rush Strike [S]: all these feats are to support Bull Rush which is a very bad maneuver, so if you see me skip a lot of feats that allow you to Bull Rush that’s why. You move the opponent, which has few tactical uses because it doesn’t debuff them or take away their actions in combat.

Bristling Bull Rush (Ultimate Wilderness): if the enemy doesn’t have the ability to avoid damage from difficult terrain, then you can deal a small amount of damage while performing a bull rush maneuver. Bull rush isn’t worth it, skip.

But a Scratch! (Ultimate Intrigue): must… resist…. Monty Python jokes…. This feat requires you to take a crit to the face, then you bluff instead of intimidate to demoralize. Bad feat.

Canny Tumble [S]: this feat seems counterintuitive to me, since its prerequisites (Dodge and Mobility) seem to exist so you don’t have to use Acrobatics to pass through threatened squares, still though if you want it you can have the ability to boost your attack if you do, and stamina gives a nice boost to damage.

Caster’s Champion (Path of the Hellknight): ooooooooooo, stay within 30 feet of your arcane caster and you basically get Arcane Strike without having to worry about casting spells. It also counts as Arcane Strike for feat prerequisites, if that matters. A target for Abundant Tactics.

Catch Off-Guard [S]: it’s the improvised weapon feat, which aren’t usually worth the effort. Stamina trick gives them the flat-footed condition.

Chairbreaker (Champions of Corruption): are you a pro-wrestler? No, you’re a fighter. You can break stuff over your opponent for 1d4 extra damage, but only for improvised weapons.

Charge of the Righteous [S] (Inner Sea Gods): this feat is super useful against undead and evil outsiders, if you plan to fight them a lot then this can be worth it. Stamina works against anything evil.

Charge Through [S]: well, I guess this feat means I’m wrong about overrun being useless. If there’s an enemy in the way of the one you want to charge, just do it! If you fail your overrun, just dump some stamina and do it anyway, what a gem.

Charging Hurler, Improved Charging Hurler [S]: thrown builds could look into this, but the point of ranged builds is being able to make more than one attack against foes at a distance. The issue of range increments is a counterpoint to this feat being necessary at which point I’ll remind you this is why archery is purple. Stamina increases the range a little, and adds some small damage.

Flinging Charge (Ultimate Wilderness): patently worse than charging hurler, it lets you also quickdraw, which you already have to have to take the feat and could do anyway…

Chokehold [S]: can be useful against casters if you’re going the maneuver monkey route. Stamina makes the penalty bearable.

Circling Mongoose (Melee Tactics Toolbox): Full attack that allows some tactical movement, and you provide flanking for yourself while you can move into flanking position for someone else. Solid.

Circuitous Shot (Ultimate Intrigue): A long feat chain lets you do some cool stuff, bouncing arrows or thrown weapons around objects to hit a target behind cover. That can matter in a pinch.

Cleave, Great Cleave [S]: If you have to move, and two enemies are right next to each other, take -2 AC to hit both of them with an attack at full BAB, or all foes within reach. It’s like whirlwind attack, but with less intensive feats. Stamina negates the AC penalty and it’s lets you keep going if you miss once. Amazing with reach weapons.

Cleave Through [Dwarf] [S]: dwarves get a lot of nice things, don’t they? You can now 5 foot step in between cleave attacks, or 10-foot step with Stamina. Super cool.

Cleaving Finish, Improved Cleaving Finish [S]: 3.5 cleave, Stamina let’s you keep going, until you get improved and you can keep going anyway, then Stamina lets you do it on a crit instead of dropping an opponent to 0. Not bad.

Clinging Climber (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): this feat is very situational, but tactically amazing if you can find a way to use it. A good target for Barroom Brawler.

Close-Quarters Thrower [S]: Are you building a thrower? Take this. You gotta pick a single weapon type, unless you spend stamina, take the AWT option, or go human.

Improved Dirty Trick, Greater Dirty Trick, Quick Dirty Trick, Dirty Trick Master [S] (Advanced Player’s Guide & Bastards of Golarion): Dirty Trick is one of the better Combat Maneuvers, as you can inflict a number of conditions on your opponent which can be useful. From giving them negatives to hit and damage to temporarily blinding them you have a lot of versatile choices for fighting dirty. Greater increases the duration to 1d4 rounds, and Master actually increases the severity of the condition to something tragic for them. If you’re going to use maneuvers to debuff, use this one, and go all the way with it.

Improved Disarm, Greater Disarm, Directed Disarm, Disarming Strike, Ranged Disarm [S] (Core Rule Book & Ranged Tactics Toolbox): this maneuver has its uses for certain, until you face enemies that don’t use weapons like monsters. Don’t invest in this chain if you don’t know or don’t intend only to fight armed opponents.

Improved Drag, Greater Drag, Quick Drag [S]: it’s bull rush backwards, not really worth investing into.

Bristling Drag (Ultimate Wilderness): Like Bristling Bull Rush, but for drag. Still just as bad.

Improved Grapple, Greater Grapple, other Grapple feats [S]: even if you qualify for it thanks to Dirty Trick, this one is not worth it because you plan on using a weapon unless you plan on specializing in a weapon specifically to grapple. At that point you’re better off playing something designed for this, like the brawler.

Hard Headed, Dented Helm, Cloven Helm [Dwarf] [S]: this feat chain is great if you want to take Steel Headbutt, it also helps block crits and negate damage. Dwarves are tanky. Stamina reduces the severity of conditions you could take. Dwarves are tanky.

Clustered Shots [S]: where was this during 3.5? Oh well, it’s here and you need it to pool your damage before DR is applied so archery and ranged builds goes from being good to being amazing. Stamina adds damage.

Concentrated Splash: it’s there for that one Ratfolk build.

Cornugon Shield (Cheliax, Empire of Devils): Spiked Chain users (so, half-orcs) get something nice, sorta. Spiked Chain got nerfed to oblivion, and there are better choices now with AWT.

Cornugon Trip (Cheliax, Empire of Devils): throw your chain to trip… do I get it back?

Counterpunch [S]: Dragonball Z fighting isn’t your niche, since building for Unarmed Combat is more the Brawler’s thing.

Counter Reflexes [S]: this feat is only situationally useful, with Knowledge (local) you can identify that situation and with Barroom Brawler you can have it only in that situation. Stamina gives a boost to hit.

Covering Defense [S]: are you expecting a big attack? Breath Weapon? Fireball? This is a good feat to nab with Barroom Brawler in a pinch.

Crossbow Mastery [S]: you still don’t get to add an ability to damage, the Gunslinger does.

Dazing Assault [S]: Oh. My. God. Normally, you gotta take -5 but you give your opponent a save and they can be Dazed for a round. Dazed is an amazing condition to inflict. Stamina let’s you do it for stamina instead on a normal hit.

Deadly Aim [S]: Power attack for ranged weapons. It has a heavy Stamina cost, but you can negate the penalty on it with it.

Deadly Finish [S]: when do opponents knocked to or below zero not die anyway? I guess if you’re fighting something with ferocity (identified with Knowledge), at which point grab this with Barroom Brawler.

Death From Above [S]: I loooove flying, and this gives you a net +3 on flying charges. Stamina gives you more damage, and something else that I don’t understand.

Death or Glory [S]: this feat usually ends up resulting in death, stamina is a neat trick for glory. A full round to vital strike/power attack with no penalty could be nice, but full rounding seems better.

Deathless Initiate, Deathless Master, Deathless Zealot [Orc] [S]: its prerequisites suck, and you don’t want to plan on being below zero HP ever.

Animal Ferocity [Orc] (Ultimate Wilderness): this feat lets you full attack at neagtive hitpoints using your ferocity ability. Don’t waste your time.

Demon Hunter [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): really specific, but it has some great uses when you’re in that specific scenario. Another one to note for Barroom Brawler.

Demonic Nemesis (Demon Hunter’s Handbook): too specific, even in corner cases.

Dervish Dance (Inner Sea World Guide): want to build a DEX fighter? Want to use the best one handed weapon and use it for piercing weapon stuff? Here you go. No stamina trick needed for it to be purple.

Desperate Battler [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): the bonuses are really small and can be covered with better feats since they’re morale.

Devastating Strike, Improved Devastating Strike [S]: Extra flat damage when you Vital Strike, and bonuses to confirm crits when you do it. Fantastic if you go the Vital Strike route. Stamina makes the damage bonus ridiculous.

Distance Thrower [S]: Far shot for thrown weapons, but better, and for some reason it stacks. Wow, stamina makes it even better.

Divine Assault (Spymaster’s Handbook): +2 on saves vs divine spells or effects from outsiders. Upon a second reading, I don’t think this gives you +2 vs all divine spells, but rather only those from outsiders themselves, we’ve covered when that’s good or not. If your Dm says it works on all divine spells, purple. Requires a throwaway trait though.

Divine Fighting Technique (Weapon Master’s Handbook & Divine Anthology): there’s a lot going on here, and it all depends on your deity. Once again, Desna is the best and this feat creates CHA SAD characters, meaning any gnome player who wants to spit in my face is going to take this. If you worship Gorum you can Vital Strike with a greatsword at the end of a charge. There’s a lot more options, but those are the ones that stood out to me as being worth taking the feat on.

Dueling Mastery [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): sadly, this only works on a dueling sword. But it gives you a shield bonus to AC which is awesome if you need it without having to buy a shield. Stamina improves the AC bonus, nice for what it is, but you gotta build for it.

Erastil’s Blessing (Paths of the Righteous): Remember how Zen Archery was a feat in 3.5 and let you use WIS instead of DEX to hit with a bow? It’s back! But you still need DEX to qualify for the rest of the archery feats, just like in 3.5. Damn we almost had something. It’s okay on other classes that can skip prerequisites, but you can’t.

Equipment Trick (Magical Marketplace, Dirty Tactics Toolbox, Adventurer’s Armory, Pathfinder Society Field Guide): well, you have a lot of reading to do on this one, it’s another feat gated by other prerequisites and a large number of different options. The shield tricks are cool (AA). The boot trick (requiring Combat Reflexes) lets you turn 90 degrees during a charge (DTT).

Exceptional Pull (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): just buy an Adaptive bow, it’s like 1000gp, flat cost.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency: a cracked opalescent white pyramid costs 1500gp, and does the same thing as this feat. Bonus if you have a Wayfinder and get Weapon Focus for free. More on this later. If you need it early, take it as a bonus feat and retrain out of it later when you can buy it.

False Opening [S]: you can feint without feinting on ranged builds, stamina gives you your own attack of opportunity against them. You end up provoking an AOO though, and might take a hit from it, but given the dodge bonuses to AC you receive, meh.

Far Shot [S]: if you’re attacking at a distance, you reduce the penalties. You might need it for prerequisites. Stamina isn’t that good, gotta make a single attack for it.

Improved Feint, Greater Feint, Ranged Feint [S] (Core Rule Book and Ranged Tactics Toolbox): technically it isn’t a combat maneuver, but it functions like one. You need bluff maxed and you’re gonna waste an action doing it. If your build requires them to lower their defenses, consider another build.

Fencing Grace: building for a rapier? Want DEX to damage? Here it is.

Filthy Weapons (Heroes of the Streets): S**t feat for s**ty weapons.

Flagbearer [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): have a free hand? DMs will probably let you attach this to a spear or polearm weapon, since that’s how the Banner of the Ancient Kings works which you’ll end up wanting anyway if you take this. +1 morale to hit and damage as long as you have this is pretty good, stamina lets you put this somewhere in the ground where you can see it and 1 point will give you 1 minute of this feat so you can do whatever you want with your hands. Awesome flat bonus, but you gotta have CHA for it. The Inspiring Commander archetype in Villain Codex gets bardic performance instead of Weapon Training, and this feat and associated item have synergy with that.

Flanking Foil [S]: this feat is useful against rogues, and in situations where you expect to get flanked a lot. Another good situational feat for Barroom Brawler.

Focused Discipline [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): fear effects, yuck. The stamina trick however gives you a +2 morale bonus to hit and damage whenever, but I have no idea what action it is to use, since Standard action would be pretty bad as you couldn’t even use it. Expect Table Variance.

Focused Shot [S]: even with it’s stamina trick, unless you plan on stacking your INT and only wanting to attack once in a round with a bow, this is pretty bad.

Step Up, Following Step [S]: Normally, this feat chain isn’t that good until you get following step, since you lose your 5 foot step and/or 5 feet of movement and still have to spend your immediate action. With stamina however, you don’t lose any movement, can still still 5 foot step, and it doesn’t cost you anything. Following Step lets you spend 2 stamina to move up to 15 feet, great for putting pressure on an enemy. Amazing for an Antimage.

Fortified Armor Training [S]: Armor Sacrifice does this better, since it can also negate killing blows rather than just crits. Stamina trick isn’t even that good, 50% chance to not break your gear isn’t worth 5 stamina.

Furious Focus [S]: I’ve always had a high opinion of this feat, because negating the penalty on Power Attack for your first hit is awesome. DPR calculators will tell you that you shouldn’t need this based on a formula that factors in the average AC of CR appropriate enemies by level. Those people assume a lot of things about this feat and about this game but the math is there to support that if you’re STR is high enough to hit. With stamina, you gradually negate the penalty as you continue to hit, which isn’t worth it.

Gang Up [S]: do you have a lot of friends that like to jump in melee with you? This feat is great for that. Stamina could give you some support to your rogue friend if the enemy is positioned poorly for flanking. Not amazing, but good enough to look at with Barroom Brawler in a pinch.

Ghostslayer: if you otherwise don’t have access to a Ghost Touch weapon (you should), take this. It’s good on its own, but super duper amazing as a Barroom Brawler choice.

Goblin Cleaver, Orc Hewer, Giant Killer [Dwarf] [S]: These feats work pretty well if you don’t have access to Whirlwind attack, they let you Cleave or Great Cleave against foes that aren't adjacent to each other, which is big. It’s a chain though, and it’ll only work on enemies up to large size (or one size bigger than you if you’re not medium). The Stamina tricks are flat bonuses to hit the named enemies in the fits with no cost. This is big if you’re building for a Cleave build.

Darting Viper (Adventurer’s Armory 2): this isn’t a dwarf only feat, but you have to be proficient with the dorn-dergar, or chain flail in the generic names. It lets you change it from being a reach weapon or not as a swift action. This weapon went from meh to amazing.

Dorn-Dergar Master (Adventurer’s Armory 2): this has a lot of crappy prerequisites, but it lets you use the dorn-dergar as a one-handed weapon. I think Quarterstaff Master did it better, shame.

Grudge Fighter [Orc] [S]: playing a half orc? This is a decent boost to hit and damage against anything that’s already hit you, so if you plan on tanking in any form (even if you’re not dedicated to that role) this can be really situationally useful, though there are better ways to get this bonus (or better) without taking damage since it’s morale. Stamina also boosts damage.

Guided Star (Paths of the Righteous): boy, James Jacobs really likes his starknives. A few times per day (equal to your level) you can add WIS to damage on top of whatever ability you get to the starknife anyway. With this feat existing I think you can now legitimately build to get any of your attributes to damage with a starknife. You also get returning on it a few times per day for thrown builds, nice until you get the Weapon Mastery feat going, gotta have Starry Grace so plan on DEX.

Hammer the Gap [S]: the bonus to damage from this feat is puny, and it requires you land consecutive hits. Stamina doubles it, but still doesn’t make this feat easier to trigger.

Heroic Leader (Melee Tactics Toolbox): if you took one of those feats that requires you to be the only one threatening an opponent, then the familiar you have doesn’t count against that. Most of those feats are pretty bad, so planning on using this isn’t a good decision, but it’s here.

Improvised Weapon Mastery [S]: when using improvised weapons, you take no negatives and improve the damage dice. Stamina improves the improved damage dice. Why are you using an improvised weapon?

In Harm’s Way [S]: another good way to tank, by protecting your ally directly if you have Bodyguard going. Stamina lets you reduce the damage you would take, up to 10 points. Not bad if that’s what you want, and if you already have DR.

Jaguar Pounce (Ultimate Wilderness): since you can take it as soon as 4th level, you could consider taking this temporarily and retraining out of it for Improved Critical proper at 8th level.

Landing Roll [S]: normally, this feat is only useful if you’re fighting enemies that plan to trip you a lot, or if you plan to trip them and let them get their opposed trip. Tactically that’s a bad plan, but with Stamina you get to stand up. Just take the feats for improved trip if that’s your plan, and only use this with Barroom Brawler if you need it.

Lob Shot (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): ignoring cover is good, but not all enemies will have cover all the time. Barroom Brawler is a really good feat…..

Low Profile [S]: I’ve been largely ignoring the halfling exclusive feats because most of them rely on the sling, which is not a good weapon, but this one works for any small race and can give you great defense against ranged attacks.

Lucky Strike [S]: spoke too soon, ever play 5e? Know how advantage works? You get that, but with your weapon damage, not bad, but certainly not great since flat bonuses are more important.

Lunge [S]: increase your reach at the cost of AC, or not if you spend 2 stamina. Great for attacks of opportunity. 

Manyshot [S]: staple feat for archers, don’t ever not take this. Stamina lets you do it on your bottom attack, which will be your second attack for a long time. MOAR attacks MOAR arrows.

Measured Response [S] (Inner Sea Gods): worship a good deity? Theorycrafters never need to roll dice to determine whether an attack will hit or calculate damage, now you don’t either.

Merciless Beating (Harrow Handbook): if you have gang up, give up your own flanking bonus to give your allies an extra +1 to flank. I’d rather find a way to give everyone Outflank if we already are ganging up on them.

Mirror Move [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): gotta threaten the enemy alone, and you gotta know what combat feat they are using (thank you, Knowledge Local) then x number of times per day you can treat yourself as having that feat for a round. Pass, Barroom Brawler lets me have the feat for 10 rounds. Stamina can increase the duration, but it’s still bad. [Obligatory Pokemon joke goes here.]

Misdirection Tactics, Redirection, & Attack (Ultimate Intrigue): one- you have to use the total defense action, bad. Two- it only works on a target once every 24 hours, bad. Three- you gotta take Deceitful and max out bluff, bad.

Monkey Lunge (Sargava the Lost Colony): Figure out if your DM rules your armor to count as a medium or heavy load automatically like it does for movement, if not then this is a straight upgrade to Lunge.

Moonlight Stalker, Feint, & Master [S]: If you plan to fight in the dark at all times, take the prerequisites for it, and max bluff then this is worth it. Nice builds for niche campaigns, better for classes who will use it like rogues and slayers.

Mounted Combat feats [S]: I purposely didn’t even include mounted as a possible style for combat because the Gendarme cavalier will always be superior in every way for mounted builds. Make one of those instead, it’s literally designed for it.

Mud in your Eye (Heroes of the Streets): you always provoke, even if you wouldn’t normally. Gross, in every way possible.

Nature’s Weapons (Ultimate Wilderness): to use this you have to invest in improvised weapons, which is not a good route to go.

Net Adept, Trident, Maneuvering, & Trickery [S]: these seem cool, but unless you really want to be good at maneuvers and nothing else, you’ll waste half your character build on this which is not recommended.

Nimble Striker [Catfolk] [S]: are you a catfolk? This is great for them for charging, using lunge, or cleaving. You can gain AC instead of losing it. Racial Heritage is also a thing, which might be worth looking into, but it probably isn’t.

Opening Volley [S]: I can’t ever think of a way to actually use this feat, unless you attack once then move in and try to get in some attacks of opportunity, bad.

Orc Weapon Expertise [Orc] [S]: Defender sticks out to me as a great option, because most orc weapons are two-handed and +2 shield bonus to AC for free is great. Stamina can give you one of the other options for a full minute. Orcs and Half-Orcs get nice things.

Osyluth Guile (Cheliax, Empire of Devils): gotta fight defensively, and you gain CHA as a dodge bonus against one enemy. Neat if you stack Charisma and want to fight defensively, which you don’t.

Improved Overrun, Greater Overrun [S]: Normally this maneuver isn’t that great, simply running past someone doesn’t seem to be that awesome until you combine the feats around it together and create a charging monster. You can get a lot of attacks in by knocking them prone and swinging in with your AOOs, meaning you can have multiple attacks off a charge.

Parting Shot [S]: once per encounter (which is apparently a thing) you can shoot while withdrawing. Stamina lets you do it twice. I’d rather not have to withdraw.

Passing Trick [S]: basically another halfling thing, if you tumble through your opponent’s square you can feint as a swift action, or free action with stamina. Just feint them, unless you need to get into flanking position, at which point I’d assume you’re just playing a rogue.

Phalanx Formation (Melee Tactics Toolbox): not letting your allies provide soft cover is important, it’s in that weird middle ground between blue and purple because you never want to need this, until you do and it’s more important than something to say it’s worth grabbing with Barroom Brawler. Indigo? Can I do that? Wait, I’m the author I do what I want!

Pinpoint Targeting [S]: do you really need this one arrow to hit? Like really need it? Not typically worth it, your attack bonus by this level should be far above most AC curves. Stamina lets you move.

Pin Down [S]: neat little feat if you plan on cornering an enemy and preventing them from moving to cast defensively. Spend an AOO, prevent their movement. Stamina lets you damage them anyway. Nice.

Piranha Strike (Sargava, the Lost Colony): Power Attack for light weapons. POWER ATTACK FOR LIGHT WEAPONS! Remember though, that’s light weapons and not any weapon that can be used with Finesse, so be careful on how you build for this.

Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot [S]: I’m grouping these together because you need both to function in any sort of way ranged. Like, you need them, bad. Stamina improves the range on PBS up to 60ft (awesome) and it lets precise do aid another without calling it aid another. Did I mention that you need these? Because you need them.

Point-Blank Master [S]: It’s close quarters thrower, but for all ranged weapons. What a great feat, never worry about switch-hitting ever again! Gotta take Weapon Specialization. Don’t lie, you were gonna take that anyway! Stamina let’s it apply to any ranged weapon you are using, if you use a different one (you probably won’t).

Improved Precise Shot [S]: Ignore AC bonuses from anything other than total cover, and miss chance from anything less than total concealment. Sounds purple to me. The stamina trick makes your faux Aid Another bonus go up to +4 instead of +2.

Power Attack [S]: are we really gonna act like you didn’t know what this feat did before you read this? Are we? REALLY? If you’re fighting in melee and not using light weapons, you want this. Stamina makes it so you don’t continue power attacking for your attack of opportunities, bad. ABPAlways Be Power-attacking!

Prone Shooter [S]: I had a whole joke planned out for this entry, but something happened and this feat got changed so it isn’t a waste of ink. Now we both have to read it, dammit! Being prone now only gives you a -2 AC against melee attacks (that’s good!) and enemies using ranged attacks against you now have to deal with you getting +6 to AC (that’s good!). What? Stamina makes it work whenever you’re prone, you don’t have to stay that way for a turn as long as you keep one stamina with no cost. What? My brain hurts.

Press to the Wall (Melee Tactics Toolbox): did you ever wonder why you could never convince your DM that you should get flanking bonuses if your opponent is up against something and can’t move that way? It’s because you didn’t have this feat. Good for Barroom Brawler.

Pushing Assault [S]: battlefield control with power attack instead of damage, can work well if you’re on a cliff or something, or simply want to move them into an area for the wizard or whoever to blastem. Stamina lets you do damage anyway. Woo!

Quarterstaff Master [S]: normally half this feat is useless to you, since the only real reason to take is is to be able to use it in one hand. The other half treats you as yourself for taking Weapon Specialization. Stamina lets you spend too many points to use on a regular basis, but it’s the only way to have three hands, so that’s a thing. A bad thing, but still a thing.

Quillbreaker Defense [S] (Magical Marketplace): break your armor spikes to give yourself [not DR] 5, or [not DR] 10. [Not DR] I’m fairly certain stacks with DR, but you’re gonna spend some time fixing up your armor every time you need it. Great combo with Field Repair. Stamina is almost always worth it to have a 50% chance to not break your gear and keep using the feat. Tanks need this.

Rapid Shot [S]: MOAR arrows/thrown weapons. Stamina helps negate all the penalties. Sounds purple to me.

Rat Catcher (Heroes of the Streets): swarms are the enemy. Anyone who tells you fighters can’t do s**t against swarms is forever wrong. If you’re gonna fight them a lot, take this. If not, keep it in your bag of tricks with Barroom Brawler because at some point you’re gonna need it.

Ready for Anything (Ultimate Intrigue): prerequisites are kinda steep, but always act in the surprise round. You can get around Alertness with a familiar, and Quickdraw and Improved Initiative are good feats anyway. Lightning Reflexes is the only iffy feat here, and it’s not even bad.

Reckless Aim (Blood of Fiends): take -1 AC for +2 circumstance bonus to shoot enemies that are engaged in melee with your allies. Not bad.

Redirect Attack [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): if an opponent misses you, make a CMB check to make them hit their friend instead. Situational at best, and CMB checks will suffer greatly at higher levels. Stamina can buff the check by up to 5.

Improved Reposition, Greater Reposition, Quick Reposition, Tactical Reposition [S]: a lot of these are somewhat useful, but debatable in most combat scenarios. You’re better off with something that actually debuffs them.

Reverse-Feint [Orc] [S]: I don’t like taking hits or provoking hits to get small bonuses, but tanks might. Stamina lets you do the free attack as a free action instead of an immediate.

Rhino Charge (Sargava, the Lost Colony): this is more along the lines of a real combat option, because you can ready a charge and tactically speaking that’s fantastic. Unless your DM let you do that anyway, then it’s trash.

Risky Striker [Halfling] [S]: extra power attack or piranha strike for halflings. Normally this only works on Large or bigger foes, but for 5 stamina it also works on medium for 1 minute (so, a combat). Halflings apparently get nice things.

River Raider (Ultimate Wilderness): great for a pirate campaign, this lets you take a move and a standard during the surprise round if you start in water. It also has some small bonuses to Swim and Stealth.

Rubble Skirmisher (Ultimate Wilderness): small bonuses to Combat Maneuvers when you’re in difficult terrain.

Shadow Strike [S]: you’re not a rogue.

Sharpclaw [Ratfolk] [S]: primary natural attacks are awesome! Ratfolk seem to be pretty good, since they can get 2 claws and a bite. Stamina boosts the damage die.

Improved Shield Bash [S]: want to use a shield as a weapon? Need this. Want it to count as a light weapon? Don’t spend the stamina, take the Shield Bearer trait.

Shot on the Run [S]: move and shoot a single arrow as a full round. With stamina you can move twice, but still only shoot once, or use the extra move action to use a feat, like Barroom Brawler! Moving though isn’t that great for ranged builds. You could Barroom Brawler to gain this, then spend Stamina, then use it in the same round if you really need it. That’s a neat trick.

Shrewd Tactician [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): If you already have Alertness (from a familiar maybe?) and Combat Expertise you can negate the opponent’s bonus to flank you. You also get bonuses against feints that can be improved with stamina. Great for Barroom Brawler.

Shrug On (Melee Tactics Toolbox): this feat has its uses at very early levels when you don’t have high DEX, high bonus from Armor Training yet, or access yet to magical armor. How long does this last? How long does it take to get out of it? Too many questions that my Google-Fu cannot find answers to. If you really need to gain some AC fast, Barroom Brawler this, it’s better than fighting defensively in some cases, especially if you don’t care about DEX. If you take it, retrain out of it later to gain the Advanced Armor Training that does this better and still lets you use the magical properties of your armor. Remember, your Armor Training still works in this so full plate still has a max DEX you can use in it.

Sidestep, Improved Sidestep, Juke [S] (APG and Melee Tactics Toolbox): Sidestep lets you 5-foot step after the opponent hits you, giving you tactical positioning. Improved Sidestep negates the penalties from Sidestep. Juke gives you bonuses against charges and lets you swap places with them after they miss and you can flank them by yourself on your next turn. Stamina lets you move 10 feet instead of 5 and makes it a free action to do so. Melee guys may love this if they need better positioning for flanking buddies.

Siege Weapon feats: there’s a gunslinger archetype designed to do this stuff better than anyone else, pass.

Slashing Grace [S]: this was a long, hard fought battle for us forum goers. We fought for you, and we sorta succeeded. You used to only be able to use this on a Dueling Sword. They fixed that, so DEX to damage with slashing weapons is a thing. Stamina lets you switch which weapon. No elven curve blades, gotta play a rogue for that. Arguably, Dervish Dance is superior, but that’s neither here nor there.

Slayer’s Feint [S]: gotta take Acrobatic, but you use Acrobatics instead of Bluff to feint, and Acrobatics is a better skill for you anyway if you plan on going the feint route (you shouldn’t be). Stamina boosts your check.

Sliding Dash (Ultimate Intrigue): this is fun, you can charge more tactically in order to flank, and even if you don’t have a buddy there to flank afterward, you still get to flank with yourself for a turn. Nice! Prerequisites are skill based and the DC is steep, so be ready for that if you want it.

Smiting Reversal (Agents of Evil): how often will you be smitten? If the answer is a lot, then take this feat. A target for abundant tactics. Situationally useful for Barroom Brawler.

Snap Shot, Improved Snap Shot, Greater Snap Shot [S]: WOOOOOOO!!! Attacks of opportunity and ”flanking” with a bow (or other ranged weapon, but probably a bow). Improved Snap Shot lets you threaten out to 10 feet, like a reach weapon but you also threaten up close. Greater Snap Shot gives you sizable bonuses to damage on those AOOs. Stamina improves the range even more, from an additional 10 to 15 feet (that’s anywhere from 5 up to 25 feet of threatened squares with a bow) and you get your bonus from Greater Snap Shot on attack rolls as well. Super-Duper-Uber-Purple. Combos with Combat Reflexes and Point-Blank Master.

Soulblade (Haunted Heroes Handbook): Are you gonna fight haunts? This is how you fight haunts. Keep note for Barroom Brawler.

Soulwrecking Strike (Haunted Heroes Handbook): Are you gonna fight someone that’s possessed? This is how you do it. Like the haunt feat, unless you plan on doing a whole campaign based on this, keep it in your tricks with Barroom Brawler.

Spring Attack [S]: you can move in, hit an enemy, and move out. Stamina lets you do it as a standard so you still get your move action to do something else, like move more, or use Barroom Brawler. If only there was a way to get more attacks……

Improved, Greater Spring Attack (Ultimate Wilderness): You get to add in your iterative attacks when you use Spring Attack, as long as you attack different targets. Prerequisites are steep though, you’d have to dedicate a whole build to this basically.

Stabbing Shot [Elf] [S]: Are you Legolas? Snap Shot and Point-Blank Master invalidate this feat.

Stage Combatant [S]: we’ve covered a lot of different ways to do nonlethal with no penalty, with this one you gotta have Weapon Focus (imagine that) but it works on anything. Take that bludgeoner! Stamina gives you a flat +2 bonus on such attack rolls, I guess for nonlethal combatants we have a winner!

Starry Grace (Ultimate Intrigue): James Jacobs invented this weapon; James Jacobs loves Desna; James Jacobs wants to make sure you know that this is the best light weapon in the game because you can get DEX to damage with it, at melee or thrown range. Are you building a thrower? Use Starknives. Are you building a TWF melee duelist (we’ll get there) who wants to take advantage of Piranha Strike? Use starknives. Even if you don’t want to use the starknife (like for critical purposes), you still gotta take the feats for it and then meander the feats to another weapon with Martial Versatility or other such cheese with AWT. But you had to know that it only worked on the starknife first, because James Jacobs said so.

Steadfast Slayer (Melee Tactics Toolbox): fighting alone? Is the enemy big? Get a measly +2 bonus on damage with two-handed weapons.

Improved Steal, Greater Steal, Quick Steal [S]: this feat chain almost completely invalidates sleight of hand for theft purposes. Seriously. You might find this has a lot more uses than you would think, like grabbing a spell component pouch or other important item on the opponent’s person that they need.

Step Up and Strike [S]: When you use Step up, you get to also spend an AOO to get an attack at your highest BAB. Or, spend 5 stamina to not waste an AOO. Nice if you’re building for it.

Strike Back [S]: why do people like this feat? Readying an action means not doing anything, so tactically you’re only doing this if you otherwise couldn’t reach your opponent (like if they’re flying in to hit you) and by the time you can take this you should be able to get anywhere on the battlefield, 5 foot steps or not. Pass.

Strike True (Paths of the Righteous): I want to like this feat, I really do, but wasting a move action to get +4 to hit is almost never worth it since it negates the full round, unless it’s really early game and you only have one attack anyway. For the first 5 levels this is fine, then it’s worthless.

Stunning Assault [S]: here we go, something good. Take -5 to hit and stun your opponent if they fail a save. The save is probably bad, so that’s not fun, but still stunned is a great condition to inflict. Stamina lets you end the effect early.

Stunning Irruption (Champions of Corruption): this feat gives you a dramatic entrance, stunning the enemies during the surprise round, or giving them the shaken condition for 1d4 rounds. This is nice for Intimidate monsters because it gives the enemy the shaken condition before you act so you can use Disheartening Display right away, because the save is weak. Not often useful, but great to pickup when you need it with Barroom Brawler.

Improved Sunder, Greater Sunder, Sundering Strike [S]: well, sunder is awesome for a lot of reasons, even though you may find yourself destroying your own loot it can be repaired with the right feats. Sundering armor reduced enemy movement, and Greater Sunder puts any excess damage straight to the person you’re sundering against. Also the antimage feats are based on it. If you’re gonna do any maneuvers and expect them to last to high levels, this is the one!

Sabotaging Sunder (Ultimate Intrigue): this is for rogues to use sunder, not you.

Shrapnel Strike (Champions of Corruption): this is dangerous, but you get to add your level on sunder checks on things that can shatter, then everyone around you gets a reflex save to avoid some shrapnel damage.

Gate Breaker, Relic Breaker (Path of the Hellknight): Add your STR again to sunder checks, and if you sunder a held object, for some reason the enemy also spontaneously bursts into flames. I’m serious, it doesn’t matter what they’re holding they just burst into flames. They get a reflex that’s CHA based. Neat.

Surprise Follow-Through [Orc] [S]: when you cleave, the second hit is denied their DEX, but not the third or beyond. Still, this can help guarantee you get to that third hit. Stamina adds a d6 of precision damage to that foe.

Sweeping Dodge (People of the River): the only reason I even bring this up is because Call Out is a thing and you can instigate duels often. You gain evasion, nice! I have no idea how that would work in a regular combat where you instigate a duel and someone else throws a spell/reflex effect at you, so make sure your DM and you hash that out before you spring this on him.

Swift Aid [S]: you can use your swift action to aid another, but only for a +1 bonus. If you keep 1 point of stamina, you could also do it as a move action. You can also do it as a standard action, and with bodyguard you can do it as an attack of opportunity. There’s gotta be something to this, like cheesing up a familiar on an Eldritch Guardian build to stack bonuses on yourself since similar bonuses stack. Yeah, that’s fun, cheesy, but fun.

Sword and Pistol [S]: Gunslingers, remember, gunslingers use crossbows and firearms.

Taldan Duelist [S] (Inner Sea World Guide): Falcatas are awesome, and this feat turns your buckler into a heavy shield, mechanically speaking. You can spend stamina to two hand that thing flawlessly. Nice!

Team Up [S]: requires Gang Up, and swift aid is still better, even for a lower bonus.

Thrill of the Hunt (Ultimate Wilderness): if you are the team tracker (not impossible given your access to Survival) then you can give yourself some nice morale bonuses.

Throat Slicer (Heroes of the Streets): man, these heroes of the streets aren’t very heroic. Coup de Grace a lot? This gives you some scenarios where it’s a standard action instead of a full-round.

Throw Anything [S]: improvised weapons, ughhhh. But if you’re making that one ratfolk build, then going for natural weapons and using splash weapons to switch hit seem cool, and you get +1 to those. If you ever want to throw your weapon that isn’t meant to be thrown, as long as you keep stamina you get to use your own crit range and multiplier, and can spend stamina to increase the range. Has some niche uses, so Barroom Brawler territory for people looking at that.

Thunder and Fang (Varisia, Birthplace of Legends): well, this is unique. Your earthbreaker becomes a 2d6 one handed weapon, which isn’t the same as using a two-handed weapon one handed (confusing, I know) but you get to retain the shield bonus for using a klar. If you build for it, it’s one of the ways to have some decent TWF abilities while retaining a measurable shield bonus to AC. But you’re gonna have to spend a lot of feats on being able to use both effectively. Not typically worth it.

Twinned Feint [S]: cleave for feinting, even with stamina it’s better for rogues.

Two-Handed Thrower [S]: if you also have quickdraw, you can get as many of these attacks off in a round as possible. If you’re making a STR thrower build, you’ll need this and a Belt of the Mighty Hurler. Stamina can buff the damage.

Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting [S]: ughhhh these feats. Great for thrown builds if going ranged, and obvious for two weapon builds. Stamina can reduce the penalty(ies) on your primary hand, can let you get a second attack of opportunity with your off hand at -5 (this is big) with improved, and you can get a fourth off-hand attack at BAB 16+ with greater. They are also gateway feats to a lot of other things, which you will want to look into for sure. I hate rating them purple, but if you need them you need them, no exceptions. Smart decision making will tell you to plan on using the same weapon in both hands, because you won’t have the feats to invest into two different weapons. You need DEX for them (or INT with Artful Dodge) which normally leads to a DEX build, so you’ll have to look at Weapon Finesse as well. Since it works so well on DEX, unless you take Effortless Dual Wielding or waste a feat on Exotic Sawtooth Sabres (that’s a lotta feats) plan on light weapons. Oh, and those negatives aren’t fun if you want extra damage from Power Attack or Piranha Strike. I really hate TWF. Oh, and if you ever want to make both attacks as a standard action, you have to take Weapon Trick, Double Slice, Vital Strike, and Improved Vital Strike. And you still can’t do it until level 11. The archetype can do it at 9th, but gives up Armor and Weapon Training. I REALLY hate TWF.

Double Slice [S]: a little out of order (alphabetically), but double slice is here to make sure you don’t have to calculate your damage separately for your off hand attacks on your character sheet (assuming you’re using the same weapon which is recommended). Not cutting your STR in half for off-hands isn’t vital, but it’s nice for bookkeeping. Stamina gives your off-hand a tiny little boost that isn’t worth spending your stamina on since you’ll probably need it for TWF stuff.

Shield Master [S]: If you’re using a shield to be your off-hand weapon (which requires a trait or stamina to do without a boatload of penalties) you can actually do so with no penalties. You can also treat the shield’s enhancement bonus as you shield’s weapon bonus. This is better for Captain America builds (brawlers). Stamina can improve saves though. Use a weapon in the same group as your primary so you can Martial Versatility them into having the same feats. Ughhhhh more feats you need.

Improved Trip, Greater Trip, Tripping Strike [S]: trip is great at low levels, greater trip allows you to get in an AOO after you trip, so you get to attack them anyway and they’re prone. Nice! Once things start having more than two legs or start flying, not so much.

Ranged Trip (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): full round action to trip with a ranged attack. Ranged doesn’t like prone. Avoid like the plague.

Tripping Staff, Tripping Twirl [S]: quarterstaves aren’t great weapons for you, neither are the feats.

Two-Weapon Defense [S]: a meager +1 shield bonus? Are you serious? Stamina can give me a +2 bonus. I spent so many feats to do this I need something better. There are better choices.

Two-Weapon Feint, Improved Two-Weapon Feint [S]: oh great, I give up my primary attack to feint, the one I spent all my effort on getting high enough to compare to the attack bonuses of other combat roles. Stamina helps this feat, a lot, but it’s costly. Since you lose out on so much attack bonus, it might be worth investing into feint to be able to hit. Seems better for rogues until you realize you can’t hit s***. Still takes two feats for it to work properly, ughhhhhh more feats I have to spend just to do this.

Two-Weapon Rend [S]: if you’re building the STR TWF guy (and shame on you), you get a third “attack” that does decent damage, including 1.5 STR (not sure how that interacts with Power Attack). Stamina let’s you do it twice for 5 points. That thing better be dead after I dumped all my stamina into this turn.

Two-Weapon Grace (Villain Codex): finally this feat happened; after years of threads badgering the devs we got it. It sucks, but it’s here. If you have Slashing, Fencing, or Starry Grace; you get DEX to damage with both attacks, though it’s still reduced by half for off-hand weapons. Since it uses the phrase “instead of your STR” I really hope your DM would let Double Slice offer full DEX on the off-hand. It counts as Double Slice for Two-Weapon Rend (not worth it, you won’t have STR) but the big thing here is that it allows you to continue using Slashing, Starry, or Fencing Grace with your off-hand occupied. It’s a tax, a big tax, but you can finally use DEX to damage with a shield in hand. Ready for the suck part? YOU GET A BIGGER PENALTY TO HIT, AND CAN’T REDUCE IT TO LESS THAN -2 EVER. So, in summation: for DEX to damage to work properly (even for classes who don’t wanna TWF) you have to take Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, TWF, whichever ‘Grace’ feat you wanna use, and this feat. Why do they hate us? It’s purple because you need it, not because I like it. Using it with Two-Weapon Fighting is a trap, as we should well know thanks to my opinions on TWF in general.

Two-Weapon Drunkard (Paths of the Righteous): Bad prerequisites, but it lets you treat a mug as a light mace. Why do you need to do that?

Improved Unarmed Strike [S]: no. Buy a gauntlet, we’ll cover why later.

Underfoot [S]: normally this is a small race thing, and it makes it easier to tumble around bigger enemies than you. For Stamina you can do it against enemies of the same size. Meh.

Unyielding Ferocity [Orc]: so, it doesn’t say you have to be orc, but you have to have Ferocity, which is an orc/half-orc thing. You can full attack while at 0 or lower HP. Don’t plan on being at 0 or lower HP.

Vigilant Charger (Ultimate Wilderness): you can ready a charge. Seems okay, if that’s your thing.

Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Greater Vital Strike [S]: here’s something that doesn’t make me angry to read. You don’t get to pounce, so if you have to move and attack this is how you get higher damage. The more dice your weapon has to roll, the better this is. Use cheese to get larger weapons (or at least their dice) to really benefit from this feat. Focused Weapon with Impact seems to work well, right? 3d8 is how to build for this feat, me thinks. Stamina offers up re-rolls. On it’s own it’s green, but when you supplement it with other feats and better weapon damage it becomes blue.

Wave Strike [S]: once per combat (with the stamina trick) you can feint as a swift action if you have Quickdraw and draw your weapon while adjacent to an enemy. Don’t plan around this.

Weapon Finesse [S]: if you need it, you need it. Stamina gets rid of the shield’s armor check penalty that you probably already spent the gold on getting rid of.

Weathered Warrior (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): good one for Barroom Brawler if you have Endurance. F*** Wind Wall.

Whip feats [S]: not worth the feats to use a mediocre weapon, unless you really go deep with it thanks to it’s range. You can do whip stuff, and only whip stuff thanks to all the feats you need like Weapon Finesse, Exotic Proficiency, Weapon Focus, Focused Weapon (Advanced Weapon Training), Whip Mastery, Improved Whip Mastery, TWF, Slashing Grace, Two-Weapon Grace, etc.

Whirlwind Attack [S]: they messed up, you can’t bypass this feat’s prerequisite of INT 13. You’ll need INT 13 no matter what. If you have Lunge and throw yourself into the middle of the fray you can have some fun with this. Stamina gives you your extra attacks anyway, at a steep cost.

Wildling Strike, Improved, Greater (Ultimate Wilderness): if you want to go the Wildling route, this increases your Unarmed Strike damage dice by a few steps. You’ll need to invest too much for something you can do better with less wastage.

Wind Stance, Lightning Stance [S]: movement gives you concealment vs. ranged attacks. Not bad, but you gotta be expecting ranged attacks. Unless you spend Stamina, then you gain the miss chance vs. any attacks while moving. Has some utility with Spring Attack. To use Lightning stance, expect to always have to spend 5 stamina otherwise you’ll be double moving and not doing anything else (unless you’re using the Spring Attack Stamina Trick HA!)

Witchbreaker (Ultimate Wilderness): if you know you’re going to fight witches or hags, this is easy, if not then it’s situational at best.

Woodland Wraith (Ultimate Wilderness): if you move a bunch, you can get concealment from difficult terrain, meh.


Combat Specialization by Role

Now that we’ve covered damn near every viable combat feat you could consider for your fighter you may have a hard time figuring out which feats to take on your fighter, and going through all those feats is time consuming. I know, I wrote it. I’m going to cover each Combat Role separately and go over the feats that are absolutely needed for all of them to function, there won’t be descriptions here so remember that Ctrl+F is your friend.

BFW

Power Attack; Furious Focus; Second Chance

Ranged

Point-Blank Shot; Precise Shot; Deadly Aim; Improved Precise Shot; Close-Quarters Thrower or Point-Blank Master; Clustered Shots; Rapid Shot

Tank

Toughness; Quillbreaker Defense; Call Out/ Antagonize; Sweeping Dodge (maybe); Field Repair; Stalwart & Improved Stalwart (maybe)

Power Turtle

Improved Shield Bash; Dodge; Armor Focus; Shield Focus; Greater Shield Focus; Combat Expertise; Shrug On

Duelist

Weapon Finesse; Weapon Focus; Slashing/Fencing/Starry Grace or Dervish Dance; Dueling Mastery/ TWF+TWG

Two-Weapons

TWF; ITWF; GTWF; Double Slice; Weapon Trick; Vital Strike; Improved Vital Strike; Possessed Hand; Hand's Autonomy

Switch Hitter

Quick Draw; Power Attack; Deadly Aim; Point-Blank Shot; Precise Shot

Maneuver Monkey

Dirty Fighting; [Improved Combat Maneuver]; [Greater Combat Maneuver]; [Maneuver based feat]

Teamwork Feats

Teamwork feats were introduced in the Advanced Player’s Guide and came online for two different classes, the cavalier and the inquisitor. The former has an ability which not only grants a free Teamwork feat(s), but they can share this teamwork feat with their allies a certain number of times per day. There’s actually a couple of fighter archetypes that get this, and I personally like the Tactician a lot, but the Drill Sergeant gives up extra weapon groups (at the time this was good because AWT didn’t exist yet). The latter has an ability called Solo Tactics which the fighter actually has access to now through an AWT called Fighter’s Tactics, allowing him to treat his allies as if they had said feats in order to gain the benefits from them himself. Plus, with the Eldritch Guardian, fighters can actually have an ally who is treated as having all the same combat feats, including teamwork feats. Any of these methods can be used to be able to employ the teamwork feats onto your fighter, depending on what they are and what you need from them. Some of these will work better with Fighter’s Tactics, some with Tactician, and some with the familiar from Eldritch Guardian. Be aware of that before choosing feats.

Ally Shield [Betrayal] (Champions of Corruption): betrayal feats aren’t that good unless you can actually plan around them by having allies that don’t mind (like tanks).

Back to Back, Improved Back to Back: These can come in handy if you expect to be flanked a lot, extra useful if you have a familiar, with or without Eldritch Guardian as Fighter’s Tactics triggers this feat as well.

Bonded Mind (Distant Shores): nonverbal communication that functions as long as you have this feat? Awesome in all cases.

Broken Wing Gambit [Combat] [S]: this is cool for crowd fighting, you can give all your allies a free AOO on them, but they must have the feat. For 5 Stamina, you can get one too! Gotta take a hit to the face though, so power turtles and tanks will benefit the most from this. It’s like the Come and Get Me rage power.

Circling Offense [Combat] (Rival Guide): this is a gem, it’s like Spring Attack for teamwork feats. You need an ally nearby, so it’s more useful to builds with a familiar.

Combat Medic: the one way that heal isn’t useless, if you take this so you can take 10 during combat on it to stabilize a friend. Thanks to the prerequisite of 5 ranks, you can never fail such a check. You also no longer provoke. Neat a feat that makes a skill not useless.

Coordinated Charge [Combat] [S]: HELL YES! Have an ally that likes to charge? Have a familiar/companion with a better initiative than you (by exactly 1 per delaying)? THIS IS HOW YOU GET POUNCE! Stamina doubles the distance for 5 points. Barroom Brawler target.

Coordinated Defense [Combat] [S]: meh, generic boosts to CMD are good if you care about them a lot. Barroom Brawler target, works best with a familiar.

Coordinated Distraction [Combat] (Demon Hunter’s Handbook): we found a way to help increase the DC to cast defensively in front of you! YESSSSSSS. You gotta figure out how to get more allies to threaten them, shouldn’t be a tall order if you have a familiar for combat.

Coordinated Maneuvers [Combat] [S]: this is better than defense because generic boost to all CMB checks is awesome, especially if going the anti-mage route. Stamina gives another +2.

Coordinated Reposition: not a combat feat, booooo. Still, being able to take a free 5-foot step isn’t bad, if you wanna get into better flanking position or something.

Coordinated Shot [Combat] [S]: “flanking” like benefits with ranged attacks, derp. Stamina ignores the only condition that prevents you from using this feat. Extra derp. No familiar needed.

Covering Fire [Combat]: ranged aid another, awesome! If you want to use aid another that is, it’s kinda weak. Unclear as to how this interacts with Swift Aid, check with God (the DM, not your wizard). Barroom Brawler target.

Darting Retrieval [Combat] (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): situational, so I’d say grab it with Barroom Brawler, but it’s prerequisites suck unless you’re building for disarm (which is bad).

Disarm Partner, Improved Disarm Partner [Combat] (Monster Codex): much better situational feats. Disarm is still a weak maneuver to build around.

Distracting Charge [Combat] [S]: take this as a prerequisite for Coordinated Charge. You won’t regret it, an extra +2 on attacks that your ally charges. It’s like building for pounce that also gets an extra bonus. Nice! Stamina makes this feat work always.

Duck and Cover: have a friend that happens to roll dice better than you against reflex saves? Steal their roll. Going prone kinda sucks though. I miss skill tricks.

Enfilading Fire [Combat] [S]: more flanking with ranged weapons, take Coordinated Shot then this and enjoy ruining your DM’s life. You’ll never need the stamina trick. No familiar needed.

Escape Route [Combat]: they forgot a stamina trick for this. Good thing it’s good, if you move through a space that is adjacent or through an allied square you don’t provoke.

Exceptional Aid: building for Aid Another? Take it. Great for Protector Familiar builds.

Extend the Bulwark [Combat] [S] (Magical Marketplace): amazing for tanks who wanna grab it with Barroom Brawler, or for anyone who wants to deck their familiar out in armor to perform cheese for AC (like power turtles). Stamina makes it even better by not giving up your bonus.

Feint Partner, Improved Feint Partner [Combat] [S]: this works amazing if you have a familiar that feints for you or a rogue friend that does.

Friendly Fire [Betrayal] (Champions of Corruption): this is actually good, you gotta shoot through an allied square, but you get a +2 bonus to hit the enemy (not a problem if you built around cover) and if you miss your ally can get an AOO for free. Loses out on blue status for not being a combat feat and thus inaccessible through Barroom Brawler.

Friendly Fire Maneuvers [Combat] (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): see? Avoid soft cover, and if your wizard friend throws a fireball (or other reflex save in your area) you get +4 against it.

Got Your Back [Combat] [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): what a feat, great for Eldritch Guardians with protector familiars. Stamina makes it last all turn.

Harrying Partners [Combat] [S] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): Aid another lasts the whole turn. Bodyguard cheese either for yourself doing the bodyguard thing or for your protector familiar. Stamina can either give you +4, or +2/+2.

Horde Charge [Orc]: more bonuses for allied charging, great in combination with the other feats to get fighter pounce.

Intercept Charge [Combat] [S]: tank fighters built to take the hits instead of your allies love this. Stamina can make the movement free.

Lookout [Combat] [S]: works great with or without familiars if your friends have better perceptions than you. Stamina makes it super duper dumb good for no cost.

My Blade is Yours [Combat] (Ultimate Intrigue): meh, super situational even for Barroom Brawler.

Open Up [Combat] (Melee Tactics Toolbox): ignore shields when you aid another, useful when they have them, a Barroom Brawler thing.

Outflank [Combat] [S]: extra bonus for flanking just because, and with stamina you can give your allies a free AOO when you fail to crit.

Overwhelm [Combat] (Dragonhunter’s Handbook): fighting something big? You get flanking bonuses even if you’re not really flanking. Makes the above feat purple.

Pack Attack [Combat]: there’s a lotta ways to get free 5 foot steps, here’s another one. Woo.

Pack Flanking [Combat]: useless unless you have a nice DM who lets your familiar count, then it’s invaluable. Bring snacks, and beer. But remember, it’s munchkin-city.

Paired Opportunists [Combat] [S]: I have no idea in what scenarios that combat trick is useful, but hey it has one. Free AOOs and +4 on them, plus with all the AOOs you can get from the other bonuses you’re gonna be getting in a lot of damage. Like, I’m starting to question C/MD kinda because of stuff like this….

Phalanx Fighter (Champions of Purity): sacred bonuses eh? Cool, but you need a lot of adjacent allies for it to be effective, your familiar is only 1.

Precise Strike [Combat] [S]: you get [not sneak attack] and stamina can increase it to 2d6. Good Barroom Brawler option.

Punch Through [Combat] (Demon Hunter’s Handbook): full-round waste when your allies can’t actually benefit.

Reckless Moves [Betrayal] (Champions of Corruption): find better ways to improve these checks.

Scarred Legion (Monster Codex): it’s almost amazing, but you gotta find a way to get it on your familiar also, then it’s super duper good. +2 intimidate and +2 morale on will saves is no joke, but it’s not a combat feat so your Eldritch Guardian familiar doesn’t get it for free. Lame.

Secret Language (Cohorts and Companions): Bonded Mind is superior in almost every way.

Seize the Moment [Combat] [S]: more free AOOs, this is getting ridiculous, good thing it’s only when your ally confirms a crit otherwise it might lend on the strong side of… dammit stamina is a thing. Amazing Barroom Brawler option.

Shake it Off: not a combat feat, can’t cheese up familiars, no stamina trick to increase the range. Better uses for feats.

Shared Stash (Monster Codex): I don’t like Sleight of Hand, I don’t like sharing a space with a person.

Share Healing: how does this work with Fighter’s Tactics? I think it works, I hope it works. It’s too good to not work. Familiars only.

Shield Wall [Combat] [S]: if you want to teach your familiar how to be proficient with a shield, Shield Focus is still better.

Spirit of the Corps [Combat] (Monster Codex): steal an ally’s Morale Bonus once. There’s a lot of potential here, but it’s all situational unless your team builds around it. That makes it prime Barroom Brawler territory. 

Splash Volley [Betrayal] (Champions of Corruption): this feat is almost good, only take it if you have an alchemist on your team who happens to suck at being an alchemist (he won’t).

Stealth Synergy: well, if I ever said don’t invest in stealth I can say it now. Your allies won’t need this feat for you to take the better roll and modifiers of your friend’s stealth checks. If you need stealth and have an ally who is better at it in every way, steal theirs. Campaign dependent.

Stick Together [Combat]: why do you have to be staggered? Ughhhhh.

Stone Dodger (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): super useful in campaigns where you see big rocks being thrown at you a lot. Of which there are how many?

Suppress Regeneration [Combat] (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): there’s a lot of better ways to just keep inflicting damage without wasting a feat or attacks.

Swap Places, Improved Swap Places [Combat] [S]: doesn’t work with Fighter’s Tactics, 0/10 would not take.

Swing About (Giant Hunter’s Handbook): move your ally if you have a free hand. Personal space is important, even in a fantasy game. Not super useful.

Take the Hit: TANKS, you get to cast shield other, without having to cast shield other, but only on adjacent allies. Works great with familiars.

Tandem Evasion [Combat] [S] (Dragonslayer’s Handbook): evasion vs. dragons. Are you gonna fight dragons a lot? Take this. Not gonna fight them a lot? Barroom Brawler this. Stamina let’s you do it on your own, even without Fighter’s Tactics.

Tandem Trip [Combat] [S]: trip builds need this, even if they don’t take Fighter’s Tactics because stamina. The problem? You’re running a trip build.

Target of Opportunity [Combat] [S]: AOO with a ranged weapon just for being there. With stamina you can do it once as an immediate and once as an actual AOO.

Team Pickpocketing: no.

Timely Coordination (Ultimate Intrigue): the bonuses are fairly weak and are based on readied actions, not really your style.

Tribe Mentality (Kobolds of Golarion): do you have a friend that has a better Will save than you? Are you all being hit with the same Enchantment at the same time? YES this is useful in those scenarios, like really useful.

Underhanded Teamwork, Improved Underhanded Teamwork [Combat] (Pathfinder Society Primer): requires multiple allies to be doing dirty tricks, which is tactically weak.

Volley Fire [Combat] (Ranged Tactics Toolbox): it’s sorta good, but there are feats that grant better bonuses in less specific situations.

Wall of Flesh (Kobolds of Golarion): are you small? If you have allies around you then you aren’t small as far as combat maneuvers are concerned. Situational and not a combat feat.

Wild Flanking [Betrayal] (Champions of Corruption): man, double power attack is really awesome, but your ally needs to be a power turtle of some variety.

Wounded Paw Gambit [Combat] [S]: allies need it too, 0/10 would not take.


Style Feats

Style feats are a different kind of feat chain, you can only have one active at a time, so typically unless you have a lot of free feats going around (BFW) you’re only going to want to invest into one of these. You also don’t get Improved Unarmed Strike and some of these are based on that. For the sake of your and my sanity, I’ll skip the styles that seem to be intended for monks and brawlers. Weapon Master’s Handbook and Armor Master’s Handbook both introduced Style chains that are intended to work on fighters better than any other class, so you knew I had to do a section on them.

Bulette Charge Style, Bulette Leap, Bulette Rampage (Armor Master’s Handbook): this style is all about using the weight of your armor to help you overrun your opponents. If you plan on making an overrun monster who takes advantage of knocking enemies prone and swinging at them with AOOs this can be helpful in making sure you get them prone. Leap lets you overrun multiple foes in the same turn, and rampage gives them damage. Not bad if you’re building for it.

Cudgeler Style, Cudgeler Sweep, Cudgeler Takedown (Melee Tactics Toolbox): this is all about doing nonlethal (bad), and tripping opponents (also bad). Don’t focus on this, it’s bad.

Dwarven Hatred Style, Dwarven Seething, Dwarven Fury [Dwarf] (Weapon Master’s Handbook): your dwarven hatred turns into a favored enemy, Seething lets you switch the target to one other something other than your racial choice, and Fury lets you do it against any number of things. Dwarves get nice things, remember?

Elven Battle Style, Elven Battle Focus, Elven Battle Torrent [Elf] (Weapon Master’s Handbook): holy crap elves get nice things too! The prerequisites aren’t even bad, and if you’re using stamina you can do all sorts of fun things. If you’re using an elf weapon, then you don’t need to take Improved [Combat Maneuver] because you don’t provoke with them anymore. Battle gives you INT to damage. INT to damage is huge because you can build around it and have more skills and still maintain good damage on a weapon finesse build. Torrent gives you an AOO if they miss you while fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise, which is good but not essential.

Empty Quiver Style, Empty Quiver Flexibility, Empty Quiver Flurry (Weapon Master’s Handbook): a great alternative to the Snap Shot line of feats if you want to go melee and are building for a bow. It can even replace Point-Blank Master if you want, but you will become MAD.

Fox Style, Fox Insight, Fox Trickery (Ultimate Intrigue): want to feint? With this style you get full ranks in Bluff for free in order to feint, and if you’re built for INT you get to add a bonus to the checks as well. Insight gives you free Sense Motive to resist feint with the same bonuses for being built for INT, and Trickery lets you do dirty tricks as AOOs, again with bonuses for having high INT. AMAZING for maneuver monkeys.

Mobile Bulwark Style, Mobile Fortress, Mobile Stronghold (Armor Master’s Handbook): want to use a tower shield? Forget the archetype, check this out. Add your shield’s everything to CMD, half of it to your Touch (huge), and negate the penalty on attacks for it while also being able to grant cover as a swift or immediate action (and partial cover against spells). I love this, Power Turtles love this.

Orc Fury Style, Orc Rampage, Orc Snarl [Orc] (Weapon Master’s Handbook): Bullying Blow can now be done as part of any kind of attack. You gain bonuses against shaken enemies, and don’t take penalties with Bullying Blow with Rampage; and Snarl gives you +4 on saves against anything that a shaken foe throws at you. What? Uper Duper Purple. That’s not even a word….

Outslug Style, Outslug Sprint, Outslug Weave (Weapon Master’s Handbook): you actually have to have INT 13 for this because there was no stamina clause written for it. It’s clearly intended for brawlers, but is compatible with the fighter if you wanna specialize in the close weapon group. You get +1 dodge to AC and on damage when you 5 foot step, can make a 10 ft step (the only way to do this in the game), and get bigger bonuses plus ignore the penalty with Lunge. Shield Bash builds will love this.

Overwatch Style, Overwatch Vortex, Overwatch Tactician (Weapon Master’s Handbook): the anticaster with a bow will never look anywhere else. Readied actions normally suck, unless you can plan out 4 attacks. Great for any archer really if you want to play reactively.

Owl Style, Owl Swoop, Owl Dive (Ultimate Intrigue): the prerequisites for this style kinda suck, but you get free skills maxed out, Stealth, Acrobatics, and Fly. Mixed Bag.

Perfect Style [S] (Inner Sea Combat): this is super interesting to me, you can take it and get a ki pool, but only to use this style. You also get a small amount of energy resistance that you can enhance with Stamina. It has three chains stemming from it:

Unblinking Flame Feint [S], Unblinking Flame Fist [S]: Feint gives you WIS to feint checks, and you can gain Improved Feint as a swift action for a ki or 2 stamina. You don’t wanna invest into Stunning Fist.

Unfolding Wind Strike [S], Unfolding Wind Rush [S]: Double your range for thrown weapons and give them returning for a round. Holy #$$%!!! Pounce with a full attack of thrown weapons and a wind wall effect…. Um what? You can use Stamina instead of ki.

Untwisting Iron Strength [S], Untwisting Iron Skin [S]: ignore hardness equal to your level, and gain Improved Sunder as a swift action for ki or stamina. Improved Stamina is actually a good feat to take. Iron Skin gives you DR/adamantine and can give you DR/- and improve them both with ki or stamina. Worth looking into on tanks.

Shield Gauntlet Style, Shield Gauntlet Attack, Shield Gauntlet Master (Armor Master’s Handbook): Wow this chain is awesome. You can treat your gauntlet as a shield, enhance it like a weapon to get it as a shield (suck on that shield master!), and can eventually just use it as a shield while holding another weapon. If you take no other style, and otherwise do not intend to carry a shield take this because spiked gauntlets are amazing weapons to just have since they’re always on. Plus you can take Deflect and Snatch Arrows if you really want.

Spear Dancing Style, Spear Dancing Reach, Spear Dancing Spiral (Weapon Master’s Handbook): treat a spear or polearm as a double weapon to use with…. TWF. With Reach, you can treat either end of the weapon as a reach weapon or not for greater versatility which might make TWF not suck just a little with Lunge. Spear Dancing Spiral lets you use Quarterstaff feats with them and Weapon Finesse…. Yay.

Spring-Heeled Style, Spring-Heeled Reaping, Spring-Heeled Sprint (Armor Master’s Handbook): Bonuses to attack for using Spring Attack or Shot on the run, cool. You get to attack two different enemies at full BAB while using Shot on the Run or Spring Attack, better. Sprint doubles your speed for using SOTR or SA, super duper, still isn’t pounce.

Startoss Style, Startoss Shower, Startoss Comet (Weapon Master’s Handbook): the big takeaway here is more damage for thrown weapons. Not as good as returning magical weapons to my hand like Perfect Style, even though you can do some Captain America esk stuff, you’re still dealing with disposable ammunition. Bleh.

Swift Iron Style, Swift Refuge, Swift Sprint (Armor Master’s Handbook): did you take an archetype that gives up Armor Training? That’s about the only use for the feat chain. Refuge can reduce damage a couple times, which is cool I guess. Better for non fighters or DEX monsters.

Swordplay Style, Swordplay Deflection, Swordplay Upset (Weapon Master’s Handbook): Another way to get a shield bonus to AC while not using a shield, but this one comes baked in with a way to ignore the Combat Expertise penalty on your first attack. Deflection let’s you give up a low attack roll to gain a +4 shield bonus to AC instead. Upset lets you feint as an immediate action if they miss you. I don’t like this, I don’t like it at all, even with Stamina boosting Combat Expertise.

Upsetting Shield Style, Upsetting Strike, Upsetting Vengeance (Armor Master’s Handbook): bucklers now work as light shields for you, and you can shield bash with them. Enemies take negatives to hit you, and those negatives can add up into giving you free AOOs. I’m not gonna use a buckler as a primary weapon which means this is meant for….. Ughhh. I guess I could forgo my bottom attack to use it, and hope I hit.

Vanguard Style, Vanguard Hustle, Vanguard Ward (Armor Master’s Handbook): This is all about the Bodyguard feat and using Aid another to help your allies with AOOs. It requires you build around it, and not well. It has its uses, but those uses are very one-dimensional and not very effective at other modes of combat. It is the only way to make Saving Shield better that I’ve found (and I’ve gone through a lottttt of feats).


Critical Feats

Critical feats have been around since the CRB, and most of them haven’t changed in overall effectiveness. Usually gated by high levels, these offer amazing debuffs you can inflict on an enemy when you confirm a Critical hit, and almost all of them require the feat Critical Focus as a prerequisite. I have yet to find one that isn’t a Combat feat, so once again I will not be using the tag [Combat]. Remember that these feats are all based on critical hits so you will want to be using a weapon that has a high crit range, typically coupled with the keen ability (accessible through Warrior Spirit) or the Improved Critical feat. As a result, you’ll see a lot of slashing weapons being used for these, since they generally have the higher crit ranges, which is what is needed to trigger these effects.

Critical Focus [S]: okay, I just read this stamina trick. If you roll a 19 or a 20 (naturally on the die) you can spend stamina and increase your critical multiplier. If you keep rolling a 19 or 20, you can keep doing it. Also it gives you +4 on critical confirmations. If you want to land crits, you want this feat. Omni-purple, it’s a thing now.

Critical Mastery [S]: Apply two critical feats to your crit. Wow! Stamina lets you bypass either of those two in favor of any critical feat you don’t have. So, you have all the critical feats. If that’s not a hidden class feature idk what is.

Critical Versatility [Human] [S]: If you are human and don’t want to lock yourself into two critical feats set in stone to qualify for Critical Mastery, this is dumb. Train for an hour to swap which critical feat you have with this feat. Vanican crit fighter, humans. Stamina will let you switch it once per day if you find the one you picked isn’t good for you.

Accursed Critical: Only works if you take the Item Mastery for it.

Bleeding Critical [S]: bleed damage can be great, for a turn. At the level this is gated by, nothing you fight will not have some sort of way to avoid this effect. Stamina can increase the damage, but it still won’t be reliable.

Blinding Critical [S]: DC of 10+BAB is pretty good, but Stamina lets you pump it up even more up to 5. Blinded is an amazing debuff if the enemy doesn’t have blind sense, scent, or some other way around sight. Situational, but strong. If they make their save though, dazzled is garbage.

Censoring Critical (Path of the Hellknight): you can’t speak for 1d4 rounds. No spellcasting. If you save, it’s reduced to 1 round. Still no spellcasting.

Crippling Critical [S]: halving their speed is mostly irrelevant once you’re already in their face, even if you can pump the DC.

Deafening Critical [S]: much like blinding critical, deafening is a great debuff, except it also includes a failure chance on spellcasting. Save reduces it to 1 round, pump the DC with stamina.

Dispelling Critical: only works with the Item Mastery feat, but it’s super useful if you do.

Tiring Critical, Exhausting Critical [S]: a small chain that completely screws over anything that can be exhausted. Stamina can make Tiring Critical exhaust them on a gamble, and if you have exhausting you can dump stamina into making sure you confirm. No save.

Impaling Critical, Improved Impaling Critical [S]: better than bleeding damage-wise, but tactically you are reducing your own actions as well so you gotta be careful on this one. Taking away their actions can be worth it though, on the right enemy.

Sickening Critical [S]: Sickened is an okay debuff, mostly numerical. If you pump stamina into it however they have a chance to be Nauseated instead, one of the best debuffs in the game for one feat, at 11th level.

Staggering Critical, Stunning Critical [S]: staggered is a great condition to inflict because you take away some of their their actions. Stunning is the best debuff in the game and Stamina pumps both their DCs.


Mastery Feats

Debuting in Weapon Master’s Handbook, and having subsequent releases in Armor Master’s Handbook and Magic Tactics Toolbox, these feats come in four main forms: Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Shield Mastery, and Item Mastery (which we touched on earlier). These are made to be fighter exclusive things, with some feats existing to grant them either to non-fighters, or to fighters whose archetypes give up their requisite Weapon or Armor Training class features. A lot of these are more powerful than the average feat, and for most characters they have to invest more into a chain to get them going, but not the fighter. This is a big deal and one of the things the internet has been complaining about the fighter not having, so don’t skip this section! Weapon Mastery and Item Mastery feats can both be taken as Advanced Weapon Training options, meaning on top of your already largest number of feats ever, you can get super feats that are better than regular feats for free. That’s a class feature! 

Weapon Mastery Feats (Weapon Master’s Handbook)

All Weapon Mastery feats are combat feats that require you to have Weapon Training in the relevant weapon group.

Ace Disarm [Targetting, Weapon Mastery]: Ranged Disarm no longer sucks, and you can also use it to steal. Has more uses with thrown weapons and Ricochet Toss.

Ace Trip [Targetting, Weapon Mastery]: Normally ranged hates trip, but guess what, you can trip flying creatures. I know I’m as shocked as you are. Awesome!

Burrowing Shot [Weapon Mastery]: gives a -2 penalty on pretty much everything unless they waste a standard action to remove it. They also get 25% spell failure. Not bad, but could be better.

Cut From the Air [Weapon Mastery]: spend an AOO to get a parry attack against ranged attacks. Regular ranged attacks, not big boulders or rays. Still great, it’s the fighter version of parry and/or deflect arrows limited only by your AOOs for the round.

Devastating Assault [Weapon Mastery]: wanna fish for crits? This is how you fish for crits. You take a full-round to do it, but if any of the d20 rolls would be critical threats, you treat it as if it was at your full BAB. This is situational, and really only works on builds that wanna do critical feats. The feat itself can inflict conditions, but they aren’t that great since it’s only one forced save in 24 hours.

Difficult Swings [Weapon Mastery]: when you make a full attack with a melee weapon, the area you threaten is considered difficult terrain and the enemy can’t 5 foot step. Amazing with reach or Lunge. Hey, Barroom Brawler still applies to these!

Marksman’s Utility, Finesse Shot [Weapon Mastery]: you get some gunslinger stuff to do the utility shot deed, and can do some other stuff with it. Kinda cool, if you’re into it.

Impressive Grit [Weapon Mastery]: you get more gunslinger toys, cool. Mostly I see this feat as existing for Gunslingers to get more Signature Deeds. A target for Abundant Tactics.

Liberating Shot [Weapon Mastery]: a great one for Barroom Brawler, as you can free an ally from a grapple which is something that may not come up often.

Retributive Kick [Weapon Mastery]: yuck, needs Unarmed Strike investment which isn’t for you. This is for brawlers with VMC or martial focus.

Ricochet Toss [Weapon Mastery]: building a thrower? Of any kind? Take this so you don’t lose your expensive weapons.

Smash From the Air [Weapon Mastery]: hello, you can now parry ray spells and big boulders/ammunition from siege weapons.

Weapon Material Mastery [Weapon Mastery]: this has a long list of possible effects depending on the special material of your weapon. Mithral and Cold Iron stand out as the best to me, for free ‘dispels’ on choice enemy buffs.

Weapon Style Mastery [Weapon Mastery]: check out all those styles I listed, any of them that require Weapon Focus are considered Weapon Styles. You can have a Weapon style and any other style active at the same time (including another weapon style)! Suck it Master of Many Styles, we get this as a feat!


Armor Mastery Feats (Armor Master’s Handbook)

Like Weapon Mastery feats, Armor Mastery feats require you have armor training and are wearing the armor that the feat calls out. They are all combat feats.

Armor Material Expertise [Armor Mastery] [S]: A target for Abundant Tactics, these all have neat little buffs you can do twice per day, much like the weapon materials. Adamantine and Living Steel stick out to me as the best. Stamina lets you do whatever you want as much as you want, so long as you spend 5 stamina.

Armor Material Mastery [Armor Mastery]: you can use Armor Material Expertise two more times per day.

Cushioning Armor [Armor Mastery] [S]: convert half your fall damage to the armor. I’d rather find a way around the fall damage, like a ring of feather falling or something if you don’t have magical flight. Stamina lets you use the hardness.

Ironclad Reactions, Greater Ironclad Reactions [Armor Mastery] [S]: more 5-foot steps are nice, you gotta spend an AOO and you have to take the attack. Once per round before you get Greater. Stamina lets you bypass the costs and lets you do it without getting hit.

Poised Bearing, Imposing Bearing [Armor Mastery] [S]: you get treated as larger, and even larger for the purposes of determining whether or not someone can perform certain maneuvers against you. If you care about CMD and CMB immunity, this is how you do it. Stamina makes this dumb, in the good way.

Intense Blows, Knocking Blows [Armor Mastery] [S]: Power Attack now also adds to your CMD, boring. Knocking Blows helps you knock larger opponents down, which is less boring but still nigh unusable. Stamina doubles it, making it possible to work.

Secured Armor [Armor Mastery] [S]: upgrade a moderate fortification armor to heavy fortification armor for a feat, instead of wasting your last +2’s on it. Or just add light fortification to it for a feat. This is great for late game when you dump money into armor. Stamina allows you to make a failure to negate a crit deal half damage. So… it negates a crit…

Sprightly Armor [Armor Mastery] [S]: more initiative, because fighters apparently need the best initiative in the game, bar none. Not even diviner wizards can beat you if you invest all the way. 5 Stamina and you gain your enhancement bonus as a circumstance on Reflex.

Shield Mastery Feats (Armor Master’s Handbook)

These function using the same rules as armor mastery, but are a lot cooler in some regards as to what they allow.

Cushioning Shield [Shield Mastery] [S]: if you combine this with Cushioning Armor, you never take fall damage, but your armor does. Unless you spend stamina.

Defended Movement [Shield Mastery] [S]: +2 against AOOs, but this counts as both Dodge and Mobility for feat prerequisites, as in fighters get something nice! Stamina doubles the bonus.

Feint Defender [Shield Mastery] [S]: Shield bonus gets added to the DC to feint you, good for Barroom Brawler. Stamina gives them 5e disadvantage.

Greater Ray Shield [Shield Mastery] [S]: did you take Ray Shield? This protects your shield so you just block rays with it. Derp. Stamina lets you redirect that thing to another enemy within 60. Extra Derp.

Guarded Charge [Shield Mastery]: this bypasses Power Attack, STR 13, Improved Overrun, and Improved Bull Rush feat prerequisites. Cherry on top, you no longer provoke with either of those maneuvers.

Shield Brace [Shield Mastery] [S]: Sure, just use a two handed weapon with a shield, that’s not mechanically what the balancing points of shields were meant to be. Silly fighters, you have to use polearms or spears HA!. So, a nodachi (the best weapon in the game) or a spear/longspear (which also belong to the thrown group and have access to Perception as a Versatile Training option). Damn this is good. Joke’s on you, you still take the ACP as a penalty on attack rolls! HA! Unless you spend stamina or buy a Heavy Mithral Shield….. Damn this is good.

Shield Material Expertise, Shield Material Mastery [Shield Mastery]: these aren’t as good as the armor ones, and you’ll want a mithral heavy shield anyway (probably).

Shielded Mage [Shield Mastery]: only mentioning for the Child of Acavna and Amaznen, who love it.

Shielded Stand [Shield Mastery]: don’t provoke when you stand up from prone, situational. Barroom Brawler material.

Stumbling Bash, Toppling Bash [Shield Mastery][S]: if you use an Improved Shield Bash attack, the opponent takes -2 AC, just because. Also you get a swift trip attempt with absolutely no drawbacks, albeit at a penalty, unless you spend stamina.

Tower Shield Specialist [Shield Mastery]: Tower shields now work like armor for Armor Training and you can keep your DEX.

Unhindering Shield [Shield Mastery]: bucklers are now omnipotent.


Item Mastery Feats

All item mastery feats are intended to add some spell utility to any character, but are available to fighters though Advanced Weapon Training. They all require investment into UMD and Fort progression. They function as SLAs, using your BAB as the Caster Level and your CON as the relevant casting stat.

Ability Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): This feat allows you to give yourself a +2 enhancement bonus to one ability score. Great at low levels for getting what you need, and at later levels it can save you money on stat items if you only care about a +2 to a tertiary stat. Never useless.

Compulsion Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): you don’t wanna be that guy, trust me you don’t. Plus the save DC will suck.

Concealment Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): How can I rate this low? Well, you gotta invest into some skills I don’t like, I guess that’s how.

Curse Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): bestow curse can be good, but you won’t have good saves, unless you stack CON. Opens up Accursed Critical.

Dispel Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): Targeted Dispel is never ever going to be useless.

Energy Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): yuck, you aren’t the caster. Even the caster doesn’t wanna cast this.

Flight Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): fly? Yes fly. YES FLY! Almost always take this if you’re taking these at all.

Force Shield Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): Shield is an okay spell, but the bonus doesn’t scale well.

Illusion Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): seriously what will anyone use this for? No good.

Resistance Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): gold gets you better than this.

Restoration Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): amazing, lesser restoration fixes a lot of things though you can usually expect someone on the team to have a 1st level wand of it for 750gp.

Symbolic Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): you have a cleric or caster for this.

Telekinetic Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): it’s cool, but you can do better things.

Teleportation Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): YOWZA! One of the few ways to get pounce going a few times per day. If you can find a way to do this more, do it. I’m unclear on how Abundant Tactics works on this if it’s taken through an AWT feat option. My gut says no.

Vision Mastery (Weapon Master’s Handbook): if you don’t have darkvision, this is a great way to get it, See Invisibility is also really really good.

Weapon Evoker Mastery (Magic Tactics Toolbox): have a weapon that does energy damage? Spend a swift action and get an extra d4, unlimited times per day.

Traits

Traits are like little half-feats, and there are a lot of really good choices for the fighter. There’s also a lot of really bad choices. There are more complete guides out there that cover the traits in their entirety, I will be going over some of my favorites from each list. Generally, you want something that either gives you a flat bonus to something combat related, or you wanna get something as a class skill that you didn’t have before.

Campaign Traits

Outlander (Rise of the Runelords): this trait has several choices, one of which (Exile) gives a +2 on initiative checks which is important to note as there are other choices that do this, but coming from the Campaign list makes it worth noting in case you want a trait from another list.

Missing Child (Curse of the Crimson Throne): this trait has two choices, and both are great. One gives you both Diplomacy and Sense Motive as class skills and the other is a flat +1 on Will saves.

Optimistic Gambler (Second Darkness): with the various amounts of morale bonuses you have available to yourself, a free 1d4 rounds might not be bad. 

Researching the Blot (Second Darkness): this is an important one, as it allows you to identify magic items without detect magic, totally worth looking into.

Looking For Work (Second Darkness): it has a large number of skills you can pick up, Perception being the one that sticks out. Nice since it won’t eat your social trait, and +1 to it is usually as good as traits get.

Seeking Adventure (Legacy of Fire): Wayfinders are awesome, and in some cases integral to optimization builds thanks to the interaction with the opalescent white pyramid stone. This gives you a free one, and it can cast light at will. Nice!

Reclaiming your Roots (Legacy of Fire): start with a free masterwork armor or weapon worth up to 350gp. Really nice if you plan on using it the whole game.

Finding your Kin (Legacy of Fire): this one has heavy role playing roots, but man is it good. The wording may be lost on some, but it appears you get +1 HP and +1 SP in addition to whatever other favored class benefit you want. Like, more SPs, combine with Fast Learner and your skill problem solves itself.

Conspiracy Hunter (Council of Thieves): a boring trait that gives you a single class skill with a +1, but the list to choose from is pure gold, or purple. Perception, Sense Motive, Diplomacy, and Knowledge (Local) are all things you want.

Shadow Child (Council of Thieves): this is amazing on rogues, but it has it’s uses. Ignoring the 20% miss chance in dim light is nothing to sneeze at for a trait. Some feats aren’t even this good.

Pathfinder’s Exile (Council of Thieves): the same thing as Seeking Adventure, you get a free Wayfinder.

Pioneer (Kingmaker): free horse. Use it to lug your stuff, not to build a character around.

Sword Scion (Kingmaker): if you plan on using a dueling sword or longsword this trait is invaluable since it’s a free Weapon Focus that stacks with weapon focus, plus free weapon to start.

Jenivere Crew/ Ship’s Crew (Serpent’s Skull): I guess you can get Acrobatics? I’m trying to include at least one trait from each campaign and this seems to be the only viable one for this campaign book.

Chance Savior (Carrion Crown): +2 initiative

Teacher’s Pet (Carrion Crown): +2 on a knowledge AND it’s a class skill, very few traits give this combo and it’s really good. My choice would be local or arcana.

Best Friend (Jade Regent): Another +2 trait bonus and class skill status, choose diplomacy or bluff. I like diplomacy, especially if you lack CHA.

Foster Child (Jade Regent): +2 trait bonus and class skill status on a knowledge check. Good stuff. [your mother joke goes here]

Friend of the Family (Jade Regent): Perception, it’s important I hear, especially in printed campaigns, like the one this comes from.

Ancient Explorer (Skull and Shackles): pick local

Barroom Talespinner (Skull and Shackles): aside from being really cool, you can get Diplomacy as a class skill.

Local Ties (Shattered Star): I get a really, rogue-y feeling from this, but it might be good if you’re in a tech based game and not a magic based one.

Serpent Runner (Shattered Star): -1 ACP has its benefits, like taking an archetype that gives up heavy proficiency, being able to stack this trait with the Armor Training class feature negates the lack of proficiency if you get the ACP low enough. This also helps with your TWF builds.

Adaptive Magic (Reign of Winter): UMD as a class skill and +1 to it and a +1 on arcana. Not bad, if you need it.

Foreign Opportunist (Mummy’s Mask): mo’ money -> less problems. It also gives you a +2 on appraise and it as a class skill, really strong trait.

Resurrected (Mummy’s Mask): very few traits have this amount of power, you have an extra 4 turns to bleed before you die. Normally though, you don;t wanna plan on being that low on HP. +2 on death effects though you will never regret having once you need it.

Trap Finder (Mummy’s Mask): suck it rogues! It’s the one time that Disable Device is worth investing into, and you get it as a class skill and for free. If you don’t have a rogue in your group, this can cover the ‘trap finder’ role for you (duh).

Undead Crusader (Mummy’s Mask): are you gonna fight a lotta undead? Take this.

Combat Traits

Alert (People of the Stars): 1/day take 10 on initiative. I’d rather just skyrocket my initiative, especially once I have sufficient stamina to just take 20’s.

Anatomist: +1 to confirm crits, not useless, but not amazing.

Armor Expert: this has its uses, though it’s mostly redundant with armor training it can help bypass penalties if you took an archetype that gives up heavy armor proficiency.

Axe to Grind: this can be good if you’re the only melee guy on your team, and there’s a lot of feats that use the same trigger.

Cautious Warrior (Weapon Master’s Handbook): fight defensively a lot? This can help with that. Seems to be better for Crane Monks, but it’s here.

Crowd Dodger (Quests & Campaigns): if you’re gonna build to tumble, this can help in combat.

Defender of the Society (Faction Guide & Shattered Star): this trait is the end all for fighters. Since you are a fighter, I don’t have to tell you about the workaround available in the Shattered Star Player’s Guide. +1 AC, amazing. Trait bonus, so it applies to everything including touch and flat footed. DUHHH trait.

Fencer: +1 on AOOs with swords and blades. Meh.

Firebug (Quests & Campaigns): for that one ratfolk build.

Hard to Kill (Champions of Purity): it makes stabilizing easier, which is a good thing, but planning around dying isn’t.

Hill Fighter (Sargava, the Lost Colony): you may find a lot of use in this if you are building for the charger/ almost pouncer. It skips an Acrobatics check when charging down a slope.

Honorable Champion (Weapon Master’s Handbook): on select nasty Will saves, you can either force a save out of it or roll twice. Don’t doubt it.

Improvised Defense (Bastards of Golarion): this is only here to justify my hatred for two-weapon defense. Improvised Weapons suck, but for a trait you can also give yourself +1 shield bonus for using one.

Inspiring Rush (Knights of the Inner Sea): 1/day get +1/+1 on a charge. I wish it could do more.

Mantis Bleeding (Weapon Master’s Handbook): this is just disgusting, it’s almost as good as the feat. When you crit with a Slashing weapon, the enemy takes 1 bleed.

Monk Weapon Skill (Weapon Master’s Handbook): are you selecting a weapon from the monk group to be your primary weapon? This is a nice +1 damage flat.

Muscle of the Society (Pathfinder Society Primer): +2 on STR checks and +2 STR for carrying capacity. Never underestimate how important this could be on some builds.

Reactionary: classic +2 initiative.

Reckless: Acrobatics beeeeeeeeeesh

River Fighter (Sargava the Lost Colony): plan to fight in a river a lot? This is good. Don’t plan on it? This is bad.

Scarred by Space Pirates (People of the Stars): humanoids are a very common enemy, and this spans the whole type. Awesome.

Slippery (Faction Guide): Stealth. Not your bag.

Soaring Sprinter (Quests & Campaigns): I’m trying to think of a use for acrobatics other than balancing or jumping, and the only one I can think of is tumbling through an enemy square, but still +2 and class skill status are nice.

Steel Skin (Knights of the Inner Sea): If your DM cares about the time to put on armor, this is amazing, and a +2 bonus on intimidate can’t be beat for a trait.

Surprise Weapon: +2 on attacks with improvised weapons, which themselves aren’t good to build around but it’s here and if that’s what you’re going for, go for it.

Tactician: +1 on initiative isn’t as good as the other feats, and 1/day +2 on an AOO is just as mediocre.

Threatening Defender (Cheliax, Empire of Devils): Combat Expertise gets slightly better, if you plan on using it at all, take this.

Thunder and Fang Performer (Weapon Master’s Handbook): +2 on intimidate if you’re using a BFW. Nice.

Vandal (Heroes of the Wild): you get better at sundering things.

Vengeful (Quests & Campaigns): +1 damage against anything that damaged you already. Better to not take damage, but tanks who plan on it can use this.

Weapon of Peace (Champions of Purity): you have better ways to just negate the penalty, not reduce it.

Witty Repartee (Faction Guide): Bluff.

Equipment Traits

Dealmaker (Adventurer’s Armory): if your DM is a stickler for letting you find certain things that you want gear-wise, this is a big help mechanically.

Extremely Fashionable (Adventurer’s Armory): +1 on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate plus y