4
\$\begingroup\$

I saw the feat Dual Strike:

Additional Prerequisite(s): Double Slice, Improved Vital Strike

As a standard action, you can make two attacks, one with each weapon you’re wielding, applying the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting to each.

This feat has Improved Vital Strike as a prerequisite, should I assume it works with Vital Strike?

Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.

Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision-based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

\$\endgroup\$
6
\$\begingroup\$

No, Dual Strike does not benefit from Vital Strike.

From the Dual Strike text (emphasis mine):

As a standard action, you can make two attacks, one with each weapon you’re wielding, applying the normal penalties for two-weapon fighting to each.

From the Vital Strike text (emphasis mine):

When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack twice...

From the PFSRD on "Attacks":

Most of the common actions characters take, aside from movement, fall into the realm of standard actions.

Attack
Making an attack is a standard action.

An attack action is a specific action described in the rules, and Vital Strike only triggers when you use this specific action. Dual Strike does not modify the standard Attack action; instead it grants you the ability to use a different action (presumably called Dual Strike). Because using Dual Strike is not using the Attack action, it does not benefit from (Improved) Vital Strike.

Unfortunately Pathfinder has a lot of feats whose design is... questionable at best, especially when it comes to prerequisites. As a result, you can't use the fact that feat A requires feat B as evidence that the benefits of feats A & B can be combined.

Why would you Dual Strike if it doesn't benefit from Vital Strike?

Dual Strike & Vital Strike multiply different parts of your damage. The Vital Strike chain multiples your weapon damage. Dual Strike, on the other hand, allows you to attack with both weapons when dual-wielding. If you're dual-wielding weapons with a small damage die (e.g. daggers, with a d4), then Improved Vital Strike would do 3d4+Str+other damage, while Dual Strike would do 2d4+(2*Str)+(2*other) damage. If your Strength bonus and other damage bonuses (flaming weapons, etc.) come out to more than the damage die of your main-hand weapon (and they probably do), then a Dual Strike would do more damage than an Improved Vital Strike.

I can't imagine a situation in which it would be worth spending all the feats to get Dual Strike, but if, inexplicably, you have Dual Strike, then using it is probably going to do more damage than using Improved Vital Strike. Unless you're doing something pretty weird, though, you want to full attack (since that does the most damage), and you're better served by investing your resources into getting Pounce (the ability to full attack on a charge) than by optimizing standard action attacks. Just like attacking twice (Dual Strike) did more damage than attacking once with some bonuses (Vital Strike), attacking many times (full attack) is better than attacking some smaller number of times with bonuses; it has the further advantage of not costing tons of feats.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the hedging on “almost never” is wrong—it’s literally never worth it. The Vital Strike line is extremely weak, this benefit is ok but not even remotely “four feats” amazing, and it prevents you from actually using all those Vital Strike feats you took to get it. The effect would be perfectly fine, and possibly worth a feat that requires just, say, Two-Weapon Fighting alone, but as is if you aren’t getting this as a bonus feat ignoring prerequisites, you’re making a mistake if you get it at all. Which, of course, means it is an utter failure of design, and shouldn’t have seen print. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 12 '19 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan "An utter failure of design, and shouldn't have seen print." You mean like 90% of Pathfinder feats for martial characters? \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Dec 12 '19 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair, unfortunately, but this is spectacularly blatant about it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 12 '19 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Are you happier with the current phrasing? Also, it's worth noting that someone might choose Vital Strike, Dual Strike, etc. for thematic reasons; not everyone focuses on optimizing damage, even if we, as their teammates, might want them to. \$\endgroup\$ – Oblivious Sage Dec 12 '19 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am happier with it—though to be clear, I didn’t actually have a problem per se with the old. Anyway, optimizing isn’t mandatory, no, but this is an egregious level of anti-optimization, and I’m struggling to see what theme these feats could possibly enable. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 12 '19 at 16:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.