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Scorching Weapons is a feat that adds 1 fire damage to your held metallic weapons. This damage explicitly does not stack with certain other fire damage (emphasis mine):

Scorching Weapons
Prerequisites: Ifrit
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fire attacks and spells with the fire descriptor or light descriptor. As a swift action, you can make up to two held manufactured metallic weapons become red-hot for 1 round, dealing 1 additional point of fire damage with a successful hit. This does not stack with other effects that add fire damage to weapons, such as the flaming weapon special ability.

The Elementalist Shifter, however, has the following ability at level 1:

Elemental Strike (Su): At 1st level, as a swift action, an elementalist shifter can charge her melee attacks with elemental energy. The elementalist shifter can charge her attacks only with an element she has chosen with elemental aspect. Once charged, each melee attack the elementalist shifter makes until the start of her next turn deals an additional 1d6 points of energy damage based on the element she chooses when taking this action (see Elemental Aspects on page 79). This additional damage increases by 1d6 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter, to a maximum of 6d6 points of energy damage at 20th level. An elementalist shifter can’t use elemental strike while under a polymorph effect. This replaces shifter claws.

Is there a difference between adding fire damage to a weapon and adding fire damage to an attack? Can an ifrit with Scorching Weapons and a level of Elementalist Shifter (choosing fire as her shifter aspect) effectively deal 1d6+1 fire damage with each attack, as long as the attack is made with a manufactured metallic weapon?

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Technically, the two effects can't combine…

I tried really hard to find an argument in favor of the elementalist shifter archetype's supernatural ability elemental strike combining with the Scorching Weapon feat's benefit for a cumulative effect, but when the feat says, "This [damage] does not stack with other effects that add fire damage to weapons," its edict is nearly ironclad.

See, it doesn't matter precisely when the extra damage is supposed to be added, be it during an attack or on a successful hit. Really, whether it's when an attack's made or when a hit is score or both, neither ability has any effect if the attacker misses. This means that, despite their possibly different time stamps, both abilities really are, in the end, trying to change the weapon's extra fire damage, and the Scorching Weapon feat is clear: No, that doesn't happen because the Scorching Weapon feat's extra damage straight-up "does not stack with other effects that add fire damage to weapons." It doesn't care how, and it doesn't care when.

So, yeah, I'd really like to find a way to read these two effects so that they can combine, but in good conscience, I can't. The elemental shifter archetype's elemental strike really does add extra fire damage to a weapon's normal damage, so it won't work with the Scorching Weapon feat. Sorry. It always sucks to find a flavorful archetype like elementalist shifter and a flavorful feat like Scorching Weapon and realize the two great tastes don't taste great together.

…And the swift action bottleneck makes it worse

The feat Scorching Weapon, in part, says, "As a swift action, you can make up to two held manufactured metallic weapons become red-hot for 1 round…" (emphasis mine). The supernatural ability elemental strike, in part, says, that "as a swift action, [she] can charge her melee attacks [so that] each melee attack the elementalist shifter makes until the start of her next turn deals an additional 1d6 points of energy damage…"(emphasis mine). In other words, until the character can take two swift actions on her turn, there's no option for stacking them anyway.

Find a way, though, and in my campaign I'd let them stack

Given the vastness of the Pathfinder corpus, I'm certain multiple ways exist to benefit from those abilities simultaneously. With that in mind, were you at my table, and the only thing holding back you realizing your dream PC was that the Scorching Weapon feat's fire damage didn't stack with the elementalist shifter archetype's supernatural ability elemental strike, I'd totally let them stack. I just can't imagine a PC breaking the campaign by being able to deal for one round once per day 1 extra point of fire damage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh whoops, I looked right past the fact that both are swift actions and last only 1 round. So really the point is moot. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 8, 2021 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Balance wise, note that if you had some way to apply both, cold shifter damage would stack with the 1 point of fire, while fire wouldn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yakk
    Jul 8, 2021 at 14:05

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