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If I read Double Slice correctly I can conduct two attacks but the precise damage is only applied once. Let us say I fight with a Rapier in the primary and a Short Sword in the secondary hand.

If I flank I could apply sneak damage to both attacks normally. But if I attack with Double Slice, I would only be able to apply sneak damage once.

Is that correct and would there still be a reason to choose Double Slice?

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2 Answers 2

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That's accurate; Double Slice is better against "Tanky" targets

Double Slice allows you to make two attacks before taking the -5 (-4 with your shortsword) penalty to hit. Your maximum damage is reduced by removing your Sneak Attack damage, but your average damage will be higher against opponents that you have trouble hitting. If you need a 14+ on the die to hit, you would need an 18-20 to hit with your shortsword normally. You can get 20% better chance to hit for a reduction of 1-4d6 "potential" damage.

It also helps against creatures with high Resistance. If a creature is resisting significant portions of your damage, specifically more than your Sneak Attack dice would deal (average of 3.5-14, which is well within normal amounts of Resistance), you win out by hitting twice with Double Slice and only taking the damage reduction once.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Beat me by ten seconds, well done ;) The resistance point is a good one, I didn't think of that! \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Jun 16 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't directly associate the word "tanky" with being hard to hit, if that is what you are saying. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FerventHippo I meant in the general sense of hard to kill. High AC or high HP both qualify \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 17 at 15:33
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Your interpretation is correct

You can only apply Sneak Attack once with Double Slice - and you'll have to be flanking your opponent either way (or have some other means of them being flat-footed).

When to Double Slice?

There are many hundreds of permutations of relative AC, attack bonuses, etc., and all of them will vary depending on what percentage of your damage Sneak Attack is. In some cases, Double Slice will be useful; here's some rules of thumb:

  • When your second attack with MAP is unlikely to hit anyway, Double Slice will generally be better; if you're only going to hit once, the penalty of not being able to apply Sneak Attack twice won't be noticeable. This is most likely against higher-level boss-types, shield/heavy armor types, and other targets with high AC (or something like invisibility).
  • When your second attack with MAP is likely to hit, Double Slice will be worse.
  • If you don't have a flat-footed target, Double Slice is just better. An obvious case, but an important one to acknowledge.

If you have some specific situations you want to look at, feel free to comment and I'll delve more into specific math. Things that would be helpful to know:

  • Are you a Thief Rogue that is maxing Dexterity?
  • Are you getting your Fundamental Runes on level? Earlier? Later? Or are you using Automatic Bonus Progression?
  • For your Property Runes, are you grabbing damage dealing runes? What kind?
  • Are you grabbing any Critical Hit rider effects (from Runes or otherwise)?
  • Are you grabbing any special Debilitations (importantly, like Precise Debilitations)?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah but you have a good point about the weapon/rune choices mattering (as well as other Class Feats) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Jun 16 at 18:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ What is MAP? (Aplologies, but even googling "pathfinder map abbreviations" did not work that well ... to many maps in role playing games, I guess). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 17 at 5:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Multiple Attack Penalty, which refers to the fact that the second and later Strikes in a turn get a penalty to hit. \$\endgroup\$
    – Acacia
    Jun 17 at 9:50

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