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This is really three questions.

  1. If a class says that it grants the benefits of a certain feat, do I need to meet the prerequisites for that feat in order to actually receive the benefits?

    For example, a duelist "gains the benefit of the Deflect Arrows feat when using a light or one-handed piercing weapon" at 9th level. Although it does state that I don't need a free hand to use the ability, do I still need IUS and Dex 13 as per the prerequisites of the feat itself? I would assume not, because the ability gives the duelist the benefits of the feat, not the actual feat.

  2. Can I take the actual Deflect Arrows feat in addition to this ability? Because the conditions are different (holding a light/one-handed piercing weapon for the duelist ability; free hand for the feat), it would still carry some benefit.

  3. Do I need to take Deflect Arrows separately, as a feat, in order to meet some other requirement that I have Deflect Arrows?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think for completion’s sake, answers should address whether or not you can use a class feature granting “the benefits of” a feat as that feat for the prerequisites of other feats/prestige classes. Would you object to this question being added here? \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 15 '15 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Nope, both my questions were already answered and it's a fair addition. \$\endgroup\$ – Hydrothermal Jan 15 '15 at 14:07
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1) Look at how feats are written. They are written

Prerequisites: ...

Benefit: ...

The duelist class ability says you gain the benefit. It says nothing about the prerequisites. You get what it says (the benefits) and don't need the rest (the prerequisites). It even goes further to modify the benefit by saying you don't need a free hand to use it--you'll find that most "free feats as class abilities" work this way. So specifically, you do not need IUS or 13 dex to use Deflect Arrows as granted by Duelist.

2) Yes, you can still take it as a feat assuming you meet the prereqs--there is nothing that precludes you from taking it. Depending on whether you can use it more than once per round by having it from two separate sources is an issue your GM needs to decide as it's the same benefit and there are conflicting opinions about the same benefit from separate sources. Most GMs will tell you no as these two specific benefits even come from an ability/feat with the same name.

3) It's not explicitly written in the book one way or another. The answer should be yes, but that will be up to your individual GM. We can fall back on SKR's famous post (famous to pathfinder rules forum nerds..) with a quote from a forum post answering exactly what you're asking.

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. If you line up Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Duckman, and Howard the Duck, from a game standpoint it makes sense that a +1 duck-bane arrow is going to do +2d6 damage in addition to normal arrow damage if you shoot any of them, because they're all ducks. And if you shot that arrow at "Duckie" from Pretty in Pink, it wouldn't get any bonus damage, because he isn't a duck. And you should be able to see why those first four are ducks and the last one isn't.

source for quote http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ln8z?Can-a-Life-Oracle-with-Channeling-take#30

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think for completion’s sake, you should address whether or not you can use a class feature granting “the benefits of” a feat as that feat for the prerequisites of other feats/prestige classes. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 15 '15 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Addressed. Also good point in specifically adding the question from the title into the actual post \$\endgroup\$ – claudekennilol Jan 15 '15 at 14:16
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  1. No, you don't need the prerequisites. As a class ability, you gain the benefits of a certain feat under certain circumstances with no strings attached. Some classes explicitly clarify that you don't need the prerequisites (monk and ranger, I believe, are the examples).

  2. Yes, you can, since the class ability is not the actual feat. You will need to fulfill its prerequisites, though.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think for completion’s sake, you should address whether or not you can use a class feature granting “the benefits of” a feat as that feat for the prerequisites of other feats/prestige classes. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 15 '15 at 14:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I remember seeing a question about that a couple of days ago, but can't find it. If you do happen to have a link, it would be useful. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeor Mattan Jan 15 '15 at 14:28

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