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I am currently playing a level 7 Magus in a pathfinder group, almost level 8.

I was considering to buy an elemental metamagic rod, so that when I use spellstrike with shocking grasp, I can try to bypass electric resistance/immunity.

Given that you have to choose the element at the time of creation of the rod, and that I can pick between cold, fire or acid, which one of these would be the most effective, that is, which one has less monsters with resistance/immunity to that kind of damage AND to electric damage?

In other words, given the following energy combinations:

  • Electric + cold
  • Electric + fire
  • Electric + acid

with which one do I have the lowest chances to find a monster/enemy which is resistant/immune to both energy types?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, the resistances in order of most to least common are Fire, Cold, Electricity, then Acid. This is why when I played my Magus I specialized in Electricity and Acid. I don't have the Bestiary stats to to back up my claim though (hence comment vs. answer), it's just what I've experienced. \$\endgroup\$ – Kymvaris Jul 22 '15 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ The last post in this thread cites a table from the d20pfsrd, but for some reason he doesn't link to it. He does give numbers though, and @Kymvaris is correct, although the differences between those 4 elements is fairly small. \$\endgroup\$ – Lucas Leblanc Jul 22 '15 at 14:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ My one concern here is that picking the rod based on what monsters one is likely to face is a form of meta-gaming. A very light form, but you should still ask yourself which would our Magus pick and why. \$\endgroup\$ – Lawtonfogle Jul 22 '15 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would it be metagaming? Wouldn't an adventurer strive to be prepared at the best to his chances given his funds? I think that this is a kind of reasoning that the character itself could make. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Tassinari Jul 22 '15 at 20:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kymvaris certainly he doesn't know the stats, but given the quite high scores in knowledge, both nature and planes, he should now if some creature has some "known" kind of resistance. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Tassinari Jul 22 '15 at 20:33
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Fire > Cold > Electricity > Acid

To answer your first question, in general, your best bet would be to make your Elemental Metamagic Rod an Acid Rod. In my experience the fewest number of creatures in all the Bestiaries have resistance/immunity to Acid. However, take this with a grain of salt because your campaign setting may be completely different. My experience is with the default Pathfinder setting, Golarion.

The last post of this tread on the Paizo Messageboards (thanks @Lucas Leblanc for the link!) cites a table with statistics from d20pfsrd.com but does not link to it, so take it with a grain of salt. I could not find the original table on d20pfsrd.com. The numbers from the thread are:

  • 319 creatures with resistance/immunity to fire
  • 305 creatures with resistance/immunity to cold
  • 268 creatures with resistance/immunity to electricity
  • 258 creatures with resistance/immunity to acid
  • 52 creatures with resistance/immunity to sonic (a significant contingient of which are agathions)
  • 0 creatures with reistance/immunity to force

As @Lucas Leblanc points out, the differences between those numbers are really quite small (between the elemental types) so what will be most effective for you really depends on your campaign and setting. For example, if your campaign takes place in the north (like Irrisen or Whitethrone), you'll likely encounter more creatures that are resistant/immune to Cold than Fire even though technically more creatures are resistant/immune to Fire than Cold. Additionally, many outsiders (elementals, devils, demons, etc) are resistant to Fire and Cold and not many at all are resistant to Electricity or Acid (thanks @GreySage for reminding me of this!). Rise of the Runelords (RotRL) has quite a few outsider encounters in it, if I remember correctly. I've never played it, but I've read a few of the books and I did play Shattered Star which is kinda like RotRL 2.0 with a lot of Runelord emphasis.

I did find this Google spreadsheet which contains the stats from about 1200 monsters from the various Bestiaries (it may or may not contain all monsters, I don't know) and has a whole tab for resistance statistics. The table is broken out by CR, which is kinda cool. For example, of the CR 1 monsters:

  • Fire: 3.70% resistant, 1.23% immune
  • Cold: 2.47% resistant, 4.94% immune
  • Electricity: 2.47% resistant, 2.47% immune
  • Acid: 1.23% resistant, 2.47% immune
  • Sonic: 1.23% resistant, 0.00% immune

I also played a Magus who specialized in Electricity but could switch to Acid when necessary, and it was very effective. I never encountered a monster that was resistant to both Electricity and Acid but I would not go so far as to say that a monster like that does not exist.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer! Just to let you know, we are currently playing the "rise of the runelords" campaign in the default setting. \$\endgroup\$ – Matteo Tassinari Jul 22 '15 at 15:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition, many outsiders and other things have resistance/immunity to fire and cold, while very few things have it to Elec and Acid. Almost nothing is resistant to Sonic, since it was a late addition to D&D and hence PF. Force doesn't often do damage, besides Magic Missile it is mostly buffs, debuff, obstacles and the like, so resistance wouldn't do anything most of the time. \$\endgroup\$ – GreySage Jul 22 '15 at 16:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Jeez your answer has everything. Impressive research here. I'll have to bookmark this one for later. \$\endgroup\$ – Sandwich Jul 22 '15 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Matteo Tassinari, you're welcome. I've not played RotRL, so I can't help much there. I've only read a few of the books. I have played Shattered Star, which is similar. @GreySage, thanks for those points. I've included them in the answer because it's a pretty essential creature type. \$\endgroup\$ – Kymvaris Jul 22 '15 at 17:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ For the record, a Doru Div has resistance to acid and eletricity. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 22 '15 at 18:10

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