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For a PFS play, I am planning to prestige my conjurer-specialist Wizard (currently level 5) into the Evangelist of Nethys.

So, level 5 Wizard is

BAB +2, Base Saves +1, +1, +4

But on level 6 the chassis actually get a long-awaited bump to

BAB +3, Base Saves +2, +2, +5

At level 7 these look: Wizard 5/Evangelist 2

BAB +3, Base Saves +1, +2, +4

Wizard 6/Evangelist 1

BAB +3, Base Saves +2, +3, +5

At level 12, each option will have levels of Evangelist on top of it, making them respectively:

Wizard 5/Evangelist 7

BAB +7, Base Saves +3, +5, +6

Wizard 6/Evangelist 6

BAB +7, Base Saves +4, +5, +7

Looks similar, but for the Seeker tier and further on: Wizard 5/Evangelist 8

BAB +8, Base Saves +3, +5, +6

Wizard 6/Evangelist 7

BAB +8, Base Saves +4, +6, +7

And essentially Wiz5+E is just catching up in terms of BAB and saves to Wiz6+E all the way, which is most noticable during first levels of Evangelist.

From an optimization standpoint, which will be a better option: going Evangelist for level 6, or delaying one level to get Wizard's BAB and saves increases? Is BAB+Saves comparable to Evangelist's other features: skill points and class skills, divine boons one level earlier, and so on?

Or is it neglectable to the point of the answer being: "whatever, one BAB earlier or later doesn't make a difference, go with what gives you more fun" (which I probably am going to do).

The three boons for being an evangelist of nethys are:

1: Arcane Essence (Sp) mage armor 3/day, mirror image 2/day, or fly 1/day

2: Arcane Eye (Sp) You can use arcane eye three times per day as a spell-like ability. The arcane eye you summon functions as if you had cast arcane sight and were able to view its information through the arcane eye. This allows you to see magical auras through the arcane eye, and potentially identify the schools of magic involved. You can also potentially determine the spellcasting or spell-like abilities of viewed creatures, as noted in the spell description.

3: Robes of Nethys (Su) You can manifest an illusory robe that absorbs hostile spells for a number of rounds per day equal to 1 + 1 for every 4 Hit Dice you possess (maximum 6 rounds). These rounds don’t need to be consecutive, and you can activate or deactivate the robe as a free action. The robe functions as a lesser globe of invulnerability except that it only excludes hostile spell effects of 3rd level or lower. Any spell that would force you to attempt a saving throw; cause you to take hit point damage, negative levels, ability drain, or ability damage; or end your life is considered hostile for the purposes of this effect. Unlike a lesser globe of invulnerability, you can move normally while cloaked in the robes.

Inner Sea Gods pg. 100

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There is very little reason not to enter the prestige class as soon as possible. BAB matters not even slightly for the overwhelming majority of wizards: touch attacks are easy to make, and a typical wizard should never be targeting armored AC (or caring about iteratives). The saving throw bonuses matter somewhat more, but ultimately you’ll never be down by more than 1; valuable, but not worth delaying class features over.

Unfortunately, I should warn you that Paizo has overcompensated for what they felt was too much use of prestige classes in 3.5. The game punishes you harshly for any multiclassing, and that includes prestige classes. I don’t own Inner Sea Gods, but unless these divine boons are phenomenally potent, evangelist is actually a pretty harsh downgrade in power. Wizards are overpowered, and PFS play is not typically all that demanding, power-wise, so you’ll probably be fine even with a downgrade, but you should go into that aware of it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think it's that harsh of a downgrade in power. Evangelist has the Aligned class feature, which gives you "She gains all the class features for this class, essentially adding every evangelist level beyond 1st to her aligned class to determine what class features she gains. ", so it's really closer to taking a 1-level dip. \$\endgroup\$ – ChrisPy Dec 1 '16 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisPy Yes, a 1-level dip is a (very) harsh downgrade for a wizard. Almost nothing in the game is as powerful as a level of wizard spellcasting progression. 50% of the time, you’re down a spell level, and that is monumental. Also, you lose ten levels of favored class bonuses, which can be significant. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 1 '16 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ The class is on the SRD, the divine boons are mostly 1/day or 3/day spell-like abilities. What you gain from the class is simply those SLA in a 3-steps progression and a few abilities that can easily be achieved through spells, but pretty much count as extra spell lots. I believe one would go into the evangelist for story purposes, not mechanical benefits. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Dec 1 '16 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras Thanks, it’s not on d20PFSRD and I didn’t even think to check Paizo’s own. And yes, I expect that story purposes are the reasoning behind wanting to use the class to begin with, and like I said, there shouldn’t really be a problem here, since the wizard has so much power to lose that it can afford even a big hit like this. It was just offered as possibly-relevant information that one should be aware of when making the decision. After all, it’s not really what one would expect to happen, if one weren’t familiar with the system’s foibles. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Dec 1 '16 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah yes, thank you. Going into this prestige is more or less a story decision, so the question was earlier or later. I also sort of don't use a favorite class bonus, since for human wizard it's either +1 hp or +1 skill, but with this prestige I get both d8 instead of d6 hit die and 6+int skills instead of 2+int. \$\endgroup\$ – Nox Dec 1 '16 at 19:34

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