One Punch Build (as a Kineticist, suprisingly)

This isn't a question, I'm just doing some theory-crafting and math. As a disclaimer, I've never played a game of Pathfinder (although I may... eventually). I've wanted to do a one-punch concept for a while, but haven't been able to get decent enough damage numbers from a Monk class.

The key to a One-Punch build is the Pummeling Style, which can let you bypass a bit of DR from an enemy by letting all your Flurry of Blows hits as a Monk/Brawler to all hit as a single attack. So, how do we make Flurry of Blows more powerful? Well, we can add more damage per punch (which goes up to 2d10 at lvl 20 for Monk) or we can add more punches (via Two-Weapon Fighting feats or growing more arms with Multi-Weapon Fighting).

Monks and Brawlers can't just grow extra arms, and their extra damage is limited to the 2d10 of a max level character (not including crit feats or +1/+2 damage feats). So... who CAN grow extra arms?

Enter the Kineticist. Yep, the sucky class. Specifically, the Earth Element. Kineticists can use "Elemental Saturations" to level up their elemental powers (slightly) with varied results. Usually, the penalties for failing a Saturation are pretty severe, but Earth is a little unique. Upon failing an Earth Saturation, the Player Character gains a deformity from the Mutant template.

So, what is the Mutant Template? When the mutant template is added to any living, corporeal creature, it gains horrible deformities and helpful benefits. Now, the wording for the Earth Saturation merely says "gain a deformity", but according to the Mutant Template, whenever you gain a deformity, you gain a benefit as well (the final decision will be up to your GM; I'd say bait them into allowing it, by playing the "my class is inherently weak" card). In addition, you can take an additional deformity for a second benefit, and get another free benefit for every 5 levels you possess when you gain the mutant template.

Your deformities are yours to decide (I recommend Fragile and Misshapen for Kineticists), but the important benefit to pay attention to is "Extra Arm", which can be taken as many times as you have benefits available. Assuming we gain this template at level 5 and gain two deformities, that's 3 benefits to play with. For this discussion, we'll use 2 Extra Arms and Celerity.

So now we have extra arms. What about extra damage?

One of the Kineticist Archetypes is Elemental Ascetic, which gives it the Flurry of Blows class feature when using the Kinetic Fist form infusion. Normally, this form infusion is very underwhelming. But with this Archetype, and the extra arms from the Mutant Template, there is potential for your damage to skyrocket. In addition, an Elemental Ascetic can increase the extra damage from Kinetic Fist by accepting burn, up from d6s to d12s. As a bonus, when creating your character, try to grab the Heavy Hitter Regional Trait to increase your unarmed damage by 1.

From all these sources, I came up with the following equation for a level 16 Kineticist. Keep in mind that this includes punches from 4 arms in Flurry of Blows (from 3 separate BABs at level 16), +3 punches from the Flurry of Blows benefits, +1 punch from Celerity (Haste).

NOTE: Apparently, the exact way for multiple weapon wielding to interact with Flurry of Blows is somewhat vague, and apparently was the center of huge rules fiasco; so for the purpose of this discussion, I'm using it as written. That is, Flurry of Blows adds extra attacks "as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat", which implies it is NOT the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat, which further implies that they can be used together (albeit the attack penalties for doing this are still vague).

US = (4d4+4)BAB12) + (4d4+4)BAB7 + (4d4+4)BAB2 + (1d4+1)FoB-2 + (1d4+1)FoB-5 + (1d4+1)FoB-10 + (1d4+1)HST + 11.5*STR

US, Unarmed Strike
BAB, Basic Attack Bonus
FoB, Flurry of Blows
HST, Haste
STR, Strength Modifier: (1+0.5+0.5+0.5) for each BAB, (1) for each FoB, (1) for HST.
Extra +1 from the Heavy Hitter regional trait

Statistically, these variables should average out to 2.5, so let's be conservative and round down to 2. Assuming every attack hits and our STR is 13 (mod of 2), you'll get a total damage value of US=48+23, or 71. Pretty solid damage for a full attack action, right? Not done yet, though.

Now we do extra damage from your Kinetic Fist Form Infusion. The text says this infusion can be used with any blast, which includes Composite Blasts (which do twice as much damage as a simple blast). Unfortunately, we CANNOT use Gravitic Boost to increase this infusion's damage, as the potential blast damage is only used to calculate the damage added to your Unarmed Strike, and is based on the NUMBER of damage dice, not the VALUE of the damage dice. For this example, we will use Magma Blast.

KF (Kinetic Fist) adds 1d6 damage at lvl 1, and adds an additional 1d6 per 3 damage dice from your blast.

Magma Blast does 2d6+2 damage, plus extra 2d6+2s for every 2 levels. At level 16, that's 8(2d6+2), for a total of 16 damage dice, which adds 5d6s to KF for a total of 6d6s. Then, use the Powerful Fist ability from Elemental Ascetic to increase the damage variable to d12s. All in all, 6d12s can give you a max of 72 damage. This 72 can be reliably hit every time by using the Maximize Spell Metakinesis.

Not to mention you can add Empower Spell as well for 1 extra burn, which adds half your variable damage rolled to your total result. Empower Spell's average for the equation above works out to 39 damage. So, to recap:

US (16 hits) = 71(avg)
MS = 72 (extra damage per hit, so x16)
ES = 39 (avg, extra damage per hit, so x16)
Current Total = 1847 damage, assuming every punch hits
Current Burn = 1 (Magma Blast costs 1 at level 16, 4 burn is mitigated from Powerful Fist at level 16, Internal Buffer saves you 3 more burn from both Empower and Maximize)

Do you want to add more damage? Okay, let's do it!

If you pick up the Kinetic Form Utility Wild Talent, you can change your size to Huge at level 16, and increase your Unarmed Strike damage from d4s to d8s. That brings your average up to 4.5 (we'll round down to 4), and your total US damage to 103.


Kineticists naturally qualify for a feat called Branch Pounce, assuming they put skill points into Acrobatics and Dex. By using this, and maybe one of your Utility talents to fly up and gain height, you can add fall damage to your total damage as well! If you plan ahead and pick up the "From the Ashes" Fire Element Utility, you can even survive the self damage with no problem! Average fall damage when falling from MAX height is 70, which is added directly to your attack. If you pick up the upgrade for Pummeling Style (Pummeling Charge), you can use your Flurry of Blows while doing a falling charge onto an enemy below and add your fall damage on contact.

US (16 hits)(Huge) = 103 (avg)
MS = 72 per hit
ES = 39 per hit (avg)
Max Fall Damage = 70 (avg)
TOTAL DAMAGE = 1949 avg damage, before DR, in a single hit with Pummeling Style, if every hit lands.

Even if every punch doesn't hit, this is clearly very strong. I mean, my math could be wrong. Like I mentioned, I've never actually played Pathfinder. But, still, this was very fun for me to think about and math out. Please leave a comment, or a gape-face, or shoot me down and say it wouldn't work. I'm open to feedback, and this took a LOOOOONG few hours to write.


  • Ah, forgot to mention... total burn for the final damage number is still 1, assuming the character used a standard action to become huge the turn before the attack.

    Gather Power was not included due to needing to stand still and use actions that prevent full attacks (move and standard actions), or cause you to stand still in melee range of enemies in order to use it the next turn.

    (An exception to this is the Pummeling Charge feat. With it, you can perform a full action Gather Power, then Charge on your next turn and perform a full attack)
  • 1) You aren’t gaining the mutant template, it only says you gain a deformity, so you aren’t gaining any mutations that benefit you.

    2) Metamagic does not apply to Spell like abilities, like blasts are.

    3) a str of 13 is a mod of 1.

    4) There has been more recent FAQ that says Flurry and natural attacks can never be combined.

    Good try though.
  • 1) You aren’t gaining the mutant template, it only says you gain a deformity, so you aren’t gaining any mutations that benefit you.

    2) Metamagic does not apply to Spell like abilities, like blasts are.

    3) a str of 13 is a mod of 1.

    4) There has been more recent FAQ that says Flurry and natural attacks can never be combined.

    Good try though.
    Meh, I kinda figured that about the deformity thing.

    Metamagic normally does not, but Kineticists have access to Metakinesis, which allows them to use several metamagics in exchange for burn. Str mod was wrong... whatevs, just pretend I said 14 or something.

    Can you point out where that FAQ is? I haven't been able to find it, and I want to make sure I'm working with the most recent data.
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