Pathfinder Guide to Witches

Let me start off by saying that Treantmonk has set the industry standard for writing quality class guides and I will be using the same colour coding and asterisks he uses to grade various options. That means:

Red * -bad option or nearly useless ability

Orange ** -ok option, or useful but only in rare circumstances

Green *** -Strong choice

Blue **** -Must-have

Introduction

I wrote this guide for two reasons.  Nobody else has bothered to write one.  Secondly, I like playing witches.  For me, they have so much flavour compared to other classes.  Who else can vomit a swarm of spiders over your enemies and then cackle about it?

The Roles

The witch class, for my mind, is one class that does not really need to be tied down to any role.  They do not suffer from MAD (multiple attribute distribution) syndrome and are quite capable of performing several roles without great sacrifice.  If you wanted to lock your witch into a specific role then consider the following:

The Buffer / Debuffer

The witch has a wide range of hexes and spells that can help buff the party.  Hexes include ward which gives a long term saving throw and armour class bonus to a character or the fortune hex which allows re-rolls.  The witch also has some buffing spells to offer such as false life, mage armour, enlarge person, heroism are some examples.  

The witch is particular strong in the debuff department with hexes such as misfortune and evil eye which help undermine their saving throws, armour class, abilities and/or attacks.  Then you have hexes such as death curse, agony and forced reincarnation which all do horrible things to your enemy if they fail their saves.  There seems to be an endless array of spells to choose for debuffing including pox pustules, bestow curse, blindness / deafness to name just a few.  If this is your style then the choice seems almost endless.

The Support role

Surprisingly, the witch can fill the bard’s shoes most adequately with this role even though the class mechanics of the two are completely different.  What they do have in common is that they both have access to an arcane spell list with divine support spells thrown in to make them both extremely versatile.  So while the witch has access to many useful arcane spells, they can also use divine spells such as cure wounds spells, find traps, remove disease / blindness / deafness / curses which are all important at various times to the continued success of the party.  This means they can also use cure wands and various scrolls which also augments their ability to function in a support role.

The Battlefield Controller

The witch is well suited to this role for although they do not have the same range of spells as a wizard, the spells they can choose from are heavily littered with battlefield control choices.  Choices include fog cloud, summon swarm, vomit swarm, glitterdust, sleet storm, stinking cloud, black tentacles, ice storm, solid fog, cloudkill and more.  As you can see, you can really go to town with this if this is the flavour you like.

Final Thoughts on Roles

As I mentioned earlier, the witch does not suffer from MAD and is also not feat starved.  So there is no reason why you couldn’t create a character that can perform several of these roles if you are so inclined.  Because you are a full spellcasting class it’s generally not a good idea to multiclass.  

If you do want to venture away from the witch class at later levels, a fellow using the non de plume “Abraham Spalding” that I had brief discussions with on the pathfinder forums has suggested using prestige classes such as the Loremaster or the Pathfinder Savant.  The Loremaster is useful if you want to play the “know it all” without losing your full spell progression as a witch.  The Pathfinder savant is in Seeker of Secrets, and is available for pathfinder society play.  The prerequisites include 2nd level spell casting, 5 ranks in a couple of skills and some feats (the feat requirements are changed for PFS).  The benefits include 1/2 PrC level on spellcraft, UMD and K(arcana) in addition to being able to take 10 on UMD checks; 1 spell off of any spell list added to your spell list for all but 1 level of the PrC (this spell if not already on your list counts as one spell level higher than it normally would); the ability to use scrolls at your caster level instead of the caster level they are scribed at; and the last ability you would want to choose is swift identify as a spell-like ability twice per day.

Other things to know about the witch are that she can be quite powerful at low to mid levels as her hexes can be so potent that they are sometimes a better option than casting a spell.  This is important for although you are a full spellcaster, you don’t get bonus spells from specialising or bonus spells from domains and using hexes is a way to avoid using up your spells too quickly.  Witches draw a mixed bag when it come to their spell lists.  They don’t get anywhere near as many spells to pick from as a wizard.  However, they do get access to some excellent divine spells so the witch can easily backup as the secondary healer with judicious use of cure wounds spells, healing hexes and wands.  Finally, witches are squishy.  You do not want to find yourself on the front of the battle line if it can be avoided.  You are the controller / buffer / manipulator but you are NOT the fighter.  That role is best left to the expendable meatshields in front of you.

The Ability Scores

Strength (Str) *

Not important.  You are not a combatant.  This can be a dump stat if you desire.

Dexterity (Dex) ***

Somewhat important.  Higher reflex saves and higher armour class helps keep you alive.

Constitution (Con) ***

Somewhat important.  Higher fortitude saves and more hit points helps keep you alive.

Intelligence (Int) ****

Vital.  This is your primary attribute.  It affects your skill points, grants you more spells, and gives you higher DC’s for your hexes and spells.  Do not skimp on this.

Wisdom (Wis) **

Not that important but it does give a bonus to your will saves.  Also useful to have for sense motive and perception skills.  Not really a dump stat, but you don’t need to put any points in it either if you are starved for points.

Charisma (Cha) *

Potentially another dump stat unless you want to be the face of the party or if you want to boost your UMD skill.

Races

Dwarf **

No bonus to Intelligence is a drawback.  The bonus to Constitution is nice and the penalty to Charisma doesn’t hurt.  Darkvision is an added bonus but this is balanced out by the 20 feet base speed.  You want to be able to move quickly to get away from danger being a squishy.

Elf ****

They get a bonus to Intelligence and Dexterity which is great.  This is tempered somewhat by the drop in Constitution.  Still, that bonus to Intelligence is what really matters.  On top of this, low light vision, +2 SR bonus for spellcasting and +2 to perception skill (probably the most important skill in the game) all add up to a first class choice for witches.  The Dreamspeaker elven racial alternative trait is also worth considering as it will add +1 to the DC of their slumber hexes and it also provides some other nice bonuses.

Gnome **

Again, no intelligence means I can’t give this race a strong rating.  While the bonus to Constitution helps and the penalty to strength is irrelevant, the race is again hurt by only having a 20 feet base speed.  The small size gives a small boost to AC and attack rolls but is not enough to make this more than just an ok option.

Half Elf ***

A good choice as you can put your bonus into Intelligence.  I put this racial choice slightly behind Elf and Human because it doesn’t get the bonus feat or the +2 SR bonus that elves get.  It’s not far away from being a blue choice and if you like playing half elves, then don’t shy away from this.

Half Orc ***

Another choice that is almost blue as again you can put your bonus into Intelligence.  The Darkvision and Orc Ferocity are very nice features as well.

Halfling **

The lack of Intelligence bonus means that I can only give this race an ok rating.  The bonus to Dexterity is nice and the penalty is for a dump stat.  It’s another race also impacted by being slow but the other features make up for this which include the small bonuses to AC and attack, the bonus to all saving throws and bonus to perception.

Human ****

They tick all the right boxes: bonus to Intelligence, bonus feat, bonus skill points.  This all adds up to a first class choice.

Skills

Witches only get 2 skill points per level.  However, this is going to be boosted by putting your most points into Intelligence (hopefully).  This should give you roughly anywhere between 5 and 7 points to play with.  I’m not going to list every skill.  I’ll just mention a few that are worth considering.

Craft ** (class skill)

This is an ok skill that gets boosted to 4 stars if you take Craft (Alchemy) and pick the Cauldron

hex as a focus for your character.

Fly ** (class skill)

This is another ok skill that gets boosted to at least 3 stars if you take the Flight hex.  Flight hex is a very handy hex that most witches would probably select, so this skill is more likely to be better than ok for you.

Heal * (class skill)

At first glance, you’d think this skill deserves higher.  However, witches have access to stabilise cantrip, cure wounds spells, and the Healing hexes making this skill redundant.

Intimidate * (class skill)

Charisma is pretty much a dump stat for most witches.  So unless you are going to put points into Charisma and wish to be the face of the party, this skill isn’t going to be much use to you.

Knowledge skills ***

Knowledge skills are always useful to have to garner more information about creatures you have to fight or your environment.  Witches are blessed by having several that are class skills including arcana, history, nature, and planes.  If you have points to spare, they are not wasted by putting a few into knowledge skills.  Even a couple of points in each will give you a decent score with your high intelligence.

Perception ****

Unfortunately, this is not a class skill for witches.  Nevertheless, this is probably the most important skill in the game.  One trick you can use is to rely on the perception of your familar (especially the Raven who can speak) to warn you of impending danger as they generally have a high skill in this.

Profession * (class skill)

This is not really important unless you want it to add flavour to your character.

Spellcraft **** (class skill)

This skill has various uses not the least of which is helping you identify magic loot you find.  It also works off your Intelligence so you should be able to get this skill fairly high to increase your chances.

Use Magic Device **** (class skill)

You definitely want this skill as using magic items is part and parcel of being a witch.  Maximise skill points into this if possible.

Feats

As a squishy spellcaster, combat feats are not going to be much use to you.  In fact there’s probably only a small pool of feats worth considering unless you are angling for some unusual flavour for your witch.  My thanks to Mathwei Ap Niall for including ratings and descriptions for some feats from the Ultimate Magic book.

Accursed Hex ****

A second chance to affect someone with a hex is needed.

Combat Casting **

Not as important to you as for other spellcasters because if you are cornered, you still have hexes as an option which don’t generate attacks of opportunity.

Dodge **

This is ok if you have spare feats to spend as witches can’t wear armour and every bit helps.

Extra Hex ****

Take this feat and don’t be afraid to select it multiple times.  The good hex selections are worth more than a feat so every time you select this you are better off.  If a feat were a bishop, then a hex is worth a rook.

Improved Initiative ****

Going first in a round is always a good thing for a witch.  If you can get that save or die spell or hex off before the enemy can respond, you’re in a strong position.

Improved Familiar ***

There is nothing wrong with this feat if you want to boost your familiar.  This feat gets an extra star moving up from ok because it is so important for witches to keep their familiars alive.  They are your living spellbooks and anything that boosts their survivability is a good thing.

Leadership ****

I consider this feat almost broken.  It does mean possibly putting a few points in charisma but it gives you your very own meatshield.  Your survivability just went up several notches.  Check with your games master before selecting this one as they may have some issues with it.

Magical Aptitude **

A +2 bonus to Spellcraft and UMD is nice but there are probably better options out there for you.

Scar ****

Comments for this hex come from Mathwei ap Niall. With the latest FAQ update the Scar Hex has changed from the worst Hex in the game to a required hex after 10th level:

http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fz#v5748eaic9oaw   With the range addition to the mechanics of this hex and a moments thought this hex now solves the biggest weakness of the class, the 30 foot range to apply a hex.  Here's the trick, take the smallest valid target for a hex you can find (I recommend turtles) and put them in a small box. Apply a scar to each one of them and give them to your party members to drop in a backpack. (if you care cast stasis or something to put them in a state of suspended animation). Next take a few flying critters you control and scar them to, then send them into range of anything you don't like.  Finally take the split hex feat (you were going to do it anyway).  Now any target within 30 feet of ANY target you have scarred can be affected by any non-touch range hex you have while keeping your witch safely up to a mile away from them.  Add to that if you want to find/kill/hex the BBEG in a dungeon simply scar and release one of his minions. You can devastate him from the safety of the front door of their dungeon/castle/crypt/etc.  mdt further added that the scar hex is also a great hex if you are going to build your witch as a buffer/healer as well, since you can put scars on your allies and pump them full of witchy goodness at range.

Scribe Scroll ****

This is a very handy feat for the witch to pick to ensure she has just the right scroll to get her through a scrap.  Get a ring of sustenance and give yourself more downtime when the party rests to scribe some of those emergency backup spells.  Keep in mind that while this is free for wizards, you have to buy this feat as a witch.

Spell Focus & Greater Spell Focus ***

This is a solid option without being spectacular.  Anything that increases your DC’s for your spells is a good thing.  No one will call you a chump for selecting these.

Spell Hex ****

Very potent and the only way to get an AoE hex effect. Remember your new hex is NOT a SU ability so spell resistance applies.

Spell Penetration ***

It’s a solid choice for the same reasons as Spell Focus.  Anything that helps you get that spell off is useful.

Split Hex ****

Get two targets on one hex is VERY needed and doubles the range of your hexes (affect two targets within 60 feat of you instead of 30) Makes cackle even stronger. Not available until 10th level.

Toughness **

It’s an ok choice as a witch is always going to want more hit points.  Probably take it at first level or not bother at all.

Hexes

Hexes are magical tricks the witch learns as she progresses in levels.  She starts with 1 hex at first level and then gains an additional hex every even level.  At 10th level she gains access to more powerful hexes called major hexes and at 18th level the witch gains access to the most powerful hexes called grand hexes.

From the outset, hexes are a powerful addition to the witch’s arsenal often surpassing her spellcasting as a better option in some combat situations.  While hexes only start out with a 30 foot range, the witch does not provoke attacks of opportunity when using them.  The save to resist her hexes are 10 + ½ her witch level + her Intelligence modifier.

My thanks to Mathwei Ap Niall and pad300 for including ratings and descriptions for hexes from the Ultimate Magic book.

Blight *

Not terribly useful except for a games master who wanted to use an NPC witch with this ability for a background story / adventure plot.

Cackle ****

Uses a MOVE not a STANDARD action to extend all fortune, misfortune, evil eye, charm and agony hexes already in effect within 30 feet by 1 round. This is great synergy for hexes you have already used.

Cauldron **

This choice is ok if you want to spend your downtime creating potions for the party.  Remember to pick up Craft(Alchemy) as well.

Charm **

This hex is alright but becomes more useful when you reach 8th level when the effect improves the attitude of the target by 2 steps.

Coven *

This is not a great choice as the opportunity for you to use this will rarely come up if ever.  Of course, if you have other witches in your party then this choice becomes a reasonable choice.  While this may not be very useful for PC Witches, it can be very handy for NPC witches.

‘Mathwei ap Niall’ from the pathfinder forums has a different take on this hex and believes it has great synergy with the Leadership feat to give it a much higher rating in his view. His comments below: “This is what Leadership is for, add this feat and this becomes nearly game breakingly good.

[i]animate dead, baleful polymorph, blight, bestow curse, clairaudience, clairvoyance,charm monster, commune, control weather, dream, forcecage, mind blank, mirage arcana, reincarnate, speak  with  dead,  veil, vision[/i]

All pretty much at will with DC's in the mid 20's and up with and also add a +2 to caster level on any spell or hex you ever decide to cast.

I've always considered this as the most powerful Hex out there if you can handle waiting till 6th level to get it.”

Disguise **

Depending on how you play, this could be useful for interaction with NPCs in social settings. You disguise yourself like the spell Disguise Self which allows you to change your appearance for an hour per level in hour incremental slots. Pretend to be an important dignitary, a town guard, a jailer, a member of a cult - the list is endless.

Evil Eye ****

Wonderful debuff hex that gives a -2 penalty to an ability roll, attack, saving throw, skill check or AC (witch’s choice).  The beauty of this hex is that it works for one round even if your opponent makes their will save.  Combines wonderfully well with Cackle.

Feral Speech ***

You can speak with animals with some limitations.  A solid utility, but still a secondary choice. - light green

Flight ****

By 5th level you have Feather Fall at will; +4 on swim checks; levitate once per day; AND flight 5 times per day at a minute per use. That's the equivalent of many spell slots and more powerful than nearly all Feats I can think of.

Fortune ***

This hex grants a creature within 30 feet to reroll any attack roll, ability check, saving throw or skill check in a round (2 rounds at 8th level) and take the better roll.  You can extend this with cackle.  Nice.

Healing ***

By 5th level you can cast Cure Moderate Wounds to everyone in your party plus all the cohorts, animal companions and familiars as well plus any NPC's you encounter. A typical party of say 5 characters, a familiar and an animal companion would mean 7 uses of a 2nd level spell slot a day for one hex if everyone got injured. Good value.

Misfortune ****

Devastating hex which causes a creature within 30 feet to reroll any attack roll, ability check, saving throw or skill check in a round (2 rounds at 8th level) and take the worse roll. The beauty of this hex is combining it with the Cackle hex to extend the misfortune on indefinitely if you keep cackling each round. This hex CAN be combined with Evil Eye on a creature for even more devastation.

Poison Steep **

The synergy with Beguiling Gift is awesome and since it does a pound of items for a day you will ALWAYS have poisoned candies to use (I like raisins myself, a pound of those will go a long way).  Solid green if you focus on it as a main tactic otherwise orange. It's great but requires several steps to make it work.

Prehensile Hair *** 

Oh yes. A third hand that gives you a free reach attack with your int bonus added to damage is good enough but the ability to use 2 metamagic rods a round while still having a hand free to cast is just uber.

Slumber ****

Causes a creature within 30 feet to fall asleep for 1 round per witch level if they fail their Will save.  Simply devastating as only damage or another creature spending a standard action can wake them.

Swamp Hag **

Allows you to walk over mud and quicksand as if it were  normal ground and leaving no trail.  Potentially strong for a character who will only be in a swamp environment.

Tongues **

This is ok giving you comprehend languages and then tongues at 5th level for minutes per day.  There are probably better choices given that you get lots of bonus languages for your high Intelligence anyway.

Ward ***

This is a pretty good hex which gives somebody (not the witch) a +2 AC and +2 to saves which increases by +1 at 8th and 16th lvl until they get hit or fail a save.  Quite nice.

Water Lung ***

 Breathe underwater for a minute or sleep underwater.  A solid utility, but still a choice

Agony (Major) ***

60 foot range but you can do better than just nauseate a target at this level.

Beast Eye (Major)  ** 

If you have some reliable method of controlling regular animals, this becomes much more useful (Green with animal control, Yellow without).

Cook People (Major) ****

Evil beyond all doubt but the product is awesome. 1 HOUR buff on any or all stats, freedom from poison and a SMALL sized Homonculus servant ? Sign my up, I'll take the alignment hit for this plus it gives me something to do with all those bodies parties tend to leave lying around.

Hag’s Eye (Major) **

Like an arcane eye spell

Ice Tomb (Major) ****

Just yes, it's a witch's joygasm wrapped in puppies and candy. It's better than a gorgons gaze for rendering an opponent useless and has a higher save DC too.

Major Healing (Major) ***

By this level there are better healing choices for some classes but still is nice to have.  Functions the same as Healing hex but is for Cure Serious Wounds and Cure Critical Wounds at 15th level.

Nightmares (Major) *

Takes too long and only affects them when they go to sleep.  This is for NPC witches.

Retribution (Major) ****

Probably the pick of the major hexes.  Whenever your enemy hits your allies, they take half the damage they dish out and this damage cannot be mitigated in anyway.

Vision (Major) **

You can grant visions of the future.  Ok hex to use outside of combat.

Waxen Image (Major) **

Powerful hex that gives you some control over the enemy but it takes too long to take effect.

Weather Control (Major) **

Takes 1 full hour to influence the weather.  Too situational to be given a good rating but under the right circumstances could be very handy given its flexibility.

Witch's Brew (Major) *** 

The only way to get past that 1 potion per day limit. Not as amazing as the other options but a solid working class ability that (depending on your GM's enforcement of the one magic item per day rule) can really improve your flexibility.

Death Curse (Grand) **

A powerful hex that can kill your opponent but simply takes too long to take effect with multiple saves over 3 rounds.

Eternal Slumber (Grand) **

You can already put creatures to sleep effectively with Slumber.  Doing it on a more permanent basis is not really going to help you while in combat.

Forced Reincarnation (Grand) ****

This hex gets a good rating simply for its flavour.  You point your finger at someone causing them a painful death before they reincarnate into some random creature type if they fail their save.  On top of this, they lose 2 levels. Nice.

Life Giver (Grand) ****

Resurrection to anyone once a day.  Potent.

Natural Disaster (Grand) ****

This gets 4 stars for flavour alone.  You stand there concentrating calling down the wrathful forces of nature causing an acidic storm of vengeance and earthquakes on those who dare defy you.  

Summon Spirit (Grand) ****

First grand hex that I actually look forward to getting. Access to any spell you want, from any list...Need a bunch of wish spells? Call up the ghost of an 18th level sorceror - you will have a minimum of 3... For the low price of 1800 gp and material component costs (and the ghost might cut you a break on those...). Oracles are a fun source of cleric spells...

Witch’s Familiar

The familiar is the achilles heel of the witch class.  Your familiar is your spellbook and if it dies you have to wait one day to replace it through a ritual that lasts 8 hours and costs 500 gp per witch level.  Furthermore, you will lose a lot of the spells you once knew as the new familiar will only know your cantrips and 2 spells of every level the witch is able to cast.  So with this in mind, it is important to pick a familiar that is easy to keep alive.  Ways to do this include picking a familiar that can fly (raven is a very good choice as it can speak a language); selecting a familiar that is really small so you can hide it on your person (scorpion is a nice choice as you get an initiative bonus); or picking the Improved Familiar feat to select a familiar that’s a little tougher and therefore more survivable.  Another consideration is selecting a familiar with an opposable thumb so that it can hold and use a wand.  I won’t rate all the different familiars as I think for each witch this is a very personal choice that helps reflect the style of character they may wish to play.

Patron Spells

Patron Spells adds new spells to a witch’s list of spells known as she gains even levels.  This is fairly important as the witch does not have the same breadth of spell selection as the wizard.  The patron spells can also help really shape the style of witch you wish to play.  For instance, if you chose the Elements list then you are interested in creating a witch that has the ability to function as a blaster with such spells as fireball and flame strike.  All of the lists have useful spells in them so pick one on the basis of the flavour you’re seeking.  Given that witches are so squishy, I can highly recommend the Deception list and the Trickery list as these both give you access to spells that improve your survivability at an early level including invisibility, confusion or mirror image.  Another useful list at later levels is Shadow which gives you access to Shadow Conjuration at 8th level and Shadow Evocation at 10th level.

Mathwei ap Neill from the pathfinder forums has kindly provided a more detailed breakdown on the patron spells.  Please see below:

I will go into each Patron as these optional spells can completely change how you play a given witch. As an explanation for my ratings I will state that I see witches as filling one of three sub-roles (Party Support (PS): who focus their abilities on improving and saving the group, Combat Caster (CC):  who focus on de-buffing/damaging the enemies, and Prima-Donnas (PD): who are all about using their spells and abilities to improve their own survivability and personal performance).  Every witch can fill these roles but based on patron and hex choices a definite focus will develop.

The color choices will be based on how effective the patron is for all witch roles in general with a note of which role can get the most benefit from it.

Agility:  An excellent choice for PS and PD but lacking anything for a CC. Add to it Haste at 6th level and the only way a witch can cast it makes this a Patron solid choice for most Witches.

2nd—jump, 4th—cat’s grace, 6th—haste, 8th—freedom of movement, 10th—polymorph, 12th—cat’s grace (mass), 4th—ethereal jaunt, 16th—animal shapes, 18th—shapechange.

Ancestors:  An excellent choice for those interested in buffing the party or themselves for combat. Contains some of the most dependable wide ranging buffs from the divine spells.

2nd - Bless, 4th - Aid, 6th - Prayer, 8th - Blessing of Fervor**, 10th - Commune, 12th - Heroism, 14th - Refuge, 16th - Euphoric ranquility**, 18th - Choose Fate*.

Animals: An iconic choice for all witch types CC and PD tend to gain the most from this patron with little reason for most PS to consider this patron.

2nd—charm animals, 4th—speak with animals, 6th—dominate animal, 8th—summon   nature’s ally IV, 10th—animal growth, 12th—antilife shell, 14th—beast shape IV, 16th—animal shapes, 18th—summon nature’s ally IX.

Death:  A decent choice for CC & PD with a good selection of spells to destroy your enemies while letting you gather information you would normally need a cleric to get.

2nd - Deathwatch, 4th - Blessing of Courage and Life**, 6th Speak With Dead, 8th - Rest Eternal**, 10th - Suffocation**, 12th - Circle of Death, 14th - Finger of Death, 16th - Symbol of Death, 18th - Power Word: Kill.

Deception:  Subtle and potent for all witch types this patron focuses on ways to confuse and incapacitate their enemies with minimal risks to the party. With the addition of the ever potent mass invisibility & time stop makes this patron one of the stronger choices available.

2nd—ventriloquism, 4th—invisibility, 6th—blink,  8th—confusion, 10th—passwall, 12th—Programmed image,  14th—invisibility  (mass), 16th—scintillating pattern, 18th—time stop.

Elements:  The definitive patron for CC and nearly the only source of consistent direct damage for witches this patron CAN be a powerful option but it’s a very intense feat/race/trait requirements make this a niche choice and generally not recommended.  2nd—shocking  grasp,  4th—flaming sphere, 6th—fireball, 8th—wall of ice, 10th—flame strike, 12th—freezing sphere,  14th—vortex*,  16th—fire  storm,  18th—meteor swarm.

Enchantment:  Though suffering from the same issues an enchanter would have this patron offers some excellent advantages to a CC focused on controlling enemies in battle instead of killing them.

2nd - Unnatural Lust*, 4th - Calm Emotions, 6th - Unadulterated Loathing*, 8th - Overwhelming Grief *, 10th - Dominate Person, 12th - Geas, 14th - Euphoric Tranquility**, 16th - Demand, 18th - Dominate Monster.

Endurance: An excellent choice for PS and PD but lacking little for a CC until they start becoming the focus of the enemies’ assault.

2nd—endure elements, 4th—bear’s endurance, 6th—protection from energy, 8th—spell immunity, 10th—spell resistance,  12th—bear’s  endurance  (mass),  14th—restoration

(Greater), 16th—iron body, 18th—miracle.

Healing: PS obviously but allowing you to fully replace the dedicated healing cleric, especially if   you take the Hedge Witch archetype.

2nd - Remove Fear, 4th - Lesser Restoration, 6th – Remove Disease,

8th - Restoration, 10th - Cleanse**, 12th - Pillar of life**, 14th - Greater Restoration, 16th - Mass Cure Critical Wounds, 18th - True Resurrection.

Insanity: A horrible patron choice, most of these spells are already on your spell list and only one of them is more than situationally useful. CC may find a use for it but I doubt it.

2nd - Memory Lapse**, 4th - Hideous Laughter, 6th - Mad Hallucination*, 8th - Confusion, 10th - Mind Fog, 12th - Envious Urge*, 14th - Insanity, 16th - Symbol of insanity, 18th - Overwhelming Presence*.

Light: Suprisingly good patron for CC, adding mostly new spells and several interesting direct damage options.

There is an issue however since the 18th level power is a duplicate of 16th and we are waiting for that typo to be addressed.

2nd - Dancing Lantern**, 4th - Continual Flame, 6th - Daylight,

8th - Rainbow Pattern*, 10th - Fire Snake**, 12th - Sirocco**, 14th - Sunbeam, 16th - Sunburst, 18th ?????.

Moon: Pretty bad for a patron. the 2nd and 4th level spells are good but the rest are either on your list, have poor return for value or are just stupid spells.

2nd - Darkness, 4th - Darkvision, 6th - Owl’s Wisdom, 8th - Moonstruck**,10th - Aspect of the Wolf **, 12th - Control Water, 14th - Lunar Veil*, 16th - Horrid Wilting, 18th - Meteor Swarm.

Occult: A more refined version of the old plague patron, this is more focused and well designed granting a PD some much needed minion options.

2nd - Detect Undead, 4th - Command Undead, 6th - Twilight Knife**,8th - Black Tentacles, 10th - Snake Staff **,12th - Create Undead, 14th - Waves of Exhaustion, 16th - Trap the Soul, 18th - Gate.

Plague: Necromancy, an unlikely choice for most witches but some PD’s will find the idea of potent undead minions an acceptable way to increase their personal power and defense.

2nd—detect undead, 4th—command undead, 6th—contagion, 8th—animate dead, 10th—giant vermin, 12th—create undead, 14th—control undead, 16th—create greater undead, 18th—energy drain.

Portents: Not a bad option for PS, but it’s more focused on the spells you’d go to an NPC or keep on a scroll then an adventurer would use.

2nd - Ill-omen**, 4th - Locate Object, 6th - Blood Biography**, 8th - Divination, 10th - Contact Other Plane, 12th - Legend Lore, 14th - Vision, 16th - Moment of Prescience, 18th - Foresight.

Shadow: A powerful choice for all roles, capable of mimicking many other spells makes this an extremely powerful and versatile Patron.

2nd—silent image, 4th—darkness, 6th—deeper darkness, 8th—shadow conjuration, 10th—shadow evocation, 12th—shadow  walk, 14th—shadow conjuration (greater), 16th—shadow evocation (greater), 18th—shades.

Spirits: Several strong options for the CC or PD witch with the ever popular invisibility and the excellent Planar Ally to keep the damage up. Strong travel options as well.

2nd - Ghostbane Dirge**, 4th - Invisibility, 6th - Speak with Dead,

8th - Spiritual Ally**, 10th - Mass Ghostbane dirge**, 12th - Shadow Walk, 14th - Ethereal Jaunt, 16th - Planar Ally, 18th - Etherealness.

Stars: Some strong spell choices but thewitch already gets them on their spell list and the PS will have taken them immediately instead of waiting a level for them, Pass on this.

2nd—faerie fire, 4th—dust of twilight**, 6th-guiding star**, 8th—wandering star motes**, 10th—dream, 12th—cloak of dreams**, 14th—circle of clarity*, 16th—euphoric tranquility**, 18th—astral projection.

Strength:  Though having some options for PS this is strictly a PD patron, and a pretty bad one at that. Filled strictly offensive self buffs that require getting into melee where you lack the weapon skills, BAB or armor to function.  Unless you are planning on going Gish skip this patron at all costs.

2nd—divine  favor, 4th—bull’s strength,  6th—greater magic weapon, 8th—divine  power, 10th—righteous might, 12th—bull’s strength (mass), 14th—giant form I, 16th—

Giant form II, 18th—shapechange.

Time: Probably my new favorite Patron for PS or PD. The ever popular Haste, Threefold Aspect, Time Stop and Teleport makes for amazing options.

I personally believe the Silence was a mistake and was supposed to be Slow but either way it grants some serious battlefield control.

2nd-Ventriloquism, 4th-silence, 6th-haste, 8th- Threefold Aspect**, 10th-teleport, 12th-disintegrate, 14th-expend**, 16th-temporal stasis, 18th-time stop.

Transformation: This is the default PD patron composed of the best self buffs and combat increasing spells you can get.  However it offers nothing for the other roles and requires the witch to get into melee which is bad.

2nd—jump, 4th—bear’s endurance, 6th—beast  shape I, 8th—beast shape II, 10th—beast shape III, 12th—form of the dragon I, 14th—form of the dragon II, 16th—form of the dragon III, 18th—shapechange.

Trickery:  A well rounded patron offering something worthwhile for each role its lack of focus is its only flaw. If you want to be a generalist witch this is one of the better choices for patron.

2nd—animate rope, 4th—mirror image, 6th—major image, 8th—phantasmal  killer,  10th—mirage arcana, 12th—mislead, 14th—reverse gravity, 16th—screen, 18th—time stop.

Vengeance: Just bad, a collection of spells the witch either already gets are should never take. A waste of a cool patron name.

2nd- burning hands, 4th -burning gaze**, 6th- pain strike**, 8th- shout, 10th - symbol of pain, 12th - mass pain strike**,14th - phantasmal revenge**,16th - incendiary cloud, 18th - winds of vengeance**.

Water:  Unless you are planning nautically themed adventures skip this patron and even then there are better choices.  If you do decide to use it this is mostly a PD patron.  The few attack spells in it don’t offer enough for a CC to utilize.

2nd—bless water/curse water, 4th—slipstream*, 6th—water breathing, 8th—control water, 10th—geyser*, 12th—elemental body III (water only), 14th—elemental body IV (water only), 16th—seamantle*, 18th—tsunami*.

Wisdom:  Another predominately PD patron it does offer some benefit to PS witches who wish to focus on preventing damage to the party.

2nd—shield of faith, 4th—owl’s wisdom, 6th—magic vestment, 8th—globe of invulnerability (lesser), 10th—dream, 12th—globe of invulnerability (greater), 14th—spell turning, 16th—protection from spells, 18th—mage’s disjunction.

Winter: If I could rate this lower then red I would. Full of spells you already get or have been nerfed to the ground or can be done better with a Hex. Let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist ok?

2nd - unshakable chill*, 4th - resist energy (cold only), 6th - ice storm, 8th - Wall of Ice, 10th - Cone of Cold, 12th - Freezing Sphere, 14th - Control Weather, 16th - Polar Ray, 18th - Polar Midnight*.

Witch Spells

I am not going to rate all the arcane spells that are also available to wizards and sorcerers in the core rulebook as these are already well covered by Treantmonk in his guide on wizards: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23580224/Treantmonk%27s%20Guide%20to%20Wizards%20Being.pdf

His ideas on the rating of these spells are very close to how I feel so there is no use rehashing all of this.  Special thanks to both pipedreamsam and Mathwei ap Neill who have both made  substantial contributions to the spell list ratings below. 

0-Level Witch Spells

Arcane Mark *

Can't think of a single use for this spell it just seems pointless.

Bleed *

Cause a creature who has stabilized to resume dying. Never worth the standard action in combat.

Dancing Lights ***

Movable lights (no concentration) that act as torches and easilly scare commoners, short duration though.

Daze ***

Pretty good at low levels after that we have better uses for a standard action.

Detect Magic ****

Great spell that always has a spot in my daily memorizations.

Detect Poison **

Only practical use I can think of is to use on suspicious food/drink. Never used during combat.

Guidance *** 

A +1 is pretty useful at low levels, use out of combat right before allies make skill checks.

Light ***

Comparable to dancing lights, but longer duration, smaller lit up area and you have to carry the lit item with you. Also much harder to scare commoners with.

Mending **

Decently useful minor repairs. Even works on magic items.

Message **

Circumstantially useful way to whisper at a moderate distance.

Read Magic ****

Needed to read scrolls, always prepared.

putrefy food and drink **

Given the limit of cantrips you can remember this is probably not the best choice.  This is something a game master might give an NPC witch.

Resistance **

An ok way to boost saves at low levels. Stacks with almost nothing.

spark ***

This potentially has some very powerful uses if you have enough imagination and you like to cause trouble.

stabilize ****

So you can stop an ally dying at range?  A must have.

Touch of Fatigue *

A very easy way to put yourself in melee and waste your turn.

1st-Level Witch Spells

beguiling gift **

Cause someone to use or consume a proffered item if they fail their will save.  This could have potential given the right circumstances.

Bungle **

SoL that is basically an autofail on one roll for an enemy. You can hold the charge for a few rounds to wait for the right roll if you want.

Burning Hands *

Area of effect (small) fire damage that caps at 5d4. Pretty unimpressive.

Cause Fear ***

Pretty good at low levels, but HD limit makes it useless after that.

Charm Person ***

SoL on humanoid only that avoids encounters and lengthy RPing.

Chill Touch *

Manages to spread out negative energy damage into many touch attacks (no save). Also very small Str damage (Fort negates) that will likely be unable to save your life when the monster hits you.

Command ***

Pretty good one round SoL with a variety of options.

Comprehend Languages **

Lets you understand written languages as well as spoken ones. Best used as a scroll rather than a memorization.

cure light wounds ****

Here’s one of the reasons why you think you’re better than a wizard.

dancing lantern **

Not the best choice as you have this covered with the ‘light’ cantrip.

Decompose Corpse *

Not sure when you would need a fully decayed corpse and even then there are easier ways to do it.

Delusional Pride *

Inferior to charm person in nearly every way and even then evil eye does the exact same thing without buffing the enemy saves.

Detect Secret Doors ** 

Another spell that is best used as a scroll.

Diagnose Disease *

Better off buffing the afflicted's saves rather then try to get lucky on a heal check that you likely don't have time for.

Ear Piercing Scream ***

Comparable to sound blast without the fear of affecting allies. A good way to lock one big monster into doing nothing while you damage him.

Enlarge Person ***

Make the melee brawler better at hitting stuff harder than usual.

Forced quiet **

A utility spell for the rogue or a good way to stop the lone guard who noticed you sneaking about from yelling. Scroll?

Frostbite *

Like chill touch, but fatigues instead of dealing Str damage, the damage is cold (nonlethal) and multiple fatigues will not make the monster exhausted.

Fumbletongue **

An ok SOL, but there are better SOLs at this level (Command to drop spell component pouch?)

Hex Ward **

A must have if you know you are fighting witches otherwise, its a waste.

 Hypnotism *

Fascinating doesn't impress me and the HD limit adds to the drawbacks. It helps with improving attitude, but charm person is better.

Icicle Dagger *

Don't waste your time trying to engage in melee. It does get better at higher levels, but at higher levels your melee abilities are proportionally worse.

Identify **

Perfect example of a scroll spell.

ill omen ***

While this is redundant because you have a hex that can do something similar, it’s still a pretty good spell.

Interrogation *

You likely aren't taking many prisioners and when you do they are almost always humanoid. Use charm person or interrogate the old fashioned way

Inflict Light Wounds *

Really low damage with a save for half and at touch range? No thanks.

Ki Arrow *

Your strength is likely bad and unarmed strikes aren't exactly your forte. Skip this.

Mage Armor ****

Boost AC (works against incorporeal touch attacks as well).  Witches have very little in the way of defence making this an almost must have spell choice.

mask dweomer **

So-so spell that I can’t see being used too often.

Mount ***

A good way to increase your movement speed though the horse is squishy. Can be cast for your allies too.

Obscuring Mist *** 

Good way to block vision past 5'. Best used with spells and abilities that do not require a target you can see.

Ray of Enfeeblement * 

Pretty terrible spell since it got nerfed.

Ray of Sickening *

Sickened is an ok condition, but the ranged touch attack and save to resist make me want to pass.

Reduce Person **

Not a bad spell to increase to-hit and AC also helps dex based builds.

Restore Corpse **

Its pretty circumstantial, but really useful when you need it.

Sanctify Corpse **

Particularly useful for those enemies who force slain foes to become a weaker version of them. Also lasts a full 24hrs.

Shadow Weapon *

Enemy gets a save to disbelieve weapon you crafted and only take 1 point of damage this is somehow worse than icicle dagger.

Sleep **

Redundant with the Slumber hex that has no HD limit and a higher DC.

Summon Minor Monster *

Pretty much no combat use and no real other use that the next spell can't handle.

Summon Monster I **

Short duration and the monsters do not scale up with level, but better utility than the other summon spell.

Unbreakable Heart **

A good way to keep your allies from succumbing to fear affects, but the short duration makes this impossible to cast out of combat.

Unprepared combatant ***

Usually I do not like blasts, but this makes some of them viable, plus it works in conjunction with other spells that target Ref like web. Add in some evil eye and misfortune and then enemy all but autofails.

Unseen Servant ***

Great for utility. Use it to keep your wand or rod handy so you can use your move action to cackle.

Vocal Altercation **

Not very useful unless you are disguising a lot.

Youthful appearance *

Not very useful you don't look like a different person just younger, plus the ogre kills adventurers of all ages.

2nd-Level Witch Spells

Alter Self **

A spell that grants you either a minor str or dex bonus and a potential disguise. Real selling feature is that you get abilities like darkvision, swim or scent for 1min/level.

Augury **

Ask the DM what is on the other side of the door spell, it can't mislead you, but it isn't 100% so the answer is more of a guidance than an absolute.

Blindness/Deafness ***

Permanent SoL and you pick one or the other upon casting. Permanent blindness is a combat winner (make sure the target doesn't have an ability like tremorsense or blindsight first.

Blood Transcription **

A pretty creative way to add more spells to your familiar. It doesn't rely on saves so this is a spell I carry one or two scrolls of before going into a dungeon. Note that it does not require the target to be humanoid, but it does have the evil descriptor so cast sparingly. Without the scribe scroll feat this is pointless.

Boiling Blood *

Either do one point of fire damage per round or give an orc the most minor buff for its level I can think of.

burning gaze ***

Yes, there are more powerful spells that can burn your opponent.  However, the description is just so cool that I have to give it 3 stars - “Your eyes burn like hot coals, allowing you to set objects or foes alike.”  Wow!

cure moderate wounds ****

Why do you need a wizard or a cleric in the party when you have a witch that does everything?

Daze Monster ***

Pretty good for the first few levels, but you know what im gonna say about HD limit right?

Death Knell *

A really unimpressive self buff. With hexes you can basically make this autosucceed, but why?

Delay Pain **

The ability damage/drain it ignores has to be from a pain effect so this makes this super circumstantial, but in that scenario it has a long duration. If you don't have a cleric or druid this is more benficial to have at hand.

Delay Poison **

Circumstantial? Long duration and before you have the capability of neutralizing poison this is a good spell to have a scroll of.

Detect Thoughts **

Only detects surface thoughs and requires concentration for a few rounds, but it can also detect where people/monsters are by detecting their thoughts.

Disfiguring Touch **

Pretty long duration and your choice of a variety of penalties which are pretty minor. Innovation on landing the touch attack is a key here (spectral hand, prehensile hair, familiar)

Enthrall **

Low HD limit, bonus on saves to unfriendly creatures, any hostile action ends spell and if they fail their save they can try to heckle you to end the effect. Though the number of creatures affected is unlimited so you could in theory enthrall an entire city.

False Life ***

Cast this at the beginning of the day extra HP is always welcome.

feast of ashes **

Not really useful for everyday adventuring but gets an extra star for flavour.

fester *

You make it difficult for someone to get healed.  There are far more direct and effective ways for dealing with opponents.

find traps ***

You are already covering for the wizard and cleric.  Why not the rogue as well?

Fog Cloud ***

A good duration and range semi-redundant with some of the other cloud spells so make your own choice.

Gentle Repose **

A pretty circumstantial spell, but a money saver if the fighter dies in the dungeon and you need to get back to town in order to raise him.

Ghostly Disguise *

No good use jumps out at me and if you need a disguise just stick with alter self, at least with it you can get darkvision or scent.

glide **

By the time you can cast this, you can already have a hex that allows you to feather fall and levitate.  Redundant.

Glitterdust ****

AoE blindness spell and outlines invisible creatures. Make sure you allies know what you are doing before you cast.

Haunting Mists *

I love spells with partial, but this has no range and its unclear whether or not you are immune to the wis damage/shaken effect. Hurts allies too.

hidden speech *

Highly situational spell.  You only have so many spell slots and I would not want to waste one on a spell that improves your bluff check for whispering to one another.

hold person ***

You get this spell as a 2nd level spell instead of 3rd level like wizards/sorcerers.  Target must save or is paralyzed but gets a new save attempt each round.  If you get this spell off on the right target, it can completely shutdown an encounter.

inflict moderate wounds **

Ok, but there are better ways to inflict damage.

Mad Hallucination ***

A decent SoL that works best on enemy casters (especially clerics and druids).

Masterwork Transformation **

The permanent duration really what makes this orange. Note that you still have to pay the associated costs.

Miserable Pity ***

Stops enemies from attacking you and the only way to end this affect (duration aside) is to attack. Hexes, battlefield control, debuffing, buffing, and summoning can all still be cast.

perceive cues **

It’s a pity the target of spell is self as the rogue or scout would surely benefit on decent bonuses to perception.

Pernicious Poison ***

No save and this stacks with evil eye a quick vomit swarm on the enemy or an alchemist with swift poisoning and the enemy will be taking a lot of ability damage. Nice duration and attempts to cure poison get a -4 as well.

pox pustules ***

Lots of flavour.  A fun spell for getting under your opponent’s skin.

Protective Penumbra **

Circumstantial, but the bonus stacks with almost anything and when the fighter and you are stranded in the desert and he is wearing full plate he will thank you for having this.

Scare **

Only affects one HD more than cause fear, but affects a number of creatures.

See Invisibility **

Personally I'd stick with glitterdust so your allies can see as well, but this spell isn't bad.

Severed Fate *

Enemies usually don't have hero points in campaigns I play in, but if they are supposed to let me know.

Share Memory *

If the target has some useful information just charm or torture them.

Silk to Steel **

An ok way to get a small shield bonus, but short duration means its an in combat spell. +2 isn't all that impressive either.

Skinsend *

A cool spell, but the risks associated with detaching your skin just aren't worth it in my book.

Soothing Word **

If you have a paladin his Lay on Hands out classes this in every way. My main problem is it doesn't get rid of conditions or remove lesser versions.

Spectral Hand **

If you can get this as a prep before combat it makes a lot of touch attacks viable. Otherwise, the standard action time kills the rating.

Staggering Fall ***

Paired with a tripper this SoL is nasty. Without a tripper the rating drops to orange due to being circumstantial. Note the enemy gets a save every round.

Status **

A decent wand or scroll to have in order to monitor the rogue or ranger as they scout ahead. If it allowed communication this would be a lot better.

Steal Voice ***

Eat up the enemy caster's swift action and targets fort which is a nice change of pace. Decent SoL.

Summon Monster II **

See Summon monster I

Summon Swarm **

Inferior to vomit swarm in every way. Skip this.

Symbol of Mirroring ***

The key with symbol spells is innovation. A cast before you enter the room kind of spell. It works for your allies so its like having mirror image on the entire party. Cast and keep ready for when you need it, then just keep the enemy from seeing it.

Touch of Idiocy **

If only this spell wasn't touch. That being said it reduces all 3 mental abilities with no save.

Unnatural Lust *

A really bad 1 round SoL. If 1 round SoLs sound appealing then scroll up to command.

Unshakable Chill *

I'm not sure if this is worse than frostbite or not, either way this sucks.

vomit swarm ****

One of my favourite spells.  Imagine the look of horror on your enemy’s face as you vomit a swarm of spiders all over them.  At higher levels you can vomit wasps and then soldier ants.  Better than summon swarm in that the swarm won’t turn on you if there are no opponents to harrass but at the same time it is worse because it starts adjacent to you.  Both are very useful spells but vomit swarm is ultimately better as it only takes a standard round to cast as opposed to other summon spells which take a whole round.

Web ****

The witch's spell list is lacking battlefield control and this is a great battlefield control spell.

Web Shelter **

Almost a combat spell, but the webs low hp and casting time kill its potential as one.

Zone of Truth **

An ok SoL. Problem is you can't tell which creatures are affected and which aren't which means you are inclined to believe anything said in the spells range. This means creatures who save and identify the spell can intentionally mislead you. Only the witch's hexes save this from being red.

3rd-Level Witch Spells

Anthropomorphic Animal *

I do not see anything particularly useful seems like more of a downgrade to me.

Arcane Sight *

A really buffed up cantrip (dispel magic). Doesn't require concentration and has a much longer range, but nothing that makes it worth a 3rd level spell slot.

Ash Storm **

Blocks vision and causes the area within to become difficult terrain. Huge range and decent area. A lot like the spell sleet storm both do similar things, but sleet storm is slightly superior.

bestow curse **

Reasonable debuff spell but they do get a will save and spell resistance and you have to be in melee range to use.

Cackling Skull **

2 stars solely because the innovative will undoubtedly find some genius use for this, but I just don't see it.

Clairaudience/Clairvoyance **

A decent know whats on the other side of the door spell.

Countless eyes **

Decent buff that prevents flanking with a long duration, not sure if its worth a 3rd level slot though.

cup of dust *

Slowly make the enemy thirsty.  Too slow.  Choose something else.

Deep slumber *

I hate HD limits and its redundant with your slumber hex.

Dispel magic **

It’s pretty mediocre at all levels, though thats not to say its not useful at times.

Eldritch Fever ***

Make a caster have to work for every spell they cast. The concentration check is no laughing matter (unless its not on you in which case cackle away).

Eruptive Pustules **

A defensive buff that will make the enemy hitting you slightly injured and possibly sickened. I prefer to avoid the situation in which this is needed.

Excruciating Deformation **

Touch attack that with a failed save does minor ability damage, 2d6 nonlethal damage, and hampers movement. Note that the enemy can suffer the penalty multiple times making this stack nicely.

Fly ***

Redundant with your hex, but works on your allies always useful.

Glyph of Warding **

Decent way to defend something important or pull a nice ambush/trap . Either choose a blast effect or a spell of 3rd level or lower to be stored.

guiding star **

Possibly useful in a dungeon or maze to help your party avoid getting hopelessly lost.

Harrowing *

A gamble and the penalties will outweigh the benefits.

Heroism **

Stacks with most bonuses and a decent duration. Pretty minor benefits though.

Howling Agony ***

Nice debuff which gives a variety of -2s and affects a number of creatures. The enemy can use a move action to remove the penalties, but this prevents full attacks.

Ki Leech *

A self only spell that does absolutely nothing without a ki pool. Also in order for it to take affect you have to reduce the creature (which has to have a ki pool) to 0 hp or crit hit. Sound useful?

Lighting bolt **

Standard blast. Too bad its area of effect is a really long line and not a radius, but its your best 3rd level blast.

Loathsome Veil **

Another HD limit spell fantastic. Its ok when you pick it up, just gets worse with levels.

Locate Object *

Late entry for you and its bad even as a level 2 spell. I MIGHT teach it to my familiar if i found it.

Malediction *

Another spell that deals with hero points. Typically enemies don't have hero points at my table (most games not even PC's) . Really small amount temp hp too.

Marionette Possession *

Magic jar is an awesome spell, but this requires a willing target effectively killing its usefulness.

nature’s exile *

Another spell made for NPC witches.  Fido doesn’t like you anymore.  Oh no!

pain strike *

A third level spell that deals non lethal damage and has spell resistance and a fortitude save.  Pass.

Rage *

Subject gains rage as a barbarian (minus fatigue). Basically a double edged sword that requires concentration.

Rain of Frogs *

Stick with vomit swarm the swarm this summons is hardly better and at higher levels vomit swarm is better.

Ray of Exhaustion ****

I love partial affects and with a couple of debuff hexes the target is lucky to get off with the partial affect. Soften up one big enemy.

Reckless Infatuation *

Anything you are trying to do with this can be more easily done with a lower level spell.

remove blindness/deafness ***

A spell that’s always handy to have in your list even if you don’t have it memorised that day.

remove curse ***

Same sort of spell as remove blindness/deafness.  It’s nice to have on your list

remove disease ***

Same as the other remove spells.

Sands of Time *

Really ineffective touch spell that is going to carry some minor penalties.

screech **

You shriek provoking attacks of opportunity against the enemy.  Useful in some situations.

seek thoughts ***

Potentially useful to find out valuable bits of specific information from others.

Sepia Snake Sigil *  

Glyph of warding is a cheaper, more versatile and likely more effective way to do what this spell tries to.

share senses **

Blend your senses with your familiar causing it to function like a scrying sensor.  Meh.

Sleet Storm ****

Awesome battlefield control that has the potential to knock enemies prone. Slightly better than ash storm with the same range duration and area of effect.

Speak With Dead *

Ask a newly made (or preserved) corpse a few questions. It gets a save to resist and I am not sure if you can cast debuffs or use debuffing hexes on a corpse before you cast the spell.

Spit Venom ***

Blind a target for a round with a successful ranged touch attack (no save) and poison him using your spells DC as the poison's DC (pernicious Poison anyone?).

Stinking Cloud ****

Fog cloud with a nauseating affect that persists for a few rounds even after the target leaves. Note an unofficial FAQ states this as a poison effect.

Strangling Hair **

Single Target (tough you can switch) battlefield control.Uses your level as BAB and INT mod which is good. Concentration in order to maintain the spell though which hurts the rating.

Suggestion **

The will heavy witch spell list and spells that have similar effects make this unimpressive. Note it works on non humanoids though only a single target. Innovation makes this better.

Summon Monster III ****

Awesome summon spell with a huge variety of options. Very versatile spell.

Tongues **

A good scroll and you know what I am going to say about redundancy right? (literally the same name)

twilight knife *

You create a knife that dances around in the air to attack the same creature you attack each round using your crappy BAB.  Pathetic.

Unadulterated Loathing ***

The opposite of reckless infatuation, but this works quite nicely as a combat spell.

Unravel Destiny * 

Another Hero point spell woo. If hero points are a big deal in your campaign then this is ok.

Vampiric Touch ***

Creativity with touch attacks makes this spell good. Not a lot of damage, but its negative energy type so immunities are less of a problem. No save either.

Vermin Shape I ***

Self buff that gives Nat armor (stacks with mage armor), ability score bonus and a bonus on saves vs mind affecting abilities. Not a huge duration, but with some planning can be a before combat buff. Very nice utility abilities as well.

Vision of Hell **

An ok spell best used on groups of enemies. Affects your allies which keeps it from being green.

Water Walk **

Personally I'd stick with fly, but this has some nice utility.

Witness *

Share senses with another target. Share memory is a better option than this.

4th-Level Witch Spells

Age Resistance, Lesser *

It is not worth its level so do not take this spell.

Arcane Eye ***

If your party is lacking a scout this its a good idea to pick this up and even if you do have a scout this is will save him some danger. Like Clairvoyance except it can be moved around. Sounds will not transmit through the eye however.

Black Tentacles ****

One of my favorite battlefield control spells. No save, no SR, good range, nice radius. Makes a grapple check each round and even deals damage too. Even if the roll is too low to grapple, its still difficult terrain. Whats not to love?

Cape of Wasps *

Has some defensive capabilities and utility uses. Make the enemies hesitant to engage you in melee or shoot you with a ranged weapon, also protects against sneak attacks. Slightly redundant with vomit swarm.

Charm Monster ***

Removes the humanoid restriction from charm person at the cost of 3 spell levels. Without debuffing hexes on a target this rating drops to orange.

Confusion ****

Whats better than a spell that stops groups enemies from taking any actions? One that makes groups of enemies attack each other. Once again only particularly useful against groups, but really wrecks them.

cure serious wounds **

This is a nice spell but clerics can cast this as a 3rd level spell.

Curse of Magic Negation ***

The key here is that the spell resistance cannot be voluntarily lowered. The enemy now has to make checks for any magic item/spell affecting it. Not to mention the checks to cast spells as well.

Crushing Despair ****

An AoE debuff that is a decent way to soften up a group of enemies before casting a spell like confusion or stinking cloud. -2's to everything including damage.

Daze, Mass *

As far as i can tell the HD limit which is super low (4) is still intact so that pretty much makes this useless for all fights at and beyond the point at which you get this spell.

Death Ward ***

I care much less about touch when its used on allies and the benefits for this are quite nice. Not a huge duration, but with some proper planning, scouting, or divination this can be a cast before running through the door kind of spell.

Detect Scrying *

NOT prevent scrying, block scrying or stop scrying. Nope, just lets you know that someone is watching your each and every move so that you can flash gang signs and obscenities.

Dimension Door ****

It gets 4 stars for being verbal only. Short range teleport that allows you to take allies with you. Escape grapples, Nasty AoE's or just escape.

Discern Lies *

The DM gets a lot of wiggle room with this one and it was bad before that. Skip it.

Divination ***

Guess what school it belongs too? But seriously, its a pumped of version of augury which was already pretty good. Also, you know if this spell fails or not (unlike augury).

Enervation ***

Ranged touch attack spell that adds 1d4 negative levels (which stack). No save. Soften up the an enemy and make your DM do a whole bunch of calculations.

False Life, Greater **

It doesn't stack with false life so just stick with it as the level increase isn't worth it in my mind.

Familiar Melding *

Nothing too useful is jumping out at me and I am not a fan of detaching my soul from my body anyway.

Fear ***

Ah yes a fear spell without an HD limit and it has a partial effect on a successful save as will (minor, but still useful).

Fleshworm Infestation ****

I am interested to see how the augment summoning feat affects this spell (if at all). Perhaps the only touch spell I will ever rate blue, but it makes attempting that touch attack worth it. Multiple effects ( low damage, ability damage, and staggered). The enemy must save every round and even then it still gets a partial effect.

Geas, Lesser **

HD limit and charm monster is more universally useful, but in a given situation this isn't bad.

Ice Storm **

An ok spell with unimpressive damage, hindered movement and a minus to perception checks. Not bad, but not great either.

Inflict Serious Wounds *

I hate the inflict spells and they just get worse with level. This is no exception.

Locate Creature **

Circumstantial, but really useful when you need it.

Minor Creation *

A bad spell and likely evil if you sell the stuff you created.  

moonstruck **

You cause the enemy to become dazed, then raged and confused if they fail a will save.  They drop their weapons and attack randomly.  

Neutralize Poison **

You know the use for this right? Circumstantial, a lifesaver when you need it

Phantasmal Killer ***

Save or die would be blue, but the mere possibility that it can be turned on you is terrible.

Poison *

One save ends the affliction, plus a touch attack to hit and the relatively low damage for the level make this not worth it.

Ride the wave **

In an aquatic campaign this is blue. Breath water or air and gain a swim speed and the ability to take 10s.

Scrying **

Good way to keep tabs on a target and you can use special vision types.

Secure Shelter **

Good way to set up a home base in a dungeon or the wild if you HAVE to rest.

Shadow Step *

Dimension door is much better and more versatile.

Sleepwalk **

A good way to get creative with the slumber hex. Make enemies walk to their own demise.

Solid Fog ***

Sleet storm is going to cover most of what this does, but the creative will still find a use for it (use to negate falling damage, severely hinder rangers and rouges, etc.)

Summon Monster IV ****

Amazing versatility in combat and out. A summon spell worth taking.

Note: Ratings for the *Symbol* spells is based on making the spell permanent and being innovative with the trigger and placement. Otherwise, all of these are red.

spite ***

A handy spell to have as an extra line of defence against those who would dare lay hands on you.  They will trigger a 4th level of lower spell against them that you have cast with the spite spell.

Symbol of Healing **

Too redundant with healing hexes to rate this any higher. The costly material component really kills this.

Symbol of Revelation **

I would make this a tattoo spend the cash to make it permanent and make the trigger looking at it if I was going to do this at all. Going halfway with this one is a waste of time.

Symbol of Slowing **

If making symbols permanent is your thing then by all means take this. As for me I can't spend that kind of money on a single spell even if it is good forever.

threefold aspect ****

Make yourself look older or younger.  This spell has great roleplaying potential and if you choose to change into an old crone, you get a +4 bonus to Intelligence.

Touch of Slime *

How is this different than poison? same rating, same reasons.

Vermin Shape II ***

A buffed up version of vermin shape I. Probably worth waiting for this spell than taking the lower level one.

Volcanic Storm **

See ice storm.

wandering star motes *

Similar to a glitterdust spell in some ways except it only affects one creature at a time and is 2 spell slots dearer.

5th-Level Witch Spells

Baleful Polymorph ****

Essentially a save or die in the form of a save or lose. Target makes a save or becomes a harmless animal, then makes another save or loses all magical and supernatural abilities. All of this with the duration of permanent. Perfect finisher for the witch hexes.

banish seeming *

With a melee touch attack you can dispel an illusion or return a creature to its natural form.  Seems rather an expensive use of a 5th level slot.

Blight **

Hurt a plant very badly. If you are fighting a giant plant this is probably a decent choice, otherwise this is a good way to tick off the party druid.

Break Enchantment **

Pretty useful in the event that you find a cursed item or the party is subjugated to some sort of unwilling enchantment or transmutation (like baleful polymorph).

Cloudkill ***

This is one of the best AoE kill spells out there. Send it in front of you and have it kill or badly injure everything in front of you for 11 minutes. And it's CON damage so even if they live through it they take 1-2 HP/Level each round they are in it.

Contact Other Plane *

Know what is worse than losing points in your primary stat? This spell. Don't take it.

Contagion, Greater **

This is a city/army/group killing spell. Drop it on an enemy and they suffer the effects immediately (and can't cure it without high level magic) and then everyone they come in contact with gets it and they can't cure it without magic. 1 Diseased rat thrown into a city street is death for that city, maybe that whole kingdom.3 stars (4 in kingmaker type games)

cure critical wounds**

This is a nice spell but clerics can cast this as a 4th level spell.

Curse, Major ***

Gets rid of the touch range making it a better spell for combat. A good way to debuff an enemy in combat (though it gets a save and SR does apply).

Curse of Disgust **

The above spell is superior is a number of ways. This spell is a permanent -2 to all die rolls with no save whenever you decide to invoke it on your target

Dominate Person ***

A buffed up charm person. Making commands that oppose a targets nature give the subject an extra save. (rating may drop depending on how your DM views this). A pretty good spell to have your very own puppet.

Feeblemind ****

Wreck casters of all kinds (arcane especially). Ruins all spellcasting ability and gives a -4 to the saves of those who cast arcane spells.

Hold Monster **

A good spell, but a pretty high level for the effect. It is essentially a SoD on one enemy, but it affects will so more of the same.

Inflict Critical Wounds *

Want to do something not useless with a touch attack? Scroll up to fleshworm infestation

Magic Jar ****

Awesome spell. Clear entire rooms with no danger to your allies or yourself. As far as I can tell you still have access to all your hexes too making this spell that much better. Is there a rating better than blue?

Major Creation ***

better duration than Minor Creation and no limit to what you can create (bridges, wallas statues, etc)

Mark of Justice *

Bestow curse with 100x the casting time, you have to write on the target and it has to be willing or restrained. No saving throw, but for a 5th level spell your kidding right? This is crap.

Mind Fog ***

Ask your DM if you know who is affected and who isn't, if so this is blue. Soften up a group of enemies at range on their will saves and wisdom checks severely. For your will heavy list, this is awesome.

Overland Flight ***

Afraid of the monster charging you while you are within 30 feet? No problem if you are in the air (typically) and get a substantial bonus on fly checks. Redundant with the fly hex, but a much longer duration and you may want that hex for something else.

pain strike (mass) *

Non lethal damage limiting number of targets by your level.  Weak compared to other blaster spells.

Plague Carrier *

This could have been such a cool spell for an animal companion or monk, but the onset time (1d3 days) killed it.

Possess Object ***

Good spell.  You effectively take control of a construct (and all the perks there) PLUS you get to use construct points from the Animate Object spell to manipulate the body you are in. Flying shark statues with lasers attached to their heads here I come.  

Prying Eyes ***

It's the equivalent of sending 15 copies of yourself to scout out every nook and cranny within 1 mile of you. An amazing spy/trap detector/treasure hunter spell. Best on a scroll but awesome for learning everything about the castle/tower/fort/cave/etc. you just decided to assault.

Reincarnate ***

Unlike raise dead this works if the creature died from old age or if they were missing limbs, eyes etc. It also works on targets afflicted with magical or incurable diseases.

Most importantly it works on UNDEAD and is the cheapest way to return someone from undeath. All things that Raise dead can't do and it's alot cheaper as well.

rest eternal *

You curse a dead creature that bars its spirit from returning.  Yawn.

Secret Chest **

Has some material component cost, but is a good way to store very important items and heavy war spoils.

Smug Narcissism ***

The target spends all his effort on defense instead of offense. Shuts down blasters completely and any heavy hitter the opponents have stops attacking everyone. Massive debuff if you target it correctly.

suffocation ***

A reasonable spell that can disable a creature after 1 round if it fails a fortitude test and can potentially kill it in 3 rounds if it continues to fail saves.

Summon Monster V ***

A little less versatility, but still a good spell overall.

Symbol of Pain ****

Usually symbol spells can be ok for the creative.  This is better then evil eye (especially if you scribe it on a book to trigger at will) since it's an AoE.  Evil eye effect that lasts an hour that hits attacks & skill checks (acrobatics for tumbling rogues, Intimidate for dazzling display, perception for detecting traps/invisibility, etc).

Symbol of Scrying **

Don't know where the thieves guild is or want to find something that was stolen. Put this on it and let it get stolen. You always know where your belongings are and makes a heck of a scry and fry focus.

Telepathic Bond ***

Awesome utility spell that has a decent duration and allows communication over any distance.

Teleport ***

Great utility spell with the mishaps being super circumstantial and not all that bad. Great way to get around the world.

Waves of Fatigue **

No saving throw so that is good, but fatigue is not all that impressive. Would be pretty good if you could stack with regular fatigue, but ray of exhaustion after the fact will still do nicely.

6th-Level Witch Spells

cloak of dreams*

With a melee touch attack you can dispel an illusion or return a creature to its natural form.  Seems rather an expensive use of a 5th level slot.

cure light wounds (mass)**

This is a nice spell but you can already do this with your healing hex.

fester (mass) *

Like the 2nd level spell fester, but now you can be even lamer by wasting a 6th level spell and doing this to many.

inflict light wounds (mass) *

There are better ways to do mass damage.

raise dead ***

Bringing your allies back to life is never a bad thing.

swarm skin ***

This gets 3 stars for its coolness factor.  Turn yourself into a swarm of vermin just like Count Dracula.

unwilling shield ***

Make the enemy suffer half of your injuries for 1 round per level.  Not bad but they get a will save and there is spell resistence.

7th-Level Witch Spells

cure moderate wounds (mass)**

At close range, you can heal a number of targets up to your level with a CMW which will cover everyone in the party.  This is a nice spell but you can already do this with your healing hex and a cleric in the party can do this more effectively by channeling positive energy.

harm *

It charges a subject with negative energy that deals 10 points of damage per caster level up to 150 hit points of damage.  A successful will save will only do half damage.  Problem with this spell is it cannot reduce the target below 1 hit point making this spell very inefficient for a 7th level spell that only targets one creature.

heal ***

This heals a subject with positive energy for 10 points of healing per caster level up to 150 hit points of damage.  Not only that, it removes nearly any adverse condition affecting the target such as staggered, stunned, fatigued, blinded, poisoned to name just a few.

inflict moderate wounds (mass) *

There are far better ways to inflict mass damage than waste a 7th level spell slot with this.