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Pathfinder - Druid Archetypes Breakdown

Disclaimer

I will use content from the core rules, but will intentionally omit any content not published on the official Pathfinder SRD due to the unmanageable volume of non-SRD content, and the wildly varying quality of non-SRD content. If you would like me to write handbooks for specific content not published on the official SRD, please email me and I will consider it on a case-by-case basis. I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks. Also note that many colored items are also links to the Paizo SRD.

Temporary Note: Pathfinder Unchained and Occult Adventures were both recently added to the SRD. I'm excited to explore them, and I am actively working on adding their contents to my collection of handbooks. I appreciate your patience while I make these changes.

Archetypes

The Druid is one of the most powerful and versatile classes in the game. Between their excellent mix of offensive/support/utility spells, their animal companion, and Wild Shape, the Druid can do basically everything but open locks and disable traps. Unfortunately, many of the Druid archetypes are very similar. Reading this guide from start to finish might be nearly as boring and repetetive as it was to write.

Ape Shaman

Apes are an interesting option, but the Ape SHaman doesn't give you any options which are particularly good.

Nature Bond: Apes are a decent animal companion, and their human-like anatomy makes them very versatile. If you don't want an ape for some reason, you have a few good choices for domains.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Not the best totem transformation, but you get a few decent options.

Totemic Summons (Su): Apes are on Summon III, and Dire Apes are on Summon IV, so you have a very limited range of summons.

Wild Shape (Su): You can turn into a Dire Ape immediately. Because you have human-like anatomy, you may be able to use weapons and cast spells with no verbal components. However, the Dire Ape is the best option available to you at any level.

Bonus Feat: Nothing good here. Toughness is the best option, which should indicate just how bad this list is.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Aquatic Druid

Unless you're playing underwater, this archetype is useless.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Aqua Man would be proud.

Aquatic Adaptation (Ex): How many games have you played that took place in "aquatic terrain"?

Natural Swimmer (Ex): Kind of Mandatory, but if you are playing an underwater game you probably already have a swim speed.

Resist Ocean's Fury (Ex): Water subschool spells are very rare, but the bonus to resist aquatic creatures is nice if you're always underwater.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it two levels late hurts a little bit.

Seaborn (Ex): Now you can live underwater, if you couldn't already for some reason.

Deep Diver (Ex): Extremely situational.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Arctic Druid

As you would expect, the Arctic Druid is most effective in arctic environments. If you are playing a campaign which doesn't take place mostly in an arctic readion, skip the arctic druid.

Arctic Native (Ex): If your campaign takes place in an arctic climate, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Icewalking (Ex): Useful in the snow sometimes.

Arctic Endurance (Ex): Endure Elements is a first level spell with an hours/level duration. Dazzled is the least annoying status condition in the game.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it two levels late hurts a little bit.

Snowcaster (Su): The ability to change fire spells to cold damage is great for a Druid; many of the Druid's direct damage spells deal fire damage. The ability to switch to cold damage is very helpful for overcoming resistances.

Flurry Form (Ex): Gaseous form is a third level spell, so it's a bit disappointing to get this at such high level. However, it is still a useful escape/infiltration mechanism.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Bat Shaman

Bats aren't big combatant, and this archetype makes that apparent. Instead of trying to be a wild-shaping combat monster, fly around on your bat casting spells and using ranged weapons. Use blindsight to locate invisible enemies for your party. If you are in melee, you have messed up.

Nature Bond: The Bat isn't even listed as an animal companion on the SRD. I would assume the Dire Bat is acceptable, which is good because the Dire Bat is a really cool option. It gets blindsight and you can ride it while flying. The domain list is pretty great, too.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Flight and blindsight!

Totemic Summons (Su): The Dire Bat is the only bat on the summon list, and it's not a very good summon.

Wild Shape (Su): Aside from the flight (which you can already do), and the blindsight (which you can already do), there is no reason to transform into a bat.

Bonus Feat: With the exception of Improved Initiative, there is very little here worth taking.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Bear Shaman

The Bear Shaman is very close to being good, but falls a bit short. Totem Transformation is a really cool, flavorful ability, and I love the versatility of summoning bears at almost any spell level. However, the limitations on Nature Bond and the weakened version of Wild Shape really bring the archetype down.

Nature Bond: The bear isn't a great choice for animal companion, and the domain selection is small and doesn't contain a lot of good options.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): This is a really cool buff with three unique and interesting versions. If you are built for Wild Shape, the natural weapons version can be a great way to get into melee before you get Wild Shape. The rest of the time, toughness is a solid option. The ability to activate the bonus with smaller actions at high levels is nice because you don't need to plan your bonus before combat starts to save your standard actions.

Totemic Summons (Su): Way better than A Thousand Faces. Bears aren't great animal companions, but summioning them is a pretty good choice for Summon Natures ally. Naturally you might think "but if bears are bad animal companions, why are they good summons?" Animal Companions don't get stats matching their original animal. The Bear in particular has decent stats to start with, but falls off very quickly compared to other choices. Summoned bears are full size bears with all of their strength and damage and generally awesome bear-ness, and you can enhance them to run the full range up to Summon VIII.

Wild Shape (Su): Unfortauntely, there are only four bears that you can transform into: Black Bears (Medium; Beast Shape I), Grizzly Bears, Polar Bears, and Dire Bears (All Large: Beast Shape II). At level 6 you can Wild Shape as a level 8 Druid if you Wild Shape into a bear. A level 8 druid can Wild Shape as Beast Shape II, so you can be a Dire Bear right from level 6. While it's certainly nice to get Beast Shape II a level ahead of Wizards, the Bear isn't a very good option for Wild Shape because it doesn't get any special abilities, and its damage isn't good enough to offset the lack of Trip or Pounce. Losing two levels from your other Wild Shape options also hurts.

Bonus Feat: A short list of fairly boring passive feats. I would take toughness, Great Fortitude, then Improved Great Fortitude. There really isn't. Diehard and Endurance just aren't very good.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Blight Druid

The Blight Druid is a really cool concept. The abilities are a bit strange, but Miasma and Plaguebearer could make for an excellent defender. Without acces to an Animal Companion, the Blight Druid needs to be more self reliant, and more dependant on spell in combat.

Nature Bond (Ex): While not as useful in combat as an Animal Companion, Familiars make excellent scouts and assistants. The Darkness, Death, and Destruction domains are nice additions to the existing Druid domain list.

Vermin Empathy (Su): I'm not sure why anyone would ever want to be friends with vermin, but that's more of a personal problem. The ability to calm vermin and undead animals it situational, but very interesting.

Miasma (Ex): Sickened and Nauseated are excellent status conditions, and debuffing anyone unfortunate enough to stand next to you is very helpful.

Blightblooded (Ex): Not as good as immunity to poison, but nice to have.

Plaguebearer (Su): Blinding Sickness. Blinding Sickness every time. This is a fantastic deterrant to anything foolish enough to touch you.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy

Compatible Archetypes: None

Boar Shaman

The Boar Shaman is perhaps the worst of the animal shaman archetypes. Board are weak both as animal companions and as a Wild Shape choice, and the abilities provided by the archetype are very weak compared to other animal shamans.

Nature Bond: Boars are some of the worst animal companions, but your domain list is pretty good.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Some decent options, but nothing really amazing.

Totemic Summons (Su): Boar and Dire Boar come on Summon III and Summon IV, respectively, which leaves you with very few summon options as you level.

Wild Shape (Su): You can Wild Shape into a Dire Baor immediately, but it's a very poor option compared to other Wild Shape options.

Bonus Feat: All of the options are bad.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Cave Druid

Unless your GM makes special allowances to cater to your skillset, the Cave Druid is only mediocre even while underground. Most of the replacement abilities are even more situational than the abilities which they replace.

Cavesense (Ex): Knowledge (Dungeoneering) is miles better than Knowledge (Geography).

Nature Bond: The Darkness domain is decent, and the Air and Weather domains are fairly bad.

Wild Empathy (Ex): Very situational, and I don't know if oozes are generally intelligent enough to have a "disposition".

Tunnelrunner (Ex): Very situational.

Lightfoot (Ex): Very situational, but better than Trackless Step.

Resist Subterranean Corruption (Ex): Very situational.

Wild Shape (Su): Plant Form is garbage anyway, and turning into an ooze could be very useful.

Replaced Features: Nature Bond, Nature Sense, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: None

Desert Druid

Potentially very useful in a desert, but otherwise not very good.

Desert Native (Ex): If your campaign takes place in a desert climate, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Sandwalker (Ex): Helpful in sandy environments.

Desert Endurance (Ex): Endure Elements is a first level spell with an hours/level duration. Food and Water are hard to locate in a desert, so the ability to go extended periods without them is excellent.

Wild Shape (Su): Plant form is awful, but you may be able to find some useful vermin forms.

Shaded Vision (Ex): Immunity to blindness is nice considering how debilitating it is. Resistance to gazes and visual illusions is situational.

Dunemeld (Ex): Gaseous form is a third level spell, so it's a bit disappointing to get this at such high level. However, it is still a useful escape/infiltration mechanism.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Dragon Shaman

This might be better called "dinosaur shaman". Aside from Dragon Bite, none of the abilities really have anything to do with dragons. However, if you want to summon a bunch of dinosaurs during every fight, this is the way to do it. Because dinosaurs are lizards, this archetype largely eclipses the Saurian Shaman, even in terms of Wild Shape.

Nature Bond: The crocodile is a solid options for your animal companion, but the monitor lizard is terrible. The Dragon Shaman gets a much longer list of potential domains than other animla shamans, but it's not any better.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Several excellent options, especially the flight option.

Totemic Summons (Su): Assuming that dinosaurs count as lizards, which is both scientifically accurate and awesome, you have a ton of options. Dinosaurs run the whole range of summon levels, and the ability to add templates to bring their summon level up or down can allow you to bring a tactically relevant dinosaur into any fight at any level. Because dinosaurs are so much more diverse than the animals allowed to other animal shamans, this ability is considerably better.

Wild Shape (Su): This is much weaker than the other animal shamans. Deinonychus is a solid option, and stays reasonably useful at higher versions of Beast Shape, but it won't keep up with things like Dire Tigers which become available to other Druids more quickly.

Dragon Bite (Su): More damage is excellent, and you can change the damage type every time you bite. Applying when you are Wild Shaped is absolutely fantastic.

Bonus Feat: Nothing really fantastic here.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Eagle Shaman

The Eagle shaman is a cool flavor with garbage stats. Eagles aren't scary in combat, so turning yourself into one generally doesn't do you any good. However, the Totem Transformation can get you some easy flight while you fly around summoning piles of angry birds.

Nature Bond: The bird is a very poor animal companion, and choice of domains really sucks.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): While the other options are poor, the flight option is fantastic.

Totemic Summons (Su): You can summon eagles from Summon I-III, and a Giant Advanced Eagle might be a decent flying summon. Giant Eagles aren't actually on the summon list for some reason. Young Rocs come into play at Summon VI, and you can stretch Rocs all the way up to Summon IX, which few other animal shaman archetypes can say. You have a few empty summon levels in the middle, but you can summon multiples of lower-level summons to summon a bunch of enhanced eagles.

Wild Shape (Su): This would be good if you could actually Wild Shape into a Roc. Regretably, you can't, and the Eagle is a poor Wild Shape choice.

Bonus Feat: None of the feats are particularly good. Flyby attack is amusing, but because you can't Wild Shape into anything that flys and does decent damage, you won't get much use out of it.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Feral Shifter

Feral Shifter gives up Nature Bond and a few of the Druid's less interesting abilities to get the Hunter's Animal Focus ability. Unfortunately, Animal Focus is considerably less powerful than Nature Bond, so this archetype makes the Druid actively worse.

Animal Focus (Su): This is nowhere near as good as an Animal Companion. The buffs are nice, especially if you like to use Wild Shape, but the minutes per level duration won't get you through the day, and Druid has plenty of spells which provide the same buffs.

Second Animal Focus (Su): Doubles the effectiveness of Animal Focus, but doesn't fix the duration problem.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Timeless Body, Venom Immunity

Compatible Archetypes: Wild Whisperer

Jungle Druid

Even in its native domain, the Jungle druid is lackluster at best.

Jungle Guardian (Ex): If your campaign takes place in a jungle environment, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Woodland Stride (Ex): Very important for traversing thick jungles, but not very exciting.

Torrid Endurance (Ex): Endure Elements is a first level spell with an hours/level duration. The bonus against diseases is very strong, but the resistance against animals' abilities is very situational.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it two levels late hurts a little bit.

Verdant Sentinel (Ex): How often do you need to be an immobile tree?

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Lion Shaman

Lions are pretty great. They're strong, they're fast, and they get both Pounce and Rake. Now apply that to a Druid. Overall, the Lion Shaman is a great option for Druids who like cats.

Nature Bond: Lions are excellent animal companions, and your choice of domains has some good options.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): All three of the options are useful.

Totemic Summons (Su): Felines have a much bigger range of summon levels than bears. The Dire Tiger is Summon VI before templates, and a Giant Advanced Dire Tiger is goes all the way up to Summon VIII, where it is plenty scary. Imagine a tiger the size of an elephant pouncing on things. Beautiful.

Wild Shape (Su): The best feline form you can get is the Dire Tiger, which you get at level 6. This might sound disappointing, but you start with Pounce, and you get to use Rake at level 7, two levels ahead of the rest of the world.

Bonus Feat: Dodge and Lunge are solid choices for polymorphing, but your will saves should be fantastic without Iron Will.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Menhir Savant

Stonehenge, the archetype. This is an interesting grab bag of vageuly spirit-related abilities. Each of the abilities is interesting and useful, but there is nothing here that you absolutely need to have. If you like the idea of a very spiritual druid, this archetype has a fantastic flavor without appreciably changing the power level of the druid.

Spirit Sense (Sp): Though somewhat situational, this is surprisingly versatile. Also, the description is full of unnecesary semicolonds.

Place Magic (Su): Boost your caster lever for free a few times per day. This isn't going to hugely boost your effectiveness, but it's extra duration on buffs or damage on your direct damage spells when you need it.

Walk the Lines (Su): Excellent teleportation effect. You can go basically anywhere in the world several times per day for free.

Empty Body (Su): Very useful both defensively and for infiltration or escape.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Sense, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Mooncaller

The mooncaller has some interesting flavor and some interesting abilities, but it lacks anything that you absolutely need to have. Pick this archetype for the flavor, not for the stats.

Night Sight (Ex): Any improvement to your sight is a huge benefit.

Resist Call of the Wild (Ex): Situational, and the effects are uncommon, but the bonus is big.

Purity of Body (Ex): Not as good as immunity to poison, but still nice to have.

Wolfsbane (Su): DR is fantastic, and very few things can bypass DR/silver.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Venom Immunity, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Mountain Druid

Even in the mountains, the Mountain Druid is lackluster. You gain very little from the archetype's abilities that you could not get from existring Druid spells or abilities.

Mountaineer (Ex): If your campaign takes place in a mountainous environment, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Sure-Footed (Ex): Very situational, but it makes sense for a mountain druid.

Spire Walker (Ex): Even if you live in the mountains, you generally shouldn't be spending a lot of time fighting while climbing.

Wild Shape (Su): Plant Shape is bad, but Giant Form isn't really any better. Losing two levels of Wild Shape hurts a bit, but it's not clippling.

Mountain Stance (Ex): Being petrified will really ruin your day, but forced movement is rarely a problem.

Mountain Stone (Ex): Like Tree Shape for geologists.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride, Venom Immunity

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Nature Fang

The Nature Fang is a confusing concept. It combines some features of the Slayer with the Druid's spellcasting, but manages to not be a Ranger. For some reason Nature Fang gets 1d6 of Sneak Attack, but no more than that. As a concept, Nature Fang would make a lot more sense as a Ranger archetype. As it stands, Druids don't really have a good way to make use of Studied Target, especially considering the Nature Fang gives up Wild Shape.

Studied Target (Ex): You can only maintain one studied target, but this is otherwise the same as the Slayer's version. I don't think that you can apply the DC boost to your spells because Studied Target specifies "Slayer Class Abilities", and makes no mention of spells.

Slayer Talent: Slayer Talents offer a lot of very interesting options, including access to Ranger Combat Styles.

Sneak Attack (Ex): Wow. 1d6 Sneak Attack.

Swift Studied Target: Studied Target works great as a Swift Action.

Replaced Features: Nature Sense, Nature's Lore, Venom Immunity, Woodland Stride, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Pack Lord

While an amusing concept, the Pack Lord doesn't work mathematically. Splitting your animal companion levels is completely debilitating. Fortunately, this usage is optional. Instead, take this archetype for the Improved Empathing Link ability if you don't plan to use Wild Shape a ton of times in a day.

Pack Bond (Ex): Splitting your animal companion levels is a hugely dangerous prospect. Doing so dramatically effects your companions' hit points, AC, and their ability to hit and deal damage. If you split your levels evenly, you may find that having even two companions makes them completely useless.

Improved Empathic Link (Su): This is fantastic for scouting. If you have a companion smart or obedient enough to follow complex directions, you can send them in ahead of you to look for danger.

Replaced Features: Nature Bond, Wild Shape Uses Per Day (6th level)

Compatible Archetypes: Aquatic Druid, Arctic Druid, Desert Druid, Jungle Druid, Menhir Savant, Mooncaller, Mountain Druid, Plains Druid, Swamp Druid, Reincarnated Druid, World Walker

Plains Druid

Finally an ecosystem-based druid archetype that can travel. The abilities are all well themed to the plains, and may even function best while there, but the abilities are still useful outside of your native environment.

Plains Traveler (Ex): If your campaign takes place in an open plain, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Run Like the Wind (Ex): Permanent speed bonuses are fantastic on any character.

Savanna Ambush (Ex): Very interesting, but because Druids are not really stealth characters, this won't get you a lot unless you work to bring it into play. The ability specifies "natural surroundings", so you can use it even outside of your native environment.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it two levels late hurts a little bit.

Canny Charger (Ex): Turning during a charge is very useful, and charging through your allies solves a lot of problems for characters who need to charge to reach their targets. THe toehr bonuses are situational, but they don't hurt to have.

Evasion (Ex): A bit late in the game, but Evasion is fantastic at any level.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Reincarnated Druid

The Reincarnated Druid is hard to kill. That in many ways is enough to justify the archetype. However, the abilities don't really provide anything active that you can do, so they may be somewhat boring on the table.

Mysterious Stranger (Ex): This ability makes sense in terms of flavor, but it's not very useful.

Resist Death's Touch (Ex): Death effects will ruin your day, and a +4 bonus to saves against them is absolutely fantastic.

Many Lives (Ex): If you're careful, this makes death much less scary. However, the random nature of the Reincarnation table makes it very hard to predict what you will be when you come back. Because chanhing races only affects your physical abilities, you may find yourself with a weird hodge-podge of racial abilities, and potentially much better stats than you had before you died.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is still great, but losing two levels limits its utility.

Cheat Death (Ex): Fantastic, especially on top of your +4 bonus against these effects.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): Weird, but maybe a little more useful for a Druid than a Monk.

Replaced Features: Resist Nature's Lure, Timeless Body, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Saurian Shaman

Dinosaurs are awesome, so this archetype is pretty great. You can summon a bunch of scary dinosaurs abnormally fast, and you can Wild Shape into dinosaurs better than anyone else. However, the Dragon Shaman can do essentially the same thing, and gets Dragon Bite and a better Totemic Transformation.

Nature Bond: Many of the very best animal companions are dinosaurs. Oh, and you have some okay domain options I suppose.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): All of the options are good, though perhaps not as good as other animal shaman archetypes.

Totemic Summons (Su): Reptiles and dinosaurs, but I'm being redundant. Dinosaurs run the whole range of summon levels, and the ability to add templates to bring their summon level up or down can allow you to bring a tactically relevant dinosaur into any fight at any level. Because dinosaurs are so much more diverse than the animals allowed to other animal shamans, this ability is considerably better.

Wild Shape (Su): Unfortunately Dinosaurs aren't the best option for polymorphing because most dinosaurs are too large for Beast Shape to allow. Still, deinonychus is a solid option, and you get Pounce early.

Bonus Feat: Nothing really fantastic here.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Serpent Shaman

Aside from Totemic Transformation, the Serpent Shaman has very little going for it.

Nature Bond: While the viper is very weak, the constrictor snake is a good choice for an animal companion. Your choice of domains is also among the best of the animal shama archetypes.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): All of the options are great. The poison is very tempting, but unless you dump a lot of resources into your constitution, the DC will be fairly low.

Totemic Summons (Su): There are only two snakes on the Summon Nature's Ally list. A Giant Advanced Constrictor Snake is pretty scary, but you run out of options at Summon Monster V.

Wild Shape (Su): Snakes are among the worst options for polymorphing.

Bonus Feat: None of the feints do anything useful for you.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Shark Shaman

Even underwater, this isn't a great archetype. Sharks just aren't very good statistically compared to other available options like Orcas.

Nature Bond: Even underwater, there are much better animal companion options than sharks, and your domain choices are poor.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Surprisingly good options.

Totemic Summons (Su): Your options run out very quickly at very low levels, and adding rays to your summon list isn't very helpful.

Wild Shape (Su): Sharks are not a great form to take, even underwater.

Bonus Feat: With the exception of improved initiative, there isn't anything fantastic here.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

Storm Druid

The Storm Druid is a cool concept, but the simple fact that the Air and Weather domains are terrible makes this archetype a non-starter.

Spontaneous Domain Casting: This would be great if your available list of domains were better.

Nature Bond (Ex): You list of domains is awful.

Windwalker (Ex): Extremely situational.

Stormvoice (Ex): Extremely situational.

Eyes of the Storm (Ex): Extremely situational, but useful if you really like the Fog Cloud spell.

Windlord: Your choice of domains is still terrible, but adding a second domain dramatically improves the usefulness of your spontaneous casting.

Storm Lord (Ex): Extremely situational.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Resist Nature's Lure, Spontaneous Casting, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: None

Swamp Druid

The Swamp Druid isn't quite as good as the Plains Druid, but it has some interesting abilities which continue to be useful outside of a swamp.

Marshwight (Ex): If your campaign takes place in a swamp environment, this shoots right up to blue. The bonuses are fantastic and apply to Initiative and some very crucial skills.

Swamp Strider (Ex): Very situational.

Pond Scum (Ex): Monstrous Humanoids are a huge group of monsters, and many of them have very powerful and very annoying abilities. Swarms are annoying at any level, and being able to stand in them without taking damage is awesome.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it two levels late hurts a little bit.

Slippery (Ex): Fantastic buff. Great for escaping grapples, squeezing into or out of tight spaces, etc.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord

Urban Druid

The Urban Druid is an interesting concept. In a lot of ways it's like a Cleric with the Druid spell list and no metal armor. The abilities aren't awful, though giving up the option of an animal companion hurts.

Spontaneous Casting: Summon Nature's Ally isn't very good compared to Summon Monster, but the ability to cast domain spells can be really great if you pick an interesting domain.

Nature Bond (Ex): Animal Companions are fantastic, but some of the domains are very appealing.

Lorekeeper (Ex): Several decent knowledge skills, and a free +2 bonus to all of the new class skills. Diplomacy is kind of hard to justify because Druids want basically every ability except Charisma.

Resist Temptation (Ex): Situational, but a +2 on saves against enchantments is pretty great considering how scary enchantment spells are.

A Thousand Faces (Su): This is much more useful for an Urban Druid, but it's still situational..

Wild Shape (Su): Wild Shape is fantastic, but getting it fours levels late hurts a lot.

Mental Strength (Ex): Immune to Dominate Person. Fantastic on any character at any level.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Resist Nature's Lure, Spontaneous Casting, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: None

Wild Whisperer

Inspiration is a fantastic mechanic, but the Wild Whisperer doesn't get nearly enough of it for it to be useful.

Inspiration (Ex): Inspiration is a really great ability, and the free bonuses to skills are nice, but Druids typically don't need Intelligence, so your Inspiration pool is going to be small.

Wild Shape (Ex): Not being able to take the form of a plant or elemental somewhat limits the utility of Wild Shape, but Plant Shape and Elemental Body are two of the worst polymorph spells, so you're not missing much.

Natural Expertise (Ex): Very situational, and not very good when it applies.

Investigator Talent: One. You get one Investigator talent. Choose wisely.

Replaced Features: Resist Nature's Lure, Trackless Step, Wild Shape, Woodland Stride

Compatible Archetypes: Feral Shifter

Wolf Shaman

The Wolf Shaman's totem tranformation is one of the best, but that isn't enough to redeem an otherwise non-functional archetype. Wolves are very low CR, and there are very few stronger canines. Higher level canines are generally linear improvements on dogs and wolves, so you don't get any abilities better than Trip as you level. While Trip is certainly useful, you generrally don'y play a Druid to play a Trup master.

Nature Bond: The Wolf is a decent choice of animal companion, and your choice of domains is devent.

Wild Empathy (Ex): This is in addition to the normal Wild Empathy ability, which is already very situational.

Totem Transformation (Su): Lots of fantastic options here. The natural bite with Trip is particularly fantastic.

Totemic Summons (Su): The highest level canine on the Summon Nature's Ally list is Dire Wolf at Summmon IV. By adding the giant and advanced templates, you can get a pretty scary Dire Wolf on Summon VI.

Wild Shape (Su): Wild shaping into a wolf or a dog really doesn't get you anything that Totem Transformation doesn't already get you. Your best options are Dire Wolf and Winter Wolf, which are passable, but not fantastic.

Bonus Feat: The Trip feats are nice combined with Totem Transformation, but the other feats will be hard to use on a Druid.

Replaced Features: A Thousand Faces, Nature Bond, Venom Immunity, Wild Empathy, Wild Shape

Compatible Archetypes: None

World Walker

Because Druids can cast Tree Stride already, the biggest draw of this archetype is Favored Terrain, which is terrible and boring.

Favored Terrain (Ex): Favored Terrain is a lousy, boring ability. "This ability replaces ...reduce nature's lore". Yes, it certainly does.

At 3rd level, the world walker gains the ranger's favored terrain ability.

Path of Trees (Su): Good long-distance travel ability.

Replaced Features: Resist Nature's Lure, Timeless Body, Trackless Step, Venom Immunity

Compatible Archetypes: Pack Lord