Unique among the published classes, the Kineticist gets entire separate sets of element-specific class feats (Impulses). Your choice of element(s) determines which impulses you can access. In addition, there are Composite Impulses which combine two elements and require that you take multiple elements via Kinetic Gate and/or Gate’s Threshold, or that you take the Elemental Overlap feat.

Each element’s Impulses have a unique flavor, and there’s a lot of interesting synergy within the Junctions and Impulses for each element, but at the same time you can also find interesting combos by mixing benefits of multiple elements or by bringing in Composite Impulses.

  • Air: Hit-and-run tactics, sometimes stealth and scouting. Highly mobile. Rewards being incredibly fast and clever positioning.
  • Earth: Durable and uses difficult terrain a lot. Does very well on the ground, but struggles against flying enemies.
  • Fire: DAMAGE. A little bit of mobility, but basically no defenses. Go-to tactics require looking for multiple small sources of fire damage from impulses to capitalize on the Aura Junction.
  • Metal: Durable, good at mitigating damage for the Kineticist and for allies. Not a lot of damage output or control, so may fall into the Tank Fallacy.
  • Water: Area control, healing, and some defensive options, but poor damage output.
  • Wood: A bit of durability, a bit of area control, a bit of crowd control, a bit of healing. Well-rounded, but doesn’t excel in any one area.

Many of the Kineticist’s features refer to using Impulses. While the majority of your Impulses will be selected via feats, remember that Elemental Blast and Base Kinesis are also Impulses.

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

Class Feats

1st-Level Feats

  • Elemental FamiliarRoE: Familiars are fantastic, but the Kineticist really doesn’t have room in their action economy to emphasize a familiar, so it’s no a go-to option for the class. See our Practical Guide to Familiars.
  • Extended KinesisRoE: Base Kinesis is neat, but not predictably useful because so much is left up to interpretation.
  • Versatile BlastsRoE: Adding a third damage type to your Elemental Blast (second for fire) makes it really easy to get around resistances and immunities without needing to add a second element.
  • Weapon InfusionRoE: Fantastic for melee builds. Reach lets you atack from relative safety while still adding your Strength to damage. Agile, Backswing, Forceful, and Sweep will all be varying amounts of useful depending on specific circumstances, and you can change your decision on each blast, so you can do things like Forceful on your second blast in a turn and Agile on your third.

    For ranged blasts, you can get a range increment similar to a longbow or you can add Propulsive with a very short range increment. Propulsive will likely add only 1 or 2 points of damage, so it’s not worth taking this feat for just that.

2nd-Level Feats

  • Kinetic ActivationRoE: There aren’t a huge number of qualifying items, but adding some scrolls and maybe a staff can bring in some really powerful options like Fireball.
  • Voice of ElementsRoE: Buy a scroll or wand of Tongues and hand it to someone in the party with better Charisma.

4th-Level Feats

  • Command ElementalRoE: Very cool, but very situational unless you’re spending a huge amount of time in the elemental planes.
  • Safe ElementsRoE: If you stick to one element or a small number of elemets, you’ll get some Gate Junctions. Among those are several which make your Kinetic Aura do things like grant temporary hit points or impose damage vulnerability. You want to apply those selectively, and Safe Elements allows you to do so.

6th-Level Feats

  • Counter ElementRoE: Tempting for fire, but the other elements’ traits appear much less often.
  • Fearsome FamiliarRoE: only once per day, but this scales much better then summoning spells, giving you creatures that are much higher level than a wizard could summon with their best spell slots.
  • Two-Element InfusionRoE: A great improvement to Elemental Blast, but if you’re relying more heavily on other Impulses offensively, it may not be worth the feat.

8th-Level Feats

  • Elemental OverlapRoE: Gain a Composite Impulse without adding a second element. A great way to diversify a little bit without giving up your singular focus on one element.
  • Purify ElementRoE: I can’t think of a single case where this both has a meaningful effect and couldn’t be replaced by Cleanse Cuisine (Purify Food and Drink pre-remaster).

10th-Level Feats

  • Aura ShapingRoE: If you take one or more Aura Gate Junctions, your aura might do something cool when enemies or allies are inside it. If you do so, this is spectacular. If you never take an Aura improvement, this has no benefit.
  • Chain InfusionRoE: A great way to handle groups of low-level enemies without worry about putting allies into a damaging area effect. Keep in mind that Multiple Attack Penalty applies, so your 3rd, 4th, and 5th attacks are extremely unlikely to hit unless your targets are much lower level. If possible, use the 2-Action version of Elemental Blast so that you can add your Constitution modifier to the damage on each hit.

    If you start with a melee blast, it appears that ensuing blasts are still made at range, and since those are ranged blasts they won’t benefit from your Strength modifier.

  • Elemental TransformationRoE: A decent way to jump into melee for a brief period, but it’s only once per day, and Elemental Form stops improving at 7th-Rank spells, so you may want to retrain this around level 16.

12th-Level Feats

  • Effortless ImpulseRoE: If you have one or two good impulses that need to be Sustained, this is a free Action on many turns.

14th-Level Feats

  • Nourishing GateRoE: Very cool, but only situationally useful. The Status bonus on saves against poison may be the best part of the feat.
  • Rapid AttunementRoE: Imagine the ability to spend a few 10-minute blocks and rearrange massive portions of your tactics. This is potentially very useful for multi-element Kineticists, but will likely only meet expectations if you have good knowledge of upcoming challenges so that you can tailor your capabilities to handle them. If you plan to take Omnikinesis, retrain this as soon as you get it.

16th-Level Feats

  • Imperious AuraRoE: This may save you an Action on the first turn of combat, but players don’t typically change stances mid-combat, so that’s the limits of the benefits. Of course, an Action on your first turn can give you a massive advantage for the rest of an encounter.

    You might look at this and think “Okay, but Channel Elements lets me turn on a Stance for free when I use it to turn on my aura.” That’s correct, but misses the nuance here. You probably already had your aura running when combat started, in which case you’re either going to spend an Action to activate your Stance or you’re going to skip using your Stance. Even if your aura is turned off, you could activate your Stance as a Free Action with Imperious Aura, then use Channel Elements and get a free Elemental Blast.

    Important note: You can only take a single Free Action in response to the same event occurring. This means that you can’t use both Effortless Impulse and Imperious Aura on the same turn. Of course, you’ll likely use Imperious Aura on turn 1 then Effortless Impulse on later turns, so that’s likely not a problem.

18th-Level Feats

  • Elemental ApotheosisRoE: Air gets you flight, earth gets you burrow, fire gets you 50-foot speed (double normal for a humanoid), and water gets you a swim speed. We don’t have stats for Metal or Wood yet. You have other ways to get these things by this level (spells, mostly), but a permanent fly or burrow speed are fantastic.

20th-Level Feats

  • Kinetic PinnacleRoE: The options for your extra Action are very limited, but this does make it easy to repeatedly use Overflow Impulses. Remember that if you use Channel Energy this way, you still get to use a Stance or Elemental Blast for free when you do so.
  • OmnikinesisRoE: Sure, go ahead and spend 20 minutes during your turn paging through Rage of Elements for the exact Impulse that you want. The rest of us will wait.

    But seriously, how badly have you planned your build that you need to change it mid-combat? Sure, it’s great to be able to pull up every oddball, situational infusion on a moment’s notice, but this is your 20th-level feat. How often is that actually going to change the outcome of a situation?

Air Impulses

1st-Level Air Impulses

  • Aerial BoomerangRoE: 60 feet is a really good length for such a low-level line effect, and the damage is passable. If you can hit two targets, it’s equivalent to Elemental Blast’s 2-Action version, and this will scale damage much faster than Elemental Blast. If you have an ally who likes to hold enemies in place (grappling works great) and you can precisely position the end of the 60-foot line, you may be able to hit one creature once when you use the Impulse, once again at the end of that creature’s turn, and a third time when you recall the boomerang on your next turn.

    The difficulty with line effects is lining up two or more targets. Be sure to look for speed increases wherever you can get them (many Ancestries have a +5 ft. speed feat, Fleet, Longstrider, etc.), and use the Air Impulse Junction to get a free Step/half-Stride before you activate the Impulse. On your next turn, if you can hit two or more targets again with the returning boomerang, it will be hard to beat that amount of damage with another single Action.

    The impulse doesn’t specify what happens if you hit an obstacle, so I have no idea what happens if you don’t have the full 60 feet for the boomerang to fly outward. As a GM I would rule that the boomerang stops wherever the line ends, then returns to you from that point.

  • Air CushionRoE: Basically single-target Feather Fall whenever you want. Falling is a persistent danger for adventurers, but you won’t use this constantly unless someone in your party is doing something odd like jumping 30 feet into the air every turn.

2nd-Level Air Impulses

  • Four WindsRoE: For two Actions you might save four characters an Action each. It appears that you can target yourself with this, too.
  • Whisper on the WindRoE: Very situational, and you can replace it with a variety of spells available from things like wands or as an innate spell from you Ancestry.

4th-Level Air Impulses

  • Air ShroudRoE: Probably not useful at low levels, but as you gain levels you’ll find that flying enemies are increasingly common. A way to slow them down can be a powerful asset for your party.
  • Lightning DashRoE: Decent damage, a passable line length which scales as you level, and it’s not limited to using this on the ground, so you can dash into the air, then catch yourself with Air Cushion. If possible, use the Air Impulse Junction to better position yourself so that when you use this you can hit more targets. Also, be cautious not end your turn somewhere unpleasant.

6th-Level Air Impulses

  • Clear as AirRoE: A stunningly powerful scouting tool. It’s hard to use this in combat at low levels, unfortunately. When you hit level 10, you can Sustain the Impulse to remain Concealed, which is still a 20% miss chance but may not be worth the Action cost unless you have Effortless Impulse or you’re drawing a lot of attacks. Once you reach level 16 you can be perpetually invisible in combat, which is amazing.
  • Flinging UpdraftRoE: The wording of this Impulse is extremely confusing. It appears that the intent is that this is forced movement, allowing you to deposit a creature within the Impulse’s maximum distance (not its range, which is already confusing). But the Impulse specifies that “the target jumps in any direction”, which means that the creature is moving under its own power. Does this provoke Reactions? I don’t think it does because the target isn’t taking a qualifying Action, but the Impulse’s text doesn’t address the subject.

    I think the intent is that this is forced movement, doesn’t provoke Reactions, and the usage of the term “jump” is essentially flavor text. With that in mind, this allows you to reposition an ally, potentially saving them one or more Strides at the cost of your two Actions. As the maximum distance improves, this becomes gradually more efficient. However, Four Winds may be sufficient to accomplish that task and may even be a better solution because it affects multiple allies. But Flinging Updraft can also affect enemies, allowing you to jump them into dangerous locations like pits or to jump them far enough away that they can’t attack effectively without spending several Actions to move.

8th-Level Air Impulses

  • Cyclonic AscentRoE: Permanent flight (sure, 10 minutes at a time, but you can refresh it for free), moving upward doesn’t cost extra, and at level 14 it can affect your whole party! Remember that the Air Impulse Junction and Four Winds both allow you to fly if you have a fly speed, allowing your whole party to be extremely maneuverable in the air. The 30-foot minimum speed is likely an upgrade for your allies, too.

    It’s easy to forget, but remember that you must spend an Action to fly to stay in the air. Cyclonic Ascent allows you to use an Air Impulse instead. It doesn’t say “Impulse with the Air trait”, so it appears that Elemental Blast and Composite Impulses may not qualify, but that may be an overly pedantic reading of the text. Check with your GM.

  • Storm SpiralRoE: Roughly equivalent to Fireball in terms of straight damage, but this won’t scale as quickly as a Fireball heightened as much as possible, and the 3-Action cost can make this difficult to use on back-to-back turns.

12th-Level Air Impulses

  • Ghosts in the StormRoE: This a fantastic defensive stance. +2 to Reflex saves is already helpful, but adding easy access to Concealed and a Shock rune on Strikes makes it really awesome. Remember that the Air Impulse Junction allows you to Step or Stride when you use a qualifying Impulse, and that action qualifies to trigger the Concealed effect. Similarly, Four Winds allows the targets to Stride, which will also trigger the effect, potentially leaving allies Concealed, well positioned, and with a Shock rune ready for what may be a turn of nothing but buffed Strikes.
  • Wiles on the WindRoE: Fascinated for one round is not enough to justify such a high-level feat. The range and the area are both great, the duration is just too short considering that the target gets immunity immediately after the 1-round duration ends.

14th-Level Air Impulses

  • Body of AirRoE: Vapor Form gives you a base resistance of 8, which Body of Air raises by 1 for each level beyond 14 (max of resistance 13 at level 20), which is a decent amount of resistance to physical damage. Using this as a Reaction means that you can use it to mitigate damage from a hit, but since this has the Overflow trait it will end your Kinetic Aura when you do so. Whether or not that’s a problem depends heavily on your other build choices.

    When you hit level 20 and take Kinetic Pinnacle, the cost of dropping your aura this way essentially vanishes. Use this any time that you’re hit, spend the time between your turns as a cloud, then spend your additional Action from Kinetic Pinnacle to Channel Elements again. Effectively, you can have resistance to physical damage any time that you want to and the only cost is that you lose the benefits of your aura outside of your turn, which might not matter depending on your other build choices.

    You can also use Vapor Form outside of combat to do stuff like squeeze through keyholes or cracks in windows.

18th-Level Air Impulses

  • Crowned in Tempest’s FuryRoE: Guaranteed aura damage, flight, and bonus damage with Elemental Blast. You ideally want to fly into position to catch multiple enemies in your aura, then throw a bunch of blasts (see Chain Infusion). Strongly consider both Safe Elements and Aura Shaping to maximize the benefits here. Note that the +10 ft. bonus to speed won’t stack with the Air Aura Junction.
  • Infinite Expand of Bluest HeavenRoE: Unpredictable, but it can force enemies to spend their entire turn fleeing, essentially making this a save-or-suck. There’s a 50/50 chance that targets remain inside the area, otherwise they run away from the effect. In either case, creatures that fail their save waste their turn. Creature’s don’t gain immunity to this, so you can use this repeatedly on the same enemies.

Earth Impulses

1st-Level Earth Impulses

  • Armor in EarthRoE: Good armor and you get the Armor Specialization at level 1, long before martial classes get it. Adding Bulwark at level 3 makes this even better. Unfortunately, the Strength Requirement is high and you don’t get a free shield like you would from Metal Carapace or Hardwood Armor. Instead, look at Calcifying Sand. Shield Block may also work, but remember that the Circumstance bonus from Raise a Shield won’t stack with the bonus from the Earth Impulse Junction.
  • Geologic AttunementRoE: A spectacular counter to invisible enemies. Be sure to take Aura Shaping to expand the aura.
  • Stepping StonesRoE: Only situationally useful.
  • TremorRoE: The area is big enough to catch multiple enemies, and the difficult terrain can be very effective, but the damage is terrible and doesn’t scale well, so don’t look to this like you would look to Fireball. I don’t understand why the damage dice include both d10s and a d8, and I’m annoyed that it does.

4th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Calcifying SandRoE: Scaling resistance to physical damage and you might slow or petrify your attacker. This is an easy replacement for Shield Block, and it doesn’t require you to Raise a Shield first to enable it.

    Of course, this isn’t without limitations. It has both the Overflow trait and the Incapacitation trait, so it ends your Kinetic Aura, and enemies of your level or higher will have their save result improved by one step, meaning that you outright can’t petrify them, and you’ll only Slow them on a Critical Failure.

  • IgneogenesisRoE: Conceptually similar to Base Kinesis, but since you can fill a full 5-foot cube, the object is considerably larger. In combat you might do things like erect a wall for cover, raise a willing creature on a platform to put them out of enemies’ reach, set up a staircase to reach high enemies, or block off a choke point like a door or hallway. Adding additional cubes every 3 levels further improves the effect.

    Outside of combat, the ability to make the object permanent means that you’re a 1-person construction crew, allowing you to construct stone structures with a speed that any mason would envy.

6th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Sand SnatcherRoE: Certainly better than relying on Athletics, this is a welcome support/control option for your whole party. The ability to grapple enemies without putting and ally in danger means that you can pin down enemies so that your party can eliminate them with much less risk or effort. The snatcher’s speed is slow and it can’t fly, which may be a problem in open spaces, but otherwise this is a fantastic tool for any Kineticist.
  • Weight of StoneRoE: Decent damage, a big AOE, and a meaningful counter to flying enemies. Unfortunately, this has the Overflow trait, so you can’t use it on back-to-back rounds to gradually force high-flying enemies down to the ground.

8th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Spike SkinRoE: With a 10-minute duration, you can afford to pre-cast this before combat, but due to the 1-hour immunity you can’t just walk around with this running. The duration will absorb at most 10 hits, but more likely it will be 9 at most. That’s still a good amount of damage mitigation, not to mention the retaliatory damage.
  • Swim Through EarthRoE: Burrow speeds are fantastic, allowing you to easily break into places or to ambush enemies who typically have no way to notice or stop you. However, the Action cost is severe, making this hard to use in combat. Two Actions to start it is a lot, and then on future turns you need to Sustain it, leaving two Actions for you to move and do whatever else you want to do.

12th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Rattle the EarthRoE: Earthquake 3 levels before spellcasters get it! Dropping enemies into fissure both damages them and requires them to climb out of the fissure. The initial 10-foot depth isn’t huge, but they still need to spend at least one Action climb or jump or whatever else in order to escape, and many creatures are’t proficient in Athletics and therefore will struggle to do so. Climbing without a climb speed is glacially slow. Just remember that the fissures are permanent, so you’re doing permanent damage to the area. This also has the Overflow trait, so be mindful of whatever situation you’ll be in when your Kinetic Aura drops.
  • Rock RampartRoE: There is some overlap her with Igneogenesis, but the two effects are different enough to both be useful. Rock Rampart can create much larger objects, but it also requires you to Sustain it and only lasts for one minute. Use the right tool for the situation.

14th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Assume Earth’s MantleRoE: Without a Reaction like Reactive Strike (Attack of Opportunity pre-remaster), better reach does very little for the Kineticist. Large size will let you occupu more space, but if you need to occupy space you can use Igneogenesis and fill it with rocks. The Strength bonus is neat, but for the Kineticist it’s not impactful.

    This would be awesome on a martial character like a barbarian or fighter who is looking at Kineticist Dedication.

18th-Level Earth Impulses

  • Rebirth in Living StoneRoE: 40 temporary hit points is a huge pad, and the extra damage is nice, but the Action cost to sustain this is absolutely not justifiable. Be sure to take Effortless Impulse. Also remember that you’re immune to the temporary hp part of the impulse for 10 minutes, so you can’t repeatedly start the stance to refresh the temporary hp.
  • The Shattered Mountain WeepsRoE: Decent damage in a good area of effect, you might knock targets prone, and you get both difficult terrain and ongoing damage for a full minute after using this. Do you remember Tremor all the way back at level 1? This is something like Tremor, but massively more powerful.

Fire Impulses

1st-Level Fire Impulses

  • Burning JetRoE: At low levels, this is a slightly faster way to move around than using a Step and a Stride to avoid Reactions. At level 6, it actually beats your speed for two Strides unless you invested in speed bonuses, plus the option to Leap allows you to cross obstacles. Consider Cat Fall so that you and end in the air and fall safely. At level 10 this is basically low-budget flight without the ability to turn mid-movement. Just remember that two Actions every turn to stay in the air is a huge cost.
  • Eternal TorchRoE: Buy an Everburning Torch.
  • Flying FlameRoE: Broadly useful with decent damage. 30 feet is a short range, but the ability to draw the path and snake this between creatures makes it possible to target multiple enemies uch more easily than with a line. Regardless, this will scale in damage much faster than Elemental Blast, so as you gain levels this may prove to be a more effective go-to offensive option even against single targets.
  • Scorching ColumnRoE: The area is tiny. A 10-foot diameter is a 2 squares by two squares (effectively a 5-foot burst against non-flying creatures), meaning that you need to hit enemies adjacent to one another to hit more than one target unless you’re facing a bunch of flying enemies. The initial damage is decent with decent scaling, but the hazardous terrain damage isn’t meaningful on its own. If you pick up the Fire Aura Junction, the imposed Weakness will make that hazardous terrain considerably more threatening. However, since this has the Overflow trait, it turns off your Aura, potentially removing that Weakness, so get your aura running again as soon as possible.

4th-Level Fire Impulses

  • Blazing WaveRoE: Decent damage in a decent area of effect.
  • Thermal NimbusRoE: Resistance for your allies, automatic damage for your enemies. Pick up the Fire Aura Junction to impose Weakness, and you can get a big pile of guaranteed damage without really doing anything. Be sure to take Aura Shaping to increase the size of your aura, but don’t worry about about Safe Elements because both the Fire Aura Junction and Thermal Nimbus only hurt enemies and only help allies.

6th-Level Fire Impulses

  • Crawling FireRoE: In concept, this is a great way to use Flying Flame, Blazing Wave, or a melee Elemental Blast while keeping yourself at a safe distance, but since damage to the Crawling Fire also damages you, you’re not actually making yourself safer by hiding behind a pet. The ability to make the Crawling Fire larger allows it to block more space, but that’s not always useful.
  • Volcanic EscapeRoE: Not a lot of damage, and since this is Overflow it turns off your aura. The free Leap means that you may be able to get out of reach of the creature’s other Actions, but it’s only half of your speed so look for speed bonuses like the Fleet feat.

8th-Level Fire Impulses

  • Kindle Inner FlamesRoE: In a large party that’s making a lot of Strikes, this may deal more damage than Thermal Nimbus. Remember that the free Step is a move action and therefore triggers the bonus damage.
  • Solar DetonationRoE: Good area, good damage, good scaling, and you might dazzle or even blind your targets. It does have Overflow, but it’s absolutely worth the cost if you can hit a group of enemies.

12th-Level Fire Impulses

  • Architect of FlameRoE: Wall of Fire is great area control, but three Actions and Overflow is a high cost, especially since you need to Sustain the wall. The damage also doesn’t scale as well as it does for a full caster, so this gets less impactful as you gain levels.
  • Furnace FormRoE: Flight, fire immunity, and your Elemental Blast does an extra die of damage. Get the Fire Aura Junction, turn this on, fly just out of reach, and spam Elemental Blast. Not much nuance, but it’s hard to argue with results. Once you hit level 16 you no longer need to Sustain the Impulse, but you must spend an Action to fly to stay in the air.

14th-Level Fire Impulses

  • Walk Through the ConflagrationRoE: The concept is so cool, but the destination is extremely restrictive even for a fire-focused Kineticist, and the fact that this has the Overflow trait means that you’re going to use this, teleport, and find yourself in a bad situation unless you teleport to somewhere extremely safe.

    I love the idea of having a friend pour alchemist’s fire on themself so that you can teleport to them. If they don’t already have fire resistance, pick up Thermal Nimbus and get your aura running again before they take the persistent damage.

18th-Level Fire Impulses

  • All Shall End in FlamesRoE: It is perfectly fine to weild this like a hammer, drop a massive ball of fire damage, and call it a turn. 13d6 with a 30-foot radius burst is a great way to handle crowds.

    But there is a little more nuance here. Instead of a burst, you can choose to use this as an emanation (basically a burst that originates from you), and according to the rules for emanations, “the creature creating an emanation effect chooses whether the creature at its center is affected.” This means that you can willingly target yourself either by placing yourself in the burst or by using the emanation and choosing to target yourself. If you’re at very low hit points, affected by something nasty like a harmful spell, you might do this intentionally use this and effectively reset yourself. You return to life at the beginning of your next turn. You’re probably prone, but you may be in better condition than you were prior to incinerating yourself.

    I’m not totally certain how effects like Afflictions and Persistent Damage are handled when a creature dies. Typically you don’t come back from death this quickly, so it usually doesn’t matter. Check with your GM. I do know that your body is reduced to ash until you come back, so at the very least other creatures will struggle to shovel you into a bag of holding or anything on the sort.

  • Ignite the SunRoE: Not a huge amount of damage up front, but the ability to grow the sun and move it around for the 1-minute duration means that you can deal a huge amount of total damage. Since this doesn’t have the Overflow trait, you can easily use this in conjunction with other go-to fire tactics, including the Fire Aura Junction to impose weakness and targeting numerous creatures with impulses and with Thermal Nimbus to get additional damage from the imposed weakness.

Metal Impulses

1st-Level Metal Impulses

  • FlashforgeRoE: A neat utility. A clever player could make this extremely useful outside of combat. The 1 Bulk limit may prove frustrating since Bulk is intentionall vague, and your GM might rule that items which are normally 1 Bulk are more bulk when you make them entirely out of metal.
  • Magnetic PinionsRoE: Basically three attacks against three different targets, but without the headache of Multiple Attack Penalty that you would face if you used Elemental Blast three times. The damage is decent and scales reasonably well, but the Overflow trait is frustrating and it’s usually better to focus on one target and bring them down quickly instead of spreading damage across multiple targets.
  • Metal CarapaceRoE: Decent armor, a free shield which improves as you add levels, and you get Shield Block for free. A huge impovement to your durability. The limitation is that the whole thing breaks if you suffer a critical hit, but with 1 Action re-activate it, it’s only momentarily inconvenient. Compared to Hardwood Armor, the Metal Carapace’s shield will reduce more damage when you use Shield Block, but at the cost of the Impulse ending early on a crit.
  • Shard StrikeRoE: Decent damage with two area effect options and good rider effects on a Critical Failure. This is an easy go-to offensive option, and the scaling may outpace Elemental Blast after a few levels even if you only hit one target.

4th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Magnetic FieldRoE: Only situationally useful. The vast majority of enemies don’t rely on metal.
  • Plate in TreasureRoE: The obvious use here is to turn an ally’s weapon into whatever special metal you need without the gold cost to buy a whatever-grade weapon of that type. The weapon uses the properties of the newly-applied material, but Clad in Metal makes no mention of what grade of material you apply, so I assume that you use the highest-level version of that material which fits within your level limitation.

    This can also allow you to trigger weaknesses using your Impulses. For example: if you’re carrying an item which you’ve clad in cold iron (cast Plate in Treasure on a coin or something), your invocations that create metal (ex: Shard Strike) would us that metal and would then trigger weaknesses. I’m not certain if this applies to Elemental Blast since it describes you collecting and hurling elemental energy rather than creating metal. Check with your GM and hope for errata.

    The interaction with Metal Carapace is complicated but not especially helpful. If you’re holding an affected item , you can create the armor and shield using that material. Your first instinct may be to use adamantine to make the shield more durable, but the Impulse’s level-based improvement will match or exceed adamantine. Mithral can reduce the bulk of the armor and the shield, but that’s an expensive way to mitigate bulk when you could take Heavy Hauler or buy a Lifting Belt. As far as I can tell, there’s no significant benefit here.

6th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Consume PowerRoE: Broadly applicable damage resistance which scales with level, and it gives you a damage boost on your next turn. I would rate this blue without the damage boost. If you can find resistance to cold (available from numerous Ancestries and Heritages), you have resistance to many of the most common non-physical damage types, and you can use Shield Block for most physical damage.
  • Scrap BarricadeRoE: Quick, disposable area control. Unfortunately, the wall isn’t very durable, and since it has the Overflow trait it ends your Kinetic Aura to use this, but if you can wall off a group of enemies, it can put you at a huge tactical advantage.

    It’s really weird that the wall isn’t immune to poison or psychic damage.

8th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Conductive SphereRoE: The damage from the sphere itself is extremely minor and doesn’t scale, so you’re relying on your allies with the Shock rune to make this meaningful offensively. That requires that you have multiple weapon-using allies adjacent to the sphere, which is borderline impossible unless you’re in close quarters.
  • Retch RustRoE: If you entirely ignore the persistent damage to metal creatures, this is a cone with double the length, more damage, and better scaling than Shard Strike. However, since this has the Overflow trait, it’s not quite as easy to use back-to-back, so it’s not a perfect replacement.

12th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Rain of RazorsRoE: Good damage, a good area of effect, and hazardous terrain without needing to Sustain anything. This does have Overflow, unfortunately, but the deterrent effect of the hazardous terrain is frequently worth that cost even against small groups of enemies.
  • ShattershieldsRoE: Effectively automatic Shield Block for you and everyone in your aura, and you can use Shield Block to further reduce incoming damage. The shields break if the incoming attacks exceed their hardness, and at this level that’s almost a guarantee, so expect the shields to only work once each. Strongly consider Aura Shaping so that your allies can spread out a bit more and still benefit.

14th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Alloy Flesh and SteelRoE: 10 points of resistance to physical damage, enough condition and damage immunities that it took two full lines of text, and an additional damage die with Elemental Blast. You need to Sustain the impulse, but doing so lets you Raise a Shield, so this is clearly built to work alongside Meal Carapace. If you pick up Effortless Impulse, you can Sustain this and Raise a Shield as a Free Action, which is just stunningly good. You do become immune to this for an hour if you suspend a condition when you activate it, but otherwise you’re free to just walk around and activate this every minute when it expires so that it’s running when you walk into combat.

18th-Level Metal Impulses

  • Beasts of Slumbering SteelRoE: The move speeds are fantastic, so if your allies don’t all have an easy way to fly, this is a great way to get flight as well as to travel long distances. While it does halve the mounts’ defenses, I would still be tempted to use the 1-hour duration version of the impulse most of the time to avoid spending 3 actions mid-combat to get everyone mounted.

    The mounts don’t have the Minion trait, so it appears that use the rules for a normal animal: you need to Command an Animal to make them take a single Action. They’re mindless, so as a GM I would allow Command an Action to succeed automatically.

  • Hell of 1,000,000 NeedlesRoE: Good damage and crowd control in a decently large AOE, more damage when you Sustain the Impulse, and hazardous terrain. Altogether a good go-to option against crowds. Just remember that this has the Overflow trait.

Water Impulses

1st-Level Water Impulses

  • Deflecting WaveRoE: Scaling resistance to several common damage types, even exceeding the damage mitigation provided by Shield Block after a few levels. This will be consistently useful for your entire career.
  • Ocean’s BalmRoE: Not a ton of healing and only touch range, but it’s a single Action. Outside of combat, this can replace Treat Wounds for your whole party. In combat, it’s a great way to rescue dying allies and also provides a little bit of fire resistance.
  • Tidal HandsRoE: Decent damage in a decent AOE. The ability to create two separate cones means that in tight quarters you may be able to hit multiple targets without needing to move.
  • Winter’s ClutchRoE: The damage is poor, but semi-permanent difficult terrain in a 10-foot burst can have a huge tactical impact.

4th-Level Water Impulses

  • Return to the SeaRoE: Only situationally useful. If you need this enough to justify taking it, your group should be playing aquatic ancestries. If you only need this temporarily, it’s a good candidate for Reflow Elements. If you’re not high enough level for that, buy a scroll.
  • Winter SleetRoE: This is a huge problem for your enemies. Be sure to take Safe Elements so that you can exclude your allies from the effect.

6th-Level Water Impulses

  • Driving RainRoE: Decent damage, and it forces enemies to move out of the area to avoid other creatures being Concealed. However, this has the Overflow trait, costs 3 Actions to use, and creatures in the area are also Concealed, which may be more of a problem for your party than it is for your targets.
  • Torrent in the BloodRoE: A second healing option, and the only one available to the Kineticist which affects multiple targets. Poisons are decently common, and allowing an additional save without risk of making things worse will be helpful repeatedly throughout your career.

8th-Level Water Impulses

  • Call the HurricaneRoE: Ask for personal space very aggressively. The damage is pretty good and the area is large, but it doesn’t exclude your allies so you’ll frequently have trouble using this if you’re accustomed to being close enough to use things like Ocean’s Balm.
  • Impenetrable FogRoE: Decent area control, but 3 Actions and the Overflow trait is a high price. The initial 10-foot burst isn’t huge (though it does increase with level), so enemies will likely escape with a single Stride, and you should be prepared to abandon the effect as soon as it stops being helpful. You can also drop this on yourself and your allies to use it defensively.

12th-Level Water Impulses

  • Glacial PrisonRoE: Incapacitation and Overflow mean that you can’t reliably use this on stronger enemies, but otherwise it’s a great save-or-suck. This robs the target of at least one turn (provided that your party lets their turn pass before doing anything hostile to them), and since their AC drops to 9 you can easily crit them. Figure out who in your party does the most damage on a single critical hit without using precision damage and tee them up to nuke whatever you’ve frozen. The creature isn’t Off Guard while frozen, but aside from effects which specifically want the target Off Guard (Sneak Attack, etc.), that’s not a problem.
  • Sea Glass GuardiansRoE: The +1 status bonus is excellent. Be sure to take Safe Elements to avoid sharing it with enemies. The healing effect is frustrating and unpredictable, but it also doesn’t impose immunity to itself, so you can re-start the Stance to get it going again. If you’re frequently using Overflow Impulses, you’re going to need to use Channel Elements repeatedly anyway, which makes it easy to keep this running.

    You can technically abuse this by having your party repeatedly crit each other with low-damage attacks (unarmed strikes should be safe for most characters), but that’s not going to happen in combat, and outside of combat it doesn’t matter much beyond maybe being slightly faster than spamming Ocean’s Balm.

14th-Level Water Impulses

  • Barrier of Boreal FrostRoE: Walling off part of an encounter can be a huge tactical advantage. The ability to make the wall transparent can also allow you to obersve enemies on the other side of the wall so you don’t drop your magical wall to find that your enemies went and found reinforcements while you were busy killing their friends.

18th-Level Water Impulses

  • Ride the TsunamiRoE: Decent damage with a big AOE, and you can push targets. However, it has the Overflow trait, and the free swimming movement will still provoke Reactions, so use this cautiously.
  • Usurp the Lunar ReinsRoE: Too situational and too vague.

Wood Impulses

1st-Level Wood Impulses

  • Fresh ProduceRoE: Not much healing, and the target also needs to spend an Action to eat the fruit. The Void damage resistance won’t be consistently useful, but with a 10-minute duration it’s very easy to keep the resisting running on your whole party constantly.

    The ability to put the food into a creature’s hand notably doesn’t require the target to be willing, so you can fill enemies empty hands with snacks in the middle of combat. I’m not sure precisely how this would be helpful since dropping stuff is a free action, but it’s fun to think about.

  • Hail of SplintersRoE: The initial damage is small, but the AOE is good and the fact that the persistent damage scales by a d4 every two levels means that the damage will add up quickly and remain useful for your whole career, maxing at 9d4 persistent bleed at level 19. That’s 22.5 average damage per target for several turns! This does have the Overflow trait, but applying this to a group of enemies early in a fight can deal a mountain of total damage, so it’s easily worth the inconvenience.
  • Hardwood ArmorRoE: Simple and effective; you get decent armor, a free shield that scales as you gain levels, and you get Shield Block for free.
  • Timber SentinelRoE: A good way to mitigate damage in falling an extended fight that’s not moving around a lot. You cast this at the maximum level which a full spellcaster could match, so as you gain levels the tree becomes a truly significant pool of hit points at no resource cost beyond the Actions to place it.

    Ending an existing Timber Sentinel leaves a mundane tree. Since there’s no limitation on how often you can use this, you can become a one-person reforestation effort. Imagine waking up one day, deciding you were upset about something, and taking out your frustrations by turning a major road into a field of saplings.

4th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Ravel of ThornsRoE: A speed penalty plus hazardous terrain. Great motivation for you and your party to stay mobile and force melee enemies to follow you. The damage isn’t huge and doesn’t scale quickly, but it will still add up to a lot of damage over the course of your career. Be sure to take both Aura Shaping and Safe Elements to expand your aura and exclude your allies.

    Since this isn’t difficult terrain, adding difficult terrain in the same area can nearly immobilize many enemies, making melee-only enemies much less threatening. Look for options like Tremor (Earth Impulse) or Winter’s Clutch (Water Impulse). You still need to worry about enemies jumping or flying, but if you’re forcing enemies to get around by using Leap repeatedly, I think you’re doing okay.

  • Tumbling LumberRoE: The damage isn’t great and scales slowly, and enemies will be pushed sideways out of the line most of the time. The 10-foot wide line does make this much easier to use against crowds than most line effects, but that’s not enough, unfortunately. In the vast majority of situations, I would rather use Hail of Splinters. There may be some use to flattening difficult terrain, of course.

6th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Dash of HerbsRoE: Single-target healing at range, and the Kineticist’s best option for handling status conditions. Fresh Produce will produce more healing, but you can’t have a dying ally eat a snack on their own.

    The option to put the herbs into a meal is likely intended mostly as flavor. I don’t think Paizo expects people to make meals and eat them mid-combat in order to carry around free healing items. Still, your GM might let you make stuff like crackers and eat them quickly in the middle of a fight.

  • Wooden PalisadeRoE: Walling off part of an encounter can be a huge tactical advantage. The option to add platforms and ladders is neat, but with a maximum duration of one minute, whoever climbs the ladders needs to worry about falling damage almost immediately.

8th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Drift of PollenRoE: A fantastic debuff. Sickened is a -1 penalty on everything, it’s hard to get rid of. Even better, creatures are Dazzled, which makes everything else Concealed to them, imposing a 20% miss chance. Still better, creatures that remove the debuff don’t become immune, so they can become Sickened again!
  • Sanguivolent RootsRoE: Hurt your enemies, heal your friends. The damage isn’t fantastic, but you can apply it repeatedly over several turns. The difficulty is in keeping enemies inside the area of effect, but you can manage that by using Ravel of Thorns to debuff their speed or by having allies grapple them.

12th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Hedge MazeRoE: Most of the utility of a wall, but with the ability to draw more walls within the cube. I’m not sure what happens if there isn’t enough space for the full 30-foot square, and the walls only provide lesser cover, so this isn’t quite as effective for blocking enemies as Wooden Palisade.
  • Witchwood SeedRoE: Mediocre damage, but a great debuff. This doesn’t have the Incapacitation trait, so it works against powerful single enemies, which you can make Clumsy before having your whole party focus their attacks while the target’s AC is reduced.

14th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Orchard’s EnduranceRoE: Decent, but nothing fancy and it doesn’t really change your tactics. Grab Aura Shaping, but don’t worry about Safe Elements this explicitly only affects allies.

18th-Level Wood Impulses

  • Rouse the Forest’s FuryRoE: In most cases I would rather have this than Wooden Palisade. With an AC of 40, the trees are much harder to kill, plus when you Sustain the Impulse, you get to make a Strike rather than just keeping your wall around. The trees can flank, which is great either for helping an ally or for boxing an enemy in between multiple trees. This does have the Overflow option, but having three big fighty trees should buy you time and cover to get your aura going again.
  • Turn the Wheel of SeasonsRoE: Frustrating, slow, and despite being perfectly predictable, it’s hard to predict if this will be effective beyond the initial season.

Composite Impulses

Remember that you cannot replace Composite Impulses via the Reflow Elements feature, so if you need to replace one you’ll need to use the normal rules for retraining.

4th-Level Composite Impulses

  • Ambush BladderwortRoE: Reflex-based save-or-suck without the Incapacitation trait. Drop this behind an enemy, have an ally Shove your enemy into the plant, and you’re done. Weirdly, drowning might actually be a threat inside the plant. Creatures get 5+Con rounds to hold their breath before falling unconscious, and turns on which they attack or cast spells cost double, and casting a spell with verbal components (most spells) immediately consumes all of your remaining air, so the caster starts drowning immediately. The target needs to be able to carve through 50 hit points (more at higher levels) in a few turns. The AC of 10 is paper thing, so critical hits are likely, but in the worst-case scenario your target is likely out of a fight for a round for a two.

    The fruit from a creature dying inside the Bladderwort is portable healing item. It’s not a ton of healing, but it’s free. If you throw an unconscious rat into a bladderwort, you can grow a healing fruit for each member of your party that they can carry into battle. It’s effectively a free high-level healing potion.

  • Lava LeapRoE: Decent damage, and you can mostly ignore difficult terrain since you’re jumping. The Circumstance bonus to AC makes it a bit less scary to jump into a crowd, and since this only two Actions you can use this, end your aura due to the Overflow trait, then use Channel Elements and immediately turn it back on. For melee builds, this is a fantastic way to jump into melee and get enemies inside your aura.
  • Living BonfireRoE: This is rarely worth the action cost to set it up. Your best-case scenario is to set up the bonfire and have your enemies come to you, but that’s rarely easy. The most efficient use of the bonus fire damage is with Chain Infusion. Get the bonfire set up, then on a later turn use Chain Infusion followed by the 2-Action Elemental Blast, then hit up to 5 creatures with a bunch of damage. Of course, that’s two turns worth of work for a combo that can be cut short by missing a single attack.
  • Rain of RustRoE: Only situationally useful. Very few enemies rely on metal armor or are made of metal, and this has no effect otherwise.
  • Whirling GrindstoneRoE: Poor damage dealt slowly with a high action cost and poor scaling. The 20-foot speed of the grindstone is not good enough to pursue fleeing enemies, and the circumstance bonus to weapon damage is more of a novelty than an actual buff.

6th-Level Composite Impulses

  • Ash StriderRoE: A decent way to get out of danger if you’re built to fight at range, but with the Overflow trait and poor damage you really don’t want to rely on this frequently.
  • Desert WindRoE: The primary benefit is to make yourself Concealed to all other creatures outside of your aura without making them Concealed to you, giving enemies a consistent 20% miss chance to hit you, which is a major boon for ranged kineticists. The damage bonus against enemies inside your aura is nice, too, allowing you quickly eliminate enemies that make it inside the aura. Your best bet is likely to get one enemy inside the aura at a time, focus your attacks on them, and let the concealment from the aur protect your from other enemies.
  • Elemental ArtilleryRoE: This isn’t significantly better than relying on Elemental Blast. If you do choose to use it, look for ways to mitigate the 3 Actions required to load and fire it again. A minion with hands (likely a familiar) can handle the two Actions to reload at the cost of one Action to Command them, leaving you one action to do something not ballista-related.
  • Jagged BermsRoE: Excellent are control. Placing the six cubes strategically can have a massive impact on the shape of the battlefield, providing both cover and areas that deal automatic damage. If you party has options which can force movement (Shove, the Air Gate Junction’s Critical Blast option, etc.), you can rack up huge amounts of damage from this alone. The damage scales similarly to other Impulses, which keeps the damage consistently useful for your whole career. It appears that you could place the berms on top of each other, too, so with clever timing you could turn a creature falling out of the air into a trip down the world’s tallest cheese grater.

    This does have the Overflow trait and it takes three Actions to activate, so this may not be a panacea in every encounter. It functions best in close quarters and with allies who can forcibly move enemies. Since the berms have no duration, you may be able to set this up ahead of time if you’re expecting enemies to come to you. At the very least, use them to defend wherever your party rests.

  • Lightning RodRoE: Too costly for the benefits. Three actions means that you need to start in melee, which isn’t a guarantee (though the Air Impulse Junction may help). The penalty to AC and to saves against electricity is minor, the damage is basically negligible, and removing the rod is trivial. Sure, your target spends an Action to remove it, but three of your Actions for one of theirs is not a good trade unless you’re facing a solitary enemy.
  • Molten WireRoE: This is a lot like persistent damage, but your target doesn’t automatically get a save against it at the end of their turn. The damage isn’t fantastic, but it adds up quickly over time, so your best bet is to use this early in a fight to maximize the benefits. Since this is an Impulse that deals fire damage, it can benefit from Fire Aura Junction’s imposed Weakness to fire.
  • Rising HurricaneRoE: The damage isn’t fantastic, but the area is huge, and dropping creatures both causes falling damage and knocks them prone. You can potentially spend 3 Actions to use this and have every enemy in an encounter lose an Action to stand up on their turns. Friendly fire is a big risk here, so consider picking up Air Cushion so that you can prevent an ally from taking falling damage but also use them as bait to pull enemies into the area. They’ll still take the bludgeoning damage, but that will frequently be worth the trouble. This does take 3 Actions and has the Overflow trait, so unfortunately you don’t get to spam it every turn (at least not until level 20).
  • Roiling MudslideRoE: This doesn’t specify an area, so we’re waiting for Errata to form an opinion.
  • Steam KnightRoE: A good combination of mobility and damage output. Strongly consider Cat Fall so that you can leap into the air and fall intentionally without consequence, as well as the Fire Aura Junction to impose Weakness to the fire damage.
  • Tree of DualityRoE: Heal your allies and Dazzle your enemies. The 3-Action cost is high, but dropping this on an ally in the thick of melee can have a huge impact.