Poison Ivy

A skilled botanist gone too far, Poison Ivy uses the power of plants to get what she wants.

Who Is Poison Ivy?

Who Are Poison Ivy?

Dr. Pamela Isley – better known as Poison Ivy – is one of the most well-known villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. Like many of them, she popped up in the 60’s, on of countless adversaries for the caped crusader to fight. She’s endured though, standing the test of time as one of the villains we never get tired of seeing the Batman take on.

Often, the best Batman villains are the ones with a cause. For Scarecrow, that's understanding the nature of fear. For the Joker, that's chaos.

For Poison Ivy, that cause is usually protecting nature, at all costs. That usually means resorting to some kind of extreme bio-terrorism, by the way. Plus, she can usually command plants.

Like most of the early female Batman villains – Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, for instance – Poison Ivy is a femme fatale. It is a bit repetitive and annoying, for sure, that all those early women in comics were pidgeonholed into this characterization. At the risk of sounding like an apologist, though, it sure fits for Poison Ivy. Her work with plants, aromas and pheromones makes a perfect starting point for a character who also has a hypnotic ability to attract others into her sphere.

I think my earliest exposure to Poison Ivy was in Batman & Robin, which featured Uma Thurman as the character. It’s a much maligned movie without many redeemable qualities.

The Harley Quinn animated series, though, features an awesome performance by Lake Bell as (a green-skinned) Ivy. Despite not consuming much DC media for the past few years, it’s tough to argue the quality of that show. It’s great.

So how do we build Poison Ivy in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character


A Rose By Any Other Name

Poison Ivy is known for her beauty, and her willingness to use her feminine wiles in tandem with her power over flora.

Toxic symbol

Toxic Relationship

It’s right in the name… Domain over plant life comes with the power of poison. Poison Ivy doesn’t shy away from using toxic thorns, vapors and elixir in her eco-terrorist plots.

Poison Ivy's plant minion

Very, Very Green Thumb

Poison Ivy doesn’t just have a knack for growing plants, she has command over them. That’s the power to creep vines, call upon man-eating flytraps, and more.


Potions & Extracts & Tinctures, Oh My

Before becoming a fearsome bioterrorist, Pamela was a gifted herbalist. Her ability to create medicines and tonics from plant-based ingredients is second to none.

Building Poison Ivy

An earlier version of this build used a Leaf Order Druid. But a Kineticist / Alchemist build is a better fit. Depending on the version of the character you know and love, you'd start with either the Alchemist with a Kineticist archetype, or the other way around.

Despite preferring some of the more grounded versions of villains in the Batman canon – Scarecrow and Catwoman for instance – the Poison Ivy incarnations that can really have plants do her bidding are the most fun to me.

So our version of Pamela Isley is a Single Gate Wood Kineticist, who has some Alchemist tendencies. Great start.

On the battlefield, Poison Ivy is best categorized as a controller. But she can almost equally be labeled a healer and enchanter. She really does the jobs of all three, and well.

As a Kineticist, Poison Ivy controls the battlefield in a number of ways. Many of her impulses can cause zone control on the battlefield – either through real physical objects, like wooden walls and thorns, or through elemental effects that enemies want to steer clear of, like a zone of dizzying pollen.

As well, the Elemental Blast impulse is arguably a better fallback action than most caster cantrips – and her critical effect for wood is immobilization. More control!

Meanwhile, lots of her impulses can heal her allies – directly and through zone healing – or apply status effects to foes that can be debilitating.

Outside of battle, Poison Ivy can use her alchemy background to create some helpful alchemical items, like potions, for her team. As well, as a femme fatale, Pamela has a knack for getting what she needs from people who shouldn't be as willing to give it as they are.


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  • Great mix of control and healing
  • Natural damage scaling with elemental blast
  • Smells terrific
  • Can be shut down by certain resistances
  • Crafted poisons can't be applied to blasts
  • She will reject you


Enchanting Lily Ghoran

Previous to the Impossible Lands release, this was a Woodland Elf ancestry. I still like that for Poison Ivy, but the Ghoran ancestry translates the character into the world of Pathfinder a little better. Plus, it makes her green.

Switching from Woodland Elf to Enchanting Lily Ghoran really doesn't lose any flavor, but adds so much! Especially in the "beautiful, alluring, danger" category that Poison Ivy fits comfortably in.





Flexible Form

So bendy, like a gymnast crossed with a... plant?


Speak with Flowers

Literally one of the things Pamela does is speak to flowers. Now they can speak back.


Perfume Cloud

Dazzle foes with a tantalizing blast of flowery aroma.


Look But Don't Touch

Poison Ivy poisons any enemy that touches her. Was this feat made for this build?


Solar Rejuvenation

First aid? I'll just rub some sun on it.



I mean, come on. This is literally Pamela Isley’s background before becoming her feared alter ego. This background also sets the scene for her Alchemy Dedication, which she will use to concoct herbal tinctures for her teammates.

The Wisdom boost the background gives is needed for the Druid class, so that is even better.



With a Single Gate Kineticist build focused entirely on the wood element, a Poison Ivy build can come to life [Ed. note: Sprout?] without too much complication. By focusing on a single gate, Poison Ivy can become a true master in that element – like the Human Torch's mastery over fire – and pick up most of the wood impulses available.

But it all starts with the elemental blast, which Pamela of course augments to deal d10 poison damage. Unlike Johnny, Pamela isn't normally slinging blasts as fast as she can. She is more likely falling into the builder-spender gameplay loop, using overflow impulses that do area damage, control the battleground or heal allies.

But the critical effect of her blast – immobilizing the target – is strong. In cases where Pamela has her attack boosted, fishing for a crit is a decent option.

Meanwhile, Poison Ivy adds an Alchemist Dedication at level 2 to give her some crafting to do in her downtime with all those plants she grows. These are mainly used to aid teammates, although they can also lean into the poison, bioterrorist side.





Versatile Blasts

Change Poison Ivy's blast damage type from vitality (boo) to poison (yay).


Hail of Splinters

Poison Ivy's first element "spender" is a cone of thorns that deals piercing damage, with a bleed effect.


Timber Sentinel

Who needs to raise a shield when you can just grow a new tree to block blows?


Alchemist Dedication

Spend downtime brewing up some nice healing potions... or horrible poisons.


Ravel of Thorns

A stance that makes Poison Ivy's aura hazardous, damaging and lowering the speed of creatures inside.


Fresh Produce

A once-per-encounter healing item for the party, provided they can visit Pamela's aura to grab it.


Gate's Threshhold: Critical Blast

Ivy's elemntal blast crits lockdown the target with immobilizing vines.


Wooden Pallisade

Instantly form a large wooden wall to control the battlefield or create an archer's stoop.


Elemental Overlap: Tree of Duality

For three actions, sprout a tree that heals nearby allies and poisons nearby enemies.


Drifting Pollen

From Expand the Portal. A new stance that sickens creatures nearby.


Gate's Threshhold: Aura Junction

Allies gain temporary health while in Poison Ivy's aura. Just makes sure her thorns or pollen stances aren't active.


Aura Shaping

Make that aura huge. Also, make those thorns, pollen or temporary health huge.


Witchwood Seed

At the drawback of touch range, plant a seed in a foe that can damage and immobilize them.


Sanguivolent Roots

From Expand the Portal. Summon brutal blood-drinking vines that drain enemies to heal allies.


Gate's Threshhold: Skill Junction

Gain a big boost to Survival and Forest Terrain Expertise checks. An expert of the plants!


Command Elemental

By this point, any plant-based elemental fighting against the team has a real uphill battle.


Imperious Aura

A free activation of one of Poison Ivy's stances.


Tumbling Lumber

From Expand the Portal. Summon giant tree trunks that go rolling into allies, forcing them away.


Gate's Threshhold: Elemental Resistance

Pamela Isley wouldn't be worthy of her name if she wasn't resistant to both poison and ivy (wood).


Rouse the Forest's Fury

Command plants! Summon three large trees to whack the hell out of enemies.


Kinetic Pinnacle

More actions for blasting, or nurturing, the elements.

Skills & General Feats

What’s most important to Pamela is her connection to Nature, followed by an athletic ability to climb on the trees and vines she grows. Oh, and legendary diplomacy, because people just can't say no to Poison Ivy. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's pheromones.

Plus, some Medicine for a few extra team-assisting skills.

Legendary: Athletics, Nature
Master: Medicine
Expert: Acrobatics

Level Feats Notes
2 Battle Medicine The only thing more welcome than first aid is first aid before the fight is over.
3 Charming Liar Charming certainly fits for Poison Ivy. So charming. So so charming. Ouch!
4 Godless Healing Pamela only has faith in nature.
6 Mortal Healing Heal bigger when no pesky god has interfered in healing an ally.
7 Feather Step Move with the grace of a rose petal.
8 Influence Nature Hmmm. I don't know, can Poison Ivy influence nature?
10 Morphic Manipulation Grow plants faster through sheer encouragement.
11 Breath Control Gotta make sure Pamela Isley doesn't breathe her own toxins!
12 Confabulator Easy to decieve people when they can't tear their gaze away.
14 Skill Training - Society Some extra skills to try to fit in with humans, rather than just plants.
15 Untrained Improvisation Get a little better at everything.
16 Lie to Me Great decievers know when they are being decieved.
18 Efficient Explorer Being able to talk to nature makes exploring a forest kind of easy.
19 Incredible Investiture More magic items for more devious plots.
20 Craft Anything Build contraptions to avenge the plants!

Attribute Increases


Suggested Starting Equipment

Alchemists Tools – Whenever Poison Ivy isn’t using primal magic to affect plants, she’s doing it through alchemy.

Poison Ivy's Signature Items

Key Spells



  • Revamped class. Changed from Druid to Kineticist

Poison Ivy Resources