A new UA has dropped, this time with options for the Artificer, Druid and ranger. Here are my thoughts as I read through.
Okay, so instead of being kind of Iron Man, this is Iron Man. Interesting selection of spells. It makes me realize plain Artificers don’t have shield, which is a crucial spell.
Okay, on to the armor with the Power Armor Feature (Level 3). This feature basically says “Flavor Flavor Flavor” I can’t imagine any of these mechanics actually being called into question, but they’re a nice safety net.
Armor Model (L3) brings those mechanics into context. You get to choose Melee Tank or Ranged Stealth. You can’t change this without spending 10 minutes or whatever to take the armor off. (Or you can change it during a rest) And even though one set basically becomes a power armor catsuit, you can’t wear 2 types of armor. Solid catch on WotC’s part.
The actual powers Armor Model brings are NUTS. First, armor attacks are made using Int. Fine.
Melee/Guardian mode: You deal thunder damage that doesn’t say anything about noise levels. Which is odd. It’s also another Mark ability, of which we haven’t had a lot. And I think it might be better than the others? First, there’s no restrictions. You don’t have to remain adjacent, you can get multiples a turn. It’s like a better version of Viscous Mockery. And if I’m reading this right, your fist count as a monk weapon, so you could conceivable Flurry of Blows in heavy armor and cast shield as well.
Oh, and as a bonus action each turn, you can fill a pool with your level of Temp HP. That makes this a super tanky class. I don’t have a good feel for how damage stacks, but since you’re going to be dumping your infusions into your defense, you’ll have insane AC and effective damage reduction to boot. I don’t know how crucial you BAs are as an artificer, but this feels like a good use.
Ranged/Infiltrator mode: Ranged weapon that has really solid range and damage? Good start. +5tf of movement? Not bad. Catsuit mode? Great for roleplay, I guess?
Extra Attack is interesting, in that it’s given at level 5 instead of 6. This means that WotC considers Artificers a full fighter, instead of a half fighter.
Okay, at level 9, you get to do a ton of infusions to your armor. Which is cool. Level 10 is when you get a new set of infusions and the old ones level up that it gets crazy.
Assuming you have plate and a shield, you’ve infused them for defense, make a cloak of protection, brooch of shield, and boots of flying. You can fly, you’re immune to magic missiles, have a 25 AC, nothing in your concentration slot (although Blur looks tasty) , 10 temp HP that refills, and you can cast shield.
Oh, and the DM has disadvantage to attack people who are not you if you managed to hit.
At level 15, the armor forms improve, giving battlefield control and a guiding bolt effect. not crazy, but since they add to your already powerful set, still strong.
New Infusions: Because artificers don’t have enough choices
- Armor of Magical Strength- Tempting us to give up our +2 defense in exchange for winning arm wrestling contest with our minds? k
- Armor of Tools- This would be a ribbon, but being able to add Int to say, a crafting check or a thieves tools is very enticing. My Arcanaficer would love this.
- Helm of Awareness: Not bad, I guess, if you’re being ambushed a lot. This is a class that high init matters, because you can steal agro with your guardian mode. You can als pass this around to the party as well. As little as it really helps a fight, everyone benefits from an initiative boost (especially if they complain a lot)
- Mind Sharpener: Item wearer can spend reaction to succeed on a Concentration? That’s crazy. You can get around it, but boy, that’s nuts.
- Spell-Refueling Ring: Okay, as an action, regain a spell slot the size of the number of attuned items. You can wear 2 of these are once.
Conclusions: This is a crazy strong artificer. I’d rebuild my Arcanaficer into this. I think it still fits the flavor of the class.
Druid of the Stars
Lot of flavor right of the bat, but can it complete with the Moon?
Level 2: Star Map- Free Wisdom Mod of spells? Don’t mind if I do!
Level 2: Starry Starry Form- Spend wildshape to go super Saiyan! Choose between: Double your healing magic!, Bonus action radiant crossbow!, or Reliable talent on Int and Wis checks and concentration checks.
Can I hear a “wat?”
I’ll just put a check in the box next do “oes it meet Moon Druid Standard?”
Level 6: Cosmic Omens- I’m not sure if all of your dice are supposed to be Weal or Woe together, but being able to use horoscopes to buff or debuff key roles is nifty. (It looks like its just one orientation each day.)
Level 10: Full of Stars- Gain physical resistances while in star form. eh
Level 14: Star Flare- Evacuate allies from a 3oft sphere, damage enemies that remain. That’s solid. And it’s reusable. That’s kinda neat.
I’m not sure how this is meant to be used in combat. They get a mixed bag of things. I guess you’re a caster druid? But then being resistant to damage doesn’t make sense (unless it was ALL damage, but it’s just physical…)
Mechanics aside, this is the most amazing flavor I’ve seen in the class. All the ability names are evocative, and a DM can lead the party around by the nosering with this prophet of a druid, who consults the star maps and auguries as part of the class. This is a great source for sudden quests.
Another ranger. We’ll see how this fares. I’ve been adding fey stuff ot my games, so let’s see what this is like.
Level 3: Free spell knowledge is always cool. And all of the spells on the list are amazing. Not exactly every day prep spells, but its a list of spells that when you need them, having them there is amazing. Misty Step is normally on my must take list, dispel magic and banishment are great tools. The J-team has been playing around with Mislead to good effect. Normally, I skip over these spell features, but this one is crazy good.
Level 3: Cunning Will- Advantage on charm and frighten saves, and a skill. Eh. Not bad.
Level 3: Dreadful Strikes. The wording for it is kind of weird, as it’s indicating that you use the bonus action for two weapon fighting before your core attack action. Still, this is a very good ability, situationally. First, its the standard d6 of damage we’ve come to expect from ranger subclasses, except this time, you can deal more than that, up to 3d6, even, but you have to be spreading the love to multiple enemies. otherwise, it’s just 1d6. Which is a perfect way to do this. It rewards this ranger for charging the horde. Also, making weapons magical is sure useful at low level. Psychic damage isn’t great, but its better than poison, I guess? Don’t fight undead with this guy.
Level 7: Blessings of the Courts- Sorta kinda a smite? again, Avoid undead, but kinda…. wait… what’s this other paragraph? A rider of… “In addition, whenever you make a Charisma check, you gain a bonus to the check equal to your Wisdom modifier.”
Okay, so you can smite with a fear effect, AND stack Wis onto Charisma checks. I mean, it’s not game breaking, but it’s really good! and it’s a rider to another abillity! Wat!
Level 11: Beguiling twist- When a creature (friend or foe) succeeds on a fear or charm save, use reaction to hit a different creature with a different effect. Not to shabby. I wish that damage was save for half, but considering it’s unlimited and you can do it if your smite failed to cause fear, it’s kinda cool.
Level 15: Misty Presence- “On a failed save, the target can’t see or hear you for 24 hours.” That’s all I really need to say. Not bad in combat, amazing in Utility.
Thoughts: They’ve managed to make a ranger that actually benefits from a high Wisdom. I can’t really see myself playing a ranger, not until they release all the bits and pieces they’ve been accumulating in UA, but out of all the rangers, I like this one the best.
This is another really strong UA. I can see all of these making it into a future product, no problem. I like the direction the rangers have been going, and the fact that artificers are still getting UA support is interesting. I imagine they’ll be reprinting Artificer in whatever PHB2 they’re working on. I’m excited for it, though, it’s going to be a thick book if they include everything.