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Colmarr
2009-07-08, 12:40 AM
The predator druid in my current campaign has Grasping Claws as one of his at-wills.

Iíve come to the conclusion that it is a very odd power. A slow effect on a melee power is a good fit for a defender, or maybe even a leader, but it doesnít make much sense to me on a controller like the druid. At best, all it does is make the monster sit there and attack the druid. Unfortunately, druids (especially predator druids) arenít really built to take that punishment.

Iím generally loathe to optimise other peopleís characters (at least more so now than when we started the campaign) but Iím considering suggesting that the druid's player swap it for Pounce or Savage Rend. Both strike me as better powers for a predator druid.

Does anyone have any insight or advice?

NPCMook
2009-07-08, 12:45 AM
Wizard's can do this also, I don't see what the big deal about it is. Also think of it like the rattlesnake, it strikes and then just kind of follows its prey till it finally dies.

Alteran
2009-07-08, 12:50 AM
Wizard's can do this also, I don't see what the big deal about it is. Also think of it like the rattlesnake, it strikes and then just kind of follows its prey till it finally dies.

That's true, but Wizards can do it from 10 squares away. This means that the target is stuck next to somebody else (like the defender).

I don't have the book in front of me, but if the Druid can't take the punishment that he's bring upon himself, I would recommend changing powers.

Colmarr
2009-07-08, 12:53 AM
Wizard's can do this also, I don't see what the big deal about it is.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

Grasping Claws is a melee attack that slows the target. Controllers get it.

Ray of Frost is a ranged attack that slows the target. Controllers get it.

If ray of frost were a melee range spell, would you still recommend it for wizards? Probably not, because a wizard generally wants the enemies to get away from him, not be stuck next to him.

Hence my question: am I missing something about Grasping Claws or predator druids, or should I recommend that my co-player retrains it?

Edit: Sneaky ninjas!

Alteran
2009-07-08, 12:58 AM
Hence my question: am I missing something about Grasping Claws or predator druids, or should I recommend that my co-player retrains it?


Maybe you (we?) are missing something, but it all boils down to this: If the power isn't working out in your game, then it won't hurt to retrain it. Your group, and the player of the Druid in particular, are the only ones who can decide this.

Arcane Copycat
2009-07-08, 12:58 AM
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

Grasping Claws is a melee attack that slows the target. Controllers get it.

Ray of Frost is a ranged attack that slows the target. Controllers get it.

If ray of frost were a melee range spell, would you still recommend it for wizards? Probably not, because a wizard generally wants the enemies to get away from him, not be stuck next to him.

Hence my question: am I missing something about Grasping Claws or predator druids, or should I recommend that my co-player retrains it?

Edit: Sneaky ninjas!

Works for Guardian Druids. Since they get their AC from Con, it'll be pretty high, giving them a bit more durability than the average Controller (who usually makes Con their dump stat)

I don't have the book on me, but I know that Barbarians gain extra Hp than the average striker, and Wardens more than the average Defender. Do druids get more Hp than other Controllers?

Alteran
2009-07-08, 01:11 AM
They get 12 + Con mod at first level and 5 per level. That's better than Wizards and Invokers, but it's otherwise standard for non-defenders. So yes, they get better HP than other controllers (presumably since they need to be in melee at times), but they still don't get a lot.

RTGoodman
2009-07-08, 01:27 AM
I could see maybe hitting an opponent with grasping claws at the beginning of your turn after they've moved up to you, and then wild-shaping back into normal form as a minor action to shift 1 square away, and then moving your speed away as a move action, forcing them to move against someone else. But, I mean, that's a pretty specific and not-always-tactically-valid use of a turn.

Kylarra
2009-07-08, 01:39 AM
It depends on where you stand as your pseudo-defending. Personally, I've used grasping claws to keep things from trying to escape from the actual defenders or just to stop people who are trying to walk past me to get at the [slightly] squishier strikers.

On the other hand, savage rend works in nearly all those situations as well, and if you're 7th level or higher, you can pick up rushing cleats to double its slide, which is fun for literal tossing of enemies where you want them, particularly since you can do it on an OA.

Asbestos
2009-07-08, 02:23 AM
Works for Guardian Druids. Since they get their AC from Con, it'll be pretty high, giving them a bit more durability than the average Controller (who usually makes Con their dump stat)

This. Not all of the wildshape powers are really built towards predator druids, but if your player is finding that its getting their butt whupped I'm sure they can figure out to change it to another power.

Tyrmatt
2009-07-08, 05:26 AM
That's true, but Wizards can do it from 10 squares away. This means that the target is stuck next to somebody else (like the defender).

I don't have the book in front of me, but if the Druid can't take the punishment that he's bring upon himself, I would recommend changing powers.

My brain is malfuctioning. I now have a bumper sticker in my head that reads "Wizards do it from ten squares away".
And I can't tell if it's funny or not...:smallconfused:

Burley
2009-07-08, 06:55 AM
Works for Guardian Druids. Since they get their AC from Con, it'll be pretty high, giving them a bit more durability than the average Controller (who usually makes Con their dump stat)


Wait... Hold on. Why is Constitution a dump stat? Is there some other way to get HP and healing surges? Is Strength suddenly useful for a controller? What did I miss out on?

I don't think any class, anytime, anywhere, could/should/would make Con a dump stat. Dump stat implies that you not only have a flat 10, but that you might have an 8. Who in their right mind would give themselves that few HPs and healing surges? Maybe if you have three or four Leaders in the party, with an Artificer... But, really?

Arcane Copycat
2009-07-08, 08:37 AM
Wait... Hold on. Why is Constitution a dump stat? Is there some other way to get HP and healing surges? Is Strength suddenly useful for a controller? What did I miss out on?

I don't think any class, anytime, anywhere, could/should/would make Con a dump stat. Dump stat implies that you not only have a flat 10, but that you might have an 8. Who in their right mind would give themselves that few HPs and healing surges? Maybe if you have three or four Leaders in the party, with an Artificer... But, really?

Not many wizards put Con above 12 though. Unless you use a Staff Wizard of Tome Wizard, most pile everything into Int and Wis (or Dex for Wand Wizards). Besides, after your 18/14 split of you point buy, you have, what, 1 point left? 11 grants 1 extra HP an no surges, so it looks lke a dump to me.

Again, apart from Tome Wizards, name me a feat hat helps Wizards increase area size, range, accuracy or damage? (Honestly there might be one, but i'm not sure).

I know HP and surges are important, bhy put points into Con when you can simply hide behind the Paladins/Fighters/Swordmages/Wardens, and just hang 20 squares away from battle? I can think of plenty but it hasn't stopped people from actually following that advice...

Burley
2009-07-08, 09:13 AM
I'm just saying: Why is it called a dump stat when it is still useful? Why don't you say "Str is the dump stat"... cause it is.

I'll look into the feat selection a bit more when I get home, because I only have a few books available to me at work. Most feats that are useful to a wizard's specific powers are Int and Wis, but my guess is that there are more feats that'd help a wizard that require a 13 Con than there are feats that require anything more than a 2 Str. (Except maybe move actions...)

Artanis
2009-07-08, 10:27 AM
*checks the Druid*

Grasping Claws is a non-STR attack that targets REF and, most importantly, can be used as a melee basic attack. So the Druid can make his stats, gear, and feats as melee-averse as a Wizard and still MBA like a purebred melee class. It lets the Druid charge, OA, and be useful to a Warlord with the best of them.


Like Asbestos said though, if it isn't working for that character, then it isn't working for that character, so there's no harm in retraining it.

Kylarra
2009-07-08, 11:36 AM
*checks the Druid*

Grasping Claws is a non-STR attack that targets REF and, most importantly, can be used as a melee basic attack. So the Druid can make his stats, gear, and feats as melee-averse as a Wizard and still MBA like a purebred melee class. It lets the Druid charge, OA, and be useful to a Warlord with the best of them.


Like Asbestos said though, if it isn't working for that character, then it isn't working for that character, so there's no harm in retraining it.
Well technically all of the beast-form at-wills are like that, it's just a matter of what special effects you want. Personally, I feel that the slowing is the best of the lot (grasping claws), followed closely by slide 1 (savage rend). Pounce is, imo, the weakest of the lot, and should only be picked up if you've got someone specifically geared to take advantage of it.

Artanis
2009-07-08, 11:39 AM
Huh, hadn't noticed that :smallredface:

Burley
2009-07-08, 12:09 PM
Well technically all of the beast-form at-wills are like that, it's just a matter of what special effects you want. Personally, I feel that the slowing is the best of the lot (grasping claws), followed closely by slide 1 (savage rend). Pounce is, imo, the weakest of the lot, and should only be picked up if you've got someone specifically geared to take advantage of it.

My opinion is exactly opposite of your, but only if a rogue is in the party. If a rogue is in the party, then Pounce is strongest, then Savage Rend, and finally Grasping Claws.
Otherwise, yeah... you're right.

Kylarra
2009-07-08, 12:11 PM
My opinion is exactly opposite of your, but only if a rogue is in the party. If a rogue is in the party, then Pounce is strongest, then Savage Rend, and finally Grasping Claws.
Otherwise, yeah... you're right.Which you'll notice follows exactly as I said. :smallwink:


Pounce is, imo, the weakest of the lot, and should only be picked up if you've got someone specifically geared to take advantage of it.

its_all_ogre
2009-07-08, 12:54 PM
shock notice: 4e power selection depends massively upon party composition.

in case you hadn't noticed ;-)

this sucks when one member dies just after a level up!

Burley
2009-07-08, 01:13 PM
Y'know what? So?
:smalltongue:

Yakk
2009-07-08, 01:17 PM
The claws let you OA a fleeing opponent and slow them. This is quite good.

Or don't you have bad guys who, after their side looks like they are going to lose, break and run? (Often for reinforcements)

Colmarr
2009-07-09, 06:34 AM
The claws let you OA a fleeing opponent and slow them. This is quite good.

That's what the fighter is for. :smalltongue:

Thanks all. You've given me something to think about.

Yakk
2009-07-09, 09:11 AM
That's what the fighter is for. :smalltongue:

Thanks all. You've given me something to think about.The fighter isn't everywhere.

And the fighter cannot stop a shift, followed by a double-run fueled by an action point of an elite fleeing.

A druid standing opposite the fighter, however, reduced the topology of the fleeable battlefield nicely. :)

Burley
2009-07-09, 09:46 AM
The odds of that set-up are... slim. Besides, if the DM is really having the retreating guy retreat, it'll get away. Most monsters are fight until you can't, cause you're dead. The others can go invisible.

Lapak
2009-07-09, 09:53 AM
The odds of that set-up are... slim. Besides, if the DM is really having the retreating guy retreat, it'll get away. Most monsters are fight until you can't, cause you're dead. The others can go invisible.I'd argue with you on this. Having monsters flee is a primary tactic of mine as a DM, especially monsters that are most valuable when they've got backup (like artillery or controllers). They attack with the group, and if their own defenders or minions or whatever get flattened, they fall back to rally reinforcements or at least find a better position.A controller whose specialty is getting in the faces of monsters like that and preventing their flight would be super-annoying.

Yakk
2009-07-09, 02:01 PM
The odds of that set-up are... slim. Besides, if the DM is really having the retreating guy retreat, it'll get away. Most monsters are fight until you can't, cause you're dead. The others can go invisible.Or maybe your DM has monsters retreat when they think they are going to lose, and think they can get away.

You know, monsters with motivations who aren't fanatical about fighting. :)

I'll admit this differs -- some DMs make all monsters fight to the death, and has other monsters get away by fiat.

A druid could position themselves to cut off avenues of retreat for the monsters they expect their party to beat, in order to prevent the monsters from going to get reinforcements or warn their allies or just get away with the treasure.

greenknight
2009-07-09, 07:16 PM
That's what the fighter is for. :smalltongue:

I'd say a Warden can be at least as good for that purpose.

I think if you're going to have a Druid with only one Beast at-will, the best at the moment is Savage Rend - especially if you combine it with something like Boots of Adept Charging (AV). Putting an enemy right where you want them can be a priceless advantage. Being able to then move out of the way of that foe's easy retaliation (via the boots) is gravy. Grasping Claws would be my #2 pick for Beast powers.

Pounce has a nice effect, but that effect only triggers against the next attack, and you can't use Pounce as a Basic Melee Attack unless you're charging, which limits it's utility. Unless you have some very specific strategy in mind (which should probably be more than just providing CA for a Rogue, given how many other ways that Rogue can get CA now), I'd say a Druid should never take Pounce.