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evil-frosty
2009-08-01, 07:35 PM
Ok i was looking thru m yspell compendium and noticed Draconic Polymorph. I went to look up the spell with all the little details and stuff like duration and all that great stuff but when i went to find it it wasnt there. After Draconic Might comes Dragon Ally in my book and then i checked to see if it would be listed as Polymorph,Draconic it wasnt there either. So what gives? Is it just my book?

Keld Denar
2009-08-01, 07:55 PM
A quick Google search (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=350478) reveals that its actually in Draconomicon. Its just like Polymorph, but with a 20 HD limit and has augemented stats than the typical creature that you would polymorph into.

Meek
2009-08-01, 08:18 PM
A quick Google search (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=350478) reveals that its actually in Draconomicon. Its just like Polymorph, but with a 20 HD limit and has augemented stats than the typical creature that you would polymorph into.

So it's like polymorph with an extra side of more broken? Dayum. What level is it?

evil-frosty
2009-08-01, 08:25 PM
In the compendium it is listed as a 5th level spell.

Irreverent Fool
2009-08-02, 05:43 AM
Amazingly, the errata (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20060531a) has no mention of it. I encountered this myself some time ago. It is a 5th-level spell in Draconomicon as well.

The caster can only affect himself. The spell limits you to no more HD than your current form, to a maximum of 20 and gives you the average strength of the creature +8 and the average constitution for the creature +2.

obnoxious
sig

Eldariel
2009-08-02, 01:36 PM
Yeah, it's a Spell Compendium Wizard-spell that just wasn't given stats in the book. If you play SC+Core, it's a fair game provided someone has the stats :P Now, honestly though, it's most likely an editing error; it was added to the book and later removed when the writers realized how broken it is.

One level more than Polymorph, stat boosts and higher HD. What's not to love? Well beyond, y'know, breaking the game wide open.

#Raptor
2009-08-02, 06:01 PM
Polymorph can be used to buff allys, Draconic Polymorph can only be used on yourself.

Whos gonna be more useful to his group, the wizard that buffs the dedicated fighter with Polymorph or the wizard that self-buffs with Draconic Polymorph and then wades into melee ..?

Lets not add the fact that both are going to get hit with the DMG untill they select sane spells into the equation for now.

quick_comment
2009-08-02, 06:13 PM
Draconic polymorph is eligable for persist, because its range personal rather than range touch.

Eldariel
2009-08-02, 06:37 PM
Polymorph can be used to buff allys, Draconic Polymorph can only be used on yourself.

Whos gonna be more useful to his group, the wizard that buffs the dedicated fighter with Polymorph or the wizard that self-buffs with Draconic Polymorph and then wades into melee ..?

Lets not add the fact that both are going to get hit with the DMG untill they select sane spells into the equation for now.

Well, in games with this line allowed nobody should play a Fighter 'cause they're worthless anyways; if Polymorph-line is ok, everything is ok and if everything is ok, Fighters are Commoners (that is, both can break the game with Candle of Invocation or anything granting Wish/Gate and be completely useless outside that as it's a rocket launcher tag anyways...and acquiring one of those items in an everything-goes world should be nearly impossible).

Frankly, I'd rather take the Wizard under Draconic Polymorph 'cause he probably has better stats than the Fighter for combat, especially if he bothers acquiring Divine Power through some source. Better forms AND bonuses on their stats vs. being able to cast it on Mr. Waste Of Space? Easy choice if you ask me. Even if you spend your turns usefully, you can still take your AoOs as a Colossal X-Headed Hydra or something (and have quite the reach).

Fizban
2009-08-02, 06:45 PM
I'm not going to argue that polymorph isn't broken already, but do most people consider the HD and size limits? Last time I looked for polymorph forms everything I really wanted was huge sized or had more HD than I could do with the spell. You only need a few broken forms to make the spell insane, but a lot of the stuff that'd turn your head instantly doesn't work for quite a while.

Eldariel
2009-08-02, 06:50 PM
I'm not going to argue that polymorph isn't broken already, but do most people consider the HD and size limits? Last time I looked for polymorph forms everything I really wanted was huge sized or had more HD than I could do with the spell. You only need a few broken forms to make the spell insane, but a lot of the stuff that'd turn your head instantly doesn't work for quite a while.

Polymorph doesn't have upper size limit; it only can't go under Fine. And yeah, everyone does. Luckily Hydras, Horned Devils, Fire Giants and company all fall to reasonable/Polymorph's HD ranges (this in Core). Under that, the forms aren't quite that impressive (although of course Hydras scale down just fine), but yeah.

Draconic Polymorph into Hydra is sick, btw. NOTHING makes quite the use of the extra Str as Hydra. Divine Power it up after that and go to town! Except, again, if the game allows this degree of power, you're gonna be a small fry with just these preparations. Still, adding AoOs to your action repertoire doesn't hurt as they're free. Giant Size after Drac Polymorph, go Colossal and have some fun.

#Raptor
2009-08-02, 07:43 PM
Well, in games with this line allowed nobody should play a Fighter 'cause they're worthless anyways; if Polymorph-line is ok, everything is ok and if everything is ok, Fighters are Commoners (that is, both can break the game with Candle of Invocation or anything granting Wish/Gate and be completely useless outside that as it's a rocket launcher tag anyways...and acquiring one of those items in an everything-goes world should be nearly impossible).

Frankly, I'd rather take the Wizard under Draconic Polymorph 'cause he probably has better stats than the Fighter for combat, especially if he bothers acquiring Divine Power through some source. Better forms AND bonuses on their stats vs. being able to cast it on Mr. Waste Of Space? Easy choice if you ask me. Even if you spend your turns usefully, you can still take your AoOs as a Colossal X-Headed Hydra or something (and have quite the reach).
Hoookay. Substitute Fighter with Feral Water Orc Leap Attacking Shocktroopin Uncanny Blow Frenzied Berserker.
You still prefer casting Draconic Polymorph on yourself over casting Polymorph on him?
You may get the AOO's, but he gets to make full attacks and AOO's.

Giant Size after Drac Polymorph, go Colossal and have some fun. 1.) From where do you get Giant Size?
2.) Giant size doesn't reach Colossal before lvl 19. By that point you've got PAO, wich makes the question "Draconic Polymorph or regular Polymorph?" more than just slightly irrelevant.

Eldariel
2009-08-02, 07:47 PM
Hoookay. Substitute Fighter with Feral Water Orc Leap Attacking Shocktroopin Uncanny Blow Frenzied Berserker.
You still prefer casting Draconic Polymorph on yourself over casting Polymorph on him?
You may get the AOO's, but he gets to make full attacks and AOO's.

Who gives a damn? Anyone can deal lethal damage in this settings; no need for such an overkill. Besides, you can generate yourself the feats anyways with Heroics.


1.) From where do you get Giant Size?
2.) Giant size doesn't reach Colossal before lvl 19. By that point you've got PAO, wich makes the question "Draconic Polymorph or regular Polymorph?" more than just slightly irrelevant.

1) Hero-Domain or such. Irrelevant in the end; on this level, every caster can cast every spell.
2) CL boosters are trivially available. Beads alone pump you +4. Tattoo +1. Ioun Stone +1. That's level 13.

#Raptor
2009-08-02, 08:25 PM
Who gives a damn? Anyone can deal lethal damage in this settings; no need for such an overkill. Besides, you can generate yourself the feats anyways with Heroics.Rule 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "time to reload." :smallwink:
Were talking about whos a better melee. Fighter-type buffed with Polymorph or wiz self-buffed with Draconic Polymorph. So since we are discussing this, apparently we give a damn.

You can get the feats, but how about uncanny blow, supreme power attack or leap attack?

1) Hero-Domain or such. Irrelevant in the end; on this level, every caster can cast every spell.
2) CL boosters are trivially available. Beads alone pump you +4. Tattoo +1. Ioun Stone +1. That's level 13. Isn't the Hero Domain from Oriental Adventures (3.0)? I'd think Oriental Adventures got replaced by Sandstorm in 3.5, so no more Hero Domain. But I'm sure you'll be able to come up with some other way to get Giant Size.

Beads + Ioun stone alone at lvl 13 cost you 50k of your 110k gp. Thats quite alot for a once-a-day trick. At lvl 14 (150k gp) you can afford to do it a few times a day though... but one level later you get PAO anyways, so... yeah. I'mma gonna wait for "for a wizard money doesn't matter" now.

The thing is, you now spent all that money as well as a lvl 5 + 7 spell (and a bunch of lvl 2's - though those don't matter quite that much) to, once a day, be a potentially worse fighter than a actual fighter buffed with a single lvl 4 spell.

You might actually even end up with the same BAB, but how do you get your HP up to his level? (funny thing is, I don't even doubt theres a way, but it'll prolly involve pun-pun level stuff - optimization far beyond a simple "imma polymorph mah fighter" // "lolo I cast draconic polymorph on myself, watch me gooooo!)

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-08-02, 11:40 PM
It's not really about Polymorph on the melee nonspellcaster vs Draconic Polymorph on the Wizard. A Fighter 2/ Wizard 4/ Spellsword 1/ Incantatrix 4/ Abjurant Champion 5/ Eldritch Knight 4 can use Metamagic Effect: Persistent Spell with Draconic Polymorph at level 11 (DC 51, take ten, +14 ranks, +8 Int (18 base, +2 gray elf, +4 enhancement, +2 levels), +2 synergy, +2 Transmutation specialist, +15 Competence item). Frenzied Berserker under Polymorph charging in with Power Attack + Leap Attack, or Gish under Draconic Polymorph charging in with Persistent Wraithstrike + Power Attack + Leap Attack, and then casts Quickened Whirling Blade with the same bonuses. Or a Cleric with Greater Anyspell and Southern Magician can DMM: Persist a Draconic Polymorph, plus use Anyspell to DMM: Persist Wraithstrike, along with Divine Power, Righteous Might, Divine Favor, and Choose Destiny... I'd go with the self-buffer with Draconic Polymorph over wasting a Polymorph on a Tier 4+ character any day. If you don't want to play a spellcaster in a game like that, go Wild Shape Ranger into Master of Many Forms and Warshaper and you may be able to keep up.

evil-frosty
2009-08-03, 12:40 AM
Quick Question: What book is wild shape ranger from?

AstralFire
2009-08-03, 12:43 AM
d20SRD.org, Unearthed Arcana.

evil-frosty
2009-08-03, 01:00 AM
oh cool why didnt i think of checking that.

Eldariel
2009-08-03, 05:23 AM
Rule 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "time to reload." :smallwink:
Were talking about whos a better melee. Fighter-type buffed with Polymorph or wiz self-buffed with Draconic Polymorph. So since we are discussing this, apparently we give a damn.

Alright :P


You can get the feats, but how about uncanny blow, supreme power attack or leap attack?

Leap Attack is a feat. You miss out on Supreme Power Attack, which is annoying but nobody cares about the rest.


Isn't the Hero Domain from Oriental Adventures (3.0)? I'd think Oriental Adventures got replaced by Sandstorm in 3.5, so no more Hero Domain. But I'm sure you'll be able to come up with some other way to get Giant Size.

No, it didn't. Oriental Adventures is updated and not a "Mastering the Dangers Of..."-book; indeed, Sandstorm and OA have nothing to do with each other. It's not been updated to 3.5 outside the update booklet.


Beads + Ioun stone alone at lvl 13 cost you 50k of your 110k gp. Thats quite alot for a once-a-day trick. At lvl 14 (150k gp) you can afford to do it a few times a day though... but one level later you get PAO anyways, so... yeah. I'mma gonna wait for "for a wizard money doesn't matter" now.

You can e.g. cast 'em in the morning while Persisting spells; hardly "Once per day" at that point.


The thing is, you now spent all that money as well as a lvl 5 + 7 spell (and a bunch of lvl 2's - though those don't matter quite that much) to, once a day, be a potentially worse fighter than a actual fighter buffed with a single lvl 4 spell.

You might actually even end up with the same BAB, but how do you get your HP up to his level? (funny thing is, I don't even doubt theres a way, but it'll prolly involve pun-pun level stuff - optimization far beyond a simple "imma polymorph mah fighter" // "lolo I cast draconic polymorph on myself, watch me gooooo!)

The thing is, you're a productive party member. You can dispel, you can teleport, you can protect yourself, you can negative-level the opposition, etc. The Fighter is not. He merely deals damage and hopefully trips people, mostly at melee range. So if you yourself deal damage, you can have productive allies. Having to waste time with waste of space sucks. Basically, you save a party slot for another useful character.

Note that Wizard can also buff his strength much more. It's not that hard to get into mid-120s, and many of the buff are Personal-Only (Bites, Giant Size, Visage of the Deity, Holy Transformation, etc.). The Fighter might find it harder to Persist all of those, which leaves his Strength in the 40s, thus quickly bridging the gap in damage while also ensuring the Wizard always hits while the Fighter has to occasionally roll vs. over 1. This is again WHILE you're doing useful things and the Fighter is...well, being a mundane.


...and no, I'm still not advocating playing like this :P

Kaiyanwang
2009-08-03, 09:34 AM
No, it didn't. Oriental Adventures is updated and not a "Mastering the Dangers Of..."-book; indeed, Sandstorm and OA have nothing to do with each other. It's not been updated to 3.5 outside the update booklet.


OAdv Has been fully updated in Dragon Magazine 318 (quite nice Sohei revamp and other nice things, even if something like Oni should be pimped and Tsuno remains OP).

#Raptor
2009-08-03, 01:15 PM
Leap Attack is a feat. You miss out on Supreme Power Attack, which is annoying but nobody cares about the rest.
Yes, I'm aware that Leap Attack is a feat. However, its not a fighter feat.
This means its not available via Heroics, wich only gives you fighter feats.
You actually have to become a real Gish and get the 8 ranks in Jump to qualify.

The other problem with Heroics is the material component - a bit of a weapon or armor that has been used in combat by a fighter of at least 15th level. Sure, most DM's just handwave material components, since theres no fun in doing a quest for more bat guano. But in this case, its obviously intendend to make it harder to actually spam the spell. A lvl 15 fighter will usually be accompanied by a lvl 15 party, so taking it with force might not be a option.

You can e.g. cast 'em in the morning while Persisting spells; hardly "Once per day" at that point.But your spelllist is getting fairly long by that point... Divine Power, Giantsize, Draconic Polymorph, all those Heroics spells... geez, if you can't persist those, having 'em all up only becomes a possibility when you actually know that you'll be facing a encounter soon, but if you get surprised... well sure, you might be able to port away and buff up but hey... kinda boring no? The wiz that buffs his fighter with polymorph once can slap it on him and be done with the buffing-up business.

The thing is, you're a productive party member. You can dispel, you can teleport, you can protect yourself, you can negative-level the opposition, etc. The Fighter is not. He merely deals damage and hopefully trips people, mostly at melee range. So if you yourself deal damage, you can have productive allies. Having to waste time with waste of space sucks. Basically, you save a party slot for another useful character. Hey, you're a wizard, what other useful character do you actually need in your party anyway? :smalltongue: Though the last time I've checked dealing damage wasn't a bad thing to do. The fighter also soaks up damage - and hes certainly better at that than a wizard/gish.
If we're comparing two 2-players partys, one being wiz(buffing+actual wizardry stuff)+fighter, the other being wiz (gish)+wiz(gish) and engaged in actual PVM (Player VS Monster - as opposed to Player VS Player, were I'd put my money on the wizard-party anyday) - I'd certainly bet on the party where the wizard is a wizard and the fighter is a fighter, not the one where both wizards try to be fighters.

...and no, I'm still not advocating playing like this :P Yepp. Me neither. ^^

One thing is, this discussion went from polymorph on a fighter VS draconic polymorph on a wiz to:
polymorph on a fighter VS draconic polymorph + giant size + divine power + heroics + god knows what else on a gish.
I'm sure you see the difference between:
1.) Comparing a single broken spell vs another and
2.) Comparing a single broken spell vs a ton of broken spells.

This really isn't about draconic polymorph anymore. If you already have 140 str, you don't give a damn anymore about the +8 str / +2 con from Draconic Polymorph. The +8/+2 didn't break the game in this case. The ability to polymorph did, as well as a bunch of other spells.
One would think that, at least, the bigger HD limit of Draconic Polymorph is nice, but actually Draconic Polymorph is ...more limiting. Yupp.

From Draconic Polymorph: "As Polymorph, except as follows: The assumed form can have no more Hit Dice than you have"
From Polymorph: "The assumed form canít have more Hit Dice than your caster level"
As you demonstrated before, caster level is easy enough to boost. But do you know any ways to increase your actual Hit Dice? I certainly don't. So unless I read this wrong, you can actually use Polymorph to polymorph into forms with more HD than those useable with Draconic Polymorph, at least untill you hit the 15 HD limit.

So if we're going with a Hydra, for each cl boost you'll have you'll be... errrm, a head ahead of the Draconic Polymorph user. :smallbiggrin:

Eldariel
2009-08-03, 01:43 PM
Yes, I'm aware that Leap Attack is a feat. However, its not a fighter feat.
This means its not available via Heroics, wich only gives you fighter feats.
You actually have to become a real Gish and get the 8 ranks in Jump to qualify.

Touchť.


The other problem with Heroics is the material component - a bit of a weapon or armor that has been used in combat by a fighter of at least 15th level. Sure, most DM's just handwave material components, since theres no fun in doing a quest for more bat guano. But in this case, its obviously intendend to make it harder to actually spam the spell. A lvl 15 fighter will usually be accompanied by a lvl 15 party, so taking it with force might not be a option.
But your spelllist is getting fairly long by that point... Divine Power, Giantsize, Draconic Polymorph, all those Heroics spells... geez, if you can't persist those, having 'em all up only becomes a possibility when you actually know that you'll be facing a encounter soon, but if you get surprised... well sure, you might be able to port away and buff up but hey... kinda boring no? The wiz that buffs his fighter with polymorph once can slap it on him and be done with the buffing-up business.

It's possible to persist them; you just need to work. Incantatrix, DMM, Metamagic Song, etc. And yeah, making a Wizard into a Fighter while still remaining a Wizard does cost some spell slots :P


Hey, you're a wizard, what other useful character do you actually need in your party anyway? :smalltongue: Though the last time I've checked dealing damage wasn't a bad thing to do. The fighter also soaks up damage - and hes certainly better at that than a wizard/gish.
If we're comparing two 2-players partys, one being wiz(buffing+actual wizardry stuff)+fighter, the other being wiz (gish)+wiz(gish) and engaged in actual PVM (Player VS Monster - as opposed to Player VS Player, were I'd put my money on the wizard-party anyday) - I'd certainly bet on the party where the wizard is a wizard and the fighter is a fighter, not the one where both wizards try to be fighters.

Eh, I'd rather take the party where both Wizards can fight if they feel like it but mostly don't bother to. Having Fighter who only fights is blah.


One thing is, this discussion went from polymorph on a fighter VS draconic polymorph on a wiz to:
polymorph on a fighter VS draconic polymorph + giant size + divine power + heroics + god knows what else on a gish.
I'm sure you see the difference between:
1.) Comparing a single broken spell vs another and
2.) Comparing a single broken spell vs a ton of broken spells.

This really isn't about draconic polymorph anymore. If you already have 140 str, you don't give a damn anymore about the +8 str / +2 con from Draconic Polymorph. The +8/+2 didn't break the game in this case. The ability to polymorph did, as well as a bunch of other spells.

Eh, I was just pointing out why buffing yourself is better when playing on this level than buffing the Fighter; so many nutty buffs are Personal-range which the Fighter simply cannot benefit of making the Wizard a better Fighter than the Fighter himself.


One would think that, at least, the bigger HD limit of Draconic Polymorph is nice, but actually Draconic Polymorph is ...more limiting. Yupp.

From Draconic Polymorph: "As Polymorph, except as follows: The assumed form can have no more Hit Dice than you have"
From Polymorph: "The assumed form canít have more Hit Dice than your caster level"
As you demonstrated before, caster level is easy enough to boost. But do you know any ways to increase your actual Hit Dice? I certainly don't. So unless I read this wrong, you can actually use Polymorph to polymorph into forms with more HD than those useable with Draconic Polymorph, at least untill you hit the 15 HD limit.

So if we're going with a Hydra, for each cl boost you'll have you'll be... errrm, a head ahead of the Draconic Polymorph user. :smallbiggrin:

Eh, you're forgetting that Polymorph has an errata, which matches Draconic Polymorph in functioning. See here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/polymorph.htm) for the present wording (in general, using SRD for core stuff is a good idea since so much of it has been errata'd). :smalltongue:

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-08-03, 05:05 PM
Draconic Polymorph's HD limit is only limited by your HD (up to 20), regardless of your caster level. This is probably because most dragons have such a low caster level compared to how many hit dice they have. Polymorph is indeed limited by the lower of your HD or caster level. It's probably irrelevant though, a Wizard 7 can Polymorph into an Annis Hag, at 9 there's Cave Troll (MM3) and Behir which should last until 12 when they can get War Troll (MM3).

Any 15th level character with at least one level in the Fighter class is 15th level and is a Fighter, therefore is a 15th level Fighter. It doesn't specify a 15th level single-classed Fighter, or a character with 15 levels of Fighter. A Gish could use a broken link from his own armor as a material component for Giant Size, unless he's gone with a Paladin/Sorcerer build. It actually doesn't matter though, since just a single spell component pouch contains an infinite number of that component so you never even need to worry about it.

It's not a question of how useful the person it's cast on is so much as how efficient that casting is. Cast Polymorph on the Fighter and it lasts 1-2 fights and you waste the first round of combat buffing him, cast Draconic Polymorph and make it Persistent and it lasts all day and it's already up before you roll initiative. More efficient with regards to spells/day and duration, and more efficient with regards to actions in combat.

Why have a Wizard and a [insert one-sided melee nonspellcaster] in the party when you can have a Wizard and a self-buffer who's actually useful outside of combat. In a game at this power level, any Tier 4+ character is just asking to be outdone at the only role he's capable of performing. This is why I use the tier system's partial gestalt fix, so a Fighter can get Adept and cast Polymorph on himself so he doesn't waste a useful character's time/spells.

#Raptor
2009-08-06, 09:28 PM
Eh, you're forgetting that Polymorph has an errata, which matches Draconic Polymorph in functioning. See here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/polymorph.htm) for the present wording (in general, using SRD for core stuff is a good idea since so much of it has been errata'd). :smalltongue:Ah, dang. I was looking at dndwiki's version, wich apparently wasn't updated. Well then, in this case: nevermind.


It's possible to persist them; you just need to work. Incantatrix, DMM, Metamagic Song, etc. And yeah, making a Wizard into a Fighter while still remaining a Wizard does cost some spell slots :P Yeah, but incantatrix is only good for 2 spells, 4 with a rod of extend - though you'll need the Greater Rod (24,5k gp) for Giant Size. Together with the prayer beads and the ioun stone a lvl 13 wizard now spent 74,5/110k gp - so much that he can't even afford a +6 Headband of Intellect anymore. Haven't really added up the costs for all the lvl 2 Pearls or Powers yet, but I think we can agree that you'll need some for all the castings of Heroics.
DMM is generally said to only work with divine spells. Metamagic Song needs Bardic Music. There'll probably be ways around those problems, but I suspect that those will either force you into a certain build, or cost you a few more spells.

Eh, I'd rather take the party where both Wizards can fight if they feel like it but mostly don't bother to. Having Fighter who only fights is blah.Being able to do other things than flinging Orbs at amf-enemys certainly is nice though.


Any 15th level character with at least one level in the Fighter class is 15th level and is a Fighter, therefore is a 15th level Fighter. It doesn't specify a 15th level single-classed Fighter, or a character with 15 levels of Fighter. A Gish could use a broken link from his own armor as a material component for Giant Size, unless he's gone with a Paladin/Sorcerer build. It actually doesn't matter though, since just a single spell component pouch contains an infinite number of that component so you never even need to worry about it.Going by RAW, yeah, looks like ur right.
Easy to see though they probably didn't intend it this way (since hey, it specifically mentions a fighter of at least 15th level - the spell is supposed to be limited in his spam-able ness through this), but they should have written that out a bit more clearly (and just said "a weapon or armor used by a fighter of etc..." instead of "a bit of a weapon or armor").


It's not a question of how useful the person it's cast on is so much as how efficient that casting is. Cast Polymorph on the Fighter and it lasts 1-2 fights and you waste the first round of combat buffing him, cast Draconic Polymorph and make it Persistent and it lasts all day and it's already up before you roll initiative. More efficient with regards to spells/day and duration, and more efficient with regards to actions in combat. Action cost is a good point, as well as being able to cast it before battle even begins - though lets be realistic about it, a high-lvl wizard ain't wasting the complete first round of combat, he merely used one of his standard actions up.
And if the heroics-buffing wizard finds time to cast all that stuff on himself before combat, then the one casting polymorph once will do so too.