Perhaps if the at-will abilities of the Phoenix form were reduced to d4s that would make the distinction between damage and healing forms greater?I have no real concern about extra healing, but because you can heal and dish out solid damage you run the risk of obviating other characters.
My counter to those is: Tome of Battle. Between a Warblade and a Swordsage, you can get comparatively higher bonuses (if in slightly different ways) almost all the time. As ToB is a great balance point in my view, I'm happy with the numbers at present unless someone brings up something that really just shouldn't be there.Nothing is excessive, but you give a lot of things other classes only dream of; natural armor, Wis to AC, swift action movement, flight, retributive damage. Not all at once, of course, but you still have access to all of it. It doesn't make the class overpowered, but it is strong.
That's the thing: nothing's forcing the Ascendant to wear medium armor while they're in Dragonkin form. If you want to specialize in that form, that's the downside for taking advantage of the additional proficiencies. With the additional natural armor granted by the Dragonkin track, the Ascendant should have respectable AC while wearing the same light armor they would for either of the other two forms - just not quite as high as if it were mithral full plate.I understand, but making you choose your armor like that means that if you focus on he dragonkin avatar you have big problems with the other two; nonproficiency sucks.
I'm only concerned if its demonstrably stronger than a Warblade (Dragonkin) or a Swordsage (Kitsune). "Lesser" martial classes really have no place in any of my games, and in a perfect world, everyone would use fixes to keep players on an even, roughly tier 3 playing field. (IMO, of course.)That's the thing; it doesn't really need to be toned down, as long as you're fine with scraping up against Teir 2. You can't break the world like a true caster, but you have power far in excess of the lesser classes.
SpoilerBy the way, Circle, I deserve a cookie. I type all this out on a smartphone in a car, surrounded by loud family.Spoiler