Bearhound


Move aside, owlbear.

The bearhound is a Large 10 RHD magical beast, with all the traits you'd expect of such a creature. It's got an unimpressive bite/claw/claw set of natural weapons, above-average speed, some natural armor, no reach, and ability bonuses.

What sets it apart from other magical beasts, is the fact that these ability bonuses are reasonably high (+16 strength and +10 constitution), that they actually get above-average intelligence, and that they have a number of uncommon special abilities.

Sadly, these special abilities are mostly just disappointing. Trip and Improved Grab are a lot cheaper to get on other creatures, Trackless Step is basically useless (even if people can't track you, they can still track your party), and Wild Empathy is niche and also not that useful at ECL 10. Enchanted Natural Weapons is as far as I can see unique, and helps overcome the very common DR/magic, but a 5000 GP trinket does basically the same and is an item tax for any natural weapon user anyway.

Considering this all, I don't think the bearhound is viable at its current RHD. -0 LA, though I suppose one could make an argument for +0.