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    Default Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    We're about to finish all the base classes, and I'm dumpster diving for more content and today's dumpthatster is called "Dragon Magazines". The magazines are technically RAW, but I'm yet to see a single DM allowing them. Hell, they're not even allowed in most optimization threads like Iron Chef. However, for the sake of this post, we'll assume they are fair-game. I was actually surprised there were only three base classes in all of the magazines (outside Dra Compendium), and not only that, but three variant base classes, which is to say, nothing completely different from what we've seen so far. As I said before, I've never seen these classes in play, so my ratings here will be purely based on what I read on them. Let's do this:

    Mystic Ranger: Of all the classes in D.Mags, this one is - by a very wide margin - the most popular one. It's a Ranger, only it isn't. You get more and better spells, have delayed beatstick class features, and lose your animal companion. You also get the weirdest spell progression of any class in the game and have to be non-Evil for some reason. Like, seriously, who thought that that spell progression was fine? I'll say that the new level of spells (Level 5) aren't enough to grant this class a bump in tier compared to the Ranger's Tier 4, but I could be mistaken.
    Oh, and by the way, don't even try to justify "Mystic Ranger of the Arcane Order". This whack requires the most lenient of DMs and such a level of mental gymnastics to "be RAW" that it shouldn't influence at all what tier you give this class.

    Trickster: Again, we have a more spell-inclined version of a class that could already cast spells. Only now it's the Spellthief. You get to cast like a Bard (and even get Bard spells added to your list) but you lose 2 skill points per level, a bunch of class skills, trapfinding, and all but 1d6 of your Sneak Attack. It's rough. BUT you get to cast like a Bard, have I told you that? You qualify for Craven, which helps with the loss of all those SA dice, and stealing spells is really fun, even if situational. I can't see this as lower than Tier 3, after all, you cast like a Bard, you have UMD like a Bard, and likely will have almost as many skills as a Bard since you don't need to max-out Perform.

    Wild Monk: You're Wild Shape Ranger to the Monk. You still suffer most of the monk's problems, only now you can suffer them while in bear form! Your Wild Shape is better than the WS Ranger's though, and you eventually get all of the WS forms (except Plant, but including Elemental). Honestly, Wild Shape is very good. It's amazing, really. It's more than enough to justify a bump to Tier 3 for our friend here (it's actually tier 3.5, but you now about the rounding deal around here by now)

    What are the tiers?

    The simple answer here is that tier one is the best, the home of things on the approximate problem solving scale of wizards, and tier six is the worst, land of commoners. And problem solving capacity is what's being measured here. Considering the massive range of challenges a character is liable to be presented with across the levels, how much and how often does that character's class contribute to the defeat of those challenges? This value should be considered as a rough averaging across all levels, the center of the level range somewhat more than really low and really high level characters, and across all optimization levels (considering DM restrictiveness as a plausible downward acting factor on how optimized a character is), prioritizing moderate optimization somewhat more than low or high.

    A big issue with the original tier system is that, if anything, it was too specific, generating inflexible definitions for allowance into a tier which did not cover the broad spectrum of ways a class can operate. When an increase in versatility would seem to represent a decrease in tier, because tier two is supposed to be low versatility, it's obvious that we've become mired in something that'd be pointless to anyone trying to glean information from the tier system. Thus, I will be uncharacteristically word light here. The original tier system's tier descriptions are still good guidelines here, but they shouldn't be assumed to be the end all and be all for how classes get ranked.

    Consistent throughout these tiers is the notion of problems and the solving thereof. For the purposes of this tier system, the problem space can be said to be inclusive of combat, social interaction, and exploration, with the heaviest emphasis placed on combat. A problem could theoretically fall outside of that space, but things inside that space are definitely problems. Another way to view the idea of problem solving is through the lens of the niche ranking system. A niche filled tends to imply the capacity to solve a type of problem, whether it's a status condition in the case of healing, or an enemy that just has too many hit points in the case of melee combat. It's not a perfect measure, both because some niches have a lot of overlap in the kinds of problems they can solve and because, again, the niches aren't necessarily all inclusive, but they can act as a good tool for class evaluation.

    Tier one: Incredibly good at solving nearly all problems. This is the realm of clerics, druids, and wizards, classes that open up with strong combat spells backed up by utility, and then get massively stronger from there. If you're not keeping up with that core trio of tier one casters, then you probably don't belong here.

    Tier two: We're just a step below tier one here, in the land of classes around the sorcerer level of power. Generally speaking, this means relaxing one of the two tier one assumptions, either getting us to very good at solving nearly all problems, or incredibly good at solving most problems. But, as will continue to be the case as these tiers go on, there aren't necessarily these two simple categories for this tier. You gotta lose something compared to the tier one casters, but what you lose doesn't have to be in some really specific proportions.

    Tier three: Again, we gotta sacrifice something compared to tier two, here taking us to around the level of a swordsage. The usual outcome is that you are very good at solving a couple of problems and competent at solving a few more. Of course, there are other possibilities, for example that you might instead be competent at solving nearly all problems.

    Tier four: Here we're in ranger/barbarian territory (though the ranger should be considered largely absent of ACF's and stuff to hit this tier, as will be talked about later). Starting from that standard tier three position, the usual sweet spots here are very good at solving a few problems, or alright at solving many problems.

    Tier five
    : We're heading close to the dregs here. Tier five is the tier of monks, classes that are as bad as you can be without being an aristocrat or a commoner. Classes here are sometimes very good at solving nearly no problems, or alright at solving a few, or some other function thereof. It's weak, is the point.

    Tier six: And here we have commoner tier. Or, the bottom is commoner. The top is approximately aristocrat. You don't necessarily have nothing in this tier, but you have close enough to it.


    The Threads

    Tier System Home Base

    The Icarnum Classes: Incarnate, Soulborn, Totemist

    The Auraists (Re-Done): Divine Mind, Dragon Shaman, Marshal

    Completing the Psionics: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    The Stray Dogs: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    The Rankings


    Mystic Ranger: Tier 4
    Trickster: Tier 3
    Wild Monk: Tier 3

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    For convenience, here are the classes up for discussion. https://imgur.com/a/XRTS2r5

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I was actually surprised there were only three base classes in all of the magazines (outside Dra Compendium), and not only that, but three variant base classes, which is to say, nothing completely different from what we've seen so far.
    There's plenty more, just not ones that would merit separate rankings. We actually already covered one of them, the Evangelist, in a previous thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Mystic Ranger: Of all the classes in D.Mags, this one is - by a very wide margin - the most popular one. It's a Ranger, only it isn't. You get more and better spells, have delayed beatstick class features, and lose your animal companion. You also get the weirdest spell progression of any class in the game and have to be non-Evil for some reason. Like, seriously, who thought that that spell progression was fine? I'll say that the new level of spells (Level 5) aren't enough to grant this class a bump in tier compared to the Ranger's Tier 4, but I could be mistaken.
    I think you are definitely mistaken. Mystic Ranger has a better spell progression than the Bard, and while the list is not quite as strong, the huge boost to early-game capabilities more than makes up for it even without considering the advantages offered by prepared casting off your entire spell list. Keep in mind that for your first 10 levels, you have full Sorcerer-style casting progression. Not Bard—Sorcerer. And the Ranger list is no slouch; it's basically just the Druid list with minor changes. Not only is it T3, but it's a high T3, even bordering on T2, IMO. I put it at 2.5, and frankly, I believe you could make a case for an even higher ranking.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Trickster: Again, we have a more spell-inclined version of a class that could already cast spells. Only now it's the Spellthief. You get to cast like a Bard (and even get Bard spells added to your list) but you lose 2 skill points per level, a bunch of class skills, trapfinding, and all but 1d6 of your Sneak Attack. It's rough. BUT you get to cast like a Bard, have I told you that? You qualify for Craven, which helps with the loss of all those SA dice, and stealing spells is really fun, even if situational. I can't see this as lower than Tier 3, after all, you cast like a Bard, you have UMD like a Bard, and likely will have almost as many skills as a Bard since you don't need to max-out Perform.
    Actually, you cast better than a Bard, since you also have a bunch of extra Sor/Wiz spells on your list. I think you can make a real case that Trickster Spellthief ranks above Bard. Certainly it's in the high-3 range; I'll say 2.8.

    As for Wild Monk, I had Wild Shape Ranger at 3.75. Wild Monk is worse at low levels, but better at high levels. I personally think low levels are more important, so I'm inclined to put Wild Monk at 3.8.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-15 at 05:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Problem with the mystic ranger is lvl 1-10 it's a T1 contender, full casting on a powerful chassis, and the possibility of wild shape. At level 20 it's T3 or 4 as spell level capping out hurts.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I think you are definitely mistaken. Mystic Ranger has a better spell progression than the Bard, and while the list is not quite as strong, the huge boost to early-game capabilities more than makes up for it even without considering the advantages offered by prepared casting off your entire spell list. Keep in mind that for your first 10 levels, you have full Sorcerer-style casting progression. Not Bard—Sorcerer. And the Ranger list is no slouch; it's basically just the Druid list with minor changes (some of which are honestly improvements). Not only is it T3, but it's a high T3, even bordering on T2, IMO. I put it at 2.5, and frankly, I believe you could make a case for an even higher ranking.
    Better progression up until level 13. We're analyzing classes as full on 20 levels. I agree that it's probably Tier 2.5 in these first levels, but it then takes a sudden dive into Tier 4.5. It's worse than standard Ranger at this level due to lack of animal companion.

    I was probably too harsh on my disregard for the early levels, but I wouldn't say it's Tier 2.5 as a whole. It's probably closer to Tier 3.4 than anything (higher than 3.5, but not by much)
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-10-15 at 05:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Originally Posted by heavyfuel
    *Trickster*
    Where is the Trickster from? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this one.

    Originally Posted by heavyfuel
    Oh, and by the way, don't even try to justify "Mystic Ranger of the Arcane Order". This whack requires the most lenient of DMs and such a level of mental gymnastics to "be RAW" that it shouldn't influence at all what tier you give this class.
    For those of us who see SotAO recommended a lot, but have never looked into the details, what are the problems here?

    I’m not arguing one way or the other, just interested in knowing why this presents issues.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Better progression up until level 13. We're analyzing classes as full on 20 levels. I agree that it's probably Tier 2.5 in these first levels, but it then takes a sudden dive into Tier 4.5. It's worse than standard Ranger at this level due to lack of animal companion and splat book support.

    I was probably too harsh on my disregard for the early levels, but I wouldn't say it's Tier 2.5 as a whole. It's probably closer to Tier 3.4 than anything (higher than 3.5, but not by much)
    Quote Originally Posted by Raxxius View Post
    Problem with the mystic ranger is lvl 1-10 it's a T1 contender, full casting on a powerful chassis, and the possibility of wild shape. At level 20 it's T3 or 4 as spell level capping out hurts.
    At no point is it close to dropping below T3. At level 20, its casting is still on par with a Bard's; Bard 6ths aren't substantially better than Mystic Ranger 5ths.

    Lower levels should also be weighted more than higher levels anyway, since that's where most campaigns take place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Where is the Trickster from? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this one.
    Dragon #353.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-15 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Raxxius View Post
    Problem with the mystic ranger is lvl 1-10 it's a T1 contender, full casting on a powerful chassis, and the possibility of wild shape. At level 20 it's T3 or 4 as spell level capping out hurts.
    It's still always better than the normal ranger, with the earlier spell access. Having spells available to you at level 7 that were intended to come into play at level 15... Well, that speaks for itself.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Where is the Trickster from? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this one.



    For those of us who see SotAO recommended a lot, but have never looked into the details, what are the problems here?

    I’m not arguing one way or the other, just interested in knowing why this presents issues.
    It's in some Dragon Mag, though I don't know the actual number. Troacctid did post an imgur link with screenshots of all three classes

    SotAO requires you to be a "Ranger of Mystra" which is never defined in-game, though the game suggests it means taking the Shooting Star Ranger substitution levels, which have really weird interactions with the Mystic Ranger, like not getting an Animal Companion (which Mystic Rangers already don't get) and "Improved Spellcasting" which actually makes your Caster Level worse since Mystic Rangers (probably) have full caster levels (since they start casting at lv 1)

    If these weren't enough, Shooting Star Ranger makes a lot of references to "the standard Ranger", which a Mystic Ranger is most definitely not.

    Then there's the whole deal about it only working in Forgotten Realms, which make its usage really narrow in actual games.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    It's still always better than the normal ranger, with the earlier spell access. Having spells available to you at level 7 that were intended to come into play at level 15... Well, that speaks for itself.
    Except they're still Ranger 4th level spells, which since this is 3.X, means they aren't any more powerful than other 4th level spells. I think the problem with the Mystic Ranger is that it has such a weird spell progression. A good argument for T1 (remember, it's a ranger so it gets prepared spells) and at least a T2 until 10th, but it rapidly drops off after that. An overall rating is hard to come to. It definitely isn't a T2 though.

    Trickster is weird. You basically lose out on the Thief portion of the class name, in exchange for decent casting. I'm actually tempted to rate it a low 3 because all your class abilities are still terrible, but you do get much better casting. Call it an even T3

    Wild Monk should be a low 3, right? Also, it's weird the writer thought they should be restricted to LN when wild shape doesn't force the ranger into neutral alignments (and they also get some of the nature spells and animal companion of the druid equation).
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Except they're still Ranger 4th level spells, which since this is 3.X, means they aren't any more powerful than other 4th level spells. I think the problem with the Mystic Ranger is that it has such a weird spell progression. A good argument for T1 (remember, it's a ranger so it gets prepared spells) and at least a T2 until 10th, but it rapidly drops off after that. An overall rating is hard to come to. It definitely isn't a T2 though.
    But stack it up against other classes. How many T3s come out ahead of the Mystic Ranger, even at high levels?
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-15 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    I just noticed something strange about the Mystic Ranger. They don't get martial melee weapon proficiency

    I think this is small enough that it doesn't really subtract from the class' tier. After all, most Rangers will be using, some bow, dual light weapons, or the Elven Courtblade. The light weapons will usually be kukris, but not mandatory, so this only impacts half out of the 3 most common combat styles for the Ranger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    How many T3s come out ahead of the Mystic Ranger, even at high levels?
    All ToB classes, Bard (even at lower levels because UMD and Diplomacy), Shugenja, DFA, Warlock, and Duskblade from the top of my head.

    Sorry, I just can't see the Mystic Ranger as higher tier than any of these classes at high levels.

    At low levels it's about on par with or a little better than Shugenja, Bard, and Swordsage.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    But stack it up against other classes. How many T3s come out ahead of the Mystic Ranger, even at high levels?
    Fairly certain most Shugenjas beat the Mystic Ranger in any niches its spells cover. Bards certainly rise to match them; the Mystic Ranger 5th level spell list is very limited. I think most of the tier 3s are at least as flexible. But maybe I'm underestimating the Ranger 1-4 spells.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    All ToB classes, Bard (even at lower levels because UMD and Diplomacy), Shugenja, DFA, Warlock, and Duskblade from the top of my head.

    Sorry, I just can't see the Mystic Ranger as higher tier than any of these classes at high levels.

    At low levels it's about on par with or a little better than Shugenja, Bard, and Swordsage.
    I baaasically wrote the book on Warlocks and no way are they holding up against Mystic Ranger. Dragonfire Adept is the same story.

    Bard is squishier and has weaker spellcasting. It catches up to Mystic Ranger around level 16 and never really surpasses it. Yeah, Bard has a better skill list, but it's not like Rangers have a shortage of skills that they want—Concentration, Spellcraft, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (nature), Spot, Listen, Hide, Move Silently, and Handle Animal are all fine choices, and you can add Sense Motive and Tumble with Skilled City-Dweller if you really need to.

    I can't imagine a Shugenja spell loadout from that outmatches prepared casting from the entire Ranger list, at least not until you get to much higher levels that shouldn't be weighted very highly anyway. Shugenja spells are pretty limited, and a lot of the best ones are also on the Ranger list. Based on the analysis we had during the Shugenja's discussion thread, I think you'd have a very hard time surpassing the Mystic Ranger at low levels, and even at high levels, it's not like you get any of the top-tier 9ths—it's stuff like foresight and etherealness.

    Duskblades don't even get higher-level spells than Mystic Rangers, so, like...huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    Fairly certain most Shugenjas beat the Mystic Ranger in any niches its spells cover. Bards certainly rise to match them; the Mystic Ranger 5th level spell list is very limited. I think most of the tier 3s are at least as flexible. But maybe I'm underestimating the Ranger 1-4 spells.
    It's basically the Druid list.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-15 at 07:13 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    It's in some Dragon Mag, though I don't know the actual number. Troacctid did post an imgur link with screenshots of all three classes

    SotAO requires you to be a "Ranger of Mystra" which is never defined in-game, though the game suggests it means taking the Shooting Star Ranger substitution levels, which have really weird interactions with the Mystic Ranger, like not getting an Animal Companion (which Mystic Rangers already don't get) and "Improved Spellcasting" which actually makes your Caster Level worse since Mystic Rangers (probably) have full caster levels (since they start casting at lv 1)
    People can read SotAO for themselves, but it's worth indicating that the text of the prerequisite is "Ranger 4th of Mystra", not "Ranger of Mystra" as such. This is significant because Faerun more or less forces people to take a patron deity as part of the character creation process, so the argument is that "of Mystra" is referring to one's patron deity, not that one has to take the substitution level for ranger of Shooting Star. Indeed the prerequisites of the Shooting Star substitution level include that the character's patron deity must be Mystra. SotAO does not specify that the ranger must have taken a Shooting Star substitution level, and "suggests" does not mean RAW.

    In particular, nowhere does it indicate that all rangers who are members of the Order of Shooting Stars actually take the substitution levels. This is particularly the case given SotAO's prerequisites are "ranger 4th of Mystra" and "must be a member of the Order of Shooting Stars"; if you had to take the substitution level, it would have been specified; SotAO and the substitution levels are even in the same book.

    EDIT: In short, the issue with Mystic Ranger taking SoTAO is whether Mystic Ranger is a ranger for the purposes of the feat, not whether SoTAO requires you to take Shooting Star substitution levels. As to that, Mystic Ranger calls itself a variant ranger and forbids multiclassing with ranger solely on the rationale -- per the text -- that you can't pick up two iterations of the same class ability via multiclassing.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    I baaasically wrote the book on Warlocks and no way are they holding up against Mystic Ranger. Dragonfire Adept is the same story.

    Bard is squishier and has weaker spellcasting. It catches up to Mystic Ranger around level 16 and never really surpasses it. Yeah, Bard has a better skill list, but it's not like Rangers have a shortage of skills that they want—Concentration, Spellcraft, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (nature), Spot, Listen, Hide, Move Silently, and Handle Animal are all fine choices, and you can add Sense Motive and Tumble with Skilled City-Dweller if you really need to.

    I can't imagine a Shugenja spell loadout from that outmatches prepared casting from the entire Ranger list, at least not until you get to much higher levels that shouldn't be weighted very highly anyway. Shugenja spells are pretty limited, and a lot of the best ones are also on the Ranger list. Based on the analysis we had during the Shugenja's discussion thread, I think you'd have a very hard time surpassing the Mystic Ranger at low levels, and even at high levels, it's not like you get any of the top-tier 9ths—it's stuff like foresight and etherealness.

    Duskblades don't even get higher-level spells than Mystic Rangers, so, like...huh?
    Warlocks have stuff like at will flight, invisibility, shatter, dimension door, see invisible, etc. I'd take these spellsinvocations over the entirety of the ranger's spell list. Also, take 10 on UMD? Yes please.

    I might agree with you on DFA though. Though they do get nice tricks with breath weapons and stuff, the Mystic Ranger also does.

    Bard spellcasting isn't weaker. It's different. Sure, it lags a few levels behind, but it gets really nasty stuff on it. Glitterdust, Glibness, Dominate Person, Alter Self, Dispel Magic, and many many others. Their spell selection is straight up better, if harshly more limited.

    Shugenjas may not get big 9s, but getting ok-9s is still about 16 times better than any 5th level spell the Ranger has access to. Plus, Shugenjas should have access to many elemental spells on Spell Compendium according to the book's recommendation. I don't think that was taken into account at all during the class' discussion, but it adds some pretty nice spells like to their list. At lower levels they can more than hold their own as well.

    Duskblades have a much better list and can smash face much more effectively than a Ranger. Access to Arcane Disciple to further enhances its superior list if you have decent Point-buy/rolled well. They can also use Eternal Wands. Much like the Bard, they also suffer from having to choose spells known
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-10-15 at 07:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Warlocks have stuff like at will flight, invisibility, shatter, dimension door, see invisible, etc. I'd take these spellsinvocations over the entirety of the ranger's spell list. Also, take 10 on UMD? Yes please.
    They only get a couple of them, and hardly any skill points, which limits their options a lot. Mystic Rangers have a healthy number of spell slots and a broad selection of spells, and they gain access to key effects much sooner. Warlock invocations definitely fall off at higher levels too, unless you're going into epic.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Bard spellcasting isn't weaker. It's different. Sure, it lags a few levels behind, but it gets really nasty stuff on it. Glitterdust, Glibness, Dominate Person, Alter Self, Dispel Magic, and many many others. Their spell selection is straight up better, if harshly more limited.
    They have fewer spells known, fewer spell slots, and, most importantly, a delayed progression compared to Mystic Ranger. Their spell list would have to be a lot better than the Ranger list in order to make up for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Shugenjas may not get big 9s, but getting ok-9s is still about 16 times better than any 5th level spell the Ranger has access to. Plus, Shugenjas should have access to many elemental spells on Spell Compendium according to the book's recommendation. I don't think that was taken into account at all during the class' discussion, but it adds some pretty nice spells like to their list. At lower levels they can more than hold their own as well.
    Think about how long it takes for Shugenja spells to overtake Mystic Ranger spells. Where's the breakpoint? 6th level spells? 7th? Then consider that most campaigns don't even make it past level 12. And Shugenja is the highest-ranked class currently in T3.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Duskblades have a much better list and can smash face much more effectively than a Ranger. Access to Arcane Disciple to further enhances its superior list if you have decent Point-buy/rolled well. They can also use Eternal Wands. Much like the Bard, they also suffer from having to choose spells known
    It's not really a better list. And they can smash face somewhat better, but they have bupkis for utility, whereas Mystic Ranger is a problem-solving machine with loads of skill points and access to its entire spell list. Also, Eternal Wands are rarely even good.
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-15 at 08:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    I don't think Mystic Rangers end up better than all T3 classes. By level 20, things have leveled out considerably. But I'm will to say 2.75, they're a high T3 class over all, due to being full casters until level 10 and still being pretty good the rest of the way. I think their 5th level spells are too limited to make them functional T2s and the fact that they never get above that is a problem (for full T2 or higher status). Although notably I think they'd actually be low T3s in an otherwise PHB only game, because the ranger spell list sucks in the PHB.

    I'm willing to call a Wild Monk a 3.25. A lot of their difficulties come from being MAD and having some poor class abilities, but Wild Shape just works and it's full Wild Shape at that (ok minus Plant, but I'm not sure that's worth worrying over.).
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    I'm not all that impressed by the ranger spells off the srd, theres a couple good ones per level but not a lot that shines. I'm thinking that summon natures ally line might be the best but I'm not sure.

    Are there any stand outs outside of core?

    I think it has 1/2 level caster level which hurts too

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I'm not all that impressed by the ranger spells off the srd, theres a couple good ones per level but not a lot that shines. I'm thinking that summon natures ally line might be the best but I'm not sure.

    Are there any stand outs outside of core?
    There's Arrowsplit and Shadow Arrow out of Champions of Ruin. Swift Haste. Hunter's Eye, Hunter's Mercy, Find the Gap. Nothing worldbreaking, but pretty nice stuff for archers. Curse of Arrow Attraction is nice if you're fishing for criticals.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Aspect of the Earth Hunter is great at the level you get it. Bottle of Smoke makes you an amazing kiter. A lot of movement and sensory spells as well as some decent skill enhancement. It's light on blasting or save or lose, but pretty great for buffing, with a lot of long duration buffs. The mystic ranger loses out on an animal companion as a target for some nice animal-only buffs. Bard-like, but less enchantment and more transmutation, with a surprising amount of divination.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    It's in some Dragon Mag, though I don't know the actual number. Troacctid did post an imgur link with screenshots of all three classes

    SotAO requires you to be a "Ranger of Mystra" which is never defined in-game, though the game suggests it means taking the Shooting Star Ranger substitution levels, which have really weird interactions with the Mystic Ranger, like not getting an Animal Companion (which Mystic Rangers already don't get) and "Improved Spellcasting" which actually makes your Caster Level worse since Mystic Rangers (probably) have full caster levels (since they start casting at lv 1)

    If these weren't enough, Shooting Star Ranger makes a lot of references to "the standard Ranger", which a Mystic Ranger is most definitely not.
    All divine casters in FR are devoted to a deity. A ranger is "of Mystra" in the same way a cleric is "of Mystra." Shooting Star Mystic Ranger probably isn't kosher, but you can definitely by a Mystic Ranger of Mystra without problems.

    What's more compelling is that SotAO's prerequisites specifically includes: "member of the Knights of the Mystic Fire (see page 102), the Order of the Shooting Star (see Knights of the Mystic Fire, page 102), or the Swords of the High One (see page 104)," orders which are represented by substitution levels. The notion that you can only be a member of one of these orders if you take the substitution levels is certainly not RAW, but it leaves one squinting and going hmmmmmmaybe.

    In addition, SotAO doesn't come online until 4th level (so, 6th level due to when you actually get feats), narrowing the dominance of Mystic Ranger even further. SotAO mystic ranger is a hilariously cool lightning warrior thing from level 6 to level 11, but that's only actually five levels.

    Plus the whole thing suffers from MAD, since you need Int and Wis to pull of SotAO.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Then there's the whole deal about it only working in Forgotten Realms, which make its usage really narrow in actual games.
    Out of curiosity, why do you think this is this substantively different than, say, artificer having all of its supporting material in Eberron books? DMs frequently allow setting-specific content with the serial numbers filed off, in practice.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2018-10-16 at 05:08 AM.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Out of curiosity, why do you think this is this substantively different than, say, artificer having all of its supporting material in Eberron books? DMs frequently allow setting-specific content with the serial numbers filed off, in practice.
    I don't think this is true. While I'm sure most DMs would be perfectly fine with you grabbing something like the Education feat (ECS/FRCS), if your DM says there are no Warforged in his world, they most definitely will not let you play one. If you're not using the Action Point variant, you can't pick feats/classes that require its use. The same goes for Dragonmarks.

    Similarly, if a DM says there's no deity named Mystra and nothing called The Order of the Shooting Star, you can't pick things that require you to worship a deity or be part of a faction that don't exist.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    I don't think this is true. While I'm sure most DMs would be perfectly fine with you grabbing something like the Education feat (ECS/FRCS), if your DM says there are no Warforged in his world, they most definitely will not let you play one. If you're not using the Action Point variant, you can't pick feats/classes that require its use. The same goes for Dragonmarks.

    Similarly, if a DM says there's no deity named Mystra and nothing called The Order of the Shooting Star, you can't pick things that require you to worship a deity or be part of a faction that don't exist.
    So, again, why is that different from the artificer? (This isn't meant to be a gotcha question - I think addressing it will legitimately help your point.)
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Originally Posted by heavyfuel
    While I'm sure most DMs would be perfectly fine with you grabbing something like the Education feat (ECS/FRCS)….
    I had a DM specifically disallow Education, because he wasn’t allowing anything from published settings.

    Ironically, that was the only campaign I’ve ever had a chance to play a mystic ranger.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Lower levels should also be weighted more than higher levels anyway, since that's where most campaigns take place.
    [Citation Needed]
    No, seriously, can't remember the last time I was in a game that started below lv 9.
    Last edited by weckar; 2018-10-16 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    So, again, why is that different from the artificer? (This isn't meant to be a gotcha question - I think addressing it will legitimately help your point.)
    The artificer doesn't really rely on setting specific things to work. I mean, they use Action Points to use infusions in combat, but that can easily be removed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I had a DM specifically disallow Education, because he wasn’t allowing anything from published settings.

    Ironically, that was the only campaign I’ve ever had a chance to play a mystic ranger.
    Well, that's just sad

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Three classes I have never played and two of them never heard of <(") I am just here for the learning and popcorn. Mystic Ranger definitely suffers depending on what sources you can pull spells from but in my experience any DM letting you pull a class from dragon mag is probably letting you pull spells from any official source, so not sure if phb spell selection sucks is a valid argument here. After taking a look at Mystic Ranger its only standout level 5 spell is baleful polymorph, without that spell it would be bottom of tier 3 but even still thats 6 spells at level 5 (awaken, baleful polymorph, cure critical wounds, control winds, summon nature's ally V, and wall of thorns.) your mostly casting control winds, summon nature's ally V, and wall of thorns for bfc out of that list and none of those are that great unless you are abusing BP.

    Over all I think Duskblade is setup better and is more powerful given the synergy of its spells and attacks I can't see this being valued higher than duskblade. Also that spell progression bugs me, it is very weird.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Mystic ranger that has spells from level 1 in a lower tier than Wild monk that has no spells and is really just a slightly versatile beatstick? Am I reading this right? If so...why? Is there anything wild monk can do other than beatsticking?

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Phew....only played Mystic Ranger from that trio, but in the "Good Level Range" of 2-9.
    And hence I have only that experience to pull from. Going on from this, in the Levels pre 10 the Class is clearly a worse Cleric/Druid with better "always" Fighting and hence low T1.

    Afterwards, the total Dearth of Spell Progression must be the weirdest Base Class I have ever seen.
    Assuming not PRCing out, it drops to high, then low T2 and reaches mid T3 at the end. However going by the Majority of its Levels (say 1-15) it spends them in low T1 to low T2, which makes me go for a Total of T 2.4


    The Monk looks like what the Monk wanted to be to work, but can only beat face and scout, so low T3 to high T4 it is, say T 3.5


    The Trickster looks like the Love Child of bard and Rogue with some spell stealing tackered on. Love the class, why did I not know it existed?
    As for rating: it loses a lot regarding SKill and Punchy Face things, gains a smattering of utility casting and access to 2 nice Lists. Hmmmmm, hard one.

    I`ll play it save and say center T 3
    Last edited by GrayDeath; 2018-10-16 at 01:25 PM.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Mystic Ranger, Trickster, Wild Monk

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    [Citation Needed]
    No, seriously, can't remember the last time I was in a game that started below lv 9.
    That might be an interesting poll for another thread; I myself have never-not-ever played in a campaign that didn't start at level 1 (or the equivalent in the system.)

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