How To Use Wild Shape (The Right Way)

Dungeons & Dragons Druid stood in front of a forest background with their tiger.

As a Druid, Wild Shape can be an intimidating ability to master, but it’s an essential part of playing the class. Here are some tips for new players.

One of the most fun parts of playing as a Druid in Dungeons & Dragons is Wild Shape. With this ability, Druids can transform into beasts that can be useful in battle as well as out of combat. There are some rules regarding Wild Shape, though, that can make choosing a Druid a little daunting.

Wild Shape is one of the core features of 5th Edition Dungeon & Dragon‘s Druids and is a great ability when used properly. A Druid’s level determines what type of beasts can be chosen, with challenge ratings playing a major role in this class. The final part to consider is what DnD Druid Circle is best suited to the character, as there are many to choose from.


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Wild Shape Can Help In A Few Ways In D&D

Wild Shape provides the Druid with multiple ways in which they can assist their adventuring party. One of the most obvious is in combat, where changing into beasts can provide the party with a tank at a lower level and another melee attacker later on. Wild Shape can also provide the party with out-of-combat utility as well with Druids making excellent scouts that can blend in with the environment.

Druids Should Think Outside The Box For D&D Wild Shape

Dungeons & Dragons spider and badger as wild shape druid options

One of the first things to consider is that Circle of the Moon Druids differ in which Wild Shapes are available to them when compared with other Druid Circles. Circle of the Moon is the DnD subclass players will want to try if they want to use their Wild Shape primarily for combat. They are able to take on form with much higher challenge ratings at lower levels and can use their Wild Shape as a bonus action, making them great for battle. However, there is more to Wild Shape than just tanking and damage dealing.

Druids from all Circles can be a scout for the party in beast form as it is unlikely NPCs would look twice at an animal watching them. For that, the simple cat makes a great choice as its low CR of 0 means it is available for all Druids once they gain their Wild Shape at level two. The cat is a brilliant scout in Dungeons & Dragons‘ urban campaign settings, blending in with other domestic animals with a +4 to Stealth and a 30ft climbing speed.

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For more rural areas, the giant badger is a good choice. It has a CR of 1/4 and, along with the cat, has the ability Keen Smell, which gives advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell. The giant badger is also one of the few low CR choices with multiattack, which means if caught, the Druid will be able to hold their own for a short while. Another good choice would be a spider which is a CR 0 tiny beast with +4 to Stealth and the ability to walk on ceilings.

Another great way to use Wild Shape is for transport, for when parties want to travel without too many DnD encounters. It might not be the most obvious, but if the party needs to get from A to B in a hurry and doesn’t have their own mounts, Druids can transform into a few different beasts to help. Camels are a good choice and have a speed of 50ft and a CR of 1/8. However, at CR 1/4 is the riding horse which is fast at 60ft. Both are large beasts giving the Druid the ability to carry at least one other party member or two if they are small.

As the Druid levels up, more beasts will be unlocked, including flying and swimming creatures. This will open up even more options for combat, scouting, and utility. The only limit to using Wild Shape is the player’s imagination, so it’s best to have a good look through the Monster Manual to get the best use out of this unique Dungeons & Dragons feature.

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