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5E It's official, WOTC hates Rangers (Tasha's version of Favored Foe is GARBAGE)

Well, the Tasha's preview is out, and the Ranger got utterly shafted, namely in its Favored Foe feature.

The exact text (from this source):

Favored Foe
1st-level ranger feature, which replaces the Favored Enemy feature and works with the Foe Slayer feature

When you hit a creature with an attack roll, you can call on your mystical bond with nature to mark the target as your favored enemy for 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell)

The first time on each of your turns that you hit the favored enemy and deal damage to it, including when you mark it, you can increase that damage by 1d4.

You can use this feature to mark a favored enemy a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

This feature's extra damage increases when you reach certain levels in this class: to 1d6 at 6th level and to 1d8 at 14th level.

So 1d4 damage. On only one hit per round. Requires your concentration even though it's not a spell. And you can only use it proficiency bonus times per day.

This is literally a dollar-store version of Hunter's Mark.

What was WOTC thinking?

EDIT: Oh, and also Tasha's does nothing about the Ranger's Lv. 10, 14 and 18 features which still all really suck.
 
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NotAYakk

Legend
At level 1, +1d4 1/round is very similar to +1d4/hit. Only TWF rangers can get 2 taps.

It isn't clear from that wording if you can also concentrate on a spell while concentrating on that. The rules that state you lose concentration require you to concentrate on another spell; the "as if you are concentrating on a spell" may or may not make Favoured Foe qualify there.

If it doesn't require your concentration slot, this is pretty solid. It prevents level 1 rangers from being strictly dominated in combat by other d10+ HD classes, which was a problem before.

Against the fighter, you lose a fighting style and second wind. Duelist is the closest, which is +2 damage/tap on 1 handed weapons. At level 1, you get 1 tap, so +2 damage vs +1d4 is pretty close, with an edge for the ranger. (2 vs 2.5 average, damage dice double on crits)

At level 6, it is 2 taps at +2 vs 1d6 if either attack hits; again pretty close, with an edge for the ranger (4 vs 3.5 with crit, and 2 chances to hit with 3.5)
 




If the leaks are accurate, I don't see what the big deal is. Ranger builds that get the most out of Hunter's Mark can still cast Hunter's Mark. Ranger builds with a lot of competition for the Bonus Action slot that found Hunter's Mark clumsy to use now have an action-free version they can tag bosses with. For subclasses like the Drakewarden this is better than Hunter's Mark. All that's gone is degenerate combos you could do with a no-concentration HM, and if you paid attention to Dev comment we've known that was off the table for months.
 

Sir Brennen

Adventurer
It isn't clear from that wording if you can also concentrate on a spell while concentrating on that. The rules that state you lose concentration require you to concentrate on another spell; the "as if you are concentrating on a spell" may or may not make Favoured Foe qualify there.
Per XGtE (pg 5) "As soon as you start casting a spell or using a spell or using a special ability that requires concentration, your concentration on another effect ends instantly". So, no stacking Favored Foe and Hunter's Mark.

Plus side, it saves a spell slot and you're free to prepare a different spell. No bonus action needed, and damage gets a little better than Hunter's Mark at higher levels.

Also, this is a feature pretty much like the Invoke Duplicity from the Trickery Domain (non-spell ability that requires concentration.) Jeremy says no, you can only concentrate on one thing at a time: Invoke Duplicity: Does it take your spell concentration slot?
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sure, this isn’t the strongest damage buff, but consider what it’s replacing. A language (which the ranger now gets two of from Deft Explorer anyway) and advantage on checks to track monsters of a specific type. Compared to that, +1d4 per round at the cost of concentration is a pretty significant improvement. It’s nowhere near as powerful as the UA version, but that was way overpowered.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Sure, this isn’t the strongest damage buff, but consider what it’s replacing. A language (which the ranger now gets two of from Deft Explorer anyway) and advantage on checks to track monsters of a specific type. Compared to that, +1d4 per round at the cost of concentration is a pretty significant improvement. It’s nowhere near as powerful as the UA version, but that was way overpowered.
I'm also lighter than an elephant.

Doesn't mean I'm not heavy.

The base Ranger class was strictly dominated in combat by 3 other classes at level 1. This admittedly does make it not strictly dominated.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm also lighter than an elephant.

Doesn't mean I'm not heavy.

The base Ranger class was strictly dominated in combat by 3 other classes at level 1. This admittedly does make it not strictly dominated.
Right. The goal of the ranger changes has always been to close the perceived gap in efficiency between rangers and other combatants (which is mostly focused on the Beastmaster), to address the problem of favored enemy and favored terrain being useless except in specific campaigns, and to prevent rangers from completely obviating exploration challenges. These alternate features accomplish those goals. It doesn’t make the ranger a top-tier damage dealer, but that was never one of the goals.
 


I've seen about four rangers in the course of the last six years in campaigns I've run, and any number in AL games I've played in, and none of them have wanted for power. Last session, for a mid-tier group, the ranger did over 40 points of damage in one round, without rolling a single crit. I just don't get the "rangers are underpowered" argument.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Actually, I hear from my inside sources that WotC is fairly neutral about the Ranger class. It’s specifically @Gladius Legis they hate, and the Ranger is just collateral damage.
I heard this too. In fact, I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true!

 


jmartkdr2

Adventurer
I've seen about four rangers in the course of the last six years in campaigns I've run, and any number in AL games I've played in, and none of them have wanted for power. Last session, for a mid-tier group, the ranger did over 40 points of damage in one round, without rolling a single crit. I just don't get the "rangers are underpowered" argument.
While I've seen the same thing - it's also the class I've seen cause people stop playing a character 'because it isn't fun' the most (as in, the only one I've seen people say "this class isn't fun.")
 



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