Content of the article: "Official Swarmkeeper is looking really awesome, but the Fey Wanderer has been massacred."
So this was the UA Swarmkeeper level 3 feature:
You magically attract a swarm of fey spirits that look like Tiny beasts of your choice. The swarm remains in your space, crawling on you or through your clothing, or flying and skittering immediately around you within your space.
As a bonus action, you can agitate the swarm for 1 minute. For the duration, some of the swarm clings to your weapons or follows your strikes when you attack: once during each of your turns when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can deal an extra 1d6 force damage to that creature, and the swarm moves the creature up to 5 feet toward you or away from you (your choice). At 11th level, the extra damage increases to 2d6.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
This has just been replaced by a free-action "once per turn, you can do one of the following things when you hit an enemy," one of which includes a small damage boost, and those features are all enhanced at level 11, giving you options to try to knock an enemy prone or give yourself half-cover using the swarm.
Since you no longer have to "activate" your Swarm, level 7 has just been replaced with some flying speed for a time, usable a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus.
"Scuttling Eyes" has just been replaced with the Arcane Eye spell, losing Giant Insect in the process, which was a decent fix imo. Scuttling Eyes was just a glorified Arcana Eye anyway.
And level 15, which was basically kind of like Storm Sphere, has been replaced with a really cool uncanny dodge + teleport ability.
Overall, I think this was a great fix. The UA Swarmkeeper was really complicated and weird to keep track of, and a lot of it was just "totally not just a spell disguised as a class feature." This makes it flow a lot better.
However, the Wizards giveth and they taketh away. I'd go so far as to say Fey Wanderer is now pretty forgettable.
Dreadful Strikes now longer requires a bonus action, which is really cool, and some abilities got shuffled around to different levels.
But the Ranger smites are now gone, and are instead replaced with just a no-cost, no-concentration "Summon Fey" spell that only lasts for 1 minute, once per day. Which sounds good until you remember the Ranger is only a half-caster so even at 11th level, you're still only casting it at 3rd level, so… do with that you will.
But the biggest sin against the Fey Wanderer is what they did to the level 15 ability. This was the UA level 15 ability:
You can magically remove yourself from one creature’s perception: you gain a bonus action that you can use to force a creature you can see within 30 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, the target can’t see or hear you for 24 hours. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of any turn during which you hit it with an attack roll, forced it to make a saving throw, or dealt damage to it. The effect ends early if you use this bonus action again. On a successful save, the target is immune to this feature for 7 days.
Once you’ve used this bonus action, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest or until you expend a spell slot of 4th level or higher to use it again.
And now… it's just a no-cost Misty Step a few times per day, and now you can bring someone with you.
Just feels incredibly underwhelming, in my opinion. It's certainly not bad, but it seems like it could have been done better. I guess it opens up opportunity to multiclass Ranger 11/Cleric or Druid 9 just to get a lot of mileage out of the concentration-free Summon Fey. And the free Misty Step+1 isn't useless by any means, but it does feel like a massive downgrade, especially since you already get Dimension Door from the subclass.
Overall, it looks like Swarmkeeper only got changes for the better. It flows really well, is really thematic, full of interactive gameplay choices.
But now Fey Wanderer feels like the awkward cousin of the Hunter or something.
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