Content of the article: "Thoughts on wildfire druid– still very good"
UA wildfire druid lost two big things– firebolt and fireball. I do believe giving wildfire druid access to those spells, which are so strong at doing things the druid is naturally weak at, on top of the other solid features of the subclass was just too much.
I still think the official wildfire druid has the potential to be super powerful , but it relies a lot more on making good use of your wildfire spirit. WOTC gave it a very significant buff by removing the recharge on the teleport ability (was short/long rest which basically meant once for each summoning). Now it can teleport adjacent creatures with it a distance of up to 15 ft at will. Huge.
And I haven't seen a lot of people talk about how good the ability to originate non-self spells from the wildfire spirit is. So much potential for shenanigans .
On my wildfire druid I would do things like hold my action (thunderclap cantrip) for when my spirit landed in a group of enemies, then order the spirit to land there then teleport out. Or you can thorn whip enemies into the air, making them take 1d6 fall damage and fall prone. And just having a second position to pull enemies towards with thorn whip is really nice too. You can even have it sit inside a fire wall (immune to fire damage) and thorn whip enemies into the fire.
PSA: your wildfire spirit is a perfect target for polymorph. Unlike a familiar, it can attack. Turn it into a T-Rex or Giant Ape, and now you have a fearsome, fire breathing (burning hands) monster that obeys your commands. Not to mention that with the extra HP pool, your wildfire spirit is much less likely to get obliterated.
EDIT: Forgot the CR restriction is based on target's CR. You could probably substitute your wild shape CR limit for the spirit's CR level, meaning you could polymorph it into something like a giant octopus, giant eagle, or a dire wolf. That seems reasonable to me.
So basically, the wildfire spirit allows you to do some crazy shit. It's super good. But the higher level features of the wildfire druid are also pretty good. At level 10 you get a solid amount of free healing or damage for your reaction. There is no save for the 2d10+WIS damage. The level 14 ability is nerfed, but still very strong.
The spell list is decent. Burning hands with the wildfire spirit will be fun. Being able to shoot the cone from the spirit makes it much more functional without compromising your positioning. And with your wildfire spirit summoned, Burning Hands will be doing an extra d8 damage once you get that level 6 feature. That bumps it up 42% over the standard spell (15 avg up from 10.5). Not half bad for an AOE level 1 spell.
Scorching Ray is a great single (or multi) target attack spell with very long range, something druids don't really get normally.
TLDR: wildfire druid is still very much in contention to be one of the best (if not the best) druid subclass IMO. I think the loss of fireball and fire bolt were probably good decisions. You can't just go around nuking everything like some careless wizard. It actually feels like a druid.
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