All One D&D Druid class changes, explained

The druid can finally rock a suit of plate mail armor in One D&D.

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Wizards of the Coast has released the latest Unearthed Arcana article for Dungeons & Dragons, featuring a revamped version of the druid class. Like the cleric class before it, the new version of the druid features some drastic differences from the one that first appeared in the 2014 Player’s Handbook, giving an early look at how the class could appear in the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons, which is set to launch in 2024.

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One D&D changes the armor druids can wear

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Straight off the bat, the druid has some significant changes to its use of armor. In the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook, the druid cannot wear metal armor or use metal shields, but they had proficiency with light and medium armor. In Unearthed Arcana, druids can now use metal armor, drastically increasing their defensive options. Still, they have lost medium armor proficiency, but they can acquire it by grabbing one of D&D 5E’s Feats.

Like all other classes presented in Unearthed Arcana, druids now gain the Epic Boon Feat at level twenty, with their previous feature, Archdruid, being pushed down to level eighteen. This means they will gain access to this powerful ability much sooner, though few campaigns get that far.

One D&D changes the nature magic powers Druids gain

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Druids now gain the Channel Nature ability at level one, which has several uses. At level one, Channel Nature is used to power the Wild Shape ability, and at level two, it gains the Healing Blossom power (heals all nearby allies) and Wild Companion, which acts like the find familiar spell. At level fifteen, Healing Blossom can be used simultaneously as Wild Shape, and at level eighteen, the druid regains the use of Channel Nature whenever they roll initiative.

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One D&D has changed the druid’s Wild Shape ability

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The most significant changes to the druid involve the Wild Shape ability, which has been completely overhauled, starting with them gaining it at level one instead of level two. The Wild Shape ability has been dramatically simplified, as the D&D player selects a pre-set character build rather than using the individual stats for each animal. In essence, the stats are the same, but the animal’s outer appearance is up to the player.

As the druid levels, the Wild Shape feature becomes even better; they can select from different builds, including aquatic and flying animals, shift to Tiny-sized animals, can attack multiple times in one round, and use a version of Wild Shape that doesn’t expand any uses of Channel Nature.

The Circle of the Moon subclass has also been changed, as it’s now available at level three instead of level two. The Combat Wild Shape feature is way better, allowing the shifted druid to cast Abjuration spells, while attacking or using Wild Shape only takes a Bonus Action. This comes with a price, as Circle of the Moon druids cannot heal themselves in their shifted form, nor can they turn into elementals, but their regular Wild Shape forms gain elemental attacks and resistances instead.

One D&D has made the druid the total package

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The new version of the D&D 5E druid is still being playtested, and fans can give feedback on D&D Beyond, but what’s here is impressive. Rather than being a character that had to choose to specialize between shapeshifting and nature magic, the new druid can do both equally well, giving them a ton of utility when compared to the cleric. Admittedly, the Channel Nature feature feels like a copy of Channel Divinity, and hopefully, more will be done to distinguish the two powers in the future book. Still, this new druid seems like it will be a blast to play in the next Player’s Handbook.