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For instance, I'm building a Level 4 Seeker (Ranged Arcane Archer-esque class) who has an At Will attack (Biting Swarm) that can be used "as a" ranged basic attack. I also have a couple of items that trigger off of these: the Weapon of Speed +1 modifier on bows allows you to make a Ranged Basic Attack as a minor action once per encounter--can I sub in the Biting Swarm for that? Similarly, the Bracers of Perfect Shot state that they grant +2 damage to ranged basic attacks--does that include Biting Swarm?

My initial inclination is to guess yes--the Character Builder adds in the bracers' damage to its calculations for Biting Swarm, and wording would make it logical--but I thought I'd check. Apologies if this is an old-as-sin topic, but my Googling didn't turn up a lot of conclusive info, so I figured I'd turn here and use my first post on this!

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This is definitely one of the "inconclusive results" I mentioned, reading through it again. Apologies if this is a "repost" on my part; I wasn't sure what the policy on thread necro was when I initially came across that post (last activity about half a year ago). –  Armando Penblade Jun 13 '13 at 15:52
@ArmandoPenblade it is a distinctly different question. It's a more general case and not a duplicate. –  wax eagle Jun 13 '13 at 15:54
@waxeagle I wouldn't say that it's a general case, more that it's a corner case not covered by the linked question (which handled the obvious phrasings). –  Oblivious Sage Jun 13 '13 at 15:56
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted


As you noted, Biting Swarm says You can use this power as a ranged basic attack. Thus, it counts as a ranged basic attack, and any other effects that modify or trigger off of basic attacks work on Biting Swarm.

While the phrasing isn't as clear as This power counts as a basic ranged attack (which is obviously a yes) or This power can be used in place of a ranged basic attack (which is obviously a no), "used as" seems to indicate that Biting Swarm is a basic attack rather than being used instead of a basic attack.

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The online character builder also lets you use Melee Training with melee powers "used as a basic attack", which surprised me. It will overwrite them even if the original stat on the power was better than the one you receive from melee training, and even if they're the same (e.g. CHA -> CHA on Eldritch Strike). Not sure if this is RAW/RAI or just a bug. –  Corion Jun 19 '13 at 6:14
@Corion Probably a bug. The CB has plenty of them, especially when it comes to calculating attack & damage bonuses. –  Oblivious Sage Jun 19 '13 at 15:28
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The key wording here is the "as a" vs. "instead of"

Powers that indicate that they can be used "as a" basic attack gain all of the benefits of basic attacks.

Powers that can be used "instead of" basic attacks do not gain these benefits and are just substituted in placed of the basic attack and do not gain the benefits granted to basic attacks.

More information on the difference and an example of the other wording can be found here.

In this case the answer is Yes, it counts as a basic attack because of the "as a" wording.

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