I know that if you want to Wild Shape at a level before 5 when you get it as a regular Druid or a Wild Shape Ranger, there are a few options (Divine Minion, Totem Druid), but the downside to these abilities is that you get a variant version of Wild Shape that does not grant you the whole suite of regular animal forms normally included with Wild Shape.
I have been thinking about solutions to this: either WS Ranger 1/Druid 1 with the Divine Minion template, OR Totem Druid 1/WS Ranger 1. Both put you a level 2, though the first requires no multiclassing and nets you a tempalte.
This question comes from an optimization point of view: I want to get the most out of Wild Shape and both Planar Shepherd and Master of Many Forms. A build of Totem Druid 1/MoMF 4/Planar Shepherd 9/MoMF 6) gets me far, but it would mean that I cannot turn into the quite useful repertoire of normal animals. So my question is as follows:
Is it possible to access the Wild Shape ability at lower-than-usual (<5) while still being able to Wild Shape into natural animals?