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Weretigers (and all lyncathropes; Monster Manual p. 210) have the Shapechanger trait:

The weretiger can use its action to polymorph into a tiger-humanoid hybrid or into a tiger, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed.

(Similar language can be found in MM for all lycanthrope types, not just weretigers.)

So if a weretiger PC in humanoid form wears studded leather armor and has a dexterity score of 16, say, it will have an AC of 15 (12 + DEX mod). If that weretiger polymorphs into its tiger form, the armor isn’t transformed with it, so does it keep its AC with the armor (“its statistics... are the same in each form”) or does it lose the AC provided by the armor (since “any equipment it is wearing... isn’t transformed”)?

Does a lycanthrope's AC change when shapechanged?

To clarify, my confusion lies with what seems to me to be a contradiction. Either the lyncanthrope in animal form retains the AC it had in humanoid form (because its statistics are the same for each form), or its AC is possibly lowered (because its armor doesn't transform with it and I assume said armor no longer fits so its AC doesn't benefit from that armor). To stick with the example above, say the weretiger PC clad in studded leather armor and in humanoid form with that AC of 15 transforms into a tiger. The armor is no longer effective—it doesn't fit the tiger's shape or size and falls (or bursts) off. Does the tiger have an AC of 15 (its statistics are the same) or 13 (because it loses the armor's bonus to AC)?

Note: Since this question is in regards to PC lyncanthropes, not monsters or NPCs, the AC listed in the stat block for each type of lycanthrope doesn't satisfy my question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what your question is. How is the tiger wearing the armor? \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jul 25 '18 at 4:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this is a good question, but you may be jumping the gun. You should probably start with asking what happens to armor that doesn't transform when you change shape from a Medium creature into a Large creature. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jul 25 '18 at 14:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ My apologies—I've edited the question to specify that this question is in regards to PCs, not NPCs or monsters and to attempt to clarify the confusion behind the question. \$\endgroup\$ – KSchank Jul 25 '18 at 21:27
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The AC changes, to 13

In their human form, the PC weretiger with 16 DEX wears the studded leather armor, giving them 12 + 3 (= 15) AC.

They polymorph into their tiger form.

Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed.

As you note, the armor does not transform to fit them, so they do not benefit from the human-shaped armor. It is the DM's discretion whether the armor is destroyed, damaged, or just hangs off the weretiger's new form uselessly after the transformation.

Since they are not benefiting from the armor any more, they can no longer use the AC calculation (12 + DEXMOD) provided by the armor. As Solias notes, in the Player Characters as Lycanthropes box on MM page 207, AC modifications in different forms are noted for other types of lycanthropes, but not for weretigers, so their AC is now simply the basic 10 + DEXMOD = 13.

Equipment is not a statistic

Your confusion seems to be centered around the following passage:

Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form.

And this is true.

If the weretiger were wearing a Ring of Fire Resistance which it took off and dropped exactly as it transformed, it would not still have resistance to fire in its tiger form, despite "resistances" being a statistic. This is because fire resistance is not a statistic of the PC, but something provided by the ring to the PC.

The same is true for the AC calculation (12 + DEXMOD) provided by the studded leather armor - it is not a statistic of the PC, but something provided by the armor to the PC.

Jeremy Crawford has tweeted to clarify that equipment is not an inherent part of monsters in the context of a similar question around the Shapechange spell - the same is true of PCs.

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Look at the "Player Characters as Lycanthropes" box on MM page 207. It specifies giving +1 AC while in animal or hybrid form for werebears, wereboars, and werewolves (not for wererats or weretigers). That looks like the normal AC is retained in the other forms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Now that the question has been clarified to refer to PC lycanthropes, this answer may need to be updated/expanded. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jul 25 '18 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer does not answer the question especially now that it has been clarified. Please update this answer to talk about equipment and how that affects the AC. The part of the rules you quote has nothing to do with what is being asked. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jul 26 '18 at 15:17
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The section on weretigers on Monster Manual p. 207 says:

Weretigers grow to enormous size in animal and hybrid form

When the PC wearing studded leather transforms into beast or hybrid form, the growth rips the armour to pieces, leaving it a pile of useless scraps on the ground. Consider the Incredible Hulk's shirts.

Whether or not magic armour expands to fit the new form is up to the GM.

The DMG (p. 140) and basic rules sections on "Wearing and Wielding Items" do say:

In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they magically adjust themselves to the wearer.

...But it is debatable whether magic armour would fit a giant tiger. My ruling would be that the hybrid form can wear armour but the beast form cannot. Since the hybrid forms have claws, I would rule that they cannot wear gloves.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My apologies if my question was confusing, but my question is not whether the armor is still wearable by the tiger or even the hybrid, but rather whether the AC remains the same. It doesn’t make sense to me that it would if the armor is no longer worn, but the language of the rule is “its statistics... are the same in each form”. And armor class is most definitely a statistic. \$\endgroup\$ – KSchank Jul 26 '18 at 5:16

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