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In the M&M 3E Hero's Handbook, it says under Elongation:

In addition, Elongation allows you to wrap up and entangle an opponent so it grants a +1 bonus to grab checks per rank (limited by PL).

It says that a Grab makes an attack check, and then a resistance check against Strength. So, since Elongation is limited by PL, would it benefit an attack check or resistance check, and does that require me to reduce my ranks in Strength or Fighting to account for it with PL?

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Grab Check is an undefined term in the Mutants & Masterminds rules. Which is really annoying. So, we have to determine what is meant by that phrase.

Grabbing is a Standard Action that can be performed by any character.

You attempt to grab a target. Make an attack check against the target. If successful, the target makes a resistance check against your Strength (or the rank of a grabbing effect) using the better of Strength or Dodge. If you win with one degree of success, the target is restrained (immobile and vulnerable). Two or more degrees leave your opponent bound (defenseless, immobile, and impaired). You can attempt to improve an existing hold with another grab action on a following turn. Any resulting degrees of success are cumulative, but if you lose, the target escapes.

It involves a melee attack check, and causes a resistance check against the attacker's Strength or grabbing effect. Elongation can enhance a grab.

You can use Elongation to make “close” attacks at a greater distance by elongating your limbs. [...] In addition, Elongation allows you to wrap up and entangle an opponent so it grants a +1 bonus to grab checks per rank (limited by PL).

Combining the two passages implies that Elongation can be used as a grabbing effect, essentially increasing the Strength of a grab.

As an example:
Bendo the Stretching Man is a PL 7 character, with Strength 3, Fighting 7, and Elongation 9. Bendo can wrap foes with his elongated limbs, as a Grab attempt. His +7 attack bonus limits his effect rank to 7 (DC 17 to resist), despite the total +12 of his Strength plus Elongation ranks.
If Bendo increases to PL 10 without changing the relevant statistics then he could use his +7 attack bonus and his full +12 grabbing effect rank without interference from his PL limit.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just for the edification of those in the future finding this question (as I did), there has been no official answer from Green Ronin on the subject. The Hero Lab software currently adds it to both the attack check and the Grab DC as the result of a simple patch job when someone complained that it didn't affect the attack roll. Unfortunately, Lone Wolf hasn't been forthcoming on whether this was a Green Ronin decision or their own interpretation. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2022 at 12:22
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Late answer to the party, but I asked Steve Kenson on the 2024-February-19 episode of Mutants and Masterminds Monday, and he said that the bonus to the Grab Check was supposed to apply to the Grab DC.

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