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Let's consider this example: A lvl 12 Druid has a +4 proficiency bonus. They proceed to wild shape into an ape, whose attacks have a +5 bonus to attack rolls, easily calculated to be +3 from its Strength and a +2 proficiency modifier. Does the wildshaped druid attack at +5, or at +7? I've seen the first interpretation to be more common but I'd like to know the reasoning for such.

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The first interpretation is correct.

In the first bulletpoint of the wild shape rules it reads that "Your game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast" and "You retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature". An attack is neither a skill nor a saving throw proficiency, hence the last line about using your proficiency in place of that of the beast does not apply to attacks made in that shape.

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