In Call of the Wild: A Druid Handbook the entry for the Level 1 Daily Implement power Summon Giant Toad (PrP) says:

Furthermore, by showing a preference for low level summons over high level summons, you sacrifice a low level non-summon Daily (which do tend to become outstripped by higher level Dailies; just look at Earth Roots vs. Entangle vs. Entangling Thorns.

I don't really understand what this means.

Is the implication here that if you want a single good non summon daily then you reserve you highest level daily for a non summon power? For instance if I'm just about to reach Level 15 and lose my level 1 Summon Giant Toad power, is this suggesting that I consider taking say level 9 Entangle and replacing my level 5 Vine Serpents with my newly lost level 1 Summon Giant Toad power?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just as a heads up, you don't have to burn your retrain to replace that power, you can just replace the L5. \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Nov 7 '13 at 17:46

Basically, yes.

What's being explained here is that summon dailies tend to scale better than other low-level daily powers.

From the description of that very power in the guide you linked:

Truthfully, I'd pick this over many of the higher level summons. It helps that summons scale extremely well: they'll always use your stats and your bloodied value as HP. A level 1 summon will never be too weak to be useful in high level combat (though its damage dice will be lower).

Compare that to non-summon low level dailies, which are often (though not always) comparable to, if not inferior to, encounter powers from 10 levels later.

Whether you should ditch Summon Giant Toad or Vine Serpents at level 15 is entirely a matter of personal preference. If you're finding Vine Serpents' control to still be useful, then you shouldn't feel pressured to trade it out. Summons, especially druid summons (since they have instinctive actions), tend to be more damage oriented, basically providing a free additional attack. The guide's author isn't arguing that you should never trade out Summon Giant Toad, merely that you shouldn't be trying to drop it like a hot rock the way some classes do with their low-level dailies.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, in general, summons just add another warm body which in 4e means flanking, opp attacks, interfering with enemy movement, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Nov 7 '13 at 16:28

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