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I've just received my Essentials books. Perusing the Heroes of the Adjective Noun books, the classes have and receive at-wills, encounter, daily and utility powers as they start and level.

On the other hand, one criticism I've read of the Essentials series is that somehow the martial characters (at least) do away with the AEDU structure. For example, when I asked the question What does AEDU mean?, @Baelnorn commented:

a contrast would be some classes from Essentials (like the Knight, or Slayer, or Thief) who lack the traditional composition of AEDU powers seen in PHb1/2/3.

What does it mean to lack AEDU powers in D&D 4e? What is that traditional composition of AEDU powers, and how has it changed in Essentials?

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Check out the Character Advancement on page 29 of your Player's Handbook.

A non-AEDU class will not follow that character progression. Up until Essentials, all classes(AEDU classes if you will) followed this progression. At fifth level, you knew your character would get a new daily power. With Essentials, this is no longer guaranteed.

An example would be the Fighter (Knight).

  • At first level, he does not get a daily. Instead he gets several utility powers
  • At third level, he does not get an encounter power, instead his power strike improves.
  • At fifth level, he does not get a daily, instead he gets Weapon Mastery
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