I've been thinking of creating a wildshape-based character at epic levels, but I wonder how much it's worth, when Shapechange is so powerful. Here's the comparison I have so far:
Shapechange is better because:
- Change as a free action once per round. You need two prestige classes (MoMF and Warshaper) to get even close to that with Wild Shape (once per round as move action).
- Gain supernatural abilities.
- You don't need a 4th level spell or MoMF7 to gain EX abilities.
- You can optimize Shapechange and still get full druid casting. To optimize Wild Shape, you have to give up most of your casting ability.
- You can change to any size from Fine to Collossal. With Wild Shape, you need four epic feats to do this (two with MoMF 10). Not that Colossal's all that useful, since there are so few forms with only 25HD.
- You can change to almost any creature type. You need ten levels of MoMF to get close with Wild Shape.
- You have a lot more open feats, since you don't need so many prestige classes.
Wild Shape is better because:
- It doesn't cap at level 25. This probably outweighs the lack of supernatural abilities eventually.
- Wilding clasps let you use whatever equipment you want, and at epic levels, they're cheap.
- Natural Spell lets you take forms that can't ordinarily speak. MoMF 1 is even better, letting you speak in all forms.
- You can use Nature's Warrior levels to get some bonuses that Shapechange doesn't give you.
- You can use it more often than Shapechange.
- It can't be dispelled.
Eventually, Wild Shape wins out. For example, at level 50, you have double the HD cap of Shapechange, and can have full druid casting (at low CL) in addition to powerful Wild Shape. But not a lot of epic campaigns make it to 50.
So what do you think? Did I miss anything? Is Wild Shape worth losing so much casting ability at epic levels, assuming a melee-focused build? At what level, if any, does Wild Shape win?