"In place of a melee basic attack", no longer a melee basic attack?

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I tried searching and found a few opinions but nothing decisive. An example to the question would be a Barbarian using Howling Strike. Howling Strike allows you to use it in place of a melee basic attack when charging. If the Barbarian multiclasses a martial class and takes impaling spear, would Howling Strike count as a MBA to target reflex?
"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more."
No.

But i'm sure there's disagreement.  Probably even among the Devs. 

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Ability (a) is a MBA. Feat (a) allows ability (a) to target Reflex. Ability (b) replaces ability (a). Feat (a) still only applies to ability (a) and not ability (b).

That's what I'd say.
General consensus runs: 'in place of': not an MBA.  'Counts as'/'can be used as': is an MBA, is affected by anything that affects MBAs.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
General consensus runs: 'in place of': not an MBA.  'Counts as'/'can be used as': is an MBA, is affected by anything that affects MBAs.

+1

loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE. 

I tried searching and found a few opinions but nothing decisive. An example to the question would be a Barbarian using Howling Strike. Howling Strike allows you to use it in place of a melee basic attack when charging. If the Barbarian multiclasses a martial class and takes impaling spear, would Howling Strike count as a MBA to target reflex?



Howling Strike can only be used as a MBA for charging.  It doesn't count as a MBA for anything else.  Simple as that.  If Howling Strike instead said "counts as a MBA" and that's it it would be different and any time you could use a MBA you could then use Howling Strike.  But this isn't the case, as Howling Strike only counts as a MBA when charging so it can be used as part of a charge attack and only thus.
General consensus runs: 'in place of': not an MBA.  'Counts as'/'can be used as': is an MBA, is affected by anything that affects MBAs.


+2
Howling Strike can only be used as a MBA for charging.  It doesn't count as a MBA for anything else.  Simple as that.  If Howling Strike instead said "counts as a MBA" and that's it it would be different and any time you could use a MBA you could then use Howling Strike.  But this isn't the case, as Howling Strike only counts as a MBA when charging so it can be used as part of a charge attack and only thus.

Howling Strike never "counts as" an MBA.  It can be used in place of an MBA when charging.  Given that the entirety of this discussion (which, as I'm sure you're aware, has happened several times before) hinges on this distinction, it is more important than normal to make that clear.

(This is also important for weapons like the Avalanche Hammer, which specifically states "when you charge an enemy and hit with a melee basic attack using this weapon," which means Howling Strike DOES NOT get the extra damage; the power "can be used in place of a melee basic attack" when charging, but it is not a melee basic attack, nor does it "count as a melee basic attack," and therefore you are not "charg{ing} an enemy and hit{ting} with a melee basic attack.")

loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE. 

Howling Strike can only be used as a MBA for charging.  It doesn't count as a MBA for anything else.  Simple as that.  If Howling Strike instead said "counts as a MBA" and that's it it would be different and any time you could use a MBA you could then use Howling Strike.  But this isn't the case, as Howling Strike only counts as a MBA when charging so it can be used as part of a charge attack and only thus.

Howling Strike never "counts as" an MBA.  It can be used in place of an MBA when charging.  Given that the entirety of this discussion (which, as I'm sure you're aware, has happened several times before) hinges on this distinction, it is more important than normal to make that clear.

(This is also important for weapons like the Avalanche Hammer, which specifically states "when you charge an enemy and hit with a melee basic attack using this weapon," which means Howling Strike DOES NOT get the extra damage; the power "can be used in place of a melee basic attack" when charging, but it is not a melee basic attack, nor does it "count as a melee basic attack," and therefore you are not "charg{ing} an enemy and hit{ting} with a melee basic attack.")



Careful that is the consensus due to parsing the english language very carefully.  It was mentioned in a cust serv answer about this that the designers were not as exacting about the language as we are and in fact were counting them as mbas for their certain situation.  It also said that this is the reason why they use so so many different ways of saying th same thing. 

Most posters disregard this due to the source (cust serv) and how it flies in the face of specific english usage (which we rules lawers love).  Oddly this is an area where charOP is very conservative.  Do note that I do play howling strike as NOT an mba but oddly I do play ensorcerrolled blade for the sorc as a mba due to it having no qualifications (I believe this an exmple of what cust serv was talking about).
Careful that is the consensus due to parsing the english language very carefully.

TCD is correct.  My point -- and how ironic that I was sloppy in my use of language when pointing out the need for exactness in language! -- is that Alitain was conflating "counts as an MBA" with "can be used in place of an MBA," and given that the entire point of this thread is whether or not there is a difference between the two, I felt it was important to distinguish between the exact wording used in the case of Howling Strike.

That being said, Alitain, if it seemed like I was jumping down your throat, I apologize.  And TCD, thanks for catching the overzealousness of my answer.

(I admit, it's a bit of a personal issue for our group, who in our last campaign had a charge-focused Barbarian who kept making character choices that either immediately got nerfed, or had already gotten nerfed and we were not aware of the errata.  It was decided to let the fact that Howling Strike was not an MBA slide in the interest of not making the Barbarian's player's head explode. )

loose [loos] vt. to let loose; to release; to unfasten, undo or untie; to shoot or discharge. lose [looz] vt. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery; to fail inadvertently to retain (something) in such a way that it cannot be immediately recovered; to suffer the deprivation of. LEARN THE DAMN DIFFERENCE.