Spitting Cobra Stance too strong

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When you use Spitting Cobra stance, chances are you'll get a free basic attack against every melee foe in the first round you use it, and at least one such attack every round thereafter, if not more if the rest of the party cooperates and shifts backwards one square each turn; unless the foes have you massively outgunned with artillery (and they seldom do) they'll be forced to engage and give the ranger far too many attacks.

It should grant only one attack per round, either by a hard limit ("Until the stance ends, once per round you can make...") or by changing "opportunity action" into "immediate reaction", which would prevent it from being stacked with other off-turn attacks for a round wherein you shot four arrows (twin strike, disruptive strike, this for getting closer to make the attack) at a single foe.
...by changing "opportunity action" into "immediate reaction"...

IMO, that'd be the best way to fix it as it would encourage players to think and play smart.
Spitting Cobra Stance is very strong. But unless you have some way of avoiding op attacks (such as shimmering armor) you are pulling attacks from every adjacent enemy every time you make your opportunity attack.

Does this balance the stance? I don't know, but it does make it less powerful than it seems at first.
It doesn't balance the stance. Beyond the fact that you're probably behind your allies, and thus difficult to get to, is the fact that you're a ranger. Let's say you were fighting five creatures. You'd get an OA against the first one, who comes up and attacks you. Then you use Fox's Cunning to shift away and shoot him with your IA. Then the second dude may well not be able to get to you due to his friend being in the way, but even if he can, you just got three attacks without provoking a single OA.

And yes, you can just wear shimmering armor and completely ignore such things.
When you use Spitting Cobra stance, chances are you'll get a free basic attack against every melee foe in the first round you use it, and at least one such attack every round thereafter, if not more if the rest of the party cooperates and shifts backwards one square each turn; unless the foes have you massively outgunned with artillery (and they seldom do) they'll be forced to engage and give the ranger far too many attacks.

Ranged basic attack. That is very good.
I'd say making the attacks it grants an Immediate Interrupt would work out fine, IMO.
Immeadiate reaction makes sense, but I wonder, if it work if you had a hard limit above 1? like say:

Spitting-Cobra Stance Ranger Attack 5
Minor Action Personal
Effect: Until the stance ends, you can make a ranged basic attack as an opportunity action against any enemy within 5 squares of you that moves closer to you. You can do this a number of times per round equal to X.

wherein x equals some number. Either wisdom modifier, or say 2 times.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
That limitation is entirely pointless. You can't make more than one OA against a single foe in a given round anyway, and it would be complicated to keep track of which foes have been attacked previously; far too much memory stuff.

Its far better to simply cap it at one per round (by making the attack into an IA of some sort), which leaves it quite strong but not massively overpowered.
That limitation is entirely pointless. You can't make more than one OA against a single foe in a given round anyway, and it would be complicated to keep track of which foes have been attacked previously; far too much memory stuff.

Yeah, it is pointless isn't it? I scratched that off, it wasn't intentional.

Is it really too complicated to keep track of how many OA's this stance grants you on a round? I tend to think no. Is it broken? dunno.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
It'd be better just to limit it to once per round by making it into an IA. That way there's nothing more to remember than normal.
Probably the best way to go.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
It'd be better just to limit it to once per round by making it into an IA. That way there's nothing more to remember than normal.

I have to agree here...IA is the way to go.

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

It'd be better just to limit it to once per round by making it into an IA. That way there's nothing more to remember than normal.

Thirded.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

Wow, an errata thread where everyone agrees? I'm totally in on that.

Fourthed.
*Actually dissagrees* I prefer the power the way it is and I don't think its broken.
*Actually dissagrees* I prefer the power the way it is and I don't think its broken.

And here I was content to wallow in the harmony of this thread of nirvana.
What a buzz kill. :D
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
I think a bigger issue is that Shifting closer to a Ranger using Spitting Cobra Stance also provokes an OA from the Ranger. On another errata thread this was one of the issues brought up with the Shift move action. If shifting does not provoke an OA from the Ranger using this power, then it would not be as broken. Even if the Ranger's allies kept shifting back every round, enemies can then shift towards the ranger to engage his allies without provoking OA's from the ranger. If you errataed Shift so that it does not provoke OA's (just like forced movement) then Spitting Cobra Stance would not be unbalanced.
<\ \>tuntman
I think a bigger issue is that Shifting closer to a Ranger using Spitting Cobra Stance also provokes an OA from the Ranger. On another errata thread this was one of the issues brought up with the Shift move action. If shifting does not provoke an OA from the Ranger using this power, then it would not be as broken. Even if the Ranger's allies kept shifting back every round, enemies can then shift towards the ranger to engage his allies without provoking OA's from the ranger. If you errataed Shift so that it does not provoke OA's (just like forced movement) then Spitting Cobra Stance would not be unbalanced.

so instead of a situation where the Monster takes a hit and charges in, you have a situation where it spends its time inching in to hit? wouldn't the ranger just shift away from the on coming creature? It's not a bad idea, it's just not enough.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
I agree that shifting inwards for any monster provoking an OA is very very powerful. Theres only one way for a fighter to gain that kind of board control and thats to be specifically built for the polearm gamble build. Spitting cobra stance is very very powerful in that aspect.
so instead of a situation where the Monster takes a hit and charges in, you have a situation where it spends its time inching in to hit? wouldn't the ranger just shift away from the on coming creature? It's not a bad idea, it's just not enough.

The situation where there are intervening allies engaging monsters would not be as broken if you could shift towards the ranger using SCS. If the ranger using SCS gets to attack enemies shifting closer, the ally can just attack and shift back. Then the monster has to shift towards the ranger to attack the ally provoking an OA. If shifting towards the ranger does not provoke OA's, the ranger does not get free shots at every single monster that has to shift forward to continually engage the ranger's allies.

If the ranger had no intervening allies, the monsters should just rush the ranger and move adjacent. Then whenever the ranger makes a OA, any adjacent monsters also get an OA against the ranger.
<\ \>tuntman
The situation where there are intervening allies engaging monsters would not be as broken if you could shift towards the ranger using SCS. If the ranger using SCS gets to attack enemies shifting closer, the ally can just attack and shift back. Then the monster has to shift towards the ranger to attack the ally provoking an OA. If shifting towards the ranger does not provoke OA's, the ranger does not get free shots at every single monster that has to shift forward to continually engage the ranger's allies.

If the ranger had no intervening allies, the monsters should just rush the ranger and move adjacent. Then whenever the ranger makes a OA, any adjacent monsters also get an OA against the ranger.

Right so the fix would help but it wouldn't be enough.
The essential theme song- Get a little bit a fluff da' fluff, get a little bit a fluff da' fluff! (ooh yeah) Repeat Unless noted otherwise every thing I post is my opinion, and probably should be taken as tongue in cheek any way.
Hint for GM's: Have your NPC go Total Defense and then move up to the ranger. +2 AC as the Ranger makes his opportunity attack, and then you're right up close to get the Opportunity attacks as he fires at your allies as they charge him.
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I fail to see how this is "too powerful". It's a daily. It allows the ranger to make one basic attack on each opponent's turn. Rather than the usual mechanic for melee OA, they use this "move closer" thing. So for one combat a day a ranger goes into a zone that allows him to react to people charging him.

The only quibble I have with it is what happens when an opponent moves mostly parallel to a ranger while charging another PC and gets pinged just cause he ends up 10' closer.

If not for the fact that it would make life all that much more complicated, I'd say it only triggers when the closing opponent moves within the radius of the ranger's wisdom mod in squares.

It's too bad that stances don't require a minor action to sustain the way, say, some wizard powers do. Another way I'd like to see this power work is that for whatever length of time you remain in the stance, you can only make basic attacks - you can't use other powers - without ending this stance.
On further thought, let's say that in order to use the stance you must ready your action every time your actual turn comes around. This way while the stance lasts you can either take no attacks on your turn and get an OA on each opponent that closes with you, or you can get your attack and no spitting cobra til next round.

Would that work for you TD?
Changing it from a stance to sustain minor sounds like it would fix it.
On further thought, let's say that in order to use the stance you must ready your action every time your actual turn comes around. This way while the stance lasts you can either take no attacks on your turn and get an OA on each opponent that closes with you, or you can get your attack and no spitting cobra til next round.

Would that work for you TD?

This would be "sustain standard". And yes, it'd be entirely fair as written with "Sustain standard" instead of being a stance. I actually really like this solution.

Changing it from a stance to sustain minor sounds like it would fix it.

No. It wouldn't do anything to fix it. Rangers really don't need their minor actions, so it is a non-cost.
If you errataed Shift so that it does not provoke OA's (just like forced movement) then Spitting Cobra Stance would not be unbalanced.

Well Shift in the PHB says No Opportunity Attacks it then goes on to say, "If you shift out of a square adjacent to an enemy, you don’t provoke an opportunity attack". If that was taken as just one example of not provoking an opportunity attack rather than the only case it works then the rule for shifting is No Opportunity Attacks and it doesn't need an errata.
I fail to see how this is "too powerful". It's a daily. It allows the ranger to make one basic attack on each opponent's turn. Rather than the usual mechanic for melee OA, they use this "move closer" thing. So for one combat a day a ranger goes into a zone that allows him to react to people charging him.

You aren't thinking tactically. The other melee defenders and strikers are in front of the Ranger. To get to him they charge the melee characters and all (be it 2 to 20) take an OA from the ranger. The PCs on their go all to a standard attack then shift back one square ranger included. The Monsters on their go shift forward a square to get back into melee and all 20 of them take another OA from the Ranger.

If Shifting always means No Opportunity Attacks then it isn't as powerful, but the PHB unfortunately goes on to mention about shifting adjacent, and the monsters aren't shifting adjacent to the Ranger.
It doesn't matter anyway. Shifting won't keep you safe from this power because this power doesn't generate opportunity attacks in the first place. It allows you to make a ranged basic attack as an opportunity action. There's a big difference.

So that counterargument is worthless anyway.
I'm not sure what the previous poster (the one before TD) was talking about. My statement was that in terms of frequency of attacks going off, the archer isn't getting to attack any more times than a fighter might get to if the fighter is getting a chance to make opportunity attacks on every other creatures turn.

Really all the creatures have to do to avoid the archer's attack is fail to close. If they have ranged attacks, they just sit back and make them. At that point the combat line is forced to close with them, or trade ranged attacks.

A creature choosing to get closer to the archer is on different than a creature choosing to ignore the fighter to charge past at a softer target.

The abuse here isn't really the number of attacks - its how easy it is for a creature to trigger the condition that allows it to be shot at.

One way to control that is the option to limit when the ranger can react based on how close the target has to get to him to trigger the power.

The solution TD liked was to change this to a "sustain standard".

Maybe the problem is that it should be a higher level daily.
I'm not sure what the previous poster (the one before TD) was talking about. My statement was that in terms of frequency of attacks going off, the archer isn't getting to attack any more times than a fighter might get to if the fighter is getting a chance to make opportunity attacks on every other creatures turn.

The difference is the fact that you do not have to provoke OAs from the fighter to attack a character. You DO have to provoke a free attack from a character to attack a character against a ranger using this power.

Yes, this might be okay as a very high level daily power (remember, you're getting at least one free attack against all melee foes, most likely, and possibly multiple). Hail of Arrows allows you to, only one time, make a weaker than basic attack against ALL foes (which you can target, anyway), and that's a level 27 encounter power - that means that this would likely be an epic daily, if it were turned into a daily. Considering that Tiger's Reflex is worse (it gives only one attack per round, uses your IA, AND only works if the enemy actually attacks you and is within range, all of which is quite conditional) it'd probably have to be a level 29 daily, and it is much stronger than that level 25 so I'm not sure how fair it is at that.
I'm not sure what the previous poster (the one before TD) was talking about. My statement was that in terms of frequency of attacks going off, the archer isn't getting to attack any more times than a fighter might get to if the fighter is getting a chance to make opportunity attacks on every other creatures turn.

Right except shifting works against a fighter (except for one creature he's marked), you don't need to provoke an OA to attack the fighter. The fighter one threatens movement in 8 squares.

Ranger power, shifting doesn't work, you do have to provoke if you don't have a ranged attack which most critters don't. The ranger threatens movement in 120 squares.

Really all the creatures have to do to avoid the archer's attack is fail to close. If they have ranged attacks, they just sit back and make them.

A significant number of creatures don't have a ranged attack.

A creature choosing to get closer to the archer is on different than a creature choosing to ignore the fighter to charge past at a softer target.

No because you could go wide round the fighter in most occasions, you can't go wider round the archer, it's not a case of closing on the archer, if you close on anyone else within 4 squares of the archer, you still trip the power.

The solution TD liked was to change this to a "sustain standard".

I don't like that stances shouldn't have additional rules added.

Maybe the problem is that it should be a higher level daily.

Yes either a much higher level, or make it only against his quarry or an immediate interrupt (perhaps that stops the targets movement to give a little back).
Wouldn't a coordinated assault by the monsters invalidate a lot of this abuse?

The ranger only gets one opportunity action per opponents turn. The monsters, who we'll assume are trying to assault the ranger, ready actions to follow one other monster's charge with a charge of their own. The ranger still gets only the one attack, the others can advance without being otherwise harmed.

If the monsters can't advance at the ranger without killing at least one of the allies he has in front of him, the monsters can always retreat. Only unintelligent monsters would continue to break themselves against a wall that the allies had set up while the ranger continuously poked holes in them.

I think that the power, for its level, is too strong. At level 5, removing the "Stance" keyword and adding a "Sustain: Standard" is fair. It allows the ranger the potential to make multiple attacks on others' turns; a good trade for a standard action attack each round. For higher levels, 15 or higher IMO, a "Sustain: Move" line would be better. That would limit the Ranger's options, but not emasculate a high-level power.
It'd be better just to limit it to once per round by making it into an IA. That way there's nothing more to remember than normal.

I still think this is the best answer, even with it working against shifting, it's one extra basic attack per round. In a 5 round battle, it's 5 basic attacks (max), solid, but not overpowered for a daily.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
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.

I see this as, one encounter per day, the melee enemies will finally leave me (archer ranger) alone.

The GM can make this stance completely worthless though, easily. The enemy has to start out within 5 squares of the ranger, and move closer to the ranger (you can make a ranged basic attack as an opportunity action against any enemy within 5 squares of you that moves closer to you).. So really there is only a 9x9 square area that entering would provoke this opportunity attack.

I know many people don't like the idea of ranged opportunity attacks. That is too bad, because Martial Power is all about them.

As far as stances go, this doesn't even compare remotely to the level 5 fighter daily Rain of Steel. Enemies just take 1[W] damage for starting next to the fighter, who totally probably just marked them. It isn't even an attack, the enemies just take damage. And yeah, once a single enemy gets next to an archer ranger (because a single basic ranged attack won't kill many things, especially if you MISS), it is a lot more difficult to shoot arrows.

It isn't like the archer ranger has marked any enemies (like a fighter would) so there isn't a huge reason to go after the ranger, unless you really wanna murder the ranger. And I'll tell you, a basic ranged attack isn't going to stop people from murdering you if they really want to.
I see this as, one encounter per day, the melee enemies will finally leave me (archer ranger) alone.

(snip)

It isn't like the archer ranger has marked any enemies (like a fighter would) so there isn't a huge reason to go after the ranger...

You've missed the point, you don't need to be going after the ranger to "move closer" to the ranger.

You have your ranger one square behind the line of defenders, other strikers, whatever. Each round you all shift back one square, each round the ranger gets to do a free attack on every enemy that enters or even tries to stay in melee with any of the party members. As a 5th level Daily that is just far to strong, it is much more comparable with the 15th level Quicksilver Stance (TD also has issues with that, btu that's him).

This power should either be much higher level say 15th level or as an immediate action (perhaps with the addition of some effect (save ends), to make it a little more useful.

Alternatively if you want it to really just deter enemies from attacking the ranger in melee, why not say

Effect: Until the stance ends, you can make a ranged basic attack as an opportunity action against any enemy that moves adjacent you.

That way at least he's limited to a maximum of 8 attacks, and doesn't protect his allies as well as himself. The enemies can't attack you for using the ranged attack in melee range because they can't take opportunity attacks on their go.

Personally I'm going with

Effect: Until the stance ends, you can make a ranged basic attack as an immediate reaction against an enemy within 5 squares of you that moves closer to you. If the attack deals damage the target is weakened until the end of its turn.
You've missed the point, you don't need to be going after the ranger to "move closer" to the ranger.

You have your ranger one square behind the line of defenders, other strikers, whatever. Each round you all shift back one square, each round the ranger gets to do a free attack on every enemy that enters or even tries to stay in melee with any of the party members. As a 5th level Daily that is just far to strong, it is much more comparable with the 15th level Quicksilver Stance (TD also has issues with that, btu that's him).

This power should either be much higher level say 15th level or as an immediate action (perhaps with the addition of some effect (save ends), to make it a little more useful.

Alternatively if you want it to really just deter enemies from attacking the ranger in melee, why not say

Effect: Until the stance ends, you can make a ranged basic attack as an opportunity action against any enemy that moves adjacent you.

That way at least he's limited to a maximum of 8 attacks, and doesn't protect his allies as well as himself. The enemies can't attack you for using the ranged attack in melee range because they can't take opportunity attacks on their go.

Personally I'm going with

Effect: Until the stance ends, you can make a ranged basic attack as an immediate reaction against an enemy within 5 squares of you that moves closer to you. If the attack deals damage the target is weakened until the end of its turn.

Used the way you describe above (with the entire party shifting backwards) it's only good for a retreat. If the monsters get pinged for getting close, they'll stay where they are or retreat themselves, with the possible exception of the unintelligent monsters.

The enemies can also just move in force rather than one at a time...you only get one opportunity action per creature's turn. Since a readied action is an immediate reaction, that is it occurs on another creature's turn, the ranger would only get one attack if the enemies move together rather than individually.

Not that the power isn't a bit much for its level, but the tactic you're describing only works if the DM's tactics extend only to throwing the monsters at the PC's entrenched positions.
Used the way you describe above (with the entire party shifting backwards) it's only good for a retreat. If the monsters get pinged for getting close, they'll stay where they are or retreat themselves, with the possible exception of the unintelligent monsters.

Except melee PCs at least have access to throw weapons, melee creatures from the monster manual even intelligent ones don't. So even if they turn to run all the PCs can attack while none of the melee monsters can.

The enemies can also just move in force rather than one at a time...you only get one opportunity action per creature's turn. Since a readied action is an immediate reaction, that is it occurs on another creature's turn, the ranger would only get one attack if the enemies move together rather than individually.

Agreed, except you can only ready a standard action, they can't ready a charge as they are only 5ft away, if they ready a shift or move then they can't attack. Doesn't help them any.

Not that the power isn't a bit much for its level, but the tactic you're describing only works if the DM's tactics extend only to throwing the monsters at the PC's entrenched positions.

They work against pretty much any melee monster, making them either have to run away or take an extra attack every turn.
They work against pretty much any melee monster, making them either have to run away or take an extra attack every turn.

Or every three turns:

First turn, archer gets a free shot: M = Monster, A=Ally, R=Ranger

___[A]
[M]


[R]

So the second turn, the ally can't shift anywhere that would make the monster move closer to the ranger. The Ally would need to shift atleast 3 squares towards the ranger to give the ranger a free shot (which might miss anyway).

And also, I don't know about how your encounters go, but we usually fight encounters in rooms anywhere from 10x5 squares to 20x20 squares (max usually, unless we are outside somewhere). It isn't like the ranger has unlimited space to retreat to.

So, I still don't think this power is overpowered. And I think if a GM saw it being used that way (party members shifting towards the ranger to grant free attacks), the GM would just send all the monsters at the ranger, and the ranger would die, and quickly.
Except melee PCs at least have access to throw weapons, melee creatures from the monster manual even intelligent ones don't. So even if they turn to run all the PCs can attack while none of the melee monsters can.

If the monsters are so backed into a corner that they can't leave the room, they have nothing to lose by simply charging past the allies at the ranger. They'll take their lumps and some may be caught by the party's fighter if there is one, but some will get by and ruin the whole set up by surrounding the ranger. Once they get next to him, they move with impunity. If the monsters have no avenue of movement, either retreat or attack that is not covered by the PC's, the players are brilliant tacticians or the DM is a poor one.

Agreed, except you can only ready a standard action, they can't ready a charge as they are only 5ft away, if they ready a shift or move then they can't attack. Doesn't help them any.

They move in teams rather than a single group to engage the line. Half the monsters move towards the line set up by the PC's (only one of them taking the attack), the other half hold back and defend. Now the PC's have monsters in their face that they have to deal with and others waiting in the back. If they shift away from the crop that came at them, they open up a charge by the other group. If they stay put, they engage the monsters and the others can focus on getting to the ranger or charging the line.

Again, if the PC's have the monsters so hemmed in that the monsters have no avenue of movement that the PC's don't fill, the monsters are hosed anyway and it's not the fault of the stance. If the PC's can consistently retreat without ever opening an avenue for movement, the DM did a poor job of designing the encounter or is doing a poor job of using his monsters to good effect.

They work against pretty much any melee monster, making them either have to run away or take an extra attack every turn.

Except for ones with a modicum of tactical thinking behind them. And if they run away, big deal...the party fights them later when the monsters are ready for them. That's why the PC's in any game I've played dread fighting their way through the monsters' lair, especially with any sort of intelligent enemy. A single goblin running away is as good as the PC's ringing the door bell.
Or every three turns:

First turn, archer gets a free shot: M = Monster, A=Ally, R=Ranger

___[A]
[M]


[R]

So the second turn, the ally can't shift anywhere that would make the monster move closer to the ranger. The Ally would need to shift atleast 3 squares towards the ranger to give the ranger a free shot (which might miss anyway).

No. Why? Because the next round, the setup is:

___[A]_____[R]
[M]

The ranger simply moves. Now the ally shifts back towards the ranger. Rinse, repeat.

You will get at least one free extra ranged basic attack every turn against any sort of melee monster.