Sorry if this is already somewhere, but I had to ask everyone. What are your favorite things to wild shape into? Do you attack with the force of a bear? Run around as free as a wolf? Or fly as high as a Giant Vulture?
I personally prefer a Jaculi, but i want your opinions!
In combat I like the auto trip (attempt) which gives my party Fighter and Monk a better chance to hit. Also 14 AC, decent HP, and a movement speed of 50 make it pretty easy to get around the battle field. Out of combat I'm often the group's tracker so advantage on perception, a little bit of stealth, and the movement speed are all pretty big advantages. It's definitely my goto form at this point.
Second would be a Giant Spider. It's got great stats too, but I mostly like this one for the level of detail my DM gives when describing my actions. Descriptions suddenly go from, "You successfully bite the hobgoblin, roll damage!" To "A huge ****ing spider leaps on the foe next to you and sinks it's fangs into it's neck and injects poison into it's blood stream, roll your damage!"
I haven't gotten to play my Druid yet, but I am looking forward to trying both the Direwolf and Giant Spider as well.
Deinonychus looks kind of fun, with 3 attacks, and a possible 4th attack on pounce.
I also like the idea of going small and common for scouting, like Spider, Rat, etc. In urban environments, you don't really need to succeed at stealth. Because they are so common, people are unlikely to even care you are there.
I think it would be fun to try the Riding Horse, and just run full out, see how far you can outpace your part or a pursuer.
It might be very typical of Circle of Moon druids, but all the different bear forms are great choices. Multi-attack, solid strength, decent 40ft speed, good chunk of HP, and most DMs love how easy they are to hit with their lower AC (mine loves to tunnel me the moment I go bear).
Brown Bear was one of my main wildshape forms before hitting level 6 and being able to go Cave Bear. Brown gets the climb speed, while Cave bears get darkvision and a swim speed (same stats as Polar Bear but with some darkvision slapped on).
Considering move speed above everything else, Allosaurus and Giant Elk both can haul ass. Unless you're outside, you might run into spacing issues with Giant Elk since they are Huge creatures. This can sometimes be true for large creatures as well.
Thus far my go-to is the Dire Wolf. It plays into my background story, and my Druid is a very primal (uses Primal Savagery in humanoid form) lady so it all works out. Want to use the Giant Spider or Tiger at some point as well, and got the Cat for urban scouting and Giant Hyena for the extra HP, but have not had need of it yet.
Later at higher levels I will have to use different creatures for combat ability in specific situations, but I will always fall back to the Dire Wolf for RP sake.
My Lizardfolk circle of the moon druid uses the Allosaurus for his combat form, it seems more fitting for him to transform into something closer to his own species then to become say a mammal like a bear. Fully intend to use more reptilian beasts and dinosaurs for his wild shapes due to that, since our DM has determined that his tribe was near an area of dinosaurs in the games world so he has seen them before to meet the stipulation that the druid has to have seen the creature before, so I will get to use the Quetzalcoatlus for his flying wild shape which im looking forward to.
Ape form is nice because it can use a lot of the equipment that a druid can in humanoid form. You can also cast magic stone before you transform and then throw magic stones instead of using the Ape's normal rock attack. The giant spider is good, especially in conjunction with the guardian of nature spell, because the giant spider's web attack is Dexterity-based, and the Great Tree version of guardian of nature gives advantage on Dexterity-based attack rolls, so you will hit a lot, and there is no size restriction on what the spider's web attack can restrain. If the party is fighting a big bad, that means it will have to waste its action to break free of the webs or waste an attack to destroy it, or else suffer the consequences of being restrained (and you might recharge your web and potentially get to use it several times). The 10' blindsight, poison, and climb speed are nice bonuses on top of that.
I haven't played a Moon Druid that long (no elemental forms sadly), but one of my favorite stories was turning into a Dire Wolf to chase a just downed flying fiend carrying a valuable parcel. The really fun part was that I convinced a Monk to get on my back so that I would have some back-up catching up to a mysterious carriage that was leaving the scene. ( The Monk was played by a woman who generally does not see the point of D&D, btw.) I did this without saying anything in character (b/c wolf). Her eyes lit up for the moment. Getting to ride a dire wolf to chase down a carriage probably wasn't something she expected to be doing, but she enjoyed it regardless. Anyway, I hope I turned her on to the hobby a little more.
I also really like the Giant Owl. Having excellent perception, stealth and flyby attack in one package is very nice.
EroSun, one thing I did when I had a similar concept was I reskinned bears into other dinosaurs. So I used the "brown bear" stat line, but called it a Carnotaurus. That way the theme and mechanics work.
Personally for me I think some of the forms really benefit/need Mobile feat. Wildshape has super low AC and so you can be pretty squishy. Mobile makes it so you can dart in and out. Then add in the idea of getting to "pounce" every single turn has a lot of good benefits. Instead of it being a one time thing.
Personally I loved the Female Steeder before they nerfed her and made her an Abomination. Originally she was in Out of the Abyss. Her bite did acid instead of poison and she had a 90' leap. My crowning achievement, was using Sticky Leg to grapple a target. Then used Leap to jump onto the (very) high ceiling. The target suddenly did not want to contest the grapple... and slatted on the floor.
I've tried a bunch to try different things. The Giant Toad is funny. It's not mechanically great, but it's funny to eat someone and then bite someone else.
The crocodile is similar, but restrains the target so the party can join the fun.
While I never had played a druid before I do have an idea for a level two druid of the circle of the land, with the land being desert, and he would become a giant poisonous snake. Which is cool because you can poison enemies and have halfway decent stats.