Hello, I am thinking of playing a moon druid in the my next campaign. Is the Deinonychus good for a 2nd lvl moon druid? What about 6th lvl? What if I multiclass into a barbarian for 3 levels getting totem of the bear, reckless attack and unarmored defense, making a 2 druid 3 barbarian? Last thing, how well does Deinonychus work with the charger feat? Thanks for the help!
Deinonychus is one of the better combat oriented CR 1 monsters. CR 1 monsters are typically of relative strength to a level 4 character. At druid level 6 they still hold up pretty well with the 3 attacks with multi-attack, but as a Cave Bear you'll have a higher chance to hit (+7 instead of +4) and do more damage per attack, though you'll have 1 attack less. Quite a bit higher average damage and damage potential even with just those 2 hits though.
Their Pounce ability is very handy too, but at level 6 the Rhinoceros's Charge or the Saber-Toothed Tiger's Pounce are a bit better I believe. All three of those have quite a bit more HP than the Deinonychus as well, and the extra HP is one of the main benefits of Wild Shape.
The Unarmored Defense, Reckless Attack and Totem of the Bear are all quite handy for wild shape, but Raging prevents you from Concentrating on a spell which is also a benefit of wild shape; the fact that you can cast a concentration spell and then transform and maintain your concentration on said spell. Bit of a toss up, depends how much more you want to sink into Druid rather than Barbarian after that really. Having a Flaming Sphere or something going while in Wild Shape can be quite handy, but you can also just focus on using your spell slots to heal while transformed as a Circle of the Moon.
As for the Charger feat? Not great in my opinion. Charger allows you to make an attack as a Bonus Action if you use your Action to Dash, whereas the Pounce ability of Deinonychus or Saber-Toothed Tiger allows you to use your bonus action to do an extra attack after knocking them down, or the Charge ability of the Rhinoceros allows you to double the die of your Gore attack if you hit. Either way more than the +5 damage from Charger, so long as you succeed. Rhinoceros's Gore is definitely the most beneficial there.
Having played Moon Circle Druid for a campaign, the utility of concentrating on a spell while Wildshaped is useful, but not overwhelming if you're going to be anywhere near the front lines until after you get either the feats Resilient for CON proficiency or the Warcaster feat or both. Given the low AC of most beast forms, you will be hit quite often even with Barkskin or Mage Armor until you get access to Elemental shapes for that level 10 ability. So if you really want to tank for your allies, going Barbarian for the Bear Totem is a good option. If your party already has dedicated tanks, you would probably do more good by taking the Mobile feat or getting Warcaster for that CON save and occasional OppAttack casting. Mobile would allow you to take advantage of terrain and speed of your beast forms for hit and run attacks or to get around Their tanks to get at their casters/rogues in the back.
Think of the Deinonychus as a Panther with no climb speed but 1 more attack and less effective stealth capability.
It depends. A lot of beasts have decent constitution scores, which makes it easier to keep spells going when you take damage. And you will take damage, beasts are easy to hit! I’ve found that when there is only one tank in the party and it’s a Moon Druid, Gust of Wind is a surprisingly effective spell to control the battlefield.
Having a 16 CON doesn't help much if you don't have proficiency in CON saves and your AC is only 16 at level 6. There are way too many foes at that level who can two-shot you out of your beast form as well. Or a 6th level Rogue sneak attacking you with a heavy crossbow and Sharpshooter.
Deinonychus is a good attack option. Not the best for all situations, though. If you have Rogue allies, taking Dire Wolf is great b/c tripping your opponents helps set them up for sneak attack. The pounce on the Deinonychus isn't always usable b/c of the 20' move requirement before the pounce. If you have any ally with the Web spell or you are in a dungeon, Giant Spider is useful for stealth+web walking+web attacks from the ceiling. Giant octopus at 4th level gives you reach of 15' and auto grapple on your attack. There's more than one way to shut down a wizard.
At 8th level if you have a small character in your party, Giant Owl is good for 2 flyby attacks where your opponent gets no opportunity attacks b/c you can carry your little ally around.
The point is, being a Circle Moon Druid is like having a bag of tricks up your sleeve 2X per short rest. Using those tricks well involves research on different beasts and talking to your party members to coordinate your strengths together.
So does that mean if I am not going to be tank I would just stick to deinonychus til 6th level and then switch to cave bear, Rhinoceros and saber toothed tiger? Maybe get Mobile as a feat at 4th lvl?
I've yet to be convinced that anything other than Resilient (Con) or Warcaster as your first ASI is a good idea for a Moon Druid. Moon druids are full casters despite their boosts to melee combat. I's rarely a good idea to wild-shape and enter melee without a concentration spell up. A moon druid is always going to have to make the decision to push on in wild-shape or drop it and cast another spell, and an improved concentration gives you more time to see how a battle is shaping up before you have to decide.
The only reason to go barbarian is if your only going to play in a lower level campaign (that still plays to a high enough level to allow you to use those levels on that different class) so probably no higher than about 10 or 12 but definitely higher than 5 or 6. Keep in mind that every level you take in barbarian early on is a level that slows down your benefits from your moon druid-ness. If it's a campaign that your fairly sure is going to go into epic levels and be reaching 18, 19, and specially 20. Don't bother multiclassing. It's a nice boost early on but it will cost you at those epic levels.
Druids actually have one of the strongest capstones in the games and most "theory-crafted" multi-class builds do not actually take the full effects of the 20 levels into account. Even if you have a DM like me that restricts you from changing into a new shape directly from an old shape every round and decides to require you to spend one round in your natural form. The ability to shape infinitely, and in the case of moon druid into elemental forms infinitely, is Obscenely powerful in the right hands.
WarCaster is probably one of the strongest feats in the game for a decent majority of the melee spell casters. Resilient can be useful depending on the circumstances of your party as well and the tactics you get to use while fighting for a bit of extra oomph. But Moon Druids are a bit front loaded on the usefulness of their kit specific advantages just as a warning. And that is not necessarily a bad thing because those are the levels where druid casters in some ways are actually a bit limited in their utility and spell capability and at higher levels nothing is stopping that moon druid from straight up acting like a caster to some extent for an actual broader range of tactical options than even other druids might have.
Try to get a repertoire of animal forms that you might be able to use situationally and don't try to just think of the margionally best one in all situations. Moon Druids have access to larger forms for a variety of situations that other druids don't necessarily get access to. Keep your mind open to chances to take advantage of situations by using other forms like the aforementioned Giant Spider, Or if your lucky enough to have a campaign that is going to regularly take place in/on water look at the shark forms. A Hunter shark is something that you will get early on as a Moon Druid and it has the advantage of attacking anything wounded with automatic advantage and it's hard to hide from with it's 30' blindsight. And when you get up to 15th level to get the Giant Shark your going to have access to inhumanly high strength and con in the water in all but cramped passages and your prey may just be enemy boats rather than just enemy targets swimming ineffectively in the water. If your fighting up high you might find a form like the giant eagle that will allow you to grab your oponents and litterally drop them off of ledges or into traps to take them out of the fight, And stealth based creatures will learn to fear a Giant Scorpion (CR3, blindsight 60', with two attacks that can potentially grapple and a third that can potentially poison)