The Protector is an Essentials Variant Class for the Druid in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. Thematically overlapping with the Shaman, the Protector is a "nature mage" type druid, who focuses on communing with the Primal Spirits as a whole rather than specifically focusing on the Primal Beast; as such, they forsake the shapeshifting abilities so iconic to the standard druid and focus instead on summoning beasts to aid them in battle.
Being an Essentials type class, they more or less forsake the AEDU System; unusually, the Protector does not carry an ever-expanding array of class features as it levels up the way most do. Instead, it transforms a singular power into its entire Daily Powers arsenal; Summon Natural Ally functions as the Protector's only Daily power, increasing in uses per day in lieu of letting the Protector learn more Daily powers, and with the creatures it can summon being upgraded at levels 15 and 29. It's not as gimped as some Essentials classes are, but it still is distinctly lacking in power compared to its full-fledged AEDU counterpart. Fortunately though, it also offers a very easy way out of this handicap with the Beastwalker Circle feat, giving you the PHB Druid's Wild Shape powers and permit them the ability to sacrifice one of those uses of Summon Nature's Ally for a normal Druid's Daily. What you don't get from this, however, is the Druid's additional At-Will, so you aren't shoehorned into using only ONE At-Will while people-shaped and only ONE At-Will as an animal (unless you're a human, then go a head on your merry way).
The Protector's class features are:
Nature's Growth - this is an innate Encounter Utility power that can be used to create a zone that is difficult terrain.
Druid Circle - This causes the Protector to "count as" a member of a particular Primal Aspect, which mimics the effects of the standard Primal Aspect both as a feature and for its bonus to powers, and also provides a secondary effect to the Nature's Growth. A Protector from the Circle of Renewal "counts as" having the Primal Guardian Aspect (when unarmored, you can use your Constitution modifier to determine your AC) and gives bonus HP equal to your Con modifier to any ally who spends a healing surge to regain HP when within or adjacent to your Nature's Growth. A Protector from the Circle of Shelter "counts as" having the Primal Predator Aspect (+1 Speed when unarmored) and their allies ignore the difficult terrain created by Nature's Growth.
Primal Attunement - The Protector chooses 3 of the Utility cantrips from this list; Air Spirit (Summon a not-Unseen Servant), Call the Spirits (Nature-y Prestidigitation), Senses of the Wild (Detect disease and animals), Verdant Touch, Vine Rope.
Summon Natural Ally - The animals you can summon depend on your Druid Circle. The Circle of Renewal can summon a Giant Cobra or a Desert Hawk at 1st level, a Bulette or a Venomous Giant Scorpion at 15th level, and a blue dragon wyrmling or a desert roc at 29th level. The Circle of Shelter can summon a Grizzly Bear or Pack Wolf at 1st level, a Dire Bear or Hunting Tiger at 15th level, and a Dire Lion or Raptor Behemoth at 29th level.
|Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Classes|
|Player's Handbook 1:||Cleric - Fighter - Paladin - Ranger - Rogue - Warlock - Warlord - Wizard|
|Player's Handbook 2:||Avenger - Barbarian - Bard - Druid - Invoker - Shaman - Sorcerer - Warden|
|Player's Handbook 3:||Ardent - Battlemind - Monk - Psion - Runepriest - Seeker|
|Heroes of X:||Blackguard - Binder - Cavalier - Elementalist - Hexblade - Hunter|
Mage - Knight - Protector - Scout - Sentinel - Skald - Slayer - Sha'ir - Thief
Vampire - Warpriest - Witch
|Settings Book:||Artificer - Bladesinger - Swordmage|
|Others:||Paragon Path - Epic Destiny|