The changes in 19.2 to henshin are pointless. The entire tree needs a serious reworking, and adding critical chance to terrible damage isn't going to help anything, it's just spitting in your eyes. The force/fire damage is pretty bad, the DC's are horrific unless you gimp everything else and pump wisdom, and the unique ki attacks feel clunky, especially considering their mobility penalties. I made a thread about this over in the monk class section, but maybe people here might have some more input. This is a great class concept that has gone to waste.
1. Ability Points
First of all, then henshin tree is extremely AP heavy. All but two (yes, only two) of the enhancements require 2 AP to get. This is ridiculous. By level 12, my henshin already spent 43 of his 45 AP in this tree just to break even with the tier 5 abilities. The point costs needs to be reduced, severely.
2. Ki finisher DC's
Henshin monks don't have near the capability of their spellcaster counterparts to increase their DC's, and with everything being a reflex save, using anything ki-related in the henshin tree after level 15 or so is just pointless, especially against mobs with evasion. I expect henshin will be nothing more than a quarterstaff monk with 3 extra (and pointless) uses of meditation in epic content. A few possible suggestions:
--- Let ki finishers be evocation for the purposes of difficulty checks (or conjuration, since it seems more fitting with the henshin theme). This would allow henshin monks to use conjuration focus items to increase their DC's.
--- Change 'Mystic Training' to give +2/+4/+6 to ki finisher moves instead of +1/+2/+3. This isn't overpowered, as it only affects henshin monks: shintao or ninjas aren't going to spend their time on ki attacks other than stunning fist. Only henshin is going to be concerned about finisher DC's.
Henshin fire/force damage is interesting, and a wonderful concept, but their damage is low. Having high DC's means nothing if the damage output is horrible, and with the low DC's and constant reflex saves, the damage is beyond pitiful. Monks have a difficult time as it is fitting in gear without henshin having to worry about spellpower. I'm not asking henshin to be a spellcasting powerhouse, but in their current state the vast majority of ki abilities in the tree are useless. Some possible solutions.
--- Increase the spellpower gained through henshin core enhancements from +5 to +10. This would equal +75 fire/force spellpower instead of +50.
--- The quarterstaff enhancement line could give +2 fire/force spellpower for each taken, totaling +10 with tier 5.
--- This last point is controversial: metamagics. If you want henshin to be a ki-finisher, fire-breathing monk, they need to be able to utilize some sort of metamagic effect. I don't necessarily mean being able to use metamagic feats, but provide henshin with some sort of toggle that increases the power of ki attacks but increases the ki cost or something along those lines.
4. Useless enhancements
Henshin feels a lot like the rogue mechanic and cleric/fvs protection trees; interesting concepts, but ultimately sub-par compared to their counterparts. They are all 'dump trees', trees you spend points in to get a few odds and ends but don't take the entire tree seriously. There is a ton of wasted space in the henshin tree.
--- Elemental words: complete and utter waste of AP in order to get the void attack, the only decent attack other than quick strike that the henshin gets. This is 8 AP spent on attacks you will never, ever use, and in-and-of-themselves, are not worth 2 AP each. Change these to something useful or just get rid of them. This would be a good place to put a spellpower line of enhancements, separating my above comment from the quarterstaff line; thus giving players in henshin a choice of spellpower or dps or both. Another line of enhancements to put here would be the metamagic-like toggles I mentioned above.
--- Negotiator: why, oh why, is this even here? I know henshin are supposed to be masters of riddles and words, but this just feels completely out of place. Get rid of it or change it.
I like the idea of quarterstaves for damage. In fact, this is a great part of the tree, and it offers excellent multiclass capabilities with the rogue acrobat. However, there is a certain issue with this in henshin mystic. In order to achieve DC's for finishing moves and unique ki abilities, henshin needs to have high -- very high -- wisdom. This all but overrules any strength build for henshins unless you're completely focused on dps. A simple solution:
--- Give a wisdom-to-attack/damage mod for quarterstaves in the henshin core enhancements, probably at level 1 and 6. It might seem odd, but henshin really does require you to be a pure wisdom build if you want to get anywhere with ki attacks. This would also give interesting synergy with druids, favored souls, and clerics, as well as paladins.
6. Ki Regeneration and Retention
For a type of monk that relies heavily on ki regeneration and acquisition, it is pretty difficult to gain and very easy to use. By level 20, you only have +2 passive ki regeneration from the entire tree. It seems to me, if henshin is to be any viable sort of build, it needs to be able to gain ki almost as quickly as it spends it. And, if you use the 'Lightning the Candle' toggle, you lose much of the ki you gain on-hit. This almost seems to punish monks that use it instead of reward.
--- Give a +1 passive ki generation on core enhancements 12 and 18. This would increase the total generation rate to +4. If you think about it, monks don't generate ki passively very quickly, and this doesn't seem overpowering in any way and it will only affect henshin monks, because no shintao or ninja is going to delve that deeply into the henshin tree.
--- You could change the useless 'Elemental Words' enhancements and simply keep their AP cost, and make them add +1 passive ki generation per tier.