One reason I’m hyped by Soulbeast is the possibility for Power based builds to resurface through stats increase when in Beastmode, and also damage increase traits and skills, such as Sic’ Em, but even with those buffs the Ranger remains among the classes having the worst weapon damage of the game, and I’m fine with having low weapon damage as long as we have several other sources of damage, the core Ranger only has one, its pet, and it’s not enough, while the Soulbeast has its borrowed skills from its pet when in Beastmode, plus its pet when not in Beastmode.
Those three additional skills, two of them being borrowed from the pet’s skills, are a more than a welcome addition for the Ranger, because it gives more gameplay flexibility, either through mobility skills, healing skills, stun breaks, so on and so forth, but the truth his apart from the Beast skills (F3) the others (F1 and F2) are more than underwhelming, therefore most of them will never be used in their current iteration; and to go back to Power builds a Soulbeast is not going to use those skills while waiting for its most powerful weapon skills to go off cooldowns, like Maul or Whirling Defense, and will be forced to use auto-attacks, and their low damage, which means Power Soulbeast are not going to be near top tier damage builds.
I understand why the skills borrowed from the pet are weaker than when the pet uses them, the reason being the pet has weaker stats than a Soulbeast in Beastmode, therefore those skills might be too powerful if used by a player, there is also the fact that those skills can be used twice rather quickly, once by the pet then by the player.
However they have been so nerfed that they are practically useless, if you look at a skill used by the pet, for instance Bite (Drake), it deals 525 base damage when the pet uses it, but it deals 173 base damage when the player uses it in Beastmode, that’s even lower than the 215 damage on the Greatsword first auto-attack, a weapon known for having terrible auto-attack damage. And this is just an example among tens of other terrible skills (once again F1 and F2), because most of the skill damage has been reduced by 3 or 4, another example Frenzied Attack (Moa) deals 1352 (damage) x 4 when used by the pet, and 265 (damage) x 5 when used by a player in Beastmode, for a final damage of 5408 against 1352, there are even some instances where the skills have been nerfed by 10: Kick (Rock Gazelle) deals 2430 (damage) x 2 when the pet uses it against 250 damage (and twice as less Vulnerability (goes from 6 to 3)) when the player uses it, or Swoop (Bird) goes from 1115 (pet) to 80 (beastmode), even though Swoop has a higher range in Beastmode, 1200 against 130, damage is still ridiculous though.
It’s mostly an issue on skills dealing pure damage, because the conditions and the boons applied are the same if a pet or a player use them, and the healing number on skills like Harmonic Cry seems to be fairly balanced, but some mobility skills need to also be looked at, if Charge (Rock Gazelle) as a higher range (1200) when used by a player in Beastmode than by the pet (900), some other skills didn’t received so much love, for instance Devourer Retreat’s (Devourer) range is 300 for Beastmode and 200 when used by the pet, and I’m sorry but a 300 range mobility skill has no use whatsoever, it should be 600 range, and even then it’d by lower than other blinks in the game like the Mesmer’s Blink (1200) and the Elementalist’s Ligthning Flash (900).
Soulbeast is going to be particularly tricky to balance in sPvP, because of its huge burst capacity, even though I’d argue that the burst comes from fairly easy to read skills such as Maul or Worldly Impact, therefore easy to dodge/interrupt. Having the F1 and F2 dealing as much damage as the pet when in Beastmode could potentially make Soulbeast too powerful in sPvP, even though I’d also argue than most F1 and F2 skills have a low range (130/150), which means they’ll be hard to use. Nevertheless those arguments don’t stand for PvE, and this is here that Power builds need the most love.
TL; DR: Beastmode skills borrowed from pets deal so little pure damage it's laughable, which makes the prospect of playing Power builds not so great because the core Ranger already suffers enough from low weapon damage. The reason for this ludicrous amount of damage is because F1 and F2 skills damage have been divided by 3 to 4, in some cases it goes as far as 10, when those skills should either deal slightly less damage, 25%/35% less, or should simply deal the same numbers as when a pet use them, therefore most skills need to be look at again (Devourer’s Retreat is one of them for another reason).