I'm going to look first at the synergies between the PHB1 races and the PHB2 classes, just because I find the classes in the book more compelling than the races. I'll be using the suggested primary and secondary abilities for the builds in the book. I'll work up a similar table for the PHB2 races and all the classes next week. Again, I'll color every top tier match green and bottom tier red, leaving second tier white. I'm again leaving out the human column because it's boring.
What I call a top tier combination is where a race’s bonus attributes map directly to a class’ primary and secondary. ... A second tier combo is one where a race has one attribute that maps to a primary or secondary. ... When a race has no attributes, or only a tertiary attribute, it’s third tier.
|Str, Cha||Con, Wis||Dex, Int||Dex, Wis||Con, Cha||Dex, Cha||Int, Cha|
Wow, the dwarves get some love in the PHB2 classes. They go from zero top tier classes to tied for three with dragonborn and elves. I must admit, though, I find the actual choices kind of strange: invoker, shaman, and druid? For dwarves? Really? At least it's the blasty druid build and not the beasty one or dwarven mines might be suddenly overrun with guys turning into boars and bears...
The half-elves get their first top tier class in the valorous bard. Eladrin get the shaft with no top tier choices and fewer second tier choices than anyone else. The halflings pick up a second top tier choice with the wild magic sorcerer. I feel a 4e remake of my 3e halfling wizard/elemental savant Madgog Flameslinger coming on...