[Top 25] D&D Most Powerful Monsters For Your Campaign

D&D Most Powerful Monsters
Dungeons and Dragons has many fearful foes for your players to fight.


Win or lose, there’s nothing like the tension of a tough encounter with a powerful enemy. 

These can be some of the most memorable moments of the game, where a player either pulls off a brilliant move or finds themselves on the bad end of an unlucky roll. 

This article lays out some of the most powerful, unique monsters to pit your players against in your next session, listed according to their official Challenge Rating. 

25. Shadow, CR 1/2

This monster is surprisingly difficult for its ½ Challenge Rating and an encounter with one can quickly turn deadly for lower-level groups of adventurers. 

Shadows live in the dark corners of caves and dungeons, feeding on the vitality of the living. They are particularly drawn to those who are pure-hearted and untainted. 

Why Shadows are Fun

  • With their +4 to Stealth (and +6 in dim light or darkness), they can easily stay concealed while trailing the team and waiting for the opportunity to pick off a straggler. 
  • This is when they can use their best, most deadly ability: Strength Drain. While the attack does 9 necrotic damage, the most dangerous part is that the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. If it’s reduced all the way to zero, then the target dies outright. This can be fatal, especially since casters and other ranged fighters with low Strength tend to stick to the back of the group where Shadows are most likely to strike. 

Shadow Details

  • Medium undead, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 12
  • Hit Points: 16
  • Speed: 40 feet 
  • Skills: Stealth +4 (+6 in dim light or darkness)
  • Vulnerable to Radiant damage
  • Resistant to Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, and Thunder damage. Also resistant to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Damage Immunities: Necrotic, Poison
  • Condition Immunities: Exhaustion, Frightened, Grappled, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone, Restrained

24. Intellect Devourer, CR 2 

Intellect Devourers are the underlings of another monster that appears later on this list, the Mind Flayers.

These creatures feed on the minds and memories of sentient creatures, turning their host into a puppet under their control. 

Why Intellect Devourers are Fun

  • The goal of this monster is to consume the party's brains and take over their bodies, not simply kill them. They can use Devour Intellect to stun the target and reduce their intellect score and follow it with Body Thef. The monster magically consumes the target's brain, teleports into the target's skull, and takes control of the target's body. 
  • While in the host body, the Intellect Devourer has cover from attacks and knows all the creature’s spells and languages. This effectively turns a member of the party against the others. 

Intellect Devourer Details

  • Tiny aberration, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 12
  • Hit Points: 21
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Skills: Perception +2, Stealth +4
  • Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: blinded

23. Spawn Of Kyuss, CR 5

These worm-infested undead are a squeamish player’s worst nightmare.

What from a distance appears to be a normal zombie reveals itself upon closer inspection to be full of writhing green worms.

It’s a great opportunity for dungeon masters to get really descriptive and make your players squirm in their seats.

Why Spawn of Kyuss is Fun

  • These worms are not just gross - they can be deadly. Spawn of Kyuss can launch them from their bodies onto nearby targets. The worms then burrow into the humanoid's skin, unless the target can smack them off in time. 
  • Every turn the worm remains in the host’s body, the target takes 7 necrotic damage per worm infesting it. The target dies if it drops to 0 hit points, with no death-saving throws.
  • It also rises 10 minutes later as another spawn of Kyuss. What’s worse is that the dead target can’t be revived until their corpse is destroyed, as their soul is trapped in the decaying body being slowly driven insane. 

Spawn of Kyuss Details

  • Medium undead, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class :10
  • Hit Points: 76
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Wis +1
  • Damage Immunities: poison
  • Condition Immunities: exhaustion, poisoned

22. Mind Flayer, CR 7

These iconic D&D monsters believe themselves to be the superior race of the multiverse and use their mind-controlling powers to turn others into thralls. 

Even though their empires have fallen, they are no less dangerous to roaming bands of adventurers. 

Why Mind Flayers are Fun

  • This monster's ability to extract brains is horrific and makes for a frightening fight. They use Extract Brain to consume the brain of an incapacitated humanoid and if this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the mind flayer kills the target by extracting and devouring its brain.
  • The best part of these creatures is their intelligence. This makes combat with them potentially more interesting, as you can make their plans as devious and brilliant as you desire.
  • The Arcanist Variant is even more powerful, with the ability to cast spells up to 5th level. 

Mind Flayer Details

  • Medium aberration, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 15
  • Hit Points: 71
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Int +7, Wis +6, Cha +6
  • Skills: Arcana +7, Deception +6, Insight +6, Perception +6, Persuasion +6, Stealth +4
  • Magic Resistance: The mind flayer has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

21. Elder Oblex, CR 10

Like the Intellect Devourer, these monsters are creations of the Mind Flayers. However, the oblex have ceased to obey their master's orders and are now motivated only by their primal hunger. 

Elder Oblex have the ability to devour a person’s memories and then impersonate them. They often use these impersonations to lure new victims into an ambush before attacking.

Why Elder Oblex are Fun

  • Their unique ability to consume memories and impersonate their victims makes them interesting adversaries. 
  • When a target’s memories have been consumed, they have to roll a d4 and subtract the number from any ability check or attack roll they make. This can quickly and dramatically unbalance the encounter. 
  • There’s also some room here for the dungeon master to decide how they want this to work in their game. Maybe you pick specific memories for the player to have taken from them, or have them choose. 

Elder Oblex Details

  • Huge ooze, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 16
  • Hit Points: 115
  • Speed: 20 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Int +10, Cha +8
  • Skills: Arcana +10, Deception +8, History +10, Nature +10, Perception +5, Religion +10
  • Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, prone

20. Aboleth, CR 10

Aboleth’s are ancient, primordial creatures that have existed longer than even the gods.  

Despite their animalistic appearance, Aboleths have long memories and intricate, centuries-long plans. Ultimately, they desire to overthrow the gods themselves and regain control over the world.

Why Aboleth’s are Fun

  • Aboleths have telepathic abilities and can read creatures' minds. If a creature communicates telepathically with them, the aboleth then learns the creature's greatest desires and can attempt to manipulate them with this knowledge. 
  • They can also use their Enslave ability three times a day. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the aboleth until the aboleth dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target. The charmed target is under the aboleth's control and can't take reactions, and the aboleth and the target can communicate telepathically with each other over any distance.
  • They also have legendary actions and lair actions, making them much more difficult combatants to defeat. This is one of the rare monsters that might be able to take on a party of adventurers on its own. 

Aboleth Details

  • Large aberration, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 17 
  • Hit Points: 135
  • Speed: 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Con +6, Int +8, Wis +6
  • Skills: History +12, Perception +10

19. Aeorian Nullifier, CR 12

These deformed creatures are the result of arcane experimentation. 

Aeorian Nullifiers were designed to resist magical effects, and the gnashing of their multiple mouths can drive nearby creatures insane or frighten them into inaction.

Why Aeorian Nullifier is Fun

  • Aeorian Nullifiers have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects and are capable of casting Counterspell at will, making them a difficult enemy for spellcasters and magic-users. 
  • They also have their Horrid Gnashing ability that makes close combat with them exceptionally difficult. This feature affects any creature within 20 feet that fails a Wisdom saving throw, and will either stun, frighten, or immobilize the targets. 

Aeorian Nullifier Details

  • Large monstrosity, neutral evil
  • Armor Class: 17 
  • Hit Points: 180
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Wis +6, Cha +8
  • Skills: Perception +6, Survival +6
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, radiant

18. Beholder, CR 13

Beholders are some of the most iconic monsters in Dungeons and Dragons. They are giant, floating eyeballs surrounded by tentacles. 

Their antimagic cone and eye rays make them formidable foes. 

Beholders regard all other creatures with disdain. They even consider themselves superior to other Beholders.

Why Beholders are Fun

  • Their antimagic cone makes them difficult to deal with for spellcasters. Their huge central eye creates a 150 foot cone of antimagic, which is enough to negate even the longest range spells. The upside is that this cone works against its  own eye rays as well. 
  • The Beholders eye rays can be deadly. There are 10 different magical effects from these rays, ranging from a Charm and Sleep rays to Disintegration and Death rays. 

Beholder Details

  • Large aberration, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 18 
  • Hit Points: 180
  • Speed: 0 ft., fly 20 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Int +8, Wis +7, Cha +8
  • Skills: Perception +12
  • Condition Immunities: prone

17. Cadaver Collector, CR 14

These gore-covered creatures can be found roaming the abandoned scenes of bloody battles, collecting corpses and killing those it encounters. 

Cadaver Collectors are often summoned by necromancers, hobgoblins, or other evildoers to serve in their armies. 

Why Cadaver Collectors are Fun

  • Their unique Summon Specters ability is too spooky to resist. The Cadaver Collector can conjure the spirits of those it has slain and use them to torment their adversaries. Battles with them often involve fighting multiple ghostly foes as well. 

Cadaver Collector Details

  • Large construct, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 17
  • Hit Points: 189
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't adamantine
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
  • Magic Resistance: the cadaver collector has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

16. Death Tyrant, CR 14 

When a Beholder dreams of a reality beyond death, they can sometimes transform into Death Tyrants. They appear as massive floating skulls with one massive red eye and ten spectral eyes hovering around it. 

The antimagic gaze of a Beholder is enhanced by their transformation into a Death Tyrant, now capable of raising the dead to do their bidding. They are often surrounded  by undead zombie hordes who fight  on their behalf. 

Why Death Tyrants are Fun

  • The enhancements to the Beholders’ antimagic ability make them an even more difficult adversary. Anyone in it’s gaze is unable to heal, and any target that dies becomes a zombie under the Death Tyrant’s command. 
  • It also has all of the eye ray abilities of the Beholder. 

Death Tyrant Details

  • Large undead, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 19 
  • Hit Points: 187 
  • Speed: 0 ft., fly 20 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Str +5, Con +7, Int +9, Wis +7, Cha +9
  • Skills: Perception +12
  • Damage Immunities: poison
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone

15. Mummy Lord, CR 15

These are the mummified remains of powerful, despotic kings and the priests of evil gods. Because of the rituals cast on their remains, they rise again to reclaim what was theirs and punish those who would trespass into their domain. 

Why Mummy Lords are Fun

  • It’s hard to walk away from a fight with a Mummy Lord without contracting mummy rot. This curse prevents the afflicted from regaining any hit points and decreases their HP maximum every 24 hours. If their hit points are reduced to zero, they die with no death-saving throws and are turned to dust, which prevents many resurrection spells from taking effect. The curse can only be removed by the remove curse spell or other magic.
  • Mummy Lords will reform after death if their heart is not destroyed. Unfortunately, the heart is not located in their bodies but in an earthen jar somewhere in their lair. It’s up to the players to find it and destroy it before the mummy reforms once again.

Mummy Lord Details

  • Medium undead, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 17
  • Hit Points: 97
  • Speed: 20 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Con +8, Int +5, Wis +9, Cha +8
  • Skills: History +5, Religion +5
  • Damage Vulnerabilities: fire
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
  • Magic Resistance: the mummy lord has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

14. Death Knight, CR 17

Paladins who forsake their oaths and use their power to commit wicked deeds are sometimes transformed into Death Knights by dark, eldritch powers.

These undead warriors are terrifying foes, with glowing red eyes peering from under their helm. 

Why Death Knights are Fun

  • The most interesting part of these monsters is that they can’t truly be killed until they have been redeemed for whatever evil actions they took during their lifetime. Just attacking the death knight until it dies won’t be enough, and players will have to put work into finding out who the knight was  and how to repair they’re mistakes. This can lead to a whole interesting side quest, where a once forsaken paladin is restored to their former glory even beyond their death.

Death Knight Details

  • Medium undead, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 20
  • Hit Points: 180 
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Dex +6, Wis +9, Cha +10
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, poison
  • Condition Immunities: exhaustion, frightened, poisoned

13. Nagpa, CR 17

There are only 13 Nagpa in existence  The bird-like creatures were previously magic users who were cursed by the raven queen. This has given them their hideous new forms and limited the ways they can acquire new spells and magical secrets. 

Since they can only learn such things through the fall of cities and other great calamities, they now operate from the shadows to instigate chaos and cause destruction, hoping to loot the ruins that remain. 

Why Nagpa’s are Fun

  • Their powerful spellcasting makes them formidable opponents, casting up to 8th level spells.  
  • They have the ability to charm their opponents, potentially turning a PC against their party. 
  • One of their defining features is that they work from the shadows. Operating as puppet masters, they subtly influence events and those they have targeted into cooperating with their master plans. 

Nagpa Details

  • Medium humanoid, lawful evil
  • Armor Class 19
  • Hit Points 187
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Int +12, Wis +10, Cha +11
  • Skills: Arcana +12, Deception +11, History +12, Insight +10, Perception +10

12. Demilich, 18

This creature is a lich who has failed to consistently supply its phylactery with mortal souls, resulting in it’s diminished state.

Even in this form however, these undead spellcasters can still be deadly enemies. 

Why Demilichs are Fun

  • As long as phylactery is still intact, the demilich cannot be destroyed. Anything that complicates the process of killing an enemy makes combat more interesting and varied. 
  • There’s the potential for the demilich to regain it’s full power. If even a single soul is fed to its phylactery, it will reform as a Lich with all of its magic and abilities intact. This could be an interesting questline, the players trying to prevent a semi-cognizant demilich from successfully  sacrificing a soul and reemerging as a powerful lich. 
  • Demilich have  access to legendary actions and lair actions, both of which make them tougher combatants. 

Demilich Details:

  • Tiny undead, neutral evil
  • Armor Class: 20 
  • Hit Points: 80
  • Speed: 0 ft., fly 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Con +6, Int +11, Wis +9, Cha +11
  • Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magic weapons
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned
  • Avoidance: if the demilich is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a saving throw to take only half damage, it instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the demilich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Turn Immunity: the demilich is immune to effects that turn undead.

11. Balor, 19

Wielding a whip of fire and a lightning blade, these demons are notoriously tough opponents. Balors are usually the generals of demonic armies, and their attacks are fueled by rage and hatred. 

Why Balors are Fun

  • When Balors are finally defeated, it causes a massive fiery explosion. Players have to get out of there quickly or be mindful of how close they get to the demon, otherwise they could end up perishing as well. This blast also destroys the baylors weapons, preventing them from being plundered. 
  • The balor has an aura of fire, causing any creatures near it to take damage and sets any flammable objects on fire. 
  • Their truly massive amounts of HP makes them difficult to take down. They are resistant to magic, yet melee combat is made difficult by their fiery aura. 

Balor Details

  • Huge fiend, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 19
  • Hit Points: 262 
  • Speed: 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Str +14, Con +12, Wis +9, Cha +12
  • Damage Resistances: cold, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Damage Immunities: fire, poison
  • Condition Immunities: poisoned
  • Magic Resistance. The balor has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The balor's weapon attacks are magical.

10. Pit Fiend, 20

The pit fiend is another terrifying demonic foe. Above even Balors in the hierarchy of the Nine Hells, these monsters lord over most other devils and have a deep sense of superiority. 

Why Pit Fiends are Fun

  • It is stated in the Monster Manual that Pit Fiends prefer to take on the most powerful adversary in single combat, instead of battling the entire party. This is a really unique concept if you choose to follow it in your campaign. 
  • Pit Fiends have innate spellcasting, the most powerful being that they can cast Fireball at will with no limits. 
  • They also have powerful multiattacks, capable of making four attacks in a row. 

Pit Fiend Details

  • Large fiend, lawful evil
  • Armor Class: 19 
  • Hit Points: 300
  • Speed: 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Dex +8, Con +13, Wis +10
  • Damage Resistances: cold; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't silvered
  • Damage Immunities: fire, poison
  • Condition Immunities: poisoned
  • Magic Resistance. The pit fiend has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The pit fiend's weapon attacks are magical.

9. Nightwalker, 20

These monsters are the result of those who travel into the Negative Plane, a domain of darkness and death. For every creature that successfully enters the plane, a Nightwalker is spawned to take its place in the material realm. 

To escape the Negative Plan, the nightwalker has to be lured back to its native plane. If it’s destroyed, then the poor soul is trapped there for eternity. 

Why Nightwalkers are Fun

  • Any encounters with this monster are complicated by the fact that the goal isn't  to kill it, but to lure it back to the Negative Plane. The players have to devise a clever way to do so to avoid killing the creature and dooming the trapped person to an eternity in the Negative Plane. 
  • Combat with one of these monsters has long lasting and serious consequences, should anyone fall before them. Any creature killed by a Nightwalker cannot be resurrected by any means other than a wish spell. 

Nightwalker Details

  • Huge undead, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 14
  • Hit Points: 297 
  • Speed: 40 ft., fly 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Con +13
  • Damage Resistances: acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Damage Immunities: necrotic, poison
  • Condition Immunities: exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

8. Molydeus, 21

Balors and Pit Fiends are nothing when compared to the ultimate fiend, Molydeus. These 12 foot tall, two headed demons serve a specific demon lord who they are bound to. 

Why Molydeus are Fun

  • They have special weapons formed from their essence, each reflecting the nature of their master. It is possible to steal these weapons - if you have a deathwish. 
  • Molydeus guard the amulets of their lords. These amulets let them reform in the Abyss if their forms are destroyed, but they also can be used to manipulate the demon into doing your bidding or strand it in the abyss. 
  • The variant demon summoning Molydeus is even more powerful, and can lead to a battle with multiple fiends under the powerful creatures command.

Molydeus Details

  • Huge fiend, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 19
  • Hit Points: 216
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws Str +16, Con +14, Wis +14, Cha +14
  • Skills: Perception +21
  • Damage Resistances: cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Damage Immunities: poison
  • Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, poisoned, stunned
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the molydeus fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. The molydeus has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The molydeus's weapon attacks are magical.

7. Astral Dreadnought, 21

These gargantuan eldritch monstrosities have haunted the astral plane since the dawn of time, consuming travellers who are unfortunate enough to cross paths with them. 

Why Astral Dreadnought are Fun

  • Any creature swallowed by one of these monsters is trapped in a demiplane with the remnants of other swallowed travellers. It’s only possible to enter this plane by being swallowed by an Astral  Dreadnought or through a wish spell. You can only exit the demiplane through a spell that enables planar travel. You cannot harm the monster from  the demiplane. 

Astral Dreadnought Details

  • Gargantuan monstrosity, unaligned
  • Armor Class: 20 
  • Hit Points: 297 
  • Speed: 15 ft., fly 80 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Dex +5, Wis +9
  • Skills: Perception +9
  • Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the astral dreadnought fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Weapons. An astral dreadnought's weapon attacks are magical.

6. Lich, 21

Liches are the undead remnants of wizards who have sought eternal life. Through a ritual, their soul is placed in a phylactery which they must feed with mortal souls.

Why Liches are Fun

  • While often amulets of a sort, each phylactery is unique and can be almost any object. Liches will continuously reformed unless this object is destroyed, and doing so often requires a special ritual, weapon, or other item. 
  • Being undead, their plans are often centuries in the making. It’s satisfying for a party of adventurers to undo an evil being's  evil schemes in the matter of a few days or weeks when they’ve been in development for eons beyond their lifespans. 

Lich Details

  • Medium undead, any evil alignment
  • Armor Class: 17
  • Hit Points: 135
  • Speed: 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Con +10, Int +12, Wis +9
  • Skills: Arcana +19, History +12, Insight +9, Perception +9
  • Damage Resistances: cold, lightning, necrotic
  • Damage Immunities: poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If the lich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Turn Resistance:The lich has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.

5. Ancient Dragons, 20-24

There are a number of different ancient dragons, each formidable in it’s own right. Instead of listing them individually, I’m considering them to be one type of monster with multiple variations. The powers of these dragons differ depending on their color and associated element. They range from a CR of 20 to 24. 

Why Dragons are Fun

Battling an ancient, powerful dragon is an iconic part of Dungeons and Dragons - it’s even in the name. Players want the experience of fighting a dragon that dwarfs them in size and age, regardless of how cliche it might be.

4. Zaratan, 22

Zaratans are elemental gods capable of toppling cities and causing earthquakes without even pausing to notice. While they won’t seek out conflict, they’re terrifying forces of nature when prompted to attack.  

Why Zaratans are Fun

  • The terrifying scale of these creatures makes combat interesting. Player characters will be dwarfed by its unbelievable size, inspiring them to think of creative solutions to engage it in combat. . 
  • It’s ability to destroy settlements and buildings makes it a unique enemy. Using Earth-shaking movement, the Zaratan can deal 100 thunder damage to all structures in the area. If a creature is near a structure that collapses, the creature might be buried; a creature within half the distance of the structure's height must make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 5d6 bludgeoning damage, is knocked prone, and is trapped in the rubble. A trapped creature is restrained, requiring a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check as an action to escape.

Zaratan Details

  • Gargantuan elemental, neutral
  • Armor Class: 21
  • Hit Points: 307 
  • Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Wis +12, Cha +11
  • Damage Vulnerabilities: thunder
  • Damage Resistances: cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Damage Immunities: poison
  • Condition Immunities: exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned

3. Kraken, 23

What is more fearsome than the water-dwelling kraken, a kaiju-sized leviathan from the dark depths of the sea? Sleeping under the shifting ocean, they cause storms and destruction when they finally awake and rise to the surface. 

Why Krakens are Fun

  • Krakens can conjure and control storms, creating difficult but atmospheric environments during encounters. They also have their lightning storm feature, creating three bolts of lightning, each of which can strike a target the kraken can see within 120 feet of it. 
  • Some treat these titans as virtual gods, worshipping them and creating religions surrounding them. This can add an extra layer of difficulty for players, having to defeat the cultists protecting the kraken before even engaging with the beast themselves. 
  • Encounters with Krakens don’t just have to happen at sea. They are also capable of swimming upstream, causing destruction to the cities and towns in their wake. 

Kraken Details

  • Gargantuan monstrosity, chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 18
  • Hit Points: 472 (27d20 + 189)
  • Speed: 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Str +17, Dex +7, Con +14, Int +13, Wis +11
  • Damage Immunities: lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: frightened, paralyzed

2. Marut, 25

Marut were created as beings of order to enforce contracts from the Hall of Concordance in the city of Sigil. They act as enforcers of law and punish those who have broken the terms of their agreements. 

Why Marut are Fun

  • While simply being difficult to destroy and hard to fight, they have a unique role in D&D lore without any real equivalents. The lore behind them lends itself to some unique and interesting quests. 
  • They can also teleport any two people it can see to the Hall of Concordance in Sigil. 

Marut Details

  • Large construct, lawful neutral
  • Armor Class: 22 
  • Hit Points: 432 
  • Speed: 40 ft., fly 30 ft. 
  • Saving Throws: Int +12, Wis +10, Cha +12
  • Skills: Insight +10, Intimidation +12, Perception +10
  • Damage Resistances: thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Damage Immunities: poison
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, unconscious
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If the marut fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance: The marut has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

1. Tarrasque, 30

 You probably aren’t surprised to see the Tarrasque topping yet another list of D&D monsters. This creature is a legend in and of itself and is indisputably the most powerful monster in the game. Nothing else competes with its CR of 30. 

Why Tarrasque are Fun

  • By the time you can take on a Tarrasque, you’re at such a high level of play that only so much is going to be able to challenge you. When you’re at level 20 with nothing left to really bring that tension to an encounter, the Tarrasque is there to bring fear back to combat.
  • You won’t often get a chance to fight this iconic monster. Most campaigns don’t reach this high of a level, and I would say most players have never encountered this notorious creature. It’s worth it just for the novelty. 

Tarrasque Details

  • Gargantuan monstrosity, unaligned
  • Armor Class: 25
  • Hit Points: 676
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws: Int +5, Wis +9, Cha +9
  • Damage Immunities: fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
  • Condition Immunities: charmed, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If the tarrasque fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance: The tarrasque has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

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Morgan is the newest crypid on the east coast. Legend says she can be summoned with an old Pokemon Crystal cartridge and a copy of Jim Henson's The Labyrinth on VHS.
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