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Top 10 Strongest Non-Dragon D&D Monsters

Jeremy enjoys gaming (both board and electronic) and enjoys playtesting new releases.

D&D Monsters

D&D Monsters

Monster Stats in "Dungeons & Dragons"

Character-building and diplomacy are important in D&D, but nothing beats good ol' monster-slaying. Your party will undoubtedly explore vast labyrinths and encounter titanic monsters—hopefully living to tell the tale.

Just like player characters, creatures have attributes that define their power, with overall difficulty determined by CR (Challenge Rating); a CR 3 Basilisk would offer a decent fight to a party around level three. As your party earns levels, they'll encounter tougher foes—which reign supreme? These are the ten strongest non-dragon enemies in Dungeons & Dragons!

Empyrean D&D

Empyrean D&D

Empyrean stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

30

21

30

21

22

27

10. Empyrean

CR: 23
Source: Monster Manual

By sheer virtue of their overwhelming stats (30 strength and constitution!), these titans impress. But despite their focus on brawn, they brandish some interesting spells, including earthquake, fire storm, and water walk, and they can fly at will.

Empyreans don't have condition immunities, so status effects are one way to topple them, but unlike today's other fiends, you might luck out and have them assist your party—75% are aligned as chaotic good.

Juiblex D&D

Juiblex D&D

Juiblex stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

24

10

23

20

20

16

9. Juiblex

CR (Challenge Rating): 23
Source: Out of the Abyss

This huge demon wields enormous strength backed up by poison. Just starting your turn within 10 squares gets you poisoned if you fail a saving throw, and with his truesight, Juiblex can't be fooled by illusion. In fact, he's got an enormous number of status immunities, including charm, fright, petrification, stun, and more. Like many of today's creatures, he also wields legendary resistance, meaning he can pass saving throws he fails up to thrice per day, and he regenerates 20 HP when his turn begins.

And don't forget the extra actions legendary monsters take at the end of other characters' turns--meaning Juiblex (and today's other units) will attack even outside his own move.

Maegera the Dawn Titan D&D

Maegera the Dawn Titan D&D

Maegera the Dawn Titan stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

21

22

20

10

10

19

8. Maegera the Dawn Titan

CR: 23
Source: Storm King's Thunder

This gargantuan elemental brandishes fire to great effect, roasting foes within 30 squares for 10d6 damage at the start of its turn. This also applies to creatures who hit Maegera with melee attacks, and any non-magical weapon is automatically incinerated after striking it!

Of course, the legendary actions make things even worse. These let Maegera ignore fire resistance, deal extra damage, and even summon fire elementals to assist itself. Attack Maegera from range with non-fire magic, and you might just stand a chance.

Kraken D&D

Kraken D&D

Kraken stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

30

11

25

22

18

20

7. Kraken

CR: 23
Source: Monster Manual

The kraken's massive strength and vitality already intimidate; he's got 472 HP, over 100 more than Juiblex! You're also most likely to encounter him at sea, which can limit your escape options. Fighting a kraken is no easy feat, as his strikes not only deal massive damage, but also restrain your team's own actions via swallowing you whole or grappling you with tentacles.

If you can lure him onto land, you might have a better chance, where its slower and has fewer legendary actions; otherwise, you're in for a brutal fight.

Yeenoghu D&D

Yeenoghu D&D

Yeenoghu stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

29

16

23

15

24

15

6. Yeenoghu

CR: 24
Source: Out of the Abyss

This speedy, aggressive demon focuses on quickly traversing the field and smashing foes with flail attacks. With his multiattack, he's hitting up to three times each turn, and in addition to huge damage, his strikes can inflict paralyze or confuse their target. He also gets a bonus move and attack if his melee strikes reduce someone to 0 HP.

Yeenoghu backs up his melee with spells like teleport and invisibility. Watch out for his savage legendary action, which bites all enemies within 10 feet.

Graz'zt D&D

Graz'zt D&D

Graz'zt stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

22

15

21

23

21

26

5. Graz'zt

CR: 24
Source: Out of the Abyss

Demon prince of indulgence, Graz'zt presents a crafty foe more inclined to charm and trick your team than outright fight them, and he can shapechange into any form to fool you. Of course, if you do confront him, he's no slouch in combat, wielding impressive spells like crown of madness, greater invisibility and dominate monster. He's adept at charming and confusing your team, making them accidentally attack their own allies.

He can also attack twice with his greatsword, teleport, and (if in his lair) use command to completely control your team.

Orcus D&D

Orcus D&D

Orcus stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

27

14

25

20

20

25

4. Orcus

CR: 26
Source: Out of the Abyss

Chaotic evil, Orcus lacks Graz'zt's subtly and aims to slaughter your team by any means. While his physical prowess is impressive, it's his mastery of the undead that really sets him apart, letting him summon massive hoards of undead to assault your squad.

His wand lets him access advanced spells like finger of death and power word kill. The best way to beat Orcus is to separate him from his lethal wand, or outlast him in a battle of attrition (some of his attacks only recharge at dawn).

Demogorgon D&D

Demogorgon D&D

Demogorgon stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

29

14

26

20

17

25

3. Demogorgon

CR: 26
Source: Out of the Abyss

Infamous monster from Stranger Things, Demogorgon assaults mind with his gaze abilities and body with his powerful tentacle attacks, which (in addition to damage) can reduce max HP until a long rest is taken, meaning even if you heal up, you still won't be at full capacity.

But Demogorgon's biggest threat stems from his gaze—if he makes eye contact, he can control, paralyze, or confuse victims. Players can avert their eyes to dodge the effect, but lose vision of Demogorgon in the meantime, reducing their attack effectiveness.

As if having to fight him without falling prey to his telepathy isn't bad enough, Demogorgon wields powerful spells like feeble mind, which can reduce your intelligence and charisma to one until healed, making you mindless and unable to communicate.

Tiamat D&D

Tiamat D&D

Tiamat stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

30

10

30

26

26

28

2. Tiamat

CR: 30
Source: Hoard of the Dragon Queen

Despite her appearance, Tiamat's classified as fiend, not a dragon. Still, she can fly, bears a massive 615 HP, and at CR 30, she's tied for strongest monster in the game. Even death is only temporary for her, merely taking time to reform her body. She's incredibly fortified, able to pass five failed saving throws a day, immune to level 6 and lower spells, and impervious to numerous damage types. Toss in 30 regeneration per turn and good luck whittling her down.

On offense, Tiamat attacks thrice per turn, and her five heads give five different elements for her legendary actions, meaning it's easy for her to get around immunities. Her green head breathes poison, black spews acid, red flares fire, blue shoots lightning, and white emits ice, all of which affect a wide area.

Tarrasque D&D

Tarrasque D&D

Tarrasque stats

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA

30

11

30

3

11

11

1. Tarrasque

CR: 30
Source: Monster Manual

As an unintelligent beast, Tarrasque is unaligned, but will absolutely wreck your team if you get in his way. In addition to tremendous HP, he's immune to most ranged attack spells, and if he rolls a 6 on a d6, the spell reflects back to its origin.

This forces some fighters to get in close, but that's where Tarrasque is deadliest—he attacks five times on his turn, and wields three legendary actions! The attacks are straightforward but punishing blows, and he can potentially swallow you whole after biting you.

Previous Monsters in Dungeons and Dragons

Today we saw the best 5e monsters in D&D, and we'll undoubtedly encounter more through expansions and new editions. Hopefully we'll encounter lost foes from past releases, like the enormous Prismatic Dragon, but for now, vote for your favorite enemy and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!

© 2021 Jeremy Gill

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