Top 15 DnD Legendary Creatures for Awesome Boss Fights

 DnD Legendary Creatures
The monsters are coming hot and fast.

15 Legendary D&D Creatures Every Dungeon Master Should Use 

What’s DnD without a good boss fight? And I’m not just talking about challenging fights, I’m talking about fun fights. A good battle is unique and memorable, so let’s take a look at the top 15 legendary creatures for awesome boss fights.

15) Dragons

Fight a dragon to take its horde.

Yes, dragons! Pick a dragon, any dragon. Initially, I wanted to avoid building a list of the typical foes, but I couldn’t leave out these mystical creatures. If you’re new to DnD, you may think dragons are cliché and overused, especially with how often we see them in pop culture nowadays, from Game of Thrones to Harry Potter to The Hobbit. But as cliché as they might seem, dragons are at the heart of DnD, literally in the name of the game, and always make for a fun encounter. They are a unique blend of physical strength, magical power, sharp intellect, and colorful personalities. Every player remembers their first encounter with a dragon, and they will forever remain in the foundation of our imaginations.

14) Mouth of Grolantor

This is one giant... well, hill giant.

This one is a fun hill giant variant from Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and the origin of this nasty beast is really creative. Because hill giants eat everything they can fit in their mouths, Mouth of Grolantor is a hill giant that’s consumed something poisonous or diseased and is now insane. What’s coolest about this creature is that its attacks are completely random. The DM rolls a d10 then refers to a list of four possible outcomes, making combat unpredictable and often hilarious.

13) Fire Giant Dreadnought

Attack this shielded giant if you dare.

Continuing on with giant variants, we have the tankiest of all tanks. The Fire Giant Dreadnought is essentially a steam roller that plows over its enemies with two giant shields loaded with hot coals. It has an AC of 21 and 187 HP. The two shields are included in the giant’s AC and act as both offensive and defensive equipment. Your best bet here is to somehow rid this tyrant of these massive shields.

12) Aboleth

Be careful taking a dip in the lake with this guy.

The aboleth stirs up all of my fears of swimming in a dark, murky lake. This genuinely unpleasant creature leaves a diseased cloud of mucus in its wake and can telepathically learn the desires of any creature it can see. Its poisoned tentacles can leave a target with slimy, translucent flesh. Ew. The aboleth can also charm creatures, making slaves out of its victims until the aboleth either dies or the target somehow escapes to another plane of existence. Good luck with that.

11) Purple Worm

I think his name just about says it all.

A purple worm is neither evil nor good, just a pure force of destructive nature. This wild predator is completely unaligned and is simply out for a decent meal. It’s a giant, subterranean monster with a poisonous tail and a big bite. It has an AC of 18 and 247 HP, and with blindsight, tremorsense, 30 feet burrow speed, and the ability to tunnel through nearly any material, hiding from this monster is almost impossible.

10) Death Knight

It's always dangerous when a good guy goes to the bad side.

When a holy paladin turns evil and lives a life of sin, they might one day become an undead warrior known as a death knight. These fellas are 19th-level spellcasters that know their way around a longsword. And their 20 AC, 180 HP and magical resistance make for a heck of a defensive advantage. Not to mention they have their own version of the Fireball spell that does 20d6 damage.

9) Lich

Wait... wizards can come back to life again and again?

When a great wizard isn’t ready to die, he becomes a lich: transforming into a powerful, undead magic wielder. They are 18th-level spellcasters with an AC of 17 and 135 HP. With a long list of available spells and legendary actions, liches guarantee a tough fight. Catch them in their lair and be prepared for them to regain spell slots and summon evil spirits to fight for them. If you’re lucky and skilled enough to defeat a lich, don’t forget that they completely rejuvenate within ten days.

8) Mind Flayer

Don't let this guy get too close to your head.

Thanks to the success of Stranger Things, mind flayers are now universally feared. These dreadful creatures venture through countless planes of existence, enslaving entire races for their bidding. They have an AC of 15 and 71 HP, and their ultimate goal in combat is slurping your brain right out of your skull. They have a few spells up their sleeves, a grappling effect that will literally drive you insane, and Extract Brain is the big daddy that does 10d10 damage before removing the target’s brain.

7) Beholder

Uh-oh! I think he sees you.

Beholders are among the most recognized DnD villains, and Xanathar is one of my personal favorite characters in DnD lore. The beholder is kind of the Swiss Army Knife of doom and agony, as each one of its eleven eyes dishes out a unique and deadly ability, including one that simply kills you on a failed Dex save. And let’s not forget its lair actions and regional effects, which add additional doses of eye terror and sheer insanity.

6) Dracolich

If you thought zombies were tough, wait until they're dragons too.

When a humanoid spellcaster seeks immortality they become a lich, so what happens when a dragon does the same? That’s right. Dracolich. A dracolich’s lethality depends on the type of dragon it was in life. When a dragon decides to follow this dark path, it maintains the stats and abilities of its former self. Plus, it picks up a few new tricks. It is now considered undead and no longer requires air, food, water, or sleep. It is resistant to necrotic damage and immune to poison, as well as a whole list of condition immunities. In other words, zombie dragon.

5) Elder Brain

The brains of the operation.

Deep in the heart of a mind flayer colony awaits the elder brain. This thing literally feeds on the thoughts of others, and reaches out into the world to read and rewire minds. With a huge list of psychic abilities, this creature will chew up and spit out your sanity, ultimately killing you with a shower of physic damage. Between its lair actions and regional effects, coming anywhere near the thing might turn your brain to mashed potatoes.

4) Demilich

A former life in pieces.

The real motive for becoming a lich is to live forever, but if all else fails, you can become a demilich. A demilich is essentially the skull of a lich, containing a fragment of its former self. It has an AC of 20 and an HP of 80, and it basically hovers around shouting at you until you die. This ability, called Howl, forces all creatures within 30 feet to pass a DC 15 Con save. If you fail, you die. That’s it. If you pass, you’re Frightened, and the the demilich can still use Life Drain and three of its four legendary actions to finish the job.

3) Atropal

He may look like a baby, but he means business.

In short, an atropal is basically the aborted fetus of an evil god. It’s an unfinished, unholy abomination teetering somewhere between life and death. It has an HP of 225 and although its AC is only 7, it’s immune to nearly every type of damage. In addition to its personal arsenal of magical abilities like Life Drain and Ray of Cold, the atropal can also summon its own pet wraith that obeys its every command.

2) Kraken

A monster of the deep.

DnD fan or not, most recognize the kraken as the undisputed ruler of the ocean, a creature that’s found its place in the lore of many cultures and mythologies. The DnD version of this unimaginable beast has an AC of 18 and an HP of 472, and has been around longer than both giants and dragons. Its lair actions and regional effects may be even more impressive than its own actions. This monster can control the weather, charm other aquatic animals in the area and summon water elementals. The Kraken also has one heck of a home security system that pushes intruders out with a powerful current before electrocuting them to death.

1) Tarrasque

Mirror, mirror on the wall, here's the baddest creature of them all.

There is only one tarrasque in existence, and it is believed to be the most destructive creature in the entire Material Plane. It slumbers somewhere beneath the earth until the dreadful day it awakens. Now, this isn’t some witty creature that can cast powerful spells or breathe fire. The tarrasque is a monster of pure physical strength. With 25 AC and 676 HP, this monster can trample a few good-sized towns before showing any signs of damage, and if you’re thinking about facing one then you might want to save up enough to purchase your own personal army. In addition to its five attacks per turn, the tarrasque’s hide reflects most attack spells. Most unnerving of all is its ability to swallow you whole, where you will almost certainly melt alive in a fleshy vat of stomach acids.

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Emily is a tiefling who enjoys writing in Common more than Infernal. She grew up playing too much Mario Kart, but now prefers playing indie games.
Gamer Since: 2012
Currently Playing: Celeste
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