Demon - The demons get an excellent group of additions in this book. The Abyssal Eviscerator (lvl 14 brute), Abyssal Rotfiend (lvl 26 controller), Bebelith (lvl 18 solo brute), Bloodseep Demon (lvl 7 skirmisher-leader), Dretch (lvl 2 brute), Gnaw Demon (lvl 5 skirmisher), Kazrith (lvl 20 lurker), Needle Demon (lvl 12 controller), Neldrazu (lvl 8 lurker), Nycademon (lvl 22 skirmisher), Pod Demon (lvl 15 elite artillery), Runespiral Demon (lvl 5 artillery & lvl 12 artillery), Rupture Demon (lvl 5 minion soldier), and Yochlol Tempter (lvl 17 controller). Of note out of these is the Pod Demon which promises an exciting encounter with spawned pods blowing up and flanking all around and the Bebelith that causes your armor to reduce throughout the encounter. Probably the best expanded monster from the first MM.
Deva - With the introduction of the Deva as a playable race, we also have their antagonistic counterparts. They promise to be all-around tough adversaries no matter what, with the Knight-Errant and Zealot in the paragon tier and the Deva Fallen Star as an astounding level 26 artillery monster. The Fallen Star is a spellcasting Deva that can make you forget your spells (only using basic attacks or at-wills) or manipulating fate to add or subtract 1d8 from die rolls.
Devil - The Devils are not as expanded as their adversaries the Demons, but we do see some familiar faces making a return. The Erinyes is an armored soldier in the paragon tier that bolsters its allies, while the Gorechain Devil has an aura of grasping chains that stops non-dextrous creatures from exiting it! Others include the Assassin Devil, Infernal Armor Animus, Misfortune Devil, Shocktroop Devil, and Withering Devil. Almost all of them sit in the mid-paragon tier except for the Animus which is a level 3 minion soldier.
Dimensional Marauder - This guy might look the same (it has the excellent 3e artwork), but he’s going to surprise quite a few players. This is another monster that uses the new “kidnap” mechanic as I’m calling it, where it teleports a target and then teleports itself next to their new location. As expected there’s going to be quite a lot of teleporting and phasing when it comes to these level 4 lurkers!
Direguard - These guys feel like a random undead baddie tossed into the middle of the book, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty damn cool. The Direguard Deathbringer (level 8 elite artillery) is great at boosting its allies while throwing tons of force blasts to push targets around. The Direguard Assassin (level 11 skirmisher) on the other hand feels like your standard really badass stealth sword-wielding undead. Oh wait, maybe it’s the only one, look out!
Djinn - I always thought the plural of Djinn was Djinnis, but here it is presented as “Djinns”. These guys are a great, and very welcome, addition to the epic tier. They are all about fast flying and tons of elemental damage, the Thunderers can occasionally teleport up to 20 squares and gains action points from its attacks while the Skylord can push people around without even rolling to hit. These guys are really going to spice up some epic level encounters.
Adamantine Dragon – These new dragons are the soldiers of the metallics, similar to the Red Dragons. Their distinguishing feature at all levels is that their breath weapon not only knocks you prone, but afterward they let out a thunderous roar that damages nearby enemies. At higher levels they become very resistant to damage, able to send damaging thunder through a creature’s body, and their dragonic fury will absolutely destroy everything.
Copper Dragon - The grumpy old men of the group, Copper Dragons are quick and dangerous with their hit-and-run flyby attacks and their bite attacks that let them shift before and after the attack. Their breath weapon does acid damage and slows enemies down.
Gold Dragon - Like the T-Rex of dragons, these guys are tough controllers that really mean business. Their Fiery Wing Reposte knocks enemies way back and sets them on fire, while their Burning Tomb power is like a fireball that sets the whole area aflame. Their breath weapon burns and weakens foes, plus the oldest Gold Dragons have an ancient radiance that can daze in addition to their frightful presence.
Iron Dragon - Much more deceptive and stealthy than any other dragons, these guys are quick and defensive when they fight. They can use their wings to shroud themselves from damage, and their lightning breath weapon damages and pulls creatures toward them.
Silver Dragon - The shining knights of the metallic dragons, Silver Dragons are far more elegant than their sister brute the White Dragons. Their Dragon Onslaught ability lets them make a claw attack against each creature within their reach, and the older silvers have threatening reach and a tail slap attack as well. Their breath weapon does cold damage and causes vulnerbality to all damage.
Drake - The drake entry is expanded from the first MM with a selection of dinosaur like monsters. None of them stand out in particular, but they’re nice additions to our favorite mini-dragon cousins.
Drakkoth - Now here’s where we get some badass monsters! Drakkoths are basically lizardman-centaurs in the paragon tier that combine speed and martial prowess with venom spit and some really bolstering bloodied rage that grants them temporary hitpoints. These guys are going to be tearing up parties all over the place.
Duergar - The evil, infernally corrupt dwarves finally get their day in the spotlight (they probably don’t enjoy it though). They come at you with a whopping eight different stat blocks, ranging from lowly level 4 guards and scouts to paragon tier fleshtearers, hellcallers, and blackguards. The infernal quills attack adds some common ground between them as they’ll all be firing off short range poison attacks, but overall there is a lot of variety between them. They should make the perfect evil-bad guy counterparts to the dwarves and gnomes in any adventuring party, with suitably evil spells and abilities to throw around. They are also one of the playable PC races in the back of the book, opening up a ton of new roleplay (read: backstabbing) opportunities!
Eladrin - Our first of the original PC races expanded, presented are the Arcane Archer (level 5 artillery) that fires scorching arrows and eldritch bursts. The Eladrin Bladesinger (level 11 skirmisher) who flies and weaves her way through combat wielding a deadly blade of brilliance, and finally the Coure of Mischief and Strife (level 17 lurker) that sows confusion and bad luck through the ranks of their enemies while staying invisible as much as possible. Naturally, all of them have a knack for stepping through the feywild like all of their eladrin brethren.
Elemental - Continuing the trend in 4th Edition with changing how elementals work, this is another one of the entries from the first MM that is greatly expanded with eleven new varieties! The Chillfire Destroyer (level 14 brute) is a cyclone of fire contained in a shell of ice, the Dust Devil (level 3 skirmisher) fills out the lower ranks along with the Flamespiker (level 5 soldier). Others include the Geonid (level 6 lurker), Mud Lasher (level 4 brute), Rockfist Smasher (level 10 brute), Shardstorm Vortex (level 7 skirmisher), Stormstone Fury (level 14 artillery), Tempest Wisp (level 13 controller), Windfiend Fury (level 12 controller), and the Windstriker (level 9 lurker). While many of them sound quite similar, the mechanics for each are very different and as a whole they present a great variety of elementals to round out encouters with.
Fell Taint - Last for today’s preview we have the small aberrant predators called Fell Taints that bring a big of the Far Realm into the early heroic tier. These insubstantial flying creatures seem rather wimpy, but when presented with an unconcious or helpless adversary they materialize and descend to kill the target quickly and strengthen themselves in the process. Really one of the most vicious killers at this low level of play, they could become the bane of parties pretty quickly.
Next up for tomorrow we have Firbolgs, Giants, and finally some more Gnomes!