Scrolling down the ever-growing list of monsters in 5E Dungeons & Dragons, you’ll quickly realize that finding the monsters with a low Challenge Rating that are fun is a tedious process. Many of them are quite bland and boring, but luckily there are also lots of fun options – you just have to find them!
That’s what we’re doing in this article: Giving you our picks of the most fun, classic, and tactically engaging 5E D&D monsters with a Challenge Rating of 2.
Gemstone & Metallic Dragons
Just as with the CR 1 creatures we covered in a previous article, we get several fun dragon wyrmlings at CR 2. The standouts are the metallic dragon wyrmlings and the new emerald dragon wyrmling, moonstone dragon wyrmling, and topaz dragon wyrmling we get in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. These dragons have breath attacks that do more than just deal damage and, in some cases, can also cast fun and useful spells such as bane and minor illusion, making them fun and versatile opponents for lower-level parties!
The gelatinous cube is a classic and for good reason! While it’s not the most tactically diverse creature – it’s essentially just going to slide around and try to engulf the characters. But that’s also enough if the characters face it in a cramped dungeon corridor.
One thing to take note of is that a character trying to avoid being engulfed must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a success, it is pushed to the side or away instead of being engulfed – but that does not mean that its troubles are over. Sliding after it, the cube can attempt to engulf the same creature multiple times on the same turn!
The gelatinous ooze is no pushover, and while clever characters will quickly learn how to kite and evade the gelatinous cube, the first time fresh-faced adventurers run into it are sure to be a memorable encounter!
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The intellect devourer is an insane creature, and quite honestly overpowered for its CR of 2. With resistance to nonmagical attacks, its effective hit points are almost doubled. That’s not what makes the intellect devourer dangerous, however – that’s its ability to devour a creature’s brain with Devour Intellect (which uses the ever-weak Intelligence Saving Throw!), which not only deals psychic damage but also leaves the target stunned, potentially forever.
At low levels, characters are not guaranteed to have easy access to spells like greater restoration, which means an encounter with an intellect devourer can end an adventurer’s career before it’s even gotten started.
All told, the intellect devourer is fun because it’s super scary – but it’s also a monster that should be used with great care. I recommend using it against higher-level parties, or at least making sure that the characters have an ally or resource that can help them get their brains back, if they’re unlucky and get their brain devoured by the intellect devourer!
Like the gelatinous cube, the mimic is on this list not because it’s the most versatile or dynamic creature, but because it’s an absolute classic. The mimic’s ability to change into an object and surprise the characters with a sudden attack is always amazing fun, especially against newer players.
In combat, its ability to adhere to creatures and grapple them is also fun, as it gains advantage on its attacks against creatures that it adheres to. Once more, not a very versatile creature, but I’d be remiss not to have the mimic on this list!
The bard is found in the new Mordenkainen Presents: Multiverse of Monsters, and it’s a fun one. Its cacophony is basically a thunderwave spell, which is always fun. Beyond that, it can also cast charm person, invisibility, and sleep, all of which are useful spells – and it gets to use them alongside its attacks!
The real standout is the bard’s Taunt, a bonus action that can severely diminish a target’s offensive and defensive capabilities. With decent hit points, AC, and a lot of different stuff to do on its turn, the bard is the perfect statblock for a low-level villain NPC – or helpful ally to the party!
Duergar Mind Master
The duergar mind master is also found in Monsters of the Multiverse, and it’s a really fun one. It can turn invisible or reduce itself in size to gain a very significant bonus to AC and Stealth checks – and get to take the Hide action as a bonus action. These abilities make the duergar mind master incredibly evasive and hard to pin down.
Furthermore, the duergar’s Mind Mastery action can turn its foes against each other. While that may not always be better than just attacking with its own dagger in terms of raw damage, it can do so while hiding around in its reduced form, or even use Mind Mastery to move other creatures around on the battlefield. In addition, Mind Mastery targets an Intelligence saving throw, which makes it even nastier!
Faerie Dragon (Older)
The faerie dragon is a really fun one. It can incapacitate creatures with its Euphoria
Breath, which makes it very dynamic. As it grows older, it also gains spells, many of which are both useful and fun: color spray, mirror image, suggestion, major image, and polymorph make the faerie dragon incredibly versatile. Add to that the ability to turn invisible as a bonus action, and you have a foe – or friend – that’s elusive and tactically challenging.
That’s it for this one!
I hope you enjoyed our list of some of the most fun Challenge Rating 2 monsters – let us know in the comments below if you agree with our picks, or if you feel we missed your favorite 5E monster!
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