Creature Competition: Head-to-Head

Succubus Paladin
Lithe and charming -- a true redeemed villain -- this succubus has a Charisma bonus that makes her devastatingly effective with her skills. When riding into battle on her armored vrock warmount, she adds intimidation to her armory of weapons that she uses against her foes.
Grudge Matches

In its thirty years (now getting on thirty-one!) of history, Dungeons & Dragons has introduced a vast collection of creatures to the game. Whether it's the iconic dragons, beholders, or mind flayers -- or some of the even more unusual templates -- everyone has their favorite. (Heck, even we here at Wizards of the Coast have ours.)

So what happens when sixteen of these creatures go head-to-head? Plenty of carnage, obviously. Of course, in a pure fighting competition, you'd simply check each monster's Challenge Rating to decide which one would gain the upper hand. So instead, we've dragged sixteen creatures onstage for a friendlier competition -- to determine which one is our players' favorite creature (at least, favorite in this competition).

In each pairing, which creature do you choose to move on? Every week on Tuesday, we'll present the next pairing, until it all boils down to your final winner -- who will star as an encounter in a future online adventure.

Tarrasque Weekly Results:

Week 15 -- 8/16 thru 8/22
57.2% Succubus Paladin (Winner)
42.8% Jannys Shadowgaunt

Week 14 -- 8/09 thru 8/15
76.9% Succubus Paladin (Winner)
23.1% Stone Giant Paladin

Week 13 -- 8/02 thru 8/08
50.8% Jannys Shadowgaunt (Winner)
49.2% Tarrasque

Week 12 -- 7/26 thru 8/01
58.1% Succubus Paladin (Winner)
41.9% Meepo

Week 11 -- 7/19 thru 7/25
59.9% Stone Giant Paladin (Winner)
40.1% Troll Frenzied Berserker

Week 10 -- 7/12 thru 7/18
54.8% Jannys Shadowgaunt (Winner)
45.2% Warforged Ninja

Week 9 -- 7/05 thru 7/11
56.7% Tarrasque (Winner)
43.3% Marilith Dervish

Week 8 -- 6/29 thru 7/04
65.3% Meepo (Winner)
34.7% Celestial Dire Badger

Week 7 -- 6/21 thru 6/28
66.3% Succubus (Winner)
33.7% Shuluth

Week 6 -- 6/14 thru 6/20
69.7% Stone Giant (Winner)
30.3% Half-Celestial Unicorn

Week 5 -- 6/07 thru 6/13
71.1% Troll Berserker (Winner)
28.9% Grynerstempos

Week 4 -- 5/31 thru 6/06
63.6% Jannys (Winner)
36.4% Xxerlflyyn

Week 3 -- 5/24 thru 5/30
67.5% Warforged Ninja (Winner)
32.5% Ellithrin

Week 2 -- 5/17 thru 5/23
74.4% Marilith Dervish (Winner)
25.6% Lady Bestine

Week 1 -- 5/10 thru 5/16
59.6% Tarrasque (Winner)
40.4% Gelatinous Cube

Gelatinous Cube
Lady Bestine
Marilith Dervish
Marilith Dervish
Warforged Ninja Jannys Shadow...
Warforged Ninja
Jannys Shadow...
Jannys Shadowgaunt
Jannys Shadow...
Succubus Paladin
Troll Berserker
Troll Berserker
Stone Giant Paladin
Half-Celestial Unicorn
Stone Giant Paladin Succubus Paladin
Stone Giant Paladin
Succubus Paladin
Succubus Paladin From the message boards:

"This blantant cheese, illogically bent-rule succubus paladin has got to be erradicated from the game once and for all. GO SHADOWGAUNT!" -- Fleetfang

"For the sake of virtue and justice, my vote goes to Eludecia " -- Zevox

"The Lich is too straight forward and as such not as interesting. The seductions of the forces of good have won my vote. " -- Rocketboy13

Week 14 -- 8/09 thru 8/15
Stone Giant Paladin vs. Succubus Paladin

"I hope the giant wins. I kind of expect he will because all the meepo fans will be out for blood..." -- tharivol266

"I'm going for Eludecia... I've wanted to see her face off against Jannys from the start." -- Tevish Szat

"Ah. I'll vote for the succubus paladin this time. And forever..." -- Ymdar

"I am voting for stone giant because they have yet to mention his possible mount and throwing churches is cooler than riding a demon..." -- gypsieking3280

"Go Eludecia!!! Show that stupid giant the full powers of a reformed Demoness." -- warlockco

"I'll vote for the one with Big Rocks." -- Morka

"...why to vote for the succubus paladin? Because its the coolest combo of both the blessing of the holy and the power of the profane." -- Artemician

"In short, Jannys gets my vote because there is more potential for storyline." -- Saedar

Week 13 -- 8/02 thru 8/08
Tarrasque vs. Jannys Shadowgaunt

"Tarrasque, you must avenge Meepo!" -- Dan23

"I vote the Tarrasque this week. It is the only sane monster left in this thing." -- Orcdoubleax

"For sure Jannys, being a smart lich as she is, has already bought her copy of the Monster Manual and knows everything there is to know about the Tarrasque." -- Arhurt

"Drow liches to the end." -- tharivol266

"There is no way Big T will lose against that drow." -- Gilganarz the reporter

Week 12 -- 7/26 thru 8/01
Succubus Paladin vs Meepo

"Well it looks like meepo is in for a really tough match up but he still gets my vote this round." -- Matthew The Mage

"There's simply no choice to be had here... My vote, and all the weight behind my name, goes to Elu, my muse." -- Insignia)

"meepo must die." -- DarkerDreams

"Meepo is above the rest from his dragon keeping, to his submachine gun." -- baron redscale

"Eludecia is the perfect tool to battle the unholy abominations that dwell on the earth's surface, for she is the exact opposite." -- Witchblade

Week 11 -- 7/19 thru 7/25
Troll Frenzied Berserker vs Stone Giant Paladin

"Vote troll, because who wants to try to fight a goody-two-shoes that could kick you like a football?" -- eye sac

"The consecrated throwing rocks, the divergence from the usual stone giant nature, the idea of an enormous paladin squashing evil with humungous rocks... that's a lot cooler than an extra-mean troll." -- Timespike

"I can't turn down the opportunity to show my support to a fellow Paladin, especially with ones like the Giant or Eludecia who have pursued the righteous path against thier peoples' normal natures." -- Zevox

"Sure, the giant may get a rock off before the troll closes, but with regeneration, the troll will just outlast the giant in a melee brawl." -- Fuego

"Now I just hope the Stone Giant Paladin will bury the Troll under his Holy Stones..." -- Morka

"I'm voting for the troll. It's an outrage that that giant abandoned his people for the path of good." -- lordofdragons

"Oh please, no way can that puny troll stand up against a piece of church falling from the sky." -- Hedstrong

"I say Downright Ugly Meanie wins. My vote goes to the Troll." -- Flameoftheabyss

Week 10 -- 7/12 thru 7/18
Tarrasque vs Marilith Dervish

"After reading her description, how can you sit or stand there and honestly tell me that the Warforged Ninja would last more than a few rounds against the Jannys Shadowgaunt? TELL ME!" -- rmartin1

"Warforged Ninja! Terminator is back, and this time he's taking a different approach to the situation; stealthy is the shizzle now!" -- Witchblade

" undead drow spellcaster with a serious motive for vengeance takes a high place on my personal list of Things I Wouldn't Want Out To Kill Me." -- Agent Rasp

"Many a night I have pondered the infinite ways to store and protect a phylactery. Now I see a creative and effective way; this drow and the golem that houses its phylactery has my vote." -- Rhadamanthus

"I like the warforged. Its the most radical idea for a PC race that I've seen since 3e came out." -- Airsucker

"Warforged Ninja -- They have mad skills with bo sticks! "-- Puglott

"I'm voting for the warforged and against Jannys.Because: its a warforged, its a ninja, it isnt a drow, it's cool." -- Gilganarz the reporter

"I went for the Shadowgaunt however, as it would simply & ultimately wear out the Warforged Ninja." -- Covetous

"Ninja ninja ninja ninja ninja ninja. But that's just my opinion." -- eye sac

Week 9 -- 7/05 thru 7/11
Tarrasque vs Marilith Dervish

"I'm voting for the Big T in this round. It is one of the most epic monster in the game and deserves to have an adventure built around it after all these years." -- Papa Smurf

"I'm also voting for the marilith dervish...the idea of it having like 20 attacks amuses me..." -- Ughman

"Sorry, the Tarrasque is just a big pile of numbers. I'll be voting against it every time." -- _plucky

"BIG-T all the way because I read up on it and it is a killing machine." -- ZD106

"...the Tarrasque will always be in the top 3 in any contest about the toughest, meanest, nastiest, or best monsters out there." -- Kingrames

"The Marilith Dervish has the nasty-cool factor of snakes, evil deeds, wickedly-forged swords, and the dancing devilry of the dervish. Plus, for the party that succeeds in defeating her: 6 wounding longswords! Nice swag for a tough fight." -- GreatEscape13

"The Tarasque defeated the mighty gelatinous cube. Once it defeated the cube the multi-verse was its." -- szarkel

Week 8 -- 6/28 thru 7/04
Meepo vs Celestial Dire Badger

"Yes, I was distressed to see that my noble Badger had to face a named Kobold in the first round. I have no doubt that he'd take an average mook kobold any day of the week -- but Meepo? I'm not sure." -- Erik Olsen

"Do you know why you should vote for Meepo? Because dead celestial badgers is good eatin'!" -- lightman

"This one is really no contest. A kolbold named Meepo, so pathetic its wonderful! Sometimes its those real pathetic ones who are the players worst nightmares; so easy to overlook." -- Bill Nye

"The only thing that scares a badger is a snake. While Meepo is scaly and ugly, he's no snake." -- Limit

"Kolbolds are deadly. They are masters of traps. If you do not fear Kobolds then you have not been in my dungeons." -- RASVIMofIO

"Badgers! We don't need no stinkin' badgers!" -- Ironhelm Baruch

"There is no way that obnnoxious, whining, dragon-wannabe should beat out a thing. No meepo, no way. In the mean time, badgers rock!" -- PrometheusX

"He's got style, grace, trap-making, and a small-sized shortspear! Bring on the Meepo." -- GreatEscape 13

"Vote for Meepo. Because he's too cute." -- Flameoftheabyss

Week 7 -- 6/21 thru 6/27
Succubus Paladin vs Shuluth the Mind Flayer

"The succubus wouldn't be traveling openly as a demon, that'd cause too many unnecessary fights; she'd be polymorphed into a humanoid form. Shuluth may not realize what he's up against until it's too late." -- Andrew Smith

"Shuluth is a mastermind, and his archvillain persona would take out the do-gooder succubus before she even knew he was there. At any rate, I'd like Shuluth to win. I have a thing for mind flayers, and they make great minis, too!" -- Stephen Schubert

"Shuluth rules, all will fall before this illithid of Legends. What better way to show their might then by devouring the mind of a succubi." -- twelvedrunkenmonkeyz

"I'm in love with the concept of the redeemed villian, so I of course voted for the Succubus Paladin." -- Shayde

"People always say "be true to yourself" Shuluth is all about being the mindflayeriest mind flayer." -- lukelightening

"Let's go with that mind flayer. You have to love a creature whose round-by-round tactics in the Monster Manual end with "Round 4: Eat brains."" -- Factol Rhys

"The succubus paladin is just too cool for words. I love redeemed villains; this one is not just my pick for this week, but my pick for the entire contest." -- Timespike

"With shuluth's background story and his advancements in psionics, I believe that he pulls ahead for being a better and way more interesting character." -- gavalon

"I voted for the succubus paladin, because I would rather have an attractive reformed demoness tell me I've been naughty, than have a squid-headed alien suck my brains out." -- DDogwood

Week 6 -- 6/14 thru 6/20
Stone Giant Paladin vs Half-Celestial Unicorn

"Remember the old line, four legs good, two legs bad." -- Deadfred

"I voted for the Unicorn, I'm a dwarf at heart and no matter how much a giant is good he's still just a giant." -- Odin Olarin

"I see a lot of giant fans here, so why not throw in my own unicorn-vote? (Hey, I might make it to the quoted box, gotta love that!)" -- TúrintheMormegil

"Sanctified throwing rocks for the win. Go stone giant paladin!" -- polishhappycow

"Go stone giant paladin, you rock!!... oops, terrible pun." -- Paladin's Pride

"The Half-Celestial Unicorn is an excellent representative of good, true, but she was practically born with her hooves set upon the Paladin's path, whereas the Giant has chosen to follow it against the normal nature of his people (and probably against all advice of his fellow Giants)." -- Zovox

"A unicorn with both arcane and divine abilites that is wonderful." -- RASVIMofIO

"The stone giant just has to win. Throwing pieces of a church at bad guys is so brutally cool." -- Factol Rhys

"Voted for uni, it can be made a nice blackguard (or anti-paladin) later (and perhaps meet its own Nightmare fiancé)" -- FrozenGodPuppet

"It's hard to beat those sanctified throwing rocks. YEA! A giant in full plate flinging a church at an imp!" -- nordyboy

Week 5 -- 6/07 thru 6/13
Troll Berserker vs Grynerstempos

"I don't care how much you can regenerate, it doesn't help if your lungs have been eviscerated. Go go Gynerstempos!" -- Sidi

"I voted for the troll this week. The frenzied berserker class fits the troll mindset almost perfectly and furthers their ability to do what they do best." -- Tegarius

"Grynerstempos... is unique, as with that name comes a history and the life of a creature that could have quite an interesting campaign focused around it." -- Judicator Shekar

"A berserker who regenerates damage done to him? What could possibly be more wicked awesome than that?" -- DwarvenDruid

"Love all things related to the wispy strands of Air. To so subtly choke your enemy, sigh... there's a sense of darkness in that..." -- Ouranos Harpy

"There are those that doubt my abilities. Well here lies the true essence of evil." -- Grynerstempos

"Gaseous creatures are cool. Energy drain is cool. Energy-draining gaseous creatures are really cool." -- speeblefreak

Week 4 -- 5/31 thru 6/06
Jannys Shadowgaunt vs Xxerlflyyn

"Beholder Pirate? Awesome! What can one say about such a creature but 'eye, eye, Captain!'" -- Aneul

"My vote goes to Xxerlflyyn. Pirates, parrots, huge floating head with eye rays of doom... it's got it all!" -- ieattrollsforbreakfast

"My vote went to Jannys. What can I say, when it comes to villians, I'm a sucker for liches." -- Zevox

"I voted for Xxerlflyyn. He's just so much cuter that any old hag of a drow lich. Who wouldn't want their own zombie parrot?" -- Airsucker

"There's just something too cool about a Lich that uses a giagantic metal spider as its phylactery... Several tons of big, iron-clad goodness!" -- Drindin

Week 3 -- 5/24 thru 5/30
Warforged Ninja vs Ellithrin

" Amethyst, psychokinetic, psion-level having dragon that lairs amongst long forgotten ruins like a sorcerous naga... That's more interesting than 'super-assasin without armor penalties'" -- Enterik

"...war-forg'd nin-jaaahh... No contest at all. -- Rasmus Wagner

"My vote goes for the half-dragon naga: it's just too cool to pass over! -- TempestadiossaA

"I voted for Ellith'rin. She's got psionics, arcane might, and divine blessing. And scales. Can't beat the scales." -- bgt

"The warforged ninja got my vote because it is the perfect killer..." -- havershame_swordflinger

"I voted for ninja because well he's a freaken ninja." -- zank

Week 2 -- 5/17 thru 5/23
Marilith Dervish vs Lady Bestine

"I voted for the Dervish... Only undead and warforged characters really have a chance to deal with the dervish..." -- darktemplar51

"I voted for Lady Bestine... trouble making NPCs can be fun..." -- Mercurius

"The Maralith is going to make your day really, really bad when you run into her, just like she's supposed to." -- Sprain Ogre

"I voted dervish, mostly to vote against pixie." -- KoboldSlayer

"Answer seems simple: the little dragon wins." -- Darkmyer

"So, simply the answer is: maralith dervish" -- Siouxsie Sioux is a god

"Ah, Marilith Dervish. 6 arms... 6 ways to kill... now how cool is that?" -- Davian

Week 1 -- 5/10 thru 5/16
Tarrasque vs Gelatinous Cube

"We all know that the Cube deserves to win. He's just so much, cubier." -- koboldlord

"Tarrasque, hands down. It's the baddest killing machine out there." --bookwurm

"Vote for me!... I smell like lemons." -- Gelatinous Cube

"Gelatinous cubes all the way... there is nothing, absolutely nothing, boring about watching a warforged try to swim out of a gelatinous cube." -- wizzardman

"I'm going to have to say the Cube wins this one... Oh sure, the Tarrasque has a 3 Int and the Cube has a zero. However, I believe that zero means that the cube has reached a zen like state of intelligence thus giving it the superior edge." -- Vastion

"I voted for the Tarrasque mainly because there is only one for a good reason and because true power should always win." -- DarkDragonlord

"The Cube is just too Weak for the Tarrasque to be bothered with..." -- Manyfist

"My vote went to the Cube because it is, in a word, perfection." -- Pay2Flay

"For me it boils down to the Cube being little more than dungeon annoyance... while the Tarrasque is THE beast of Legends." -- Sprain Ogre

Succubus Paladin
Celestial Dire Badger

Grudge Matches

ARDy (the Ancient Red Dragon)

Make no mistake, if an ancient red dragon entered this competition, he would have swept his way through the finals. Who would have stopped him - Meepo? (Keeper of Dragons, my claw!) As it were, sixteen competitors battled it out to the very end, coming down to the drow lich, Jannys Shadowgaunt - and the ultimate winner, the succubus paladin, Eluducia.

While Eluducia may have won the final vote for overall favorite, there were plenty of heated arguments along the way… and plenty of tears shed for personal favorites that fell by the wayside. My personal choice was that all losers get fed to the dragon. But no! The folks at Wizards didn't have the stomach for the carnage. Instead, they decided to bring back the most popular competitors for some good old fashioned grudge matches. These creatures may not have won the competition, but they can still fight for pride.

Meepo vs. the Tarrasque

The competition's absolute engine of destruction, paragon of terror and mayhem, a creature so horrifying the world can only abide him one day out of a hundred years… versus Meepo. Fans either loved them or hated them, but there were few neutral opinions about these two - and almost everyone watching them win the top and bottom of the bracket expected they'd meet each other in the finals. That match didn't happen - but who are we to deny the players' choice? Eluducia may be the players' favorite, but there's little doubt that Meepo vs. the Tarrasque would have been the players' favorite match.

Beholder Swashbuckler vs. Warforged Ninja

It's the eternal question: pirate… or ninja? Unfortunately, both pirate and ninja took on Jannys Shadowgaunt on her road into the finals and never had a chance to meet. That is, until now...

Gelatinous Cube vs. Celestial Dire Badger

With a cry of "Badger! Badger! Badger!", as well as being the only D&D mini of the competition, we expected the CDB to go much further than the first round. Though, we also didn't think that puny Meepo would rally so many players around him - in retrospect, the badger didn't stand a chance. The Gelatinous Cube also faced a serious first-round opponent, facing off against the Tarrasque (unofficially pegged as the #1 ranked contender). Still, it gave the Tarrasque the closest match of that first round --indeed, everyone loves jello.

Grudge Match #1
51.5% Meepo (Winner)
48.5% Tarrasque
Grudge Match #2
62.7% Warforged Ninja (Winner)
37.3% Beholder Swashbuckler
Grudge Match #3
57.7% Gelatinous Cube (Winner)
42.3% Celestial Dire Badger

Discuss this week's matchups on our message boards.

There can be only one -- this perfect engine of destruction.

The Keeper of Dragons was introduced in the adventure The Sunless Citadel. He may be small and somewhat unassuming, but Vote for Meepo!
Warforged Ninja
Composite plating doesn't impede this warforged's stealth -- and immunity to sleep and exhaustion means he can wait out the city guards while concealed within the shadows.

Beholder Swashbuckler
Xxerlflyyn wears a patch over its lost central eye, and it is always seen with its zombie parrot companion.
Gelatinous Cube
Quivering, transparent plotoplasm -- this specimen last roamed the halls of Wizards of the Coast on April 1, 2005, absorbing various minis, sourcebooks, and members of the staff along its path.

Celestial Dire Badger
Celestial, dire -- and all badger, this creature flies into a berserk rage against its enemies.

Male Stone Giant Paladin
Of a usually neutral race, this stone giant is an even bigger enigma among his kind. Having left his home on a quest for status, he has taken on the noble mindset of a paladin -- and he even carries sanctified throwing rocks that he took from the walls of a ruined church.
Half-Amethyst Dragon/Iridescent Naga
As a druid and master of many forms, this half-dragon wanders the world searching for lore and new creatures -- so that it can champion them, when needed.
"Lady Bestine"
Half-Gold Dragon/Pixie
The pixie side brings out the merry prankster; the gold dragon side brings out the hatred of injustice and foul play -- and both sides are brought to bear especially against wicked travelers and misers.
Marilith Dervish
Mariliths never pass up an opportunity to fight, especially one armed with six longswords of wounding -- making her a true whirling dancer of death.
Troll Frenzied Berserker
Trolls normally have no fear of death. Yet one that runs into battle with frenzied abandon -- regenerating the damage it absorbs along the way -- evokes even greater terror than the average troll does.
Advanced Belker Soul Eater
Grynerstempos is an undeniably evil elemental from the Plane of Air, who was introduced in the online adventure Force of Nature.
Half-Celestial Unicorn
Champion for good, fierce enemy of evil, this unicorn has paladin and sorcerer levels to aid in her cause.
Mind Flayer
So insidious, diabolical, and powerful that all denizens of the dark fear his illithid kind, this mind flayer has amplified his natural psionic talents with additional psion levels.
"Jannys Shadowgaunt"
Female Drow Lich/Greater Iron Golem
Finding this drow lich's lair in the Underdark is difficult enough without bringing in the phylactery that stores her life force: A greater iron golem, cast in the shape of a giant mechanical spider, lurks somewhere in the world above.

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