The cast of Critical Role has faced down a lot of powerful villains over the course of the Mighty Nein campaign. From the very beginning of their adventures, it was clear that they would be fighting enemies just as powerful as the ones in the previous campaign with Vox Machina. But no one fully expected just how many powerful enemies the party would have to face.
The campaign is filled with a multitude of monsters and evil beings bent on destroying the Mighty Nein and everything they hold dear. None of these villains are easy to defeat, despite some having obvious weaknesses. Although Vox Machina had some prominent NPC villains, the villains in the Mighty Nein campaign are also extremely prominent and contain a lot of power within them.
10 Gear Warden
Each Critical Role campaign seems to involve some sort of odd enemy for the party to fight and the Gear Warden was one such enemy. Built to protect Gearhole Prison from any mass breakouts, it was a large construct filled with deadly weapons to defeat any attack that might come. But a fatal flaw that it contains prevents it from being ranked any higher.
While the Gear Warden had multiple blade arms that could be used as both blades and projectiles, the entire construct is powered by a magic core. Should the core be breached, the machine would lose power. The most intelligent player characters in Critical Role could easily figure this weakness out and exploit it to defeat the machine instantly. This leaves the Gear Warden to be a powerful foe, but one that can easily be defeated.
Sneaky villains can be just as dangerous as those with brute force and raw power on their side, as Jourrael easily proved. The assassin showed off her power easily in her first fight with the Mighty Nein, where she constantly phased into the ground after every sneak attack to avoid retaliation.
Her other abilities, such as multiple resistances and immunities, make her an even more dangerous enemy to fight, and her poison daggers could cause a great amount of damage. However, with the help of one of the top NPCs in Critical Role and with a lot of patience, the Mighty Nein are able to drive her off. She is powerful for sure, but her attacks can be predicted and prepared for, making her overall threat level drop significantly, especially when compared to other villains.
Avantika was the captain of the Squalleater and a fiercely loyal servant to Uk’otoa. As such, she came into conflict with the Mighty Nein during their adventures. She proved to be a dangerous enemy, especially with the number of spells and abilities she had thanks to her service to Uk’otoa.
Her intelligence also made her a powerful foe, being able to see through most lies and deceptions. Her determination to free Uk’otoa also drives her to eliminate anyone that gets in her way, including the Mighty Nein. However, in one of the best episodes of the Critical Role campaign, despite all her power, Avantika was overwhelmed by the party, captured, and executed. Even her return as an undead failed to show that she was more powerful than some of the other villains the Mighty Nein fought both before and after.
Back in Campaign One, Vox Machina fought Vorugal, a white dragon that was a member of the Chroma Conclave. Seen in the above fan art from runningcritter1, Gelidon was another white dragon that was in a courtship with him and eventually fought the Mighty Nein. While she wasn’t nearly as powerful as Vorugal was, she still posed a big threat, given that she was, of course, a dragon.
Far from being a classic low-level monster in D&D, dragons are always difficult to fight. White dragons, in particular, can be annoying, especially with their ice breath. Gelidon was no different, and her strengths are easily her massive size and her ice breath. However, while she is a dragon, her limited appearances in the campaign mean that no one really saw her full potential, and there were plenty of other villains that proved to be even bigger threats.
One of the earliest big threats to the Mighty Nein was Lorenzo, the leader of the Iron Shepards. Almost immediately, he proved his brutality by capturing Jester, Yasha, and Fjord before killing Mollymauk with ease. He was a brutal warrior that tore the party apart without batting an eye, making him an extremely powerful enemy to fight.
Part of what made Lorenzo such a powerful threat was his strength. He was strong enough to kill one of the best player characters in Critical Role and even survived being lit on fire. While his strength and durability were a great asset to him, a key weakness – that being overconfidence – led to his defeat and death. Still, he posed a massive and deadly threat to the party, even though he didn’t last too long overall.
Dieter was a massive dragon turtle that pursued the Mighty Nein during their sea voyage to Rumblecusp. While the fight with him was brief and ended in a quick victory for the party, the creature did more than enough to prove himself extremely powerful, as seen in the above fan art from BlackSalander.
Dieter was fast enough to catch up to the party’s ship and large enough to do significant damage to the hull. Even after being polymorphed into a harmless sea turtle, he still pursued the ship, intent on taking what he wanted. He may not be the scariest monster in D&D, but his relentless pursuit of his prey, no matter what happened to him, makes for a dangerous and powerful enemy that even the Mighty Nein might not be able to stop.
Vokodo was a morkoth that kept the people of Rumblecusp mind washed and enslaved to his wills and desires. He was greedy, demanding, and quick to anger, and with a large array of abilities at his disposal, he proved to be a powerful fighter as well.
Vokodo could cause fire damage every few seconds in his lair, use spells like hypnosis, and had multiple different resistances to make him even more difficult to fight. Even the Mighty Nein, with some of the most overpowered character builds in Critical Role history, barely were able to take him down for good, and they were nearly killed in the process. Given that the original plan was to get Dieter to fight Vokodo for them, it shows just how scared of the morkoth’s power the party really was.
3 The Laughing Hand
The Laughing Hand quickly became one of the most iconic villains in Critical Role history thanks to its odd appearance and wild power levels. It may seem like a normal creature at first, but its unhinged laughter can cause nearby characters to be afflicted with the effect. What’s more, if it takes slashing or piercing damage, even more mouths grow to increase the volume of the laughter.
The fight with the Laughing Hand quickly became one of the best fights in Critical Role, especially since he could not be killed by any means. This was due to his heart being on another plane, ensuring that he wouldn’t die, no matter what. He was ruthless, deadly, and more powerful and horrifying than he appeared. Few villains outclass him in strength and power, with the Laughing Hand’s only weakness against him being that the destruction of his heart made him a much weaker and easier foe to beat.
Right from the start, Obann proved to be a ruthless villain, able to dominate Yasha and force her to do his bidding relatively easily and having control over other powerful foes like the Laughing Hand. But these aren’t the only reasons why Obann is such a big threat. His other abilities also showed just how strong he really was and how hard he was to beat.
Being one of the best villains in Critical Role, Obann was not afraid to sacrifice even subordinates to continue his goal. His charm spells got the best of several members of the Mighty Nein multiple times, as well. But, when he became Obann the punished, he was even more difficult to kill for good, having access to several legendary actions and dealing out massive damage. In fact, thanks to the party’s weakened state, they may have all died if Jourrael hadn’t come to their aid, proving just how powerful he really was.
Out of all the villains that the Mighty Nein faced during their campaign, the most powerful was certainly Lucien. Inhabiting the body of the party’s former friend, Mollymauk, made him even more difficult to kill due to their ties to him. But the raw power that he had truly shows off why he was so hard to defeat.
Character deaths are something Critical Roleexcels at, especially when it comes to Molly’s death and resurrection as Lucien. Lucien himself possessed enormous power and a wide array of spells, many of which came from the Eyes of Nine. He was fully powered in nearly every form of attack, and the added weight of the party essentially fighting their former friend and giving up any chance of bringing him back simply made it even hard to kill Lucien for good.
More: Why You Should Never Run D&D Like Legend Of Vox Machina Source: runningcritter1/Twitter, BlackSalander/Twitter, Robson Michel/Twitter