For a long time, the abishai other than the blue abishai have been a real disappointment. They hit nowhere near as hard as coliseum favorite, the red abishai. Now, with the republishing of the abishai in Mordenakainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, we finally have colleagues for the red abishai that can keep pace. I’m lookin’ at you, blue abishai!
So what’s changed? The original publishing gave the abishai a quarter staff to work with, along with a lightening-laced bite. The bite was pretty good, but the quarterstaff was nothing to write home to Tiamat about. It came with a pretty decent load out of spells. It had 3 slots for lightning bolt, and 1 for chain lightning. It’s got a 7th level slot for teleport. I’ve used them a good bit on combat, and in my opinion, that whole package is pretty weak tea for a CR 17.
New Blue Abishai
This new one though, it packs some heat. 2 innate casts of Greater Invisibility. The quarter staff and the lightning spells are gone, replaced with a 120 ft ranged lightning attack that deals 8d8 of lightning damage. You can’t hit multiple targets with it like the lightning and chain lightning spells, but you to get to shoot 3 times.
The combination of greater invisibility and the ranged lightning attack is brutal. You can shoot and then move and get out of the way of the PCs. 8d8 is a ton of damage, and something invisible bumping out that much damage puts the fear in players. This revised creature’s loadout is really well focused to act as a sniper. Combined with a red abishai to engage the PCs at close quarters, you’ve got a real bad situation.