You won't find a Mordenkainen Stat Block in this book, Monsters of the Multiverse.
Cover Art from Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse

If you’re looking for a Mordenkainen stat block for D&D, you’re not going to find one in any official published source. Mordenkainen makes an appearance in Curse of Strahd. In the adventure, the text recommends using the stat block for an archmage (Monster Manual, p. 342). This book also suggests an alternate spell list for Mordenkainen, which includes some of his signature spells:

Cantrips (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation, shocking grasp

1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield

2nd level (3 slots): mirror image, misty step, web

3rd level (3 slots): counterspell, fly, lightning bolt

4th level (3 slots): Mordenkainen’s faithful hound, polymorph, stoneskin

5th level (3 slots): Bigby’s hand, cone of cold, scrying

6th level (1 slot): true seeing

7th level (1 slot): Mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion

8th level (1 slot): mind blank

9th level (1 slot): time stop

Curse of Strahd Revamped, p. 39

In the adventure, Mordenkainen has been bested by Strahd von Zarovich. He’s been driven mad, and deprived of his staff and spellbook. This is not Mordenkainen at his best. Surely, the plain-hopping explorer of the multiverse is a bit tougher than your average archmage. In my experience the archmage, which clocks in at a CR 12 is not as strong as you’d want it to be. This should be a deadly encounter for a party of 4 level 8 adventurers. A reasonably equipped party of this level will find this to be a pretty easy fight.

Building a Better Mordenkainen Stat Block

The first thing to do is restore his loadout. Give him back his staff and spellbook, and a few other trinkets he would have picked up along the way.

Recommended Loadout:

  • +3 Arcane Grimoire, p. TCE, p. 120
  • Flying Carpet, 3×5, DMG p. 157
  • Robe of the Archmagi, DMG p.194
  • Staff of the Magi, DMG p.203

This suite of items would raise the archmage’s AC to 17, which is two points higher than the standard issue stat block, and frees up a spell slot that would have to be spend on mage armor to get there. The arcane grimoire gets the spell save DC up to 23 from 17. The attack bonus is now 15, up from 9. This archmage now has the ability to use arcane recovery on additional time. The Staff of the Magi give Mordenkainen access to the plane shift spell, which explains how he gets from place to place to study all those monsters. He’s gonna need to be able to fly around the astral plane as well, so a personal-sized flying carpet should do the trick.

According to the CR calculator from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, the CR for an archmage equipped this way is somewhere around 13. According to the same calculator, you have to do a lot of tweaking to get the base archmage up to an 11. I can guarantee you that an archmage with these items will be a serious challenge in combat.

Mordenkainen Stat Block Spell List

If you really want to make this archmage a killing machine, though, you’re going to need some tweaks to that spell list. The standard archmage spell list is a tragedy, plain and simple. Plus, I feel like Mordenkainen should know all the spells that are named after him. Here’s what I would suggest:

Cantrips (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand, shocking grasp

1st level (4 slots): detect magic, magic missile, shield, silvery barbs

2nd level (3 slots): mirror image, misty step

3rd level (3 slots): blink, counterspell, fly, lightning bolt

4th level (3 slots): banishment, greater invisibility, Mordenkainen’s faithful hound, Mordenkainen’s private sanctum, polymorph, stoneskin

5th level (3 slots): Bigby’s hand, cone of cold, scrying, wall of force

6th level (1 slot): true seeing

7th level (1 slot): Mordenkainen’s magnificent mansion, Mordenkainen’s sword, delayed blast fireball

8th level (1 slot): mind blank

9th level (1 slot): time stop

This spell list gives the archmage the best defense magic can provide. Mirror image and blink dramatically reduce the likelihood of getting hit. Stacked with greater invisibility, the mage can cast spells without revealing his location. Delayed blast fireball allows the weaponization of time stop. Since time stop ends when you effect the physical world, it is very difficult to use offensively. Mostly it’s there to let you run away or get prepared if you are surprised.

I could have subbed in meteor swarm for time stop. That’s a TPK waiting to happen though, so I think it’s best to leave it out. If you want to go that far, you might as well just add wish.

Suggested Mordenkainen Stat Block

Here is the Stat Block, formatted courtesy of Tetra Cube’s 5e Statblock Generator. Be careful with this one. It certainly exceeds the power of an officially published CR 13. Killing this guy will also result in an item bonanza for the wizard in your party, so maybe let him run away instead of being captured, or at least make sure his lair has some nice items for the rest of the party.

That said, this creature is still very much a glass cannon. Likely by the time a party encounters it they will have a few magical weapons and be able to overcome the resistance to physical attacks. Keep the archmage moving and out of harms way, or it will be over fast.

Let me know if there’s a character you’d like me to make a block for like these Mordenkainen 5e stats. If you’re all done here, why not check out our suggested magical item pricings or find a nice monster to swallow your players?


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