I got the chance to run the Tree Blight from Curse of Strahd, and it easily made the hotlist on its first match. A brand-new favorite monster! So, what make this blight so good?
The tree blight, like any other blight, is the spawn of a gulthias tree. In D&D lore, this tree is born when a stake, driven into the heart of a vampire, sprouts into a tree. These evil plants may be born whenever a tree is infected with a malevolent mind. They spawn minions, hateful blights that hunt animals for food.
Smaller blights are fun in combat, but the Tree versions bring things to a whole new level they attack four times with their multiattack. Two of the attacks are made with their roots, grapple the target on a hit. With a grappled target, the blight can make its bite attack as a bonus action. With the bite, this stacks up to a grand total of 69 damage per round.
Tree Blight in Your Campaign
I love this monster for its strength in combat, but it’s a great option for a campaign as well. The monster is indistinguishable from a dead tree when it is stationary, making it a great inclusion in your adventure’s trip through the woods. Drop it on your players early as a way to add tension as they traverse the woods. Alternatively, you can set it up as a guardian, and only allow it to move as far as the edge of the forest. It’ll keep your players out of the woods until they’re ready for the challenge.
Another fun option would be to have one of these creatures smash its way into a town the party is staying in. After they defeat it, they have a tough choice. Something spawned the monstrosity, and this evil and will continue to spread in the forest. The town is safe for now, but for how long?
Wanna know what other monsters are on my Hotlist? Or, maybe instead of the deadliest you want monsters that provide interesting challenges in and out of combat? Check out my Blocklist.