WizKids has just released 3 sets of prepainted Critical Role themed D&D miniatures, all revolving around Monsters of Wildemount. The three sets, Monsters of Wildemount 1, 2 and the Udaak Premium Figure, are sold separately, and aim to bring memorable monsters to 3D life for your next D&D campaign. From a gloomstalker, past the husk zombie, to a core spawn seer, a range of creatures are included. These can slot into your tabletop campaign, straight out of the box. However, are these aimed at just Critical Role fans or for all dungeon masters? Let’s find out!
The previous wave of Critical Role miniatures focused on the factions and the people that might be found in Wildemount, NPCs or even miniatures for playable characters. Unless you’re part of an extremely homebrewed campaign, none of the included monsters will be playable. Still, parties of heroes venturing through Wildemount can certainly stumble across these monsters while playing.
The first set of Wildemount monsters includes nine miniatures. Three Core Spawn’s (a Crawler, Emissary and Seer) make the cut, being bug-like monsters. Normally subterranean servants, these core spawns wouldn’t be out of place in other magical Dungeons and Dragons locations, especially the recently released Wild Beyond The Witchlight book. Being just variants of monsters the Shadowghast and Husk Zombie can be used easily as their “normal” counterparts, adding visual variety to the mob train directed towards adventurers. Interestingly, the shadowghast is taller in height to the ghast found in the Boneyard Icons of the Realms set, akin to the size difference between humans and goliaths. Thankfully, it’s not an issue – as it’s not out of the realms of size differences.
Three Aeorian monsters, an Absorber, Nullifier and a Reverser, are also included. Of these the Nullifier is the easiest to use across different campaigns – the bright colourings of the others make them stand out and not necessarily in a good reusable way. With so many mouths and teeth, the Nullifier’s sculpt makes it instantly stand out as something adventurers won’t enjoy taking on. The largest miniature of the box is the Nergaliid, an original creation from Critical Role’s Matthew Mercer. Described as a frog-like demon, with frog/crocodile-like green skin, the miniature has red transparent plastic used to show the powers it’s using, doing this epic monster justice.
In the Monsters of Wildemount 2 set only 7 miniatures are included, though 5 of them are large monsters in size. With a bit of a water theme to some of the monsters the water-based Swavain Basilisk will surely be the first noticed. With a bright yellow body, this basilisk is bursting from water, with the water actually sculpted around it – with the contrast of the light blue water with the yellow basilisk only highlighting the monster. To get a bit wet alongside it are a Sea Fury, a Sahuagin Warlock of Uk’otoa and a Merrow Shallowpriest – all of which can breathe underwater. This means they’d work in campaigns aboard pirate ships or perhaps those that take adventurers to dodgy docks.
One that will catch the attention of players after the basilisk is the Gearkeeper Construct. With a huge amount of resistances and immunities, these constructs have many sword equipped hands, ready to multiattack a party. It feels like the odd constructs that players find in the likes of the Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, so should also be useable outside of a Wildemount setting. The final two minis, a Gloomstalker and Moorbounder, fit the look of Wildemount, being quirky looking monsters – though still could be thrown at any adventuring party.
All of the miniatures come pre-painted, with a selection of them utilizing transparent plastic elements. The paint jobs on the miniatures are of high quality and help to highlight the designs. The colours on some of the miniatures, such as the Aeorian Absorber and the Swavian Basilisk, make them stand out. For the times players encounter these dangerous creatures they’ll be memorable, though it isn’t always good for a monster miniature to stick out in players’ minds as using it more frequently then becomes harder. Regardless, the quality of the paint job is there allowing them to instantly hit the table once unboxed.
Alongside the two monster boxes is the Udaak Premium Figure. Sold separately, this is a massive miniature, seemingly a description that contradicts itself. Alongside the recent adult dragon miniatures from WizKids it is about as tall, but it is a big bulky monster and is relatively heavy to lift in comparison. This height and bulk makes the Udaak a Gargantuan fiend.
The sculpt design helps to sell the size with a looming stance, and a stretched arm showing the range of potential deathly grapples. With long, flowing, deep brown fur the Udaak has an extreme bigfoot-like look from behind, before noticing that it has many more limbs. The red eyes as noted in the Wildemount Bestiary make the Udaak’s face appear as intense as it deserves.
To put the size in context, Udaaks can swallow large or below sized creatures, meaning Ogres, Young Dragons and Trolls are all at risk – let alone adventurers! Alongside this extremely dangerous bite the Udaak is also immune to the likes of poison and non-magical bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. So it is safe to suggest that the Udaak, with its challenge rating of 16, will be a tough task to take down for any adventuring party – perhaps just run the other way.
Monsters of Wildemount 1, 2 and the Udaak sets are certainly going to please Critical Role fans, but many of the miniatures will get used both in and outside of Wildemount. The Udaak is the gargantuan model and what will wow players, though even the medium sized miniatures of the sets come with some stunning sculpts. Of the sets, while the Udaak will create a phenomenal boss fight, the Monster of Wildemount set 1 is a little more versatile, and coming with more miniatures it makes it feel a little better value. Nevertheless, these are a range of miniatures that many dungeon masters will love to have in their arsenal.
(Editor’s Note: The Critical Role Monsters of Wildemount sets were provided to us by Asmodee for the review. They are currently available from local board game stores! Find your local store here.)