Battle Preview: Earthbreaker Groon Part 2

Thanks to @Mightydubz for this art piece!

We discussed the abilities of the Earthbreaker in our Monster Analysis just under a year ago when Grog, Vax, and Scanlan first faced him in combat. From what we saw of Groon in the first bout, here’s what we know about his abilities.

Groon:

  • Level 18-20 (Monk)
  • >302 HP
  • Way of the Open Hand
    • Open Hand Technique
    • Can heal himself on an action for up to 3x Monk level HP (Wholeness of Body)
    • Tranquility (Effect of a Sanctuary Spell)
    • Quivering Palm
    • Legendary Actions
    • Legendary Resistances
    • AC 23 (Unarmored Defense = 10 + 7 DEX + 6 WIS)
    • Ki Save DC=20 (8 + 6 Prof + 6 WIS)
    • Attack bonus is at least +13
    • Damage Die 1d10
    • Proficiency in all saving throws and can reroll a fail once (Diamond Soul)
    • Immune to disease and poison (Purity of Body)
    • Can use action to end one charm or frightened effect (Stillness of Mind)
    • Can heal himself on an action for up to 51-60 HP (Wholeness of Body)
    • Evasion
    • Unarmed strikes count as magical (Ki-Empowered Strikes)
    • Understands all spoken languages and everyone understands him (Tongue of the Sun and Moon)
    • Unarmored Movement, Deflect Missiles, Slow Fall, Flurry of Blows, Whirlwind of Blows, Extra Attack, Stunning Strike, Timeless Body (does not suffer the frailty of old age), Empty Body
    • 18-20 Ki Points
    • 60 feet of movement per round

It should be noted that Mercer does not use typical player character sheets for his NPCs, opting to instead start with a standard DM “monster” sheet and enhancing the character as necessary. However, we think there’s a good chance that Earthbreaker Groon has all the abilities at his disposal of an 18th-20th level monk in addition to his legendary abilities, as well as any yet-to-be-demonstrated Mercer modifications. We already saw at least one such modification; Groon used two legendary actions in the previous fight to use a Whirlwind of Blows attack, which functioned like a Whirlwind attack in Pathfinder.

The Grog that had his beard handed to him in Episode 43 isn’t the same Grog that’s preparing to face Earthbreaker Groon now. Let’s compare.

Grog Then:

  • Level 13 (Barbarian 13)
  • 180 HP
  • Strength 17
  • +8 attack bonus (3 STR + 5 Prof)
  • Craven Edge (+2 Weapon, 2d6 Slashing with DC 12 Con Save)
  • Frenzy, Mindless, and Relentless Rage; Extra Attack; Fast Movement; Feral Instinct; Brutal Critical (2 dice); Intimidating Presence

Grog Now:

  • Level 16 (Barbarian 15 / Fighter 1)
  • 221 HP
  • Strength 24
  • +12 attack bonus (7 STR + 5 Prof)
  • Dwarven Thrower (+3 Weapon, 1d8/1d10 Bludgeoning, +1d8 Thrown)
  • Titanstone Knuckles (+1d4 damage when activated)
  • Second Wind (1d10 + 1)
  • Great Weapon Fighting (Dwarven Thrower only qualifies when wielding two-handed melee)
  • Persistent Rage, Retaliation

In the span of three levels, Grog gained a significant number of abilities granted to him by the items. It should be noted that the Titanstone Knuckles would never have been added to Grog’s strength without the existing strength and support of his allies! Speaking of those allies…

Potential Allies

By his own admission, Grog’s strength was lacking without the strength of his friends. In the previous battle, Grog was able to choose two (Pike not present). In this battle, we shall see if the rest of Vox Machina will be sidelined, or also invited into the fray.

  • Pike: Beyond any of her many capabilities, Pike would provide a morale boost for Grog- who else would you want at your side than your best buddy? Pike’s ability to heal would be massively helpful in the bout with Groon. Pike is the second strongest member of VM, which would help her succeed any Strength Saves Groon would aim her way. She has incredibly high AC (23), can’t be knocked unconscious the first time she hits 0 HP, and will deal fire damage when the Plate activates. However, she can only use Sprinter’s Boots twice, otherwise her speed is 25 feet per round, and her low Dexterity could hurt if she has to make a Dexterity Save.
  • Keyleth: Keyleth has spells for DAYS, especially with the Spire of Conflux, and a DC of 20 on all of her spells. That said, Groon has advantage on all saves and can use Evasion on any Area of Effect spells she might cast. Keyleth also has her beast shape available, so she can go Earth Elemental to take damage or Air Elemental to get out of reach.
  • Vex: Vex, with +15 to hit with Fenthras, rarely misses, and she deals a nice chunk of damage with each hit. She is, however, at disadvantage when in melee range, so Groon’s speed in the limited range of the fighting pit could be a stumbling block for her.
  • Vax: Vax has really high AC, especially when Hasted, which will help mitigate his low HP. He deals a lot of damage on sneak attack, but that’s harder to find in an open fighting ring. Luckily, Groon has to stay in melee range to hit, so Vax can use the ally being adjacent to his target to find Sneak Attack. The Deathwalker’s Ward is currently set to Necrotic (which will help against Quivering Palm).
  • Percy: Percy is in the same situation as Vex- hits often, deals a lot of damage, but has to stay out of melee range or burn Grit to cancel out disadvantage.

With the full strength of a party decked out in Vestiges, will Grog have to fight alone, choose only a few of his allies, or will Groon allow Vox Machina to engage him as one? Will Grog finally receive answers regarding the Titanstone Knuckles? Will Grog show the Earthbreaker his worth under the watch of Kord? Tune in tonight for the showdown!