Monster Analysis: Clarota (Mind Flayer Arcanist)

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  • First Appearance: 03 Strange Bedfellows
  • Armor Class 15
  • Darkvision 120 ft, Passive 16
  • Speed 30 ft
  • 10th-level Int-based arcane spellcaster
  • 88 damage taken, 22 killing blow by Percy

Clarota was shunned from his colony as an arcanist, considered a deviant from the strictly psionic spellcasting abilities of his peers. This rejection from the colony also saved him from the initial assault of K’Varn, as well as prevented Clarota’s mental enslavement by way of the Elder Brain (thanks to his helmet). 

Clarota primarily favors Mind Blast, the most powerful ranged spell possessed by all illithid. In addition to standard mind flayer psionic spells, however, Clarota also appears to have the complete standard list of Mind Flayer Arcanist (wizard) spells at his disposal (MM 222). These spells are shown to be more useful than many psionic attacks against many creatures of the Underdark, including the bulette and K’Varn himself. However, Extract Brain proves to be adequately useful against the General, and Mind Blast works rather effectively against the gnomes when Clarota is once again brought back into the fold of his colony.

Interestingly, Matt stated in a Q&A that Clarota’s inclusion was originally intended to be another encounter for the party, an Easter egg to show off the abilities of a magically enhanced but physically weakened mind flayer before the party entered the capital of Yug’Voril itself. Thanks to the diplomatic approach of the party’s flying carpet renegades, Vox Machina found a temporary ally with at least one common goal, someone who provided some knowledge and much support on the path to defeating K’Varn.