Monster Analysis: Cobalt Golem

Thanks to @jessejlarson for the art!

  • Armor Class 21
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Immune to poison, psychic, fire, and nonmagical, non-adamantine physical damage
  • Immune to charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, and poisoned
  • Suggested Average, max HP (Iron Golem): 210, 300
  • 233 taken before Grog kicked it out the window (HDYWTDT)

The Cobalt Golem, a mindless entity at the beck and call of J’Mon Sa Ord, was one of many that guards the Cerulean Palace. The constructs are a strong demonstration of Ank’Harel’s might, forming an impressive guard for a palace whose kingdom is guarded by an ancient brass dragon.

The emperor enlisted the golem to provide a test of Vox Machina’s ability, to demonstrate that the party members were more than strong-willed humanoids running into a fool’s errand. While not nearly as formidable as the Chroma Conclave, the golem did provide an adequate challenge.

Cobalt vs. Iron Golem

The Cobalt Golem used the Monster Manual’s Iron Golem as a template, albeit with increased size (huge instead of large), armor class (21 instead of 20) and difficulty classes (Poison Breath Con Save DC 20 instead of 19).

The golem only dealt a total of four attacks in the battle:

  • Poison Cloud (55 poison to Vex and Kiki, 27 to Scanlan)
  • Sword Attack of Opportunity (29 slashing to Vex)
  • Poison Cloud (50 poison to Vex, halved 25 to Grog)
  • Slam Attack of Opportunity (halved 30 bludgeoning to Vax)

Although we did not get to see its multiattack because it used its Poison Breath both actions, its slam and sword attack damages seemed comparable to the Iron Golem’s. Its stats also appear to be fairly textbook (e.g., +7 Str, -1 Dex).

We also did not see Fire Absorption in play. However, Matt did inquire which daggers Vax was using for each attack. We anticipate that had Vax actually made any contact with the flametongue dagger (three fortunate misses!), the golem would have absorbed the fire damage as health. This would not have been enough to significantly heal the creature, but probably just enough to negate some of Percy’s Hex damage, heh heh.

Vox Machina’s Strategy

In terms of damage, Percy had the roughest time this fight due to his unenchanted weapons. However, where he failed in dealing damage, he made up for in status effects (which is impressive, considering the number of immunities a golem has). While Hex allowed the gunslinger to chip in the occasional necrotic damage, the real benefit was forcing the golem to roll with disadvantage on its strongest stat check. Also, between the sword and the slam, the sword was the more potent of the golem’s physical attacks. Disarming the entity of its weapon ended up saving Vax from an even more brutal critical attack.

Vex’s positioning proved the worst for her constitution this fight. Between taking two full blasts of the poison breath and a solid attack of opportunity from its sword, she suffered the most direct damage. Ironically, the twins only contributed two things to this battle: damage to the golem and taking the attacks of opportunity. While the former proved less than useful in the end due to the method of the golem’s defeat, the latter meant that only Vex would ultimately fall in this fight, sparing Keyleth from its wrath in the first round.

Scanlan, Grog, Keyleth’s, and Percy’s combined efforts all helped to end the battle early. Grog and Keyleth successfully pushed the golem back thanks to the forced disadvantage from Percy’s Hex. Scanlan brought Vex back to consciousness and opened up the window so the golem would have a place to fall, thus granting Grog an appropriate setting for the damageless HDYWTDT. (It should be noted that the golem itself didn’t take any damage from the fall due to the nonmagical nature of falling damage. But a victory is a victory!)