Monster Analysis: Fire Elementals

  • First Appearance: 22 AraMente to Pyrah
  • Armor Class 13
  • Challenge Rating: 5 each (MM), ~11 (CR)
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 10
  • Immune to Fire and Poison damage
  • Immune to exhaustion, grapple, paralysis, petrification, poison, prone, restrained, unconscious
  • Resistant to nonmagical physical weapons
  • Speed 50 ft.
  • Avg/Max HP: 102/156
  • Cerkonos: 232 received, 41 finishing blows by Vax 
  • Elemental 2: 108 received, 17 finishing blow by Tiberius
  • Elemental 3: 106 received, 35 finishing blows by Percy

As we saw in combat, fire spreads. When inflicted, failed saving throws forced party members to spend a turn making sure it didn’t consumer their clothing. Melee attacks against it also splash fire back at the attacker. The elementals could have also attempted to occupy the same space as their opponents, automatically setting the creature on fire. (We saw Keyleth attempt the Water Elemental equivalent, which would have grappled if Fire Elementals were capable of being grabbed.)

Fire Elementals are susceptible to water, as Keyleth pointed out. This should not be confused with vulnerability, as Fire Elementals are not vulnerable to anything. This susceptibility adds an extra point of cold damage for every water-based attack it takes. Tiberius’s glacial blasts were also only as effective as their base values, but were certainly more useful in the battle than an array of fireballs.

The three druids-as-fire-elementals were also much more preferable to an ancient red dragon, who, even without its HP amplified as Rimefang’s was, would have had a challenge rating of 24, minus lair actions. Such an encounter would likely have resulted in a chase instead of a battle, both due to the party’s relatively under-leveled abilities and the fact that the episode ran long without the added encounter. Plus, the approaching storm would have added to the urgency, and Keyleth would possibly have to reattempt her AraMente.

It’s difficult to pick an MVP from this battle. The minor elementals received the majority of their damage from Vex, whose focus allowed the rest of the team to concentrate their efforts on Cerkonos. Vax’s magical daggers inflicted the most damage against Cerkonos. The elementals did not really concentrate their attacks, allowing the trial to be a story-oriented encounter over a grand challenge. (And if I may be less objective and number-oriented here, Marisha did an amazing job this episode.)