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D&D: Five Monsters That Make for Excellent Ambushers

3 Minute Read
May 11 2024

When things get quiet – like, too quiet – it’s time for an ambush. These five D&D monsters make for excellent ambushers.

D&D is a game of expectations and pacing. You’re walking in the woods looking for adventure. And sometimes you find it. Sometimes, it finds you. You can be walking along, and that vine turns out to be a snake! Or an assassin vine! Suddenly, things are a lot more interesting.

Nothing says “paying attention now!” like a surprise attack. And D&D is rife with monsters that work best when they’re able to lurk in the shadows. Try one of these monsters and see how they shake up your game, especially with Spelljammer right around the corner. Nobody expects to be ambushed… in space!

Abominable Yeti

These beasts make excellent stalkers when your party strays into snowbound lands. With a Snow Camouflage ability that grants them an advantage on their stealth checks and a keen sense of smell that can allow them to stalk prey for miles before striking in a flurry of claw attacks and its signature chilling gaze, this hits hard and can run away swiftly, climbing up out of the party’s line of sight if need be.


Darklings are fey creatures introduced in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. The basic one comes with a +7 stealth score, deals 2d6 points of sneak attack damage atop the standard 5, and when it dies, it might blind foes. These make for perfect stealth assassins, and if you want a harder challenge, try a Darkling Elder.

Invisible Stalker

A classic D&D monster with some of the best art we’ve never seen, the Invisible Stalker is a D&D tradition. How do you kill something that you can’t see? The next time you feel like busting out something a little Predator feeling, the Invisible Stalker is a great choice.


When you’re delving in caves, remember it’s stalagMITE because the ones on the ground MIGHT be a Roper. These tentacle monsters are vulnerable if they are surrounded, but if they pick and choose carefully, they can drag foes to their doom and keep them grappled and trappled.


Finally, a simple monster from the basic rules… Scouts are everything you want in a skirmisher ready to ambush a party. At CR 1/2, they make for great low-level opponents who can punch above their weight thanks to their multiattack. Have a few stealthed and at range, and you’ll be peppering your party from long range (with advantage) while they waste precious rounds rushing their positions.

These are just a few great ambush monsters… what are yours? Let us know in the comments!


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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