Dungeons and Dragons has come a long way since it was introduced in 1974. Today, its popularity and legacy remain a major source of inspiration within the fantasy genre. Paramount Studios is even currently developing a new movie adaptation set to be released in the summer of 2021.
When it comes to D&D, no other creature symbolizes the essence of the game better than dragons. Even among experts, dragons are a living nightmare for any players foolish enough to challenge them without proper preparation. Of course, with their name featured in the title, it makes sense that they can't be beaten so easily. Here is a list featuring 10 of the Most Powerful Dragons in Dungeons and Dragons.
10 Ancient Dragons
Ancient dragons are recognized as some of the most powerful dragons in D&D. Among the many types, the two that stand out are the red and gold dragons. These two dragons are more or less equals in terms of strengths. Ancient red dragons are ferocious creatures known for their cruel, vengeful and avaricious natures. If their pride is wounded, they won’t hesitate to cause mass destruction in their wake.
On the other hand, ancient gold dragons are stark contrasts to their red counterparts. They are admired and respected for their righteous nature and will not stop until they have wiped out any malevolent force that dares to threaten them.
When it comes to the ancient dragons, none are more horrific than Klauth. While he may look like your average red dragon, he is a far superior evil compared to the rest of his ancient brethren. Klauth is most infamous for killing other ancient dragons that rival or threaten to surpass his own power. As a result, he is without question the strongest of all the ancient dragons. He even has the power to cast spells. With the might of a dragon and the wisdom of even the most experienced wizard, Klauth is one of the most feared and brutal creatures in D&D.
Compared to other dracoliches, Dragotha stands at the pinnacle of undead dragons. According to the Draconomicon—Chromatic Dragons, Dragotha was once a consort to the evil dragon goddess, Tiamat. After he was killed for slaying one of her offspring, he was later revived as a dracolich by the powerful priest Kyuss. Dragotha currently resides in the shadow of the White Plume Mountain in the World of Greyhawk campaign. He is level 31 with over 1,400 hit points and has the power to literally drain the life of all living beings that come near him. Even the bravest heroes tremble with fear when faced with Dragotha's unholy presence.
Native to the world of Athas from the Dark Sun campaign, this dragon is somewhat different from the other members of its race. Originally, this dragon was once the Sorcerer King of Ur Draxa, Borys of Ebe. Following the way of the defilers, Borys fueled his powers by sacrificing the life force of other living creatures. His powers eventually grew to the point where he was able to transform himself into a dragon. By doing so, he not only obtained the power of the ancient dragons, but also enhanced his own psionic abilities. Overall, Borys is a powerful foe with the strength of a fortieth level character.
The demise of Borys in the Prism Pentad series brought a sense of hope and relief to the inhabitants of Athas. However, their hope was soon shattered following the return of the Undead-Dragon King Dregoth. In the Dregoth Ascending trilogy, Dregoth spent over two millennia traveling across the multiverse thanks to the powers of the Planar Gate. Over the course of his travels, he discovered the presence of True Gods and studied their divine nature and power. Upon his return, he had become so powerful that he was close to being considered the first true dragon god of Athas.
Bahamut, also known as the Platinum Dragon or King of the Good Dragons, is one of the nine dragon deities. According to the Draconomicon–Metallic Dragons, he often appears as an old man and searches for players he deems worthy. He is always accompanied by seven gold dragons, disguised as canaries, that he can summon to fight alongside him. As an old man and a dragon, Bahamut is level 36 with over 1,600 and 1,300 hit points respectively. He is able to teleport, can use several breath attacks and can summon an aspect of himself to fight players. With such overwhelming power, Bahamut is nothing short of a force of nature.
As the goddess of all evil dragons, Tiamat is pretty much the antithesis to her twin brother Bahamut. Tiamat is one of the most powerful bosses in Dungeons and Dragons and appears in several settings, like the Dragonlance. According to the Draconomicon—Chromatic Dragons, Tiamat possesses several abilities that Bahamut does not. She is level 35 with over 1,600 hit points and possesses more resistances than her brother. Tiamat is also able to roll initiatives five times and can attack players with all five of her heads at once. The worst part is that even if Tiamat is defeated, she will eventually return to spread chaos across the multiverse.
3 Great Wyrm Force Dragon
With their ability to manipulate force energy, force dragons are some of the biggest threats in D&D. However, upon reaching the level of Great Wyrm, they became almost impossible to defeat. In the Epic Level Handbook, a great wyrm force dragon’s challenge rating is 59 and has an armor class of 102. Its special abilities include their immunity to force effects, turning invisible, as well as being able to cast 36th level spells. When it goes on the offensive, its breath weapon is capable of inflicting 60d12 damage. With such overwhelming power, only certain deities and a great wyrm prismatic dragon come close to matching it.
2 Great Wyrm Prismatic Dragon
Introduced in the third edition of D&D, a great wyrm prismatic dragon is one of the strongest creatures ever created. The Epic Level Handbook pretty much describes this dragon as a nigh unstoppable killing machine.
Its challenge rating is 66 with an armor class of 106 and over 2,000 hit points. Its breath weapon surpasses that of the force dragon’s and has the power to cast 38th level spells.
At this stage, a great wyrm prismatic dragon’s power is a potential match for even certain deities. Any players that manage to defeat one are pretty much guaranteed to be immortalized as living legends.
Io, also known as Asgorath, is described in D&D lore as the absolute creator of all dragons, including the great wyrms and dragon deities. One myth from the fourth edition states that Io created the dragons after his battle with Erek-Hus, the Primordial King of Terror. Although the battle ended with him getting split in two, both Bahamut and Tiamat were born from the two halves of his body.
Even without his body, Io’s consciousness still remains. He continues to watch over his children and will even personally intervene if the situation demands it. According to the Draconomicon, Io can appear as any type of dragon, including a great wyrm.