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The Artificer class from Unearthed Arcana gains a so-called Mechanical Servant at level 6. It adopts the stats of a beast of CR 2 or lower and makes a few changes (such as changing the type to construct or gaining darkvision). See the linked document for details.

The question arises: which beasts are a valid choice for this feature? An answer to this question could serve many future readers considering to play as an Artificer. Of course, the ultimate goal here would be getting the most out of this feature, mechanically speaking. However, doing so requires knowledge of what is even available for choice at all, which can be a daunting task if you want to consider all beasts in all rule books.

Here is the relevant passage from the UA document:

Select a Large beast with a challenge rating of 2 or less. The servant uses that beast’s game statistics, but it can look however you like, as long as its form is appropriate for its statistics. It has the following modifications: [...]

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see why this question gets downvoted - it appears like a "list" question, which would be off-topic. I would like to refer you to this meta post, however, which explicitly "permits" (for lack of a better term) questions that ask for finite, objective lists (such as a list of 4e rulebooks). \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 26 '18 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also note that, if the general overwhelming consensus is that this question is off-topic, I will not hesitate to delete it myself. Otherwise, I think it would be really helpful to provide this list for future readers. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 26 '18 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ downvotes don't mean off-topic, that's what close votes are for. I guess people don't find your question useful or maybe lacks research effort or something? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 May 26 '18 at 14:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster in my experience people are for some reason opposed to self-answer questions without a reasin. Perhaps if you include a reason you asked this question for yourself (or someone else) and then did the research it will be better received. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron May 26 '18 at 17:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster Self-answering doesn't affect whether a question shows research effort. You're relying on people to notice that the answer is a self-answer and then to use that to update their vote to what's an otherwise poor question. Our userbase isn't that technically literate, I don't think, even if there's consensus that such behavior is appropriate, which I'm not sure there is. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer May 26 '18 at 18:48
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I will list all valid beasts below, ordered by their appearance in each book and sorted by source.

Creatures with fly speed or swim speed (none of which are forbidden by the description in the Artificer class) will be marked accordingly. Creatures with other noteworthy traits (such as being unable to breathe outside of water or possessing an innate climb speed) will have a note attached.

Monster Manual

  • Allosaurus CR2, p. 79
  • Plesiosaurus CR2, p. 80
  • Axe Beak, CR1/4, p. 317
  • Brown Bear, CR1, p. 319 (climb speed)
  • Camel, CR1/8, p. 320
  • Constrictor Snake, CR1/4, p. 320
  • Crocodile, CR1/2, p. 320
  • Dire Wolf, CR1, p. 321
  • Draft Horse, CR1/4, p. 321
  • Elk, CR1/4, p. 322
  • Giant Bat, CR1/4, p. 323
  • Giant Boar, CR2, p. 323
  • Giant Eagle, CR1, p. 324
  • Giant Goat, CR1/2, p. 326
  • Giant Hyena, CR1, p. 326
  • Giant Lizard, CR1/4, p. 326 (climb speed)
  • Giant Octopus, CR1, p. 326 (can only breathe underwater)
  • Giant Owl, CR1/4, p. 327
  • Giant Sea Horse, CR1/2, p. 328 (can only breathe underwater, no walking speed)
  • Giant Spider, CR1, p. 328 (climb speed (including ceilings))
  • Giant Toad, CR1, p. 329
  • Giant Vulture, CR1, p. 329
  • Hunter Shark, CR2, p. 330 (can only breathe underwater, no walking speed)
  • Lion, CR1, p. 331
  • Polar Bear, CR2, p. 334
  • Rhinoceros, CR2, p. 336
  • Riding Horse, CR1/4, p. 336
  • Saber-Toothed Tiger, CR2, p. 336
  • Tiger, CR1, p. 339
  • Warhorse, CR1/2, p. 340

Volo's Guide To Monsters

  • Hadrosaurus, CR1/4, p. 140
  • Aurochs, CR2, p. 207
  • Cow, CR1/4, p. 207

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

There are no beasts in this book.

Tales from the Yawning Portal

Giant Crayfish CR2, p.235

Storm King's Thunder

Crag Cat, CR1, p.240 (spell turning, nondetection, lowish stats for CR 2, stealth expertise, special crawford tweet)

Other sources

Apparently, some of the Adventurer's League books feature their own, exclusive creatures. I don't have any of those books - anyone who does, feel free to add them to this list.



The following is a somewhat subjective rating. You might want to use a creature not listed below if you're looking for specific traits or features.

Aside from that, these are what I consider the strongest or most versatile creatures (top 5 are emphasized):

  • Plesiosaurus: Highest HP, decent damage, land+swim speed. Not sure why it has a walking speed, that makes it somewhat cheesy to choose.
  • Polar Bear: decent stats with the highest damage; land creature with swim speed
  • Hunter Shark (water only! 30ft blindsight, adv. on hurt creatures)
  • Brown Bear: only relevant if you want climb speed, has otherwise inferior stats
  • Giant Spider: even worse stats than the Brown Bear stats, but can climb ceilings, has Web and blindsight
  • Giant Eagle or Giant Vulture: the latter has Pack Tactics and better senses, the eagle has otherwise better stats, including a higher fly speed
  • Allosaurus: Among the highest HP, decent damage, highest land speed.
  • Saber-Toothed Tiger: Among the highest HP, average damage, has Keen Smell and Pounce (DC14)
  • Crag Cat: Immunity to magical detection plus stealth expertise plus spell turning make this by far the best option for characters looking to sneak around with their hulking mechanical servitor (or have their hulking mechanical servitor sneak around for them), especially at higher levels. Be aware the spell reflection applies even to spells you cast to buff it, where applicable, and that this creature's (pretending to be) only CR1 so it can't keep up in combat with e.g. the Allosaurus.
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    \$\begingroup\$ As newer versions of the Artificer or rulebooks containing beasts are released, I will adjust this list as necessary. Feel free to notify me with a comment or to edit yourself, should I fail to update it quickly. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster May 26 '18 at 14:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you go to dndbeyond you can filter all the monsters by type, CR, size, and sourcebook. dndbeyond.com/… \$\endgroup\$ – diego May 26 '18 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @diego Please don't comment answer; that's a fine answer to this question on its own. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer May 26 '18 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I wasn't intending it to be an answer, but a place PixelMaster could find the few beasts that they don't have the books for. \$\endgroup\$ – diego May 26 '18 at 19:00

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