The 5 Best D&D Miniatures

One of my favorite things about role playing games, and Dungeons and Dragons in particular, is the miniature. While I have an active imagination, I'm also a very visual person. I enjoy having physical representations of characters in the game to place on maps during encounters, or sometimes, just to have on a shelf and admire. I also enjoy painting (or re-painting) minis and find it to be an important part of my RPG experience. There are a lot of minis that I really like, but I thought I'd narrow it down to the five that I like the very most.

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5. Red Dragon

What puts the second 'D' in D&D? Dragons! Of all the dragon minis, even the gargantuan ones, this one is my favorite. I like this guy because he's such an iconic creature that is synonymous with the game. He's also small enough to fit on most any grid map and in the totes I use to take minis to game days. I also love the pose he's in. Some gamers have dubbed it the "Hi kids!" pose, but I find it more interesting than the usual snarling, about to pounce pose that you see dragon minis in. He's great for quests that involve a good, ole fashioned raiding of a dragon's lair.

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4. Beholder Ultimate Tyrant

When you want to bring out the big guns without covering half the map, he's your guy. Despite not being in the name, beholders are the quintessential D&D monster and were even created by Gary Gygax rather than simply borrowed from pre-existing fantasy sources. I love them because of their amazing versatility. With so many eye stalks, they can have a whole host of attacks and abilities all in one creature. Most beholders are able to do a wide variety of types of ranged attacks that keep your intrepid heroes guessing. If they move in close, beholders also have those nasty teeth, especially the big bad purple guy here. On top of all of that, they can float and fly! Ultimate indeed.

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3. Cleric of Moradin

One of my favorite characters to play is a cleric. One of my favorite deities in D&D is Moradin, so this is clearly a great mini for me to use in games. I like clerics because I'm a helpful and compassionate person by nature. In games, I enjoy being able to heal, encourage and otherwise 'buff' my fellow adventurers and allies. I'm also a fan of the way D&D presents dwarven culture, so I like Moradin the creative and usually benevolent god. The mini itself is also cool with the big shield and warhammer.

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2. Farmer

Yes, I love the farmer mini! Why this one you ask? Because he's such a cool looking one. He practically tells a story all by himself they way they have him holding a pig under his arm with a cleaver in his belt and that billhook in the other hand. You can just imagine what he's about to do after this moment in time he's frozen in. He's a handy NPC to have in almost any campaign too. Always need a farmer or peasant for heroes to query, get supplies or a temporary place to stay from etc.

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1. Gelatinous Cube

And numero uno, for me at least, is this bane of adventurers everywhere! This mini is cool being one of the few transparent ones they made. It's also become somewhat rare, making it as cool of a collectable as it is a gaming piece. Describing all the crazy things that happen when one of these bad boys gets ahold of a formerly brave adventurer is a lot of fun. The 'cube is a monster and a trap all rolled, or rather, squished, into one.


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I'm not sure any of these would have made my Top 5. Mind you, they are good minis, but there were so many other exceptional ones, that these don't quite make the top 10 (though the dragon mini is close).

The D&D Miniatures Starter set (2008) had a better Dwarf (along with the Fighter and Female Rgue) and contained an excellent Green Dragon to boot. It was probably the best assortments of non-randoms WotC ever sold. Similarly, the non-random Dragonborn (with axe) was a really great mini.

The Blue Dragon from the 3rd edition D&D Basic Set (2006?) is also one of the best "smaller" dragons and WotC has the beholder collector set which came with 4 different awesome beholders.

Some of their other best non-randoms came from the defunct card-game version of their minis game. The goblin, orc, undead and drow sets are almost "must buy" for new mini collectors, even if you never play the skirmish game.

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