D&D Monster Monday: Efreeti
A wall of flames appears before you as you sprint toward the exit. Aghast, you look behind you to see a towering efreeti twirling their scimitar as they walk toward you, cackling. Perhaps burglarizing a literal master of fire was not your brightest idea.
Genies are classic mythological creatures. Their unique nature and magical powers make them fantastic additions to any campaign.
While they’re best known as all-powerful wish-granting beings, that’s not always the case. In D&D, only the most powerful genies grant wishes, so for most parties, they’ll be dealing with genies that are looking to gain said power or at the very least, looking to obtain something.
They’re interplanar raiders that travel between the Material Plane and various elemental planes conquering any place and anyone they set their sights on. As such, they have a terrifying fire-based kit that makes them an unstoppable force both in melee and ranged combat.
With that firey introduction out of the way let’s set off into the Monster Manual and confront the masters of the flame, the effreet!
Let’s set one thing straight. Efreet are total shitheads.
They’re deceptive, vengeful and, to quote the Monster Manual, “cruel to the point of ruthlessness”. This is showcased prominently in their desire to enslave creatures. They view any other living creature as a potential slave going so far as to invade other planes of existence to enslave new creatures.
An efreeti can be found in various locales in D&D. Most of them choose to reside in their home plane, the Elemental Plane of Fire. However, there are plenty that will settle down in the Material Plane in hot locations such as volcanoes or deserts.
They’re conquerors first and foremost. If an efreeti can sink their teeth into a location, enslave a ton of creatures, and work their way toward riches and power, they’ll settle there.
Efreet are downright evil creatures.
Efreeti Stats and Abilities
You can find the efreeti’s statblock on page 145 of the Monster Manual.
Size: large elemental
AC: 17 (natural armor)
HP: 200 (16d10 + 112)
Speed: 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
STR: 22 (+6)
DEX: 12 (+1)
CON: 24 (+7)
INT: 16 (+3)
WIS: 15 (+2)
CHA: 16 (+3)
Efreet have a strong foundation for the rest of their statblock. They have a solid chunk of HP. Their AC isn’t the greatest for a CR 11 creature, but it’ll get the job done. Plus, it’s propped up by 60 ft. of flying speed, giving them tons of positioning options in combat.
Their Strength and Constitution are phenomenal. These are hard-hitters, and they can certainly take a punch.
At first glance, their common saving throw abilities are mediocre aside from their Constitution. Thankfully, they have proficiency in Wisdom saving throws to right the ship, but their Dexterity is still godawful. Hence their relatively low AC.
Resistances, Immunities, Saves, and Skills
Saving Throws: Int +7, Wis +6, Cha +7
Damage Immunities: fire
Senses: darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 12
CR: 11 (7,200 XP)
The saving throw proficiencies are powerful and flavorful. Genies shouldn’t be easily charmed or restrained by magic, so saving throw proficiency in the three mental abilities is a nice mechanical feature.
I’m quite surprised that immunity to fire damage is the only damage resistance/immunity and condition immunity. At the very least, I figured they’d have resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. Their saving throw proficiencies and solid Consitution do at least make up for the lack of condition immunities. They’re difficult to crowd control.
Their 120 ft. of darkvision gives them ample opportunities to spot a sneaking party, although their low Perception means that they probably won’t capitalize on those opportunities often.
CR 11 is a fair ranking for them. However, it’s mostly frontloaded in their offensive prowess and lightning-fast movement. They’re quite weak defensively speaking.
Traits and Abilities
Elemental Demise. If the efreeti dies, its body disintegrates in a flash of fire and puff of smoke, leaving behind only equipment the djinni was wearing or carrying.
Innate Spellcasting. The efreeti’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect magic
3/day each: enlarge/reduce, tongues
1/day each: conjure elemental (fire elemental only), gaseous form, invisibility, major image, plane shift, wall of fire
Elemental Demise is a cool flavor trait.
However, their Innate Spellcasting list is full of mechanical goodies to use in the heat of battle. Conjure Elemental, being the cherry on top of the fantastic sundae as it gives the efreeti a loyal sidekick. Provided that they can maintain concentration on the spell to control their fire elemental.
That shouldn’t be an issue considering that they have 24 Constitution. Plus, if they do lose control, the fire elemental deals fire damage, which the efreeti is immune to. It’s harmless to them. So you may as well drop it on the battlefield and give the efreeti some extra action economy.
Wall of Fire is a strong offensive spell that provides battlefield control. Again, the efreeti is immune to fire damage so they can pass through the fire without any issues while the party must put themselves in danger to maneuver around or through it.
Do keep in mind that the spell requires concentration to maintain, so only do this if you’ve lost control of the fire elemental, or you need to sacrifice control of the elemental to dish out a ton of AoE damage.
Gaseous Form and Invisibility are great defensive tools to help reset the fight if the efreeti is caught out of position. Plus, being invisible could be used offensively to get advantage on a melee attack.
Plane Shift is a phenomenal GTFO option. If the situation is dire, teleport to the Elemental Plane of Fire and recoup before going after the party. They may have won the battle, but they haven’t won the war!
Multiattack. The efreeti makes two scimitar attacks or uses its Hurl Flame twice.
Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage.
Hurl Flame. Ranged Spell Attack: +7 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (5d6) fire damage.
The efreeti has two flavors of Multiattack. One for two melee attacks with Scimitar and a ranged option that shoots two Hurl Flames up to 120 ft. away. This variety, coupled with their spellcasting gives the efreeti options for any situation they find themselves in during combat.
That said, your best option is the double Scimitar attack. It deals 6 extra damage, but more importantly, has a +3 to attack in comparison to Hurl Flames. While the damage difference is sizable, the accuracy difference is more so.
Hurl Flame should only be used for situations where the efreeti either cannot reach the party or would be in grave danger to approach them. It’s a suboptimal choice, but it’s better than simply not attacking at all.
Tons of Maneuverability
40 ft. of ground speed is a huge boon in any creature’s kit. Outpacing the party is a tactical advantage.
This goes double for their 60 ft. of flying speed. This unique movement not only allows them to move twice as fast as a typical adventurer but also enables them to soar over obstacles entirely.
Their spell list also lends them some additional maneuverability and positioning options. Either directly in the case of Gaseous Form and Invisibility or indirectly via battlefield control from spells like Wall of Fire or even Major Image.
Plus, there’s always Plane Shift should you need to escape!
Plenty of Variety in Their Kit
Efreet can adapt to any situation due to the variety of options in their kit.
Their spells provide a variety of options such as buffs, debuffs, summoning, offensive magic, battlefield control.
They’re effective fighters in either melee or ranged combat. Although they heavily favor melee combat, it’s nice that they have a decent option from up to 120 ft. away.
They can maneuver in the air or on land at high speeds. Outpacing a typical adventurer in almost any environment.
Their statblock is a Swiss Army Knife of death!
Requires Set-Up Time, but Has Limited Defenses
Ideally, the efreeti is going to want to conjure their fire elemental ally as soon as possible. The more turns it has, the more value they derive from the spell. Especially if they’re able to maintain concentration for a long time.
The same can be said for any of their “slow burn” type spells such as Wall of Fire. The longer they’re up, the more useful they become. This means that the efreeti will need to sacrifice one or two of their actions to set up their combination of spells properly.
Unfortunately, they lack a lot of defensive tools to be able to take the all-out attacks of the party while they attempt to set up. Their HP is solid, but it’s not backed behind a strong AC or a variety of resistances and immunities.
They also need to properly plan out which spells they’re using when since most of them require concentration. Do they give up command of their fire elemental to drop a Wall of Fire on the party? Do they lose the Wall of Fire to go invisible and reposition?
They lack the time they desperately need.
There Are Some Large Gaps in Their Defenses
The lack of damage resistances and immunities as well as condition immunities are a sore spot for a CR 11 creature. Especially one that has a ton of concentration spells.
The party can hit them hard and fast before they’re at their full potential. This is a huge issue, especially if you’re running the efreeti as a solo creature. Sure, the fire elemental should help, but they have very little that prevents the party from locking them down and quickly finishing them if they miss one of their saving throws.
How to Play an Efreeti
Proper Set-Up Is Important
With a spell list full of concentration spells, the first round of an encounter is paramount to the efreeti’s success. Thankfully, we can narrow the spell list down a bit with regards to crucial first-round set-up spells.
The first option is to use Wall of Fire as an opener. This is a great choice if the efreeti needs time to get into position and needs to wall off part of the battlefield. It’s also a great way to hit the party for some serious chip damage from the get-go, making it easier for the efreeti to cleave down their weakened enemies.
The downside to this option is that you’ll probably want to bring in your fire elemental on round 2, meaning you won’t get much value out of the Wall of Fire. It’s a quick, yet potent flame.
Your bread and butter option is to immediately use Conjure Elemental on round 1. That way, you can immediately take advantage of the additional action economy that an additional creature brings to the encounter.
Not only that, but it also provides value in that, unlike Wall of Fire, if the efreeti loses concentration, the elemental doesn’t disappear. It’ll be uncontrollable, but that still means there’s a chance that it will strike the party or at least pose a threat to them.
Conjure Elemental on round 1 is for sure your best bet unless you need to deal a quick bit of burst damage or wall off an area of the battlefield with Wall of Fire.
Play to the Current State of the Battlemap
While the ideal play is to use your Scimitar Multiattack, it’s one of many options that the efreeti has in their kit.
Hurl Flame gives them a way to shoot the party from a safe distance. It’s also quite a potent maneuver when paired with the battlefield control capabilities of Wall of Fire.
Spells like Invisibility or Gaseous Form are great options for repositioning if the efreeti finds themselves backed into a corner. Plane Shift is your best bet for when there’s no way to get out of the situation alive and victory is no longer a possibility.
Use your spells, movement, and two Multiattack options to play around the state of the battlemap. The efreeti has so many options in their kit that they’ll always be able to have a viable option no matter the scenario.
5 Efreeti Plot Hooks
- A Fiery Chase – Before you could land the finishing blow on the efreeti, they cackled as they teleported away. Taunting you as they disappeared, they said to meet them in the City of Brass if you think you can face them.
- Free the Village – As you traveled across the desert, you stumbled upon a recently-abandoned village. There are fresh tracks leading away from the village and into an enormous cave to the west.
- Three Wishes – Despite the village’s warnings, a group of adventurers sought out the efreeti living in the nearby volcano. They proclaimed that the village would regret not aiding them once they had their three wishes from the all-powerful genie. They’ve been missing for weeks.
- The Interplanar Conqueror – An army, led by a treacherous efreeti, appeared in the middle of the city. Chaos ensued, and the guards were quickly butchered by the surprise invasion force. The city is in ruins, and the efreeti has claimed ownership of it and everyone inside its walls.
- A Well of Riches – There is a cavern, deep within the desert that is said to hold an unfathomable amount of gold, jewels, and magical items. However, no would-be buglar has ever returned from this cavern.
The efreet are terrifying and pure-evil villains that could find a home in any mid-level adventure. Their lore is quite flexible and their kit is ripe for reskinning should you wish for an “efreeti” of a different element.
They’re downright fun creatures to pilot due to the sheer amount of viable options packed into their statblock. They have fantastic movement speed, ranged and melee attack options, and a bunch of fun spells to choose from. You can do a lot in combat with them.
I think they’re a fantastic creature with some key weaknesses that the party can use to their advantage. They’re a challenging creature to face off against, making them a perfect boss monster to cap off a dungeon delve or adventure!