With The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 set to premiere on Prime Video in January, Critical Role fans are revisiting their favorite moments of Campaign 1 to get excited about the adaptation of the Chroma Conclave arc on screen. While the arc in the Actual Play series saw some truly amazing moments of Vox Machina growing into their own, some of the characters tended to be higher damage dealers than others.
For any player of Dungeons & Dragons, part of the appeal of the game is crafting a party that allows for a well-rounded group. Some members tend to focus on power builds while others focus more on support or healing in order to get the job done. During the Vox Machina era, some of the characters made their marks as the most powerful characters in Critical Role history through sheer damage alone.
9/10 Taryon Darrington
When gnomish bard extraordinaire Scanlan Shorthalt briefly left Vox Machina, Sam Riegel brought his alchemical artificer Taryon Darrington to the table. While Taryon came across as a foppish buffoon early on, the character quickly grew into his own through teaming up with Vox Machina. However, that still doesn’t take away the level difference from a post-Chroma Conclave Vox Machina to several levels below Taryon.
While a great support person for the team, Taryon rarely got a chance to be as powerful as he could have been, which is clear when he is the high-level character in the Darrington Brigade one-shot. While his alchemical inventions are very useful in combat, his lack of power, unfortunately, came from being surrounded by characters more experienced and more powerful than him in the first place.
The cleric of Vox Machina, Pike Trickfoot focused on keeping her compatriots alive rather than dealing damage. Of course, she had the potential to be a highly powerful cleric build. With her subclass of War Domain, she had the potential of some high damages. However, due to Ashley Johnson’s filming schedule and a party full of damage dealers, someone had to prioritize healing and buffs, which fell onto Pike when she was there.
While Pike is definitely one of the best characters in The Legend of Vox Machina, especially as she struggled with the pressure to fit into the traditional cleric role and her desire to be an adventurer, it wasn’t something much explored in the first campaign. While Pike did get to show off her more combat-focused prowess in battles such as with the undead against the Briarwoods, it didn’t happen often enough to consistently see the sort of damage she could do.
6/10 Scanlan Shorthalt
Bard extraordinaire Scanlan Shorthalt always has a song at the ready and a trick up his sleeve in order to help his fellow members of Vox Machina. As a College of Lore bard, Scanlan can get access to some extremely useful spells. Most prominently, he was able to use Counterspell due to his Lore bad status, which helped in a big way in the final fight against Vecna. In addition, his access to the Wish spell, one of the most powerful in D&D, came into use during the post-campaign one-shots.
However, while Scanlan has versatility in spades, he tends to function best as a support rather than a powerful damage dealer within the party. His spells can help get people around the map, such as some smart uses of Dimension Door. Though he did take out one of the Briarwood minions all by himself, which is an extremely impressive feat. It was used more through luck and cunning.
A ranger/rogue multiclass, Vex’ahlia is a distance damage dealer with spells such as Hunter’s Mark and a rogue’s Sneak Attack, really helping to up her damage-dealing abilities. Her skill with the bow is unparalleled within the first campaign of Critical Role, but none is more prevalent than when she fought the Frigid Doom known as Umbrasyl during the Chroma Conclave arc.
In a single turn against the white dragon, Vex’ahlia deals an impressive 108 points of damage due to two powerful hits with her arrows that really piled the damage when Sneak Attack and Hunter’s Mark were added. One of which was a Dragonslayer Arrow, which dealt an additional 6d10 of damage due to Umbrasyl’s dragon status. While people may poke fun at rangers, Vex makes the case that when in the right hands, they can be one of the most powerful party members.
4/10 Keyleth Of The Air Ashari
Keyleth of the Air Ashari is considered one of the most overpowered characters builds in Critical Role. A Circle of the Moon Druid, Keyleth has a variety of Wild Shapes at her disposal that aren’t available to other Druids. In addition, as an Arch Druid, she has a longevity that other classes would lack in addition to spells like True Polymorph and Plane Shift, making her the most varied caster in Vox Machina. In addition, the Spire of Conflux also gives her some more freedom with her prepared spells, depending on the charges she expends.
While Keyleth has come in with some clutch spells, such as her Feeblemind on Raishan, the damage dealt by Keyleth has not reached the heights of some of the members of the party. She is definitely the strongest pure caster in Vox Machina and was able to help fill in as a healer and support when needed.
A rogue/paladin/druid multiclass, Vax’ildan has the distinct honor of being built for dealing a lot of damage in a single attack with the use of such abilities as Sneak Attack and Divine Smite. Due to his Assassin rogue archetype and his Oath of Vengeance as a Paladin, Vax’ildan is made to deal a lot of damage very quickly in order to accomplish his goals. In the first campaign, he dealt 109 points of damage through one attack in episode 110. To this day, that feat has yet to be topped by any member in Campaigns 2 or 3.
A lot of his more impressive damages dealt comes in part from the Assassin archetype, which allows this type of rogue to get a critical hit on their enemies when they are surprised. Ultimately, Vax’ildan remains a reason why rogues and paladins are definitely useful members of any party.
2/10 Percival de Rolo
The gunslinger of Vox Machina, Percival de Rolo holds the distinct pleasure of dealing the highest damage ever in a single turn in the Exandria-based one-shot “The Search for Grog”. This is due to several factors such as Percival taking five hits with his rifle equivalent known as Bad News plus the use of the spell Hex, the use of the legendary item Cabal’s Ruin, and an Action Surge. He got a critical hit which also led to a whopping 197 points of damage in a single turn. Add in the effect of the Hemorrhaging Critical, which adds additional damage at the end of the target’s next turn, Percy dealt about 249 points of damage.
Due to Taliesen Jaffe’s penchant for rolling critical hits as Percy and the high damage from his weapons of choice, the character delivered some of the highest damage within the group from his weaponry. This is mainly the reason why fans of the series refer to the character by the nickname “No Mercy Percy”.
1/10 Grog Strongjaw
Barbarians are made to be the tanks with some of the highest damage outputs and highest hitpoints in any class. No one encapsulates that powerful build more than Goliath Barbarian Grog Strongjaw. With such features as Reckless Attack, Great Weapon Master, the legendary Titanstone Knuckles, and a rotating crew of powerful weapons, Grog consistently delivered some of the highest damage totals per fight and most killing blows in the first campaign.
Due to this, it’s not surprising that the following campaigns each featured a barbarian among the main crew. Thanks to Grog, the Critical Role cast learned that if you want someone with some serious power in the team then make sure that there’s a barbarian on it.