And in reverse order, just like Miss World... 10. Kobolds - The favourite under-dog(men). Skull-skull for the Olympics!!
9. Shadar-kai - This goth-emo race conceal some serious opposition for the drow in terms of their blackened eyes and deadly shadow-based powers. In 3E they also had a masochistic streak worthy of Hellraiser. In either edition, fun.
8. Tyrannosaurus Rex - Big teeth, killer claws and jazz hands! The T-rex is a childhood staple and going toe-to-toe with one is a great talking point for a number of fighters.
7. Drow - Decadent, deadly, demon-loving poison-using spider fetishists. As dark reflections of the elves, they have become iconic (and slightly over-used by certain players). There are also a lot of jokes about the Victoria Secrets nature of their clothing but that's just jealousy isn't it?
6. Werewolf - Classic monster-movie fare and fun opposition. Even high-level parties have a frisson of nerves when they meet werewolves because things can go very wrong and you get some wonderful vignette encounters in Ravenloft involving them.
5. Hydra - Who doesn't relive Jason & The Argonauts meeting these? You don't? Liar.
4. Larva Mage - Really creepy and visually cool.
3. Mind Flayer - Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. Wonderful - the idea of some alien creature eating your brain just adds to the fear factor and these creatures have that alien megalomaniac mindset which makes them great long-term villains.
2. Wight - Classic undead; from barrow wights to battle and deathlock wights.
1. Dragons - The icon. Accept no substitutes - these beasts need to be played according to their statute. Rich Burlew's Order of the Stick is currently showing how it should be done.
Troll - The gift that keeps. on. giving.
Githyanki - Baroque swords, unforgiving grudges, telekinesis and red dragons. Love it.
Skeletons - More Ray Harryhausen goodness.
Frost Giants - Really big, really cold Vikings. Wow.
Displacer Beast - Another icon, a shimmering panther with tentacles. Very cool.
No. Not that. Oh no - things I would not take seriously.
Salamander - I just prefer a big burning lizard myself. Look at the frost salamander, why not have a fiery version of it. Why do you need the arms and the spear?
Trilloch - Most parties are fractious enough without too much help.
Crimson Death - Just too annoying to fight and to run properly. Intangible, grabbing, blood draining and this is why people shoudn't kill vampires apparently.
Ixitxachitl - Evil stingrays cursed with unpronouncability and a lack of usefulness.
Senmurv - Are you sure drugs weren't involved in the creation of this thing?