Copyright 2010 Wizards of the Coast

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Blizzard Dragons were created by Umboras, Lord of the Rimefire. The dragon petitioners who approached this primordial were the coldest-hearted among their number. Umboras took them to the coldest reaches of the Elemental Chaos and entombed them there for a year and a day while he worked his magic on them. When they emerged, they were blizzard dragons.

Umboras had a specific goal in mind when he did this. He had been an ally of the winter goddess Khala, who shared with him the goal of freezing the world solid. However, the Raven Queen had just usurped Khala and claimed the domain of winter from her, so Umboras was out for revenge. He created blizzard dragons to help transport his troops to the Raven Queen’s new home of Letherna.

The Queen, however, was smarter than him. She retreated to the labyrinthine astral domain of Pandemonium, and used its twisty little passages (all alike) to separate Umboras from his main forces and lock him in one of the domain’s empty vaults. He’s still there!

The blizzard dragons scattered after their master was imprisoned. Some stayed in Pandemonium, some returned to the Elemental Chaos, some even went to the coldest places of the world. For obvious reasons, though, you’ll rarely find one of them in the Shadowfell.

Blizzard dragons don’t usually have grand plans of their own, and are usually content to freeze and sculpt their territories. However, they’re surprisingly good team players and can often be found allied to other creatures of compatible disposition, helping them achieve their goals. This varies from the usual frost giants and ice archons to liches or winter fey, depending on the individual. And they’re always down for breaking a primordial out of prison.

The Numbers

Blizzard dragons are Elemental Magical Beasts with the Cold and Dragon keywords. They have Darkvision, Ice Walk, and a clumsy flight speed. All of their attacks do cold damage, even the bites and claws.

Blizzard Dragon Wyrmling

Wyrmlings are Medium, making them the smallest dragons I’ve seen in my Let’s Read so far. They’re Level 2 Controllers with 38 HP. They have ground and air speeds of 6.

Yeah, that’s right, wyrmlings are regulars. This means they’ll almost always be found cooperating with a sizable group of other monsters. The most obvious candidates are their clutch-siblings, but they’re smart enough to strike an alliance with lots of other people.

They are surrounded by an aura (1) of Freezing Wind. Enemies that end their turn inside are slid 1 square. When hit by a cold attack, the wyrmling reacts with Sudden Flurry, immediately sliding all enemies inside its aura 1 square.

Their bite immobilizes, and their claws slide the target 1 square on a hit. While they’re bloodied, Wyrmling Fury allows them to spend an action to attack with both.

Young Blizzard Dragon

Young’uns grow to size Large, and become Level 7 Elite Controllers with 166 HP. Their speed increases to 8.

They have all of the wyrmling’s abilities with a few differences and additions. The simplest one is that Wyrmling Flurry is replaced by a standard Double Attack ability, and their claws slide 2 squares.

Unlike other dragons, blizzards don’t have a breath weapon. Instead, when they’re hit by a melee attack, a high-pressure blast of frozen liquid bursts forth from the wound. This is written as a reaction named Chill Rebuke, a Close Blast 5 vs. Fortitude. It deals cold damage and slows on a hit (save ends).

This is also where the “living disaster” mechanic kicks in. Here it’s an ability named Rising Winds. Once this is activated as a minor action, it causes the size of the dragon’s Freezing Wind aura to grow to 3. At the start of the dragon’s next turn, it automatically expands again, to 5. And at the start of the following turn, the dragon makes a Close Burst 5 attack vs. Fortitude, with a hit dealing cold damage, slowing, and blinding the targets. Once the attack is resolved, the aura returns to is initial size of 1 and Rising Winds recharges.

Adult/Elder Blizzard Dragon

Adults and elders are identical to young’uns, with bigger numbers. Adults are Level 12 Elite Controllers with 252 HP, and Elders are Level 17 with 338 HP.

Elders are Huge and can move at speed 10. They can slide enemies 3 squares with their claws and 2 squares with their auras. Their Rising Winds attack restrains instead of immobilizing.

Ancient Blizzard Dragon

Ancients are Huge in size, and are Level 22 Elite Controllers with 422 HP. They’re almost idendical to elders, with bigger numbers. They also have a new encounter power named Deep Freeze that works kinda like a breath weapon, though I guess it’s more of a high-pressure blood ejection, since the dragon must be bloodied to use it.

This ability attacks enemies in a Close Burst 5, targetting Fortitude. A hit deals cold damage, immobilizes, and imposes a -5 penalty to Fortitude (save ends both). A miss deals half damage and imposes the same penalty for a single turn. All of the dragon’s non-basic attacks target Fortitude, so this penalty makes it a lot more dangerous while it lasts.

Final Impressions

Blizzard dragons feel like they slide into the exact same niche as white dragons, with a similar cold theme and a similarly unpleasant personality. Blizzards are smarter and not technically evil, but they still make for terrible neighbors.

Mechanically, they feel like dragons and like cold themed creatures without actually using any of the signature mechanics for either! This is a dragon that does not have a breath attack or a fear aura, and a cold creature that is not immune to cold. It’s fascinating!