Normal, Champion or Super Unique? Types of Monsters and Item Drops

All enemies in Diablo II are known as monsters. They range in strength, resistance, size and skill. Most appear at random in the wilderness, though they are normally found in groups.

Diablo 2 Monsters
Fan Art by UnidColor

Monster variations

Every monster in Diablo II falls into the following categories:

  • Normal. These are the monsters that most frequently appear in the game. They are the original versions and can be identified because their name appears in white.
  • Champion. Every now and again, a monster will spawn as a Champion. They will almost always do so as part of a group of Champion monsters. Champion versions can fall into further subcategories. These are Berserker, Champion, Fanatic, Ghostly and Possessed. Each variation of the Champion monster has a slightly different type of stats, however all of them will have a largely increased number of Life points. On the screen, a Champion’s name is in blue.


  • Unique. Every Unique monster has a specific modification, be this Teleporting or Magic Resistant. These random modifiers can be offensive or defensive skills. Unlike Champions, only one Unique monster can spawn per group, though it will always have several Minions of its own. All Unique monsters have their own name, which is different from their regular monster name. This appears in gold.
  • Super Unique. Just like Unique monsters, a Super Unique has its own Minions and its name appears in gold on the screen. However, there is a difference between Unique and Super Unique monsters in Diablo II. While a Unique monster will spawn at random in any location, a Super Unique will always appear in the same place in every single game. Because of this, we can consider Bosses as super unique monsters. 

Bosses vs. Super Uniques?

While Bosses technically fall into the category of Super Unique monsters there are numerous characteristics that differ between the two. The main difference between Bosses and Super Unique monsters is the impact of their death. We can further split Bosses in Diablo II into the Evils and the Act Bosses. Killing the Evils is the main purpose of the game, while each of the Act Bosses must be destroyed in order to complete the final quest of every Act. For a Super Unique monster, there isn’t this level of importance placed upon their defeat.

Types of Monsters

Regardless of whether they are Normal, Champion, Unique or Super Unique, all monsters fall into three further classes. Depending on the type, it will have special modifications and certain weapons will be more or less effective against it. The different types of monster in Diablo II are:

  • Animal. There are no modifiers to animal monsters. Technically, an animal monster is just something indigenous to Sanctuary, though monsters deemed animals are often given this title because they simply don’t fit into either of the other two categories. An animal monster doesn’t even have to look like an animal – it could be a gargoyle or even a human. To fall into this category, they simply have to react like an animal in gameplay terms, with no modification.
  • Demon. According to the lore, Demon monsters come from The Burning Hells and are loyal to the Prime Evils. They can take extra damage from weapons that are modified to give “extra damage to demons”. There are also several Unique Items that reward the player with extra life for killing a Demon.
  • Undead. As the name suggests, Undead monsters are said to be revived spirits. Undead monsters are the least common of all three monster types. Despite this, there are weapons and items that will aid in killing an undead monster, and there are Paladin skills that are solely to kill Undead monsters.

Monster vs Level

As your character grows in level and progresses through the Acts, monsters will also grow in strength. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be a challenge later down the line! To do this, they appear in different ‘breeds’, which are shown by the colour of the monster. In order to be more difficult to destroy, monsters begin to have increased stats and new immunities. Some high-level monsters in Diablo II will even gain new abilities.

Item Drops

All monsters can drop items. While certain types will drop certain things, the same monster won’t always give you the same item. However, the item dropped by a monster in Diablo II is not random. The higher the level the monster, the better the items it can drop. Therefore, some low-level monsters can’t drop items that are too high-level for them, but high-level ones can still drop the less desirable items of a low-level monster. They are less likely to do so, though. Unique and Super Unique monsters will always drop a magical item, a gem or a rune. Bosses have a higher likelihood of dropping even better items.

So, if you’re looking for something in particular, how do you get the item you want in Diablo II? There are three ways you can increase your odds of getting the item you’re after. Firstly, the number of items a monster drops is dependent on the number of players in a game. The more players, the more items a monster will drop. The second method is to use the likes of Chance to Find Magic Items, which improve your probability of getting a good magical drop (if the monster is capable of doing so). The final method of increasing your chance of getting a certain item is to play the odds. One can partially predict Monster item drops based on a number of factors like level and location within an Act. Luckily, drop calculators exist, which allow you to input the item you’re after and it will tell you the likelihood that you will find it in each area. After discovering the best place and best monsters to defeat to get the item you want, you can head to this part of the game and begin fighting!

Most Annoying Monsters in D2R

Returning to Diablo 2 after almost a decade reminded me of two things: I’m still a horrible Bowazon and, if left unsupervised, I’ll play until sunrise. I had more than a few deja-vu moments on hardcore (HC) playthroughs getting insta-gibbed by certain mobs. Mechanically, a few Diablo 2 monsters can be frustratingly annoying, and then when paired with a few traits and champion they can be quite rage inducing. Collected below are a few of the infamous denizens of Sanctuary that can ruin your character’s day.

Annoying Monsters in D2R
Art by Highdarktemplar

The monsters in Diablo 2 come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and I’m sure most players will agree with us when we say this: some monsters are much more annoying than others! We have compiled our list of the most annoying monsters below:

The Cow King

At number one we have the Cow king. This is, in our most humble opinion, the most annoying monster in Diablo 2. True, if you manage to kill a Cow King then chances are there will be some super epic drops in there for you. But then if you’re playing with someone, you know you’re helping them out or you’re trying to level them up and all of a sudden they kill YOUR Cow King. They take the items and you’re left with nothing. Absolutely… nothing.

Carrion Bird (the little vultures)

Now in the top two, we’ve got The Carrion Bird – these have got to be one of everyone’s least favourite enemies. This is because when these are flying there is absolutely nothing one can do. You cannot attack them in any way whatsoever unless it lands. You could spend quite some time waiting for these annoying creatures to land and they just won’t.

The Burning soul (and other souls)

The Burning Soul, but also all souls in Diablo 2, have come in our top three places because they are super annoying. This is mainly because once they get you, you instantly die and there’s no going back.

The Sand Maggot

Coming in at number four is none other than The Sand Maggot. You’re just starting out and you’re passing through the sand maggot zone but you have no teleport at this point. As soon as you kill one, these strange egg-like larva pop open and little ones just come at you. Just picturing this is more than enough for us!

The Tomb Viper

Also we have the Tomb Viper who can be super annoying for players trying to get the D key. You get loads of them swarming around you, and despite having maximum resistance… They poison you and you’re dead. Just like that.

The Doom Knight

The Doom Knight in Act 4 will deal special damage and are especially notorious for stripping your character of all your spells. This can be super frustrating for any player who has plenty of experience, and has packed his character with tonnes of spells to annihilate. Then comes a doom knight and strips off everything.

The Fallen

If you happen to be a very experienced, levelled up character then they would be a piece of cake. If you’re just starting out with Diablo 2, then it would be a completely different story. You kill them over and over again; but they just keep coming back at you!


Easy to deal with during early game, the first annoying monster you face in Act 1. Later those fireballs can deal a little damage, but at least they aren’t Imps so you won’t be one-shot by Infernos if you aren’t paying attention. On higher difficulties, they pack a punch and dodge killing blows like Neo from the Matrix. Skipping groups of these won’t save your character’s life, but it will save a headache if you’re not trying to fully clear the dungeon.

Fetishes and Fetish Shamans

You can’t have one without the other, these obnoxious mobs get old fast. The “Cowards!” you’ll shout at the mobs of flailing arms and teeth at lower levels turns to desperate silent frustration at higher ones because of one key mechanic: They run faster than you do. Though popcorn chicken to be gobbled up by Amazon and Sorceress classes, melee oriented characters are exploded by one shot Inferno blasts in late game, or chased down by dart blowing gremlins while their leader shouts from another one’s back.

Demon Imps

Any move kit based around ranged attacks and teleportation can get old to fight against. It’s annoying how these Imps dance around the edge of screen: Finally get them low health and suddenly they teleport somewhere new and shoot fireballs at you. This combination gripe is centered on both monsters’ ability to teleport and mountable tower or demon that allows them to cast Inferno. Mostly skipped over for farming other monsters in Act 5, Imps are better left to AoE and ranged characters if you don’t want it to cast Inferno on you from the back of a Siege Beast.


I hope you have Lightning Resistance, because these off screen shots will hurt and they drain mana. They have no reaction time, so they shoot immediately, and they move really fast. Dodging mobs of these is tough because of their range and speed, and their lightning passes thru targets. Is it shooting at you? Is it shooting at someone on screen or at someone else on the server? It doesn’t matter to the loams; just dodge the lightning bolts and max lightning resistance first.

Tomb Vipers

Claw Vipers aren’t really a challenge but all that changes once they’re filling a room up with poison gas. Tomb Vipers can drop you in seconds with stacking poison DoTs (Damage over time). So much damage that it’s bugged, Tomb Vipers get worse when Unique or Super Unique modifiers. A single modifier like ‘extra strong’ makes their damage more ridiculous, but luckily the developers made them extra squishy so you can clear them out quick.

Ghosts/Physical Immune

So annoying a move set kit the developers decided to give it to other monsters in Unique form, Physical Immune (PI) monsters are the worst. Ghosts get other fun abilities though like no unit collision, so they can stack on top of each other. This might line them up for the Amazons and Sorceresses but most other classes struggle with them. They steal mana whenever they do damage to you as well, fun. Most builds for classes that are weak to PI monsters are theory crafted way before playing, making it one of the few that are deliberately planned for.


These fun variants are everything you’re not looking for in a monster: They deal damage cold damage late game and lightning damage early game, and have the ability to heal other monsters. A group of Heirophants with unique modifiers in the late game will heal each other, chain freeze you, while dealing tons of damage. Another ‘kill first’ monster that makes you wish they had longer death animations, so you can truly enjoy vanquishing these vile mobs.

Undead Stygian Dolls/Suicide Minions

Mild irritation can turn to frustration quickly in gaming, especially when insta-gibbed by exploding minions in a Hardcore run in Diablo 2. There is no other, more rage inducing, mob in the D2 universe, as your character is exploded because of a misclick while trying to kite mobs of these little guys. Unforgiving, these little buggers move as fast as Fetishes, but without any of the cowardice. Watch your health drop from 100 to 0 as the red pain train of little suicide bombers takes chunks of your life fast. If that mechanic wasn’t in the game enough, they added literally the exact same minion but a little slower and larger later in the same level. Like zombie hands scaring you out of your seat in RE2, these mobs make you scared of doors. Be happy your pets can still attack doors in D2, unlike the King of Mediocre ARPGs, Diablo 3.