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Your personal ranking of Doom monsters from the most to least dangerous/troublesome?

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For quite some time I was thinking about sorting the Doom monsters in a list by how much trouble and threat the monsters are dealing to me while playing Doom maps. To make a perfectly sorted list I needed to have really hard decisions, because different monsters are dangerous in different ways and under different circumstances (i.e. the map layout and place where you encounter that monsters, which weapons you have etc.). So I tried to think about some "average feeling" about every monster and how much trouble that monster is causing to me in average across all maps I played, and here comes my list. Note that the first two monsters are pretty straightforward and clear decisions. I split the monsters into 4 categories: Extremely dangerous, Very dangerous, Medium dangerous, Lowly dangerous.


1. Cyberdemon (obvious)

2. Archvile (obvious)


3. Revenant (very fast moving and small hitbox = hard to hit, meele attack dealing big damage, homed missiles hard to dodge, in bigger groups can be extremely dangerous)

4. Pain Elemental (can spam the space with lot of lost souls, hard to hit since it protects itself with fired lost souls, shooting rockets against it is deadly)

5. Mancubus

6. Archarotron


7. Chaingunner (low HP, but continuously deals LOT of damage when not killed early enough, more of them cause bullet shower that can kill you instantly)

8. Baron of Hell

9. Spider Mastermind (technically weapon is more dangerous than chaingunner's one, but this monster is used rarely in maps, is easy to kill and infights a lot)

10. Cacodemon

11. Hell Knight


12. Lost Soul

13. Spectre

14. Demon

15. Imp

16. Shotgun Guy

17. Zombieman

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For me it goes from "X monster used for maximum threat/danger and/or intentionally hard to kill" to "X monster unable to operate for specific reasons and/or easy to beat" and all the grays in between. All monsters have proven to me they're good for what they can do better, and bad if you restrict them too much, leaving out situations in which a monster could stop working for random reasons (e.g. getting stuck on or by something else). Though sure, some species demand more awareness than others, hit harder, move quicker, feel pain more regularly, etc, that's no news to anyone, so if I have to list according to things like frequency in which X is employed, natural strengths and weaknesses, how less caution it needs to be able to work, using my personal experience above the rest, it'd be roughly like this:


1. Archvile, top tier threat-troll-witch of the game. 

2. Basically the rest


inside number 2


2.a. Hitscanners, cyberdemon, revenant, mancubus and arachnotron. These vary a lot but in practice hitscanners just hit 90% of the time regardless of context, particularly chaingunners and shotgunners, while zombiemen and nazi soldiers hit way less frequent (these two'd go below but I don't know where). No one sees hitscanners and just thinks "yeah those can be skipped, I can leave them unchecked", it's kill asap or be killed. I separate the spider mastermind because it's super rare to find one that's a supreme bitch or that could be your pet. Very non-versatile monster, so it can go on any number depending on the moment. The cyberdemon usually escapes the bad circumstances and needs almost no babysitting, but I can't put it above or below the SMM just because of "rarity", it's a weird cycle in which one can beat the other and viceversa, or be more of an urgent threat. They're too different species. Revenant usually stay on the "medium to high effectiveness" band. Mancubus becomes sort of unpredictable when you aren't paying attention. Arachnotron's power is a rare "explored territory", and is a bit scary alone.


2.b. Pain elemental, spectre, lost soul. PEs are mainly psychological threats, they are responsible for a lot of rage just for their stupid ability to infight, but are incapable of inflicting damage by themselves so it's the babies the physical threats. Lost souls are fast projectiles, basically, though more annoying than a worry except when rockets are part of the context. Spectres are a touch case because they're borderline unfair, generally exist for the "gotcha!" bite out of nowhere, or are in stupid pits no one needs to jump in (e.g. The Rebirth).


2.c. Baron of hell, cacodemon, hell knight, imp... well excluding caco's flying ability put to good use, these are the most level-entry monsters, so little mental and physical exercise is required to outsmart them. Generally the player must be very limited to be in real danger, in which case barons are usually the scariest, while imps are little nuisances. 


2.c.bis. Pinkies, I wanted to dedicate a separate point because while pinkies do absolutely nothing else than being in the way, that's also exactly why they must die earlier, before you get body-blocked in a weird angle and die from something else.

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I don't think I can make a perfect ranking, but I have a few remarks:


- Honestly, the arch-vile is far from being the most dangerous monster on many of the maps I play. It scares a lot of novice players but its attack takes a lot of time and in case it is resurrecting monsters, killing it is not a big deal with the right weaponry.

- Far from being an unpopular opinion, the revenant is in my opinion much more dangerous because very versatile and used much more massively on "normal" wads.

- The mancubus is really much more dangerous than we think, as well as the arachnotron in some cases. In groups, they nibble a lot of space and send an incredible number of projectiles.

- Zombiemen can be a real horror, especially in nightmares. A few shotgunners can easily knock out a doomguy without armor for example.

- The cyberdemon is not a big deal in general. It is even very useful to create infighting. Its attack is very basic, it is especially annoying in closed places.


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Most annoying


A R C H V I L E - Fast, tanky, can resurrect enemies and used way too often in maps without the BFG9000 anywhere in sight. If one of these fuccboi's appear and I don't have the BFG cell ammo spare then I WILL open up the dev console and type in "MDK".


CHAINGUNNER - Common and rapid firing, these aimbotting zombies have mowed me down more times than I've killed myself at this point. Chaingunners are also heavily used since they're """"""""""technically""""""""" low-mid tier. (But sine 2 of them can tear apart a baron I beg to differ).


REVENANT - Mr Dooty bones themselves, Revenoots almost ALWAYS get a cheeky rocket in right as I'm about to deliver the final blow to them. They're also way to OP as snipers since they can home in their rockets towards you.


HELLKNIGHT* - Okay, I don't really find these guys annoying per-se but since so many bloody DooM maps use these guys and FORCE me to use the ol' rumpy-pump gun, they've gone way up in terms of annoyance. They're a mid-high tier enemy due to their HP and high damage, yet people love pitting them against the regular shotgun. w h y .


CYBERDEMON - It's actually kinda obvious why Cybie is here. He has 4000 HP and can fire a rocket into your face, blowing it up instantly... nuff said. ._.


FORMER SERGEANT - Yeah. The shotgun zombie. You'd think for such a common enemy he'd be every useless but don't let his really low HP fool you, these guys can tear you apart fast with 2-3 shotgun blasts point blank if you're not careful.


PAIN ELEMENTAL - They fly, they're Irish AF and they loooooove to spam lost souls! PE's are notoriously annoying since they can quite happily launch a lost soul into your face just as you start whailing on them with the chaingun, making you waste more ammo. There's a reason they've got the nickname "pain-in-the-ass elemental" (BigMacDavis quote ftw <3). Random fact: Pain Elementals technically are the only enemy in DooM/DooM II that can't hurt you.


MANCUBUS - Big, blobby and quite a pain in the arse if you're unprepared or are given bad cover, Mancubuses are quite a challenge to fight. Despite this though, they're not too bad if you have learnt the pattern to dodge their attacks and aren't super painful 1v1.


BARON OF HELL - Finally, we get to the baron. Honestly I rarely encounter a baron without a super shotgun, rocket launcher, plasma rifle or BFG9000 in my inventory so I rarely have to worry about these guys. Otherwise, they're the OG HellKnight but F A B U L O U S ! ! !


LOST SOUL - They're not too annoying to deal with (Provided you're not fighting 10 at the same time) but they do love to go flying off into the sunset, screaming as they fly. They've gotten a few cheeky kills on me over the years.


*This is where the HellKnight would normally go.


IMP - The "lovable" imp! They've been seen since E1M1 and unless I'm wrong I think they've appeared in every DooM map and nearly every DooM II map (MAP07, 31 and 32 they don't appear in).


PINKY DEMON - NOM. They've got mouths to huge they could eat a watermelon whole. Pinky's are mostly annoying when they swarm you but since they die to easily to a punch in the face (when berserked) that's hardly a worry.. They're also the first melee-only enemy that appears in the doom series.


CACODEMON - The flying tomato! Hissy! People love this adorable flying tomato and for good reason. It's so friggin' cute! ^w^ They'be occasionally bugged me when I'm trying to run back to safety, only to have one land on my head but caco's for the most part typically are co-operative demons and are quite friendly... even if they like to spit their bawlz in your face. uwu


FORMER HUMAN - Former Human AKA Zombie is quite literally the most fodder enemy of fodder enemies. The least damaging enemy you'll find and one that I think has only killed me 1-2 times in my entire DooM career (and that's only because I had like 1hp left). They're so weak that the starting pistol can clear them out in 2 bullets. I've really never had a problem with this guy. 

Also is it me or do these guys have the worst possible aim ever?


ARACHNOTRON - OMG IT'S A BEBBY SPIDUH! *Gets fizzed* Arachnotrons are definitely one of the cutest enemies in the DooM series, being a baby spider mastermind (does that mean Arachotron's are female?) they're the only enemy that's smart enough to realise the plasma rifle is, indeed, the best gun in the DooM series and thus they armed themselves with their own version of said rifle.


SPIDER MASTERMIND - Spidey's at the bottom here not because she's easy or anything but simply that she's rare AF. Since she almost never appears I rarely have problems with her and I can almost always guarantee I'll have SOME mid-high tier weapon to deal with her. Honestly for being a mastermind she's rarely used, and there's a good reason why: Her hitbox is GIGANTIC.


Least Annoying

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How annoying a monster is depends on the player. How "troublesome" a monster is depends on the player but even more so on the context in which the monster appears.


That being said, I'm just gonna sit back and see which kinds of monsters people hate the most, and then I'll put a bunch of them in a map that I'll contribute to some community project eventually. You're welcome.

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Most custom monsters
Shotgun Guy
Spider Mastermind (either too uncommonly used well or I have BFG by then)
Baron of Hell
Hell Knight
Lost Soul
Pain Elemental


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spectres are troublesome, make me feel like my eyes are going at this point

lost souls are super troublesome but pain elementals are my favourite monster so who knows

cybies, shotgunners and arachnotrons are my other faves


cacos have this tendency to stay alive even when you feel like you've "neutralized" them? so do the hell doofuses but at least they are sexy

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Lost Soul

Pain Elemental










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D64 Lost Souls are a SERIOUS PITA...especially in numbers.  Very fast and aggressive.  I'd say at least 75% of my D64 deaths were due to them (teleporting monster traps contributed to the much of the rest).    


And yeah, hitscanners can knock off a lot of health in a hurry if you're too slow in dealing with them.  


As for the rest...with the exception of the Archies, it just depends on how many you're facing and how much room you have to deal with them...and making sure you don't get cornered.  I remember going into "Oh shit!" mode when I'd see a Hell Knight or Baron of Hell (or multiples) in a smaller room, but if I stay calm and circle-strafe, they rarely cause me problems.  Cyberdemons aren't even really that bad, but like others have noted, all it takes is one mistimed dodge and you're starting over.  



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From my experience in playing Doom, I would say that the danger element of each enemy varies between the type of fight encountered as well as the amount of space you have to tackle the enemies, and whether you are playing with fast or respawning monsters. 


For instance, in a slaughter-type fight Arch-Viles are the most dangerous, especially in groups of more than three as they are used to shield other enemies from the player, meaning the player has to waste more ammo and take more damage.


In more confined spaces (such as AV17) I'd say the Cyberdemon is the most dangerous enemy you can encounter in a small space as you can easily eat rockets and take splash damage.


In normal play, I'd say zombiemen, Shotgunners and Imps are the least dangerous enemies while Arachnotrons and Chaingunners would be more towards the top due to their endless firing capabilities.

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Such a ranking is impossible. Completely impossible and pointless. DOOM, and DOOM II even more so, specifically made very diverse monsters with unique strong and weak points. It totally depends on the setup. Well, other than monsters that are stronger versions of existing ones. Like - a Shotgun Guy is always more dangerous than a Zombieman, and a Baron is strictly harder than a Hell Knight.

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It's very situational. In a wide-open area, a lowly zombieman can be more dangerous than a mighty cyberdemon: you can't dodge hitscan.


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From most to least dangerous:

-The 5 key

-The wall or doorway I didn't realize was there and accidentally strafed behind while wildly firing the rocket launcher

-My impatience with how much health Cacodemons and Hell Nobles have

-My hotheaded refusal to switch away from the rocket launcher because the enemies aren't *that* close, right?
-My hotheaded assumption that I can reload the SSG faster than a chaingunner/shotgunner will react

-My hotheaded assumption that the shotgunner will just miss me anyway

-My hotheaded assumption that the Arch-Vile's attack has probably completed and now I can strafe back out and shoot it again

-My hotheaded assumption that I already defeated the Revenant missile I just dodged and it would never come back to haunt me

-Fiddly wall detailing

-The 3 and 4 keys



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3 hours ago, DynamiteKaitorn said:

IMP - The "lovable" imp! They've been seen since E1M1 and unless I'm wrong I think they've appeared in every DooM map and nearly every DooM II map (MAP07, 31 and 32 they don't appear in).

No imps in E2M8, E2M9, E3M2, E3M7, E3M8. Technically they're also not present in MAP30, at least until the Icon starts spawning random monsters from a list that includes imps.


Containment Area holds the Ultimate Doom imp record with 82. Doom II beats it with 103 in The Pit.

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Well, I can confidently say that the Evil Marine is the worst enemy ever created for Doom.


* Yes, I know, not an original enemy, but I just had to point out my utter hatred for them.

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Despite having no attack I hate Pain Elementals, especially when they are somewhat hidden and spawning countless Lost Souls, so I'll place them on the top of my list.

And on the bottom the obvious zombieman.



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It depends on the WAD you're playing. Archviles, while they are dangerous in Doom 2, are more rare than in custom maps, thus making them less dangerous. Even Doom 1 vs Doom 2, former humans are more dangerous in Doom 2 than in Doom 1 due to the open map design. It basically depends on 1. The rarity of the monster 2. Other enemies nearby 3. The map design.

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Chaingunner - seriously, I think they've cost me more games than any other monster.

Pain Elemental - They constantly pump out annoyances that prevent me from hitting the monster I want to hit.

Mancubus - There tends to be a lot of them early in wads these days when I don't necessarily have a big weapon and they deal a lot of damage.

Revenant - In large groups (which they usually are) very dangerous.

Arachnotron - Once they pop, the fun (death) don't stop.  

Baron of Hell - Meat Shield #692 

Arch Vile - mostly because of their raise ability.  If they don't have anything to raise, even lower on the list.  Their attack doesn't scare me anymore as these guys are used a lot more these days.

Cyberdemon - Big and tough yeah, but he's free rocket ammo.

Hell Knight - Why do people think these can replace imps?  They're much stronger than imps and I didn't get my SSG yet!

Shotgun guy/Former Sergeant - pretty dangerous early on until I get that plasma gun.

Spectre - If I can't see 'em, I can't shoot 'em.

Cacodemon - Despite looking like a Christmas tree ornament they can fly around and distract you from killing that pain elemental.

SMM - Not really much of a threat because it's hard to use.

Lost soul - Annoying in large numbers and if I try to hit that pain elemental with a rocket. 

zombieman/former human - really low threat unless you're still a marine in diapers figuratively speaking.

Imp - Cannon fodder

Demon - Sort of like a walking traffic cone, you just want them out of the way.

Romero's Head - It doesn't actually do anything except sit there and mock you for not being sexy like him.

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Pinky in NM










Pinky in UV


Romero (can kill due to the explosion)




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Arch Vile (my favorite Doom 2 monster, he is fast, has a low pain chance and his attacks are hard to dodge, luckily he is easy to infight with others)

Spider Mastermind (especially when fought solo)

Pain Elemental (beautiful challenge, kill them fast)

Cyberdemon (he can be a good help to you too)



Fatso (fat, slow but powerful)

Chaingunners (esp when sniping)

Shotgun Guys (esp when sniping)

Hell Knights (including Barons)

Lost Souls


Pinkies and Spectres


Doom Imp

Zombieman (these bipedal maggots are easy prey)

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16 hours ago, General Rainbow Bacon said:

Romero's Head - It doesn't actually do anything except sit there and mock you for not being sexy like him.

Speak for yourself. :P

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Depends on the skill of the mapper, as even zombiemen can be a nightmare to deal with, in the hands of sadistic/skilled mappers.


The least dangerous monsters would be Keen and Romero, they

are harmless and immobile, they are also the only beneficial monsters as the former opens doors tagged 666, and the latter

ends the game.

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According to the thing flag bits, Romero's head is not a monster. The Keen doll is.

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On 4/21/2020 at 8:30 AM, Nine Inch Heels said:

How "troublesome" a monster is depends on the player but even more so on the context in which the monster appears.


I added the context because this is the key part of the statement, in my opinion. It's absolutely true. One zombieman in a wide open space while you have the SSG is no problem. Put a half-dozen around the player every 45 degrees or so, with the player armed with a pistol, and suddenly the "cannon fodder" "walking maggot" gains a bit of teeth.


On 4/21/2020 at 8:30 AM, Nine Inch Heels said:

That being said, I'm just gonna sit back and see which kinds of monsters people hate the most, and then I'll put a bunch of them in a map that I'll contribute to some community project eventually. You're welcome.


Interesting plan. Judging by the rankings submitted to this point, it looks like you'll be liberally populating your hypothetical map with Archviles, Cyberdemons, Revenants, Mancubi, Chaingunners, Arachnotrons, and Pain Elementals (call this the Top 7). I'm sure players will love your map.

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2 minutes ago, Pegleg said:

Judging by the rankings submitted to this point, it looks like you'll be liberally populating your hypothetical map with Archviles, Cyberdemons, Revenants, Mancubi, Chaingunners, Arachnotrons, and Pain Elementals (call this the Top 7). I'm sure players will love your map.

What's not to love? :P

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Tbh lost souls have probably caused me the most "readily avoidable" deaths. They always seem to charge a bit faster than I think, somehow especially when I have the rocket launcher out. Without the RL, they also seem to have a little more HP than I think (sometimes even when their health has been nerfed, somehow). 

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Assuming -fast:


- Heavy Weapon Dude (Hitscan nightmare.)

- Shotgun Guy (Hitscan nightmare lite.)

- Zombieman (Still a frequent source of -fast hitscan.)

- Cacodemon (Very short attack animation, spams projectiles very quickly, flying.)

- Revenant (Homing projectile spam.)

- Imp (They are everywhere and in numbers so they are bound to hit you eventually.)

- Mancubus (Area denial especially when in numbers.)

- Pain Elemental & Lost Souls (Especially when the Pain Elemental is badly reachable. Big ammo drain if not solved quickly.)

- Spectre (Absolutely deadly in dark areas.)

- Demon (Visible but still deadly if they surprise you.)

- Spider Mastermind (Has a pretty long wind-up and very inaccurate at distance. Still a hitscan but dies easily to infighting + is a huge target.)

- Baron of Hell (Very hard to get hit if you have manoeuvering space.)

- Hell Knight (Same as above.)

- Cyberdemon (Pretty easy to dodge his rockets.)

- Arachnotron (Huge wind-up, easy to interrupt, gets stuck shooting into corners regularly, huge hitbox.)

- Arch-Vile (Very easy to dodge his attack as long as you have any form of cover. Easy to lockdown in place with -fast due to long animation.)


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