In order to help them slink through the shadows, black abishai could cast the darkness spell. They could summon other black abishai, as well as white abishai and lemures. Their tail stingers contained acid they used to burn their foes when they weren't simply biting and clawing at them.
Black abishai were as skilled at infiltration as they were at assassination, weaving shadows in order to veil their approach, before attempting to take out their marks foes with a single fatal strike. While some made use of scimitars, one of the common weapons they used were halberds.
The station of black abishai was seen as lower than the previous rank of spinagons by most beings in the Nine Hells. While spinagons were weak and craven they had amazing potential, able to advance into a wide variety of different forms. The near minimal promotion of a baatezu into a black abishai was commonly used as an indicator that a spinagon had failed to live up to its potential. They were often used as a form of cannon fodder in Hell's legions and those without the ambition to climb out of the position would be doomed to suffer the humiliation, although in truth some abishai's were never spinagons at all but had been directly promoted into abishais by Tiamat. At the same time, black abishai's were still fairly easy to summon, making them highly useful at tempting low-level casters with uncontrollable magic.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 160. ISBN 978-0786966240.
- James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 12–14. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
- Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Edited by Chris Thomasson, Gary Sarli, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 109–112. ISBN 978-0-7869-3940-4.
- J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
- Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 18. ISBN 978-1560768623.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- Bruce R. Cordell, et al. (November 2008). Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7869-4980-9.
- Colin McComb (September 1997). Faces of Evil: The Fiends. Edited by Ray Vallese. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
- Robin D. Laws, Robert J. Schwalb (December 2006). Fiendish Codex II: Tyrants of the Nine Hells. Edited by Chris Thomasson, Gary Sarli, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7869-3940-4.
Least: Lemure • Nupperibo • Spinagon
Lesser: Abishai (Black • Blue • Green • Red • White) • Barbazu • Erinyes • Excruciarch • Ghargatula • Hamatula (Stony devil) • Kocrachon • Merregon • Osyluth • War devil • Xerfilstyx
Greater: Amnizu • Cornugon • Gelugon • Logokron • Narzugon • Orthon • Paeliryon • Pit fiend
Baatezu of unknown rank: Advespa • Dogai • Gulthir • Jerul
Araton • Burning devil • Fimbrul devil • Hellcat • Hellwasp • Imp (Bloodbag • Euphoric • Filth) • Kalabon • Kyton • Seared devil • Stitched devil • Succubus • Tar devil
Chromatic dragons: Red • Black • Blue • Green • White • Brown • Gray • Purple • Pink • Yellow
Gem dragons: Amber • Amethyst • Emerald • Sapphire • Topaz • Crystal • Obsidian
Lung dragons: Chiang lung • Li lung • Lung wang • Pan lung • Shen lung • T'ien lung • Tun mi lung • Yu lung
Planar dragons: Astral • Battle • Blight • Chaos • Ethereal • Hellfire wyrm • Howling • Mirage • Oceanus • Pyroclastic • Radiant • Rust • Shadow • Styx • Tarterian
Epic dragons: Force • Prismatic
Catastrophic dragons: Volcanic
Miscellaneous dragons: Dzalmus • Mist • Radiant • Rattelyr • Song • Vishap
Draconic transformations: Air • Ascendant
Linnorms: Corpse tearer • Dread • Stygian
Drakes: Ambush • Black firedrake • Dragonne • Elemental (Earth • Fire • Ice • Magma • Ooze • Smoke • Water) • Felldrake (Crested • Spitting) • Greater • Guard • Mind • Portal • Rage • Space • Vulture
Dragonets: Crow's-nest dragon • Draken • Faerie dragon • Pseudodragon
Dragonbloods: Draconic creature • Dragonborn of Bahamut • Dragonspawn
Drow-dragon (shadow) • Drow-dragon (deep) • Half-dragon • Kobold (Dragonwrought • Urd) • Weredragon • Zar'ithra • Zekyl
Undead dragons: Dracolich • Dragonwight • Hoarder • Rathrea • Vampiric • Zombie