5e Monk Guide

5e monk guide

There are plenty of different classes you can play in D&D 5e. Each class comes with its own unique set of abilities and skills. The Monk is no exception. In fact, many D&D 5e players choose to make the monk their main character. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when playing this class.


Monks are a light and fast fighter, but they lack weapons and armor proficiency. If you are looking to build a Monk, you’ll need to focus on DEX, WIS, and AC.

The monk is a great choice for a silent ninja, or even an assassin. They are also good at extraction and infiltration. You can also use their Ki powers to cast spells.

A Monk is a devout follower of the law. They have low hit points, but a high constitution and dexterity, allowing them to be powerful without weapons.

When they get to the second level, they can harness the power of ki. With a few points of Ki, they can do incredible damage with a simple attack. These abilities aren’t very strong at first, but as they grow, they’ll become a reliable source of damage.

At level seven, Monks can dodge fireballs. At eight, they can deflect a missile attack. Finally, at nine, they can run across water. This is useful, particularly if you’re in an aquatic campaign.

They can also do physics-defying acrobatics, and they can reduce the amount of damage they take when they fall. In fact, they can also dodge dragon’s lightning breath.

Monks have many subclasses. One of the best is Way of the Drunken Master. It gives them a bunch of utility bonuses, including a bonus attack with a barrage of spiritual fists.


If you want to play a Monk in 5e, you need to get a good support suite. You also need a good AC stat. But besides that, you really just need to find some weapons and a skill or two to give you some variety.

The good news is that there are several options available to you. Here are some of them.

Among other things, the Gnome has an interesting feature: 120 feet of Darkvision. This is a nice advantage for Stealth rolls. While it’s not exactly a game changer, it does make your character a lot easier to spot.

There are some other monk-specific abilities you can pick up. The Flurry of Blows is a cheap way to gain an extra attack. Another cool ability is the Focused Aim, which allows you to only miss at high AC.

Besides the obvious benefits of being a Monk, you get to roll a d8 hit dice. And, for a class that is so reliant on weapon proficiency, that’s a huge boon.

Alternatively, you could go the route of the Kensei. They have a lot of advantages, including their ability to carry two kensei weapons at once. Although they lack some important attributes, they can be very useful.

The Thri-kreen are telepathic creatures. Their sleep feature gives them an advantage on Stealth checks. In addition to the telepathy, they have decent AC.


Whether you’re looking to build a Monk or are interested in playing one, this 5e monk guide will help you find the best options for your play style. You’ll also learn about some of the more important skills you need to know.

One of the most important skills for any monk is Dexterity. Dexterity is used to power attack and defense, and to fuel many of their special abilities.

Another important skill is Wis. Wisdom is especially useful for offensive subclasses. It also fuels their AC.

A strong support suite is essential for a successful Monk. Many enemies are resistant to non-magical weapon attacks. For these reasons, it’s recommended that a Monk’s build include some armor.

To keep your Monk from getting knocked out, you should focus on boosting your AC. You’ll also want to boost your Dexterity saves. This will ensure that you can use Quickened Healing to heal yourself after a fight.

If you’re a monk who wants to concentrate on strength, Grappler will be extremely useful. While Grappler is not a perfect choice for Monks, you can still get the most out of it.

For a ranged option, you can try your hand at Radiant Sun Bolt. This is a standard attack that gains an extra shot at fifth level. The damage from this is scaled with your Ki.

If you’re looking for an area-of-effect ability, consider Hour of Reaping. This ability grants an advantage on attacks and can cause the creature to be stunned.

Way of the Drunken Master

The Drunken Master monk is a fun class to play, especially if you’re into the drinking game. Despite the name, there are no drinking mechanics, but it does encourage a bit of strategy and a more focused striker role.

While the monk’s main job is protecting its flock, it can also take the hit. Hence, the monk has a fairly large range of useful abilities, some of which are quite useless without the appropriate support.

The Way of the Astral Self is a clever way to boost your stats, without having to sacrifice some of your martial prowess. It’s also an excellent way to highlight your ki-efficient rapier. But this isn’t the only way to make the most of your monk’s special powers.

Likewise, the Way of the Ascendant Dragon is a good choice for a player looking to get a handle on crowds. This subclass gets to spellcast at a comparable rate to the Eldritch Knight, but also gains access to one of the most useful 5th level spells, as well as a version of Frightful Presence. Considering that monks have a fairly small range of hit points, a few extra healing spells will go a long way in closing the gap with more durable martial characters.

Lastly, the Way of the Long Death is a great choice for a defender. Its four abilities cover the gamut.

Unarmed Strikes

If you’re playing a Monk, it’s important to understand how Unarmed Strikes work. These attacks deal damage like a melee weapon, but with the additional bonus of a proficiency bonus. However, you should only use them if you’re prepared to get into trouble.

While a Monk’s primary combat capability is unarmed strikes, they can also utilize other abilities and skills. A Monk’s ki-based attacks and ability to manipulate their opponent’s ki are incredibly powerful. They can also help hinder the ki flow in their opponent, preventing them from casting reaction spells.

The Monk is the most powerful unarmed striker. As a Monk gains levels, their Unarmed Strikes become increasingly powerful. Eventually, they’ll outpace a Fighter in unarmed strike utility and damage.

In addition to their primary class ability, Arms of the Astral Self, Monks can also spend ki points to create other effects. For example, they can channel negative ki into their attack for a healing effect. Or they can use ki to disengage from an enemy.

Another class ability, Way of Mercy, helps Monks heal others with positive ki. They can also channel negative ki into their unarmed strikes, damaging their foes with a flurry of blows.

Another useful ability for monks is the Visage of the Astral Self. With it, a Monk can see in normal darkness to 120 feet. This ability also lets a Monk speak to a single creature within 60 feet.

Dedicated Weapon Optional Class Feature

The Dedicated Weapon Optional Class Feature is a very limited feature. You get one Dedicated Weapon per day, which you can change daily. It does little to expand Monk’s weapon options.

There are a few options for the class, including a musket, spear, two-handed weapon, and longsword. These options are fine, but not really what Monks need.

For a monk, it’s best to get a versatile weapon. A shortbow, longsword, or Warhammer are all good choices. They don’t have to be heavy, but they need to be simple.

For ranged attacks, a crossbow or darts are good options. Darts are also helpful for flicking damage at foes when they’re outside of range. Unlike crossbows, a shortbow doesn’t need to be drawn quickly to make a hit.

Some monks have a preference for one type of weapon. If yours does, you may want to consider a focused attack or shortbow. An extra attack is a great way to use your Ki. Spending ki can make an attack roll hit. Alternatively, spending Ki before a Short Rest can improve your durability.

Kensei monks will be most comfortable using a bow. Most monks won’t get as good of a result with a bow as they do with a spear.

Defensive DuelistPHB is a good option for a Monk. This PHB gives you an AC boost, as well as the ability to attack with a short sword.