Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Class Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Class Guide, I’m going to be covering the Monk Class, including all 3 Subclasses, and providing you some useful information. I’ll be doing more Build Guides for Baldur’s Gate 3, but for now, let’s just look at how a Monk functions and its basics.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Class Guide
Monks are a fast and agile Class that favor Unarmored combat, and they add their Wisdom Modifier to their Armour Class (AC) and can move further when not wearing Armour. Additionally, they can Dash and Disengage as a Bonus Action as long as they have the Ki for it.
Ki is a resource that all Monks gain that they can use to Dash, Disengage, use Flurry of Blows to land multiple hits as a Bonus Action, or a variety of other things based on their Subclass. Monks continue gaining Ki every level, so they can use these features more and more the higher level they go in the Monk Class.
Monks can also make an Unarmed Attack as a Bonus Action if they make an Unarmed Attack, or if they Attack with any weapon they have Proficiency in that is not two-handed or heavy. Note that Monks can use STR or DEX for any of their melee attacks, as long as they meet the same criteria, and that Versatile Weapons are not considered two-handed, even if used in two hands. This gives Monks many Attacks in combat, since they gain Extra Attack at level 5, though they lean heavily towards melee combat because of this.
BG3 Monk Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Monk during Character Creation for the best results. We’ll begin with Abilities first, since this is arguably the most important part, aside from choosing your Subclass.
Your primary Ability as a Monk is Dexterity, though Monks can make decent use of Wisdom as well. However, how much Wisdom a Monk needs really depends on their Subclass, and if you are Multiclassing or not. Strength can also be an option for Monks too, especially if they plan to play exclusively Unarmed.
- Dexterity increases your Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls, boosts Armour Class and Initiative, allows you to reduce the damage of projectiles and reflect them, improves Sleight of Hand, Acrobatics and Stealth Checks, as well as improves Dexterity Saving Throws. It’s incredibly good for a Monk.
- Wisdom increases your Armour Class when Unarmoured, increases the Spell DC of Way of the Four Elements Spells, and increases your Wisdom Skill Checks and Wisdom Saving Throws.
- Constitution is there to help keep you alive via HP, since Monks don’t have a huge health pool, and can help prevent you from getting downed quickly.
For this reason, I strongly recommend that you invest 16 in DEX and 14 in CON during Character Creation. Wisdom will vary depending on whether or not you play Unarmoured, and if you go Way of the Four Elements or not. Consider 14 here if you want, but you can get away with less.
- STR 10
- DEX 16
- CON 16
- INT 8
- WIS 14
- CHA 10
Four Elements Monk
- STR 10
- DEX 16
- CON 14
- INT 8
- WIS 16
- CHA 10
- STR 17
- DEX 14
- CON 14
- INT 8
- WIS 12
- CHA 10
Note I’ve changed this from the recommendations as it more optimizes your Character during the early goings of the game.
Elf is good for Longsword and Longbow Proficiency, as well as Fey Ancestry. They also gain Darkvision, which can help land your attacks in dark places. High Elves also have Perception Proficiency, while Wood Elves have Stealth Proficiency and can move further. Either are a good choice, granting one Skill Proficiency you might likely take anyway.
Deep Gnome is also fantastic for Advantage on Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma Saving Throws, as well as Superior Darkvision, and they also have Advantage on Stealth Checks. Great if you want to go Way of the Shadow.
Lightfoot Halflings are another solid choice, because they reroll if they roll a 1 on any Attack Roll, Ability Check or Saving Throw, all but preventing them from ever Critically Missing. They also cannot be Frightened easily and they too have Advantage on on Stealth Checks.
Half-Elf and Human are also not bad choices if you want Light Armour and Shield Proficiency, and some Weapon Proficiencies Monks wouldn’t otherwise have. Just remember that Unarmoured Defence only works if no Armour is worn, and Unarmoured Movement is only added if no Armour or a Shield is used. So there are trade-offs to wearing Armour on a Monk, trade offs that get worse the more levels of Monk you take.
For Skills Monks can handle the lockpicking and pickpocketing of the group if you don’t have a Rogue, Ranger or Bard, so consider taking the Urchin background, particularly if you’re going Way of Shadow. Insight and Athletics are also good choices, since you will have some Wisdom and Athletics helps with Shoving and Shove prevention.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 1
At level 1, Monks gain access to a resource known as Ki, which allows them to perform certain Actions and Bonus Actions in combat using this resource. Monks gain 2 Ki at level 1, and then 1 Ki per level from this point onward. Ki is replenished every Short Rest.
|Monk Level||Ki Points|
Also at this level, Monks gain Unarmoured Defence, which allows them to add their Wisdom Modifier to their Armour Class (AC) when not wearing Armour. This does not stack with the Barbarian’s Unarmoured Defence, nor the Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer’s Draconic Resilience, nor the Mage Armour Spell.
Also at this level, Monks can use their Dexterity or Strength, whichever is higher when making melee Attacks while Unarmed or with Monk Weapons. Monk Weapons are any Weapons they have Proficiency with that are not two-handed or Heavy. This makes them the only Class in BG3 that can attack in melee using Dexterity while not using a Finesse Weapon.
Additionally, after Attacking with a Monk Weapon or while Unarmed they can use their Bonus Action to make an additional Unarmed Attack. Unarmed Attacks are made in melee range, so if you make your Attack with a Ranged Weapon, you would have to move up to use this.
And finally at this level, Monks also gain Flurry of Blows that allows them to punch twice rapidly using their Bonus Action and 1 Ki Point. This does more damage than the typical Unarmed Attack since it hits twice.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 2
At level 2, Monks gain Unarmoured Movement, allowing them to move further in combat if they are not wearing Armour and they are not using a Shield.
Also at this level, they can spend a Ki Point as a Bonus Action to make attacks against them have Disadvantage and to have Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws for 1 turn. This is incredibly good, and gets even better the more difficult the enemies become.
And finally at this level, Monks gain Step of the Wind, allowing them to use Dash and Disengage as a Bonus Action in exchange for one Ki Point. Additionally, when using this Jump no longer consumes a Bonus Action, so they can also Jump on the same turn. This gives Monks incredible mobility, even better than Rogues, as long as they have the Ki to use it.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 3
At level 3, all Monks can use their Reaction to reduce the damage of a projectile fired at them. They roll a D10 and add their Dexterity Modifier to this, and if the damage is reduced to 0 or lower than they can also “Deflect” that missile back at the attacker, potentially damaging them. This can be used once per Round, and note that it doesn’t negate other negative effects that may come along with the attack, such as if Ensnaring Strike was used even if damage is reduced to 0.
Also at this level, Monks will select a Subclass, and gain Subclass Features of that Subclass. We will be covering these more in detail in the Subclasses section.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 4
At level 4, Monks can use their Reaction in combat to reduce their Fall Damage by half should they be knocked off a ledge, or down a long ways.
Also at level 4, Monks will gain their first Feat. Ability Improvement is a great choice for Monks in order to pump Dexterity, since they use it for so many things, but there are other good Feats as well. For instance, Dual Wielder is great for Monk if you want to use two non-light weapons and gain +1 Armour Class, and Lucky is great for picking up some uses of Advantage and controlling outcomes. Mobile is also good, allowing you to move even further, or Tavern Brawler if you’re playing a Strength focused Monk.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 5
At level 5, Monks gain Extra Attack, which allows them to make a second Attack on a turn they use their Action to attack with. This allows them to Attack twice, and then use their Bonus Action for Unarmed Attack or Flurry of Blows, which can be deadly.
Also at level 5, all Monks gain access to Stunning Strike, which allows them to try to Stun enemies while also making a Weapon or Unarmed Attack. The target must pass a CON Saving Throw or become Stunned and the Difficulty Class (DC) of Stunning Strike is equal to 10 + DEX or STR Modifier, whichever is higher.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 6
Improved Unarmoured Movement
At level 6, Monks gain Improved Unarmoured Movement, further increasing their Movement Speed when not using Armour or a Shield.
Also at level 6, the Monk’s Unarmed Attacks count as magical for the purposes of overcoming Resistance or Immunity to non-magical attacks. This allows them to still deal good damage with Unarmed Attacks, even if the enemy has Physical Resistance or Immunity.
All Monks gain a Subclass Feature at this level as well, which we’ll cover more in the Subclass section.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 7
At level 7, just like Rogues, Monks take no damage when successfully Saving against a Spell that targets Dexterity that would deal damage even if they Saved, and take only half damage if they fail the Saving Throw. This drastically reduces the damage they take from some Spells and other harmful effects.
Also at this level, Monks automatically cast Stillness of Mind if they are Charmed or Frightened, ending these effects on them.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 8
At level 8, Monks will gain their second Feat. Ability Improvement is still a great choice, but there are other good ones as well, which I mentioned earlier.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 9
At level 9, Monks gain Advanced Unarmoured Movement, which prevents Difficult Terrain from slowing them down, and they can Jump an additional 6m as long as they are not wearing Armour or using a Shield.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 10
At level 10, Monks gain Improved Unarmoured Movement once again, further increasing their Movement Speed when not using Armour or a Shield.
Also at this level, all Monks gain Purity of Body making them Immune to Poison Damage, and they can’t be Poisoned nor affected by Diseases of any kind.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 11
At level 11, all Monks gain their final Subclass Feature, which we will cover in the Subclasses Section.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Level 12
At level 12, Monks will gain their final Feat. Ability Improvement is still a great choice if you’re not at 20 in DEX or STR yet, but there are other good ones as well, which I mentioned earlier.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Equipment
Monks in BG3 typically don’t wear Armour of any kind or use a Shield because of the benefits they gain to Armour Class from their Wisdom, but more importantly to their Movement Speed. However, these improvements increase as your Monk level increases, making it less important if you Multiclass.
Weapon-wise, Monks will typically avoid two-handed weapons to gain the benefit of their Unarmed Attack as a Bonus Action, but they can still use Versatile Weapons very effectively, even if they use them in two hands. For this reason I advise Monks to use something like a Staff, Spear, Longsword, Battleaxe or Warhammer or even play Unarmed. And which you use, will really depend on what you find while playing BG3, and whether or not you have the Proficiency for it from your Race or Multiclassing, and what Subclass you chose.
Accessory-wise, look for things that boost their AC so that you are less likely to get hit. Monks don’t have a ton of AC, so they can benefit from having some more.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Subclasses
Choosing a Monk Subclass in BG3 is not that hard of decision, because they are all so distinctly different. Want to be better with your Unarmed Attacks? Then choose Way of the Open Hand. Like to play a stealthy Monk? Than choose Way of Shadow. Want to have some spells in your arsenal? Then choose Way of the Four Elements.
|Class||Open Hand||Shadow||Four Elements|
|Level 3||Flurry of Blows:|
Pass Without A Trace
|Harmony of Fire and Water|
Disciple of the Elements Spells
|Level 5||None||Cloak of Shadows||None|
|Level 6||Wholeness of Body|
|Shadow Step||Disciple of the Elements Spell|
|Level 9||Ki Resonation: Punch|
Ki Resonation: Blast
|None||Improved Elemental Casting|
Disciple of the Elements Spell
|Level 11||Tranquility||Shadow Strike||Disciple of the Elements Spell|
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Way of the Open Hand
Flurry of Blows: Stagger, Flurry of Blows: Push, Flurry of Blows: Topple
The Stagger version is guaranteed as long as the Attack connects, preventing the target from taking any Reaction that round.
The Push version targets the STR of the character, as long as the Attack connects, and they must make a Strength Saving Throw or be Pushed back. The DC for this Save is 10 + the STR or DEX Modifier of the Monk, whichever is higher.
The Topple version targets the DEX of the character, as long as the Attack connects, and they must make a Dexterity Saving Throw or be knocked Prone. Attacking Prone enemies in melee provides Advantage on attacks. The DC for this Save is 10 + the STR or DEX Modifier of the Monk, whichever is higher.
Manifestation of Mind, Manifestation of Body, Manifestation of Soul
At level 6, Way of the Open Hand Monks gain Manifestation of Mind, Body and Soul, allowing them to add different damage types to their Unarmed Attacks. This is not only great for getting around Physical Resistances, but also adds damage to Flurry of Blows, and makes this Subclass lean more towards Unarmed combat than other Monks.
Also at this level, Way of the Open Hand Monks gain Wholeness of Body, which heals them, replenishes half their total Ki and then restores 1 Ki and provides an extra Bonus Action per turn for 3 turns once per Long Rest as an Action. This is incredibly strong as it allows the Monk to regain a ton of Ki, while also allowing them to use Flurry of Blows or Unarmed Attack twice each turn.
At level 9, Way of the Open Hand Monks gain Ki Resonation: Punch which allows them as an Action OR Bonus Action to make an Unarmed Attack that allows them to follow up with Ki Resonation: Blast (that is not an Action or Bonus Action), which does Force Damage to anyone within 5m.
Ki Resonation: Blast targets the Dexterity of characters it hits, who must make a Dexterity Saving Throw, and take half damage even if they Save against it. The Difficulty Class of the Saving Throw is equal to 8 + Wisdom Modifier + Proficiency Bonus of the Monk.
At level 11, Way of the Open Hand Monks gain Tranquility, which provides them the benefits of the Sanctuary Spell, which prevents them from being targeted directly by enemies, until they Attack or take a hostile action towards another creature. This allows them to begin combat without worrying much about being attacked before their turn.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Way of Shadow
At level 3, Way of Shadow Monks gain Minor Illusion, allowing them to cast this Cantrip.
Also at this level, Way of Shadow Monks gain Shadow Arts, which allows them to Hide as a Bonus Action, much like Rogues, and allows them to cast the following Spells using 2 Ki Points each:
- Pass Without A Trace
At level 5, Way of Shadow Monks gain Cloak of Shadows, allowing them to to become Invisible if they are at least Lightly Obscured. This can be used as many times as you want, and has no Rest requirement before using it a second time.
At level 6, Way of Shadow Monks gain Shadow Step, allowing them to teleport up to 18m as a Bonus Action as long they are Lightly Obscured, and where they teleport to is also Lightly Obscured. They also gain Advantage on their next Melee Attack after using this for 1 turn, and they can use this every turn if they wish.
At level 11, Way of Shadow Monks gain Shadow Strike, which can be used with a Weapon or Unarmed as an Action, allowing them to teleport up to 9m striking the target for increased Psychic Damage. This Attack costs 3 Ki to use, and must be used while Hidden or Invisible.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Way of the Four Elements
At level 3, Way of the Four Elements Monks will get to choose 3 Disciple of the Elements Spells. Most of these are similar to other Spells in BG3, just with different names, and more powerful ones will become available as you reach higher Monk Levels.
These Spells cost 2 Ki Points to cast, and some of them target Armour Class (AC), and some target an Ability. Spells that target Abilities use 8 + WIS Modifier + Proficiency Bonus to calculate their Spell Difficulty Class (DC). While those that make Attack Rolls, add their WIS Modifier and Proficiency Bonus to their D20 roll (Except for Fangs of the Fire Snake, which uses your DEX or STR Modifier, whichever is higher.
Also at this level, Way of the Four Elements Monks can regain half their Ki, (rounded down) outside of combat, once per Long Rest.
At level 6, Way of the Four Elements Monks can select another Disciple of the Elements Spell, with three new ones to choose from, which cost 3 Ki Points to cast.
At level 9, Way of the Four Elements Monks gain improved Spells, and nearly all of their Spells will deal increased damage, or in the case of Clench of the North Wind, hold another target when cast.
Also at this level, Way of the Four Elements Monks can select another Disciple of the Elements Spell.
At level 11, Way of the Four Elements Monks will get to select their final Disciple of the Elements Spell, and with 3 new ones to choose from, which cost 4 Ki Points to cast.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Guide – Multiclassing
In this section of our Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Class Guide we’ll take a look at Multiclassing a Monk in BG3, and what other Classes you might Multiclass with. Keep in mind this is not a complete list, but rather helpful suggestions to that make good pairings.
When To Multiclass
Monks are heavily front loaded, meaning they gain Unarmoured Defence, Flurry of Blows and Martial Arts at level 1, Step of the Wind, Patient Defence and Unarmoured Movement at level 2, and Deflect Missile and a Subclass at level 3. This means many Classes might Multiclass with Monk for just a few levels.
All Monks gain Extra Attack and Stunning Strike at level 5, so that’s another solid place to Multiclass after, however, past this point it really becomes about what Subclass you chose, and what you can at each level past this point.
Multiclassing Way of the Open Hand
I like 6 levels of Way of the Open Hand and 6 levels of Thief here. This gives you Extra Attack and Stunning Strike, along with Flurry of Blows options, increased damage with Unarmed Attacks, as well as Wholeness of Body which provides you with an additional Bonus Action and Ki for 3 rounds.
You also gain 3D6 Sneak Attack from Rogue, and an extra Bonus Action, giving you 3 Bonus Actions while Wholeness of Body is active, allowing you to deal a whole lot of damage! This also gives you some more Skills, which can be quite useful.
I also like 3 levels of Way of the Open Hand, and 9 of Champion. This gives you a lot of the front loaded parts of the Monk, while also picking up Weapon and Armour Proficiencies and Extra Attack from Fighter. They also get an extra Feat at level 6, so you’d still get 3 Feats total. If you take Champion you get some nice synergy with more Critical Hits, as well as improved Jump Distance which pairs well with Step of the Wind. When playing this way you would most certainly use Armour, since you don’t lose out much on Movement Speed with only 3 levels of Monk, and you will not need Wisdom at all.
Multiclassing Way of Shadow
I like 6 levels of Way of Shadow and 6 levels of Assassin here. This gives you Extra Attack and Stunning Strike, along with the ability to turn Invisible at will outside of combat, and gain access to Shadow Step, which can be used to position you from outside of combat right near an enemy while maintaining Stealth, allowing for an easy melee Sneak Attack that should automatically Crit. You will also gain another Attack at the beginning of combat since you are an Assassin.
Multiclassing Way of the Four Elements
I like 6 levels of Way of the Four Elements and 6 levels of Cleric. This provides you 4 Spells for your Monk and a decent amount of Ki to do it with, and these Spells use Wisdom to attack with and Clerics need high Wisdom as well making this a great pairing. You can also gain some Armour Proficiencies and Weapon Proficiencies this way if you want them, and if you choose War Domain you’ll gain even more. You’ll also be able to use your Bonus Action to make an attack, and it can be from ranged, so you might want to use a Ranged Weapon when playing this way and stick to high DEX an WIS.
This also provides you with Cleric Spells that you can use offensively or defensively, and you could even take another Cleric Domain instead, like Light, if you want to get some deadly Fire Spells.
3 Way of the Four Elements and 9 Ranger is also not a bad pairing since they both use Wisdom to cast Spells. This would give you 4 Ki Points per Short Rest to use on 2 Spells, while you gain Extra Attack, a Fighting Style and Armour and Weapon Proficiency from the Ranger. This would also allow you to reach level 3 Spells with the Ranger too, and you can choose whichever subclass you like.
I hope you found these tips helpful, and we’ll have some more Builds out really soon that showoff more of these Multiclassing aspects!
That wraps up our Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk Class Guide! Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we update the other Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch Channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day, as well as our Baldur’s Gate 3 Guides.