If you're looking for a Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build, then your search ends here. The Monk is one of the 12 classes available in Baldur’s Gate 3, which draws inspiration from the traditions of Tibet.
The class emphasizes melee combat and nimbleness over brute strength and relies heavily on Dexterity and Wisdom, with Strength and Dexterity as their saving throw proficiencies. Here's all you need to know about the best Monk build in Baldur's Gate, including the best race, skills, ability points, and subclasses.
Below, you'll find everything you need to know to make the best Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build, creating the best loadout you can to destroy all the creatures you encounter.
Baldur's Gate 3 Monk Overview
Monks in Baldur’s Gate 3 are unique due to their key point system, which powers many of their abilities. They excel in melee combat, using unarmed attacks to make enemies prone, deliver Flurry of Blows, and even cast spells in certain subclasses. Monks prioritize dexterity and have unarmored defense, making them resilient without wearing armor. They also benefit from increased movement speed when not wearing armor.
Monks have a hit die of d8, which means they gain 8 hit points per level. Their primary ability is dexterity, which affects their attack rolls and armor class. Their secondary ability is wisdom, which determines the difficulty of their Ki features. Their saving throw proficiencies are strength and dexterity.
Monks can choose from two skills out of six: Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Religion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth. They are proficient in simple weapons and shortswords but not in any armor or shields.
Best Monk Race
Race choice depends on role-playing preferences since proficiencies and abilities don’t impact monks significantly. Half-Orc could be optimal due to endurance and Savage Attacks, but any race can work.
Some races that have bonuses to dexterity or wisdom are:
- Wood Elf: +2 DEX, +1 WIS, Darkvision, Keen Senses (Perception), Mask of the Wild (Stealth), Fleet of Foot (Movement)
- Githyanki: +2 STR, +1 INT, Decadent Mastery (one skill proficiency), Githyanki Psionics (Jump and Mage Hand spells)
- Human: +1 to all ability scores
- Lightfoot Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CHA, Lucky (reroll 1s on attack rolls), Brave (advantage on saving throws against being frightened), Halfling Nimbleness (move through spaces of larger creatures)
- Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 INT or DEX (depending on subrace), Darkvision, Hellish Resistance (resistance to fire damage), Infernal Legacy (Thaumaturgy cantrip and other spells depending on subrace)
Best Monk Skills
Focus on dexterity skills like Stealth, Acrobatics, or Sleight of Hand. Wisdom skills can also be useful if going for the Four Elements subclass.
Some skills that are useful for monks are:
- Stealth: This skill lets you stay out of sight and move quietly. It is affected by your level of Dexterity.
- Acrobatics: This skill is your ability to resist being shoved, tripped, or moved against your will. It is also affected by your level of Dexterity.
- Sleight of Hand: This skill allows you to wield nimble fingers, pick locks and pockets, and disarm traps. It is affected by your level of Dexterity.
- Insight: This skill allows you to read the intentions and emotions of others. It is affected by your level of Wisdom.
- Religion: This skill allows you to understand holy rites and knowledge of the gods. It is affected by your level of Wisdom.
- Athletics: This skill is your ability to climb, jump, swim, and perform other physical feats. It is affected by your level of Strength.
Dexterity is crucial for attack rolls and Armor Class, while Constitution provides health and adds to your Armor Class. Strength can be considered for the Tavern Brawler feat.
The recommended ability point distribution for monks is as follows:
- Dexterity: 17 (+3 modifier)
- Constitution: 14 (+2 modifier)
- Wisdom: 14 (+2 modifier)
- Strength: 12 (+1 modifier)
- Intelligence: 8 (-1 modifier)
- Charisma: 10 (+0 modifier)
You can adjust these values according to your preferences or racial bonuses. For example, you can swap Strength and Intelligence scores if you choose a Githyanki as your race.
Best Monk Subclasses
Monks can choose from three subclasses at level 3:
Way of the Open Hand
This subclass enhances unarmed combat, adding effects like knocking enemies prone or stunning them. It also grants self-healing abilities and improved defenses.
Some features of this subclass are:
- Open Hand Technique: When you are hit with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 ki point to attempt one of the following effects - Knock Prone, Push, and Disable.
- Wholeness of Body: At the 6th level, you can heal yourself for 3 times your Monk level as an action. You need a long rest to reuse this feature.
- Tranquility: At the 11th level, you can meditate to create a peaceful aura. After a long rest, you get a sanctuary spell until your next long rest. The save DC is 8+Wisdom modifier+proficiency bonus.
- Quivering Palm: At the 17th level, you can cause deadly vibrations in a creature’s body. When you are hit with an unarmed strike, you can use 3 ki points to start the vibrations, which last for days equal to your Monk level. A greater restoration spell or similar magic can stop them. You can use your action to try to kill the target anytime. The target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier) or die.
Way of the Shadow
This subclass focuses on stealth and subterfuge, granting spells and abilities that enhance mobility and deception.
Some features of this subclass are:
- Shadow Arts: At the 3rd level, you can use ki points to cast darkness, darkvision, or pass without a trace. You can also use 2 ki points to cast silence.
- Shadow Step: At 6th level, you can teleport 60 feet to an empty space in dim light or darkness. You can do this proficiency bonus times per long rest.
- Cloak of Shadows: At the 11th level, you can turn invisible as an action. You stay invisible until your next turn ends, or you attack, take damage, or force a save.
- Opportunist: At the 17th level, you can react to an attack on a creature within 5 feet of you. You can make an unarmed strike or a monk weapon attack as a reaction.
Way of the Four Elements
This subclass grants access to elemental spells that enhance martial abilities. You can use your Ki points to cast these spells as an action.
Some features of this subclass are:
- Elemental Disciplines: At the 3rd level, you can cast elemental spells from a list by spending ki points.
- Elemental Attunement: At the 6th level, you can use your action to manipulate elemental forces nearby.
- Eternal Mountain Defense: At the 11th level, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage of an attack by an amount equal to your Monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
- Elemental Mastery: At the 17th level, you can use your action to enter a state of elemental trance for 1 minute.
At levels 4 and 8, monks can choose to increase one ability score by 2, or two ability scores by 1, or take a feat. The recommended options are:
- You have the option to either enhance your Dexterity by two points or increase both your Dexterity and Constitution by one point each. This choice will result in improved accuracy for your attacks, better defense with higher armor class, quicker reaction times for initiative, enhanced stealth capabilities, and increased damage potential.
- Consider choosing the Tavern Brawler feat. It provides you with expertise in using improvised weapons and unarmed strikes, boosts your Strength by one, and enables you to grapple an opponent as a bonus action after successfully hitting them with an unarmed strike or improvised weapon. Doing so will make your monk more adaptable and efficient in close-range encounters.