DnD 5e Monk Subclasses Breakdown – Updated subclass assessments and improved advice

A Patreon Poll picked the Monk as the final class to receive updated subclass coverage after the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and after 9 months of work, my class coverage updates are finally complete.

Two subclasses changed ratings this time: I reduced Way of the Drunken Master from blue to green, and I reduced Way of the Sun Soul from orange to red. I put a lot of thought into these decisions.

Way of the Drunken Master has sat at blue since its release, but upon further examination I think that I overvalued some of its capabilities. It’s a perfectly fine subclass, but it doesn’t add any new capabilities to the Monk and it doesn’t do a lot to enhance the Monk’s core features, either. It works fine, but it doesn’t do enough to improve the Monk to justify a blue rating.

Way of the Sun Soul has frustrated me for a long time, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. After re-evaluating Way of the Four Elements on the same day, I finally managed to identify the source of the issue: Sun Soul’s features are mediocre, and other subclasses can do the same things (and more) both better and earlier than Way of the Sun Soul. I go into more detail in the article, but the comparison to Way of the Four Elements is helpful because Way of the Four Elements can do most of the same things both better and earlier than Way of the Sun Soul.

I also added some suggested adjustments for subclasses which I’ve rated red and orange. The Monk’s subclasses have always been excellent on flavor, but inconsistent on mechanical execution, and I want people who love the themes of the subclasses to be able to enjoy them without sacrificing the ability to succeed mechanically. As usual, these suggested changes are mostly untested and any feedback is very welcome.

Updates are live on both versions of the site:

Now that the class and subclass coverage is updated, I’m going to move on to updating my race/lineage handbooks. If you want to help pick what happens in what order, head over to Patreon before I post the poll on the first day of August.

One Response

  1. Jordan M July 26, 2021