All Monk DnD 5e Party

Single-Class DnD Parties: Oops All Monks


We’re taking a look at building single-class parties. Building a party around a single class presents unique challenges often due individual classes’ limited capabilities. DnD is fundamentally a game about a party of diverse characters pooling their abilities to become more than the sum of their parts. The single-class party flips that on its head, introducing fun new challenges.

The Monk is the most difficult class to play effectively in the 2014 5e rules. The tactics are frequently rigid and limiting, resource management is hard, and there’s really only one way to build a monk effectively. An all-Monk party will have a lot of very similar characters, but subclasses and feats offer room for some diversity between builds.

The Rules

  • No multiclassing
  • 4 party members
  • Must attempt to cover all party roles

Strengths and Weaknesses of the All-Monk Party

Monks have numerous weaknesses and only a few clear strengths. Monks are highly mobile and can make numerous attacks very quickly, allowing them to quickly eliminate enemies in melee. Stunning Fist allows monks to stun-lock enemies, making single enemies less threatening simply because the party can overwhelm them with Constitution saves until they eventually fail.  At high levels, monks can be both very powerful and very difficult to kill.

That said, low level for Monks is absolutely torturous. The Monk’s limited pool of Ki makes them extremely bursty and dependent on short rests. Their AC is poor because Ability Score Increases take so long to come online, and, with d8 hit dice, they’re very frail. Monks also struggle to fight at range and usually can’t fly, so flying enemies with ranged attacks are a lethal threat despite Deflect Missiles. Fortunately, few creatures can catch a Monk when they decide to run away.

Monks also have no support or utility magic, locking us out of both roles right away. We’ll need to solve many problems by solely mundane means, and combat will often involve 4 monks fighting largely independently rather than setting up combos or buffs.

The Party

Member 1: Variant Human Way of Shadow Monk

While all monks are capable of being a Scout due to high Dexterity and Wisdom, Way of Shadow’s ability to cast Pass Without Trace and to teleport in dim light and to make themselves invisible put the Shadow Monk head and shoulders above other Monks in their ability to move about unseen.

We’ll use our Variant Human feat for either Eldritch Adept (Devil’s Sight) or Fighting Initiate (Blind Fighting) so that we can fight effectively in our own area of magical Darkness.

Member 2: Way of Mercy Monk

The only variety of monk with the ability to heal other creatures, Way of Mercy is a surprisingly effective healer. Hand of Healing provides hit point restoration, plus Physician’s Touch allows you to remove status conditions similarly to Less Restoration. We’ll make this our Healer.

Since we don’t need specific skills to support this, we can also make this our Scholar. A race which provides additional skills is very helpful here. Since we have easy access to hit point restoration to offset lower Constitution, we can afford to drop our Constitution a little bit to invest some points in Intelligence.

Member 3: Gem Dragonborn Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk

Ascendant Dragon is the best option that the Monk gets to play a Blaster. We can complement our class features which enable flight and a breath weapon with the Gem Dragonborn traits which also give us flight and a breath weapon. Since both breath weapons replace an attack during the Attack action, we can fly above enemies, use both breath weapons to attack enemies below us, and effectively create a circular area.

Our Ascendant Dragon Monk will also be our party’s Face. Draconic Presence is among the only Monk features which support Face skills, so this is our best bet. We can sacrifice a tiny bit of Constitution for a tiny bit of Charisma, but we’re going to depend heavily on Draconic Presence to make up for a good skill modifier.

Member 4: Way of the Astral Self Monk

The closest thing that the Monk gets to a durable front line, our Astral Self Monk will be both our Defender and our Controller, all of which will be accomplished by grappling.

Since we’re intending to draw more fire than the rest of our party, our ability scores and our choice of race are especially important. Races which provide better AC like the Loxodon, the Tortle, and the Warforged are all appealing here. Races which let you get three +1 increases are also great, allowing you to start with 16 in Dex/Con/Wis. Variant Human also works here, as you can take Skill Expert to get Expertise in Athletics as well as a total of 3 +1 increases at level 1.

The Report Card

Utility Caster

Biggest Strength

Against single enemies or small numbers of enemies, the party can throw enough Stunning Strikes that their enemy will fail one eventually. This makes these encounters relatively easy.

Biggest Weakness

Flying enemies who aren’t bothered by Deflect Missiles are a huge problem. Our Ascendant Dragon Monk is the only member of the party who can fly, so ranged combat often comes down to the party throwing darts or running away.


An all-Monk party will have many challenges. It could still be a lot of fun, but the party will frequently struggle in places that a well-balanced party will rarely be challenged.

If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to check out the other articles in the series: