ToV Monk Guide


The Monk is an iconic martial-artist, often fighting unarmed and unarmored. Monks are effective Defenders and Strikers, and typically fill a role in a party as a Fighter-equivalent or Rogue-equivalent depending on your subclass and proficiencies.

The Monk can be difficult to play compared to the Fighter or the Rogue. They are severely MAD (multiple ability dependent), needing three high ability scores to function effectively with very little room to ignore any of them, and the Monk isn’t as durable as the Fighter nor as lethal as the Rogue. Monks also lean heavily into using Bonus Actions right from level 1, which can be briefly confusing for new players who are still acclimating to the game’s mechanics. Subclasses can introduce additional complexity to the class, but that complexity also brings a lot of diversity and a lot of fun options.

Despite those challenges, the Monk can be incredibly satisfying to play. I’ve had all kinds of fun slapping enemies prone, launching them through air, stunning them before unleashing a flurry of blows, and otherwise making my presence felt on the battlefield.

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released, and the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.

Changes from 5e

  • The word “Ki” has been removed from the Monk, moving them away from long-standing cultural issues with how the Monk has been depicted in DnD.
  • The “Ki” feature has been renamed to “Techniques”. Ki Points have been renamed to Technique Points.
  • The Monk’s point progression has been altered to front-load Technique Points, giving low-level monks more resources to use their iconic class features. The point progression matches 5e’s starting at level 9; after that, it’s 1 point per Monk level.
  • Martial Arts: Now includes Deflect Arrows.
  • Techniques:
    • “Ki Points” are now “Technique Points”
    • Flurry of Blows: You can now make two unarmed strikes as before, or you can attack once with a monk weapon.
  • Slow Fall: Rolled into Perfect Motion at level 9
  • Multiattack: Extra Attack has been renamed.
  • Empowered Strikes: Renamed from “Ki-Empowered Strikes”
  • Evasion: Moved from level 7 to level 6
  • Stillness of Mind: Rolled into one of the Heroic Boon options.
  • Perfect Motion: Combines Slow Fall and the 9th-level improvement to Unarmored Movement which allows you to run along vertical surfaces and across liquids.
  • Heroic Boon: Choose between the 2014 Purity of Body plus the ability to not be dropped to 0 hp once per day or Advantage on Wisdom saves plus the benefits of 2014 Stillness of Mind
  • Astral Teachings: Replaces Tongue of Sun and Moon with the ability to gain proficiency in a language, skill, or tool for 2 Technique Points. This is a massive improvement.
  • Timeless Self: Replaces Timeless Body at level 17 instead of level 15. In addition, you no longer need food/water and your ability scores and hp maximum can’t be reduced.
  • Boundless Technique: Replaces Perfect Self. Recover up to 4 points when you roll initiative, then regain 2 at the beginning of every turn in combat if you have none. Empty Body on turn 1, then Flurry of Blows and Stunning Strike every turn forever.

Monk Class Features

Hit Points: d8 hit points is hard for a front-line martial class like the Monk, so be sure to boost your AC and hit points wherever possible.

Saves: STR saves aren’t terribly common, but DEX saves are great for resisting damaging AOE effects, especially once you get Evasion.

Proficiencies: No armor, no shields, and not a lot of weapons. You’re expected to use “monk weapons”. Essentially you’ll be using a 1d6 weapon with versatile until level 10 (which means either a quarterstaff or a spear), then you’ll use your bare hands from then on unless you’ve found a magic weapon. Monks get the typical 2 skills, and the Monk skill list includes a lot of mediocre options which depend on Abilities which Monks don’t generally need and therefore can’t afford to invest in.

1: Martial Arts: Martial Arts is why you play a Monk. It removes the need for Strength, and gives you all the benefits of two-weapon fighting without the need for weapons, feats, or combat styles.

Martial Arts also gives you the ability to block and return ranged weapon attacks. This won’t come up often since so few enemies use ranged weapons, but it feels awesome when it does.

1: Unarmored Defense: 20 Dexterity and 20 Wisdom is an eventual goal for every Monk. With both, you have 20 AC, which matches the AC of a character in full plate with a shield.

1: Techniques:

  • Flurry of Blows: At low levels this isn’t a great option because you won’t have a lot of Ki, but as you grow in level it will become less costly. Keep in mind that Martial Arts already grants you a single extra attack as a Bonus Action, so you’re only getting one attack for your Ki point. This is the floor of effectiveness on using a ki point. If a thing you could do with Ki is worse than Flurry of Blows, you should never do that thing.
  • Patient Defense: When your health is low this is a great fallback option.
  • Step of the Wind: Similar to Cunning Action, but with a point cost. Don’t overlook the improved jump distance: the ability to jump over difficult terrain can be very useful.

2: Unarmored Movement: Some extra speed is nice for a class so strictly bound to melee, and the ability to run across water and up vertical surfaces really adds to the mystical feel of the Monk.

Subclass: Monk subclasses are briefly summarized below.

  • Flickering Dark:
  • Open Hand: Expand on the Monk’s core capabilities by adding additional effects to Flurry of Blows, as well as defense and utility options.

5: Multiattack: Essential for martial characters.

5: Stunning Strike: There’s no limit on how many times you can do this (except running out of TP), so against particularly tough opponents it’s perfectly acceptable to spend TP on each of your attacks until you succeed, or to just stun-lock a single foe for the duration of a fight.

Understanding and using Stunning Strike effectively is absolutely crucial to playing the Monk effectively. The Stunned condition robs the creature of turn, prevents them from making opportunity attacks or casting reaction spells like Shield or Counterspell, grants Advantage on attacks to hit them (including any other attacks that you make that turn), causes them to automatically fail Str/Dex saves (ex: Disintegrate), and Stunning Strike lasts until the end of your next turn, so you could spend your whole next turn attacking them with Advantage, not to mention whatever your party can do with a full round to pile on the damage.

6: Empowered Strikes: Especially important in games with few or no magic items. Many enemies have resistance to non-magical weapon attacks.

6: Evasion: Combined with high DEX and the Monk’s Reflex saves, you should be able to reliably negate AOE effects.

9: Perfect Motion: Some helpful movement options for reaching places that might otherwise prevent you from getting into melee.

10: Heroic Boon:

  • Purity of Body: Broadly useful physical defenses. If you can get resistance or immunity to poison from another source (Dwarf Lineage, Periapt of Proof Against Poison), skip this.
  • Purity of Mind: Broadly useful mental defenses. WIS saves are common, and both Charm and Fear effects are common. If you can take Mental Fortitude, do that instead.

13: Astral Teachings: An easy way to quickly cover proficiencies which your party might lack. Most of the time you’ll set this to something reliable like Insight or Perception, then temporarily replace that with something you need for a specific situation.

14: Diamond Soul: Dramatically improves your survivability. Notably this also applies to Death Saving Throws.

17: Timeless Self: Most of this will have very little impact on the game, but preventing your hit point maximum from being reduced is helpful because many enemies (especially undead) can reduce your hp maximum.

18: Empty Body: A crucial high-level tactic for the Monk. Activating this makes you hard to target, much more durable, and also grants Advantage on all of your attacks. Many fights will begin with you activating this, but definitely try to activate it before initiative is rolled if you can.

Astral Projection is situational, but by this level a safe means to explore
the outer planes is very welcome.

20: Epic Boon:

  • Boundless Technique: 4 TP means that you’ll start encounters with enough to activate Empty Body. 2 TP on other turns means that you will always have enough TP for the Monk’s Techniques and for Stunning Strike.

Monk Ability Scores

The Monk is extremely MAD. While DEX is their primary ability score, they also need both CON and WIS to function. Fortunately, you have very little use for Strength, Intelligence, or Charisma, so it’s easy to dump three scores and focus on the three that we care about.

The Point Buy rules give us 1 too few points to put a 16 in each of DEX, CON, and WIS, so you’ll need to balance where you put those points. DEX is still your highest priority, but the choice between making CON or WIS higher will depend on your exact build. If you’re planning to rely heavily on save DCs or features which are tied to WIS,

STR: Monks are proficient in STR saves, which reduces the need for Strength, but a little bit of Strength will help stretch the effectiveness of that proficiency. Athletics is also a nice option if you want to Shove enemies prone, but monk subclasses and Weapon Options already offer options to knock foes prone without resorting to Athletics.

DEX: Dexterity rules the Monk. Almost all monks rely on Dexterity for attacks, so it sets your attacks, damage, and AC, and having good Dexterity will help avoid AOE damage which can quickly cut into your d8 hit points. Evasion helps, but it’s more effective if you succeed on the save.

CON: With only d8 hit dice, CON is very important for the Monk.

INT: Generally dump, unless you really need to use knowledge skills.

WIS: WIS fuels Monk’s AC and many of their special abilities. It notably sets the save DC for class features which allow targets to make saving throws, so it’s especially important for subclasses which rely heavily on offensive special abilities.

CHA: Dump. Take a vow of silence if necessary.

Point BuyStandard Array

Monk Lineages

Monks are frail compared to most martial classes, so anything that improves your durability is a huge asset. Additional movement speeds can also be helpful so that you can reach enemies in annoying places like “the sky”.

Beastkin (CRB): Avian, Agile, and Aquatic offer other movement speeds. Sturdy lets you ignore WIS and focus on DEX and punching.

Dwarf (CRB): More hit points and resistance to poison. An easy go-to option.

Eonic Human (Blog): I don’t think they meant for Wizened Flesh to stac with Unarmored Defense. 10 + DEX mod + WIS mod + PB is absurdly high AC, making your Monk unusually durable. +PB to initiative is also great.

Human (CRB): Always excellent.

Smallfolk (CRB): The combination of Grounded and the Halfling’s Advantage on Charm/Fear saves provides broadly useful defenses.

Monk Heritages

Heritages typically provide a skill proficiency, plus some other unique benefits. Look for options which complement your ability scores and your role within the party.

Cottage (CRB): The temporary hit points make this an easy choice for any melee character. The Monk’s d8 Hit Dice need all the help they can get.

Diaspora (CRB): While monks have high WIS, they aren’t proficient in WIS saves, so Advantage on saves against Fear effects is a huge benefit.

Supplicant (CRB): Scurry can frequently replace Step of the Wind, saving you TP when you need to get out of melee.

Monk Backgrounds

If you’re planning to cover roles traditionally covered by the Rogue, be sure to get proficiency in Thieves’ Tools, as well as crucial skills like Perception and Stealth.

Criminal (CRB): Perfect if you’re planning to fill the Rogue’s skill niche, and all three Talent options can be valuable depending on your campaign.

Soldier (CRB): The skills are bad, and the only appealing Talent is Combat Conditioning.

Monk Skills

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Situational.
  • Athletics (Str): Monks don’t need a lot of Strength, so they rarely have good enough Strength to back up Athletics. However, if you have a little bit you can make excellent use of both Grapple and Shove.
  • History (Int): Situationally useful depending on the style of your campaign.
  • Insight (Wis): The closest thing you get to a Face skill.
  • Religion (Int): One of the best knowledge skills, but Monks don’t need Intelligence so you probably won’t be good with it.
  • Stealth (Dex): With such a high dependence on Dexterity, Stealth is an obvious option.

Monk Talents

Monk has access to Martial Talents.

Athletic (CRB): A great way to make grappling viable despite likely dumping STR.

Combat Conditioning (CRB): A melee character with d8 hit dice benefits a lot from another 2 hp per level and the ability to heal better via Hit Dice.

Field Medic (CRB): The Medicine skill is largely useless, so the first bullet rarely matters. The healing action is helpful for rescuing downed allies in combat, but most of the time you’ll use it before a rest to get everyone in the party some extra healing. In-combat emergency healing should be handled with Healing Word, or you can use potions. The reroll on the Hit Dice is also nice, but Combat Conditioning will be more impactful.

Furious Charge (CRB): Combined with the Monk’s Unarmored Movement, you can easily use this multiple times per turn. The option to knock enemies Prone is Strength-based, which is unfortunate, but pushing enemies around and getting bonus damage on your attacks is still really good.

Hand to Hand (CRB): Mostly redundant with the Monk’s class features. Advantage on checks to initiate a grapple is great, but may not be enough on its own, and you should definitely take Athletic first if you want to grapple.

Opportunist (CRB): Great on almost any melee character. Knock enemies prone on your turn with a Weapon Option, then replace that lost attack with the Opportunity Attack granted by Opportunist.

Physical Fortitude (CRB): Monks aren’t proficient in CON saves, and STR is a dump stat, so this is excellent protection.

Vanguard (CRB): Great on any melee character, but I would go for Opportunist first.

Weapon Discipline (CRB): Doesn’t allow you to select Unarmed Strikes, which is frustrating, but you can make at least half of your attacks with a weapon without sacrificing anything, so this is still helpful.

Magic and Technical Talents

1st-level talents from the other lists may be available from your Lineage, your Heritage, your Background, or your Subclass. Keep in mind that these Talents may not be better for your build than the Talents which you can access normally.

Aware (CRB): Not essential since you’ll have good DEX, but still helpful.

Mental Fortitude (CRB): Good insurance against problematic mental effects.

Quick (CRB): The speed bonus stacks with Unarmored Movement and the Dash benefit works with Step of the Wind, allowing you to run up walls as a Bonus Action. If you plan to take Furious Charge, this is fantastic.

Touch of Luck (CRB): An easy go-to option on any character. Monks makes more attacks than most characters, which also means missing more attacks than most characters, so you’ll generate Luck quickly.

Trade Skills (CRB): Monks most frequently fill the Rogue’s space in a party, but the Monk doesn’t get enough skills to cover all of the Rogue’s capabilities. Trade Skills closes some of that gap.

Monk Weapons

The Monk is proficient in simple weapons and shortswords. This severely limits your effective weapon choices, but your scaling Martial Arts damage die compensates for the most obvious shortcoming of simple weapons.

However, you don’t exceed 1d8 with your Martial Arts die until level 11. This means that Versatile weapons like the Quarterstaff and the Spear are your best options in terms of raw damage. Of course, damage isn’t everything: Weapon Options can be very impactful. Rotating through weapons mid-combat to use different Weapon Options can be very effective.

  • Dart (CRB): Inexpensive, light, and disposable. But the damage is poor and it has no Weapon Option. Use javelins instead.
  • Handaxe (CRB): Hamstring Weapon Option, and you can throw it.
  • Quarterstaff (CRB): 1d8 damage when used in two hands and the Bash Weapon Option. An easy go-to option.
  • Shortsword (CRB): Disarm Weapon Option. Not always important, but brutally effective against enemies that use weapons.
  • Spear (CRB): 1d8 damage when used in two hands and the Trip Weapon Option. An easy go-to option. Trip enemies, then hit them with Flurry of Blows while they’re prone.

Monk Armor

The Monk relies on Unarmored Defense. Wearing armor or a shield inhibits your class features.

Monk Multiclassing

This section briefly details some obvious and enticing multiclass options, but doesn’t fully explore the broad range of multiclassing combinations. For more on multiclassing, see our Practical Guide to Multiclassing.

  • Barbarian: You could completely disregard Wisdom by starting with a level of Barbarian to get the Barbarian’s version of Unarmored Defense (13+CON mod). You could also build your monk around Strength, allowing you to use both Rage and Reckless attack with your unarmed strikes. Danger Sense and Evasion also synergize nicely, providing good protection against area damage effects. All of this does make for an odd sort of Monk, but it’s undeniably effective.
  • Fighter: Last Stand is amazing for any front-line character. Martial Action is largely useless for the Monk, as are the Fighter’s proficiencies, but Last Stand is pretty great.

Monk Magic Items

Common Magic Items

  • Anklets of Alacrity (CRB): +PB to initiative, no attunement, won’t conflict with other magic items that you care about, and costs as little as a greatsword at just 50gp. Stellar on literally any character.

Uncommon Magic Items

  • Broom of Flying (CRB): The most accessible and reliable flight option in the game, but with the Monk’s speed you may prefer Winged Boots.
  • Cloak of Elvenkind (CRB): An excellent improvement to your ability to sneak, making it easier to compete with classes that can double their PB like the Rogue.
  • Cloak of Protection (CRB): Great on any character.
  • Periapt of Wound Closure (CRB): Monks are not as durable as many front-line characters, so improving the efficiency of your Hit Dice is a great way to prevent your frailty from becoming a problem over the course of a long adventuring day.
  • Stone of Good Luck (CRB): Good on any character.
  • Weapon, +1CRB: A +1 spear or a +1 quarterstaff will yield significantly improved damage output for most monks. Sure, it mostly won’t apply to your Bonus Action attacks, but it’s still helpful.
  • Winged Boots (CRB): Not as sustainable as the Broom of Flying, but it uses your exceptionally high movement speed, and 4 hours of flight per day is enough for anything except long-distance travel. Even then, you’re so much faster than your allies that you can fly ahead of them and wait for them to catch up once your boots run out of flight time.

Rare Magic Items

  • Amulet of Health (CRB): A huge fix for the Monk’s MAD issues. You don’t need CON so much that the difference between 19 and 20 will hurt you, but going from 14 to 19 is a huge improvement to your durability.
  • Belt of Dwarvenkind (CRB): Fantastic defensive improvements. If you find one of these, don’t take Heroic Boon: Purity of Body.
  • Boots of Speed (CRB): Not especially useful unless you’re abusing Furious Charge, but that is a pretty great combo for the Monk. Try to turn this on before combat starts so that your Bonus Action is free for hitting things.
  • Bracers of Defense (CRB): An easy +2 to AC. Always a good choice.
  • Ring of Protection (CRB): More expensive than a Cloak of Protection with the same effect, but you can only wear one cloak, so a ring may be easier if you have a cool magic cloak. The two also stack, providing a ton of protection.
  • Weapon, +2CRB: Mathematically spectacular.

Very Rare Magic Items

  • Cloak of Displacement (CRB): An excellent defensive option.
  • Manuals of Advantageous Exertion (CRB): Stellar on any character. Absolutely worth dropping all of your gold to get as many as you can find.
  • Staff of Striking (CRB): +3 to attack and damage. Save the charges for when you crit, then spend as many as you can so that the dice are doubled.
  • Weapon, +3CRB: By the time you’re high enough level to get one of these, you should probably be fighting unarmed full time.
  • Ioun Stone (Mastery)CRB: Proficiency Bonuses apply to a lot of things and a +1 bonus goes a long way. Attacks, saves (remember that you’re proficient with all of them), skills, etc. all benefit.
  • Ring of InvisibilityCRB: Cloak of Invisibility and Ring of Invisibility are very similar, but there is some important nuance to understand. Ring of Invisibility can make you indefinitely invisible, allowing you to do anything except attack and cast spells without breaking your invisibility. Use a breath weapon, activate items (as long as doing so doesn’t make you cast a spell), steal things, use the Help action, pick locks, disarm traps, take long rests, etc. can all be done while totally invisible without limit. However, the second you roll initiative the Cloak of Invisibility becomes more powerful because its invisibility isn’t broken by you attacking or casting spells.

Open Hand Monk Example Build – Personal Space Enthusiast

This build strongly resembles our 5e Way of the Open Hand Monk Handbook, which I suppose isn’t surprising since it’s the same subclass.

Much of the power of this build depends on the ability to forcibly move our targets. A combination of our exceptionally high speed and two options to push enemies away from us gives us a lot of control over positioning in combat. Using that capability to force enemies into dangerous locations can make you extremely effective beyond just your ability to directly damage your enemies.

Putting enemies into an ongoing area effect like a Wall of Fire can boost your damage output considerably. Forcing enemies into reach of your party’s Defender can prevent enemies from approaching your more fragile allies while also helping your Defender’s ability to attack them. You might also force enemies out of range, preventing them from closing to melee in order to attack your party, effectively locking them out of combat while you and your allies safely wear them down with ranged attacks.

This synergizes very well with allied spellcasters, especially blasters who rely heavily on area damage effects. Forcing enemies into a small area makes it easier to target them with area damage effects, thereby making blaster casters multiplicatively more effective.

Let’s Discuss Semantics

Before we dig into the actual build, let’s discuss the definition of the word “away”, specifically in the context of moving something away from something else. In this context, “away” simply means that it will be at a greater distance than it was previously. The rules text for Open Hand notably omits the word “directly”, as in “directly away”, which means that when you move something away from something else, you can move it at an angle so long as it ends that movement at a greater distance away.

Let’s Discuss Geometry and Physics

You know a build is going to do something silly when it leads with discussions about semantics, geometry, and physics.

ToV, by default, does not make diagonal movement on a grid cost more than horizontal movement. If you can consider a baseball diamond, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bases are all considered equidistant from home plate. This also means that spheres are cubes, but that’s not why we’re here. It’s important to remember this rule when creatures are moved away from other creatures. Being able to move a creature diagonally the same number of squares simplifies how movement works.

ToV also does not handle parabolic movement (I promise this matters) in any way, nor does it handle the concept of momentum. This is not a simulation of physics: it’s high-stakes fantasy chess with play acting. Keep this in mind when a creature is repositioned into the air: moving into the air then falling are effectively two independent movements where the target begins and ends at rest.

Is this really allowed?

By a RAW reading of the rules, yes. It’s not perfectly clear if the designers intended for effects like Open Hand Technique to allow creatures to be moved vertically, or if that possibility was even considered. The ToV text likely copied with 5e text without modification in order to stay close to the original version. Your DM might very reasonably rule that “away” means “directly away”, which would absolutely break this combo.

However, the Furious Charge feat does us the text “directly away”, which gives us ground to argue that Open Hand Technique intentionally did not include that text.

Is this going to cause problems?

Maybe, but the Grapple/Shove combo is more annoying, more reliable, and more effective, especially once you start moving the grapple to drag enemies into hazards. The combo on which this build depends has a strictly limited resource cost (Technique Poins) and allows a Strength saving throw. Strength saves tend to be high for most creatures that are going to be targeting by this, and for everything else, grappling them would be much easier and more reliable.

I have taken the 5e version of this build into a game. It was hilarious when the combo worked, but the resource limitations and save requirements meant that it was by no means unstoppable.

Ability Scores

We’ll use the ability scores recommended above. Starting with a 17 in DEX means that when we take a +1 increase at level 4 we’ll improve our DEX modifier, too.

Level 1Level 20


Human. We really want the extra Talent and skill proficiency. We don’t have any other way to get proficiency in Perception, so we’re going to take it here. We’ll take Quick as our extra Talent.


Diaspora. Bring Frightened prevents us from moving toward the source of our fear, and being unable to close to melee is a huge problem for the Monk. We also get proficiency in History, though we won’t be very good with it.


Criminal. In combat we’re playing golf with our enemies, but outside of combat we’re probably replacing a Rogue in the party, so we want Rogue-like proficiencies. We’ll take proficiency in Investigation, Stealth, Thieves’ Tools, and land vehicles so that we can be our own getaway driver.

We’ll choose Touch of Luck as our Talent.

Skills and Tools

We’ll take proficiency in Athletics and Insight from our class, Perception from our Lineage, History from our Heritage, and both Investigation and Stealth from our Background.

We’ll also gain proficiency in Thieves’ Tools and Land Vehicles from our background.

Improvements and Talents

At level 1 we take Quick and Touch of Luck.

At level 4 we’ll take +1 DEX and Furious Charge.

At level 8 we’ll take +2 DEX. We really want that numerical boost.

At level 12 we’ll take +1 WIS and .

At level 16 we’ll take +1 WIS and .

At level 19 we’ll take +2 WIS.


LevelTalents and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
Martial Arts
Unarmored Defense
For your starting equipment, take a spear, either pack, and 10 darts. Your spear is your go-to weapon for most of your career, though you might collect a few other weapons specifically for the Weapon Options that they provide. A handaxe, a quarterstaff, and a few javelins can really diversify your options.

At level 1, we have 16 AC, which is fine, but hardly safe for a melee-only class. We get two attacks: one with our spear, and one Unarmed Strike as a Bonus Action. This gives us better than normal damage output for a level 1 character.

If you have other melee allies, strongly consider using the Trip Weapon Option on your spear so that you can make your Martial Arts attack at Advantage and leave your target Prone for your allies to also attack them with Advantage.
Unarmored Movement +10 ft.
Techniques is where we start to really feel like a Monk. Flurry of Blows will be the primary way that we spend TP for our entire career, but until you have enough TP to use it every turn, you’ll want to save it for when it’s going to have a big impact, such as when you have Advantage on your attacks.

Unarmored Movement stacks with the speed bonus from Quick, raising our speed to 50 feet. This is novel for the moment, but will quickly become a core part of our tactics.
3Subclass: Open Hand
Focus Intent
Open Hand Technique
Focus Intent only works a few times per day, but you can use it to debuff big attacks from enemies or to help yourself and your allies get past an enemy’s high AC. The uses per day won’t last long, unfortunately.

Open Hand Technique is amazing. No additional TP cost and it works when you use Flurry of Blows, which you were probably going to do anyway. If you’re lucky, you’ll hit with both attacks and get to use Open Hand Technique twice in the same turn.

However, remember that the save DC is WIS-based, and our WIS will lag a bit for most of our career. Expect enemies to pass the saves reasonably often, and choose between the STR save and the DEX save depending on what you know about your target.
– DC 17 -> 18
– Talent: Furious Charge
An excellent level for us. Our DEX modifier improves, boosting our attacks and our defenses.

Furious Charge immediately becomes a central part of our tactics. Combining the push effect from Open Hand Technique with the push effect from Furious Charge allows us to launch enemies up to 25 feet, including up to 15 feet into the air thanks to Open Hand Technique.

This is also where our 50-foot speed starts to have a major impact. In our ideal scenario, we begin our turn 20 feet away from an enemy. Move forward 20 feet, attack as an Action, and use Furious Charge to deal bonus damage and move them 10 feet away. Move back 10 feet, then forward again 20 feet, using all off our 50 feet of movement. Use Flurry of Blows, and if you hit at least once, you can launch your target 25 feet, including 15 feet into the air, causing them to fall prone.

Our enemy then begins their turn 25 feet away and prone, likely forcing them to spend half of their movement to stand. Most enemies have speed somewhere around 30 feet, but enemies with speed as high as 45 feet will only be able to move 20 feet, forcing them to Dash if they want to get back into melee with us.

This combo gets easier as we add more movement speed. Unarmored Defense will gradually improve, and we can look for buffs like Longstrider
5Multiattack (2)
Stunning Strike
Multiattack means even more damage without dipping into our TP.

We likely won’t use Stunning Strike much, instead relying on launching our enemies or crowd control purposes. However, it’s a great fallback in tight spaces where we can’t force our enemies away from us. It also prevents enemies from taking actions, which is great against enemies that prefer to fight at range, such as spellcasters.
6Empowered Strikes
Unarmored Movement +15 ft.
Empowered Strikes allows us to overcome resistance to non-magic weapon damage, which is increasingly common by this level. If you find that enemies are resistant to your spear, resort to slapping them.
7Wholeness of BodyThis encourages some careful management of your hit points and hit dice. If you’re taking a Short Rest and Wholeness of Body would get you back to full hp, skip spending Hit Dice.
– DEX 18 -> 20
18 AC is very respectable, and it should do a lot to keep us alive. The bonuses to attack and damage are also nice.
9Perfect Motion
10Heroic Boon: Purity of Body
Unarmored Movement +20 ft.
Either of the Monk’s Heroic Boon options
11Tranquil SoulUnless your party is expecting you to be the Defender (and they shouldn’t), it’s often a good idea to activate this after every rest. This makes wandering into dangerous places much safer, possibly prevent you from being ambushed or from being attacked if you roll poorly on initiative.
– WIS 16 -> 17
– Talent:
13Astral TeachingsExcellent for filling gaps in your party’s proficiencies. Most of the time you’ll leave this on a skill that’s useful somewhat consistently, then rotate in whatever proficiency you need for a specific task.
14Diamond Soul
Unarmored Movement +25 ft.
Between this the core Luck mechanics, you have two ways to reroll saves. We have Touch of Luck, too, so you’re likely generating at least 2 Luck per turn and can consistently keep 3 Luck and 1 TP available in order to reroll any failed saves.
15Quivering PalmDealing damage and possibly killing enemies with this will be rare. CON saves are generally high, so anything targeting a CON save is disproportionately likely to fail.

The effect on a successful save is a decent consolation prize. Stunning an enemy for a full minute isn’t going to happen, but you and your party can at least land a few hits before your target can respond.

Regardless, you’re unlikely to use this often in combat. One action to apply the vibrations, then another to activate them means two turns where you’re otherwise not attacking, and you can’t afford to gamble two turns worth of attacks in any combat where your enemies are important enough to use this.
– WIS 17 -> 18
– Talent:
Better save DCs and 19 AC.

17Timeless SelfNeat, but rarely impactful.
18Empty Body
Unarmored Movement +30 ft.
Every encounter that’s going to be meaningfully threatening should start with you activating Empty Body unless you can activate it before initiative is rolled.

Our movement speed bonus from Unarmored Movement hits its maximum. Between our base speed of 30 feet, the Quick Talent, and Unarmored Movement, our speed is no 70 feet. If you can convince an ally to spare a 1st-level spell slot for Longstrider, you can hit 80 feet before consider possible magic items.

If you find some Boots of Speed, your speed becomes truly absurd, allowing you race around the battlefield at breakneak speed, angling ourselves however we want to put enemies exactly where we want them. With a movement pool as high as 160 feet, you’ll frequently run out of attacks long before you run out of movement.
– WIS 18 -> 20
Maximum Wisdom means maxed DCs, maximum uses of Focus Intent, and 20 AC before considering magic items.
20Epic Boon: Boundless TechniqueYou now always have enough TP for the Monk’s Techniques and for Stunning Strike. You’ll start encounters with enough to activate Empty Body, too.