Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Monk Build Guide

Channel your Ki into vicious unarmed attacks with our best Monk build guide in Baldur's Gate 3.

A BG3 monk with arms crossed.
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Baldur’s Gate 3 does an excellent job of fixing classes from the standard D&D 5e ruleset. One of the biggest improvements is the new Monk, who’s no longer starved for Ki points and is actually quite a powerful class now. Here’s our best Monk build guide in Baldur’s Gate 3.

The Absolute Best Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

Playing a Monk is all about maximizing your offensive and defensive potential through Ki point abilities. In BG3, Monks now gain double Ki per level past Level 1, which eliminates most of their weakness from the TTRPG. With this in mind, we’re going to create the most powerful Monk we can that both outputs decent damage and CC, and also darts around the battlefield unscathed.

In our build we will discuss the following choices:

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The general premise is focusing on Dexterity for our unarmed strikes and monk weapons. From here, we’ll also need Constitution for HP and Wisdom for our Stunning Strike effectiveness. Maxing out both Dexterity and Wisdom will also boost our AC since we won’t be using armor in this build. I recommend pairing monks with another tanky frontliner like Lae’Zel, Karlach, or Minthara who can lock down enemies as you jump from one to another with your various mobility options. More on that later.

Furthermore, I don’t necessarily recommend multiclassing early since Monks depend on Ki points for being effective and each level grants you more. That means the more you have to spend on Ki abilities each turn, the stronger you are as combat drags on.

If you decide to multiclass, I recommend doing it after Level 6 since the subclass we’ll pick grants us incredible abilities on that level. The Thief Rogue is a viable option for the extra bonus action from Fast Hands for extra unarmed attacks. This stacks with our Monk’s subclass ability and grants us an extra bonus action, but more on that later.

Best Monk Subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3

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Our build will be focusing on the Open Hand subclass since we want to maximize damage output without situational abilities. The Shadow Monk is also a neat option mainly because of the teleporting capabilities, but I wanted to avoid the dependency on environmental shadows. Our strategy with the Open Hand is the following:

  • Enhanced Flurry of Blows: With the Open Hand Subclass, we can knock our enemies prone with Topple, which is useful both for us and our allies due to attacks on that target now having Advantage. This means that your Great Weapon Master Karlach can annihilate the prone enemy. Furthermore, you can also Stagger your enemies, making them unable to make Attacks of Opportunity. This allows us to attack and then move to another place on the battlefield safely without needing to use Step of the Wind to Disengage.
  • Manifestations: These three manifestations simply boost our unarmed attack damage further.
  • Wholeness of Body: Now this is our bread and butter. Not only does it restore Ki points but it also grants us an additional bonus action to use for attacking. This is why I mentioned multiclassing into Thief Rogues for their Fast Hands, which would essentially allow for three bonus actions. This means a minimum of five attacks per round with Multiattack. And that’s without using Flurry of Blows which increases the number of attacks you’re putting out immensely.

The late-game abilities like the Resonation Punch have been nerfed compared to the TTRPG version, which can insta-kill enemies. This feature on Level 9 and Tranquility on Level 11 aren’t crucial for our build and can be skipped if you want to multiclass. But if you’re interested or want to know more, these are all the BG3 classes ranked.

Best Monk Race in BG3

For our races, we’ll want to prioritize those that grant extra movement, defensive, or offensive options:

  • Wood Elf: Increases your movement speed and gives you Stealth and Perception skill proficiencies, which are arguably some of the best skills in the game.
  • Half-Orc: An excellent melee brawler race that allows you to ignore dropping to 0 HP once.
  • Githaynki: Their Misty Step and Jump movement abilities offer decent synergy with Monks for repositioning purposes.

Remember that stat score increases are no longer locked to specific races so pick whichever race’s abilities suit you best.

Best Monk Feats in Baldur’s Gate 3

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There are some neat feats that can greatly improve the mobility of our Monk, as well as their damage potential:

  • Mobile: Among other benefits, this feat will allow you to move away from enemies without provoking Attacks of Opportunity. Essentially, this frees up our Stagger attack for something else like Topple.
  • Sentinel: While you’re fighting alongside your companions, any attack on them means a provoking strike from you.
  • Magic Initiate (Warlock): This one is a bit of a niche pick, but you can get the Hex spell through this feat. Placing a Hex spell on a boss or other tough enemies adds 1d6 to each of your attacks against them. With well over five attacks per turn later on in the game, you can see how this can stack up. The only annoying aspect is that you’ll have to use your bonus action to move it to another enemy, so avoid putting it on weaker foes.

In general, Monks aren’t that dependent on feats, so feel free to take the Ability Score Increase feat to max out your Dexterity to 20 if none of the options above suit you.

Best Monk Equipment in BG3

Unlike feats, your choice of equipment is crucial in making a powerful Monk for this build. I would recommend rushing to the Druid’s Grove area for the Corelion’s Grace from Auntie Ethel. This item is an excellent boost to our unarmed strikes early on. Nearby, there’s also Dammon the Tiefling, from whom I recommend you pick up the Hunting Shortbow.

Simply having this bow equipped will grant you the Hunter’s Mark spell, boosting each of your attacks by 1d6. You’ll be making plenty of those in a single round. This spell is similar to Hex if you’ve picked it up through feats so now you have two charges for your damage boosts.

From here, I recommend the following items for your Monk as you progress:

  • Bracers of Defense (Act I)
  • Haste Helm (Act I)
  • Armour of Uninhibited Kushigo (Act I)
  • Hat of Uninhibited Kushigo (Act II)
  • Gloves of Cinder and Sizzle (Act II)
  • Gloves of Crushing (Act II)
  • Garb of the Land and Sky (Act III)
  • Helldusk Gloves or Gloves of Soul Catching (Act III)

That’s our best Monk build guide in Baldur’s Gate 3. Overall, with the BG3 improvements to the Ki pool, the Monk can simply spend it on his abilities as much as they like. You can always restore them with Wholeness of Body and keep going. Check out more of our build articles like this on our Baldur’s Gate 3 guides page.

About the author

Gordan Perisic

From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.