The best Monk subclass, feats, and build in Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 has 12 classes to choose from when creating your character. The Monk is a melee class that emphasizes agility over brute strength.

Monks solve a lot of problems with punches, like Fighters do, but they are much smarter in the way they do it. Their primary statistic is Agility.

There is no one best class Baldur's Gate 3, and the game gives you as much opportunity for creative problem solving as it does for punching. Finding the best class really comes down to how you want to play. Even when you play solo, you still control the rest of your group, so you can experiment with multiple classes at once.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Monk class Baldur's Gate 3and learn all about the best Monk subclass, achievements and build.

Is Monk the best class for you in BG3?

Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Monks are a melee class that trades brute strength for quick agility. They're honestly not the best melee class for beginners – that would be Fighters or Barbarians. However, Monks are much more, in a word, dope, with more exciting attacks and abilities. They require a little more thought and planning to manage their Ki points. Monks are a great class if you're ready to get flashier with your melee combat and generally improve your game.

Monks also allows you to discover how different stats interact, such as the way Monk increases Wisdom AC. And at the same time, higher wisdom means they are better at non-combat things like insight or perception.

Characteristics of the monk class

Monks are all about agility and wisdom, and there are several class traits that reflect that.

  • Unarmored defense – while not wearing armor, add your Wisdom modifier to your armor class
  • Martial arts: agile attacks – attacks with monk weapons (simple weapons that are not ambidextrous or heavy) and unarmed attacks scale with your dexterity instead of strength
  • Martial arts: agile attacks — attacks with monk weapons and unarmed attacks cause 1d4 bludgeoning damage unless their normal damage is higher
  • Martial arts: unarmed attack — after making an attack with a monk weapon or while unarmed, you can make another unarmed attack as a bonus action
  • Unarmored movement — at level 2, your movement speed increases by 3 meters while not wearing armor or using a shield

Hit points

  • Hit dice — 1d8 per Monk level
  • Hit points at 1st level — 8 + your Constitution modifier
  • Hit points at higher levels — 5 + your Constitution modifier per Monk level after 1st

Ki points

Monks use Ki points to power all their additional attacks and actions. You start with 2 Ki points at level 1 and then gain one point per level. Ki points are charged during a short rest.


At level 1, monks get the Flurry of blows Action that allows you to make two additional melee attacks as a bonus action.

At level 2, monks gain three more Ki point actions:

  • Patient defense — for 1 turn, attack rolls against you have disadvantage and you have advantage on Dexterity saving throws
  • Step of the Wind: Dash – double your movement speed and jumping no longer requires a bonus action
  • Step of the wind: Disconnect — Retreating to safety by breaking free and jumping no longer requires a bonus action


  • Weapons – Simple weapons, short words
  • Skills — Acrobatics, athletics, insight, religion
  • Save throw – Agility, Constitution

Monk subclasses

At level 3, monks choose from one of three subclasses.

Way of the Four Elements

Way of the Four Elements monks use their Ki to control over the elements.

You obtain the Harmony of fire and water Action that allows you to regain half your Ki points once per Long Rest.

Way of the Four Elements Monks can cast spells using Ki instead of spell slots Disciple of the elements. You choose three spells from the Monk spell list:

Baldur's Gate 3 Monk Way of the Four Elements spells

Name Description
Name Description
Sheet of Rhyme Throw a chunk of ice that deals 1d10 piercing damage and then explodes for 2d6 Cold damage in a circle with a radius of 7 feet
Cold from the mountain Decrease the target's movement speed by 10 feet with 1d8 Cold damage
Fangs of the Fire Serpent Hit your enemy with 1d10 fire damage and your next melee attack deals 1d4 fire damage
Fist of four thunders Release a wave of thunderous force that pushes all creatures and objects away for 2d8 Thunder damage (CON Save)
Fist of unbroken air Push the target back 20 feet and hit it Prone with 3d10 Bludgeoning damage
Stampede of the Gale Spirits Summon a strong wind that pushes creatures back 15 feet and forces them off balance
Formation of the ice Make a climbable ice cube
Sphere of elemental balance Hurl an orb that deals 3d8 Thunder damage and possibly creates a surface on impact
Sweeping Ember Blow Expel the fire from your outstretched hands and ignite anything flammable with 3d6 Fire damage
Touch of the Storm Deal 1d10 lightning damage and the target cannot use reactions
Water whip Deal 3d10 Bludgeoning damage and possibly pull the target towards you or knock it Prone

Away from the open hand

Way of the Open Hand Monks specialize in unarmed combat. You will learn three new actions that use Ki points.

  • Flurry of blows: fall over — Strike twice in quick succession for 2d6 Bludgeoning damage and possibly hit the target Prone
  • Flurry of blows: stagger — Strike twice in quick succession for 2d6 Bludgeoning damage and scatter the target so they can no longer react
  • Flurry of blows: pushing — Strike twice in quick succession for 2d6 Bludgeoning damage and potentially push the target 18 feet away

Away from shade

Way of Shadow Monks hide in the shadows and focus on stealth and subterfuge.

You learn the Small illusion Cantrip to distract enemies, and Shadow Arts: Hide that makes hiding a bonus action.

You also get four new spell-like uses for your Ki points:

  • Shadow Arts: Pass without a trace — gives you and all nearby companions a +10 bonus to Stealth Checks
  • Shadow Arts: Darkness – create a dark veil that heavily obscures and blinds beings within
  • Shadow Arts: Darkvision – give a creature the ability to see up to 40 feet away in the dark
  • Shadow Arts: Silence – create a soundproof atmosphere where everyone inside is silenced and immune to damage from thunder.

Best Monk subclass and built in BG3

Baldur's Gate 3 Half-Elf Monk in the character creator

Image: Larian Studios via Polygon

Baldur's Gate 3 Races don't really have a direct impact on your class, but certain races and subraces have characteristics that suit certain classes well, such as extra movement or proficiency with certain weapons. For monks, it is best to focus on movement and expand the list of monk weapons to include races such as:

  • Wooden Elves And Wooden half-elves have an extra 1.5 meters of freedom of movement and let your short swords be treated like monk weapons
  • PeopleThe Civil Militia feature adds spears to the Monk weapon list
  • In any of the Dwarf subraces, you can treat hand axes and light hammers as monk weapons, but theGolden dwarfs' Dwarven Toughness gives you an extra hit point each level

When you create and level your Monk, Dexterity (for hitting things) is your most important stat, closely followed by Wisdom (for your Unarmored Defense AC boost and for Monk spells). Make Dexterity your highest stat and Wisdom your second highest.

At level 3 you choose your Monk subclass. Way of the Four Elements mixes something in Last airbender vibes, while Way of Shadow makes you a lot more ninja-like. However, for simplicity and combat effectiveness, the Way of the Open Palm is the best subclass. You get options for more versatile attacks that allow you to control the battlefield with your punches.

Best monk performance in BG3

Every four levels you get the option to increase your stats or choose an achievement. Feats are special talents that add traits to your character. Once you're happy with your stats and start using Feats, Monks can benefit from:

  • Athlete. Your strength or dexterity increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. When lying on your stomach, getting up requires significantly less movement. Your jump distance also increases by 50%.
  • Durable. Your constitution increases by 1, to a maximum of 20. Each time you take a short rest, you regain full hit points.
  • Mobile. Your movement speed increases and difficult terrain doesn't slow you down as you Dash. If you move after making a melee attack, you will not provoke any Opportunity Attacks from your target.
  • Wild attacker. For weapon attacks, roll your damage dice twice and use the highest result.
  • Difficult. Your maximum hit point increases by 2 for each level you gain.

For more information about the lessons in Baldur's Gate 3See our overviews of the Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard classes. If you're unsure about the choice, check out our guide on which class to start with.