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Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk builds, subclasses, and features

We walk you through the essentials of creating a Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk, a dexterous unarmed fighter who has mastered the magical martial arts.

Baldur's Gate 3 Monk swinging a powerful punch

A Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk can be as swift as the wind, as stealthy as the shadows, and as sharp as a blade – all without needing to wield a weapon. Looking to live out a martial arts fantasy? The BG3 Monk might just be for you – and here you’ll find all you need to create one.

The DnD Monk has its problems in the original tabletop RPG – and while Larian has tweaked plenty to make the Baldur’s Gate 3 class more powerful, its DnD character builds still need careful crafting to shine, even as you approach the BG3 max level.

But worry not – pick the right Baldur’s Gate 3 races and Baldur’s Gate 3 companions to fill out roles in your party, and your Monk can still punch and kick their way to victory, whether you’re playing Baldur’s Gate 3 co-op or solo.

Here’s all you need to know about the Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk:

Baldur's Gate 3 Monk Dragonborn

The basics of a Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk

Saving throws Strength, Dexterity
Armor proficiencies
Weapon proficiencies Simple, Shortsword
Skill proficiencies Athletics, Acrobatics, History, Religion, Insight

Here’s the base class features for a Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk:


Level: One

Ki is a type of magic that flows through all living things. A BG3 Monk can tap into this to perform supernatural feats with their body.

Mechanically, this means you get a certain amount of Ki points to spend per short rest. At level one, you start with two Ki points, and you’ll gain another each time you level up.

Flurry of Blows

Level: One

As a bonus action, you punch twice in quick succession, dealing 1d4+4 bludgeoning damage with each hit. Uses Ki points.

Unarmored Defense

Level: One

While not wearing DnD armor, your Monk adds their Wisdom modifier to their armor class.

Martial Arts: Dexterous Attacks

Level: One

As long as Dexterity is your higher stat, attacks made with Monk weapons and unarmed attacks scale with your Dexterity instead of your Strength.

Martial Arts: Deft Strikes

Level: One

Attacks with Monk weapons and unarmed attacks deal 1-4 bludgeoning damage unless their normal damage would be higher.

Martial Arts: Bonus Unarmed Strike

Level: One

After making an unarmed attack or attacking with a Monk weapon, you can make an additional unarmed attack as a bonus action.

Unarmored Movement

Level: Two

Your movement speed increases by 3m while you’re not wearing armor or using a shield. This increases at levels six and ten. At level nine, your Unarmored Movement also means you’re not slowed by difficult terrain and you can jump an extra 6m when not using armor or a shield.

Patient Defense

Level: Two

Spend a bonus action, and attack rolls against you have disadvantage. Additionally, you have advantage on Dexterity saving throws. Both effects last a single turn, and this ability uses Ki points.

Baldur's Gate 3 Monk using a force push ability

Step of the Wind: Dash

Level: Two

Spend Ki and a bonus action to double your movement speed for a turn. You can also jump without using a bonus action.

Step of the Wind: Disengage

Using Ki and a bonus action, you can disengage from combat. Jumping also doesn’t require a bonus action for a turn.

Deflect Missiles

Level: Three

You can use a reaction to reduce the damage you take from a ranged weapon attack. The damage reduces by 1d10 plus your Dexterity modifier and Monk level. If you reduce the damage to zero, you spend a Ki point to totally deflect the missile.

Slow Fall

Level: Four

If you fall, you can spend a reaction to gain resistance to fall damage.

Extra Attack

Level: Five

You can make one free attack after making a weapon or unarmed attack.

Stunning Strike

Level: Five

Spend an action and some Ki on this melee attack. If your target fails a Constitution saving throw, they will be Stunned. Additionally, if the attack is an unarmed attack, you deal 1d6+3 bludgeoning damage.

Ki-Empowered Strikes

Level: Six

Unarmed attacks now count as magical attacks – very helpful if you’re up against a foe that’s resistant to non-magical damage.


Level: Seven

When a spell or effect would deal half damage to you on a successful Dexterity saving throw, you take no damage instead. If you fail the saving throw, you take half damage instead of full damage.

Stillness of Mind

Level: Seven

If you become charmed or frightened, you automatically cast Stillness of Mind to remove the condition.

Purity of Body

Level: Ten

Your Monk is now immune to poison damage and can’t be poisoned or affected by disease.

Baldur's Gate 3 Monk in character creator

Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk builds

Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk stats

Dexterity is the main stat you should buff for a Monk, with Wisdom as a secondary priority. With these covered, you can ensure your attacks and armor class are kept at healthy levels. Constitution should be a tertiary concern during character creation, as this will help boost your kind-of-average HP max.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk races

The best DnD race for your Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk is the Wood Half-Elf 5e. Like the Wood DnD Elf, this race gives you an extra 1.5m of movement speed, which is critical for keeping your Monk agile.

Unlike the Wood Elf, you get a bit more flexibility with weapon proficiencies. Monk weapons need to be wielded one-handed to gain all the relevant bonuses of the class, and the only option the Wood Elf offers is shortswords. A Wood Half-Elf is proficient with shortswords – as well as Versatile DnD weapons like the spear.

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk background

While you may want to pick a DnD background that best fits your character’s flavor, we think the Urchin offers the best skills to complement your Monk build. The Urchin gains proficiency with Sleight of Hand and Stealth – two Dex-based DnD skills that’ll help you fill more of a DnD Rogue role in your party.

With Stealth covered, we recommend choosing Acrobatics and Insight as your remaining skill proficiencies.

A Baldur's Gate 3 Monk seen from behind exploring woodland

Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk subclass

Once you hit level three, you’ll need to choose a Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk subclass. Your options are:

  • Way of the Four Elements – lets you cast Monk spells with Ki, with a range of effects.
  • Way of the Open Hand – goes all in on buffing your unarmed strikes.
  • Way of the Shadow – offers magical ways to enhance Stealth, but not much combat utility until later levels.

The Monk can be a tricky class to optimize on its own. The Way of the Shadow is by far the most interesting, but it doesn’t offer much power until at least level six. The Way of the Open Hand provides some nice buffs to your unarmed attacks, but you’re still more fragile and puny than a DnD Fighter or DnD Barbarian. And the Way of the four Elements is infamously disappointing in the original tabletop RPG – Larian may have done some rebalancing, but we’re still inclined to stay away.

If you’re looking to exclusively play a Monk, we reckon Way of the Open Hand is your best bet. However, we’d seriously recommend a bit of DnD multiclassing.

A Way of Shadow Monk pairs nicely with the Assasin Rogue if you want to be the stealthiest stealther that ever stealthed. An Open Hand Monk and Battlemaster Fighter beefs you up a bit. And the Circle of Spores DnD Druid has temporary health and damage-dealing abilities that bulk out your Flurry of Blows.

Our Baldur’s Gate 3 review is still in progress, so we’re constantly updating our guides with the latest details. Check back regularly for tips on Baldur’s Gate 3 romances, Baldur’s Gate 3 feats, and Baldur’s Gate 3 Mind Flayer powers.