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DnD’s new Monk rules reboot the “lowest rated subclass”

As part of a major overhaul for the Dungeons and Dragons Monk class, Wizards of the Coast rewrites one of its least popular subclasses.

Wizards of the Coast art of a DnD Monk

Dungeons and Dragons’ 2024 Player’s Handbook will completely overhaul fifth edition’s “lowest rated subclass”, confirms Wizards of the Coast. In a YouTube video from July 8, D&D designer Jeremy Crawford explains the changes made to the Warrior of the Elements (formerly Way of the Four Elements) Monk.

“The Way of the Four Elements, sadly, in terms of satisfaction, was often the lowest-rated subclass in the 2014 Player’s Handbook”, Crawford says. “Looking at it, we decided the best path forward was to replace it.” While the DnD Monk subclass has a similar flavor to its predecessor, its mechanics have been completely reworked.

Starting at level three, Warrior of the Elements Monks can cast a brand-new DnD cantrip called Elementalism that “allows them to shape the elements around them”. Also at level three, these Monks can use their Elemental Attunement to increase the reach of all their unarmed strikes.

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Finally, level three brings Elemental Strikes, a subclass ability that lets you change the DnD damage type of your unarmed strike attacks when you use that extra reach feature. Plus, if the target fails a saving throw after one of these hits, you can push them around the battlefield.

Level six extends the distance of your elemental powers, and it gives you the ability to create an elemental explosion in a 20-foot radius sphere. The damage you deal here depends on your Monk’s Martial Arts Dice – which were given a buff as part of the general changes to the Monk class.

All of these abilities require Focus Points (formerly Ki Points) to activate, but they also get better over time. For example, at level 11, activating Elemental Attunement or Elemental Strikes gives your Monk a fly speed and a swim speed. Level 17 also improves your Elemental Attunement, and you can choose to become resistant to a particular type of elemental damage at the start of each of your turns.

At this stage, using the Monk’s Step of the Wind feature (which lets you Dash as a bonus action) while Elemental Attunement is active will increase your speed. You can also cause damage to foes that you pass as you move. The ability can also deal some extra elemental damage once per turn.

For more on how DnD classes are going to change, check out our guide to the One DnD updates. You can also check when the new Player’s Handbook arrives by heading to our DnD release schedule guide. And be sure to follow Wargamer on Google News for more tabletop updates.