Baldur's Gate 3 - Monk Build Guide
Knock out your foes with fists and flames as a Monk in Baldur's Gate 3.
The ideal Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build can harness the chaotic powers of the world around you. With these, you can cast spells that further empower your melee strikes. Our guide discusses a viable option for your campaign by way of the Way of the Four Elements.
Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build guide - Way of the Four Elements
Our Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build guide primarily focuses on the Way of the Four Elements, which we feel is a great pick for your playthrough. It has numerous spells under its disposal, all of which lead to a flexible playstyle. We also have a Monk class overview that takes note of ideal selections during character creation.
As an aside, we opted to focus on a build that avoids multiclassing. However, you're able to respec and change classes when you see fit, if you want more flexibility.
Monk Build Summary
As cited in our overview, we're going to try and maximize the Monk's capabilities. The class itself relies on high movement range, high initiative (i.e. usually being the first to act in a round), and multiple attacks in a single turn. We recommend the following for the Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build:
- Race: Wood Elf or Githyanki
- Background: Any, but Urchin is good since it has DEX-centric skills.
- Abilities: 12 STR; 17 DEX; 14 CON; 8 INT; 14 WIS; 10 CHA.
- Weapons and armor: Quarterstaves and spears; no shields; no armor/cloth-type gear pieces only.
It also bears mentioning that most Monk special actions use Ki Points. This resource is replenished via the Harmony of Fire and Water action, or by resting. Each level up also grants an additional Ki Point that you can spend.
Monk Leveling Progression
- Unarmored Movement - +3 meters movement range when you're not wearing armor or using a shield.
- Patient Defense - Attack rolls against you have disadvantage; you have an advantage on DEX saving throws.
- Step of the Wind: Dash - Doubles your movement speed; jump no longer requires a bonus action.
- Step of the Wind: Disengage - Retreat to safety by disengaging; jump no longer requires a bonus action.
At this stage, you get to pick a subclass. Naturally, we're going with the Way of the Four Elements, as it grants us spell-type powers that can complement our melee strikes.
- Deflect Missiles - Use a reaction to reduce the damage from a ranged weapon's projectile; if you receive no damage, use a Ki Point to deflect the missile back at the attacker.
- Harmony of Fire and Water - While not in combat, regain half your Ki Points.
Disciple of the Elements - You can choose three spells. In succeeding levels, you'll also be able to replace a spell from your pool. At level 3, we recommend the following:
- Fangs of the Fire Snake - Easily one of the top abilities for the Monk. This is a ranged projectile that also makes your next melee attacks deal fire damage.
- Fist of the Four Thunders - This is the Thunderwave variant that can push away your foes, sending them to their doom if they're standing on a ledge.
- Blade of Rime - Although this is something we rarely used, it's still viable. It lets you throw an ice shard that explodes, while also creating an ice surface which might cause enemies to slip.
- Slow Fall - When you fall down, you can use a reaction to resist fall damage.
- Ability Improvement - To have the best Monk build in Baldur's Gate 3, we recommend adding +2 DEX to your character. Also, if you can defeat Auntie Ethel, she'll give an item that adds one more point, allowing you to reach 20 DEX early in the campaign.
- Extra Attack - You can now make an additional free attack after you use a melee weapon or do an unarmed attack.
- Stunning Strike: Melee/Unarmed - Deal damage to your opponent, with a chance to also stun them. This is a great skill that can be used in conjunction with other moves. For instance, you can start with Fangs of the Fire Snake, then follow up Stunning Strike, and then Flurry of Blows.
- Improved Unarmed Movement - Movement speed increases by 4.5 meters if you're unarmoed and not using a shield.
- Ki-Empowered Strikes - Unarmed attacks count as magical for the purpose of overcoming enemy resistance values and immunity to non-magical damage.
Additional Spell - You'll be able to pick one more spell this time. We suggest:
- Embrace of the Inferno - This is the Scorching Ray variant, which lets you shoot three burning rays at multiple targets.
- Evasion - If a spell will deal half damage due to a successful DEX saving throw, it won't do any damage instead.
- Stillness of Mind - You automatically nullify the frightened or charmed status effects.
Extra Feat - You can choose another feat. Assuming you already got Ability Improvement earlier, then you've got two good choices:
- Martial Adept - This grants you Superiority Dice to make maneuver attacks used by the Battle Master Fighter. We recommend Trip Attack and Riposte. The former can knock enemies prone, while the latter lets you retaliate with a strike if enemies miss with theirs.
- Polearm Master - Note that there's a bug which causes opponents to hit you if you use the reaction as you move toward them. As such, you'll only want to use it if enemies are the ones moving closer to your character.
Class Feature: Advanced Unarmored Movement - Difficult terrain doesn't slow you down; increases your jump by six meters if you're not wearing armor or using a shield.
Subclass Feature: Improved Elemental Casting - Grants bonus effects to your Four Elements spells:
- Most actions gain an additional dice when rolling damage.
- Clench of the North Wind can hold an additional creature.
- Embrace of the Inferno fires an extra ray.
Spell - You can obtain another spell. There are two viable options:
- Gong of the Summit - This is the Shatter variant, which causes AoE thunder damage.
- Sphere of Elemental Balance - This is the Chromatic Orb variant, though it only deals thunder damage with the possibility of creating an electro-coated surface.
- Improved Unarmored Movement - Further increases movement range by six meters while you're not wearing an armor or using a shield.
- Purity of Body - Immunity to poison damage; cannot be affected by poisons or other diseases.
Spell - You can only choose a single "new" spell at this stage. We suggest Flames of the Phoenix, which is a Fireball variant that deals 8-48 fire damage in a massive area.
Feat - Not much left here at the tail end of the game. You could pick the one that you didn't grab when you were level 8.
In any case, there are our picks for the best Monk build in Baldur's Gate 3. The game is is filled to the brim with activities and secrets. You'll no doubt be part of an adventure that can take countless hours to complete. For other tips, you can visit our BG3 guides hub.