No Paper Tigers!!!!: The Monk Handbook

1637 posts / 0 new
Last post
So I finally finished my build, constructive criticism welcome.

One of the things that i've found that I enjoy while I play is the free action draw staff of the traveler and teleport 6 with eladrin boots and ring of dimensional escape. Please give me your feedback.


Overall, I think it's a decent melee-focused build.  A few suggestions:

I would make your starting stats even, probably with a 18 preracial dex and a 14 wisdom.  I think you made them odd to get more strength, which I think you only used to get power attack.   However, unless you have someway to get rid of the attack penalty, or roll twice for attack,  power attack typically will lower DPR for most strikers because it makes you hit less. I haven't done the math for monks, but I'd expect this to hold with them as well.  

I also think you might want to reorder some of your feats.  For example, you are taking superior implement (+1 to hit) after  Elven Precision (+2 to hit on a reroll each encounter). 


I don't think you need to take weapon proficiency:parrying daggar -- just find a mage's weapon (unless you want a different enchantment on the parrying daggar -- but I believe you could even use a ki focus in addition to the mage's weapon).

And I'm not sure how polearm gamble combines with things like spear push and polearm gamble without mark of storms... how do you get an initial push with the MBA? I will say this, polearm gamble is actually an incredible defensive power from my actual gaming experience. I get into problems when additional enemies swarm me -- polearm gamble usually disuades most enemies from charging in -- and if they do, it seriously ramps up the damage output. It also synnergizes very well with both crane's wing which allows you to get distance after an attack, and Centered Breath, which allows you to position enemies so you can shift away to get distance on everyone.



Of course, you don't need to take Parrying Dagger proficiency.  However, it is helpful because you can get a Rythme Parrying Dagger for an additional +1 ac over a Rythme dagger.  

If you use Polearms, you should take Polearm Gamble.  Many players would then like to use the monk forced movement powers, or the Mark of Storms, to knock enemies prone via Polearm Momentum.    Spear Push makes it easier for polearm users to knock enemies prone via Polearm Momentum.  

If you are just concerned about charging enemies, Repel Charge  is less stat intensive than Polearm Gamble and can be used by non-polearm users.  But if you are using a polearm, then Polearm Gamble is better because it helps monks from getting swarmed by move+attack enemies.  

I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the Dragonmark feats don't have racial requirements. The Character Builder didn't complain when my Githzerai took Mark of Storms. You have (Human) and (Half-elf) listed under the two dragonmark feats rather than the Eberron abbreviation.



There are no more race restricted dragonmarks, but many DMs do restrict them to those races.  Those races are the only ones who tradiationally could take the dragonmarks.  I will try to make this clearer.

I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that the Dragonmark feats don't have racial requirements. The Character Builder didn't complain when my Githzerai took Mark of Storms. You have (Human) and (Half-elf) listed under the two dragonmark feats rather than the Eberron abbreviation.



There are no more race restricted dragonmarks, but many DMs do restrict them to those races.  Those races are the only ones who tradiationally could take the dragonmarks.  I will try to make this clearer.



I see. I didn't know that. I thought that you had accidentally mixed racial feats (which were the next category) with the dragonmarks. I don't actually have the Eberron guide, so I did not know the story behind them.

Thank you for the guide, by the way. It's nice to have someone trying to keep a Monk guide current.
Say, Furious_kender, I don't suppose if I posted an unarmed strike using, blurred strike ki focus, half elf (or some variant thereof) twinstrike monk you'd add it to your eventual builds list? I'd like some version of the hyperflurry to survive for posterity, after all.

prototype00
For Pointed Step Style: How is it "obsoleted" by starblade flurry at paragon? At paragon, you have 2 targets of FoB, Starblade FLurry adds another to make it 3, which can be up to 5 squares away. With pointed step, one of the initial 2 can be 2 squares away. I guess if you can only target 2 within that field, it is situationally obsoleted, but in most of the cases I've found, it is VERY useful. Starblade Flurry and Pointed step style by definition do not conflict with eachother at all.

- m- -
x - - x
- - - -
- - - -
- - - x

Pretty easy to get into a setup similar to this with a monk's insane mobility, and FoB 3 targets, which would only be 2 without Pointed Step

Even assuming you can only take advantage of this once per encounter, that's 10 extra damage with a +3 ki weapon at lvl 11 with centered fury of blows(the lesser damaging one). Roughly worth 2 DPR. If you can do this twice, it's 4 DPR. Not bad, eh?
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
Do any of you believe that the Psion Power book (due in Sept/Oct) will provide any interesting additions for the Monk?
Do any of you believe that the Psion Power book (due in Sept/Oct) will provide any interesting additions for the Monk?



If past "Power" books are any indication, we should be getting a similar number of powers to what monks have now (around 80) and a new build or (maybe) two.   
I must inquire about your Crashing Tempest Style rating and explanation. Why is it red, but also gold? Is it red because if you're not wielding a club, it gives you no benefit? That's like rating Heavy Blade Opportunity as red, because not everyone uses Heavy Blades.

And more importantly, where in the rules does it say that "wielding" means "attacking?" There is plenty of precedent to the opposite, two of which I found by searching "Wielding" in the D&Di Compendium were the Defensive weapon trait and Swordmage Warding class feature, both of which require you to wield the weapon to gain the respective benefits. If wielding meant you had to be attacking with something, then you would only ever get the Defensive or Swordmage Warding bonus for that moment that you are attacking your opponent -- the exact moment where you would never need a bonus to AC.

I may be mistaken. If I am, linketh me to the giant discussion from which you drew this conclusion.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.

And more importantly, where in the rules does it say that "wielding" means "attacking?"



From the PHB FAQ:
Wielding means you must be using that weapon in the attack.  Merely holding it while you attack with another weapon isn’t enough to qualify for any bonuses that result.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
From the PHB FAQ:
Wielding means you must be using that weapon in the attack.  Merely holding it while you attack with another weapon isn’t enough to qualify for any bonuses that result.

That's a very strange ruling. How does it reconcile with the following rules:

Defensive
A defensive weapon grants you a +1 bonus to AC while you wield the defensive weapon in one hand and wield another melee weapon in your other hand. Wielding more than one defensive weapon does not increase this bonus. To gain this benefit, you need not attack with the defensive weapon, but you must be proficient with it.

SWORDMAGE WARDING
While you are conscious and wielding either a light blade or a heavy blade, you maintain a field of magical force around you.
This field provides a +1 bonus to AC, or a +3 bonus if you are wielding a blade in one hand and have your other hand free (not carrying a shield, an off-hand weapon, a two-handed weapon, or anything else).

Both of these specify defensive bonuses that require you to be wielding the weapon. Doesn't this mean you only gain those bonuses for the duration of the "wielding" process, a.k.a. only when you're attacking? Seems like it renders moot the features, except against interrupts.

I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
I must inquire about your Crashing Tempest Style rating and explanation. Why is it red, but also gold? Is it red because if you're not wielding a club, it gives you no benefit? That's like rating Heavy Blade Opportunity as red, because not everyone uses Heavy Blades..



Because I'm tired of everyone saying that every monk must hold a club in their off-hand.  If you are a club user, it is the only redeeming feature of that style.  If you aren't, it is horrible trap others have been recommending to people.  In short, I wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings in the rating of that feat.



I may be mistaken. If I am, linketh me to the giant discussion from which you drew this conclusion.



As stated previously, it's in the FAQ for the PHB.  It was put up shortly after 4th edition started because everyone was stating that rogues should hold a dagger in the offhand and a rapier in their main hand because Rogue Weapon Talents gave you +1 to hit with the rapier. 


Both of these specify defensive bonuses that require you to be wielding the weapon. Doesn't this mean you only gain those bonuses for the duration of the "wielding" process, a.k.a. only when you're attacking? Seems like it renders moot the features, except against interrupts.



I've seen devs talk about the ruling in ways that could be summarized as "able to attack with the weapon" if "weilding" gives a passive bonus (like defenses) and  "attacking with the weapon" if "weilding" gives an active bonus (like bonuses to hit and damage).  This is also how the CB treats it. 

I've seen devs talk about the ruling in ways that could be summarized as "able to attack with the weapon" if "weilding" gives a passive bonus (like defenses) and  "attacking with the weapon" if "weilding" gives an active bonus (like bonuses to hit and damage).  This is also how the CB treats it.

Them's a really wishy-washy ruling. Alright, though. I can see why you might rate the Crashing Tempest Style the way you did, in light of this information.

I piped up 'cause I'm playing a monk who wields an Accurate Ki Weapon dagger in one hand and wields his monk unarmed strike in the other (DM fiat), which counts as a club due to the Belt of the Brawler. I guess the DM won't mind if I ask for this particular to also slide, since we're intentionally overpowered in our game.
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.

Flurry of Blows: This is monk's striker class feature, and it's a good one.  Depending on the path you choose, you get different version of the Flurry of Blows power. Both share much in common, triggering once per turn on your successful hit, targeting one or more adjacent enemies. There are, however, differences:



From the compendium:
"Trigger: You hit with an attack during your turn"

Just noticed this today (apologies if it's already in the thread). Monk flurry is available once per round, BUT ONLY if you hit with it on your turn. That means you can't trigger flurry from warlord granted attacks or from AoOs.

This is a serious disadvantage compared to other strikers, since they typically can use striker features off-turn. (It's a pretty optimal leader tactic to grant attacks to strikers who missed on their turns)

The text in the guide is significantly different from the RAW, since it suggests flurry can be used once per *turn* rather than once per *round* on *your turn*. 
I think another issue with clubs is that you can hold most implements in your off hand without any trouble, but you can't wield clubs as weapons in your off hand since they are not off hand weapons.  So you can't wield clubs as implements in your off hand so for crashing tempest style to work, furious kender is correct, it needs to be in your main hand and you need to attack with it per the FAQ.

Also, compare the wording of crashing tempest "While you are wielding a club" with Starblade Flurry: "by throwing a dagger or a shuriken that you have in hand."  This is the only use of "in hand" in the game that I know of and I am guessing that they used that phrase to show that you do not need to be attacking with it to get the bonus target.  Or else they were just sloppy.
Say, Furious_kender, I don't suppose if I posted an unarmed strike using, blurred strike ki focus, half elf (or some variant thereof) twinstrike monk you'd add it to your eventual builds list? I'd like some version of the hyperflurry to survive for posterity, after all.

prototype00



As long as any build is clearly functional by RAW and is high quality, I would be happy to add it in the eventual build section.  

If memory serves, your hyper-flurry build is the best Ki Focus build I've seen to date and it should make for a nice melee attack build overall. 
Say, Furious_kender, I don't suppose if I posted an unarmed strike using, blurred strike ki focus, half elf (or some variant thereof) twinstrike monk you'd add it to your eventual builds list? I'd like some version of the hyperflurry to survive for posterity, after all.

prototype00



As long as any build is clearly functional by RAW and is high quality, I would be happy to add it in the eventual build section.  

If memory serves, your hyper-flurry build is the best Ki Focus build I've seen to date and it should make for a nice melee attack build overall. 



High praise indeed, my thanks. I'm still working on prettying up the build. Just curious, where do we stand on the belt of the brawler qualifying you for crashing tempest? CustServ has said yes to other people, but no to my query (as the monk unarmed strike and the untrained unarmed strike are not the same thing).

Personally I'm going to leave it out of my build, as it did hint slightly of shennanigans, but I'll add a note that people can add it in depending on circumstance.

prototype00
So, I just noticed that you have Repel Charge in there under the paragon tier feats. I wasn't going to mention this unless you had it in there, because it's very specific and situational, but if you also have something like a Lightning weapon that turns your attacks into lightning attacks, and have Mark of Storm, you could potentially use Repel Charge to hit the charging enemy with a lightning attack and slide him one square away from you. If he doesn't have reach, I think this would nullify the charge, unless he gets to continue charging (which I doubt).

Also, my apologies for the run-on sentence. 
I wanted to mention that I have finished my initial review of the monk paragon paths.  Input would be greatly appreciated



High praise indeed, my thanks. I'm still working on prettying up the build. Just curious, where do we stand on the belt of the brawler qualifying you for crashing tempest? CustServ has said yes to other people, but no to my query (as the monk unarmed strike and the untrained unarmed strike are not the same thing).

Personally I'm going to leave it out of my build, as it did hint slightly of shennanigans, but I'll add a note that people can add it in depending on circumstance.

prototype00



I think CustServ was probably right in your case in terms of RAW.  A Monk Unarmed Strike is a simple weapon, not an improvised one, and therefore can't benefit from Belt of the Brawler  In contrast, an improvised unarmed attack is one that everyone can use, but no one is proficient in, so you could use it with Belt of the Brawler to use as a club, and therfore apply Ki Focus to it.    So you'd do 1d6 with a +2 prof bonus, which is bad.  As a result, weapon attacks, like Twin Strike, should be used with Monk Unarmed Strike+Ki Focus because of the bigger [w] and prof bonus.   

Looking at the implement section of the Monk, it also seems that CustServ is right.  Monks making implement attack could use a Ki Focus OR a weapon as an implement.  So a monk making an implement attack can't use a Ki Focus for their enhancement bonus and also a spear to access Pointed Step Style.  They would have to use a Ki Focus OR the spear. 




So, I just noticed that you have Repel Charge in there under the paragon tier feats. I wasn't going to mention this unless you had it in there, because it's very specific and situational, but if you also have something like a Lightning weapon that turns your attacks into lightning attacks, and have Mark of Storm, you could potentially use Repel Charge to hit the charging enemy with a lightning attack and slide him one square away from you. If he doesn't have reach, I think this would nullify the charge, unless he gets to continue charging (which I doubt).



As this relies on Mark of the Storm, I put some additional information under the description of that feat. 

So here is Graven, my hyperflurry monk build as promised. I will present him at 4 levels,1, 11, 21 and 30, just to highlight build specific choices. What I've found is that outside of a couple of essential feats, there is a lot of customization space, so feel free to play around with free feats and whatnot (heck, tell me if I missed any good synergies).

Without further ado:

Graven lvl 1:

Show


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Graven, level 1
Revenant, Monk
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Unarmed)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.



AC: 16 Fort: 14 Reflex: 15 Will: 13
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6


TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +9, Thievery +9, Acrobatics +9, Athletics +8


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana, Bluff -1, Diplomacy -1, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +4, Heal +1, History, Insight +1, Intimidate +1, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion, Streetwise -1


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise


POWERS
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk at-will 1: Fallen Needle
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing), Adventurer's Kit, Ki Focus




So the important things here are basically:

1.) Revenant (Half-elf), which allows you to get twin strike as an at will attack at lvl 11. You could also be a straight half-elf, but that is very stat-unfriendly.
2.) Monastic tradition: Stone fist, which allows you access to the pretty decent (all due respect, Furious_kender, for this build it is) Mountain Devotee paragon path.
3.) Trained in thievery, which will allow access to the fast hands utility power, which is useful later.
4.) Versatile expertise in unarmed strike and ki-focuses, since this is all we will be using to attack.

At this stage, Graven plays like your average monk. Strength is slightly lower than optimal, but the twin strike/blurred strike ki focus will make up for this later.

Graven lvl 11:

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Graven, level 11
Revenant, Monk, Mountain Devotee
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Unarmed)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 19, Con 14, Dex 21, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 9.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8.



AC: 28 Fort: 23 Reflex: 25 Will: 23
HP: 76 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 19


TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +12, Acrobatics +15, Stealth +15, Thievery +15


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +5, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +9, Heal +7, History +5, Insight +7, Intimidate +6, Nature +7, Religion +5, Streetwise +4, Athletics +9


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master


POWERS
Dilettante: Twin Strike
Monk at-will 1: Fallen Needle
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 2: Fast Hands
Monk encounter 3: Eternal Mountain
Monk daily 5: One Hundred Leaves
Monk utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk encounter 7: Grasping Tide
Monk daily 9: Twilight Touch
Monk utility 10: Iron Dragon Defense


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Battle Harness Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +2, Rhythm Blade Parrying dagger +1, Blurred Strike Ki Focus +2, Cloak of Resistance +3, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier)



Important things:

1.) Versatile master makes twin strike an at will attack. Congratulations, with the blurred strike ki focus you now activate flurry of blows twice per round.

2.) Starblade flurry: Thats flurry of blows twice per round with an extra target anywhere within 5 squares.

3.) Mountain devotee, +2 to damage with flurry of blows and unarmed strikes?!! With every other monk build that's a suckers bet (you never use unarmed strikes) but with this? Yes please.

4.) Iron armbands of power/ Gauntlets of blood more damage on your bread and butter at will.

5.) Fast hands: According to the CB, characters only ever have one unarmed strike, ever (I guess it makes some sense, if you're using your entire body to make a strike, you won't have enough limbs left over to make another one). Thats where the parrying dagger in the off hand and the battle harness cloth armor come in. Basically you use the following sequence:

1.) Hit with main hand weapon (the unarmed strike)
2.) Sheathe parrying dagger (free action with fast hands)
3.) Draw a regular dagger in main hand (free action with the cloth armor battle harness)
4.) Use regular dagger for starblade flurry (free action, flurry of blows)
5.) Draw a regular dagger in main hand (free action with cloth armor battle harness)

Now the monk is still dual wielding, but his off hand is now the one with the unarmed strike, with the regular dagger in the main hand.

6.) Second hit of twin strike with off hand (the unarmed strike)
7.) Throw regular dagger in main hand for starblade flurry (free action, flurry of blows)
8.) Draw parrying dagger in off hand (free action cloth armor battle harness)

And you're back to your defensive stance, right as your turn ends.


Which allows you to attack with an unarmed strike for both attacks of twin strike, even though you can only ever equip one twin strike.
This set up also helps with AC (rythm blade parrying dagger always in off hand) and using starblade flurry twice (the battle-harness free action drawn daggers).

At this point, the hypeflurry build (hyperflurry is so technical, lightning fists maybe? I'll think about it) is really hitting its stride. You'll repeatedly use flurry of blows twice a round targeting up to three enemies and most of the time at least two.

A quick run down of two target damage:

2d8 + 4 (Iron armbands of power twice) + 18 (flurry of blows twice) + 26 (starblade flurry twice) + 4 (weapon focus twice) + 4 (shattering fist twice)

On average 64 damage (assuming both attacks hit) at will. Thats nice for a 11th level character, isn't it? Three target damage goes up to 90 on average, so yeah.

Graven lvl21:

Show



====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Graven, level 21
Revenant, Monk, Mountain Devotee, Undying Warrior
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Unarmed)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 22, Con 15, Dex 24, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 10.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8.



AC: 37 Fort: 32 Reflex: 34 Will: 33
HP: 127 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 31


TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +17, Acrobatics +22, Stealth +22, Thievery +22


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +11, Bluff +10, Diplomacy +10, Dungeoneering +12, Endurance +14, Heal +12, History +11, Insight +12, Intimidate +12, Nature +12, Religion +11, Streetwise +10, Athletics +16


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Improved Monk Unarmed Strike
Level 14: Brutal Flurry
Level 16: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Ghostly Vitality at Level 21)
Level 18: Battle Awareness
Level 20: Acolyte Power
Level 21: Unarmed Mastery


POWERS
Dilettante: Twin Strike
Monk at-will 1: Fallen Needle
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 2: Fast Hands
Monk encounter 3: Eternal Mountain
Monk daily 5: One Hundred Leaves
Monk utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk encounter 7: Grasping Tide
Monk daily 9: Twilight Touch
Monk utility 10: Iron Dragon Defense (retrained to Fist of Lightning at Acolyte Power)
Monk encounter 13: Furious Bull (replaces Eternal Mountain)
Monk daily 15: Dancer on the Sea of Battle (replaces Masterful Spiral)
Monk utility 16: Diamond Mind
Monk encounter 17: Death's Chilled Embrace (replaces Open the Gate of Battle)
Monk daily 19: Inevitable Fist (replaces One Hundred Leaves)


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Rhythm Blade Parrying dagger +1, Battle Harness Mindweave Armor +4, Blurred Strike Ki Focus +4, Cloak of Resistance +5, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Gauntlets of Blood (paragon tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier)



Things of note:

1.) Fighter multiclass is good for two things, it gives you access to the undying warrior ED (with a revenant, it basically means you eventually can fight until almost dead and recover to bloodied with one healing surge as a minor action, for now its basically a good panic button for when you fall below 0 hp, who needs a leader?) and the utility power Fist of lightning (1/day +dex damage with unarmed attacks, for when you really need to kill something.)

2.) Unarmed mastery: Someone at WotC was laughing when they gave this feat basically free to monks. Which monk in his right mind would use unarmed attacks when all their best powers are implement attacks. Well who's laughing now? Bottom line You crit, alot. With twin strike, you crit even more.

Graven lvl30

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Graven, level 30
Revenant, Monk, Mountain Devotee, Undying Warrior
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Unarmed)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 24, Con 16, Dex 26, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 10.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.



AC: 46 Fort: 41 Reflex: 43 Will: 45
HP: 173 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 43


TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +22, Acrobatics +28, Stealth +28, Thievery +28, Endurance +25


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +17, Heal +17, History +16, Insight +17, Intimidate +17, Nature +17, Religion +16, Streetwise +15, Athletics +22


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master
Level 12: Improved Monk Unarmed Strike
Level 14: Brutal Flurry
Level 16: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Ghostly Vitality at Level 21)
Level 18: Battle Awareness
Level 20: Acolyte Power
Level 21: Unarmed Mastery
Level 22: Long Step
Level 24: Restless Dead
Level 26: Triumphant Attack
Level 28: Epic Will
Level 30: Robust Defenses


POWERS
Dilettante: Twin Strike
Monk at-will 1: Fallen Needle
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 2: Fast Hands
Monk encounter 3: Eternal Mountain
Monk daily 5: One Hundred Leaves
Monk utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk encounter 7: Grasping Tide
Monk daily 9: Twilight Touch
Monk utility 10: Iron Dragon Defense (retrained to Fist of Lightning at Acolyte Power)
Monk encounter 13: Furious Bull (replaces Eternal Mountain)
Monk daily 15: Dancer on the Sea of Battle (replaces Masterful Spiral)
Monk utility 16: Diamond Mind
Monk encounter 17: Death's Chilled Embrace (replaces Open the Gate of Battle)
Monk daily 19: Inevitable Fist (replaces One Hundred Leaves)
Monk utility 22: Indomitable Technique
Monk encounter 23: Fist of Golden Light (replaces Grasping Tide)
Monk daily 25: Phoenix Dance (replaces Inevitable Fist)
Monk encounter 27: Heart-Sundering Strike (replaces Furious Bull)
Monk daily 29: Mist on the Storm (replaces Twilight Touch)


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Rhythm Blade Parrying dagger +1, Gauntlets of Blood (paragon tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Battle Harness Mindpatterned Armor +6, Blurred Strike Ki Focus +6, Life Charm +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Belt of Sonnlinor Righteousness (epic tier), Phantom Chaussures (paragon tier), Coif of Mindiron (paragon tier), Death Song Ring (paragon tier), Adventurer's Kit, Dagger (22)



Things of note:

1.) Life charm + undying warrior = You can fight all the way to - bloodied hp. Because of ghostly vitality, you take half damage when below zero, and thanks to the epic tier belt of Sonnlinor Righteousness, you also have resist 30 all damage when below zero. Restless dead is really just the icing on the cake.  A single healing surge spent as a minor action brings you from -bloodied hp back up to bloodied hp. 

I probably should test this build one on one against Tiamat to see how robust it is, but I can't imagine anything less powerful than her nibs killing you.

2.) Death song ring: If I told you that your DPR would improve more than half the time by +5 for the purchase of a single item, you'd buy it too, right?

Here you go, lvl 30 Graven, and all I can say is, prepare for glory. You hit as hard as any top tier striker, you have more durability than most defenders, you heal yourself better than most leaders and all your encounter and daily powers are chosen with control in mind, because your at will has DPR handled.

prototype00
Nice build!
However, I wonder what the monk looks like carrying an oodleplex of dagger around. Probably a porcupine or that 3.5 PHB sorcerer. ;)

-Enaloindir 
So, I have a player that's a level 14 Deva monk (Centered Breath), and she is in desperate need of an armor upgrade.  The armor section in the character builder is a little overwhelming, and I was wondering if there were any obvious choices that I could point her in the direction of.

Also, we don't have her build fleshed out completely yet, but its a neat concept that I'll describe briefly.  Basicly, its a Centered Breath monk who MC's into rogue.  She takes the Shadow Assassin PP.  The powers aren't the best, but the class features are amazing.  She tries to maximize her defenses (Unarmored Agility, Paragon Defenses, Defensive Advantage, Defensive Mobility), and combined with her Elusive Action Ki Focus, she blatently provokes AoO on her turn from as many creatures as possible.  She does this for two reasons:  1.)  To get her Wisdom mod added to Dancing Cobra, and 2.)  Shadow Assassin's Riposte.  Against AoO, her AC is usually a 36 (at level 14), and being a Deva she gets +1 to all defenses againsnt bloodied foes (being a Deva is just the player's personal taste, mind you, but the defensive nature of it works quite well).  This is a nice chunk of nigh-auto damage that gets piled on every round, and it works great with Monk's schtick of multi-target attacks.
Nice build!
However, I wonder what the monk looks like carrying an oodleplex of dagger around. Probably a porcupine or that 3.5 PHB sorcerer. ;)

-Enaloindir 



Hmm, I figure that it all goes in his "battle harness" which is kind of like a bandolier? Batman-ish, maybe?

I'll put up the 30th level later today.

prototype00
Shadowflow Armor grantss her concealment once per encounter as a minor action, and an untyped bonus to stealth.

There is also the ayrkashana item set specifically for Devas.

(Snip)


Graven lvl 11:


(Snip)


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master




Bold emphasis mine.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this bit is a problem, for a fairly simple reason: when you retrain a feat or power, you may only choose a feat or power to replace it that you could have chosen at that point in your character's career.  Since Starblade Flurry is a Paragon feat, you're going to have to buy it in a Paragon-tier feat slot.

Build looks solid otherwise.


(Snip)


Graven lvl 11:


(Snip)


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master




Bold emphasis mine.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this bit is a problem, for a fairly simple reason: when you retrain a feat or power, you may only choose a feat or power to replace it that you could have chosen at that point in your character's career.  Since Starblade Flurry is a Paragon feat, you're going to have to buy it in a Paragon-tier feat slot.

Build looks solid otherwise.




AFB at the moment, but retraining just requires you to qualify for the feat. Its a common tactic to have a filler heroic tier feat or two (toughness and durable come to mind) so that come the next tier, with retraining, you can get two paragon tier feats at 11th level. Ditto 21st level and epic feats

Or so I'm led to believe (after all the CB is still calling my build legal after that.)

Thanks for the compliments, but please feel free to suggest things. I'm pretty sure I missed an angle or two to exploit (especially with the dilettante marking that half elves can get). As I said, besides a few integral components this build is reasonably customizable by way of powers and feats.

prototype00

P.s. Hmm, if I can fit in battle awareness and martial dilettante at heroic tier, I can use the twin strike trick twice/ encounter and retrain martial dilettante into versatile master at paragon. Its worth a look at least...

Alternate 11 level progression:

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Graven, level 11
Revenant, Monk, Mountain Devotee
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Unarmed)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Choose your Race in Life: Half-Elf


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 19, Con 15, Dex 21, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 9.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.



AC: 28 Fort: 23 Reflex: 25 Will: 22
HP: 77 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 19


TRAINED SKILLS
Stealth +15, Thievery +15, Acrobatics +15, Perception +11, Athletics +14


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +5, Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Dungeoneering +6, Endurance +9, Heal +6, History +5, Insight +6, Intimidate +6, Nature +6, Religion +5, Streetwise +4


FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Half-Elf Soul
Level 4: Brawling Warrior
Level 6: Martial Dilettante (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 8: Unarmored Agility
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 11: Starblade Flurry


POWERS
Dilettante: Twin Strike
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk at-will 1: Crane's Wings
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 2: Fast Hands
Monk encounter 3: Eternal Mountain
Monk daily 5: One Hundred Leaves
Monk utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk encounter 7: Grasping Tide
Monk daily 9: Twilight Touch
Monk utility 10: Iron Dragon Defense


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Adventurer's Kit, Battle Harness Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +2, Blurred Strike Ki Focus +2, Cloak of Resistance +3, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier), Rhythm Blade Parrying dagger +1



This build puts off weapon focus unarmed until paragon tier and defenses till later in heroic, but in return gets to use twin strike twice per encounter from level 6 onwards, which should give a nice spike to mid heroic DPE (encounter).

prototype00


Bold emphasis mine.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that this bit is a problem, for a fairly simple reason: when you retrain a feat or power, you may only choose a feat or power to replace it that you could have chosen at that point in your character's career.  Since Starblade Flurry is a Paragon feat, you're going to have to buy it in a Paragon-tier feat slot.

Build looks solid otherwise.




You're misreading the retraining rules.  You can retrain any feat into a feat that you qualify for at the current level.  So you could train a heroic feat into a paragon (at level 11+)  or epic feat (at level 21+)  The CB does it correctly.  

My only complaint about some versions of the build is that, like many half-elf builds, it would play fairly poorly until level 11.  To try to make it play better, I would try to focus more on things you can use at heroic early on and take the stuff that enables paragon play right before you hit paragon.  

For example,  this version:
FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master

Is much more playable early on than:
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Half-Elf Soul
Level 4: Brawling Warrior
Level 6: Martial Dilettante (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 8: Unarmored Agility
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 11: Starblade Flurry

My only complaint about some versions of the build is that, like many half-elf builds, it would play fairly poorly until level 11.  To try to make it play better, I would try to focus more on things you can use at heroic early on and take the stuff that enables paragon play right before you hit paragon.  

For example,  this version:
FEATS
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 6: Toughness (retrained to Starblade Flurry at Level 11)
Level 8: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Level 10: Half-Elf Soul
Level 11: Versatile Master

Is much more playable early on than:
Level 1: Versatile Expertise
Level 2: Half-Elf Soul
Level 4: Brawling Warrior
Level 6: Martial Dilettante (retrained to Versatile Master at Level 11)
Level 8: Unarmored Agility
Level 10: Weapon Proficiency (Parrying dagger)
Level 11: Starblade Flurry



Well, you got me there, my original build was meant to be a fully functioning monk until lvl 11 when the elements all came together. However, my second build allows you to pseudo twin strike (you can afford a blurred strike ki-focus at lvl 5) half way through heroic, graduating to the full at will at lvl 11, while delaying the defence bits. Its a matter of choice I expect.

So you like the well rounded build better, huh? All right. Good to know.

prototype00
On items.  I'd know the Elusive Action Ki Focus up to Blue, maybe even Light Blue for Centered Breath.

If your not planning on using a Ki Focus to attack, this still gives you  + 2  to AC against OA's and Flurry if hit (which for a Centered Breath lets you move other enemy's away is pretty dark good for 840 gp, especially in paragon, when you can use it on multiple enemies, and be working on provoking attacks that trigger your defender's mark.



Bored at work, so I thought I'd go through and rate all the Divine Boons for Monks (Save Vecna's which is consumable).
My personal Recommendations based on the Monk Paragon Paths in PH3 would be
  • Sehanine's Mark of the Dark Moon for Ghost Walkers

  • Bahamut's Protective Ward for Initiates of the Dragon

  • Kord's Mighty Strength for Mountain Devotees

  • Pelor's Sun's Blessing for Radiant Fists


Divine Boons

  • [Torog's Lamentation of the Shackled]  Saving Throw Bonuses against Slow, Immobilized and Restrained and a Daily immediate reaction to teleport and end them. These all suck for a Monk. From an evil FR god though, which may may it hard to get.

  • [Avandra's Boon of Escape] Shifting twice as a move action when surrounded is often useful, especially when your movement technique is something different. A Daily Teleport as a move action to escape grabs. 

  • [Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might] Unless you are a hybrid, you are unlikely to have the Ability Mod to actually hit with these

  • [Erathis's Beacon] A property that’s unlikely to be useful often, and a Daily that can help allies.

  • [Ioun's Revelation]  A + 2 item bonus to all skill checks is never bad, and the daily makes it a bit better. 

  • [Kord's Mighty Strength][Stone Fists] Bonuses to athletics and Strength checks, Daily to add bonus damage to Melee Damage Rolls.

  • [Melora's Storm Blessing] Shift 1 at the end of the forced movement, and an encounter flight power.  Flavorful and useful.

  • [Moradin's Blessing of Iron Defense]reduce movement from pushes, MBA if pulled adjacent and a daily to reduce damage. 

  • [Pelor's Sun Blessing][Radiant Fists/Avenger Hybrid] The Boon if you are going Radiant Fist.

  • [The Raven Queen's Shroud]  Lets you mark as an encounter, reroll damage dice against them, and teleport to your marked opponent as a Daily, eventually gaining bonuses against them. 

  • [Sehanine's Mark of the Dark Moon][Stealth Focus] Half Damage if can’t be seen, no damage on a miss, and a teleportation that eventually lets you turn invisible and stealth for free. 

 

Dragon 398 is compiled.

Well, so much for the immediate reactions. Still, shifting as a minor isn't bad.
Wow, they all ended up with the exact same movement technique?
That's really disappointing... =/

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Wow, they all ended up with the exact same movement technique?
That's really disappointing... =/




Seconded.
Lets hope that changes when it gets a full release in Psionic Power?? :fingers crossed:
I mean, couldn't they have just added something like this?

Requirement: You must have used this power's attack technique since the beginning of your last turn.

That totally fixes all of the Half-Elf and Hybrid-Classing problems.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I added Fallen Needle to the at-wills.  I also was a bit sad they didn't get more creative in the nerf, but the MT is still very strong. 

My time available to work on the guide has been very limited, and is going to be even more limited for the next week or so due to real life issues.  So please don't get offended if I don't respond quickly in the near future.  Happily, my schedule will clear about when Psionic Power hits the shelves.
I mean, couldn't they have just added something like this?

Requirement: You must have used this power's attack technique since the beginning of your last turn.

That totally fixes all of the Half-Elf and Hybrid-Classing problems.



I guess its a bit of a corner case, and they don't see the need for it. But think about it, conceptually isn't blending a twin strike and a monk movement technique something a hybrid class or a half-elf should be able to do?
I guess its a bit of a corner case, and they don't see the need for it.

But they felt the need to alter the movement technique completely?

But think about it, conceptually isn't blending a twin strike an a monk movement technique something a hybrid class or a half-elf should be able to do?

Unless it's overpowered, which it was, which is why it was changed. Besides, a Hybrid Monk or Half-Elf could still use the power just fine. They'd just need to use the attack technique first. Between that and what they ended up doing, what they ended up doing is not my favorite solution.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I'd say the ability to shift in, and shift out is still pretty darn good.



I mean, couldn't they have just added something like this?

Requirement: You must have used this power's attack technique since the beginning of your last turn.

That totally fixes all of the Half-Elf and Hybrid-Classing problems.



I guess its a bit of a corner case, and they don't see the need for it. But think about it, conceptually isn't blending a twin strike and a monk movement technique something a hybrid class or a half-elf should be able to do?



I don't agree, even conceptually.

I think what a class can do in a round should be roughly balanced. For example, a figher's attack is not as devastating as a Ranger with Hunter's Quarry, but it does other things -- it marks an enemy, and consequently allows him to make oa and use combat challenge.

I think conceptually, a hybrid is designed for you to choose each round what class you will be using. So a Ranger|Fighter will choose in a round to use a Ranger power, gain HQ, but not be able to use the fighter challenge features, or he can choose to use a Fighter power, mark, but not get Hunter's Quarry or the increased damage of Ranger powers.

In the same way, a hybrid monk should have to choose each round to either exploit the Monk side of his powers, and get movement techniques but slightly weaker (for a striker) attacks, or to choose his other hybrid class, and use it's advantages. Letting the hybrid use movement techniques while gaining the benifits of the second class attack powers and extras (like HQ and marking) runs contrary to the idea of hybrids IMO.
I mean, couldn't they have just added something like this?

Requirement: You must have used this power's attack technique since the beginning of your last turn.

That totally fixes all of the Half-Elf and Hybrid-Classing problems.



I guess its a bit of a corner case, and they don't see the need for it. But think about it, conceptually isn't blending a twin strike and a monk movement technique something a hybrid class or a half-elf should be able to do?



I don't agree, even conceptually.

I think what a class can do in a round should be roughly balanced. For example, a figher's attack is not as devastating as a Ranger with Hunter's Quarry, but it does other things -- it marks an enemy, and consequently allows him to make oa and use combat challenge.

I think conceptually, a hybrid is designed for you to choose each round what class you will be using. So a Ranger|Fighter will choose in a round to use a Ranger power, gain HQ, but not be able to use the fighter challenge features, or he can choose to use a Fighter power, mark, but not get Hunter's Quarry or the increased damage of Ranger powers.

In the same way, a hybrid monk should have to choose each round to either exploit the Monk side of his powers, and get movement techniques but slightly weaker (for a striker) attacks, or to choose his other hybrid class, and use it's advantages. Letting the hybrid use movement techniques while gaining the benifits of the second class attack powers and extras (like HQ and marking) runs contrary to the idea of hybrids IMO.

I don't know... You're talking about blending class abilities there, whereas I'm talking about blending powers. I feel that there is a difference. I mean half elf avengers with twin strike get to roll twice for each attack, is that causing people grief? 

Fair enough, I see your point, but it isn't strong enough to make me change my mind.

prototype00

Sign In to post comments