No Paper Tigers!!!!: The Monk Handbook

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I'd like to point out the wording of the "Prime Shot" weapon enhancement:

"You deal +1-3 damage while no ally is closer to the target than you are."

Because of how general the wording is, this is an amazing weapon enhancement. It will work on top of Flurry of Blows, it will work while in offhand (though admittedly, rhythm blade is nice there), it will work on close burst, melee, etc. And you can get it on something as simple as a regular dagger, or a shuriken (a reason to weild one!). Once you get to the version at lvl 12, it makes a ki weapon obsolete. This, imo, needs to be ranked sky blue as far as weapon enchantments go. It's certainly the hyperflurry weapon of choice, and I think everyone should wear one.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
I'd like to point out the wording of the "Prime Shot" weapon enhancement. "You deal +1-3 damage while no ally is closer to the target than you are." Because of how general the wording is, this is an amazing weapon enhancement. It will work on top of Flurry of Blows, it will work while in offhand (though admittedly, rhythm blade is nice there), it will work on close burst, melee, etc. And you can get it on something as simple as a regular dagger, or a shuriken (a reason to weild one!). Once you get to the version at lvl 12, it is already better than a ki weapon. This, imo, needs to be ranked sky blue as far as weapon enchantments go. It's certainly the hyperflurry weapon of choice.



I'd venture that its about even with the unarmed strike?

prototype00
I'd like to point out the wording of the "Prime Shot" weapon enhancement. "You deal +1-3 damage while no ally is closer to the target than you are." Because of how general the wording is, this is an amazing weapon enhancement. It will work on top of Flurry of Blows, it will work while in offhand (though admittedly, rhythm blade is nice there), it will work on close burst, melee, etc. And you can get it on something as simple as a regular dagger, or a shuriken (a reason to weild one!). Once you get to the version at lvl 12, it is already better than a ki weapon. This, imo, needs to be ranked sky blue as far as weapon enchantments go. It's certainly the hyperflurry weapon of choice.



I'd venture that its about even with the unarmed strike?

prototype00

Ah, you are right in that it wouldn't gain the benefit of mountain devotee, but if you use fast-hand shenanigans like in your hyperflurry build, this can be worked around. You don't need to make the trade-off. It's a LOT of free damage.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
I'd like to point out the wording of the "Prime Shot" weapon enhancement. "You deal +1-3 damage while no ally is closer to the target than you are." Because of how general the wording is, this is an amazing weapon enhancement. It will work on top of Flurry of Blows, it will work while in offhand (though admittedly, rhythm blade is nice there), it will work on close burst, melee, etc. And you can get it on something as simple as a regular dagger, or a shuriken (a reason to weild one!). Once you get to the version at lvl 12, it is already better than a ki weapon. This, imo, needs to be ranked sky blue as far as weapon enchantments go. It's certainly the hyperflurry weapon of choice.



I'd venture that its about even with the unarmed strike?

prototype00

Ah, you are right in that it wouldn't gain the benefit of mountain devotee, but if you use fast-hand shenanigans like in your hyperflurry build, this can be worked around. You don't need to make the trade-off. It's a LOT of free damage.

Ah yes. Very good point. Well caught then. (Especially since you can just have a regular dagger and the prime shot weapon enhancement with TWD and nearly make up the difference).

prototype00
I'd like to point out the wording of the "Prime Shot" weapon enhancement:

"You deal +1-3 damage while no ally is closer to the target than you are."

Because of how general the wording is, this is an amazing weapon enhancement. It will work on top of Flurry of Blows, it will work while in offhand (though admittedly, rhythm blade is nice there), it will work on close burst, melee, etc. And you can get it on something as simple as a regular dagger, or a shuriken (a reason to weild one!). Once you get to the version at lvl 12, it makes a ki weapon obsolete. This, imo, needs to be ranked sky blue as far as weapon enchantments go. It's certainly the hyperflurry weapon of choice, and I think everyone should wear one.



There is a good deal of disagreement over whether weapon properties in the off-hand function on main hand attacks.  For example, most people on the QA forum have decided it doesn't work due to a passage in the AV (I believe), but the CB has allowed it in the past.  I've noted this in the description. 
Even if you wield it in your main hand, it has awesome damage potential. As I mentioned, once you get the lvl 12 version it basically makes the ki weapon obsolete (which you have marked as blue). It just plain increases all of your sources of damage by 1-3. This alone makes it at least blue by default.

Despite the ambiguity of AV, as per PHB FAQ #18, you can weild this weapon in your offhand and gain the benefit for non-weapon attacks. So it may not work in the offhand for the hyperflurry after all, but it'll certainly work for your typical monk.

It'll still work fine on a hyperflurry build. It would just, as he mentioned, not gain the benefits of the MUS. It would at least make for some fun net using AoE slow build.



Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
For races with racial weapons (dwarves, githzerai,...), they Ki weapon is better: it can only be placed on ranged weapons. 
For races with racial weapons (dwarves, githzerai,...), they Ki weapon is better: it can only be placed on ranged weapons. 

In the case of Dwarves, you can use a throwing hammer. And as long as you aren't hyperflurrying, just give your offhand weapon the prime shot enchantment (implements gain the properties while in offhand, weapons do not). You wouldn't get the rhythm blade property, but monks aren't exactly lacking in defensive options. Also, apparently since the extra damage isn't worded as a "bonus", they will stack with eachother. I don't personally agree with this, but a lot of the charop does. If you adhere to these rules, that's an easy +4 to all your sources of damage once you hit paragon.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
New Monk Paragon Path from the Psionic Power Preview 

I don't like it.  It feels very Defender or Controller, and it has some definite downsides.

Baleful Action is ok, but it means forgoing an extra attack as a striker in order to slow opponents. As a striker, your job is to kill the enemy, not hobble it.
Basiliks Boon is a useful defense bump, but it's for saving throws, and thus doesn't help you prevent the effects, just mitigate them if they are save ends.
But Basilik's Fury... well that just sucks.  Sure it takes enemies out of the fight on a critical, and but it also gives them resistance 20.  Why does this suck... because it take effect on a hit, not when damage is dealt.  Thus your critical damage is definitely effected.  Lets hope errata has this take effect after damage is dealt.
The encounter is okay, the utility is rather situational, and the daily is middling and requires a charge.

 Maybe a Defender multiclassing into Monk will be happy.  In fact, considering the encounter marks, it may be intended for this purpose.  Honestly, I think it would have been better as a battlemind paragon path.
wizards.com/dnd/files/excerpts/DarkSun_T...

And here is the resurgent wilder. Why yes, I would like 18-20 crits on monk at-wills. And yes, I love the idea of sharing my crit range with my teammates.
New Monk Paragon Path from the Psionic Power Preview 

I don't like it.  It feels very Defender or Controller, and it has some definite downsides.

Baleful Action is ok, but it means forgoing an extra attack as a striker in order to slow opponents. As a striker, your job is to kill the enemy, not hobble it.
Basiliks Boon is a useful defense bump, but it's for saving throws, and thus doesn't help you prevent the effects, just mitigate them if they are save ends.
But Basilik's Fury... well that just sucks.  Sure it takes enemies out of the fight on a critical, and but it also gives them resistance 20.  Why does this suck... because it take effect on a hit, not when damage is dealt.  Thus your critical damage is definitely effected.  Lets hope errata has this take effect after damage is dealt.
The encounter is okay, the utility is rather situational, and the daily is middling and requires a charge.

 Maybe a Defender multiclassing into Monk will be happy.  In fact, considering the encounter marks, it may be intended for this purpose.  Honestly, I think it would have been better as a battlemind paragon path.

yah It does need to happen after damage not the hit all critical hits being reduced by 20 ouch Wotc fix please but I like the daily if not for the shear damage that can thwollop be over 2 rounds and keep an enemy down. Instead of the boon being for saves I think it should be more like you ignore damage resistance granted by petrification. Now we might have something worth taking for a primary striker class.
New Monk Paragon Path from the Psionic Power Preview 

I don't like it.  It feels very Defender or Controller, and it has some definite downsides.

Baleful Action is ok, but it means forgoing an extra attack as a striker in order to slow opponents. As a striker, your job is to kill the enemy, not hobble it.
Basiliks Boon is a useful defense bump, but it's for saving throws, and thus doesn't help you prevent the effects, just mitigate them if they are save ends.
But Basilik's Fury... well that just sucks.  Sure it takes enemies out of the fight on a critical, and but it also gives them resistance 20.  Why does this suck... because it take effect on a hit, not when damage is dealt.  Thus your critical damage is definitely effected.  Lets hope errata has this take effect after damage is dealt.
The encounter is okay, the utility is rather situational, and the daily is middling and requires a charge.

 Maybe a Defender multiclassing into Monk will be happy.  In fact, considering the encounter marks, it may be intended for this purpose.  Honestly, I think it would have been better as a battlemind paragon path.

yah It does need to happen after damage not the hit all critical hits being reduced by 20 ouch Wotc fix please but I like the daily if not for the shear damage that can thwollop be over 2 rounds and keep an enemy down. Instead of the boon being for saves I think it should be more like you ignore damage resistance granted by petrification. Now we might have something worth taking for a primary striker class.



Despite the resistance, petrifying with all your crits also lets your ally coup de grace the enemy until it is no longer petrified, because petrified makes unconcious, unconcious is helpless. Crits usually add more than 20 damage by paragon, on top of having other effects too. Plus there are things you can do to flat out ignore resistance. A Wyrmtooth Dagger would be a good pick for someone with this PP because on a crit with it the target loses all resistances, so they get petrified and lose resistances at the same time, thereby letting you deal full damage.
Yes crits do more than 20 damage about 25 -30 so your gonna cu-de-gras for 5 - 10 damage when you can spend a normal attack and get 15???

And you would think cool autocrit a bunch of novas but usually Novas that do 200 some damage get it from multiple attack effect normally involving 4 + attacks so it gets its damage resistance against every attack.
New Monk Paragon Path from the Psionic Power Preview 

I don't like it.  It feels very Defender or Controller, and it has some definite downsides.

 Maybe a Defender multiclassing into Monk will be happy.  In fact, considering the encounter marks, it may be intended for this purpose.  Honestly, I think it would have been better as a battlemind paragon path.



Wow....this really is not the type of PP I'd want to advertise for a new book.  Maybe if monks had some ability to expand critical range beyond a Jagged Weapon this would get me more excited.  As is, it seems like a path other classes would have enjoyed more than monks. 


Despite the resistance, petrifying with all your crits also lets your ally coup de grace the enemy until it is no longer petrified, because petrified makes unconcious, unconcious is helpless. Crits usually add more than 20 damage by paragon, on top of having other effects too. Plus there are things you can do to flat out ignore resistance. A Wyrmtooth Dagger would be a good pick for someone with this PP because on a crit with it the target loses all resistances, so they get petrified and lose resistances at the same time, thereby letting you deal full damage.



Yes, you can let everyone coup de grace the enemy until they save.  However, they'll be getting 20 DR, and it's unlikely someone is going to manage to do a one shot kill on it.  It also makes the enemy immune to you FoB damage, and monks don't do very impressive critical damage.  Monks also have no way to expand critical range other than with a Jagged Weapon.  Even Unarmed Mastery, I believe, won't change the critical range on monk powers if you use a Ki Focus.  This means that if you use a Wyrmtooth Dagger, you're going to need to have two daggers or be happy with criticals on 20s. 

If you could make a decent crit-fisher monk, this PP might be nice.  However, as is, it is a pretty niche, controller build. 

wizards.com/dnd/files/excerpts/DarkSun_T...

And here is the resurgent wilder. Why yes, I would like 18-20 crits on monk at-wills. And yes, I love the idea of sharing my crit range with my teammates.



Why is it that I like this PP more than the monk one?  

Can we add the Rocket Fists? The thread community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
is just too funny not to include. Basically the barbarian Hurl Weapon feat get applied to the monk unarmed strike.



Seriously, can someone come up with a viable build that uses this?  I would love that but I can't think of anything that'd make it work aside from a half orc or bugbear and even then, needing 13con to nudge into barbarian is a bummer... that and I'm not sure how good the rocket fists would be... But man that's so awesome!
Even assuming the BA Adept gets the crit issue fixed in errata, it's still a less then overwhelming paragon path for monks.    

I'd note the AP power's ability to slow and have an additional slow become slow (save ends) has very little synergy with Monk powers, as currently only a level 1 daily slows, and you can't exactly use hindering shield.

Hopefully there is better stuff.  And yes, the Wilder is pretty great.  Especially if you go Godmind and can reroll your attacks... critfisher monks? yes please.


Especially if you go Godmind and can reroll your attacks...

Eh? Why would any Monk ever want to go Godmind? Do you mean Diamond Soul?

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!
Whoops, yep.  
I'm sure this has been done all ready, so could someone point me to a build that utilizes Five Storms + Polearm Momentum to knock enemies prone At-Will?  Using Mark of Storm + Rushing Cleats, you can achieve this combo mid heroic.  Monk's get some decent Spear support from what I seen so far, and at 21 you could potentially have an At-Will Close Burst 2 that knocks enemies.  You'd probably have to use a Lightning Weapon, which sucks but the concept seems cool.
I'm sure this has been done all ready, so could someone point me to a build that utilizes Five Storms + Polearm Momentum to knock enemies prone At-Will?  Using Mark of Storm + Rushing Cleats, you can achieve this combo mid heroic.  Monk's get some decent Spear support from what I seen so far, and at 21 you could potentially have an At-Will Close Burst 2 that knocks enemies.  You'd probably have to use a Lightning Weapon, which sucks but the concept seems cool.



People have talked about it, and I mentionned it in the guide. However, I don't know of any builds that used it. 

Items for the build are not nearly as tight as for other elemental builds.  The Thunderbolt Weapon is a lot cheaper than a Lighning weapon.  You also can convert radiant to lighting damage using the Crown of the Brilliant Sun.   
My build does exactly this.  I posted a summary of it at paragon earlier in the thread.  A Lightning weapon does have certain benefits with Radiant cheese, especially if you go Radiant Fist, given the Crown from Gifts of the queen.



 
Hmm, ok.  I'll try and throw something together for myself and see how it comes out.
Hello,
I've been considering playing a monk for a couple of weeks since my Barbarian dies, but have been on the fence.  I've drafted up a lvl 4 Githzerai Monk, but then bought the Psionic Power book today.  Does anyone have any suggestions about possible changes they would make based on the new book?  I also need to equip him.

Thanks for your help.  I'm either going to use him or another barbarian tomorrow.

Rory

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Shrakk, level 4
Githzerai, Monk
Monastic Tradition: Stone Fist
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Staff)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Background: Early Life - Child Prodigy (+2 to Athletics)


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 8.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.



AC: 20 Fort: 15 Reflex: 17 Will: 17
HP: 41 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 10


TRAINED SKILLS
Thievery +11, Endurance +9, Stealth +11, Perception +10


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Arcana +2, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +5, Heal +5, History +2, Insight +5, Intimidate +1, Nature +5, Religion +2, Streetwise +1, Athletics +8


FEATS
Level 1: Unarmored Agility
Level 2: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 4: Versatile Expertise


POWERS
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk at-will 1: Dragon's Tail
Monk encounter 1: Open the Gate of Battle
Monk daily 1: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 2: Supreme Flurry
Monk encounter 3: Eternal Mountain


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike

Fallen Needle is a fantastic At-Will. Besides that, I'm not sure if the new blast At-Will beats out Five Storms, but one of those two is neccesary.

Beyond that, I'd suggest a starting 18 in DEX, with WIS as your next higest. It's usually not a good stat array to use, but it's very good for Monks. If you go this route, drop Eternal Mountain for Fallen Hammer in Repose or a Psionic Power power.

Beyond that, I'd suggest a starting 18 in DEX, with WIS as your next higest.



Wis secondary when he's building a Stone Fist?
Beyond that, I'd suggest a starting 18 in DEX, with WIS as your next higest.



Wis secondary when he's building a Stone Fist?



Ah, he's going for Stone Fist. Must've skipped over that.

Then yeah, Eternal Mountain would be better than Fallen Hammer. I still suggest that starting 18 in DEX, though.

Looking through Psionic Power and PHB3, I'm not really having any Paragon Paths jump out at me yet, so I'm actually looking over Paragon Multiclassing Ranger.

Is it more worthwhile to swap Five Storms or Fallen Needle for Twin Strike? I'm playing a Revenant (Half-Orc) Monk, and I've already taken Death's quickening to grant me a minor action before I go down as well as the standard.
Looking through Psionic Power and PHB3, I'm not really having any Paragon Paths jump out at me yet, so I'm actually looking over Paragon Multiclassing Ranger.

Is it more worthwhile to swap Five Storms or Fallen Needle for Twin Strike? I'm playing a Revenant (Half-Orc) Monk, and I've already taken Death's quickening to grant me a minor action before I go down as well as the standard.

If you're going with Paragon Multiclassing, I see no reason not to swap out Fallen Needle for Twin Strike- it's kind of one of the main draws of the paragon path. Then you could take off into a hyperflurry build from that if you like. I really like the new flurry, personally. Denying shifts is crazy powerful.

Of the paragon paths introduced, the main one that stands out as good is The Unseen Hand, whose primary feature at lvl 11 really helps it function. Brings Flurry to an easy 4 targets just upon hitting one. That's practically a solid 36 damage. And if you get the blurred strike ki focus (and I'm sure you will, if you go for twin strike) then that jumps up to 72. Twin strike gains its damage off of static bonuses, not weapon dice so even using a dagger and hand crossbow as weapons doesn't hurt it much.
Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---
I fully expect the Soaring Blade paragon path to get a high rating just because of this:

Ki Blade (16): You channel psionic energy through your Heavy Blade. After each extended rest, choose a damage type: cold, fire, or lightning. Your melee attacks using a Heavy Blade deal extra damage of that type equal to your CON mod. In addition, when you score a critical hit using a Heavy Blade, the attack deals 2D10 extra damage of that type.


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 fully expect the Soaring Blade paragon path to get a high rating just because of this:

Ki Blade (16): You channel psionic energy through your Heavy Blade. After each extended rest, choose a damage type: cold, fire, or lightning. Your melee attacks using a Heavy Blade deal extra damage of that type equal to your CON mod. In addition, when you score a critical hit using a Heavy Blade, the attack deals 2D10 extra damage of that type.





Jagged + Permafrost = Love, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket.
Soaring Blade looks great, and the Basilisk path seems pretty good as well. Really, out of both books and DDI, there's only a couple Monk paths that aren't usable.
So monks really benefit from the new implement rules (you can use any implement you are proficient with with any implement powers you know from any paragon path or multiclass feats).

Morninglord just become pretty easy to use for centered breath monks: you can actually use and hit with the powers using daggers, ki focuses, or whatever else you want to wield. You get some rare ranged options (hadouken!), and you can even use your flurry of blows on the target with an off-hand dagger+starblade flurry.

I am sure there are other interesting combinations to explore as well.
yeah... actually I expect that being able to use implements for other classes will provide a few awesome implement class combos that weren't intended, and not just for monk.
Charger monks just lost some of their power with the Melee Training nerf... Cry
Charger monks just lost some of their power with the Melee Training nerf... 



Hun? What's this Melee Training nerf i wasn't aware of?
Hun? What's this Melee Training nerf i wasn't aware of?

Only half of the new ability score modifier goes to damage. It technically hasn't heppened yet, but it's been discussed in the new Essentials preview.

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 fully expect the Soaring Blade paragon path to get a high rating just because of this:

Ki Blade (16): You channel psionic energy through your Heavy Blade. After each extended rest, choose a damage type: cold, fire, or lightning. Your melee attacks using a Heavy Blade deal extra damage of that type equal to your CON mod. In addition, when you score a critical hit using a Heavy Blade, the attack deals 2D10 extra damage of that type.





Jagged + Permafrost = Love, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket.


The ability is good, but a bit limited since it only applies to melee attacks and not close attacks.  Also, using a heavy blade instead of a dagger means you lose out on attack bonuses from Nimble Blade and Superior Implement (Accurate Dagger).  I wouldn't necessarily go with a jagged weapon either, since the bonus critical hit damage is still pretty minor (every 5% chance of a critical hit adds .55 damage).
I'm playing a Razorclaw Shifter/Stonefist (who, even before Psionic Power came out had faint tiger stripe patterns on his skin)... guess which Paragon path I'm choosing Laughing
I fully expect the Soaring Blade paragon path to get a high rating just because of this:

Ki Blade (16): You channel psionic energy through your Heavy Blade. After each extended rest, choose a damage type: cold, fire, or lightning. Your melee attacks using a Heavy Blade deal extra damage of that type equal to your CON mod. In addition, when you score a critical hit using a Heavy Blade, the attack deals 2D10 extra damage of that type.





Jagged + Permafrost = Love, the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket.


The ability is good, but a bit limited since it only applies to melee attacks and not close attacks.  Also, using a heavy blade instead of a dagger means you lose out on attack bonuses from Nimble Blade and Superior Implement (Accurate Dagger).  I wouldn't necessarily go with a jagged weapon either, since the bonus critical hit damage is still pretty minor (every 5% chance of a critical hit adds .55 damage).



Yeah, I'm of the opinion that Soaring Blade is certainly an amazing paragon path. But it's much better stolen by other classes, since the best monk abilities are burst/blast.  Certain builds could certainly make good use of it though. It's just that by attacking only 1 target you essentially are losing out on 1 FoB target as well, which is an instant loss of apx. 9 damage at paragon in addition to another bit of static damage. Less targets also means less chance to hit with one of them and activate your FoB (even with combat advantage from frost cheese). And the main reason to get Soaring Blade is for the lvl 16 feature (which will take a bit to work up to). I love five storms too much to take Soaring Blade on my monk which is a lot of the reason why Unseen Hand is now my PP of choice for monks.

One class that jumps out to me that could take advantage of this is a Rogue with Versatile Duelist. Obviously make dex the main stat, and invest a bit into con (a lot isn't necessary.... pretty much as long as you get some cold damage out of it). This frees the rogue up to use a jagged broadsword/longsword as the weapon of choice and also gain some useful powers in the paragon path that are fully functional and open to frost cheese. Str/Dex melee ranger also does this very well.

Currently Playing: lvl 6 Pixie Skald in Home Campaign lvl 2 Human Bard in Forgotten Realms ---

In defense of Soaring Blade, it depends on how you're playing your monk. If your playing him/her as a martial controller, then you lose the damage of Ki Blade and it probably isn't worth taking. But if you're optimising him/her as a psionic striker, then it becomes an invaluable damage boost.

Having picked up Psionic Power today, it looks to me like Monks got some of the stuff they needed to be competent strikers, instead of just controllers. Before PP, monks were great strikers at heroic, but became martial controllers as they went into Paragon and Epic.

Now they've got more single-target melee powers, Soaring Blade, a Flurry of Blows more well fitting for a striker (albeit, also well-suited to a controller), and a few new feats to distinguish them. By no means will they rival rangers or berserkers in single target damage, but having that secondary controller role is probably enough to make them just as playable.

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