This is a build for my monk handbook. I wanted this to be gear independent, so I pretty much only assumed basic gear. However, my DPR calculations include a couple extra items just because everyone is used to seeing completely optimized DPR estimates.
Iron Sparrow: A Classic Iron Soul Monk
This is a fun build that has good striker damage and very good defenses (above normal defender levels) so that it can fight while completely surrounded without a defender. This is very playable from level 1, and it has no weak levels. Due to the Iron Soul FoB and good defenses, this build will also has a solid secondary defender feel to it.
As people were asking for a higher damage example build, I made damage into the above average range for a monk. This damage is a bit lower than single-target strikers like a rogue or barbarian. But, after converting DPR for the AoE nature of the monk attacks, this build has DPR that is decently above that of an intended striker.
I couldn’t really make up my mind about the paragon path, as I don’t really like any of them for this well-rounded Iron Soul build. As a result, I went Initiate of the Dragon to get a more damaging FoB and some decent powers, but most any PP would work fine.
Monk, level 16
Race: Halfling (Good defensive racial features, feats, small size, and item support)
Initiate of the Dragon (+2 FoB damage and some decent powers)
Monastic Tradition Option: Iron Soul (Synergizes with Halfling well)
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Dex to HP)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 20, DEX 24, INT 9, WIS 12, CHA 11
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 14, DEX 18, INT 8, WIS 11, CHA 10
AC: 35 (+1 if shifted, +2 if adjacent to two or more larger creatures, +1 if hit by FoB)
Fort: 30 (+1 if hit by FoB)
Ref: 32 (+1 if shifted, +1 if hit by FoB)
Will: 26(+1 if hit by FoB)
HP: 111 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 27
Acrobatics +22, Athletics +13, Stealth +20, Thievery +22
Monk Attack 1: Five Storms
Monk Attack 1: Lion's Den
Monk Attack 1: Spinning Leopard Maneuver
Monk Utility 2: Supreme Flurry
Monk Attack 3: Eternal Mountain
Monk Attack 3: Undeniable Incitement
Monk Utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk Attack 9: Twilight Touch
Monk Utility 10: Iron Heart Resilience
Initiate of the Dragon Attack 11: Draconic Torrent
Initiate of the Dragon Utility 12: Dragon's Vengeance
Monk Attack 13: Furious Bull
Monk Attack 15: Mithral Tornado
Monk Utility 16: Stance of the Still Sword
Level 1: Unarmored Agility (+2 AC)
Level 2: Versatile Expertise (to hit is essential)
Level 4: Lost in the Crowd (+2 AC if adjacent to two larger enemies)
Level 6: Superior Implement Training (To hit is essential)
Level 8: Crashing Tempest Style (+2 to FoB damage)
Level 10: Improved Defenses(+2 to all NADs)
Level 11: Starblade Flurry (+1 FoB target)
Level 12: Whirling Iron Defense (+1 to all defenses versus FoB targets)
Level 14: Implement Focus (Dagger) (+2 damage)
Level 16: Melee Training (Weak, but usable OAs)
Monk unarmed strike
Goblin Accurate dagger +4 x1
Magic Feyweave Armor +4 x1
Amulet of Protection +4 x1
Boots of the Fencing Master x1
====== End ======
With +4 Accurate Goblin Totem Dagger, Paragon Dragonshard of the Mage, and +1 Ki Club, to hit: +22 (without CA, as there is no way consistent way to get CA) versus 28 reflex = 75% hit rate.
Five Storms Damage: 1d8+20
FoB Damage (3 targets): 13 damage
At will DPR with 75% hit rate = 19.25 damage per target and +13 damage to three targets
As Five Storms is a party friendly 3x3, 32.25 dpr (assuming at least one hit) is equivalent to a single target DPR of 46.76 DPR. This is decently above the intended striker DPR of 38.
AC 35 versus 21 to hit, means the build will be hit on a 14 or higher WITHOUT any of the builds many situational modifiers or defensive stances. With those conditional modifiers (e.g., +4 AC if you shifted, using FoB on the target, and are adjacent to two or more larger creatures) taken into account, only 19s and20s should hit. If you activate one of the two defenses stances, these won’t be criticals. If you do get hit by a critical, you can use second chance.
Will 26 versus 19 to hit, means the build will be hit on a 7 or higher without any situational modifiers or defensive stances (which provide up to another +3 to will defense). This is the build’s worst defense.
With that said, higher level creatures, elites and solos will still be able to hit this character's best defenses, but they will still need to roll well to very well do it.