Optimized Flurry of Blows Monk

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This is my first posting of an optimized character I've made and would like some input or comments as to how to make it better.  This is for a home game that I'm hoping to work up to, but we're starting at level 1.  The DM has allowed us to pick one Expertise and one Defensive feat for free since they're essentially feat taxes.  I took Ki Focus Expertise and Superior Will.  He said we could take the superior versions if we qualified for them statwise. The group consists of me, Ranger|Cleric hybrid, Warlord|Bard hybrid, Warden and a Seeker.  We're also using Inherent Bonuses so I've only shown the low level variant of magic weapons.  Although since most of the weapons I use have no scaling bonuses the cheapest available will work.

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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Vosh, level 12
Thri-Kreen, Monk, Unseen Hand
Build: Centered Breath Monk
Monastic Tradition: Centered Breath
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 11, Dex 23, Int 11, Wis 19, Cha 9.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 10, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8.



AC: 28 Fort: 20 Reflex: 23 Will: 24
HP: 90 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 22


TRAINED SKILLS
Perception +17, Thievery +17, Athletics +16, Stealth +17


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +14, Arcana +6, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +10, Endurance +6, Heal +10, History +6, Insight +10, Intimidate +5, Nature +12, Religion +6, Streetwise +5


FEATS
Level 1: Unarmored Agility
Level 2: Slashing Kama Style
Level 4: Crashing Tempest Style
Level 6: Four-Armed Flurry
Level 8: Thri-Kreen Thrower
Level 10: Improved Initiative (retrained to Thri-Kreen Shooter at Level 11)
Feat User Choice: Ki Focus Expertise
Feat User Choice: Superior Will
Level 11: Starblade Flurry
Level 12: Flurry Resounding


POWERS
Monk at-will 1: Five Storms
Monk at-will 1: Steel Wind
Monk encounter 1: Drunken Monkey
Monk daily 1: Spinning Leopard Maneuver
Monk utility 2: Supreme Flurry
Monk encounter 3: Enduring Champion
Monk daily 5: Water Gives Way
Monk utility 6: Centered Defense
Monk encounter 7: Strike the Avalanche
Monk daily 9: Masterful Spiral
Monk utility 10: Iron Dragon Defense


ITEMS
Monk Unarmed Strike, Hurricane Strike Ki Focus +1, Mighty Strike Ki Focus +1, Blurred Strike Ki Focus +1, Ki Club +1, Dagger of Defense +1, Prime Shot Hand Crossbow +1, Wounding Sickle +1, Rushing Cleats (heroic tier), Robe of Eyes Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +2, Alchemical Atomizer (heroic tier), Frozen Whetstone (heroic tier)






The weapons are all used as Implements and only attacking with the Mighty Strike Ki Focus to gain the +1 damage per Flurry target. Hand 1 would hold Club, 2 Sickle, 3(tiny hand) Hand Crossbow and 4(tiny hand) Dagger.

The basic strategy goes: Move in to attack...Flurry, slide 2. Blurred Strike Focus creates another Flurry per round using Thri-Kreen Claws attack. AP...Flurry. AP again (Transcendent Order lvl 10 ability)...Flurry. Supreme Flurry.

I'm pretty sure Flurry Resounding would allow another flurry with second AP from theme. So on any single round I can Flurry five times. Each one of those flurries targets four creatures. Two adjacent, one within 5 squares from Starblade Flurry and one within 10 squares from Unseen Hand PP.

If my math is correct then each Flurry will do
2 Base
4 Wisdom
2 Crashing Tempest Style
2 Ki weapon
2 Frozen Whetstone**
1 Prime Shot Weapon
1 Mighty Strike Ki Focus
=14 damage plus 2 for an additional target with Four-Armed Flurry.

With Slashing Kama Style one of the adjacent creatures will take ongoing 16 damage since I'd add the 2 to that. My Wounding Sickle would give them a penalty to saving.

20 total targets for an additional 320 damage plus the normal damage from the attacks you used to trigger flurries. 80 of which is in the form of ongoing with a penalty to save.

I just want to make sure this character and my math is completely legit. (Other than the homebrew extra feats we're given.)

**Need to make sure Frozen Whetstone actually affects the damage. Since they're all implements you technically use all of them with every Flurry target as you simply need to hold it to gain bonus.  I believe it's been ruled that FoB is an attack, so you are automatically successful.
The only thing affected by not being from a specific weapon is not adding in the Frozen Whetstone.  Which portions are rended pointless?  And how?
I supposed since it does not have the Weapon keyword you could say the whetstone doesn't work.  But is there anything else that's wrong?  I'm really looking for advice here.
Sorry, this is just for a single round of combat.  As you'd have no AP left and Supreme Flurry is a daily.  It really only takes 5 creatures on the board as there are 5 separate Flurry attacks.
Also, I wasn't planning on using frost cheese as my DM hates it with a passion.

Thri-Kreen Claws was listed simply because it's a Minor Action power.  Monks don't get access to too many. 
Erach is correct. Flurry of blows lacks the Weapon keyword, and thus any effects if your weapons that do not expressly mention Flurry of Blows do not apply.


2 Base
4 Wisdom
2 Crashing Tempest Style
2 Ki weapon
2 Frozen Whetstone**
1 Prime Shot Weapon
1 Mighty Strike Ki Focus

You lose 3 damage, which really isn't toooo bad, though the more important question is why play a Kreen when you could play the hellmonk? Are you married to being a bug?

Realistically, you have a bunch of transferable stuff for your weapon configuration and your damage bonuses.

The Hellmonk looks something like this:

Revenant Teifling.

(additionally, it will take your Cha mod in fire damage again the next turn when you hit it, assuming you used your desert wind at-will)
2 Base
5 Cha
2 Ki weapon
1 Mighty Strike Ki Focus

You do, of course, either lose two damage from Crashing Tempest style (as you have to have a shuriken or dagger for Starblade) but that frees you up to take Icy Clutch of Stygia, which is what this build is all about.

You don't want to impose a penalty to saving throw, as you can put down ongoing every turn. Icy Clutch means that the enemy takes your Cha mod again in cold damage whenever they make a save against your ongoing.
You're a Tiefling, so you get bonus attack and damage on fire attacks, which stacks with Infernal prince. You never miss, you do great multi-target damage, and you get to avoid all the (tiny hand) nonsense. You also have almost all elemental attack powers, so you can get great milage out of Fiery Blood.
I haven't really read that much surrounding Slashing Kama Style and am really new to the Monk class.  Why is it so bad?  I'd figure ongoing damage of any sort would be excellent.  I believe I have enough of a to-hit with my starting 20 Dex and Expertise feat.  I suppose Superior Implement would be useful, but with this particular build it's a little feat starved.
Kreen's great, just not as centered breath. Normally I see them as Stone Fist.

The reason I suggested the Hellmonk is because it dramatically reduces the feat/gear-cost of some of your choices (you don't need crashing tempest, and you don't need an item to impose save penalties.) It's also essentially the only reason you'de want to do ongoing damage (the oportunity to do your mod a second time) other than one of the wierd ranger builds that get posted every now and then.

As for "Having enough to-hit," Having +14 to NADs at 12 is pretty good. +16 to NADs at 12 is better, especially since the loss to your damage is negligable.
I hadn't even thought about Revenant.  I knew having Tiefling feats was amazing for the ongoing combo, however if I wanted the extra targets from Starblade Flurry and Unseen Hand, I'd somehow have to be able to hold a dagger, hand crossbow AND sickle all at the same time.
Also, Prime Shot Weapon states:  "You deal +1 damage if no ally is closer to the target than you are." It says nothing about needing to hit or attack with.  I believe it falls into the same catagory as Crashing Temptest Style.  You gain the bonus just because you hold it.  Since all weapons are implements, they all give their bonuses.
I hadn't even thought about Revenant.  I knew having Tiefling feats was amazing for the ongoing combo, however if I wanted the extra targets from Starblade Flurry and Unseen Hand, I'd somehow have to be able to hold a dagger, hand crossbow AND sickle all at the same time.
Also, Prime Shot Weapon states:  "You deal +1 damage if no ally is closer to the target than you are." It says nothing about needing to hit or attack with.  I believe it falls into the same catagory as Crashing Temptest Style.  You gain the bonus just because you hold it.  Since all weapons are implements, they all give their bonuses.



Actually, you're right. In my mind the bonus was "Your attacks with this weapon." My mistake. It does work. Still, 3 Damage < +2 to-hit and +4 to fire damage (All of your attack powers.)

If you're looking for actual nova, ditch the ongoing and Icy Clutch (frees up two feat slots, and one hand, which allows you to take crashing tempest again.) If you're sold on ongoing, the hellmonk is the best bet. Additionally, as you get to free up one of your weapon enchants, you can snag Flametongue on one of them and laugh your way to the bank.

The Revenant does seem to be much better in terms of feats/items.  However, it involves doing the ongoing damage so I'd have to give up a target either with my Dagger or choosing a different PP.  I do kinda like the flavor of Thri-kreen and the 1 extra speed is incredible for monk, although the available feats from Rev would let me get that speed.  And I had looked at Desert Wind, but I figured being able to slide 5 creatures 2 squares per FoB would be very useful for battlefield control.

As a side question:  Can you slide two enemies into the same square?  The rules say that allies can occupy the same square however only one may remain standing and the other falls prone.  Would it be possible to take 5+ enemies and stack them in a single square causing 4 to be proned? 
As a side question:  Can you slide two enemies into the same square?  The rules say that allies can occupy the same square however only one may remain standing and the other falls prone.  Would it be possible to take 5+ enemies and stack them in a single square causing 4 to be proned? 



No. Not unless they have specific size-related features that allow them to (Tiny creatures into a medium, or a medium into the square of a huge, small to a large, etc.)
Not ever, actually.  The rules for forced movement specify that the destination square must be unoccupied, regardless of relative sizes.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
So what's the deal with the Hellmonk?  You just take normal feats and add in Icy Clutch of Stygia?
So what's the deal with the Hellmonk?  You just take normal feats and add in Icy Clutch of Stygia?



Well, normal monk feats. You bolt on all the Teifling fire stuff, which is where the name comes from (demonkin who does fire damage.)

Icy Clutch is basically the only way to make ongoing sort-of worth doing if you're attracted to it. The cold damage can do some interesting stuff too, but reasonably, you don't really need Icey clutch. It's essentially + Mod/2 damage against standards (55% chance to save), and Mod/ 1.5 for elites (65% chance to save). Solos can often save against it before it does the ongoing, or get rid of it without a save, meaning it's mostly insurence against solos who can do that.
I suppose you could say Icy Clutch makes it worth it, but I would lose 2 damage and 1 target per FoB without Thri-Kreen.  If I were up against an elite, my Wounding weapon would put the saves back down to normal range and against a Solo couldn't I just not turn it into ongoing?  If it's the only target I could just sheathe my sickle.
I suppose you could say Icy Clutch makes it worth it, but I would lose 2 damage and 1 target per FoB without Thri-Kreen.  If I were up against an elite, my Wounding weapon would put the saves back down to normal range and against a Solo couldn't I just not turn it into ongoing?  If it's the only target I could just sheathe my sickle.



Alternatively just don't use the feat, you're allowed to opt out.

Again, if you make sure to keep a throwing dagger/shuriken in your offhand, you don't lose out on Starblade Flurry, so you're good to go on targeting. Starblade Flurry is much more important than any ammount of + damage.

As a note, Revenant Kreen don't have multiple hands (in case you were wondering.)
I knew that an extra target was worth +dmg, but with the Rev build I'd need the dagger for another target plus the sickle for ongoing.  That would remove my club (2dmg) and hand crossbow (extra target).  Is the ~4-9 damage for a save worth the extra target from Unseen Hand?  And if those extra two targets for dagger/crossbow are better than any +dmg, why even bother with the Rev/Tief at all?  Since it's only used to gain the bonus dmg after a save.

Not to mention the 4-9dmg, or 15+ at epic, is at a cost of a single target and +2dmg per.  So over 4 targets I'd get 8 extra damage anyways with a Thri-kreen using all those implements.  Icy Clutch seems like a way to make up damage for being saved against, when you're sacrificing damage to do so.  Not to mention giving up two magic item effects.

I realize it seems like a lot of magic weapons/implements to be carrying around, but you have to realize that since they virtually never get a better effect, you only need the base item to be effective.  All 6 of the "extra" items add up to 4720 gold.  By 12th level, that isn't eve half the cost of a single magic weapon.

It is interesting to hear of other builds, but I think I prefer mine.  Is there anything with the build I have that might need tweaking?  For instance, is Unarmored Agility really worth it past heroic?  Or are there any slot items you'd recommend for monk?  I'm missing head, neck, arms, rings, waist and now gloves since Whetstone doesn't work.  None of the Monk guides seem to have a complete item section.

ps.  I figured Rev-Kreen didn't get extra arms, it just states you gain feats from race.  Although it would make a silly case for getting Four-Armed Flurry when you only have two. Laughing 

ps.  I figured Rev-Kreen didn't get extra arms, it just states you gain feats from race.  Although it would make a silly case for getting Four-Armed Flurry when you only have two.  



Obviously ghost arms.

As to build advice? Unarmored Agility is pretty much always worth it. Look into using Stone Fist as opposed to Centered breath. Other than that, feel free to rampage, bug man.

Well thanks for all the advice. Made me think about the solos with their saves at least. And death of the whetstone

I may have to drop something anyways if my attack isn't high enough. Superior implement is a good one.
Well thanks for all the advice. Made me think about the solos with their saves at least. And death of the whetstone I may have to drop something anyways if my attack isn't high enough. Superior implement is a good one.



For the record, Superior implement is also awesome op for Hellmonks, as incindiary daggers are daggers for Starblade, add to fire damage (except on Flurry), and make your hits to reflex +1.

Also, two weapon defense or MC Cleric (the Wis 15, Healer's lore one, and then swap Healer's lore for Battle-cleric's lore WARNING: Check with your DM first to see if he'll allow it) is a great way to pick up a shield bonus.
I think it would have to be a Ki implement since all my attacks go through it for the plus 1dmg on Flurries. And the Forceful effect adds 1 to a slide..so I'd slide 3 in Paragon or 4 in Epic against each Flurry target.
I'll have to reread the superior implement description to see if it uses the extra slide distance. But the Mighty Strike Ki specifically states that if your triggering attack is with the Ki, you gain a +1 damage to your FoB.
Yeah, it requires an attack through the Ki, so I'm better off just getting an Accurate or something with an AC bonus.

ps.  I figured Rev-Kreen didn't get extra arms, it just states you gain feats from race.  Although it would make a silly case for getting Four-Armed Flurry when you only have two.  



Obviously ghost arms.

As to build advice? Unarmored Agility is pretty much always worth it. Look into using Stone Fist as opposed to Centered breath. Other than that, feel free to rampage, bug man.




Who's going to tell the Raven Queen that she can't put the soul back into its original Kreen body?


ps.  I figured Rev-Kreen didn't get extra arms, it just states you gain feats from race.  Although it would make a silly case for getting Four-Armed Flurry when you only have two.  



Obviously ghost arms.

As to build advice? Unarmored Agility is pretty much always worth it. Look into using Stone Fist as opposed to Centered breath. Other than that, feel free to rampage, bug man.




Who's going to tell the Raven Queen that she can't put the soul back into its original Kreen body?


Gary Gygax?





Too soon?

Is the formatting for this post borked for anyone else?  Every other post on the forums wraps around and fits, this one just goes off into the wild blue yonder to the right for me.
It is how the OP formatted it at the start, so it carries through for the rest of it.
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Not the OP's fault actually.  It's Zhara's use of the Preformatted test appearance that's not wrapping properly.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.