In Fifth Edition D&D, Monks have often been viewed as one of the weakest classes, not meeting the raw damage of a Barbarian or the power of a spellcaster. Their abilities can be used to devastating effect, but as with any character, acquiring magic items can help them shine and keep their power comparable to the party.
While many official 5e items are fantastic for just about any character, Monks, in particular, benefit from an extension of their abilities, their range or unarmed reach, or a boon to their Wisdom or Dexterity.
Bracer Of Flying Daggers
Released as a part of the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist adventure, the bracer of flying daggers gives the wearer an unlimited supply of magical throwing daggers.
Daggers are Monk weapons, giving the Monk a reliable way to attack at range without having to worry about retrieving their daggers or running out in the middle of combat. The bracer’s magic daggers are irretrievable, but since the item says it never runs out, the Monk can feel free to fling these ahead before they reach their target.
Eldritch Claw Tattoo
Released in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything alongside an assortment of magic tattoos, the eldritch claw tattoo empowers the user’s unarmed strikes, giving not only a passive bonus but limited abilities to extend reach and deal extra damage.
So few items give bonuses to unarmed strikes, a staple of the Monk’s skill set. A Monk using the eldritch claw tattoo gets a significant benefit, as two of the Monk’s weaker points are their lack of range and their damage output.
Dagger Of Blindsight
Introduced in Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, the dagger of blindsight does exactly what it says on the label: it grants the wielder thirty feet of blindsight. While it may seem simple, the Monk relies on the ability to see their enemies, especially for the Patient Defense ability.
A simple weapon and improved senses could be potentially good for anyone, but it’s especially useful for the Monk. The Monk has fewer ways to negate being unable to see than some of the other classes, leaving them truly in the dark without this dagger.
Boots Of Speed
One of the Monk’s core abilities is Unarmored Movement, granting them impressive speeds to maneuver around the battlefield. Once the boots are activated, an eighteenth-level Monk could move up to three-hundred and sixty feet in one turn, using both their action and bonus action to Dash, spending a ki point to use Step of the Wind.
Because the class is so centered around movement, the boots of speed lean into the strength of the Monk.
A draconic blade released in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, the crystal blade both increases the Monk’s damage output and allows them a way to regain some health. As a class that shines on the frontline, the Monk tends to take a lot of damage; if the healer is occupied, it’s good to have a way to recover while keeping up the damage.
For the Way of Mercy, one of D&D‘s most overpowered subclasses, this item is especially potent as it adds to their potential healing. Traditional Monks will want a shortsword, but the crystal blade comes in any form of sword; with optional features from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, any Monk could use any type of blade.
Bracers Of Defense
On the surface, an increase in AC sounds beneficial for the whole party. For most of the martial classes, the bracers of defense will be unfortunately unusable, as they require the user to not be wearing armor. Monks, Barbarians, and some of the spellcasting classes will find the most use out of these bracers.
The Barbarian has higher hit points and resistances, and the spellcasters will still typically have a much lower Armor Class; the Monk tends to thrive as an AC tank, so any bonuses it can get go a long way.
Ioun Stone Of Insight
The Monk relies on Wisdom for ki-based abilities and Unarmored Defense, making the Ioun stone of insight, one of the collection of floating stones from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, an invaluable item.
Unlike Clerics and Druids, who will usually prioritize Wisdom as their primary stat, it’s typically a secondary stat for the Monk; it won’t usually reach the maximum, so along with Rangers, Monks will be able to get the most use out of this Ioun stone, giving even some of D&D‘s most underwhelming subclasses a significant improvement.
Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons introduced the first Monk-specific item to the official Fifth Edition D&D release, the dragonhide belt. Available in tiered variants of +1, +2, and +3, the belt increases the Monk’s ki save DC and gives a way to recover ki points without a short rest.
A must-have for any Monk, the item is similar to items for spellcasters like the Wizard and Warlock, D&D‘s best magical classes, that increase their spell save DCs, making the dragonhide belt and its variants a welcome addition to the game.
Gaining the ability to fly is something most players look forward to, as well as something most DMs dread. While the game offers an array of ways to gain flight, including one of D&D‘s most powerful spells, one of the best ways for the Monk is winged boots.
Released in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, the boots give the wearer a flying speed equal to their walking speed, making the Monk’s increased movement even more powerful and important while removing the problem of being unable to reach flying enemies.
Ring Of Free Action
Moving around the battlefield is one of the Monk’s primary skills, but some creatures have ways to hinder that. Monks wearing the ring of free action don’t have to worry as much, ignoring difficult terrain and becoming immune to speed reduction, paralysis, and restraint.
Used in conjunction with ways for the Monk to increase their speed or with the Monk or allies reducing the enemies’ speed, being able to move freely can allow the Monk to foil plans and reach objectives quickly.
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