5E Flying Monk Table Tactics
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  1. #1

    Flying Monk Table Tactics

    Just got winged boots for a 4th level open fist monk (who took the mobility feat) in Adventurerís League. I normally play tanks who heal or tanks who dps so I was trying to think of good ways to use a monk at low tier which canít really tank or dps particularly well. Iím gonna throw out the ideas I have come up with and would be interested in seeing any other ideas that people have.

    1. Hit and Run. Mobility and/or Step of the Wind allows me to attack and potentially retreat from reach (especially with a 50í fly speed) encouraging the enemies to throw more attacks at the more heavily armored front line tanks and heavy dps.
    2. Drag and Drop. With a 14 strength I have 210 lbs I can carry without reducing speed to 5. Of course, my own gear counts against that and moving a grappled creature halves my speed. Dropping guys in plate armor is right out but it works pretty well on anybody else with a high ac.
    3. Over the Edge. With a decent strength, shove actions can work and with way of the open fist I can push with a wisdom based strength save.
    4. Airlift Allies. I can grapple allies and then move them at half speed. Useful for weaklings who cannot make athletics or acrobatics checks. Also, since it counts as forced movement, my moved allies donít provoke attacks of opportunity for moving away. For bonus points, have a healer ready a heal and then airlift them to the target. No more healers dying in an attempt to get to touch range.
    5. Mobile Healing Delivery. Either bringing healing potions to allies or administering them to allies who would be out of reach for everybody else.
    6. Breaking Grabs. Shoving enemies out of range to break grabs for low strength/dex allies, particularly those which deal automatic damage.
    7. Mage Hunting. Multiple small hits from a Flurry of Blows are rough when you are concentrating. Mages are bad at avoiding grapples. If they use attack roll spells flying above the mage would really cut their effectiveness.
    8. Outranging Archers. Being able to fly in and out of short/long range for a light crossbow means being able to attack without being attacked back or making it hard to hit back. Catch arrows is extra useful when you are giving them range penalties already reducing the number of hits you have to react to.
    9. Grabbing Weapons. Nobody takes the Battlemasterís Disarming Strike because you need an open hand to take the dropped weapon or else it just costs the enemy a free object interraction to rearm. While disarming requires a weapon in one hand monk unarmed strikes donít require a second open hand. Archers always drop their bows to pull swords when engaged in melee but when you swoop over and drop those bows out of range it makes them think twice about economy of actions. Many spells require material components and nobody takes multiple spell foci. Also consider that the DMG has rules for disarming or you can go contested roll per the PHB. The Martial Adept feat also gets you 2 encounter disarms that inflict melee damage +1d6 and are a dex instead of str for you.

    Those are the ideas I came up with for a low level flying Monk with Mobility and Way of the Open Fist. I hope other people can find some use for these ideas and would love it if anybody has other ideas for things such a monk (or even a monk in general) can do to support their allies and do useful things that others could not do or would be suboptimal for them to spend their turn doing.
    XP 77IM gave XP for this post

  2. #2
    Having played an open-hand monk to 14 (sadly, not a flying monk...) here are some of the tactics I remember most:

    Tanking. Our dedicated tank (a barbarian) only showed up about half the time, and the rest of the group was surprisingly squishy. It turns out you can tank decently well in a pinch. Dodge is effective if you can lockdown several enemies or hold a choke-point -- you give up your action, but if the rest of the party is primed to attack, it can be worth it. You can also use Patient Defense which uses up a ki point and your bonus action, so it's pretty expensive at 4th level. A good pattern is:
    Round 1. Charge in and attack once, then use Patient Defense. Multiple enemies converge on you, but you're too dodgy for most to hit.
    Round 2+. Stand in place and Dodge; or use a ki point to Dodge+Disengage and then run away leaving the enemies in a nice shatter or fireball radius; or use a ki point to Dodge + heal yourself using Wholeness of Body or even a healing potion. With Flight+Mobility, you have a great option that I never did: if you are engaged with 4 or fewer enemies, spend a ki point to Flurry, attack them all, and then just move away, possibly flying out of melee range (again, leaving them clumped into a nice spell radius).

    It's much harder than tanking with a proper tank but it can be done, and once the enemies thin out a bit you can go on the offensive.

    Flurry as a set-up. Open Hand gets this great thing where your Flurry hits can knock enemies prone or send them flying. If the initiative order is right, you can launch them towards melee PCs with stronger attacks, or knock them prone to give those melee PCs a better chance to hit. With your flying, I'll bet you can do this even better, by positioning behind enemies and knocking them towards your party. It works especially well with enemy spellcasters who are trying hard to stay in the back row!

    Stun-lock. This is a well-known tactic of monks, and not available until 5th level, but holy crap Stunning Strike is incredible. If you Flurry, you have 4 attacks, which is 4 opportunities to stun. That will blow through your ki points, so you don't want to do this every fight, but there are situations where it's super useful. Ordinarily you pile that onto one really bad enemy, but with your flight and Mobile feat, you have the option to spread it around and stun (or attempt to stun) 4 different creatures. That could be really useful if you're facing multiple spellcasters or multiple "glass cannon" enemies who have nasty attacks but low Constitution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hollywood FL
    Well you can DPS more than you think with 3 attacks all the time. You took mobile so your dex is 16 I assume? Thats still 2d8+6 and then d6+3 unarmed all the time, thats not bad. Make sure you get your attacks across.

    Proning creatures increases someone else DPS and cuts their speed in half because they need to stand up, make sure your friends know that.

    If you took mobility you only get attacked if you wish to be as you can always move away from them faster then they can catch you. I would make room for it as it saves KP.

    As an open hand devotee your ability to prone and shove any size creature is unique, save the KP for that. Don't forget to shove them into that difficult terrain that you are immune to since you are above it.

    Use a staff in 2 hands to get that d8 damage die going.

    Don't forgot to be above everyone. You can carry 210 lbs, to me a 100 lb object dropped on someone from 50' up would be 5d8 damage. A jug of oil would cover a 5' radius. A goblin dropped on a spellcaster would cause damage to both, but less, 5d6.

    Monks are the best Mage killers in the game. You have the mobility to get to them and then you can just beat them to death. If you take their spell focus they cant cast, so disarm them then shove them away. If you grapple the spell caster and then carry him up you can drop him on someone else.

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