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D&D 5E Agile Parry + Dual Wielder AC

Snoring Rock

Explorer
Ok, I searched but did not find it so here goes. Can a kensei monk use agile parry adding +2 to is AC for the round and dual wield at the same time, using an unarmed attack and add the +1 AC bonus for a total bonus of +3 AC?

Two-Weapon Fighting:

When you take the Attack Action and Attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a Bonus Action to Attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus Attack, unless that modifier is negative.

If either weapon has the Thrown property, you can throw the weapon, instead of making a melee Attack with it.”


NOTE: Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an unarmed strike: a punch, kick, head-butt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons). On a hit, an unarmed strike deals bludgeoning damage equal to 1 + your Strength modifier. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes.

Dual Wielder Feat:

You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits:

· You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.

· You can use two-weapon fighting (see rules above for this) even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light.

· You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

Agile Parry:

If you make an unarmed strike as part of the Attack action on your turn and are holding a kensei weapon, you can use it to defend yourself if it is a melee weapon. You gain a +2 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn, while the weapon is in your hand and you aren’t incapacitated.

Can you stack both bonuses for +3 AC?
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't see why not. Nothing requires a monk to have a free hand to do an unarmed strike, if you meet all the requirements - make an unarmed strike, wielding two weapons - I don't see why it would not stack.

An unarmed strike could be kicking, head butting, elbow bash, anything you want.
 

Iry

Hero
As a DM, I would allow it in a heartbeat.

RAW, Two-Weapon Fighting requires you to attack with weapons you are holding. You can get around this by making one attack with your primary weapon, the second attack as an unarmed strike (probably a kick, knee, or elbow), and a bonus action to attack with your off-hand weapon.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
Yes, but the dual wielder feat is a not really great one for a monk.

The off-hand d8 weapon sucks without attribute-bonus-to-damage. You already have a MA 1d4+stat damage off-hand, which does more damage. On the Kensai, it costs you a 2 handed longsword attack (pre-5 only when you don't want to agile parry), losing an additional point of damage on your main attack(s).

And in exchange you get 1 point of AC.

Then, as you gain levels it gets worse. Your MA die keeps on advancing.

But yes, that is legal.
 

Yes, it's fine, in 5e AC bonuses stack unless there is something to say otherwise.

As you point out, you do not have to have a hand free in order to make an unarmed strike.

It's not the best use of a feat though. Look at defensive duelist if you want your kensai to have a better AC.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
As a DM, I would allow it in a heartbeat.

RAW, Two-Weapon Fighting requires you to attack with weapons you are holding. You can get around this by making one attack with your primary weapon, the second attack as an unarmed strike (probably a kick, knee, or elbow), and a bonus action to attack with your off-hand weapon.
There's nothing about attacking with your weapons for dual wielder:
Dual Wielder​
You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.​
You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren't light.​
You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.​
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
There's nothing about attacking with your weapons for dual wielder:
I believe @Iry said Two-Weapon Fighting, not Dual Wielder. With TWF:
1609858137818.png

you must actually attack with a light melee weapon. Dual wielder removes the Light restriction, but you still have to have a weapon you are holding in each hand.

Anyway...

Remove TWF and you are good to go as you really don't need it. Dual Wielder does not require you to attack, just hold two weapons (one in each hand). So, as long as the weapons are drawn you get the +1 AC bonus. Use your action to Attack with an Unarmed Strike (gaining the +2 AC bonus because you are holding a kensei weapon (maybe two even LOL). Then use your bonus action for another attack via the monk and get your DEX modifier to damage.

1609859052429.png


So, you get the +3 to AC and can make two unarmed strikes.

Now, your damage suffers a bit if you are making two unarmed strikes and not attacking with an actual weapon, but really IMO by the time your martial arts die is a d6, the difference is negligible.

The other reason for removing TWF is otherwise it doesn't work RAW. If you use the Attack action to attack with a kensei weapon (required for TWF) you can't replace the second weapon attack with an unarmed strike because then you are not making an attack with a weapon you are holding in your hand (again, required for TWF) because unarmed strikes do not count as weapons. 🤷‍♂️

Since you can't then make an Unarmed Strike as part of the Attack action, no Agile Parry... :(

Of course, once you have Extra Attack, you can Attack with your Kensei weapon (gaining maybe 1 point of damage, shrug), make an Unarmed Strike via Extra Attack (Agile Parry triggers), make a bonus action attack with your other Kensei weapon (but no DEX mod to damage). Frankly, you are still better off using your bonus action for an unarmed strike via Martial Arts as you will get to add your DEX mod to damage.

So, just forget TWF really. You don't need it and it isn't helping you any. :)
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I believe @Iry said Two-Weapon Fighting, not Dual Wielder. With TWF:
View attachment 130964
you must actually attack with a light melee weapon. Dual wielder removes the Light restriction, but you still have to have a weapon you are holding in each hand.

Anyway...

Remove TWF and you are good to go as you really don't need it. Dual Wielder does not require you to attack, just hold two weapons (one in each hand). So, as long as the weapons are drawn you get the +1 AC bonus. Use your action to Attack with an Unarmed Strike (gaining the +2 AC bonus because you are holding a kensei weapon (maybe two even LOL). Then use your bonus action for another attack via the monk and get your DEX modifier to damage.

View attachment 130968

So, you get the +3 to AC and can make two unarmed strikes.

Now, your damage suffers a bit if you are making two unarmed strikes and not attacking with an actual weapon, but really IMO by the time your martial arts die is a d6, the difference is negligible.

The other reason for removing TWF is otherwise it doesn't work RAW. If you use the Attack action to attack with a kensei weapon (required for TWF) you can't replace the second weapon attack with an unarmed strike because then you are not making an attack with a weapon you are holding in your hand (again, required for TWF) because unarmed strikes do not count as weapons. 🤷‍♂️

Since you can't then make an Unarmed Strike as part of the Attack action, no Agile Parry... :(

Of course, once you have Extra Attack, you can Attack with your Kensei weapon (gaining maybe 1 point of damage, shrug), make an Unarmed Strike via Extra Attack (Agile Parry triggers), make a bonus action attack with your other Kensei weapon (but no DEX mod to damage). Frankly, you are still better off using your bonus action for an unarmed strike via Martial Arts as you will get to add your DEX mod to damage.

So, just forget TWF really. You don't need it any it isn't helping you any. :)

Not sure I follow, two weapon fighting doesn't really come into play. The bonus unarmed attack is a monk feature.
When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action.​
Since the short sword will be a monk weapon for the kensi, it all works. On the other hand, I'm still working on caffeinating so maybe I'm missing the pont. :sleep:
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
Not sure I follow, two weapon fighting doesn't really come into play. The bonus unarmed attack is a monk feature.
When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action.​
Since the short sword will be a monk weapon for the kensi, it all works. On the other hand, I'm still working on caffeinating so maybe I'm missing the pont. :sleep:
No, you are correct, but the OP was addressing TWF, which is unnecessary for this combination-- it actually hurts it IMO.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
No, you are correct, but the OP was addressing TWF, which is unnecessary for this combination-- it actually hurts it IMO.
You don't have to actually TWF to get the +1 AC benefit from Dual Wielder. By TWF I mean use the TWF rules (bonus action etc).

You just have to be holding a weapon in each hand.

Utterly ignore the TWF rules and don't do it. Use monk martial arts if you want a bonus action attack.

So now, at level 1-3, you make an unarmed attack as your action, then bonus action MA attack, for 2d4+6 (11). Your AC is 13+dex+wis (say 19).

The non-dual-wielding kensai monk is doing 2d4+6 (11) and has 18 AC at that point.

At level 5, you now have 18 dex, and your ki-free attack routine becomes 1d8+2d6+12 (23.5) and you have 20 AC (16 wis 18 dex).

The non-dual wielding monk is doing 1d10+2d6+12 (24.5) and has 19 AC at that point. Here they do 1 more point of damage on average (two handed longsword swing).

The fighting style:brawler monk alternative (non-kensai) does 2d8+6 (15) and 16 AC at level 1-3 and 3d8+12 (25.5) at level 5 and has 17 AC. If kensai, from level 1-4 uses brawler style for 2d6+6 (13) and 18 AC, and at level 5 switches to duelist for 1d8+2d6+14 (25.5) (19 AC) (or something even more fun, like interception or blind fighting).
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
@Snoring Rock

Let's look at your options... (assuming DEX 16).

Levels 1-2:

No TWF
Make a shortsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d6+DEX and d4+DEX, for 12 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+STR and d8 (no STR), for 9 + STR mod damage.

Level 3-4: Kensei subclass

No TWF
Make a longsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d8+DEX and d4+DEX, for 13 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+DEX and d8 (no DEX), for 12 damage.

NOTE: both cases DENY Agile Parry because you aren't making an unarmed strike as part of the "attack" action (no TWF uses the bonus action).

To gain Agile Parry's +2 AC:

No TWF
Makes an unarmed strike attack (Agile Parry requirement) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage is d4+DEX and d4+DEX, for 11 damage average.

Using TWF:
Not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Again, not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

VERDICT: You are trading +2 AC (Agile Parry) for +2 damage (no TWF with longsword and unarmed strike for 13 damage).

Level 5+ the damage difference decreases as the martial arts die increases. By the time it reaches d8, there is no point in attacking with longsword. shrug
 


Poor Monk... no wonder they get a bonus to jumping, considering how many hoops they have to jump through to be good!
On the contrary, they are better not jumping through the hoops and just taking the +2 ASI.
By the time it reaches d8, there is no point in attacking with longsword. shrug
They can use it two handed for D10.

Once martial arts die reaches D10, the kensai is better using a whip (as well as reach, it is also valid for Defensive Duelist).
 

Mirtek

Hero
[...]
@Snoring Rock

Let's look at your options... (assuming DEX 16).

Levels 1-2:

No TWF
Make a shortsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d6+DEX and d4+DEX, for 12 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+STR and d8 (no STR), for 9 + STR mod damage.

Level 3-4: Kensei subclass

No TWF
Make a longsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d8+DEX and d4+DEX, for 13 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+DEX and d8 (no DEX), for 12 damage.

NOTE: both cases DENY Agile Parry because you aren't making an unarmed strike as part of the "attack" action (no TWF uses the bonus action).

To gain Agile Parry's +2 AC:

No TWF
Makes an unarmed strike attack (Agile Parry requirement) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage is d4+DEX and d4+DEX, for 11 damage average.

Using TWF:
Not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Again, not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

VERDICT: You are trading +2 AC (Agile Parry) for +2 damage (no TWF with longsword and unarmed strike for 13 damage).

Level 5+ the damage difference decreases as the martial arts die increases. By the time it reaches d8, there is no point in attacking with longsword. shrug
Why not just

Using Agile Parry with Dual Wielder
Wield 2 weapons, one of which must be your kensai weapon. Attack with the one of them, attack with an unarmed strike, just wield the second weapon without using it
 

6ENow!

I don't debate opinions.
They can use it two handed for D10.

Once martial arts die reaches D10, the kensai is better using a whip (as well as reach, it is also valid for Defensive Duelist).
Good point, but then they can't benefit from the Dual Wielder feat for +1 AC. True, the DEX +2 will give the same thing, but when DEX maxes out the extra +1 AC from Dual Wielder will kick in. Either works well IMO, just depends on the OP's goals.

FWIW, I would probably go with the ASI until the DEX is maxed out and then go Dual Wielder if I want the +1 to AC.

Why not just

Using Agile Parry with Dual Wielder
Wield 2 weapons, one of which must be your kensai weapon. Attack with the one of them, attack with an unarmed strike, just wield the second weapon without using it
I really don't mean any offense, but did you read my posts?

This was exactly what I said the OP should do:
Dual Wielder does not require you to attack, just hold two weapons (one in each hand). So, as long as the weapons are drawn you get the +1 AC bonus. Use your action to Attack with an Unarmed Strike (gaining the +2 AC bonus because you are holding a kensei weapon (maybe two even LOL). Then use your bonus action for another attack via the monk and get your DEX modifier to damage.
VERDICT: You are trading +2 AC (Agile Parry) for +2 damage (no TWF with longsword and unarmed strike for 13 damage).
The second quotes assumed Dual Wielder, so they are gaining a +1 AC either way. The trade-off is +2 AC against all attacks or +2 damage for the round.

Personally, I would think if it was my PC, I would go for damage if against a single foe, but AC if I am fighting two or more at once.
 

delph

Explorer
@Snoring Rock

Let's look at your options... (assuming DEX 16).

Levels 1-2:

No TWF
Make a shortsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d6+DEX and d4+DEX, for 12 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+STR and d8 (no STR), for 9 + STR mod damage.

Level 3-4: Kensei subclass

No TWF
Make a longsword attack (monk weapon) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage d8+DEX and d4+DEX, for 13 damage average.

Using TWF
Make a shortsword attack (light weapon) and bonus shortsword attack (light weapon). Damage is d6+DEX and d6 (no DEX), for 10 damage.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Make a longsword attack and bonus longsword attack. Damage is d8+DEX and d8 (no DEX), for 12 damage.

NOTE: both cases DENY Agile Parry because you aren't making an unarmed strike as part of the "attack" action (no TWF uses the bonus action).

To gain Agile Parry's +2 AC:

No TWF
Makes an unarmed strike attack (Agile Parry requirement) and bonus unarmed strike. Damage is d4+DEX and d4+DEX, for 11 damage average.

Using TWF:
Not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

Using TWF with Dual Wielder (if variant human)
Again, not possible RAW to gain Agile Parry.

VERDICT: You are trading +2 AC (Agile Parry) for +2 damage (no TWF with longsword and unarmed strike for 13 damage).

Level 5+ the damage difference decreases as the martial arts die increases. By the time it reaches d8, there is no point in attacking with longsword. shrug
That's very stupid...

As actualy playing Kensei Monk I can say - Who want's use longsword, when, as monk, you need DEX high as possible. When you max STR and use longsword you loose so much AC that any feat can worth.
Use rapiers instead. With DWF it's possible. Than attack with kensei weapon rapier, as attack action, than unarmed strike as bonus action and you got +3 AC and second rapier is just death weight for bonus +1 AC
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That's very stupid...

As actualy playing Kensei Monk I can say - Who want's use longsword, when, as monk, you need DEX high as possible. When you max STR and use longsword you loose so much AC that any feat can worth.
Use rapiers instead. With DWF it's possible. Than attack with kensei weapon rapier, as attack action, than unarmed strike as bonus action and you got +3 AC and second rapier is just death weight for bonus +1 AC
No.

Monk's weapons can always be used with dexterity. Kensei can be any weapon as long as it is not heavy.
  • You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.
 

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