D&D 4E The Book of Five Traditions: A 4e Monk Handbook



For this part of the guide, only going to list items I would consider good or better. If you're looking to boost damage, this is a very good guide here When Everyone is Super

Monks have a tendency to fight surrounded by enemies. Therefore I recommend, in general, getting the armor with the highest enhancement bonus as quickly as you can.

For example, in LFR at level 14 you can always get +3 Battle Harness, which is very nice armor. However, at the same level, you can also always get a Magic +4 armor, because of the change in masterwork armor you gain another +1 AC or Will on top of the +1 AC enhancement bonus. This means that there is up 2 AC difference between a +3 Battle Harness and +4 Magic armor.

In short, it's not always smart to pass over a higher enchantment armor in the hopes you get the perfect armor at some later level.

Level 2+
Resistance (PHB) It's cheap and provides 5*tier resistance of your choosing. I'd go with poison, necrotic, fire, or acid in that order, as those are common and/or commonly have ongoing damage riders.

Robe of Eyes (AV) It's cheap, and prevents you from ever being blinded. Most monk bursts don't allow you to target foes you can't see, so being blind especally sucks for monks. As an added benefit, it gives a bonus to perception.

Level 3+
Armor of Sudden Recovery (AV2) A small bonus to ongoing damage saves, and an awesome daily power that can turn a nasty ongoing damage effect into equivalent regeration for the encounter.

Stoneskin Armor (AV) 5*tier in temp hp per encounter isn't bad. The first round of the encounter is one of the most damaging for monks as they tend to run ahead of the party, so this is handy.

Level 4+
Armor of Adaptable Resistance (PsiP) - It's armor of resistance with a daily power that allows you to change the type of resistance, so that you always have the right kind.

Battle Harness (Dr 368) Can draw weapons as a free action. Also gives enchantment bonus to initiative. You can use this to switch consistently to more offensive weapons (like a Ki weapon) or more defensive weapons (like a Shielding Blade). Make sure to take the level 2 thievery skill power to help in this. This armor can also help load a hand crossbow, by allowing you a free hand for a simple minor action.

Flowform Armor (PHB3) A no action save each encounter. It helps you get out of those pesky dominates and stuns.

Level 5+
Bloodthread - A +2 item bonus to AC and saves when you're bloodied. This is really expensive and doesn't stack with Boots of the Fencing Master and other common item bonuses to defense.

Level 13+
Desperate Resolve Vestaments (PHB2)- Insubstantial for a round as an daily interupt. It also lets you spend a healing surge. This is a nice answer to a critical against you

There are only three sets of armbands that I really like for monks. The first are Bracers of Archery, which are the best way to get an item bonus to damage. The second are Bracers of Brachiation, which provide a monk with a surprising number of extra mobility options if you think three dimensionally. The third are Wrist Razors, which are a Dark Sun arm slot weapon that you can use as a third hand.

Level 3+
Executioner’s Bracers (AV2) - A small boost to critical damage. Too bad monks have so few ways to increase critical range.

Wrist Razors (DSCS)- This is a Dark Sun weapon that uses the arm slot, and not a hand. This allows you to put a nice static property on it, such as a Ki Weapon, Rhythm Blade, or Shielding enchantment. However, many Dark Sun campaigns (like Ashes of Athas) use inherent bonuses so you can't expect to be able to get these enchantments, and many campaigns don't allow Dark Sun weapons at all. In short, these are nice if you can get them enchanted as you like.

Level 4+
Counterstrike Gaurds (Stone Fist) (AV) - These, especially the paragon version, are nice if you have a nice MBA

Level 5+
Bracers of Brachiation (Dr 378) - Very cool for monks, as it greatly increases mobility without reducing damage. The heroic ones give you a climb speed equal to half your speed, and the paragon and epic ones give an increased climb speed. A climb speed is still a speed, so movement techniques stack with these bracers. A climb speed allows you to shift up walls to keep out of a flank and also to make sure you are adjacent to as many monsters as possible. For example, I've fought entire battles fighting directly above the defender who was standing in a doorway or under a tree. It also makes it hard to get shoved off a cliff. You can also do a reasonable impression of spiderman if you combine these with a Flying Hook, which is an awesome combination IMO. Overall, these are a ton of fun for monks. Also, as per the RC, if you have multiple speeds, the largest one determines the total you can move, but you can't move more squares than that particular speed allows. So if you have speed of 6 and a climb speed of 8 (such as through the Epic version of the bracers), you can move 8 but at least 2 of those must be climbed.

Level 6+
Bracers of Archery (AV) If you're using a bow or hand crossbow, these are what you want. These bracers are the easiest way to get a item bonus to all damage rolls for a monk. The Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor is also competitive at paragon tier, if you're a burst specialist.

Iron Armbands of Power (AV) An item bonus to melee attack. This will not affect your burst or blast attacks, so I tend not to get them on my monks. As a result, most monks will either prefer the Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor or take both items so all attacks get some sort of item bonus.

Level 15
Rapidstrike Bracers (AV) - A +2 to initiative and you can use a melee at will instead of a melee basic when you make an OA once per encounter. Say good bye to Melee Training!

Level 19+
Trollhide Bracers (AV) Regeneration for one encounter per day could be nice


Level 2+

Eberron Shard of Lightning (EPG) - Awesome with a Lightning Weapon and Melee Training.

Kyber Shard of Fiery Depth (EPG) - Awesome with a Flaming Weapon and Melee Training.

Eberron Shard of Lightning (EPG) - Awesome with a Frost Weapon and Melee Training.

Level 3+

Siberys Shard of the Mage (EPG) - Simply awesome! A must have for any weapon using monk.

Siberys Shard of Radiance (EPG) - Awesome with a Radiant Weapon and Melee Training.

Most monks will be drawn to Boots of the Fencing Master. However, Rushing Cleat are awesome for CB monks. Once epic tier comes around, a lot of other great options open up.

Level 7
Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - An +1 item bonus to AC and reflex every time you shift, and a free shift once per encounter. Awesome for monks.

Rushing Cleats (Centered Breath, Eternal Tide) (AV) These clearly add 1 to CB FoB's slide, as the FoB is a melee attack. These are pure win for CB and ET monks as, when combined with Starblade Flurry, they allow a huge amount of control over the battlefield. It's like having Come and Get It on every turn.

Level 9
Boots of Eagerness (9 AV) An extra move action in every encounter.

Boots of Striding
(PHB) +1 speed is always useful, but Greaves of Maldeen are better and similar in level.

Level 12
Dragonborn Greaves (AV) These are like improved Boots of the Fencing Master while bloodied. However, monks have a lot of ways to keep from getting bloodied.

Greaves of Maldeen (D364) +2 speed is really nice for the level

Shadowdancer’s Boots (AV2) +1 speed all the time, and another +1 to speed in dim light.

Level 18
Phantom Chaussures (AV) Shadow Walk boots. Too bad monks tend to enjoy being surrounded.
Planestrider Boots (MotP) Big teleport and the ability to port around corners. Always useful.

Level 22
Boots of Speed (AV) +2 speed and a extra move action once per encounter.

Level 24
Boots of Caiphon (AV2) Teleporting for damage and a bonus to reflex.

Zephyr Boots (AV) True flight. Nuff said.

Level 25
Sandals of Avandra (AV) A boost to speed and a lot of shifting.

Level 28
Boots of Teleportation (28 AV) At-will teleportation.

The really good head slots happen in mid-paragon and tend to be build dependent. Are you nearly impossible to hit? Do you want to save a feat on Superior Will? Or are you going elemental damage and want to boost it?

Casque of Tactics(Level 4+, AV): A small init bonus with an occasionally useful daily power.

Circlet of Indomitability (Level 8+, AV): A scaling untyped bonus to Will

Helm of Able Defense (Level 14, AV2): Hard to hit initially, +1 item to Will. For high defense characters who have Superior Will and use a Blurred Ki Focus. Part of the Panoply of the Shepherds of Ghest set.

Crown of the Brilliant Sun (Level 14, AV2): Boosts Lightning or Radiant damage. Great for WereX characters with Superior Will who use an elemental damage weapon. Part of Gifts of the Radiant Queen.

Circlet of Arkhosia (Level 14+, Head, PHR:D): Superior Will in Item form. For feat-constrained(who isn't) Monks.

Ghost Strike Ki Focus (Level 2+, PHB3) - a cheap item that only works with melee attacks. And really, no reason to have it at all unless you're solely focused on using a weapon as implement - then you use the property to defeat insubstantial. Or you know you're fighting insubstantial undead - being a common item, it is nearly free.

Blazing Arc Ki Focus (Level 3+, PHB3) - A cheap flaming weapon that only works with melee attacks. Tieflings are the only ones who should probably try to make this work.

Final Sleep Ki Focus* (Level 3+, D382) - d12 crits if you attack with the focus. Shifting when you drop someone regardless if you use it to attack.

Rain of Hammers Ki Focus* (Level 3+, D382) -An extra area attack will help clean up a group and trigger the property. The extra attack once per day also helps any build. My favorite ki focus for non-ki focus users.

Body of Fire Ki Focus (Level 4+, MME) - An upgraded version of Blazing Arc Ki Focus. Decent for Desert Wind types.
Elusive Action Key Focus* (Level 4+, PHB3) +2 AC versus OAs.

Hawk's Talon Ki Focus* (Level 4+, D382) - Use an at-will instead of a melee when you charge once per day, and a jump bonus on a charge.

Mighty Strike Ki Focus (Level 4+, PHB3) - A more expensive, inferior version of a Ki Weapon that only works if you attack with it. However, you can hold a Ki Weapon in your off hand, attack with this ki focus, and then get both benefits as they stack.

Blurred Strike Ki Focus (Level 5+, PHB3) - This ki focus is very expensive, but it lets you use FoB twice a round if you hit with two different attacks.There are three possible readings for this focus based on what is meant by 'attack' and RAI vs RAI issues.
Here's the three options:

  1. Attack means attack roll. This works with RC, but is extremely unlikely to be RAI as the meaning of attack changed from PHB to RC and the item came out before then.
  2. Attack means attack line. This both works with RC and PHB. In PHB, it makes it clear that different attack lines are considered separate attacks. That's less clear in RC. This is likely RAI assuming that the R&D person did know the rules.
  3. Attack means attack power. This is likely RAI assuming that the R&D person responsible for the item didn't know the rules of what a different attack was. The odds are unfortunately high that this is a correct assumption. But...there's no real rules basis for it and assuming that the writer didn't know the rules when writing a rule is a very slippery slope for RAI. If true for your game, Ooze Master's value goes way up as it is one of the few minor action attacks from themes that involve a hit and use either an implement or weapon - and then you can take both Ooze Master and a minor-action attack from somewhere else. Another option might be to spam MBAs with uses of the get to use a Standard Attack while doing the Move. But if your DM is doing this reading, they're not likely to grant the Move either.

I think the safest reading is each separate attack line. It works with the RAW of PHB and RC, there are Monk powers with secondary attacks(so the item is not relying on having MC'd or using APs to work), and we're not picking something clearly against RAI when it was released.

Iron Body Ki Focus (Level 5+, D382) - damage resistance until the end of your next turn against the attacks of the creatures you hit using this focus.


The + sign indicates tha there's another version of the weapon with an additional +1 enhancement bonus even 5 levels.

[h=3]Level 2+[/h]

Goblin Totem (Any - FRPG) - If you're small, this is an awesome way to get an item bonus to all your powers. And it's cheap!

Prime Shot Weapon (Any Ranged - AV) - A little extra damage against adjacent foes for dagger monks. Awesome if your DM let's you apply the property even to attacks that don't use the weapon, which would include FoB.

[h=3]Level 3+[/h]
Frost (Any - PHB) - Combines with Lasting Frost for +5 damage. If only we weren't concerned about specific kinds of damage or multi-attacking.

Hidden Weapon (Light Blade, Mace - DSCS) - Boosts your initiative, but the real advantage is being able to quick draw a dagger when you need to do so.

Ki Weapon (Any -PHB3) - 2 extra damage on your FoB. A solid choice. Note that you don't need to attack with this weapon to get the benefit of its property.

Rhythm Blade (Light Blade - AV2) - Put this on a dagger or parrying dagger in your off-hand. Works even with Two-Weapon Defense, a Shielding Blade, and the Iron Soul shield bonus. Some DMs may say that this ONLY works if you already have a shield bonus, so if you don't already have a shield bonus, then grab a Shielding Blade instead.

Subtle(Any melee- AV1)- An item bonus to damage if you have CA

[h=3]Level 4+[/h]
Master’s Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade -AV2) - You don't have a ton of stances, but it is nice when they work together. Also gives a bonus to hit with at-wills when you're in a stance.

Screaming Bow (Bow -AV2) - a bit specialized, but you have a bow that can turn powers without a damage type into Thunder. Such as many Monk burst powers. Plus Bow is free for Elves, works with Bracers of Archery, and Siberys Shard of the Mage

Shielding Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade -Dr 391) - A common item that gives a shield bonus. This stacks with a Rhythm Blade, but doesn't stack with Two-Weapon Defense or the Iron Soul shield bonus.

[h=3]Level 5+[/h]
Flaming (Any - PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's better for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood.

Lightning (Any - PHB) - If you have the Mark of Storm, this is your claim to fame.

[h=3]Level 7+[/h]
Infighting Blade (Light Blade, One-Handed Axe- AV2) - A nice daily power to have if you're surrounded, and you will tend to be surrounded.

[h=3]Level 9+[/h]
Crusader's Weapon

Githyanki Silver Weapon
(Heavy Blade - AV2) - Awesome when paired with a Headband of Intellect and Psychic Lock.

[h=3]Level 12+[/h]
Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade - AV) - Just about the only way to get 19-20 criticals. Plus, it's cheap!

[h=3]Level 13+[/h]
Thunderbolt (Any Ranged -AV) - A cheaper version of a Lightning Weapon for dagger monks

[h=3]Level 14+[/h]
Battlemaster's (Any) (AV) - Allows you to recharge an encounter power once per day.

Mindiron (Bow, Crossbow - AV) - Awesome when paired with a Headband of Intellect and Psychic Lock.

[h=3]Level 15+[/h]
Radiant (Any - AV) - Expensive, but it allows you to exploint radiant vulnerability and get an item bonus to all of your attacks.

[h=3]Level 17+[/h]
Avandra's Whisper (Light Blade-AV) - A cheap way for holy symbol users to get a dagger weapliment, so they can use dragonshards and weapon feats with their holy symbol.

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Increasing Your Damage Through Increasing Your Number of Targets
Monks are primarily close burst specialists. This means that a monk's damage depends on getting as many enemies around them as they can.
There are three main tactics that monks can use to accomplish this:

1) Use conditions, such as prone, dazed, slowed, stunned, or the Iron Soul's FoB to discourage enemies from moving away. For example, Eternal Mountain can be used to knock a bunch of adjacent enemies prone, which makes it impossible (without teleporting) to move away without provoking an opportunity attack on their next turn.
2) Use forced movement to more enemies into groups (preferably adjacent to you). Many monk powers slide, such as Furious Bull and Centered Breath's FoB, or have other forced movement effects that can be used to cluster up enemies for you to attack next turn.
3) Use positioning to encourage enemies to attack you and continue to attack you. The Play "Stupid" and Spring the Trap tactics detailed below is one such tactic.

Tradition-Specific Optimization, Tactics, and Fighting Style

HideAt heroic tier, a Centered Breath has not yet come into their power, but they are still consistently useful even at heroic tier because they can slide around single enemies into disadvantageous spots like into a flank. However, Centered Breath are at their best when there is damaging terrain (like cliffs or fires) and/or a damaging zone to slide enemies into, or make them prone if they resist your efforts.

At paragon tier things really start changing in how a CB monk plays. With Starblade Flurry, CB monks can draw enemies into their burst range using their FoB slide, making CB monks one of the most effective multi-attacking styles. This also means that typical DPR calculations will under estimate Centered Breath DPR, as these calculations aren't taking into account the monk's ability to draw enemies into burst range. Deadly Draw also means up to 3 enemies (at paragon) you slide adjacent are granting combat advantage, which is superior to anything you can get from flanking. This easy access to CA makes CB monks the most accurate of the traditions. Rushing Cleats and Centered Breath Master can be used to make the FoB slide longer, which allows you to draw even more monsters into your kill zone. These slide enhancers also allow you slide enemies around and leave them in the same square (to allow an ally to continue to flank and trigger Deadly Draw). Because CB monks draw so many enemies adjacent to them, they must have great defenses and some resistances or they will drop from massive amounts of attacks and overlapping damage auras. This ability also makes them decent off-tanks as they can frequently keep enemies out of reach of the squisher party members

HideStone Fist are probably the easiest tradition to play. However, they have the least control over the battlefield, which makes them less powerful than the other traditions if played by a tactically competent player. Damage is always useful in any situation, so a Stone Fist will always find themselves useful. Stone Fist get a lot of extra damage from Starblade Flurry, and also can have a good melee basic attack if they use a larger weapon.

However, many inexperienced Stone Fist players will use single target melee powers to trigger their increased FoB damage against another adjacent target. This strategy is almost always a trap, as a close burst attack would likely have done more overall damage

HideIron Souls lock enemies in place, allowing the party to swarm them without taking OAs in the process. If the enemy wants to move, they will typically take OAs from multiple party members as the enemy cannot shift. This makes Iron Soul very effective against artillery and other enemies that benefit from movement. Iron Soul are wonderful multiattackers because they lock enemies into place within their kill zone. This ability also makes them good off-tanks as they are sticky, but it also requires good defenses and some resistances or they will drop from massive amounts of attacks and overlapping damage auras. Starblade Flurry makes Iron Soul into useful controllers, as they lock enemies adjacent to other party members, such as the defender.

As per the RC FAQ, the Iron Soul FoB does not break a grab and prevent an enemy from flanking.

Specific Tactics

HideThe Play "Stupid" tactic is designed for a defensive monk, such as my Centered Breath Master of Defense build, to get as many monsters inside the monk's kill zone as possible. The tactic works by tricking the monsters into thinking the monk is vulnerable, when in fact the monk is probably the worst target in the party. This tactic could also be called "Defending Through Positioning," if your goals were to defend the rest of the party.

One of the most common ways to die for a striker is to wander too far from the herd, get singled out, and then die from massive focused fire. However, monks are not you everyday striker. In fact, many monks frequently have higher defenses than the defender. Therefore, many monks can take massive focused fire and not die. In fact, if monsters are focusing fire on the monk, the monsters are typically clustering themselves within the monk's kill zone. This allows the monk to attack a lot more monsters than the monk would otherwise be able to do.

There are three common situations that call for this tactic:
1) At the start of combat, you want to be 2-5 squares in front of the party. Monsters will naturally come over and attack you as a result.
2) Monsters are spread out, and the party hasn't engaged. At this point the monk probably wants to get behind some of the monster front line. This will tend to make the monsters all cluster up on you, and will allow your party to come up and flank and focus fire on the front line monster(s) you are behind.
3) If one melee party member as engaged one melee target, and other melee monsters have yet to move up and engage, the monk (with good defenses) should move behind the monster the other party member is engaging. The other monsters will typically think "easy lunch" and move up to surround and flank the monk, who unleashes a barrage of burst attacks when the monsters are in range.

So now you have the monsters clustered arround you, so you have lots and lots of targets to use your close bursts on. Centered Breath and Iron Soul will also be able to keep the monsters more or less in this formation.

HideThis is a variant of the Play "Stupid" tactic. To Spring the Trap, you need to
1) Move into a position where the monster should move up to attack you, a la Play "Stupid". Preferably, you should start with at least 1-2 monsters who have already acted already inside your burst range.
2) Ready a burst attack for when 1-2 additional monsters have moved into range (preferably a close burst 2 or better to make sure the monster don't stop out of reach). If the attack dazes, like Furious Bull or Mithral Tornado, it is MUCH better, as dazing a monster after it has moved will cost the monster the rest of its turn.

However, you need to be sure your readied burst attack is as big or bigger than the monsters' reach. Otherwise, your readied action will never go off.

One other drawback, your FoB needs to be triggered on your own turn, so your probably won't let you use FoB on the attack. In short, you need to make sure that getting more targets in your burst is better than sacrificing your FoB.

HideFor defensive monks, allow enemies your defender has marked to make opportunity attacks against you. However, make sure your defender has a punishing mark (such as fighter or paladin) that doesn't require you getting hit (like the battlemind and assualt swordmage do). Your superior defenses will make it unlikely you will get hit, and the defender gets free damage on the enemy. This is especially good for halflings and githzerai with Githezerai Mobility.

Do NOT use the Flail Madly About tactic when multiple enemies will get OAs on you.

Optimizing Your Flurry of Blows

Ways to increase numbers of targets hit by Flurry of Blows:
Pointed Step - use a spear to hit someone a square away.
Starblade Flurry - use a dagger to hit an additional target upto 5 squares away
Unseen Hand - use a hand crossbow to hit an additional target upto 10 squares away.

Ways to increase damage:
Ki Weapon = +2 damage once per turn.
WereX Themes + Claw Gloves + CA = +1d10 damage
Crashing Style

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Optimized Monk Builds thread (Work in progress)

Quicksilver Motion
Fighter: Battle Awareness+Novice Power for Rain of Blows+Shocktrooper Paragon Path = easy to do 6 attacks by level 11 nova.
Sorcerer: Arcane Prodigy+Novice Power for Flame Spiral+Demonskin Adept Paragon Path = easy to do 6 damage instances by level 11 nova.

Boosted further by the following themes:
Werebear or Werewolf+Claw Gloves for +1d10 to all melee attacks(including Flurry of Blows)
Serifal Feywarden for Vuln 5/10/15 to one particular energy type

Then top off with Lion's Den, 12 Con and Centered Breath for near-Twin Strike Damage -
1d6+Dex+1d10+Wis+2+1d10+Con+1d10 - with an 18 starting Dex, 15 Wis, and 11 Con(then 21 Dex/16 Wis/12 Con at 11th), that's 32 damage before any magic items other than Claw Gloves or 1d6+Dex+vuln 10+Wis+2+Con+vuln 10 for 34 damage before any magic items other than a +0 Elemental Damage Dagger.
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Rules Questions

Rules Questions
What is a Full Discipline power?All monk at-will attack powers and all monk encounter attack powers are Full Discipline powers. You can tell if a power is a Full Discipline power by checking to see if it has the Full Discipline keyword. Each Full Discipline power contain both a movement power (called the movement technique) and an attack power (called the attack technique). You can use one or both of these powers in a given turn. However, you cannot use powers from a different Full Discipline power in the same turn unless you use an action point.

For example, you could use the Five Storms attack power to attack, and then the Five Storms movement power to shift two squares as a movement action. Once you've done this, you cannot use a movement power from Fallen Needle as a minor action (unless you spend an action point) because Fallen Needle is a different Full Discipline power.

Can I save portions of Full Discipline encounter power use later in the encounter?No. Once you use either part of a Full Discipline power you have until the end of your turn to use the other part of the Full Discipline power, or that power is expended as well. So if you use the Drunken Monkey attack power, the Drunken Monkey movement technique will expire at the end of your turn unless you use it.

When does Flurry of Blows trigger? Flurry of Blows is a triggered no action, it has variable timing. The Rules Compendium specifies that triggered actions are reactions unless they need to be interupts to function (e.g., Backstab). This means that FoB typically is resolved after the triggering attack power is resolved. However, some attacks invalildate FoB if it is treated as a reaction, such as powers that push the triggering enemy away so it is no longer a valid FoB target. In these cases, FoB is treated as an interupt, which effectively means it happens before the hit line is resolved.

In short, in most cases FoB is resolved after the triggering attack is resolved. Sometimes however FoB would be invalidated if it happens after the triggering attack and, in these cases, FoB occurs between the attack and hit line of the power.

Is Flurry of Blows an attack power?Flurry of Blows (FoB) is a class feature. However, by the Rules Compendium guidelines, FoB would also clearly fit under the attack power clasification. Therefore, FoB is both an attack and a class feature. FoB being an attacks means you CAN augment it with a few items, but that you can only use it once per turn.

What modifies my flurry of blows?FoB is a melee attack (as per the RC), but FoB doesn't have an attack roll or a damage roll. This means that FoB doesn't ever hit or miss, and nothing that modifies "hits" or misses will ever modify FoB. In other words, only things that augment attacks and damage directly, as opposed to increases "on a hit" or to "damage rolls."

FoB also has no keywords, so 99% of implement properties and all weapon properties do not apply to FoB unless the property specifically say that they increase FoB damage. In addition, as FoB lacks all keywords, items that modify FoB Damage like the Ki Weapon modify FoB damage regardless of whether you attack with the weapon or not (unless it specifically says you need to attack with the item).

As FoB is an melee attack, items, feats, and buffs that specify that they add damage to "attacks" or "damage" will also add to FoB damage as long as it does not require a "hit" or "damage roll." However, buffs that specify that they add damage to "damage rolls" or "on a hit" will not add to FoB, as FoB doesn't have a damage roll or an attack roll.

For example, Rushing Cleats and Shocking Flame both apply to FoB, as both specify that they work on melee attacks and do not require any keywords, damage rolls, or hitting.

Do you add weapon profeciency bonuses to monk attack powers?No. All monk attack powers are currently implement powers. As these powers do not have the weapon keyword, you cannot add the weapon profeciency bonus

Do I need to hold a Ki FocusNo. A Ki Focus could take about any form, so you do not need to hold a Ki Focus.

Can I use a Ki Focus and another implement simultaneouslyThis is not entirely clear, so please ask your DM. The most recent rules sources, such as HoS, clarify that you most use the Ki focus directly as an implement. So the answer seems to be no at this time. But to add more confusion, back into the situation, the newer rules sources also specify the a Ki Focus can take the shape of a weapon. In addition, both Customer Service and both versions of the character builder allow you use to both a ki focus together with some form of weapon-as-implement, but those aren't good rules sources, so please ask your DM. In short, ask you DM.

How many hands do I need to wield a two-handed weapon as an implement?This is not entirely clear, but CS has consistently ruled that two-handed weapons take two hands to wield as an implement. So a fullblade takes two hands to wield as an implement. The one exception to this is that if you have staff implement proficiency from a multi-class feat, then you can clearly wield a staff or quarterstaff as a one-handed implement.



Oh man, I was devastated when the Wizards forums shut down! I was following an awesome thunder monk build - was that one of yours?

No. I think most of the Monk builds that were up there tended to be really subpar compared to the newer meta. Namely, Monks were one of the top-tier strikers because they could combine Quicksilver Motion+minor action for Damage Boost+move action for Dance of the Stinging Hornet+MC Novice Power Swap+PP E11 of Death. And Lion's Den was actually a decent Twin Strike substitute for good at-will damage with Centered Breath. So 6 attacks by 11th and then 7 by 13th as a nova.

Where the damage boosts were either WereX+Claw Gloves or Sarifal Feywarden, the Paragon Paths were Demonskin Adept(E11 Demonsoul Bolts) or Shock Trooper(E11 Shocking Twister), the power swaps Flame Spiral or Rain of Blows. Win initiative, move speed as free action, minor for doom, jump a little as move action and get an attack off, and then do 6 attacks in some kind of way.

And then Lion's Den+12 Con+Centered Flurry of Blows can do a lot of damage because it triple taps as part of the attack.

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