Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk build

The best Baldur's Gate 3 Monk build helps you harness the elements and transform your adventurer into a whirlwind of furious fists that requires no weapon.

What is the best Monk build in Baldur’s Gate 3? A well-built Monk is a great asset to any party – especially if you’re partial to a shadowy ninja-type character that requires less inventory management than other options out there.

Our BG3 Monk build is all you need to imbue your character with true fighting spirit, and includes the Monk’s optimal race and background. However, if you’re still on the fence, our overview of all the Baldur’s Gate 3 classes can help you decide if the Monk is the one for you. That said if you really want to make a furious Gnome Monk punch people’s ankles, read on for the best BG3 Monk build available in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best BG3 Monk build

Here’s the best Monk build in Baldur’s Gate 3:

  • Subclass – Way of Shadows
  • Race – Wood Elf
  • Background – Urchin
  • Skills – Dexterity and Strength
  • Weapon – Unarmed

Best Monk subclass

The best subclass for the Monk is the Way of Shadows due to the amount of utility the Monk provides both inside and outside of combat. 

The ability to jump from shadow to shadow makes the Monk perfect for stealth. Baldur’s Gate 3 features a number of heist missions that heavily benefit from the Monk’s powers, allowing you to enter and exit a building without alerting anyone.

Best Monk abilities

Here are the best abilities for the Monk:

  • Strength – 8
  • Dexterity 16
  • Constitution – 13
  • Intelligence  10
  • Wisdom 16
  • Charisma – 10

As Dexterity and Wisdom affect your armor class, your chance to hit, and how much damage you deal, prioritizing these abilities is key to building a Monk that will survive the dangers of Faerun. That said, when you do get hit, Constitution will help keep you alive so you can keep on punching. Strength, Intelligence, and Charisma are less valuable, though this may vary depending on your chosen subclass.

Best Monk race

Since Wisdom and Dexterity are both incredibly helpful for the Monk, Wood Elf is the obvious pick. This race comes with +2 Dexterity and 1+ Wisdom, in addition to fast movement speed that benefits the Monk in combat.

Best Monk background

Adventuring through Faerun is more than just combat; you also need to have a wide range of skill proficiencies to make sure your adventures go as smoothly as possible. For the Monk, these depend on the race you choose. We’ve gone with the Wood Elf which gives us extra points to Dexterity and Wisdom, and we can add to the Monk’s Dexterity even further with the Urchin background.


Level 4

  • Tavern Brawler

Level 8

  • Savage Attacker

Level 12

  • Alert


Here is the best equipment for the monk:

Shadow of Menzoberranzan

  • Gain the Shrouded in Shadow class action.

Shade-slayer Cloak

  • While hiding, the number you need to roll a critical hit is reduced by one.

Gauntlet of the Tyrant

  • Your unarmed attacks deal an additional 1-4 force damage.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Monk character creation overview

Here’s some valuable information on how the Monk class works, including features, class-specific mechanics, and sub-classes that will help you decide how to build your Monk.

Class Features:

In Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (D&D 5e) which Baldur’s Gate 3 is based on, the Monk base proficiency in the following:

  • Simple weapons
  • Shortswords

Their saving throw proficiencies are based on their Strength and Dexterity modifiers, meaning they are able to withstand or dodge some powerful blows.

Unique Mechanics

Here are the Monk’s unique mechanics in D&D 5e:

  • Unarmored Defense – Their AC (Armor Class) is equal to their Dexterity and Wisdom modifier with no armor or shield equipped.
  • Martial Arts – You may use Dexterity instead of Strength for attack and damage rolls.
  • Ki – You spend points on various Ki features.
  • Deflect Missiles – Monks can reflect ranged attacks aimed at them.

Way of the Four Elements subclass

Way of the Four Elements provides Monks with Cantrips based on elemental spells. Nick Pechenin, lead systems designer at Larian Studios, described this subclass in a recent video as being similar to the Avatar animated series. The Monk harnesses elemental powers to give you access to special “Hadoken-like spells”.

Way of the Open Hand subclass

Way of the Open Hand focuses on pushing and knocking opponents prone. This subclass features the widest range of attacks using just your fists. You can stun enemies and even set them up to explode if you use the correct set of skills. The Monk particularly excels in environments that include large drops, since they can effortlessly send enemies into pits filled with monsters.

Way of Shadow Subclass

Way of Shadow grants stealthy powers and the ability to turn invisible. Described by Pechenin as a “ninja on steroids”, giving you the ability to jump from shadow to shadow. This gives the Monk some utility outside of combat where you can utilize shadows to help stage a heist, providing the building in question isn’t fully lit indoors.

If punching your way through Faerun half-naked appeals to you, we hope this guide puts you on the path to making a fearsome yet tranquil Monk. Be sure to check out some of our best Baldur’s Gate 3 builds if you’re looking to embark on a new adventure, as well as the best feats and traits to watch out for as you go.