Powerful Unarmed Monk Build BG3 – Baldur’s Gate 3 Way of the Open Hand Monk Build

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Unarmed Monk Build BG3

The Best Unarmed Monk Build for Baldur’s Gate 3, that deals massive damage with the Way of the Open Hand subclass and will help you progress in BG3! The Monk is a flexible Class in Baldur’s Gate 3, that offers a variety of interesting play styles. You can focus on a stealth gameplay with Way of Shadow or even cast unique Monk spells with Way of the Four Elements. What makes the Monk Class unique though is its Way of Open Hand subclass that allows you to follow a powerful Unarmed Combat play style! This Monk Build Guide will help you pick the Best Gear and options for a powerful Unarmed Build in BG3.

Table of Contents

Monk Class Mechanics Guide BG3

The Monk is a flexible and fun Class that resembles other Classes in Baldur’s Gate 3, thanks to its three Subclasses! The Monk Subclasses are:

  • Way of the Four Elements
  • Way of the Open Hand
  • Way of Shadow

Way of the Four Elements will turn your Monk into a unique type of spellcaster, similar to Sorcerer and Wizard! However Monk’s Spells are different. They do not consume Spell Slots to cast, instead Monks use their Ki to channel the elements. Thanks to this a Monk can cast their Spells while silenced and enemies cannot use Counterspell on them! They also recharge after every Short Rest which is huge. Way of Shadow turns Monk into a Rogue-like Class that relies on stealth to deliver massive damage.

It is Way of the Open Hand however that makes the Monk Class unique in Baldur’s Gate 3! This Subclass allows you to play effectively as an unarmed fighter and deal massive damage to enemies with multiple attacks.

Ki is the Monk Class special resource, that allows you to cast spells and perform special actions. The Monk also has Unarmoured Defense, which adds the Wisdom modifier to the Armor Class when not wearing Armor or carrying a Shield. Which means that a Monk is better to wear Clothing and avoid Armor and Shields for the best Defense.

Best Subclass for Unarmed Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Best Subclass for the Unarmed Monk Build is Way of the Open Hand! Way of the Open Hand unlocks several Unarmed based actions that can help you defeat your enemies fast. It also gives you access to Wholeness of Body, which restores your Ki points and hit points. With the Way of the Open Hand Subclass you can unlock the following:

  • Level 3 – Flurry of Blows: Topple, Flurry of Blows: Stagger, Flurry of Blows: Push actions.
  • Level 6 – Manifestation of Body, Manifestation of Mind, Manifestation of Soul toggleable damage modifiers. Wholeness of Body.
  • Level 9 – Ki Resonation: Punch, Ki Resonation: Punch(Bonus Action), Ki Resonation: Blast Actions.
  • Level 11 – Tranquillity Passive.
monk build bg3
Flurry of Blows

Best Race for Monk Build BG3

The Best Race for the Unarmed Monk Build is Wood Elf or Wood High Elf! Both races offer increased Movement Speed, which is vital to reach your enemies fast and defeat them in as few turns as possible. A few more good Races you can pick for this Monk Build BG3 are:

  • Githyanki
  • Human

You can pick any of the eleven available Races in BG3 and still have success with the Build! To find out more about all Baldur’s Gate 3 Races and their Sub Races, you can read my Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Race Guide!

Best Abilities for Monk Unarmed Build BG3

Dexterity and Wisdom are both equally important for Monk in Baldur’s Gate 3. Dexterity is important for your Unarmed attacks while Wisdom will help your Defense. Constitution will increase your Hit points and allow you to survive for longer. You can use the recommended abilities setup or adjust them to get high Dexterity and Wisdom, as well as good Constitution. For a powerful Unarmed Monk Build, you can use the following abilities setup:

  • Strength – 10
  • Dexterity – 16
  • Constitution – 14
  • Intelligence – 8
  • Wisdom – 16
  • Charisma – 10

Best Background for Unarmed Monk Build BG3

The most important ability for the Unarmed Monk is Dexterity. To maximize the efficiency of the build you should pick a background that gives access to Skills that rely on Dexterity! Wisdom is important as well, so you could pick a Background that gives access to Skills that rely on both if you wish. The Best Background for the Monk Build in BG3 is UrchinUrchin gives you access to Sleight of Hand(Dexterity) and Stealth(Dexterity). Both skills can be helpful in your playthrough. A few more good Backgrounds you can use with the Build are:

  • Entertainer
  • Criminal
  • Charlatan

To find more about all available Backgrounds you can read my Baldur’s Gate 3 Backgrounds Guide!

Best Skills for Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

Skill proficiencies allow you to pursue different paths when picking dialogue option and can help you solve situations in a variety of ways. When you create your character you can pick two more skills to increase your proficiency with them. AcrobaticsInsightStealth and Sleight of Hand are useful skills to have. You can follow this example or boost the skills of your choice. Skills do not matter in combat but they are always nice to have to advance storytelling.

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Unarmed Monk Build Skills

Monk Build Leveling Guide BG3

Below you can find the Best options for the Monk Unarmed Build in BG3 for every Level! There are 12 Levels in total and each one unlocks new powerful Actions and passives for your Monk Build!

Level 1 Best options for Monk Build BG3

Level 1 is basically Character Creation for your Monk Build in BG3! Here you get to pick your Race, Background and Skills as you have seen already. When you create your Monk character you also gain access to the Flurry of Blows unarmed action!

Level 2 Best Options

At Level 2 you unlock the Unarmored Movement passive, which increases your movement speed if you are not wearing armor or using a Shield. You also get the following Actions:

  • Patient Defense, Attack Rolls against you have disadvantage and you have Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws.
  • Step of the Wind: Dash, Double your movement speed and Jump no longer requires a bonus action.
  • Step of the Wing: Disengage, Retreat to safety by Disengaging and Jump no longer requires a bonus action.
monk build bg3
Patient Defense

Level 3 Best Options for Monk Unarmed Build BG3

At Level 3 you can pick your Subclass! Pick Way of the Open Hand and gain access to Flurry of Blows: Topple, Flurry of Blows: Stagger and Flurry of Blows: Push subclass actions! Topple can knock the target Prone, Stagger can make the enemy unable to take reactions and Push can push the target back.

monk build bg3
Flurry of Blows: Topple

Level 4 Best Options

When you hit level 4 you unlock your first Feat. Feats are powerful passive effects that can enhance your play style or help you alter your build! You can pick 3 Feats for your Monk Build at levels 4, 8 and 12! Picking Feats is quite important for the effectiveness of your Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. For the first Feat, pick Tavern Brawler! Tavern Brawler adds your Strength modifier twice to your damage and attack rolls when you make an unarmed attack, use an improvised weapon or throw something. Add one more point to your Strength to get it to Eleven(11). You also unlock the Slow Fall passive, that allows you to use your reaction to gain resistance to Falling Damage when you fall.

monk build bg3
Tavern Brawler

Level 5 Best Options

When you hit level 5 you gain the Extra Attack passive and unlock Stunning Strike(Melee and Unarmed) that allows you to stun your targets.

Level 6 Best Options for Monk Unarmed Build BG3

At level 6 you unlock Ki-Empowered Strikes, which counts your Unarmed attacks as magical for the purpose of overcoming enemies’ Resistance and Immunity to non-magical damage. You also get the Wholeness of Body Action, that restores half your Ki Points and puts you in a state of Wholeness where you regain 1 Ki Point per turn and have an extra Bonus Action. Finally you unlock the following Subclass features:

  • Manifestation of Body: Deal additional 4-7 Necrotic damage with Unarmed Attacks.
  • Manifestation of Mind: Deal additional 4-7 Psychic damage with Unarmed Attacks.
  • Manifestation of Soul: Deal additional 4-7 Radiant damage with Unarmed Attacks.
Manifestation of Mind

Level 7 Best Options for Monk Build

At level 7 you unlock Evasion and Stillness of Mind. With Evasion when a spell or effect would deal half damage on a successful Dexterity Saving Throw, it deals no damage if you succeed and only half damage if you fail. With Stillness of Mind, if you are Charmed or Frightened you automatically cast Stillness of Mind to remove the condition.

Level 8 Best Options for Unarmed Monk Build BG3

When you hit level 8 you can pick a second Feat. Pick Ability Improvement and add 2 points to Dexterity. Like this your Dexterity score will rise up to 18 if you have followed the above recommendations and your Unarmed Monk will be more effective.

Level 9 Best Options

At level 9 you unlock Advanced Unarmored Defense and Difficult Terrain does not slow you down anymore. You can also jump farther while you are not wearing armor or using a Shield. At this level you also gain the following Actions:

  • Ki Resonation: Punch
  • Ki Resonation: Punch(Bonus Action)
  • Ki Resonation: Blast(AOE attack)
Ki Resonation: Blast

Level 10 Best Options for Monk Build BG3

At level 10 you get the Purity of Body passive, that makes you immune to Poison damage and cannot be Poisoned or affected by Disease.

Level 11 Best Options

When you reach Level 11 you unlock the Tranquillity Passive. With Tranquillity, Long Rests surround you with an aura of peace, granting you Sanctuary.


Level 12 Best Options for Monk Build BG3

Finally at level 12 you get your final Feat. For your third Feat pick Ability Improvement again and add 2 more points to Dexterity. Like this your Dexterity score will rise up to 20 if you have followed the above recommendations and your Unarmed Monk will be even more effective.

Best Gear for Monk Build BG3

Below you can find the Best Gear for the Unarmed Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Best Weapons and Armor for the Monk, as well as alternative options that can help you early in the game!

What is the Best Weapon for Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Best Weapon for this Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3, are your Punches! Since this is an Unarmed focused Monk Build, you do not have to use any weapon. Just get into melee range and punch your enemies to death! The table below shows you the best Gear for the Unarmed Monk Build, as well as good alternative options to use early in BG3!

PieceBestEarly Game
HeadMask of Soul PerceptionHaste Helm
CapeCloak of ProtectionCloak of Protection
ChestVest of Soul RejuvenationThe Graceful Cloth
GlovesGloves of Soul CatchingBracers of Defense
BootsDisintegrating Night WalkersBoots of Speed
NecklaceAmulet of Greater HealthSurgeon’s Subjugation Amulet
RingKiller’s SweetheartRing of Mental Inhibition
RingRing of RegenerationRing of Protection
Melle WeaponUnarmedUnarmed
Ranged WeaponAnyAny

What is the Best Armor for Monk Build BG3

The Mask of Soul Perception is the best head armor for the Monk Build in BG3. A Very Rare Helmet that grants a bonus to Attack Rolls, Initiative Rolls and Perception Checks, as well as the Detect Thoughts Spell. You can find this Armor piece in a locked chest in Helsik’s room at Devil’s Fee in the Lower City(Act 3).

mask of soul perception
Mask of Soul Perception

The Cloak of Protection is a great Cape that you can get early in the game. Cloak of Protection offers a +1 to Armor Class and Saving Throw and you can get it from Quartermaster Talli(loot or buy) in the Last Light Inn in Act 2.

The Vest of Soul Rejuvenation is the best Armor option for Chest! A Very rare Clothing that offers:

  • Defier’s Rejuvenation: Whenever the wearer succeeds on a Saving Throw against a Spell they regain hit points.
  • Greater Kushigo Counter: The Wearer can use a Reaction to make an Unarmed Strike against any attacker that misses.
  • Armor Class +2

You can buy the Vest of Soul Rejuvenation from Rolan at the Sorcerous Sundries in Baldur’s Gate, Act 3!

Gloves of Soul Catching is the Best Gloves for the Unarmed Monk Build! The Gloves offer:

  • Soul Fist: Your Unarmed attacks deal an additional 1-10 Force Damage.
  • Soul Catching: Once per turn, on an Unarmed hit, you regain 10 hit points. Alternatively you may forego healing to gain advantage on Attack Rolls and Saving Throws until the end of your next turn.
  • Constitution +2(up to 20)
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Gloves of Soul Catching

You can get the Gloves as a reward for the Save Hope quest, in House of Hope in Act 3!

The Disintegrating Night Walkers is the best Boots in BG3 that you can get early in the game as well! You can loot them from Nere in Grymforge(Act 1) and they offer Night Walker: Can’t be Enwebbed, Entangled, Ensnared and can’t slip on grease or ice, as well as access to the Misty Step Spell.

The Amulet of Greater Health is the Best Amulet for the Build, which you can get in the House of Hope and Sets the Wearer’s Constitution to 23. It also grants advantage on Constitution Saving Throws Checks. Killer’s Sweatheart and Ring of Regeneration are finally the best ring options for the Unarmed Monk Build in Baldur’s Gate 3! You can get the Killer’s Sweatheart ring by defeating yourself in the Self-Same Trial inside the Gauntlet of Shar(Act 2). The ring grants you the Executioner effect: When you kill a creature, your next Attack Roll will be a Critical Hit. Once spent, this effect refreshes after a Long Rest. You can buy the Ring of Regeneration from Rolan at the Sorcerous Sundries in Act 3 and get Combat Regeneration: At the beginning of your turn, the ring activates and heals you for 1-4 hit points.

There are a few great alternative items that you can get early and will help you advance your game until you can get one of the Best Armor pieces above.

  • Haste Helm grants momentum at the start of combat and you can get it inside a locked chest near the Ancient Sigil Circle Waypoint in Blighted Village, Act 1.
  • The Graceful Cloth increases your Dexterity by 2 and grants a +1 bonus to Dexterity Saving Throws. You can buy or loot it from Lady Esther near the Rosymorn Monastery in Mountain Pass(Act1).
  • Bracers of Defense grants you the Become the Bulwark effect which grants you a +2 bonus to armor class as long as you are not wearing armor or holding a shield. You can find this armor in the secret area of the Cellar under the Blighted Village(Act 1).
  • Boots of Speed grant you a burst of speed and make it difficult for enemies to land attacks of opportunity. You can get them from Thulla in the Myconid Colony(Act 1).
  • Surgeon’s Subjucation Amulet allows you to paralyze an enemy and you can get it from Malus Thorm at the House of Healing(Act 2).
  • Ring of Mental Inhibition affects with Mental Fatigue foes for 2 turns when they fail a Saving Throw against one of your spells or actions and you can get it from a locked chest in the Ruined Battlefield, in Shadow Lands(Act 2).
  • Ring of Protection grants +1 to Armor Class and Saving Throw and you can get it as a reward from Mol for stealing the Druids’ Idol(Act 1).

Monk Build Gameplay Tips in Baldur’s Gate 3

The Monk is a flexible and fun Class to play! The play style of the Unarmed Monk is simple and straightforward. Get fast to your target and deal massive damage with multiple punches. Use special actions to stun them or put them in a prone state for even easier fights. Ki Resonation: Blast can deal AOE damage, allowing you to attack multiple targets at the same time. The Monk is a fast paced combat Class that relies on punches to deal damage, which creates an enjoyable gameplay!

More Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds

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