With fists made of steel and a body blessed by discipline, one might think the Monk is the class with the least need for magic. Indeed, many of the monk’s class features bypass standard magic item conventions at the cost of some ki. And the monk themself is the class that needs armor, weapons, and tools the least. That being said, as the monk advances in level and power… There may be some things that the Monk should grab first out of the pool. Our D&D 5E Monk Magic Items list will list out a few ideas for you.
D&D 5E Monk Magic Items
The Monk has a ton of utility under the hood, but there are a few specific things that the Monk finds problematic. For instance, finding good magical weapons is a gigantic problem for the Monk, as your damage suffers without +1 weapons on your side. You also want to find consistent sources to close the gap. Your movement speed is one thing… You still need to jump if you want to catch flying enemies!
Combat Magic Items
Bracers of Defense
The Bracers of Defense are a classic defensive item for a Monk. Monks have very few ways to boost their durability. So, this item just hands over +2 to your AC with no downside… Well, you can’t use a Shield, but monks don’t want to wear a shield anyways. This is incredibly handy, and they are definitely yours as soon as you find them!
Cloak of Displacement
This is a weird item. Forcing disadvantage on attacks against you is potent, but after you get hit once, it’s game over. The Monk’s AC is pretty bad early on and slowly catches up with standard armor. So, this will make it more likely that the midgame fights where 18 AC is “fine” won’t end up killing the poor Monk. Two chances to roll poorly makes a difference a lot of the time!
The Defender Weapon acts as the Monk’s shield. If you get a Defender weapon of the type that you can wield safely, then you can get +3 to your AC. Another small boost to durability which is much appreciated! In addition, you can choose to just have it be a +3 weapon if needed. So, there’s no real downside to it!
Insignia of Claws
This is the best aggressive magical item that a Monk can find. Hilariously, it’s just a +1 to attack and damage rolls. But, it doesn’t require attunement, and it applies to your fists! 5% chance to hit is nothing to scoff at! And you’re not even spending a slot on it, meaning you can look for more defensive or utility options. And, if your DM is nice, you might be able to grab a few additional enhancement levels on the insignia.
Scarab of Protection
Anti-magic is important! Even for Monks; you never want a bad roll on a saving throw to be the reason your character died. The Scarab gives you advantage on saves and immunity to 12 Necromancy spells. Great value! This is especially important to look for if you ever need to fight a lich. A Mantle of Spell Resistance or a Cloak of Protection can last until you get a Scarab.
Monks might be fast, but they have an absolutely ridiculous problem; they don’t have ranged attacks. Well, not good ones. They are almost exclusively melee. Spending Ki points can get some distance closing moves… But why not just get Flight! If that wasn’t enough, it’s flight equal to your walking speed. And the Monk’s walking speed gets a little bit silly.
Other Magic Items
Belt of Giant’s Strength
Now, you might be saying “But the Monk can use Dexterity for attack rolls!” Well, they can also use Strength. Using this belt, you can get a maximum of +9 to your unarmed attacks (with a Storm Giant belt). Considering you deck people in the face 4 times a round… It might be better for you to have a high-level Belt than even your Barbarian! That’s a lot of extra melee damage to be throwing out every round. And it’s not like you lose Dexterity for it, either!
Boots of Speed
If you don’t need to fly, the Boots of Speed can be… Ridiculous. A max-level Monk with Boots of Speed taking the Dash action moves at 240 feet a round. That’s one mile every two minutes. Without any magical buffs! You’re moving as fast as the fastest human’s dead sprint. For urgent missions that can’t be teleported to, your Monk can have things covered. It’ll also be tricky to out-run your monk if you’re chasing down an enemy.
Cloak of Invisibility
The Cloak of Invisibility is a highly contested item. You’re allowed to attack from full invisibility without any real consequence. For a Monk, that’s a great way to get many attack rolls and a Stunning Strike on a priority target! By the time you have this cloak, some enemies may have Blindsight. So, make sure you stay proficient in Stealth and play things safe!
Dust of Disappearance
Until you get a Cloak of Invisibility, a Monk still wants some ways to help in a bail-out situation. Dust of Disappearance allows you to area-of-effect turn people invisible. That means you can use your Bonus Action to dash to your party and make them all go poof! Great utility, and great defensive buff, for a Monk who is willing to spend resources.
Necklace of Fireballs
In fights with a ridiculous pile of enemies, you need to have that Area of Effect available. Unless you choose the Four Elements or Sun Soul traditions, you’re stuck with melee attacks. Fireball does great damage, and the Necklace doesn’t have a terrible saving throw DC on it. Great for when the Monk needs to help clear enemies out!
Conclusion – The Best Magic Items for Monks
Monks don’t need many magic items; the class is built around being self-sufficient, and is strong as a melee bruiser. However, they can still get some bonuses to help them keep up with everyone else! Keep your eye out for easy boosts to AC, natural attack damage, or fly speed.