The disciplined knights of the fist. The unarmored kings of hand-to-hand combat. The deliverers of knuckle sandwiches. One would think that, on their journey to enlightenment, the Monk would be out of time for more feats of strength. However, in Dungeons & Wizards 5E, feats mark important milestones in the Monk’s development. Are you willing to choose between Ability Scores and cool new features? Well, then check out our Monk 5E Feat guide to learn some good options for you.
Top 10 Monk Feats in 5E
The Monk is perhaps the most difficult class to give feats to. We highly recommend getting your Dexterity and Wisdom to 20, either with feats or by pure Ability Score Improvements. The Monk really wants both of these stats to get high so their attacks and defense can be as powerful as possible. They also kinda want a high Constitution score, but that’s less important. If you’re willing to brave lower scores, however, then some feats can come in handy.
10. Fey Touched
If you want some Wisdom, Fey Touched is a good way to get some. This feat gives the Monk +1 Wisdom, a good stat for them. It also gives you the ability to teleport as a Bonus Action, and gives them access to Hunter’s Mark. That’s right; the Monk can give every one of their punches 1d6 damage with this feat. That’s a huge boost in damage during a fight! The utility and damage is enough reason to take this, even if the Monk isn’t a great spellcaster.
This feat might be a bit more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s really fun to have. You get +1 Wisdom from Observant, boosting your defenses and Ki potential. You also get great flavor in the ability to read lips, which gives the Monk a really in-character way to help in social situations. If that wasn’t enough, you get +5 in Passive Perception and Investigation, which is a lot. Your Perception can easily jump into the mid-20s. The DM will have trouble hiding anything from you!
Athlete is mostly just for fun, because the Monk really doesn’t need this extra mobility. You get +1 Dexterity, which is great for your damage and defense. You also don’t use half of your movement to stand up; just 5 feet. This can let you chase down enemies easily, since getting knocked prone is a massive chore. The Climbing and Jump benefits hardly matter at all for a Monk, but at least it makes things easier! Great mobility for a class that has mobility options. At least now you don’t spend Ki!
7. Martial Adept
The Monk has surprisingly few things to do after they punch a target. Stunning Fist is really all the Monk ever needs, after all. If you would rather have a few options to use after punching, Martial Adept is here for you. This ability allows you to gain access to trips, ally buffs, better attack rolls… The list goes on! This is a great way to add versatility to your Monk. We suggest that you take Maneuvers like Menacing Attack and Trip Attack.
6. Weapon Master
This is a weird feat. And also really fun. You get your +1 Dexterity which is always nice. Then, you get proficiency in 4 weapons of your choice. That means your Monk can get bows, throwing weapons… Or a Greatsword. Then, you can use the Optional Feature Dedicated Weapon (if your DM allows it) to turn that weapon into a Monk Weapon. Ever wanted to use a Greatsword as a Monk? Here’s your chance! Do remember that Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows still use your unarmed strikes, so you might want to plan around that.
The Monk is a squishy character, so being able to weave in and out of fights is really good for you. Mobile gives you 10 feet of movement speed, bringing your speed to an incredible 70 for most races at level 20. Much more importantly, when you attack someone, you get the effects of Disengage against that target. This lets your d8-hit die booty get out of a bad situation without fear of reprisal. And, since it’s not technically a Disengage, it is much harder for monsters to attack you anyways. That’s a really good way to get out of trouble!
This feat is so good that even the low HP Monk benefits from it by a lot. The ability to stop a creature in their tracks is insane. Even though you only punch them once. You keep them in place, which means that you and your allies can keep on hammering the enemy. Against casters, this can be absolutely devastating, and against ranged enemies, they will have such bad chances to hit.
3. Fighting Initiate
A feat to get a Fighting Style might not sound like a great idea for the Monk. However, you can do some weird cheese here. The Monk doesn’t get d8 damage on their punches until level 11. If you are a Human and get this feat at level 1, your fists deal double damage for a few levels. That’s really cool! At level 8 or 12, you can swap the bonus Unarmed damage and instead get something like Blind Fighting or Superior Technique.
The Monk isn’t that low on HP. The problem is that increasing Constitution is hard for the Monk, since they need Dexterity and Wisdom so badly. So, Tough can solve your health issues. 2 HP per level gets you to 40 by level 20. That’s actually really significant, allowing you to easily take 2 extra hits. It’s like you leveled up, and got +4 to your Constitution. This easily solves the Monk’s biggest problem! Try and take it once your stats are in a good place.
To explain why Alert is good, let me give you an example. You’re fighting a Wizard. The Wizard rolls a 10 on initiative. You roll badly and get an 8, and the rest of your party rolled badly too. The Wizard immediately hits your party with a massive fireball, making the rest of the fight really dangerous.
Now, you have Alert. The Wizard gets a 10. You roll a 1 on your D20… And still get an 11. You rush the Wizard and Stunning Fist to keep it from destroying your party. Now, you’re all in a much better position because you can always roll high on initiative.
Alert is just such a nice safeguard, especially for the Monk! Since the Monk’s stunning fist can really effectively give your party an extra turn, you reap the benefits of going first. You also don’t get hit by hidden creatures nearly as often. It’s just the best combination for you! Get Alert quickly if you’re the one expected to stop that Wizard during every fight.
Conclusions – The Best Monk Feats
The Monk has a lot of trouble with feats, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad with them. Do you have feats that the Monk likes that we missed out on? Should Tough be number 1? Or number 10? Leave a comment with some of your favorite Monk synergies that we missed out on!