Before Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Monk was feeling a bit hung out to dry. Specifically, Kensei monks were not given the options that they needed to realistically handle combat. Thankfully, WOTC was listening, at least a bit! Now, monks can get more powerful weapons, and a Strength build to boot! If that wasn’t enough, it’s finally time to dump everything and just pump Wisdom with their new subclass! There’s a ton to play around with for monks, so let’s read Tashas Cauldron of Everything Monk guide together!
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Monk Guide
Monk got a little for everything in their alternate class features, and their archetypes are really cool! The focus was on becoming more flexible; something the monk desperately needed! If you want Monks to get a little bit better, Tasha’s is definitely for you!
Optional Monk Class Features
As a reminder, your DM allows for these features to be added to your character. Consider haggling to get the feature you want most added, rather than trying to get all 4 of them. However, none of these will completely destroy the game, so you might be able to get them all.
After a short rest, you may designate a non-monk weapon to make it a monk weapon. You have to be proficient in it, it must be simple or martial, and it can’t be heavy or special. That… covers almost all weapons in the game. This is almost exclusively for a Kensei monk (or for early game Strength builds, if you hate AC). If you want to be Finesse, you could theoretically get a Rapier for this ability, but you’d need to get proficiency. Good for classes that get weapon proficiencies naturally, like Dwarves or Lizardfolk.
At level 3, whenever you spend ki as part of an action, you can make an attack with a monk-approved method as a bonus action. This is a pretty minor buff, but Monks don’t have many bonus actions (that aren’t linked to an attack). It’s just a little extra incentive to use your action to not attack.
At level 4, you can spend 2 ki points as an action, and heal Martial Arts dice + proficiency. If you are only allowed 3 alternate class features, this is what you want to drop. That’s a really expensive price to pay (and an action) for less healing than a level 1 Cure Wounds spell.
At level 5, when you miss, you can spend 1 to 3 ki. Add double the amount of ki you spent to your attack roll, which could make it hit. If you need to kill something, spending ki is well worth it. However, making only one hit a guaranteed hit won’t do much; monks specialize in a stupid amount of attacks! Still, this will help you take down major threats, if you somehow guess how much health they have.
New Monastic Traditions
There are also two new Monk Subclasses in Tasha’s. Both of them are pretty fantastic, and they help make monks feel very unique. You can see all of the new options in our Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Subclasses Guide.
Way of Mercy
The way of Mercy is an odd pseudo-healer. You’ll need a Bard or Druid, but these monks can replace the need to cast Healing Word by instead spending Ki. In fact, rather than spending a Bonus Action, they can instead pick people out of unconsciousness while using Flurry of Blows. The healing and damage that the class offers is rather low, and the class burns through Ki Points. This is a good class for Warlocks or other characters that rely on short rests… Especially since these guys can raise the dead at level 17!
Way of the Astral Self
The Way of Astral self spends 1 ki per 10 minutes to summon additional arms. These arms allow you to use Wisdom for attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes, as well as increasing your reach by 5 feet (on your turn). They completely throw away any need to have Strength for any reason, and even have an area of effect damage when they summon the arms! While your arms are active, you eventually gain some additional utility abilities, durability increases, damage increases, and even more punches! This is probably the winner of the two archetypes, and makes Wisdom Monk viable.
Wrapping up Our Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything Monk Guide
The new monk archetypes are awesome, and the optional class features are… fine. They range from legitimately build-defining to a waste of ki, which is about what’s expected. Kensei monks are going to be really happy with Tasha’s, as are monks that don’t want to use their Ki for their class features. If you want to improve your monk by quite a bit, check out Tasha’s for yourself!