Sep 132009

A friend of mine sent me this: “I want a monk. Path of the Light with/handwraps or Path of the Huron with kamas? Thoughts? I was just going to follow the compendium build as I was not going to mix my first monk build. Any better build ideas since I have very little?”

I don’t actually have better ideas, but I have played a couple of monks up to capped. Here are some observations:

As the game sits now, you will be better at end game with kamas. But I believe that eventually you will be better at end game with kung fu and handwraps. I cannot prove this, but the devs went to a lot of trouble to add kung fu, and seem to be enhancing it with each release. Plus, kamas are a really crappy weapon (d6 20/x2? gag me)

I have a build for a monk2/kensai18 that (I believe) is the best possible DPS for a halfling monk using kung fu. If you are curious it is here.

If you read the comments, a lot of people thought the pure monk was a better idea. They may be right too, I am not arguing that. The monk/kensai will have better DPS, but for many people, there is more than just pure DPS. On the plus side, you can see several sides of the debate all in one thread.

p.s. I have only played this build up to level two so far so cannot provide empirical observations.

Other random things to think about:

  • The monk’s “best” thing is that they can add their wisdom bonus to AC. You definitely want to insure your build does not waste this. Go for the AC.
  • Lots of other classes key off of wisdom too which is why monk is such a popular multiclass. If you do want to multi, there is a lot of synergy between monk, cleric, ranger and paladin.
  • STR-based monks are really tough to build. I think the class is generally better served by going DEX-based and taking the weapon finesse feat.

  2 Responses to “Thoughts for a friend that is considering a monk”

Comments (2)
  1. The best thing to do is to spec for fists, as the only time where kama are better is when you need to pull out your Min II kamas. By speccing for fists, you already have GTWF and Min II are Keen so you don’t need Improved Critical:Slashing.

    As for the highest fist-user, I would lean toward Thanimal’s 12f/6mnk/2rog “The Hammer” over your 18f/2monk.

  2. I do not agree that that the Hammer is better DPS. It might be a more well-rounded character, for instance it includes UMD, but it will lag in DPS. Plus it assumes two of the new mod9 rings(!) and +4 tomes on all stats(!).

    p.s. thanks for the pointer, I missed that build when Thanimal first posted it. If anyone else is curious, it is posted at

What do you think?

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