Wizards of the Coast Monk class.
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast have actually listened to fans who have urged for changes to the Monk class for what may be years now. Players may need to wait much longer, as a suggested across-the-board improvement for the class could be coming as part of the 2024 Core Rulebooks, as revealed by Unearthed Arcana Playtest 8.

In other words, the Monk class is getting a significant rework which will allow the class to live up to its name and become a more versatile and flexible fighter. Fans have been extensively testing suggested patches to the existing character ecosystem, with the Monk class getting overwhelming support in the latest playtest, which suggests that not only did Wizards of the Coast listen – but they have actually put their hand at the root of the issue.

Basically, the Monk class has so far either been too strong or too underwhelming, with the class abilities annoyingly tied to KI points, the class’s performance often falling short despite a player’s better efforts. Now, though, things seem to be moving in a good direction with some signature Monk abilities getting the love they apparently deserve according to testers.

Playtest 8 Sees Many of Monk’s Abilities Reworked for the Better

The Monk gets basic functions without the need to spend a Discipline Point, for example, and the class’s Stunning Strike will still cause damage even if a target throws a Save. But the list goes on, as a new ability, Deflect Attacks, has replaced Deflect Missiles, and will now allow the Monk to garner better protection from spell, melee, and ranged attacks.

The class’s Dexterity and Wisdom attributes have been boosted to a maximum of 26 on Level 20, another slight but deserving upgrade. This time, the changes – subtle as they have been, have not caused fears that the class would end up too overwhelming or overpowered, indeed. In fact, the reception from both main and off-spec Monk players is that the patches have been applied conscientiously and evidently after careful study of the issues.

Wizards of the Coast used the latest play session to also timidly showcase a few other ability changes. The Barbarian can now use his Rage on a Short Rest, and the Brutal Critical ability has now been replaced with Brutal Strike, which will apply various effects to opponents.

The Druid has also got a bit of a nerf there, with the Wild Shape ability now tentatively replaced by the class simply learning more shapeshift forms. All in all, Wizards of the Coast are definitely onto a good thing with the latest playtest.

Stoyan Todorov

Stoyan entered the hobby over seven years ago and his collection has been growing at a pace his spouse has described as “concerning.” Willing to push the boundaries of the connubial bliss to its extremes, Stoyan is here to bring you the latest updates and developments from the world of board games.


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