The best Monk feats in DnD 5e are those that complement their playstyle and base class features well. Monks are naturally nimble, able to move fast when unarmored and not wearing a shield. They’re also slippery, able to Disengage or Dodge at the expense of their Ki resource, deflect missiles, and negate incoming damage from successful Dexterity save abilities that normally deal half damage.

Monks are also excellent at attacking with their fists as well as weapons, with the option to make bonus action unarmed attacks. Central to the Monk class is their Stunning Strike, which allows them to stun enemies who fail a Constitution saving throw for a full round.

But most of all, Monks are MAD (multi-ability-dependent). That means they need to maximize their Dexterity and Wisdom scores before diving into feats — otherwise, they won’t deal as much damage or land their Stunning Strike as often. This makes half-ASI feats that give +1 to one of those abilities more attractive, but a full +2 ASI is still the most optimal choice when you’re building a Monk. This means you likely won’t get your first feat until you’re level 16 at least.

Still, some feats are worth considering at level 12, even if you’ll be slightly worse than a Monk who just takes a +2 bonus to their main two ability scores until each hit 20. With all these factors in mind, I’ve broken down the 6 best Monk feats into three categories, depending on your playstyle.

monk wielding a quarterstaff

DnD 5e Best Monk Feats (Melee Attacker)

1) Crusher

+1 Constitution, can move an enemy you hit with bludgeoning damage 5 feet once per turn, and when you score a critical hit with bludgeoning damage, all attacks against that creature have advantage until the start of your next turn.

Unarmed attacks count as bludgeoning damage, so you’ll have no trouble getting that push effect off all the time. It’s dead handy for maneuvering enemies where you want them, protecting yourself and allies from opportunity attacks, pushing foes into hazardous terrain from allies spells (Spirit Guardians, Web, Spike Growth, etc.), and knocking foes off cliffs.

And since Monks also make a crazy amount of attacks each round, what with Extra Attack, a resource-less bonus action attack, and the ability to spend Ki on a second bonus action attack, you’ll land critical hits somewhat more often than most characters. When you do, you don’t need to use Stunning Strike, since you’re already granting your party attack advantage against the target for the round.

The +1 ASI is also nice, even if it isn’t for one of your main stats, especially since Monks also need some Constitution to make up for their weak hit point scaling.

DnD 5e Best Monk Feats (Utility)

2) Mobile

+10 movement speed, difficult terrain doesn’t slow you when you Dash, and when you make a melee attack against a creature, they can’t opportunity attack you during your turn (regardless if the attack hits).

This is really the premier Monk feat. Monks are already the fastest class in 5e, and Mobile just ramps that up to 11. If you get this at level 20, your normal move speed will be 60 feet; with a bonus action Step of the Wind to Dash, that jumps to 120(!) feet.

But that’s not even the best part about Mobile. The fact that you’re making 3-4 attacks per round means you can also avoid opportunity attacks from 3-4 enemies, making you the ultimate skirmisher. Pop in, hit some fools, use Stunning Strike on one, and then run back out to safety. Rinse and repeat to deal some very safe damage and provide consistent utility for your party.

3) Alert

+5 initiative, can’t be surprised, and unseen attackers don’t get attack advantage against you. The last two rider effects are fine for making you squishier and guaranteeing you don’t lose your first round of combat, but it’s the +5 initiative we’re really here for.

With a maxed-out Dexterity and Alert, you’ll have a whopping +10 to your initiative rolls, pretty much guaranteeing your turn will come before enemies. And that’s very important as a Monk, since being able to chain Stunning Strikes on the most threatening enemy in a fight is what the class is all about.

4) Fey Touched

+1 Wisdom, access to the Misty Step spell (bonus action 30-foot teleport) once a day, and +1 1st-level Divination or Enchantment spell, also once a day.

The half-ASI is nice, and Misty Step is a great spell…even if Monks already have a lot to do with their bonus action. As for a 1st-level spell, Bless is always a good pick-up (+1d4 to attack rolls and saving throws for 3 allies).

For my money, Mobile is still the better feat overall for mobility, and casting a spell in combat is a bit hard to justify as a Monk who can be using Stunning Strike instead.

But Fey Touched doesn’t hurt your ability score progression as much, so if you’re sitting at an odd-numbered Wisdom score, it’s the better pick overall..

monk vs. hobgoblin minis

DnD 5e Best Monk Feats (Tank)

5) Sentinel

When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, its move speed drops to 0 for the turn, you ignore the Disengage action, and when a creature within 5 feet attacks someone other than you, you can use your reaction to attack that creature.

One of the best tank feats in the game, Sentinel allows Monks to actually tank properly. While Monks prefer to be skirmishers who hit-and-run in combat, they can also be stand-and-fight tanks if the party lacks a better option.

Being able to keep enemies close to you rather than let them run free to attack your backline is a huge reason to pick up Sentinel. And being able to take an attack as a reaction every once in a while is a nice benefit as well.

6) Defensive Duelist

When wielding a finesse weapon, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC when you’re hit by an attack, possibly causing the attack to miss.

Finesse Monk melee weapons include shortswords and daggers, and your choice of race can also unlock rapiers (with the help of Monk’s Dedicated Weapon feature).

But you don’t even need to use the finesse weapon to make attacks; you just need to be wielding it (you can still make unarmed attacks if they deal more damage). And having the ability to boost your AC by a considerable amount AT WILL is a huge benefit for a Monk who wants to tank regularly.

With proficiency in all saves at level 14, Deflect Missiles, and Defensive Duelist, you’re protected from magic, ranged, and melee attacks equally well, making you very hard to hit indeed.

Good Monk Feats Runners-up

These feats are neat and can be fun on a Monk, but I don’t think they’re “optimal.” That said, they’re worth considering if they suit your character’s backstory, role in the party, or you just think they’re nify and would be cool in your campaign.

  • Shadow Touched. +1 Wisdom, can cast Invisibility once a day, and +1 1st-level Illusion or Necromancy spell once a day. Invisibility is great for scouting missions and setting up advantage on your first attack of combat (it breaks after attacking), and a utility spell like Silent Image or Disguise Self can be handy to have. It’s redundant on a Shadow Monk, but for other Monks, the extra utility and half-ASI are nice features of Shadow Touched.

  • Skill Expert. +1 ability of your choice (Dex or Wis), +1 skill proficiency, and +1 expertise in a skill. Getting expertise in Athletics (double proficiency bonus) is a good way to make you the party’s best grappler/shover, adding yet another way for a Monk to lock down enemies and give their party (melee members, anyway) attack advantage regularly.

  • Observant. +1 Wisdom and +5 passive Perception and Investigation. A good half-ASI and great passive bonuses to make sure your party doesn’t get ambushed or miss hidden clues or traps.

  • Tough. +2 hit points per level. Good for fixing one of Monk’s biggest problems — a smaller-than-average health pool for frontline tank classes.

  • Durable. Gain a minimum of (Constitution modifier times two) hit points for each hit die you expend during a short rest. Helps you last longer throughout an adventuring day without taxing your party healer’s resources.

  • Fighting Initiate. +1 fighting style. The Unarmed Fighting style will bring your unarmed attack damage from a d4 to a d8, boosting your damage output from levels 1-10. At level 11, your unarmed attacks naturally deal 1d8, so this feat becomes useless for level 11.

    But at level 12, you can switch to a different fighting style. Blind Fighting makes it harder for enemies in darkness/invisible enemies to get advantage against you and negate disadvantage on your attack rolls or Superior Technique adds a fun extra power to your skill set (like Trip Attack).

    I don’t really recommend this feat in most cases, as you’re better off increasing your Dexterity to get +1 damage and +1 to hit, rather than boost your average damage by +2. But I thought I’d include it for the people who just want to max out damage for levels 8-10.

  • Lucky. Can reroll 3d20 per day, including attack rolls against you. Technically good on any character in DnD 5e, but boring as heck.

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