Can a Monk who has multi-classed with Cleric, via Initiate of the Faith, use a Holy Symbol as their Ki Focus? ... see the semi-related question at rpg

My thinking here is: whilst maybe they can use a Holy Symbol for their powers with the Implement keyword, the section "Monks and Weapons" on p.64 of PHB3, refers specifically to Ki Focus, not a generic Implement.

It also seems like the Ki Focus takes the same "slot" as the Holy Symbol, as it also provides the benefit even when worn, much like the Holy Symbol.

The glossary on Ki Focuses, PHB3 p203 [ddi] seems to indicate the Ki Focus is separate from a weapon.

If you have both a magic ki focus and a magic weapon, you choose before you use an attack power whether to draw on the magic of the ki focus or that of the weapon.

Items have two separate entries for Holy Symbol and Ki Focus...

  • Holy Symbol [ddi]
  • Ki Focus [ddi]
  • \$\begingroup\$ might I make a suggestion, could you stop linking DDI stuff separately? I think if its a 4e term it's pretty clear the link is going to DDI at this point. It can be a bit jarring to the flow of posts. I know that some places its bad etiquette to not warn before posting links to paid content, but here (and specifically with 4e) I think it's a given. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 0:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle No problem, I'm always happy to get feedback. I was following one of the posting styles that I'd seen elsewhere Here on rpg.stackexchange. I rather liked the optional links to the actual posting in DDI so you can get the full (and current) text, but I can see the posting of the text in the post is also useful. I'll reconsider my style \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Commented May 9, 2012 at 6:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SteveC I believe the suggestion was rather that you simply make the word itself the link, the first time you use it. The [ddi] parenthetical is unnecessary. Links to the full text are useful, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Again the use of [ref] is a hangover from my days of writing scientific papers ... I can see the link style is more appropriate for a "web" page \$\endgroup\$
    – SteveC
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 8:40

1 Answer 1



A Ki Focus is a category of implement, like Staff, Holy Symbol and Rod. This would be like asking if a Wizard who multiclassed Cleric could use a Holy Symbol as a Staff. They're just different things.

If you look on PHB3.p62 you'll see that the monk has "Ki focuses, weapons with which you are have proficiency" listed as the implements that they can use. The "Monks and Weapons" section is just an elaboration on this, explaining that you can use weapons as an implement, or use a ki focus. It also elaborates to say that if you use the magical properties of a Ki Focus you still get to apply weapon specific feats if you are using an attack power with the weapon keyword.
You can also use a weapon as an implement, in this case all the appropriate weapon feats apply to implement attacks.
If you use an implement attack with a Ki Focus, there is no way to also benefit from a weapon feat, with a wording like "when you attack with a light blade" like Nimble Blade.

So ultimately, if you multiclass Cleric, you can now use Ki Focus, Holy Symbols and weapons with which you are have proficiency as implements. To compare these 3 options:

  • Holy Symbol: can not be used on Weapon attacks, only a problem for melee basic attacks, as no monk attack has this keyword. No weapon feats apply no matter what you hold in your hand.
  • Ki Focus: can be used on any attack that has the Implement or Weapon keyword. No weapon feats apply no matter what you hold in your hand.
  • Weapon as Implement: can be used on any attack that has the Implement or Weapon keyword. Benefits from any appropriate weapon feat.

Weapons can benefit from Shards as well, so from an optimization standpoint they are wastly superior to other types of implements for most builds.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Holy Symbols can only be used when using a cleric power or a cleric paragon path power, right? Initiate of the Faith says: In addition, you can use a holy symbol as an implement when using a cleric power or a cleric paragon path power. \$\endgroup\$
    – telandor
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 18:35

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