The Martial Arts feature allows for a bonus action unarmed strike after a main attack of an unarmed strike or a monk weapon attack. The Ki Fueled Attack feature allows for either an unarmed strike or a monk weapon attack after spending a ki point (such as on a stunning strike) as part of the action. Am I right in saying that the differences between the two are limited to the following?:

  1. Martial arts has to be an attack, Ki Fueled can provide for something else, such as a subclass feature.
  2. Martial arts only has an unarmed bonus attack, Ki Fueled attack can be a weapon attack.
  3. Both and/or either in any way only allow for 1 additional attack as a bonus action.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi user67079 Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Congrats on your first post - it is clear, direct question and you added two appropriate tags. I would suggest you also clarify whether you are asking about the Ki-Fueled Attack from UA or TCoE or both. We look forward to more contributions! \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 25, 2020 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt: The version from UA: Class Feature Variants does title it "Ki-Fueled Strike" rather than "Ki-Fueled Attack", making it likely that the question's referring to the version published in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (not to mention the fact that the question's being asked now, after the published book is out)... And the fact that the body of the question states "Ki Fueled attack can be a weapon attack" (which is definitively not true of the UA version, which only allows an unarmed strike). \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 27, 2020 at 7:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if you think you have a complete answer to your own question, I'd suggest editing that out of the question and leaving it as an answer instead. (See the [self-answering] tag on Role-playing Games Meta for guidance/best practices - for both the question and answer - around asking and answering your own questions. One such Q&A there: Answering own questions) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 27, 2020 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


The relevant portion of the monk's Martial Arts feature states:

When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action.

In contrast, the Ki-Fueled Attack optional class feature for monks states (TCoE, p. 48):

If you spend 1 ki point or more as part of your action on your turn, you can make one attack with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon as a bonus action before the end of the turn.

The main difference is that actions which don't make attacks but do cost ki trigger Ki-Fueled Attack. For instance, if you are a Way of the Four Elements monk and you use your action to cast a spell, you can still make an attack as a bonus action with Ki-Fueled Attack.

Ki-Fueled Attack also allows you to make an attack with a monk weapon (which could be a ranged attack), so a Way of the Kensei monk who spends a ki point as part of their Attack action could make a bonus-action attack with their ranged kensei weapon.

Ki-Fueled Attack was added to allow subclasses to make a bonus-action attack in situations where they didn't qualify for the bonus-action unarmed strike from Martial Arts.

The version in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything also allows monks to upgrade an unarmed strike to a weapon attack, if they qualify for both (unlike the version in UA: Class Feature Variants, which only allowed an unarmed strike).

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    \$\begingroup\$ The version from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything does title the feature "Ki-Fueled Attack" (rather than the UA: Class Feature Variants version, which calls it "Ki-Fueled Strike"). You might want to edit your answer accordingly to be consistent about the naming. I've made an edit attempting to do so now, in addition to adding relevant quotes of the 2 features and trying to clarify some of the intended meaning of the phrasing. Please review my edit and make sure it maintains your intent. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 27, 2020 at 7:30

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