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Please help me build the best DPR monk at 5th level.

Point buy stats, human and half elf are the only racial options.

Mono-class monk, no dips into other classes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can I ask why you deleted your last question about best level-5 monk DPS and made this new post, instead of just updating the original? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 18 '15 at 7:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, if this is the same question as that one, does that mean you have 1 magic item to work with? \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '15 at 8:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any information about the classes being used by the rest of the group this monk is meant to team up with? \$\endgroup\$ – Maximillian May 18 '15 at 14:16
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For max DPR, you should be a variant human with the Savage Attacker feat. This is because you only rely on 1 stat (Dex) for DPR, so you can afford to spend a feat - and Savage Attacker is the only feat that directly increases DPR. When attacking with a d6 damage die, you should reroll results that are 3 or less. Anydice link demonstrating the results of rerolling different minimums here. Note that this give an average damage of 4.25; we will use this result later.

Obviously, you should make sure you have a 16 in Dex. After that, all other stats won't affect your DPR, although you probably want to have a 16 in Wis and a 14 in Con (or vice versa). Your ability score increase at level 4 should be used to raise Dex to 18.

Putting it all together, your standard unarmed attack will deal 1d6 + 4 for an average of 8.25 (with Savage Attacker).

  • A round where you spend no ki points deals [1d6 + 4] + [1d6 + 4] (Extra Attack) + [1d6 + 4] (Martial Arts) = average of 24.75 damage.

  • A round where you spend 1 ki point to use Flurry of Blows deals [1d6 + 4] + [1d6 + 4] (Extra Attack) + [1d6 + 4 + 1d6 + 4] (Flurry of Blows) = average of 33 damage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ your Ki calculation is wrong, Fangs of the Fire Snake costs 1 to activate, and 1 PER HIT to get the d10. So your last option actually costs 7 points, and the previous one 4. \$\endgroup\$ – András May 18 '15 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András Wow, you're right. That makes it...incredibly crap. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '15 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ it is not horrible, you only have to spend it on a hit, so it is never wasted. Much like a Paladin's Divine Smite. \$\endgroup\$ – András May 18 '15 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András Yeah, but a ki point for 1d10? That's a waste however you look at it. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '15 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ on first level 1 ki points give you 1d4+3 (Flurry of Blows), and it is not even a sure thing, as you might miss. Fangs of the Fire Snake makes sure you never waste a Ki point. \$\endgroup\$ – András May 18 '15 at 14:06
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Just a first pass and not considering feats.

Best DPR is going to come from a DEX focus as it allows use of the light, finesse shortsword. The only monk weapon that does more damage is the Greatclub (1d8 vs 1d6) but this is more than offset by the extra attacks

Assign 15 to DEX, if you choose human this will raise to 16, if you choose half-elf choose to raise it to 16. Without feats, use your ability increase at level 4 to raise this to 18.

Choose Way of the Four Elements with Fangs of the Fire Snake.

Round 1 (5 Ki available)

  • Attack action with Fangs of the Fire Snake (-2 Ki) Unarmed 1d6+4+1d10
  • Extra Attack Unarmed 1d6+4+1d10
  • Flurry of Blows (-1 Ki):
    1. Unarmed 1d6+4+1d10
    2. Unarmed 1d6+4+1d10

Round 2 (2 Ki available)

  • Attack action Unarmed or Shortsword 1d6+4
  • Extra Attack Unarmed or Shortsword 1d6+4
  • Flurry of Blows (-1 Ki)
    1. Unarmed 1d6+4
    2. Unarmed 1d6+4

Round 3 (1 Ki available)

  • Ditto

Round 4 + (0 Ki available)

  • Attack action Shortsword 1d6+4
  • Extra Attack Shortsword 1d6+4
  • Bonus Action 2 weapon fighting Shortsword 1d6
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  • \$\begingroup\$ "(2) Unarmed 1d6+4+1d10" - Is the 2 meant to indicate you do this twice, or something else? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 18 '15 at 7:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Its meant to indicate the 2nd of the 2 flurry of blows \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 18 '15 at 7:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've reformatted it in a way that might be a more intuitive expression of that. Is the result satisfying and clear to you? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 18 '15 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel kinda bad about how similar our answers were, but I knew what mine was going to be as soon as I saw the question, so yeah. I upvoted yours anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '15 at 8:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ FYI, with Fangs of the Fire Strike and other non-spell abilities, you can use all your Ki at once. There is no restriction on the use of Ki like there is with the Wizard spells you cast as a Monk. This means if you want to Nova to take out a key monster quickly, you can. \$\endgroup\$ – The Forest And The Trees May 18 '15 at 9:03

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