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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\$ @Miniman: Savage attacker only lets you reroll once per round, not every attack, so your 24.75 and 33 should be a few points lower. Best use of Savage attacker as a Monk would be to go Kensai with Warhammer, use one of the Attack action's attacks to swing it with two hands (d10) and use the second Attack action to make the unarmed strike, allowing for FoB. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Nov 10 '18 at 1:13
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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\$ 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
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also the Spear is a Versatile (1d8) weapon which the Monk can use, I believe there was a ruling that you can wield it two-handed and still switch to one-handed for your Unarmed Strike (or as my DM flavours it, you're kicking them instead of punching them). I will look up the ruling later. \$\endgroup\$ – The Forest And The Trees May 18 '15 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ As Andras pointed out, the 1d10 damage from Fangs of the Fire Snake only applies to a single attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman May 18 '15 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Greatclub is not a valid Monk weapon as it has the two-handed feature. A Monks bonus attack is unarmed unless you took a dip into another class you don't get the two weapon fighting. \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Nov 8 '18 at 16:13

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