I'm confused by the wording of the Way of the Four Elements monk's Fangs of the Fire Snake elemental discipline.

Specifically, how long does its bonus to the reach of unarmed strikes last, and how many times is the extra fire damage applied?

Here is an example scenario, with how I think it works:

  • A level 8 monk gets 2 attacks on his turn during the attack action, and a bonus action for Flurry of Blows, giving 2 additional unarmed strikes and a total of 4 unarmed strikes on his turn for 1 ki.

  • If he spends 1 ki for Fangs of the Fire Snake, the unarmed damage changes from bludgeoning to fire damage, and the reach is increased to a total of 15 ft.

  • When the monk's turn ends, Fangs of the Fire Snake ends, so it is not possible to make an opportunity attack with this discipline.

  • If I hit with an attack I can expend another ki to add 1d10 of fire damage. This extra damage only applies to that singular hit, the next attacks don't have the extra fire damage, and I can't expend more ki to add another 1d10 on those attacks.

Is my interpretation of how the discipline works correct?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It's level 5, right? Not level 8. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tarod
    Commented Oct 2, 2023 at 21:55

2 Answers 2


I believe you almost got it right. The increase in range and change to fire damage lasts for the duration of the turn, not the round, so you cannot use it for your reaction.

However, you can spend ki points for the additional dmg on any of the attacks on your turn. You just need to spend one ki point per extra dmg hit. So if you want to do extra dmg with 2 attacks you would have spent a total of 3 ki points on your turn, 1 to activate Fangs of the Fire Snake, and 1 extra per attack for the extra damage.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ But wait, there's more! For the low-low price of just 5 ki points you can have four flaming punches! That's right, four, ladies and gentlemen! Get your very own Monk today! (disclaimer: You actually have to hit with the attack to add the extra fire damage. In case of side effects, talk to your physician.) \$\endgroup\$
    – DaFluid
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 19:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @DaFluid Wouldn't that be 6? 1 for Fangs, 1 for Flurry, and 4 for making each of them flame? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec You are correct. Don't know what I was thinking two years ago when I wrote that. \$\endgroup\$
    – DaFluid
    Commented Aug 21, 2017 at 11:16


Good Thing. You can declare Fangs at just about any point during your turn. There is no need to do it before the attack role. Sequence of events.

Your round starts [Use the Attack Action] Miss, [Extra Attack] Hit, [Roll Garbage Damage], [Declare Fangs] (-1 ki), [Pop Ki] Bonus Damage (-1 ki), [Flurry] (-1 ki), [Bonus 1] Miss, [Bonus 2] Hit, [Roll Great Damage], [Pop Ki] Bonus Damage (-1 ki).

50% Accuracy. Used 4 ki points, total damage 2d6+2d10+2xMod If you took Mobile at 4th you can bound away to safety. And the bonus die can crit if I remember correctly.

Bad Think. Its all fire damage and its 4/5 ki points in 1 round.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour, it's a useful introduction to the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Luris
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 6:22

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