With the release of Ultimate Combat, and myself a sort of fanboy of the always-underpowered monk, I decided to take a swing at some of the new stuff for monk with a new build.

The build I came up with uses the Master of Many Styles Archetype. My biggest problem is deciding the feat order for best survivability at lower levels. I was hoping I could get some advice on how to best optimize this build?

Here is what I have so far:

  • Race: Human

  • Stat Prioritization (15 points): DEX 15, WIS 16(+2 human), STR 13, CON 12, INT 12, and dump CHA 7

  • Traits: Caretaker, World Traveler

  • Vows: Peace and Truth

(and now the tricky part)

  • Feats (alphabetical order):

    Combat Expertise, Crane Riposte, Crane Style, Crane Wing, Panther Claw, Panther Parry, Panther Style, Snake Fang, Snake Sidewind, Snake Style, Weapon Finesse

I figure these are the feats I will need to effectively make him. I am just not sure on the order in which to take them. (Crane must be taken on the 'free style' bonus feats given by MoMS, otherwise I'll need to add Dodge.)

Currently our campaign is lower level, so I want the character to be combat ready/capable by level 4 -- 5 at the latest, as I don't see my current character dying before level 4. We have a lot of squishies in the group, so being able to keep the enemy off them would be favorable if that is possible, though we do also have a paladin in the group.

Any ideas on feat order or other optimization? I guess you would say that his purpose is to provoke attacks to gain multiple extra attacks. Crane (unless you see another purpose) is for the off-chance they don't miss… like crits.


1 Answer 1


There's no reason why you shouldn't be fully capable combatant from the first time you play the character.

I suggest taking a look at Treantmonk's guide to Monks first.

When being the Fighter, part of your problem is managing enemy aggression. They have to feel like they can actually hit you, or else they just move on to another foe. As a result the augmented defensive capabilities of Crane style, should probably take a secondary place to the other styles.

So if you are going to deliberately attempt to let them attack you, focusing on Panther style's ability to give you bonus retaliatory attacks when you are subject to attacks of opportunity from movement seems like a good choice early on. Also panther style feats can be taken as fast as you can get them.

Snake style is an interesting mix of special abilities. It helps you get hit, or not, and not suffer as many disdvantages. But it is restrained by the skill rank requirements. I suggest taking Snake Style feats only when you don't qualify for one of the others.

I'll also suggest possibly Boar or Dragon styles instead of Snake.


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