[Top 5] D&D Best Monk Race - What's the Best Race for Monks

Martial master

For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield, it’s a lifestyle, a dogma, a state of mind. Monks find weapons within themselves, elevating their bodies to become weapons of war.

From battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers, monks tread the path of discipline, those who endure discovering within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

In 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, monks are one of the most popular classes. Relying on their bodies and the magical energy known as ki, they are capable of impossible feats.

So, with all that said, now you want to play a monk. You want to overcome the most daunting perils, strike your foes before they can notice, and play a fleet of foot combatants.

Like all classes, it can be a daunting task to pick just one race from the broad selection 5th edition has to offer, but worry not, for we have visited the temples and compiled a list of the best races for the monk class!

5. Wood Elf.

Wood elves, also known as copper elves, are one of the most famous of the elven races. Wood elves are usually depicted as guardians of nature, where they build their forest homes, but unlike most elves, they did not view themselves as a people apart from the rest of the world.

By picking Wood Elf, you gain a +2 to Dexterity and a +1 to Wisdom, both primary abilities for a monk.

Additionally, your base walking speed is 35 feet instead of thirty, further improved by the monk’s movement bonus.

Why Wood Elf is Great for Monk:

  • Both of your primary ability scores get a boost.
  • A higher movement speed complements a monk’s mobile kit.

Pick Wood Elf if…

  • Your game only uses Player’s Handbook races.
  • You like mobility.
  • You like stealth.

Wood Elf details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/elf

4. Tortle.

Tortles were a race of intelligent tortoise-like humanoids. 

Most tortles had the notion of having their houses on their backs, which meant that they rarely felt homesick or the need to lay roots in any single place.

They were eager to learn new customs and found beauty in the most ordinary things. Despite spending much of their lives isolated, tortles liked to form strong friendships

Mechanically, this translates to a Natural armor of 17 that completely disregards Dexterity. 

What this means is we can build a monk who revolves around other abilities like Wisdom or Strength without having our Armor Class (AC) suffer!

By combining this fact with ability score increases that boom our Strength by 2 and our Wisdom by 1, Tortles can make for some very powerful monks without relying on Dexterity.

Why Tortle Is Great for Monk:

  • A base AC of 17 is great for when your ability scores are low.
  • The race lets you play the class differently.
  • It offsets some of the monk’s Multi Attribute Dependence (MAD).

Pick Tortle if…

  • Kung Fu panda is your favorite movie.
  • You’re tired of playing Dexterity-based monks.

Tortle details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/tortle

3. Aarakocra.

The aarakocra, also known as bird folk, are avian humanoids who live in high, mountainous regions. They are strong fliers and capable warriors.

Aarakocra is so good most tables ban them, and here’s why. Fly is a third-level spell that grants a fly speed of 60 feet for 10 minutes and takes up concentration, whereas our Bird folk can fly up to 50 feet always.

They start with an ability that’s better than a 3rd level spell slot! While it is true that the rest of their racial features are lackluster, a Fly speed is too good to pass up.

Pair that up with the fact that they gain a +2 for Dexterity and a +1 to Wisdom and you have the perfect, mobile monk.

Why Aarakocra Is Great for Monk:

  • Flight can trivialize most obstacles.
  • You get a nice boost to your primary abilities.

Pick Aarakocra if…

  • You enjoy covering large distances in a short amount of time.
  • You like the ability to fly.
  • You find the idea of a three-year-old martial artist beating up a Dragon (Yes, they mature at the age of three).

Aarakocra details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/aarakocra

2. Ghostwise Hafling.

Ghostwise halflings were generally very concerned (some might say obsessed) with family and clan.

They do not experience as much wanderlust as the other halflings subraces, making them the most uncommon amongst adventurers.

You would gain a +2 to Dexterity and a +1 to Wisdom by picking them, besides a whole bag of tricks.

From rerolling natural 1’s to advantage on saves against fear, Ghostwise Halfling makes for killer monks and awesome team players.

Why Ghostwise Halfling Is Great for Monk:

  • Rerolling natural 1’s can change a failure into potential success.
  • Moving through larger creature’s spaces makes you harder to pin down.
  • They get telepathy!

Pick Ghostwise Halfling if…

  • You dislike rolling low.
  • You value communication and subtlety.

Ghostwise Halfling details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/halfling

1. Githzerai.

The githzerai were a humanoid race that dwelt primarily in the plane of Limbo.

They descended from a splinter group of gith, a race that had been enslaved by mind flayers for centuries until they rebelled for their freedom until philosophical differences led to a long and bloody civil war among the gith, who ended up divided into the militaristic githyanki and the ascetic githzerai.

Under the tutelage of monastic masters, githzerai learn to govern their own minds, thus they gain advantage against mind-affecting effects, a +2 to their Wisdom score and Psionics!

This means that, besides some amazing racial bonuses, you also get access to some spells (like mage hand and shield) as you level up.

Why Githzerai Is Great for Monk:

  • You can maximize your Wisdom early.
  • Magic makes you more versatile.

Pick Githzerai if…

  • You like aliens and self-discipline.
  • You want the utility some spells can grant.

Githzerai details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/gith

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Born in a land where the sun forever blazes comes a man with an undying love for gaming, Jose enjoys nothing more than spinning tales about the multiverse of creativity to captivate and inspire.
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