• Monks in Baldur's Gate 3 are a challenging class for beginners due to their lack of armor, but they make up for it with devastating physical capabilities.
  • Way of the Open Hand is a subclass of Monks that focuses on raw power, allowing players to deliver powerful blows and manipulate enemies with their unarmed strikes.
  • Dexterity and Wisdom are crucial stats for a Way of the Open Hand Monk, as they enhance damage, accuracy, and armor class, making them formidable in combat.

Monks in Baldur's Gate 3 are an interesting class to play as because while their focus is on getting into the thick of the action to deliver some devastating blows to enemies, they do not wear any armor. This means that as fun as they can be to play, they are not among Baldur's Gate 3's beginner-friendly classes.

Players who stick with the Monk will get a lot out of their physical capabilities and deliver devastating blows against anyone who dares cross them. This is especially impressive given some of their best attacks are unarmed strikes delivered after initially attacking with a weapon. While this skill is helpful across all subclasses, Way of the Open Hand is crucial in helping players feel like powerful individuals whose greatest weapon is themselves.

RELATED: Baldur's Gate 3 is Setting a High Bar for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Mass Effect 4

Way of the Open Hand Monks are Among Baldur's Gate 3's Deadliest Melee Attackers


Monks who choose Way of the Open Hand help bring out some of the class's best traits in Baldur's Gate 3 thanks to how brutally powerful their abilities are. While Way of the Shadow and Way of the Four Elements offer alternative paths that play into stealth and magic respectively, Way of the Open Hand goes for raw power behind their blows that can serve multiple purposes.

Like other Monk subclasses, Way of the Open Hand's abilities use up ki points that limit their use while still being generous enough to use often. Most of these abilities tie back into several unarmed attacks they can use, ranging from toppling an enemy to pushing them back.

Where this subclass can become scary is in how stats are distributed, namely how Monks make use of Dexterity and Wisdom. Strength might be a Monk's secondary stat, but they have a trait that increases their armor class based on Wisdom should they continue to forgo armor. A Monk with a decent amount of Wisdom will still keep a respectable armor class while gaining the advantages from powerful sets of clothing.

Dexterity is a Monk's primary stat and scales tremendously with unarmed blows in terms of damage and accuracy, meaning that hits will be as hard as they are effective. This can lead to some incredible attack combinations since players can start with a topple that deals as much as 20 damage by itself, follow up with a stun attack to make them skip their next turn while chipping away even more at the enemy, and then finishing with a standard attack.

An optimally built Way of the Open Hand Monk can deal as much as 40-50 damage in a round, an amount that can kill many enemies and demolish several bosses' hit points. Pair this with decent Constitution and Wisdom, and they can take hits as hard as the ones they deliver. Despite this emphasis on strength, there is the irony that one of the most powerful bruiser builds in Baldur's Gate 3 is also the one where the Strength stat is unimportant. Since attacks scale with Dexterity, Strength is primarily useful for saving throws as Monks are proficient in that area.

While they can potentially be held back by a lack of ranged options, races like the Elf or Drow are proficient in things like bows and crossbows, meaning that building the best Way of the Open Hand Monk without using up a Feat on Weapon Master would entail choosing either race. Although not as devastating when using ranged attacks, they can still act as a decent archer until the space between them and their target closes.

It can take a moment to consider what would bring out a Monk with Way of the Open Hand, but once that part is figured out, they can become one of the most formidable members of any party. By relying on their skills and natural talents, a Monk with this subclass feels unstoppable and breathes life into one of Baldur's Gate 3's more underrated classes.

Baldur's Gate 3 is out now on PC and comes out September 6 for PS5.

MORE: Baldur's Gate 3 Looking to Achieve Something 'No Other RPG' of Its Scale Has Done Before