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Tavern Brawler Monk BG3 build guide

Drunk Kung-Fu Master strikes again.

Picture a serene monk meditating under a cherry blossom tree—their Zen vibes, their calm voice. Now picture a drunk adventurer in a tavern, fighting against every other patron, tossing chairs, kicks and handfuls of knuckles. Now imagine they are the same person. Today, I present you the Tavern Brawler Monk Build for Baldur's Gate 3.

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Best Tavern Brawler Monk build - Baldur's Gate 3

When characters reach level 4 in BG3, they are given the option to choose a feat, one of which is Tavern Brawler. With it, your character can double their Strength Modifier when they make an unarmed attack, use an improvised weapon, or throw something.

Combine this with the speed and unarmed strikes of the Monk Class, and you have a character that can kill you five times before you hit the ground.

Best Races for Monk in BG3

We want our Monk to be strong but also stealthy and mobile. Githyanki can be a good race option, since they get access to Martial Weapon Proficiencies, Mage Hand, Misty Step, and Jump. Orcs are also a solid choice, given their Relentless Endurance that allows them to bounce back with 1HP the first time they are knocked out. However, for my Monk I chose the Wood Elf as their extra movement speed allows me to close the gap to my enemies faster.

Related: Eldritch Knight Build Guide BG3

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Best Stats for a Tavern Brawler Monk

Most Monk builds don't need to invest in Strength, since this class can scale all its Weapon Attacks and Unarmed Strikes from Dexterity. But in the case of the Tavern Brawler Monk, the feat doubles the Strength modifier of our attacks; since double of zero is still zero, we better have some Strength to begin with. To extract the maximum potential from the build, your ability score allocation should look something like this:

  • Strength 17
  • Dexterity 14
  • Constitution 13
  • Intelligence 8
  • Wisdom 14
  • Charisma 9

Note: The ability scores in Strength and Constitution are left at an odd number because Tavern Brawler increases one of them by 1 at level 4.

Best Backgrounds for a Monk in BG3

The Monk class already lets you pick two skill proficiencies from Athletics, Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Perception. Since we gave our character some brawn, let's push it further and grab Athletics, to shove and avoid being shoved. For the other proficiency you can choose whichever you like the most (I picked Perception to avoid traps and find hidden loot).

The Background gives us two more skill proficiencies. Having that in mind, I chose Urchin to get Sleight of Hand and Stealth, but you could also go with Folk Hero for an animal-friendly Monk, or Outlander for the survivalist approach (and switch your Monk proficiency from Athletics to any other).

Related: BG3 Necromancer Warlock Build Guide

Best Monk Multiclass - BG3

The Monk in itself is a solid class, but to maximize the build we can multiclass into Fighter and get Action Surge, allowing us to hit up to five times in a single round of combat.

This is how the level progression should look:

1MonkFlurry of Blows
Unarmoured Defence
Martial Arts: Dextrous Attacks
Martial Arts: Deft Strikes
Martial Arts: Bonus Unarmed Strike
2MonkUnarmoured Movement
Patient Defence
Step of The Wind: Dash
Step of The Wind: Disengage
3MonkSubclass: Way of the Hand
Furry Blows: Topple
Furry Blows: Stagger
Furry Blows: Push
4MonkFeat: Tavern Brawler
(STR increase to 18)
Slow Fall
5MonkExtra Attack
Stunning Strike
6MonkKi-empowered Strikes
Improved Unarmoured Movement
Manifestation of Body
Manifestation of Mind
Manifestation of Soul
7FighterSecond Wind
Fighting Style (Defence)
8FighterAction Surge
9FighterSubclass: Champion
Improved Critical Hit
10FighterAbility Score Improvement
Constitution increase to 14
Charisma increase to 10
Stillness of Mind
12MonkAbility Score Improvement:
Strength increase to 20

Best items for Tavern Brawler Monk

This build is focused on unarmed combat, so no weapon is required. As for armor, you can abandon the extra movement and don Medium Armour if you like; there are some amazing sets in the game that can really bump your AC.

Ideally by Act 3 you will have your hands on these items:

  • Gloves of Soul Catching make your unarmed attacks deal 1d10 extra of Force damage. These are dropped by Raphael.
  • Helldusk Armour is a 21 AC heavy armour that doesn't require proficiency to be worn and it allows you to cast Fly once per long rest. Also dropped by Raphael.
  • Boots of Uninhibited Kushigo allow the wearer to deal additional damage with unarmed attacks equal to their Wisdom modifier. These are dropped by one of the Githyanki Monks in the Astral Plane.

How to play Tavern Brawler Monk

When it comes to combat, the best strategy is to use the Action Surge on your first turn to get all the damage possible in the first round and possibly remove one enemy before they get the chance to act. Use Furry Blows: Topple to knock an enemy prone and get advantage on all your following hits. Having advantage will maximize your chances of rolling a natural 20, and our Champion subclass deals double damage (including the necrotic damage from Manifestation of Body) on a critical hit.

Lightning Charges are a great way to increase your damage output for the Tavern Brawler Monk build. Patch 3 changed how Lightning Charges and Damage Riders worked, but it seems Tavern Brawler remains safe. Still, this may change in a later update.

For more Baldur's Gate 3 content, take a look at Baldur’s Gate 3 (BG3) Cleric guide right here at Pro Game Guides!

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Ian Neiman
Ian Neiman began his gaming journey with Age of Empires 2, back when computer mice still had rolling balls underneath. Since then, he has developed a passion for anything medieval and found a special love for fantasy books and tabletop RPGs. Nowadays, he dedicates his time to gaming, watching F1, brewing coffee, and crafting storylines for his Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

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Tavern Brawler Monk BG3 build guide

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