Ascendant Dragon Monk 5E Build – D&D Character Guide
Hello there adventurers! Today we will be creating a Kobold Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk character for 5E Dungeons &:amp; Dragons using Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons.
The Ascendant Dragon Monk emulates the abilities of Dragons. Followers of the Way of the Ascendant Dragon will resonate with powerful draconic abilities allowing them to infuse fire, cold, poison, lightning, or acid into their unarmed strikes, sprout spectral dragon wings, fulfill their essence with an intimidating presence and, of course, breath a line or cone of draconic energy.
Ascendant Dragon Abilities
Favorite Feature: I like the ability to change the energy of our unarmed attacks with our Draconic Strike. Kicking an enemy in the face and causing fire, cold, lightning, acid or poison damage is thematically awesome and could prove to be tactically advantageous.
Least Favorite Feature: the range on Aspect of the Wyrm. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the abilities here, but I wish the aura was a bit larger than 10 feet.
Check out my Ascendant Dragon Monk build video for all of the details on this character build or continue reading below for a few tips and tricks on playing this character.
D&D Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk 5E Build
Race and Ability Scores
I’m not one for optimizing a character build unless it fits my theme. Going with a point buy or standard array system for generating ability scores, a Human Variant would make the most sense for the Ascending Dragon Monk so you could get the Mobile feat at level 1 and not give up the Ability Score Improvement at level 4.
However, I feel that a thematic character to play for this class is the Kobold. Kobolds are known for their desires to be close to dragons and even considering them deities. Kobolds feel that they are kin to dragons and marvel at the success of their stronger lineage so why not play a Kobold that gets the dream scenario. They basically get the powers of a dragon. Using a Kobold, however, only gives us a +2 modifier to one stat with no secondary +1 bump, so if you have the chance to roll 4d6 and drop the lowest for your character build, that would probably be the better option.
In this build we are going to select Kobold and apply the Ability Scores in a point buy system as follows:
DEX: 17 (15+2 Kobold)
I chose not to dump Charisma simply for the fact of our level 3 ability that allows us to add dice to an Intimidation roll. Draconic Presence: If you fail a CHA (Intimidation) or (Persuasion) check, you can use your reaction to reroll the check. Once this feature turns a failure into a success, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest. I find it hilarious that my Kobold can be so intimidating with their Dragonic Presence.
As a monk we get Unarmored Defense: While not wearing armor and not using a shield, your AC equals 10 + DEX modifier + WIS modifier. With this in mind, once our WIS and DEX modifiers are maxed at 20, we will have an AC 20.
One of the really good abilities granted to us as a Kobold is Pack Tactics. For those of you not familiar: You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated. As a monk, we have the potential to attack 3 or 4 times per turn. If we have an ally in range that fills the requirements of Pack Tactics, then we will be able to have advantage on all of our attacks. Booyah.
An important note however. If you are playing in a campaign where the other players will be bringing spellcasters or ranged weapon classes to the table, you may want to reconsider playing as a Kobold. Getting the Pack Tactics ability for advantage will only work if you have an ally within 5 feet. Ideally, your party will have at least a Barbarian, Fighter, or other tank, to help trigger this effect.
For combat, we need to wield a weapon that does not have the Heavy or Two-Handed property. I recommend using a Quarterstaff (Bludgeoning) or a Spear (Piercing) as your monk weapon. These weapons are versatile so you can use them two handed and get the 1d8 of damage rather than the 1d6. And of course, your martial arts as a bonus action will be unarmed strikes.
At 5th level, I could foresee our Action being a Spear attack (with Stunning Strike), followed up with our Draconic Breath Weapon and then our Bonus action can be an unarmed strike (perhaps a roundhouse kick to the head) and even a Flurry of Blows if we want to spend ki for additional damage.
Here is the full PDF character sheet for our Level 11 Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk Build for 5E if you want to take a look!
Level 11 Kobold Ascendant Dragon Monk
Feats, Skills and Ability Score Improvements
For Javi, I plan on the following Ability Score Improvements and Feats from levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20:
- Level 4: ASI. +1 to DEX, +1 to CON (We need more HP)
- Level 8: Gift of the Gem Dragon Feat (gives us a +1 to WIS and on theme for our Dragon Kobold)
- Level 12: +2 to DEX (taking this to 20 with a +5 modifier)
- Level 16: +2 to WIS (taking it to 18)
- Level 20: +2 to WIS (taking this to 20)
With our Kobold only acquiring the +2 modifier at level 1, we may tend to focus more on the ability score improvement rather than choosing a feat. However, if you are playing a Human Variant or rolled for your ability scores and would like to take a feat when they are available to you, here are some recommendations:
Mobile: Negate opportunity attacks and be able to run super fast.
Crusher: A +1 to our CON, plus interesting abilities with bludgeoning attacks. However, this only effects creatures a size larger than you, so it would be decent to get if you are size Medium, but seems it could be a wasted Feat for Small sized creatures like our Kobold.
Resilient: We can set our ability scores up for a +1 in WIS or a +1 in CON and getting that Saving Throw Proficiency makes this feat an ideal choice for our Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk
Fey Touched: A single use of Misty Step per day can save a young Monk’s life.
With regards to skills, I selected Acrobatics and Stealth from the Monk list and then used the Urchin background for Slight of Hand and Intimidation.
So, that’s it for my Level 11 Ascendant Dragon Monk. I hope you enjoy this character build! Leave a comment and let me know how you would build this character or what you would have done differently.
On to the next!