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The 10 Best Weapons For Monks in D&D 5e [Ranked]

The 10 Best Weapons For Monks in D&D 5e [Ranked]

The world of D&D lets adventurers pick and choose between various ranged and melee weapons.

However, some weapons stand out above the rest, fitting an adventurer’s background, build, roleplay, and simply giving more useful stats for that character.

In the case of Monks, their backstories mainly include polearms, light one-handed weapons, and easy-to-use ranged weapons.

Monks are a lot like Druids in the sense that they mainly forgo the use of weapons, as their fists are usually more than enough to deal with whatever gets in their way, especially at higher levels.

Monk Weapon Proficiency

  • Simple weapons
  • One Martial weapon (shortswords)

Best Weapons for the Monk in 5e

10. Greatsword

Cost: 50 GP

Damage: 2d6 Slashing

Weight: 6 lbs

Properties: Heavy, Two-handed


The Greatsword is a very far-fetched weapon that can be picked up by a Monk if they so wish.

It deals high average damage and serves as a great weapon if a Monk wants to obliterate their enemies with a massive weapon.

Greatswords can be made to fit the persona of a Monk quite easily, but just know that choosing a Greatsword will limit a lot of your innate Monk abilities.

It is by far one of the strangest weapons a Monk can wield, as it’s quite bad in many regards, but it can be made to work by taking the right Feats and believing!

9. Mace

Cost: 5 GP

Damage: 1d6 Bludgeoning

Weight: 4 lbs



The Mace is a very average one-handed weapon that a Monk can use if they don’t like Staffs, Spears, or Handaxes.

Its damage isn’t bad, but it doesn’t have any properties, which makes it less useful than most weapons on this list.

8. Shortsword

Cost: 10 GP

Damage: 1d6 Piercing

Weight: 2 lbs

Properties: Finesse, Light


Monks don’t usually undertake any two-weapon fighting, as they’re not exactly good at it if you’re not choosing to commit to a two-weapon fighting build.

It’ll work well with your high Dexterity since it has Finesse, but you could build it with Strength if you really wanted to. 

All in all, swords aren’t your best bet as a Monk, as their unarmed strikes are incredibly powerful, but they fit a Monk’s persona and can bring some strange synergy to the table.

Note: You can also go with a different weapon if you want to walk the Way of the Kensei. Not only will this be a great roleplaying opportunity, but it can be made to deal some good damage as well.

7. Shortbow

Cost: 25 GP

Damage: 1d6 Piercing

Weight: 2 lbs

Properties: Ammunition, Range (80/320), Two-handed


The Shortbow is the ranged equivalent of the Shortsword, dealing decent damage and working well with your high Dexterity.

If you want to be a full-ranged Monk, then taking Sharpshooter, as well as Crossbow Master, will help you fire shots at close and long ranges.

It’ll work best when paired with the Way of the Kensei subclass and can put out some good damage if you build it correctly.

Note: Crossbow Master lets you enter close range and use your melee Kensei weapon, which could be very interesting to see!

6. Dagger

Cost: 2 GP

Damage: 1d4 Piercing

Weight: 1 lb

Properties: Finesse, Light, Thrown (20/60)


Daggers are an awesome Monk weapon, especially if you want to become a stealthy ninja or combine it with a ranged alternative like with the Path of the Kensei.

Daggers have Finesse, which synergizes well with your high Dexterity, and the fact that you can throw it makes it good at closer and longer ranges.

You can even keep a Dagger in your off-hand while you sneak around with your Shortbow in the other.

5. Javelin

Cost: 5 SP

Damage: 1d6 Piercing

Weight: 2 lbs

Properties: Thrown (30/120)


Javelins are similar to the Spear in the sense that they can be thrown and deal 1d6 Piercing damage on hit.

While they have a longer range than the Spear, the fact that they don’t have the Versatile property makes them lag behind, as 2 potential damage points are a lot for the Monk.

4. Unarmed


Damage: 1 + your Strength modifier Bludgeoning


Properties: Unique weapon attack


The main weapon of an average Monk will be his Unarmed strikes, as their Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows require them to use Unarmed strikes.

However, Unarmed strikes only become better than weapon attacks at level 17, so you’ll want to only use Unarmed strikes with abilities if they give you bonuses on them. Otherwise, just use a Spear or a Quarterstaff.

3. Handaxe

Cost: 5 GP

Damage: 1d6 Slashing

Weight: 2 lbs

Properties: Light, Thrown (20/60)


Handaxes are a Monk’s best Slashing damage weapon they can get without a subclass or Feat.

Handaxes can even be used for two-weapon fighting if you so want and can replace the Shortsword if you value the Thrown property more than the Finesse property.

The only problem is that Handaxes don’t deal enough damage if you’re not focusing on becoming a Kensei or taking Feats that correspond with two-weapon fighting.

2. Quarterstaff

Cost: 2 SP

Damage: 1d6 Bludgeoning

Weight: 4 lbs

Properties: Versatile (1d8)


A Quarterstaff is one of the best weapons for an average Monk to take since it matches your Unarmed strikes until you reach level 17.

The only problem is that it can’t be thrown, so you won’t be able to hit enemies at range. Nonetheless, a Quarterstaff fits a Monk’s persona perfectly.

1. Spear

Cost: 1 GP

Damage: 1d6 Piercing

Weight: 3 lbs

Properties: Thrown (20/60), Versatile (1d8)


The Spear is, without a doubt, the best weapon for a Monk.

You can easily get 1d8 Piercing damage by using its Versatile property, which will be the highest you can get until level 17.

However, what sets it apart from a Quarterstaff is that it can be thrown, so you can deal damage to enemies that you can’t reach.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, each class in D&D has its most used or beloved weapon that is both iconic and functional.

Though some of these weapons might not be the best D&D weapon overall, they remain the best option for that character at the moment.

A good example would be the Spear (or Quarterstaff) or Handaxe decision Monks need to make if they want the most reliable weapon for a Monk.

In the end, whether you decide to take a conventional or unconventional weapon, as long as you like it and it fits your playstyle, you should roll with it!