Way of Shadow Monk in D&D 5e | Full Subclass Guide – Tabletop Joab

It is easily to entirely view monks in D & D 5E as being the abstainer, appareled, Kung-Fu dominate of the Shaolin educate. however, Way of Shadow Monks are closer to being spies, illusionists, and even ninja assassins ! Sneaking through the shadows and striking with both accelerate and preciseness, the Way of Shadow Monk is a overcome of stealth. By the fourth dimension an enemy knows the Shadow Monk is there, it ’ randomness already besides late… If this sounds up your bowling alley, then prepare yourself !

This is the full guide to the Way of Shadow Monk in D&D 5e!

What is the Way of Shadow Monk in D & D 5e ?

Monks of the Way of Shadow, as the mention implies, practice a style focused on stealth and subterfuge. This is a great subclass for fulfilling the ninja, spy, or shadow assassin fantasy. As you might expect, the Way of Shadow is all about secrecy, delicacy, and discipline. The methods and techniques taught by this cloistered custom are close guard secrets. normally, members of Shadow Monk clans are syndicate members. They might pose as simple farmers during the day while taking high-value character assassination contracts under cover of night. This truth is a closely keep family mysterious. otherwise, a Shadow Monk might be a extremity of a thieves ’ club. For the right price, one might be able to hire a Shadow Monk for a numeral of jobs including spy, sabotage, or character assassination. Particularly in cities where the intrigue of nobles creates a deadly and high-stakes game, Shadow Monks can find their skills to be peculiarly lucrative. Of course, there ’ mho distillery a code to be mindful of. Things like snitching, leaking secrets, or otherwise acting dishonorably ( such as betraying a node or chap Shadow Monk ) threaten the stallion constitution and are frequently met with western fence lizard consequences. Whether it ’ s your footsteps or your mouth, remember : silence is golden !

Role in the Party

The Way of Shadow Monk and its kit out makes the subclass absolutely amazing for being the party scout, infiltration, and targeted assassinations. If you need person to enter the orc keep and find out what their attack design is, or discover where prisoners are being held, or take out their leader, the Way of Shadow Monk is your party ’ s go-to. A apt Shadow Monk can be a capital instigator for combats. By taking a bit of fourth dimension to put themselves to get the alternate on the foe, they ’ ll be able to well get the startle on their foes. Be indisputable to check out this other article about the surprise mechanic in 5e. You’ll be using it a lot!It takes true discipline to make a career of spycraft and subterfuge

Way of Shadow Monk Abilities

The subclass features of the Way of the Shadow Monk lend themselves heavy to getting into and maintaining stealth. many of these features help you create, bide inside of, move through, and attack from darkness and shadows. very bringing value as a Shadow Monk relies heavily on knowing your abilities and how to use them best. As an instigator, you want to focus on opening up the best opportunities for you and your party. If you can do that, you ’ ll have a swift victory over the enemies you encounter on your adventure !

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Shadow Arts ( Level 3 )

Gaining access to thematic spellcasting ampere well as an exceptionally useful cantrip, Shadow Monks learn to harness their qi to sow distraction and confusion !

You can use your ki to duplicate the effects of certain spells. As an action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast darkness, darkvision, run without trace, or silence, without providing material components. additionally, you gain the minor illusion cantrip if you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate already know it .

Considering your area of expertness, this is a very solid choice of spells. Used wisely, these are worth the qi cost ! minor Illusion is an often-overlooked cantrip with some big electric potential. Used well, you can lure guards away from an sphere you ’ re trying to infiltrate or into a trap. specially when you start gaining more features at higher levels, Darkness is a very utilitarian spell. just be aware that darkvision can ’ thymine visit through charming darkness. If you ’ re trying to cast it on yourself but plan on moving about, you might be in for a bad meter ! however, nothing will ruin your enemies ’ sidereal day faster than not being able to see anything ! If you ’ re a race like a Human, Halfling, or Dragonborn that doesn ’ thyroxine naturally have Darkvision, spending 2 ki points to let yourself see in the dark with the Darkvision spell international relations and security network ’ t a bad trade. pass Without Trace is crazy effective. Getting a +10 Stealth bonus about guarantees you ’ ll go unnoticed by even the most perceptive of enemies. last, Silence can be beneficial in the correct situations. Casting it right before you drop toss off and assassinate your prey can help you clean out an integral room without any alarms being raised or anyone outside the room being mindful of what ’ s going on. additionally, it wholly shuts down casters ’ spells that require verbal components !

shadow Step ( Level 6 )

At degree 6, you gain the Shadow Step have. This ability combined with the basal Monk mobility options makes the Way of Shadow Monk unparalleled in their ability to move through dark and shadows !

You gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim lightly or iniquity, as a bonus military action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is besides in dim ignite or iniquity. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn .

Everything about this is amazing. Monks are already incredibly mobile, but adding a 60-foot teleport ability is fair nuts. If that wasn ’ thymine adequate, you ’ re besides getting advantage on your foremost attack when you spring out of the shadows to start laying a beatdown on your target. Make that a Stunning hit and all of your other attacks will besides be at advantage if they fail their spare to not be stunned ! Wow… that ’ s actually kind of terrifying to think about now that I ’ ve typed that… Be mindful of where the shadows are on the battlefield and the enemy won ’ thyroxine know where you ’ re coming from future !

Cloak of Shadows ( Level 11 )

You ’ ve done it ! You ’ rhenium now level 11 and excited for your adjacent feature ! How does barren invisibility heavy ?

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You have learned to become one with the shadows. When you are in an area of blur light or darkness, you can use your action to become inconspicuous. You remain invisible until you make an attack, cast a spell, or are in an area of bright lighter .

american samoa long as you avoid bright lights like torches, you can pretty much stay invisible at all times. Am I dating myself if I make a Gremlins “ BRIGHT LIGHT ! BRIGHT LIGHT ! ” mention ? Gizmo = Shadow Monk confirmed Of course, you lose invisibility when you attack or cast a spell, but that ’ s nothing to worry about. When you ’ ra attacking from invisibility, you get advantage on the attack. a lot like we talked about with Shadow Step, make that a Stunning affect and your enemy won ’ t even be able to scream for help ! Though, naturally, this is specially suited for making you the ultimate scout. Between your Monk agility and mastery of remaining unobserved, you should have little difficulty. This is yet another perplex feature for the Shadow Monk ! The ability to become wholly invisible vitamin a long as they are not in bright light makes Way of Shadow Monks masters of subterfuge !

Opportunist ( Level 17 )

further playing upon the composition of distraction, the Way of Shadow Monk can capitalize on a foe momentarily losing stress on them .

At 17th degree, you can exploit a animal ’ south fleeting beguilement when it is hit by an approach. Whenever a animal within 5 feet of you is hit by an attack made by a animal other than you, you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against that animal .

careless of the subclass, Monks truly excel by making a long ton of attacks per turn. It ’ second kind of a “ death by a thousand cuts ” situation. So why not add an extra cut for good measure? Let ’ s say you ’ re squaring up to an enemy. You ’ ve already smacked them four times on your twist. now your ally goes and hits them a well. Using your reaction to get in a brash extra strike while the enemy is recoiling from your ally ’ s attack, you barely might drop them then and there ! Don ’ thyroxine underrate the respect of getting in this extra hit. particularly considering the types of enemies you ’ rhenium run into at this stage of the game, that extra damage closely every change by reversal will very add up ! All in all, this is a solid practice of your reaction. Unless you ’ re expecting to need to Deflect Missiles or think you might be better off taking an attack of opportunity on a different nearby enemy, this lets you get the most out of your action economy !


As talked about earlier in this article, the Way of Shadows Monk is not the typical Monk. While disciplined as all monks are, their background is likely to be identical different than the typical monk tradition.

A Way of Shadow monk could easily have trained with a ninja kin. This may or may not even be more of a “ syndicate commercial enterprise ” kind of position that has aligned you with the party ’ south interests. particularly if you go this route, you might use Monk Weapons reskinned to fit the ninja aesthetic more like shuriken, kusarigama, kunai, and more. Related: Learn more about using Monk Weapons here ! possibly you learned your techniques from a big spymaster from a major faction or city. possibly your skills come from having spent prison term with a identical well-organized crime consortium or thieves ’ club.

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A Way of Shadows Monk very can occupy many of the same shady archetypes typically associated with the Rogue class. not amazingly, they can frequently have similar motivations excessively !

Is the Way of Shadow Monk Good ?

indeed, the Way of Shadow Monk in D & D 5e is a solid subclass with mechanics that very much aid in fulfilling the archetypes and roles we ’ ve discussed. This subclass international relations and security network ’ t excessively complicated in its mechanics and most of them are both formidable and potent.

If there is one weakness that the subclass has it is that it lacks access on its own to skills and tool proficiencies that compliment and in truth flesh out its role as an infiltrator, spy, or assassin. You ’ ll naturally want to acquire proficiency with skills such as Deception, Investigation, Sleight of Hand, Perception, Persuasion, and Intimidation. not to mention, you ’ ll besides benefit greatly from proficiency with Thieves ’ Tools and Poisoner Kits. This could be addressed with the Skilled feat, sealed backgrounds ( like the Criminal/Spy or Charlatan backgrounds ), or with a dip into or wide multiclass with Rogue. Multiclassing with the Assassin Rogue, in particular, is specially complementary and potent. All in all, the Way of Shadow Monk very captures the have of being a ninja in a way that ’ s fun and useful to the party ! curious how the Shadow Monk compares to the other cloistered Traditions ? Check out my ranking of every Monk subclass in 5e !

Conclusion – Guide to the Way of Shadow Monk in D & D 5e

I hope this guide to the Way of Shadows Monk in D & D 5E is helpful and has kindled your interest in this subclass.

The Way of Shadows Monk offers a fantastic alternate to the typical monk original. It in truth shows how deadly discipline, unique mechanics for making use of the environment, and a bite of illusion can create a knock-down character focused on subterfuge.

There ’ sulfur so much season with this subclass that it ’ second hard not to get the gears in one ’ s head turning. even in writing this article, I gained some ideas and new exhilaration for creating Way of the Shadow Monks in my own games. I hope reading this does the lapp for you.

Have you played a Way of Shadow Monk before or do you have an theme for one you want to play in the future ? I ’ d beloved to chat about it in the comments !

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