Damage matters in Final Fantasy 14. Sure, the game is overflowing with DPS classes and players, but somebody still has to be on their game for all those bosses with one-hit-kill ultimates. The answer? Kill them before they can kill you. And that’s what the Monk is all about in FF14. This blazing fast fighter builds up stacks of Greased Lightning to increase their attack speed, eventually unleashing hilariously quick combos on various sides of a foe’s body. But what’s the best way to use this powerhouse of potential? Find out in our FF14 Monk guide to Shadowbringers.
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FF14 Jobs are all going through some major changes in Shadowbringers. The new expansion includes major reworks across the board, as well as two entirely new classes: Dancer and Gunbreaker. Between these additions and another massive payload of story content, Shadowbringers almost makes FF14 feel like an entirely new game. And that’s exactly why you might need help picking your new main Job or Jobs this time around. We’re here to help with another FF14 Job guide — this time for the mach-speed Monk.
Monk Role – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
The Monk is a melee damage class in FF14. Unlike the Ninja, it doesn’t provide “utility” in the form of group-wide buffs. It’s more similar to the Samurai, which focuses on selfishly hitting hard. But the Monk finds a sort of happy medium between those two classes — focusing on consistent attack speed, while relying on the tank to position bosses properly, rather than a couple of bonkers damage windows.
Less directly, the Monk suffers from just how common DPS players are in FF14. Monks rarely benefit from the “Hero in Need” XP and gil bonuses by participating in daily roulettes — except sometimes in Alliance Raids. This makes the Monk (and any other DPS class for that matter) somewhat harder to level up than healer Jobs and even tanks in Final Fantasy 14. On the upside, they are a bit simpler to play than the other FF14 Jobs. Although… That’s not entirely true with the Monk. They are one of the more complicated DPS classes in the game.
Monk Rework – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
The Monk is far and away the most “positional” melee DPS in FF14. Nearly all of their combos require you to dance around the sides and rear of enemies for maximum effectiveness. This is even more true in Shadowbringers, since many Monk positionals got damage buffs.
Besides placing yourself behind and to the side of a boss, playing the Monk is also all about swapping between three stances: Opo-Opo, Raptor, and Coeurl. That got just a bit easier in Shadowbringers. The time you spend in each stance has been buffed across the board. They now last 15 second instead of just 10 — giving you more time to choose your next move that will switch you to the next stance. From there, it’s still about choosing the right moves to keep your never-ending supply of selfish buffs active.
Should you end Coeurl Form and reenter Opo-Opo with a damaging Snap Punch, or is it time to reapply your damage-over-time with Demolish? The effect of Dragon Kick has changed completely, too, meaning you need to think differently about where it fits in your rotations. It used to reduce Blunt Resistance (a concept that no longer exists in FF14). Now it applies an effect called Leaden Fist. And once you get going, you no longer want to use the Monk’s most basic attack without Leaden Fist active. The buff doubles the potency of Bootshine (the aforementioned basic strike), and stacks with its guaranteed critical hit (if you attack from the rear).
Like a lot of changes in patch 5.0, this rework makes the Monk easier and smoother to play than ever. Although a few things still stand out. Tornado Kick, for instance, removes all stacks of Greased Lightning: your most sought-after Monk buff. Yet it still only deals 430 damage — even after some post-Shadowbringers updates. That… hardly seems worth it.
The Monk does heavily benefit from a heavily reworked True North, however. This role-wide skill had its recast time cut in half and gained a second “charge” that can build up independently. It only lasts 10 seconds now, reducing the overall time you can ignore position requirements, but the accompanying buffs more than make up for it.
Monk Tips – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
- Never lose Greased Lightning. The upside to this buff is that it can stack up to three times (four if you’re in Fists of Wind mode). Each stack increases your overall damage and reduces your cooldowns. With all four stacks, the speed boost is marginally better than the Ninja Huton, and comes with that damage increase to boot. The downside to Greased Lightning is that you lose every stack if the timer runs out. Now that Greased Lightning lasts longer than ever, there’s no excuse to let this buff disappear.
- Always apply Leaden Fist. This buff changes Bootshine from a so-so opening attack to a regular powerhouse — especially when you attack from the rear. The combined skills cause you to deal 300 potency and a guaranteed critical hit. But that’s not all! At level 74, every Monk crit also has a 70 percent chance of opening one free Chakra. This unique resource isn’t super special, but does let you use The Forbidden Chakra or Enlightenment whenever you generate five of them. That’s free single-target or frontal AOE damage. And free damage is never a bad thing — especially when you deal even more damage to unlock it. Damage!
- Tornado Kick is basically useless. There’s a tiny bit of debate about this, but… Yeah. This skill just doesn’t make much sense. You can pretty safely ignore it until Square Enix almost inevitably buffs it to do something other than just 430 potency. That might take some time, though. The FF14 team doesn’t make balance changes on a whim.
- Fists of Fire are better than Fists of Wind. This is a little bit more debatable than the last one, but just look at the math. Fists of Fire provides a permanent 10 percent damage buff as long as it’s active. Fists of Wind grants an extra maximum stack of Greased Lightning. This gives Monks 10 percent more damage, while and reducing “weaponskill cast time and recast time, spell cast time and recast time, and auto-attack delay by five percent.” The trade-off is that you actually need to build up four stacks of Greased Lightning. So technically the Fists of Fire mode is better when you know you’ll be in short battles. Against bosses and mobs that actually matter, though? Go with Fists of Wind. Just bear in mind that this only applies at level 76 and above.
How to Unlock the Monk Job – FF14 Shadowbringers Guide
Like most Jobs in FF14, the Monk is accessible at the outset of the game. Sorta. You just need to choose to play as a Pugilist at the start. This is the early version of the Monk, and will transform into the advanced Job once you reach level 30. You just need to progress through the campaign and the Pugilist class quests until you reach level 30. Then the Monk Job quest will become available — granting you access to its unique abilities.
That’s all for now, folks! Thanks for taking the time to read our guide to the Monk in FF14: Shadowbringers. We hope it helps you master this versatile DPS Job to the best of your ability. Until then, good luck learning the new reworks, abilities, and intricacies of the Monk going forward.