Best Race for Monk DnD 5e

Recently updated on December 3rd, 2022 at 11:26 pm

Are you rolling up a new DnD character?

If you’re looking for the best race to play a monk in your DnD 5e campaign, look no further! We’ve got the perfect guide for you. Monks are one of the most popular classes in DnD, and there are many great races to choose from. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best races for monks and discuss why each one is a good choice. So if you’re ready to start your next adventure as a powerful monk, read on!

Ability Scores to keep in mind when building a Monk

The three most important ability scores for a monk are Wisdom, Dexterity, and Constitution.

  • Wisdom is important for monks because it determines their unarmed strike damage and ki points.
  • Dexterity is important for monks because it helps them avoid attacks and gives them a better chance to hit with their unarmed strikes.
  • Constitution is important for monks because it increases their durability in combat.

Understanding that, here are the best races to keep in mind for your monk.

Best races for the Monk class in DnD 5E

Wood elves

Choosing a wood elf for a monk is a great option because of their racial abilities.

Movement speed: With Fleet of Foot, wood elves have a 35-foot walking speed, which is perfect for monks who want to be able to move quickly around the battlefield.

Fey Ancestry: All elves have the Fey Ancestry trait, which offers advantage on saving throws against being charmed. On top of that, magic can’t put them to sleep.

Hide much easier: Wood elves have a trait known as Mask of the Wild that allows them to attempt to hide when only lightly obscured. Some examples include foliage, heavy rain, snowfall, etc.

Great sentry pick: All elves have a trait known as Trance and don’t need to sleep. They instead meditate for 4 hours a day, but gain the same benefit that other races would get from 8 hours of sleep. This can be extremely helpful for smaller parties when it comes to keeping watch at night.

Stout halflings

Stout halflings make great monks because of their durability, utility and natural resistences.

Movement speed: Halflings have a +25 feet movement speed.

Size: Halflings are classified as “Small”. That, combined with the Halfling Nimbleness trait (you can move through the space of any creature that is a size larger than you) offers some nice movement options, in and out of combat.

Resistance to poison: With Stout Resilience, stout halflings have advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance against poison damage (half damage when you do take poison damage).

Hill dwarves

Choosing a hill dwarf for a monk is a good option because of their durability and wisdom.

Movement speed: Hill dwarves have a +25 feet movement speed, which is perfect for monks who want to be able to move quickly around the field.

Resistance to poison: All dwarves have a trait called Dwarven Resilience, which gives them resistance to poison damage; this can come in handy in campaigns where poison is common.

(Hill Dwar-specific trait) Dwarven toughness: Hill dwarves’ hit point maximum increases by 1, and will do so with every new level. This makes hill dwarves a bit tankier.

Variant humans

Variant human is always a great choice when playing a monk because of the versatility that it offers.

+1 to two ability scores: With the +l to two ability scores of your choice, you can really tailor your monk to fit your playstyle.

Feat at level 1: Additionally, variant humans have a feat at first level, which gives you even more options for customization.


If you’re looking for a monk that’s fast, agile, and has great scouting abilities, then the Aarakocra is the best race for you.

Movement speed: Speaking of movement, Aarakocra monks are a great choice because their base walking speed is 25 feet, but they also have a flying speed of 50 feet. The stipulation with flying speed is that you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor – as a monk that won’t be a problem!

The additional flying movement comes in handy in and out of combat. Depending on the rules of your campaign, this means that your monk can avoid difficult terrain, and even escape from combat if necessary.

+1 Wisdom: Additionally, their +l to wisdom makes them great at Perception checks, which can be very useful for scouting ahead or avoiding ambushes.

Natural talons – unarmed strikes: Aarakocra have talons as natural weapons that can be used for unarmed strikes. When you hit with your talons, you deal slashing damage that equates to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the typical bludgeoning damage for an unarmed strike. Monks can use Dexterity instead of strength, but the slashing damage could be nice as bludgeoning as one of the more resisted damage types.


Kenku make great monks because of their dexterity and utility.

+2 to Dexterity: Kenku have a +2 to dexterity, which as we know is one of the most important stats for a monk.

Movement speed: Just like the Aarakocra, Kenku have a flying speed. Their natural ability to fly also gives them some extra mobility, which can be very useful for getting out of tough situations or gaining an advantage

Kenku training: You gain proficiency in two of the following skills: Acrobatics, Deception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand. All of these can be extremely useful for monks.


That’s the guide! Again, if you’re building a monk in DnD, look for a race that improves Wisdom, Dexterity and/or Constitution. And click here if you’re in the DnD character creation process, figuring out the best language to take in your DnD campaign.

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