Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (2023)

Monks in Dungeons & Dragons remain the staple martial artists - their very bodies are weapons, and their complicated maneuvers can transform their punches, kicks, throws, and lunges into devastating attacks. Well-trained Monks aren't averse to weapons training, though, as some Monks do specialize in using armaments as extensions of their bodies.

With the right weapon, a Monk in can obliterate swaths of enemy forces. And obtaining the right Magic Item can help Monks wield tremendous magical powers or live the life of heroes in martial arts fiction. A Monk with the right weapon and the right backstory to match can easily become the stuff of legends.

Updated May 14, 2023 by Rhenn Taguiam: With Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves putting D&D in the spotlight, it’s no surprise that both veterans and newcomers to the acclaimed RPG are gearing up for new sessions. For aspiring Monks who want to use their bodies to fight the forces of evil, it’s important to not just know how to use martial arts, but also weapons that may complement their arsenal. A multitude of tools and artifacts can further enhance a Monk’s potential to become living weapons. Dungeon Masters may want to ensure these armaments are presented in sensible yet epic ways to ensure their acquisitions are worthwhile.


15 Spear

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (1)
  • Melee Weapon (Simple, Spear)
  • Common

As a Simple Melee Weapon, anyone in D&D can hold and use a Spear, which makes it surprising for Monks to almost always want a Spear on the get-go. Spears deal 1d6 Piercing Damage, which makes them just a bit less threatening than the staple Longsword. Thankfully, Spears have a 20/60 Range, giving Monks more legroom in terms of distance.

While the Spear seems simplistic enough, it does shine with its other properties. As a Versatile weapon, wielding the Spear two-handed will land 1d8 damage. Its Thrown property also gives Monks an emergency throwing weapon. At a lack of Magic Items, a Spear's properties can replace a Monk's Unarmed Strikes until they get 1d10 damage at 17th-level. Spears can be found almost anywhere.

How To Get Spear

Because the Spear is a simple and common fantasy weapon, characters may begin with the Spear as part of their initial arsenal. Those looking for a Spear in their sessions may find them with the most armed foes or even the local blacksmith for a relatively low price.

14 Moon Sickle

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (2)
  • Weapon (Sickle)
  • Uncommon (+1), Rare (+2), Very Rare (+3)
  • Requires Attunement by a Druid or Ranger

While the lore dictates that the Moon Sickle be only Attuned to a Druid or Ranger, a Dungeon Master can homebrew a Moon Sickle for a Monk under special circumstances. For instance, Monks particularly attached to orders or monasteries with links to nature may be given exceptions to wield a Moon Sickle, with its properties converted for Monks instead.

In that regard, a homebrew Moon Sickle could give a Monk bonus to both Attack and Damage Rolls, as well as a bonus to Spell Attack Rolls and Saving Throw DCs for their Spells. Not only that, but the Moon Sickle may be able to act as a Spellcasting Focus for their Spells. As an added bonus, holding the Sickle while casting a healing spell can add 1d4 worth of healing to the remedy provided, which is a nifty bonus.

How To Get Moon Sickle

Sickles aren’t often associated with Monks, making the Moon Sickle a unique companion to the martial artist. In that regard, a Monk wanting such a weapon must be able to acquire it through unconventional means to support the armament’s uncommon nature. A Monk could be awarded a Moon Sickle after helping the Druid of a neighboring forest, or could acquire one during a visit to an elven city.

13 Sword of Vengeance

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (3)
  • Weapon (Any Sword)
  • Uncommon
  • Requires Attunement

Monks are trained by their respective monasteries not to only use their bodies and minds as weapons, but to be the truest models of discipline and patience. Usually, a Monk wouldn’t want to exert their emotions in combat. However, a Monk wielding a Sword of Vengeance can be a unique combo.

Inherently cursed, a Monk with the Sword will be unwilling to part with it and will have a Disadvantage on Attacks with weapons other than the Sword. Moreover, whenever the Monk is damaged, they need to succeed in a DC 15 Wisdom Save, or else they go into frenzy and attack the monster that dealt this damage to them. Being a Magic Item, the Sword of Vengeance confers +1 Bonus to Attack and Damage Rolls.

How To Get Sword Of Vengeance

Being one of the more standalone Magic Items, the Sword of Vengeance can find itself in a multitude of situations. However, it’s probably more interesting to attach the weapon to a setting that fits its theme. For instance, the Sword of Vengeance may be a cursed weapon that hops from one vengeful user to the next, which can be a fitting armament for the personal story of a Monk out for revenge.

12 Weapon Of Warning

  • Weapon (Any)
  • Uncommon
  • Requires Attunement

With enough training, a Monk should be able to identify attacks before they even hit them. However, with a Weapon of Warning, they can have their weapon identify these attacks for them. While the Weapon is on their person, the Monk has an advantage in Initiative Rolls and the Monk and companions with 30 feet cannot be surprised. It even magically awakens everyone asleep when combat begins.

Despite the lack of inherent bonuses of the weapon, the Weapon of Warning can greatly benefit the high-Dexterity nature of Monks, which gives them a naturally high probability of going first in Initiative. For a Monk that needs to get close to enemies fast, the Advantage in Initiative Rolls can make them better equipped against enemies.

How To Get Weapon Of Warning

The text of the Weapon of Warning implies that the “Warning” is more of a magical enchantment. An ordinary route is to have the local spellcaster enhance a weapon with this property or to even have a Wizard have this among their wares. A more creative consideration would be attaching the Weapon of Warning to a weapon of the get-go, with a backstory of said weapon being possessed by the seemingly-benevolent spirit who guides its user to safety but may end up having nefarious goals.

11 Dancing Sword

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  • Weapon (Any Sword)
  • Very Rare

Acting both as flavor and as a practical weapon, the Monk with a Dancing Sword is a delightful sight to imagine. As the name implies, the Dancing Sword has a Command Word that, when spoken, will have the Sword hover up to 30 feet and can attack creatures within 5 feet of it. It uses the Monk’s Attack and Ability Score Modifiers whenever it deals damage.

What’s interesting is that the Sword can use the player’s Bonus Action to fly up to 30 feet to another spot within 30 feet of the player and attack any creature within that area. This allows players to attack multiple foes at once, which can be pretty beneficial to the Monk considering its wide array of attack options.

How To Get Dancing Sword

Like the Weapon of Warning, it’s easy to attach the idea of a sentient weapon to a self-moving Dancing Sword. An interesting take here would be attaching a spirit to the Dancing Weapon that relates to its ability to help its user. For instance, perhaps the Dancing Sword contains the spirit of a disgraced hero who wants to make amends by helping its wielder fight injustice.

10 Vicious Weapon

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (6)
  • Weapon (Any)
  • Rare

Players who build their Monks properly will likely encounter a lot of Critical Hits where they deal quite a ton of damage to bosses. With the Vicious Weapon, they can take full advantage of the opportunities to score more damage when dealing criticals. At its core, the target takes 7 more damage of the weapon’s type whenever the player scores a Critical


While this isn’t exactly the most ideal upgrade to a weapon, that damage addition can be quite crucial when facing multiple foes. Another useful way to circumvent this “disadvantage” is to add the Vicious Weapon upgrade on top of another Magi Item category, further enhancing the weapon.

How To Get Vicious Weapon

With an emphasis on violence, the Vicious Weapon may work with a more wrathful backstory. For instance, the Vicious Weapon may be a cursed armament that grants its wielder with an insatiable bloodlust. Likewise, it may serve as an unholy weapon of an Evil God like Asmodeus that lures its users into worshiping the demon lord completely through increasing acts of rage.

9 Moon-Touched Sword

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (7)
  • Weapon (Sword)
  • Common

Any sword can become a Moon-Touched Sword when given to the right blacksmith - or perhaps an Elven enchanter. As a Moon-Touched Sword, the unsheathed blade will shed moonlight in dark dungeons, illuminating the space with light (15ft bright, 15ft dim).

Albeit without any significant damage boosts, a Moon-Touched Sword is a handy replacement for a torch and is a gateway to stronger Magic Weapons. While a Monk with high-enough Dexterity can do wonders with a Moon-Touched Sword at early levels, this is best reserved until they get a more decent melee weapon with range.

How To Get Moon-Touched Sword

As a weapon that glows with the brightness of the moonlight, it’s normal to associate the Moon-Touched Sword with elves. Since it's a Common weapon, it could be a simple weapon wielded by an elven ranger regiment. It may also be an enchantment to the Monk’s sword that was granted by a nature-leaning spellcaster such as a Druid.

8 Weapon +1, +2, +3

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (8)
  • Weapon (Any)
  • Uncommon (+1), Rare (+2), Very Rare (+3)

One could argue that Monks have their entire body as weapons at their disposal. Given the chance, a Weapon +1 can do wonders for a Monk following an early theme. With a Weapon +1, Monks get +1 Bonus to Attack Rolls and Damage Rolls when attacking with this magic weapon. This bonus increases depending on the Weapon variant.

Monks who can get a Weapon +1 or its higher types should jump at the chance. With the +1 to +3 boost, an ordinary Spear or Quarterstaff can significantly increase their base damage output. While the bonuses won't apply to a Monk's Bonus Action abilities, the bonus to core attacks are plenty of help in early-level dungeons. Given their Uncommon nature, a skilled-enough blacksmith can improve any weapon into its +1 variant.

How To Get Weapon +1, +2, +3

One can argue that the pluses attached to the Weapon +1, +2, and +3 can indicate the level of craftsmanship. Depending on the player table’s enchantment rules, a character can look for any blacksmith to improve the weapon they already have or have them craft a stronger weapon of their choice. A more thematic choice regarding a plus-Weapon would be looking for a famous blacksmith in the campaign’s world and having an armament forged specifically for the player’s character.

7 Ring Of Spell Storing

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (9)
  • Ring
  • Rare

Depending on the player, a Ring of Spell Storing can become just as much an offensive asset as it could be a supportive item. One Ring of Spell Storing can hold up to 5 Levels of Spells. To store Spells, a Spellcaster simply needs to touch the Ring as they cast the Spell they want to deposit. When a user expends a Spell stored in the Ring, they use all the original properties (Slot Level, Save DC, Attack Bonus, Spellcasting Ability) from the original Spellcaster.


Most Monks would want to use the Ring to store Shield and Absorb Elements to boost their survivability. Offensive Monks can also store some of their favorite Spells (and even their comrades' Spells) in the Ring as emergency attacks.

How To Get Ring Of Spell Storing

Since the Ring of Spell Storing is more of a magic device than an actual weapon, Monks may acquire them from a spellcaster’s hoard of trinkets and magical artifacts. The ruined tower of a powerful Wizard could have this Ring as one of their many treasures, and this remains a popular route to acquire Magic Items. However, players could also try to have the team’s spellcaster or the local Wizard of the city center forge or create the Ring for them.

6 Staff Of Adornment, Birdcalls, Flowers

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (10)
  • Weapon (Staff)
  • Common

Regardless of the type (Adornment, Birdcalls, Flowers), this Staff works exactly like a usual Quarterstaff. It deals 1d6 Bludgeoning damage that becomes 1d8 when wielded two-handed via Versatile. Many of its extra magical effects work more like fluff, which can improve the theme of the Monk. And as a Magic Weapon, it does work past resistance to non-magical attacks.

Monks who want a weapon with better extra effects could work with other longswords. However, wielding this Staff two-handed does give much-needed 1d8 base damage.

How To Get Staff Of Adornment, Birdcalls, Flowers

Players and DMs can have the resident Monk acquire any of these staves in similar ways. As staves associated with nature, a Monk could be granted any of these staves as a prize for solving a problem in the Feywild or for helping the local Druids resolve a conflict with the city intruding in their lands.

5 Eldritch Claw Tattoo

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (11)
  • Wondrous Item (Tattoo)
  • Uncommon
  • Requires Attunement

What better weapon for a Monk than their entire body? With the Eldritch Claw Tattoo, a Monk can vastly improve their fighting potential. A Monk can obtain this in a secluded monastery or among the ranks of foreign magical travelers. While attuned with the Tattoo, the Monk gains a +1 Bonus to Attack Rolls and Damage Rolls. All unarmed strikes while attuned are considered magical when overcoming non-magical resistance.

The Eldritch Claw Tattoo also comes with Eldritch Maul, a new option for a Bonus Action. The Monk attuned to the Tattoo can reach enemies up to 15 feet away with both weapons and unarmed strikes. The hits done with Eldritch Maul get a 1d6 Force Damage boost.

How To Get Eldritch Claw Tattoo

Magical tattoos in D&D add an element of novelty to cosmetics. A hand-to-hand combatant like the Monk could be more visually appealing with a sleek tat like the Eldritch Claw Tattoo. Given its darker themes, the Eldritch Claw Tattoo may be granted to the Monk as a curse after dealing with an entity from the beyond. Likewise, it could also be a “gift” from a suspicious Warlock after the party’s Monk has expressed the ambition to gain more power.

4 Javelin Of Lightning

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  • Weapon (Javelin)
  • Uncommon

The Javelin of Lightning has all the base qualities of a regular Javelin. It deals 1d6 Piercing damage, with a Thrown property. Users can hurl the Javelin a distance of 30ft to 120ft. In the case of the Javelin of Lightning, the magic happens whenever the Monk throws it.

After speaking its Command Word, a thrown Javelin of Lightning becomes a literal 5-foot bolt of lightning. This bolt can hit a target up to 120 feet in a straight line, with all creatures in the line having to make a Dexterity Save to take half of 4d6 Lightning damage. If the Javelin hits its target, it takes the damage of the regular Javelin and the 4d6 Lightning damage. Given the theme of the Javelin, a Monk can acquire this from a Storm God or a place magically attuned with lightning.

How To Get Javelin Of Lightning

A Monk may be able to acquire this through an ordeal involving thunder and the storms. The lightning-focused nature of the armament can mean an attachment to a lightning-based entity like a Storm Giant or even a God of Lightning. The athletic imagery associated with a javelin could link the acquisition of the Javelin of Lightning to some sort of martial display, such as a tournament.

3 Staff Of Striking

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (13)
  • Adventuring Gear (Staff)
  • Very Rare
  • Requires Attunement

For all intents and purposes, the Staff of Striking functions as a regular Quarterstaff. Unlike its ordinary counterpart, the Staff of Striking has a +3 Bonus to Attack and Damage Rolls as well as 10 Charges for its effects. When attacking with the Staff, a Monk can expend up to three Charges to give extra 1d6 Force damage to strikes per Charge spent. Charges get replenished at 1d6 + 4 Charges at dawn, with the risk of being turned into a regular Quarterstaff when all Charges are spent.

As a Very Rare Adventuring Gear, a Monk can obtain the Staff of Striking in the equivalent of an Adventurer's Guild in the campaign. They may also acquire the Staff of Striking in an ancient temple, or even in a monastery.

How To Get Staff Of Striking

A popular weapon associated with Monks in fiction, the Staff of Striking is a thematic weapon that could be acquired from a monastery. One could imagine that the local grandmaster or an expert in the player Monk’s Monastic Tradition may wield the Staff as a weapon of choice. The player can only be considered a master in their style by defeating this wielder and gaining possession of the weapon.

2 Staff Of Thunder And Lightning

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (14)
  • Adventuring Gear (Staff)
  • Very Rare (Requires Attunement)

As with the Staff of Striking, the Staff of Thunder and Lightning functions as a Quarterstaff. It gives +2 Bonus to Attack Rolls and Damage Rolls, with five properties that are usable once per dawn. Due to its versatile nature and attunement to lightning, a Monk can acquire the Staff from a temple worshipping a Storm God. They may also have a powerful Wizard imbue and enchant a Quarterstaff to have its effects.

When used with its properties, this Staff can unleash extra 2d6 Lightning damage (Lightning), the potential to Stun an enemy (Thunder), unleash a line of lightning (Lightning Strike), release a Deafening thunder boom (Thunderclap), or a fusion of Thunderclap and Lightning Strike (Thunder and Lightning).

How To Get Staff Of Thunder And Lightning

It makes sense for the Staff of Thunder and Lightning to be locked behind a quest involving the storm. A Monk may be able to acquire this weapon after the party stops a Storm Elemental from ravaging the countryside with persistent thunderstorms, or stops an evil Wizard from using this very staff to wreak havoc in the town. Players could also opt for a more divine encounter, having this staff granted to the Monk player after swearing allegiance to a Storm God like Kord.

1 Blood Fury Tattoo

Dungeons & Dragons: The Best Weapons For Monks & Where They're Often Found (15)
  • Wondrous Item (Tattoo)
  • Legendary (Requires Attunement)

Staying true to the adage that the Monk's best weapon is their own body, the Blood Fury Tattoo is a fitting Wondrous Item. Due to its attunement to bloodthirst, a Monk may gain this through a brutal tournament, or perhaps while meeting with infamous magical mercenaries.

When attuned, the Blood Fury Tattoo gives the Monk access to Bloodthirsty Strikes. They gain 10 Charges of these attacks, all of which are replenished at dawn. Whenever the Monk attacks while attuned to the Tattoo, they can expend a charge to deal an additional 4d6 Necrotic damage to the opponent, and they gain the same damage dealt as HP. When a creature attacks the Monk, they can use a Charge and their Reaction to strike at an Advantage.

How To Get Blood Fury Tattoo

While the Blood Fury Tattoo has its own backstory in the rulebooks, DMs can repurpose it as a symbol etched into the Monk as a sign of an achievement or a curse. For instance, a Monk who showed viciousness in battle could be granted the Blood Fury Tattoo as a sign of their bravery. However, a more shocking twist would be a Monk being indoctrinated into a secret cadre of their Monastery dedicated to doing questionable things for the safety of the nation.


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