Junction This article is a personal guide. Information expressed in this guide is one player's opinion and may be more opinion than fact. Strategies and information contained herein may not work for everyone.

No non-minor changes should be made without consulting the author. Changes or questions should be discussed on the talk page.



This guide was made for level 75 cap - and is not upgraded for level 80 yet. --Gisselle 12:37, July 27, 2010 (UTC)

Welcome to my guide. I welcome your input; just put it in the discussion part and I will try to work it in. I will mainly talk about the monk job as it progresses through the levels and what a lvl75 monk can do. I have only little experience with endgame as monk so far, so I will leave this to others for now.

I am a strong believer that everyone should do their best at a given job. There are no such things as "just my subjob" or stuff like that. If you do not try your best, you're making life harder for all in your party or those participating in the same event.

Monks are not lazy. Monks farm. Monks work hard for their gear and their power to deal damage. Do not try to cheap out of it; get the good stuff. It is worth every fist you will swing in party after that.

Special thanks go to User: Chrisjander and User: Nynaeve for keeping an eye out on this guide to keep it clean, and helping me with a lot of advice. --Gisselle 17:42, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

The Subjob issue

Well, the question of the subjob is always heatedly discussed. When you are looking at monks in levels 70+, ask around a bit and try some stuff out, it all breaks down to some easy choices.

Your main subjob, you can backup provoke, have added attack, Double Attack, Berserk, and so on. It is simply the most powerful subjob for a monk. That can also be a problem in terms of hate control, since your damage output over time is so high, that a tank might have some difficulties keeping the hate off you. If you are to turn the mob for SATA, this is always your choice.
This subjob should be avoided at all costs prior to level 60. That said, you can be the one responsible for hate control in the party after level 60. SATA with Howling Fist or later with Dragon Kick works nicely, but your overall damage output is slightly reduced. Do not let yourself be fooled by the high damage numbers of your weaponskill together with Sneak Attack and Trick Attack (SATA) - your single punches do less, and that is noticeable. Also, you do not double attack any more. Still, if hate control is needed, this is a good choice.
At level 74 this subjob is a good option. You can use Utsusemi: Ni now, and so can keep shadows up most of the time. This subjob is very often used for TP-burn parties. Using Ninja as subjob is used to minimize the damage you receive. Without Utsusemi: Ni this purpose is pretty hard to achieve, so i personally would avoid it prior to lvl 74, but sometimes you just need these 3 shadows from Utsusemi: Ichi
It is a good subjob for some HNM situations due to Meditate, where you can not melee to gain TP. Otherwise this is pretty useless for a monk.
White Mage
Required subjob for HNM situations and also good for soloing.
Red Mage
Might be useful for solo, but... you have no -na spells, which makes it lacking in comparison to white mage.
You can skillchain with the avatar, but nothing efficient. The buffs from Avatars are definitely not worth it. Not even worth leveling for show in terms of a subjob for monk.
Dark Knight
You will find people recommending this for fast kills on special enemies like Dynamis lord by using Hundred Fists with Souleater. This will kill you fast, if you do not have at least one (or better, more) healers watching over you. You get the damage from souleater and the damage from the hate you draw. This means you are going down really fast. Since this is the only thinkable usage for a /DRK, it sums up to being not even remotely useful to a monk.
Since the Paladin got Auto Refresh, this can be a good subjob for solo / farming situations. You gain healing capabilities, as well as some buffs, and your mp refills by itself. It lacks Treasure Hunter from /thf, so I am not sure if the reduced downtime is worth it. Tested a test showed the lack of the thief sub treasure hunter to slow things down considerably, and the reduction of downtime to be not enough since the mp regenerated are not enough. If you want to reduce downtime with a 75 mnk, sub ninja and be good with your shadows, it showed to be more effective in most cases. Otherwise take /thf for treasure hunter, it helps a lot.
There is some argument about the usefulness of this subjob at early levels. It adds accuracy, and at level 10 DRG Attack Bonus, and the jumps. It lacks the advantages of the ability to provoke, so you can not backup tank any more. At monk levels 20-29 it is by now widely accepted, that DRG sub gives the monk the most in terms of damage output - still the backup tank role of the monk at these levels leads me to say not to use it. With WAR sub you can easily do too much damage for the tank to hold hate, more damage is not really what you need. Especially with a WAR or NIN tank, the well timed Provoke keeps the party going smoother in most cases. This holds even more true in later parties 30-69. You party with a THF more often than not, and now you are doing the SATA setup first provoke. The damage output from DRG sub is said to be higher, i personally have yet to see data on this. After 70 you are usually in the situation, that you do not need more damage, but you need to control the damage taken by you, because in many of the fast tp-burn parties you draw hate easily. If you do not sub WAR in these, you sub NIN. Your damage output with DRG sub might (!) be equal or higher to the WAR sub, but that is not what is asked for at that point. Summary You might want to give it a shot, and depending on gear for the different subs you might see some good results. It still will not be needed or be good in most situations. Note You can get 5% Haste from the Wyvern Earring with DRG sub

Black Mage
Level it to 17, so that you can go to a moogle, change subjob (at level 34+ and if you can get 100 mp by just subbing it) or just your job (prior lvl 34), and warp yourself to your homepoint in another city. Saves you a lot of time, and that's about all of the usefulness of BLM sub for a monk.
Are you seeking a specific NPC or farming a specific mob? Widescan is very useful for that. Unlock it to be able to sub RNG for situations like these. It is debatable if it is the best sub for lvls 20-29, as opposed to Dragoon, in terms of damage output due to the accuracy bonus it gives. As with DRG, it is neither needed nor asked for, and the usage of /RNG is situational to the party you are in, see /DRG for a more in depth coverage of the advantages of /WAR in these levels.
You can sing only one song, and that without instrument, so only for short duration. No, that does not help you.
There is nothing here, move on
You can now charm mobs, but to what use? I would not know. Your gear is not exactly CHR boosting either, so you would have to go quite a long way to make that somewhat useful.
Plain and simple: no.
Blue Mage
I am not sure on this, it probably has some uses in PvP, but it is not a combination for a party as far as i know.
Can be a good sub for soloing, since you gain Aspir, Regen II, cures and can regain mp via Sublimation. That also means that this sub starts working on level 70, since Sublimation is level 35 Scholar.
Dancer is an awesome sub for soloing and farming, your survivability goes up very much due to the ability to heal yourself. It is not really an option for parties, since the tp should be used to deal damage, not to heal yourself.

Job Traits

Section under construction

Job Traits are passive, meaning that they are always active. You usually do not see the effect of these in any of the in game menus, but they have effect, sometimes even very noticeable

Martial Arts

The bread and butter of a monk is his constant flow of hand-to-hand attacks. The base delay of these is 480, and the given weapon delay is added to that. The martial arts trait reduces the base delay, so making the hand-to-hand attacks in effect faster. The given numbers here are the new base delays for hand-to-hand:

  • lvl 01 - MA I = 400
  • lvl 16 - MA II = 380
  • lvl 31 - MA III = 360
  • lvl 46 - MA IV = 340
  • lvl 61 - MA V = 320
  • lvl 75 - MA VI = 300

Some notes on base delay and weapon speed - you see that your base delay even in its fastest version at 75 is still about 3 times as much as slowest hand-to-hand weapon. This is the easiest way to see, that you should go for damage when choosing the weapon, not for speed. Secondly, as a sidenote, Hundred Fists reduces base delay to zero (or greatly reduces it). So you will not attack faster when using hundred fists if you are 75 than when you did at lvl 1.

Job Abilities

Section under construction


Section under construction

How to play

The monk's role in a party is to deal damage. Since the armor available to a monk is not even decent, the monk has to watch out not to gain too much hate (called "walking the line of hate"). Do not be mislead by the enormous amount of hitpoints a monk has; if a monk has hate, he takes a lot of damage very fast, and is almost impossible to keep cured. One dead monk is, more often than not, the result. If needed, turn away from the monster, so you don't anger it more.

A monk is usually not a puller for the party, since he has virtually no ranged attacks. With Chi-Blast and pebbles a monk can pull if absolutely necessary, but it should preferably be left to another job.

Often the monk will be asked to be the so called "first provoke", which means when the monster comes into the camp, the monk provokes first. The tank and the thief will line up behind the monster, and the thief applies a combination of sneak attack and trick attack, transferring the hate of this critical attack to the tank. This should turn the monster towards the tank, but this is also the point in time where the tank uses provoke, to ensure the monster's hate is on him. The monk should not be moving around during this time, he should just keep attacking. If you move around, the setup will not work, and then you are in for some trouble.

So much for the general stuff, now something more specific:

Your role in the Game by level

When passing through the levels, your role and your options change. Your role will always be in the front line of the fights, but style will differ, and so will your strengths and your weaknesses.


The time to play solo. Your subjob, if you already have the option, can be Warrior or Dragoon or Thief, it does not really matter. Just go out there, and tear stuff up. Eating some meat food helps a lot to speed things up, a cheap and good option is Meat Jerky. If you are rich, take some regen drinks with you; this lessens downtime even more. The starting zones and the areas around the 3 crags, Holla - Dem - Mea, will be your home.


It is time to move on to your first party. The first levels of frontline fighters all have similar gear, it starts to change with the attribute rings on lvl 14. Still the armor a monk has these levels is pretty weak, unless you take gear for defense and tanking with you. A monk can tank in Valkurm Dunes, which is the traditional first testing ground for exp in a party. Set your homepoint in Selbina or at the Outpost; the spell Raise is lvl 25, so you have to be lucky to get one in the dunes. Just homepoint and get back to fighting as fast as possible. You subjob should be Warrior in these levels, because you will be backup tanking a lot; which means that if the tank loses HP too fast, you have to Provoke the monster off of him. If the tank dies, more often than not, all die. Let him do his job, but do not let him die. The role of puller is not yours, if someone asks.


Usually Parties head out to Qufim Island for exp now - and after the first worms they move to crabs and more crabs, and maybe some pugs. Crabs have high defense, not the best enemy for a monk. You will notice that. Do not forget your attack food, you do not want to hit for zero. You are still the back up tank here, but normally your tank should be able to handle himself decently by now.


The Jungles in the Elshimo Lowlands and Elshimo Uplands will be your battleground, probably. Your ability to tank lessens; now you mostly only do it for emergencies. If your gear is good, this is the point where you need to have learned to walk the line of hate, meaning that you deal damage in a way that you do not draw hate off of the tank. At level 30, a thief will have Trick Attack, and it will, most likely, be your job to turn the mob away from the tank so that the hate from the SATA attack can be planted on the tank again. Stand opposite of the tank, behind the mob, to do this. The other version is that you tank the first moments of the fight, until the thief executes the SATA on the tank. Do not move around; provoke the incoming mob and stand still, so that the tank and the thief can line up.


Once you get started in these levels, nothing much changes. You are no longer a tank, you can be partner for SATA, but your ability to tank is not really worth mentioning. You are dealing damage, and doing your skillchains. Do not underestimate weaponskills like Backhand Blow. If you are asked to use them for a skillchain just go for it. The damage is okay, and your main damage is dealt over time by each single punch. Eat meat if you have no accuracy problems, but change to sushi if the mobs evades you too much for your taste. If you have no other means of making gil (like a craft or a higher job), you will spend a lot of your time farming during these levels, especially 32-40, as there is a lot of expensive gear.


The levels where party leaders actually start to look for monks. You gain the weapon skill Howling Fist, it does decent damage and lets you open the distortion skillchain. Your ability to turn the monster reliably makes you the friend of all thieves of these levels (at least from 60 to 65). Then, your options are even bigger with Dragon Kick which lets you participate in light skillchains. Have a thief subjob ready to be able to close a light skillchain with SATA + Dragonkick. You have to walk the line of hate at these levels. If you go all out most tanks will not be able to hold hate. Your role in these levels now includes hate control if you sub THF. Otherwise, go on as usual.


The final levels. Now is the time for all that endgame content like dynamis, limbus and HNM. I would not recommend starting earlier with it, since these last steps really make a difference. On HNMs you are... well, not very useful. You will either be in a party taking care of adds, or you will be boosting a long time, be invited into the alliance, do your Chi Blast, and dropped out of alliance again. Otherwise, you still will be beating on stuff, and never before were you as good at it. In exp-parties you will have to sub NIN most of the time. I can not add much more at this point.


The gear listed in for the separate slots is party and damage dealing gear only. Soloing gear might include other setups too, but will not be listed here. I made the equipment part from my own experiences and what i am getting on input from other monks. Feel free to add stuff i missed. --Gisselle 10:26, 4 August 2006 (EDT) A comment on +VIT and +STR: A monks weaponskills are modified by these 2 stats in most cases, and they do make a difference. Sadly or luckily, our most famous WS, Asuran Fists is modified by both only by 10%. Since a missed hit on this WS hurts more than 10%, most monks do not swap out accuracy gear for stat gear for the WS. In other levels, try it out and find out what you like more, WS are modified by VIT by up to 50%. --Gisselle 17:23, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

btw: HQ = High Quality result at crafted gear.

Otherwise there is another guide to the monk gear, Monk: Guide to Weapons and Armor


First off, one general notion on hand-to-hand weapons. Basically you have the choice on a high damage, high delay weapon or a low damage, low delay weapon. Now - high delay is relative, a high delay weapon will have around 100 delay, a low delay weapon close to 0. But - the final delay of the attack is calculated by adding base delay and weapon delay. At the beginning a monk has a 400 base delay on his attacks with hand-to-hand. So in the start the difference would be 500 delay versus 400 delay - still a big difference, but not that awesome than 100 to 0 any more. In addition to that it should be noted, that a monk can easily encounter the problem of fighting high defense enemies, which leads to hits for zero damage when you use a low damage weapon. So generally low delay, low damage weapons should be avoided at all costs. They might be cheap, but even 1 gil is too expensive for them.

  • 01 Cesti get the +1 version if you can, if not no worries, you'll not use them long
  • 05 Bronze Knuckles same comment as on Cesti
  • 10 Legionnaire's Knuckles skip the lvl 9 ones, and go straight for these, keep them until 15
  • 15 Republic Knuckles these will seem quite expensive at the time you have to get them, but they are worth it. Get them, they last you a long time.
  • 30 Boreas Cesti r/e drop from Kirata - the time you will need to get these, you can get a party, level 2 levels, and use the 32 ones. Kirata is one of these usual 2 hour lottery spawns, and the cesti are NOT a 100% drop. So considering the hours you'll spend camping these and compare it to the time you will use them .... In my book that results in a definitely not worth it.
  • 32 Impact Knuckles skip all in between, your Republics are just fine. Impacts are an upgrade you should not miss though.
  • 38 Mythril Knuckles go for the +1 version if you can get hold of it
  • 39 Vampiric Claws are not for party usage, but they can be pretty useful for farming. They are the only Hand-to-hand weapon with HP drain. Not the easiest to obtain though, since they are rare/ex and drop from Tres Duendes in Phomiuna Aqueducts, which is a lvl 40 cap area. As far as i know you need more than one party to kill that NM.
  • 40 Tourney Patas Rare, good damage, +3 Vit, cheap on most servers.
  • 42 Beat Cesti AF weapon, very bad choice.
  • 48 Patas again, +1 is nicer, but still a good damage upgrade
  • 50 Cross-Counters well, well, well - the famous cross counters. Undoubtedly one of the best monk weapons in the Game, but very expensive. At the time of writing they go on Ramuh for 5 million gil, i have seen them even higher. As one of the best weapons in the game they are kind of worth it, but there are no worries if you do not get them. I would say, if you are rich get them, otherwise just leave them on the side, you are not gimped without them, especially because...
  • 50 Retaliators Rare/Ex version dropped from Western Shadow
  • 50 Tactician Magician's Hooks are a suitable upgrade on lvl 50.
  • 52 Tactician Magician's Hooks +1 and +2 versions are lvl 52, the +2 version is not cheap - but a lasting upgrade, which is worth it.
  • 54 Birdbanes make a good choice against flying enemies such as Colibri, Puks, and Imps, but stick with prior weapons for other mob families.
  • 58 Spartan Cesti very good weapon, there is a discussion if you should get these or stick to the TM-Hooks+2, so I say try it out yourself and get them if you did not get the TM-Hooks +2.
  • 60 Black Adargas +1 very good weapon, should upgrade to these if you can find them AND you don't already have TM Hooks +2.
  • 69 Avengers a rare/ex drop from the Bomb Queen - good weapon but not worth the trouble in my opinion
  • 71 Shenlong's Baghnakhs a drop from the ZNM Pandemonium Warden - they might outdo Destroyers, are the best weapon on their lvl, but if they are worth the trouble I cannot tell. 21 base dmg and +10 Acc are very nice for sure.
  • 73 Destroyers a rare/ex weapon from KSNM30 - get them, they are only surpassed by a fully upgraded relic weapon. There is no excuse for not having them

A note on Grips: Even though hand-to-hand weapons are equipped like a 2 handed weapon, they count not as 2 handed weapons and as such a grip can NOT be equipped with hand-to-hand weapons.


Ammunition - a constant pain to a monk - he can use almost none of it. All you can do is equip something which helps you on your hand-to-hand attacks. The only actual throwing weapons are the pebble and the astragalos - with pebbles stacking only to 12 and, as such, not very useful; Astragalos are almost never available since it is too expensive in the crafting process.

  • 01 Happy Egg - if you have one use it until Tiphia Sting
  • 01 Orphic Egg - if you have one and party with a bard or corsair use it until Tiphia Sting
  • 01 Pebble - pulling weapon...
  • 50 Optical Needle - not a big help, get it if you have some gil to throw out
  • 50 Astragalos - pulling weapon, almost never available
  • 54 Smart Grenade - Hidden Effect: +4 attack. A good choice to hold you over until Tiphia Sting, or if you don't have the cash to drop on it.
  • 58 Tiphia Sting - good choice, stick with it
  • 60 Bibiki Seashell - quested - good for Chakra, good for VIT dependent weaponskills - disputable if you macro it for these or rather stick with the Tiphia Sting for more accuracy
  • 70 Fenrir's Stone - Reward from defeating Fenrir valuable at nighttime only if you need to sub Ninja and tank. If you are helping on Fenrir and have nothing better to get go for it. Otherwise...
  • 70 Black Tathlum Upgrade from Tiphia Sting, drops from Guivre in the past version, not from Kuftal Tunnel. Very difficult to obtain.
  • 70 Astrolabe Drop from Marquis Sabnock (NM)in Castle Zvahl Baileys. Good if you can't afford or obtain Black Tathlum.


Well, take something with defense or whatever you like at the start. If you can get

  • 24 Emperor Hairpin / Empress Hairpin are good but not really needed
  • 30 Mercenary Captain's Headgear is a good option
  • 41 Voyager Sallet is a rare/ex drop, and not easy to come by, do not worry if you can not get it
  • 50 Crow Beret or its HQ is very useful - -7 enmity make it much easier for the tank, especially since you start dealing more damage than many tanks can handle with your new lvl 50 weapons.
  • 56 Temple Crown your AF headpiece... well, macro a gearchange for Focus, do not use it otherwise
  • 61 Carapace Helm interesting piece of gear, latent triggers when you are in yellow hitpoints. If that would work somewhat consistently, it would be great, but in my opinion not worth getting.
  • 65 Wivre Mask / Wivre Mask +1 NQ "STR +2 VIT +2 Evasion +10", HQ "STR +3 VIT +3 Evasion +11"
  • 70 Optical Hat finally something where you can say its really good. Get it, keep it. It is rare/ex and a pain to get, but you plain have to.
  • 71 Hissho Hachimaki the best piece to use for Asuran Fists until you can get Usukane set. Drops from Wulgaru a tier 2 ZNM.
  • 72 Pahluwan Qalansuwa comes from Assault, nice accuracy / attack mix
  • 73 Shura Zunari Kabuto a piece of so called "Gods gear", it is created from a Cursed Kabuto and a Dryadic Abjuration: Head, the later one is a rare/ex drop from Seiryu. Good piece of endgame gear.
  • 75 Genbu's Kabuto another piece of "Gods gear", drop from Genbu, rare/ex - Again good for Chakra, or defense; you might want to use it for weaponskills which depend on your VIT (debatable)
  • 75 Melee Crown so called AF2 or dynamis artifact armor, a good piece of gear, drops in Dynamis - Xarcabard, rare/ex
  • 75 Walahra Turban only good for the haste on it, rare/ex
  • 75 Usukane Somen Very good piece obtained from Salvage. Alone its a good piece less haste but more accuracy and STR, this piece is much better with the whole set though.


Short comment on Neck pieces, since my choices sparked some discussions. In your leveling career you probably end up eating accuracy food, sushi. If you do not connect you do no damage, so meat has fallen into disuse. Sushi's boost is very strong, so you do not need every piece of +acc gear, like the peacock charm. When you get into endgame, however, you can merit HTH, and that together with good accuracy gear gives you a good connecting rate. So then the accuracy gear comes back into the game.

  • 3 Pile Chain +3hp, +1Acc, R/E from a chest in Sarutabatura, nice if you have, do not care if you don't
  • 7 Wing Pendant +1 AGI, better than nothing
  • 21 Spike Necklace +3 STR, +3 DEX - learn to like it, you will probably be using it very long.
  • 33 Peacock Charm / Peacock Amulet 10 accuracy is the relevant stat here, but it is very expensive, and debatable if the STR on the Spike Necklace from lvl 21 is not better in times of accuracy food. Still this one is probably better. Your choice if you are rich.
  • 50 Storm Gorget +6 attack and +2 DEX, definitely an option
  • 59 Spectacles +7 acc were good once, but since you can get the Chivalrous Chain... A cheaper alternative to the PCC endgame though.
  • 60 Chivalrous Chain +3 STR, Store TP +1, Accuracy +5 - get it, you'll probably never use something else, at least i see nothing worth it. Some people say that the lvl 33 Peacock Charm is still better, but that is debatable, PCC is probably better if you have capped HTH merits.
  • 74 Ancient Torque +9 acc and +4 DEX for a total of 11 acc for MNK. And you thought people with PCC were rich!
  • 75 Faith Torque extremely hard to obtain, you need to be on CoP 8-2 or higher to get to the monster that drops it, and it is rare/ex, unbeatable in quality though.


Basically the ear slot is easy - always go with the best +attack / -evasion earring you can get at your level, and you should be pretty much set. Only in the end a monk strays from that path. If no name for an high quality (HQ) earring is given, you can safely assume it is just (name) +1.

  • 10 Hope Earring better than nothing
  • 16 Bone Earring first of the +attack - evasion earrings - get the HQ
  • 21 Beetle Earring +att/-eva - get the HQ
  • 24 Reraise Earring just that you know that this exists - use it for missions and quests
  • 45 Tortoise Earring +att/-eva - get the ... HQ, yes, right
  • 50 Storm Loop att +5 assault att +10 (rare appraisal from ??? Earring in Lebros Cavern assault Excavation Duty)
  • 55 Spike Earring +att/-eva get the ... no, not this time, this already is the name of the HQ, normal quality is the Fang Earring.
  • 55 Waetoto's Earring Tarutaru only, +2 Str +1 Vit, from ENM Automaton Assault
  • 61 Minuet Earring +1 STR, +1 DEX, get this, especially when often in party with a bard, latent kicks in when Minuet is on you
  • 63 Merman's Earring This is the HQ of the Coral Earring, +att/-eva, and give -2% magic damage taken, sweet
  • 65 Diabolos's Earring The usefulness of this item is questionable - more for +acc junkies. A reward from the Diabolos Prime avatar fight. +3 accuracy in areas without dark weather.
  • 67 Triumph Earring +2 STR and resistances , good even in endgame but...very debatable if the lvl 63 +att earrings are not better, and triumphs are very expensive.
  • 72 Hollow Earring +2 DEX +3 Acc - from Apocalypse Nigh well we did not stockpile on Dex so far, why should we now? As one of the choices for the AN earrings I would prefer Ethereal, but it is up to personal preference and other gear setup. The notorious meat eater with very good Acc setup might want the +3Acc, another setup probably does not care.
  • 72 Ethereal Earring +15hp, +5Att +5Eva, 3%dmg taken to mp - very nice, just one Att less than Merman's but no minus Eva, instead a +Eva. And the to mp conversion (which does not reduce damage taken) gives you a little boost when doing stuff like skilling guard with RDM sub. The Apocalypse Nigh choice I prefer.
  • 75 Aesir Ear Pendant Attack +7, the highest permanent attack earring. Reward from defeating The Rider Cometh (Odin prime).
  • 75 Brutal Earring store TP+1, enhances double attack - it is rare/ex and you need to be on CoP mission 8-1 or higher to get it, you can purchase it for Ancient Beastcoin, which are a Limbus drop.


  • 01 Bronze Harness your first piece for some defense...
  • 08 Kenpogi more defense, +1 even has a point of Dex
  • 10 Legionnaire's Harness for more defense and fire resistance, which is good for Valkurm Dunes Parties
  • 13 Power Gi +1 str, nice - Note i would stick with this up to 21
  • 15 Republic Harness if you upgrade from Power Gi, do it right. This is the HQ
  • 16 Bone Harness defense, careful with the HQ, it has - fire resistance
  • 21 Beetle Harness defense, a good upgrade, go for it, +1 is even better, the - ice resistance does not matter
  • 25 Federation Gi this is the HQ, your armor upgrade for the jungles.
  • 30 Mercenary Captain's Doublet some dex, some agi, some defense
  • 40 Jujitsu Gi +4 accuracy, buy it, camp it, whatever. It is expensive though, and it will hurt your finances unless you are rich. It is 500k on Ramuh at the time of writing.
  • 50 Aikido Gi nice piece of gear for capped stuff. Comes for the Brygid quests. +4 Vit, +2 Agi
  • 50 Raven Jupon good if you have hate problems, which you will have with a NIN tank and no SaTa for example
  • 57 Scorpion Harness +10 accuracy and +10 eva - you should get it, even though it hurts your gil balance.
  • 58 Temple Cyclas your AF body piece. Use it as gear change in your chakra macro, if you can really not afford a Scorpion Harness you can use this, even though i personally will call you lazy.
  • 67 Arakan Samue Agi+4, Att+5, Eva+10, Subtle Blow +3 - new ToAU gear, even monk only, ISNM drop
  • 72 Pahluwan Khazagand gear from Assault, i do not have it myself yet, so i can not really comment on it. Stats look good though.
  • 73 Shura Togi gear coming from a Dryadic Abjuration: Body and a Cursed Togi. The Abjuration drops from Kirin only. Acc+10 Att+20 are pretty awesome, so it is worth the effort.
  • 74 Melee Cyclas AF2 from Dynamis, it has its uses.
  • 75 Kirin's Osode probably the best piece of gear you can wear as monk as body piece, except for the Shura Togi and Hachiryu Haramaki. +10 all stats is hard to beat. Kirin drop again, can be bought, very expensive.
  • 75 Usukane Haramaki A very strong body piece obtained from Salvage. Useful for TPing in and also useful if you become the target's hate with evasion+12, as with all Usukane it is better with the full set.
  • Hachiryu Haramaki +20 Acc and +20 Att .... AND 5% critical hit rate... Wow. A really good piece of gear, i would say go out there and get it but... it drops of Pandemonium Warden , and as far as i know at the moment, it is a very hard fight to win.


Note: You can also use several +STR bracelets which are not listed here, benefits are good especially for weaponskills. Especially in the endgame this is a good option, otherwise stick with the level 34 item.


Basically, 2 things should / can be covered with rings: accuracy and strength. Depending on the situation a monk should adjust his gear. When you hit for like 95% of the time, you can try and go for more damage and less accuracy, equipping strength gear instead of accuracy gear. Mostly you will need accuracy though. Ah, and by the way, whats good on one finger is better on two, just to mention it. Personal Note I personally use Rajas and a Sniper, a combination working well for me. I still have some STR rings, but they are pretty useless imho. Try it out - I rather hit for a point less but more often ;-)

  • 01 use the ring of your home town.
  • 14 Courage Ring +2 strength, and fire resistance - Do not be cheap; use the +1 version, you'll fight lots of crabs, and they have high defense. You do not want to hit for zero damage.
  • 30 Rajas Ring The so called "CoP-Ring" - you can pick this ring as one of 3 choices after finishing the CoP storyline - so forget the notion that you can have that ring on lvl 30 if monk is your first job.
  • 30 Divisor Ring listed only for completeness. latent effect: +6 accuracy +3 attack. This ring is obtained as a ??? ring drop from level 7 Leujoam Sanctum Assault, mission Azure Experiments. Latent is activated by having main job level divisible by 5 (30,35,40,45,50,55,60,65,70,75,80,85,90,95). As you can easily see, the usefulness of this ring is very questionable during your leveling (only every 5th level useful), but is one of the best rings available for capped areas and Level Sync parties as well.
  • 34 Venerer Ring +3 accuracy
  • 36 Jaeger Ring rare/ex, +4 accuracy
  • 36 Puissance Ring your +3 strength ring, which you really should get
  • 40 Sniper's Ring +5 accuracy - Do not ask "Do i really need them?" - just get them. For the rich ones reading this: there is a +1 version of this. - Alternatively get some
  • 40 Woodsman Ring which does not make a difference in terms of price in gil
  • 50 Ulthalam's Ring Accuracy +4 Attack +4, final ToAU reward choice, nice
  • 54 Victory Ring +4 STR ring
  • 57 Toreador's Ring ENM reward, check the ENM Reward Exchange for details
  • 72 Triumph Ring +5 STR ring
  • 74 Flame Ring also gives +5 STR, and +2 INT, but -2 MND and no fire resistance. Still a good option if switching the ring for chi blast.
  • 75 Strigoi Ring +6 STR ring.
  • 75 Mars's Ring Accuracy +8 Attack +8, gained after some quests and trading in a Sin of Insolence, which is a drop from Absolute Virtue in sea where you can only go with CoP almost finished. Extreme hard HNM.


It takes a long time until anything really worth it comes for the back slot for monk. You'll see why when you look at the gear.

  • 4 Rabbit Mantle some defense, well ...
  • 12 Traveler's Mantle +3 evasion - useful, take it
  • 18 Dhalmel Mantle again some defense....
  • 24 Nomad's Mantle 1 AGI and 3 eva, 2 AGI on the HQ, at least somewhat useful
  • 36 Ram Mantle defense... stick to the lvl 24 piece
  • 37 Cavalier's Mantle gives 2 VIT, some defense...but massive -Evasion. Good for Chakra; don't wear it otherwise.
  • 47 Jaguar Mantle finally something useful, it gives +3 attack, at least a start. Get it.
  • 51 Accura Cape 3 accuracy (4 for HQ) will do you more than 3 attack. Use this.
  • 60 Behemoth Mantle It is a good piece of equip, but since the synthesis to make it requires behemoth leather, it's very expensive.
  • 61 Amemet Mantle THE damage dealer back piece, finally. get it, and get the HQ if you can in any way afford it, it will not get much better than this for a while.
  • 71 Forager's Mantle slightly better than the Amemet Mantle +1, one more STR. Expensive usually, so.... your choice.
  • 74 Cuchulain's Mantle Extremely expensive but contains more accuracy than anything.


  • 1 White Belt +1 STR - in my opinion stick to it to lvl 18
  • 1 Blood Stone +5 hp
  • 1 Pellet Belt dispenses pellets, for pulling, might be an option, personally i would not recommend it. I had one, but I tossed it after not using it for ages.
  • 15 Warrior's Belt some VIT, some HP
  • 18 Purple Belt +3 STR and 4% haste, being monk has advantages. It can be gained from the quest Silence of the Rams but not at lvl 18. buy it (but do the quest later). The quest involves a drop from the NM ram in Konschtat Highlands and of the NM ram in La Theine Plateau
  • 40 Brown Belt reward form the follow up quest of the purple belt, and even better than the purple belt. buy it. (but do the quest later). The quest involves a drop from Deadly Dodo, Morbolger and Nue.
  • 48 Life Belt +10 acc; Random treasure from chests in Fei'Yin, can be bought. Good choice if you have accuracy problems.
  • 54 Virtuoso Belt +12 accuracy, 4 attack. Best accuracy belt in the game.
  • 70 Black Belt reward from the follow up quest of brown belt. A monks dream. You can not buy it. Its very hard to get, since you need drops from Fafnir, Adamantoise and Behemoth. Dream of it and get it some day.
  • 71 Warwolf Belt Cheap on the AH; great little piece to add to Chakra output.


Legs - yes a monk shows his or her legs most of the career

  • 1 Bronze Subligar defense
  • 8 Sitabaki defense
  • 11 Brass Subligar defense, and better get used to that subligar look
  • 16 Bone Subligar defense, and more subligar look... (if you are elvaan you start to regret playing monk about now ;-) )
  • 18 Cotton Sitabaki defense, and no subligars - but do not rejoice to much ...
  • 25 Republic Subligar +5 attack, +1 VIT - there is nothing better than these for a long long time - i hope you are already used to that subligar look, because...
  • 53 Master's Sitabaki are the first other option, and only an option in the HQ version
  • 60 Temple Hose is your artifact armor; good for defensive purposes like when suddenly tanking or when being solo.
  • 60 Strike Subligar +3 on kick attacks - One of the best if you have kick boots, but prohibitively expensive. Don't sweat it if you can't/don't want to buy em. Drops from ISNM Tough Nut to Crack.
  • 68 Cobra Subligar +5 Accuracy and -4 enmity. Excellent choice for MNK, obtained on the wings rank from the Allied notes NPC in the past for 50k (75k) AN in past Windurst. Still leaves you at wearing subligar though...
  • 72 Melee Hose your dynamis artifact armor for the legs, and rejoice, this is the point where you are finally no longer needed to wear subligar - if you can get this piece, which is not that easy...
  • 72 Pahluwan Seraweels rare/ex from Assault; decent but there are better, still better than nothing and better than the lower level stuff.
  • 73 Shura Haidate is "Gods Gear" which comes from a Cursed Haidate and a Dryadic Abjuration: Legs, later one drops from Byakko
  • 75 Bahamut's Hose umm... yes, well ... rare/ex - from Bahamut fight AFTER you finished the Chains of Promathia missions...about in the range of the Melee Hose.
  • 75 Byakko's Haidate +15 DEX and +5% Haste is great, as the name says a rare/ex drop from Byakko. If your LS likes to give you some, you are lucky, since for example NINs have usually first bid on it. Very good choice if you can get it.
  • 75 Barbarossa's Zerehs uncommon rare/ex drop from Targeting the Captain quest, has STR+4, VIT+4, Haste+3%. The quest can only be done if you are past Mission 18 of the Aht Urhgan Missions and some additional quests.
  • 75 Usukane Hizayoroi A very strong piece both for TPing in and for WSing in. Obtained in Salvage. Good on its own but best with the set.

So you see, since the 70+ leg gear pieces are not exactly trivial to get, you are stuck with subligar for a real long time. Show your legs, monk, and i hope for you that you did not pick Elvaan as race. ;-)


There are heated discussions about the feet slot for monk. Basically there are 2 builds, one for haste, and one for kick attacks. Some people like the haste more, some the kick attacks. The build i will do here is the kick attacks build - if you want a haste build go for whatever you can use and has the most haste. Or if you know how that build goes add it here. Whatever, here we go.

  • 1 Bronze Leggings some defense
  • 8 Kyahan a bit more defense
  • 11 Brass Leggings guess.... - right, some defense again
  • 13 Light Soleas nice, +3 eva and some defense
  • 20 Royal Footman's Clogs +1 Agi
  • 21 Beetle Leggings yay, beetle gear - HQ has +1 eva, so try to get that
  • 25 Federation Kyahan now here we go, our first good feet gear. Get it, do not waste your and your parties time with anything less
  • 51 Kung Fu Shoes you'll think: "Why these, they do not have any bonus?" but here it goes: They have a hidden stat "Enhances Kick Attack damage by 25" (equivalent to weapon with DMG +25), they enhance your kick attacks, the passive ability you got at lvl 50. More / harder kicks - sounds good.
  • 52 Temple Gaiters AF feet, macro them for Dodge but leave them aside otherwise
  • 66 Wulong Shoes / Wulong Shoes +1 the upgraded version of the Kung Fu Shoes. NQ: Enhances Kick Attack damage by 27 (equivalent to weapon with DMG +27), HQ: Enhances Kick Attack damage by 30 (equivalent to weapon with DMG +30) Note:Wulong Shoes +1's Kick Attack damage bonus is the same as Dune Boots. - nice but not a must
  • 70 Dune Boots rare/ex, Enhances Kick Attack damage by 30 (equivalent to weapon with DMG +30) Note: Wulong Shoes +1's Kick Attack damage bonus is the same as Dune Boots. The NM dropping it is a cactuar, spamming 1000 Needles, so you'll need some help, full party 75s or more if levels are lower. Once you got them they are all you'll ever need.
  • 71 Melee Gaiters AF2 from dynamis - oh well... use it for solo? put it on your mannequin? Look sexy walking around town? :-P
  • 72 Rasetsu Sune-Ate well, they are ok - if you do not go for the kick attack stuff endgame, these are a good choice - and if kick attack boots are the best is debatable endgame...
  • 72 Pahluwan Crackows Assault gear; great for macroing into weaponskills.
  • 72 Fuma Sune-Ate Haste gear - very questionable, but since the feet slot is not that great in choices for us, you might want to go for it.
  • 73 Shura Sune-Ate the Dryadic Abjuration: Feet gear. Not worth the effort.
  • 75 Denali Gamashes drop from Nyzul Isle Investigation floor 20.
  • 75 Usukane Sune-Ate The best feet for MNK that come from Salvage. Even with the enmity+5 you can't ignore attack and accuracy+7 with Store TP+7 even including the added Haste+2%. As with all Usukane it is best with the entire set for TPing in.

Chi Blast Gear

The real power of Chi Blast unfolds in endgame situations, where you boost to full power and blast for more than 1000 points of damage. Therefore i will only list endgame gear for this. If you want to go to full power with this job ability before that, just go for whatever +mnd you can get. Use your items which strengthen your boost, then switch to mind gear and use Chi Blast. You can safely boost continuously for 10 times without the effect wearing.

So, all in all, you can get something like +52 realistically, and more if you put real effort in it, ideally +83.


Merit points can be accumulated once you hit level 75 with a job, for more information on merits check the Merit page

HP/MP and Attributes

In the first of these 2 sections, you have the choice of getting more hp or more mp, in steps of 10 and up to 8 merits in the category all together. Well, obviously we monks do not need mp. Do we need even more hit points? Hmm, I'd say more is always better in this case, but really need would be said to much. It is for sure a low priority category, and if you plan on using a mage job as subjob a lot, or even level another job which needs mp, then you'll probably go for the mp-merits. Strictly monk speaking go for the hp.

In the attribute category you can distribute a maximum of +5 on your attributes. Strictly monk speaking, go for the strength for better punches. But if you ever tried with and without a +5 STR ring, you'll probably agree this to be a low priority category too.

Combat / Magic / Others

You can put up to 20 picks into combat skills. Obviously Hand-to-Hand should receive the maximum of 8 picks, leaving you with 12 free ones. 4 for each guarding and evasion, leaves you with 4 more free ones which you can use for... whatever. Nothing more monk specific left.

Magic skills are not really important for a monk, you can only improve your casts for subjob stuff, like ninjutsu for example. But nothing really needed here.

On the other category you should put 4 into critical hit rate. The other 4 are optional, reducing enemy critical hit rate being probably the best idea. Spell interruption rate down is also an option for reducing interrupts at Utsusemi recast.

Job Specific Merits

Group 1
Cost per upgrade: [1>2>3>4>5]
Max combo: 10
Max per item: 5

Although Focus, Dodge and Chakra are nice and its nicer to have them back faster, these merits are not really worth the effort. Counter and Kick attacks are a lot more attractive, so putting 5 points in both of these is probably your best bet.

  • Focus Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
  • Dodge Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
  • Chakra Recast (-10 seconds per upgrade)
  • Counter Rate (+1% per upgrade)
  • Kick Attack Rate (+1% per upgrade)

Group 2
Cost per upgrade: [3>4>5]
Max combo: 6
Max per item: 3

So, 6 upgrades in this group with 3 max at one. Having the ability to use Formless Strikes is a good idea, but upgrading it is not worth it. So 1 point in there. Invigorate is a Regen effect on your Chakra of 10hp/tick. Means 80/120/180 additional HP gained by Chakra, which sums up fast, so that seems to be a good idea, but only put 2 in here. Mantra is pretty useless imho, so tp prohibition to mobs is a good plan, especially on endgame mobs like HNMs, put the remaining 3 into Penance.


During the solo levels and Qufim your hit rate is usually decent, but, whats more important, you need the boost to your attack. Targets are crabs more often than not, so you want something to get past their high defense. Do not let yourself be fooled by what /check gives you, crabs do defense up moves a lot, and they reduce your strength.

From 25 on it starts to depend on your target mob. Evasive mobs need accuracy food, high defense ones attack food. Your choices sum up to the following, alternatives are possible depending on availability on your server.


  • Meat Mithkabob yes, this is still good up to at least 50, if not higher
  • Coeurl Sub is the best stacking attack food you can use at 75, a lot more expensive than Mithkabobs though

Accuracy: Well, there is actually only one real choice for a monk all the way

  • Sole Sushi boost all you need.
  • Bream Sushi Much cheaper than Sole with one more % of accuracy. The only downside is the lack of the +5 STR Sole offers.
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