Flurry of Blows 5e

Published on March 9, 2023, Last modified on December 27th, 2023

What kind of martial artist would you be if you can’t punch four times in six seconds? Enter, Flurry of Blows!

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A Monk’s Guide to Flurry of Blows in 5e

If you’re a fan of combining your favorite martial arts flicks with Dungeons & Dragons, you’ve likely encountered the monk class. One of the monk’s signature moves is their ki-powered Flurry of Blows ability, a devastating flurry of quick strikes that can go a long way to improve their damage output.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the monk’s Flurry of Blows in 5e and how to use it effectively.

Hows Does Flurry of Blows Work?

Flurry of Blows

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

Basic Rules

In D&D 5e, Flurry of Blows is an ability that monks gain at 2nd level as part of their Ki ability. In exchange for 1 ki point, they can make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action after taking the Attack action on their turn. This means that a monk can potentially land up to four attacks in a single turn, once they gain their Extra Attack at 5th level.

To use Flurry of Blows, it requires a bonus action and 1 ki point. This means that if your monk wants to use Flurry of Blows, they won’t be able to use any other bonus action abilities that turn, such as Patient Defense or Step of the Wind.

Flurry of Blows, Extra Attack, and Martial Arts

It can be confusing to understand just how Flurry of Blows works with your other monk abilities. To help clear things up, here’s an easy to read breakdown:

Below 5th Level

Step 1: Attack Action. Make your attack with either a monk weapon or an unarmed strike.

Step 2: Decide if you want to use Marital Arts OR Flurry of Blows. Martial Arts gives you one unarmed strike as a bonus action for free. Flurry of Blows costs 1 ki point but gives your two unarmed strikes.

Step 3: Roll your bonus action attack(s): If you are just using Marital Arts, roll your unarmed attack and damage if it hits. If you’re using Flurry of Blows, make two separate unarmed attack rolls and two separate damage rolls.

5th Level and Above

Step 1: Attack Action. You’ve now gained the Extra Attack feature, so attack twice with either a monk weapon or an unarmed strike.

Step 2 & 3: Same as above.

Step 4: Optionally, you can use Stunning Strike whenever you hit a creature. Seeing as the monk’s unarmed strikes are considered “melee weapon attacks,” you can even use this after you hit with Martial Arts or Flurry of Blows.

D&D 5e Monk Flurry of Blows Tips

If you’re playing a Monk in D&D 5e and want to make the most of Flurry of Blows, here are a few tips:

  1. Use Flurry of Blows when you have advantage: Since Flurry of Blows allows you to make two additional unarmed strikes, you’ll want to make sure those strikes hit. If you have advantage on your Attack action, your chances of hitting are greatly increased.
  2. Combine Flurry of Blows with Stunning Strike: If you’re looking to really incapacitate an enemy, consider combining Flurry of Blows with Stunning Strike. If you successfully hit an enemy with your Flurry of Blows, you can spend a ki point to attempt to stun them. If you missed with your Attack action, Flurry of Blows can be an excellent way to ensure you’re able to hit and therefore utilize Stunning Strike.

Is Flurry of Blows Worth It?

Seeing as monks already get access to one free bonus action attack every round with Marital Arts, is spending the monk’s most valuable resource—ki points—on one additional unarmed strike worth it? The answer to this is: it depends.

Here are some things you should consider before spending a ki point to use Flurry of Blows:

  • Are you in the early game? In the early tiers of D&D, enemies have less hit points. Using a ki point to finish off an enemy so it can’t attack you during the round is usually worth it.
  • Do you have access to Stunning Strike? Stunning Strike is one of the monk’s most powerful abilities. If you’re running low on ki, it’s better to save your resources for Stunning Strike.
  • Do you have advantage? If you have advantage on your attacks (such as attacking an enemy that is prone), you’re more likely to hit and more likely to crit, making Flurry of Blows more worth it.
  • Is your DEX modifier maxed? The higher your DEX is, the more damage you output with your attacks. This one is fairly marginal, but it can make a difference, especially in the early game.
  • Do you have subclass abilities that improve Flurry of Blows? Some monk subclasses (specifically Way of the Drunken Master and Way of the Open Hand) have features that provide more value to your Flurry of Blows.

At the end of the day, Flurry of Blows can be a fun feature to use because it makes your monk feel like a badass martial artist. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, Flurry of Blows away!

Crouching Tiger, Punching Monk

All in all, Flurry of Blows is one of the most common uses for monks to spend their ki points on in D&D 5e. By saving your ki points for the right moments, you can maximize the effectiveness to take down enemies quickly and control the battlefield. 

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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