Master Of All Styles Monk Advice


Advice


So I'm making a Human "Master Of All Styles" Monk and I can't really decide which Feats I should go for. I was originally going to go with:

1st: Dodge(Human Bonus Feat), Crane(1st Level Feat), Dragon Style(Monk Bonus Feat)
2nd: Dragon Ferocity(Monk Bonus Feat)
3rd: Elemental Fist(Taking Dragon Ferocity would allow me to take it)
5th: An Elemental Style (Haven't decided which one yet)
6th: Dragon Roar (Monk Bonus Feat)

I'm having 2nd thoughts about using this combination of feats and wondering which Style feats would be great for a Master Of All Styles Monk. I also have a side question about Panther Style and Crane Style:

1. Panther Style says that my attack is resolved after I strike back at an opponent that took an AoO against me, does that mean I can't make another attack against a different opponent that round?

2. If I use Panther Style and Snake Style(Snake Fang) together and I provoke an AoO, does the number of times I can attack that enemy increase?

3. When I use Crane Style and Dragon Style together, can I fight Defensively AND Charge? I looked in the Core book and UC Book and didn't really find an answer on this.

Other styles I'd like to use are:

Snake Style (I also plan on getting Skill Focus(Sense Motive) if I decide to get Snake Style)

Monkey Style

Janni Style

Thanks in advance.


OK, Dragon Style is worth it for a strength based monk and Crane Style is always worth it. If your strength score isn't huge, Snake Style is better than Dragon Style.

1. No, your attack is a swift action and you only have one swift action per round. Yes if you have Panther Claw as it is now a free action and you have as many of those as you like.

2. Yes. You get one attack if they make an AoO against you, and one attack if they miss.

3. Yes. There are no conditions precluding fighting defensively and charging.

Liberty's Edge

I'm not sure about the ruling of this, but the mental image I get of a monk "charging defensively" is hilarious.


Dabbler wrote:

OK, Dragon Style is worth it for a strength based monk and Crane Style is always worth it. If your strength score isn't huge, Snake Style is better than Dragon Style.

1. No, your attack is a swift action and you only have one swift action per round. Yes if you have Panther Claw as it is now a free action and you have as many of those as you like.

2. Yes. You get one attack if they make an AoO against you, and one attack if they miss.

3. Yes. There are no conditions precluding fighting defensively and charging.

That's great to know, thanks! I have a STR of 14 and a WIS of 16, so should I use my Monk Bonus Feat at 1st level to take Snake Style instead of Dragon Style at 1st Level?


NeoSeraphi wrote:
I'm not sure about the ruling of this, but the mental image I get of a monk "charging defensively" is hilarious.

Great, I'm now thinking about how a Monk in a combination of Crane and Dragon Stance would look when they charge defensively.


Vega wrote:
That's great to know, thanks! I have a STR of 14 and a WIS of 16, so should I use my Monk Bonus Feat at 1st level to take Snake Style instead of Dragon Style at 1st Level?

It's what I'd do, and I'd pump dexterity before strength and take Weapon Finesse instead of Dodge at first level.

The monk's disadvantages often lie in MAD keeping stats mediocre, and a poor chance to hit. My counter to this is to forget about strength and pump dexterity as much as I can - you get hitting and good AC that way. Damage per hit isn't great, but with Combat Reflexes and Snake Style you will get a lot of attacks.

Also, don't neglect maneuvers, make sure you are good at one of them, so you have something if the attacks aren't working.

Liberty's Edge

Vega wrote:


That's great to know, thanks! I have a STR of 14 and a WIS of 16, so should I use my Monk Bonus Feat at 1st level to take Snake Style instead of Dragon Style at 1st Level?

Actually, I think you're good as-is. With a Strength of only 14, you won't be dealing much damage, but Dragon Ferocity gets you Elemental Fist at 3rd level, which will double your unarmed strike damage for a while.

I suggest you choose Electricity as your element, by the way. Acid is the least resisted, but it's also not as cool of an element as Electricity.


Damn, it's a tough choice on what style feats to use; they're all just pretty damn good.


What do you guys think is better? Snake Stance or Crane Stance? I'm personally pretty tempted to go with Snake Stance instead of Crane Stance at first level.


I have a monk who has Dragon and Crane. His main attributes are Str and Wis. Having Crane moderates the lower Dex, while having a high Str counters the penalty to hit when in Crane Style.

Currently he is Monk (MoMS) 2, Fighter (Brawler) 3 and Alchemist (2).

With the Brawler +1/+3 he has a base +8 to hit and 1d6+12 damage. With things like mutagen, enlarge and/or bull's strength he can get up to +11 1d8+18.

I see him as a bare-knuckled boxer - the crane style one miss per round is his ability to "duck and weave" and his high damage is him pounding his opponents.


Gallo wrote:

I have a monk who has Dragon and Crane. His main attributes are Str and Wis. Having Crane moderates the lower Dex, while having a high Str counters the penalty to hit when in Crane Style.

Currently he is Monk (MoMS) 2, Fighter (Brawler) 3 and Alchemist (2).

With the Brawler +1/+3 he has a base +8 to hit and 1d6+12 damage. With things like mutagen, enlarge and/or bull's strength he can get up to +11 1d8+18.

I see him as a bare-knuckled boxer - the crane style one miss per round is his ability to "duck and weave" and his high damage is him pounding his opponents.

That's pretty awesome and everything but I'd rather not dabble with multi-classing yet, this is only my 4th character.


Its been mentioned before that if you can use multiple styles at once, then Tiger and Crane have great synergy; you can improve your damage by power attacking, improve your AB by putting the power attack penalty into AC instead, and then not sweat the reduced AC because you have Crane style running.

In theory, if you take the Master of Combat Styles feat for free action style switching, then you could 'switch off' Tiger the moment you are finished your attacks. This would mean that you suffer the Power Attack penalty to AC while you are attacking, and then take the penalty off of your AC when you defend. A GM might however rule that it doesn't work that way, since its a bit of a grey area in the rules.


I didn't realize you don't have to be in Crane to get the 'fighting defensively' improvements, you only have to be in Crane to get the deflection. So really, anyone with the Master of Combat Styles feat could get great mileage out of Tiger-Crane. Power-Attack Flurry with a Temple Sword in two hands and generic unarmed strikes, with no penalty to AB thanks to Tiger. Then one-hand the weapon and defend with Crane.


BadBird wrote:
I didn't realize you don't have to be in Crane to get the 'fighting defensively' improvements, you only have to be in Crane to get the deflection. So really, anyone with the Master of Combat Styles feat could get great mileage out of Tiger-Crane. Power-Attack Flurry with a Temple Sword in two hands and generic unarmed strikes, with no penalty to AB thanks to Tiger. Then one-hand the weapon and defend with Crane.

Where did you hear that you don't have to be in Crane Stance to get the benefits?

EDIT: Derp, I read your post wrong.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Flurry is the one of the main reasons I avoid the monk. It's messy.
Archetypes that replace it appeal to me.


As annoying as the rules mess is though... I can't stay mad at it when it lets you pretend for one glorious moment that you have a respectable bab, like a real warrior.


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Hmm... a few things. First, I don't think a MoMS needs Dragon Style to qualify for Elemental Fist (this is important later). I believe the restriction listed in the bonus feat section doesn't mean you must meet the prerequisites of Elemental Fist, but rather you must have Elemental Fist for any style that requires it. In other words, you can't take the elemental styles without Elemental Fist, but you can take Elemental Fist at any level as a monk bonus feat.

Some style feats have great synergy, and it would be much more advantageous to truly discuss what those great combos are, but I just want to say you should take Snake Style first, and snake fang as soon as possible. The MoMS gets so few attacks that you should be attempting to get AoOs as much as possible. Another good style for MoMS is Tiger Style, as Tiger Claws will probably your best Full Attack Action unless hasted since you have no flurry.

The dragon and elemental feats present some interesting utility in that you can perform a kind of AoE stacked debuff by combining Dragon's Roar with the enhanced Elemental Fist. Having enemies in a cone rolling against double status effects. The biggest problem is keeping those saves high which will require you to focus on bumping wisdom over your attack stat which lowers damage output.

Crane is kind of a must have, but is really only valuable when your enemies care about hitting you. It combos well with snake and those two are the most popular pairing for good reason. I would wait on dragon style unless the debuff combo is something which appeals strongly to you.

Monkey style does not mix well for the MoMS styles unless you skip straight to Monkey Shine, and take feats to boost the effectiveness of stunning fist. Mantis Style and Wisdom as well as Dragon Ferocity come to mind. This is also a kind of debuff build, but can be quite effective. Combine with the Crushing Blow feat for some devastating debuff action.

All in all, it takes a lot of time and forethought to build a really great monk.


pobbes wrote:

Hmm... a few things. First, I don't think a MoMS needs Dragon Style to qualify for Elemental Fist (this is important later). I believe the restriction listed in the bonus feat section doesn't mean you must meet the prerequisites of Elemental Fist, but rather you must have Elemental Fist for any style that requires it. In other words, you can't take the elemental styles without Elemental Fist, but you can take Elemental Fist at any level as a monk bonus feat.

Some style feats have great synergy, and it would be much more advantageous to truly discuss what those great combos are, but I just want to say you should take Snake Style first, and snake fang as soon as possible. The MoMS gets so few attacks that you should be attempting to get AoOs as much as possible. Another good style for MoMS is Tiger Style, as Tiger Claws will probably your best Full Attack Action unless hasted since you have no flurry.

The dragon and elemental feats present some interesting utility in that you can perform a kind of AoE stacked debuff by combining Dragon's Roar with the enhanced Elemental Fist. Having enemies in a cone rolling against double status effects. The biggest problem is keeping those saves high which will require you to focus on bumping wisdom over your attack stat which lowers damage output.

Crane is kind of a must have, but is really only valuable when your enemies care about hitting you. It combos well with snake and those two are the most popular pairing for good reason. I would wait on dragon style unless the debuff combo is something which appeals strongly to you.

Monkey style does not mix well for the MoMS styles unless you skip straight to Monkey Shine, and take feats to boost the effectiveness of stunning fist. Mantis Style and Wisdom as well as Dragon Ferocity come to mind. This is also a kind of debuff build, but can be quite effective. Combine with the Crushing Blow feat for some devastating debuff action.

All in all, it takes a lot of time and forethought to build a really great monk.

Thanks for taking the time to write all this out, I actually never gave that much thought to debuffing with Stunning Fist to be honest. :) Could you elaborate on how Snake and Crane Style would work well together? I'm having a bit a trouble seeing how they would work together. :(


BadBird wrote:
In theory, if you take the Master of Combat Styles feat for free action style switching, then you could 'switch off' Tiger the moment you are finished your attacks. This would mean that you suffer the Power Attack penalty to AC while you are attacking, and then take the penalty off of your AC when you defend. A GM might however rule that it doesn't work that way, since its a bit of a grey area in the rules.

The advantages and penalties for Power Attacking last for the entire round, as per the feat description. Once you switch them on you can't switch them off again until it's your round again, even though it is in effect a free action.

Vega wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to write all this out, I actually never gave that much thought to debuffing with Stunning Fist to be honest. :) Could you elaborate on how Snake and Crane Style would work well together? I'm having a bit a trouble seeing how they would work together. :(

Horribly easily, is the answer. Will all the feats in both trees, you fight defensively with Crane Style for -1 to hit for +3 or more AC. You get to use Snake Style to roll your Sense Motive against one attack per round that could provide a higher AC. Then Crane Wing lets you deflect one attack per round.

So at this point you have: +3 or more to AC, potentially a higher AC vs one attack, and one attack per round deflected. This is known as untouchable.

Now comes the fun bit. You have to pump your dexterity and take Combat Reflexes, but this then gives you: one AoO on every attacker that attacks misses you for each attack that they make, including the attack that you deflect with Crane Wing.

As added gravy, any threat you score in these attacks can be confirmed with a Sense Motive rather than an attack roll.


pobbes wrote:
Hmm... a few things. First, I don't think a MoMS needs Dragon Style to qualify for Elemental Fist (this is important later). I believe the restriction listed in the bonus feat section doesn't mean you must meet the prerequisites of Elemental Fist, but rather you must have Elemental Fist for any style that requires it. In other words, you can't take the elemental styles without Elemental Fist, but you can take Elemental Fist at any level as a monk bonus feat.

You're wrong. This has been discussed ad nauseam before. It explicitly say Dragon Ferocity qualifies you to get Elemental Fist (only other way to get it is with Monk of Four Winds). Why in the hell of anything hellish would it say that if you could just get Elemental Fist with any bonus feat at any time? Be rational instead of making your own faulty rational up.


Dabbler wrote:
The advantages and penalties for Power Attacking last for the entire round, as per the feat description. Once you switch them on you can't switch them off again until it's your round again, even though it is in effect a free action.

I wasn't referring to turning Power Attack off, but switching out of Tiger Style so that the penalty can no longer be applied to AC. The penalty from Power Attack remains the whole turn; what changes is that Tiger Pounce no longer modifies it.

You can interpret Tiger Pounce to mean that it makes the Power Attack penalty apply to AC until that round of Power Attack ends, or you can see it as modifying Power Attack's penalty for as long as Tiger Style is active. I don't think the way its written makes it explicitly clear one way or the other, though technically if you are applying the effect of Power Attack to AC while Tiger Style is not active it does seem to directly contradict the description of Tiger Pounce. Conceptually, I don't see it as a problem if a 'Combat Style Master' can change up his combat style effects the way that anyone can change up their weapon grip.


What are your thoughts on boar style? The extra bleed damage can add up quickly.


BadBird wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
The advantages and penalties for Power Attacking last for the entire round, as per the feat description. Once you switch them on you can't switch them off again until it's your round again, even though it is in effect a free action.
I wasn't referring to turning Power Attack off, but switching out of Tiger Style so that the penalty can no longer be applied to AC. The penalty from Power Attack remains the whole turn; what changes is that Tiger Pounce no longer modifies it.

True, but now your attacks suck, so you can't combine this with Crane Style where you are trying to deliver attacks as much out of your turn as in it.


BadBird wrote:

I wasn't referring to turning Power Attack off, but switching out of Tiger Style so that the penalty can no longer be applied to AC. The penalty from Power Attack remains the whole turn; what changes is that Tiger Pounce no longer modifies it.

You can interpret Tiger Pounce to mean that it makes the Power Attack penalty apply to AC until that round of Power Attack ends, or you can see it as modifying Power Attack's penalty for as long as Tiger Style is active. I don't think the way its written makes it explicitly clear one way or the other, though technically if you are applying the effect of Power Attack to AC while Tiger Style is not active it does seem to directly contradict the description of Tiger Pounce. Conceptually, I don't see it as a problem if a 'Combat Style Master' can change up his combat style effects the way that anyone can change up their weapon grip.

Sounds gimmiky at best. You do realize that while you're performing your attack, everyone else in the fight is acting concurrently, right? The 6-second turns of each participant are happening in parallel, not sequence. The idea of the Attack Penalty is that if you're delivering a focused, powerful attack, it's going to be wildly inaccurate. Tiger Style lets you "dump" that accuracy penalty into AC, contriving that you eschew defensive consideration to allow the attack to connect. Even if you drop out of Tiger Stance after the attack has resolved, you're still in the compromised defense position. In other words, the penalty applied to AC isn't as simple as a changed weapon grip.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
pobbes wrote:
I don't think a MoMS needs Dragon Style to qualify for Elemental Fist (this is important later). I believe the restriction listed in the bonus feat section doesn't mean you must meet the prerequisites of Elemental Fist, but rather you must have Elemental Fist for any style that requires it. In other words, you can't take the elemental styles without Elemental Fist, but you can take Elemental Fist at any level as a monk bonus feat.

Interesting. So when MoMS says "At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a master of many styles may select a bonus style feat or the Elemental Fist feat. He does not have to meet the prerequisites of that feat, except the Elemental Fist feat." you contend it means

"At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a master of many styles may select a bonus style feat or the Elemental Fist feat. He does not have to meet the prerequisites of that (style) feat, except the Elemental Fist feat (prerequisite)."

Raje wrote:
You're wrong. This has been discussed ad nauseam before.

Granted I've been ignoring most of the sturm und drang surrounding the various monk archetypes, but this is the first I've heard of it. If there's been an authoritative statement, please link it.

Raje wrote:
It explicitly say Dragon Ferocity qualifies you to get Elemental Fist (only other way to get it is with Monk of Four Winds).

Did you mean "the only other way to get it EARLY is with MotFW" ? Because any class with the prerequisite ability scores and IUS can get it when BAB reaches 8.

Raje wrote:
Why in the hell of anything hellish would it say that if you could just get Elemental Fist with any bonus feat at any time? Be rational instead of making your own faulty rational up.

Because monks other than MoMS and non-monks are all perfectly capable of taking and using style feats and elemental fist. IF Pobbes is correct (and I'm not certain he is, but I'm also not certain he's wrong), it should have been worded a bit tighter.

P.S. I actually agree with blackbloodtroll in that I prefer to replace flurry with something that doesn't have so much oddness floating around it.


You know what? This talk about Elemental Fist got me thinking. What happens if I have two Elemental Styles(Lets say Djinni Style and Madrid Style) active at the same time?

Gobo Horde wrote:
What are your thoughts on boar style? The extra bleed damage can add up quickly.

It's insanely good in my opinion, but I would have to wait on getting it until I can attack the same enemy twice in the same round. Maybe I can combine it with Snake(Snake Fang) or Panther(Panther Claw).


Vega wrote:

You know what? This talk about Elemental Fist got me thinking. What happens if I have two Elemental Styles(Lets say Djinni Style and Madrid Style) active at the same time?

I don't think it will matter until 11th level, because until then you can only use one element for your Elemental Fist, so if you choose electricity, your Elemental Fist feat is not affected by Marid Style, and vice versa.


Shinon wrote:
Vega wrote:

You know what? This talk about Elemental Fist got me thinking. What happens if I have two Elemental Styles(Lets say Djinni Style and Madrid Style) active at the same time?

I don't think it will matter until 11th level, because until then you can only use one element for your Elemental Fist, so if you choose electricity, your Elemental Fist feat is not affected by Marid Style, and vice versa.

Actually, MoMS Monk Bonus Feat can allow me to take Elemental Fist without meeting the prerequisites, the only bonus feats I can't get are the Elemental Styles unless I already have Elemental Fist. Dragon Ferocity's Special means ANYONE can qualify for Elemental Fist early if they got DF.


Huh. The way I read that description, you don't have to meet the prerequisites for any style feats, but you do have to meet the prerequisites for the Elemental Fist feat.

Then again, I guess you can't use any of the Elemental Style feats without the Elemental fist feat, so I can see how your reading makes sense too.


Shinon wrote:

Huh. The way I read that description, you don't have to meet the prerequisites for any style feats, but you do have to meet the prerequisites for the Elemental Fist feat.

Then again, I guess you can't use any of the Elemental Style feats without the Elemental fist feat, so I can see how your reading makes sense too.

Yeah, the prerequisite you have to meet for the Elemental Styles as a MoMS is have Elemental Fist.

Anyways, I think I might actually go for Crane and Snake Style and then later go for either Dragon, Mantis, or Panther. Anyone know if I can use Stunning Fist when an enemy provokes an AoO? Say I have Snake Fangs and an enemy misses an attack on me, allowing me to attack them, can I mix Stunning Fist in with that attack?


Vega wrote:


Yeah, the prerequisite you have to meet for the Elemental Styles as a MoMS is have Elemental Fist.

Anyways, I think I might actually go for Crane and Snake Style and then later go for either Dragon, Mantis, or Panther. Anyone know if I can use Stunning Fist when an enemy provokes an AoO? Say I have Snake Fangs and an enemy misses an attack on me, allowing me to attack them, can I mix Stunning Fist in with that attack?

I'm pretty sure you can add Stunning Fist to any unarmed attack you make, regardless of the circumstances.


That's GREAT news, thanks. :)


Kazaan wrote:
Sounds gimmiky at best. You do realize that while you're performing your attack, everyone else in the fight is acting concurrently, right?

Of course; but by the same logic you then shouldn't be able to change your grip on a weapon during your turn, since your enemies are now facing a 'different' you simultaneously. Conceptually though, because creatures in a fight don't just beat on each other like machines on timers, it can work. It makes sense that a fighter can put his extra hand on his weapon for just long enough to make an expected attack - but if he ends his turn with his weapon in one hand, then any 'quick reaction' attacks are only one handed, and if he's counter-attacked, he's hit while using both hands on his weapon.

I can see switching out of Tiger Style as the same idea; if you are a 'Combat Style Master' who can move in and out of styles as a free action, then you can alter your style after your deliberate attacks so that like a fighter only using two hands when he uses attack actions, you only expose yourself with Tiger Style when you're making a 'planned' attack. It's hardly a free ride, since all of your attacks of opportunity are then suffering the normal penalties, and any counter-attacks you provoke hit you with a weak defense. Personally I like the 'kung-fu skills' flavor of it, and it would allow a monk to fight a bit 'smarter' with a little more overall ab and damage at the cost of being very invested in style feats. But I wouldn't hold it at all against someone who didn't approve it.


I'm unconvinced, myself. I am not sure that even if you can drop Tiger Style the knock-on effects of Power Attack would change and not remain the same, and I think it appropriate that it does - certainly that is how I would house-rule it, should it ever come up.


Dabbler wrote:
I'm unconvinced, myself. I am not sure that even if you can drop Tiger Style the knock-on effects of Power Attack would change and not remain the same, and I think it appropriate that it does - certainly that is how I would house-rule it, should it ever come up.

The rules are completely ambiguous as far as what would happen when you dropped Tiger, so it definitely would have to come down to a ruling one way or the other. I wouldn't have a problem with it myself, since I'm not seeing a style feat intensive character as somehow getting out of hand because of it, but to each their own.


Well the whole point of Power Attack is that it confers a disadvantage, if you can swap around the disadvantage so that it isn't one - which this trick does - then you've broken the intent of the rules. You get to choose a penalty to AC or to hit. Then you live with it until you next activate Power Attack or not. That's how the rules are meant to work. Having a penalty to hit when you are not trying to hit anything is not a penalty.


Dabbler wrote:
Well the whole point of Power Attack is that it confers a disadvantage, if you can swap around the disadvantage so that it isn't one - which this trick does - then you've broken the intent of the rules. You get to choose a penalty to AC or to hit. Then you live with it until you next activate Power Attack or not. That's how the rules are meant to work. Having a penalty to hit when you are not trying to hit anything is not a penalty.

It doesn't get rid of the penalty, it mitigates it. Furious Focus eliminates the Power Attack penalty for the first attack, even if its the only one. This changes the penalty into a more advantageous form, but its still there. If you get counter-attacked, you're suffering an AC penalty. If you use a counter-attack (and we're talking about a multi-style build after all) then you have to live with the fact you decided to go back to hurting your ab. If it was a strict 'you just flat-out cheat Power Attack' then yeah, I wouldn't allow it; I can see where you're coming from.


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BadBird wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Well the whole point of Power Attack is that it confers a disadvantage, if you can swap around the disadvantage so that it isn't one - which this trick does - then you've broken the intent of the rules. You get to choose a penalty to AC or to hit. Then you live with it until you next activate Power Attack or not. That's how the rules are meant to work. Having a penalty to hit when you are not trying to hit anything is not a penalty.
It doesn't get rid of the penalty, it mitigates it. Furious Focus eliminates the Power Attack penalty for the first attack, even if its the only one. This changes the penalty into a more advantageous form, but its still there. If you get counter-attacked, you're suffering an AC penalty. If you use a counter-attack (and we're talking about a multi-style build after all) then you have to live with the fact you decided to go back to hurting your ab. If it was a strict 'you just flat-out cheat Power Attack' then yeah, I wouldn't allow it; I can see where you're coming from.

No, moving the penalty to AC for the round is mitigating it. Swapping it from to-hit to AC when it's nearly impossible for anything to hit you and then back to to-hit when you aren't attacking anything is not mitigating it, it's removing it almost completely in most circumstances. Furious Focus is a feat, and a restricted one that only applies to two-handed attacks and the first attack of the round only, and of course it costs a feat to do it - and one feat to reduce the penalty of one attack.

The function of Tiger Pounce also supplies other advantages which is why the mitigation is less complete, which is balanced. Now you want it to supply mitigation on all attacks in a round with virtually no penalty? Not happening in my game. You take your penalty to AC or to-hit, your choice, but as per the description of Power Attack, it lasts until you next declare your use of Power Attack on your next turn. It doesn't change in between times.


pobbes wrote:
Hmm... a few things. First, I don't think a MoMS needs Dragon Style to qualify for Elemental Fist (this is important later). I believe the restriction listed in the bonus feat section doesn't mean you must meet the prerequisites of Elemental Fist, but rather you must have Elemental Fist for any style that requires it. In other words, you can't take the elemental styles without Elemental Fist, but you can take Elemental Fist at any level as a monk bonus feat.

True, but without Dragon Ferocity the damage on your Elemental Fist won't scale up as you level. Those extra d6's are nice to have, especially if you plan to add in an Elemental Style later.

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