Unchained Monk: Sudden Speed, High Jump, and Death From Above


Say you're an Unchained Monk. You take Sudden Speed as your 4th level ki power. The "You Are Already Dead" Guide rates this as one of the weaker ki powers but... hear me out. Say further that at 6th level you take High Jump. Again, not usually one of the top-rated powers. But: a 6th level monk with 16 Dex would start with +12 Acrobatics. He takes this power, he gets +6 (level as bonus), +20 (burning a ki point) and his extra 50' of movement would give him another +20. So that's +58. It's a DC 2 check for him to jump 15' into the air -- to hit a hovering flying opponent, say -- and a DC 2 check to jump 60' horizontally.

This is still not amazing, but if you throw in the feat Death From Above? It gets interesting. That feat lets you get +5 instead of +2 when attacking from above, and I'd say that if you're coming down from a 15' jump you're attacking "from above".

This actually looks pretty good. Get within 60' of an opponent, burn 2 ki points and you get +5 on your next attack. Plus points for being awesome, of course, as you soar into the air like Jet Li on a wire. Am I missing something?

Doug M.

RAW, you do not comply with requisites.

You have to charge from higher ground or while flying.
Falling down is not charging nor flying.
Algo being on higher ground it's already a +1, so the feat is only giving you +2.
Also, never seen anyone use the higher ground rules.

You're burning two ki points and two ki powers and a feat for essentially an extra +3 on your first attack roll in a combat.

For the same investment you could pick up Barksin and another nichely useful power such as ki guardian or water sprint. I'll admit the niche utility of being able to hit flying creatures is nice but your party spellcaster should be able to handle giving out flight for the fights when you need it. And at 8th level you can pick up Ki flight anyway.

For much less investment you could take the opening volley feat and just chuck a shuriken or something at the start of combat to get a +4 bonus to your first melee attack if it hits. Still not that good though.

Use with Janni Rush for Vital Strike on a charge


Janni Rush (Combat)

When you leap to the attack, your blows are like bolts from on high.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Janni Style, Janni Tempest, Acrobatics 8 ranks, Perform (dance) 8 ranks.
Benefit: While using Janni Style, you are always considered to have a running start when jumping. Further, if you jump as part of a charge and make an unarmed strike against the designated opponent, a hit allows you to roll the unarmed strike's damage dice twice and add the results together before adding modifiers (such as from Strength) or extra dice (such as precision-based damage or dice from weapon abilities). The extra damage dice are not multiplied on a successful critical hit.

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