Ascendant Dragon Monk subclass in DnD 5E explored

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons (FToD) has not only brought us a hankering to stash gold under our mattresses, it’s also brought along a new Monk subclass to play with!

Monks who follow the Way of the Ascendant Dragon train to emulate dragons, in order to become more integrated with the world and the magic that suffuses it. These monks alter their spirit to resonate with draconic might, augmenting their own powers in battle and allowing them to bolster their allies.

The following table is provided to help inspire you to decide how your draconic powers awakened:

d6Origin
1You honed your abilities by aligning your spirit with a dragon’s world-altering power.
2A dragon personally took an active role in shaping your inner energy.
3You studied at a monastery that traces its teachings back centuries or more to a single dragon’s instruction, or one that is devoted to a dragon god.
4You spent long stretches meditating in the region around an ancient dragon’s lair, absorbing that lair’s ambient magic.
5You found a scroll written in Draconic that contained inspiring new techniques.
6After a dream featuring a five-headed dragonborn, you awoke with the mystical breath of dragons.

When you choose this subclass you gain the following features:

Draconic Disciple (3rd level) – You’ve learned to channel your draconic power in the following ways:

  • Draconic Presence: When you fail an Intimidation or Persuasion check that uses Charisma, you can use your reaction to reroll the check. Once this ability turns a failure into a success, you can’t use it again until after a long rest.
  • Draconic Strike: When you deal damage with an unarmed strike, you can change the damage type from bludgeoning into acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison.
  • Tongue of Dragons: You can speak, read, and write Draconic or one other language of your choice.

Breath of the Dragon (3rd level) – You’ve learned to exhale destructive energies like the dragons you emulate. When you take the Attack action, you can replace one of the attacks with this exhalation in your choice of either a 20 ft cone or a 30 ft long, 5 ft wide line. A creature caught in this area must succeed a Dexterity saving throw against your Ki save DC or take damage equal to two rolls of your Martial Arts Die, or half that much damage on a success. The damage type is your choice of acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. 

You can use this ability a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest. Once you have expended all of your uses, you can spend 2 Ki points to use this ability again.

At 11th level, the damage of this ability increases to three rolls of your Martial Arts die.

Wings Unfurled (6th level) – When you use your Step of the Wind, you can create spectral wings until the end of your turn, these wings give you a fly speed equal to your walking speed. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest.

Aspect of the Wyrm (11th level) – You can use a bonus action to create an aura the extends 10ft from you and lasts for 1 minute, when you create this aura choose one of the following benefits:

  • Frightful Presence: When you create the aura, and as a bonus action on subsequent turns, you can force a creature within the aura to make a Wisdom saving throw against your Ki save DC. On a failed save, the target becomes frightened of you for one minute, it can repeat the save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
  • Resistance: When you create the aura, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. You, and any allies within the aura, have resistance to that damage type. You can create this aura once per long rest unless you spend 3 Ki points to create it again.

Ascendant Dragon (17th level) – You gain the following benefits:

  • Augment Breath: When you use Breath of the Dragon, you can spend 1 Ki point to increase the exhalation to either a 60 ft cone or a 90 ft long, 5 ft wide line, and the damage increases to 4 rolls of your Martial Arts Die, or half that much damage on a Save.
  • Blindsight: You gain Blindsight out to 10 ft, within this range, you can see anything that isn’t behind total cover, including an invisible creature that isn’t successfully hidden from you. This feature works even if you’re blinded or in darkness.
  • Explosive Fury: When you activate Aspect of the Wyrm, any number of creatures of your choice within your aura must make a Dexterity saving throw against your Ki save DC or take 3d10. The damage type is your choice of acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. 

Are you excited by this new dragon-themed Monk? Have you already thought about playing your own version of Prince Zuko? If you enjoyed this article, check out the new dragonborn here, or if you’re just getting started, take a look at our how to play section here. Good luck fighting evil, and remember, who needs to flow like water when you can breathe acid?

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