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Masters of hand-to-hand combat who intuitively counterattack.

Description

The Monk is a job in Final Fantasy V obtained after the Wind Crystal shatters. It focuses on barehanded strength with no weapon equipped, and provides strong support abilities as well as great improvements to physical stats. It is both very useful early in the game, requiring little investment in equipment to be effective, as the strongest light armor-wearing job, while also providing great benefits late game when mastered.

Every job who has no weapons and no shield equipped will attack twice per Attack command, but the twice-attacking property is commonly associated with Monks who forgo hand-held equipment. This makes the Monk especially powerful in the early game, before all the best abilities from other jobs become available; one an early game strategy against bosses is to simply to make every party member a Monk and keep using Attack.

Upon mastering the job, the Freelancer and Mime will gain the Monk's base Strength and Stamina (as they are the maximum Strength[note 1] and Stamina stat possible), as well as having innate Counter without having to equip it. This makes it important for all characters to eventually master.

Mastering the Monk job on all characters in the now defunct mobile and Steam versions earns the player the achievement "Don't Think, Feel!", the name being a a reference to martial artist and actor Bruce Lee.

Characteristics[]

The Monk class gives characters clothing that is more unique and has an oriental Asian flair. Bartz wears a headband, a green vest and pink trousers. Lenna wears a red dress similar to a Chinese qipao and wears her hair in the odango fashion, similar to Ursula's in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. Faris wears a white gi with red outlines, while Galuf goes shirtless while wearing a red belt and black trousers. Krile wears a red dress similar to Lenna's, but also with white pants and a bow in her hair.

Gameplay[]

Stats[]

Stat Modifier
Strength +26
Agility +1
Stamina +26
Magic -23

The Monk job possesses the highest Stamina modifier, meaning it grants the highest boost to a characters' natural HP. It also possesses the highest Strength modifier,[note 1] determining a characters' physical damage dealt in battle. Outside of these two exemplary stats, Monk has a negligible Agility modifier, limited Defense (although their HP makes up for it), and a large Magic penalty. Their low Magic means that Monks should avoid equipping magic abilities.

Because the Strength and Stamina stats are so valuable, and their modifiers unmatched by other jobs, it is best to master Monk on all characters at some stage, to provide these stat boosts to their Freelancer and Mime jobs for the late game. Monk provides the highest Strength and Stamina modifier possible, and Freelancers and Mimes will gain these, in addition to the small Agility boost if they have mastered no other job with a greater Agility modifier.

In addition to providing the modifier when mastered, the +26 Strength modifier can be granted to other jobs when they equip the Barehanded ability. While the Monk's Stamina modifier cannot be granted to other jobs, they learn the HP +30% ability that characters will be able to equip to other jobs when needed.

Equipment[]

Monks have minimal equipment, being incapable of equipping any weapons, and only able to equip combat hats, light armor, and armlets among other accessories. The Monks' innate Barehanded ability allows them to deal significant damage without a weapon equipped, and though their natural Defense is low, their high HP makes up for this.

Their best headgear is Black Cowl, bought from Phantom Village and Great Sea Trench. Their best armor piece in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation, and Pixel Remaster versions is Black Garb, also bought from Phantom Village and Great Sea Trench. Vishnu Vest is the new ultimate light armor in versions that have Sealed Temple optional dungeon. The Bone Mail has the best stats for a light armor, but also makes the user undead, meaning it is situationally useful for elemental resistance to Ice and many status protections with the added durability. Kaiser Knuckles is an especially useful accessory for Monks, boosting their barehanded Strength even further and empowering their Kick.

The main benefit to Monks is that they are among the cheapest jobs to buy for, as they can be potent with very little investment needed in their equipment. Though one could use an equip ability from another job to take advantage of Monks' Strength stat while giving them a stronger weapon, this is an inefficient use of the ability slot, as Barehanded will fill this need, and attacking barehanded allows the character to attack twice per Attack command. Since the Pixel Remaster, giving a Monk an equipment ability can transfer its weapon power to the Monk's Kicks, giving it more damage potential.

The Monk is one of the only jobs, along with the White Mage and the Oracle, that cannot equip knives, as there is no "Equip Knives" ability. The only knife they can use is the Man-Eater if they first equip the "Equip Ribbons" ability gained from the Dancer.

Abilities[]

Ability Job level AP required Type Innate Description
Kick 0 0 Command Yes Deliver a strong kick to all enemies.
Focus 1 15 Command No Focus energies for a hit with twice the attack power.
Barehanded 2 30 Support Yes Gain the same attack power as monks when unarmed.
Chakra 3 45 Command No Healing energies recover HP and cleanse the body of poison and darkness.
Counter 4 60 Support Yes Automatically counter when hit.
HP +10% 5 100 Support No Increase maximum HP by 10%.
HP +20% 6 150 Support No Increase maximum HP by 20%.
HP +30% 7 300 Support No Increase maximum HP by 30%.

The Monk's job command, Kick, launches a flying kick to all enemies, dealing physical damage. From the mobile and Steam versions, Kick now deals full damage from the back row. In these versions Kaiser Knuckles no longer boost Kick's damage, but in all other versions, including Pixel Remaster, they do. Kick is the only job command that cannot be learned by leveling up the job, and thus can only be used either as a Monk or by mimicking it. Kick can be useful early on in clearing out waves of enemies but is outclassed later in the game. Since the Pixel Remaster, giving a Monk an equipment ability can transfer its weapon power to its Kicks, increasing its damage potential.

Kick (top) and Chakra (bottom).

Monk's other innate abilities are Counter and Barehanded, which are defining for the class. Counter is a support ability that provides a 50% chance to strike back with the Monk's normal attack, when attacked physically[note 2]. Counter is an extremely potent ability for all characters to have, and can be especially useful when paired with the Cover ability provided by the Knight job, allowing a character with both Cover and Counter to take damage for another character before countering with their own attack. Barehanded allows a character to have high attack power without a weapon equipped. While Barehanded cannot be relied upon as a substitute for a weapon for Freelancers, it is a useful tool for Monks as it allows them to be powerful without needing to purchase a weapon. It also allows the character to attack twice a turn, which can double or even triple the damage output compared to other classes.

The Focus ability can be learned by leveling up Monks. It makes the user's next hit twice as powerful. Though unremarkable on its own, Focus can provide a useful benefit when equipped by other jobs, as it removes any random spellcasting and special abilities of weapons. Any weapons that deal damage based on the Magic stat, such as rods and the Blood Sword, do not get damage boosts from using Focus. Spellblade effects as well as critical hits (this also includes MP-based criticals) still work as normal.

The Monk's Chakra healing ability heals the user with a base spell power of 30 and also cures the poison and darkness effects. The heal costs no MP, but is limited, and the ability slot may be better served for abilities with more utility. However, when in situations where several enemies inflict darkness or poison, equipping Chakra on characters reliant on physical damage can make things much safer.

Monks' last three abilities are all HP boosts up to +30%. These can be useful in some circumstances when using jobs with low Stamina, but are not the main prize of mastering Monk, as doing so will provide a strong HP boost to Freelancer and Mime regardless. Instead, the boost provides a useful consolation prize in circumstances where it is needed.

Etymology[]

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decided to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 In versions with the Gladiator job, introduced in the Advance version, Gladiator's Strength modifier is tied with Monk. However, Gladiator is acquired much later and has fewer stat boosts that benefit all characters, making Monk a smarter choice to master for the Strength boost.
  2. Counter will work with most physical attacks, but will never activate with Thief Knife, or Chicken Knife, and the Twin Lance will only hit once rather than twice.
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