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Bravely Default

Monk (Martial Arts)

Vincent Lau

The earliest job that specializes in physical attacks and a rather versatile job too. It has high HP, Strength, Vitality and Agility–the key things you want on a physical character. As soon as you can, switch at least one Freelancer to this job to immediately reap the benefits.

As the game progresses, Monks will fall behind a little as you get more physical jobs with access to better weapons. Knuckles are good at the beginning, but as they’re naturally two-handed weapons, you won’t benefit from attack-raising abilities such as Two-Handed or Dual Wield.

What makes Monks stand out from the rest is their final ability, Natural Talent. With nothing equipped, your character’s Attack will rise dramatically–double that of the best equipped weapon. Of course, this means abandoning your defenses completely, so you’ll need to be careful when managing your glass cannon.


Equipment Rank
Staves and Knuckles S
All other weapons E
Shields, Helms and Armor E

Specialty: Knuckle Lore

Raises the arms aptitude for Knuckles to S. Also, if your character has no weapon equipped, their Attack will be increased by their Level multiplied by 2. Monks already have the best aptitude with Knuckles, so all this ability does for them is raise their Attack when they’re unarmed. Near the beginning, your Monk is better off unarmed, but be sure to evaluate any new Knuckles you find.

Level 1: Strong Strike

Attack one enemy for double the damage, but there’s a 50% chance of missing. If you like to gamble, this ability is good for you; otherwise it’s too risky to be any use (it’s slightly better with the Freelancer’s Prayer).

Level 2: Invigorate

Raise your Physical Attack by 25% for two turns, but there’s a 25% chance of failure–if you fail, you lose 20% of your maximum HP. Early on, this is a decent buff when there’s nothing better, but if you fail it’s going to hurt your plans. Extra Attack for two turns isn’t worth the risk of wasting a turn and taking damage.

Level 3: Inner Alchemy

Cure yourself of Poison, Blind, Silence, Dread and Confuse. For your Monk, this ability is great for getting rid of Blind and Dread, which cripples your attack. In terms of curing Confuse, it’s a bit confusing because you can’t control your Monk when they’re confused. Early on, your healer could keep the Monk’s Martial Arts command just for the ability to remove Silence.

Level 4: HP 10% Up

Raises the character’s Maximum HP by 10%. Can’t say “no” to more HP.

Level 5: Knuckle Lore

Raises the arms aptitude for Knuckles to S. Also, if your character has no weapon equipped, their Attack will be increased by their Level multiplied by 2. Hey, this looks familiar–it’s the Monk’s Specialty! Except now you can give it to a character with any job to have the best Attack with Knuckles or fight unarmed.

Level 6: Hidden Dragon

Attack one enemy at the end of the turn, but do 1.25 times the damage. For a zero-cost command, it’s not half bad. The extra damage is always nice, but going last has its disadvantages, like you could take damage, which you could have avoided if you felled the enemy or worse you suffer Blind or another ailment, rendering your attack useless.

Level 7: Qigong Wave

Attack one enemy, ignoring the damage reduction from an enemy using Default and do 1.25 time the damage. Now we’re talking! The cost isn’t exactly cheap (at the earliest point you can get this), but this is a safer way of doing extra damage, plus it’s great for enemies that love to Default.

Level 8: Blind Immunity

Gives your character immunity to Blind. Generally, Blind isn’t fatal, as your characters can still act normally, and is mostly a nuisance. However it can be a big nuisance, as your attacks will miss their mark most of the time. With this ability, you don’t have to waste turns rummaging for the eyedrops or casting support magic.

Level 9: Physical Attack 10% Up

Increases the character’s Physical Attack by 10% of its current value. Extra Attack is always appreciated.

Level 10: HP 20% Up

Raises the character’s Maximum HP by 20%. Did you say you wanted more HP? Here you go!

Level 11: Pressure Point

Attack one enemy, ignoring their Physical Defense and dealing double damage. This move is great against enemies with high Defense–even those with max Defence that you can’t damage normally. It costs 1 extra BP, but the cost works out the same as doing two normal attacks. However, you get the extra benefit of defense-penetration.

Level 12: HP 30% Up

Raises the character’s Maximum HP by 30%. Perfect if you desire mountains of HP. You can stack all the similarly named abilities too, so you could have HP 30% Up and HP 20% Up on the same character for a 50% HP boost… if you really wanted to, that is.

Level 13: Phoenix Flight

Drop your HP done to 1 and convert the sacrificed HP into damage on one enemy. So if you had 500 HP before using this move, you’ll do 499 damage to the enemy. Obviously it gets better as you gain more HP, but the risk is always the same–what do you do with a 1 HP character? Better have those healing or revival options on hand…

Level 14: Natural Talent

If no weapon, armor or accessory is equipped (costumes are okay though), the character’s Physical Attack rises by 100% (in other words, it’s doubled). For best results, be sure your character has Knuckle Lore to up their unarmed Attack. This ability is amazing for dealing damage, but you’ll need to watch for your lack of defense.


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    14 February 2014
  • Last Updated
    23 January 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Vincent Lau

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Welcome to the most comprehensive guide to the Final Fantasy-esque JRPG from RPG veterans Square-Enix. Inside our essential guide to the entire game we’re leaving no stone unturned as we show you:

  • A complete breakdown of the combat and game mechanics.
  • How to rebuild Norende in record time (for the very best upgrades).
  • All of the Jobs and the craziest combinations to destroy all enemies with.
  • How to conquer the main story (and get the true ending).
  • Easy-to-follow tricks to pummel every boss into the ground with!
  • Every single item, weapon or piece of armor in the game.
  • A complete enemy bestiary (and what items you can steal from them).
  • Killer tricks needed to beat all of the ultra-tough Nemeses bosses.
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