FFXI: The Best Monk Weapon Skills, Ranked

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Monks are well-known in the Final Fantasy series as punching, kicking, and meditating power machines.

And thankfully in FFXI they remain true to that idea.

Their rapid playstyle encourages paying specific attention to the weapon skills they use. Some of their weapon skills only shine when a specific ability is used beforehand, so it can require some planning.

Many of these skills also bear flexible skillchain properties that allow monks to easily create multi-step skillchains.

In recent years Square Enix has buffed monks in FFXI, jacking up their damage rates (specifically in the hand-to-hand department).

As such, they find the most comfort in using hand-to-hand weapons. So this list will focus weapon skills for that kind of play style.


7. Tornado Kick

So this weapon skill is definitely noteworthy, and should be used when a monk’s Footwork ability is up. It’s best used to directly replace Raging Fists for Footwork’s remaining duration.

Tornado Kick bears Raging Fist’s sole skillchain property, Impaction, and brings with it Induration and Detonation, as well as a hefty damage boost.

This makes it valuable for being part of a multi-step skillchain that ends with a strong closing weapon skill.

However, since usage is tied to an ability, it suffers from being a bit too situational.


6. Asuran Fists

Asuran Fists looks and sounds cool. But compared to other weaponskills, it can offer low damage for various reasons.

Namely in part to its weak TP modifiers, low stat modifiers, and its 8 hits.

There’s a forced 5% chance for any physical attack in the game to miss, too. And this greatly disrupts the weapon skill’s 8 hits, giving it a 33% chance to miss at least one hit going forward.

So this would not be advised against enemies with high evasion.

And yet, for what it offers in low damage, it makes up for in its flexible Gravitation and Liquefaction skillchain modifiers. They make Asuran Fists incredibly useful for creating multi-step skillchains across all elements.

Liquefaction is one specific reason this weaponskill is commonly used in multi-step Light skillchains.


5. Howling Fists

Howling Fists is very powerful when used at high fTP values, making it a strong choice if a monk finds themselves with lots of TP.

It’s great for enemies with high defense too, due to its innate 1.5x attack modifier.

But it slips slightly because it has a relatively low 20% strength modifier, yet a 50% dexterity modifier, and has quirky skillchain elements that make it hard to multi-step with Transfiction and Impaction, but is great for expending large amounts of TP when necessary.


4. Raging Fists

This awesome-looking weapon skill is one of the Monk’s most consistently powerful damage-dealers.

And it doesn’t particularly need any special abilities or weapons to shine, which makes this a flexible straightforward damage tool.

It does 5 hits total, so against targets with high evasion, this attack will struggle.

But if accuracy checks are met, then this weapon skill has no trouble doing high damage.

In addition to this, unleashing it at 3000 TP increases its damage drastically.

Raging Fists has poor skillchain flexibility because it just has Impaction. But it’s great as part of a multi-step Light for a monk, especially going solo.

It can also shine in situations where a group is zerging and not paying much attention to skillchains.


3. Ascetic’s Fury

Ascetic’s Fury is great because not only does it have a healthy dose of skillchain elements(Fusion and Transfixion), but it also has good modifiers. Specifically 50% strength and vitality, two stats that monks excel in.

This weaponskill is also capable of critical hits, making any kind of critical hit damage gear really valuable.

It’s also a mythic weapon skill, so having the mythic weapon Glanzfaust will bolster this weapon skill’s damage considerably – especially when considering the aftermath effect.

Any monk using this weaponskill would also benefit greatly from Impetus and Focus abilities. So when either (or both) of these are up, you’ll see a considerable damage boost.


2. Shijin Spiral

Shijin Spiral doesn’t exactly deal very high damage unless the player happens to have Godhands—the hand-to-hand aeonic weapon.

So in order to get the most out of this weapon skill, I’d highly recommend snatching Godhands for your character.

This weapon skill is best used for its skillchain properties, which are Fusion and Reverberation.

And if you’re using Godhands, you also get access to Light, enabling this skill to create the powerful level 4 Radiance skillchain.

Shijin Spiral has a healthy DEX modifier that depends on the amount of merit points put into it. But most people will be putting their merits into the other weapon skills, so this is only fully merited by dedicated monk players.

And it also carries the Plague effect when used on enemies.

This particular status ailment saps away at an enemy’s TP, reducing how often they can use abilities.


1. Victory Smite

Under Impetus and Focus in particular, Victory Smite will be an insanely powerful weapon skill through and through.

And this will often be a monk’s best friend.

This means that most monks in the current meta have quite a few ultimate weapon options surrounding their weapon skills. But Verethragna—the empyrean weapon—will most likely be taking the spotlight.

Victory Smite has amazing skillchain properties, particularly Light, since it’s an empyrean weapon skill.

This means it can create Light just by being used twice in a row, and is definitely going to leave a mark when closing Light skillchains.

Victory Smite can also critical hit like Ascetic’s Fury, giving it a huge potential spike damage that only a handful of top tier weapon skills (from other jobs) could rave about.

In addition to all of this, it also boasts a massive 80% STR modifier. This means if you can stack gear to put on as much strength as possible, it’ll give this weapon skill the biggest bang for its buck.

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