Dungeons & Dragons Nerfs One of Its New Subclasses

Dungeons & Dragons just released two new subclasses, but one is slightly less powerful than it was during its initial playtest. Earlier this week, Wizards of the Coast released Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, a new dragon-themed compendium containing a variety of character options for players. One of the big draws of the new book are two new subclasses, the Drakewarden Ranger and the Way of the Dragon Ascendant Monk. Both subclasses were previewed in an Unearthed Arcana playtest earlier this year, giving players a chance to provide feedback on the new features and abilities. But while the Drakewarden received several upgrades from its initial reveal, the Way of the Dragon Ascendant Monk was unfortunately downgraded. 

Almost every feature of the Dragon Ascendant Monk was tinkered with between playtest and the final version. For example, the monk's Level 3 "Breath of the Dragon" feature now costs 2 ki points to use instead of 1, once a player has expended its free uses per day. The Level 6 "Wings Unfurled" ability now is limited to a certain number of uses per long rest. Previously, a player could spend ki points to gain additional uses of this ability. The Level 11 Aspect of the Wyrm received a significant downgrade, with its aura ability reducing by 20 feet and the aspect losing the ability to grant those within it a reaction attack. The reaction attack is replaced by a Frightful Presence ability that a target can shake off with a successful Wisdom saving throw. Finally, the Level 17 Ascendant Aspect saw its Explosive Fury feature reduced in effectiveness, with a creature taking only 3d10 damage instead of 4d10 damage and having the opportunity to avoid that damage if they make a successful Dexterity saving throw. 

Some of these changes were likely made to prevent a monk from dealing out automatic damage to opponents, but the changes feel pretty significant. Monks are generally considered to be an underpowered subclass, so many players were hoping that the Dragon Ascendant monk would provide players with a more powerful option. 

You can check out the official Way of the Dragon Ascendant Monk in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, which is available for sale now.