Optimized Zen Archer Build

He is Here: Improved Zen Gee (the greatest zen archer ever) - Let’s face it, even standard Zen Gee below is a solid build.  How in the world then could he be improved.  Well let’s see – more accuracy, more damage, more feats, a beast master, a master mount rider, a scout. If you like zen archers or archers period, you have got to download this build.  Oh, and I forgot, included in Optibuilds’ Icon Rebuilds PDF Part I is also Improve Youra Hoo Watt (the greatest fighter archer ever).

Character Name: Zenith, the Great – Friends call him Zen Gee
Race: Human
Favorite Class Option: 1 Hitpoint / level
Human Skill / Hitpoint Option: 1 Hitpoint / level
Monk Archetypes: Qingong Monk & Zen Archer.

Comments Deleted: There were almost thirty messages on this build consisting of questions, comments and answers.  These QC&As are now incorporated into this build for your convenience and the comments deleted.  New comments, suggestions, and answers are still welcome.

Quick Glance at Zen Gee’s 13th level Stats:  Bow: +22/+22/+22/+22/+17/+17/+12 (1d8 +16) (19-20 x3) (Ki Attack, Hasted, Flurry, Deadly Aim); AC (35 Barkskin & Mage’s Armor included / 39 with Shield); Saves: Fort (+14), Ref (+16), Will (+19); CMD (25); HP (114), Speed (70ft), Initiative (+4), Spell Resistance (23); Skills: Perception +29, Stealth +30, Escape Artist +30

  • Note Calculation for AC = 10 +7 wisdom +4 dexterity + 3 Monk’s Bonus + 1 dodge + 5 Barkskin + 4 Mage’s Armor + 4 Shield = 39
  • Note Calculation for Attack = +1 Point Blank Shot + 1 Weapon Focus + 7 Wisdom + 1 Bracers of Archery + 1 Haste + (11/+11/+6+1) Flurry +4 Longbow -4 Deadly Aim

Starting Stats (25 point build): Str (12), Dex (14), Con (14), Int (14), Wis (18), Chr (8)

Feats/Abilities: Traits) Finding Helen and Dangerously Curious; 1) Skill Focus (Escape Artist), Point Blank Shot, Dodge, Flurry of Blows (with bows), Unarmed Strike (2d6), Weapon Proficiency with all bows, Normal Monk Proficiencies, Perfect Strike (12 attempts/day) (bows), Monk AC (+14 at 13th level); 2) Precise Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow Comp); 3) Zen Archery, Speed +70ft at 13th level, Point Blank Mastery, Deadly Aim; 4) Barkskin (1 Ki) (Replaces Slow Fall), Ki Pool (16 points at 13th level); 5) Ki Arrows, Monkey Style, Feather Step (1 Ki) (Replaces High Jump); 6) Improve Precise Shot, Weapon Specialization (Longbow Comp); 7) Gaseous Form (1 Ki) (Replaces Wholeness of Body), Combat Reflexes; 8) Skill Focus (Stealthy)9) Reflexive Shot, Clustered Shots; 10) Improved Critical (Longbow Comp); 11) Trick Shot; Stealthy; 12) Shadow Walk (3 Ki) (Replaces Abundant Step); 13) Diamond Soul, Skill Focus (Perception)

Green = Human Feat; Red = Zen Archer Selection; Blue = Level Feat Selections; Black = Automatic Feats and Abilities

Skill Points (91 pts): Acrobatics (13), Stealth (13), Perception (13), Sense Motive (10), Climb (1), Fly (7), Swim (1), Intimidator (10), UMD (10), Escape Artist (13)

AC / Bow Related Items (94.55K): +2 Ring of Protection (8K); +4 Belt of Dex (16K); Wand of Shield (2nd level caster) (50 Charges) (1.5K); 2 Wands of Mage’s Armor (50 Charges) (1.5K); +4 Headband of Wisdom (16K); +4 Longbow Composite (+1) (32K); Efficient Quiver (1.8K); Lesser Bracers of Archery (5K); Boots of Speed (12K); Arrows (100), Wand of Abundant Ammunition (50 charges) (750 g)

Miscellaneous Items (41.7K): Daggers (x6); Ring of Feather Fall (2.2K); Handy Haversack (2K); +4 Cloak of Resistance (16K); 2 Cure Light Wounds (50 Charges) (1.5K); Carpet of Flying (20K)

Other Wands: 1st) (750g) Air Bubble (10); Expeditious Retreat (10); Gravity Bow (10); Feather Step (10); Comprehend Language (10); 2nd) (2.25K) Darkvision (5); Invisibility (5); Resist Energy (5); Spider Climb (5); Silence (5);




8 thoughts on “Optimized Zen Archer Build

  1. From what I understand, the qinggong monk has the /option/ of replacing any of those monk abilities, it never /has/ to if it doesn’t want to keep them. So as long as you’re not replacing something that your Zen Archer replaces, you’re golden.

    • Other than pushing your feat progression back because of the loss of the human feat, there is no real effect on the build.

      So, your first level feat would be Point Blank Shot, then all of your level feats listed in blue would be pushed back two levels. So, Crane Style would be taken at level 3, and so forth and so on.

      By 13th level, you would catch up to this build. Notice that the 13th level feat is left to be filled by the reader.

      Make sure you select a race that gets a +2 to Dexterity.

  2. The simpler answer is Qinggong Monk does not require you to trade away Diamond Body. Nor does it have any interaction with Still Mind. If it did, then that was changed in reprinting/errata.

    Still Mind issues come up with Monk Vows, which a Zen Archer CANNOT take (and wasn’t used here). I have seen other Zen Archer builds which mistakenly try to include Monk Vows. That might be what you are thinking of.

  3. Since you are already using UMD and wands for gravity bow, you might as well grab a wand of grease and a wand of mage armor instead of spending 16k on bracers of armor +4. The grease spell will probably be a better investment than increased INT item to get escape artist maxed. If you still want that route, then it’s a great investment to make sure you escape grapples or don’t get grappled to begin with. You could have a +4 WIS item, instead of +2 WIS/INT. Might be some other tweaks that it would make room for.

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