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Monk is an unnamed monk of unknown origin. As a devout monk, he has taken a vow of poverty, and will immediately take his own life upon violating it.

Monk is unlocked by completing Zone 3.

Rules and Restrictions

Monk starts with a Blood Shovel, Dagger, and Bomb.

Monk's "Vow of Poverty" prevents him from taking any gold or the Crown of Greed. Breaking this vow causes him to instantly die. Nothing is capable of preventing this, including the potion. In addition, when Monk is in play, enemies that drop 0 gold drop 1 gold instead. This includes boss fights.

Since Monk is not allowed to pick up gold, all shopkeepers will instead give him one item for free. Items that would cause Monk to immediately gain gold cannot be found. This includes the Riches Scroll, Ring of Gold, Ring of Courage, and Amplified dlc.png Shopkeeper Familiar. Ring of Shadows is also removed from his item pool, though still obtainable through the Shrine of Darkness. Monk does not have access to the Pawnbroker. Amplified dlc.png Monk may pick up the Crown of Greed.

Upon completing a floor, all gold is auto-collected and added to Monk's score. Note that this only occurs when exiting through the stairs - trapdoors do not count.



Since Monk desperately needs ways to get around gold piles, a strong digging build is necessary. Ring of Regeneration and Heal Spell both make great complements for his starting Blood Shovel. Any other shovel will allow Monk to dig without self-damage. Miner's Cap is also a very strong option, but only if no longer carrying the Blood Shovel. Alternatively, Ring of Phasing cuts out the need to dig altogether and allows for a very easy way around almost any gold pile. Bombs (especially with the Blast Helm) also make for a good brute force method, allowing troublesome gold piles to be easily blown away.

Weapons with long forward reach (such as the Spear, Longsword, Bow, or Crossbow) allow Monk to pick off enemies from further back, allowing for better manipulation of gold pile placement and keeping dangerous gold piles far away. Weapons like the Whip and Broadsword also prove useful, as Monk can kill enemies on non-adjacent tiles, allowing for safer movement. High damage weapons will allow for faster kills, also aiding in proper gold positioning. Guns, on the other hand, are very dangerous for Monk, as the recoil can unexpectedly push him onto gold; similarly, the rapier can charge you onto a pile of gold if you're not careful. Levitating over gold piles will also kill Monk.


When dealing with large swarms of enemies, try to kill as many enemies on the same tile as possible. This will vastly reduce the amount of tiles Monk needs to avoid, making his life much easier. Make sure never to kill enemies on the exit stairs. If this happens and a bomb isn't available to destroy the gold, Monk will be forced to either find a trapdoor or wait for the song to complete.

Skeleton Mages, Liches, Warlocks, Green and Magic Monkeys, and Nightmares are among the most threatening enemies for Monk, as their effects can easily cause a careless Monk to stumble onto a gold pile. Similar caution should be taken around patches of ice in Zone 3.

As enemies that normally drop 0 gold drop 1 gold instead, and the music in a boss level loops indefinitely, it is possible to become trapped without bombs especially with Deep Blues.

It is easy to get flustered in combat while playing as Monk. Make sure to always take your time, and (if necessary) skip a beat to have enemies better positioned. Potions will not save you if you die from the Vow of Poverty, so, if you have a potion, always prioritize avoiding gold piles over avoiding enemy damage, even if it means quaffing the potion.

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