Handwraps are exotic weapons that enhance a Monks' unarmed attacks. They deal [1d6] Bludgeoning damage and critically hit on a 20 for double damage. Handwraps can be converted into Companion Collars to enhance attacks of Artificer / Druid pets.
- Unarmed combat is about 8% faster than using weapons ( ).
- Monks add their full strength bonus to attacks with both hands.
- The Two Weapon Fighting line of feats allow to increase the number of off-hand procs per attack.
- Handwraps are generally worthless to other classes, making them readily available in weapon and pawn shops and the Auction House.
- Handwraps suffer no damage from rusting or acid, making them ideal for fighting oozes (which will not split apart from a Monk's bludgeoning attacks) and rust monsters.
- As a Monk levels, their handwraps begin to bypass Magic, Lawful, and Adamantine damage reductions (DR). As a Shintao Monk's unarmed attacks begin to bypass additional DRs, handwraps with both a prefix and a suffix allow these Monks to add additional damage.
The limitations of handwraps are few, though significant to some.
- Handwraps deal bludgeoning damage, making attacks on enemies such as zombies a bit tougher (but see Vorpal Strikes).
- You can wear only one type at a time; you can't have one type of handwrap on one hand and a second kind on another.
- Handwraps that bypass advanced DR, such as Silver, are quite rare. Update 14 increased the drop rates for metal-laced or lined handwraps. While The Shadow Crypt can drop Devout Handwraps (+2 Metalline of Pure Good), it is more practical (and less exasperating) to find silver-laced handwraps and use Cannith Crafting for new abilities, or find an increasing number on the Auction House. The Alchemical Handwraps do allow a metal-typed crafting option for high-level Monks, and Metalline crafting handwraps is also possible.
Handwraps with rare materials are included in regular loot tables as of Update 14. Quests such as Devil Assault that can possibly bypass DR of various monsters on all difficulties since summer 2011, with much better drop rate on Epic.
A supreme advantage to the existence of such handwraps is, unlike the prized metalline Devout Handwraps, these do not bind to character or account and seem to be considered a tradeable, randomly-generated item.
As of Update 14, metallic handwraps of all types appear with much greater frequency throughout the game (particularly in higher levels), retain their metal quality when crafted, and are tradeable.
Metallic handwraps may be more appealing to Path of Inevitable Dominion Monks with Ninja Spy enhancements, as they do not get the ascending DR bypassing of Byeshk, Cold Iron and Silver to unarmed attacks available to Path of Harmonious Balance Monks with Shintao Monk enhancements.
Many unique metal-laced handwraps are also available. Two examples: Devotion (Handwraps), which are Flametouched Iron threaded (adding the Good quality, if they weren't already Holy), and Eternal Rest handwraps, which are silver threaded.
- Unstable Handwraps, by design, do not give a negative level to the player.
- Pure Good (legacy weapon enchantment) - UMD 20 is not required for Neutral characters
Tips for Using
Since handwraps are very lightweight (in comparison to other weapons), Monks learn to carry different handwraps for every occasion. This is a great advantage since it allows Monks to tailor themselves for maximum damage and/or defense.
Many properties on handwraps will easily offset their limitation as bludgeoning weapons, such as elemental damage, bane damage, and crowd-control abilities, such as paralyzing. Take advantage of finishing moves, which greatly increase damage or increase enemy vulnerabilities.
A significant challenge for low-level Monks are Iron Golems. Built from adamantine, they have high DR/Adamantine, and are immune from most of extra damage effects. Until your character finds handwraps with Construct Bane or Smiting, on achieving level 16 or acquisition of metalline handwraps, you may need a quarterstaff or kamas with adamantine damage reduction to supplement your handwraps. Update 19 now shows that randomly-generated handwraps with Adamantine as well as Metalline properties have become quite common and available for Monks that need an unarmed solution against constructs before Level 16.
A tip vs. Golems: Against orange-named (and lower) Golems, try using Vertigo handwraps, Fire Stance (or other boosts to STR and tactics), and try and score a Trip attack. This is particularly handy vs Clay and Stone Golems. Metalline Handwraps of Vertigo can be a very versatile option for many immune-to-stun enemies in addition to Golems.
Anarchic Handwraps act differently from other Anarchic weapons on a Monk (thanks to the current glitch), and are perhaps the best weapon to use vs a Marut. Anarchic Handwraps of Greater Construct Bane/Smiting may be the ideal.
Handwraps used to be coded differently than weapons. This caused many headaches and workarounds. In Update 33, all Handwraps were converted to weapons.
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- Since the base damage of monks' unarmed attacks vary with their class level, handwraps are not programmed as weapons by design. [ As a result, handwraps sometimes suffer from some bugs, particularly in unique items and during crafting. Thus, while handwraps may apply enhancement bonuses and other effects, the monk's body is the weapon. Any monk can still be an effective fighter without handwraps equipped (especially Shintao Monks), but, just as a Fighter with a masterwork weapon does less damage, so would a Monk without handwraps.
Handwraps gain many unique abilities from other weapons, but also are limited in their upgrading due to their design or game design.
You can find these special properties or handwraps or add the property using the Stone of Change.
- Force prefix (Found or crafted)
- Force Burst prefix (Crafted)
- Bleeding suffix (Found)
- Metalline (Found)
- Stunning (Found—this property is shared with other non-ki bludgeoning weapons)
Metalline handwraps have a base price modifier of 5, instead of the typical 3, reflecting their rarity or value.
Missing or New
Handwraps with these following properties didn't exist in the game prior to Update 14, but now appear.
The Greater Parrying suffix appears on handwraps (since at least Update 16).
Prior to Update 19, properties such as Vorpal, Wounding and Puncturing weren't found on handwraps. Since Update 19, such effects can be found in named and loot-generated items such as the Ivy Wraps or handwraps with Lacerating property. In addition, the natural 20 rolls that would confirm Vorpal hits often activate many special Monk attacks by way of feats, enhancements or items. An Epic feat, Vorpal Strikes, is also available for Epic level characters.
Non-Weapon Based Enhancements
- Destruction enhancements from Breastplate of Destruction and Dragontouched Robes don't apply on handwraps, but developer Eladrin stated that it is intentional.
- Special armors have appeared that add damage augmentation, such as the Garments of Equilibrium.
- Using the Stone of Change, the Force Damage Ritual and Force Critical Ritual didn't take effect on handwraps automatically once applied, but a work around was implemented by running the affected handwraps through the Stone of Change by themselves ( ). This workaround is no longer needed. Force Damage and Force Critical rituals now work on randomly-generated, alchemical, and named handwraps. No information available as yet if the effect works for Cannith Crafted handwraps.
- The Ravager Set bonus damage does not work with handwraps. This is .
Game developers note that there will NOT be Green Steel handwraps implemented, . Speculation for the decision involves bugs that could develop from these type of handwraps, or that the developers believe monks with Green Steel wraps will be over-powered and break game balance.