DND 5E – Monk build help and touch mechanics – Also some item questions

first post/question here.

Right now I have a Level 13 Way of the Open Hand Monk (he hits 14 in the next long rest). And I am considering to multi-class after hitting level 17. Sacrificing the capstone and the +5 movement.

I currently have 20 DEX/WIS as a Variant Human. So my AC is 20, I have Bracers of Defense being made so when I attune to that I will have AC 22.

I do get my final unarmed die, my last proficiency bonus and my Quivering Palm when I hit 17, so I am thinking at this point is safest to multi-class.

My decision to do this is dependent on whether if the following setup works.

I wanted to take 2 levels in Fighter and 1 level in Cleric or just 3 Levels in Fighter with Rune Knight Archetype.

Fighter Level 2

Fighting Style: Mariner – This is mostly for the +1 AC for AC 23 with the bracers

Second Wind: Meh, can be useful, but this is just an added bonus.

Action Surge: Biggest reason I want Level 2 Fighter. Having a second action on a boss fight can be big, and with Quivering Palm, ending it in the same round on something that needs to die fast can be crucial. Or having 2 Quivering Palms in 3 turns.

IF I go Level 3 Fighter

Rune Knight – Fire Rune and Stone Rune would be my runes of choice.

Fire Rune does not cost a bonus action to invoke and can be invoked on a successful attack. It’s straight up 2d6 fire damage, but if it fails on a STR save, it is also shackled for 1 min and keeps getting hit with 2d6 until it finally saves.

Stone Rune can be invoked as a reaction on a target that ends his turn within 30 feet from me. It has to save on a WIS throw or become charmed for 1 min, leaving it incapacitated until it saves.

Giant Might – Also learned at 3rd level Rune Knight, for 1 min: become large, Advantage on STR saves/checks, extra 1d6 per turn on my unarmed/weapon strike (I also run Contact Poison when I can, can be 1d4/2d4/2d6 depending on potency added to Giant Might). This can be done as many times as my proficiency score. So at Level 17 Monk, 6 times before a long rest.

The Level 1 Cleric option

Inflict Wounds or Guiding Bolt – 3d10 or 4d6 with advantage on next attack… Since I am a Monk, I am confident I can make Inflict Wounds hit, especially since I have Stunning Strike. Guiding Bolt would be nice for advantage, but I have 2 other melees with me that we get advantage on enemies often, also knocking to the prone and Stunning Strike helps with advantage.

Shield of Faith – +2 to AC for 10 mins on a bonus action… With 20 WIS/DEX, +2 AC from Bracers of Defense, +1 AC from Mariner Fighting style, and Shield of Faith, I am looking at 25 AC. This will be one of my choices for a spell slot.

Cantrips for Cleric is kinda meh for me, I really just want the two Level 1 spell slots for the above. But I would go with Toll of the Dead and whatever else I decide on.

THE QUESTIONS

How does Inflict Wounds work? When I use a spell slot to do this and I go for the hit, does the hit use my Monk/Proficiency modifiers?

Does it count as an Attack Action? (I am new to Spells, as this is my first character in DnD 5E, with 2+ years in the making).

If it does hit, and is counted as an Attack Action, can I still use my bonus action to burn a Ki point and use Flurry of Blows after using Inflict Wounds?

How can I get a stronger Monk Weapon? I paid 6k Gold to get my bracers, but haven’t had much opportunity to get a strong weapon from any where in the game, so I had to pay for the bracers to be crafted…

Additional Info

Party make up is 1 Wizard, 1 Sorcerer (I think?), 1 Cleric (recent addition), Monk (Me) and a Ranger (when he shows up).

Feat: Lucky Weapon: Reg silvered quarter staff

16th Level Feat: Thinking Sentinel or Tough, since I only have 122 HP at Level 13 atm.

I have saved the party from dying with CC, high movement and high AC on more than one occasion. I want the new cleric to focus healing on the Wizard/Sorcerer/Ranger since they have lower AC than I do and I tend to disengage to assist when they are overwhelmed with something else that I am not already fighting. I was thinking of multi-classing into Ranger, but I don’t see a lot of good things from what I have read so far.

Our leveling system is based on Time Played and not EXP from kills, so more than likely we will hit Level 20.

Only have 3 levels to spare since I am going Level 17 WOTOH Monk. Any other suggestions I will consider.