Diablo® III

[GUIDE] Compendium of Current Builds

After making a couple individual guides and doing more theorycrafting, testing things and seeing the demand for many diverse specs I've decided to make a compendium with all effective builds I've discovered, if you want to add to this list simply link your build with a brief description and I will add it with due credit. The goal of this post is to make a one stop for all returning or new Monks to browse for a new or different build.

*ROS* New Passives Section! The extra passive slot is just that, an extra slot, use it to best fit your situation, all current builds will still be based on 2-3 passives then the rest is up to you! Below I will give a list of the "optional" passives and a brief description of what they're ideal for, when and how they should be used.

With the amount of requests I've added a Paragon Points section below the builds for those that want to know the most ideal path to take for their role, also there is a list of suggested stats per role!

Before picking a build, here is what to expect from each of the damage types:

Lightning - Stun
Holy - Heal
Fire - Larger AOE
Physical - Knockback & High single target
Cold - Slow

DPS Monk Builds w/Cyclone Strike:

Fire Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdZSkf!bYU!ababab
Build with Cyclone Strike utility and Fire as the base damage type, will benefit from any + % Bonus DMG for Fire Abilities. Author - Aylen#1875

Cold Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdZSjf!bYU!YZcaaY
Build with Cyclone Strike utility and Cold as the base damage type, will benefit from any + % Bonus DMG for Cold Abilities, extra slow CC from the Cold Abilities. Author - Aylen#1875

Holy Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adeSkf!cbU!cbbYcZ
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility and Holy as the base damage type, will benefit from any + % Bonus DMG for Holy Abilities. Author - Aylen#1875

Lightning Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UdZSkf!cbU!abYcaa
Build with cheaper Cyclone Strike utility and Lightning as the base damage type, will benefit from any + % Bonus DMG for Lightning Abilities, AOE Stun CC from Lightning Rune for Tail Kick. Author - Aylen#1875

Physical Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdZSkf!cbU!ccZZaZ
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility and Physical as the base damage type, will benefit from any + % Bonus DMG for Physical Abilities, AOE knockback & slow CC from Physical Rune for Tail Kick

CS/Cookie:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#.f.S.k!XU!...c.b
This combines the strength of the old cookie cutter build with Cyclone Strike. There's a lot of flexibility built in since half the skills can be swapped with other skills to your taste. Credit goes to the thread by plylice#1958 for the suggestion of MoC:Dishearten (honestly I suspect there'll be lots of people independently coming up with some variation of this one since it's really not a huge leap from the old cookie-cutter build). Author - Hawk#1251 - More info below

Lightning Stun:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WUbZVT!gVX!bZbYaZ
Physical DMG mostly, 3 Spirit Generators, 3 Spirit Spenders, TONS of CC. Use whatever passives you want just be sure to have combination strike as one of them. Cycle your spirit generators keeping up your different buffs and drop as many spirit spenders as you want. Recommend One With Everything if you do not have enough all res(650+). This build is created by Blademaster#1559 - Check below for his full description of this build!

Nocturnal's Killing Machine:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UWfkdS!gb!bbZbbc
Very simple, very powerful. No weaknesses when played and geared right. Can really speed up party killing speeds. Primary Source of Damage is Holy. Author - EU-Nocturnal#2168

Shield Monk for T6 Farming:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#W...fQ!ac!b
This build that allows you to spam Mantra of Healing for the shield while you Cyclone mobs in and kill packs. I only play on T6 so this works pretty well for staying alive, killing huge white packs, and does work on some elite packs. Basically you just hold down crippling wave and spam MOH. You can literally spam MOH as fast as you can push the button and you will keep full spirit As long as it's at least 3 mobs. That leaves 3 open active abilities and one passive fill in whatever else you want. Author - Udt234#1548

Palace of Retribution:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UdRfSi!bgX!accbcc
The idea is to dash inside pull them in,activate mantra and forbidden palace and keep spamming cyclone strike.More details on the thread it's too awesome to pass :) Author - EU - Fanatik#2710 you can read the full guide for this build here http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/11914451754

Sweeping Wind Madness:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bfRSkd!bUe!baccac
Scattered blows and SW:cyclone are absolutely broken. The amount of cyclones produced by this spec is completely insane. Can comfortably farm T3 with only 130-150k DPS. Can do T4 but bosses take too long for my taste. High attack speed makes for some crazy CC. Author - Karandor#1872

Stun Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WedfkS!XbW!bYbbac
I haven't found any good upgrades for my monk since 2.01 is live but i wanted to play T3~T4 so badly so i could grind good items but being squishy is a pain in the !@# so i came out with this build.. i can play T3 without dying. Author - BVsHeart#6883 read the full write up on this build on Page 3 towards the bottom! :)

Lightning Monk Reborn:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UVRSfQ!cXU!bZccab
I put on WotHF: FoF due to the stacking of the FoF. It's more of a sustained/tank build and works well with obvious LoH and LS. If you have high enough of All Resist, you could just switch out OWE for something else, along with STI. Author - Urgami

Tanky Lightning Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aZSjfk!bcU!cYccaZ
Between Earth Ally and Intimidation, does better at staying alive...at least when I get those nasty ping spikes. Plus the boulder spin is pretty fun. Author - NemesisZeru#1841

kOtic's New Badass RoS Monk Build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adRfSk!UXYb!YacacY
I chose to go with lightning because of level 70 wkl and a shard of hate. A Thunderfury or fulminator mh would run similar builds. Ive been farming mostly t2, and cs can kill most trash in 1-2 casts (proc on shard of hate very strong with cs). Thus, im able to drop ep and add inner sanc forbidden city for very quick elite kills. As you increase torment levels, i would swap back to ep strong spirit. Author - kOtic#1800 - Full Write Up @ Bottom of Page 12

The premise of these builds is to provide good & strong DPS while bringing to the table our strongest utility, our Mantras & Cyclone Strike to pull mobs in and CC them. Ideally you want to dash in and Cyclone Strike, CC & Nuke the mobs, dash out when you are in trouble or if you need to rescue someone and use your body as a lethal weapon! There are many items in the game that buff various types of Elemental Damage Abilities such as crafted bracers, no matter the build you choose I would recommend crafting bracers and aiming to get something with % DMG Bonus to Abilities of the particular Elemental DMG Type.

Non-Cyclone Strike DPS Builds:

Old Skewl:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adYSkV!YbU!abccaa
This is a great solo or team build if you are the 2nd.. or 3rd Monk and you don't need or want to use Cyclone Strike. This build is very similar in feel & playstyle to the old Monks with Combination strike as the only thing missing as I don't feel it really fits in this sort of a build anymore. The primary damage type is Lightning! Author - Aylen#1875

Forbidden Palm Palace:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#USkVRg!XcU!aYaZcZ
Despite the silly giggity name, lots of spirit regen for more palms, which of course creates more spirit for more palms. Decent dps with Hands of Lightning, which could easily be switched for Blazing Fists for more atk spd. One could also easily swap out SW-Inner Storm back to cyclones, if desired, too. Author - Glib#1399 - Check below for his full description of this build!

Holy Stun Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Ued.ji!XUb!bYY.bb
This build is fantastic for ubers and bosses - which is exactly what I've been using it for. The hardest uber with this build is Ghom since you have to tank his gas clouds. All the other ubers just spend about 75% of the time stunned, and my crit chance is kind of low (~20%). This build should also help push the torment level higher than you normally could. Ideally this would be a 2h build to maximise bell damage, although attack speed certainly helps to maintain the stun. However, the state of 2h weapons is kind of disappointing, so you will likely come out ahead by dual wielding. Regardless, if you're Druin or a Druin fan (which is all of us, let's be honest), then this is a great build to pull out your 2handers for. Author - Hawk#1251 - Full write up on Page 7 of this thread!

Tick, tick, Boom:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UVcSPT!bVU!aaZZcY
Recommended for: Bounties and lower tier farming. Great solo, good in a team. As always, built for found gear. Maximising +%phys dam (72%) and CDR (40%) with a big 2h, the build tries for near full uptime on TR for decent damage. Performance-wise, this is a speed build so best on T1-T2. T1 Ghom in less than 30s is easy. Author - MinskandBoo#1616 - Full write up on Page 12 of this thread!

Above are the Non-CS Monk builds, not everyone wants to run the same build and not everyone likes Cyclone Strike! Also, with certain exceptions, there isn't a ton of a reason to have 2-3+ Cyclone Strikes in the party, as much fun as it may be there are certainly much more effective and productive choices, here we give you some of those!

2 Hander Builds:

Fire Staff Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdfSkZ!dbU!bbbbba
Huge AOE, hard hitting Fire DMG based Monk. Run around, pull stuff to you and SMASH it with LTK, pretty simple, change runes as you like and/or feel necessary! Author - Aylen#1875

Utility 2 hander Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdfSkZ!dbU!b.ZcbY
Large radius Cyclone Strike, lots of Spirit regen and LTK with a stun! The base DMG type is Holy & Lightning. Pretty straight forward, grip stuff in and smash it to pieces! Dishearten to prevent its retreat before you bring the proper level of DOOM to it! Author - Aylen#1875

Traditional 2 handed Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdfSke!dbU!b.ZYbZ
This is more of an old school traditional 2 handed build. Still uses Cyclone Strike which I just love and almost always use, feel free to replace it with something else if you prefer, Blinding Light & Inner Sanctuary are great replacements. WoL to crush everything you can hit, feel free to change the rune for a 4.5 second stun! Author - Aylen#1875

Holy Stun Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Ued.ji!XUb!bYY.bb
This build is fantastic for ubers and bosses - which is exactly what I've been using it for. The hardest uber with this build is Ghom since you have to tank his gas clouds. All the other ubers just spend about 75% of the time stunned, and my crit chance is kind of low (~20%). This build should also help push the torment level higher than you normally could. Ideally this would be a 2h build to maximise bell damage, although attack speed certainly helps to maintain the stun. However, the state of 2h weapons is kind of disappointing, so you will likely come out ahead by dual wielding. Regardless, if you're Druin or a Druin fan (which is all of us, let's be honest), then this is a great build to pull out your 2handers for. Author - Hawk#1251 - Full write up on Page 7 of this thread!

TR/CS/EP:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#VcfSjQ!bdc!ZZbYbZ
This is basically your old TR/EP/Bells, but with CS instead of Bells
Since this is a TR build, use a 2h weapon, and get some spirit regen on your gear if you can. Inna's set bonus is NOT required (although it wouldn't hurt). Depending how much spirit regen/reduced resource cost you have, you can swap out some of the spirit generators for either damage or survivability. The way to play this is to pop SW, run in, hit 2-3 enemies with EP, then just spam CS. If you run out of spirit, activate your air ally to get 100 spirit instantly. Author - Hawk#1251 - More info below

High Torment Level / Solo Builds:

Untouchable Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UdZSkR!YbU!abYcac
This is for higher level solo farming, although you can use it anywhere it is most efficient in harder scenarios. Pretty straight forward build, dash to your enemies with Fists of Thunder, dodge dangerous scenarios with Dashing Strike and nuke Elites with Inner Sanctuary + Overawe & Lashing Tail Kick! Since you need to be decently geared for the higher levels you may not need One With Everything, if you do not I recommend Beacon of Ytar for more Inner Sanctuary or Chant of Resonance for more Spirit & Overawe spam! Author - Aylen#1875

Thunderfury Godlike Lightning Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bdRSkZ!YbU!bbccaY
This is my special Lightning Monk build just for Monks with Thunderfury. The idea behind it is to get Thunderfury to proc as much as possible while taking advantage of its high DPS and Lightning elemental DMG. Blazing Fists gets us more procs overall, high Spirit regen and is Physical so the Lightning Elemental weapon turns the attack into Lightning. The rest of the build is very straight forward high Lightning DMG, I run a 1300 DPS OH as well so I use LTK for high DPS and the stun. This build can easily handle any Torment level up to T6 depending on your gear, the Thunderfury alone will allow you to do 1-2 Torment lvls higher than normal with this build, good luck & have fun! Author - Aylen#1875

Hardcore Fire Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdgViS!TXU!aZaaab
This is a pretty amazing fire build... Mainly for solo, but does provide some support. Augmented with Magefist gloves, and custerian wrists and it's seriously powerful (40% increase fire dmg). Swap EP:Flesh for Essence if you want to mow through white enemies, MoR for MoH if you need LPS or LOH. It doesn't have a spirit nuke but sometimes solo in HC you just want the survivability. Author - iMind#1442

kOtic's Bells:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bUVeSk!Ubg!ZZZcYZ
So the build is relatively cheap and strong for solo play. Farming t6 cota and killing the elites in under 2 minutes and almost enough toughness to survive a cow charge in act 1. Using DR foresight and WoTF blazing fist with Combostrike to boost bell dmg. Author - kOtic#1800 - Full guide on Page 5 towards bottom!

kOtic's CotA T6 Palm Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WRVfSk!UXb!ccZZYZ - Group Build
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WYVfSk!UXb!cbZZYZ - Solo Build
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsDjhV-xRd4&feature=youtu.be - Example Vid
Start by palming 2-3 units around the elite group, palm 2 elites minions, drop inner sanc forbidden palace, pop mantra of conviction and then spam cyclone strike. This will clear the elite group ridiculously fast with low end gear even in T6. I've been clearing CotA in ~ 1 min per run (including elites). Author - kOtic#1800 - Write up on Page 7 & 8! Ignore SoJ & Ele Weap Info as this is dated and changed! Use Cyclone SoJ if any.

Ironsolid's Face Melting T6 Masterpiece:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UfjTVi!XUb!ZZbZaZ
This build seems to require a well geared monk with gear dedicated towards damage procs (Pox Faulds, Thundergods, Thunderfury and Fulminator) and area damage in your paragon tree. The only real single target DPS in this build is Seven-Sided Strike. In elite packs, you focus your damage completely on the gorger, the white minions will die extremely fast. Once the mobs die, you re apply exploding palms to the gorger, smack seven-sided strike and watch the gorger melt. Author - Ironsolid#1288 - Full Build write up on Page 11

Healing & Utility Builds:

Holy Healer:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WdRSQf!cbU!bbcYbc
Provides Life on Hit from Mantra passive, Absorb Shield from Mantra active and direct healing from Cyclone Strike, DMG Reduction & DPS boost via Inner Sanctuary, very strong support build. Author - Aylen#1875

Ice Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adZSjf!bYU!ZbcaaY
This is a moderate DPS very high CC support Monk build. Damage is Cold based, the objective with this build is to replace a Cold Wizard DPS you would run with for CC & DPS, you can provide about the same amount of CC & DPS while still being an awesome and durable Monk! Author - Aylen#1875

Dodge Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adRSfh!dW!ZZccYc
I only tested this on Master so it might not actually be good, but it's super fun. You even get to choose the third passive (I prefer STI). Note that Inner Sanctuary can be replaced with any skill you want, and you'll get similar results. I chose Inner Sanctuary since it works amazingly with CS, and it doesn't require spirit. The basis of this one is to get your dodge as high as possible. By alternating between CS and FoT:Lightning Flash, you can keep your dodge chance over 70% during battle. Add in DS:BS and MoE, and you have a recipe for over 82% dodge (more if you have a lot of Dex and Crit Chance.) Author - Hawk#1251 - More info below

Hybrid Palm-Tank Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WVfSgQ!bcT!bZacZc
The idea is to go with the classic Cyclone Strike - Palm work to help your group, just like in so many other builds. But, by going for MoH + Serenity-UD, I can now sit right in those elites by spamming MoH to keep myself and my team up thanks to the insane spirit regen from Rising Tide rune. Also, the Serenity-UD gives me not only defense, but also good offensive presence and will help finish that palm'd target. Author - Yorgh#1315 - Full write up on Page 7!

Iuki's Support Builds:
More personal DPS support build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UfgSXQ!Xcf!bZbZbc
Full support build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UfgRXQ!Xcf!bcbcZc
Both builds can make you and your party near invincible.....plus, if you use MoH at the right times it adds up to 30% dmg to you and or other players which is quite a bit if they are geared. Author - iuki#1668 - Full write up on Page 12 of this thread!

Passives
Here are all of the "optional" passives for our 4th slot and when and how they can be used!

Combination Strike - This used to be a core talent for a lot of Monks, now however it is great in certain builds that use more than 1 Spirit Generator, however for those that don't this is still a FREE +10% DPS boost! This is ideal for mostly solo play when you want some extra DPS and don't really need anything and don't want to add any extra mechanics, just DPS.

Unity - This is a wonderful new talent and should be used any time you are in a group of 2+ AND are using a Mantra OTHER than Conviction since currently Conviction doesn't seem to cause Unity to work. Otherwise this is +5% DPS to you PER person affected by your Mantra(Max of 20%) and gives each of them +5% too!

Mythic Rhythm - Exactly what it sounds like, get in the groove and smash stuff! It works exactly as it reads and is ideal mostly for solo play, although it could be useful in a Monk heavy group as well. Basically you want to hit 3 times with a Spirit Generator then unleash with a Spirit Spender and do lots of DMG!

Momentum - What is this for? This is for whenever you want to do any sort of "speed run" or just be fast or mobile a lot. It works exactly as it reads and ideally this is either Solo OR when you have a group that wants to move fast through the map otherwise you have to use a lot of Dashing Strike and it falls off. Great passive for the right scenario, don't overlook it but don't try to fit it in if you're not looking to do a lot of moving!

Seize The Initiative - So you're the only Monk around and you need some extra Toughness? Well, here's the answer! This is a great passive for either Solo or most likely group when you are Tank/CC/Pulling and just need more armor, your Armor should ALWAYS be within 5% of the protection your All Res provides, if it isn't there this is a great way to get it there, especially if your job is to CC/Tank/Pull more than DPS.

Resolve - This is a good talent but IMO not so necessary anymore, there are better solutions but if your All Res and Armor are good and you're still getting hit too hard this is a good way to protect yourself. This should only be used in Groups, if you need this in Solo you should consider turning the difficulty down beings you're probably undergeared!

Fleet Footed - There are some TR builds that still use this but for the most part this is for Solo or Group(bounties) when you are on a lower difficulty and just want to get through the maps ASAP. Otherwise this gives no offense or defensive bonus and should only be used if you just need a little more speed!

Guiding Light - For those that run Support or Healing oriented builds this Passive is great for a nice little DPS boost for both you AND your allies. This can be used in both Solo & Group play and should be paired with Breath of Heaven and/or Mantra of Healing, both will give a significant DPS boost for a few seconds!

There are plenty of other great Passives but for the most part they are very specialized per build so they will be listed in the appropriate builds above!

Paragon Points:

Thus far with everyone I've helped this is one of the biggest areas I've noticed folks need help. Below I will list each role a Monk plays and what you should get with your Paragon points first, second & third for each!

DPS:
Core - Dex then Spirit then Vit
Offense - Attack Speed then Crit Chance then Crit Damage
Defense - Resist All then HP then Armor
Utility - 1 Point in Area Damage then Life on Hit then Resource Cost then your choice

Support/Heals:
Core - Spirit then Vit then Dex
Offense - Attack Speed then Cooldown Reduction then Crit Chance
Defense - Resist All then HP then Armor
Utility - 1 Point in Area Damage then Life on Hit then Reduced Resource Cost then your choice

Tank:
Core - Vit then Spirit then Dex
Offense - Attack Speed then Cooldown Reduction then Crit Chance
Defense - Resist All then Armor then HP - You can do HP > Armor if you need it more
Utility - 1 Point in Area Damage then Life on Hit then Reduced Resource Cost then your choice

***1% Area Damage means that 20% of the attacks you do will proc 1% of their original damage to hit EVERYTHING in 10 yards which means a HUGE increase to your Life on Hit proc chance as well as any other procs you may have!! This is a very big deal for Life on Hit as well as any other procs, be sure to spend that 1 point!!! Also, this stat is still NOT GOOD to stack early on because it is limited to 20% proc chance no matter what and does a % dmg of the original attack meaning it is ONLY GOOD for single target specs!***

The reason for these orders is a combination of overall effectiveness, what is most beneficial per point, what is missing from your gear and what best enhances and/or synergizes with your class/build internal mechanics.

Stats & Gearing:

Have had a LOT of people hit me up recently about gear and I think it's VERY IMPORTANT to note that Monk has changed a LOT!! We're not longer squishy & fragile little DPS machines that had to be careful for everything and rely on Lifesteal to survive.

Now we're more like Bruiser DPS, which means somewhat tanky, and we're more of a team leader/tank/support type of a class, we innately take 30% less dmg than Wizards, Witch Doctors & Demon Hunters. We also have some great CC abilities and buffs/debuffs for our team and healing even!

Gear:

As a base for all Monks you should try to get ~750-850+ All Res, you can accomplish this through getting All Res in Paragon Points, Diamonds in your armor, One With Everything and stack a particular type of resistance as well as on crafted gear, main armor pieces, etc.

Cooldown Reduction & Resource Cost Reduction are great, just don't give up main stats for them!

DPS:
Here are the stats you should aim for:
~400k HP
~700 All Res
~5000+ Armor or as much as you can easily get
2.1+ Attacks Per Sec on Main Hand
40%+ Crit Chance
3.5k+ Life on Hit OR 6k+ HP Regen Per Sec
As much Crit Damage & Dex as possible
Try to get % dmg bonus on your bracers at the very least to whatever your main type of damage is, Fire, Physical, Lightning, Holy, etc

Support:

~500k HP
~800 All Res
~5000+ Armor or as much as you can easily get
2.1+ Attacks Per Sec on Main Hand
40%+ Crit Chance
3.5k+ Life on Hit OR 6k+ HP Regen Per Sec
Cooldown Reduction on gear is a big plus since you're buffing the party 15-30% is ideal
As much Crit Damage & Dex as possible
Try to get % dmg bonus on your bracers at the very least to whatever your main type of damage is, Fire, Physical, Lightning, Holy, etc

Tank:

~650k+ HP
~850+ All Res
~6000+ Armor or as much as you can easily get
2.0+ Attacks Per Sec on Main Hand
40%+ Crit Chance
4.5k+ Life on Hit OR 8k+ HP Regen Per Sec
Cooldown Reduction on gear is a big plus since you're buffing the party 15-30% is ideal
As much Crit Damage & Dex as possible
Try to get as many defensive stats as possible on magic rolls on armor such as Crowd Control Duration Reduction, Damage Reduced from Melee or Ranged, etc.

Below are the full posts & descriptions/guides for the other builds by their original authors! :)

My BattleTag is Aylen#1875 if you have any questions or want input on various items, collaborate, need a guild, want to chat, etc, feel free to friend me and hit me up!
Edited by Aylen#1875 on 5/24/2014 11:29 AM PDT
Reply Quote
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the era of Cyclone Strike!

I have a couple builds I worked with today that just destroyed Torment 2 which is pretty good considering my DPS is pretty low. Here's my builds:

TR/CS/EP:
This is basically your old TR/EP/Bells, but with CS instead of Bells
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#VcfSjQ!bdc!ZZbYbZ
Since this is a TR build, use a 2h weapon, and get some spirit regen on your gear if you can. Inna's set bonus is NOT required (although it wouldn't hurt). Depending how much spirit regen/reduced resource cost you have, you can swap out some of the spirit generators for either damage or survivability. The way to play this is to pop SW, run in, hit 2-3 enemies with EP, then just spam CS. If you run out of spirit, activate your air ally to get 100 spirit instantly.

CS/Cookie:
This combines the strength of the old cookie cutter build with Cyclone Strike. There's a lot of flexibility built in since half the skills can be swapped with other skills to your taste. Credit goes to the thread by plylice#1958 for the suggestion of MoC:Dishearten (honestly I suspect there'll be lots of people independently coming up with some variation of this one since it's really not a huge leap from the old cookie-cutter build). Here's the base:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#.f.S.k!XU!...c.b

And here's the version I currently prefer:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WfgSVk!XUY!cbZcab

Here's a couple other suggestions to give a sense of the flexibility:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bfdSTk!XUZ!baaccb
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UfZSRk!XUc!ZaYccb

To explain that one, basically you use CS to gather enemies, hit them with a spirit generator (preferably AoE) to spawn cyclones, and if you have the spirit then you drop your spirit spender of choice on them whenever you have too much spirit. I definitely recommend either EP or LTK since they work really well with CS, but really, almost anything works.

Other passives and mantras are viable, but I think the majority will prefer what I've suggested here - although Overawe definitely deserves mention.

CS/Cookie DPS Variants
Finally, I have two DPS boosting variants for anyone (like me) who is finding their damage to be the limiting factor for their Torment level (my gear when developing this build had ~1.2M toughness and ~60k DPS - I could survive T2 well enough I wanted to try T3, but the time to kill anything was so slow I ended up dropping to T1). I think that the gear in 2.0 seems to favour toughness and healing far more than DPS, so I suspect there will be a few people in this situation. If you're havng trouble dishing out enough damage, try these builds. If they don't help, you're probably going to have to drop the difficulty. (There may be higher DPS builds, but they'll pretty much have to drop CS or SW, and I'm not sure for what)

Variant 1, Pure Damage:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bfjSVk!XUg!cbZcab

Variant 2, Reasonable Damage:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bfdSVk!XUg!cbacZb

Note that Variant 1 is only recommended for people with TONS of survivability. V1 has no escape skill, so you have to be able to tank whatever affixes you encounter. DR:Foresight could be replaced with CW:Breaking Wave if you're in love with CW (plus I've heard it maybe spawns more cyclones), but the buff is less so I've chosen DR:F.

The primary difference between V1 and V2 is the switch between the fire ally (who grants a passive 10% DPS boost, plus a moderately useful active skill) for dashing strike. Dashing strike will let you get out of anything but Waller. The other change is the rune on Exploding Palm, but that's a much smaller difference.

Note that for Dashing Strike, I cannot possibly recommend Quicksilver. Although having 3 charges may be nice, you still only regenerate one every six seconds, so if you're actively using Dashing Strike, then Quickening won't help. What's more, you typically only need to use DS once to get out of trouble, so that third charge will generally be unused. All four other runes have their use. In particular I recommend either Way of the Falling Star for mobility or Barrage for damage. The other two don't fit as well with this build, but don't let that stop you from trying.

As before, the passives are very flexible. Just make sure you keep Combination Strike for the 10% damage boost every time you use DR. Otherwise, feel free to swap STI and OWE for your favourite passives.

Holy Stun Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#Ued.ji!XUb!bYY.bb

This build is fantastic for ubers and bosses - which is exactly what I've been using it for. The hardest uber with this build is Ghom since you have to tank his gas clouds. All the other ubers just spend about 75% of the time stunned, and my crit chance is kind of low (~20%). This build should also help push the torment level higher than you normally could. Ideally this would be a 2h build to maximise bell damage, although attack speed certainly helps to maintain the stun. However, the state of 2h weapons is kind of disappointing, so you will likely come out ahead by dual wielding. Regardless, if you're Druin or a Druin fan (which is all of us, let's be honest), then this is a great build to pull out your 2handers for.

MoR:Indignation may seem an odd choice since the rune is in direct conflict with how MoR players like to play. Oddly enough, choosing Indignation makes this build primarily about avoiding hits, rather than taking them. The main success of this build is the amazing synergy of MoR:Indignation, Mystic Ally, and WoL:Blinding Light. 20% of enemy attacks on you AND YOUR ALLIES/PETS will cause them to be stunned. If you run with a Pets WD, this build is a must-try. Additionally, if you have a weapon that summons an ally of some kind, then the mantra applies to those summons as well.

Just to reiterate: when an enemy attacks your mystic ally, the enemy has a 20% chance of being stunned. Against the ubers, I usually attack one, while the ally attacks the other which keeps both ubers stunned most of the time. Add in a follower and you'll wonder why the ubers are such a big deal.

Note that MoR and WoL:BL are holy damage. For this reason (as well as my +holy SoJ), I've selected WotHF:FoF as the spirit generator. If you run this build you'll ideally want +holy damage where you can get it, although it's by no means necessary. If you don't have +holy, then you can really use whatever spirit generator you want.

The weirdest part of this build is that against a single target you want to use WotHF:FoF instead of WoL to do damage. WoL is primarily there to keep enemies stunned. When there are multiple enemies, then WoL begins to shine, but otherwise its damage is disappointing.

I've left one slot open. This is largely because I've been using The Laws of Seph which is a legendary spirit stone:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-laws-of-seph
Because of that spirit stone I use Blinding Flash:FitL, but this probably isn't ideal for everyone (even with The Laws of Seph I'm on the fence for the aforementioned weirdness with FoF being better than WoL for damage). I suspect the best choices will be CS:Implosion for utility (and holy damage), Inner Sanctuary:Forbidden Palace for burst damage, and SW:Cyclone for sustained damage (why are there no holy runes for SW?). However these are all just complementary to the build, and none are essential so feel free to play around with what you like. Note that if you choose a skill with cooldown, then you'll want to look for cooldown reduction on your gear since you'll also be using your mystic ally frequently to get extra spirit.

The other flexible slot is Dashing Strike. I'm in love with this skill, and DS:Flying Side Kick is an excellent way to increase the stun time on ubers. However, because of MoR:I and WoL:BL, enemies will be stunned most of the time anyways, so Serenity:Unwelcome Disturbance is an excellent choice. Note that if you use Serenity, it would be a good idea to try to get cooldown reduction on your gear and put a cooldown skill in the empty slot discussed above.

Another option if you're using a 2hander is to swap DS with TR and make this a TR/Stun build. Just make sure to get a lot of spirit regen.

As for passives, the only mandatory passive is Exalted Soul, since you're bound to be spending a ton of spirit on bells. I've chosen STI and OWE because they're just soooo good.

Unlike most builds, you may want to put paragon points into crit chance before attack speed to increase the chance of a stun with your bells, but only if your crit is low. I suggest aiming for an ias around double your crit chance as a very rough guideline. I haven't tested extensively though, so attack speed may still be better.

For those of you that like to experiment, the core of this build is:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#.e..ji!b!.Y...b
The rest is just gravy.

Dodge Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adRSfh!dW!ZZccYc

This build isn't the greatest if you lack the DPS needed to handle higher difficulties, but it's super fun, and it can be useful if you're just a little squishy. You even get to choose the third passive (I prefer STI). Just make sure you understand the difference between eHP and toughness (namely that eHP indicates how much damage you can actually receive, while toughness includes dodge, so it indicates how much incoming damage is probably survivable).

Note that Inner Sanctuary can be replaced with any skill you want, and you'll get similar results. I chose Inner Sanctuary since it works amazingly with CS, and it doesn't require spirit. The basis of this one is to get your dodge as high as possible. By alternating between CS and FoT:Lightning Flash, you can keep your dodge chance over 70% during battle. Add in DS:BS and MoE, and you have a recipe for over 82% dodge (more if you have a lot of Dex and Crit Chance.)

Additionally, this build can easily be adapted into a Cold build since the DS rune and CS rune are both Cold.

Hope some of these builds are to your liking. As a side note, I just want to mention that my monk with ~500k toughness and ~50k damage handled Torment 2 easily with these builds, where my wizard with ~800k toughness and ~140k damage had to drop down to Torment 1.

-Hawk

Edits 3/2/14: Added CS/Cookie DPS Variants. Changed comments on dodge build slightly.
Edits 3/11/14: Added Holy Stun Monk
Edited by Hawk#1251 on 3/11/2014 12:06 PM PDT
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Very nice write up Hawk, I'll just leave it as your portion and make a reference to it in my original post :) I Think you wrote your section very well.
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Cureently I am trying a trigen type build That I Call Lightning Stun with many spirit spenders. This is my current build http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/BladeMaster-1559/hero/37308959

My three spirit gens are

Wohf - Blazing Fists : for the extra move and attack speed

Crippling Wave - Rising Tide : Comes with a nice stun effect and i use to gain spirit nice and quick

Deadly Reach - Scattered Blows : Knocks enemies around and has some lightning damage decent aoe as well

Spirit Spenders are

Ltk - Scorpion Sting : Does nice damage and has a stun

Ep - Flesh Is Weak : Practically a ROS must have takes down elites really quick

SSS - Several Sided : Always wanted to use SSS now I can still experimenting with runes

T2 is a joke with this build keeps a nice stun going and takes out anything with ease. Using LOH for sustain with some lps and lpss.

Use whatever passives you want just be sure to have combination strike as one of them.

Cycle your spirit generators keeping up your different buffs and drop as many spirit spenders as you want. I can refill my spirit in a couple mouse clicks with ease. Tag some guys with EP and unload a SSS followed by your LTK and everything dies. Anything left standing is usually stunned. Rinse and repeat.

I have not had much playtime since the launch of Loot 2.0 but once ROS releases I will be continuing down the LOH path stay tuned for a complete update on my guide.
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Hello Blademaster,

Nice work there, I'll add your spec to the Compendium with a description and reference your post down here for the full story on it :)
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All around powerful build, solo, in teams, you name it. A variation of my old build now adapted to game changes, it's role exactly what it has always been doing:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UWfkdS!gb!bbZbbc

Very simple, very powerful. No weaknesses when played and geared right. Can really speed up party killing speeds. Best.
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I have been using this with much success on T2 despite only fair gear:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#USkVRg!XcU!aYaZcZ

I'm going with "Forbidden Palm Palace" for this build. Despite the silly giggity name, lots of spirit regen for more palms, which of course creates more spirit for more palms. Decent dps with Hands of Lightning, which could easily be switched for Blazing Fists for more atk spd. One could also easily swap out SW-Inner Storm back to cyclones, if desired, too. Palm mops up the mobs while generating spirit and chant of resonance keeps spirit topped up for cheaper Overawe spam. Paragon points in atk spd, LoH, All Resist and Dex (switch to vit, if needed). If spirit is no issue, Beacon of Ytar would also be great for more Sanctum and more dps boosting Serenity-UD.

Hope that helps!
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Thanks for the 2 new build ideas, Nocturnal & Glib, I will add them to the Compendium now!
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Fire Monk:
Build with Cyclone Strike utility

Cold Monk:
Build with Cyclone Strike utility

Holy Monk:
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility

Lightning Monk:
Build with cheaper Cyclone Strike utility

Physical Monk:
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility

TR/CS/EP:
This is basically your old TR/EP/Bells, but with CS instead of Bells

CS/Cookie:
This combines the strength of the old cookie cutter build with Cyclone Strike.


I'm seeing a trend here.
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03/01/2014 03:28 AMPosted by hong
Fire Monk:
Build with Cyclone Strike utility

Cold Monk:
Build with Cyclone Strike utility

Holy Monk:
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility

Lightning Monk:
Build with cheaper Cyclone Strike utility

Physical Monk:
Build with LARGE radius Cyclone Strike utility

TR/CS/EP:
This is basically your old TR/EP/Bells, but with CS instead of Bells

CS/Cookie:
This combines the strength of the old cookie cutter build with Cyclone Strike.


I'm seeing a trend here.


Yeah I think now a days you will find yourself hard pressed to find a Monk build without Cyclone Strike since it's one of our best moves and pretty well expected if you are the only Monk! Soon I will post a couple of non-CS builds though for when you are the 2nd or 3rd Monk in the group. :)
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After coming back from a long break, I've decided to go with the Lightning build because I already have most of the gear for it and I'm absolutely loving it, although I prefer DR with Scattered Blows over FoT. I just wanted to ask, do you think that there are any big differences in preferred stats between the Fire/Cold/Physical/Holy builds, other than the obvious +% damage bonuses? I'm still looking for gear with CC and CD, but do these trends change across different damage types?
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Nope, the only difference in gear stats is the % damage bonuses. This stat makes some more or less desirable at higher gear levels due to there being more available for Fire & Lightning than most others but with bringing back old legendaries and introducing new ones most damage types have quite a few options.

Most of all it comes down to playstyle and how you want to play your Monk. Each damage type has its own "feel" to it.

Lightning - Stun
Holy - Heal
Fire - Larger AOE
Physical - Knockback & High single target
Cold - Slow

Above are the innate bonuses each damage type comes with, for Holy I mean you can easily spec into healing abilities and they stay Holy damage where as if you get healing as any other damage type you will end up with Holy abilities mixed in.

This is what is making me absolutely love Monk now, it is so flexible, I go from group Tank to Support/Healer to DPS to Solo with the same gear for the most part, maybe change a couple things for tanking but that's about it.
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As per the question not only in thread but one I've been asked a few times in-game I've added the damage types and their bonuses to the original post to make it easier known :)
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02/27/2014 09:27 PMPosted by Aylen
TR/CS/EP:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#VcfSjQ!bdc!ZZbYbZ
This is basically your old TR/EP/Bells, but with CS instead of Bells
Since this is a TR build, use a 2h weapon, and get some spirit regen on your gear if you can. Inna's set bonus is NOT required (although it wouldn't hurt). Depending how much spirit regen/reduced resource cost you have, you can swap out some of the spirit generators for either damage or survivability. The way to play this is to pop SW, run in, hit 2-3 enemies with EP, then just spam CS. If you run out of spirit, activate your air ally to get 100 spirit instantly.


I personally prefer VCK instead of CS. High condensed damage makes it easier to kill your palmed enemies than lower wide-spread damage. TR isn't as useful anymore so I've swapped it for way of the falling star, which I find great too for getting around.
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Thanks for the write-up OP. I've just returned recently and haven't really settled into one build but I do really like what I'm using currently. Took some ideas from some other monks here on the forums.
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Awesome post OP. I didn't see this yesterday but it gave me some good ideas. I'd like to submit my build for consideration.

Shield Monk

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#W...fQ!ac!b

This build that allows you to spam Mantra of Healing for the shield while you Cyclone mobs in and kill packs. I only play on T6 so this works pretty well for staying alive, killing huge white packs, and does work on some elite packs.

Basically you just hold down crippling wave and spam MOH. You can literally spam MOH as fast as you can push the button and you will keep full spirit As long as it's at least 3 mobs.

Core abilities to make this build work are Crippling Wave/rising tide, Mantra of healing/x, Cyclone Strike/x, Chant of Resonance, Resolve

That leaves 3 open active abilities and one passive fill in whatever else you want and
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Glad to hear the post is helping folks! :)

Rayzorz - If you would like to submit your variant with a brief description/instruction how to use it and submit it I would add it to the compendium!

Udt - Thanks for the build, I will add it to the compendium!
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Great Post OP. This is the build i have been playing so far.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UVdYgk!XUa!aabcYa

The idea is to use dashing strike to close the distance and for keeping out of arcane, posion, molten, etc. Then use exploding palm on one or more targets. Then just simply rely on WofHF with hands of lightning (best single target dps generator, as far as i am aware), and blinding flash and overawe to kill the target and cause the AOE explosion from EP.

The legendary that increases EP's AOE damage could be really useful here.

The build could probably do with a lot of refining but i am not great at that and at the moment it seems to be working for me :)
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I'm loving everything happening in this thread. I'm about to add a couple variants to the CS/Cookie section that are focused on getting as much damage as possible out of low DPS gear so check those out if you're interested.

Also, a couple points I want to make about paragon distribution:

For Core, don't discount the value of MS. Not only does it help you survive by avoiding dangerous affixes, but it also allows you to hit the gear cap of 25% with fewer affixes, meaning you can have an extra slot on your boots (for example). On top of this, it lets you move more quickly from one group of enemies to the next, which is really valuable. I know it's not for everybody, but ever since I first tried running with 24% MS, I've been unable to use a character that hasn't stacked MS as much as possible. Just be aware that if your gear and paragon contribute more than 25% to MS, then you won't get the full benefit since the game has a 25% cap. Also note that if you replace a 12% MS affix on your gear with, for example, 250 Dex, then those 24 paragon points have contributed more to your DPS than if you just put those points into Dex.

For defence you want to keep your armour equal to 10x your all res to get the optimum benefit. Granted, the difference isn't typically that great, so if you're lazy you can just pick one then the other, but you'll want to follow that rule if you want to get as much as possible out of your paragon points. And remember that all res and armour benefit both toughness and healing, while life% only benefits toughness.

For Utility, if you're making a DPS build, try Area Damage. If I understand it properly, the area damage can trigger off ANY damage you deal which is amazing, especially in groups of monsters. I haven't done any strict testing, but it feels like things are dying faster since I've respecced into Area Damage.

Otherwise, I agree wholly with Aylen's advice about paragon points. Choose whatever is missing from your gear and that meshes well with your build. An example is my choice of Area Damage over Life on Hit - my gear currently has 1071 life on Hit, but my DPS feels quite low. Both options are great for a DW build, so I go with the one that's missing from my gear.

-Hawk
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I devoted a whole thread for this build, it is called Palace of Retribution http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UdRfSi!bgX!accbcc the idea is to dash inside pull them in,activate mantra and forbidden palace and keep spamming cyclone strike.More details on the thread it's too awesome to pass :)
Edited by Fanatik#2710 on 3/2/2014 10:47 AM PST
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