Diablo® III

Inna's Crimson Monkey Pull-Bomb Monk

So I've been having a lot of fun with this build and thought I would share here as it seems well positioned for 2.1, plays well and has a lot of cool synergies. The idea was to combine the full set bonuses of SWK, Inna's and Captain Crimson's and see how far they could be pushed. While there are many builds out there that combine SWK + Inna's, some of which may be "better" than the one proposed here, I'd like to focus the discussion on only builds that use all 3 full set bonuses and go from there. You can view the setup I'm currently running in my profile. I'm generally happy with the gear although the SWK Ammy has crap rolls and a holy SoJ would be BiS second ring.


Gearing for all three full set bonuses pretty much locks in all the pieces except for the bracers, weapon(s), and one ring. The exception to this rule is if you use Inna's Reach as your 2H. Doing so frees up the helm for one of the many sweet spirit stones or makes it so you aren't married to Sunwuko's Shine as the amulet. For this reason, I feel Inna's reach is BiS 2H just for the build diversity it allows. (More on this below.)

As mentioned, the best second ring is a %Holy SoJ. There are multiple good bracers which will work with this build, my favorites being Strongarms for damage (in profile) Reapees Wraps for spirit or the Warzechian Armguards for speed. The choice of weapon is build-dependent. (More below.)


Quite a lot of damage comes from the SWK clones. As such, Cyclobe Strike: Soothing Mist becomes mandatory. From here the next choice for a skill is Exploding Palm: Strong Spirit. Both are spenders to proc clones and both exploit the pull-palm interaction. Fortunately, both runes are holy which work with our elemental damage. There is room for one flex skill and as you can see from my build I went with SSS: Fulminating Onslaught. This skill is a fit since it's both a spender for our clones and interacts favorably with the CDR we'll be stacking. To make it viable, Flow of Eternity becomes the weapon of choice since without it or the Sustained Attack rune, the uptime isn't enough to justify the slot. (SSS: SA + Inna's Reach + Madstone may be better here but I don't have the gear to test it.)

There are other spender/weapon pairings that could work well here in place of SSS such as WoL, BF, BoH or even LTK. What draws me to SSS is how it attacks on a different angle from pull-bomb (especially useful when playing defensively against RGs and Yellows), puts our CDR to work and does a good job cleaning up after a clone explosion. That said I feel SA rune, FoE or a nutty amount of CDR are required to make it useful.


Because we want to be spending spirit to do our damage it makes sense to go with a no-generator build (ironic!) This makes Epiphany mandatory, with Desert Shroud or Inner Fire being the rune of choice depending on how squishy we feel. Mystic Ally: Air Ally is another generator if choice since we want to stack spirit per second. Since both of these skills effectively covert CDR into spirit, we have more synergy with CDR and the Crimson bonus. In game we want to cycle between these two as necessary, favoring Epiphany when time permits.

The next piece of the generation puzzle is Sweeping Wind: Inner Storm. Inna's 3pc allows us to keep max. stacks for free; the incidental damage and barrel smashing is gravy. The final active skill is the aforementioned Exploding Palm: Strong Spirit, which does a good job of keeping the globe full when the mobs are thick.

Passives are another way of generating sprit and Guardian's Path is what we want here as it's always working with our SpS and Air Ally activations. I was able to drop Exalted Soul in live and may even be able to drop Guardian's Path after the new SpS buffs hit. For now, it stays.


The STI in the profile will be Harmony post 2.1 to combat squishiness. Hopefully it will interact favorably with the 20% AR bonus which we will get for free from Inna's 4pc. Speaking of which, Unity is also a mandatory passive since Inna's 4pc + Air Ally + a follower lock in a 20% damage bump (also free). Lastly, Beacon of Ytar is a lock because CDR.


Cyclone Strike provides a lot of sustain from the Soothing Mist rune. Desert Shroud also provides a good amount of defense and SSS gives some short invulnerability which can give you the time needed to plan an escape route from some hairy ground affixes. In testing on live my toon is too squishy on higher torments where ground affixes are in play though I feel 2.1 will address that.


Main stat should be on most items that will have it. Holy % is a big priority on the few items that will have it (another reason IR is good as it allows for a Holy Andy's helm).. CDR should be stacked as high as possible without sacrificing itemization. Next priority is CHC/CHD. Area damage is excellent to have when possible. Attack speed is very low priority as the choke points for our damage are Spirit and CDR. Furthermore, ApS has anti-synergy with SpS when all our attacks are spenders. Similarly, some incidental RCR isis not o the worst but is definitely low priority.


While I'm most interested in what the community has to add in the comments, I would point out that this build could be modified for dual wielding with Skycutter for the +Holy% and one other weapon (Sunkeeper/Fist of Az/???). Doing so would mean dropping Guardian's Path (for Exalted Soul perhaps) and stitching to Sustained Attack for SSS or swapping out the skill entirely. I plan on testing it once the patch goes live and I can compare to a fully buffed daibo.

That's all! Hope you enjoy the build and leave your ideas/feedback in the comments.

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i like more with mad stone
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Hey Kensai,

Nice monk you got there. I run something similar on my hardcore monk, but went more with the elemental type of items that dropped for me (fire). So it's a bit of a mixed bag, but it's working out suprisingly well.

I feel i got so much spirit with the reduced cooldown from ephiphany and the massive regen that i went for spammable fire cyclone. The choice was more or less directed by the fire damage % roll on my sunwuko amulet and the fact that i only have a fire soj instead of a holy one..

I tried also using the flow of eternity with SSS but i feel the 5 spirit regen on my current daibo is more beneficial for dps in the end. Can't wait for a spirit regen inna daibo to drop. I think i'll switch out inna's radiance then and take the laws of seph and replace palm with blinding flash with the damage rune.

With epiphany active i can basicly spam cyclone strike endlessly (it crits for around 10 mill, the sunwuko proc for around 22mill), when i see my life drop (it isn't the most tough monk for hc) i switch to mantra shield spam. When epiphany is on i can spam mantra+cyclone at the same time (lots of sunwuko procs) thanks to chant of resonance. Mantra of healing gives a lot of control this way and makes up for not having soothing mist, also the circular breathing spirit regen can't be overlooked.

When epiphany is on cooldown i sometimes have to use primary (only in crowded rifts). I picked crippling wave/rising tide to keep it to a minimum and because i got a tiny bit of holy %.

I tried switching out palm for other skills (LTK with gyana, and another build with SW) but in the end palm is just too good to loose. I switch palm rune around depending on the party i run with.
I also tried dropping crimson set and take cindercoat with full inna and full sunwuko. Didn't notice much of a difference.

I really wished using tzo krins gaze would also aim the sunwuko proc at where you'd cast your bell, but the sunwuko spirit just spams beside you while you cast your bell at the other end of the screen. I guess looking into that is useless, it would have opened up some nice builds.

The biggest problem with monk as i see it is the elemental types of skills and elemental types of gear you can get. It just doesnt fit alright and it is too hard /not beneficial enough to focus on a single element. Hopefully the next patch fixes that a bit. Also can't wait for primary attackspeed increase and 2hander dps increase, it will help daibo's move up even more. 2 handed Spirit regen builds are just too fun.

21 spirit regen with epiphany off, 48 regen with epiphany on, 43% cooldown reduction.

I was suprised that in terms of effectiveness this monk isn't a lot worse worse then my dashing lightning monk.


p.s. if someone is interested i can make a movie later doing a t3 rift or something like that.
Edited by Xeno#2523 on 8/2/2014 7:33 AM PDT
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08/02/2014 06:42 AMPosted by Edrenua
i like more with mad stone

As I mentioned in the write-up, I suspect Inna's Reach + Madstone is BiS for this build. Sadly I salvaged my Madstone before the buff and have not yet got an Inna's Reach to drop. If you have the gear and want to test it out I would love to hear how it plays out.
Edited by Kensai#1140 on 8/2/2014 10:20 AM PDT
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08/02/2014 06:50 AMPosted by Xeno
The biggest problem with monk as i see it is the elemental types of skills and elemental types of gear you can get. It just doesnt fit alright and it is too hard /not beneficial enough to focus on a single element. Hopefully the next patch fixes that a bit. Also can't wait for primary attackspeed increase and 2hander dps increase, it will help daibo's move up even more. 2 handed Spirit regen builds are just too fun.

Agreed on the difficulty to sync up all the elemental skills. I don't have a dex+holy SoJ and I've passed up so many +20% ele rolls on my ammy just waiting for one to be holy. It's annoying but seems easier than gearing for OWE.

As for LTK, I started using that in this build and it works great too. The main thing I would recommend trying (if only for fun) is to go gen-free with the SW + Air Ally + Guardian's Path + Strong Spirit. All your attacks spending spirit procs more clones and I find it is quite doable and should become even more so after 2.1
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I have a similar build but not using Innas... I switched to SWK as I can't seem to drop a jawbreaker for Raiment set atm. I utilise Laws of Seph with Faith in the light for extra damage which I can spam quick enough.

I can do T5 quite effectively now even without a Furnace to kill the RG (just takes a while) but I am finding this build much better than Raiment. Will try out slotting in the Innas set and see though.

can check my profile for any interested... http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Turtlebaite-1320/hero/46066132
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Interesting build but I don't think it moves us past T2 in MP (with full 4 players in), have you tried it in higer T levels?


Are you playing T5 solo or in MP? I'm asking because with my 1.2 mil damage I cannot move past T2, you only have 950K, if you are playing T5 MP then I might try your build...
Edited by Miki#6546 on 8/3/2014 8:39 PM PDT
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I'm playing solo.. have played MP with one other person but not 4 player party.
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I was using sets when I was playing solo but then I started T2-T3 MP and I had to change everything. I've tried several combinations with sets but none of them worked for me. Mainly because they all rolled out pretty bad. I'm trying to get the RORG again and then I'll try some of the combinations you guys suggested. Close to 500 bounties and no luck so far...
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Right now I'm playing T4 MP and the damage is beyond what is necessary; I'm usually carrying the group past whites and blues. Currently, my SSS crits for ~17 mil per hit and the clones pop for 30-40 mil, all of it area damage. However, the build is very squishy right now and you have to kite ground affixes between SSS and EP hits for some elites and RGs. I'm thinking this gets addressed with Harmony + dex=armor as I'm running this on live and I've already dropped OWE to do so. While I often die the most in my group, it feels worth it in T4 and the clear times are quite fast. T5 is not doable, though I will try again in 2.1 and have high hopes.

I briefly tested this build with Skycutter and Sunkeeper with Exalted Soul in the place of Guardian's Path. It worked but not quite as smoothly; Guardian's Path really gives a huge boost to your spirit and you really do lean heavily on FoE for the added CDR on SSS. The added APS does allow for more EP and I could see Fist of Az slotting into this build if that item becomes BiS.
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Check out my 2h monk. It's about the setup I think works the best. Madstone with sss with FoE would work nice next patch, but for now cap crims, inna's for passive conviction mantra and unity passive, monkey kings and inna daibo with spirit regen the best setup. But 1v1 just no damage. Good for starting the palm explosions though. And gotta have strong arms.

Crits range from 35m or so to over 80m against e's. Harrington belt is fun but losing the 10% cool down hurts from cap crims set.
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08/04/2014 03:10 AMPosted by jds
But 1v1 just no damage. Good for starting the palm explosions though. And gotta have strong arms.

This build seems most like my own in terms of gear and play style and it's really cool to know the kind of damage that is possible with a SoJ, good Ammy rolls and Inner Sanctum. If you had those rolls on a SWK Shines that open up some really sick possibilities. I totally see what you mean by no 1v1 damage and for that reason I think this build needs another damage dealing spender. I've tried LTK and WoL; both are fine but I came back to SSS because of how well it plays in any situation and always deals damage to things that are still alive.

Maybe drop IS for a damage dealer? IS makes the cycle palms hit for a lot more but I'm not sure if hitting for another 30% is worth having no game in 1v1.

Post 2.1 maybe dropping Crimson's for Ice Climbers and Madstone and getting a 10% CDR on the weapon is the way to go, but I hate losing all the Crimson bonuses.
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I think for 1v1 and when you are trying to generate spirit, the smite stone really helps here. With enough buffs you can get about 40 mil damage a smite which is pretty nice to have. It is extremely hard to roll a favorable ammy roll with this set. If i can get that and a nicely rolled Stone of Jordan t6 would be viable fo rme.
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Very nice write up. I really like the focus on SSS and I particularly like how it does remove one from play while SSS is running. I have trouble with survivability on T6 so that's very appealing to me.

I'm using a similar build except that I've switched out EP for Cripple Wave: Rising Tide and SSS for Mantra of Healing. Allow me to explain why:

MoH has the interesting spirit-spending, SWK-triggering property of having no cast animation so you can cast it without interrupting your primary attack. Put another way, you can spend spirit and generate it at the exact same time.

So, with a very high crit rate, you can keep hitting mobs generating spirit literally as fast as you can spend it with MoH. My current base spirit regen rate is ~22 spirit/sec with SW: Inner Storm running. At a 1.6 attacks per second rate, 14 spirit/attack, and +4 spirit/attack critical, plus the Guardian's Path bonus. I'm running ~22 base + ~34.56 spirit/second from CW = ~56.5 spirit/second.

So, it's basically the same play style: pull with CS then primary attack while spamming MoH until SWK kills everything.

That said, my base damage is too low from focusing on survivability. After 2.1 is out, I'll move all my socket diamonds to emeralds as I think the armor and faster kill rate will be better. Plus the bonus damage that is coming to 2H will help immensely as that base damage is used for the SWK damage calc.
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@ Kensai

Dropping Inner sanctuary is so hard! The 55% damage reduction and 50% damage reduction from Epiphany together means awesome tankiness for 6 seconds. Next patch huge buff for defense for me, just adding 9k armour because I don't use seize the initiative or one with everything.

Huge buff for 2h.

Buff to lots of spirit regen.

Now I'd definitely only get cool down on my 2h weapon if it was a 20% roll. 6 spirit per sec on a 2h is the equivalent of 2 1h rolls, yet 10% cool down isn't.

And can someone at blizz plz fix the monkey kings ammy? Do they not know 99% of players are trying to get a holy one with cc or cd to roll off the innate attack speed?? Worst design ever because it wrecks the only cool slot for monk which is the helm, where there are no real powerful item anyway really.

The 1v1 issue I'd really like solved by dropping exploding palm altogether and replacing it with a super OP wave of light. Something that synergises with the holy clone. Maybe a daibo like the crusader weapons. One that adds two additional bells. Ideally a wave of light that does 2k% per hit, gets tripled to 6 by the weapon, then you add 1600% for about 7600% all holy, if the clone appeared in front of you. That would rock :)
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The 1v1 issue I'd really like solved by dropping exploding palm altogether and replacing it with a super OP wave of light.

EP in some ways feels like the weakest skill on the tool bar. It doesn't seem like the bleed does quite enough and the explosions are redundant with the clones, so I could totally see dropping it. I might try IS in its place just to see how much I miss it.


The MoH interaction is sweet and definitely the way to go if using a primary. Blackthorn's over cpt. Crimson's is cool, addressing survivability while making MoH and other skills that can ignore cool down more appealing. Had I the Blackthorn's pieces and the Inna's Daibo I would definitely give that build a run, though I wish more of the runes were holy. Have you tried Unity over Exalted Soul? Unity is so good with Inna's 4pc and Air Ally while Exalted soul provides so little spirit regen when you already have so much.
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@Zeebearjew What is smite stone and how does it work? Is it one of the new leg gems?
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@Kensai Hrm, good idea. I think that I could drop Exalted Soul if I get a little more spirit regen. Right now, I can MoH just slightly faster than I can generate even at 56 spirit/sec. So I run out of spirit about 25 seconds into a fight.

Is the Unity benefit largely due to the fact that others in your party can't stand the thought of not being inside your Inna's auras and so you're constantly gluing the party together anyway?
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You have 2 mantras which buff teammates, one of whom can be your air ally. So you're always guaranteed 10% even if your party runs away, and the full 20% if even one other party member is in range. Not to mention the 10% buff they get from you.
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I tried Unity: that was great advice and I am going to keep it. Thanks!
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