Diablo® III

Monk Tank Theorycrafting

Posts: 164
Thoughts, Suggestions and Criticism all welcome!

Overview
I find some people might be underestimating the power of CC. Especially when coming across those irritating super minions. This build has a main focus of damage reduction, sustain, CC and mobility. I am not really concerned about my damage, I am shooting to be a tank and I'm sure my group will be able to deal the damage necessary.

Main Build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#eUdTZb!aYU!cbccaZ

Crippling Wave is used for the obvious damage reduction and movement/attack speed slow.
Exploding Palm w/ Golden has to be the best spirit generation IMO.
Dashing Strike for mobility and dodge.
Tempest Rush will give you massive damage reduction, mobility, CC and is a great way to burn Spirit for Transcendence/Weapon Enchants. Tempest Rush I think is undervalued right now for its knock-back/slow effects.
Blinding Flash to me is impeccable. Even if the CC breaks it is an 80% miss chance. This will be huge for special mobs and from what I've seen it may even work on bosses. It is also what I like to call an "Oh S**t" button to save those who need saving. Short cooldown is icing on the cake!
Resolve / One With Everything are must have choices for a tank. Crippling Wave, Exploding Palm and Tempest Rush will all activate Resolve easily.
Transcendence is going to be outstanding. At healing 16 life per point of spirit thats 1600 health every 100 spirit spent. With the mobility and damage reduction of this build if you ever get low you can run away, single a target out and heal up than go right back in. Even though the damage reduction + healing should be strong enough to tank most fights head on. This combined with the Monk Only enchants will easily make Monks one of the best sustained fighters in the game.


Mantra
This really is too tough to theorize. I personally will do a lot of tinkering with Mantras. As a monk we need to perfect the balance of damage reduction, dodge and healing. On paper this is how I rate our Mantra's for tanking:

#1 Mantra of Healing: This is our best Mantra if our equipment is able to cap or soft cap our dodge/evasion. The healing is substantial and as a tank we benefit from every single rune option currently available.

#2 Mantra of Evasion: This combined with our bonus from Dashing Strike is all the dodge we need. Obsidian Rune for more Damage Reduction or Crimson for more DPS, which might be needed in this build, we'll see!

#3 Mantra of Retribution: Obsidian Rune (High Chance to Stun) or Golden Rune (Spirit Gen) could be very promising from this, both very useful for a tank. Both are so useful it is hard to decide.

#4 Mantra of Conviction (Alabaster Runed): Considering we should have Crippling Wave, Tempest Rush, Resolve, Armor/Defense and Magic Resist for damage reduction I think it is safe to rule this Mantra out.


End Game Build
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#eUdTZg!aWU!cbccac

This build assumes we can attain the following with our items:
40% Crit (20% Dodge with Sixth Sense)
Max Resists (Using One With Everything)
Two Monk Only Healing Per Spirit Weapon Enchants
A Decent Health Pool

Dodge:
Sixth Sense (20% @ 40% Crit) and Dashing Strike (32%) is 46% dodge (if I did the math right). With our high damage reduction it should be all we need.

Damage Reduction:
Tempest Rush (50%), Crippling Wave (40%), Resolve (30%), Defense, Armor and Magic Resist is all the DR we need. The interesting concept here is Resolve and Crippling Wave reduce damage the ENEMY does where Tempest Rush reduces the damage done to YOU. Seems like a great way to avoid any "Diminishing Return" type effects. Nevertheless these three skills are all we need for DR.

Healing:
Weapon Enchants.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/artisan/mystic/recipe/enhance-1h-melee-weapon-super-rejuvenating

This should be all the healing we need and allows us to drop Transcendence out of our build. Our Mantra of Healing is also going to be one of our main End Game tank Mantra's.

Mantra:
Options:
This build assumes we have max resists and sufficient health. This leaves either spirit gen (1.4/sec), extra healing or a group automatic "Oh S**T button". The extra healing to me is going to be the best function. It will help heal us up as we run around using Tempest Rush when low.

Mantra of Retribution:
Golden Runed for spirit generation or Obsidian for a HIGH chance to stun melee. Stuns are effectivly a 100% damage reduction debuff for 2 seconds. Incredibly tough to choose from.

Excluded:
Mantra of Evasion: Our dodge should be fine without this, it would bump our dodge to 60%
and either add DPS with Crimson or DR with Obsidian (Armor).
Mantra of Conviction: I rule this out since we do not need damage reduction and the healing rune is only necessary on bosses I think.
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/7/2012 8:07 PM PST
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Posts: 164
Combat Theory/Tactics

Summary
My theory is to jump in to a group with Dashing Strike and launch a third hit Crippling Wave (does Dashing Strike reset your spirit generator combos?). Use Exploding Palm to kill your enemies, focus low life targets so it explodes and gives your spirit. Every other third combo hit use Crippling Wave to keep up the debuff. If you ever get low use Tempest Rush/Dashing Strike to knock-back, gain dodge and heal up. If your really close to dieing Blinding Flash, Dashing Strike and Tempest Rush will get you away while healing up to go right back in.

Kite Power
With Tempest Rush + Crippling Wave you could easily slow a group of melee mobs down enough to not have to tank them at all. You could Dashing Strike, Crippling Wave, Tempest Rush than Dashing Strike to move on to the next pack while your team kites them or burns them down.

Blinding Flash -> Spirit Gen -> Tempest Rush Rotation
Blinding Flash gives you almost a full 5 seconds of no damage (does this include magic damage?). Even still Monks appear to be one of the best magic tanks with the passive One With Everything. Use this time to gain spirit than run through groups constantly with Tempest Rush - reducing damage, healing, slowing and knocking back. Be sure to always get your Exploding Palm bleed on anything that is about to die for extra spirit generation.


Sustain/Fast Paced
With Transcendence and the monk weapon enchants your spirit in this build is mostly to heal. When tanking a pack your mostly using Crippling Wave and Exploding Palm than you use Dashing Strike to travel to the next pack which heals you to full (or so I hope). The highest listed heal from monk weapon enchants listed on this site is 24 per point of spirit which can go on each 1handed weapon. With two weapon enchants and Transcendence that's a 64 point heal for everyone 1 spirit used, 6400 health every 100 spirit used, outstanding!

Fun-ability
To me more mobility is extremely fun and I look forward putting Dashing Strike / Tempest Rush to good use. Possibilities are pretty endless, diving into a pack of melee slow/blind them - dash out and take out the casters. When blind wears off you can still jump in to slow their movement while your team is ripping them a new one.

Damage
The build obviously has low damage but like I said - I am more concerned about tanking and letting my group DPS. Exploding Palm does have some potential for decent damage when in Inferno with health % based damage.

Defensive Stats
The main purpose of this build is to out heal damage done.

Since most defensive stats are stacked multiplicatively I choose to focus on Damage Reduction with a large boost to dodge using Dashing Strike. Again - this build focuses on using Spirit to heal and maneuver so spamming between Dashing Strike for dodge and Tempest Rush for DR will give much more effective defensive stats rather trying to cap 100% dodge - if thats even possible.

Thoughts, Suggestions and Criticism all welcome!
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/7/2012 3:13 PM PST
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Posts: 164
Update:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#eUdkQb!aWU!bYcYbc

I've been testing a few things on a friends beta account. Here are a couple key points:

Monk Only Helmets (Star's) can also give Healing per Spirit Used
Monk Weapons can come with Healing per Spirit Used (in addition to being able to enchant them with it)

Mantra "On Use" Effect are extremal good for burning spirit for the self heal. Mantra of Evasion is specifically outstanding as it heals + gives 43% dodge.

With the noted additional healing effects we can expect some really key rares/uniques to have a ton of healing in store for us. I've decided to take Mantra of Healing out of the build because of this.

Dodge - Our best choice for dodge is Mantra of Evasion + Sixth Sense/Guardian's Path. With the on use effect from Mantra of Evasion we will achieve 50% dodge from two skills (Guardian's Path until Sixth Sense is better). This also allows us to increase our damage our damage output with Crimson or mitigation with Obsidian.

Dashing Strike will always be in my monk builds for the mobility, it is simply too fun and too useful to get rid of. Keeping the dodge rune will give us about 75% chance to dodge (with on-use mantra bonus), which could be the cap. Sustaining both of these however would burn your spirit pretty quick. Part of the problem is that the rune choices are somewhat lacking for this skill.

Spirit generation from just a generator is actually kinda slow, we need strong spirit generation in any build we make. Since were stacking crit for dodge anyway it makes sense to add Golden to Crippling Wave. This will significantly improve our spirit gen we will just have to find our damage reduction elsewhere.

Damage reduction: This is something that when theorizing you want a large amount of through skills. Realistically however we should not need too much. We have Defense for reducing all damage done, armor for reducing physical damage and resists for reducing magic damage. With decent gear I'm pretty confident we can have atleast 40% damage reduction with just these stats (I expect more), even more since we will probably running "One With Everything" and "Obsidian'd Mantra of Evasion". If these all clump togeather with Resolve that equals 58% damage reduction. With our combined dodge and healing this feels like a good number to me. I've removed Tempest Rush now for this reason, until I can further test it.

Blinding Flash - I still really like this ability but it cooldown does feel long and we have no way to lower it. Mystic Ally is a strong 100% up time ability for more Effective Health (he can off tank) and either give you a large boost in health or more spirit gen. At this point I'm leaning towards spirit gen.

Damage Output - I feel Exploding Palm will be a great asset, we should take Indigo Rune to have a finisher type move when something dies. If all 5 die at the same time it should nearly instant gib everything close by. Keep in mind also that as you spam EP's third hit you will end up having more than 5 mobs with the debuff (it will hit other targets randomly) which will further help cause chain reactions.

Added Wave of Light:Indigo which is subject to how many blasts it does. Its goal is to help explode your EP victims. This is dependant on our spirit generation however, it may have to high of a cost.
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/18/2012 12:18 PM PST
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Posts: 164
Any thoughts? Anyone?
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85 Human Rogue
1400
Posts: 1,112
I like it a lot. If you are doing a 4 player group, and can get another monk, he can run as a healer, easily, allowing you to go a little more damage a little less defense, and in turn having a tank like a monk, that means that your last two members can go almost purely damage, with a little bit of control for a retreat plan lol. I think its the best way to maxmize the groups damage, while still taking care of the control. The healing monk has to attack, or he won't have spirit to use healing moves, he uses his one spirit spender on the stray monsters, while laying down a bit of control through blind, and a few runed affects, all the while healing the whole group, the tank is doing a fair amount of damage, while keeping a lot of things busy on him and not the rest. 2 DPS absolutely destroying the others. My favorite comp is 2 monks using this strat, a WD and a Wizard, it would be the most possible dps from your casters, wizards have crazy good AoE, and so do WD, and both can also cause serious single target damage, combined DPS from the healing monk and the tank would probably still be plenty to avoid group damage as a problem.
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85 Dwarf Warrior
12600
Posts: 1,511
01/09/2012 01:25 AMPosted by Sasukekun
My favorite comp is 2 monks using this strat, a WD and a Wizard, it would be the most possible dps from your casters, wizards have crazy good AoE, and so do WD, and both can also cause serious single target damage, combined DPS from the healing monk and the tank would probably still be plenty to avoid group damage as a problem.


I would say that a Monk/Witch Doctor team significantly changes the 'tanking' game for a monk.

A Witch Doctor can have a bunch of buckets of health in the form of pets following them.

A Monk has the ability to heal those pets very effectively.

I would argue that the presence of a WD that takes Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan makes 'tanking' for an entire group as simple as the Monk taking Mantra of Healing and/or Breath of Heaven, because the proliferation of targets should make it easy for the Monk to take minimal damage as it is.
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Posts: 23
Still think you guys are thinking way too much in WoW terms,
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Posts: 164
How So? Do tell.... seriously.... what else do we have on our agenda?
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85 Human Rogue
1400
Posts: 1,112
01/10/2012 01:11 PMPosted by Redhat
Still think you guys are thinking way too much in WoW terms,


Well...

He may be right.

But I don't think so. I think our experience in WoW has made us see it from the angle of a WoW player. I don't know about the OP, but I played WoW before I ever even thought of played D2. While I would say that using this kind of a group strategy would probably not be the best idea in D2, it will work in D3.

BUT

The concept of one person in the group "tanking" the mobs for the group, has been around since D2. The only reason that this is possible, is because the Monk has enough abilities, that when using your choices properly, you can dish out a good amount of healing for a whole group, not just for yourself. This allows your tank of choice (Monks, Barbarians, and WD can all be proper tanks, I would say using a WD though would be the harder in practice, even though it would be easy to set up the build to do it, the Monk would be different in the way it tanks, but it condones more to a damage dealing play style than a Barb, but the Barb is very easy in practice, you have all the tools of a tank.)

If you add a healer into this mix, that means the tanks can go for more damage, and a little less resistance, and reduction. The tank makes his build survivability and control, for any of these classes control also equates to damage, as well as the need to generate resources, for use of "tank" abilities. The healer on the other hands, does healing, and control, the Monk would also have need to do be doing damage.

This would equate to the two of them doing about the same amount of damage together as one of them on their own. With the tank and healer now controlling the battlefield, the other two members of the group, are able to make their builds in a manner that brings the most DPS, not having to worry about utility. You can make a wizard that would constantly be doing crazy amounts of damage, and the same goes for any class left to not have to worry about getting killed.

THIS

Would be the ideal set up for a group that wanted to get through inferno as fast as possible. Until the healing monk acquires the runestones needed to make his build he goes with a modified version of the tank build, but more around control and less around defense, depending on the drop rate of the runestones (which I don't imagine to be too rare of a thing, they aren't going to drop off of every mob that's for sure, and its probably safe that they could go one drops of a random type (evenly weighted with a roll that determined the level of rune based off appropriate factors) off of one in a hundred enemies. You'll be killing lots of demons and other hell sqawn through the game, and by the time your ready for hell, you'll have plenty of them. Combined with crafting it would be a pain to grind the mats out, but you can make some really decent gear, not something you would want to use exclusively, but good enough that combined with drops you would have enough gear with the right stats to make these super efficient.

You have to realize, that the reason WoW is thought to be so hard, is for the difficulty in getting people to do the mechanics, you have to do specific things to survive, and the majority of your group has to do them together. When fighting the hardest difficulty in WoW there is no moving slightly to the left to dodge a spell, its going to hit you, and you have to survive however you can. In D3, the movement dodging spells is like the things we have to do in WoW all at once. Now, taking into account there vast differences there is no saying one is harder than the other, because they are so different, but playing WoW would give you a head start going into playing D3, because of the similarities that are there.

Just because we approach something in a way that you don't agree with, doesn't make it invalid, it makes it different. And its thinking different that will be the difference between getting through Inferno in 6 months, and getting through it in 2. Your going to have to constantly adapt to get through Inferno, no matter what it ends up being like, that is certain. Getting stuck into the kind of mindset where you get locked into thinking that there are things that "just don't work" is confining your options when you need every option available to you.

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Posts: 164
I agree with the above post.

Although there is no so called threat list in Diablo there is one thing:

Proximity Aggro. If you are the closest thing to that MOB, they will "most likely" start attacking you. This is my whole idea for tanking, if I charge ahead of the team MOBs are going to charge me and I will take initial hits. With Dashing Strike it won't be hard to be ahead, its meant to be not only a gap closer but also a heal between fights.

If mobs start to go on my team I will blind, slow, CC or w/e to keep them off the team so they can continue to DPS from afar (Wizard, WD, DH, Throwing Barbs) the ones that can build for extreme burst and not worry as much about defensive stats.

Also in D2 if you had a barb or or w/e sit beside Baal, he stay still. He teleport away maybe but once the "tank" came back hed sit there.
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/10/2012 8:25 PM PST
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85 Human Rogue
1400
Posts: 1,112
It will work well, but if you start playing with that group from the start of the game, your abilities and gear will scale, so these specialized kinds of things won't be able to happen until we're at least 30, we'll have all our skills unlocked, all our slots, and will have gathered plenty of the lower level runestones to fill every skill with something good. It won't be until you have the right gear set up that you will reach the point where this becomes a very valid option, I think Monk tanking will sort of scale with gear, the better gear you get the better tank you will be.
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Posts: 164
Pretty sure almost any build will work for the majority of normal mode (intended up to 30) at which point we have all our skills and everything is unlocked.

Gear will have a big play in the build mostly with Crit chance effecting dodge, also I'm hoping we have large health options to avoid + vit /+ hp from mantra/mystic ally.

Even still the monk's kit has so many defensive abilities I'll be the main person taking damage, or doing my best job to do so.
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Posts: 38
I've been messing around with the talent calculator as well, although mostly on my own due to how many terribles there were on the forums when all the hype first started. Here are my thoughts on your build based on what I've seen with the calculator, theorized, and from experience in playing D2:

- Having two mobility skills might be overkill for one build.

- Keep in mind that the dodge bonus from Dashing Strike only lasts 2 seconds, not really a sustained buff.

- I feel that using 2 spirit generators which you want to use the third strike on in the same situation is a bad idea. The third strike from Crippling Wave only lasts 5 seconds (as does the runed debuff), meaning that you will basically have to use that as every third strike if you want to keep it up. Therefore, to enable that without sacrificing spirit generation, I would recommend using a Golden-runed Way of the Hundred Fists.

- Using Blinding Flash as a CC is dicey when using two spirit generators that are AoE-focused, especially considering you plan on running with other players using heavy AoE. However, the 50% chance to hit debuff is probably enough to make it worthwhile anyways (especially considering how little spirit it costs!)

All in all I think it is a very solid build. Even when soloing you could add a dps-focused Scoundrel to help you out. I would probably recommend replacing a mobility skill of your choice with Cyclone Strike. This would enable you to pull heat off of your party members - and any of the rune effects on it would be helpful. It would also provide a big spirit dump, which would not only give you massive healing from your weapon enchants (and Transcendence if you are still using it), but would also add extra damage to your group, which is always helpful.

You could even replace Blinding Flash with something like Golden-runed Inner Sanctuary as well, more to help out your allies than yourself. It would give them another heal while forcing melee enemies to concentrate on you.
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Posts: 164
01/14/2012 12:53 AMPosted by RebelFist
- Having two mobility skills might be overkill for one build.


Tempest Rush isn't really mobility IMO. It is normal run speed unless runed for it. IMO it is damage reduction, CC and a spirit dump for healing.

01/14/2012 12:53 AMPosted by RebelFist
- Keep in mind that the dodge bonus from Dashing Strike only lasts 2 seconds, not really a sustained buff.


I agree but this build has no real use for spirit other being a dump for heals and defensive buffs.

01/14/2012 12:53 AMPosted by RebelFist
- I feel that using 2 spirit generators which you want to use the third strike on in the same situation is a bad idea. The third strike from Crippling Wave only lasts 5 seconds (as does the runed debuff), meaning that you will basically have to use that as every third strike if you want to keep it up. Therefore, to enable that without sacrificing spirit generation, I would recommend using a Golden-runed Way of the Hundred Fists.


The main use for Crippling Wave is its rune. The rune is activated on first and second strike (no where does the rune say the damage reduction is on third strike). This means we use first and second hit with CW and finish with EP. Sure a third hit CW won't be bad here and there but it is not entirely necessary.

01/14/2012 12:53 AMPosted by RebelFist
- Using Blinding Flash as a CC is dicey when using two spirit generators that are AoE-focused, especially considering you plan on running with other players using heavy AoE. However, the 50% chance to hit debuff is probably enough to make it worthwhile anyways (especially considering how little spirit it costs!)


50% Chance to hit, X% Chance to dodge, X% damage reduction. This will be amazing on special mobs and if it works on quest bosses. On cooldown - run out and back in when its up.

01/14/2012 12:53 AMPosted by RebelFist
All in all I think it is a very solid build. Even when soloing you could add a dps-focused Scoundrel to help you out.


Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it! DPS mercs will most likley be my focus for sure.
Edited by Gidiolf on 1/14/2012 1:20 AM PST
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Posts: 38
All good points. I'm curious as to how Tempest Rush is going to work on bosses, since I'm pretty sure you won't be able to knock them backwards with it. I guess you'll just be running back and forth in front of them dealing damage hahah.

Another problem with the build in regards to having both Tempest Rush and Dashing Strike is that you won't be able to have the buffs from both of them up at the same time. I suppose I see them both as mobility skills since Tempest Rush appears to be designed more for running through enemies in order to get to a safe spot, at least from my perspective - although I can totally understand why you want the buffs from it.

A different option instead could be an Alabaster-runed Cyclone Strike - gets enemies off of your allies, big spirit dump (since you won't be using much anyways), and would give you some extra dodge for a very short period. Plus no cooldown.

And I can totally understand why you would want to use your spirit generator combo, just by the intro I thought you were intent on keeping up the Crippling Wave 3rd strike effect, which is pretty powerful in itself. However it makes sense, even the normal hits are awesome with that rune.
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Posts: 633
01/06/2012 01:04 PMPosted by Gidiolf
#3 Mantra of Retribution: Obsidian Rune (High Chance to Stun) or Golden Rune (Spirit Gen) could be very promising from this, both very useful for a tank. Both are so useful it is hard to decide.


Since your build is mostly focussed on avoiding being hit in the first place, I suspect retribution would not be that worth while and you'd get more out of an other mantra or a direct damage skill.

That being said as you point out Obsidian rune would make you better tanker.

Golden rune seems waisted if you rarely get hit.

My preference if I had high dodge chance anyway and no healing (you don't seem to be taking any skill with healing), would be to use Indigo rune for the extra attack speed to the whole party (even if you don't get hit); this indirectly should also give you faster spirit generation.
Edited by Zealalot on 1/15/2012 1:13 PM PST
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Posts: 50
Party of monks that can tank alot and can kite
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ecYdQb!UXa!Yaaccc
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ceYQSR!UXa!aYbcba
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ecYSQg!XUa!YabbcY
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#edYQcg!UXa!Ycacac

Resolve plus crippling wave with indigo decreases enemy damage by 30% and their attack speed by 35% if their within 17 yards and Mantra of Conviction with the rune that lowers enemy Dmg by 30%

the tow monks with Mantra of healing will keep the others alive and one gives +30% maximum health and the other gives the others a protective shield equal to 25% of their maximum health for 10 secs after activation and all the monks have the earth ally to give them more HP and to make ppl attack he ally.

the dashing strike is their just to bust the doge chance above 50%

the kicks will stun enemies and two monks will knock all enemies back and slow them down.

two monks have the serenity to give to the party as a oh SH!t button....

these builds allow you to kite large mobs as all the monks have attacks that slow/stun enemies.... and the rest of the build increase their durability
Edited by DArKPiglet on 1/15/2012 3:20 PM PST
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Posts: 164
Since your build is mostly focussed on avoiding being hit in the first place, I suspect retribution would not be that worth while and you'd get more out of an other mantra or a direct damage skill.

That being said as you point out Obsidian rune would make you better tanker.

Golden rune seems waisted if you rarely get hit.


Avoidance is only part of the build, there is also a large amount of damage reduction. So when you do get hit you won't get 1 shotted. My goal is to reach about 50-60% dodge and stop there since the more you stack the more stats you lose. The stun chance also effects your party and even more so - WD pets.

01/15/2012 01:08 PMPosted by Zealalot
My preference if I had high dodge chance anyway and no healing (you don't seem to be taking any skill with healing), would be to use Indigo rune for the extra attack speed to the whole party (even if you don't get hit); this indirectly should also give you faster spirit generation.


Healing comes from the monk weapon enchants and even our Monk only helmets can add Heal/spirit used. I recently was able to use a friends beta and right at the start you can get 1-6 heal/spirit used which basically makes any spirit spender heal for 50% or more of your health.

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Posts: 164
Updated third post from the top with a new build - beta insights.
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