I am calling this build Dondarrion after the Game of Thrones character, who resurrects. I like to role play a bit and I like to play a monk that shuns the material world. However, I think that's a very difficult role play model in a game like wow or diablo 3, which are all about collecting gear. However, I hope that mantra of retribution and a few other choices will allow me to give it a try. Thanks for the variation Blizzard!
Since Mantra of Retribution is about reflecting back damage, you have to create a build that doesn’t shy away from receiving it. The emphasis on this build are heals and spirit generation (to cast the heals) not damage avoidance. Consequently, I get to role play a character that avoids material possessions and minimize my gear. In addition, I ignore certain damage reducing or avoidance skills. However, I have to load up on heals. I’ve got breath of heaven and cyclone strike with the soothing breeze rune for heals.
I originally took Guardian’s Path for the spirit generation, however, I have since substituted it for Exalted Soul. I’ll explain the reason below. I could also see Transcendence or Guiding Light. Each of these skills plays on my need to either generate spirit, health or is synergistic with healing. Since retribution is core to my build and spirit generation will be very important (because I must spam heals to survive as opposed to taking damage avoiding passives that have no spirit cost) I think that chant of resonance is required.
My final passive is what makes the build. This build is all about pain and suffering. I take your damage and reflect it back. That’s my thing and the gods reward my suffering by granting me with Near Death Experience.
Usually I dislike these types of skills, but in this case I think it’s a perfect fit due to the role play. The gods are cruel and they love to watch me suffer. It’s why I was granted mantra of retribution. They see my pain as my sacrifice and it’s core to my being. Suffering is what I do. To make it work I must be able to heal, so with two mega-heals, near death and the templar, I can push the envelope and “plan” to die. I get an instant reset to 35% life and spirt, which means I don’t leave anything on the table. I get “resurrected,” pop my heals and you’ve got to kill me twice! That’s why I think Exalted Soul is a fit. it gives me an extra 35 spirit every time Near Death “procs.”
I also plan to take the templar as my sidekick. Two lawful good characters that have “odd couple” personalities and relationship, but value each others commitment to shun material possessions and fight evil! Maybe Dondarrion wanted to be a stand up comedian, but his parents, appalled by his aspirations sent him to the local monastery. The templar also has heals. Hopefully, with loyalty generating 365 life per/second and Inspire providing a 10% spirit generation bonus I’ll be good to go.
I really like this build and the role play behind it. It will likely be my first character. However, I have a feeling it won’t be viable. My first concern is that the damage I reflect back will be damage that is highly resistant. Fire breathing monster will likely have a high resistance to fire damage. Consequently, retribution wont’ produce the type of white damage I hope for. Second, because I want to take damage and not avoid it (so I reflect it back) heals are my primary defense, which means I have to spend spirit for defense. Unlike using a passive defensive skill. That will be expensive and limit my offensive capability as I play too much defense. That sounds like a very slow grind. Sure Cyclone is a “damage/heal” and I have Seven-sided strike, but both are expensive coupled with a need to spam breath of heaven. It may be ok. A cleric doesn't hit as hard as a barbarian, but gets to heal and keep up the fight. I can't wait to find out!
Happy to hear your thoughts. Have a great day!