If you are wondering how i'm faring in act 2... it's not pretty =) Definitely need to farm better gear (or money for AH purchases) using the thought process below.
My intention is to get all you guys into Act 2... so that we can continue to find ways to beat this and bring new ideas into the meta-game. Hell and Act1-Inferno are old news.
Want to lock hell mode in a box and make it your gimp? Want to pop right into Act 1 Inferno and feel extremely pretentious every time you see another monk with an inferior setup? All of this on a budget of possibly WELL UNDER under 400-500k?
If you feel like you've hit a plateau or even a deadend in regards to this... believe me....
YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG (don't give up, its easier than you think).
If you think the answer is buying really expensive gear looking to max VIT and DEX...
YOU ARE STILL DOING IT WRONG.
Here's what you can do around level 57/58/59 while doing Hell, and it'll even put you through Act 1 Inferno without barely changing anything. I'm on INFERNO ACT 2 now with level 58 armor all over me and i solo'ed the butcher myself (my weapon is a level 60 weapon though, you need about 10k DPS to kill the butcher so you need a decent +650dps weapon to pull that off with level 58 gear.
1) Wait till about level 57/58 to put this plan into action. Save up money (about 500k... you could probably do with less now since there is more Auction House competition)
2) Put it through your thick skull that you are a monk and that you need to strategize around building your resistances (everyone should, but this guide is for fellow monks). IF YOU ARE ONLY STACKING VIT AND DEX YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A NOOB AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO MELT IN BATTLE AND YOU WILL BE WASTING MONEY ON EXPENSIVE GEAR BECAUSE IT'LL NEVER FEEL LIKE ENOUGH. Let me say it again, if you aren't building resistances, you are an idiot. This was important in Diablo 1, it was important in diablo 2, and it's still important now. I see way too often monks without this and it makes me want to pvp them in real life, if ya know what i mean.
3) Search the auction house for gear (read the tips below). No joke, you can pretty much find ALL THESE ITEMS for 15-40k each for BUYOUT on the auction. You will always always always be looking for an item that passes all of these conditions:
- +resistance of a certain type between 25-35 (pick a resistance, and stick with it. I'm stacking cold resistance, for instance). This only applies to armors since it isn't on weapons.
- Either a mix of vit and dex, or it should have extra VIT to make up for the missing DEX or vice versa. Just make sure you aren't going to heavy one way.
- When looking for a weapon, look for those high damage dealers that are approaching 400/450dps. Look for bonuses to DEX which will make a lower DPS weapon better than a higher DPS one. I recommended 2 handed because it's cheaper to find a high damage dealer with nice stats that has a budget price.
- Get at least one ring (regular blue) that has +%attack speed and +dex. The +% attack speed does wonders to your DPS. I just bought a second one of these to help me with the butcher today and it cost me 30k. It has +14% attack speed and about 50 dex.
- Keep an eye out for yellows that also have a +armor bonus. That's the next stat you want after VIT/DEX/resistance.
By the time you hit 60, with this gear, you should have approx:
- 22-25k health
- 50% resistance to all elements
- 45% resistance from your armor
- 4k-6k dps
And you know what, i set the bar low. If you have better, you are awesome. This is all you need to get you through hell with little trouble and even through inferno (having some DH or Wiz friends helps to get through the more tedious parts as you will be more tanky than DPSey.)
- obviously this build requires you to use One with Everything passive skill. For this early on, Sieze the initiative is still worth it (will turn it off later on when additional armor starts to be less effective), and transcendence for heals since you have higher resists and lower HP.
*WARNING* This is the part where some monks will tell you "OH BUT DONT USE 'ONE WITH EVERYTHING' - ITS A WASTE OF A SLOT BECAUSE YOU CAN GET +ALL RESISTANCE ITEMS INSTEAD.". Be aware that these monks are leading you into the trap of overextending your budget. +ALL Resistance items are going to be more expensive to find. I agree, that in the future, the end-game goal is to have +all resistance ... but we are no where near the end game nor are we rich enough to try to buy all this expensive crap right now. Save your money for the end game and do things more efficiently now.
- Look around the forums for nice evasion builds. I like the ones that use FoT Lighting Flash with the evasion boost as well as the evasion mantra. Turn on elective mode and bring breath of heaven, blinding flash (with 4 second boost), serenity (with heal or with 4 second), and dashing strike with evasion boost. Use dashing strike to keep yourself out of the middle of groups when your other skills are on cooldown.
To kill the butcher:
- Here you need to invest some money (about 200k) to get a nicer weapon. You can do this earlier, and probably should... as soon as you turn 60. I bought a 700dps staff with +200dex for about 200k. I also bought a second ring with +% attack speed and +dex. I had 10k dps and it was enough time to kill him before the whole floor catches fire (there is a time limit, ya know?)
- Bring your mantra of conviction with overawe. Use this to heal yourself from the butchers weaker blows (thanks to trancendence) while doing more damage back to him.
- Bring Serenity with the healing rune. Bring breath of heaven with the extra heal. Bring inner sanctuary with the heal. Bring SSS with the 10-strikes rune.
- After he shoots out this red hadouken, he will charge and possibly 1-hit you. So just move aside after you see it...
- If you see him huffing and puffing and stomping (i think 2 or 3 stomps?) he is about to do a massive cleave and possibly 1-hit you. Just move aside again...
- Position yourself around the butcher so that when he charges, it's always near the red healing pools. You can use those to heal.
- Use SSS and serenity to dodge his 1-hits instead of moving aside. Use inner sanctuary, the red pools, potions, or breath of heaven to do bigger heals. Use mantra to do light heals.
Some tips to kill elites:
- Bring DPS friends.
- Some elites just need to be skipped. Suck it up.
- Learn to dance around arcane sentries. Also learn to trigger your serenity in moments when you wont escape.
- Learn to use dashing strike to keep yourself out of the crowd and out of the fire chains.
- Learn to hit-retreat-hit-retreat-hit-retreat. It'll be a slow retreat because you'll be doing serenity and flashes and healing yourself...
Some Tips about searching the AH:
- If you look for armor, it'll usually order the items by highest AC first. Keep in mind, there can be a piece of armor that has 400 AC on page 1, and a piece with 320 AC on page 4 with +100 str. The armor on page 4 is better for you since it equates to 420AC on a monk... keep this in mind!
- If you look for weapons, it'll usually order the items by highest dps first. Keep in mind, there can be a weapon that has 450 dps on page 1, and a piece below it with 420 dps but with +70 dex. The second item will be better because 70 dex gives you % increased damage on the dps.
- If you want to create builds on the cheap, don't be afraid of regular MAGIC items (blues). These often come at a discount... so if there isn't anything good and cheap that's yellow, turn on the filter for MAGIC ITEMS and see if there is a blue with a big stat that makes up for what's missing.