Diablo® III

Indepth Guide to Monk Sustained Solo

Posts: 93
Spunkify's Indepth Guide to Monk Sustained Solo

Hello everyone,

I decided I wanted to share my build/guide for my monk since I haven't found anything yet that matches its balance in survivability while still dishing out an incredible amount of damage. This build has been tested in both solo play as well as group play above normal mode with great success.

In this guide I aim to share with you why I feel there isn't a better build for general progression/farming. The build is essentially the same for all gameplay aspects except for two specific scenarios whereby small changes are needed for optimal usage. I will mention these after I explain the initial build.

Let us begin!

Base Skills and Runes Overview:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UYgijQ!YZd!bbaZab

Way of the Hundred Fists – Fist of Furry
Blinding Flash – Blinding Echo
Serenity – Peacefull Repose
Sweeping Wind – Blade Storm
Mystic Ally – Water Ally (earth ally later on if you still need more hp)
Mantra of Healing – Boon of Protection

Passives:

Transcendence
Resolve
The Guardians Path

Now lets break these down and explain why you pick each one:


WoHF
– Your go to left click skill, it provides a decent gap closer/opener, high frontal aoe dps, and an added extra layer of dot damage to your primary target making it great for focusing an elite with small adds surrounding him. Not to mention the tiny knockback/disruption it provides on the final hit. One could argue for a number of other left click attacks but my bet is on WoHF 90 percent of the time. Even Cripple isn't necessary since you will be mitigating a large portion of their attacks non stop anyways.

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EDIT: I have had people tell me my build works with numerous other left click attacks so find something that works best for you. I do recommend something that has disruption/mobility though.
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BF – Amazingly great at reducing your incoming damage. You want Echo since it requires no additional spirit and provides you with a double blind. In my opinion none of the other BF runes can compare. Great CC with a great range twice!

Serenity – As you progress higher into the difficulties absorbing incoming damage becomes way more valuable then simply outhealing it or mitigating it. Any skill that can adsorb damage immediately shoots to the top of the priority list. Still a heal is important and Peaceful Repose rune gives you that heal along with invulnerability. Serenity will also be your anti CC move, allowing you to break free of CC and mitigate it all together.

Sweeping Wind – While it does have a fairly high initial cost, sweeping wind provides a great amount of consistent damage and it only gets better with blade storm. You are going to be in the thick of the battle and even if you are CCd and cant cast a spell you still will be doing damage. Plus it breaks barrels and tables for you! It also works hand in hand with Resolve but we will get into that later.

Mystic Ally – Oh MA how I love you so. Mystic Ally is your best buddy. Although he plays a smaller role in team play, in solo he is a godsend. He will tank mobs for while still dealing good damage like its second nature. Pesky suicide mobs annoying you? No problem for MA! Often times when I had him and my templar out he easily would outlast my templar (in good gear and with defensive abilities of his own). Its a fire and forget spell with a small spirit cost and no cd.

Mantra of Healing – Believe it or not this is your spirit dump. With the BoP rune your mantra becomes an on demand shield for both your allies and you. Its a great utility spell that you can cast 3 times if you are full on Spirit! 3 TIMESSSSS! Its great when you are stuck in poison or lava and need to tough it out in between Serenity CDs. Plus since you aren't casting any other spirit spells all your spirit can go to this! I cannot stress enough how important this spell is. Great regen and a great shield. Will save your butt against hard melee attacks a lot.
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Now the passives:

Transcendence – I dont know how else to put it...if you aren't using this then I feel pitty for your soul. It gives you HP back when you spend your spirit. Now I know I know you are thinking “but Spunkify you aren't using many abilities over and over with this build!”. Well you are right, but wrong at the same time. Transcendence becomes godly when used in conjunction with Serenity and MoH. Not only will you heal twice when you use Serenity (serenity rune + Transcendence proc) but you get 3 additional smaller (but still strong heals) when you use MoH. Plus because both abilities give you shields you dont have to worry about the heal going to waste (immediately losing the HP you just got back).


Resolve
– Reducing damage is a huge factor. So what if you have a lot of armor and can heal. If you take huge hits all the time its not going to matter. Thats where resolve comes in. More specifically thats where Resolve + BF + SW comes in. With SW you are constantly debuffing those around you. You do not need to auto attack them in order to apply the debuff. You simply need to do damage to them. BF is useful for this when it comes to applying it to those just out of range of SW.

The Guardians Path – To be honest this one is the least impactful out of the three. It serves as a way to give you a static boost to your dodge ratio (assuming you are running dual wielding if not sieze the initiative is a good alternative). You could argue that Sixth Sense has the potential for providing you more dodge chance but that is only possible once you stack (or IF you stack) a large amount of crit. So it may be better once your gear is higher but not while you are still progressing.
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Niche Abilities
– These are the abilities you will swap in based on a couple of things. Namely high damage, high CC mobs (generally speaking arcane/chain frost nova/fear mob packs) and bosses.

Pacifism Passive – Although this appears to be a spell we will use a lot in PvP it also is extremely useful when facing the above mentioned High CC/Damage mobs. If serenity is on CD Pacifism will help you whether that damage as you wait for your CC to expire. If there is an upcoming pack like this swap out Guardians Path and you will be good to go.

One with Everything
- This ability is the flip side of Pacifism. If the mobs you face have lots of AOE but no CC you will use this instead since it greatly boosts all your resistances to the level of your highest one.

Lashing Tail Kick with Sweeping Armada Rune – This ability goes hand in hand with Pacifism. You will be swapping BF for this since most of the time the damage you take from the mob packs wont be mitigated by simply blinding their auto attacks. LTK pushes these mobs super far away while also slowing them allowing you some breathing room to reposition.

Mystic Ally Earth Rune - Although I still prefer the Water Ally for his dps and AoE move, the Earth Ally provides you extra hp and tanking power via a taunt. However that taunt is only directed to one mob. Grab this ONLY if you are low on vitality.


Near Death Experience
– Once you get up into the Hell/Inferno difficulties, NDE is a must have on boss fights. Too many boss abilities can essentially one shot you. You arent really going to use this out of boss fights though since it does have a long internal cd of 90 seconds. Replace TGP with it.


Exploding Palm/Seven Strike/Dashing Strike
– All abilities that can increase your single target damage and sometimes mobility. Good for boss fights where your mystic ally may not be very useful or the target moves too much or has too much aoe around him to make use of sweeping swing.
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I hope everyone gets a chance to try this out as I am having huge success with it compared to all the other builds I have tried. I really cant think of any build that matches this ones sustained dps while still maintaining a high level of survivability. Hopefully this was useful to those of you new or those looking for a higher sustained output.

To Recap the PRO/CONS:

PRO:
High “Spammable” Survivability moves
Great Sustained AoE Damage vs Spirit Cost
Versatile for both solo and group play
Good Solo target DPS as well

CONS:
Small ramp up to sustained AOE.
Not the highest mobility build
Vulnerable to impromptu CC Elite Packs.

Thanks for reading!

-Spunkify
Edited by Spunkify#1559 on 5/20/2012 5:31 PM PDT
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Posts: 93
EDIT 1: Added Skill link
EDIT 2: Adjusted niche builds to mention One with Everything and Earth Ally.
Edited by Spunkify#1559 on 5/19/2012 12:01 PM PDT
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The Guardians Path does not work with sword and board, I've just tested it. If you're running sword and board I suggest Seize The Initiative as third passive. I don't think you mentioned this passive throughout your whole guide, you don't like it or?

As far as the rest goes, great guide, I already used a similair build and it works really good.
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Posts: 93
The Guardians Path does not work with sword and board, I've just tested it. If you're running sword and board I suggest Seize The Initiative as third passive. I don't think you mentioned this passive throughout your whole guide, you don't like it or?

As far as the rest goes, great guide, I already used a similair build and it works really good.


I mentioned it in passing not by name. But thats funny I thought it did apply. Guess it really mean WEAPON and not just 1h. Seize would be a good alternative. I dont like it though for dual wield since dodging is always a much better stat then armor up to the DR. Why reduce the damage if you can dodge it.
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Sorry for being an idiot but what does CC stand for?
this is an interesting build, I'm just entering hell with my monk and might just give it a whirl.
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Posts: 35
Sorry for being an idiot but what does CC stand for?
this is an interesting build, I'm just entering hell with my monk and might just give it a whirl.


Crowd Control
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just tried out this build, its good however it lacks spirit regen, its too slow and takes too long to get enough to use the mantra, unless ur on like 2.5 attack speed.

you should also include what sort of gear to use, focus on attack speed? vit/dex ratio? 2x 1hs?

its somewhat working for me now, but im at about 1.3 attack speed with a sword and shield
Edited by xEnt#1207 on 5/19/2012 8:09 AM PDT
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Thanks for the post, very insightful. I am actually going to try this build out when I get home.
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Spunkify... this is a great build. I was doing well into normal, and then I removed Transcendence and was having a tough time in Nightmare. This build completely makes sense and I am surviving much better now.

Thanks!!!
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Posts: 93
05/19/2012 11:30 AMPosted by Xario
just abuse quickening and mantra of healing. Done.


Thats going to get fixed so I wouldnt recommend it.
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Posts: 93
just tried out this build, its good however it lacks spirit regen, its too slow and takes too long to get enough to use the mantra, unless ur on like 2.5 attack speed.

you should also include what sort of gear to use, focus on attack speed? vit/dex ratio? 2x 1hs?

its somewhat working for me now, but im at about 1.3 attack speed with a sword and shield


Which is why I dont recommend doing it 2h. I use 2x1h most of the time.

My Dex to Vit ratio is 1 to .8
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6040
Posts: 13
I feel obligated to point out that on Inferno mode, One With Everything is practically required. Physical resist IS a type of elemental resistance, and you have to carefully balance your physical resistance and your armor to optimize your diminishing returns.

Later in Inferno, Dual Wielding becomes more sustainable than 1-h + shield with Guardian's Path. However, you will probably want to use Seize the Initiative until you have enough armor such that the loss of a shield won't cripple your defenses. Inferno mobs will hit so hard that your 15% chance to block 1k damage becomes insignificant, and Guardian's Path 15% dodge yields a significantly higher level of mitigation.

I can't bear to give up Breath of Heaven, not only because of the double dip heal from Transcendence, but because I rune it with Infused with Light so that I fully refill spirit within 2-3 seconds after using it, allowing me to continue spamming Mantra of Healing.
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Posts: 93
I feel obligated to point out that on Inferno mode, One With Everything is practically required. Physical resist IS a type of elemental resistance, and you have to carefully balance your physical resistance and your armor to optimize your diminishing returns.

Later in Inferno, Dual Wielding becomes more sustainable than 1-h + shield with Guardian's Path. However, you will probably want to use Seize the Initiative until you have enough armor such that the loss of a shield won't cripple your defenses. Inferno mobs will hit so hard that your 15% chance to block 1k damage becomes insignificant, and Guardian's Path 15% dodge yields a significantly higher level of mitigation.

I can't bear to give up Breath of Heaven, not only because of the double dip heal from Transcendence, but because I rune it with Infused with Light so that I fully refill spirit within 2-3 seconds after using it, allowing me to continue spamming Mantra of Healing.


Thats why I recommended dual wielding with guardians path. I still feel like breath just doesnt give you the utility you need though. invulnerability is so so useful both for the heal and just getting out of crap.
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6040
Posts: 13
I just think WotHF doesn't build spirit as fast as Fist of Thunder, so I prefer Breath of Heaven's rune to generate 6 spirit with every attack for 5 seconds to fully restore my spirit in about 2-3 seconds. It also functions as a great backup heal to Mantra of Healing for a much cheaper cost. It allows you to spam mantra until you run out of spirit, throw up a breath, refill all your spirit, and repeat. You use Serenity for crucial moments, such as dodging OHKO attacks or using it to escape a freeze or desecrate puddle.
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Posts: 93
05/19/2012 03:13 PMPosted by Arceus
I just think WotHF doesn't build spirit as fast as Fist of Thunder, so I prefer Breath of Heaven's rune to generate 6 spirit with every attack for 5 seconds to fully restore my spirit in about 2-3 seconds. It also functions as a great backup heal to Mantra of Healing for a much cheaper cost. It allows you to spam mantra until you run out of spirit, throw up a breath, refill all your spirit, and repeat. You use Serenity for crucial moments, such as dodging OHKO attacks or using it to escape a freeze or desecrate puddle.


But when packs start to overwhelm you serenity is a god send. I also have 2 weapons that give me hp back based on the damage.
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I'm having a difficult time accepting any build that excludes Dashing Strike. There is absolutely no replacement for it's preciseness. There are so many times where you need to immediately get behind a target, either to avoid an attack or other reasons.

This cannot be replaced with the teleport from Thunderclap or Fist of Fury. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it certainly seems like a must have.
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Posts: 93
I'm having a difficult time accepting any build that excludes Dashing Strike. There is absolutely no replacement for it's preciseness. There are so many times where you need to immediately get behind a target, either to avoid an attack or other reasons.

This cannot be replaced with the teleport from Thunderclap or Fist of Fury. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it certainly seems like a must have.


With this build the mitigation is so high that if you cant avoid the incoming attack you can weather the brunt force of it fairly well. Perhaps on some boss fights it would be more useful (and thus why I added it as an alternative ability at the end) but the other abilities take precedence while progressing through each act.
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I noticed on your skill link, it has two "Defense"s... don't think you can use BF and Serenity at the same time, LOL!
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Posts: 35
I really like this build, it is really similar to what I use (only difference is I switch out ally for dash). How would this change if you were running in a group?

Also with no thunderclap/dashing strike/tempest rush, do you find your mobility too restricted? I tend to use dashing strike to snipe off pesky ranged casters who hang outside of battle, but I don't know what I would replace it with.

Also how do you use Blinding Flash, especially if you are in a group? I find that in a group somebody's AoE will unblind them pretty quick, do you use it mainly for the 30% chance of enemies missing? I think it is a really good ability but not quite sure how to best use it, if you could explain to me it would be great

Edit: ^^ Scuba you a bit late to the party, if you go Options>Gameplay>Elective Mode you are able to juggle your abilities any way you want. So you can have all 4 defensive if you so desire...
Edited by Ryder#6480 on 5/19/2012 10:31 PM PDT
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