Diablo® III

Monk tips

Here are some tips and tricks for new monks.

The first and most important tip is to level your blacksmithing. Dump every resource available to you into blacksmithing. This will keep your gear current regardless of your drops in for the normal run through.

Dual wielding >>> 2-hander for my build. That's because spirit generation and auto attack speed increase so heavily with dual wielding. The extra weapon also provides you with an additional stat stick which translates to more damage on skill uses than a 2-hander as long as your off hand has appropriate stats.

Make sure to stack Dex over every other stat. Dex will give you 1.2 Armor per point plus dodge plus 1% more damage per point.


Here is the build I run. I will eventually swap out "transcendence" for "one with everything" once a get a single resist stacked for hell mode. At that point your gear will give you health per spirit spent and transcendence will be largely over-healing anyway.

Here is an explanation of the skill/rune choices:

First off, passives:

Resolve: this is the best passive out there for PVE. Decreasing all targets damage by 25% is huge!

Seize the initiative: Making your primary offensive stat also your primary defensive stat is a good thing. Stack dex and win with this skill. Also, with hard target from Mantra of Evasion, this further values dex to 1.2 armor per dex.

Transendence: this is very powerful in the first 2 run throughs. But it falls off in hell as the skill doesn't scale at all with your champion.

One with Everything: this becomes very powerful in hell as elemental damage sources become very prevalent. Stack a single resistance and grab this passive for the live!


Fists of Thunder: This is amazing for a dual wielder as it will allow you to literally stun lock groups of enemies with you primary attack while simultaneously whittling them all down. The spirit generation for this ability is also higher than any other primary.

Rune: Thunderclap: Adds AoE damage to boot but the big thing is the mobility this rune gives. It allows you to hop around the battlefield to position your self. You can also hop out of snares with this rune (probably a bug). Using this in combination with lash tail kick is great as it allows you to punt an enemy for focus and then hop back on to it to position your target safely away from a mob or into a trap. It makes your damage consistent and allows you to easily dodge projectiles by hoping to and enemy or box out of the projectile's path. In addition to keeping you from being kited as well.

Lash Tail Kick: This allows you to burst down swarms of enemies and keep from being swarmed. It also interrupts most enemy's swings allowing you to more predictably stun lock a group of swarming enemies and protects your flanks that Fists of Thunder leaves exposed. This is also a spamable spirit dump you can use to regen hp with transcendence and other similar effects.

Rune: Vulture Claw Kick: Converts the damage to fire which is not mitigated by armor and increases the damage % while maintaining the knockback.

Serenity: The most powerful defensive skill in the game IMO. It has a short CD, makes you CC immune for the duration, and also completely invulnerable. Its great for when you got an enemy you can't interrupt charging up a nuke or CC.

Rune: Peaceful Repose: makes serenity also heal you making it nice to no only mitigate incoming damage but refill your hp for once the invulnerability ends.

Sweeping Wind: This is an amazing fire and forget skill especially from Act 3 on. The damage to spirit efficiency gets nuts and running thunderclap nearly assures that the skill will never run out until the fight is over.

Rune: Bladestorm: Increases the damage of Sweeping wind 33%. What is not to love?

Seven sided strike: This ability is actually Serenity 2.0 in disguise. It makes you untargetable for the duration. Running any kind of transcendence, life steal, or on hit regen makes the skill also heal you. This is a great tool to dodge a bosses attack when serenity is spent.

Rune: Several sided strike: This makes Seven Sided Strike last longer for more invulnerability time. The skill also provides two more strikes (at 110% damage each) to make the skill do 999% damage (only a few percent behind sudden assault) but if sweeping wind is active, you'll do slightly more damage within the ability's duration. Also, this often will provide more effective damage than sudden strike in a crowd because of less tendency to overkill targets. It also works better with +hp per hit and other on hit stats.

Mantra of Evasion: 15% mitigation of the already reduced incoming damage is huge. Throwing it up at the beginning of an engagement and refreshing it before big nukes when serenity and 7SS are on CD is a life saver as well!

Hard target: Increasing your armor 20% makes you a tank! Couple it with sieze the initiative to make Barbs want to re-roll.

So this is the load out I've been using. I'm just getting into my second run through and never died in normal (Went into every boss fight blind and never even was close to having trouble. In fact, I did acts 3 and 4 without using a potion).
Edited by Peli#1747 on 5/17/2012 9:34 AM PDT
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I use the exact same build as you do minus your secondary skill of LTK. Actually, I have no idea what to use as my secondary so I use the bell instead w/ Explosive Light rune.

Also, instead of Transcendence, I use The Guardian's Path passive.

This build works awesome. A crazy amount of damage with some good survivability. Add ontop that Monk is a blast to play and I'm quite content with my D3 experience thus far.
Edited by Psymin#1667 on 5/17/2012 10:04 AM PDT
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I use exact build, exactly...good build highly recommend.
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Yeah guardian's path is definitely good too. I used it for a while as well. The good thing about transcendence is that your spirit generation is really high running dual wield with fists of thunder. That allows you to spend a lot of spirit.

I've heard that you can go into elective mode and run both sweeping wind and exploding palm. That would make transcendence awesome as you can dump lots of spirit on a boss with exploding palm without losing the constant dps of sweeping wind and gain lots of life via transcendence in the process.

I've yet to try this though and I'm not sure how elective mode works yet, but in theory it would provide substantially more damage to a single target and make your spirit a lot more valuable making transcendence a lot more valuable.
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I strongly disagree with leveling your black smithy right away.

Do an auction house search for the piece of gear you need. Set a filter for dexterity, then look down to the very bottom in the fine print and enter a very small amount of gold (like 1000, 2000) or so into the box labeled buyout.

After awhile you'll want to level blacksmithy, but until you have multiple characters the AH is vastly superior. (edit: or can level it high enough to craft rare stuff, eg lvl 4)

edit: hard target, sieze the initiative, AND keen eye = loltankumadboss?
Edited by Agricola#1561 on 5/17/2012 10:57 AM PDT
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85 Undead Priest
Posts: 328
Thanks so much for this, I was feeling pretty lost on my early 30s monk - I didn't really set my abilities up to work with each other well.

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