As several people have mentioned to me I'll post here. This guide is not afk facerolling. It requires a fair amount of effort on your part to keep your monk alive. It is not a high dps build. You will not mow down elite packs in seconds. This guide/play style will take some getting used to. You will not instantly be a master of diablo simply for gearing this way. Like any other way to build it has it's own downsides. Those being lower dps, and less room for error. It is however, at least in my opinion very rewarding. An effective health calculation can be found for your use in the 2nd post.
When I beat Diablo I had 14k health the first time as a sword/board monk. Now I have 12k. This guide does not rely on LOH, and in fact makes no use of it. I find it a crutch stat. Although to be fair that's just my opinion. Perhaps it's better to say it's simply an amazingly expensive stat for most people, and I don't actually like it myself.
In order to stem what inevitably happens when I mention my stats here is my achievement for the Inferno Diablo kill pre patch:
Here's me getting punched in the face for Acts 1,2, and a pack in Act 3
As you can see there's a few times in there I just sit there, and let a pack beat on me, and my health doesn't move. The servers went down as I was fighting the boss mob of that Act 3 pack. But as you can see I killed his stupid minions, and him so it's not like I wasn't going to murder him. Le sigh Part 2 will be up later today, after I sleep some, and hopefully servers will be up by then too! Say what you want about my skill, or lack thereof but my monk looks freaking awesome in my opinion.
Here's me getting slapped around like my childho....anyway Act 4
Stats are at the end of the video since I was told that eyes were bleeding trying to read the other linked pictures. Uh, my bad on that one. Sorry guys.
This guide utilizes a few things, and assumes you have the basics of the monk class such as skills down. It uses low total health, high resist, and high life per second gearing method that'll be gotten into more detail below. Imagine every time you use a skill you get a full heal, and that health potions were also a full heal. That's what I've created here. Sorry if it's been posted before, but I don't believe I've seen anyone play this style before since I made it up on my own.
First off let's talk skills
Are you ever afraid in battle?
No. Fear is born of uncertainty. The gods give me direction.
Remember my build isn't the bible feel free to deviate from it if you find something that works better. Personally I feel this is the optimal way to go, but more power to you if you find a different way to do so.
Deadly Reach with Keen Eye- This one is pretty obvious. It builds spirit, gives you some range attacks for kiting, and also gives you a sweet +50% armor. Without a doubt a truly good bread, and butter skill.
Crippling Wave with Concussion- Pretty simple to see that you use this skill for the sweet -20% dmg on enemies as well as the attack speed slow.
You're basic idea here is to just weave DR, and then CW over, and over to keep both up as much as possible. That being said these are the only moves you're using for damage. Double spirit builders. Get used to them. Love them. And they shall never let you down.
Blinding Flash with Faith in the Light- This gives you a nice 30% damage boost, a bonus to enemies missing attacks, and gives you a few seconds reprieve from enemies punching you in the face.
Breath of Heaven with Penitent Flame-This skill is a useful "Oh snap" button in case your Serenity is down, or if you get stuck in a corner this is a good way to get out of it. The heal on it is of course a plus.
Serenity with Peaceful Repose-If ever there was an award for most amazing skill. This skill would definitely be a contender for top prize. When activated it's a sizable heal, and 3 seconds of immunity to all forms of cc, and damage. With a low cool down, and even lower spirit cost you should never die as long as this is off cool down. This is your "OH GOD BEES" button. Treat it as you would a mistress, with respect, and care, and she'll never poop out on you.
Mantra of Healing with Time of Need -This mantra buffs your LPS regen, and in addition also gives you a bonus to your resistances by 20%. For free. This should always be up. If this falls off then you're doing it wrong. You should always have spirit with this build so keeping it up shouldn't be an issue.
Transcendence- This move gives you a nice 62 life for every spirit spent. Basically it's a nice sized free heal for your small health pool anytime you use a skill. Coupled with Serenity it's basically a free full heal for you when you use that skill, and a near full heal with almost any other skill.
One with Everything- This skill is a god send. It allows you to double stack resistances on nearly every piece of gear. I went with Lightning, but arcane is pretty cheap too. With this skill there's no reason not to have at least +50 AR, and +50 resist of your choice on each piece of gear you can. Even your rings, and amulets. Don't be lazy. Double down on everything.
Seize the Initiative- What can I say this skill is great. It lets you stack your offensive stat, and at the same time increase your defense. A perfect skill.
Gemming, and what, and what not to do
I'm a simple man. give me a good meal, a warm bed, and a handful of jewels.
This is pretty short so here it is. If it has a socket you put a green gem in it. If it's a chest piece with 3 sockets you put 3 green gems in it. Vit is for suckers, and we're not suckers.
The only exception could possibly be your weapon/helm. If you want more health your helm is the only acceptable place for it with a socket. Throw a purple in there, and call it a day.
For your weapon it's your call. I know some people swear by red, and some people can't live without a purple in there either. You can do w/e you want here, but again I'm telling you green is awesome. A matter of opinion, but mine is right.
No, but really do w/e you feel like will help you the most. Except for topaz. God help you if you put a topaz in a weapon socket. I will find you, and hunt you down if you do, and the wedgie/swirly combo I shall rain down upon you will be the stuff of legends. I have a friend who works for an airline. He can get me classified as luggage, and it's cheap. DO NOT TEST ME ON THIS!
Stats, and what you're looking for
The gods guide me. You can not win.
All resist+the resist you pick to focus on- I know you're shocked this is on here right?
Here's how reduction works for varying levels of All resist. You can compare what you have/want to get to get a rough idea of where it'll take you as far as reduction goes.
A.Resist -->% reduction
978 --> 76.53
880 --> 74.97
786 --> 72.39
656 --> 68.60
532 --> 63.92
440 --> 59.49
352 --> 54.02
217 --> 41.93
105 --> 25.87
7 --> 2.18
Since you're not going for Vit on your gear, or at least you shouldn't be none of the gear is terribly expensive. I got my entire set for less than 3 million, and 2 million of it was on the weapon! No I'm being serious, and not trolling. It does take some time looking through the AH, but it's worth it in the end.
Life Per Second- My favorite stat in the game bar none. Try to get this on every piece of gear you can. Most of my gear is AR, LR, and LPS. Dex comes after that for me. With Mantra up I have 2640 LPS. This means that with a 12k health pool I literally heal 1/6th of it per second. Diablo attacks once per 2-3 seconds. Essentially he can't do any damage to me. Even his cage grab is useless since I regen health so fast. I can not say enough good things about this stat.
Dexterity-Behind AR+the resist you choose to focus on, and LPS, Dex is your next big stat. As long as you have at least 10k dps you're going to be fine doing anything. So don't throw away LPS/AR for more dex it's almost never a good trade. Unless we're talking small losses for big gains. Ie 25 all resist/100 LPS for 250 dex. That's a good trade to make, but usually it's not going to be so clear cut. Use your judgement.
Movement Speed- Make sure your boots have at least 10% on them. No exceptions. This is required for all the kiting/matrix dodging you're going to pull off. You can live with 10, but 12 is better.
A quick aside about gear stats
How did you become a thief?
That's a long and terrible story that you wouldn't want to hear.
You found something you liked and couldn't afford?
Suffice to say when you start you might find it's easier, or cheaper to focus on just w/e resist you pick, at least on a certain slot. As an example I used to have a pair of bracers that had 15 LR, and 30 AR, and some LPS, and Dex. I found a different pair of bracers that had no AR, but had 50 some LR. It also had 100 more dex than my old pair. In cases like this it's alright to go with just one resist, as long as you remember that eventually you want to find something with both on it. Just keep it in mind. You may not start as a super power, but with work you'll slowly get there. Remember it's the journey...or something.
Please take me with you. These villagers are incredibly dull!
Scoundrel- Properly equipped this guy pulls some modest 6-7k dps. He lacks a decent health pool though if you build him that way, and has little in the way of cc beyond his blind. A decent choice if you get lucky with gear for him. Consider using if you find yourself lacking gear to make Kormac a beast, and you're cutting enrage timers close. An extra 6-10k dps could be all you need!
Enchantress-A lot of people pick up this little lady for her plethora of buffs she provides, and decent dps. The enchantress can give you an armor buff, and has a haste buff of 3%. She also can turn things into chickens! As far as companions go she's fairly easy to gear out. She does suffer from the same low health deal as the Scoundrel though. All in all a good starter companion. Consider using if you find yourself lacking gear to make Kormac a beast, and you're cutting enrage timers close. An extra 6-10k dps could be all you need!
Templar- At first glance this companion appears useless. He does little to no dps, is melee so he's always bowing out of fights, and his heals don't really scale well. However! If you properly gear him out Kormac is a beast. Your low health means Kormac's heals are going to hit harder, and be worth their weight. He also can be given a taunt, or an aoe knockback which can save you if you get stuck in a corner. He also has a small aoe stun. Seriously why are you not using this follower? My Templar currently has 2350 dps, and 140,000 health. He is a beast. In act 3/4 Kormac is much more of a life saver than the enchantress or scoundrel can ever be. I stand by Kormac as an amazing follower when properly pimped out. The only downside? Oh, I forget Kormac was that a worthy foe? Oh good. I was worried.
Basic Play Style
Stay awhile and listen -RIP Cain
Alright so here's the deal. You want to keep up KE because the extra armor is critical. And the -20% dmg reduction from CW is also fantastic. With this in mind you can use blind offensively. Blind, and then do your CW combo for the debuff, and then swap back to building up KE before the blind is off. I also use it if enemies have an annoying cast, or if they run. For some reason enemies that just run from 100-0 really irritate me. Go figure I guess.
Basically if you think the mobs you're fighting will eventually whittle your health down then slowly kite them backwards. Run a few steps back, and throw out some kicks. They're ranged, and the 3rd one is even longer than the 1st two. Keep your kiting path clear ahead of time. Especially in Act 3/4. Make sure you have some sort of path clear. Keep it simple. This isn't the Olympics, and no one is watching. Except for me. I'll know if you fail. So don't.
If you think you aren't going to need it you can also use your Serenity for 3 seconds of uninterrupted dps if the mobs have an annoying affix like frozen, or something. It can be risky doing so, but what's life without risk? Long, and fullfilling? Pffff. Not full of yellows, and blues I can tell you that much!
If mobs are hitting you harder than you thought, and you're worried about dying. Just hit blind, and run away. In the time it takes them to become unblind, and run back to you you'll most likely be back at full health. If it happens again fear them, and repeat. Then Serenity. Then Blind, and repeat until loot is acquired.
You're going to have full spirit a lot of the time. If you think you need a top off don't forget you can spend some spirit, and just flare your mantra. It gives you a thing that looks like a damage absorption shield. It is, but it's a very small one.Thanks to Transcendence you get a nice boost of health, and your LPS will tick, and bring you up further while the shield is taking hits.
Things to watch out for
That's quite an enemy over there. We are in for a fight!
I don't know what's changed recently, but Arcane beams have become waaaay more deadly this last patch so watch out for those. Don't get stuck in small paths in caves, and don't let yourself be cornered by a group of Nightmarish monsters. It's really annoying sometimes.
Don't stand in things. It wasn't a good idea in D2, it still wasn't a good idea in wow (for the most part), and surprise surprise, it's not a great idea here either.
Below is a breakdown of the specific affixes you might encounter, and what they mean for you!
Arcane – Monsters imbued with the Arcane Enchanted trait can summon a deadly purple beam. These beams rotate in a withering circle of pain that inflicts arcane damage. So these used to be a joke, and would only hit you once if you stood still. Now they hit about 6-7 times if you just stand there. You could in fact stand there for one, or two of them if you so desired, but there's no reason to tempt fate if the pack also has something like waller, or nightmare.
Avenger – When a Champion group imbued with Avenger arrives, the death of each group member imbues the remaining Champions with added power. Fun fact if you have 3 packs of mobs, and only 1 pack has avenger, and you kill one the other mobs that didn't have avenger gain that affix on top of what else they already have. Super fun bug. Honestly not a huge issue for this spec unless you've got some hard hitting guy who's as big as a house standing over yonder.
Desecrator – Desecrate creates a glowing void zone beneath the targeted Hero. The void zone deals damage to any Hero near it. You can probably tank the damage from this up to a 2 stack with high enough resist, and lps, but any past that, and your health is going to go down steadily. Is particularly fun with jailer, and frozen.
Electrified – Gives the monster higher Lightning resistance as well as lighting damage when attacking. Also throws out tiny lightening bolts that do damage once. Treat this as a free pass as it's never a threat.
Extra Health – This trait bestows the imbued monster with extra HP. Basically it's going to take you longer to kill this than it otherwise would. Could be problematic if paired with several other annoying affixes, but on it's own nothing amazing. Do be careful of hitting an enrage timer though.
Fast – This makes monsters run, attack and cast magic faster. Monster granted with fast are granted no additional resistances, nor do their attacks inflict extra damage. They are however really annoying when they run away. Again treat it as a freebie unless it's got something like fire chains with it.
Fire Chains – Elites are attached by a fire chain thing. You take damage if it touches or even gets near one of the fire links. I hardly notice fire chains anymore, but the best defense against them is to back into a corner, and tank em down. Granted you don't want to do that if they're something like Desecrate, but use your judgement.
Frozen – Cast frozen orbs and all that jazz. So you can dodge these frozen orbs even while already frozen. Not terribly dangerous unless you get hit with a large amount at once, or are chain frozen for a while. Can be nasty when paired with something like Desecrate though.
Health Link – Health Link reduces the amount of damage taken by the champion with that trait by linking his HP to that of all other Health Link champions in the area. Basically you'll deal reduced damage to whatever you're attacking since the damage is split between his friends. To counter this just aoe so you're hitting all of them at once. Can be irritating, but not really a threat unless they've got some nasty affixes in addition to this.
Horde – Horde increases the squad of minions that spawn with a rare monster, crowding the battlefield. Basically you're going to be swarmed by lots of monsters. Depending on what other affixes they have could be either incredibly dangerous, or a free pass. Nightmarish/invulnerable minions? Yeah have fun never getting to control your character on that on. Horde of Burning constructs? Yeah good luck with that one.
Illusionist – The illusionist trait imbues a creature with the ability to create dangerous clones of itself. The trait grants no new resistances, and the damage deal by an Illusionist is not modified in any way. So Illusions have less health than the main guy, and none of his traits like fire chains. They do do full damage though so depending on what you're fighting it can mean either nothing, or everything.
Invulnerable Minions– These guys arrive with a squad of indestructible minions. So yeah this is again one of those traits that's either barely worth noticing, or horrendous. It's terrible if they have nightmarish since you're going to be feared just all over the place, but most of the time they just sort of get in your way, and are more annoying than anything.
Jailer -The jailer trait gives monsters the ability to immobilize the Hero in a conjured prison. An annoying skill that's dangerous when paired with certain affixes. On a vortex, waller mob? Who cares. On a frozen ,desecrate ,molten ,plague, what have you? Can be devastating.
Knockback – Each melee hit has a chance to knock back the hero. Annoying, but rarely dangerous unless you get stuck in a corner, and get constantly bounced in the air, and can't move.
Missile Dampening – Creatures imbued with the trait generate a sphere around themselves. Any projectile entering this sphere moves considerably slower. (Object will be 50% slower while inside) The projectile will speed up once leaving. As a melee monk this is a free pass for you. As such don't ever expect to see more than 1 spawn when you're farming. It's like the game knows!
Molten – As monsters with this trait move they leave a trail of painful lava pools. When they die, they explode in a fiery bast. When paired with plague can cause an issue, but once you get some decent resistance you can just tank them in a corner to death. Make sure you move away when they explode if it's several at once.
Mortar – The Mortar monster launches a quick volley of firebombs at the hero every so often. Can be annoying when paired with other aoe moves, and if you're kiting it can pile up in damage, but once you're situated it's nothing terrible.
Nightmarish – Imbues a monster’s attacks with an element of Fear. Any attack by a Nightmarish foe has the chance to send your character fleeing in terror. Horrible even by itself just because it's so annoying. Even worse with things like arcane beam because you know you're going to run with the beam. Ranged champs with this seem like they fear every other hit, and you'll spend more time feared than actually killing the pack. It's so annoying.
Plagued – It's going to spawn pools of poison all of the place. Just get in a corner, and murder them. More annoying than anything, but can get terrible if paired with molten, or desecrate.
Shielding – Gives the monster a brief period of invulnerability to all forms of damage. Sort of annoying since it pushes you closer to the enrage timer, and you just know it's going to shield at 3k life left. More annoying on things like scavengers that have a terrible habit of shielding, then burrowing, then coming back out, and immediately re-shielding. Also annoying on those serpents that go invisible at will in act 2. They're either invisible, or shielded like 90% of the time. What a fun mechanic!
Teleporter – The teleporter trait allows monster to zap around the field of battle, phasing away when attacked only to jump back next to you moments later for a counterattack. By itself it's just annoying, but combines with Vortex can be deadly if they pull you through a bunch of junk.
Reflects Damage - The bane of high dps characters, and glass cannons everywhere. It means nothing to you as a low dps murder machine. Laugh at it whenever it spawns for you.
Vampiric - The vampiric trait allows monster to literally feast on the damage they inflict to you by turning it into health for themselves. Prolongs fights, but means very little to you since they do so little damage they gain even less health back. Not a huge issue to worry about.
Vortex - Lets you get pulled to the monster that cast it. Can't pull you through walls though, but can pull you through arcane beams more monsters, treasure goblins, plague, and all that jazz. Mostly annoying, but can be deadly when paired with some of the aforementioned traits.
Waller - Waller allows champions monsters imbued with the trait to erect impenetrable barriers on the battlefield for brief durations of time. Since the last patch monsters with this throw up walls almost non stop. Can be either a minor inconvenience, or terribly deadly if you get stuck in the wall, and then get plague, desecrate, or 7 arcane beams stuck on you.
Act Specific Enemies to look out for
In Act 1 Berserkers are your worst enemy. Even with all my damage reduction it's still a good 3-4k hit if the slam hits home. That being said it's easy enough to blind them, or move if able as the sound they make when casting it is pretty obvious.
In Act 2 you might think the Serpents that turn invisible are your worst enemy. And you'd be wrong. The absolute hardest hitting mob in the entire act is a flaming/burning construct. I don't know why this is, but that things fire aoe is like desecrate on crack. Maybe it ate Wheaties or something.
In Act 3 it's Heralds of Pestilence. I can't even begin to describe how much I hate these mobs. And anyone who's done it will most likely tell you the same. Some people might tell you tales of something else, and claim it's worse. I'll let you in on a secret. These people are liars. Heralds of Pestilence are stupid, and I hope they all die horribly. There's nothing else to say really without going into a terrible rant.
In Act 4 everything sucks. I'm just going to level with you. Oppressors have a 1 shot charge that you can't predict (although to be honest it brings me to like 500 life so it's not technically a 1 shot but whatevs), and Saboteurs leap across the screen, and throw bombs, the succubi have homing missiles, Morlu incinerators summon meteors that make Belial jelly, Invulnerable angels are always doing a drive by high 5 with their hammers, and Bile Crawlers always are after me for bus fare. GET A JOB HIPPY!
All in all the only reason to do this place is to beat the game, and say you've done it since from what I hear Act 3/4 drop the same loot.