MP10 Guide for Budget 2Handers

Many MP10 questions recently with few players remaining. Most of us are stuck at the 120k-200k unbuffed DPS region in terms of gearing, and many are wondering how to handle MP10 or complete the game at the highest level of difficulty, feeling that Monks are weak and squishy, unless geared with high-end and expensive stuff. Hopefully this guide will enable the common majority of Monks to reach their end-game scenario at MP10.

Thread objective: To share insights and enable casual players to handle MP10 with limited gaming time and budget. The focus is on clearing the various stages of the whole game, and not about exp/speed/loot farming. If anyone has a better build or cheaper gear combo to clear the game, do post your findings and recommendations.

Note 1: Don't expect to clear MP10 in cheap gear. Budget can mean anywhere from 1m-100m per item, achieving reasonable stats to meet the objectives.

Note 2: Belial is probably the hardest boss in the game, because it is really a DPS check (ie. very expensive). Apart from him, the game can probably be cleared with DPS upwards of 80k, the more the merrier. More details on Belial in Act 2.

Note 3: With lower DPS, we need to leverage on a WoL variant build, so that the eDPS can meet the MP10 requirements.

Good stats to target:
- greater than 50k Life
- greater than 4500 Armor (I have >10% melee damage reduction)
- 500 to 600 AR
- 5% LS, or combination with some other sustain mechanism
- 40% to 50% CHC
- 400% to 500% CHD
- 170k to 185k unbuffed DPS (that's where I am at the moment, mainly needed to clear Belial)

Good items to plan for:
- Helm: Inna's or Andariels
- Chest: Inna's or rare chest
- Shoulder: Vile Ward or crafted
- Bracer: Lacuni or crafted
- Amulet: rare amulet or crafted
- Rings: Nats and/or rare rings, or budget unity / litany / wailing host
- Belt: Inna's or Witching Hour
- Pants: Inna's or BT or dual-resist rare pants
- Boots: Zuni or Nats
- Weapon: LS Skorn recommended (mine is only 1280+ DPS)

Before I set off on my MP10 journey, I prepared a few items in my stash as standby (eg, dual-resist Inna's helm, Andariel's helm, LpSS Inna's helm, Litany ring, BT pants). I also made a short list of what skills to tweak, and which skills and gear to be replaced to maintain the "balance" required in MP10.

Initial gear and skill build checking done on Ghom and Siegebreaker:!XUc!YcbcYb

Note 4: In hindsight, Andariel's helm actually caused more harm than good because much of the game damage is fire damage (fallen prophets, blazing guardians, occultist, winged moloks, molten, mortar, fire chain, fire wall, Butcher's pit, etc). Giving due credit to buying this item, it helped to boost the DPS to meet the requirements of fighting Belial to get a borderline "Pass" there. Without this item, the DPS will not be able to clear that stage. Since I bought it already, I decided to see how far I can go with it, and enjoy the faster attack speed.

Note 5: Since I do not have % damage reduction from ranged attacks, the battle strategy is to focus on the range and kiting mobs first, while letting the melee mobs come to me. The ranged attacks really hurt.

Note 6: This guide is meant for SC mode only. Many of the scenarios and stages are just barely cleared, due to gear limitations. HC players should plan for a lot more DPS and eHP.
Act 1

The beginning feels like an easy warm up session. Nothing noteworthy until we reach the Skeleton King. After that, the poison from the trees and charging from the savage beasts required careful playing. Elite packs down the Halls of Agony caused some problems with the narrow terrain, needed to use a lot of DS, Serenity and kiting. Finally, the Butcher was really tough, until I removed the Andariel's helm and modified the skill build slightly.

Skill build up until meeting the Butcher (same as the initial testing):!XUc!YcbcYb

Skill build for fighting the Butcher:
Failed -!XUY!YcZcYb
Passed -!XUY!aabcYc

Noteworthy elite packs:
Savage Beast - DS as the beasts are preparing to charge, or tank with Serenity
Dark Berserker - Throw a bell when they are winding their mace and preparing for their big hit

Boss Fight - Skeleton King
Pretty straightforward with the helpful AOE bells. Whenever SK does his "walk" or massive axe swing, use Serenity or simply back off in the perpendicular direction.

Boss Fight - Butcher
With the Andariel's helm, I couldn't tank in the pit fire, so I was kiting around, and the whole room filled up with fire eventually. After dying a few times, I took off that helm and used a single-resist LpSS Inna's helm. Stood right in the fire and fought. The Butcher has 2 major attacks - one is the huge hammer attack that comes after bouncing 2 times, and the other is the dashing attack that comes after knocking us back with his belly. At first I tried to use DS and timed it with the double bounce and his dash. I found out that if I DS at the same time as his dash, I end up dead upon reaching the other side of him. To end the experiment and save time, I went back to the old cookie cutter build. Whenever he dashed, I will use Serenity or avoid in the perpendicular direction. I'm certain the earlier Failed build listed can work, but I wanted to speed on to Belial as I've always regarded him as my biggest nemesis in the game.

Act 2

Reset to the original gear and initial test build. Nothing noteworthy until we reach the path to Arcanus (spelling?). There's a unique huge elite guarding the bridge with a very huge hammer. Avoid that hammer swing! After that, we meet Magdha. When alone, she's not even a worthy opponent. Personally I find Act 2 really long and tedious. Blazing Guardians were a real PITA, probably due to the Andariel's helm again. Zultan Kulle didn't cause much problems either. Then came the toughest challenge so far, Belial. I must have died hundreds of times trying different gear and build combinations, until repair bills came up in the millions and I gained a whole paragon level just fighting the trash mobs in that room! At one stage, I was seriously considering borrowing a higher DPS Skorn for the battle.

Skill build for fighting Belial:!XUg!YabcYb

Noteworthy elite packs:
Copperfang Lurkers - These turn invisible and surround you, hit very fast and hard. DS to the perimeter of the group, attack and cast bells as they group up.
Blazing Guardians - From act 1 to act 3, these are probably the hardest opponents. Use DS and Serenity a lot, kite a lot, keep hounding after one of them, and then get another, and so on.

Boss Fight - Magdha
Nothing noteworthy. Fight her minions the same way we fight Dark Berserkers (ie. kite a little where they group into a V-shape funnel, and spam bells).

Boss Fight - Zultan Kulle
Avoid his tornadoes. ZK is good training for using DS. Get rid of his golems first, then focus on ZK.

Boss Fight - Belial
Belial is immune to all proc effects (stun, blind, freeze, etc). Therefore the skill build should focus on DPS. At first I planned to tank the physical attacks and avoid the poison bubbles, but some of the attacks were so painful, I had to put on the BT pants to tank. By doing so, my DPS was too low to meet the timer requirements and I died to the poison. After many attempts, I settled on a gear combination (53k life) that allowed me to tank most of his physical attacks except one -- the double claw slam which happened to be a critical hit too. This means, in the whole battle sequence, if Belial does the double claw attack and it happened to be a critical hit, I'd die in 1-shot and need to re-try. To gear for more eHP will mean that I will definitely fail due to the timer. I have more poison problems than to worry about the probability of getting that critical hit. For a very long time, I was stuck after the 3rd poison cycle, and Belial's remaining life was just from 0mm to 10mm. The 4th, 5th, 6th poison cycles come back to back without anymore physical attacks, and these bubbles would have grown in size. This becomes the effective time limit to clear the stage (if I remember the cycles correctly). Serenity will still be on cooldown, and it takes an impossible amount of luck to avoid the bubbles, where any 1 hit from those bubbles will lead to death. To shave off that final few mm of remaining life, I had to learn how to fight during the poison bubble phase, taking pot shots while avoiding bubbles and timing it with Serenity where necessary. I'd say unbuffed 170k DPS for dual wielding and 180k DPS for 2H is about the borderline "Pass" criteria, and anything below will be pushing the limits and relying on extreme luck. I reckon 205k unbuffed DPS or higher will be comfortable without all the stress and micro timing.
Act 3

Act 3 is back to familiar territory. Decided to keep the Andariel's helm back in the stash and stick with the LpSS Inna's helm. Changed the passive Transcendence back to Chant of Resonance for the usual journey. Problems encountered were with the usual ranged elite packs. One interesting encounter that proved challenging was a pack of Soul Lashers with fast, fire-chain, molten, and frozen affixes. They kept surrounding me and made all my actions look slow motion. Thanks to the damage reduction from melee attacks, fighting a horde of Hulking Phasebeasts wasn't a problem.

Skill build for fighting Ghom, and walking through Act 3:!XUc!YabcYb

Skill build for fighting Siegebreaker and Azmodan:!XUY!YabcYb

Noteworthy elite packs:
Colossal Golgors - These big guys frequently hit with knockback effects, tossing me all over. DS to the perimeter, look for narrow passages as choke points and spam bells.
Occultists - The kiting and shields are very irritating. Use DS and Serenity a lot, kite a lot, keep hounding after one of them, and then get another, and so on.
Succubus - Fast moving kiters, with attacks that reduce armor by 50%, making all subsequent and other effects hurt a lot. Use the same technic as fighting against Occultists.
Spearman - Not really kiters, but they have very painful ranged attacks. Use DS and Serenity.

Boss Fight - Ghom
Nothing much to write about Ghom, he's too popular as a test subject. For those who are not so familiar with Ghom, everytime he shakes his arms, he is going to do some heavy damage, so pay more attention. There are many builds that can defeat him, since we are using a LS Skorn.

Boss Fight - Siegebreaker
Siegebreaker was one of my preliminary test subjects before starting out on my journey. He has a typical 3-swipe combo, and a dash attack if you're quite far away. These 2 attacks hurt a lot. He can also grab you and hold you close to his face - this attack doesn't hurt much. I was using Transcendence passive, and a LpSS helm, fighting with a total of more than 110 LpSS, in addition to the LS Skorn. Life holds well against his reflect damage, but his attacks are painful, causing the health to deplete in steps (in accordance with his successful hits). From time to time, Serenity comes in handy to replenish the Life globe.

Boss Fight - Cydaea
Too easy, just DS and spam bells.

Boss Fight - Azmodan
Azmodan's very first fireball took me by surprise, I died from that attack with 1-shot, all within the first few seconds of the battle. Since I've already got past the DPS check at Belial, I used Transcendence passive, and put on my BT pants which increased my life to 67k. I found my life at a net-loss if there is more than 1 pool stacking on the ground. Not willing to risk another big hit from the fireball, I just avoided the pools and continued the battle when the pools cleared. Relatively easy battle, compared to the elite packs with tough affixes.

Act 4

Finally the long journey has come to an end. Diablo himself is much easier than other boss fights. I still maintain that Belial from Act 2 is the hardest battle in the whole game. Although the bosses Rakanoth and Diablo are easy, the journey through Act 4 was extremely tough. Every elite pack is a worthy opponent, and the "trash" mobs cause a lot of extra problems because they each come with some sort of special skill (eg, Mounted Amaddon has stun, Corrupted Angels' dash has knockback, Subjugators and Opressors have fire attacks, etc). The way the mobs and elite packs spawn, there is definitely a good mixture of troublesome characteristics from the normal mobs added to the random affixes from the elite packs. For much of the journey, I got tossed around and disabled, unable to use my build effectively. Even with the LpSS helm equipped and Transcendence passive, I was having a hard time just keeping my feet on the ground to perform basic attacks. Without any surprise, just as previous Acts, the ranged elite packs caused more problems than the melee elite packs. Eventually, the only solution was to "thin out" the crowd, and kite a smaller group, clear the map bit by bit. The keywarden was also a challenging battle due to hard and fast hits, versus the slow-hitting Skorn. An excellent place to practise Dashing Strike is against the unique elite inside the Hell Rifts - I get 1-shot by his mallet attack so it was essential to time the DS and position correctly. It's the perfect 1-on-1 environment for practise where a wrong step leads to death.

Skill build for throughout Act 4, except for the Diablo battle::!XUY!YabcYb

Skill build for fighting Diablo:!XUY!YaZcYb

Noteworthy elite packs:
Subjugators, Mounted Amaddons, Hell Witches, Morlu Incinerators, Corrupted Angels, Mallet Lords.
All the notorious types as expected. If lured and kited away, they are about the same as the Act 3 elite packs. It is just time consuming and troublesome to keep kiting every small group, so that the rest of the "normal" hordes do not get involved and contribute their special skills.

Boss Fight - Rakanoth
Too easy, just DS and spam bells.

Boss Fight - Diablo
The grand finale. Swapped the DS rune to Flying Side Kick. The 60% chance to stun is extreme useful in all boss fights to interrupt their attacks or casting animations. If the DS fails to stun, just DS again. The rest of the spirit dump goes into the bells.

--- THE END ---
Ok guys, it is completed. Let me know if there are better ways to carry out any specific fight, or any part of the journey that needs to be edited. I'll include your contribution to the OP or the specific Act it belongs to.

Kindly stick to the "theme" of WoL variant builds, as casual and budget players can leverage up their eDPS to clear the requirements in MP10. Thread objectives are stated in the OP.

Notably, spirit regen gear was left out because I do not have such gear. Players who regen spirit very quickly without needing to fight are also welcomed to contribute their experience and concepts, provided the cost of gear is within reach of the casual player.
Hi Paul (surprised no one responded to this nice thread). I'm not sure how casual or budget the guide is but it's great for sharing about 2-handers (yes skorn heheh) trying to climb the MPs and getting some recognition.

Presently I am only at 140k dps but am not too concerned about bumping dps. My runes are rather out of the way but they help me regen spirit for the bells, and I have lots of mobility with Dashing Strike (been trying different runes) and TR.

Current build is: Dodge + Bells + Mobility. Run a variety of MP0 with TR/Bells, MP10 K2 or COTA, and also in between. Lotsa fun.

Keep the thread alive.
Hi Rahl, 3 reasons mainly. 2H is not popular, and Act 1 first quest through Act 4 final quest is not popular. :)

3rd and most important reason: Trash item drops throughout for >1600 hrs of looting, and AH broke the game (everyone is at AH instead of being in-game).

04/21/2013 10:04 AMPosted by rahl
I'm not sure how casual or budget the guide is

Other than the Nat's ring (60m), every other item is less than 22m (even the Skorn).
Yeah my skorn was cheap too, but getting an upgrade is expensive and I will have to wait on it.

2H is not your main game eh?
HI Paul!

Thanks for a nice guide, havent read yet but looks good from a quick skim :)

Can you include a guide on top-end gearing as well? Like 2H TR builds for high MP, or even guides for ubers (since you started doing them for all the bosses anyway)?
@OP, you're quickly becoming somebody I follow, not in a stalking way :p but you're advice so far has been SPOT ON. Thanks!!!
04/21/2013 07:25 PMPosted by Bankai
Can you include a guide on top-end gearing as well? Like 2H TR builds for high MP, or even guides for ubers (since you started doing them for all the bosses anyway)?

I don't have top-end gear, so it'd be hard to put a theory to how it should be built, without the experience to follow through the concept. For example, Tianzi's video on MP10 Ubers, he has net-positive regen to TR out of the slow bubble, while I get stuck inside and SB catches up to pound me. So with budget limitations, there are still obstacles that prevent us from becoming part of the "elite" group who can do it all solo. In its current form, the budget build allows the common folks to join in MP10 parties for all activities including Uber fights, and that is in line with the objectives of the thread. Super high end gear will be out of reach of most players, many of whom have quit due to trash items the game provides. Myself with over 1600 hrs in the game, have found zero items on my gear.

In this light, common players who manage to sell some 1m-10m gear, can gradually purchase the pieces from AH to complete the game at MP10, a realistic and achievable goal. Any item beyond the reach of the common folks should not be in this thread.

Druin has written an excellent guide on TR, mainly for the spirit management and techniques, you can modify or customize your build from there.

However, many players have testified that TR changes into a mobility tool instead of a DPS tool at high MP levels. For my own journey from MP4-10, I gradually dropped TR for DS around MP8-10 because the TR DPS for me was too low to earn a spot in the skill build. DS provided good mobility with very good survival

@Rahl, there was a time when all monks were 1H+shield, just to clear the game. Then most of us went the dual wield path when defense was less of a requirement. Now 2H is a viable path due to the buff in various skills. In the future itemization patch, there may be more variety and diversity. I still have the Skorn in my stash, as well as a very old dinosaur shield!
Paul, I actually use DS and TR both in my build. I used them in ubers and also in normal farming. There are some forms of mobility/escape that DS and TR excel at, which the other skill doesn't possess. No more breakable item to teleport to? TR. Jailed? DS.

I'm told it's not a good mix and probably I am giving up 15-30% dps for the mobility, but I am enjoying it.
HI Paul!

Thanks for a nice guide, havent read yet but looks good from a quick skim :)

Can you include a guide on top-end gearing as well? Like 2H TR builds for high MP, or even guides for ubers (since you started doing them for all the bosses anyway)?

Interesting build with MOR - I suppose it does work better with 2h as they get hit more often, but Circular Breathing generates more spirit passively? And Backlash does better 'thorn' like damage?

If it's okay with you, I am going to ask kamel to include this in the list of stickies (unless it's already been done). I loooooooooooove threads that appeal to those who want to do big things with limited budgets and I definitely approve of this thread.

In case you are interested, I started a new thread last night to show off my budget 2H skorn monk that is MP10 capable. Total cost of gear is around 160M (for armor and weapon) and 71M (for gems). Of course, I also had the benefit of awesome crafts, but even without them, my gear would likely fit your criteria for this post. Here's a link:
From my experience,couple items you need to handle MP10: Skorn with lifesteal,Inna's helm with life on spirit spent(between 50-60) and you need decent spirit regen with skills:fist of thunder-quickening,sweepin wind-inner storm and most important of all:wave of light-blinding light(3 sec stun on critical hits,this will handle all heavy hitting monsters(fallen lords,swift skullcleavers..etc).Even most elites will be stunned 60-70% of time until you kill them.While they are stunned,you get massive selfhealing with helm with life on spirit spent(WoL cost 70 spirit x 50-60 life per spirit spent=3.5-4k+ heal every wave of light).This build needs decent crit chance to get stuns rolling,you looking at least 40-50%,also try to get high as you can attack speed and crit damage,wave of light will be massive part of your damage.For gearing good choice is natalya's boots(dual resist,no vitality,very cheap choice)+ring(9%attack speed is very cheap,if you got some gold spare try to get crit chance with it or crit damage),2 set bonus will give you 7% crit,witching hour is best choice for belt,with resist of your choice(poison..etc) they are very cheap those days,for chest 2 choices:blackthorne surecoat(high vit+double resist) or tal'rasha chest with 9%attack speed and resist of choice(most of those are better then inna's chest dps wise and cheaper).inna's pants are best choice for pants,vile ward with double resist and vit for spaulders(if you can't get better crafted one),rest of gear you can craft,Hope those tips will help.

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