Diablo® III

[Guide] Zero DPS CDR Support Monk Build

Zero-dps builds have existed for a long time and have become more powerful than ever with the introduction of cooldown reduction since the release of RoS. However, I have not yet seen an updated guide for this build optimized for the new expansion. So I wrote up this guide and hope you will find the information presented here useful.

Profile link: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/qisq-1957/hero/47570634
Build link: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#VYRfkP!VaZU!aacZYb
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72qJkZQ_ih0

[Basic features]
Focus on cooldown reduction.
Maximize group support, including damage buff / damage reduction / healing
No spirit regenerator.
No crit chance/crit damage.
Relatively easy to gear up.
Standard pull & EP rotation: pull enemy --> blind them --> drop inner sanctuary --> spam palm --> teammates triggers the chain explosion --> move on to the next pack.

[Skills]
1. Inner Sanctuary: Forbidden City. // Group damage reduction & damage buff with 100% up-time.

2. Cyclone Strike: Implosion // Standard pull utility.

3. Mantra of Conviction: Annihilation // Damage buff & movement speed between fights. Alternatively Intimidation for the group damage reduction, if the group have trouble to stay alive.

4. Epiphany: Soothing Mist. With maximal cd reduction and health globe bonus, this provides the group with enormous amount of healing.

Left click. Exploding Palm: Flesh is Weak. // Standard palm with damage buff.
Right click. Blinding flash: Self Reflection. // Constant blind on white trash, which removes most of the melee damage the teammates would otherwise receive. Also constantly interrupts elites / bosses spell casting.

[Edit] Some people use Dashing Strike instead of Inner Sanctuary for very fast groups.

[Passive]
One with Everything.
Resolve. // For group damage reduction.
Beacon of Ytar.
Last one is flexible. I use Fleet footed as I often need to get ahead of ranged dps, so I can have time to properly pull and apply palm.

[Core Stats]

Cooldown reduction: stack as much as possible. This means at least 70% dual wielding or 68% using a shield. The benefit from cd reduction is multiplicatively better as you stack more of it. List of slots that can roll cdr: shoulders, gloves, rings, weapons, amulet,

Health globe healing bonus: this gives the group with enormous amount of healing via Epiphany. For 100k health globe bonus, it means 45k per tick, maximum 1.6 ticks per sec. List of slots that can roll hghb: shoulders, chests, boots, rings, amulet, shield.

+%phys damage, +%elite damage: the explosion of EP scales with these stats. There is no need to stack too much of it but it's helpful to have some. Note we don't need +%EP damage as it doesn't affect the explosion.

Attack speed: shortens animation time of your palms etc.
Resource cost reduction: spam more pulls and palms.

Other defensive stats: reduce elite damage, secondary resist, vit/dex/armor etc.
No crit chance or crit damage at all, which makes it a lot easier to get the gears you actually need.

[Edit] Crafting Strength gears instead of Dex gears gives a quite noticeable increase in survivability.

[Core Gears]
Main hand: The Fist of Azturrasq, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-fist-of-azturrasq // Must-have for a palm build. [Edit] If you don't have it yet, use a Doombringer or Sun Keeper instead. While it's not optimal, the build still works well.

Helm: The Laws of Speh, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-laws-of-seph // A major source of spirit regen for this build, which allows spamming palm without using any spirit regenerator attacks. Alternatively The Mind's Eye is also ok: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-minds-eye [Edit] If you have neither of those, you may choose a spirit regenerator attack, e.g. Crippling Wave: Tsunami, but it may slow down the pace significantly.

Bracers: Strongarm Bracers, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/strongarm-bracers // Group damage buff on enemies knocked back. Works with pull from Cyclone Strike.

Amulet: Halcyons Ascent, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/halcyons-ascent // Always comes with cd reduction, elite damage reduction, and increased damage on elites. The special affix provides a knock-up on white mobs. Potentially also triggers the effect of Strongarm Bracers (?).

Two pieces of Born's set of your choice.
Two pieces of Captain Crimson's set of your choice.

RoRG: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/ring-of-royal-grandeur-3qRFop // If you don't have this yet it's okay just craft 3p of Born/Crimson.

[Optional gears]
Other slots are very flexible. Any combinations of the following will do:

Glove of Worship: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/gloves-of-worship-FA37P

Illusory boots: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/illusory-boots-29WYI0
Allow you to walk through wallers, very useful for a pull monk. A big drawback is that elites with electrified affix is deadly dangerous, as you can stack on top of the elite and eat all the charged projectiles.

Two pieces of Blackthorn's set of your choice. Or Blackthorn 3p if you don't use Halcyon amulet.
Three pieces of Ashaera's set of your choice. You also need to get the legendary follower relics that unlock all follower skills, and gear your followers up appropriately.

Goldskin + Goldwrap combo.

The choice of using a weapon or a shield in your off-hand. Dual wielding is preferable as you can have more cd reduction. Use a shield if you want more survivability.

Gear swap on bosses:
The Furnace. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-furnace // Insane amount of damage on T6 rift guardian. Quite good proc rate with Exploding Palm dots.

B-K's wedding band: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/bulkathoss-wedding-band // Very significant continuous aura damage on T6 rift guardian. Also recommended for followers especially the Templar.

Examples:
1. Born chest & sword + Crimson's belt & pants + Ashaera's gloves, boots, and shoulders
2. Born shoulders & sword + Crimson's pants & boots + Blackthorn chest & belt
3. Born shoulders & chest + Crimson's belt & pants + Gloves of Worship + Illusory Boots

p.s. It took me so much less time to gear up my 0dps monk and perform effectively on T6 in a group, comparing to my dps monks. This is a sad story... I enjoy playing an OP support monk, especially my main was Holy priest in WoW since day one. But I do hope they can make soloing on T6 more viable as soon as possible.

[Paragon Points]

Core: Spirit = Movement speed > Vit > Dex // If you are over 200 paragon lvls, then it's probably better to get 25% movement speed from paragon to free a primary stat on gears.

Offence: Cooldown reduction > Attack Speed

Defence: Resist all > +%Armor > +%Life > Life per sec

Utility: Area damage > Resource cost reduction > Gold find > Life per hit // I haven't tested this but I believe area Area Damage should affect EP explosion... anyone can confirm?

[Related Links]
A nice discussion about CDR tank v.s. Non-CDR tank:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/12880008445
Zero DPS Shatter-Palm build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/13075747564
A video of 4min30sec rift by xlilmanx:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHDbZH5vTIY
A video guide by MrShhh:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ne46AGNTzI
Video by Strike
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/13204350739

[Update History]
Added a section for optional gears.
Added link to a video showing how the build works in action.
Added info regarding paragon points.
Edited by qisq#1957 on 6/25/2014 12:19 AM PDT
Reply Quote
This is a great build! When I run with this the clear times are so much faster and there are far less.

This is a twist on a popular build which shines the most in 3-4 player T6. The key is the up time on Epiphany which supplies so much healing to the group. Also inner sanctuary is so good when combined with melee classes or WoW wizard builds. Healing and crowd control are so underrated in this patch but when you run in a group with this build you would wish there was a Torment 7 or higher.
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halcyon's not a good choice i would say , mobs dancing around makes your pulls less effective .
might wanna add in inna's for maximising buffs .
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05/26/2014 08:48 AMPosted by Snoop
This is a great build! When I run with this the clear times are so much faster and there are far less.

Glad someone appreciates this build :3
Edited by qisq#1957 on 5/26/2014 9:15 PM PDT
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05/26/2014 08:49 PMPosted by chaOz
halcyon's not a good choice i would say , mobs dancing around makes your pulls less effective .
might wanna add in inna's for maximising buffs .


Hi thanks for the comment. I find the knock-up from the amulet really annoying at the start too. But it's pretty effective once you get used to it. Basically I always make sure I pull before I activate Epiphany.

As for Innas I find it's more suited for a Freeze Bell tank build (used to be Stun Bell) with spirit regenerator. My build focuses on maximizing cd reduction, and use no spirit regenerator attacks, which means I need to both Born's and Captain Crimson's set, as well as a spr regen spirit stone. This leaves me no room for innas set.
Edited by qisq#1957 on 5/26/2014 9:15 PM PDT
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05/26/2014 09:09 PMPosted by qisq
Glad someone appreciates this build :3


Of course, you carry the group qisq :D.

As qisq suggested, pulling before cracking Epiphany sorts out that issue. Then Black Hole, Piranhas, Frost Nova, etc prevents them from splitting. Then you AOE the lot down and the fist weapon finishes them off. Taking down two packs of elites in under 5 seconds is terribly satisfying.

However, suitable amulet substitutes are Eye of Elitch for added defense, Rakoff's for extra healing, Ess of Johan for more pull and slow, and of course any of the prevents X damage amulets (Electrified and Frozen are the scariest elite affixes for him).

Inna's is definitely nice but Conviction is the most important one and the others only add a relatively small boost to the group defense which is covered by the other cooldowns qisq provides (hence the CDR gear).

If anyone is interested this is the Wizard I run with qisq on T6:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Snoop-6570/hero/586344

We also usually run with a pet doctor for excellent single target. 6-7 minute T6 rifts is average, but depends on the density and pylon count, our record is ~4 minutes.
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I can't properly give credit right now but I read somewhere in the forums that it is an idea to use another class halycon for the leg effect to be negated. The CDR and BVEs are nice for a 0dps.
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Yup, I posted about using another class's but someone told me try that in my Guild (Chadwarden) and he heard it from someone else. So no idea who thought of it.

Currently i use a Demonhunter one and it's great!

No more jumping mobs that I can't cyclone.
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Does "Resolve" work? I have not used it since returning to the game with ROS. Way back when Resolve was bugged and did not work, has it been fixed?
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05/26/2014 10:28 PMPosted by Phatty

Currently i use a Demonhunter one and it's great!

No more jumping mobs that I can't cyclone.


I did use a DH version and I still have it stashed. The effect indeed overwrites a lot of other CC's so it could be annoying. But it seems wiz's Black Hole still works so we haven't had much trouble with it. Might do some further testing to decide which is better.
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05/26/2014 10:57 PMPosted by Halt
Does "Resolve" work? I have not used it since returning to the game with ROS. Way back when Resolve was bugged and did not work, has it been fixed?


Did tests on single melee white trash and Ghom.
Resolve works on melee attacks, and Ghom poison pool, provided that the pool is casted while it's under the effect of Resolve, i.e. Ghom poison pool snapshots the debuff from Resolve.

However, DoT damage does not seem to trigger Resolve (?) This is hard to test someone else please confirm.

I have to admit that Resolve probably works better with a build using spirit regenerator aoe attack...
Edited by qisq#1957 on 5/27/2014 1:55 AM PDT
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05/26/2014 10:03 PMPosted by Snoop

Of course, you carry the group qisq :D.

[/quote]
Oooops you blew your cover Snoop. You were supposed to be a random guy randomly come across this thread and bump it up LOL.
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Some people use guiding light with soothing mist. but the heal keep refresh the buff so over all the dmg bonus is like maybe around 5% only...
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I noticed that you didn't go for INT or STR in place of DEX. As you know, others zDPS craft their gear with other classes to avoid DEX and get a bonus of all resist or armor from the others stats. I also saw that you kept DEX on your items and rerolled something else when you needed to reroll.

Do you think that the bonus of other stats aren't mandatory for doing T6? I was wondering because having to recraft everything again would be a pain.
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I use halcycons all the time.. Its fine. It just procs on white mobs anyway.. Not sure why so many don't like the effect. I find it makes my job easier when I cyclone strike 20 mobs than make them jump. I can move right on to the next bunch without worry for 8 seconds. I also find it very fun and amusing.

Your build is close to mine, check out Tecknician in my profile. ;) My ring and shoulders are prolly on Teckno atm.

I do fine on t6 with dex gears, to lazy to change to int//str. I rarely ever die.
There is times I wish I had Dashing Strike, but I make do with the Dash from Epiphony. I love being able to spam Palace and Blind so much, if the group is super fast. I'll take off Palace of DS. 99% of the time Epiphony Dashing keeps me leading.

Most of the time people always like going the complete opposite of me.. happens to much, sooo annoying. Wish people would just freaking follow the Monk.. would make things so much easier.
Edited by Teckno#1555 on 5/28/2014 3:49 AM PDT
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05/28/2014 02:52 AMPosted by arq
I noticed that you didn't go for INT or STR in place of DEX. As you know, others zDPS craft their gear with other classes to avoid DEX and get a bonus of all resist or armor from the others stats. I also saw that you kept DEX on your items and rerolled something else when you needed to reroll.


Yes. Strength is definitely the way to go over Dex for more defense. Especially with all the CC from blind, you barely get hit directly by enemies. I have Dex coz I was stupid enough to believe that Blizz would buff that. By stacking a few Str gears, it's probably will make dual wielding a lot easier.

05/28/2014 02:52 AMPosted by arq
Do you think that the bonus of other stats aren't mandatory for doing T6?


Well stats that increases you sheet dps is definitely not useful. In terms of various defensive stats, It's quite flexible. Keep a good balance of everything, and once you pass a certain point, it's probably gonna be overkill.
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05/28/2014 03:42 AMPosted by Teckno
Most of the time people always like going the complete opposite of me.. happens to much, sooo annoying. Wish people would just freaking follow the Monk.. would make things so much easier.


Yeah that happens. But I mostly run with a friend of mine who knows how to do team work :3
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Two quick questions:

I noticed you do not use "Dashing Strike", do you rely on Epiphany to move or do you just walk to your destination? I ask this as many other builds use DS and would like to avoid trying up a skill selection.

The last passive, ever thought about using near death experience? If you die you come back and your bonuses to Healing go up by 35% seems like it could help avoid a team wipeout (not that death is a huge penalty in the game at the moment). If not how well would Unity work in the build or do players not stick near you enough?
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05/28/2014 08:53 AMPosted by Halt
I noticed you do not use "Dashing Strike", do you rely on Epiphany to move or do you just walk to your destination?


Hi DS mainly has two advantages, one is to escape from dangerous places and another is to move faster. The downside is that it takes a skill slot which could be otherwise used on a skill that directly benefit the group. In my build I try to maximize buffs to the group, that's why I don't have DS. Actually I don't feel I need DS that much with my current setting as I use Illustrious Boots, which allows me to go through enemies as well as wallers etc, and MoC Annihilation which boosts the movement speed (which also benefit the group). And of course with teleport effect from Epiphany I feel I have enough mobility.

05/28/2014 08:53 AMPosted by Halt
The last passive, ever thought about using near death experience?

Thanks for pointing it out! I haven't considered it. Near Death Experience increases Health Globe Healing Bonus, which massively boosts the healing from Epiphany: Soothing Mists. The death prevention is definitely a bonus, as sometimes things do kill me when I dual wield, and my team is often at risk if I die. I'm gonna try this myself :3

[edit] Tried it myself but seems it's a bit hard to manage. I simply don't die often enough to get the most out of the passive. And attempting suicide every 60sec is not fun.

05/28/2014 08:53 AMPosted by Halt
Unity

Unity increases each teammate's damage by 5% so it's really not much. Not sure if the 20% damage bonus on yourself would make a big difference, even if it affects the Exploding Palm explosion.
Edited by qisq#1957 on 5/31/2014 8:40 PM PDT
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I really thought this wouldn't be much fun but in the right group it is lunacy - beams raining everywhere.. need higher than t6 it's such cake walk good times. But yes.. in the right group.
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