Monk Tank (Survival) Build

Foreword - I don't know whether or not I should call this a tank build, because everyone has a very different definition of what a tank is. And because of this, there is a general misconception that monk is a very weak/unpowered class, which I really don't agree with. I'm into act 2 of inferno mode and surviving quite well in a 4 man party.

My Build -!ZXd!ZYaZYa

This build's focus is damage mitigation because I usually play with at least 1 friend. I have done soloing with this build before and it works, it just take longer to kill stuff.

Crippling wave (concussion) - 20% slower attacks, 20% damage decrease, 30% snare, and cleaves. There is simply no better spirit generation for damage mitigation

Blinding flash (searing light) - 3 second crowd control in a 20 yard radius, at a cost of only 10 spirit, you simply can't give this skill up. I use searing light to give myself some extra mitigation against hard hitting elites. You can also use it to interrupt some enemy's charge-up attacks or even use it to break free from being surrounded.

Serenity (peaceful repose) - 3 second damage + crowd control immunity. One of the best monk survival skills out there. The attached heal increases survivability.

Breath of Heaven (circle of life) - a heal that can heal yourself as well as an ally, very useful especially for the more fragile teammates. You could replace the rune, however this build's focus is on survival/mitigation so the other useful rune in this case is penitent flame, which attaches a fear to the heal. (Which I find very annoying because it is much easier to deal with enemies that are tightly grouped up)

Inner Sanctuary (circle of protection) - a 5 second small area that when placed bounces/fears all non-yellow/purple/boss enemies away and prevents them from passing through. This skill is largely useful for its ability to block a path, allowing teammates and most of the time yourself to deal damage to enemies while out-ranging them. To use it effectively, search for a chokepoint like narrow valleys/doorways and drop the sanctuary down. Move back a 1-2 yards and shift+attack will let you out range most enemies giving you a 5 second window of free dps. You can also use this as an emergency to bounce away all enemies when you find yourself surrounded and buying time for your retreat. The circle of protection lets you tank some elite mobs that cannot be bounced away with an extra 35% mitigation. I don't use safe haven because it requires that I stand in the sanctuary for full duration for a small 7.5k-ish heal, not very useful when I am on the run half the time. The only other useful rune is consecration, giving you an extra 2 seconds.

Mantra of Evasion (hard target) - can't really say no to 15% dodge with virtually 100% uptime. This can be activated to boost the dodge rate by an additional 15%, which is useful for bridging between the other cooldowns. I use hard target as my rune, which roughly gives me 5% damage mitigation over divine protection. I think both are good, but I prefer a more consistent 5% reduction.

Resolve - enemies I hit deal 25% less damage, and I hit everything around me with crippling wave.

Seize the Initiative - 1000+ armor depending on gear, self-explanatory

The Guardian's Path - dual wield for 15% more dodge. Some may ask me "Why not use a shield?" and my answer has been I have never found a shield that can give me 15% damage mitigation. If I find one, sure I'll switch that up for Beacon of Ytar, which is the next best candidate in terms of survival, allowing you to bridge defensive cooldowns more easily.

My Strategy - I use the word tank very loosely. Given a choice, I will never stand still to take the blunt of the damage. I take advantage of the terrain such as chokepoints where I can drop inner sanctuary to halt enemy advances while out-ranging them with my crippling wave. In short, the best way to mitigate damage is to not let your enemy attack you. Be creative, don't be fixated on the idea that a tank has to take all the damage. Don't expect to stand on one spot while fighting elite monsters because you are the tank, don't play this like other games you may have played before. My final advice is to work as a team when possible. When I play with my wizard friend, we take turns casting crowd control spells. As simple as being frost nova followed by blinding flash can buy you 6 seconds of damage mitigation, which in D3 is a huge amount of time considering the damage your enemies deal in 1 successful hit.
Nice guide, my build is rather similar to yours.!dXV!ZbZYYa
Really love this build so far. I had hit a dead end in Act 3 on inferno. I originally had been a DPS / Healer spec that based on spirit regen to spam heals, but this was not reliable against high damage mobs. Unless they stood still and I could outheal their DPS.

Giving your spec a try and loving it so far. I actually did not realize I could enable advanced management of my spells in the options, allowing to use multiple abilities from one section.
How are you guys able to use multiple defensive skills?
Go to options - gameplay - select electing mode and you should be able to shift your skills around.

Guys the build is almost as important as the gear. Link your gear too so we know or have a guide line. I don't think there's a suitable build depending on your gear. Sometimes we might have to swap some skills around depending on how much armor/health/dodge we have.
What kind of gear/stats should this build be prioritizing?
I was using this build in Hell tonight.!bcX!ZYaYYb

With a Witch Doctor and a Wizard pew pewing from afar.

Seemed to work extremely well until I got cornered in Purple Lazers + Molten + X elites.
how to put ur blinding flash to right click on ur mouse?????
my build is pretty similar, but i dropped two of my defense cooldowns for field control. it's probably not as sturdy for me, but it makes it easier to protect other people.!ZXU!ZabZZZ

cyclone strike may be too risky in inferno, but i recommend dashing strike as an alternative way to get out of surrounds and avoid floor hazards.
im sorry to ask such a newb question, but how are you having breath of heaven along with serenity? I cant ever combine those two for they are in the same section. Please help
05/23/2012 08:46 AMPosted by Krockpot
im sorry to ask such a newb question, but how are you having breath of heaven along with serenity? I cant ever combine those two for they are in the same section. Please help

Go to your gameplay options and enable elective mode. When that is enabled, you will notice left and right arrows on the menu where you choose your skills. Simply use those to change to another page of skills. You can take all of the defensive skills like this.
To my knowledge concussion and resolve do not stack, though, I don't have a source or testing to back that up. So I could be wrong.

Does anyone know for certain if they stack or do not?
To my knowledge concussion and resolve do not stack, though, I don't have a source or testing to back that up. So I could be wrong.

Does anyone know for certain if they stack or do not?

according to this source they do stack, but not arithmetically:
Thanks for posting the build! I play with 2-3 other people and this was pretty much what I was going for. It's right up my play style as it works in a group and when I'm solo (thus far).
I kinda like the Transcendence. Think I'ma try this build out tonight:!YXd!ZbaYZa

Might change Transcendence with Resolve though. Although I like the health bonus when I use 7-Sided Strike. And maybe a "Spirit spender" without cooldowns, so you easy can heal yourself when needed through Transcendence and 'Life gain per spirit used' on your gear :)

You need hella 'Life gain per spirit used', 'Spirit regen.' and 'XX-life on hit' in my opinion, loads of Dexterity and Vitality also ofc.
What are your resistances, armor, vitality, dexterity, dodge, and dps currently at?
why does no one ever use the mantra of healing with the 20% resist rune? i really like it a lot, the healing and the added resist is really nice
I'm in act 2 inferno, and I'm surprised how many monks overlook One with Everything. If you pick one resist (except fire, I call dibs) stick with it, and pump vitality, people won't forget your name anytime soon. I've managed to scrounge up a measely 35k hp, and 529 resist (61% damage mitigation) with mostly blues and key rares i found in my very limited playtime. However, a proper barb in your party will boost you to 70%-75% easily. I met a no-life monk with 85% just yesterday.

I still can't stand in the middle of arcane lasers for more than 5 seconds, but if I'm getting hit for more than 2 seconds, i'm doing it wrong anyway, and deserve my repair bill and subsequent walk of shame.

resistances, armor, vitality, dexterity, dodge, and dps
529, 2645, 768, 934, 39.4%, 5882.34
So if your weapon has a socket with this build, do you gem amethyst in everything? I just want to get an idea for what I want to stack as far as stats and gems... The build seems to work pretty well, and it seems that One with Everything is awesome...

Also thanks, this build is great.
Thanks man! That is a game changer.

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