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Comprehensive Diablo III Guide

Everything you need--from the basics to theory crafting--to help take you from Noob to Nephalem.

Monk Guide

These sacred warriors use a combination of holy magic and martial arts to deal damage to their foes and support their allies. The Monk is the only class which can be built for full support, though I wouldn’t recommend it as they still need to get into close quarter fights to regenerate their resource pool. Additionally the monk can also be played as a damage dealing powerhouse, off-tank, or hybrid jack of all trades.

The Monk’s resource is Spirit, which is generated through attacks--making attack speed especially useful for Monks.

Primary Stats: Dexterity, Vitality, Armor, Resistances, Attack Speed

Secondary Stats: Critical Chance/Damage 

Weapon: The Monk can use a variety of weapons, but I would recommend dual wielding 1-handed weapons for the high attack speeds, which will let you generate your Spirit faster. However, as this build is not very Spirit-intensive players could use a 1-handed weapon and a shield or even a 2-handed weapon if they prefer.

I’m the Juggernaut Beach! Build – This build focuses on avoiding large portions of incoming damage while healing the excess damage to maintain a strong rate of survivability.  This build not only makes for the great solo play, but allows the Monk to off-tank/support in groups.

Skills (Runes):

Crippling Wave (Concussion) – Deals 110% Weapon Damage as AOE to surrounding enemies, and every third strike dazes targets slowing their movement speed for 30% and attack speed by 20% for 3 seconds. This is the perfect solo move for the monk as it allows him to deal good damage to multiple enemies, while ensuring that his enemies deal less damage to him. Additionally the 30% movement speed slow can prove useful for chasing down stragglers. Concussion only bolsters the Monk’s defensive prowess by causing enemies to also deal 20% less damage every third strike. Note that if you have a high attack speed it is possible to land 3 attacks before the 3 seconds is up, so you constantly keep your enemies debuffed.

Blinding Flash (Searing Light) – The Monk’s patented form of CC, this blinds enemies within 20 yards of the player for 3 seconds. Blinded enemies are unable to connect on attacks, making the Monk invulnerable to their attempts for the duration of the spell.  Elite units recover faster from the spell, but suffer a 30% chance to miss with attacks. Luckily Searing Light counteracts the Elites’ resilience to Blinding Flash, increasing their chance to miss attacks to 60%. Blinding Flash is the perfect move to use when you find yourself in a jam swarmed by strong enemies. The quick 3-second reprieve from damage often proves to be just what you need to heal and get back into the fight.

Breath of Heaven (Infused with Light) – Great for solo play or with a group this ability heals units for 6202-7442 life within 12 yards. Breath of Heaven is possibly the best heal in the game. It allows you and your allies to gain thousands of health instantly for a low Spirit cost and reasonable cool down. Don’t be afraid to use this ability when in need as your other damage mitigation skills will save you until the cool down from this ability has passed. Infused with Light also gives incentive for players to use this ability, causing players to generate an additional 6 Spirit with each attack for 5 seconds after using this ability. Since most Monk weapons have an attack speed of over one attack per second, players should end up receiving more Spirit from casting Breath of Heaven than they will lose from the initial 25 Spirit cost.

Serenity (Ascension) – Similar to Blinding Light, Serenity makes the Monk invulnerable to all attacks for 3 seconds. Additionally, Ascension adds another second onto this ability, so players will be safe for a full 4 seconds. This ability is perfect for avoiding devastating attacks and should be used to either tank strong foes or escape difficult situations. Having both this ability and Blinding Flash may seem like overkill, but using these abilities in alternating sequences should allow you to avoid large portions of damage and helps to remedy the long cool down times of both abilities.

Sweeping Wind (Blade Storm) – This is the only offensive ability the Monk has in this build, but trust me--it’s all you’ll need. The Monk surrounds himself in a vortex that continuously deals 15% weapon damage to all enemies within 10 yards. The vortex lasts 6 seconds, but is refreshed each time you strike an enemy (enemy structures work as well). Landing critical strikes have a chance to increase the vortex up to 2 times, dealing a maximum of 45% weapon damage. Since this is my only offensive ability I use Blade Storm, which augments the initial damage to 20% weapon damage and the stacked damage to 60%. The best thing about this ability is that it’s low Spirit maintenance and offers high damage output. The initial cost of the spell is steep at 75 Spirit, but keeping the ability refreshed and stacked is a breeze in battle and can even last for multiple fights. This leaves players free to conserve their Sprit for healing and shielding as needed.

Mantra of Healing (Time of Need) – Don’t you ever get sick of healing? No, I love healing on my Monk and here is just a bit more to send us over the edge. MOH casts a mantra which will cause the player and his allies within 40 yards to be healed by 310 Health per second for 3 minutes. Within the first 3 seconds of casting this ability, players will initially be healed for 1240.4 Life per second. Time of Need further buffs the Monk's defenses, increasing the resistances to all damage types by 20% when active. Honestly at higher levels the healing from this ability isn’t that stellar; however the bonus 20% resistance to all types of damage when active is more than enough reason to place this ability in any Monk’s arsenal.


Transcendence – Ah yes more healing. With this the Monk heals himself for 62 life points for every single point of Spirit that is spent. This means that every ability that the Monk casts will heal the player as well, even the heal! This is a great way to further increase your survivability as Monks will constantly be spending and building Spirit throughout the duration of battles.

One With Everything – Yet another impressive defensive ability. This allows your highest resistance to act as your resistance towards all elements. Thus if your highest resistance was fire resist at 60 points, all other resistances would then be 60 points as well. Not only great for survivability, the Monk can save millions in the Auction House only having to buy gear that is resistant to one specific type of element instead of resist all (which is far more expensive).

Seize the Initiative – We’ve already covered this ability and how awesome it is. This one allows 100% of the Monk’s Dexterity to be counted towards his Armor. While this may seem like another defensive ability, it's actually offensive minded because it allows the Monk to stack more Dexterity, increasing his damage output without worrying about losing his defensive capabilities.

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06/02/2012 at 12:36 AM

Good guide. I learned quite a bit.

I'm still skeptical on the AH. Seems any item worth getting is way overpriced; how can anyone afford the million plus gold some of these items go for? Maybe I'm doing it wrong... I wouldn't be surprised if they tweak the Blacksmith in a future patch, so that they remain competitive with the auction house.

Since we don't have a centralized forum, I'll go ahead and shamelessly plug my battletag.  Its Mongoose#1546. You'll know its me if I have a monk named GoldenArms and demon hunter named Desdemona as of this writing. Hit me up if you want smash/farm whatever.

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