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Monk Inna EP/Mystic Ally Build (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Jul 28, 2016 at 23:04 by Deadset 61 comments

Table of Contents

Having received a full rework in Patch 2.4, Inna's Mantra set brings a viable pet build to the Monk endgame table. This tanky, pet-centric build is available in two solo progression variants (pet build and Exploding Palm build) and a speedfarming variation, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

3. Builds

Solo Progression (Pet) Solo Progression (EP) Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Way of the Hundred Fists Icon Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation Assimilation Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Blinding Speed Blinding Speed 1 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud 2 Cyclone Strike Icon Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion 3 Inner Sanctuary Icon Inner Sanctuary Temple of Protection Temple of Protection 4 Mystic Ally Icon Mystic Ally No rune chosen
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Way of the Hundred Fists Icon Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation Assimilation Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Blinding Speed Blinding Speed 1 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud 2 Cyclone Strike Icon Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion 3 Exploding Palm Icon Exploding Palm Impending Doom Impending Doom 4 Mystic Ally Icon Mystic Ally No rune chosen
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

4. Rotation

The build is mostly dependent on the damage of your Mystic Ally Mystic Ally summons, automatically called in full numbers at your side through the Inna 6-piece set bonus. Your job is primarily in assisting your army by leading it to dense areas, using Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike to pull enemies in one convenient place while simultaneously triggering the powers of Bindings of the Lesser Gods Bindings of the Lesser Gods and Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy. Once clumped up, place an Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary and pummel away with Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists. This generator is needed both for the protection of Spirit Guards Spirit Guards and the Assimilation Assimilation damage buff. In a big fight, pop the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally cooldown during a Cold cycle of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements to receive the active benefits of all Mystic Ally runes, including crowd control, healing, and considerable AoE from the Water Ally Water Ally. To protect yourself, use Epiphany Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud or Dashing Strike Dashing Strike away from harm.

5. Skills, Runes and Passives

Mystic Ally Mystic Ally is a vital part of the build; you will be amplifying your allies' damage with the Inna set bonus and double their number with The Crudest Boots The Crudest Boots. Selection of a particular rune is not needed — you will receive all five at the same time from the Inna 6-piece bonus. Besides their passive presence, Mystic Ally Mystic Ally has an active component on a reasonable 30-second cooldown. Once activated, enemies will be damaged, frozen and knocked up from Fire Ally Fire Ally, Water Ally Water Ally and Earth Ally Earth Ally respectively, and you will have your health restored from Enduring Ally Enduring Ally and Spirit replenished by Air Ally Air Ally.

The best generator for the build is Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists, whose rapid triple attack adds a damage buffing angle to the build with the rune Assimilation Assimilation. Adding 5% damage for each enemy hit during a brief 5-second window, it synergizes perfectly with the timing, bursty nature of the build. If you draw a big fight and build up your Assimilation Assimilation stacks directly before hitting the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally cooldown, you will enjoy a significant increase to your overall damage.

To clump up enemies for the convenience of your Mystic Allies and to maximize Assimilation Assimilation stacks, you will be using Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike with one of the longest range pulls in the game — the 34-yard Implosion Implosion rune. This skill is vital to the build due to the Bindings of the Lesser Gods Bindings of the Lesser Gods and Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy legendary bonuses, explained further in the gearing section.

Once enemies are drawn in for the kill, you will be placing an Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary circle at their feet to speed up the fight. On a reasonable 20-second base cooldown, this skill will serve as a protective circle when fighting within. It gains additional defense utility with the Temple of Protection Temple of Protection rune, which will trade turns with Epiphany Epiphany to protect you from crowd control effects. If you feel you are overkilling in defense, you can also deviate into Blinding Flash Blinding Flash Faith in the Light Faith in the Light for its hard CC and damage boost. Note that the Torment speedfarming variation replaces this skill with Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven Zephyr Zephyr for its significant movement speed bonuses, while the high GR Exploding Palm Exploding Palm variation (explained below) of the build replaces this slot with Exploding Palm Exploding Palm Impending Doom Impending Doom.

Epiphany Epiphany is a staple in the Monk arsenal, allowing you to stick yourself — and as a consequence, your Allies — on a target to ensure the kill. Epiphany Epiphany also increases your Spirit regeneration by 20 per second, ensuring that even the most tenacious Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike spam will remain uninterrupted. And perhaps most important of all, the Desert Shroud Desert Shroud rune strengthens your defenses with 50% damage reduction while active. Keep in mind that this build does have Cooldown Reduction in abundance, and plays around the Epiphany Epiphany downtimes instead; you will have to kite, draw monster attention and focus on survival while Desert Shroud Desert Shroud is off, and get in the thick of fights and try to burst enemies down while it is active. As a final note, when you are doing non-threatening content (such as Torment runs), you can replace this ability for Mantra of Conviction Mantra of Conviction, taking advantage of the party-wide 30% movement speed bonus from the Annihilation Annihilation rune.

Dashing Strike Dashing Strike is an irreplaceable mobility tool in the Monk arsenal, allowing swift and fluid transition between areas, in and out of danger as the rift dictates. With two charges stored by default you can cover decent ground, or open a fight of your choice at an advantage with the defensive bonuses of the Blinding Speed Blinding Speed rune. Alternatively, you can choose the Attack Speed oriented Radiance Radiance rune to improve your single target damage.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Beacon of Ytar Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. The sizable 60- and 30-second timers for Epiphany Epiphany and Mystic Ally Mystic Ally respectively, are important enough to demand a high CDR goal.

A mainstay in the Monk arsenal of passives, Harmony Harmony fuels your All Resistance with 40% of the single elemental resistance per piece of gear (e.g. 100 Fire Resistance roll on the boots will add 100 to your sheet Fire Resistance and add 40 to your other resists). A well geared Monk will usually sport secondary resistances in all the gear slots that are able to roll them, adding significantly to his overall Toughness.

Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative is one of the best damage-oriented passives at the disposal of Monks, providing you with a temporary attack speed increase when engaging enemies over 75% health, translating into faster pet attack speed for the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally build. As you get more comfortable with the build, you will learn to kite into and pull additional enemies or freshly spawned boss adds to effectively extend the benefits from Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative.

Finally, the Unity Unity passive will contribute to your damage with a nice 20% additive bonus. You will easily max out the capabilities of the passive with the trio of ally-oriented Mantras originating from the Inna set, and the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally summons at your side counting towards the requirement. As this is the least important passive in the setup, hardcore heroes can safely swap it out for the second life of Near Death Experience Near Death Experience.

5.1. EP Variation Gameplay and Skill Changes

It is also important to talk of the Exploding Palm Exploding Palm variation of the build. Created with pushing GR limits in mind, this high-end Monk build takes the signature Exploding Palm Exploding Palm ability and spreads it with deadly efficiency through the empowered Mystic Allies of the Inna set.

The EP variation relies heavily on timing Exploding Palm Exploding Palm's detonation with the Cold damage rotation of your Convention of Elements Convention of Elements. Once enemies are clumped up from Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike, assault them with Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists to gain the Assimilation Assimilation damage buff, and keep a close eye on enemy health. During the Lightning and especially during the Physical rotation of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements (directly preceding the Cold cycle) seek out lower health trash enemies and apply Exploding Palm Exploding Palm to them. As you reach the Cold rotation, make sure that you have Cyclone Strike Cyclone Striked at least once in the last 5 seconds for the damage buff of Bindings of the Lesser Gods Bindings of the Lesser Gods, and ideally that you have Assimilation Assimilation stacks up. With that out of the way, pop the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally cooldown for a spike of damage and do your best to finish off at least one of the Exploding Palm Exploding Palmed monsters; this will trigger the immensely buffed detonation of the cold rune Impending Doom Impending Doom.

The EP variation replaces Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary with Exploding Palm Exploding Palm. The rune of choice is the Cold damage Impending Doom Impending Doom, towering over its peers with 6305% weapon damage per detonation, spreading like the plague with the Gungdo Gear Gungdo Gear unique property.

6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build incorporates the complete Inna's Mantra set, taking six of the seven available pieces and opening up the jewelry for the Endless Walk set and its damage multiplication bonuses. Rolls-wise, this Mystic Ally Mystic Ally-centric playstyle takes good advantage of Cooldown Reduction and skill damage affixes. Note that depending on your preferred spec — pure Mystic Ally Mystic Ally pet build, or the Exploding Palm Exploding Palm variation — you will have to adjust skill rolls, taking Mystic Ally % on your chest and shoulders for the former or Exploding Palm Exploding Palm % on the helm and boots for the latter. Both Crit stats alongside Dexterity and Vitality are sought after on Inna's Hold Inna's Hold, and Crit Chance is needed on Inna's Radiance Inna's Radiance. Mystic Ally Mystic Ally %, Dexterity and Vitality are desired on Inna's Vast Expanse Inna's Vast Expanse. Inna's Favor Inna's Favor and Inna's Temperance Inna's Temperance can be dedicated purely to Toughness. Finally, high damage range, good Dexterity and Mystic Ally Mystic Ally % rolls, as well as Vitality are the best stats on Inna's Reach Inna's Reach.

Not skipping on any of the six set pieces required to obtain the full Inna set bonus allows you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This dynamic fits the Inna playstyle, as you Dashing Strike Dashing Strike to the next big fight, Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike for density and use Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists in one spot for extended periods of time.

The remaining ring slot will be taken by Convention of Elements Convention of Elements. The ring cycles shape the entire playstyle of the build, as the multiplicative nature of the elemental bonuses is responsible for a huge chunk of your damage potential.

During speedfarm it is recommended to swap away from the Endless Walk set, as it promotes a static fighting style unfit for Torments; use the more offensive Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint combo instead, ideally paired with a good Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with a synergistic speedfarm passive like Fleet Footed Fleet Footed.

The Crudest Boots The Crudest Boots are a crucial piece for the setup, doubling your Mystic Ally Mystic Ally summons and thus doubling the effectiveness of the Inna 6-piece set bonus, as well as several passive and active effects of the skill itself (the Air Ally Air Ally Spirit regeneration, the Fire Ally Fire Ally damage bonuses, etc.)

Two items have been introduced in Patch 2.4 to assist the Mystic Ally Mystic Ally playstyle with additional damage and survivability; they have identical skill conditions and 5-second duration. The offensive item is Bindings of the Lesser Gods Bindings of the Lesser Gods, a bracer that amplifies Mystic Ally Mystic Ally damage against enemies affected by Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike; the defensive item is Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy, reducing damage taken by up to 50% after casting Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Exploding Palm % (if EP variation)
  5. Vitality
  6. Secondary Resist
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Mystic Ally % (if pets variation)
  5. Secondary Resist
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Mystic Ally % (if pets variation)
  5. Elite Damage Reduction
  6. Secondary Resist
Wrists
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cold %
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Secondary Resist
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. All Resistance (guaranteed)
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Secondary Resist
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Exploding Palm % (if EP variation)
  4. Secondary Resist
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cold %
  5. Dexterity
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Dexterity
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Dexterity
Weapon
  1. High Dmg Range
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. High Mystic Ally %
  5. Vitality

7. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Dexterity
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Spirit
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Armor
  3. Life %
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Gold Find

8. Gems

Both the Inna pet build and the EP variation run Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped in their jewelry sockets. The remaining two gems for the pet build are Enforcer Enforcer and Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer; for the EP variation, they are Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken and Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem will be procced by Water Ally Water Ally and its own level 25 property when in melee range, where the Inna Monk fights by default.
  • Enforcer Enforcer is a pet-oriented gem that both increases Mystic Ally Mystic Ally damage and lessens the damage the summons take. Note that the damage bonuses of this gem have been changed from additive to multiplicative in Patch 2.4.1, reinforcing it as a pet build staple.
  • Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer is synergistic with the density pulling nature of the pet build, and helps you compensate for the inferior two hander attack rate of Inna's Reach Inna's Reach with a massive attack speed bonus from the clumped up, bleeding enemies.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken takes a firm spot in the EP variation jewelry sockets. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. The Inna EP Monk is a textbook example of such a build, and makes good use of this gem.
  • Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration is one of the strongest sources of elemental mitigation, bringing a welcome Toughness increase to the Spirit Guards Spirit Guards-lacking EP variant.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

9. Kanai's Cube

Both the Inna pet build and the EP variation run Unity Unity in the jewelry slot of Kanai's Cube. The remaining two slots for the pet build are Flying Dragon Flying Dragon and Spirit Guards Spirit Guards; for the EP variation, they are The Fist of Az'Turrasq The Fist of Az'Turrasq and Gungdo Gear Gungdo Gear.

  • Cubing the Flying Dragon Flying Dragon provides you with one of the strongest weapon procs in the game: a chance to double your attack speed with a separate multiplier, an incomparable bonus for a pet build that benefits so much from IAS. When doing speedfarm content however, it is strongly recommended that you change this slot to In-geom In-geom, taking advantage of the shorter fights for a massive boost to your Mystic Ally burst uptime.
  • The Fist of Az'Turrasq The Fist of Az'Turrasq increases the on-death explosion damage of Exploding Palm Exploding Palm by 300%; as a true multiplier to the base damage of the skill, it essentially quadruples the EP variation's primary source of burst.
  • Stored in the armor slot of the pet build, Spirit Guards Spirit Guards will multiply your damage reduction by 40% for 3 seconds after using a Spirit Generator — another significant reminder to use Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists regularly. Stacking with your other sources of damage mitigation, these bracers will add helpful survivability to a build that constantly pulls enemies in. When doing Torment runs, you can substitute Spirit Guards Spirit Guards for Goldwrap Goldwrap and substitute Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, making Toughness a non-concern.
  • Occupying the armor slot of the EP variation, Gungdo Gear Gungdo Gear has a simple, but devastating effect: it applies Exploding Palm Exploding Palm to enemies caught within the radius of a detonated Exploding Palm Exploding Palm, producing the signature screen-wide destruction.
  • The jewelry slot of both Inna variations will be taken up by Unity Unity when Greater Rifting, as it provides you with unparalleled damage reduction when paired with another on the follower, plus an immortality item for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor). When speedrunning however, if you have a Goldwrap Goldwrap cubed, it is advisable to augment it with an Avarice Band Avarice Band in the jewelry slot.

10. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

11. ChangeLog

  • 28 Jul. 2016: Slight revision of the guide to reflect Patch 2.4.2 changes.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Rebuilt the guide to account for both pet and EP variations, as well as 2.4.1 changes.
  • 13 Feb. 2016: Significantly revised the build to reflect its shift into Exploding Palm synergy.
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