Inna Mystic Ally Monk Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Inna Mystic Ally Monk in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.4 and Season 27.
|Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation Cyclone Strike Implosion 1 Mystic Ally Fire Ally 2 Dashing Strike Blinding Speed 3 Inner Sanctuary Temple of Protection 4 Serenity Ascension|
Playing the Inna Mystic Ally Monk, you will be using a decision-making chain; it is mostly tied to your Convention of Elements (CoE) rotation, the current situation in the fight, and your available cooldowns. Note that the Mystic Ally Monk thrives in mid-sized fights of no more than two dozen enemies; it is quite easy to over-pull with Cyclone Strike, and if you do, the Mystic Ally will not be able to reach the priority high value targets through the low progression trash. Outside of enemy type and density, observe the CoE rotation at all times, and then time ability usage according to the following factors.
- Do your repositioning from fight to fight in between your relevant CoE cycles. When you have come across a favorable engagement, plant yourself stationary halfway through your Holy rotation of CoE, which allows you to stack Way of the Hundred Fists on the monsters you pull with a Cyclone Strike cast. This is also where you put down Inner Sanctuary, if you are using it.
- Since you should be using the Shenlong's set ( Shenlong's Fist of Legend and Shenlong's Relentless Assault), you will have an additional buff to track. During the Holy rotation of CoE, you will have to check if your Shenlong's buff is active, and if it is, you will need to dump Spirit with Cyclone Strike in order to get to the buildup phase of the Shenlong mechanic, which will line up your Shenlong damage bonus phase with the Physical CoE cycle.
- Serenity is used either when threatened with death due to high burst of damage, or — ideally — halfway into your Cold CoE cycle, in order to ensure uninterrupted damage output during your Fire CoE cycle.
- As the Fire CoE rotation comes around, but ideally not after the buff is halfway through, all your buffs should be up and active (you can make a quick check of your sheet DPS by popping the inventory open for a second to check the Flying Dragon proc — see the gear page of the build for more information). Assuming they are all aligned, pop Blinding Flash (if you are using it) and then Mystic Ally for a massive burst of damage.
- At this point, the Fire CoE rotation should be over, and you are free to move in between the irrelevant cycles as you prepare to rinse and repeat the process outlined above.
Skills and Runes
The Mystic Ally will be the main damage dealers of the build. You will be amplifying their damage with the Inna 6-piece set bonus and a slew of synergistic legendary items, such as the doubled effectiveness from The Crudest Boots, the DPS boost from Bindings of the Lesser Gods, and others. For Greater Rift solo progression, you should be using the Fire rune Fire Ally due to its highest burst potential, but for general GR farming you can alternate to the more consistent damage from Water Ally.
The best generator for the build is Way of the Hundred Fists, whose rapid triple attack adds a damage buffing angle to the build with the rune 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 stacks directly before hitting the Mystic Ally cooldown, you will enjoy a significant increase to your overall damage. You can ease the rotation a bit by altering the generator to Crippling Wave Rising Tide; the vastly improved Spirit generation will proc the set bonus at will, but will cost you the optimal Assimilation damage increase.
To clump up enemies for the convenience of your Mystic Allies and to maximize Assimilation stacks, you will be using Cyclone Strike with one of the longest range pulls in the game — the 34-yard Implosion rune. This skill is vital to the build due to the Bindings of the Lesser Gods and Lefebvre's Soliloquy legendary bonuses (see this build's gear page for more information).
To protect yourself from crowd control, we generally advise you to dedicate at least one slot to a CC immunity skill. An excellent option for a low-CDR build is Inner Sanctuary; while its protective effect confines you to a single spot when you pop the CD, it synergizes well with the Endless Walk set playstyle, reduces incoming damage by the massive 55%, and makes you immune to control impairing effects with the rune Temple of Protection. Another option for this slot is Blinding Flash; it brings a 20-yard Blind for 3 seconds, along with an additional damage multiplier from the Faith in the Light rune. Playstyle-wise, make sure to pop Blinding Flash directly prior to your Mystic Ally burst.
Serenity is one of the most potent defensive skills in the Monk arsenal, allowing you a brief window of invulnerability on a reasonable 16 second base cooldown. Note that the downtime begins after the active effect expires, preventing permanent uptime exploitation. Thus, take the longer lasting Ascension rune and use this skill to protect your burst cycle, or in key situations where you expect a lot of burst coming your way, i.e. Molten explosions, Grotesque deaths, etc.
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 rune.
Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. With a bare minimum of 33% CDR (see the Gearing page) to align Mystic Ally to CoE cycles, this passive eases the CDR strain on your item rolls quite a bit.
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 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.
While somewhat unreliable due to the proc-based nature of Dodge mechanics, The Guardian's Path passive still provides a tremendous survivability boost to dual-wielding builds such as this one. Always keep in mind that ground effects ignore Dodge chance, and be extra careful against Elite affixes that spread their deadly pools around.
To counteract some of the damage spikes the build is exposed to, we will be taking Near Death Experience — the cheat death passive available to Monks. On the standard 60-second cooldown, it will prevent a lethal situation and restore you to 35% Life and Spirit instead. The 2-second immunity to damage and crowd control impairing effects is a nice bonus on top. Alternatively, you can use Unity for a decent additive damage boost.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Recommendation reversed to Fire Ally for Season 27.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide revised to Earth Ally for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: Guide revised for Season 25.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Guide thoroughly reworked for the Inna set revamp.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 16 Nov. 2020: No changes required for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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