Choose the Monk class if you want to gain mastery over the dexterous, hand-to-hand melee combat, and channel the built up powers of your melee pummeling into crushing blows of sacred energy. The Monk is the master of engagement, dashing through the battlefield and exerting utmost control through pulls, pushes, and mantras. Your crippling blows overpower the adversaries like the sweeping tides, as you finish them off with flurries of spiritual power. The Monk embodies the duality of natural evasion and sacred destruction in Diablo 3.
To go in-depth with the possible playstyles of the Monk class, refer to our specific build guides below. If you are looking for some quick tips and tricks on learning the Monk, please keep reading the page.
The Big Spenders
In general, Diablo 3 builds revolve around a certain highly damaging skill or alternate form to slaughter hordes of monsters with. In the case of the Monk, this is the entire Secondary skill category ( Wave of Light, Lashing Tail Kick and Tempest Rush), the entire Primary category (since they can all be adapted to our generator build, even though we recommend Crippling Wave as best) plus some outliers ( Seven-Sided Strike, Mystic Ally, Exploding Palm). Get a feel for these skills — do you like the way they play out? Do you sense the pattern in their resource management? Can you predict the positioning required to deliver the most damage possible from your selected skill?
Pick one of the listed skills above that you like the most, then take a peek at our endgame build for said skill; try to play out in your head how the full rotation works. Early on, you might have to take an endgame build and adapt it a little — lacking the necessary legendary and set bonuses, you might suffer from lacking Spirit and long cooldowns. Taking out a utility skill and adding a generator like Crippling Wave might be a better route.
Epiphany is a curious twist on the alternate form skills in the game, adding to Spirit regeneration and mobility as a base effect. It is nevertheless seen as a mandatory inclusion on pretty much any build that hopes to achieve progression due to the defensive bulwark of the Desert Shroud rune. Its full effects combined, this skill will solidify the performance of any build with its combination of utility and protection.
Lacking the class-specific tools for cooldown reduction of other classes, many monks turn to Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac — one of the strongest jewelry powers in the game, and make it a priority item to farm and gamble.
Cyclone Strike and Dshing Strike
Similar in name but opposite in purpose, the two Strike skills show up in many Monk setups — often together, but always at least one. Cyclone Strike is the grouping tool of the Monk class, drawing enemies close for the convenience of your chosen tool of destruction. Augment it with the Implosion rune for maximum effect.
Dashing Strike on the other hand aims to get you out of trouble, and is widely considered to be the most potent movement skill in the game. Sporting a mid-range 'blink' with two charges as base, this mobility powerhouse invites even more utility on top with runes such as Blinding Speed (if you want to progress difficult content), Way of the Falling Star or Quicksilver (for farming content), and even Radiance for more oomph in attack speed-based builds.
Mantras offer party-wide utility, with a constantly available passive effect and a short duration, on-demand powerful active buff. Despite their unassuming looks, Mantras are a cornerstone in Monk builds and a reason they are always welcome in both high tier progression parties, as well as speedfarming. Adapt your Mantra and rune of choice accordingly, taking Mantra of Salvation Agility when you solo dangerous Rifts, Mantra of Healing Time of Need when you support in high tier group play, and Mantra of Conviction Annihilation when you farm easier rifts for loot.
Learn the Arsenal of Items
Builds and skill choices are obviously important, but at the end of the day Diablo is a game about farming and equipping the right items. Learning which items will benefit your class the most, and then target farming them through gambling, upgrading rares into legendaries at the Cube and even reforging them into better rolls is crucial.
All 6-piece class sets (Raiment, Inna, Sunwuko, Uliana, Patterns), as well as the 2-piece weapon set Shenlong's Spirit, bring a valuable and powerful playstyle to the class. Monks also have the class-specific fist weapons and daibos, which are suitably valuable for the class — Kyoshiro's Blade, Rabid Strike, Scarbringer, Vengeful Wind, Lion's Claw, Incense Torch of the Grand Temple and The Flow of Eternity, to mention a few.
Boots and bracers are quite important for Monks, with The Crudest Boots and Rivera Dancers in the former, and Pinto's Pride, Gungdo Gear and Cesar's Memento in the latter category dictating entire playstyles. As mentioned above, many Monks turn to Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac in their jewelry selection to assist with Epiphany uptime.
A Final Tip
Harmony is a practically mandatory inclusion in Monk builds due to the massive defenses it provides. The passive might seem a little tricky in its wording, but take the time to understand it, since its function will define your entire gearing process when it comes to protection! What Harmony does is that 40% of your single elemental resistance per piece of gear will be added to your all resist total — so a theoretical piece with 100 Fire resistance will add that much to Fire res, as well as 40 to your other resistances. To sum it up, take as much secondary resistances on gear as you can, along with Armor rolls in your primary stats.
- 29 Oct. 2019: Page added.
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