The Monk is an Assassin build that uses area-of-effect skills such as Death Sentry and Phoenix Strike to dispatch her foes. A tank, such as a Shadow Master is used to gather enemies together into a tight group, allowing for maximum damage from the area-of-effect powers.
In PVM games the Monk should let her Shadow Master and hireling gather monsters together into a tight group. Using Dragon Talon with Crushing Blow, optionally charged-up with Phoenix Strike, the Monk can strike at the fringes of the group. Once there are corpses on the ground she can retreat and cast Death Sentry to cause massive damage to the group.
The Monk must be careful about getting surrounded by enemies. Because as she focuses most of her stat points on strength and dexterity, she tends to have lower HP than other physical fighters. Always make sure you have an avenue of escape (either on foot or teleportation) in case things start to look ugly.
Joining PVP with this build is a bad idea.
Because Monks are a hybrid build, any claw that gives bonuses to primary or secondary skills may be used. Because they typically rely on charge-up attacks, kicks, and traps, only one claw is needed. The other hand should be free to carry a shield (see below).
Good claw options may include:
- Bartuc's Cut-Throat; bonus to all Assassin skills, additional bonus to martial arts skills, faster hit recovery
- Firelizard's Talons; bonus to martial arts skills, additional traps, high fire damage
- Shadow Killer; high cold damage, 33% chance of casting frost nova for added area of effect damage, slows enemies making escape easier
- Any enchanted or rare claw that gives a bonus to skills
Monks should not typically be right in the thick of combat, so having armor with the highest-possible defense is not required, but as with all characters, they benefit greatly from good armor.
Good armor options may include:
- Treachery Rune Word; relatively inexpensive to make, chance to cast level 15 Fade when struck, bonus to skills (Highly recommended)
- Chains of Honor Rune Word; bonus to skills, very high resistances
- Enigma Rune Word; bonus to skills, better magic item find, Teleport
- Stone Rune Word; very high defense, level 15 Clay Golem as an additional tank
- Natalya's Shadow; bonus to shadow skills
- Duress Rune Word; crushing blow, deadly strike, open wounds, boost to all resistances
- Any unique or runeword armor that has Crushing Blow; crushing blow combined with a high-level Dragon Talon is very powerful
A shield is very highly recommended for this build. Because Monks typically do not invest any points in weapon block, and they use charge-up attacks, kicks, and traps dual-wielding claws is not suggested.
Ideally you should use a shield with a high chance to block. High defense is good, but a good chance to block is preferable.
Good shield options may include:
- Gerke's Sanctuary; very high chance to block, good defense, resistance boost, and replenish life
- Moser's Blessed Circle; good chance to block, increased resistances
- Rhyme Rune Word; increased chance to block, better magic item find, very cheap to make
- Sanctuary Rune Word; increased chance to block, very high resistances, improved defense
Stat Points Edit
Energy should be left alone. The Monk's mana usage is typically fairly low and can easily be compensated for with some mana leech and/or mana regeneration items.
Vitality is important to all characters, so a few points may be useful. But because the Monk typically relies on her tank to do most of the up-close fighting for her, do not over-invest in this stat.
Skill Points Edit
Primary Skills Edit
- Phoenix Strike: 20
- Dragon Talon: 20
- Primary finishing move skill. Much like zeal, along with crushing blow 1 enemy will go down which will in turn kill everything else with Death Sentry up.
Secondary Skills Edit
- Death Sentry: 19
- Casts Corpse Explosion to create a large area of damage, and disposes of corpses.
- Shadow Master: 17
- Tank. Needed in order to collect monsters in one point. She also has her own skills.
- Claw Mastery: 16
- Passive skill. Increases your critical chance and damage.
Optional Skills Edit
- Blade Fury: 1
- If there is a lighting enchanted monster, you can kill it with this skill from far, which may be necessary if you have low health. If you don't want to use it, give those 3 points to Death Sentry and Claw Mastery, but it is highly recommended that you do not.
- Venom: 1
- Useful for adding poison damage to charge-up blows. With enough additional levels from equipment the poison damage can be significant. Do not invest too heavily. If you use Treachery Rune Word, don't bother this skill.
- Fade: 1+
- Burst of Speed: 1+
- Increased movement and attack speed which is very useful for hit-and-run. Do not invest too heavily, especially if you rely on Fade to bolster resistances.
- Cloak of Shadows: 1
- Blinds opponents, allowing you to recover your corpse (if you die), and makes hit-and-run attacks easier.
Mercenary Hirelings Edit
Alternatively a cold aura Desert Mercenary may be taken. Their Holy Freeze aura will have the effect of an unavoidable slow on enemies within a large area, but will not freeze them. The Desert Mercenary, when well-equipped, can act as an additional tank to augment your Shadow Master.