"The gods are in all things. And everywhere, I see signs of change. The wind bears an unnatural chill, and my people grow uneasy. Now, fire burns the sky and scorches the vault of the heavens. I must carry out the will of the Patriarchs. When they need to see, I am their eyes. Where they wish to strike, I am their fist! When they would ignite the light of truth, I am their torch. They have sent me to where the heavenly fire has fallen. My mind is clear. I will rid Tristram of the shambling corpses that have risen in the fire's wake."
— A Monk.(src)
Amongst Sanctuary's most deadly warriors, the monks of the Sahptev faith train their bodies and minds so that they may become the foremost holy warriors of the land of Ivgorod. Within the cloisters of the Patriarchs, the Monks endure harsh trials both physical and spiritual, proving their devotion and attaining unmatched focus in battle.
Daily ritualistic cleansings help monks purify their spirits and overcome the corruption that gnaws at the hearts of all men. In the pursuit of martial perfection, they also hone their legendary balance and clarity, skills that allow them to master both unarmed combat and a diverse array of weapons.
After a lifetime of preparation, anointed monks are permitted to leave their monasteries' halls to serve the decrees of the Patriarchs. The emblem on their foreheads marks them as survivors, achievers, and pillars of their society.
Monks embody the will of Ivgorod’s one thousand and one gods in every step and every strike.
The Monk's "core fantasy" is to be fast and agile, standing in contrast to the heavier Barbarian and Crusader classes. The class's skills mostly incorporate physical, holy, fire and lightning damage (and a few cold runes), but at its core the Monk is focused on mobility, being able to dash to enemies and move quickly around the battlefield. In comparison to Diablo II, the Monk has similar gameplay elements to the Assassin and Paladin.
As they are overall a melee class, Monks gain a +30% built-in damage reduction. Prior to patch 2.1, Monks relied heavily on their ability to dodge.
Monks have five class sets in game:
- Shenlong's Spirit (60 minor weapon set, 2 items)
- Inna's Mantra (60 full set, 7 items, 6 are required to complete it)
- Monkey King's Garb (70 full set, 4 items)
- Raiment of a Thousand Storms (70 full set, 6 items)
- Uliana’s Stratagem (70 full set, 6 items)
The primary skills are unique in that each have three separate attacks that are triggered in often increasingly powerful stages. Monks can create a 'combo' third-level strike that either does more damage, does damage in a wider area, or reaches out farther to more enemies.
The monk resource system relies on Spirit, which is refilled by normal attacks; while Spirit does not decrease over time, it also does not regenerate in that way.
According to the Monk's color pallette (white, silver, gold and blue), and the and the runes which appear on the ground when the Monk uses certain skills, their skills focus on Holy energy and ancestral knowledge. The runes also mark a skill's area-of-effect radius.
The monk's melee attacks are more potent when they’re used in careful succession; they generate additional spiritual energy, deal increased damage and produce unique effects that can enable a monk to defeat nearly any enemy. In addition, unlike Barbarians and Crusaders, Monks rely on movement, attacking enemy from different angles and becoming more deadly as they move. Monks can even teleport, although their teleportation is actually a very rapid movement rather than use of magic.
In a group, Monks use Mantras, skills resembling the Paladin's Auras, and can protect and heal their allies with some other abilities. Note that while same effects from same Mantras from different Monks do not stack, they do stack with other similar modifiers, and two identical Mantras with different runes will apply the basic effect (once) and the effects of both runes.
Monks are the only class with innate abilities of direct healing.
Popular Monk Skill combinations include:
- Deadly Rush (Dashing Strike + Raiment of a Thousand Storms + Cyclone Strike + any Spirit Generator skill + Shenlong's Spirit + Depth Diggers + Simplicity's Strength + Flying Dragon + Bastions of Will + stacking maximum Spirit)
- Chuck Norris (Scorpion Sting + Hands of Lightning or Scattered Blows + Mythic Rhythm + Combination Strike + Cyclone + Monkey King's Garb + Inna's Mantra)
- Beatrix Kiddo (Exploding Palm + Fist of Az'Turrasq + Seven-Sided Strike + Madstone + Gungdo Gear + Uliana’s Stratagem + Lion's Claw + Binding of the Lost + The Flow of Eternity)
- Three as One (Mystic Ally + The Crudest Boots + Unity + Inna's Mantra)
- Tireless (Exalted Soul + Beacon of Ytar + Reaper's Wraps + Inner Fire + Harmony)
- The Unstoppable (Way of the Falling Star + Annihilation + Momentum + Thunderclap + Epiphany + Seize the Initiative)
- Blinding Storm (Faith in the Light + Blazing Wrath + Ascension + Sweeping Wind)
- Bell Toller (Wave of Light + Tzo Krin's Gaze + Incense Torch of the Grand Temple)
- The Strongest 2.1 Monk (Monkey King's Garb + Flying Dragon + Eye of Peshkov + Fists of Fury + Inner Storm + Infused with Light)
The class was announced at Blizzcon 2009 and was playable in the Diablo III demo at the event.
It was intended that the Monk be the fastest character class in Diablo III, but this did not become manifest once the game was released. Changes to the class's skills in Reaper of Souls are intended to rectify this.
- The Monk is another strongly South Asian and East Asian-oriented character class, although with Eastern European influence mixed heavily as well. Both the male and female versions of the Monk speak with a Slavic accent.
- Depending on the skill used, the Monk's attack animations are visually different. While occasionally some skills allow a direct weapon hit to be seen, most attacks depict the Monk delivering either punches or kicks with bare hands and feet. This makes them the only class who fight in melee yet very rarely use the weapons to do so, and the only class to have a separate non-standard animation for every single skill. Even Combo hit stages are animated differently from each other.
- Despite some early artworks depicting Monks wielding Katars and Claws similar to those borne by Assassins, in-game versions of these items are much shorter, usually having fist-sized blades.