We've put together this Diablo 3 Monk guide to get you up to speed on the hardest hitting devout class in Blizzard's action role playing game. This handy guide gives you all the most important info on the Monk from Diablo 3 at a glance.
You Should Play A Monk If: If you love being in the heat of battle and dealing a ton of damage very fast while also having the versatility to help out your party members, then the Monk would be the perfect fit for you. Monks are a melee class that move fast and deal extreme damage faster. With palm strikes, crescent kicks, and high maneuverability, the Monk is for those who want to do damage and then get out of the fight as fast as possible, as they can't sustain as much damage as they can dish out.
Background: Monks are brand new to the Diablo universe but they seem like a crossover of Diablo 2's Assassin, Paladin, and Barbarian classes. Yes I know there were Monks in the Diablo Hellfire expansion, but Blizzard has said that the Diablo 3 Monk has no relation to the original one in the first expansion, so this is a brand new class. These sacred warriors can channel the divine power of the Sahptev faith and use healing waves, mantras of protection, and attacks empowered with holy might. Through their training, Monks learn "skills that allow them to master both unarmed combat and a diverse array of weapons."
Some of the key features of the Monk include mantras, combos, spiritual power, and mobility and speed. Mantras are basically buffs that the Monk can use on his/herself and party members. They're described as the way that the Monk's spirit manifests outward. When Monks attack in succession and create a combo they can gain more energy and produce unique effects that allow them to take down enemies very quickly.
Spiritual powers are what Monks can use after they've landed enough subsequent attacks. These include things like blinding multiple enemies or shooting forward out of harm's way. Finally, with a Monk's mobility and speed they're able to move quickly to and from enemies. They can also dodge enemy attacks better than any other class.
How You Play A Monk: When it comes to the Monk, managing your resource of Spirit is a crucial aspect of the class, making it one of the more skill-based classes. Managing your Spirit as a Monk is much more important and strategic than managing just about every other classes' resources (other than the Demon Hunter).
As a Monk you draw upon your Spirit in order to deal massive damage. Spirit is generated in two ways: by using specific skills and attacks, and through the completion of combos. If you manage to strategically chain your combos together, then you can unleash devastating damage to enemies. What's great about the Monk is that their abilities have no cooldowns; you're just limited to the moves you can pull off by how much Spirit you have. With Spirit, you can use unlimited defensive moves as well as finishing strikes.
Monk Equipment: Like all classes in Diablo 3, Monks have a few unique pieces of equipment available to them including Spirit Stones, Fist Weapons, and Daibos. Spirit Stones are worn on the Monk's head and used to channel their energy and focus to "allow the power of their mind to seep forth." Not only is the Monk's mind strong, but their naked fists are "vessels of destruction" too. But, with fist weapons like the Katar, also known as a punch-dagger, they become even more deadly. Finally, Monks are the only class that can use a daibo. They're long wooden sticks that a Monk can use both offensive and defensively. Not only that, but Monks can also dual-wield other weapons like swords and axes as well.
Monk Skills: Monks have 21 available skills in total in Diablo 3 and they're divided in to three different types: Spirit Generators, Spirit Spenders, and Mantras. Spirit Generators include those like Fists of Thunder and Deadly Reach. They are the skills that a Monk uses to generate Spirit in order to use the Spirit Spender skills. The Spirit Spender skills deal damage, heal the Monk and their party members, or can be used as general utility skills. These include things like Blinding Flash, Dashing Strike, and Breath of Heaven. Finally, the Monk has Mantras that grants both the Monk and their allies buffs that let them deal more damage or regenerate a certain amount of life per second. Only one Mantra can be active at a time.
On that note, just like all of the other Diablo 3 classes, Monks can only have six skills active at a time. You start out with one active skill slot at level one, assigned to Fists of Thunder, and you unlock the ability to use extra skills at levels 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24. Monks also unlock passive skill slots at levels 10, 20, and 30.
As you're making your way through Diablo 3 , there are a few skills to keep in mind. These are skills that will prove to be the most useful, or are a bit more potent than others.
Fists of Thunder: Unlocked at level 1, Fists of Thunder generates 6 Spirit per attack on top of dealing extremely fast damage. Each punch deals 110% of your Weapon Damage as Lightning Damage, and every third hit deals damage to all of the enemies in front of you, as well as knocking them back. It's the first Skill you get and one that's definitely fun to keep in your arsenal.
Blinding Flash: Unlocked at level 4, Blinding Flash is what I would call both fun and a bit overpowered. Blinding Flash costs 10 Spirit, and it blinds all of the enemies within 20 yards of the Monk for 3 seconds, giving them a 30% chance to miss with their attacks. So, if you spam your Spirit Generating abilities and then spam Blinding Flash it makes a lot of enemies basically worthless. Hit your enemies with this move then you get free kills on just about everything, which is always fun!
Dashing Strike: Unlocked at level 9, Dashing Strike costs 25 Spirit and allows you to dash towards an enemy or location, deal 100% weapon damage and root an enemy for one second. What's great about Dashing Strike aside from the really cool animation is that it lets you basically leap from one area of the map to another very quickly. Targeting enemies that are very far away and dashing towards them from what seems like miles away is truly awesome.
Passive Monk Skills: In Diablo 3 you can also equip one passive skill at level 10. Your choices are Resolve and Fleet Footed. At level 13 you can equip Exalted Soul, and at level 16 you unlock Transcendence. At level 20 you'll have two new choices, Chant of Resonance and Seize the Initiative. Passive Skills are just that: abilities that you don't have to cast but grant passive advantages to your Monk.
The passive skill Resolve makes the damage that your Monk deals reduce the enemy's damage by 25% for 2.5 seconds. Fleet Footed increases a Monk's base movement speed by 10%, Exalted Soul increases maximum Spirit by 100, and Transcendence makes every point of Spirit that you spend heal you for 62.0 life. Lastly, Seize the Initiative will increase your armor by 100% of the Monk's Dexterity, and Chant of Resonance increases the duration of Mantras by 7 minutes while simultaneously granting 2 Spirit every second a Mantra is active.
With Dashing Strike I never worried about my base movement speed, so Fleet Footed was never that appealling; I could basically teleport to any enemy regardless of how far away I was from it. I liked to use Transcendence if I was soloing things, but honestly all of the enemies dropped so many health globes that the extra Life wasn't needed most of the time. Chant of Resonance is really useful if you find yourself burning through skills too fast, and the perk of extended Mantras just adds to the appeal.
The main active skills that I used in the were Fists of Thunder, Deadly Reach, Blinding Flash, and Dashing Strike. With Blinding Flash, I could just immobilize all of the enemies around me and then dispose of them quickly with Fists of Thunder and Deadly Reach. Then, I'd use Dashing Strike to quickly get to the next pack of enemies and do the same thing over again. This allowed me to kill enemies extremely efficiently, and it compliments my personal playstyle.
Aside from the Wizard, I truly enjoy the versatility of the Monk in Diablo 3. It brings a unique, fast-paced flavor to the game that I feel like Diablo really needed. Some of the Spirit Spender moves seemed a bit overpowered during the beta, but I'm sure now that the game's difficulty has been ramped up and the abilities tweaked, the Monk will definitely be favored among the community.
What do you think of the Monk in Diablo 3? Let me know in the comments below, and tell me how you set up your Monk's skills if they're different than the ones that I used. Also be sure to check out our Diablo 3 Wizard guide for everything you want to know about D3's most magical class.