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DiabloNov 8, 2019 5:00 pm CT

Punch evil right in its evil face with our Diablo 3 Monk 101 guide

So maybe Diablo 4‘s big announcement has captured your interest in the Diablo series. That’s great! Sadly that game isn’t out yet, but Diablo 3 is and you can play it right now.

And now is a good time to jump in, because the Season rollover is about to happen: Season 18 ends on November 10 and Season 19 is likely to follow right on its heels. Picking a class to stick with for the Season can be tough, but let us suggest you give the Monk a try.

What is a Monk?

This class is centered on the use of martial arts techniques and utilizing unique weapons like claws and daibo (otherwise known as a bo staff), the Monk is a highly mobile and resilient fighter who can really put the hurt on enemies. Like the Barbarian, the Monk is principally a melee combatant, though there are builds that turn them into a mid-range or even long-range caster. In both cases, the Monk’s movement abilities let them close distances quickly, making them well-suited to getting to the next fight without delay — and possibly helping them rack up kill streaks for Season 19’s Pandemonium buff.

The Monk’s primary attribute is Dexterity, which they share with Demon Hunters. Their resource is Spirit, which is generated through a small set of Spirit-generating attacks, so you are constantly using one set of attacks to build Spirit, then spending it on more powerful attacks. Most of their other abilities either cost Spirit to use or are delimited by cooldowns — and in a few cases, both. Spirit doesn’t regenerate on its own, but there are passives and ability runes that can enable this and Spirit Regeneration is a secondary stat that can appear on some gear

One-Punch Woman

The Monk’s strongest abilities

Though there are a wide range of abilities to choose from, these are strong choices for your Monk setup:

  • Breath of Heaven is an AOE heal, something that most other classes only get as a consequence of their offensive abilities.
  • Monks have several abilities that can make them impossible to damage for short periods of time, which can be great for soaking otherwise-lethal hits. Seven-Sided Strike is highly valued for precisely this reason, but it’s also an excellent offensive skill in its own right.
  • Dashing Strike is considered one of the best movement abilities in the game, letting Monks move through enemies while damaging them on the way.
  • Mystic Ally spawns a permanent clone of the Monk, and various skill runes alter the clone’s elemental damage and/or provide a different activated and/or passive effect to make your ally even stronger.
  • Mantras passively provide a benefit to the Monk and their allies and can be activated for a Spirit cost to amplify that benefit for a short time.

Monk armor sets

The main armor sets for Monks all emphasize different parts of the Monk’s kit and consequently have their own playstyles:

  • Inna’s Mantra: Oriented around improving the Monk’s Mantras and providing a crew of Mystic Allies.
  • Monkey King’s Garb: A more defense-oriented set that relies on the melee damage aura Sweeping Wind to empower the Monk’s biggest attacks.
  • Raiment of a Thousand Storms: A fast-moving set centered on banking Spirit and spending it with Dashing Strike while weaving in Spirit generators for continuous pressure.
  • Uliana’s Strategem: A flashy, technique-oriented set, Uliana’s relies on setting up enemies with the Exploding Palm debuff and then triggering it with Seven-Sided Strike.
  • Patterns of Justice: A new set coming in patch 2.6.7, this offers a big buff to the Sweeping Wind AOE, combined with a buff to movement speed and damage when fighting multiple enemies — which could make it a particularly great set for taking advantage of the Season 19 buff.

Why you should play a Monk

Overall, the Monk is an excellent choice for players who want to have some self-sustain and various options for cheating death. They’re not a glass cannon on the scale of the Wizard or Demon Hunter, and also not a minion-oriented class like Witch Doctor or Necromancer, but can instead endure a lot of punishment on the battlefield while being fast and strong enough to dole out the harshness.

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