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Little Monk Inferno Guide

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Little Monk Inferno Guide

  • 1.0.3. changes

- IAS nerf is huge, but it's still a good stat to have. They halved it, not nerfed it to the ground;
- Sweeping Wind/Cyclone and stacking crit is the way to go. Cyclone is ridiculously good;
- Ironically, 1h/Shield remains the best way to play. This is because shields can have up to 10% crit;
- Every primary other than Fists of Thunder feels incredibly slow, Deadly Reach feels good only with DW (>2.0 APS);
- Removed Crippling Wave suggestion completely, can't generate enough spirit to make use of Transcendence;
- Defense stat wise everything is the same as before. You just don't need them as much now and should get damage.

  • Skill build and gameplay

Monk - Game Guide - Diablo III

These are the set in stone skills. Empty slots will vary depending on your gear, act, how well you are geared for that act, and personal preference. I will talk about all viable and/or common options as well as link full builds in the end of this section.


Fists of Thunder/Thunderclap: the go-to choice. This is what you want to run as long as you don't need extra defensive benefits of the other options. Highest spirit regeneration, highest LoH modifiers (due to Thunderclap proccing LoH separately from main attack), teleport to boost your damage uptime immensely, and the best DPS strike due to being innately hasted. This is especially important post IAS nerf, and the only attack that won't bore you to death with its slow animation.

Deadly Reach/Keen Eye:
this is the skill that defines our defensive playstyle. You don't become a ranged class with it, but it allows you to not let yourself get hit by multiple mobs at the same time, not get yourself surrounded, have a much easier time avoiding ground AoE and trivialize fire chain packs. You simply move back all the time while attacking, getting mobs stuck in terrain where you can, or attacking through walls where possible. The downside is that it's very slow, you end up losing a lot of damage and potentially a lot of sustainability too if you rely on LoH, spirit regen will feel slow if you're used to FoT. If you can't get above 2.0 attack speed post patch - and that's only possible with DW - I wouldn't recommend going this path anymore.


Sweeping Wind/Cyclone: with high enough crit (read: 20% or above) this ability becomes ridiculously good. You get so many cyclones with the right stats, and they usually strike several times before they disappear, more if they get stuck in walls or obstacles. The cyclones are so good I would recommend this even if you use Deadly Reach and rarely have mobs in range of Sweeping Wind itself.

Sweeping Wind/Blade Storm: scales incredibly well, best damage ability for this slot if you don't have high enough crit.

Sweeping Wind/Fire Storm: if you play with DR/Keen Eye and don't have enough crit for Cyclone, this is your choice. You need the extra range because DR itself is ranged.

Dashing Strike/Blinding Speed or Quicksilver: this gives the one thing that you lack with DR as primary and that's a dash, a controllable one too. 25 spirit is really nothing, this gives quite a lot of control. Obviously the most defensive choice of all.

Deadly Reach/Foresight: the buff from Foresight lasts 30 seconds, so this is a "passive" 18% damage. Although Blade Storm outdamages this, it is very handy to have a ranged strike for packs that are hard to deal with in melee - having both FoT and DR binded lets you switch between the two playstyles depending on affixes. There's no UI buff for it, just a green glow around your character and it affects the DPS tooltip, so you'll have to look at one of these things to keep it up.


Mantra of Evasion/Hard Target: always run this on acts you are progressing through. Dodge stacks multiplicatively, so don't worry, it is working correctly and there's no diminishing returns.

Mantra of Conviction/Overawe: if you can survive without MoE, switch to this. This is the first thing you want to switch when you feel like your gear is good enough for the act you are farming. The damage gain is just monstrous.

Mantra of Evasion/Backlash:
if you feel confident in the act you're farming but still get gibbed when you try Overawe, give this a try. The damage from Backlash is very noticeable, it's a nice balance of damage and survivability.

Mantra of Conviction/Submission: only reason I'm mentioning it is because for some odd reason, this skill scales very bad with attack speed (different to how Wind works), not that it was anything impressive in the first place. After the IAS nerf there's even less reason to try it. See appendix for more info.

Other variations/notes

Peaceful Repose rune for Serenity might be a better choice than Ascension if you're just starting inferno and have no sustain stats. I can't see this being true past Act 1 however.

If you don't stack resistances correctly and they're all roughly equal without OWE, don't use OWE. Use Transcendence until you get proper resistance gear. Again, you want to get at least a bit resistance gear before you go Act 2.

Faith in the Light increases damage by more than 30%, for some reason it scales with attacks per second. So, if you have 2 attacks per second, it's actually a 60% damage bonus. This is not just a tooltip bug, but confirmed in ingame tests. See appendix.

Complete builds

These are just to give you examples of how it all comes together.

Standard FoT & Cyclone build: Monk - Game Guide - Diablo III

Deadly Reach build (with no crit gear): Monk - Game Guide - Diablo III

No OWE build (entry level gear): Monk - Game Guide - Diablo III

  • Gear


The most common mistake is not investing enough into damage. Damage is everything. Always.

Crit can be found on:
- Shields, up to 10%;
- Gloves, up to 10%;
- Amulets, up to 8.5%;
- Bracers, up to 6%;
- Helms, up to 6%;
- Rings, up to 4.5%.

Crit damage can be found on:
- Weapons, up to 100%, Emeralds socketed into weapons can give up to another 100%;
- Amulets, up to 65%;
- Gloves, up to 50%;
- Rings, up to 34%.

IAS can be found on:
- Weapons, up to 11%;
- Amulets, up to 9%;
- Gloves, up to 9%;
- Rings, up to 9%.

Since this question will arise for sure, I'll just say right away that crit > critdmg. Obviously the value of critdmg completely relies on the amount of crit you have, but there's another factor here and that's Cyclone procs. Crit chance will improve proc rate, crit damage will not, and Cyclone is a huge contributor to our damage now. Regardless of what spreadsheets will tell you, keep this in mind.

Rings are the last slots you should upgrade from IAS to crit/critdmg items, or not even upgrade them at all depending on your current rings and budget. They can carry much less crit than other slots, but the same standard amount of IAS. Also, items can potentially have all three of these stats. Just something to look forward to.


The best approach to defensive stats in this and nearly all similar games is balancing them out. Never tunnel one stat. It's not good to have very low hp but very high mitigation, just as it is not useful to have very high hp but very low mitigation. It's useless to have lots of LoH, but health pool so low that you're going to die every time you stop hitting. Also, you stop all damage when you kill things - don't focus too much on defense. You need just enough, not too much.

To answer two of the most common questions:
1) OWE works like this: if arcane resistance is your highest stat, and you get an item with +50 all resistances and +50 arcane resistances, the total gain from that item will be 100 resistances;
2) LoH procs from all direct damage. Damage auras and DoTs don't proc it, but all our AoE cleaves do, per target. If you hit a target with Fists of Thunder, and Thunderclap will hit your main target and another 5 offtargets, it will be: 1 hit from FoT, 1 hit on main target from TC, and another 5 offtarget hits from TC, total 7 LoH procs. However LoH is scaled per ability, check the table linked in appendix for exact values.


- Weapon: DPS, Life on Hit, Socket, Crit Damage, Weapon Type, Attack Speed, Dexterity, Life per Spirit Spent, Vitality

Weapon is the only slot that can carry high amounts of LoH. There's really no such thing as "LoH build", there's just "LoH weapon".

Attack speed on weapon is multiplied with total IAS on gear, so there's nothing bad about weapons with IAS contrary to popular belief. There's a difference in base attack speed depending on weapon type: Daggers (1.5) > Swords/Fists (1.4) > Axes (1.3) > Maces and Spears (1.2).

Emeralds socketed into weapon give crit damage, Amethysts give LoH. Even the last non-recipe tier is good:
Star Amethyst - Game Guide - Diablo III
Star Emerald - Game Guide - Diablo III

Only Fists and Daibos can have Life per Spirit Spent.

- Shield: Block Chance, Block Amount, Crit Chance, +% Block, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %, Reduced Damage from Elites/Melee/Ranged

Pay attention to shield stats - block chance and amount - they make a big difference although it might not seem so on paper. Damage is blocked after it is reduced by armor and resistance, think about that. Picking a shield is like picking a weapon - block chance and value are main stats on it, like damage is on weapons.

- Amulet: Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Attack Speed, Life on Hit, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %, Reduced Damage from Melee/Ranged

Amulets can actually have very considerable amounts of LoH, high end ones are around 600.

- Rings: Attack Speed, Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Life on Hit, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %

I keep attack speed as highest priority here simply because you can find more of it than crit. Amount of LoH on rings is abysmal.

- Helm: Crit Chance, Socket, Dexterity, Resistances, Life per Spirit Spent, Vitality, Life %, Monk Skill Bonus

You want a socket to put an Amethyst there for 15% Life. I think this is pretty important, but completely viable to ignore it if you won't go below 30-35k HP or so.

There are some interesting choices here when it comes to class stats - you can get a 11% damage modifier to any primary skill. Don't overestimate this stat, it won't be better than 100 Dexterity. These and Life per Spirit Spent are available only on Spirit Stones.

- Belt: Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality

This would be just a standard armor slot if not for one item - slightly overhyped String of Ears. One of its predefined stats is melee damage reduction, up to 20%. However, it is a level 53 item so its stat rolls will be fairly low, and it has +11-20 resist to all as a set stat meaning it can't even roll for all resist. A good rolled item level 61+ belt will most likely be overall more EHP than String, even against melee (you can check yourself on the EHP calculator).

- Gloves: Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Attack Speed, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality

- Bracers: Crit Chance, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Reduced Damage from Melee/Ranged

- Boots: Movement Speed, Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %

- Chest: Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %, Sockets (up to 3), Reduced Damage from Melee/Ranged/Elite

- Pants: Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Sockets (up to 2)

- Shoulders: Dexterity, Resistances, Vitality, Life %

Some notes about this list: order the stats are listed in can be treated as priority lists, but don't follow them to the letter. This game is about balancing stats and choosing what to prioritize depending on your own playstyle and which act you're at. There's no single pattern that will work just as good for every situation, think for yourself.

I skipped sockets on jewelry because if anything, that's a waste of a potentially better stat roll in my opinion.

Adding 'best in slot' legendaries for post-patch is on my to-do list.

Credits goes to Thaya from the original Diablo 3 Forum Original Thread

Nieder is offline  
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Old 06/03/2012, 17:13   #2
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I play Monk similiar to this, since the ImbaCrit Build is "fixed" and the endless resource of spirit vanished.

On hit Life is obvisious choice, as it does not seem to have any reduced effect in inferno (actual the bonus increases a lot on items of iLevel 63, the highest one).

Just for correction.

Pretty much any armor part can have +AttackSpeed, its just very rare or just on legendary stuff.

Tal Rasha Armor for example does a good job, if you get a good one.

It provides All resist, +AttackSpeed, (random magic find) and on good pieces vit and dex.

Not "perfect" but quite a good armor for sure.

The 18% dmg from Farsight, well ; sure more dmg is nice, but i really feel its not really helpfull.

Especially as the "real" problems are champs, i try to get a build that beats most of them.

tempest rush is a skill that does the trick. Yes, its "incredible" hard to get used to it, but the point is you just "tap" it in case you get stuck by champs (blockers for example) ; or to rush through opponents if they might corner you, like the "fast, fire chains" ones.

Also you can use it (tap, only tap it) to kill 1 champ instead of getting beaten by all of them.

Its an "escape" and protection skill for this cases, it also will help you to simply "rush through" champions you arguably cannot beat ; which is a plus aswell (and *** knows you will find champs that are "unbeatable" for you).

Against the rares with unbeatable minions, you can try to tempest rush them in a spot that suits you, otherwise its "hell" to get this mob down (as the minions ar enot effected by the blind, and do not give you spirit beating them, etc. etc. all bad news).

+18% dmg is good no question, but its just not as usefull to grind the champs you actual want to grind.

However to properly use Tempest Rush it takes a bunch of trys, as it just too easy to "keep it pressed" or not use it at all if you would need it.

TheOnlyOne652089 is offline  
Old 06/04/2012, 21:37   #3
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Your link goes to an empty build btw.

Otherwise nice job, I'm playing something very similar
Manveru1 is offline  
Old 06/04/2012, 22:35   #4
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can this guide be used for Hell difficulty too ?

@Manveru1 - You have to manually type in the address, you can see it if you put your cursor on the link

bbq1337 is offline  
Old 06/05/2012, 06:17   #5
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i Cant see the link
Simmis79 is offline  
Old 06/05/2012, 07:36   #6
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I have used your idea of two primaries as both mouse buttons. However I chose FoT/Thunderclap and WHF/Windforce Flurry

Using the FoT to teleport in and then WHF to finish the job. This makes a dash available to you without any cost to spirit.
xstaci is offline  
Old 06/05/2012, 13:43   #7

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can i use a good daibo or is 2-h sucking?

i have a daibo 12xx dps +18% ias +800 loh + socket
BBoXpr31ser is offline  
Old 06/05/2012, 15:44   #8
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Originally Posted by »|»╬OĐ╠}{ View Post
can i use a good daibo or is 2-h sucking?

i have a daibo 12xx dps +18% ias +800 loh + socket

If your equipment has enough defense stats, I'd say - you can use it. But still, a shield (block-chance) does give you a better chance to survive.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06/05/2012, 19:33   #9
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I update the link and hope it works now. Sorry for that >.<

Originally Posted by »|»╬OĐ╠}{ View Post
can i use a good daibo or is 2-h sucking?

i have a daibo 12xx dps +18% ias +800 loh + socket
I think 2h isnt such a good choice because 1. u lost very much defense and 2. ur attackspeed is "very" slow so i would allways prefer 1h + shild. At all i think 2h for monk or barb is useless atm
Nieder is offline  
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Old 06/05/2012, 20:54   #10
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I asked a question Nieder, please answer it:

"Can this guide be used for Hell difficulty too?"

Once again, thanks for making the little guide, but be ready to answer questions, thanks.
bbq1337 is offline  
Old 06/06/2012, 01:15   #11
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Originally Posted by bbq1337 View Post
I asked a question Nieder, please answer it:

"Can this guide be used for Hell difficulty too?"

Once again, thanks for making the little guide, but be ready to answer questions, thanks.
this is for inferno
and inferno > hell
so y u will stop hell with that build
Atmosph3re is offline  
Old 06/06/2012, 15:29   #12
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Guide is updated
Nieder is offline  
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Old 06/11/2012, 13:19   #13
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Gibt es den Guide bzw einen ńhnlichen in Deutsch ?
marccoxx is offline  
Old 06/12/2012, 01:04   #14
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jag den build doch durch google Řbersetzer
tigerfire is offline  
Old 06/13/2012, 19:21   #15

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can i use a weapon with lifeleech 2,7%
by 9xx dps weapon or is loh 600+ better ?

BBoXpr31ser is offline  

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