View Full Version : thoungts on a 2nd life monk build

02-06-2014, 04:56 PM
I want to create a good solo-er for most content. I was thinking a light Shinto for healing, plus mystics seem to be staffers and ninja's are pushed to use swords, but I would think that stunning for +50% damage (and whatever sneak attacks i pick up from loot/ninja) would be more useful.

I have +2 tomes in everything, +3 in wis, con, and int (so far), and plan on using the following initial stats
Race: human
Str 14
dex 15
con 15
int 10
wis 16
cha 8
All level upgrades go to wis

for feats
past life Monk
lv 1: power attack, stunning fist, dodge
lv 2: mobility
lv 3: path of light, toughness
lv 6: spring attack and twf
lv 9: itwf
lv 12: combat expertise
lv 15: whirlwind
lv 18: improved critical: bludgeoning
lv 21: vorpal strikes
lv 24: improved martial arts
lv 26: tactican
lv 27: overwhelming critical
lv 28: perfect twf

I haven't planned my enhancements out yet, but the unarmed dr bypass, the attacks against undead and outsiders, and the 1d8 damage die seem to be ideal for an unarmed monk, and meditation of war without penalties is a substantial bonus to any stance.
A few points in henshin mystic for ki bolt and patient tortoise--is contemplation worth it?
and some in ninja for 2-3 sneak attack die, flashbang, and No Mercy (stealthy?)

I have a few questions that I hope an expert can help with
Am I correct in my build idea or would a mystic or spy be better?
Is improved martial arts worth it or would I be better with GTWF or something else?
Is whirlwind attack worth it or should I go with cleave and great cleave?
anything else to add or comment on?

02-06-2014, 09:08 PM
You are almost but not quite a copy of my current monk at 28. I went helf, so -1 feat, +cleric dilly. I like contemplation -- if you find later you have enough ki gen, respeccing talents is cheap. In ninja you want shadow fade, take whatever you want to get yourself there. Allocate more as you see fit. If you're human, you want the healing amp, because its a gift that keeps on giving.

Going pure is frowned on by the power gamers/forumites these days, but it works just fine. Doing EH was doable, but did require paying attention. I mostly leveled in EN because doing it solo it was way faster. The base XP differences are pretty slim between EN/EH/EE, and while the first-time and streak bonuses are nice... they aren't relevant past the first playthrough.

For your questions; unarmed is fine, but play what you like. I hate shortsword builds. I might like a mystic -- I like a horcrobat I have. YMMV. You want both IMA and GTWF, and you want the TWFs and IC:Bludg earlier. I'd ditch Whirlwind/CE/Toughness to get it asap. I'd prioritize IC:Bludg over GTWF.

You might consider dragonmark of passage, as ddoor is pretty sweet.

02-07-2014, 03:34 AM
Consider pumping WIS to the minimum needed for Vorpal Strikes then put the rest level ups into STR.

I'd also drop Mobility/Spring attack/whirlwind for Cleave/Gr.Cleave/gTWF this will give you a considerable boost to DPS in the form of 20% extra chance for off-hand attack and open Overwhelming Critical as an option for epic feats (you can't get it with the feats you have posted so far, listing it means you want it I guess), while also maintaining AoE DPS via Cleaves.

You could also drop Toughness for the active monk past life feat, it's very nice when you also have Empty Hand Mastery :)


02-08-2014, 01:31 AM
Thanks for the input.

I experimented on lamania with cleave, great cleave, and whirlwind. Whirlwind typically had an extra splat and had the extra damage, and cleave didn't have a 360 path. But dropping ce opens up 2+ feats, and also lets me dump int.

Build mark II
tome lv increases
str 16 2 20, 24, 28 even with a +3 tome i will be low for overwhelming crit, so i think 15/15/15
dex 15 2
con 14 3
int 8 3
wis 16 3 4,8,12, 16 just enough for the 23 min for vorpal
cha 8 2

BASE: 1 power
MOnk: 1 STunning Fist
1 twf
2 dodge
3 cleave
3 light
6 mobility
6 Great cleave
12 improved crit
18 [monk past life?]
21 Vorpal strikes
24 improved martial arts
ED 26 Tactican (+2 DC)
27 Epic damage reduction??
ED 28 perfect twf

In the earlier levels I intend to have ki bolt and monkey instead of tortoise.
All core
All heals and rise of the phoenix
Deft strikes 3
read the wind 1
Smite taint, Jade strike, tomb of jade
Fists of Iron
Dismissing strike
2x wis
Meditation of war
Empty handed mastery

Ninja training I and II, Shadow veil
4 sneak attack die
acrobatics 2
Agility 2
unbalancing strike
2x wis
No mercy 1

1st core
Way of the patient tortoise
Mystic training 1
Contemplation 3

Damage boost
Improved Recovery 1
1 stat

If contemplation isn't needed (then nor is mystic training), spikes, no mercy/acrobatics, and Diversion, all from ninja?

02-08-2014, 05:39 AM
Just a couple of thoughts.

Not sure what your epic destinies look like or what you do/don't have access to.

If you have the LD line available and can twist in legendary tactics then you don't need to take tactician at 26 but can take it at 28 (when you will need it). Subsequently you can take P2WF at 26 instead.

I would also seriously consider ditching Epic DR in favour of blinding speed at 27. I love it.

Any half decent pure monk will rock in EH and be a solid contributor in an EE party.
You'll have a lot of fun with this build.

02-08-2014, 11:31 AM
In the earlier levels I intend to have ki bolt and monkey instead of tortoise.
All core
All heals and rise of the phoenix
Deft strikes 3
read the wind 1
Smite taint, Jade strike, tomb of jade
Fists of Iron
Dismissing strike
2x wis
Meditation of war
Empty handed mastery

Changing it is cheap, but heals and rise are awful picks. Try:

Reed x3
Deft x3
Iron Skin x3
Ki Shout (sometimes, it is nice to stop mobs running after someone else so you can punch them, even if you don't want to tank)

Then fill in only what you need to get all of Kukan, Violence, and Empty Hand (ie: only 1 instinctive defenses). Meditation is up to you. Even if you dump Cha, Kukan is reliable when you use it right -- on the big burly melees who have no will saves. Like trolls.

The list I gave there means skipping out on wisdoms, or maybe exchanging a dismissing for wisdom. Still worth it, IMO.

I might try to work points into human for more imp recovery. Saves boost is probably the best boost on a monk; you don't auto-fail on a 1.

02-08-2014, 11:56 AM
Half the capstone is meditation, and it has nice bonuses when the penalties are removed. For example, In fire +2 damage is almost half of power attack, and the boost do DC's mitigates the wisdom penalty. In air I get another +10 off hand chance, bringing my total to 100 and a bonus to hit. Its not great before the capstone, but afterwords it can be awesome.

the problem with the skin of earth line is it only works in earth stance. Great when I'm using vampiric stone dust wraps, but in epic I found I switch stances frequently. do these really improve earth to the point where it is better in most situations?

I see your point on the rise(planning to fail) and the curatives stop being relevant quickly. I thought it would be handy, but if 90% of the time it could be used you need more than 1 monk... the 10 ap from that chain can get Kukan, reed and a chunk of the earth line.

02-08-2014, 09:17 PM
Sorry; I misremembered. I'd skip reed. It isn't up enough to be worth it.

The capstone is nice, but not worth the point investment if you're min-maxing.

02-13-2014, 03:42 AM
The capstone is nice, but not worth the point investment if you're min-maxing.

The shintao capstone is amazing because it removes the penalties of Meditation of War.

Air Stance giving you 100% off-hand attack is a flat 5% DPS increase, guaranted double procs for Stunning Fist, Quivering Palm etc and more healing from healing curse.
All these are awesome, but not worth having if it means 10% more incoming damage from all sources. And we all know the amount 10% translates to when it comes to EEs.

Earth Stance giving you an extra +10PRR is sweet, but not so much when it comes at the cost of 5% dodge, wouldn't you agree?

02-13-2014, 10:44 PM
Depends entirely on your gear, past lives, and goals for the character.

There's plenty of cases the capstone isn't worth it.