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Thread: My monk debate?

  1. #1
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    Default My monk debate?

    I've been playing for 7+ years so I pretty much know my playing style likes and dislikes. But I've never rolled a monk so I need some help with how to fit one into my play style.

    That said, here's my likes and dislikes. I'm not a button masher person or a twitch player. I like/prefer my toons to be self sufficient. On melee toons my preference is to see the big damge numbers float up, but it's not an absolute necessaty.

    I've aquired a ton of cool monk gear over the years so I'm giving in. I'm going to TR a first life fighter that's been on the shelf for a while into a monk. He has all +3 tomes in him except Int and Wis those are +2 a will be a 34 point build.

    My decision is should I go light or dark? My understanding is that there's far less button mashing as a light monk and they tend to be more self sufficient. Also what race should I take. It's between Horc & Helf. I can go helf and take cleric dilly for wands and scrolls to be self sufficient but I'd lose 4 points in Str by not going Horc. Also if I go Helf is dark elf then just as viable for being self sufficient and now it's just a matter of button mashing. Then if it is, again, how much more button mashing is involved to be proficient as a dark monk.

    TY in advance for any replies.
    If the toon is named after a beer 17 of them are mine & 1 more not named after a beer (the black sheep of the family). Beware there are a few beer imposters out there. Unless the toon has been "Banned From All Guilds" it's a fake Beer_Dude. Fake Beer in your group leaves a nasty taste.

  2. #2
    Community Member bruener's Avatar
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    I found that I had more buttons to smash on my light monk lives than my dark. I love shadow fade and touch of death. Each only require 1 button . I very rarely use multiple button finishers. Its Touch of death, quivering palm and earth 4 mostly.

    Also helf with cleric dili is a great option. Losing 4 pts str isn't a big deal imo.

  3. #3
    Community Member bruener's Avatar
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    I meant to add more but ppl have the nerve to expect me to work while I'm on lunch. Anyway, what I did was put wis to 16 and all lvl ups there. Dex to 15 with your tome you will qualify for ultimate wind. Con a min of 14. And rest into str. U really have to try to hork up a monk really. Get stunning fist and put that #1 hotkey. U will be using that often. I went ultimate earth for trash and ultimate wind for boss (so ur not stealing agro). Dark monk gives SA which sstacks with rogue dili which someppl switch too from cleric dili once they have other means of self healing. Makes very nice damage on stunned mobs.

    Its a very fun class to play. Enjoy!

    Ps. I don't not consider my way of building a monk the only way to build a monk. Just have fun or your doing it wrong

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    My post got eaten but monks are clicky by nature. I honestly see fighters that way too - multiple tactics are usually the rule on most fighters so that's probably just my play style coming through.

    I completely agree with bruener though - dark monk is less clicky-necessary than light and half elf is much nicer for the dilettante.
    Tajawuka 9 monk/8 ranger/3 arti AA (3 ranger/monk/fighter pl's) - Toolbots working on Morninglord Cleric life #2 (3 wizard/sorc/druid pl) - Evisra 28 rogue

  5. #5

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    For basic questions and answers, you can check out a Monk guide I compiled and keep updated with posts, corrections and hot flame from folks on the forums that should answer some fundamentals. Link is in the signature.

    It includes some suggestions from Wax_On_Wax_Off, who took time out to make a great aid to using a keyboard with monks.

    You'll likely want a Light Monk to start exploring how they work, which are Cleric-like with great self healing, DR breaking and solo ability. Dark Monks are great damage dealers and can be very powerful but lack innate DR busting and self healing in battle.

    Yes, a Monk is the most complex melee class with their ability to throw around elemental damage and do other impressive stunts. Think "Avatar: The Last Airbender", only you get to choose what element you'd like to specialize in (if not all of them).
    Editor, The Book of Syncletica: An unofficial DDO Monk Guide, and Stormreach Shadows: An unofficial DDO Stealth Guide
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  6. #6
    Community Member mrtweakin's Avatar
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    Dark + Helf all the way.

    Cleric dilly for leveling and potentially switch over to rogue at cap for more SA *if* you intend to be raiding / running in full groups the vast majority of the time. Even then an argument can be made for cleric dilly. Being able to cast a heal, greater restoration, or raise dead scroll is important even with healers in the party.

    Don't worry too much about button mashing. It is pretty comparable to all but the most boring of toons and in general monks get a bad rap for it. Buttons to mash: Stunning fist, Quivering Palm, and Touch of Death with some stance strikes (usually earth- they are untyped) thrown in.

    Don't worry at all about missing strength from horc. That extra +2 hit/dmg is easily made up for and does not come close to comparing to the benefits of helf.

    Fighter is going to be a good past life. I really recommend hitting 20 as monk and TRing again straight away to have a monk past life. It is pretty important (roughly +4 damage). Along the same lines as having a wizard without a wizard past life.
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    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    If you're looking for survivability, light monk is definitely the way to go. They also have some support abilities to help both you and the party.

    Self Healing
    Take advantage of monk + human healing amplification enhancements; human gets 30%, half elf gets 20%, for a total of +50-60% combined with the 30% monks gets. Add in a few healing amp items and you'll see some massive numbers (my monk was healed by a crit for almost 5k in epic von5).

    While that is definitely overkill, the use comes more from your fists of light and healing ki finisher. My monk easily heals himself for 5-7 a hit using fists of light and roughly 100-130ish or so with healing ki. Note that your healing ki finisher is amplified by devotion/healing lore items. This can make you very survivable in all but epic elite quests.

    Kukan-Do
    Many people look at this ability and think it's worthless. Then they try it and they realize that shintao monks make powerful stunbots. Sure, it works off of charisma, but the DC is often higher than stunning fist because of a different formula. It's like a stronger stunning fist usable at range. A very, very long range; if you can see it you can stun it. By staring at them. Yeah...

    DR Breaker
    Light monks can pretty much break any damage reduction with the addition of a single item. Monks already break magic, lawful, adamantine, but light monks can bypass byeshk, cold iron, and silver.

    Tainted Creatures
    It might not seem like much, but immunity to mind-dominating effects and a +6 bonus to saves and AC against non-lawful outsiders (including devils), aberrations, and undead is nice. Not to mention being able to dismiss beholders and mindflayers at a touch, encase them in a tomb of jade, lower their fortification, and deal large amounts of damage to any tainted creature is great.

  8. #8
    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beer_Dude View Post
    I've been playing for 7+ years so I pretty much know my playing style likes and dislikes. But I've never rolled a monk so I need some help with how to fit one into my play style.

    That said, here's my likes and dislikes. I'm not a button masher person or a twitch player. I like/prefer my toons to be self sufficient. On melee toons my preference is to see the big damge numbers float up, but it's not an absolute necessaty.

    I've aquired a ton of cool monk gear over the years so I'm giving in. I'm going to TR a first life fighter that's been on the shelf for a while into a monk. He has all +3 tomes in him except Int and Wis those are +2 a will be a 34 point build.

    My decision is should I go light or dark? My understanding is that there's far less button mashing as a light monk and they tend to be more self sufficient. Also what race should I take. It's between Horc & Helf. I can go helf and take cleric dilly for wands and scrolls to be self sufficient but I'd lose 4 points in Str by not going Horc. Also if I go Helf is dark elf then just as viable for being self sufficient and now it's just a matter of button mashing. Then if it is, again, how much more button mashing is involved to be proficient as a dark monk.

    TY in advance for any replies.
    I made a Light monk and TR'd to Dark just to try both flavors. I enjoy both. It is a different flavor, but I do think that you'll have fun with both, no matter which you choose.

    If you have a variety of metal type handwraps, then Dark monk looks more attractive because you don't need the Light to overcome DR.

    I'm quite happy with choosing HElf for my Monk as well. More healing amp makes me happy. Heal scrolls without any effort put into UMD also makes me happy.

    One final thought - don't worry about finishers until maybe Gianthold. Enemies die fast enough that you don't need to think about finishers before then and you'll spend enough time building up ki and doing the three starter moves that you'll end up having to open a door or something silly that interrupts the combo before you get to do the finisher.

    Void/light/void is an exception to this because +5 skills can end up getting the Rogue over that trap search DC in the right place, but it's not going to happen often.

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    Community Member mrtweakin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianRhapsody View Post
    If you have a variety of metal type handwraps, then Dark monk looks more attractive because you don't need the Light to overcome DR.
    Not sure this still carries any weight. Metal bypassing is no longer that big of deal (it's not end game like it was) and means of bypassing are now trivial. Years ago you could fetch a fortune for silver wraps, now I seem to pull a pair every life and, at least on Ghallanda, they can be had for ~150k in the AH. Not a big deal for someone who has been playing for 7+ years. Not to mention Artificer buffs or the new augments...

    There are reasons to go light- I'm just not sure metal bypassing is one of them anymore.
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  10. #10
    Community Member HungarianRhapsody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtweakin View Post
    Not sure this still carries any weight. Metal bypassing is no longer that big of deal (it's not end game like it was) and means of bypassing are now trivial. Years ago you could fetch a fortune for silver wraps, now I seem to pull a pair every life and, at least on Ghallanda, they can be had for ~150k in the AH. Not a big deal for someone who has been playing for 7+ years. Not to mention Artificer buffs or the new augments...

    There are reasons to go light- I'm just not sure metal bypassing is one of them anymore.
    That's actually one of the reasons why I mentioned that. I chose Light as the "obvious" choice for my first Monk life just because of DR bypassing. The fact that silver and adamantine wraps are now available makes the question of Light vs. Dark a real question rather than "Light until you farm up the Devout wraps".

  11. #11
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkrok View Post
    My post got eaten but monks are clicky by nature.
    Not at all.

    I'm running a first life capped monk (L25) currently just surfing thru destinies and I do almost no button mashing.

    First, monks are incredibly forgiving so you don't really need to worry about all the forum gurus who are going to tell you how to be self sufficient. You only need to know two things.

    1) WIS + DEX + CON = WIN. The reason is simple, all the good stuff monks get is too darn much so you make it simple. Stunning Fist, Quivering Palm, Touch of Death (if you go the dark path) all rely on WIS. Stunning Fist is a very fast cool-down so you use it, you beat things to death, you're ready for the next mob. Simple.

    2) There is no second thing, it just is impolite to make a list with only one entry.

    Everything else is just gravy.

    For button mashing you only need 2 or 3 keys and they are already mapped to your hot bar. Just put Stunning Fist, Quivering Palm and Touch of Death (if you go dark path) in the hot bar slots that are easiest to reach.

    Or, remap your hotbar to put those 2 or 3 items someplace you can reach easily.

    I run light monk so I swap Kukan-Do for Touch of Death. Technically Kukan-Do is CHA based but it goes off even with a low base CHA just fine. It is especially useful in pulling mobs w/o alerting others as the mob will come to you whether it fails its save or not. If it fails just wait till the effect wears off.

    I find this incredibly useful for teleporting mobs as they will teleport to you whether they are stunned or not. If stunned it is beat to death, if not it is stunning fist (now they are stunned) and beat to death.

    All the other fancy finisher stuff is just an incredible waste of time 99% of the time. While people are busy mashing their buttons to get the combos for finishers you can just be killing mobs with stun and beat down.

    In fact, the only place where a finisher is really used and really appreciated is 1 quest that I almost never run since we've gotten so much new content (Subterrane, I'm looking at you ). I'd say that a player could safely play their monk life thru L25 without ever needing to use a finisher. I almost do. Because I use Kukan-Do so much I generally build up the healing finisher.

    But, seriously, you can get away with a 2 or 3 button set up just fine.

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    Monk is hands down my favourite class.

    I personally use it as a splash in most of my builds, but if you were looking for a pure monk I would recommend light.

    The reason for this is that even as a dark monk, monks are decent dps but no rogue or barb. However, a wis built light monk is a CC machine, along with quivering palm, you have a ranged stun in Kukan-do, a melee stun in Stunning Fist, and a good balance of defense and offense.

    If you are not as big a fan of mass CC, Dark monk is a good alternative, it will still have stunning fist, plus some additional DPS from fist of death, just lacking the ranged stun of Kukando.

    Either way, monk is an awesome class, as well as an extremely strong splash in many builds.
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    Depends on what you plan to run, but overall go max wisdom on any monk. Wisdom helps AC, SF, QP and all grandmaster abilities now. If you plan to run epic elite kukan do is useless. I run mainly epic elites and found that dark monk in GM wind is by far most effective, but you need to make sure you keep your stunning fist dc to 60+. Without past lives and max wisom, likely only achievable in Ocean Stance. You also want to get any items, feats, enhancements that have extra dmg on sneak attacks as this will help balance you to the STR based monks. I like helf rogue dilly (use cleric for levelling and switch to rogue at cap) or halfling guile. If you ever go completionist, it works great on monks. You can lower dex to pick up your ITW and GTW and GM wind and put more points into CON or STR. I usually just get STR high enough to hit reliably (end game high 30s works fine with power attack). Just make sure you have GH clickies for some higher to hit mobs and bosses.

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    Thanks for all the input everyone. It appears my button mashing issue seems like it won't be that big of a deal. To be clear I do use buttons on my melees. It's usually just cleave, Great cleave, trip, and sunder and they're all hot keyed. It sounds like I'll be able to get away with about the the same amount of buttons hot linked on a monk. If this is the case I'm looking forward to trying out all my cool monk gear.
    If the toon is named after a beer 17 of them are mine & 1 more not named after a beer (the black sheep of the family). Beware there are a few beer imposters out there. Unless the toon has been "Banned From All Guilds" it's a fake Beer_Dude. Fake Beer in your group leaves a nasty taste.

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    The Hatchery whomhead's Avatar
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    If you like seeing big numbers, then dark Helf monk with decent wisdom is the way to go. Touch of death on a stunned mob can proc multiple hits of 750 damage each. You can get that even higher if you curse them with the dark/dark/dark finisher first.

    Just be careful, because once you go monk you may never go back.

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    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jskinner937 View Post
    Depends on what you plan to run, but overall go max wisdom on any monk. Wisdom helps AC, SF, QP and all grandmaster abilities now. If you plan to run epic elite kukan do is useless. I run mainly epic elites and found that dark monk in GM wind is by far most effective, but you need to make sure you keep your stunning fist dc to 60+. Without past lives and max wisom, likely only achievable in Ocean Stance. You also want to get any items, feats, enhancements that have extra dmg on sneak attacks as this will help balance you to the STR based monks. I like helf rogue dilly (use cleric for levelling and switch to rogue at cap) or halfling guile. If you ever go completionist, it works great on monks. You can lower dex to pick up your ITW and GTW and GM wind and put more points into CON or STR. I usually just get STR high enough to hit reliably (end game high 30s works fine with power attack). Just make sure you have GH clickies for some higher to hit mobs and bosses.
    I strongly disagree on kukan-do being useless in epic elite quests. Don't forget that it's considered a tactical combat feat, and takes advantage of stunning +10, dwarven/warforged tactics, legendary dreadnaught bonuses, and fighter past lives. It's also a will save, making it strong against warrior and rogue type mobs. My monk stuns with it quite often in epic elites. A full 20 shintao monk will most likely have a higher kukan-do DC than stunning fist unless specifically specced for high wisdom.

  17. #17
    Community Member Therigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    I strongly disagree on kukan-do being useless in epic elite quests.
    IMO the issue with Kukan-Do is that it is a CHA check and not WIS like most monk abilities. The typical monk has little to no CHA and probably is not slotting CHA on gear. With CHA and CHA gear it probably becomes as reliable as SF.

    But, that doesn't make Kukan-Do worthless in EE content. It is still very useful for single target pulls as the mob makes a bee-line to your position.

    I know that a lot of people want to power through EE like they do all other content. But, how long does a single mob last if it is pulled to a waiting group and none of its friends follow?

    Kukan-Do can be a great tool for pulling, better than body pulls, noise pulls, bluff pulls.... Because, succeed of fail, the mob comes to you.

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    Community Member bruener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whomhead View Post
    .
    Just be careful, because once you go monk you may never go back.

    very true. i wasnt careful

  19. #19
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    IMO the issue with Kukan-Do is that it is a CHA check and not WIS like most monk abilities. The typical monk has little to no CHA and probably is not slotting CHA on gear. With CHA and CHA gear it probably becomes as reliable as SF.

    But, that doesn't make Kukan-Do worthless in EE content. It is still very useful for single target pulls as the mob makes a bee-line to your position.

    I know that a lot of people want to power through EE like they do all other content. But, how long does a single mob last if it is pulled to a waiting group and none of its friends follow?

    Kukan-Do can be a great tool for pulling, better than body pulls, noise pulls, bluff pulls.... Because, succeed of fail, the mob comes to you.
    People freak out too much over it needing charisma. My monk isn't a stunbot, but his kukan-do is higher than his stunning fist, even with good wisdom. You have to keep in mind that they have two different formulas. If you aren't specced for high wisdom (believe or not, some monks aren't), on a pure 20 monk kukan-do will start out much higher than stunning fist.

    Stunning Fist
    10 + half character level + WIS modifier = 24-25 DC with base 14 wisdom and a level 25 character (minimum most monks have)

    Kukan-Do
    10 + monk level + CHA modifier = 30 DC with base 8 charisma and level 20 pure monk

    Unless you specced for high wisdom, kukan-do is going to be 2-5 DC higher than stunning fist, because everything that gives a bonus to stunning fist will also give a bonus to kukan-do, minus wisdom. My shintao isn't geared for a stunbot, but more for doublestrike/on-hit effects.

    On a side note, I never really paid attention; does stunning fist target a fortitude save? Strength? I'm not sure, I think I'd like to run a few tests to see the differences in saves because kukan-do uses willpower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    On a side note, I never really paid attention; does stunning fist target a fortitude save? Strength? I'm not sure, I think I'd like to run a few tests to see the differences in saves because kukan-do uses willpower.
    Both stunning fist and stunning blow target the fort save. Kukan-do is, as you stated, a will save.
    Tajawuka 9 monk/8 ranger/3 arti AA (3 ranger/monk/fighter pl's) - Toolbots working on Morninglord Cleric life #2 (3 wizard/sorc/druid pl) - Evisra 28 rogue

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