Solid Shintao Monk
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The Shintao Monk is a very powerful, all-around monk build that excels at both party support roles and in the offensive melee role. With no fewer then four stunning abilities at his disposal, the Shintao monk can quickly disable groups of enemies better than any other melee build. Each stun also renders the enemy helpless, adding +50% to the damage you and your entire party deal to that monster. In addition to this amazing stunning power, the Shintao monk deals excellent DPS, has great survivability and a number of other very powerful buffing and healing abilities.
However, new players should take note: Monks are one of the game's most advanced and complex classes.. Playing one "well" is arguably more difficult then any other class. This is due to the vast amount of abilities at your disposal, giving you a huge amount of buttons you need to press in a short amount of time to take full advantage of this class.
Key reasons to select this build:
- Monk is an extremely powerful class. Arguably the most versatile of all melee classes.
- Plays fairly well even without specialized equipment.
- Very powerful build for soloing, thanks to your strong DPS, stuns and self healing abilities.
- Also very valuable to most any group, again due to your stuns, healing and powerful support abilities from the Path of Harmonious Balance line.
- End Game:
- Many raid groups consider Light-monks near-required for their powerful anti-stun ability (Grasp the Earth Dragon) in certain raids
- Pretty much unmatched trash killing ability thanks to four ultra powerful stuns:
- Stunning Fist - Very fast, high DC Wisdom-based stun. Each attempt provides double the chance of most others, due to its double hit, double save ability.
- Kukan-Do - Very fast, un-dodgeable ranged stun. While it is Charisma-based which isn't ideal, its insanely high 30 Base DC (At level 20) nets it a very high save DC regardless.
- Stunning Blow - Not as powerful as Stunning Fist, but it's Strength-based, so it will have a great DC and meshes well with strength boosts which also up DPS. And by end game, Strength will most likely be your highest stat by far, as more ways to boost Strength exist in the game then any other stat. As an additional separate cooldown from Stunning Fist, it's extremely valuable as it lets you stun one more monster, or make an immediate second attempt on the you may have failed your fist against.
- Tomb of Jade - Fast, extremely high DC (DC30 + Wisdom at lvl 20), excellent duration. Pretty much the most powerful stun-like ability in the game. The only drawbacks are its long cooldown, and the fact that it only works versus certain targets (enemies considered Tainted). On the other hand, it works against some targets which are otherwise immune to your other 3 stuns - e.g.: Elementals.
- Race / Class: Level 20 Human Monk
- Alignment: Lawful Neutral. Lawful Good is also possible, but not recommended as later in the game several powerful monsters start to use Unholy attacks, and being good aligned makes you vulnerable to them, thus you would take more damage, and the advantages are minimal for monks (since Pure Good handwraps have no UMD requirement).
- BAB: 20\20\25\30 - While centered (Unarmored, unencumbered, and wielding monk weapons)
- Base Fortitude:: 12 - Realistic average at level20 with decent buffs/gear: 34+
- Base Reflex:: 12 - Realistic average at level20 with decent buffs/gear: 30+
- Base Will:: 12 - Realistic average at level20 with decent buffs/gear: 28+
NOTE: since you can invest 6 point in ninja spy enhancement for both dex to atk & dex to dmg, the following paragarphs regarding maxing str might be outddated.
28 vs 32 points: The build is fully playable at 28-points. What 32 adds: You gain an extra point of strength and two wisdom. The strength adds to your damage and Stunning Blow DCs among other things; the wisdom adds to your Stunning Fist and many other monk abilities' DCs. The bonuses are very minor however, so if you're a new player without access to 32-point builds, don't worry about it. It won't have a large impact on the build and you will eventually unlock 32-point builds automatically at 1750-favor. (At which point you can either Greater or True Reincarnate or start a new character with said extra ability points.)
Level up points: All level up should always go into Strength.*
* Though you will need a 17 base dexterity by level 18, which is really quite easily obtainable via a +2 dexterity tome. You can easily get the tome either through regular questing - at 1750 favor you will automatically be granted your choice of +2 tome through a favor reward - or by trading - +2 tomes are fairly easily affordable these days; generally a single run of The Shroud raid will net you a large devil scale, which you can easily trade for said tome. If you do have difficulty getting it, you could instead put a level point into dexterity at level 16 to qualify for Greater Two Weapon Fighting (along with a +1 dexterity tome), but it's not recommended.
- Monk Feat: Power Attack
- Regular Feat: Improved Two Weapon Fighting
- Regular Feat: Improved Critical: Bludgeoning Weapons
- Regular Feat: Great Cleave
- Regular Feat: Greater Two Weapon Fighting
Note: Enhancements listed are rough guidelines only. The ideal approach is to experiment with many enhancements to find out what works best for you. Given enhancements are relatively cheap to reset (just costs a bit of gold), and only have a 3-day timer between resets, you can try many different setups to find out what works best for you. The primary thing you should always have is the Shintao Monk enhancement line, as that is what you feats are geared towards, and feats are not easily changed.
- Shintao Monk - All the way to Rank III, and be sure to get its prerequisites:
- Monk Improved Recovery - All the way to Rank III - Required for Shintao II
- Any one of the 4 Master or Greater Elemental Path enhancements are required by Shintao III
- Human Improved Recovery - Rank II, consider rank III if you have spare points
- Human Adaptability: Strength
- Human Greater Adaptability: Wisdom
- Way of the Patient Tortoise - Rank 3/4
- Fists of Iron
- Void Strike - Rank IV when you get your stats high enough to qualify
- Racial Toughness - Rank II, III is generally too expensive
- Improved Balance
- Improved Concentration
- Improved Jump
- Monk Wisdom
- Capstone: Monk Serenity
Recommended low lvl gear
This is just some named items to strive for up to level 12. After that point you'll want to look into more advanced gear such as crafted gear and raid loot.
|Handwraps||Low level: Fernian Wraps or Devotion; Level 12: Vampiric Stonedust Wraps|
|Outfit/Robe||Outfit/Robe of Invulnerability - Level 4|
|Head||Low level: Helm of Concentration; Later: Minos Legens - Level 11|
|Necklace||Anger's Gift (+2 stacking to hit when combined with boots)|
|Goggles||Goggles of Insight (Get these on Korthos)|
|Trinket||Voice of the Master (ML:5)|
|Cloak||Resistance +1/2/3/4 Cloak / Mantle of the Worldshaper (ML:5)|
|Bracers||Low level: Armored Bracers; Higher level: Jidz-Tet'ka (ML:5) / Bracers of the Claw (ML:7)|
|Belt||Disease Immunity of Improved/Greater False Life|
|Ring 1||Constitution +3/4/5/6|
|Ring 2||Wisdom +3/4/5/6|
|Boots||Anger's Step (+2 stacking to hit when combined with necklace)|
|Gloves||Blademaster Gauntlets (ML:5) / Gloves of the Claw (ML:7) Charged Gauntlets (ML: 5)|
Handwraps: Early on you'll just use your starter handwraps until you can find something better. The best handwraps tend to be lootgen and crafted handwraps rather than named ones. The ones listed above are usable at level 1, but the quest line needed for Devotion (Delera's Tomb) is level 5-8, while the Fernian Wraps come from Ruins of Threnal, which is a fairly challenging level 8-10 series, so don't worry about getting them until much later on. If your really after some more powerful handwraps before level12 when you can get the very powerful Vampiric Stonedust Wraps, consider seeking out someone good at crafting to aid you. Crafters can make fairly powerful, low minimum level handwraps.
Outfit Notes: Check the auction house for any Robe/Outfit with Invulnerability. They can make the low levels a lot easier. If you can't find one, consider seeking out a crafter to make you one. They can also make a Life Shield Robe/Outfit of Invulnerability, which will have a bit higher minimum level (usually 5), but is a bit more powerful and very useful.