July 3rd, 2012
Diablo 3 Monk: Farming Guide Act 1
Author: Harry Cook
A guide to farming with your level 60 Monk on Inferno Difficulty - Act 1 in Diablo 3.
Most people can breeze through Diablo 3 all the way up to level 60 and then they find it a real shock when they cannot touch inferno difficulty. Many people get one-shotted and they don’t know why. Others do not have a grasp of the abilities that they can use and if they do, some do not know why they are good. I’ll attempt to offer some insight into the Monk class and how you can improve your experience in Inferno - Act 1.
The main misconception of players in Act 1 Inferno is either focusing all on damage or all on defences. You should not play with all your eggs in one basket. Also, with a Monk there is a necessity to run with a shield and 1h weapon when you first start out in Inferno. People may think that this gimps their damage, but in fact most people can have higher damage with a 1h weapon and the bonus stats from a shield than they can from a 2h weapon.
For your reference, in regards to weapons, just because they are rare it does not mean they are better. This is the one situation where you can ignore stats in order to find the highest DPS weapon. Often a blue weapon with 850dps and 18% weapon damage will be better for you than a 650dps rare weapon with 150 Vitality and 150 Dexterity. This is because weapon damage scales for all of your abilities as well as the fact that you need higher DPS in order for your Dexterity to increase your overall damage.
In regards to resistances, most people will overlook the resistance part of defence and think it is adequate to just stack Armor and Vitality to become tanky. This is 100% not the case and resistances are key to have a balanced amount of defence that will help to slow spikes in damage when facing certain types of elites.
Being tanky whilst keeping a high level of DPS as a Monk is achievable with a small amount of gear due to the sheer nature of the way the class works.
Left Click: Deadly Reach with Keen Eye
Right Click: Crippling Wave with Mangle
Ability 1: Serenity with Ascension
Ability 2: Breath of Heaven with Blazing Wrath
Ability 3: Blinding Flash with Faith in the Light
Ability 4: Mantra of Evasion with Hard Target
Passive 1: One With Everything
Passive 2: Seize the Initiative
Passive 3: Resolve
Deadly Reach with Keen Eye: The ability to kite around some elite packs that you simply cannot go toe to toe with whilst keeping a relative amount of range from them in order to keep their damage down whilst you can still cause some to them. Now this is especially effective when you have to kite mobs around arcane sentries and molten or plagued mobs.
Rune: I take Keen Eye as my rune because you won’t need a lot of armor with it. When you are in combat, you can normally keep this buff active which will give you 50% additional armor. So, if you have a basic set of gear on with around 3000 armor, while Keen Eye is active your armor will be 4500 when you are in combat which is a massive increase in the amount you can tank. But remember to keep this buff up within your rotation as it only lasts 4 seconds.
Crippling Wave with Mangle: I take Crippling Wave due the fact it reduces enemy damage by a large amount. It also slows mobs’ movement speed which will help you to kite the mobs in conjunction with Deadly Reach. Additionally, you will be able to go toe to toe with groups until you have low HP then you can kite until you restore your health.
Rune: Mangle allows Crippling Wave to have large impact with its damage and helps to reduce damage done to you. Take full advantage of this by taking on groups face to face a little longer than usual. When coupled with other damage modifiers, the increase in the damage can hit for big numbers in an AoE.
Serenity with Ascension: If you believe some of the other abilities I have listed have room for improvement, please let me stress this is definitely not one of them. This has not only saved me when simply fighting toe to toe, but also being able to escape situations such as being frozen in a plague pool which inevitable leads to your character’s death. This ability really allows you to have an extra “OH CRAP” button and with it on such a short cool down it is one of your best abilities.
Rune: With Ascension it will last longer. There is no other reason to explain this amazing ability and the longer you can stay immune to damage the better.
Breath of Heaven with Blazing Wrath: I use Breath of Heaven for the simple fact it is a heal. If you find yourself stuck in a corner with simply too many mobs, the ability to heal and run can allow you to be very picky in the fights you want to encounter. Also, in many boss fights the extra heal is just a way to correct mistakes, such as being hit by Belial. Breath of Heaven allows you to heal up and the next time you are hit it might not be game over.
Rune: Blazing Wrath is an amazing damage modifier which lasts long enough that you should always keep it up with ease, based on the sheer fact you will use your heal often in fights. In my case, it increases my 14330.16 damage to 16479.68 this increase is the equivalent of having an entire set of gear that upgrades your damage.
Blinding Flash with Faith in the Light: I take Blinding Flash not only to stop damage from enemies but also to stop specific attacks, such as large damage attacks that you can see incoming. This increases the amount of time that you have to react and also stops mobs from attacking you whilst you can re-position yourself.
Rune: Remember the damage increase from 14330.16 to 16479.68 earlier? Well, with Faith in the Light, when you use it in during combat, you will likely already have your Blazing Wrath buff and will increase your DPS by 30%. Using this in a fight with elites to burst them down is simply an amazing amount of damage that can help burst down elites.
Mantra of Evasion with Hard Target: 15% to dodge may not seem like much, but since Monks gain a lot of dodge naturally from Dexterity it really helps you become tanky.
Rune: Hard Target as increases our armor by 20%. This increase in armor, as well as the one from Keen Eye, means that even at early parts of the game we can have a lot of armor to protect us from foes.
One with Everything: One with Everything makes all of your resistances equal to your highest resistance. I was able to buy many cheap items from the auction house with fire resistance on them which allowed me to have a high resistance to all spells. So, where as a Barbarian has to farm a lot and spend a lot to get resistance for many schools of magic, we can get away with stacking a single resistance.
Resolve: In combat you will be dealing damage constantly, this just allows you to reduce their damage simply by hitting them, result!
Seize The Initiative: Turn all of your Dexterity into armor! That means if you have 1000 Dexterity that’s 1000 extra armor, so new items that increases your Dexterity will also directly increase your armor.
I am not going to tell you exactly what items to use, but there are some stat recommendations that I would like to make.
First, I have said it before but I’ll say it again, use a 1h and a shield and make sure that the 1h weapon has high DPS even if you lose stats. Don’t be afraid to take the weapon with more DPS and no stats as this is the one item in which you can completely ignore the stats.
Secondly, fire resistance is an amazing stat and you will find lots of items on the auction house that can give you similar stats to what you already own plus some fire resistance for a very little gold. If you get a bit of fire resistance on all your gear, then will it add up and make you equally resistant to all elements via One with Everything.
Dexterity and Vitality are the main stats to use however there are others that you need to consider. Please, don’t neglect things such as attack speed, as attack speed can often bring a large damage increase even above Dexterity in some cases.
This is just the way I have been doing things and I have been breezing through Act 1 and been farming Act 2 on Inferno difficulty. Feel free to leave comments with any other questions. There are many other possible builds, so please leave any suggestions you may have in the comments below.