Guide for starters: How to gear up as a monk

  • #1
    Hallo gals and guys.

    Since there are so many topics from people asking for help i thought its time for a guide like this. I know with the upcoming patch 1.04 many things in regards of legendaries will change and they get buffed alot but the majority of players simply cant afford to buy them on the ah. Many people kinda run on small budgets like 1 or maybe 5mil. This guide is mainly for those people who post on our monk forum and asking for help in regards of how to gear up or what they should upgrade next. Most of the times its not easy to help these people since they made quite some mistakes in terms of their gear.

    Each and anything within this guide is based on my own experience. Sure i make mistakes and sure there are some within this guide. I encourage you all to contribute and point out errors i made. ;)

    Side note: Since im not native english i beg your parden in regards of my english. :P

    So lets get things started!

    1.) Itemslots

    First we need to understand that each piece of armor has a different proposal. There are like 5 categories in regards of the different itemslots.

    a.) Stat Slots

    - Chest
    - Pants
    - Shoulders
    - Belt

    U should always aim for dex, vit and resistens on em. The values depending greatly on your budget. U should try to get pickup radius on one of these items. Items tend to have 4 and up to 7 properties. So its the easiest and cheapest way to get pickup radius on top of dex/vit/res. Since u will looking for items with 4 or 5 properties.

    b.) Hybrid Slot

    - Boots

    Most people tend to want movementspeed on their boots. It helps alot if u need to constantly move out of groundeffects and will speed up your farming speed. Thats why i always recommand getting at least 10% movementspeed. U should looking for boots with dex, vit, res. and movementspeed. In case you are lookign for double resistens (@res+2nd res) you are already looking for 5 properties. If you try to get pickup radius too u will end up looking for 6 properties which makes them realy expensive.

    c.) DPS Hybrid Slots

    - Bracers
    - Helm

    Bracers and helms are able to carry crit chance as a dps stat other then dex. In terms of bracers u want dex, vit, res and crit chance on em. Double res on bracers would be nice since you are only asking for for 5 properties on em. A helm is kinda a categorie of its own. Buying a helm with only decent stats and a some crit hit chance(+3.5%) will cost like a whole starter gearset. So most of the times u have to compromise in terms of stats and statvalues.


    In terms of your helm you should try to get either a helm with dex/resistens and vit or open socket for %life gem OR a helm which offers more dps/damage with dex/resistens/vit or open socket and crit hit chance(+3% at least). Things like a socket makes a helm realy expensive. Its like with open sockets on weapons. Its realy nice to have em later on but u realy dont need em as a starter.


    With the new paragon system u want a socket on your helm. A red gem gives a realy nice boost to the xp your are gaining! Sure it will takes weeks or more likely months to level up all the way from 0 to level100 but a ruby gem will help alot.

    d.) DPS Slots

    - Amulet
    - Rings
    - Gloves

    Those three items are ment to carry most of your dps. They are able to have crit chance, crit damage and attackspeed on em. Amulets can have a nice amount of life on hit as well. DO NOT TRY TO GET RESISTENS ON RINGS AND/OR AMULET. Those r retarded expensive and it would be realy hard to replace em later on if u want to gear up your starterset!


    U have a ring with just dex, vit and resistens(which is kinda mandetory for your current stats). You cant replace this ring without upgrading other pieces of your gear too. SO there is this super cheap ring on the ah and you bought it but cant wear it atm. U need to find other upgrades to make up for loosing the resistens of your current ring. which is realy bad and makes u sad. :-)

    So get as much dex, crit hit chance and either attackspped or crit hit damage as possible on these items. Starters should try to get as much dex and crit hit chance from rings and gloves as they can afford and getting dex and crit hit damage from the neck.

    e.) Mainhand and Offhand

    Main and offhand are realy realy important. Along with your jewels and gloves they carrying your dmg! Dont focus on getting vit on your weapons. This way its way harder to replace em later on. Same like in terms of resistens on rings or amu. ;) You should always be good on hp without havin vit on your weapons!

    You want at least 2 stats on your weapons!

    - Dex
    - Crit Damage and/or open socket to gem for crit damage

    I wouldnt recommand to get life on hit on weapons. Since loh makes em far more expensive and u have to compromise in terms of weapon dps most likely. If u realy need some "extra healing" then look for weapons with life leech. Those are kinda cheap compared to life on hit. But keep in mind that life leech gets an 80% penelty in inferno. So a weapon with 3% life leech yields 0,6% healing of the damage you deal. I would recommand buying a main and offhand with nearly same dps. For starters its not that easy to track the current active weapon and potential you will loose a lot of damage in some fights.

    2.) "Statweights"

    Primary Stats:

    - Dextery offers three things for monks: DPS(!), Armor and Dodge. Thats why dextery is so important for monks and we focus on stacking as much dexerty as we can afford.

    - Without HP we are dead on the floor. Simple as that. We dont need to stack it as high as possible but we should aim for certain amounts. Depending on our budget and the act we are progressing/farming. It de-values as soon as we get better and better dps and/or higher armor/resistens.

    - Like vitality it ramps up your hp. Its greatly related to your amount of vitality. With a low amount of vitality its pretty worthless. So its nice to have(like from socket into a helm) but not essential.

    - For 1 point strength we get 1 point armor. So its another way to raise our amount of armor. Beside that its pretty worthless for monks.

    - For 10 points of int we get 1 point all resistens. Its like strength. Nice to have but not a must have at all.

    Resistens(RES) and Armor
    - Both stats are realy important. There is a rule of thump: Always aim for resistens equals 1/10 of your current armor value. F.e. if u have 7k armor then aim for like 700 resistens. Both armor and resistens lower the incoming damage by a % value. There are different values dpending on the inferno act u want to farm/progressing. Monks havin a passive(owe with everything) which adds up our highest stacked 2nd resistens to our all resistens. This way we are able to get a decent amount of resistens kinda cheap without the need of getting items with all resistens on em.

    DPS Stats - Weapon Damage Modifiers

    Crit Chance(CC)
    - Essential for monks. With our current standard build beside dexerty our 2nd best dps stat. Realy strong in combination with sweeping winds/cyclone rune. Since cyclone only spawn from critical hits we should have at least 20% crit hit chance to make the skill and rune working.

    Crit Damage(CCD)
    Works like hand in hand with crit chance. Havin a high amount of crit damage but lacking crit chance is pointless. U need crit chance to get crit damage working and vice versa. After dex and crit hit chance our 3rd best dps stat. Argueble the 2nd best. But only when u already reached a realy high amount of crit hit chance.

    - Not as good as crit chance or crit damage but still a good stat. With slow weapons or if you run with life on hit/life leech it gets more value. In case of slow weapons it helps you in regards of your spirit regen. In terms of life on hit/life leech it will help you to boost the incoming heal. Others then that it helps increasing our dps.

    +minimum / + maximum damage
    - These stats r kinda tricky and many people just dont know how good these stats are. They can appear on rings and amulets. Just add the value to your current min and max weapon dmg. Its a stat that could make a ring or amulet more "attractive".

    F.e. u have a ring with 10 min and 20 max dmg. Your weapon has 500 min and 1000 max dmg. With your ring equiped your weapon now has 510 min and 1020 max. dmg.

    Bonus damage vs. elites
    - Currently its not a bad stat. It helps to kill things faster. With patch 1.04 elites/champs will getting reduced their health by 15% and so the stat will be de-valued quite a bit but still not bad at all.

    Other important stats

    Life on hit(LOH)
    - Its kinda expensive but has a huge advantage. Regardless your damage you will always get the same amount of healing. From different abilities we get a different amount of healing.
    Have a look at the spreadsheet for numbers.

    Life leech(LL)
    - Life leech is ment for people running high dps gearsets. One big advantage is that life leech gets triggered by sweeping winds/cyclones!

    Life regen per second(LR)
    - Appears on various armor items. Its a passive way to regen health without havin to hit mobs.

    Life after kill(LAK)
    - Some people like it. Im not a big fan of it. Its only helpful if u drag elite/championpacks into big trash groups. If u kill big trash groups u wont need it either cuz there will be more then enough health globes spawning to keep you on a solid amount of hp.

    Extra healing from health globes
    - Kinda underrated stat atm. If u get items with total like +4k on health globes it makes things easier if u dont have any other source of healing. This way even the small globes heal you for a big chunk of your hp.

    Spirit regen(SR)
    - I dont see any value at all except one scenario atm. If u died on a pack and have to run a long way back after rez its nice to have. I bought some cheap(like 2k gold each) fistweapons with +2 spirit regen on em. I equip them just on the way back and regen to full and swap back to the real weapons.

    Bonus Armor(BA)
    - Again an underrated stat. In terms of mitigation 10 points of armor are equal to 1 resistens(to a certain point). Sometimes u find good single resistens items with bonus armor kinda cheap on the ah. They are worth to consider.

    Magic Find(MF)
    - With the upcoming patch u want some mf on your farming gear. White mobs will drop 4 times the amount of magical items.

    The downside of mf gear is that it already went up in price. If you run on low budget you have to compensate either dps or some other stats like resistens. So getting mf on gear could end up for you in farming a lower act then you are used to be.

    - Im not a fan of goldfind tbh. Its ok if i have an item with it but im not actively looking for this stat. Im not a goldfarmer. While farming i want to find items. Either upgrades for myself or worth selling them on the auctionhouse.

    Pickup radius(PR)
    - Im a huge fan of pickup radius. I died so many times while running with 0 pickup radius compared to havin at least like 5yds. Maybe i failed and died but for me its a big difference to have some pickup radius for getting the health globes while fighting an elite/champpack.

    - Some people are good without and some say its a must have. I would say get at least 10%. The difference between 10% and 12% as a melee isnt that great.

    €dit: Bonus exp from killing monsters
    - With the new patch 1.04 all level 60 characters are able to level up paragon xp. See patch notes for more details. Since the stat only appears on items until itemlevel55 i wouldnt recommand to gear up for bonus exp in any way! You will loose way too much useful stats for just a tiny amount of bonus exp. Maybe blizzard will introduce new highlevel items with bonus exp but this wont happen with patch 1.04!

    Source: http://www.diablofan...ndrew-chambers/
    Q: With that, will we be seeing +exp affixes show up on ilvl 63 items?
    A: We spoke about it internally, we think it's something that takes up a really valuable slot for a lot of players, if you want to replace an existing stat with +experience. So we are not going to be adding that to this patch."

    All the other stats not mentioned above arent necessary in any way. So im not going to talk about those at all.

    3.) What statvalues and skills/runes/passives do i need for the different inferno acts?

    Act1 inferno

    In order to be successful farming act1 inferno you will need at least:

    +25k HP
    +4k Armor
    +300 Resistens
    0 of any source of life regen aka loh/ll or lr
    +20% crit hit chance
    A bare minimum of 15k DPS - getting +20k isnt hard nor expensive at all


    Follower: Enchantress cuz she offers way more utility and buffs compared to the templar and scoundrel
    Q: But i heard crit hit chance is so important! Why not using the scoundrel?
    A: The Enchantress gives 15% bonus armor, 3% attack speed(as long as she isnt dead on the floor) and a 15% dmg buff for 3sec every 15sec. Its your choice.

    Act2 inferno

    +30k HP
    +5k Armor
    +500 Resistens
    Some sort of life regen could be helpful but isnt mendatory if u play smart.
    +20% crit hit chance and 200% crit hit damage
    A bare minimum of 25k DPS

    Build: Same as for act1. If u outgear act2 by far then get "MoC/Overawe" instead of "MoE/Hardtarget" and maybe switch guardians path for resolve.!XUd!acbcYa

    Act3 inferno

    Act3 is currently the endcontent of diablo3 in terms of farming. Act3 requires decent/good gear to farm it successfully.

    If u just want to progress thru act3/4 inferno and dont bother with skipping packs on your way and dying from time to time then you are good to go with

    +35k HP
    +6k Armor
    +600 Resistens
    Some sort of life regen could be helpful but isnt mendatory if u play smart.
    A bare minimum of 30k DPS

    For progressing i would recommand the act1 starterbuild. The incoming damage in act3 is huge compared to act1 and even act2.

    For farming act3 on a daily base you should aim for

    Approx 40k HP
    7k Armor
    700 Resistens
    A bare minimum of 40k dps. I would recommand either +50k dps and/or some sort of life regen. Havin more dps helps alot with your farming speed and dying less.

    In terms of farming i would definitely using a build with MoC/Overawe. It speeds up your farming alot. If you feel kinda squishy may switch either resolve for guardians path(more avoid) or transcendence(more healing). If you are good on dps then guardians path should be the better option. Health globes will drop faster and you wont need the extra healing from transcendence..

    Act4 inferno

    The mobs are a bit harder compared to act3 but if u beat act3 with your gear you will be able to clear act4 as well. ATM act4 is not worth farming at all. There r way less elite/champpacks in act4 compared to act3. Its impossible to kill the first 2 bosses in act4 with 5 stacks of valor. Sure u can 5 stack nv kill diablo but its not worth the time and effort since act3 has the same dropchances in terms of loot and way more packs to kill.

    There is a golden rule of thump:

    Never ever try to farm content which u dont outgear! If u dont outgear any given act of inferno farm a lower act! Farming is about to be as fast in killing things as possible! So if u clear act1 inferno in lets say 90min and need half a day for act2 inferno stick with farming act1. Even if act1 havin a lower chance to get lv61/62/63s its more efficient for you.

    4.) How im supposed to gear up as a fresh lv60 with a small budget?

    Your character and the items are kinda like a construction kit. If u follow some simple rules in terms of how to gear up then its kinda easy to have a " decent starter gearset" which could be developed in the future without any troubles b/c lack of gold... :P

    I was kinda curious if its still possible to gear up with max. 1mil as a fresh monk. I was realy surprised by the outcome! I was able to build a set way cheaper then 1mil gold!

    This is the gearset:

    24k DPS - 25k HP - 320 resistens and 4,3k armor (without enchantress buff)

    A list of what i have payed for each item:

    Weapon1: 80k
    Weapon2: 75k
    Chest incl. gems: 70k
    Pants incl. gems: 33k
    Bracers: 40k
    Belt: 49k
    Shoulders: 150k
    Boots: 15k
    Gloves: only 5k(!)
    Helm: 100k
    Amulet: 75k
    Ring1: 100k
    Ring2: 65k

    Total amount of gold spend: 857.000 Gold

    Lets get one thing straight. No 2nd resistens is more expensive then others in terms of top notch items. If you are looking for realy good stuff it doesnt matter if you stack physical, arcane or what ever resistens! Double resistens with high amount of dex and vit is expensive no matter what kind of secondary resistens you are stacking. Im realy sure i could build a similar set like this with every other secondary resistens! Everybody can build a set like this. All you need is some time and patience for searching the ah and follow some simple basic rules!

    - Havin resistens on rings and amulets is not necessary. You should get your resistens and vitality from other parts of your armor.

    - Try to have sockets on your chest and pants. Sometimes the next good upgrade is getting better gems.

    - Dont buy weapons with open socket for "your starter set"! Weapons with naturel crit hit damage are way cheaper compared to those with a socket. Not to mention the cost of good emeral gems. A 70% crit hit damage emeral already cost approx 600k. The 80% crit hit damage is 2mil and the 90% crit hit damage will be like 6mil.

    - Dont bother with items havin double res or all resist on em. They are too expensive compared to secondary resist items. Buy those items later on if u want to upgrade some items of your set and already farmed some gold.

    - Consider even blue items for your starter set. Weapons, Rings and in some cases amulets are decent even if they are only "blues".

    - While shopping on the ah for new items/upgrades NEVER set any amount as max. buyout price. You will miss any items just running on bids. Like 50% of my own gear i got kinda cheap from bids!

    - Never buy an item without being sure its worth the amount of gold/money! Think twice if the upgrade in terms of stats is realy worth the amount you have to spend on the new item and if its possible to get a better upgrade for a different slot of your gear.

    - Use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your stats while building a new gearset. It helps alot and u dont need to log on the character and equip the items just to check your new statvalues.

    - Its realy important that u know what kind of statvalue can appear on which itemslot. The following link provides a realy good overview.

    Some tips in regards of bidding

    - If u hit the bid button and see that the amount of gold differs from the starting bid u know someone already placed a bid on it.

    - You can raise the amount of gold to any value you are willing to pay for this item.

    - If u want to keep track of an item just bid the asked amount. Even if u get outbid right away the item is listed within the actionhouse tab under "auctions/bids". And its easy to keep track of the price. But the actual bid wont update on real time base. Im not sure how often this is updated by blizzard. Even log off and loggin again sometimes wont change anything. As soon as u place a new bid the current max bid will be updated for you. Maybe this will be fixed with upcoming patch 1.04.

    - Try to place your "final bid" on the last minute of the action. This way u can proberly safe some gold. If the auction runs out while your are not playing set your final bid when you are about to log off. Keep in mind u can bid any amount you are willing to pay for this item even its way higher then the current max bid!

    Useful links:
    A nice online tool to compare items. Not flawless but realy good and easy to use. You can import your characters directly from the battlenet.

    Lots of good stuff about d3 combat mechanics.
    If u want to know what you have to spend for crafting any kind of gem.
    Simple damage calculator.

    I strongly recommand to have a look at the great monk guide. Tons of useful informations!


    08.20.2012 - Being more clear about the helm and dps stats on gloves/jewels
    08.21.2012 - Updated in terms of having a helm with a socket in regards of the new paragon system and bonus exp on gear. Colored any updates in "red" so its easier to keep track of them.
  • #2
    Nice work. Some very small comments:

    - I don't think you mention the socket in the helm, which is somewhat important, at least once vit is above 800 or so.
    - The easiest way to get pickup radius is really shoulder or belt. On pants and chest you really want sockets, which puts you at 5 affixes already.

    It is great that you took the time to put together a starter set from the AH. Have you tried clearing A1 with it?

    This guilde should be really helpful. Of course the timing is a problem, since 2 days from now it could be outdated, although I don't see any dramatic changes that would affect anything that is being said here.
  • #3
    Congratulations for the thread, i Rly like To see these
  • #4
    I really like your guide and in my opinion your recommendations and the reasonings behind them are sound and therefore valuable for monks new to inferno. The only minor item I would add as an option is using a shield as an off-hand instead of a weapon. More armor plus more block can make life easier (= you die less) if you are marginally geared. And of course you can get a good amount of Crit Chance on a shield.
  • #5
    Nice starter guide. There are a few things to think about to try and optimize the build. Gloves and boots can get dbl stat dex (300). Chest and legs can get dbl stat vit. So you can try to drop getting vit on almost all pieces and make up for it on chest and legs. Also let your gear determine the build you are going for. I never liked cyclone rune w/out at least 25% crit. I would use blade storm if using thunderclap and firestorm w/ deadly reach keen eye if more defense is needed. I like the thought of using a weapon in both hands (helps in your build since no atk speed), but until they add block or parry to guardian's path I wouldn't pass on a shield when starting out.

    Shields can add more to the builds dex, resist and can have up to 10% crit. Block is ok, but monks rely more on dodge. So 15-20% is great since u can block everything that u don't stand in. Having 300 resist to start out act 1 is pretty low and would have a hard time for someone just starting. Also for weapons, having 2 that are close looks good on character page. What I like when using 2 weapons is a fast offhand w/ loh, critbonus, high dex, and socket. You can get a nice one w/ 500-600 damage off auction house even if you have to cut out one of the stats I listed. I forgot which posts I've helped in, but having this post w/ a lot of links to startoff w/ is great.

    Here is a link to my monk to help others know what I've gone for on different pieces of gear. Don't mind the witch doctor I was having fun seeing how far I could go w/ only pieces of gear that dropped last time I played and I let a friend borrow all of my dh set.
  • #6
    In Regards of gear u r right: Chest and Pants can have a max of 200 dex with 300 vit and 3 open sockets(chest) or 2 open sockets(pants). Its also true hat gloves and boots can achieve up to 300 dex. But if u try to buy items with kinda high stats those going up in price by a lot. I doubt u will be able to buy this sort of items for a cheap starter set. Thats why i didnt bother to mentioned it. Experienced monks with a decent amount of gold surely will balance their gear more towards that.

    On the set i build u can upgrade each and every item with a decent/good one for less then 1mil and feel that its realy an upgrade. Either by getting lots more vit, better armor/res or havin higher dps. Thats what i like most. People want to feel some sort of reward for farming 5 times act1. Either by finding an upgrade themselfs or could afford buying something on the ah. Without gettin a reward for spending time into a game people tend to quit kinda fast. Its a hack&slay and its gettin boring if u just run the butch over and over again and still know u cant upgrade your gear without being extremly lucky on a drop u can sell for some millions on the ah.

    The builds i mentioned in the guide are kinda standard builds many people running with. Sure u can swap FoT and getting DR or what not. Thats why i highly recommand reading the monk guide. There are lots of good builds and information within. ;)

    - I don't think you mention the socket in the helm, which is somewhat important, at least once vit is above 800 or so.
    - The easiest way to get pickup radius is really shoulder or belt. On pants and chest you really want sockets, which puts you at 5 affixes already.

    It is great that you took the time to put together a starter set from the AH. Have you tried clearing A1 with it?

    This guilde should be really helpful. Of course the timing is a problem, since 2 days from now it could be outdated, although I don't see any dramatic changes that would affect anything that is being said here.

    Yeah i´ll update the section in regards of the helm and mention its not bad to have either a socket or at least some vit/res blah blah... :P

    I was thinking myself if the guide will be kinda outdated the day 1.04 hits live and i thought that the changes wont have a huge impact. Legendaries will either still suck(with bad affix rolls) or being retarded expensive. Since we will have way more drops and 61/62 weapons will getting buffed more decent/good stuff float the ah and there are more items to pick from. So my hopes are high that the guide will stay correct even with patch 1.04. If not i have to update it - no biggie will just take some time. :)

    In regards of the 857k gearset. Yeah i tested the set my self on my gf´s monk. I was able to clear whole act1 within like 2hrs from start. I skipped 0 packs and died only like 5 or 6 times cuz i was too greedie on dpsing elites. :P Sure u cant facetank em like people tend to do it with better gear but still it wasnt that hard at all. After clearing act1 i stepped into act2 and some mobs beat the crap outta me. Even playing smart and being experienced as a monk i kinda had to blow cds on nearly each trashpack. Just did the first few quests and then ended for the day. I think i have to carry her with my own monk thru act2. :-)
  • #7
    the stats for act III and IV are a bit to high , i finished act III and IV with aroudn 460-470 resi max and only 19k unbuffed dps.

    its more about getting used to the packs you have to face .
  • #8
    Quote from Aion_NL

    the stats for act III and IV are a bit to high , i finished act III and IV with aroudn 460-470 resi max and only 19k unbuffed dps.

    its more about getting used to the packs you have to face .

    Sure u can even clear full inferno with a starterset like the one i build fpr under 1mil. It all depends what kind of elites/champs you find on your way progressing and if u dont mind to reset the maps by log off and on again for starting/resume the game or skip those nasty affix packs. Phase beast, demon tremors and some others arent fun with low gear at all...Havin those with kinda "bad affixes" could end up as a pain in the ass. :P
  • #9
    /Updated for the helm in terms of the new paragon system and ruby gems apply a decent boost for leveling up.
  • #10
    Great starter guide! Gonna be using this for upgrading my monk further :) +1 for you!
  • #11
    Act3 seems to be a joke atm. Not sure if the mentioned dps/resists/armor values still apply. Im going to farm act3 a few times today maybe i can estimate whats needed with 1.04.
  • #12
    Bumping this due to current help requests :)
  • #13
    Great post, this is really helpful.
  • #14
    I had a few act3 inferno runs yesterday and mixed my gear a bit. With resistens around +500 i was still able to farm act3 as long as my dps was still around 55k unbuffed. Only fighting sucubus and having the debuff reducing the armor by 50% was a pain in the ass. So with high dps u can afford some of the resistens but overall the patch changed not too much in terms of "lower gear".. At least not in my opinion.
  • #15
    Any1 farming act1 or act2 inferno for grinding paragon xp? If so what u gals and guys think in terms of gear?
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