I have seen alot of posts since I started playing my monk asking things like what gear do I need?, which build is best for me? How do these other monks just melt face and I can't? Regardless of what your question was you probably did the same thing as me or the same thing as every one and read 47 different guides on the 15 ways to properly gear and play your monk. I'm not saying that I am a pro or the know all end all of monks , but I think I know enough to help out some of you guys so I thought I would share my knowledge.I'm not the kind of player that likes to play higher MP's, I like it to be super easy and things die real fast. When I play I generally like to play in groups on MP5, I find that most peeps in MP5 have enough EHP to stay alive and help kill stuff. I suggest playing in groups due to the experience boost(its 10% per additional person , so up to a 30% bonus).
This is my standard bell farming build. I like this build on lower MP's because of the lower cost bell allows me to drop 4 or 5 of these bad boys when I come across a nasty pack and before serenity expires. I use Serenity: Tranquility because this helps when up against mobs that cc you and your group. I also will recommend using One With Everything, its great for budget monks that stick to a chosen resist( i.e. arcane, poison, etc.). The other 2 passives are really what you want them to be. I use fleet footed for the movement speed bonus and exalted soul for the bonus spirit. Most newer monks how ever will use Seize the Initiative for the armor bonus and combination strike for the free bonus damage or Resolve for the damage reduction benefit.
Gear: ok so I'm gonna go 1 slot at a time, I'll list what I like and what stats I look for on gear.
Head: I like Inna's Radiance because of the 4 piece Inna's bonus. On this piece getting crit is a must. Try for 6% crit chance or the most you can afford/get. I would shoot for 150+vit, same for dex and as much resist you can get. If your on a budget and stack a resist get that. If you got the gold get AR. The other helm peeps want is a mempo. If your rich and can afford a crit mempo by all means go for it. If you want one get as close to 6% cc and as much dex as you can afford. It's gonna be so expensive you could probably sella kidney, use that to buy gold and still not have enough. I recommend sticking with Inna's.
Neck: this is a huge dps slot. You want to get as many dps stats as you can. What I would look for is at least 150 dex, the more the better. Your also going to want as close to max crit chance as possible on this piece. The crit chance cap on a amulet is 10%. Your also going to want as much crit damage as you can get. You will also need average damage. Minimum damage is better than maximum damage, try to get one that shows some thing like 20-40. Getting a item with a range helps minimum and maximum damage. I can not stress enough how important average damage is. If you can afford attack speed here get some but it gets ungodly expensive. You will probably be able to find one in your searches that also includes some kind of ehp, like some vit, armor or resist. It's important to get as many dps traits on this item as you can. I would recommend trying to craft your neck but I have had no luck crafting this piece yet and had to resort to the AH
Shoulder: craft this piece, don't stop until you get some thing good. And by good I mean....lets use my shoulder as the example. My shoulder is rocking 268 dex, 100 vit, 76 all resist and 60 arcane. Now considering I'm a arcane monk running OWE that's a crap ton of EHP. The only thing here is my piece is missing life%. Shoulders are a slot that provide a ton of EHP. The more the better. So again the most dex you can get followed by vit then resist and if you can get it your chosen resist if you run OWE and a added bonus life %.
Gloves: this is another slot I think that you should craft. You can some decent stuff on auction but for OMG look at this piece your gonna wanna craft. Gloves are a mixed slot hat can provide tones of dps and EHP. If your buying your gloves try for 10% crit and as much crit damage as you can get, add some dex and vit/ resists and your set. If your crafting shoot for trifecta gloves, by trifecta I mean the 3 dps stats that can be rolled on this piece. Your gonna want 10% crit, 9% attack speed and crit damage. Not sure of the crit damage cap on this slot. Also crap tons of dex and some EHP stats.
Bracer: I carry 2 bracers on my monk, a dps pair and a EHP pair. Regardless of what you want this slot to be there are in my opinion 2 choices. First and foremost are a pair of Lacuni Prowlers. If you go this route get as close to 6% crit chance, this will be expensive. There are only 2 reasons to buy these, 1) you need attack speed or 2) you need the movement speed. If you need attack speed shoot for 9%. Lacuni's with vit and a resist are too expensive. The other route is crafting. If your not going with Lacuni's this becomes a EHP slot. There are only 2 dps stats you can get on a crafted bracer(dex and crit chance). You want 6% crit chance and as much dex as possible. You will want lots of vit and double resist for OWE monks or 80 AR for monks that don't use OWE.
Chest: I like Inna's Vast Expanse, that way I can get my 4 piece Inna's set bonus. On this piece you can go 2 ways, the dps or EHP route, dps route get as much dex as possible, I'm rocking 183 on my dps chest. Also In my opinion 12% life is a must. You will also need to get vit on this slot, my dps chest has 97 vit. Also add a resist of your choice I suggest all resist but it's get expensive, stick to your chosen resist. The other EHP route get one with 250+ vit, 12% life, some resist and some dex.
Belt: there are also 2 options here. We will start with whit my usual suggestion, Inna's Favor. You can only choose a resist or vit, not both so choose what ever stat your lowest on. Try to get one with 8% holy damage but that can get expensive. Also get as much dex as you can. Under 100dex is way cheaper that over 100.The other belt to use is a witching hour. This slot can have 2 EHP stats, vit and a resist. This is the most expensive option for this slot. You want a really nice WH get 100+ dex, vit, your chosen resist or AR, 9% attack speed and as close to 50% crit damage. I will suggest Inna's for the 4 piece bonus.
Legs: Get Inna's Temperance, you have the same dilemma here as you do with the chest. Do you go more vit or more dex. What ever you decide to do here try and I say try to get 9% attack speed. My dps set rocks 170 dex, 60 vit and only 8% attack speed. My EHP pair has the vit and dex switched.
Boots: Natalya's Bloody Footprints, in my opinion the only way to go for a monk. When combined with a Natalya's Reflection the dps boost is huge(nat's 2 piece set bonus is 7% crit chace). You can get a cheap pair of these boots on the ah. Shoot for 170+dex and double resist. If you got some cash to drop get a pair with 170+Dex throw in some vit. There are lots of great boots out there like ice climbers, fire walkers that are great options if you don't want Nats gear.
Rings: I will usually recommend the same 2 rings to all monks. It's slot is best used for all dps stats in my opinion.1) Natalya's Reflection. A good one will be kinda pricey but worth it. You will want average damage, dex and crit chance. Just adding crit chance to this slot adds crap tons of cost but its not worth getting with out the crit chance in my opinion. If you got the cash add crit damage.2) Unity. This is great piece and available in bulk so they should be kinda cheap. On this you will want average damage, dex, 30%+ crit damage, I did not list crit chance because this ring has 4.5% and there is no variation. You can go with rare rings. Go for dex, crit chance, crit damage, average damage and attack speed if you have the gold
Weapons: this is the most expensive part of any character. Adding dex to your weapons puts the cost through the roof. I would recommend getting weapons that have 1050+ dps. A socket is a must. Don't buy a weapon with out a socket. You will want life steal, as close to 3% as you can get. Add some crit damage, shoot for 60ish %. If you got the gold add dex and vit if your rich.
I will update this as my knowledge increases. Please comment or critique. If you have any good advice for people please add it.
Inna´s Radiance: Doulbe Dex/Vit + single resist is only viable if you realy need the hp. Mostly people should use either high dex/+80vit and single resist along with either bonus to sweeping wind or fist of thunder or go for high dex, +80 vit and double resist(+100 combined) when you need the resist. An armor roll could be viable depending on the rest of the gearset.
For a poison monk an andys could be viable too if you dont need vit on the helm since it offers 4,5% cc and 8/9ias which is pretty much a cheap mempo in terms of dps.
Bracers: Lacunis are BiS for dps since you can get 200 dex, 100 vit and 9ias along with 6% crit. 9% ias will beat 110 dex no matter what. On avg. crafted bracers are better since they are more balanced and mostly offer higher dps and more ehp. 5 random properties > 3 properties with garantied ias. ;)
Chest: You have 3 options for the chest. Inna´s, Tal´s and Rare(boa crafted). Depending on your whole setup you are going for one of those. Basicly its like this:
Using Inna´s Radiance then you go either for Tals Chest(DPS) or could go for boa crafted rare(dps+ehp)
Using Mempo or Andys then you go for Inna´s Chest bcuz of 2pc inna´s. If you roll a godly boa rare chest then you could even skip the 2pc inna´s. A godly boa crafted chest could roll 330dex, 300 vit, 3 sockets, 80 all res and either armor or %life. Compared to an inna´s with either 200dex, 300vit and 12% life or 200 dex, 100vit, 12% and 80 all res(both with 3 sockets)
Belt: Inna´s Favor is only viable in terms of dps if you manage to get one with close to 200dex and 8% holy when using 2 black dmg weapons or going for a 2h tr build and want the 4pc compared to a decent witching hour.
Rings: Unity is a great dps ring if you are on a 100mil budget for that slot. High dex with good avg. dmg and either up to 50ccd or 8ias. Most rare rings within the same pricerange cant beat a good unity. How ever in terms of dps rares ring offers higher dps with some ehp when it comes down to end game.
Unity lv62 legendary = 4,5% crit, up to 169dex, up to 50avg. and 1 random prop which should be ias or ccd. If your build focus more on sw dmg then you want ias on it. For bell specs you prefer ccd since your bells hitting harder.
Rare ring = Up to 6cc, 9ias, 50ccd, 100dex, 50avg dmg another random prop which could give you more dps or ehp depending on what you want/need.
Weapons: Your choice is based on the build you are using. TR = 2h(skorn or a godly rare). For dw setups there are mostly 4 common setups:
1x Rare and 1x EF
1x Rare and 1x WKL
1x EF and 1x WKL
Each setup has pros and cons.
2x Rare = most balanced setup and kinda a jack of all trades. Its not BiS for any common build but doesnt perform bad regardless what build you are going to use. So if you wanne change your build from time to time i would highly recommand 2 rares.
1x Rare and 1x EF = Highest Sheet DPS and optimal for bell specs
1x Rare and 1x WKL = Great for old cookie cutter builds focusing on sw and FoT dmg.
1x EF and 1x WKL = Highest DPS for old cookie cutter builds. Depending on your skillbuild the fear could be realy annoying.
And on a side note something about avg dmg and why its so damn good for dw setups.
^Use a damage calc, They're are too many variables to tell you that. But for Monks, almost never.
One more thing, I myself, have used every weapon combination Shinra mentioned above and I agree with his comments on them. But I'll add that I hate EF for monks as Fot just procs too much so its crazy annoying. I now use Rare+WKL as its the best damage output for non bell builds. I use EP as well so EF is just out of the question.
To add to that, if you're going double LS,EF doesnt really add much DPS over a rare. Because you can only get 2 random rolls on the EF, you cant get crit damage on it (as well as LS and socket). So in the end, the difference between a LS EF and a rare (simiarly priced) isn't much.
Fully buffed(wothf+bf+moc) i only gain dmg when im not havin a crit and the game rolls a number from the lower weapon dmg range. As soon as the game picks a number from the upper weapon dmg range and landing a crit the emerald outperforms the ruby.
Im pretty sure using a ruby or emerald comes down to rng and personal preference and is highly related to your specific gearset but on avg. an emerald should be better. Otherwise i wouldnt drop 10k sheet dps when using a ruby. :P
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Words of wisdom: Don't follow the advice of people who won't have to deal with the consequences.