Let me start by saying this is my opinion. If you like a specific skill or style better use it, my intent is to help those that have not leveled a Monk before and give them a more in depth look at the skills I use to go from 1-70.
I am also hoping that most of you have watched one of Rhykkers 1-70 tips like one below.
* As a monk player you have about a 50% chance to start a new season with a BIG advantage. A transmog item called the hand of despair is a Monk only item that drops for LVL 1.
This item is not dependent on it being a boss bounty and has a okay chance of being dropped by Rakanoth in ACT 4. A higher DPS item does not drop until lvl 10-15 range and most of the time I use it until I craft the Apprentice Flamberge at lvl 15.
* Monks do not have a ranged generator. Deadly Reach has almost a full screen hit box, and COULD work as a ranged generator, but nothing like you get in other classes. This is the main reason Monks tend to Level slower is because of this making kill bonuses harder to get. Some generator skills will teleport to close mobs, but don’t count on it working all the time.
SECTION 1- (Levels 1 to 42)
I like to break up the Monks journey to level 70 into sections. The first section being levels 1 to 42 because you will have the most changes occurring to skills. Monks have a hard time with elemental damage type until around level 20, until then most elemental damage is lightning and fire damage.
The spender used most is Lashing Tail Kick with the fire runes (vulture claw kick, spinning flame kick). Most of your spirit will be used on that skill, while the rest of your bar is finding ways to manage the spirit cost of that skill. If possible find a fire skill bracer or ammy buy its not really needed. More fire skills become available and a “fire build” will come out of this by the time you hit level 42. Level 42 is a good range to look at your build and possible change it for a few reasons, but lets look at the skills per level I use and why.
Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 skills are set for you
LVL 5- Tempest rush- I have seen many people use this skill and do great (tailwind rune & northern breeze) I find it hard to keep spirit and kill mobs
LVL 6- change your generator (Left Mouse Button) to Thunderclap. Higher damage.
LVL 7- Change main spender (Right Mouse Button) To Vulture Claw Kick.
LVL 8- I have used Breath of heaven and it’s not a bad skill, its just not effective as Blinding flash
LVL 9- you get dashing strike on your (2)
LVL 10- Passives- either will work fine, fleet footed wins out for the movement buff
LVL 12- change (1) add self reflection rune to Blinding flash
LVL13- Passive change to Exalted soul for spirit
LvL14- Cyclone strike on (3) Cyclone strike alone can kill most mobs
Level 14 starts your first real rotation of skills, CYCLONE STRIKE, BLINDING FLASH, THEN LASHING TAIL KICK.
At level 15 craft the two handed sword. Apprentice Flamberge
LVL 15- (2) change rune on dashing strike to way of falling star.
LVL 17- (LMB) crippling wave with the Mangle rune.
At Level 17 I like to test my luck and craft the Journeyman bracer, depending on if you get a fire one or not, you may change Sweeping armada. If all goes well you will have a fire skill generator and spender at this point
LVL 19- (4) You get mantra of salvation, but I change to Serenity as it’s a cooldown skill and not a spirit cost skill. Use it with elite packs
LVL 20- Passive add Seize the Initiative works good with your generator to get spirit back
LVL21- Cyclone strike rune eye of storm to save spirit cost
LVL22- Mystic ally- use it if crudest boots dropped, swaping Serenity otherwise not worth it yet
LVL23- (4) Add rune on Serenity Peaceful Repose. I have swapped Cyclone strike out for the Seven strike rune and it’s a fun distraction that can help with kill bonuses in the right spot, but overall the 30 second cooldown kills it
CRAFT Adept Nodachi if no weapon found
LVL24- Passive change from Seize to Guardians path (KEEP 2 HANDED WEAPON)
LVL25- Implosion works great on cyclone strike and if you are not having spirt issues switch to it, if you seem to run low all of a sudden switch back to eye of storm
LVL27- Water ally (4) if you are killing at a good speed at this point add the Water ally rune to (4) and take off Serenity. Use this skill as a ranged attack to keep kill bonuses going as the wave will crash for the entire screen length
LVL 28- Lashing Tail Kick – Spinning flame kick – this skill works as a ranged skill but the ball of flame does great damage and I use this skill until 70 in some cases
LVL 28 – (1) Blinding Flash Replenishing use it after cyclone strike as close mobs as you can to get spirit back with this rune
LVL30- Passive- Determiniaton – damage boost without the work unlike relentless assault that only occurs when you blind enemy
LVL32- (LMB) Change generator to Way of hundred fist- Blazing fists//(2) dashing strike rune to quicksilver
CRAFT grand master great sword (If extra mats Templar relic also)
LVL 38- CRAFT Illustrious Kilij
This should be all skills until level 42 maybe a skill change here or there like Air Ally but overall from level 33 to 42 not many skill changes occur.
SECTION 2- (Levels 42 to57)
One you hit Level 42 you could go a few different ways so I like to do a stop and decide what my choices are at this point. One main factor is if your craft a higher level weapon with lower lvl requirements. I personally try to craft the Exalted Sagaris Axe. If I don’t get a good weapon upgrade I stick it out a few more levels with fire LTK but change more often then not by level 45. Start switching from fire to physical as your brace ammy damage if possible. Your skills will be a bit of a physical, lightning, and holy mess. Its all about managing your spirit pool from here to 70.
Changes at Level 42
(LMB) change generator to Fist of Thunder Quickening for the spirit gain
(RMB) change to LTK sweeping Armada
(3) Change Cyclone strike to Exploding palm Strong Spirit Rune
(4) change Serenity to Mystic Ally Air Ally
Blinding flash and dashing strike doesn’t change on my bar
Gameplay is easy rotation of blinding strike, EP a few monsters, then LTK them.
Items that would change build are Kyoshiro's Soul belt (drop mystic ally for sweeping windinner storm)
Gundo gear- would change LTK for EP shocking grasp and keep Cyclone strike
Incense Torch of the Grand Temple- total fire build fire rune on wave of light, fire mystic ally and fire generator
SECTION 3- (Levels 57/61 to 70)
This is were I change to this build to a lightning Build shown well by Quinn
The vast majority of this information is still correct, its explained better here than I can do.
I hope this helps new monk players , good luck on season 11