Diablo III Monk Guide

Diablo III Monk guide by Kyothenerd.

Monk Equipment

In Diablo 3, your Monk has access to a huge variety of equipment, but the truth is that most players do not know how to gear their Monk.

In this section, we will talk about all the aspects of gearing out your Monk.

First, we will go over the most important stats, then talk about Dual-Wielding, and finally talk about slots which have the potential to significantly increase your damage if you find the right equipment for them.

Monk Stats

The Monks primary stat is Dexterity.

Each point of Dexterity increases the Monks damage by 1% and dodge chance. This damage bonus is applied to all your skills.

For example, if you use Deadly Reach which deals 110% weapon damage and your weapon has a damage range of 100-200, your Deadly Reach’s damage will be a random number between 110-220 weapon damage.

The weapon damage above is then increased by your Dexterity. If you have 100 Dexterity, the damage of Deadly Reach will increase 100% to 220-440 weapon damage. If you have 200 Dexterity, the damage of Deadly Reach will increase 200% to 330-660 damage. This damage is then reduced by your enemy’s armor and resistance deductions to determine your actual damage.

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As a result, the Monk does well with Dexterity and you should seek it out on your armor slots in particular. It can be great on weapon slots too, but not usually at the cost of damage. For example, you will not want to use a 10 DPS Bow with 10 Dexterity over a 20 DPS Bow with 0 Dexterity. Large differences in weapon damage between equipment often is more important than Dexterity.

With that said, a 40 DPS weapon with +50 Dexterity will typically increase your damage more than a 44 DPS weapon with no Dexterity. Use your judgement and look at the DPS rating you get in-game when considering similar weapons.

In addition to Dexterity, you should seek out Vitality on your equipment. This will increase your maximum HP. You need some Vitality to be able to survive regular encounters with enemies.
You need to find a good balance of Dexterity and Vitality; you do not want to stack so much Vitality that you slow down your fighting speed, but you do not want to skimp on Vitality so much that you die frequently.

There is no ideal balance between Dexterity and Vitality. The better you are, the less health you will need. The faster you kill your opponents, the less health you will need. This balance is fluid and changes with gear and skill level.

Intelligence does very little for the Monk and are a waste of a property on Monk gear. Each point of Intelligence slightly increases your resistance to magic, but this stat is not an efficient way to increase your resistances. Resistances are most easily increased by the +all resistances stat.

Secondary Stats

As a Monk, there are a variety of secondary stats on weapons and armor that you will find useful. The best stats to increase your damage are your increased attack speed, plus weapon damage and critical hit rating.
Dual-wielding weapons in particular benefit from +weapon damage since they attack very quickly.

+Weapon damage is a stat commonly found on rings and amulets and can massively increase your DPS. Increased attack speed is found on rings, amulets, and gloves. It can also be gained through your own weapons and through the use of a quiver.
Critical hit % is randomly found on some gear slots. I have noticed it is particularly common on the shoulder piece.

Here are some other stats of interest for the Monk:

+Damage Converted to Life: You should seek to pick up a few percentage points of this once you reach higher levels. It does not really become significant until you reach level 25 or so and can actually dish out enough damage to get a decent return on your drain effects. The Monk can pick up health via Health Globes pretty easily and heal via Breath of Heaven as well, but a little bit of drain will not hurt.

+Health: Per Hit. Dual-wielding Monks will find that this typically heals more than damage converted to life. You can often find this on gear where it restores about 1% of your health per hit. When dual-wielding fast weapons with a good amount of increased attack speed and Transcendence, you can literally restore 3-4% of your health pool every second on bosses.

+Magic/Gold Find: These are useful when you get them, but I would not go out of my way to get these while leveling up. For example, if you can get a helmet that has three stats and has +Dex, +Vit, and +Gold or Magic Find, that is a great helmet, but if you had a helmet with just +Magic Find or just +Gold Find, I do not really see it as being that great for leveling up. Once you reach level 60 and are farming for gear and items, things of course then change entirely and Magic and Gold find become essential stats. If you had to choose between the two, I prefer Magic Find for leveling up as the extra items can be used to for salvage materials which is convenient for crafting yourself leveling gear.

+Movement Speed: Found on boots, this pretty much improves all aspects of your character since you can move faster from quest to quest, monster to monster, location to location. You can also kite faster when you need to be defensive and chase down runners better. You should always get this when you can, the more the better.

+Experience: Items that give you bonus percentage experience gains or bonus points for killing enemies are great. If you get this on all your gear, you can literally double the amount of experience points enemies give you. Like Magic and Gold Find, be sure to not sacrifice too many stats for this bonus. If you get double XP for killing enemies but kill half as fast, you are not doing yourself any favors.

Dual Wielding as a Monk

Dual Wielding as a Monk can be really good but it definitely has its pros and cons and is not necessarily the “best”. In order to understand why, you first have to realize how Dual Wield works.

When you dual wield your weapons, you automatically get a 15% increased attack speed bonus. You also share stat bonuses between weapons like +Dexterity. Each weapon maintains its own DPS and attack speed.

When dual-wielding, your attacks will generally alternate between the weapons you have equipped. For example, if you have a 20 DPS weapon in your mainhand and an 18 DPS weapon in your offhand, attack 1 will use your 20 DPS weapon, attack 2 will use your 18 DPS weapon, and back and forth. Even your Spirit spenders will alternate, so if you have a weak off-hand you can accidentally drop a bunch of Spirit on an attack if you are not careful.

What if your mainhand deals 40 DPS and your offhand deals 30 DPS? This is a large difference between the damage of each weapon. In this case, you will often lose damage just by equipping your offhand!

This is because when using a 40 DPS hand sword by itself, you are using nothing but that sword. If you add a weapon in the off-hand, you have to alternate between using your more powerful weapon and your weaker one. If the difference is too great, the 15% increase in attack speed will often not be able to make up for this damage loss.

This means that if your weapons are not within ~15% DPS of one another or if your offhand does not provide a big +Dexterity or other stat bonus, you will be better off using your more powerful weapon in your mainhand and a shield in your offhand.

Dual-Wielding works at level 60 when you can get rare or unique weapons that are similar in Dexterity. It is hard to make it work at lower levels unless you can find identical weapons. If you are just fighting through the game and leveling up, you are often better off using a two-handed weapon or even as 1-hand weapon and shield. You can still deal a ton of damage with a shield on.

Remember that attack speed affects how quickly you can build Spirit and generally using 2 one-handed weapons will be faster, though you can equip the Guardian’s Path passive if using a two-hander to increase your Spirit generation.

The key is to always compare your weapons using the ingame DPS stat in your character panel and to find the system that you like the most. Different weapon setups will work better with some builds and worse with others so it all depends on how you want to play the class.\