Hello there I find it hard to create "builds" in diablo 3 because it is mainly gear dependent but Ill try to make some outline of one right here.
Ive been using this build for quite some time now and Im enjoying it a lot. Actually after I was getting minced in act 2 I simply abandoned my "tanky" build tried ranged builds for some time and finally went for pure dps but after Ive acquired some decent gear and tweaked it to provide more survivability while maintaining burst aspects.
Some of acronyms Ill be using:
@ - Resistance to All Elements
AoE - area of effect
IAS - Increased attack speed %
DPS - damage per second
DMG - damage
Sgs - Spirit generating skill
Cc - crowd control
Str - Strength
Dex - Dexterity
Int - Intelligence
Vit - Vitality
CW- Crippling Wave
Crit - Critical strike chance %
CritD - Critical Strike increased damage %
LoH - Life on hit
LL - % damage converted do life
OWE - One with Everything
WotHF - Way of the Hundred Fists
FoT - Fists of Thunder
LTK - Lashing Tail Kick
BoH - Breath of Heaven
MoE - Mantra of Evasion
MoR - Mantra of Retribution
MoH - Mantra of Healing
MoC - Mantra of Conviction
Booster Monk v.1.0
Booster Monk mainly depends on increased attack speed to generate loads of spirit and be just fun to play :D. It is also great for cooperative play.
Things you should consider while playing monk.
1. Enough is a feast.
Have AT LEAST 1 item that generates spirit over time. It allows you to engage mobs with full potential and will save your butt tons of times especially if you are using transcendence. Of course you could always use chant of resonance but sacrificing passive skill slot for easily obtainable stat isnt worth it. (unless you are stacking spirit per second). 12% increased movement speed should be your minimum speed increase.
2. Strike with passion fight with wisdom.
All Spirit generating strikes have 3 strike cycles that are linked together (and reset after a short while) which means you can for example make fist strike with WotHF for 140% weapon damage second with FoT for its speed and last one with CW for its aoe effect. Basically if you want to faster execute third strike of certain Sgs like CW aoe or WotHF#Windfore Flurry railgun effect you can make first 2 strikes with FoT because it is the fastest hitting skill and then thrid strike with your chosen Sgs. There are tons of other combinations that can also prove to be very useful especially if you are using Combination Strike passive and/or Deadly Reach#Foresight.
3. Man of faith should never stray from his path.
Choose one resistance for OWE and search for items with it + @.
4. Healthy body is a temple for a healthy spirit.
Life on Hit or at least some LL is MANTRAtory after that Ias is your friend and basically best stat you can get on item AFTER Massive Dex + @ + Resistance for OWE + some Vit it provides you with huge dps increase faster spirit generation and allows your knockback abilities (mainly WotHF) to basically stunlock normal mobs not to mention alternatives like Crit or CritD arent that great for most monks.
4. Wise man doesnt judge book by its cover.
Crit is generally not attractive stat for monk but if you are using WotHF#Blazing Fists (for even more ias) or Sweeping Wind at least one item with 5%+ Crit is a good idea.
5. If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.
Learn to use SHIFT all the time and let mobs come at you to taste might of your punches not the other way around.
6. Free spirit is unburdened by earthly matters.
Dont use 2h weapons unless you are godly geared or have death wish. You should also at all times have at least one of the following skills FoT#Thunderclap or Dashing Strike#Quicksilver.
7. Not only can water float a boat, it can sink it also.
There are no only defensive and only offensive skills. As a follower of the path to enlightenment you should see that they are all connected and provided right circumstances can and should be used as both.
Here is the build Im currently using:
Ill discuss each skill choice and alternatives here:
Way of the Hundred Fists# Blazing Fists
I use WotHF mainly because they have guaranteed aoe knockback after every cycle (3rd strike) which provided we dont have low attack speed makes normal mobs unable to throw an attack at us. It also gives you illusion you are making tons of attacks which is pretty damn cool and all monk should be about if you ask me.
#Hands of Lightning: can provide to be useful when you use Sgs combinations also might boost a little LoH (thou I didnt test that)
#Blazing Fists: use to squeeze even more IAS. With them adding at least 5% to Crit is good idea.
#Fists of Fury: Great for hit and run tacts as they provide dot and short dash. Attention here if you like to stand still using SHIFT they can ruin your game style because added dash will move you from your place.
#Spirited Salvo: I find Blazing Fists better to generate spirit but if you are using Sgs combinations using one strike from Spirited Salvo in your cycle can provide you with nice spirit gain. I didnt test it excessively so if anyone got any input please feel free to share.
#Windforce Flurry: Its long range hard hitting 3rd strike make it very powerful choice especially against single target. Of course nothing comes without a price. With Windforce Flurry rune WotHF loose its 3rd strike knockback and deals damage only in the more or less straight line which make situations where you are surrounded by mobs very dangerous. Making 2 first strikes with FoT and then finishing with Windforce Flurry is great way to deal tons of long range damage. If you dont mind kiting and have hard time in melee you can use it to progress without spending tons of gold on defensive upgrades. Be aware that using it at long range makes using MoC ineffective and you should consider changing your mantra.
Fists of Thunder#Thunderclap
FoT is your fastest spirit generator skill. Its third strike has knockback (not as wide as WotHF thou) and can/should be used to lock down mobs if you dont use WotHF for it. If you are fan of Sgs combinations it will be your bread and butter.
One of my favorite monk skills. It teleports you to your target and in the same instant punch them which makes it superior to dashing strike in terms of pursuing (treasure goblins for example) or engaging mobs (if you use dashing strike to engage mob it will most likely hit you before you can stunlock it but provided you have enough ias it wont have a chance if you use thunderclap instead). It also frees you from jails. Unfortunately it has several limitations first you need target to perform teleport (so you cant free yourself from jail if you dont have anything to strike in your vicinity) and have limited range which you should learn if you want to use it effectively with shift. It is hard to use with shift and not move from your place.
If you stack dodge and dont need Thunderclaps teleport take it.
I didnt test it much and Im not sure how game determines your "primary target" but from what I suspect it could find great use in killing single mobs in aoe environment (champions with horde for example)
Early in game this skill was bugged and generated spirit from critical strikes of other abilities. Since then Blizzard hotfixed it but I didnt check if they really did it. Right now provided you dont stack Crit (and you most likely dont) it is pretty much useless skill. Of course if you can buy uber gear with ias and crit together (or after blizzard nerf ias to the oblivion) it would probably be great spirit generator but until you do leave it alone.
Horrible skill. Additional damage doesnt even begin to compensate loosing knockback unless you have crazy ias and can spam other knockback skill while using it or fighting only elite packs and bosses (which are immune to Sgs knockback). But even in those cases there are better skills out there to choose from.
Blinding Flash#Faith in the Light
For the longest time I neglected this skill and it was my bad. Its cc is great and cooldown isnt very long.
#Faith in the Light
Im addicted to this rune and I call it face melter. With high attack speed it basically DOUBLES your dps for 3 seconds. Time it with MoC#Overawe and Serenity#Ascension for hit and run against elite packs you are having hard time.
Breath of Heaven#Blazing Wrath
From effective health standpoint not very great skill I mostly use it for Blazing Wrath rune but it will greatly reduce your down time and might save you couple of times (especially against shielding elites when you cant use your LoH).
15% dmg boost with easy 100% uptime is a no brainer. I would always take it before Combination Strike where you have to use at least 3 skill slots to gain 16% damage boost and constantly switch between attacks.
#Infused with light
If you find yourself running low on spirit while lets say stunlocking some elite mobs with LTK take it. It is better to reach your spirit per second break point allowing you to shut down any mob than to deal 15% more damage.
Serenity is your life saver dont go out of town without it. It is also amazing offensive ability because it lets you dps while otherwise you would be freezed/feared/killed by the floor/running away from stuff. It is also self buff so it doesnt diminish when used against elites like cc used against them.
1 more second of Serenity is a difference between dying to fire while surrounded by mobs/walls and finishing off this elite pack mob.
It is solid choice but only good if you find yourself using Serenity to run away from mobs (which you shouldnt). After popping serenity with ascension and staying on mob before it ends you should be already full on health due to your loh and spirit consumption paired with transcendence.
If you are playing cooperative this rune can save your friends many times (especially on boss fights) no wonder blizzard nerfed it to only 1 second.
Mantra of Conviction#Overawe
MoC is a solid dps increase which only amplifies if you are playing in cooperative mode.
Overawe is great dmg boost and only rune that makes spaming MoC every 3 seconds worth while.
As in this build there are no other spamable spirit spenders you should always choose it. If you are not convinced to do so you should take LTK as your spirit spender.
Fairly easy to maintain dmg boost. I find at least 2 Sgs are required to make it worth taking (and still after BoH#Blazing Wrath) taking 3 Sgs could make it even better while 4 would be an overkill not to mention would cripple your skill set significantly. If you find yourself taking too much damage it should be switched with either Resolve or StI.
One With Everything
Mandatory skill if you want to leave first act inferno and dont have godly gear. Choose one resistance and stack it along with @ on your items.
If you find your LoH lacking (like I do :/) it is solid choice. It also boost all your healing abilities and with good spirit regeneration it will save you against shielding or ranged mobs with some crazy walling/desecration/arcane enchanting combination which will limit your LoH healing. Of course it can become obsolete if you obtain some good gear with life per spirit spent affix (which I recommend and wish you good luck finding it).
Other Alternative Skills worth mentioning:
Mystic Ally#Air Ally
Aside from dmg boost I often use it as a distraction it can block mobs in corridors and eat up projectiles pretty well. It should be kept on short leash thou because it pulls mobs and scare off treasure goblins I usually dismiss it and summon only while fighting. I choose air ally because it have a chance to generate 100 spirit which more often than not is very helpful.
Sweeping Wind#Inner Storm
For insane spirit per second builds it is great. Paired with MoH#Circular Breathing/Chant of Resonance and few spirit per second items (+some crit) it allows you to for example stunlock Belial in his second phase using LTK.
If you dont use FoT#Thunderclap you should take DS#Quicksilver or you will have problems with Jailer/Ranged packs.
It frees you from jails (even if you cast it in the air without target) and allows you to avoid heavy hitting attacks while slowed (if you cast it away from mob). It also makes butcher an easy mode. Only 2 weaknesses are first spirit cost (which is mitigated by quicksilver rune) and slight delay before hitting your target which allows mobs to strike you back before you can hit them with your knockback skills.
Lashing Tail Kick
Best dmg per spirit spent ratio is only cheery on top of real use for this skill. Given enough spirit generation and proper timing you can use it to stunlock almost every mob in the game. Usually I use #Spining Flame Kick because of its highest damage or if Ive to watch my back #Vulture Claw Kick/Sweeping Armada. LTK#Spining Flame Kick or #Hand of Ytar paried with WotHF#Windofce Flurry or Deadly Reach can basically make you ranged character.
If you really want to use Combination Strike you should most likely take this skill because its 3rd strike effect. Deadly Reach is also great vs randomly running mobs (such as wasps or imps) because its long range and instant hits.
How to play:
Well basically make sure to keep up BoH#Blazing Wrath and MoC#Overawe engage mobs with FoT#Thunderclap and follow up with WotH#Blazing Fists (later alternate between those 2 to keep up Combination Strike buff) to buff our dmg spam MoC every 3 seconds (great thing about mantras is that can use them while striking with your Sgs). For burst damage use BF along with MoC. Against elites you should chain BF with Serenity while keeping MoC up I might not be 100% precise but you should get at least 5 seconds of uninterrupted dps (1 sec from blinding flash and then 4 from serenity) which given you are not undergeared should take down or at least half of the hp of stronger elites in their case just run away for couple of seconds healing yourself and repeat the attack (or if you feel strong enough with your LoH and damage reduction you can simply stay and finish them off).
Hope someone can enjoy this playstyle and my work wont go to waste.
Please leave comments and constructive criticism as well.
If Ive made some mistakes please let me know so I can correct them.