Diablo 3 Monk Guide
The Monk is a brand new class and is one of the five classes available to play in Diablo 3. The Monk is a melee fighter which specializes in hand-to-hand combat, although it is also able to use 2-handed staves and Daibos (Monk-only staves).
The goal of this Diablo 3 Monk guide is to cover everything about the Monk, from the best stats and gear to builds and ability lists.
On this page of our Diablo 3 guide, you will find an overview of the Monk class as well as its strengths and weaknesses. If you want to jump right into specific guides to the Monk class, you can check out these in-depth guides:
- Diablo 3 Monk Skills List (covers active skills and their runes)
- Diablo 3 Monk Passive Skills List
- Diablo 3 Monk Gameplay
- Diablo 3 Monk Builds
- Diablo 3 Monk Leveling Guide
- Diablo 3 Monk Stats Guide
Diablo 3 Monk Guide – Class Overview and Gameplay
The Monk is one of two melee classes in the game and is designed to go head-to-head with its opponents. This class has both solid area-of-effect (also known as AoE, good for farming weak monsters) and single-target specializations (good for fighting bosses).
For weaponry, the Monk actually has two unique classes of weapons: Fist Weapons and Daibos (aspecial two-handed staff). However, the Monk is not bound to these weapons and just as easily will wield a 1-handed club, axe, sword, or dagger.
Another good thing about the Monk is that it seems to have some anti-caster capabilities. For example, you can use your Dashing Strike ability to essentially teleport to a given ranged target and root it for 1 second. This is really convenient for setting yourself into a favorable position for taking out casting enemies which have summons or raise the dead, such as Fallen or Tomb Guardians.
If you played a melee class in Diablo 2, you know how tough it can be sometimes to start picking off the Fallen Shaman when there are a huge pack of them casting Fireballs. This way, you can teleport in, blow one up, and then use one of your various knockbacks to give yourself time to escape and heal up.
Diablo 3 Monk Guide – Gameplay
The most interesting facet of the Monk’s gameplay is their use of combos. Their primary abilities have several effects for each time you use them. For example, the Fist of Thunder ability is an attack which lightning damage to a single target. However, if you use it three consecutive times in a row, the third hit hits all enemies in front of you and knocks them back instead of hitting just one.
The Monk’s Spirit generating attacks follow this path. There are also runes which modify the effects of the combo and can give you various buffs such as increased armor or damage. Since some runes give you buffs by simply hitting (such as the Lightning Flash rune) whereas others give you buffs for finishing (such as the Keen Eye rune), you will be able to mix and match combos to max out your self-buffs.
This combo system adds a more complex layer and rotation to Monk gameplay that lets more skilled players do more damage and have better defense than players who are unable to manage their abilities and combos.
Diablo 3 Monk Guide – Abilities
There are over 20 abilities available for the Monk to use at release, and each one is a little bit different. Additionally, each ability can be modified by 1 of 5 runes which changes the effect of the original ability, giving the Monk access to over 100 different skills! We have added a list of all the Monk’s skills to our Diablo 3 Monk guide along with the runes that go with these abilities.
For a list of abilities, check out our Diablo 3 Monk abilities list. We will be adding more strategy to each ability guide once Diablo 3 is released.
Diablo 3 Monk Guide – Strengths and Weaknesses: Group Support
The Monk has the same strength and weakness when compared to the game’s other melee class: its ability to perform group support.
The Monk has a variety of buffs and defensive skills which are best suited for party play. For example, Breath of Heaven is a powerful heal which heals you and all allies within 12 yards.
Furthermore, you have access to Mantras, which are powerful auras that can buff your whole party within 40 yards or even debuff enemies within 20 yards to take more damage from all attacks. The Monk also can a circle on the ground which enemies cannot enter for 6 seconds, thereby protecting your ranged classes.
While these may seem like strengths, they are also weaknesses. Since the Monk has so many powerful healing and defensive abilities, it has less offensive skills than the Barbarian. The Monk only has 21 skills and about half of them are defensively oriented. The Barbarian on the other hand has 24 skill and most are offensively oriented.
The recommendation of this Diablo 3 Monk guide is that for raw damage, the Barbarian has a definite edge on the Monk. For survivability and group play, the Monk shines with its variety of buffs and heals.
This is not to say that the Monk does not deal good damage, it just does not deal quite as much damage as the Barbarian. If it did, everyone would play a Monk as the Monk’s healing and buffing abilities are a lot better than the Barbarian’s.
Diablo 3 Monk Guide Conclusion
The Monk class is a solid melee class which has a lot of room for skilled players to maximize and leverage its strengths and abilities. I would suggest that the Monk has a higher skill cap than the Barbarian since many of its skills can be used to benefit not only itself but also the party, where the Barbarian is definitely a more “selfish” class.
It is the recommendation of this Diablo 3 Monk guide to check out the Monk if you plan on doing a lot of co-op, particularly if you have a set of regular friends that you play with. The Monk is also a solid solo class, so do not worry about that. The only time you will not like having a Monk is in a pick-up co-op game where the other damage-dealers on your team are not pulling their weight and therefore not making the most out of your buffs.
If you take away one thing from this D3 Monk guide, know that the Monk is awesome for PvP, pre-made group co-ops, and solo play. However, it is not my class of choice for pick-up groups, as bad players will not make the most out of all the good buffs that you are giving them!