Diablo 3 Monk Leveling Guide

Diablo 3 Monk Leveling Guide (Season 2) by unsaintlyx

Hey guys,

with Monks being really strong right now a lot of people will probably roll a Monk who have never played one before, I decided to roll one for Season 2 as well. Since I have never leveled a Monk the normal way and always got boosted I had no idea how to efficently level a Monk without a boost or OP gems/support from my main character.

I have looked for some sort of leveling guide that doesn’t involve Story Mode shenanigans for a bit and always looked for something similar to Debo’s 24 Hour Witch Doctor. You HAVE TO check his guide out as well since I’d call this the “Monk Module” for Debo’s guide.

His guide covers most of the universal leveling stuff, while Quin’s starter guide covers the end game tailored towards Monks. I fill in the blanks of what skills/runes are effiecent, fast and easy to level with.

Before I post the skills, I’d like to show you my Monk that I tested from 1-70 (playing solo of course) and talk about some of the other more Monk specific stuff.

As you can see with my skill list and with Debo’s strategy to only do certain bounties I was able to reach level 70 within 5 hours and 20 minutes.

I think it might be possible to push it below the 5 hour mark if you find something like Leoric’s Signet or really optimize your time spent ingame.

On the topic of certain bounties, if you checked out Debo’s guide, you’ll see the Bounty List that shows you what bounties you should and shouldn’t do. I only did the red bounties when I had an experience shrine or a movement speed shrine up to not waste them, to be honest just try and do the Shrine related bounties first so you have the Shrine up while doing the go-to bounties.

If anything gets not covered it’s most likely a no brainer or is already getting covered in Debo’s guide.

Difficulty

When it comes to difficulty I chose by how fast I could kill the monsters. Can I clear Master fast and without too much trouble? If so stay on Master or try if T1 is still possible without losing much speed. Is Master too slow? Turn it down to Hard (I feel expert is not worth it if you consider the extra XP/mob HP ratio) until you find a good weapon. Especially between 60-62 I had to turn it down to Hard until I found a good weapon, once I got a weapon with enough damage it was really easy to go and do T1 for a level or two and than turn it down to Master.

In general the difficulty really depends on what weapon you have at the moment. Big upgrades in damage from a weapon should be an indicator to bump up the difficulty, at least to test out the waters. If it’s not smooth just bump it down ingame and keep going.

Crafting

I did not craft. First of all because I had all the recipes already and it would be impossible to simulate them dropping. Secondly I think the time you waste sitting in town crafting weapons and armor is better spent completing bounties, you will get your upgrades anyways.

On the note of crafting, I salvaged all of the loot that I got since gold is not a problem on my account, since you won’t have that luxury when the Season is still fresh, I’d vendor the gear since you shouldn’t craft anyways so there is no need for the low level materials.

Once you reach level 61 pick up everything and salvage everything since those items will yield the crafting materials you want for the endgame.

You can try and craft some level 60 weapons once you can craft them (at level 45 I think) and try and re-roll the secondary affix to a level requirement one. I haven’t tried this so I don’t know how rare the affix is, but this might boost the speed between 45 to 60 by a good bit. If you want to try it, go ahead and salvage the gear.

The Specc

The specc really starts to shine once you get Cyclone Strike and Sweeping Wind at level 21, Crippling Wave with the Mangling rune looked like the best Generator to me. Just Cyclone Strike the enemies towards you and let Sweeping Wind and LTK do the rest. Once you get the Implosion rune for Cyclone Strike it gets even better. At this point Sweeping Wind and the Cyclone Strike damage should take care of most of the mobs, so you should have enough spirit to keep going, since LTK will be used less. Dashing Strike runes are preference I guess. I like the movement speed so I get faster to the bounties.

As for passives, once you get into the higher levels you’ll take a pretty good amount of damage, if you have to play too defensive or die here and there try and use one of the defensive passives instead of Fleet Footed. It really depends on your gear what is more effective, Harmony or Sixth Sense.

The Gearing

I chose to only play with 2 handers. Helm should have a socket so you can put a ruby into it. The weapon should have a socket if possible, put a ruby in it. When it comes to the rest of the gear I prioritized %damage on the comparision sheet over everything else, unless I gained 10% or more toughness while only losing 1-3% damage. If you can get Dex and Vit your good. CC, CHD etc. is always nice to have but you can’t really rely on getting that during the leveling process.

Once you reach level 70 you should farm for the Goblin Vault so gold becomes trivial, this should gear you out as well, as you can see in the pictures above.

If you can find Gungdo Gears during the low levels first of all specc into EP instantly. And don’t salvage them, they will carry you even in level 70 rifts. I don’t know if they can drop below level 70 though, maybe someone else knows.


The Monk Leveling Phase

Levels 1-12

  • Fists of Thunder
  • Lashing Tail Kick
  • Dashing Strike
  • Blinding Flash

Passives

  • Fleet Footed (Level 10)

Skill Changes

  • Fists of Thunder – Thunderclap Rune (Level 6)
  • Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick Rune (Level 7)
  • Blinding Flash – Self Reflection Rune (Level 12)

Levels 12-21

  • Fists of Thunder – Thunderclap
  • Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick
  • Dashing Strike
  • Blinding Flash – Self Reflection
  • Cyclone Strike – Eye of the Storm Rune
  • Sweeping Wind

Passives

  • Fleet Footed
  • Exalted Soul (Level 20)

Skill Changes

  • Breath of Heaven – Circle of Scorn (Level 14) / Replaces Blinding Flash
  • Dashing Strike – Way of the Falling Star (Level 15)
  • Crippling Wave – Mangling (Level 17) / Replaces FoT:TC
  • Cyclone Strike – Eye of the Storm (Level 21)
  • Sweeping Wind (Level 21)

Levels 22-27

  • Crippling Wave – Mangling
  • Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick
  • Dashing Strike – Way of the Falling Star
  • Breath of Heaven – Circle of Scorn
  • Cyclone Strike – Eye of the Storm
  • Sweeping Wind

Passives

  • Fleet Footed
  • Exalted Soul

Skill Changes

  • Cyclone Strike – Implosion (Level 25)
  • Mystic Ally – Water Ally / Replaces Breath of Heaven (Level 27)
  • Sweeping Wind – Master of the Wind (Level 27)

Levels 28-36

  • Crippling Wave – Mangling
  • Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick
  • Dashing Strike – Way of the Falling Star
  • Mystic Ally – Water Ally
  • Cyclone Strike – Implosion
  • Sweeping Wind – Master of Wind

Passives

  • Fleet Footed
  • Exalted Soul
  • Chant of Resonance (Level 30)

Skill Changes

  • Mantra of your Choice – For Chant of Resonance / Replaces Mystic Ally
  • Sweeping Wind – Blade Storm (Level 33)

Levels 37-44

  • Crippling Wave – Mangling
  • Lashing Tail Kick – Vulture Claw Kick
  • Dashing Strike – Way of the Falling Star
  • Mantra of XXX – For Chant of Resonance
  • Cyclone Strike – Implosion
  • Sweeping Wind – Blade Storm

Passives

  • Fleet Footed
  • Exalted Soul
  • Chant of Resonance

Skill Changes

  • You can get Harmony/Sixth Sense for Fleet Footed (depending on your gear) if you take too much damage while still maintaining enough DPS to clear higher difficulties.

Levels 45-70

  • Wave of Light
  • Exploding Palm – Shocking Grasp
  • Dashing Strike – Way of the Falling Star
  • Mantra of Healing – Circular Breathing
  • Mystic Ally – Air Ally
  • Sweeping Wind -> Spirit per Second Rune

Passives

  • Fleet Footed / Harmony / Sixth Sense
  • Exalted Soul
  • Chant of Resonance

Skill Changes

  • As soon as you hit level 46 you switch over to Quin’s starter specc found over here.

Hopefully this was helpful for someone, happy leveling guys! :)

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