Diablo 3 Monk Inferno In Depth Guide

Diablo 3 Monk Inferno In Depth Guide by Chris

This is not the end-all be-all monk guide of the world. This is what works for me. This is what I can explain. This is what I have tested.

First of all, if you’re just stepping out of Hell into Inferno, just know that everything you have done up until now will no longer work.

This sucks to hear, but you absolutely must sacrifice DPS for sustainability. This is important– it is better to live and fight for 30 seconds rather than do twice the damage and die in 5 seconds. You simply kill more if you survive longer.

First tip:

Play defensive. Really importantly is to get a weapon with + life steal. We’ll get to that in a second.

My skills:

Breath of Heaven: Burning Wrath. This is not only an AOE heal, it also gives you 15% more DPS for 45seconds. We’ll get to that, again, in a second.

Inner Sanctuary: Safe Haven. When I first started using this skill, I did not like it because I was not using it correctly. What you need to learn to do with this is put it down on the ground then stand at the BACK of the circle. That way you have several seconds of being out of reach of those things that were killing you. This only works for most mobs, obviously not ranged or some others. The heal / second is also a great plus when you have lower health.

Sweeping Wind: Bladestorm. Here is where the life steal from the weapon and the 15% more DPS (from BoH) come into play. This stacks up to 60% of your DPS to all surrounding units. This is paramount for your survival. The more damage you do, the more damage you get back in terms of your health. This amount of health may seem small, but with high mitigation the effective health regained per true health you get is very large.

Serenity: Peaceful repose: Moderate heal and 3 seconds of invulnerability? Find yourself being scissored between 3 purple jump-ropes of death (arcane enchanted)? Pop this, live, get healed, be happy. I personally use the 4-second invulnerability instead, but when you first step into act 1, the extra heal is worth more than one extra second. Please note it says TO 4 seconds, not BY 4 seconds (meaning you get 4 seconds, not 7)

Deadly Reach: Keen Eye: 50% more armor? There is no getting around how fantastic that is. Deadly Reach allows you to stand in the far back of your Inner Sanctuary. Very few viable alternatives to this when you’re getting destroyed early act 1 / 2. Some people prefer Concussion instead because of the reduced attack speed, damage, and run speed. Your call, 50% more armor helps you against ranged, spells, melee etc.

Mantra of Evasion: Divine Protection. I keep this on my right-click because this is an “oh sh*t” button constantly. Depending on how much dodge you already have, this provides you with a huge amount of dodge with just its passive. When you activate it, it becomes even better. Now, for the divine protection part of it, this is a personal preference. This literally saves your life once per elite fight. Your other viable options are the 20% increased armor, hardened rune.
I choose the divine protection over the 20% increased armor because armor addition is not additive, meaning it does not simply add 20% to your armor, or else stacking armor would give you a severely overpowered way to just stand in the fire and never die.


Seize the initiative. Simple, it is an additive bonus to your armor. Hard to complain with that, the more damage you do the more effective health you have because you have more armor? What’s not to like?
Counter-argument for Resolve: Once again, the 25% reduction is NOT additive. You do not slap this on and immediately take 1/4th less damage etc. On top of that, resolve only works for a short time on mobs you attack. This does not work on ranged, spells etc because they are out of your reach.

One with Everything: No argument here, this is what makes monks viable. The fact that you can find a piece of gear with 50 resist cold and 60 resist all, slap it on and get 110 resists is invaluable. More on resists soon, but that’s pretty damn important.

Transcendence: Extra 62 health every spirit you use? Whenever you cast an “oh sh*t” button, like your evasion mantra for an extra bit of sustainability? Just casting your mantra gives you 3400 health. More on why even this small amount of health is great– it is a free heal or it buffs your heals that you cast already. This literally gives you a heal for everything you do.


Resistances: Literally the most important thing you can easily control. Stack these babies like it’s your job. 300 resist all = 50% of everything is reduced. I would say honestly 300 resist all is minimum to really mess around in Inferno at all. Things get comfortable around 500. 800 is pretty standard for walking into Act 2. (Though this isn’t too hard for us, because we can double up our resists, right?)

Armor: Harder to control, but generally the higher your grade of armor, the better your armor. This is hard to control but try I guess. I sincerely suggest to not walk into inferno with less than 3500 armor (50% mitigation). This won’t be terribly hard because of our items (comes later)

Dex– Hate to say it, but when you first step into inferno, this is nowhere near as important as it used to be. Of course dex:armor is a 1:1 ratio (meaning the more dex you have the more effective life you have), so you for sure NEED it. But it comes down in priority. Later on in Inferno, this becomes viable to concentrate on stacking again. You are not a Demon hunter, sorry. You can’t have survivability and insane DPS at the same time.

Vitality– Very important to get to a certain amount, then it becomes less important. I would say 16k is minimum with HIGH resists/ Armor. 20k is better for Act 1. Act 2, I suggest nothing under 30k. Act 3? That’s all relative to where you’re at in the rest of your stats. 40-60k sounds about comfy, but I’ve seen 30k work.

Counter argument to stacking vitality and not stacking resistances: First and foremost, your HEALS. The more MITIGATION you have, the more your heals effectively heal you.Having 100k health will not save you in inferno if you have no resists and low armor. Sorry. My 60 Demon Hunter has these in low amounts and gets hit for 40k in act 1, so trust me here, becoming a health sponge will not save you.

Intelligence: Obviously not more important than anything else, but not a wasted stat. The more intelligence you have the more resistances you have. Simple.

Strength: Secondary stat, just like Intelligence. Strength converts to armor which converts to effective health. Just like Int, should not be valued over anything else.


Well, if you’re still reading, awesome. This is probably the most important part, this allows you to put everything together.

First of all, sorry, and I know this was basically a kick to the groin to me when I walked into Inferno, but dual-wield and 2H are hardly viable.
I hear sometimes of person X and person Y doing this and being successful. Congratulations, there are always people that can work around the meta-game. There are exceptions, and there are people that somehow make this work– more power to you. This guide is my guide and what worked for me, not the end-all be-all of monk-dom.

2H you simply suck at generating spirit. You really cannot sacrifice any of your passives for the 25% spirit generation passive. It is possible, but not suggested. Wait until you have at least Act 1 on farm before you even attempt this. That is my best opinion, take it or not, it’s your call

Dual-wield? Even with the 15% dodge passive, it is NOT worth it. Spirit generation is impressively quick so after your gear is over-geared for the area, you can probably get away with it. Once again, the 15% dodge is NOT additive. You do not get a free 15% more health by slapping this on.

Problems with both: You simply have lower sustainability! With a shield, you get extra armor. Armor, well, see above. It’s pretty damn necessary.
But truly, the reason why 1H + shield is better, in my opinion, is because of the blocking.

Your block chance can get REALLY HIGH, and your block amount can also get REALLY HIGH.
My shield has 29% block and blocks 3700-4700. With all your mitigation, 3700-4700 is at least most of the damage coming in from most attacks. That’s pretty damn important. Okay that’s incredibly important. This still literally blocks the vast majority of Act 2 damage, when block procs at least.

Weapon: The faster, the better. Giggity, but it’s true. The faster you get to your third strike, the faster you get the 50% armor buff. You will NOT be tanking in the fire, purple jump-ropes, or desecration, thus you will be running sometimes. With this build, you will not be kiting honestly, but nobody can stand in the fire in Inferno. At least not without 60 mil worth of gear.
Also, your third strike on your weapon is an INTERRUPT on some monsters. This does not always work on elites, treasure goblins etc, but every bit helps.
Also, the big number (DPS) is NOT the end-all be-all of a weapon. It is the most important thing, yes, but there’s other important things in here.
I would much rather have an 850 DPS weapon that gives you 3% damage converted to health over having a 950 DPS weapon with no stats at all. See skills above.

Helmet: Look for one with a socket! The best Amethyst possible really, really give you a metric sh*t-ton of health. 14% health? That is awesome. It actually increases the potency of each point of vitality that you have on your gear. Yeah, pretty nice. My helmet gives me easily 10k health and 100 resist all, on top of a bit of dex. These numbers are possible and not that hard to find.

Shield: The better your block rate and the bigger your block amount, the better. It’s not as simple as that, but that’s really what shields are for. If you can find one with sexy block %, block amount, and stats? It’s really great.

Boots: This is minor importance, but try to get some + run speed. This helps you get away a little faster. Also, when you get Act 1 on farm, it allows you to easily run past stuff in the halls of agony and only kill the champion / elite mobs making butcher runs even more efficient.

Gloves: Increased attack speed if you can find it. For reasons seen above, your third hit is incredibly important. The faster you get it, the better you are all around.

These provide one of the most important secondary stats possible for you: Life on hit. This truly is as simple as it sounds. The more things you hit, the more life you get back, the better you are in all ways. This allows you to literally tank a room-full of white mobs or comfortably tank champions and elites. This is another reason with increased attack speed is important! The faster you hit, the more health you get back, etc, you get the point.

Also, you can find increased attack speed on amulets / rings if you choose to go that route.

Other pieces of equipment: Less important. Unfortunately, you are not a barbarian. Your belt does not allow % life steal.

Quick tip on mitigation: The more mitigation you have, the more your heals… well, heal you, in terms of effective health.

Misc: Well, that’s about all I can think of on the main points. Onto the random crap that comes into my mind until I edit this at a further date:

Pro tip: Stats suffer from diminishing returns. That means 300 resists = 50% reduction of everything, 600 resists is NOT 100% resists. Meaning the more you stack, the less each point truthfully means. That is why it is incredibly important to be well-rounded of vitality, resistances, dex and everything else.

Pro tip: If you are running away, or after you have an act on farm status, you can run around quicker using increased run-speed on your boots. Bottle-neck your enemies and drop down your Inner Sanctuary. This will literally trap them away from you while you run away. This also works for champions, but NOT ALL elites. Keep that in mind, this is not a save-you-every-time thing. One situation that immediately comes to mind is the bridges over the lava in the Halls of Agony. Have an army behind you? One skill and you’re home free. No big deal.

Pro tip: The thing you really need first is resistances. I mean, everything else you probably already have in a decent amount. If you have over 25k health and under 300 resistances, drop some Vita for resistances. At one point I literally had 16k health and 900 resist all. It worked in Act 1.

Pro tip: Another useful stat is health regeneration. If you have everything else in nice amounts (remember, the more you get of anything, the less it matters), feel free to look for health regen. Health regen can get incredibly high on pieces of armor, especially chest armor, shields, and helms. My chest adds 600 health per second. Add in the fact that my armor lessens my damage taken by 70%, my resistances lessen my damage taken by another 75% of damage on top of that. Meaning that 600 health per second means a hell of a lot more than 600 points.

Super-pro tip: Find yourself at the butcher? Sacrificed too much damage to just stay the hell alive in Act 1? Can’t quite beat the enrage timer? No worries, there is a safe spot at the entrance. Just stand in the door as close as you possibly can. You will be safe from all the fire grates. When he shoots the fire in a straight line, he is about to charge. Feel free to use your invulnerable spell, or pop your dodge mantra to stay alive through it. It’s really actually very easy.

Okay, that’s all about I can think of right now that is not too specific. Any questions, feel free to post. I’m brand new here and I just kinda wrote this on a whim, but I will answer what I can. Like I said several times, I am not claiming this is the only way to do things. I am just saying this works.

Hope I helped some people.


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