Skyforge Monk Guide
Skyforge Monk Guide by Zycranos
There are a couple of different build you could run as monk, but in general I have found the most effective one to be Strength/Luck. Valor won’t work until higher prestige ranges, and even then I don’t think it will be better then luck. Spirit on the other hand did work pretty well, just not as well as Luck imo. Another thing to note is how might is near worthless compared to all 4 of these stats.
Accuracy is something that is extremely important to have as it helps with how much your strength affects your base damage. A lot of strength + accuracy mean you will have a lot of base damage.
Crit Chance is a great thing to get on rings if you are a luck build. More crits means that luck is doing its job more often.
Defense Pen is always nice to have as it gives you more damage against whatever you are fighting.
Health % is always a nice thing to have on rings, but in general you would want a more damaging stat as your order will make up most of your health.
Crushing Blow is an amazing stat that can double your base damage, with a certain chance of activating. The higher this gets the more often your damage gets doubled, definitely get this whenever possible.
In general on your rings you want to try and get Str/Luck with Accuracy and Crit Chance. I have never found a ring with Crushing Blow or Defense Pen (I don’t think they exist) but if you ever do I would use those.
Here I am going to describe some of the skill I think are important for monk. It is important to note that finishing a combo in any stance resets cd on all other stances. Also, for people who didn’t know, monks dodge does damage, so dodge THROUGH enemies whenever possible.
Earth Stance– When you switch to earth stance you gain access to earth abilities and combos as well as gain a 10 second buff that allows you to apply hidden trauma to any enemy that you hit with a combo. You also gain a 7 second buff called stone skin that gives a 15% damage reduction buff. Hidden Trauma
Falling Mountain– Basic three hit earth stance combo. Does the most damage out of all of the earth stance combos, however due to the effects of dragon strike and the talent stone technique, I wouldn’t recommend using this move on anything but bosses.
Stone Palm- Does a good amount of burst damage to your current target. I recommend using this right when you switch into the stance to save time so you can more easily activate the gusty wind talent. This is explained in the next section.
Lotus Strike– Another 3 hit combo move in earth stance. This combo however knock back any enemy able to be cc’d as well as dealing additional damage and damaging, knocking back, and stunning any targets it passes through. You charge to the target you just knocked back if you attack it again while in earth stance. As good as this move may seem, I rarely use it on anything but bosses, and I only use it there because of the stone technique talent. This is because knock a target back can be very counter productive when switching stances and such.
Dragon Strike- Does minor damage, but stuns the enemy for 2 seconds. This can be increased up to 4 seconds with the knockout punches talent. This skill is what you are going to use when fighting normal enemies most of the time, not including mobs. Since this applies a 4 second stun and hidden trauma, the master symbol for monk + gusty wind will activate on your target when you switch to fire stance and hit them. You can then switch back and repeat, allowing for near a near infinite stun!
Fire Stance– When you switch to fire stance you gain access to fire abilities and combos as well as gain a 10 second buff that allows your first fire combo to deal 43% more damage. This can be increased up to 61% with the talent sear. This stance is where most of your damage is going to be coming from and you will be switching into a lot while dpsing.
Dragon Rage– The standard three hit combo for fire stance that deals some pretty high damage. What makes this skill amazing is the gusty winds talent. I described that that talent does in the next section, just know that this will be your most used fire combo.
Heart of a Phoenix– Applies a DoT effect to yourself that deal damage in an AoE around you based on how many there are (only scales up to 3 enemies). This move is actually very strong when you have three enemies in your radius and will insta-kill most trash mobs relatively fast. I do not however recommend using the move on single targets as the damage is very poor and it has a relatively long cast time.
Scorching Strike- Spins your staff around you dealing multiple hits to all enemies inside the AoE. I have a love/hate relationship with this move. I love it because it does pretty good damage to all enemies in its AoE, killing most weak mobs pretty quickly. I hate this move mostly because it is bugged. Once you use it, the only way to cancel it is with a dodge, which sounds okay because all monk moves need to be canceled by a dodge. However, this move is a little different. Once you use it, it wants you to use the next moves in the combo, which ends in dragon rage, but the moves will do no damage. Instead you would need to dodge in order to reset the combo so that you don’t use them expecting to hurt anything. This is something you get used to doing and really isn’t that big of a deal once you get used to it, just kinda annoying. Something that is wrong with the move that isn’t bugged is that it keeps you still for a few seconds, meaning you need to use this at the right time or you will most likely be killed.
Burning Staff– Deals damage in an AoE in front of the monk and then sets the ground ablaze deal a strong DoT to all enemies inside. Probably the monks single strongest skill, but sadly it’s bugged. The only thing that makes this move strong is the DoT that it causes and sadly it won’t go off unless there are three or more enemies in the initial strikes AoE. Now this isn’t a big deal for mobs because it will go off most of the time, but this move cannot really be used for bosses unless the boss spawns extra enemies, which really sucks. A cool thing to know about this move though is if you get the burning ground to activate you can then enter you pace of a crane and go invincible while the enemies below you die.
Scorching Strike– Replaces dragon rage at the end of your combo and deals damage in an AoE around you. In general this move will do more damage to mobs then dragon rage will, especially with the mighty onslaught talent. However, I do not have this skill equipped for a couple reasons. First, we have enough AoE to deal with mobs without needing this skill, including dragon rage, and secondly, it would require that either gust of wind or lotus strike be unequipped, which I don’t recommend.
Air Stance- When you switch to wind stance you gain access to wind abilities and combos as well as gain a 10 second buff that gives a 15% movement speed as well as a damage buff to the first completed wind combo. This stance has the most mobility and utility of all the stances, however the trade off is that it has the lowest dps of the three. You will almost never switch into this stance when dpsing.
Rapid Stream- Deals damage depending on the distance from your target as long as you have the air stance buff. If used from more then 15 yards away it resets all stances and with the air shield talent on will grant a 10% hp shield. This skill is one of the few reasons I switch to wind stance. The air shield talent is a great talent and since my stances reset right after getting it, I can switch right to another stance.
Return Wave- Pull all enemies to you, slows them by 95% and then you jump backwards a few yards. I actually really like this move, despite not having it equipped. It offers decent cc and mobs them up for you and your party if you are in one. The only problem with this skill is that it does no damage. That and the fact that I believe dragon strike and scorching strike are better. If you really love this move however, I would recommend replacing scorching strike for it.
Gust of Wind- Three hit wind combo that knocks you about 15-20 yards from the enemy as well as cc’ing them for ~1 second. This is my most, if not only, used combo in wind stance. Using this allows you to then activate rapid stream which resets your stance and activates the air shield talent. This is something I use when I either need to get away from the target or just to shield myself when tanking or soloing. By itself this does not reset stance cd’s so you will need to combo in this stance or wait if you do not rapid stream from more then 15 yards away.
Wind Catcher– Wind stance buff that triples the distance of your dodges. This is more fun to use then it is practical. I use this to dodge really far so that I can be 15 yards away and rapid stream. That’s basically all I use it for in a fight, as well as just having more mobility in general. Out of a fight it is pretty cool to move around that fast, but using your charges before you fight can be bad.
Pace of a Crane– Evasive move that put in up on your staff in an untargetable and invincible state which then allows you to jump back down or forward and deal minor damage. This skill if very useful if used at the right time. After using burning staff (if you get burning ground to activate) you can jump on your staff and watch the enemies die without having to take damage. Also during boss fights this can help you dodge some hard hitting moves that could other wise be fatal. The only issue I have with this move is that it cannot be used in the middle of a skill, which personally I think it should.
Before I get into how I think you should play monk and how good I actually think it is, let me start off by showing you how I build it and why.
Diamond Dust- 30% damage reduction instead of 15% from stone skin.This helps your survivability since you will be switching to earth stance a lot.
Knockout Punches- Adds 2 seconds to your stun time. This talent paired with dragon strike basically allows you to almost perma-stun any monster.
Sear– Increases bonus damage in fire stance to 61% from 43%. This just helps in general since fire stance is going to be where you get most of your damage.
Gusty Wind- Dragon Rage removes effects caused by earth attacks that deal damage over time, inflicting the damage they would otherwise have dealt, as well as inflicts additional 70% of damage. IMO this is the best trait for monk. With the trait on, the damage you deal with dragon rage is increases by a ton. I have found that a lot of the time the numbers for the extra damage are not shown, so you are really doing more damage then it says you are. This trait basically requires you to switch straight into fire stance from earth stance and start your combo immediately. Due to the long animation time of the fire stance combo you can really only cancel it once (by dodging) and hope to proc gusty wind still.
Stone Technique– 50% more damage with lotus strike to enemies with more then 30% health and 40% more damage with falling mountain to enemies with less then 30% health. This increases your damage in a few different ways. First it just increases your general combo damage in earth stance, you just have to make sure to watch the bosses health and switch to using falling mountain at the right time. Second, it increases the damage you do with hidden trauma, since it scales of your combo damage. And thirdly, do to the increases hidden trauma damage it would increase your gusty wind damage.
Major Bruises- Increases the damage dealt of hidden trauma by 150%. This just overall increases your damage as well as increases the damage gusty wind does.
Air Shield- When used 15 or more yards away, first Rapid Stream used during the Elusiveness of Wind gives the Monk a shield that absorbs damage equal to 10% of their health for 7 seconds. This is a great skill to use when you need to soak up some damage. I try not to use this very often as it has you switch into wind stance, hence stunting your dps for a bit, but it can be a life saver.
For the last talent slot you can really choose what ever you want. I use Technique Mastery but honestly you can use whatever as there are really no other traits that heavily affect dps.
Obviously when it comes to symbols you aren’t going to have all of the ones you want for a while, nor the slots to equip all of them. However, I will list some of the symbols that I think are good.
Maximum Recoil- Increases Crit Damage by 10% per level of this symbol. If you play a Strength/Luck monk, which is what I play, this is a great trait.
Ultimate Strength- Increases the effect of Strength on your base damage by 10% per level of this symbol. This is a must considering you should almost always build Strength on your monk.
Jinx- Warlock/Witch master symbol. The additional DoT it adds to the monster is a nice boost in damage. I wouldn’t worry about getting this until later, but if you have it might as well use it.
Death Mark- Your attacks mag leave a mark on the opponent that, once removed, will inflict 20-30% of damage inflicted to them while they had the mark. This is an amazing symbol, but it is pretty far away so don’t plan on getting it for a while.
Strength Serum– Has a chance to increase damage by 15% when attacking attacking for 10 seconds. You should always be attacking so this will be up quite often, and the bonus is pretty nice.
Divine Intervention– Paladin master symbol. Incoming damage is completely absorbed if it is no more than Of the maximum health. The character becomes immune to all damage and negative effects for seconds with a 70 second CD. Just a great symbol in general to have.
Lacerated Wounds– Causes additional damage over time after you crit based on your luck. This is basically required in any build that has any luck in it. This symbol is great.
Painful Spasms– Causes additional damage over time after an impulse charge is activated based on your spirit. This is a great skill if you are going for an impulse damage based monk.
Impulse Intensity– Increases impulse damage for each level of this symbol. Don’t get this unless you go Spirit on your monk, and even then I recommend luck over spirit
Clever Maneuver- Using a dash gives the player a shield equal to 5% of there health. Everyone gets this really early on and it is a great skill, especially for monk who dodges quite often.
Ghostly Viper– Necromancer master symbol. Has a chance to summon a viper when attacking while attacking for 20 seconds. Good symbol in general to use if you have it.
Cold Calculation– Archer master symbol. Increases damage by 15% to monsters with more then 50% health. Helps kill things faster in general, but isn’t something I would worry about at first.
Frenzy– Berserker master symbol. Has a chance to increase damage by 20% when hit. This goes off a lot more then you would think when soloing and 20% is not bad at all. When in a group mission when you aren’t getting hit very often, the usefulness of this symbol kinda falls off however.
Impulse Barrier– Gives a shield whenever you use an impulse charge equal to 3% of your health per level of this symbol. Now this is a good symbol to have, but it becomes a lot more useful if you stack discharge recover. That being said, even as a luck based monk, this symbol can save your life.
Stolen initiative– Monk master symbol. This is an amazing symbol to have vs monsters that can be stunned, because it is basically a permanent 20% damage bonus due to dragon strike. However, it is useless vs bosses which is why this symbol can be dropped if you don’t like it.
These are just some of the symbols I recommend and you can honestly use whatever you like. Remember that in order to get more symbol slot you need to master more classes.
First off I am going to explain how Gusty Winds works and why it is extremely important to have. Gusty Winds takes the damage from hidden trauma, ignites it immediately, and then does additional damage. This is activated when you hit an enemy that has the hidden trauma debuff with Dragon Rage. Now, a lot of the talents monk has can work with this talent to make it considerably stronger. Stone Technique makes your earth combo do more damage, which in turn makes your hidden trauma do more damage. Now add in the Major Bruises talent and you just got even MORE damage. Then you go and use Dragon Rage, which will now have a 61% damage bonus instead of 43% because ofSear and it will ignite the hidden trauma damage that was just buffed up by your other talents. Just doing that over and over can cause some serious damage.
Let’s get into some of the combos that a monk has and when you should use them.
When fighting mobs of weaker monsters you could Burning staff straight into Scorching strike and most likely kill them. If burning staff is on CD you could use Heart of a Phoenix instead OR both at the same time for some insane AoE damage.
When fighting single targets or just one monster at a time you will generally use Dragon Strike, switch to Fire Stance and then use Dragon Rage, then switch back to Earth Stance and repeat. Also use Stone Palm whenever possible. This combo basically utilizes both the infinite stun from Dragon Strike as well as the damage bonus from Gusty Winds.
When fighting bosses your combo changes a little bit as the fight progresses. While the boss has more then 30% of its health you will use Lotus Strike and then switch to Fire Stance, use Dragon Rage, and then switch back to Earth Stance and repeat, using Stone Palm whenever possible. Now when the boss drops below 30% hp you will continue to do the same thing however you will now replace Lotus Strike with Falling Mountain and repeat the same combo. This combo utilizes both Gusty Winds and Stone Technique talents
Those will be your general dps combo’s, but there are times when you will need to tank, which I recommend avoiding if possible, and you have some different combo’s for those situations.
What you will use most of the time to tank is the Dragon Strike into Dragon Rage dps combo BUT you will use Wind Stance whenever you need to so you can use Gust of Wind and Rapid Stream for the Air Shield. Make sure you skip Fire Stance when switching to Wind Stance so you don’t miss the Diamond Dust buff.
When going PURE tank (which I would never do unless it is 100% required) you would use Dragon Strike, switch to Wind Stance, then use Gust of Wind, followed by Rapid Stream. You would then switch back to Earth Stance and repeat. I do not like this combo very much as the damage is basically as low as you could get on a monk, but you will most likely tank for a very long time due to Diamond Dust and Air Shield.
WILL BE ADDED SOON
Out of all of the dps classes, monk is generally considered to have the lowest of the group. However, with the correct combo’s and knowledge, I don’t believe this to be true. Now, will it do as much burst damage as a kinetic? No. Will it have as much sustain as a warlock/witch? No. But the class can definitely deal enough damage to be a viable dps class. However doing this requires MUCH more effort and time to learn then nearly every other class in the game, so you have to make sure you are playing the class because you WANT too and because you think it’s FUN. If you think that when you master it you will be top dps, you will be disappointed when a kinetic facerolls more damage then you. I do not think that we will forever be weaker though however, and if you do master this class, in the future you could be a force to be reckoned with.
If I missed anything or there is something you think I should add be sure and let me know! I want this to kinda be a place where people can come and share what they have learned about monk, don’t be shy! Also don’t be afraid to send me a message ingame if you have a question. Hope this helps you guys.
IGN: Zycranos Lazuli