-* General Gearing guide for the mid-level monk *-

Table of contents:
2.Core stats and builds
4.2hander differences.


Hello fellow monks!

There has been an increasing number of topics regarding getting advice for gearing up monks. Due to this myself and Armeleon decided to write a guide that elaborates a bit on what stats you need and where to place them. One of the most painful things when getting upgrades is realizing that you have to move stats around. Not only is it a pain in the !@#, but it can also be very expensive.

This will not be a guide on how to reach 200k dps or how to gear your monk for mp10. We want this to be a guide for people who want to get to the mid level of gear and have solid core stats that are easier to upgrade later on to reach the higher gear levels. That being said, if you follow some of the advice given here you should have a much easier and cheaper time gearing towards being able to play the higher monsterpower levels.

Since there already exists an exellent guide to Tempestrushing by Ironman1975 that subject will not be touched in this guide.

We'll split this guide up in to three parts.

The first part will be explaining what core stats you need and some numbers to give you a general idea of how much you need. These numbers are meant as a guide, none of them are definite. For our class its all about striking a balance between your stats. We'll also have a quick look at some of the most common builds.

The second part will visit all the gearslots and explain a bit on what stats that should be placed there and what stats to stay away from. There will not be that many spesific numbers here, but the higher the numbers are the better it is.

The third part will look into what you should do different if you want to go for a 2hander monk.

2 Core stats and builds.

What stats define a mid-level monk?
It's hard to say exactly, but along the lines of 100-150k dps, 40k hp, 600 allresist with OwE and 5k armor is as close we can get to giving spesifics. Its hard to say what monsterpower you can play with these stats because it depends a lot on your skills, experience with the class and your playstyle.

There are some stats that people sacrifice other stats to have. Pickup radius is a perfect expample. It's not a bad stat at all and not one to stay away from, but it is a bonus. It's not a stat that in any way is needed to either do damage or stay alive.If you have your other stats that you need down, then if you can add pickup radius(or for lower paragon players, magic find), it's a very good thing. This will be the core of this guide, what stats do you need on each gear slot.

Were not gonna go too much in detail on builds. The builds following are to most common builds for dualwielders and twohanders. There are no "best" build, they all do the job and it is ultimatly down to personal preference what you choose to use.

Cookie cutter:

Double Generator:

Exploding palm/bells:

Exploding palm/cyclone strike:

Please take note that there is no OwE or StI on the 2hand builds. This is something that can be changed depending on your defensive stats. Gearing towards using the combination of passives in the examples is recomended due to the great benefits of having as much passive spirit regen as possible, but there is no shame in having a bit less spirit regen and staying alive.

There are a few common mistakes when it comes to skills:

-If you rely heavily on serenity to survive you should have a look at your gear. Your defensive stats are probably lacking somewhere. Serenity is sort if a false security. You're immune of 4 seconds and for the next 20 seconds you are still in trouble. Getting your defensive stats to a point where you dont need serenity at all is recomended due to the fact that you can use other skills to buff your dps quite a lot.

-Using combination strike with only one spirit-generator is not too efficient. If you're still relying on serenity, using beacon of ytar or fleet footed(or guiding light in parties), is a much better idea. Allthough they dont buff your dps they are passives with a lot of benefits that are worth more than
the 8% damage that combination strike gives with a single sprit-generator.

-The combo of Fist of Thunder with Thunderclap and Sweeping Wind with Cyclones rune is rarely a good option for 2-handed builds. The synergy of these skills is obvious but so is the loss in spirit compared to Fist of Thunder with Quickening and Sweeping Wind with Inner Storm. In most cases a 2-handed monk is much better off with the significant amount of extra spirit from the latter combo, since spirit spenders are not great for spawning cyclones anyway.


- Head:

-spirit regen.

For mid level gearing there is really only one way to go here. The Innas radiance can pretty much roll every affix you need from a helm. A no crit mempo is not really a viable choice here. When you're dualwielding with the cookie cutter build, critchance outwighs attackspeed when it comes to the amount of cyclone ticks you get, and for a 2hander build you'll need the spiritregen it can roll.You can easily get a radiance with high dexterity, vitality and resistance to make up for the massive EHP a mempo gives.

When it comes to choosing to go with spirit regen here or not it depens of if you're dualwielding or using a 2hander. For dualwielding you can manage without due to the attackspeed and the increased spirit regen from simply hitting more often. For 2handers it becomes a lot more important. The lack of attackspeed means that you have a lower spiritregen and that you need to make up for it somewhere. Having spritregen here is a good choice since the radiance still can roll dexterity/vitality/resistance.

On the topic of using the Andaries visage or not we'd say it's really a no-go. The visage have only one randomroll which means your EHP will be suffering since you have to choose between vitality and a socket here. The extra fire damage taken will make you suffer more since especialy dw monks have to stand in fire and hit from time to time.


-All resist/chosen resistanc.

The shoulders are one of the places where its ideal to have dual resists if you're looking to take full advantage of OwE. Shoulders are also one of three places where you can roll extra armor without sacrificing any other stats. This does not in any way mean that vile wards are mandatory here, but it is a very good item. Dual resist + vitality vile wards is pretty much all you need from shoulders. Both rare(found) and crafted shoulders will do the job just as well, its just that litte harder to find ones with all the stats you are looking for. A high strength roll on crafted shoulders can also make up for not having armor since 1 str = 1 armor, but dont be fooled into crafting strength shoulders. Dexterity is still more valuable.


-Critical hit chance
-Critical hit damage/attackspeed/average damage
-All resistance/chosen elemental resistance/Vitality

When looking for amulets you should always look for mainstat(dex), at least two offensive and one defensive stat. What combination of stats to choose here has no deffinitive answer. However, try to avoid the combination of attackspeed and critical hit damage. While this may look good on the sheet dps it does bring your real damageoutput down quite a lot. One of the main damagedealers for dw monks are the cyclones from sweeping wind and they tick more often the higher your critical hit chance is. For 2hand monks you also rely a lot on having big crits on your spirit

As far as defensive stats go it should pretty much be based on the rest of your gear,or the rest of your gear should be buildt around a good amulet. Ideally you want vitality here, but if youre lacking resists and have enough hp it might be a good idea to put some resistance instead of vitality here.



For monks that are using OwE the chest armor is not a place you want to put resists simply because its easy to get the required resistances off your other gearpieces and the fact that a good chest easily rolls over 200 vitality. Your chest should be one of your main sources of dexterity and vitality. Try to avoid putting vitailty gems here. you need around 3 times as much dexterity as vitality, and its important to make sure you get as much dexterity as possible where you can. If you still are running low on vitality with a 200+ vit chest you should look at your other gearpieces and try to think about where you haven't/can place more vitality.


-Critical hit chance
-Critical hit damage/attack speed
-Vitality/all resistance/chosen resistance

For gloves you should again look for dexterity, at least two offensive stats and one defensive stat. Again, stay away from the combo of attackspeed and critical hit damage. Gloves and amulets are pretty similar as far as the core stats go. You wanna pick the defensive stat that youre lacking from the rest of your gear, or if you have some really nice gloves you can build gear around them.

-Critical hit chance
-All resistance/chosen resistance

Bracers is a tricky one. You want to get as much dps out of them while keeping solid defensive stats. The ideal roll has dexterity, vitality, dual resist, armor and critical hit chance. If you are careful when placing your other stats you can get away with having a single high rolled resistance here.

For a mid level monk lacunis are rubbish. You give up on way too many valuable defensive stats for the attackspeed and it's just not worth it. Semi-good crafted bracers will easily outdps the lacunis. Attackspeed is usualy a stat you should look for on every gearslot that can carry it, but bracers is an exception. Lacunis with good EHP are so expensive that it's a complete waste to look for.


-Critical hit chance
-Critical hit damage/attackspeed/average damage.

Rings are tricky. Again having dexterity + two offensive and one defensive stat here is recomended. However, the unity and the stone of jordan are popular choices here and none of these have defensive stats. This is however not a big issue since you can get the required stats off your other gearpieces. If you want to go straight for a natalya's ring here don't bother with getting critical hit chance at first, its pretty expensive and you don't gain that much dps over having high average damage(40+). If you're not going for two offensive stats from the start its recomended to have both vitality and resistance here.


-All resistance/chosen elemental resistance/vitality.

To go for a rare belt with a lot of defensive stats from the start is not too good an idea. This makes upgrading the belt later on very difficult. A good witching hour with solid defensive stats is hard to get and very expensive, and for a lot of players in the prosess of gearing up its not really a choice.
The innas belt comes with both dexterity and armor as standard rolls, and it is a very viable option here. Whether you go for one with your chosen elemental resistance or vitality depends on what stats you have been able to achieve. The 4set bonus from the innas set is also a good argument for the innas belt for mid level monks. The cost reduction for the sweeping wind can be a very valuable ally. Also the 7-8% elemental damage is a significant bonus for black weapon(such as EF or Skorn) users.

The option of a cheap witching hour is also a viable one for dual wielding monks here, there are decent ones available on the auction house with dexterity,vitality and chosen resistance. For budget dual wield builds having high attackspeed and critical hit damage here doesn't really matter, What matters is getting good defensive stats and a solid amount(50+) of dexterity here. The attackspeed and critical hit damage can be upgraded later on


-chosen elemental resistance

The inna's temperance is pretty much mandatory here. The attackspeed- and movementspeed bonus are too beneficial to overlook. The problem with the temeperance is that the ehp is pretty low compared to Blackthornes or rare pants. We'd like to argue for the fact that stats like attackspeed and movementspeed + the set bonuses are better than the EHP lost from other options. On the question of getting vitality or resistance here the answer depends on the rest of
your gear. Like the Inna's belt, the pants have only one randomroll it might be a good idea to wait and see what kinds of stats you are low on/missing before deciding what to buy here.


-Chosen elemental resistance
-All resistance

Stay away from the rare boots here. It will give you problems later on when you have to move the stats around. If you are thinking about taking your monk towards the higher gear levels you should go straight for the natalya's boots. If you are looking to take full advantage of OwE this is one of the gearslots you want to put dual resistance. The armor bonus from the nats boots is also a thing that makes them a favoured choice. A lot of monks run with vitality here and it is not a bad choice by any means, but the dual resitance option is quite a lot cheaper, and if you go for vitality here you will have to compensate for the loss in resistance somewhere else.

Going for ice climbers in combination with a high crit chance rare ring here is not a bad choice either, but you'll need movementspeed on them since we recommend that you stay away from lacunis. This can be pretty expensive if you are on a budget, and more expensive to gear away from since the ice climbers come with life%, vitality and dual resistance.


-Critical hit damage/socket/both.
-Life on hit/life steal.

Summing up weapons is pretty easy:

If you are going to use a build that includes thunderclap and cyclones(sweeping wind), a Won Khim Lau and a black damage weapon will eat anything else for breakfast as far as output damage is concerned. Whether you prefer hitting slower and harder(mace/spear) or faster(sword/axe/fist) is down to personal preference. There are again no definitive answers for this. Daggers however are not really a good choice, the attackspeed is good but the damage is pretty much non-existent compared to swords, fists or axes. Fist weapons are also not the best of choices since they tend to be very expensive.

For budget dual wield builds getting a mainhand without dexterity is an option since it is sigificantly cheaper.

On the subject of the echoing fury were not going to say that its a good or bad weapon, but what we can say is that the fear is at some point going to drive you completly nuts. It is also pretty expensive.

On the choice between life steal and life on hit people never seem to agree on a dps number where lifesteal becomes more effective, but it's somewhere between 80 and 100k unbuffed dps. Exactly where depends on your defensive stats.

As far as how much life on hit you need it's very hard to say that you ned x life on hit to do this or that. Life on hit scales with attackspeed so if you have high attackspeed you'll need less than if you have lower attackspeed. Having at least 1000 life on hit should keep you comfortable on lower monsterpower levels.

Having dual lifesteal is very much recomended for the mid-gear levels. It makes your everyday diablo-life a lot more comfortable and you might not have to rely on skills like serenity to stay alive and do damage. Its much better to have a litte less damage and be able to hit all the time than having to hit and move a lot.

For 2-handed weapons Life Steal is the only viable choice. Life on hit is not really an option due to the low attack speed of 2-handers as well as the relatively low proc coefficients of spirit spenders usually associated with 2-handed builds. There are some very specific builds and routes with which a life after kill 2-hander will work, but for all-around gameplay Life Steal is a must.

If you wanna go for the 2hander option there are very few rares that can compete with the skorn. That being said, it’s always worth looking for one, since most people don’t, there is a possibility for great deals here. For a low budget option, look for 2-handers with high Critical Hit Damage and Life Steal, but no socket.
4. What to do different for a 2-handed gear

The 2-handed gear discussed below means a set up that, to some extent, relies on passive spirit regen from gear and skills. The common nominator of these builds is the fact that the main source of damage is using spirit spenders rather than buffing spirit generators and sweeping wind. Gearwise this results in four implications that differ from gearing a dual wielding monk, these are discussed below:

a) More HP, less resist

Using a 2-hander means your damage is less frequent but also your spirit spenders, such as WOL and Cyclone Strike, practically always heal you full. This means as long as you don’t die in between spirit spenders you are fine. The most cost effective way to reach this goal is focus more on max HP, at the cost of resist if necessary. 400-500 all resist is fine for MP 10 using a 2-hander, the sweet spot obviously depends on your armor, the amount of life steal on your wep and your max HP.

b) Attack speed is less valuable

When a major portion, or even all, of your spirit comes from passive spirit regen, attack speed affix looses a lot of its value. For builds that utilize Tempest Rush for mobility, stacking too much attack speed can be even harmful. If you happen to craft a good pair of gloves or a sweet amulet with attack speed on it, use it. If you're buying gear, going for trifecta is no longer worth the money. You will get some attack speed from Inna's temperence and possibly Natalya's ring and that's all you really need.

c) Spirit regen from gear is extremely valuable

All 2-handed builds utilize Guardians Path passive to boost spirit generation. This means any spirit regen from gear is automatically significantly more valuable. Since the damage of 2-handed builds is heavily based on spirit spenders, there is no good reason to pass on having spirit regen on the 2 gear slots where one can have it. This means getting a Inna's radiance with spirit regen as well as a Stone of Jordan with the skill bonus of your choice (WOL or Cyclone Strike in most cases) is highly recommended.

d) Inna's 4-part set bonus is extremely valuable

For 2h builds the 4-part set bonus not only saves you a lot of spirit when activating SW but is often used for spirit generation trough the Inner Storm rune. Together these mean a huge difference in spirit available for other skills, and combined with the other benefits from Inna's belt and Radiance compared to alternatives there is no good reason not to have all 4 armor parts of Inna on a 2-handed monk.

We wish you the best of luck with your monks.
Best regards.
Armeleon & Sofake.
This, this is awesome. Thanks!
Yay it's ready :)
yay no more typos :P
really great work guys :))
I m stunned with how well written this guide is!

Great work guys. Keep em comin.

Permission to add a link to my thread :D
Very good detailed information, well done guys.

Sticky requested.
Thanks guys.
Much appreciated :)
Thanks! As someone who just started a monk, this was a really good read. I got 120k, 470k ehp and around ~480 AR with about 65m, with 10m wasted on bad decisions. And I got my MH and legs from my barb. MP4 is pretty cake walk. Its a good starting point from here!

EDIT: Im considering getting WKL for my OH. what should I look for and what price range Im looking for?
I m stunned with how well written this guide is!

Great work guys. Keep em comin.

Permission to add a link to my thread :D

Ofc, its a guide so it's meant to be shared :P
15/04/2013 20:38Posted by attesar
EDIT: Im considering getting WKL for my OH. what should I look for and what price range Im looking for?

I'm not familiar enough with mid-range WKL prices to give specifics, but as a rule of thumb critical damage is usually a lot cheaper than socket + gem. People tend to ignore the price of Emeralds when comparing socket and Crit damage affixes, even though up to the range of 100m+ the Emerald can form a significant portion of total cost.

Also look for 20%+ Lightning Skills, otherwise the WKL may not be worth it anyway.

Other than this you're gonna have to choose between another offensive affix or life steal. Especially if you often play co-op, I'd stick to double life steal. A monk can be very useful on high MP, as long as he can stay alive, no matter the DPS.
Good guide :)
Thanks, nice guide! My monk will meditate on these recommendations.
Excellent and detailed guide for monks in need of gearing advice, props guys!
25/04/2013 16:23Posted by Whopper78
Excellent and detailed guide for monks in need of gearing advice, props guys!

Thank you. (Yes, this was a bump ;)
really good read and good guide
Really good guide but can add two things for 2-handers:

Boots: Zuni boots are really nice together with a big black weapons such as skorn. The 8% poison damage from my boots add 9k dps, so if you like to be more free regarding ring choices, its the way to go.

In part 4, you propose using SOJ with WoL/Cyclone strike and I agree that's the way to go for high mp, but SW or TR is probably best for low mp running.

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