Zen and the Art of Power Relay Obliteration

It takes forever to destroy Power Relays--unless you're a Monk.

It takes forever to destroy Power Relays--unless you're a Monk.

Ever discovered the Power Relays in “Schemes of the Enemy?” They take most parties a very long time to destroy to move on to the last fight.

But not for a prepared Epic Light Monk.

Here’s Quintessica’s way to do, all by her lonesome.

  1. Charge up Everything is Nothing as you make your way to the relays.
  2. Stand at the edge of one of the relay platforms and commit to Nothing.
  3. Smile. BOTH relays disappear instantly into the next dimension.

Two Power Relays don't stand a chance.

Two Power Relays don't stand a chance.

I learned that Light Monks with Void Strike IV can also do this on a critical hit, but that’s a little random. Everything is Nothing just works.

Everything is Nothing has a WIDE area of effect.

Everything is Nothing has a WIDE area of effect.

I say “HA!” to Neg Levels

I take my Monks through two “trials” for self-sufficiency, attack and defense. Quin took on “Devil Assault” completely solo on Epic Normal and won (almost lost to bugged Silver/Holy crafted wraps) and “Invaders”–aka, “Beholders R Us.” Typically I bring in a Fergus and his Restoration in case of negative levels, but this time, armed with the Sun Soul epic gear, Quintessica entered completely alone on Elite.

She went in Grandmaster of Flames stance most of the way. I stunned and spun and blew up things, naturally. But after a Beholder or eight managed to neg-level me, I worked them off. Any time I made a natural 20 critical, the set threw a Cure Moderate Wounds and Restoration on me. In short, I removed my own neg-levels as I fought. When the neg-levels came too rapidly, out came the epic destiny ability Wholeness of Body to remove them all (as well as anything else that bothered me).

The Sun Soul set is the “epic Jidz-Tet’ka” must-have items for any Monk!

Quintessentially Powerful

As noted in my last, I began building an experimental Monk that concentrated on powerful attacks and relied less on special Prestige Enhancement attacks and abilities. I called it the “Avatar” build since she would possess all four Monk Grandmaster stances.

Turns out, Quintessica is one ticked-off and dangerous halfling fighter. I declare her a big success.

I hope to put a few shots of her work, but let me update you on how things progressed for her to current level 23.

The Limit by Design

I noted that taking four Grandmasters prohibited a Monk from taking Void Strike IV and Monk Serenity heroic capstone. This is by design, I learned. Before taking any Grandmaster stance, you must spend exactly 64 action points, leaving you 16. Guess how many points it takes per Grandmaster stance? Yes, four. And four times four means zero points left for anything else.

That was good news, in a way. I found myself stockpiling points after gaining all Master stances prior to taking the Grandmasters. It left me the opportunity to actually add Shintao Monk I and II into the build as I had to spend up to 64 points. I had taken advantage of the metal-studded handwraps that drop far more frequently now in Update 14, and tried to craft Holy of Maiming on each Byeshk, Cold Iron and Silver.

Turns out the Silver ones are bugged; the Silver DR does not work for some reason, so back to the crafting halls I go. Fortunately, some CRAZY PERSON had sold a pair of +3 Silver Handwraps of Pure Good in House Deneith’s stores one day. (I kid you not! Prior to Update 14, you could ask the maximum price for these babies or Metalline of Pure Good on the Auction House.)

So, with Byeshk and Cold Iron inboard, there were two serious problems as noted before. One, Quintessica’s hit points remained seriously low. Thankfully, Grandmaster of Earth, with an Improved False Life item, keeps her around the 480-500 mark, more so with buffs. GM of Earth also makes her far more durable, as I’ve learned from Lynncletica, my Shintao III Earth Grandmaster.

While leveling up to 20, Quin’s favorite attack used paralyzers, stuns or banishing wraps. The steps were simple.

  1. Find a mob and jump into the center of them.
  2. Use Whirlwind Attack…a 360 4[W] cleave.
  3. Kill what few enemies were left standing.
  4. Repeat.

My damage with a Whirlwind often killed at least half a mob if my Seeker effects went off. I had little of that until Epic level 1 and new gear (more in a moment).

Leveling went very fast, thanks to several marathon guild runs hither and yon. Then I realized it was the Epic Destinies that would show how really well this build works.

I already gushed about how awesome the Grandmaster of Flowers destiny can be. The Mighty Quin gets Epic level 1, enjoys her new DragonBall KAMEHAME-HA!!! ki attacks and then finds herself the benefactor of three new game-changing items and 1 feat…as if she wasn’t slaying enough things already.

  • Grave Wrappings. These suck the ever-loving life from EVERYTHING but red-named monsters. They don’t really care about the target’s damage reduction. They enervate the hell out of something so that a stun is certain and death is quick. I wear these all the time…screw the negative-level it gives you as a result. You won’t care.
  • Drow Smoke Goggles. I’ve been crawling the Demon Sands for a Blood Stone. Screw that–these have Blindness Immunity, Seeker +6 and Manslayer? If the Grave Wrappings don’t send Quin’s foes to Cania fast enough, a Manslayer hit procs 4 times out of 10 for her now.
  • Spider-Spun Caparison. Yeah, everybody’s wearing them, but that’s because they work as well as they look. A gift from a very generous guild-mate.
  • Improved Critical: Bludgeoning. This feat, combined with the first above, sent Quin into Destroyer of Worlds territory as critical hits exploded from her hand.

And Quin wasn’t done.

She reached Tier 4 or so of her destiny and received Drifting Lotus. You remember that one?

So, with the gear above, I can modify my attack sequence a little bit.

  1. Find mob and mosh into it.
  2. Use Drifting Lotus.
  3. Use Whirlwind Attack.
  4. Walk away without flinching at the circular dead on the ground.

Often, there is few to none left alive after that bit of work. Everyone around me gets 400-800 points of damage or are instantly slain, depending on what they were hit with.

And Quin is, by far, the finest stunning Monk in my arsenal. She can stun Epic Normal foes 90% of the time with Stunning +10 in place.

The Verdict on the Avatar

Building Quintessica has been fun. Does having all Grandmasters make a difference? I would say “yes,” but it is not a requirement for serious butt-whooping. It does make for incredible versatility.

Start a fight in Ultimate Fire Stance, spin-attack a mob and your ki is already half-full. Drop into Earth Stance for defense and damage. Light easy-to-kill mobs, high jumps, or speed for attacks or  traversing long areas enjoy Ultimate Wind Stance. When coming up on serious traps and a need to avoid damage and/or regenerate ki quickly without creating much threat takes Ultimate Ocean Stance.

I’m not missing Monk Serenity now, as GMoF’s feats add that one in effectively by Tier 6, as well as Enhanced Ki from the outfits.

And yes, Quin owns the Vestments of the Sun Soul and its two additional set items. Kicking each ability of the set on while in each Grandmaster stance and a vorpal-level hit gives me a Radiant Forcefield (Earth), Cure Moderate Wounds and Restoration (Fire…gotta have this on when something neg-levels me), Freedom of Movement and 6% to Doublestrike (Wind) or Fire Shield/Cold (Water), each for a brief time.

I’ll post a bit more, hopefully with pics. Quintessica has made me realize it’s time to reincarnate Lynncletica already. Quin is the most superior Monk I have, and I’m totally stoked.

Sure, I can’t Void something out of existence (at least until I get DEATH BLOSSOM…er, I mean “Everything is Nothing”) or Jade reliably. But Quin stuns, knocks down and slays so well, it doesn’t matter.