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.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TorGrimorde
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 16:12:00

    My dark monk build has whirlwind, which I love, and the recently acquired Drifting Lotus means I will not be changing epic destinies any time soon 🙂

  2. Evennote
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 21:12:43

    I may need to give this build a try!

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  4. Mernom
    Jun 04, 2013 @ 07:18:45

    i wanted to ask if wirlwind atk works fine with monk unarmed fighting,sinse great cleave has a buggy animation.

    • teachersyn
      Jun 04, 2013 @ 08:22:47

      Whirlwind Attack causes an unarmed Monk to jump up and spin 360 degrees. It’s a VERY cool animation. I have it on two Monks, and it supplements other attacks well. If I have Whirlwind, there’s little need for Cleave or Great Cleave, so it’s one or the other. The armed bug noted for some doesn’t seem to affect it as an unarmed attack. Getting Whirlwind requires four feats but this also adds a lot of Dodge Bonuses, too.

  5. Kavatch2.0
    Aug 05, 2013 @ 14:28:16

    Teacher Syn as of the last patch i think the WWA works for any monk ( I tested all races but none of the genders yet) and I’ve found it bugs out most egregiously on a cleave spamming 2-h fighter. I also think it should be mentioned that you can get 4 hits out of a WWA most of the time.

    • teachersyn
      Aug 09, 2013 @ 21:40:31

      That’s been my impression on Whirlwind for non-Monks. While I don’t tend to see four distinct hits with it, the damage of a spinning unarmed Monk is clear. The bug does seem to appear in any other mode than unarmed for me. I have WWA on several Monks and it helps great with the DPS, especially with wraps that drain stats or have Improved Destruction.

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  7. James
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 11:19:50

    How do you modify builds to deal with the changes in stuns? I’m not an expert in monks and it seem easier to find other way to hurt beside stuns these days.

    • teachersyn
      Apr 16, 2014 @ 11:28:04

      Hi. In the case of Mystics, they work like many other weapon melees where stunning isn’t the usual special attack. Cleave attacks, Improved Sunder are often good ones to use. I don’t recommend Stunning Blow as it’s far slower than the unarmed Stunning Fist and isn’t effective without a very high STR that even a Mystic can’t do since they have to tend to other stats for balancing their overall effectiveness. So, higher STR but still some points in DEX and keep your CON and WIS as high. When in doubt, more WIS than CON.

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