So, all three of the builds I created are sufficiently leveled and geared. I can now update the Monk guide with guidelines on what to expect as you start and level them.
Thanks so much for your suggestions, criticisms and patience as I’ve played through each one. I hope you will find them (or variants you design from them) useful and fun.
I don’t think I’ve made a post where I’ve spoken of them all in-depth. To avoid cluttering up the guide with such subjective drivel, I’ll post it here.
The Zen Archer
Purpose: High miss-chance, high Ranged Power Elven defensive sniper. 20 Monk (Harper Agent/Ninja Spy)
- Attacking enemies using missiles or magic, as they have a very hard time making a successful hit against the build due to its high Concealment, Incorporeality, Dodge, Improved Evasion, PRR, AC and Spell Resistance
- Quests where stealth can be used to allow sniping from a distance. Enemies often never reach this build before she kills them with Deception, Epic Destiny abilities, and Tendon Slice effects.
- Legendary raids, where the enemy CR is sufficient to bypass most of the build’s layered defenses
- Raids with mostly Red-named enemies (such as “Defiler of the Just”), where the build’s DPS and single-target enemy controls to slow or stop enemies is neutralized
Strengths and Weaknesses:
- High sustained ranged DPS, second only to Zen Bowmaster, thanks to higher Ranged Power from Harper Agent
- Fast takedown with higher innate Ranged Power and Deception effects that add Sneak Attack damage
- Useful 33% standing Doubleshot with EDs and gear
- Strongest stealth skills, but slower movement speed in stealth
- Miss-chance effects, spell resistance and PRR allow sustained DPS even when attacked by several enemies at once
- Using Harper Agent and Elf Dragonmark enhancements, can gain 6-minute Displacement
- Can use Ten Thousand Stars and Manyshot, works well with “Furyshot.”
- High Diplomacy, useful in several instances
- Damage dependent on DEX, bow quality and arrows
- Has best fortification-bypass options; can land 100+ hits against Legendary Shroud planar gateways with 55% fortification bypass thanks to Epic Destiny abilities and Thunder-Forged longbow
- Easy build to train other EDs, once Pin and Otto’s Whistler are available in Twist of Fate slots
- Uses Precise Shot only to build up damage bonuses and limit Threat generation
- As a stationary fighter, generates the best sustained damage against toughest enemies
The Zen Archer was discussed on the forums, and you can find more build information in the Monk guide.
The Zen Bowmaster
Purpose: High-DPS offensive ranged attacker. 20 Monk (Arcane Archer)
Best environment: Enemies with low Will saves.
- Quests or raids against some special Red-named enemies or enemies with higher Will saves (enemy Clerics, Paladin/Blackguards, shamans) that resist attack DCs
- Quest or raids where the build generates too much aggro; the build has the lowest overall defenses
Strengths and Weaknesses:
- Very high DPS. Bow damage combines with Ranged Power and arrow imbues augmented by spell power from the AA tree.
- Uses both Ten Thousand Stars and Manyshot for highest burst Doubleshot while in Divine Crusader ED – up to 240%
- Highest standing Doubleshot on first life (75% with feats, ED, AA and gear)
- Versatile attack options from the AA tree (blunt/piercing/slash/Doubleshot) and elemental, force, paralyzing, banishing and smiting effects
- AA imbues are based on WIS modifier. As a Monk, build can greatly boost WIS to use as to-hit modifier (Zen Archery feat), generating extra AC, and creating DCs for arrow effects that operate even in Legendary Elite raids, especially paralyzing
- Fair fortification bypass
- Useful, but not superior miss-chance effects
- Sustained damage lower than Zen Archer but imbued spell power attacks compensate often for increased damage per attack for some enemies over Zen Archer
- Not as weapon-dependent as Zen Archer unless enemy resists AA attacks due to higher fortification
- Uses Improved Precise Shot, which often causes great Threat generation
You’ll find the fundamental build information in the Monk guide.
The Poison Master Ninja
Purpose: High-DPS offensive melee Drow. 20 Monk (Ninja Spy)
Best environment: Enemies with low Fortitude saves.
- Quests or raids where enemies can resist special attacks that cause Helplessness, Nausea, or Blindness
- Quest or raids where enemies are immune from Negative Energy or Poison
DPS and Weaknesses:
- Medium High to Very High DPS, depending on whether Helplessness can be used
- Second-best stealth skills (second to Zen Archer), fastest movement speed while Sneaking
- Best instant-kill power against isolated enemies, using finishing moves or Quivering Palm attack
- Ninja Spy training augments stealth, defense, movement speed, Dexterity to-hit and to-Damage with shortswords and shuriken, Sneak Attack damage and Ninja Poison, a powerful DoT effect that cannot be resisted except by Poison-immune enemies
- Drow racial feats and enhancements add Shuriken and Shortsword prowess as well as additional Poison damage
- Optional Epic Destiny Feat choices can add greater Doublestrike, Doubleshot and bonuses to Dodge and Dodge cap (to 34%)
- Some Ninja Spy Monk finishing moves cause Helplessness, allowing No Mercy enhancement (and, in Epic, stacking with Fury of the Wild’s Sense Weakness) to generate 30 to 60% additional damage on Helpless enemies
- As a melee fighter without a shield, defenses are limited to WIS (AC bonus), Combat Expertise, high miss-chance effects, and movement speed
Detailed information can be found in the Monk guide.