About this Blog

Dungeons & Dragons Online is a free-to-play (initially) massive multiplayer online role-playing (sort-of) game by Turbine, Inc. and Warner Brothers Gaming.

With the Great Demise of the original DDO forums and MyDDO blogs, The Order of Syncletica continues the discussion of the good, the bad, and the illuminating aspects of Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) from the perspective of one player, one guild and a lot of friends that come and go.

The name change from it’s MyDDO blog incarnation, “The Virtual Monk,” is to relate its content more to The Book of Syncletica, an unofficial web guide to the DDO Monk class, also written by Yours Truly.

Feedback

If you have questions about a particular post, just add a comment!

This blog has a better comment system than the Monk guide’s options. If you are using the Monk guide and have a question, correction or comment, feel free to reply in this About area, or leave a reply in the “About the Guide” page.

About Your’s Truly:

On the DDO Forums I’m known as “Spencerian.” I live in Indianapolis, Indiana and am a computer technician by trade. I’ve been on DDO since around 2010.

“Syncletica” is my first character rolled in DDO and, as you might expect, is a Monk. You’ll find my characters exclusively on the Ghallanda server, in the guild Tyrs Paladium.

I play most evenings on Eastern time. I take my relative time on leveling except when I find something new and get all obsessed with the new character, playing it for weeks before returning to something else shiny.

My Characters

Quasi vir puellam pugnat.

(A man who fights as if he were a girl)

I’m a computer tech by trade. I love the Monk class and similar specialists, taking pages from my Neverwinter Nights days.

Most of my characters are girls because, simply, chicks kick ass. (That, and if I’m going to play for hours, I have something pleasant to look at.)

portrait-syncletica1Syncletica: Light Monk speed fighter, now in her 2nd life.

Everything I know about Monks has been generated through her, and in her 2nd life, she’s an incredible build.

A Grandmaster of Wind, Syncletica is nearly a blur during battle.

She’s not quite in retirement but seeking a new purpose in life.

 

 

 

 

portrait-lynncletica1

Lynncletica: Light Monk tanker.

The Little Mountain.

Designed as a power-hitting defensive Earth Grandmaster Shintao III with high AC and HP that dares to venture where Archons fear to tread.

Hates giants. A lot.

Now in her second life, rebuilt for Epic Elite survival.

 

 

 

Glasses: check. Longcoat-like robe: check. Big f'n stick: Check. Attitude: Oh yeah.Quintessica: Light Monk Henshin Mystic.

“The Mighty Quin” was once my “Avatar,” or master of all elemental forms before the new enhancement changes.

With Update 19, she becomes a master all finishing moves as a Mystic, generating tremendous damage with a quarterstaff and still leveraging her Grandmaster skills.

Now in her 2nd life, from a Halfling to a Human.

 

 

portrait-ryncletica1

Ryncletica:  Dark Monk Ninja Spy.

She enters most adventures completely alone, sneaking by hordes to kill the leader and steal their stuff.

She’s invisible.

She’s a ghost.

She’s a shadow.

SHE’S RIGHT BEYOND YOU

 

Allysen: (Not shown) My Acrobat Rogue. Fun to play but you learn your class’s solo limits hard with her.

Arcammedes: (Not shown) My Drow Artificer. ‘Medes specializes in construct destruction and is my master crafter. Semi-retired.

 

She's not much, but she's got it where it counts.

Pynthetica:  A former Ranger/Arcane Archer, now a half-elf Arcane Zen Archer.

When I feel the need to go all “Legolas” on things, Pyn steps in.

She’s not a “Monkcher.” She’s a Monk with a bow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synthetica: (Not shown) My Warforged Monk. A Fire Stancer. A different feel than any other I’ve played. She’s stalled, reworking on a Kensei concept.

Theacletica: (Not shown) My first Kensei attempt. Still under construction.

 

Szyncletica1Szyncletica:A Shiradi Shurricannon build.

One shuriken used for extremely fast destruction. Arguably a better ranged character than some “Monkchers.”

Currently my most versatile character, able to solo Epic Elite adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kiricletica, anti-mage of Eberron and the Forgotten Realms.

Kiricletica: A Ninja Spy initially built to complete as much as the game as possible without any party/hireling support, with limited kills.

A great shortsword build that retaught me many things about finishing moves as well as Ninja Poison’s power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flynncletica2aFlynncletica: My first successful Bard.

She’s a Swashbuckler that loves to use Fascinate and charming to make your enemy armies her own. She also rips you several new ones with Single Weapon Fighting’s blazing attack speed.

Sure, she’ll be a Monk, someday. But her spell-like abilities, defenses and attack/movement speed make her very Monk-like at present.

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in playing a Monk but don’t know where to start? Been discouraged in trying Monks in the past?

The Book of Syncletica” can help.

“Dungeons & Dragons,” “Dungeons & Dragons Online” are registered trade- and service-marks of Turbine, Inc, Wizards of the Coast, Atari and Warner Gaming. This is a fan/player-operated site. The trademark owners have no affiliation with the information on this site. 

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grifter Los Pistoleros
    Apr 16, 2014 @ 12:10:47

    Hail! Master Sensei Syncletica,

    This lowly student humbly seeks your wisdom in building a self-sufficient solo-play ninja/rouge.

    I am considering these elements for the build:

    1. Half-Elf with Dilettante: Cleric
    – To allow healing wands and scrolls use
    2. Rouge multi-class
    – For Open Locks / Disable Traps / Sneak Attacks
    – Envenom Blades from Assassin tree
    3. Mostly Monk Ninja levels
    4. Dual-wield Shortswords primary / Unarmed/Shuriken/Kama secondary
    – For flavor (this is my Way of the Ninja… )

    My expected playstyle would be to sneak around, take out targets quickly one area at a time… then go back for breakables and what-not…

    I hope this would be enough input for you to assess the viability of this build.

    Thank You and Best Regards,

    – Steven (FB: Grifter Los Pistoleros

    P.S.

    I enjoyed reading Kiricletica’s adventures (I also enjoyed watching Sword Art Online and the newer Log Horizon…) and am awed by her l33t ninja skillz…

    FYI

    I have been playing DDO solo on-and-off since 2010 after it became F2P and I have both the MoTU and the Shadowfell expansions, but my highest non-iconic

    character is only Level 13… (pretty pathetic, I know… lol)

    Reply

    • teachersyn
      Apr 16, 2014 @ 18:23:51

      You sound like you’re doing better than me! Look up in the Search field for Cassietetica, my attempt to build a Ninja Assassin. I wanted strong ninja skills with good trapping and assassinate. However, she become unbalanced on the Rogue side and was only a decent Normal difficulty trapper. I loved her but turned her into a bank when I could Lesser Reincarnate her properly.

      I recommend starting off with Rogue, then adding enough Monk levels (3), adding the first three NS cores to get Shadow Veil. Then stop and pour on the Rogue levels. I plan to revisit this but it sounds like you’re on the best track. Check out the forums for more advice. The Ninja skills will give you all the sword experience.

      Reply

  2. Grifter Los Pistoleros
    May 06, 2014 @ 05:16:43

    Hail! Master Sensei Syncletica,

    I finally rolled up my Half-Elf Ninja Rogue build with Veteran Status II to start at Level 7 last week.

    I got her up to Level 8 (Monk 6 / Rogue 2) recently. I’m finished with all the Level 1-3 quests and am currently running through the the Level 4 quests at Elite and enjoying myself, though my Artificer toon almost blew a gasket when he received the custom-crafted orders…

    Arti: You want *how many* master-crafted items?!?
    Ninja/Rogue: a +5 STR item, a +5 DEX item, a +5 WIS item, a +5 CON item, a +1 Holy Handwraps of Undead Bane (+5), and a +3 Acid Burst Shortsword of Bleeding (+6) when I reach Level 8…
    Arti: You do know I don’t have enough favor with House Cannith to purchase Marks of Cannith from their merchant… I have to purchase them from the *other* store, and they would be hideously expensive….
    Ninja/Rogue: Pretty, pretty, please… …
    Arti: You do know that 1) As a Warforged, your half-breed charms do not work on me, and 2) You are not *charismatic* enough to pull that “sultry siren” act in any case…
    Ninja/Rogue: Phooey! You’re no fun!
    Arti: If you want all that master-crafted stuff, you *will* scrounge around the warehouse for random-loot BtA items or farm for them if necessary. I will accept items with the legacy guild augments as well. I will not waste my resources making master-crafted item for *your* exclusive use… I *will* make an exception for your weapons, this once… Since finding BtA handwraps and other weapons in general is difficult…

    Due to miscalculations during the build (as well as not fully reading the descriptions), I belatedly realized that the Ninja Stealth only gave you the +1 passive Ki regeneration when you max out its level…

    I was only able to get the full Ninja Stealth levels and Shadow Veil at Level 8 and wow, it really makes quite a difference when you find yourself swarmed by mobs.

    Currently, I cleared all my enhancement points from the Half-Elf tree to put them into the Shintao Monk tree for max levels in Deft Strikes.

    I initially took the Zen Archery feat as my Monk 6 martial art feat, but I couldn’t take advantage of it for now since I rarely engage at range, so I swapped it for the Resilience feat instead, since I am not using any defensive stances…

    I bring a cleric hireling along when I fight undead (Catacombs quest chain) and for difficult quests to solo (like Proof is in the Poison)… But generally, I do quests solo, and sneak around, shadow veil + shield (goggles clicky, 5x) + blur (wand), kill caster first then melee with the remaining mob…

    I am having problems taking advantage of sneak attack, though. Without someone else getting aggro, I only have the first hit with which to inflict a sneak attack, but looking at the damage dealt and the combat window text, I rarely see the ability proc…

    Given that I only have 2 levels of Rogue, even with some enhancements, I can only expect around 1d6+2 or so of additional sneak attack damage, so either I really suck at die-rolling, or I’m doing something wrong…

    I basically had foregone UMD and Bluff (no CHA) for trapping skills, so is sneak attack still an option for this build? Also, are deception weapons really effective?

    Hoping for your enlightened advice.

    Best Regards,

    – Steven

    Reply

    • teachersyn
      May 06, 2014 @ 08:45:40

      Hey, Grifter.

      The challenge I had, as I think I mentioned, about a Rogue Monk, is how to maximize the abilities of both without gimping either side. Sounds like your playstyle helps: stealth is common to both classes. While Ninja Spy has some sneak attack skill, a Rogue skills can be better. Yet, sneak attack works only if you aren’t the target’s focus of attack–unlikely in a solo situation. Therefore, I no longer add points to sneak attack in a build that may be played more as a solo character.

      Deception causes an enemy to turn about as if bluffed, giving you opportunity for more attacks without retaliation–and sneak attack damage if you can deliver it. I recommend Deception if you can get it on an item such as the Golden Guile, but you’ll likely find it on a weapon at your current level.

      Sounds like you might be trying to be too versatile. Decide on a primary weapon but have a ranged backup (shuriken should be fine for you). Your archery skills won’t be as decent as your star throwing if you train more as a ninja. This would free up other AP or feats for other things.

      Despite the forum jokes, carry some decent Holy/Ghostbane weapons to help with undead. They do work. For your build, I’d skip the Henshin Mystic’s Contemplation ability to get more passive ki to use those AP elsewhere. Once you get Greater Ocean Stance you should be fine with a maxed Stealthy ability.

      If you’re adding points to Shintao, does this mean you normally fight unarmed? A ninja works better with shortswords and the poison damage. Your unarmed attacks won’t be bad in the times you should do so, if you move points to Ninja Spy (or Mystic’s Contemplation, maxxed) rather than any Shintao unless you want one or two cores from it to help with healing amplification.

      Remember why you’re picking the Rogue side. What advantages are you gaining? Can you maximize them or are they too costly? I can’t even answer that question yet for myself, but I know that a Rogue that isn’t a Rogue…isn’t. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Grifter Los Pistoleros
    May 07, 2014 @ 00:42:39

    Hail! Master Sensei Syncletica,

    I finally found out what was wrong with my sneak attack. Sneak attack suffers the same bug as Assassinate when combined with Envenom Blades and an unwary target (not aggroed to anyone).

    When the Envenom Blade toggle is on, sneak attacks do not proc when sneaking up to someone then attacking them. Also, if you execute a Ki attack while sneaking, sneak attack also does not proc.

    I verified this by knocking off hobgoblins and Sulatar Drow in Searing Heights…

    Currently, when my sneak attack (2d6+1) procs, I deal around 25 points damage, which is quite a bit compared to 1-4 poison damage from envenomed blades…

    Guess I have to do a bit key-toggling to maximize both aspects… lol

    Regards,

    – Steven

    Reply

  4. DDOCentral
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 18:55:49

    Please link DDOCentral to your blogroll

    Reply

  5. James
    Oct 22, 2014 @ 13:46:26

    How do you maximize mrr on a monk? Currently I’m running with a rog 8/1 mnk/5 pal and learned that the 2nd sacred defender innate stance is very good. The prr and mrr granted is 10. Durable defense tree can add 15 to that. Seem that the blue shard that add prr also add mrr as well as does sheltering. Am I missing any other sources of mrr? Armor and shields don’t count as this is a monk. Pity armored monks would be fun but they can’t use any ki abilities. Monks does get hit with a lot of stuff that evasion doesn’t deal with at all.

    Reply

    • teachersyn
      Oct 22, 2014 @ 14:25:43

      The answer: You don’t. Nor should you need to in general. A truism I often say is “Saves are a Monk’s true armor.” The additions of MRR reflect this.

      MRR absorbs a percentage of magic damage, which was a more serious problem for non-Evasion characters. But Monks can gain Improved Evasion and (next to Paladins) have the highest saving throws in game.

      Combined with their natural Spell Resistance against effects of non-damaging spells, Monks remain the perfect anti-mage attacker. Just add Deathblock and Death Ward on occasion. There are few mages that can kill a fully trained Monk. A Ninja Spy has a finisher that can mute anyone–cannot spellcast, cannot make physical attacks, for a full minute. They may be the best magekiller.

      Reply

    • teachersyn
      Oct 22, 2014 @ 14:27:10

      The twomagic attacks that’s harmful to most Monks is Ray of Enfeeblement (at low levels where STR is lower, uncentering them) and Magic Missile (have a Shield clicky handy if multiple mages exist with that).

      Reply

  6. Vladrich
    Dec 24, 2014 @ 15:02:32

    Well as I await the sugarplum fairy to arrive with a replacement motherboard for my ddo computer, I had a question. Has anyone experimented with a henshin mystic and the fury of the wild primal destiny? Once I’m able to raise dead upon my poor computer I was thinking of trying it out, but I was seeing if you or your community has tried out this combination yet. Happy holidays!

    Reply

    • teachersyn
      Dec 24, 2014 @ 15:37:45

      Hey there. I haven’t myself, but given that Fury is designed to augment melee damage for Barbarians, a STR build as the Mystic should gain some serious boosts. I’m trying to train my Mystic in Draconic Incarnation for massive Fire spell power boosts so it might be a bit before I can try out Fury. But I’d recommend it.

      Reply

      • Vladrich
        Dec 24, 2014 @ 15:49:07

        I was looking at Draconic as well from the excellent post written about it, but I wanted to experiment a bit and expand the knowledge of monks and the various destinies. Once my current work schedule and computer issues stabilize, hopefully I can dig into this build a bit more. I’ll keep the community updated.

        Reply

  7. bloodlickr
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 19:06:54

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Danish bear hug for you 😀

    Reply

  8. James Luxton
    Mar 19, 2017 @ 19:24:30

    Hey Syn, Just wanted to let you know that your blog has been extremely helpful while figuring out Shuriken Monk.

    I am having a real blast playing it but am after some advice and I’m not sure where to ask. If there is a more appropriate place then here please let me know.

    As I am leveling a lot of the end-game item suggestions are pretty irrelevant and I am more interested in the low level items I can equip (Currently level 9 with most of the end game loot banked from my first life). I have recently obtained my snowstar to replace my shadowstar but am seriously missing the deception.

    Can I Cannith Craft deception + seeker on a kama as I currently have maximum seeker (for my level) on my offhand and feel like I would miss that if I replaced it with deception.

    What should I be doing? Can I have both?

    Reply

    • teachersyn
      Mar 23, 2017 @ 07:40:53

      I’d advise you to check the DDO Wiki’s Cannith Crafting article on that. I absolutely know you can add Seeker. My pre-epic off-hand kamas are these. Deception’s not what it used to be with Update 33, but it may still cause the effective damage. Shuricannons, in my opinion, should focus on defensive additions as they grow (Black Dragonscale for armor-piercing, in epic, Shadowscale and Outfit of the Celestial Guardian outfits) and work on getting a Thunder-Forged Shuriken(s) (one for each ML/tier). The best star in the game is available as ML 14 and 28 and that’s the Dawnbringer. You can also get seriously great random effects with Cormyrian “spellplague” stars crafted from the Eveningstar challenges, all easy to do in comparison to Cannith versions.

      Reply

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