Playing with a skill simulator and analysing every skill and attribute to come up with some good Monk builds has been quite a puzzle for me. Due to the open nature of classes and content I don’t think there is such a thing as a one true build or a best build that I’ve seen many ask for however there are some very powerful options and considerations that must be addressed.
Monk class itself starts at Rank 5, we begin at rank 1 as Cleric so we have 3 Ranks to play with. To best fill in these 3 ranks we need decide what the purpose of your Monk is for, general PvE farming, Boss Killing, PvE, GvG etc… and look at what each option provides.
Firstly I want to look at the Monk class itself.
Iron Skin: This is a damage reflect skill however it only works on melee physical attacks. There are many ranged and non-physical attacks in this game and the skill is channelled which means if you’re using this skill you’re not attacking, buffing, healing or doing anything else.
Double Punch: This skill has no cool down and effectively replaces your normal attack, costs stamina to use. The damage type is Strike/Blunt which does 50% bonus to plate defense and -25% to leather defense. You can keep a sword handy to circumvent this (Get the weapon swap attribute asap!)
Palm Strike: AoE Ratio 6 and applies bleed. Ratio means the number of things that the AoE hits, so palm strike hits 6 targets in a small AoE, there are items that boost AoE ration btw. The Area effect is small, 15 second cool down and lacklustre damage by itself. I advise getting level 1 for the bleed effect.
Hand Knife: AoE Ratio 2, small AoE applies armor break which reduces the targets armor value, I’d advise only getting level 1 for the effect.
Energy Blast: Shoots an energy beam in a straight line AoE, no target limit. The longer you charge the more damage it does, knocks back with each hit if you find the knockback annoying you have a toggle trait to turn this on or off. This is great for burst damage (60s Cool Down) and knockback for crowd control, max this one. An intersting note about this skill is that it scales with STR/CON/INT how is unknown but may give room for a quirky INT based monk build.
One Inch Punch: Dashes to target, applies bleed and silence. Great skill for PvP or silencing a pesky caster mob. Get at least level 1.
God Finger Flick: Ranged attack that uses 100 Silver, small damage. It’s on a 25 second cooldown and you’re unlikely to have any other ranged option to interrupt casters. I’d advise at least level 1 for PvP but can be a little difficult to aim.
Golden Bell: Blocks Magic and Ranged Attacks, Channel depending on level 4-8 seconds. Can be attributed to protect the area around you not just yourself. I am unsure how high or if you should get this skill at all, though I can see this being useful to block predictable magic damage or in PvP give Wizards a hard time.
General Recommendation: Max Double Punch and Energy Blast, get at least level 1 Palm Strike, Hand Knife, One Inch Punch and God Finger flick for utility purposes. You’ll have 16 points left over, I think it’d be great to level Golden Bell and then distribute the rest wherever you want but avoid Iron Skin it is close to useless.
In Part 2 I’ll go through all the options on the road to Monk. Part 3 shows an example skill build and reasoning. This write-up on stat distributions may give insight into how you might want to approach building your Monk’s stats.
Thanks for reading my conclusions, let me know your opinions or if you have any additional information as there are some unlisted interactions between skills in ToS that may be relevant.