Support zMonk Guide

Introduction

The support Monk (usually called the zMonk because they do "zero" damage) is one of the strongest supports in the game. Keeping people alive is their specialty while providing incredible offensive buffs for your party. Let's look at one of the best and longest-lasting group builds in Diablo 3!

Tanky ✔
Simple Rotation ✔
Extremely Popular Build ✔
Works Well With Any Setup ✔
Insane Cooldown & Attack Speed ✔

❌ Does Zero Damage
❌ Requires Spamming
❌ Needs Good Gear & Rolls

❌ Positioning Is Very Important
Tough To Play At Low Paragon


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Inna's Mantra (2) Piece doubles the base passive effect of our mantras, which gives us 40% All Resistance, 16% damage, and increased life regeneration.
  • Inna's Mantra (4) Piece gives us all 4 mantras at all times: Mantra of Healing, Mantra of Salvation, Mantra of Conviction, and Mantra of Retribution. This is amazing because normal monks can only use 1 mantra at a time.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings (2) Piece gives 20% cooldown reduction and 20% resource cost reduction, which are both critical stats we need for this build.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings (3) Piece reduces our damage taken by our resource cost reduction, which will help us survive as we heal our party.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur completes both our Inna's Mantra and Captain Crimson's Trimmings sets so we can have their 4 and 3 piece bonuses respectively.
  • Oculus Ring to provide 85% increased damage to our teammates who stand in the ring.
  • Spirit Guards for 60% damage reduction.


Global Stat Priorities
Since we are a support class, we don't need any offensive stats like Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, Area Damage, or Elemental Damage. Instead we will gather as much Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, Attack Speed, Health Globe Bonus, and other Defensive Stats as possible. Cooldown is needed to keep Epiphany Soothing Mist up all the time, which will let you teleport to monsters, spam your abilities, and heal your party members. It will also let you keep your Inner Sanctuary up constantly. The goal is to have perfect cooldown rolls on every single piece. Attack speed lets you Crippling Wave Tsunami faster, giving you more spirit and healing from Soothing Mist. Acquire as much attack speed as possible. Resource Cost Reduction will allow you to spam Mantra of Healing Heavenly Body for constant shields to protect Squirt's Necklace on our damage dealers. Health Globe Bonus on secondaries will make our shields even stronger and will be a key stat we're looking for. Try to aim for at least +150,000 Bonus Health Globes before attempting to zMonk. For defense prioritize All Resistance > Life % > Vitality > Armor. Since intelligence gives us more All Resistance, craft any pieces on a Necromancer, Wizard or Witch Doctor.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandIn-geom
Pig Sticker
Born's Furious Wrath (Crafted)
Flying Dragon (Cubed)
The Executioner (Cubed)
Ahavarion, Spear of Lycander (Cubed)
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Attack Speed
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
5. Vitality
6. Chance to Bleed (If the DPS wears Pain Enhancer)
Off-HandStormshield1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Life %
5. Vitality
6. Chance to Bleed (If the DPS wears Pain Enhancer)
HelmInna's Radiance1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Life %
3. Vitality
4. Main Stat
GlovesInna's Hold
Gloves of Worship
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Attack Speed
4. Dexterity
ShouldersLefebvre's Soliloquy
Uliana's Strength
Born's Privilege (Crafted)
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Armor
3. Life %
4. Vitality
Chest Inna's Vast Expanse1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
3. All Resistance
4. Life %
PantsCaptain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. All Resistance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
BootsInna's Sandals
Uliana's Destiny
Illusory Boots (A2 Bounties)
1. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
2. All Resistance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
Ring 1Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
4. Resource Cost Reduction
5. Attack Speed
Ring 2Oculus Ring1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
4. Resource Cost Reduction
5. Attack Speed
BracersNemesis Bracers
Spirit Guards
Strongarm Bracers
1. All Resistance
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
AmuletThe Flavor of Time
Hellfire Amulet
The Star of Azkaranth (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Health Globe Bonus (Secondary)
4 Attack Speed
5. Life %
6. Intelligence
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)1. All Resistance
2. Life %
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality

Gems

  • Iceblink makes enemies 10% more likely to be critically hit. Only 1 Iceblink should be used in groups as they do not stack. Both zNec and zDH apply Chill better than zMonk, so if your group has one of those, they should be the one to run this gem.
  • Gem of Efficacious Toxin poisons enemies hit for 10% additive damage and 10% damage reduction. Other supports can also wear this gem because their damage bonus does stack.
  • Gogok of Swiftness gives 15% attack speed, 15% cooldown, and up to 30% dodge based on the amount of stacks you have. You gain a stack with each hit up to a maximum of 15, and all stacks are refreshed if you attack every 4 seconds.
  • Esoteric Alteration gives 60% non-physical damage reduction, and can be taken instead of Gem of Efficacious Toxin if you cannot survive.

Skills

  • Crippling Wave Tsunami is our spirit generator, heals the party with Epiphany Soothing Mist, and procs our Iceblink.
  • Epiphany Soothing Mist lets us teleport to monsters, spam our abilities, and heals our party members when we use any skill.
  • Mantra of Healing Heavenly Body provides massive shields and life regeneration to our party, allowing them to wear Squirt's Necklace. The shielded amount is increased by 15% of our Health Globe Bonus, which is why we take that roll on all of our items.
  • Inner Sanctuary Temple of Protection provides a safe place for our party to stand, giving them 55% damage reduction and immunity to crowd control effects. It also negates the slowing effect from Stone Gauntlets
  • Serenity Tranquility makes us immortal for 3 seconds and gives our party members a big shield. This shield is increased by 40% of our Health Globe Bonus, making it even more important to roll on gear.
  • Popular options for the final skill slot are: Dashing Strike Radiance to move through the rift quickly, Breath of Heaven Zephyr to give movement speed to the party, Blinding Flash Crippling Light for extra damage reduction, Deadly Reach Piercing Trident to proc Strongarm Bracers and Exploding Palm the Flesh is Weak for increased damage.

Passives

  • Beacon of Ytar gives 20% Cooldown Reduction.
  • Near Death Experience allows us to cheat death.
  • Resolve reduces enemy damage by 20%.
  • Seize the Initiative gives us 30% attack speed.
  • Chant of Resonance can be taken if you do not have enough Resource Cost Reduction to spam Mantra of Healing Heavenly Body.
  • Unity gives 5% damage to all party members affected by our Mantra.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Vitality (50% of pts)2. Attack Speed2. Life %2. Life per Hit
3. Dexterity (50% of pts)3. Critical Hit Chance3. Armor3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Spirit¹4. Critical Hit Damage4. Life Regeneration4. Area Damage2

¹ You do not need Maximum Spirit for this build.

2 Do not take Area Damage as we deal no damage and it will lag the game.

Gameplay

The rotation for the zMonk is as follows:
1. Spam Crippling Wave, Epiphany, Mantra of Healing, Breath of Heaven and Serenity all the time.

2. Place Inner Sanctuary where your group is setting up. This will usually be where the monster density is, or at an intersection where monsters can be pulled from multiple sides. Try to stay in one spot by attacking the same monster in the middle of the pack without moving your mouse cursor. If your damage dealers are moving to an Oculus Ring then move with them to drop the sanctuary there.

3. On the Rift Guardian tap Crippling Wave Tsunami instead of spamming it if your Rift Guardian Killer relies on crowd control to deal optimal damage. This change is necessary because the 3rd hit from this generator freezes the monster, and will make them resistant if not completely immune to other forms of crowd control if you spam it as hard as possible.

4. Remember that if you die, your teammates will be in big trouble because they will lose their heals and shields. When gigantic attacks are coming your way, avoid them to protect not only yourself, but your teammates from death. Grotesque explosions should never be tanked as they're nearly impossible to survive.

You are the anchor for your group. You set up in the ideal spot, lay down a sanctuary, spam your abilities, and keep everyone alive until it's time to move. It's not a very active role, but it's critically important for getting a proper clear.

Hardcore

Consider the following changes to become tankier when playing in hardcore:

  1. Drop Gem of Efficacious Toxin for Esoteric Alteration for 60% non-physical damage reduction
  2. Change Seize the Initiative to Sixth Sense for 25% reduced non-physical damage.
  3. Try Dashing Strike + Crystal Fist and drop Flying Dragon.

Variants

High End GRs
High End GRs

Concept
This is the most common version of zMonk there is. The bleed version is needed for trash clearers who wear Pain Enhancer like the Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor.

Gameplay
The gameplay here mirrors what we discussed above. With all the right pieces, gear, and augments, you shouldn't die to anything but a massive attack. Fire damage heals us from The Star of Azkaranth so feel free to bathe in fire chains and molten explosions. Remember that if you die it leaves your teammates vulnerable as they will lose Inner Sanctuary and all of your healing and shielding.

Setups

  1. If you're lagging too much from Exploding Palm, can't get enough Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs, or have low Paragon and need toughness, equip Born's Privilege and Illusory Boots, cube Stone Gauntlets in the 4th slot and use Tempest Rush Tailwind to proc Zodiac.
  2. For additional damage drop Serenity for Deadly Reach Piercing Trident and switch Nemesis Bracers for 30% damage from Strongarm Bracers.
  3. You can cube Ahavarion, Spear of Lycander or The Executioner instead of Flying Dragon if you're playing with DPS that use Squirt's Necklace and do not need healing, or you do not have a necromancer who is providing Frailty.
Speed GRs
Speed GRs

Concept
There will be times a group will be looking for a zMonk for speed greater rifts to farm XP and level up their gems. Here we'll set up a faster version with more bells and whistles to fly through rifts at light speed. We do not want to use The Flavor of Time in speeds, because extra time with Conduit Pylon doesn't matter compared to the strength of our damage dealers, and having extra time on a Speed Pylon may actually slow the run down due to crowd control.

Gameplay
We'll using Dashing Strike with our In-geom to get in front of our group and gather monsters with Cyclone Strike. Be careful to not use Cyclone Strike more than once on a pack as it will make monsters immune to crowd control and may interfere with the DPSers builds. Other than that spam all of your other abilities like always and stay ahead to make nice set ups for you teammates to arrive to.

Setups
The exact way to put this together will depend on your group composition. For example if you have ranged DPSers, then you probably don't need Inner Sanctuary. If someone else is gathering enemies together, you can get rid of Cyclone Strike and Strongarm Bracers. Finally Serenity is never a "must have", so a lot of things on this build are flexible.

If you decide to replace any of these skills, we recommend picking up one of the following:

  1. Crippling Wave Breaking Wave, and then changing the rune on Epiphany to Desert Shroud
  2. Exploding Palm The Flesh is Weak with Gungdo Gear
  3. Nemesis Bracers, Stone Gauntlets or The Executioner in the cube depending on what you or group needs
  4. In variations without Cyclone Strike, Halycon's Ascent can be used to proc Strongarm Bracers (only use Epiphany after other supports make a pull)


Video Guide

Guide Video

Mechanics

Crippling Wave Tsunami

  • Applies a 1 second freeze on every 3rd hit. For this reason we do not spam this skill on a Rift Guardian if our Rift Guardian Killer needs a crowd control to happen at a specific time, like the Heaven's Fury Crusader. You can attack twice and then wait to avoid freezing the monsters.

Epiphany

  • Allows you to teleport to monsters when you punch them from a distance with Crippling Wave (or any other melee attack for that matter).

Iceblink

  • Does not stack with other Iceblink in the party, aka only 1 person should wear it.
  • Does not work with most DoT skills and Thorns-based skills.

Gem of Efficacious Toxin

  • The bonus damage does stack with other Gem of Efficacious Toxin in the party.
  • The damage reduction does not stack with other Gem of Efficacious Toxin in the party.

Flying Dragon

  • 4% chance to double your attack speed for 7 seconds.
  • 5 second internal cooldown.
  • 2 second window to re-proc with ANY action, including talking to an NPC.

Summary

  • Put together the normal build and focus on perfect Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed, at least 150,000 Bonus Health Globes, and as much Resource Cost Reduction as you can.
  • Spam your abilities and keep Inner Sanctuary down where your Trash Clearer and Rift Guardian Killer go.
  • Practice using Dashing Strike and teleports from Epiphany to smoothly move through the rifts.
  • Dodge major attacks and stay alive to ensure your team survives.

Town Is Lava!

-Raxxanterax