General principle
The name 55 monk stems from the hit points of the character. Due to the fact that Protective Spirit caps damage taken at a percentage of current max health rather than a base value, a character using the skill with very few hit points can reduce individual sources of damage down to very low amounts, which can then be easily healed with health regeneration skills. 55 health is the minimum amount of health obtainable with current in-game items (not counting death penalty).
 Basic knowledge
To use this type of build, the character may be level 20 and must be either a monk primary or secondary. Primary is more widely used to gain maximum benefit from the superior runes used, many skills available to a monk fit very well into this bar, and the monk's inherent Divine Favor healing bonus increases survivability. To reach the 55 health, the character will use 5 superior runes, each one giving -75 health, even if the fifth one will be useless (with the exception of Elementalists and Warriors, all professions have only 4 attributes and since runes do not stack, the 5th won't provide any advantage except to lower max health). It will also use a Grim Cesta obtained from the Cities of Ascalon quest that has a -50 health mod. This will bring the character to 55 health.
The character will then use the spell Protective Spirit to reduce damage. Having 55 health, they will only take 5 damage per damage packet, which can either be countered with health regeneration or with the healing bonus of Divine Favor, or alternatively by further reducing the damage through the use of spells such as Shield of Absorption, Shielding Hands or Stoneflesh Aura. For health regeneration, the character uses skills like Mending, Healing Breeze or Watchful Spirit.
To ensure a constant flow of energy, 55 monks will use Balthazar's Spirit, with the number of damage packets, it will grant them a constant inflow of energy during combat, the time energy is most required. It is also possible to use Essence Bond which will cause energy gain only on physical or elemental damage. Both can be used if the user wants a very high energy gain. It is highly advised to use Radiant Insignia to have a high base energy. A +5 energy, from the "I Have the Power!" inscription, and an of Enchanting mod on the main hand weapon is also desirable, but not essential; a Totem Axe is usually used as it contains both mods.
The killing will usually be done with skills that damage the foes when attacking. The most commonly used is Shield of Judgment, but some others are widely used such as Sliver Armor and Spiteful Spirit.
A common set of skills used in this build are:
- Essence Bond
- Balthazar's Spirit
- Shield of Judgment
- Healing Breeze
- Protective Spirit (essential)
- Blessed Signet (energy gain after maintained enchantment spells have been cast)
 Side skills
The 55 monk is a very flexible build; the core of the build is Protective Spirit, a health regeneration skill, an energy management skill and a way to deal damage. Many variants exist depending on the area in which the build will be used.
To kill healing bosses and in areas where monsters use adrenal skills to interrupt, Sympathetic Visage (or the duplicate skill Ancestor's Visage) can be used as they will lead the foes to quickly have no energy or adrenaline. They can be used along with Mind Wrack in duo with Famine. It should be noted these spells will only work against melee attacks, so to drain energy from ranged spell casters, the character should position themself adjacent to the caster so melee attackers will energy drain both themselves and the caster.
- Blessed Aura is very widely used as it extends the duration of Protective Spirit and other monk enchantment spells.
- Spoil Victor is a very good boss killer as it deals heavy damage, and you will often meet the condition with 55 life.
- Blessed Signet is a good way of providing yourself energy if you use many maintained enchantments like Blessed Aura, Mending or Retribution.
 Battle behavior
55 monk is designed to farm in PvE; it is too fragile for PvP or normal PvE play, and wouldn't have any use in these alternate forms of play, as a simple enchantment removal, life stealing or heavy health degeneration will kill you instantly.
If it dies, a 55 monk will end up with 1 health when it is resurrected and will be very vulnerable. Most of the time, people just remove the Grim Cesta so that they end up with 33 health. Sometimes they use a -20 health focus allowing them to suffer only 1 damage per hit. Note, any spell which resurrects a character with a percentage less than 51% of their health will not work on the 55. Skills that resurrect at 100% health (such as Resurrection Signet or Unyielding Aura) or at a fixed amount (such as Flesh of my Flesh or Resurrection Chant) would be required.
 Health degeneration
Foes often apply health degeneration, commonly with conditions such as Bleeding or Poison. In these situations, health regeneration skills are very important and should be maintained vigilantly. Healing Breeze is an effective tool in this sense, with high regeneration, decent length, and with proper energy management, easy enough to maintain. Mystic Regeneration is another popular regeneration skill on 55 monks because of the number of enchantments they place on themselves. However, this will necessitate a Dervish secondary profession, which locks out other options.
These builds, while sometimes called invincimonks, are in fact fragile. Some skills, especially life stealing, ignore Protective Spirit and will kill the monk in one hit. Enchantment removal is also hard to cope with -- with practice, single enchantment removal spells can be countered using cover enchantments, but for countering mass enchantment removal Spell Breaker would be required in place of a damaging elite skill, such as Shield of Judgment or Spiteful Spirit as detailed in the basis of this build. Non-targeted enchantment removal such as Well of the Profane or Disenchantment or non-spell enchantment removal such as Expunge Enchantments cannot be countered. This build is not suitable for use with heroes as the hero AI lacks the ability to correctly maintain the necessary enchantments; however, if you shift-click disable the enchantment spell, then make the NPC hero cast it on you it will be maintained as long as it remains disabled via shift-click.
Low base health means Protective Spirit reduces damage per non-armor ignoring damage source to a single digit number.
This damage can be completely mitigated by one hit from Shield of Absorption or by being enchanted with something such as Stoneflesh Aura and Shielding Hands.
Only 3 (rounded) health regeneration is needed to counter one damage packet.
This is a primarily solo build, which offers higher drop yield; it is typically accompanied by a damage dealer to quicken farming.
In most cases, relies on a foe attacking you rather than targeting you with a spell to deal damage. Though most enemies attack you, some may have such a large pool of energy they continuously cast spells, making them tough to take down.
This is an extremely niche build that is used solely for farming. It is practically useless in general PvE and PvP.
This build is player-controllable only. Heroes cannot use it due to slight (yet critical) delays between giving an order and it being committed to and inability to properly maintain enchantments in the right order by themselves.
Though powerful when enchanted, this build collapses in seconds if not coordinated correctly. You can be killed immediately if Protective Spirit is not maintained.
Despite being dubbed an "invincimonk" build, it is not. Without Spell Breaker, areas containing foes which frequently remove enchantments are impossible. Non-spell skills that remove enchantments, or enchantment removal that doesn't specifically target you, also pose problems; for example, Outcast Assassins cannot be farmed with this build due to their Dark Apostasy skill.
Without the use of solid damage mitigation (aside from Protective Spirit), taking into account there is a cap of 10 positive health regeneration (meaning 20 health per second), this build cannot receive more than 4 packets of damage per second without losing health.
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