A 55 Monk (aka Invincible Monk or Solo Monk) is a special kind of monk (primary or secondary profession) setup, mainly used for farming purposes, and based on the enchantment Protective Spirit, which has the ability to limit incoming damage at 10% of the current maximum health. The number 55 is the minimum amount of health obtainable with items (not counting death penalty), and translates to 5 damage/packet. This low damage is easily healed or reduced with common skills such as Healing Breeze or Shielding Hands.
The 55 monk is a very flexible build; Protective Spirit and most health regeneration or damage reduction skills are non-elite and effective even with a low investment in Protection Prayers. The monk skills also grant excellent energy management skills in the form of Balthazar's Spirit and Essence Bond, allowing freedom in the way of dealing damage. Many variants of the build do exist depending on the area in which the build will be used.
The two following builds are given as example, only Protective Spirit is mandatory. Damage reduction builds are adapted to areas with little to no health degeneration but with a high number of damage packets per second (for example it is really efficient against Spectral Vaettirs), while the health regeneration build has the ability to counter health degeneration but will have a hard time against a high number of foes.
Damage reduction build basis
Health regeneration build basis
Level and equipment
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, 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, and use the Grim Cesta obtained from the quest Cities of Ascalon which is an unreplicable focus item that has a -50 health mod. This should bring the character's health to 55.
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 most dangerous threats to 55 monks are the counters to Protective Spirit: enchantment removal, interrupts (including knockdowns),hexes, heavy health degeneration, Life stealing and to a lesser extent Health loss (which bypass Protective Spirit's protection).
Most of those threats come in the form of spells; therefore Spell Breaker is often used to avoid them. It is usually used with Blessed Aura as it extends the duration of all monk enchantment spells, including Protective Spirit. Shadow Form is a good alternative to Spell Breaker, especially since it will also give a 5 damage reduction basis (however not for the full duration of the enchantment, see Shadow Form's page for more). However this requires a good investment in Shadow Arts as well as the use of Deadly Paradox.
Interrupts and knockdowns
- Balanced Stance or "I Am Unstoppable!" are skills to consider when foes can knock down.
- Mantra of Resolve is a good anti-interrupt skill.
- Sympathetic Visage and its duplicate Ancestor's Visage can protect against both melee interrupts and knockdown skills.
Foes often apply health degeneration, commonly with conditions such as Bleeding or Poison. In these situations, health regeneration skills such as Mending, Watchful Spirit 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 because of the number of enchantments.
If it dies, a 55 monk will end up with 1 health when resurrected. Most of the time, people just remove the Grim Cesta so that they end up with 33 health. Using a -20 health focus can then allow to suffer only 1 damage per hit. Note however that spells which resurrect a character with a percentage less than 51% of their health will not work on the 55 due to it having only 1hp.
A vital point is the order of effects. Protective Spirit must take effect first, then incoming damage must be reduced. As such, always cast Shielding Hands and other damage reduction skills after Protective Spirit, possibly using another protective spell such as Shield of Absorption to alleviate the tiny window during which you can take damage.
Energy management skills
The use of Balthazar's Spirit (and Essence Bonds if facing physical and elemental damage) will usually guarantee a constant inflow of energy. However a couple of more efficient ways to get energy can be found.
- Mantra of Earth, Mantra of Lightning, Mantra of Flame, Mantra of Frost, Storm Chaser do not require upkeep and provide a higher energy refund but depends on the enemy you'll face. Furthermore beware of stance cancelling if using another stance (Deadly Paradox, for example).
- Blessed Signet is a good way of providing yourself energy if you use many maintained enchantments like Blessed Aura, Mending.
Damaging skills already available to monks
- Balthazar's Aura (can cause foes to scatter)
- Symbol of Wrath and its duplicate Kirin's Wrath (can cause foes to scatter)
- Shield of Judgment (causes knockdowns on foes => can generate energy management problems since they will attack less often)
- Radiation Field
- Ear Bite or Ebon Vanguard Sniper Support (+ Signet of Infection) ~ typically used against bosses when your elite skill is already taken (by a spell prevention skill for example).
Damaging skills available through the other profession
- Spiteful Spirit
- Spoil Victor ~ very good boss killer as it deals heavy damage, and you will often meet the condition with 55 life.
- Sliver Armor (+ Ebon Battle Standard of Honor)
- Ether Nightmare (+ Cry of Pain)
- Arcane Echo to duplicate slow recharge skills such as Shield of Judgement
Damaging skills available through the other profession
- Brawling Headbutt ~ as your axe gains adrenaline, this skill can finish off foes in case your primary offensive skills run out before they are dead. It does large flat damage, even at Axe Mastery of one. This can replace Arcane Echo, which is easily interrupted and 2 Shield of Judgments are usually overkill
- Drunken Master while drunk, 33% increased movement speed will let you farm faster, and 33% increased attack rate will get Brawling Headbutt recharged faster. Candy may be a better choice
- Keen Chop or Penetrating Blow or Penetrating Chop ~ old fashioned farmers will need to kill foes with their Axe instead of with spells; but than one reduces the effect of the others
Countering healing skills
To kill foes with healing skills (and also energy-based or adrenaline-based interrupt skills), Sympathetic Visage and its duplicate skill Ancestor's Visage can be used as they quickly deny foes of energy and adrenaline. Note however that those skills will only deny energy at melee range, requiring the 55monk to ball casters and then position himself adjacent to them to deplete their energy pool.
This build, despite being called invicimonk, can be countered. Touch Skills with Life Stealing (such as Vampiric Bite) or Health loss (such as Enfeebling Touch) will usually kill the 55 monk in one hit. Non-targeted enchantment removal such as Well of the Profane or Disenchantment or non-spell enchantment removal such as Expunge Enchantments can remove Protective Spirit.
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 can be accompanied by a "finisher", a damage dealer in order to speed up 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 or spammable spells that 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.
Without Spell Breaker, areas containing foes which frequently remove enchantments are impossible. Even with Spell Breaker, 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. Life Stealing (especially with Touch Skills), heavy Health Degeneration or Health loss are not considered damage and therefore bypass Protective Spirit.
Without the use of damage reduction (aside from Protective Spirit), taking into account the cap of 10 positive health regeneration (meaning 20 health per second), this build will have trouble receiving more than 4 packets of damage per second without losing health (though some health can be refunded through Divine Favor bonus).
|Team roles (edit)|
|Type||General team roles||Specific team roles||Hero team roles|
|Damage||Spiker • Nuker||Bomber • Dagger spammer • Touch ranger • Starburster • Trapper||—|
|Pressure||Lineback||Barrager • Beast master • Cripshot Ranger • Pressure Ranger||—|
|Support||Healer • Protection||Battery • Bonder • Flag runner • Hybrid monk • Imbagon • Infuser • Orders||—|
|Control||Shutdown • Tank||Minion master • Perma • Spirit spammer||Mesmer Midline|
|Utility||Caller • Toolbox||Gimmick||—|