An invincible monk is a monk that, by using Protection spells and health regeneration, is able to tank a number of monsters and in the meanwhile damage them through the use of Smiting Prayers or Curses spells.
For a number of years now, there has been a specific setup for a monk to be able to farm solo (or duo with the help of a Necromancer or Ranger). The principle relies on the possibility to lower ones health to a mere 55 HP and using Protective Spirit and spells that supply a large Health regeneration. In this combination, it is possible to overcome multiple simultaneous attacks from monsters.
The low maximum health is obtained through the use of multiple Superior runes for monks. The maximum health for a level 20 character without any health runes, items or inscriptions is 480HP. By using 5 superior runes, this is reduced to 480 - 5×75 = 480 - 375 = 105HP.
By using a quest reward (Grim Cesta) from the Cities of Ascalon quest, the maximum health of the monk can be reduced to 55 HP. In combination with Protective Spirit, all health lost by the monk (excluding life stealing and health degeneration skills) is reduced to 5 damage per hit.
The following skill is always present on the skill bar of an invincible monk:
- Protective Spirit - This skill is of course used for the reduction of damage to 5 each hit.
The following skills are sometimes used:
- Shielding Hands - A quick, difficult to interrupt skill to reduce even the 5 damage done to the monk to 0.
- Shield of Absorption - An alternative to Shielding Hands, although far easier to interrupt.
The following skills are considered essential, but can be mutually exclusive:
- Healing Breeze - good health regeneration, but prone to interrupts
- Mystic Regeneration - excellent health regeneration, but requires Dervish secondary
- Mending - decent health regeneration
- Watchful Spirit - bad health regeneration, but combined with Mystic Regeneration becoming decent
There are a number of skills that are not directly necessary, but provide a good utility to the build:
The following skills are commonly used as the source of damage to attacking monsters:
Although it doesn't sound really important what amount of armor the monk has, monsters will focus more on characters with low armor rating. Therefor, it is usually recommended to take the earliest armor available to monks, preferably Ascetic's armor or armor with the Radiant insignia:
- Monk Ascetic's Dragon armor from Lion's Arch (Samuka)
- Monk Ascetic's armor from crafters (Nu Leng/Moon Ahn/Kambei) in Shing Jea Monastery
- Istani or Sunspear armor from Mehinu, with Radiant insignia from Kailona
As for headgear: most of the times, +1 to Smiting Prayers will be sufficient, but having the headgear for the other attribute lines can be useful. For instance, if the invinci monk uses Mending, which has a threshold to +4 pips at 13 Healing Prayers, the monk can lower the attributes in town to 12 Healing Prayers, enter the instance, swap his headgear to +1 Healing Prayers, cast Mending at 13 Healing Prayers for +4 pips health regeneration and swap back to his +1 Smiting Prayers headgear.
Once the armor is obtained, 5 Superior runes have to be obtained. One for each attribute line, the fifth doesn't matter. Usually the cheapest rune is taken.
As for equipment, the following weapon sets are sufficient:
- Martial weapon of Enchanting + CoA Grim Cesta.
- Martial Weapon of Enchanting + any shield/focus without a health penalty OR Staff of Enchanting
Prior to aggro'ing a group of monsters, the monk will put up the maintainable enchantments that he brought with him on his skillbar. This is where the extra headgears come into play. Say the invinci monk has taken with him 1 Smiting, 1 Divine Favor and 1 Healing Prayers headgear and has to cast Mending, Balthazar's Spirit and Blessed Aura:
- Swap to +1 Healing Prayers, cast Mending.
- Swap to +1 Divine Favor, cast Blessed Aura.
- Swap to +1 Smiting Prayers, cast [Balthazar's Spirit]].
Just before aggro'ing the monsters, he will cast Protective Spirit and if necessary a health regeneration spell. He then rounds up all monsters around him and applies the spells that are going to do the damage to the monsters.
For normal mode, this will mean that the monsters will remain attacking even though they take damage. Monsters in hard mode will notice their health loss and after a certain percentage of health is lost, withdraw from combat and try to regain health through the use of skills or natural regeneration.
There are a number of counters to this build:
- Massive enchantment removal. Most notably of course was the introduction of Dying Nightmares in the Underworld. They cast Rend Enchantments and all your enchantments will be removed. When a number of Bladed Aatxes are hacking away at you, this (almost) always result in death.
- Life steal. Since life steal is not considered damage in Guild Wars, it will always remove the amount of health from you according to the skill description of the monster using it. Most of the life stealing skills are in the necromancer Blood Magic line, but also the Ritualist has a number of these skills. Then there are also monster skills like Song of the Mists.
- Heavy degeneration. You will have a healthy regeneration, since that is required for this type of build, but it is possible to get overwhelmed with degeneration. For example, it is possible to encounter groups with Bleeding (-3 pips) + Burning (-7 pips) + Poison (-4 pips) + Reaper's Mark (-4~5 pips usually). This will result in a health degeneration of 3+7+4+(4~5) = 18 pips. If you are running a build with Healing Breeze at 12 Healing Prayers (+8 pips) including Mending (casted at 13 Healing Prayers) (+4 pips), you will have a net health degeneration of: -6 pips. It is easily seen that you will die quite quickly from this.
- Monk or Restoration Magic Ritualist monsters. These foes will not kill you per se, but they will not make it possible/easy for you to kill the group of monsters.
In the beginning of Guild Wars, the skill Protective Bond was scaled in such a way, that it was possible to obtain an Energy loss of 1 by getting Protection Prayers attribute up to 17 by using an offhand item with a Protection Prayers +1 (Chance: 20%). As can be seen, this no longer is possible, since the scaling of Protective Bond shows that the Protection Prayers attribute has to reach 23 to get to 1 Energy lost per hit. This, of course, is unattainable.
Another thing that changed in the way invinci monks worked was the attribute allocation change A.Net made. There were two changes from the original way:
- Originally, it was possible to go into an instance and change your attributes in that instance.
- The first change made the player have to obtain attribute refund points, through the gathering of experience points.
- The second and final change made it impossible to change your attributes while in an instance. Therefor, you had to set your attributes prior to entering an instance.
As can be seen, it used to be very easy for an invinci monk to just go 16 Protection Prayers, wait for the 20% chance to +1 Protection Prayers while casting Protective Bond, and then changing the attributes to 16 in smiting for the maximum damage.