User:Y0 ich halt/Guides/Monk guide
|Note: This is a user's guide to playing a monk in Guild Wars. It's meant to introduce new players into playing a monk, help them design their builds and manage their team's health.|
|Note: This guide is pretty much out of date. The general picture of a monk is still the same, of course, but mostly all skill suggestions have changed.|
Monks are likely the most important part of every group. They are the only profession capable of healing and protecting other party members effectively, next to Ritualists. Their Divine Favor attribute (see below) makes their healing spells much stronger. Once you reach higher levels, you should decide how you want to play your monk. Whether you want to roughly pump your team's health up or prevent it from sinking. Or maybe you don't even want to be a defensive supporter? Although monks may not be the best choice for effectively dealing damage to foes, they have strong capabilities.
Weapons and Attributes
The weapon's damage isn't really important for a monk. More important are the weapon's bonuses:
- Staves offer up to +10 base energy and up to +20 with an Insightful staff head and a "Hale and Hearty" or "Have Faith" inscription. (up to +22 with "Don't call it a comeback!" or "I am Sorrow." and the condition met)
- Wands offer up to +7 energy with said inscriptions and +15 with a "Seize the day" inscription
- Additionally to a wand, a Focus item offers +12 base energy and up to +27 with a "Live for Today" Inscription.
- Staves can offer up to +60hp at the expense of a +5 energy staff head
- Wands can't carry hp upgrades
- Focus items can have up to +30hp unconditional bonus, +45hp while enchanted or in a stance and +60hp while hexed
- Staves can have up to +10 armor from the staff head and the wrapping
- Wands don't have armor bonuses
- Focus items can have up to 5 armor above 50%hp, enchanted or at the expense of some energy or hp, and up to +10 armor while hexed or health below 50%
The usual combination is a one handed martial weapon (Sword, Axe or Spear) with +5 energy and +30 hp upgrades and either a shield with armor bonus from its inscription or a focus item for more energy. See Weapon swapping for more details.
Divine Favor adds 3.2hp healing to every monk spell you cast on an ally for every rank in Divine Favor. This means at 12 Divine Favor, each spell you cast heals for an additional 38hp, except Healing Touch, which gains double this bonus. Divine Favor skills include protection against enemy spells, some energy management and heal spells.
The Monk's job
There are mainly four types of playing a monk. The main purpose of a monk is usually to keep the team healthy and able to fight. In PvE, many players expect monks to carry a hard res, but most monks do not bring any resurrection skill. In PvP it is uncommon for monks to carry a res.
Healers focus on recovering teammates' health through direct heals and regeneration. The most basic healing spell is Orison of Healing. Healing Touch is often used for self-healing. Remember that pushing up your team's read bars takes much more energy than just preventing them from going down, so direct healing is not quite the most energy-saving way to keep your team alive.
|Orison of Healing||Dwayna's Kiss||Word of Healing||Healing Touch||Signet of Devotion||Heal Party||Dismiss Condition||Deny Hexes|
These monks prevent damage instead of only healing it and cure the team of conditions and hexes. Protectors are again divided into several subclasses. Active prot monks cast spells on their team mates as needed. Should a friend be harrassed by a warrior, the monk can cast e.g. Guardian to protect that member for a short period of time. Aegis has a similar effect, but affects all allies in earshot (aggro bubble) and costs double the energy. The most basic prot spell is Reversal of Fortune. Passive prot monks maintain the enchantment Life Bond and/or Life Barrier on the whole team to lower damage every player takes. Usually the bonder casts Balthazar's Spirit or Essence Bond on themselves to maintain energy.
Very important spells are also Protective Spirit and Spirit Bond. The first of which lowers any damage taken from one source to a maximum of 10% the target's hp, the second one heals for 40 to around 90hp if target takes more than 60 damage from one source. Combined, they can make a character invincible for the time they are active, because Spirit Bond's effect applies before the damage is reduced by Protective Spirit.
|Reversal of Fortune||Guardian||Shield of Absorption||Dismiss Condition||Holy Veil||Glyph of Lesser Energy||Protective Spirit||Aegis|
|Life Barrier||Life Bond||Optional||Optional||Protective Spirit||Mantra of Inscriptions||Blessed Signet||Balthazar's Spirit|
Smiting skills usually deal Holy damage, which ignores armor, and therefore have the same efficiency against heavily-armored targets (warriors) and less-armored targets (casters), which makes them powerful damage dealers. The most popular smiting builds are based on Protection spells cast on a friendly warrior, assassin or dervish while Zealot's Fire is active.
|Signet of Removal||Reversal of Fortune||Guardian||Shield of Absorption||Zealot's Fire||Auspicious Incantation||Balthazar's Aura||Judge's Insight|
Many players mix healing and protecting to reach the maximum of efficiency. Basic protection spells lower damage and basic healing spells are used to cure the remaining wounds. These builds are called hybrids and for a very long time had Blessed Light or Zealous Benediction as their elite skill. They used a high Divine Favor attribute to heal while lowering damage through protection spells. It has been a while now that the healing elite Word of Healing was improved to heal more than before, shifting the trends (meta) to hybrids with this elite skill. Commonly used spells are Reversal of Fortune, as it also has a healing boost and previously Gift of Health with Healing Prayers at 8 or 9 for healing without the downside, as no other Healing Prayer spells are used. Signet of Devotion profits of high Divine Favor.
The now again up and coming protection healers called Boon Prots use Divine Boon and high Divine Favor to make their protection spells as strong healing spells as normal Healing Prayers. Because those spells take up a greater amount of energy and the regeneration gets slowed by Divine Boon, Boon Prots always need superior energy management (see below).
|Reversal of Fortune||Dwayna's Kiss||Word of Healing||Shield of Absorption||Signet of Rejuvenation||Dismiss Condition||Holy Veil||Protective Spirit|
Monks are very popular for farming. The usual method used combines many superior runes (which subtract 75hp from your maximum each) with the Grim Cesta from the Cities of Ascalon quest to bring the monk's maximum hp down to 55. That way Protective Spirit reduces any damage to 5, which can be easily prevented or healed up through regeneration.
Another method uses normal or higher health together with Protective Spirit and Spirit Bond to stay invincible. With Spirit Bond's limit of 8 attacks, it is very effective combined with Shield of Absorption. SoA accumulates its protection, meaning after 8 strikes (during which the monk is invincible through Spirit Bond), the total damage reduction is 45 for the 9th strike. This way maximum health doesn't matter.
These monks are only vulnerable to:
- careless players who forget to recast everything
- disenchanting (see Enchantment spell for a list)
- builds based only on regeneration to survive can only take a certain amount of enemies at once
55 HP monks are also played as pure tanks, combined with a second player in charge of dealing damage through supporting spells (usually an SS necromancer). These tanks use Spell Breaker, leaving them vulnerable to non-spell disenchanting alone. Such farming duos can take on most areas in all Guild Wars.
|Protective Spirit||Shield of Absorption||Spirit Bond||Glyph of Renewal||Sliver Armor||Blessed Aura||Balthazar's Spirit||Essence Bond|
|Protective Spirit||Shield of Absorption||Healing Breeze||Spell Breaker||Sympathetic Visage||Blessed Aura||Balthazar's Spirit||Rebirth|
- Active prot
- Passive prot
- 55 monk or CoRrRan's guide
- Example build: Farming duo 55/SS
A Monk without any possibility to gain energy when needed or to prevent losing energy will sometime surely run out of energy, leaving his party helpless. The currently most popular way among solo monks is to simply use only spells with very low cost, giving enough time to regenerate energy, otherwise special skills have to be included. Passive protectors use Blessed Signet between fights and Balthazar's Spirit or Essence Bond to manage their energy during fights. All other monks need some other possibility:
- Channeling is often used in Heroes' Ascent, where many enemies will crowd up around a monk
- Auspicious Incantation is sometimes combined with Balthazar's Aura or Arcane Echo to gain a high amount of energy and to avoid the added recharge.
- Inspired Hex and Revealed Hex were once popular, but then got nerfed because of that
- Mantra of Recall was more efficient before it got nerfed along with the Inspired/Revealed twins
- Offering of Blood suffered the same fate as Mantra of Recall. Is now workable again, but not really effective due to life sacrifice.
- It is possible to use Soul Reaping for energy management, with the class combination N/Mo. However, monk spells are rather ineffective without the Divine Favor bonus, so this role would be played as N/Rt instead. See this guide for more detail.
- Backfire can quickly kill monks, as they usually cast many spells shortly after another
- Diversion is able to deactivate half your skill bar if you don't watch
- Dazed doubles casting times, makes monks vulnerable to interrupting and makes it harder to keep the team at full health
- Interrupting a monk denies the team's healing powers
- Knockdown, especially in the midst of spells with long activation time, makes unable to do anything, denying help for the party
Counters to this
- Backfire and Diversion must be removed as fast as possible. Best is, if you were pre-veiled, so you can just drop Holy Veil and lose the hex. Otherwise, another player needs to remove them.
- Dazed is hard to remove yourself, if you are under attack. You will likely have to wait out its duration until you can get back to work. If someone else can cure conditions, tell them you need them quick.
- Interrupts are usually caused by rangers. This can be countered by using stances from, for instance, the warrior's Tactics line. If a mesmer is interrupting you, the best defense would be Mantra of Resolve.
- There are some skills that prevent knockdowns. The most popular one is Balanced Stance.
Frequently made mistakes
- Many players expect monks to carry a hard res. This is wrong, because a primary monk will not have enough time to resurrect a party member. That's why usually players with the secondary profession monk take a hard res.
- If a party member dies, it's often not the monk's, but the member's fault. Many players tend to overextend from the monk, meaning that they move out of the monk's range. Not the monk has to follow members, but members have to stay with the monk.