Monk DPS Guide V2

This guide will explain the mechanics and gameplay of the monk (and the pugilist).

  1. Tigris

    The monk and the pugilists are typical meelee DPS Fighter. It may be that they are able to offtank a little, but what they are best at is to deal imense amounts of damage.

    This guide is for the level 50 Monk but most things are also true before and for pugilist, just not all attacks are available (and pugilist can choose other/better/more offclass abilities).

    In this guide is a lot of theory and not everything may be 100% correct, since things can change and also since not all aspects of the game are 100% known yet.


    Their main attribute is strength since this increases the physical damage they deal.

    Their unique class mechanic are the stances.
    They have three forms (or stances) Opo-Opo, Raptor and Coerl.

    And this stance is changed whenever a special attack which requires a certain stance is used.

    So whenever you use an Opo-Opo ability you go to Raptor.
    When using a Raptor ability you go to Coerl.
    And when using a Coerl ability you go to Opo-Opo again.

    Opo-Opo -> Raptor -> Coerl -> Opo-Opo

    With "Opo-Opo" ability (or "Raptor" etc.) abilities are meant which either require this stance or which get a bonus when you use them when being in this form.

    At the moment (this may at some point change) only the Opo-Opo abilities can be used without being in that stance, but they all gain a bonus for being in that stance.

    And the attacks from the Coerl stance all grant the selfbuff "Greased Lightning."
    This is a selfbuff which can stack up to 3 times (when your level is high enough). And which increases the damage you deal by 7/14/21 and the attackspeed by 5/10/15.
    So when you have all three stacks you get a 21% increase in damage and a 15% increase in attackspeed which sinks your global cooldown to 2.17 (so you can use attacks more often).
    If you get at least 10% additional attackspeed on your gear you will have a global cooldown of 2 seconds or (and therefore be able to make an attack every 2 seconds).
    I would really try to do this, since it makes the fighting much more convenient.

    Another important aspect of the Monk is positioning. Several of his attacks deal more damage, when you are in the flank or behind an opponent so you always have to take care, where you stand.

    But back to the stances. At the moment every stance has 3 different abilities namly the following:



    Bootshine 60 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 130.
    Opo-opo Form Bonus: Critical damage if dealt from behind target.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to raptor for 10s.

    Arm of the Destroyer: 130 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 50 to all nearby targets.
    Opo-opo Form Bonus: Silence for 1s.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to raptor for 10s.

    Dragon Kick: 60 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
    150 when delivered from a target's flank.
    Opo-opo Form Bonus: Reduces target's blunt resistance and INT by 10% for 15s.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to raptor for 10s.


    True Strike: 50 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 150. Chance for critical damage increases by 5% when dealt from behind target. Can only be used when in raptor form.
    Additional Effect: Changes from to coeurl for 10s.

    Twin Snakes: 60 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
    140 when delivered from a target's flank.
    Can only be used when in raptor form.
    Additional Effect: Increases damage by 10 % (trait) for 12s.
    Additional Effect: Changes from to coeurl for 10s.

    One Ilm Punch 60 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 80.
    Can only be used when in raptor form.
    Additional Effect: Removes one beneficial status from target.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to coeurl for 10s.


    Snap Punch: 50 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 140.
    180 when delivers from a target's flank.
    Can only be used when in coeurl form.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to opo-opo for 10s
    Additional Effect: Grants Greased Lightning for 12s.
    Greased Lightning Bonus: Increases damage dealt by 7% and attack speed by 5%.

    Demolish: 30 TP
    Delivers damage over time with a potency of 40 for 18s.
    Can only be used when in coeurl form.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to opo-opo for 10s.
    Additional Effect: Grants Greased Lightning for 12s.
    Greased Lightning Bonus: Increases damage dealt by 7% and attack speed by 5%.

    Rockbreaker: 120 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 130 to all enemies in a cone before you.
    Can only be used when in coeurl form.
    Additional Effect: Changes form to opo-opo for 10s.
    Additional Effect: Grants Greased Lightning for 12s.
    Greased Lightning Bonus: Increases damage dealt by 7% and attack speed by 5%.

    Basic Rotation

    Let us first look at how a basic rotation (serie of attacks) could look like when fighting a single target also I make the assumption that you have an additional 10% attackspeed on your gear:

    After you have 3 stacks of Greased Lightning you will have a global cooldown of 2.0 or less.

    Therefore one Opo-Opo -> Raptor -> Coeurl -> Opo-Opo (being back in this stance) cycle will take you 6 seconds.

    The letters in the [] brackets are the appreviation I will use.

    Dragon Kick [DK] gives a Debuff to the trarget increasing the Blunt damage (The damage you deal) dealt against it which lasts 15 seconds.
    Therefore it should be used every 2-3 Cycles (With 2 You have the debuff up the whole time with 3 it will be not there for 1-2 attacks per 3 cycles)

    Twin Snakes [SN] (SN for Snake sincs TS is allready used) increases the damage you deal by 10% for 12 seconds and should therefore be used every 2 cycles such that you have this nice buff the whole time.

    Twin snakes and Dragon kick should be used from the flank of the Mob, therefore doing both in the same cycle (every 2 cycles) makes it easier to get the right position.

    Demolish [DS] applies a dot with potency 40 which lasts 18 seconds so it should be reaplied every 3 cycles (with a lot of tempo maybe only every 4 cycles)

    The other times in the cycles you should use
    Bootshine [BS] (Opo-Opo)
    True Strike [TS](Raptor) and
    Snap Punch [SP](Coeurl)

    Since they deal the most damage (of course if you need other effects as debuffing or silence you should use other abilities).

    Also Bootshine should be used, when standing behind a target, true Strike as well (but here it is not as important since the bonus is small) but Snap Punch should really be used from the flank since the bonus is again quite big.

    So one possible simple rotation would be the following (especially when you have a high skill speed (>=35%) it is not only simpler but also better):

    1. Behind BS TS DS
    2. Flank DK SN SP
    3. Behind BS TS Flank SP
    4. DK SN SP
    5. Behind BS TS DS

    The 5. Cycle is identical to the first so after the forth cycle you can repeat.

    If you have less then 35% skillspeed (without the buff!) the following more complicated rotation is better (since the DS dot has a better uptime):

    1. Behind BS TS DS
    2. Flank DK SN SP
    3. Behind BS TS Flank SP
    4. DK SN DS
    5. Behind BS TS Flank SP
    6. DK SN SP
    7. Behind BS TS DS

    Other Attacks

    But now let us come to the other abilities Since they will make this even more interesing.


    From this Selfbuffs only 1 can be active at a time.

    Fist of Air increases Movementspeed
    Fist of Earth decreases damage received by 10%
    Fist of Fire incrieases damage dealt by 5%

    I would recomend in most cases fists of fire for maximum damage. But of course at some times it may be better to change to others (Especially Fist of Air to get to other targets faster (if shoulder tackle is not available) or to get out of the fire).

    Defensive Cooldowns:

    Featherfood 90 s Cooldown
    Increases Evasion by 25% (trait) for 10 seconds.

    This is good to pull if you got aggro to survive until the tank gets the aggro back.

    Second Wind 120s Cooldown
    Restores 25% (trait) of total health.
    Original: Restores own HP Cure Potency 650 scales with attack power.

    This is a nice addition to healing pots if your life gets to low from area damage or other attacks..

    Mantra 120 s Cooldown
    Increases HP recovery via curing magic by 20% (trait) for self and bearby party members 15s.

    This is only good on targets, which will be healed a lot.
    So it is best used on the maintank if you know he will need a lot of healing the next 15 Seconds.

    Steal Peak 40s Cooldown

    Delivers an attack with a potency of 150.
    Additional Effect: Stun for 4s.

    For me this is more of a defensive cooldown, then an attack, since you want this to use on a target to stop a big cast or to get 4 seconds during which you will receive no damage.

    This is especially true since the normal attacks using the forms will deal more damage.

    Non-Stance Attacks:

    Haymaker 40 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 170.
    Can only be used immediately after evading an attack.
    Additional Effect: Slow +20% for 12s.

    This can be good when soloing when you want to slow a mob, but in general you will almost never use it, since you don't want to be attacked and therefore you don't want to evade.

    Touch of Death 80 TP
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 20.
    Additional Effect: Damage over time with potency of 25 for 30s.

    This attack is quite strong it deals a total of 270 damage which is alot for only one attack. This attack is one reason to gain even more attack speed, such that it can be nicely used every 30 seconds without any of the other debuffs or buffs running out.
    In general it should be used every 30 seconds unless the mob wil die in the next 18 seconds anyway.

    Try to use this attack, when a damage cooldown (or both) is up since it is the strongest attack you have.

    (I am not 100% sure how dots works with crits so if someone knows more please tell me.)

    Howling Fist: 300 S Cooldown
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 170 to all enemies in a straight line before you.

    A really nice attack, which can also be thrown in the rotation with enough attackspeed every 300 Seconds. (I it is off the globacl cooldown also without a high attackspeed).
    But of course the best use for this is to attack some adds which stand in a line.
    For this attack the positioning is also verry important so try to hit as much adds as possible!

    Shoulder Tackle 120 Tp 90 S Cooldown 20y range
    Rushes to target and delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
    Additional Effect: Stun for 2s.
    Cannot be executed while bound target has to be at least 10y away.

    This attack is really nice to get fast to a mob or to some adds which spawn, such that you lose not much time with walking.
    The damage isn't as important but the stun is nice.

    Offensive Cooldowns

    Infernal Release: 60 s Cooldown
    Increases critical hit rate by 30% for 15s.

    A nice damage cooldown. Try to use him in the rotation in the 3rd cycle when you go to the flank (bevore SP) for maximum damage increase. Since the behind attacks will not profit as much from the critrate as the other attacks.
    Try to use it almost every 60 seconds always after a TS.

    Perfect Balance 180 s Cooldown
    Allows execution of weaponskills which require a certain form without being that form for 10 seconds.

    So this is really good to start a battle. Since the monk normaly needs a lot of time until he has all buffs (20+ seconds).
    So you use this at the start of the battle go to the flank and then get all the buffs and debuffs up:
    SP SP DS
    DK SN SP
    And start at position 3 of the rotation.

    Abilities from other Classes

    The only really good ability (damage wise) is:

    Fracture 80 TP (Marauder Level 4)
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
    Additional Effect: Damage over Time Potency 20 Duration 30.

    A realy strong attack should allways be used, since it has a total potency of 300.

    Invigorate 180 s Cooldown (Lancer Level 22)
    Instantly restores 300 TP

    This may be needed in long fights since your TP is your main resource.
    I would use this ability as soon as hitting 600 TP for the first time in the combat and after that use it every 3 minutes.

    Mercy Stroke 90 s Cooldown (Marauder Level 26)
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 200. Can only be executed when the target's HP is below 20%. If Mercy Stroke is the killing blow, you will be healed for up to 20% of your maximum HP.

    This is off the Glocab Cooldown and so this will be a nice additional attack every 90 s.

    Blood for Blood 80 S Cooldown (Lancer level 34):
    Increases damage dealt by 20% and damage taken by 25% for 20 sec:

    Use the first together with Infernal Release for optimal Damage, after that use it whenever it is ready. The 4. can and should also be used again together with Infernal Release.

    Except from that you are quite free what to pick.

    I would pick additional Defensive Cooldowns for survivability (and offtanking/or when getting aggro the same as Featherhood) so:

    Foresight 120 s Cooldown (Marauder level 2)
    Increases defense by 20% for 20 sec

    Keen Flurry 90 s Cooldown (Lancer level 4)
    Increases parry rate by 80% for 20 sec

    Bloodbath 90 s Cooldown (Marauder Level 8 )
    Converts 25% of the damage dealt by the next successfull offensive ability into HP. Duration 30 s.

    The other abilities you could pick are:

    Other attacks:

    Feint 80 TP (Lancer Level 2)
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 120.
    Additional Effect: Slow +20%.
    Duration 10s

    Can be used for soloing, for fleeing targets, also could be of use in some instances to handle adds better.

    Skull Sunder 60 TP (Marauder Level 4)
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
    Additional Effect: Increased enmity.

    It may be useful to get the aggro off a healer or something but in general it seams to be quite useless.

    Impulse Drive 70 TP (Lancer Level 8 )
    Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. 180 when delivered from behind target.

    Could be used if you cannot do your rotation for some reason and if you can go behind target. But overall it is not worth the global cooldown, since your rotation all in all deals more damage.
    But the main reason, why it is bad to use is not the lack in damage (which will not be true any longer if you have enough crit and haste) but the high TP amount.

    "Final" Rotation (Summary):

    Assumption you have (at least) 10% speed on your gear!

    Dragon Kick [DK],
    Twin Snakes [SN],
    Demolish [DS],
    Bootshine [BS],
    True Strike [TS],
    Snap Punch [SP],
    Touch of Death [ToD],
    Fracture [Fct]

    0. Allways use an attack as soon as possible. (The milisecond the global cooldown wears off!)

    1. Start the Combat with Perfect Balance followed by the following attacks:

    SP SP DS
    DK SN Fct ToD SP

    2. Start at Point 3 in your Basic Rotation

    1. Behind BS TS DS
    2. Flank DK SN SP
    3. Behind BS TS Flank SP
    4. DK SN DS
    5. Behind BS TS Flank SP
    6. DK SN SP
    7. Behind BS TS DS

    3. Repeat Basic rotation as long as fight goes on.

    4. Whenever ToD and Fct runs out immediately refresh them.

    5. Use Blood for Blood and Infernal Release the first time together the first time in Battle.
    The best ist to Use Blood for Blood IMMEDIATELY (0.01 seconds) before the BS in point 3 of the basic Rotation and use Infernal Release IMMEDIATELY (0.01 seconds) before SP in point 3 of the Basic rotation.
    Also be sure, that you refresh ToD and Fct with BOTH buffs still being up (so you should time them before ToD runs off for that).

    6. Use Blood for Blood and Infernal release whenever they are ready, but use them ALLWAYS IMMEDIATELY (0.01 seconds) before an attack. Also you should allways refresh ToD when using Infernal Release and you should use infernal release allways after a TS.

    7. If you have some Attacks which are not affected by the global cooldown and which deal damage and are not used for other things during the fight (CC for adds etc) , use them whenever they are ready (but the first time after the whole phase 1 is done).

    8. Use invigorate (first time when reaching 600 TP) and then whenever cooldown is ready in order to not run out of TP.

    Advanced Stuff:

    Stat on your gear:

    As mentioned your main stat is Strength which grants you Attack Power. This will increase the damage your attacks deal you want strength on every peace you get.

    Accuracy determines the chance that your attacks actually hit. If this rate is low your atacks will miss quite often.

    I think you should try to get to the "hitcap" this means to ge to the point were you cannot miss any longer.
    (I don't know what this cap will be exactly on level 50 if someone has more infos about that please tell me.)

    Why is reaching the hitcap important?
    Well first you have 1 dot and 1 debuff which you can only apply once every 6 seconds so if this attacks miss they will miss on the target for some second which will result in a dps loss.
    Also you have one attack which has a 100% crit chance, when done from behind, but that attack can nevertheless still miss!
    Also you have another dot which could miss, if this happens your whole rotation can become out of sync which is something which you want to avoid.

    Crit Rate is not so important, since you have one attack which allways crits one attack with a 5% increase crit rate and during 1/4. of the time you have a 30% crit increase buff.

    Determination is of course not bad, since it not only increases damage but also the healing you receive, which can be quite important as a melee. The question is how much this increases damage (per point) and how exactly it works with the 21% more damage the monk allready has.

    Skill Speed decreases the global cooldown of your attacks and also decreases the cooldown of some skills (at least if you go after the description). As mentioned having 10% or more is quite nice since then you have a 2 second global cooldown which makes the rotation nicer.

    But let us also look at some other "breakpoints." With breakpoints I mean gaining enough haste such that certain criterias are fulfilled, which will result in an additional damage increase (Note that you allways want to have a little bit more speed than the breakpoint (like 1%) else it isn't really possible to achieve the bonus (lag and human limits)):

    10% increase will grant 2.0 second global cooldown which gives nice 6 sec cycles such that you have a nice rotation where you can refresh your debuffs and buffs every 12 seconds.
    And when perfectly timed 6 instead of 5 attacks will profit from the 10% damage incrase from Twin Snakes. [around 1.5% increase of damage overall.]
    Additional 11 instead of 10 Attacks will profit from Blood for Blood.
    [around 0.5% damage increase]

    24% If perfectly timed one additional attack in your rotation will benefit from the 15 second 30% Krit buff. So instead of only 8 attacks 9 attacks will benefit from this damage cooldown. [around a 0.87% damage increase.]
    Also from the potion of strength (or other 15 second potions) an additional attack will profit (8 instead of 7).

    28% If perfectly timed one additional attack in your rotation will benefit from Blood for Blood. So instead of 11 attacks 12 will benefit from this damage cooldown.

    31% increase global cooldown gets so low that you can fit 7 attacks during a 12 second rotation. At this point you can use Touch of Death in your rotation every 30 seconds without every losing a buff or debuff. This means that out of your 6 rotation attacks all 6 instead of only 5 will benefit from the 10% less blunt resistance debuff on the target even when you use the Touch of Death.

    35% From this point on the simpler rotation will become better, since you will lose dotticks else and you would also almost have a 100% uptime of the dot.
    (I will recalculate this again later I am not 100% sure).

    REMARK: I assume that there is (or will be) a dot enrolling function, like in other MMOs, this means that when you refresh a dot, which only lasts for less then one tick , the old tick will still deal damage and the new stack is just added.
    If this is NOT the case you should have less then 10% attackspeed!! (or 10% with a little latency when using attacks sometimes is also OK.) Unless you can get a really high one (like 35% and can use the simpler rotation).


    I don't know about all consumables yet, but from what I have heared the following potion exists (and seams to be the best choice at the moment):

    Potion of Strength 5 minutes cooldown increases Strength by 16% for 15 Seconds. Using the Potion will lead to a Global Cooldown.

    Because the Global Cooldown is a damage loss the potion is only worth it, if with the 16% more strength you will do more damage, then you lost with the 1 Global Cooldown lost.

    This is the case if the following inequality is correct (the right part is bigger then the left part):

    (weapon damage)*4.3< 0.25 {or 0.5 if you have blood for blood}*STR

    If this is the case you use the pot in your rotation the first time you use blood for blood (or infernal release if you don't have blood for blood) immediately before blood for blood/infernal release.

    Fighting more then one target:

    There will be times, when you will fight more then one opponent and when you do not need to focus one specific down.

    When you fight 2 or more targets and they are next to each other (tell the tanks that they should try to achieve this!) then you want to hold the Dragon Kick debuff on as many of them as possible.
    If there are only 2 targets you want to use the Touch of Death dot on them as well.

    So what you will be doing is staying in the flank of the adds and doing
    DK -> SN -> Rockbreaker change add
    DK -> SN -> Rockbreaker cahnge add

    Of course you also throw in Death Touches (if 2 targets) and if you can Howling Fists but only when you allready have the SN Buff and also only after the third adds has the Dragon Kick Debuff.

    If there are more then three adds use Arm of the Destroyer instead of Dragon Kick in the rotation.

    Granting support as a Monk:

    Although you are a Damage Dealer you can still grant some group support. You are especiall good in helping the tank or other to survive.

    If the target can be stunned you should use Steel Peak when the tank (or another person being attacked) has low life to grant the healer some time to heal the target before the target gets hit again or when it is preparing a specially hard attack in order to unterrupt it.

    Also when you know, that the tank will need a lot of healing the next time you should use Mantra on him (for this it is good to know the boss mechanics for an encounter.)

    Then against casters (also caster adds) you can use Arm of the Destroyer instead of Bootshine in the rotation in order to interrupt them, this will also decrease the amount of damage the group will take and help therefore the healer.

    Another important support attack is One Ilm Punch (instead of True Strike in the rotation) when the target has some selfbuff. (Like increased damage done or an increased defense etc.).

    This can increase the group damage or also decrease the incoming damage and therefore can be quite helpfull.

    Also Shoulder Tackle can be used to interrupt some targets (especially when you want to switch targets fast anyway).
    Although in most cases it should be used for switching targets (with additional effect) since there are other options for interupting but not for getting fast to a new target.

    Advantages and Disadvantages

    As everything also the monk das some pros and cons:


    - Has a great single target damage!
    - Can also do some little bit of aoe.
    - Has nice support to help the tank or healer.
    - Can offtank quite a bit (with the help of cds).
    - His damage rotation is not luck dependant (no procs etc.)


    - When Perfect Balance is on cooldown a lot of time is needed to build up selfbuffs. (If they are lost during combat).
    - Without its cooldowns only a small damage mitigation (no heavy armor).
    - He is limited in when to use which abilities.

    Tipps (short summary)

    - Allways try to have 3 stacks of Greased Lightning, so allways try so stay in combat (adds etc.)
    - Use Perfect Balance to shart a battle (or when Greased Lightning is lost).
    - Go to the Hitcap (you should never miss an attack).
    - Try to allways have your dots/debuffs on your target.
    - Practice your rotation! (Including Cooldown use!)
    - Use Shoulder Tackle (and Fist of Wind) to get to adds faster (Greased lightning).
    - Use your support skills to help the raid to stay alive!
    - When taking aggro/offtankung use your cooldowns (and fist of stone) in order to survive.

    If you have additional questions or remarks please just post them.
    I will try to update this guide.
    Nevan, nobopyon, Gaderian and 6 others like this.

Recent Reviews

  1. Asuna
    A very objective, informative and well theorized/thought-out guide. A great source for beginning PGL/MNKs and thoroughly stimulating for those more experienced in the ways of pummeling their enemies to a loose pulp.

    I'm sure many anticipate expansion upon this already strong guide once Phase 4 and Early Release are out and more mechanics/items are available. Well done!