Monk Basics Guide V1.1
By Ghroel HammerfistTable of Contents
- Class Skills
- Pros, Cons, Final Thoughts
Monk is a physical melee DoW. They excel at keep up a constant string of moderate potency, fast, consistent damaging skills; great melee aoe; and, over all, great situational supporting party/raid buffs and self buffing skills. In this basics guide, we shall be focusing on your basic class mechanics, levels 1-50 skills, and how to do your basic rotation.
Monk have two main mechanics throughout their entire leveling career; Positionals and Forms.
Positionals, what are they? Positionals are a melee DPS mechanic where you do more damage based on where you hit the the target. Unlike other Melee DPS, whose kit usually has one or two Positionals, monks kit is nothing BUT positionals. This is important to note if you want to do the most damage possible.
How do positionals work? As stated before, positionals are melee DPS skills that do more damage based on where you hit the target. There are two types of positions; rear and flank. the Rear is self explanitory, hit the target in the back. The flank, isn't as self explanatory as many think. The flank is the side, however flanks are HUGE. Down below, I will provide visual examples of where both the rear and flanks are on a target.
As shown above, the flank is WIDE. You have a massive amount of real estate to work with when hitting the flank. This becomes important as you consistently move throughout a fight; either dodging or trying to hit the flank in general. Don't feel pressured to move too much if you don't need.
Forms, what are they? Forms are unique to Monk. As you go through your rotation you'll swap between three forms:
First form: Opo-opo
Second Form: Raptor
Third Form: Coeurl
These forms do different things, but, mainly they allow you to perform the next part of your combo/rotation. However, based on the skill you use, your form may also grant bonus's from improving another skills potency, to a guaranteed critical strike. All these will be provided in your skill tool tips and in this guide.
Bootshine (lvl 1): Delivers an attack with a potency of 200.
Class Skills (1-50)
Leaden fist potency: 370
Opo-opo form bonus: Performs a critical hit when executed from a target's rear.
Additional Effect: Changes form to raptor
(Author note: This is your most important skill in your rotation. It will be one of two skills used in nuke phase/burst phase due to the high potency and the guaranteed crit hit when performed on the rear.)
True Strike (lvl 4): Delivers an attack with a potency of 270. 300 when executed from a target's rear. Can only be used when in raptor form.
Additional Effect: Changes form to coeurl
(Author note: This is your main damage dealing raptor skill. use this as often as possible when you don't need to refresh Twin Snakes buff.)
Snap Punch (lvl 6): Delivers an attack with a potency of 270. 300 when executed from a target's flank. Can only be used when in coeurl form.
Additional Effect: Changes form to opo-opo
(Author note: This is your main finishing move. Finish with this as much as much as possible when you don't need to refresh Demolish debuff.)
Fists of Earth (lvl 15): Reduces damage taken by 10%. Cannot be used with Fists of Fire or Fists of Wind, and shares recast timer with both. Effect ends upon reuse.
(Author note: this is the first of three stance swaps. It's great for when you need to reduce damage but cannot hit the boss back (you always want to be in Fists of Fire as much as possible) or when you run unsynced content and need to add some survivability. Sometimes you may end up tanking a boss (lord knows I have) and this will help you tank regular hits but won't help you survive a tank buster.)
Twin Snakes (lvl 18): Delivers an attack with a potency of 230. 260 when executed from a target's flank. Can only be used when in raptor form.
Additional Effect: Increases damage by 10%
Additional Effects: Changes form to coeurl
(Authors note: This is one of two timers your rotation revolves around. You should keep the 10% buff up at all times and never have it lapse; otherwise, it's a DPS loss.)
Arm of the Destroyer (lvl 26): Delivers an attack with a potency of 10 to all nearby targets
Opo-opo Form Potency: 140
Additional Effects: Changes form to raptor
(Author note: Starting aoe rotation WS)
Demolish (Lvl 30): Delivers an attack with a potency of 80. 110 when executed from a target's rear. Can only be executed when in coeurl form.
Additional Effect: Damage over time
Additional Effect: Changes form to opo-opo
(Author note: This is one of two timers your rotation revolves around. You should keep the DoT debuff up at all times and never have it lapse; otherwise, it's a DPS loss.)
Rockbreaker (lvl 30): Delivers an attack with a potency of 150 to all nearby enemies.
Additional Effects: Changes form to opo-opo
(Author note: this is your aoe finisher. your aoe rotation at lvl 30 should be AotD (Arm of the Destroyer) into Twin Snakes into Rockbreaker. once you hit lvl 45 it will change to incorporate Four-point Fury.)
Fists of Wind (lvl 34): Increases movement speed. Cannot be used with Fists of Fire or Fists of Earth, and shares recast timer with both. Effect ends upon reuse.
(Author note: This is pure utility outside of battle. You can swap to this stance in combat but it takes too long to get much use out of it and you'll only swap out of it almost immediately. Useful for running between fights, mobs and going through cities.)
Shoulder Tackle (Lvl 35): Rushes to target and delivers an attack with a potency of 100.
Maximum Charges: 2
Cannot be executed while bound.
(Author note: this is your gap closer.)
Fists of Fire (lvl 40): Increases damage dealt by 6/10%. Cannot be used with Fists of Earth or Fists of Wind, and shares recast timer with both. Effect ends upon reuse.
(Author note: this is your main stance you will want to use. It starts out at 6% increased damage but once you hit lvl 72 it changes to 10% increase damage.)
Mantra (lvl 42): Increases HP recovery via healing actions by 10% for self and nearby party members.
(Author note: This is your first raid/party wide buff. useful for when your whole party/raid gets nuked to help healers top you all off.)
Four-point Fury (lvl 45): Delivers an attack with a potency of 140 to all nearby enemies. Can only be executed while in raptor form.
Additional Effect: Extends Twin Snakes duration by 10s to a maximum of 15s
Additional Effect: changes form to coeurl
(Author note: This is your final part of your main aoe rotation. Open with AotD > Twin Snakes > Rockbreaker and then swap to AotD > FpF > Rockbreaker for maximum DPS)
Perfect Balance (Lvl 50): Allows execution of weaponskills which require a certain form, without being in that form.
(Author note: This is a part of your burst/nuke phase. PB lets you use all your WS for a certain duration giving you all the additional effects with no need to go through your rotation. use this when it's off CD as much as possible.)
Dragon Kick (lvl 50): Delivers an attack with a potency of 230. 260 when executed from a target's flank.
Opo-opo Form Bonus: Grants Leaden Fist
Additional Effect: Changes form to Raptor
(Author Note: This is your main opening WS. Leaden fist changes Bootshine from a 200 Potency WS to a 370 Potency WS so have this up along with both FoF (Fists of Fire) and TS (Twin Snakes) to do maximum damage.)
TraitsGreased Lightning (lvl 1): Reduces weaponskill cast time and recast time, spell cast time and recast time, and auto-attack delay by 5%.
Enhanced Greased Lightning (lvl 20): Reduces weaponskill cast time and recast time, spell cast time and recast time, and auto-attack delay by 10%
Enhanced Greased Lightning II (lvl 40): Reduces weaponskill cast time and recast time, spell cast time and recast time, and auto-attack delay by 15%
Role SkillsSecond Wind (lvl 8): Instantly restores own HP.
Cure Potency: 500
(Author note: this is a great heal nuke for any DoW. Use when needed)
Leg Sweep (lvl 10): Stuns Target
(Author note: this is your interrupt)
Bloodbath (lvl 12): Converts a portion of damage into HP
(great for a sustained amount of HP regen. Use during burst/nuke phase if you can for massive self healing.)
Feint (lvl 22): Lowers target Strength and Dexteriy by 10%
(Author Note: This is useful during tank busters to help tanks take less damage.)
Arm's Length (lvl 32): Creates a barrier nullifying most knockback and draw-in effects.
Additional Effect: Slow 20% when barrier is struck
(Author Note: use this to keep yourself from being flung away from bosses so you can keep up your DPS.)
True North (lvl 50): Nullifies all direction requirements.
(Author Note: TN is a very important yet situational ability for Monks. Certain Boss mechanics prevent you from doing your positionals, TN allows you to circumvent that issue.)
RotationsRotation Overview: Your base rotation changes six times with your burst/nuke phase rotation being stagnant. This is where Monks complexity comes into play. Monk is all about making sure both your Demolish and your Twin Snake timers are kept. Any timer down time is a net DPS loss. Coupling this with our constant need to move due to positionals all while dodging causes some tricky maneuvers. In this section, I shall give visuals for your changing rotations.
Part I: OpenerWhy is this the rotation breakdown? This enables you to keep up both Twin Snakes and Demolish while, simultaneously, using Snap Punch as much as possible in your rotation.
Part II: Intermediary Part I
Part III: Intermediary Part II
Part IV: Intermediary Part III
Part V: Closer Part I
Part VI: Closer Part II
Burst/Nuke Phase Rotation (lvl 50 version)Why is this the Burst/Nuke Rotation? This has the highest potential potency with your the hit combo before going into your PB combo. We use Dragon Kick and Bootshine for obvious reasons. Note, your Twin Snakes and Demolish timers will lapse during this, it's ok for this to happen as long as you reset them ASAP after burst.
Part I: Opener (only at start of fight)
Part II: Perfect Balance Nuke
Why is this the level 50 Version? At level 50 you only have Perfect Balance for your burst phase. As you level up more self and raid buffs will be added as you progress that drastically change your burst rotation. I will cover those in the advanced guide I will publish later.
Why do you still use Twin Snakes at level 45? Despite having FpF, we still want to use a single Twin Snakes just because FpF resets it's duration by 10 seconds with each use. Thus, it enables us to consistently have a 10% damage buff in our AoE rotation. You do not need to worry about using Twin Snakes on a targets flank it takes too long and is ultimately pointless in an AoE rotation.
Pros, Cons, Final ThoughtsPros: Monks are a highly mobile, active, dodgy class due to having zero animation lock. Coupled their evasiveness with consistent DPS that doesn't fall off as long as you keep up your rotations; unlike other classes that have high burst damage, and you have a melee powerhouse. Their AoE is one of the best and the most consistent for melee DPS. As you level beyond 50 you will gain large nuke capabilities in both AoE and Single Target. You also get an eventual Raid Wide dps buff that doubles as a way to get off more nukes during your higher level burst phase making Monks an always welcomed addition to any static group
Cons: Monks have a higher dependency on tanks positioning bosses in fights than other classes. Due to us always needing to hit the back for Bootshine's critical strike, you may find yourself often asking tanks to move bosses just so you can do your DPS rotation. Also, because of Monk's complexities, it can be quite difficult to keep up your rotation when in high stress situations. Because of this, it can be incredibly hard to bounce back if you aren't familiar with the base rotation. Finally, monk leveling isn't intuitive when it comes to skills. Starting with your 1-50 grind, just getting your basic rotation won't end till you hit level 50. Upon leveling further, some skills are unintuitive in their design (looking at you Chakra and Heavensward) until further expansions. Monks tend to be a design struggle for Squeenix so be prepared for some strange design choices and unituitive game play.
Monk is an extremely fun class to play if you like to add a little complex spice to your melee game play. Monk has been a solid DPS since base 2.0 and has been a constant strong Melee DPS since. Their high mobility coupled with their positional game play makes for some fun little "dancing" as I like to call when fighting bosses. With that, concludes the Basics Guide. The Advanced Guide will get into 50+ skills and rotations. If you have any questions or anything to add to the guide please email me at email@example.com
Change LogV1.0 made base guide
V1.1 Added an AoE Rotation Guide, made several formatting corrections, added to pros and cons.
Monk Basics: How to be a punchy boi/gril part I
Guide in 'Disciples of War' published by Ghroel Hammerfist, Jul 29, 2021.
A basics guide to the DPS class Monk. Monk's DPS is consistent while having some of the most complex base rotations. In this basics guide we will go over your lvls 1-50 skills, rotation basics, and base mechanics.
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