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Invicible Monk : GW Submissions

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July 8th, 2006, 9:37 am 
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An Invincible Monk, often shortened to "invincimonk," "solo monk," or "55 monk" is a family of monk builds designed primarily for farming, although it can be useful in parties under some circumstances.

These builds essentially take advantage of the fact that by making use of Protective Spirit, a monk can cause inflicted damage on himself to become a maximum of 10% of his maximum health, while health regeneration through (for instance) Mending & Healing Breeze (occasionally in combination with Watchful Spirit) keeps his health up.

For example, consider two monks:

A regular monk (no runes) under Protective Spirit, with +5 health regeneration.
An invincimonk (with 5 Superior runes and with the CoA -50HP Grim Cesta) under Protective Spirit, with +5 health regeneration.
The first monk will have 480HP and attacks against him will do at most 48 damage (=10% of his maximum health). He regenerates health at a rate of 10HP per second (each pip is 2HP per second), so it takes him a little less than 5 seconds to regenerate the damage from an attack reaching the 10% maximum health.

The invincimonk will have 55HP, each single attack against him will do only 5HP damage (it is rounded down) if the damage normally would exceed the 5HP. He still regenerates health at a rate of 10HP per second, hence each single damage of 5HP takes just one half of a second to regenerate. As a result, the invincimonk can tank quite a number of creatures doing physical, elemental or magical damage without them overwhelming his health regeneration.

Note: The only situation where this might happen, is when there are 12 damage-sources, all doing 5HP damage (near-)simultaneously. The health regeneration of Mending & Healing Breeze can't keep up with that much damage in a very short period of time, thus it results in the death of the invincimonk.

There are many variations on the invincimonk build; not only do different players have different preferences, but different farming situations require different skill changes. Additionally, changes in the game have caused a move away from AoE smiting damage dealing because of enemies' tendencies to flee.

However, an invincimonk must solve the following problems with his skills:

Damage Reduction

Protective Spirit is the usual choice here.
Protective Bond is seldom used any more, as the energy cost, even with very high Protection Prayers skills, is prohibitive and non-compensatable with other skills.
Additionally, some other skills that are sometimes employed actually serve as damage reduction. Bonetti's Defense, while primarily an energy management skill, additionally serves to slow down the rate at which damage is done. Likewise for Shield of Judgment, which knocks many types of enemies down, reducing their attack rate.

Reducing Health

The health reduction is accomplished as follows. A level 20 monk with no runes has 480 health. Adding five Superior runes, one for each monk attribute and one duplicate (the duplicate is not effective toward the attribute--runes do not stack--but the -75 hp is in effect), reduces the 480HP by 375HP (75HP * 5 superior runes), leaving a total health of 105HP. Additionally, the invincimonk uses the Cities of Ascalon quest reward Grim Cesta, which has a -50HP modification on it to reduce his health to 55HP.

Ascetic's Armor is recommended, as the nature of this build requires energy and the AL of the armor is irrelevant; taking a hit outside of Protective Spirit is generally instant death.

Health Regeneration

Mending is popular for situations where the skill bar is not taxed by the necessity of having many specialized skills.
Healing Breeze is often essential for additional regeneration while under attack by many enemies. When farming areas with high monster density, attacks (even with reduced dmg) can come fast and furious, and can overwhelm Mending's regeneration. Supplementing this with Healing Breeze in those cases is important. Additionally, some popular farming areas contain enemies that cause Bleeding, which can single-handedly wipe out Mending's regeneration.
When running these two skills, the decision to make is how many attribute points to put into Healing Prayers. For Mending, 8 Healing Prayers is +3 regen, while 13 Healing Prayers is +4 regen. For Healing Breeze, 9 Healing Prayers is +7 regen, while 12 is +8, and 14 is +9.

Watchful Spirit is another skill sometimes used for health regeneration. It provides +2 regen without any requirement for attribute points.
Another additional source of health 'regen' is the Divine Favor healing bonus which occurs when casting a spell. Frequently if the invincimonk's health is starting to slip from overwhelming attacks, simply casting Protective Spirit will give a health boost of about 25-35 points, healing the monk usually back to his maximum health of 55HP.

Energy Management

This build requires a lot of energy, at least two and sometimes up to four or five maintained enchantments will be used. The build must also be able to cast Protective Spirit and Healing Breeze every ten to fifteen seconds, and cast damage-dealing Spells. As a result, base energy regeneration is not nearly enough.

There are two enchantments which provide energy on being attacked:

Balthazar's Spirit is the better of the two for this purpose, it provides one Energy on taking any kind of damage and also provides adrenaline (needed for Bonetti's Defense).
Essence Bond is the other, which provides 1 energy on taking physical or elemental damage only.
Bonetti's Defense is an excellent energy management skill which requires a Warrior secondary profession. This short-lasting stance provides 5 energy per melee attack blocked and also provides defense against arrows (75% chance of blocking for both) but does not gain energy from arrows. This skill is especially useful when fighting smaller groups of enemies, if the monk does not take enough damage from multiple sources to gain Energy from his maintained enchantments. Additionally, as noted earlier, Bonetti's reduces the total amount of damage dealt by reducing the number of hits from melee and arrows taken.
Damage Dealing

Smiting Prayers is the usual mode of damage dealing for the invincimonk.

Shield of Judgment. Keeping with this build's expectation that enemies will continue to hit it, Shield of Judgement is the most popular and powerful damage spell invincimonks commonly use. This elite skill causes 53 damage per hit (at 16 Smiting Prayers) and also causes knockdown. For many of the popular farming spots, this skill alone can kill the enemies, as they will not stop attacking the SoJ'd monk until dead.
Zealot's Fire is a low-cost way of leveraging the fact that the invincimonk is generally spamming Protective Spirit and Healing Breeze, doing some fire damage with each skill. However, if Zealot's Fire is triggered too fast in a row, it will cause the breaking of aggro of attacking monsters and they will disperse and after a short while regroup around the monk. During this time, the monsters will not be attacking the invincimonk, and thus will not do damage to themselves. Using careful timing, the invincimonk can make sure that the aggro stays on him while using Zealot's Fire and this is that Zealot's Fire should not be triggered twice within 4 seconds. Rule of thumb for this time-interval: cast Protective Spirit and wait until PS is almost 3/4 recharged, then cast the 2nd skill. Using practice an invincimonk can find the optimum for this.
Symbol of Wrath is a low-cost spell that is weakened by the fact that enemies flee its effect; however, often before the enemies will actually flee, three of the five seconds worth of damage has been done.
Balthazar's Aura was once a staple of the invincimonk build; this spell has fallen into disuse because of its high cost and reduced effectiveness.
Holy Strike, a good smite spell alternative to Balthazar's Aura or Symbol of Wrath. Its low-cost, quick casting speed, and decent recharge make it a deadly spell. Although it attacks only a single enemy, when timed right using Shield of Judgement, it does double damage.
Weapon Choice

As the invincimonk build requires the above CoA-Grim Cesta, the monk is constrained to using a one-handed weapon. Helpful modifications include lengthening enchantment duration and extra energy.

Since Smite skills are the primary (powerful) monk skills for damaging your enemies, and they have the longest recharge rates of the spells a 55 monk would use, there is a great one-handed weapon you could aquire quite easily. In Droknar's Forge, there is a collector by the name of Ornhelm Brightaxe that will trade you a smiting rod(max damage/halves recharge rate of smiting prayer skills 20%) for 5 Stone Summit Badges. Another choice is to use the fire wand you can obtain from Wain Hughes outside Nolani Academy to have 5 more energy.

However, by far the most useful invincimonk weapon is the Fiery Flame Spitter. This weapon has a 10% chance on 1/2 recharge on all skills, and is also modifiable with a Furious Mod (10% Chance on double adrenaline per hit (for Bonetti's Defense) and an Axe Grip of Enchanting (maximum of 20% longer enchantments).


Additionally, a number of skills can be used in particular situations or to enhance the ability of the build to function in a certain area.

Balanced Stance is important for farming areas where enemies will knock you down, such as Hydras in Skyward Reach and Tundra Giants in the Southern Shiverpeaks.
Dolyak Signet can sometimes be used if you know you no longer will be moving around pulling aggro. (For instance the Mursaat in the Ring of Fire mission.)
Spell Breaker can be invaluable against enemies who strip or Rend Enchantments, such as Dying Nightmares in the Underworld. Note that using Spell Breaker precludes using Shield of Judgment, as both are elites.
Mantra of Resolve can aid against enemies who interrupt spells, such as Mountain Trolls, Bladed Aatxes and Avicara Braves.
Sympathetic Visage quickly drains groups of melee-attacking monsters of adrenaline and energy, shutting down their skills (e.g. a Hydra's Meteor or a Smite Crawler's Smite Hex).
Blessed Aura can add to the duration of all cast enchantments, sometimes killing a group with just one Shield of Judgment instead of two.

One excellent feature of the invincimonk is that because of all the superior runes, his attributes are quite high. No other character type can boast such high values in such a broad range of skills. Allocating attributes is often a matter of personal preference and depends on the area to be farmed. However, each skill affects the build in different ways.

Healing Prayers affects the pips of regeneration from Mending or Healing Breeze.
Protection Prayers affects the duration of Protective Spirit.
Smiting Prayers affects the amount of damage done by Shield of Judgment (and also the amount of adrenaline gained from Balthazar's Spirit, which is normally used to charge Bonetti's Defense)
Divine Favor affects the duration of Spell Breaker, the effect of Blessed Aura, and the amount of healing gained from casting normal spells.
Tactics affects the duration of Balanced Stance and Bonetti's Defense.

Invincimonks are primarily useful against melee attackers, especially those that hit hard and fast. As the build relies on enemies that hit it, both for energy management and damage dealing, it is primarily successful against warrior-type creatures who do not heal themselves such as Mountain Trolls. The build is also an excellent tank against more powerful warrior-type creatures. One popular two-person build in The Underworld pairs an invincimonk (who acts as a tank) and a damage-dealing caster. The build N/Me SS Nuker is the popular choice for a partner in the Underworld.

A Fragile Existence

The Invincimonk's existence is completely dependant on maintaining his/her enchantments up throughout a fight. Therefore, they are extremely susceptible to enchantment removal, health degeneration, and to a lesser extent, interrupts. Thus Invincible Monk builds are primarily used in areas that lack Mesmers or Necromancers.

The monk can protect himself/herself against some enchantment removal skills such as Strip Enchantment and Drain Enchantment by covering the important enchantments with a less important one like Reversal of Fortune, as the game mechanics dictate that the first enchantment removed will be the one most recently applied. The most deadly forms for an Invincimonk to face are Shatter Enchantment and Rend Enchantments. Shatter will deal armor ignoring damage that could kill instantly and Rend will remove as many as eight enchantments, so covering enchantments is virtually impossible.

Slowly Fading Away

The monk's protections are aimed at direct damage hits and do not counter health degeneration very well. A Mesmer casting Conjure Phantasm, a Necromancer with multiple degeneration spells or a foe with attacks that cause burning can greatly reduce the effectiveness of Healing Breeze and Mending in keeping the monk alive.

Life Stealing

Life stealing skills at high ranks of Blood Magic are the absolute bane of 55 monks, because they go right through the damage reduction protections since they aren't classified as damage in the usual sense. Vampiric Touch can easily steal 60+ health, which means instant death to 55 monks regardless of their health regeneration capabilities, and its short activation and recharge times means a 105 monk won't be able to sustain two hits either.

Designed for a Specific Setup

It is very important for 55 monks to recognize that their build is completely built on facing direct damage dealers who attack fairly frequently. This is why this build is highly successful in areas where there are predominantly melee attackers.

Using this build in a party is normally not indicated because most missions and quests contain a mixture of creatures which will make it hard for the monk to stay alive. It is also important to note that a 55 monk has very little to offer a party in terms of actual help. Healing a party with just Healing Breeze and Mending is unacceptable to most parties.

Death Penalty

If the monk accumulates too much Death Penalty, he will die immediately upon being resurrected. The reason being that Death Penalty applies to a character's full health, not their health after applying runes. Therefore, a level 20 character who dies for one time will receive a death penalty of 15% which is 72 hit points (0.15 x 480). No character is allowed to have less than 1 hit point. So, a 55 monk upon dying will have exactly 1 hit point. This makes resurrecting this monk with any means other than a Resurrection Signet near impossible because most of them attempt to raise the player at less than 50% health, which for a 1 HP character will be zero. The monk will rise and drop dead immediately, before they can do anything. Using Rebirth will still teleport the body to the casters feet, which might be usefull if the monk has died in a large group of monsters, as you can then safely resurect them at the spot they were teleported to.

One way around this is to have a party monk bring Vengeance or Unyielding Aura, which will resurrect the monk at full health and before they die again, they quickly unequip the superior runes which brought their health so low or, if you have any, use a Candy Cane which will remove the death penalty. After the enchantment ends and the player dies again, they can be resurrected normally. An alternative to removing the superior rune armor, is after being revived, remove the -50 cesta which would place a 55 monk's health at 33. You could keep a staff with a fortitude upgrade to give you added health in case of dying.

Other ways include Resurrection Signet as mentioned, as well as Restore Life at high ranks of Healing Prayers (11+). The Ritualist spell Flesh of My Flesh can also be used, as it resurrects the player at a numeric value, rather than a percentage.

The Counters of the Counters

Spell Breaker can serve as a blanket cover against all spells that cause enchantment removal or health degeneration, but even if replicated with Arcane Echo and various enchantment prolongment, the gap in coverage of Spell Breaker is still dangerously long. It is important for players to remember that Spell breaker only stops spells and not all skills. Therefore, touch skills like Vampiric Touch, Shock or the monster stance Fingers of Chaos will go through.
Power Drain is very useful for Mo/Me 55 monks in the Underworld. It will enable them to interrupt the Dying Nightmare without expending 15 energy in Spell Breaker and provide them with energy. It is also Inspiration Magic like Mantra of Resolve. It is perfect for countering a single pop-up of a Dying Nightmare, however if more than one show up, Spell Breaker becomes the only option.

Any character with monk as a secondary profession can use the "55 build" by equiping 5 Superior Runes of the primary class and the Cities of Ascalon quest rewarded Grim Cesta and using Protective Spirit, Healing Breeze, Mending, Balthazar's Spirit and 4 other skills to taste. In this way a player can create a character with the advantages of the "invincimonk"'s damage reduction and with higher-level skills from the primary character class.

The Factions campaign skill Spirit Bond can also be used for 55 monking combined with prot spirit. Spirit bond triggers on all hits of more than 60 damage, regardless of whether prot spirit then reduces the damage. To take advantage of this, characters should choose either Monastery/Ascalon armor or their starter armor, because the lack of armor will nearly guarantee 60+ damage hits. The advantage of this setup is not needing to take any points in healing prayers, giving the character more damage with their offensive skills.

July 8th, 2006, 11:23 am 
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Do NOT plagiarize.

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July 8th, 2006, 7:56 pm 
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