Monk AoE & Leveling Build

Monks excel at area of effect (AoE) attacks. Most of their abilities have an AoE as a primary or side effect. If you like seeing exploding bodies and elemental craziness zapping across the screen then the monk is for you. Building a monk that is efficient at AoE destruction without a whole lot of downtime is essential if your goal is to blast through enemies and level as quickly as possible. Diablo 3 gives bonus experience when killing a lot of enemies within a short period of time and also for killing multiple enemies in a single blow.

Here is the build I went with:!dab!caZZaa

The monk uses spirit as a resource for unleashing destruction. Using the primary skills in combat will help regenerate spirit. You can also find gear that helps with regen.

The goal with this build is to charge right smack in the middle of a bunch of enemies and then unleash hell on them with as much AoE damage as possible. The primary weapon for this build is the Daibo (monk staff).

Skill: Crippling Wave  Rune: Mangle
Crippling Wave not only deals damage to all the enemies in front of you, but every 3rd hit damages all the other enemies kicking you in the back. Adding Mangle as the rune ensures you are putting out as much damage as possible.

Skill: Lashing Tail Kick  Rune: Vulture Claw Kick
This is the main AoE attack for this build. It costs spirit to spam it, but it does a ton of damage. Adding the Vulture rune adds fire damage which adds to the destruction. Unlike the Crippling Wave ability, this kick hits everything around you each time it is used. This ability also has a knock-back effect which is good for interrupting fools dumb enough to try and cast a spell at you.

Skill: Serenity  Rune: Reap What Is Sown
Serenity is a shield that protects you from damage for a short time, but that isn’t why I chose this ability. The rune gives it the added effect of exploding and dealing damage to everything around you. This is best used right as you jump in the middle of a bunch of enemies.

Skill: Exploding Palm  Rune: Strong Spirit
This skill causes the target to bleed, but the best part is if you kill the target before the bleed ends, it will explode and damage everything close to it. This skill is best used for targeting the big nasty enemy in a group of enemies. The added runes gives you spirit back for each enemy that the explosion hits. This skill is good for regenerating spirit from spamming Lashing Tail Kick.

Skill: Cyclone Strike Rune: Eye of the Storm
Cyclone Strike pulls enemies into you and then unleashes a blast of holy damage. Not only is this skill good for putting out a lot of damage, but it is good for pulling in scattered enemies so that your AoE is more effective. This skill is best used to suck enemies in close to you after you spam one or two Lashing Tail Kicks in the middle of a bunch of enemies since the kick has a knockback effect. The rune lowers the cost of the ability so it can be used more often.

Skill: Mantra of Retribution  Rune: Retaliation
Monks can cast mantras (or buffs) on themselves and everyone in their party. The Mantra of Retribution redirects damage back at attackers. The rune increases the amount of damage reflected and also reflects ranged damage. The mantra lasts for 3 minutes.

Passive Skills
Exalted Soul
Increases maximum spirit by 100
Chant of Resonance
Increases duration of Mantras by 7 minutes to give them a total of 10 minutes. Also adds spirit regeneration every second.
The Guardian’s Path
Wielding a 2 handed weapon with this skill, increases spirit regeneration by 25%.

This build is awesome for unleashing destruction on waves of enemies. The low cost of the abilities and the spirit regeneration ensure the least amount of down time. Killing faster equals leveling faster.
The best part – this build is fully available by level 30.

This is not a single target build. Single target damage is still decent, but not as good as some of the other monk abilities. This build is also doesn’t include abilities to heal yourself. You will be drinking potions if things start to get crazy. But that’s ok because everything will be dead right? If fights start getting too tough, simply switch out the defensive ability and/or mantra with something better suited for keeping you alive.

Important: Many of the strategies and tips I share here were originally inspired by the people at the Diablo 3 Gold Secrets Forum. If you're serious about making the big bucks in Diablo 3, or just being the best players, you need to signup ASAP.

Leave a comment


  1. Damn this looks like a terrific build. I kind of hate to lose the healing ability though. I really love that in the Monk. But all these skills look too juicy to replace.

  2. I use a mixture of both direct damage dealing and AoE targetting of massive mobs mixed with the better parts of the healing aspects of the build, and I can tell you I have one shotted every boss and can clear gargantuan piles of mobs and come out all full healed, just a little low on spirit, in which my mantra comes into play by increasing spirit regen per second. So by the time I get to the next mob batch, its at halfway, good starting range. Here’s my build as noobish as it sounds. ( been playing for 4 days).

    Build is with Highest Possible Damage Weapons, 2 1-hand Weapons.

    Primary: Way of the Hundred Fists
    Primary Rune: Blazing Fists

    Secondary: Wave of Life
    Secondary Rune: Explosive Life

    Defensive: Breath of Heaven
    Defensive Rune: Circle of Scorn

    Techniques: Sweeping Winds
    Techniques Rune: Blade Storm

    Focus : Seven-Sided Strike
    Focus Rune: Pandemonium

    Mantras: Mantra of Evasion
    Mantras Rune:Divine Protection

    Passives: Transcendence, Chant of Resonance, Exalted Soul.

    I know it’s all over the place in there, but there is methods to the madness. The primary strikes multiple enemies increasing the amount of spirit generated PER HIT. With the increase in movement and attack speed upon critical hits, tends to make your enemies drop a little faster as well as speeding up the spirit regen rate. The secondary being a double packed massive AoE damage for 3 spams per full regen in start of massive mob might, knocking all of them back and causing some serious pain/killing half of the mob upright. Where in plays spamming of primary on various targets, killing off the rest of the mob within 10 seconds. Paired with the ability of your spirit using attacks healing your for so ever much per spirit, causing you to end fight full health and already racing on non stop for the monster kill in a row bonus. I don’t know how it works just know that it does, awesome for me. Any feedback on the build is appreciated. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>