Monk FAQ for Guild Wars Version 1.1 August, 2005 Complied by Dao Jones 1. Introduction 2. PvE (or "the place where everybody wants you") 2a. List of quests 2b. List of trainers 2c. Beating your mirror 2d. Choosing a secondary profession 3. PvP (or "the place where everyone wants you... dead") 4. Builds for PvE and PvP 5. Equipment (because running around naked is for poor people and female Elementalists) 6. Monking 101 (this is the section you skip if you're just looking for builds or quest info) 7. Useful Links 8. Thanks & Disclaimer 9. Final Thoughts --------------- 1. Introduction --------------- Welcome to my Monk FAQ! There are many reasons you may be here, staring at the material I've complied. 1. You may be seeking a career in the church. If this is the case, then I'm sorry to inform you that you are looking in the wrong place. Try this website instead: http://www.vatican.va 2. You have come seeking the most "1337, azz-kiking class in GW!!!1!!11!!1!!" If so, I suggest you click the "Back" button on your web browser, and try one of the Warrior or Elementalist FAQs instead. You'll find those classes more to your liking. 3. You want to play a Monk or are currently playing a Monk, but are too lazy to learn how to do it correctly through trial-and-error, like I did. Well, read on! Hopefully the stuff contained here will make your gaming life easier. (I feel for you buddy. I'm lazy, too.) This was written basically as an expression of my frustration that a better player has not already written a Monk FAQ, even though this game has been out for months. Monks generate more questions and discussion than any other class, and yet they're the *only* class on GameFAQs without their own guide (as of this writing). I'm hoping in time that this FAQ will become "the FAQ that no one reads", because there will be five *better* Monk FAQs to choose from, but until then... you're stuck with me. I'll try to make it painless. I had a lot of great people email me with information about playing a Monk, and a lot of that info has made its way into this FAQ. In fact, I really can't take credit for "writing" this thing at all. It's really more like I "slapped together the hard work of other people." So, basically, if you don't like this FAQ... blame them. Readers of my other FAQ will notice that this one contains far less of my customary humor and neutral information delivery. This is because, unlike the Morrowind FAQ (which I wrote whole cloth), this FAQ is really just a compilation of other peoples' information with a few added notes from yours truly. ------ 2. PvE ------ Let me preface this section by stating one thing: I do not intend to include a farming guide. Nor will you see much in the way of farming builds in the "Builds" section. Why? Because I want to keep the awesome builds to myself? Because I enjoy pissing you people off? No, and yes. But first and foremost, because farming is an ever-changing animal. The techniques and areas that were proven goldmines yesterday have been nerfed to hell today, and today's "unbeatable" strategies will most likely be useless by tomorrow. Nor, for the record, do I support or endorse farming. I'm a Diablo 2 player from way back in the day, and idiots that did MF (magic finding) runs 24/7 destroyed the game, ruined the internal economy, and gave rise to a breed of losers I like to commonly refer to as "twinking idiots". So I'm sure as hell not going to help that happen here. Seek your 1337ness elsewhere, nerdboy. 2a. List of Quests ------------------ Pre-Searing ----------- -Lakeside County- Name: Lina the Healer Quest: Adventure with an Ally Reward: Resurrection Signet (not specifically a Monk skill, but get it anyway) Name: Ciglo the Monk Quest: Monk Test Reward: Banish, Healing Breeze -Green Hills County- Name: Grazden the Protector Quest: Protection Prayers Reward: Reversal of Fortune, Shielding Hands -Ashford Abbey- Name: Brother Mhenlo Quest(1): A Monk's Mission Reward: Bane Signet, Orison of Healing Quest(2): The Blessings of Balthazar Reward: Retribution, Symbol of Wrath Post-Searing ------------ -Old Ascalon- Name: Embassador Zain Quest: Helping People of Ascalon Reward: Mending Name: Gate Guard Hollis Quest: Supplies for the Duke Reward: Purge Conditions Name: Grazden the Protector Quest(1): Protecting Ascalon Reward: Heal Area, Vital Blessing Quest(2): Sowing Seeds Reward: Heal Party, Bane Signet, Orison of Healing Quest(3): In Memory of Paulus Reward: Resurrect, Live Vicariously -Eastern Front- Name: Cynn Quest: Caravan in Trouble Reward: Smite -Serenity Temple- Name: Priestess Rashenna Quest: Replacement Healers Reward: Infuse Health, Strength of Honor -Yak's Bend- Name: Van the Warrior Quest: The Wayward Monk Reward: Vigorous Spirit, Pacifism, Divine Boon Name: Grand Mason Stonecleaver Quest: Helping the Dwarves Reward: Remove Hex -Beacon's Perch- Name: Master Saberlin Quest(1): Hungry Devourer Reward: Divine Spirit Quest(2): The Deserters Reward: Balthazar's Spirit -Lion's Arch- Name: Magi Malaquire Quest: Malaquire's Test Reward: Signet of Capture (like the Res Sig - get it anyway) -North Kryta Province- Name: Archivist Ithimar Quest: Graven Images Reward: Dwayna's Kiss Name: Damaris Quest: The Ascalon Settlement Reward: Heal Other Name: Farmer Dirk Quest: The Last Hog Reward: Life Attunement -Nebo Village- Name: Inspector Caleb Quest: The Hot Springs Murders Reward: Mend Ailment -Beetletun- Name: Elder Hezron Quest: The Undead Hordes Reward: Holy Veil -Temple of the Ages- Name: Brother Mizar Quest: The False Gods Reward: Blessed Signet -Druid's Overlook- Name: Envoy Ero Quest: Mysterious Message Reward: Healing Seed Name: Trader Versai Quest: Eye for Profit Reward: Smite Hex -Silverwood- Name: Alari Doubleblade Quest: The Price of Steel Reward: Contemplation of Purity -Ettin's Back- Name: Deep Root Quest(1): Dropping Eaves Reward: Rebirth Quest(2): Blood and Smoke Reward: Protective Spirit -Fisherman's Refuge- Name: Watchman Arad Quest(1): The Royal Papers Reward: Scourge Healing Quest(2): The Lost Princess Reward: Balthazar's Aura -Augury Rock- Name: Jorn Kudebeh Quest: Into the Unknown Reward: Zealot's Fire Name: Marchena Quest: Ghostly Vengeance Reward: Blessed Aura -Destiny's Gorge- Name: Annelle Fips Quest: The Forgotten Ones Reward: Vengeance -Seeker's Passage- Name: Tirzah Quest: A Belated Betrothal Reward: Mend Condition -Heroes' Audience- Name: Yort the Bronze Quest: The Misplaced Sword Reward: Healing Touch 2b. Skill Trainers ------------------ -Sir Bertran- Location: Ascalon City Skills: Resurrection Signet Bane Signet Banish Guardian Healing Breeze Orison of Healing Healing Signet Retribution Reversal of Fortune Shielding Hands Symbol of Wrath -Taltosh- Location: Grendich Courthouse Skills: Judge's Insight Restore Life -Captain Osric- Location: Yak's Bend Skills: Heal Area Heal Party Infuse Health Live Vicariously Mending Purge Conditions Resurrect Smite Strength of Honor Vital Blessing -Marna- Location: Ice Tooth Cave Skills: Holy Strike Succor -Firstwatch Sergio- Location: Lion's Arch Skills: Balthazar's Spirit Divine Boon Divine Spirit Pacifism Remove Hex Vigorous Spirit -Captain Greywind- Location: Ascalon Settlement Skills: Holy Wrath Signet of Devotion -Ephaz- Location: Beetletun Skills: Essence Bond Life Bond -Sorim- Location: Quarrel Falls Skills: Dwayna's Kiss Heal Other Holy Veil Life Attunement Mend Ailment -Master Scout Kiera- Location: Henge of Denravi Skills: Dwayna's Kiss Heal Other Holy Veil Life Attunement Mend Ailment -Avena- Location: Maguuma Stade Skills: Protective Bond Watchful Spirit -Mazzim- Location: Fisherman's Haven Skills: Aegis Purge Signet -Tengsao- Location: The Amnoon Oasis Skills: Contemplation of Purity Healing Seed Protective Spirit Rebirth Smite Hex -Bartoch- Location: Droknar's Forge Skills: Balthazar's Aura Blessed Aura Blessed Signet Healing Touch Mend Condition Scourge Healing Vengeance Zealot's Fire -Thengen- Location: Port Sledge Skills: Divine Healing -Steig- Location: Camp Rankor Skills: Convert Hexes -Gammel- Location: Copperhammer Mines Skills: Divine Intervention Draw Conditions Scourge Sacrifice -Harnil- Location: Marhan's Grotto Skills: Light of Dwayna 2c. Beating Your Mirror ----------------------- It seems there are as many ways to do this as there have been players to try it. For every player begging for help there is someone touting an unbeatable strategy. Some people tell you you to take no skills, others tell you to load up. Some say the mirror uses Healing Breeze, others swear that it does not. I will only offer you this: I used a certain method, and I beat my mirror in 40 seconds. I'll post that build, and if it doesn't work for you then hopefully it will at least give you some ideas on a way to make it work for you. (I have seen many other "unbeatable" strategies posted, but they looked neither reliable nor particularly smart, so I took a pass on them for my FAQ.) Dao's Anti-Mirror Build ----------------------- Holy Veil Blessed Aura Holy Wrath Life Attunement Symbol of Wrath Balthazar's Aura (I also took Bane Signet, but it wasn't helpful) Basically, to understand this build, you need to understand two things about your "Mirror": 1) He is not your exact opposite, and 2) He is not smart. My mirror used a bow, for example, while I did not. Basically, pre-cast *only* Blessed Aura. Your mirror will precast all four degen enchantments, which will essentially completely stop his energy regeneration, and cost him 40 Energy. Holy Wrath will cost him 10 Energy every time you shoot him, so shoot him a few times with your wand or staff to make sure he's completely tapped out of Energy. At this point, he's essentially reduced to plinking away at you with his weapon. Now, unleash Balthazar's Aura and Symbol of Wrath. Assuming your Smiting attribute is high up, he should drop like a sack of bricks. I don't advocate taking a healing spell, as you shouldn't need it and you don't want him using it. But if you do take one, make sure you occasionally shoot your mirror, to ensure his Energy is bottomed out. (In theory he can't regen Energy anyway, but I'm less than confident that ANet doesn't occasionally "stack the deck" in favor of their monsters.) 2d. Choosing a secondary profession ----------------------------------- I'll preface this section by saying that, in my opinion, Monks have the least need for a secondary class out of all six classes. Within their own skill set they already have the best possible means of attack, protection and healing, as well as condition and hex removal. Many times you will find yourself using all of your skill bar for your primary skills (particularly if you are a healer), and your secondary will be there only to help you unlock PvP skills. In fact, I recommend you consider when choosing a secondary that the class you choose be one that you wish to unlock PvP skills for. Monks have it very easy in this game: everyone wants you in a party, and your role is not complicated. You can breeze through missions and quests very quickly, and the secondary you take will be quickly unlocked for you. (My secondary through the game was a Warrior; in retrospect, I would have gone Elementalist or Mesmer, as I'm unlikely to ever play those classes as primaries.) However, that is not to say that your secondary is totally worthless: several classes have valuable skills that will enhance your Monk's primary skills, regardless of what "role" your Monk intends to play in the party. Here are my opinions for your consideration. (And they are only opinions. Your mileage may vary.) Elementalist: Not a bad choice, but don't take this secondary because you want to use powerful attack magic alongside your Monk abilities. A Monk does not have the energy reserves of an Elementalist, and you won't have the Energy to use both your Elementalist attacks and you Monk spells. (If you want to go this route, make an Elementalist/Monk.) However, there are several spells that nicely compliment your Monk abilities, and are worth considering. The various Wards (Ward Against Melee, Ward Against Foes, Ward Against Elements) will further help you protect your party, while spells like Armor of Mist and Mist Form will help keep you alive when you come under attack. Mesmer: Another good choice, because the Mesmer has one ability that the Monk does not: the ability to steal Energy from other players. As mentioned, Energy management is a constant problem for Monks, and in difficult battles you'll find yourself running low before the fight is over. At moments like this the Inspiration spells available to you really show their worth; many of them allow you to steal an opponent's Energy outright for your own use, or to cancel a Hex or Enchantment and convert it into Energy. Necromancer: I've seen these combinations before, but I'm not sure I'm on this bandwagon. There are good spells in the Necromancer skill set, but I'm not sure that as a Monk you'll find yourself using them. Offering of Blood, an Elite Blood Magic skill, will allow you to sacrifice Health and a little Energy for an Energy boost, but there are better ways to regain Energy (see the Mesmer class, above). And while the Death Magic and Curse lines offers minion summoning, additional damaging attacks, and ways to impede your enemy, these skills are not really first and foremost of use to you profession as a Monk. While many people can make this work, I would not say this is the best choice for a Monk's secondary. Ranger: Like the Necromancer, above, this secondary seems of limited use to a Monk. Carrying a bow will be on no use to you, so Marksman skills are useless. Pets are generally not considered useful to anyone (even Rangers) without a significant investment in Beast Mastery, and you will not want to spend that many much-needed attribute points (nor free up enough space on your skill bar) to make having a pet useful. Lastly, although the Wilderness Survival line has several interesting and useful skills, none really do anything to help you out as a Monk. I would say, in my personal opinion, that this is the least useful secondary for a Monk. Some take this in PvP for use in Spirit spamming, but I assert that the Monk should not be the one in the party dropping spirits. Warrior: Ahh... the ever popular Mo/W build, first choice of farmers the world over. 99% of people that take this secondary do so for one stance: Bonetti's Defense. It's a powerful addition to your arsenal, and well worth considering for PvE play. However, don't plan on being some sort of holy warrior, running into the fray wielding sword and spell. Monks are not designed to be primary tanks and frontline fighters - they can be, but it is a waste of resources to do so, and an ineffective way to be part of a team. On a final note I would say this: there really aren't any "Bad" choices when it comes to choosing a secondary. Guild Wars is fairly remarkable in that all six classes are well balanced, and even a seemingly unlikely combination can become quite potent in the hands of a skilled player. So don't worry that you're choosing the "wrong" secondary - there is *no* "wrong" secondary. It all comes down to player preference. And, if all else fails, you can change your secondary towards the end of the game anyway. (But that is a subject for another FAQ.) ------ 3. PvP ------ To be honest, I do very little PvP as a Monk. I've done it on occasion, but usually there are so many Monks already out there I just use another class. So while I know how to PvP with a Monk, I don't consider myself the final word on Monk PvP. However, many of the regulars on GameFAQs know a lot about Monk PvP, so I'm just going to let them do all the work of educating you for me, while I sit back and watch movies I most certainly did NOT download illegally off the internet. Let's start with Diamond Angel99. He has a lot to offer regarding Monk PvP; in fact, he probably knows enough to write his own FAQ. However, he's lazy, so he just phoned in the data, and left it to me to organize. Still, it's good stuff, and if you're a new Monk wanting to try PvP then you'll wanna digest the following words of wisdom. Here he discusses basic skills useful to several incarnations of Monk you'll see in PvP. I'll post his suggested "basic" builds in the "Builds" section. "Ok, since Dao is awesome for writing this up while I'm busy sitting on my lazy ass chatting to my girlfriend on vent... Here's some expertise from what I've seen high ranked players do (I'm in TmA, rank 17 guild and I've played with members from most of the top guilds, sB/Bs, ZPZG, etc.) This is all PvP advice, you can get away with almost any half assed build in PvE. Please note that this is a description of popular builds, lots of other choices work just as well. HEALING MONK ------------ Elite Skills Rundown: Top 5 (no order): Word Of Healing Spellbreaker Peace and Harmony Energy Drain Offering of Blood Monk Elites: Word of Healing: A popular choice, but not as good as it sounds. A huge boost for 5 energy when the target is below 50%, but it's also taking up an elite skill slot. You'd get the same bonus from Heal Other at 10 mana a shot, but free up your elite skill slot for something that benefits everything you're doing or something that's more unique to an elite skill. Nonetheless, it's still a very very utilitarian elite to use, and likely the first one you get. Definately servicable and always a respectable choice. Spellbreaker: Situational use, but can be very devastating especially vs spike teams. If you can guess their target (90% of the time it's one of your three monks provided you're not running a mesmer), throw Spellbreaker on both your healing monks and protective spirit on your prot monk, a spike team will do a countdown and all of their spells will likely fail causing a huge waste in energy and cooldown time. Pretty useless vs ranger teams, not as many people are packing this nowadays. Peace and Harmony: +1 regen is useful to no end, especially if you have a high divine favour rank with a +20% enchanting staff wrapping/sword pommel(+5 Henge Sword). With that duration boost you can usually afford to keep Peace and Harmony up on yourself and a partner monk. It's a great elite to consider, but most teams run it on their protection monk if they're not using Martyr. Aura of Faith: Good spell, probably not worth the 10 mana to consistently keep up on more than one or two members of your party. Unyielding Aura: Absolutely horrendous choice, way too much enchant removal/nature's spam in the PvP aspect of the game. It's a waste of an elite slot, monks shouldn't be carrying any sort of Res at all except for Res Sig, if they can spend the 4-8 seconds casting a res, then you're team's already steamrolled the other team and it wouldn't matter whether or not they res'd the dead player. Otherwise, losing a monk for 4-8 seconds is usually very bad. Healing Hands: You'll never cast this on yourself, and both of your healing monks should carry seed so that they could seed the other, so this shouldn't even be a consideration. It's a horrible team spell. Amity: Do I need to say anything at all? Other Elites: Energy Drain (Mesmer): A lot of monks run Mo/Me, mostly for Hex Breaker/Inspired Hex, but Energy Drain with about 9 ranks in inspiration will return 10 energy or so, and deprive your target of those 10 points of energy. It's definately a useful skill for a quick fill that cools down rather quickly. It also helps to cripple your opposition. Offering of Blood (Necromancer): Yea.... really only used when you are using a build that cripples your regen... even then... I'm not a big fan of damaging yourself for mana, Monks are always spike targets anyways... Other Skills: Heal Other: It's essential, you'll be using it a lot, especially if you don't have Word of Healing. If you do, consider substituting something else in here, maybe even Dwayna's Kiss. Definately not Healing Breeze. Orison of Healing: Bread and butter skill right here. Low cost, short cooldown, decent 80-90 point heal with divine favor, what's not to like? Healing Seed: The anti-smite spell, toss it on your partner and stand next to him if they're trying to smite you. Pretty much nullifies Balth Aura and Zealot's fire. The ever popular healing ball is a wonderful strategy for holding altars. Healing Touch: Not exactly all that useful, it's primarily employed as a self heal due to its quick cast and self target ability. More often than not, monks in PvP expect the other monks to look after them and don't spend as much time healing themselves, still a good quick fix if needed. Signet of Devotion: People often think it's not worth it to take a 2 second cast for a 80 something heal. The thing is, Signet of Devotion isn't a spell, that means a mesmer can't shut you down as easily and you can remain active even through backfire until someone takes it off you. It's also a zero mana cost skill that's always useful in a bind. Inspired Hex (Mesmer)/Remove Hex: Inspired Hex if your prot monk has a good hex removal. It's a free removal basically that returns you some energy. It's not your job to worry about hexes and conditions anyways. Resurrection Signet: Simple, 2 second cast time. if you're a monk and you're out of the action for more than 2 seconds, your team is at a huge disadvantage. You shouldn't be the primary res'r anyways. A Me/Mo with a fast res should be the primary res'r. PROTECTION MONK --------------- Elite Skills Rundown: Top 5 (no order): Martyr Shield of Regeneration Spellbreaker Energy Drain Peace And Harmony Restore Condition Monk Elites: Martyr: A lot of builds run Tainted Flesh making Martyr not exactly useful, same goes for any type of fragility build; if you martyr, you'll most likely kill a teammate. It's still a powerful skill and helps tremendously vs a traditional build. Take it if you want, but use it selectively. Shield of Regeneration: Actually useful, despite the 15 energy cost, the +40 armor will reduce damage to a target by 50%, and the regen never hurts. Basically, you'd toss shield on one of your characters that's not taking spike damage, but is being targetted (usually the off-target monk) to make life easier for that player. Shield of Deflection: Not exactly as useful as Shield of Regeneration. It has only a 5 second cooldown, so you can spam it, but at a 15 energy cost you may not want to. The up to 75% chance to block is nice, but Aegis grants a 50% to the party at the same cost, which may be nicer. Mark of Protection: Horrible skill, losing your protection prayers for 10 seconds is just bad. Never take this in PvP. You need your protection prayers skills. Peace and Harmony: A bit different, this is useful if you run a slightly different type of build, more on this later. Life Barrier: Just no. Restore Condition: Underrated skill, because of its spammability, I would personally prefer this over martyr. In most situations when you would martyr a team, you would only be pulling conditions off 3 or 4 people, you may as well just purge them right off using this." Other Skills: Mend Ailment: Pound for Pound better than Mend Condition in PvP, do not take this if you are taking restore condition obviously. Protective Spirit: Single-handedly protects against spike damage, keep this up on all 3 monks all the time. Shielding Hands: Reduces smite damage, plus when coupled with Protective Spirit allows your monks to forget about a target for 10 seconds. Guardian: Not essential, lots of people sub it out for something else, it's a useful skill that's spammable. Most often replaced by a res sig. Aegis: Clutch clutch spell, time it right and it can be a very effective counter to most traditional teams. Obviously does nothing vs Ele Spike teams, still, very nice to have around. Inspired Hex/Remove Hex: Once again, depends on what you need and how much hex removal you need. Lots of people run hex breaker in their builds so quick hex removal isn't necessary. Reversal of Fortune: Nothing to say here... just use it all the time and you're good to go... ----------------------- 4. Builds For PvE & PvP ----------------------- All builds include commentary from the original poster. My builds, of course, have my wisdom and genius appended to them. My Simple PvE Healer/Prot Monk ------------------------------ Healing Seed Capture Signet/Mend Ailment Word of Healing Reversal of Fortune Orison of Healing Heal Party Aegis Rebirth 12 (+3) Healing Prayers 10 (+1) Divine Favor 08 (+1) Protection Prayers This was a basic build that helped me beat the game, and did very well in the Fissure of Woe and the Underworld. In places where you can't guarantee you'll have a good second Monk, or a dedicated healer/protector this build works well. Basically, I start battles with Aegis to slow down the initial damage from melee, then Seed whichever Warrior is taking damage (or whoever is most popular with the enemy). I then alternate between WoH, RoF and Orison to keep party members healthy. They all cast fast, have fast recharge times, and cost 5 Energy. I've found Reversal of Fortune to be a fantasticly useful spell in the later stages of the game, as well as the UW/FoW. I cast it, and it heals for ~40 health via DF. Next, something hits the target, and that damage is instantly negated (which is basically like healing...), then the player gets healed for that amount, which is up to about 55 points. Considering how much damage an Aataxe can dish out, that damage negation can be huge. I should mention that I carry a +27 Energy -1 Regen focus from the desert collectors, which boosts my overall Energy to around ~60 (I also use some tattoo armor), and people using builds with less initial Energy will find my play style ineffective. (Since I blow 30 Energy within seconds of starting a fight, people with around 40 Energy are going to tap out real fast.) I prefer Rebirth over other forms of Resurrection because most of the time there is someone else in the party that can do the mundane resurrections. I save Rebirth for those times when I'm one of the last people alive, and the entire dead party is being camped by monsters. When things go horribly wrong, your Monk usually has the best chance to escape alive due to your healing abilities, so there were many times when I was the last man standing. This build *might* work in PvP, assuming you swapped out a skill for some sort of Hex remover. I haven't tried it there, so I don't make any claims. Generally, in high-end PvP I hear it's a bad idea not generalize across two catagories. (Heal/Prot, in this case.) My soloing PvE Smiter --------------------- Zealot's Fire Balthazar's Aura Symbol of Wrath Divine Boon Spellbreaker/Shield of Judgement Blessed Aura Balthazar's Spirit Blessed Signet 12 (+4) Smiting Prayers 12 (+1) Divine Favor This is a simple, but effective soloing Monk. You're a little lacking in damage reduction, so wearing Judge's/Censor's armor might help. I also carry a +27 energy -1 regen icon from the desert collector, so I start battles with a lot of Energy. Use Spellbreaker in places where you expect Hex-casting or Elementalist enemies, and Shield of Judgement against melee. Precast Balth's Spirit, Zealot's Fire and Blessed Aura, then use Blessed Signet to help recover Energy. Right before you enter battle against Hexers, make *sure* you cast Spellbreaker, otherwise you can most likely kiss your enchantments (and then your life) goodbye. Cast Shield of Judgement (if carrying it) Balthazar's Aura, Symbol of Wrath, then Divine Boon as needed to keep your Health up (and trigger Zealot's Fire). Things will be dead before your Balth's Aura runs out. Blessed Aura will make everything last 32% longer, which means Spellbreaker runs ~20 seconds, Balth's Aura ~13, Shield of Judgement ~28, and even lowly Symbol of Wrath gains a second or two. I only offer this warning: this build works for me, because I'm also a careful player. I can run against packs of 4-5 Flesh Golems with no trouble with this build, but 6 or more *always* kill me, because I can't heal fast enough. So this is certainly not "the best" solo Smiter out there. It's just the one that works for me. The 105hp PvE Protection Smiter ------------------------------- Protective Bond Balthazar's Aura Balthazar's Spirit Zealot's Fire Mending Healing Breeze / Orison of Healing / Healing Hands / Bonetti's Defense / Essence Bond / Symbol of Wrath / Shield of Judgement 12 (+4) Protection Prayers 10 (+3) Healing Prayers 08 (+3) Smiting Prayers 02 (+3) Divine Favor At level 20 you will have a base Health of 480 without any mods. The goal of this build is to lower that amount as low as possible. Why? Simple magic: Protective Bond prevents you from taking more than 5% *max* Health in a single hit. At 480 Health, this is a cap of 24 damage per hit. But at 105 Health, you're looking at 5-6 points *max* per attack. How do you get 105 Health? Simple: five superior runes in your gear (one of each type, and double up on one for the last). With level 13 Mending, you'll have a Health regen of +4, and a Healing Breeze regen of +8. Together, you can pretty much blow off even the most wicked degen. Balthazar's Aura and Zealot's Fire are your main damage dealers. The last 7 listed spells are generally "choose what you like" spells. I've seen several variants of the 105hp build, and although the first 5 were common to all of them, the last 7 varied frequently. Essence Bond and Bonetti's Defense will help with your Energy management, while Orison and Healing Hands are there for additional healing (which is good if you're crazy enough to solo the Underworld's Aataxes). Symbol of Wrath and Shield of Judgement, of course, are just additional sources of damage. With this build, soloing any melee opponents is ridiculously easy. Your mortal enemy is the enchantment-breaking monster (which ArenaNet is inserting into areas with increasing frequency). I'm surprised more people don't carry Spellbreaker to help with these sort of foes. And it goes without saying that this build is all but useless in PvP, because one Mesmer or Necro will ruin your day. ILoveEverything's FoW/UW Protector ---------------------------------- Protective Spirit Reversal of Fortune Aegis Shield of Regeneration Purge Condition Smite Hex Remove Hex Rebirth I tried that out with 16 protection prayers and 14 divine favor and I have to say it worked wonders in FoW. If your second profession is mesmer I would go with arcane mimicry, to cast aegis two times, or hex breaker instead of one of those skills, probably reversal. Hexes are usually what screws up a monk in FoW, so having hex breaker helps a lot. I easily made it very far in FoW using that build with another healing monk backing up the party. I guess it would work in UW as well, but I didn't try it out. SineNomine's 2-man UW Smiting Team ---------------------------------- Monk/Warrior Protective Bond Bonetti's Defense Mending Symbol of Wrath Zealot's Fire Healing Breeze Healing Hands/Restore Life/Holy Strike/Balthazar's Spirit/something spammable This build is similar to the basic 105hp Prot Bond Smiter, and will try to get his max Health down low. He casts Prot. Bond on both party members, Mending on himself, and recasts a spammable spell to trigger Zealot's Fire. This guy is the "tank", who will be the target of the enemies' attacks. Monk/xx Balthazar's Spirit Balthazar's Aura Zealot's Fire Healing Hands Succor Blessed Signet Watchful Spirit Essence Bond This member has +enchantment duration, so the balth aura always lasts 15 seconds or more. Between the two members, healing hands will last 23 out of every 25 seconds. The tanker will have 7 life regen [4 mending, 2 watchful spirit, 1 succor] and 2 energy regen [1 from succor]. The 'protector' who is actually just a second smiter, will have the most problems here. No energy regeneration and a constant drain from succor. However, the essence bond is generally good enough to counter this in crowds of more than one. Obviously the second smiter is the one constantly casting balths aura onto the first guy. When fighting dryers or terrorwebs, the essence bond gets dropped as does succor. Diamond Angel99's Basic PvP Healing Build: ------------------------------------------ Elite Skill* Heal Other Orison of Healing Healing Seed Healing Touch Signet of Devotion Inspired Hex/Remove Hex Res Sig (*of your choice) Although the Fi-Boon healer template is effective in PvE, and often times works well in competition arenas, the -1 regeneration from Divine Boon tends to have you relying on Offering of Blood a lot more frequently which in turn makes you a huge spike target. Healing Breeze sucks. Don't ever take it. Especially if you want people to take you seriously. It's a regen boost, which is good in PvE, however, in PvP, 90% of damage is spike damage, the other 10% is condition damage, and healing breeze will only help to balance out the degen. You're better off running hex/condition removal instead. Coordinate with your other healer and your prot, don't randomly do things like you would if you were the only monk in a PvE group. When you're about to do something big, say it. "I'm seeding X" is a very important call, otherwise if you both see that he's under smite damage and you seed him at the same time, you just wasted a 25 second cooldown skill that's very important vs smiters and you've wasted 15 energy. Your prot monk is important! Don't forget him, and don't think he can heal himself, because he can't. He should be top priority for heals. Diamond Angel99's Basic PvP Protection Build: --------------------------------------------- Elite Skill* Mend Ailment Protective Spirit Shielding Hands Guardian Aegis Inspired Hex/Remove Hex Reversal of Fortune (*of your choice) Many people have suggested running Blessed Aura in place of Guardian and Peace and Harmony in place of your elite skill. Not only will you maintain 4 regen pips, but with Blessed Aura and a 20% enchanting weapon upgrade, you can effectively maintain Peace and Harmony on your two other monks as well as up to 4 protective spirits. Shield of Regeneration is a plausible choice here despite my early rant about regen because the +40 armor is equivalent to a 50% damage reduction which helps tremendously against spike damage. Always work in coordination with your healer monks, tell them what you're doing so that they can pick which targets are more susceptible to damage. Alternatively, you can run a Life Bond with Blessed Signet and bond up your entire team and use Blessed Signet to replenish your energy. Keep Peace and Harmony up so you can spare an arrow of degen and cast protective spirit/shielding hands/reversal of fortune as needed. This is much more effective on an altar map. Theallstarcrab's PvP Self-Smiter -------------------------------- Monk/Mesmer 11 (+4) Smiting Prayers 11 (+1) Divine Favor 08 (+0) Inspiration Magic Mantra of Recovery Divine Spirit Divine Boon Balthazar's Aura Smite Hex Channeling Zealot's Fire Resurrection Signet This is a good smiting build for Tombs, but not for Team Arenas. To begin make sure to have Zealot's Fire and Channeling up always. Your objective is simple head to areas where there are lots of enemies that will be adjacent to you. When you initialize your attacks make sure to cast Balthazar's Aura followed by Mantra of Recovery and Divine Spirit immediately after. Mantra of Recovery will allow Divine Spirit to recharge in half the time which is very important. Then begin to spam Divine Boon as fast as possible. You will be using 1 energy per Divine Boon and as long as 2 enemies are near you you should actually be gaining energy from this because you will be stealing energy due to channeling. After Divine Spirit has ended if you have any hexes on you feel free to cast Smite Hex for a substantial amount of damage. Now recast Zealot's Fire and Channeling and repeat everything again. This build is especially effective in Altar matches where many people are stacked right on top of each other and doesn't even require Divine Spirit to keep your energy up. Of course any build that runs Nature's Renewal will own you, but that is every Smiting Monks Bane. And of course since this is PvP always bring your Resurrection Signet, because nothing is more important then the ability to resurrect someone. As for equipment tattoos will probably be most beneficial in the initial attack to ensure you do not run out of energy. I would recommend using 20 20 Divine Favor staff in hopes of your Divine Spirit recharging even faster and increasing your Divine Boon casting rate by a bit. As for the mods I would use Insightful Staff Head and Staff Wrapping of Enchanting. The enchanting will increase the length on your Divine Spirit and Balthazar's Aura, which can be nice. For your secondary weapon use the Wand and Focus that add +15 Energy just incase you run out and need a little extra in a tight situation. (Teams Arenas variant is a Mo/W with Axe Mastery who uses Shield of Judgement/ Divine Spirit/Divine Boon/Balthazar's Aura/Smite Hex/Penetrating Blow/Zealot's Fire/Res Signet) Theallstarcrab's PvP Healing Monk --------------------------------- Monk/XX 12 (+2) Healing Prayers 12 (+1) Divine Favor 03 (+1) Smiting Prayers Orison of Healing Heal Other Word of Healing Healing Touch Healing Seed Mend Ailment Smite Hex Resurrection Signet This is pretty straight forward. Orison of Healing and Healing Touch are the best self healing skills. People may think Healing Breeze is effective, but if you are dealing with hexes or conditions you might as well just get rid of them. Especially since Healing Breeze can be removed in so many ways. Heal Other becomes more effective since it is an instant heal. Dwayna's Kiss is nice, but since you can not target yourself with it and it is somewhat conditional I prefer to leave it out. I choose Word of Healing over Peace and Harmony, Aura of Faith, and Martyr because they are enchantments that are usually shattered and Martyr really only help to fight disease other then that it isn't really effective. Word of Healing provides the power of Heal Other for half the energy, which is helpful. As far as Healing Seed goes there are usually only 2 things it should be cast on...Monks (especially if one is using Life Bond) and Ghostly Hero in Altar matches other than that. Otherwise your team should have enough raw healing power to take care of any other person in need. As far as the condition and hex removal choices go they are pretty straight forward. Mend Ailment has a much faster recharge time than Purge Conditions and there usually any heavy condition teams in higher end PvP. Mend Ailment is better than Mend Condition because it can be cast on yourself. As for hex removals Smite Hex provides damage and takes less time to cast than Remove Hex. You may argue that the recharge time is better, but the amount of time it takes to casts tends to hurt you in the long run. Only hexes that you should really be worried about removing are Backfire and Arcane Conundrum everything else you are probably just going to have to deal with, because those will hurt you a lot more than anything else. If you are in a coordinated group I would recommend bringing either Smite Hex or Mend Ailment, but not both. Instead you should probably bring Divine Spirit, a hard resurrect (preferably Restore Life), or a skill of a secondary profession such as sprint. Equipment selection for this I tend to wear Wanderer's with the +5 to elemental attacks, because that is what you will be seeing the most of. Weapon choice for this should probably be the Divine Staff with 20 20 for Healing Prayers. You will probably want to use the Insightful Staff Head and Staff Wrapping of Fortitude. This will increase your health and energy pools, which is important to monks and why I avoid using superior runes. Monks need as much health as they can get otherwise they tend to die much faster. Of course for your secondary weapon I would choose the +15 Energy Divine Wand and Focus for that little extra energy when you are in need. (Teams Arena Variant swaps out Word of Healing for Aura of Faith, since you yourself will be the most common target of attacks.) ------------ 5. Equipment ------------ First, the list of desert collectors, because there is where you can get some of the best Monk gear in the game: http://www.guildwarsguru.com/forum/showpost.php?p=111070&postcount=76 Second: a website with pictures of 15k and Fissure Monk armor: http://topolla.net/armor/monk/ Also, for those of you seeking the +1 Protection Prayers focus for your cookie-cutter 105hp Monk, the collector you want is Crispin Bryllis. He is located right outside Bloodstone Fen, and he wants 5 Jungle Troll Tusks. The +8 Energy version is carried by "Wintun the Black". He is located midway between Lion's Arch and the Ascalon Settlement, and he wants 4 Feathered Caromi Scalps for it. Lastly, here's some useful info from "theallstarcrab" about the various weapon mods you'll be able to chose from: "Weapon choice is pretty straight forward. You can use staves or wand and a focus. I am just going to go ahead and base this on the PvP weapon options, because those are your best options. These are all maximums. Wand Options Improves Casting Speed 20% Chance Improves Skill Recharge 20% Chance Energy +15, Energy Regeneration -1 The only reason you would have to use a wand is for the Energy +15 one, but the Energy Regeneration makes it an unwise choice in longer battles. Focus Options Armor +5, Health +45 While Enchanted Attribute +1 20% Chance, +30 Health Energy +15, Energy Regeneration -1, Health +30 Improves Casting Speed 20% Chance, Improves Skill Recharge 20% Chance As far as focuses go if you plan on being enchanted always Armor +5 and Health +45 can help some although can be ruined quite easy. Focuses get 2 more energy than staves, but if you put on a Energy +5 Head then that becomes more advantageous as that. Staff Head Options Energy +5 Health +30 Armor +5 All of the staff heads can be somewhat useful. Energy tends to be the most important thing for a monk the extra energy can be quite useful. Due to the large amount of health you will be losing in PvP the extra health may be the difference between life and death. Armor +5 can reduce damage by about 8%. That can help a little, but the energy would probably be most beneficial. Staff Wrapping Options Health +30 Armor +7 (vs. elemental attacks) Armor +7 (vs. physical attacks) Armor +5 Enchantments last 20% longer If you choose any of the armors you should probably get the basic +5 armor unless you have a specific build changing physical damage to elemental. Enchantments last 20% longer will only find much use in Smiting and Protecting Monks. Then there is the choice of Health +30, which will probably be your best one for most of the time. There is rarely a time when you will find an advantage with focus/wand over staff. My choice is a staff with +5 Energy Head and +30 Health Wrapping, but there are many good options. In PvP you get to have a secondary weapon also. In your secondary I would recommend bringing the +15 Energy Wand and +15 Energy Focus. Some of you are probably wondering why you would want -2 Energy Regeneration, but there is a good reason. When you have run out of energy you can switch to that combo and get somewhere between 27 and 32 depending on what Staff Head you are using. This can be a great energy reservoir in emergencies, but make sure to switch back to your first weapon when you have depleted that energy." -------------- 6. Monking 101 -------------- Let's talk about Monks. Monks are, in my humble opinion, the coolest class in Guild Wars. They are the best healers and party protectors, which makes them immensely popular, yet when configured for smiting attacks their damage can rival even the most dedicated Elementalist. No other class has the versatility of the Monk. Plus, as mentioned, everyone loves you, so you'll be more popular than a plate of cookies at fat camp, as they say. However, just as there is no character more beloved than a good Monk, likewise there is no character more reviled than a BAD Monk. (Except for Mesmers. *shakes fist* Damn Mesmers! Stop countering my spells, you smug bastards!) So if you're planning on playing a Monk, please do not embarass the rest of us by being the kind of Monk that inspires "God I hate Monks" topics on websites around the world, 'kay? Just like you would not buy a car before you learn how to drive, so should you not even *think* of creating a Monk until you know how to play one properly. Now, since I know you all came here to read a freakin' textbook on Monk methodology (that's a joke, son), I'm going to post a very helpful email I got from a guy named "Surrealknight" that pretty much sums up the basics about playing Monks that I think every new Monk should read. Correction: "every new Monk that intends to be a GOOD Monk should read". If you're just looking for builds, keep skimming. But honestly, if you don't have the patience to read one page of text, then you probably won't make a good Monk. Seriously - go make a Warrior. Warrior FAQs have pictures! Of shiny things! Ohhh... shiny things! Anyway - Surrealknight's Monk primer: "First of all, I see a lot of monks that are in my group who don't know how to move. Monks who are stationary, especially when they're being melee'd or pelted with ranged weapons, die. Monks should practice dodging projectile weapons and learn how to run around the field and get the monsters off of them. I've learned that if I run around the tanks 180 degrees then I can cut back straight across right next to them and the monsters will "hang" on the tanks 9 times out of 10. That allows me to go back to focusing on the group. It's a lot easier to keep tanks alive than yourself. I think most of the best monks will tell you that energy management is really one of the biggest factors in being a "good monk". If you waste all of your energy quickly, chances are good that you're going to lose teammates. The best way to manage your energy is to use 5 energy spells. Try not to cast 10 or 15 energy skills unless it is strategically the most efficient way of handling the situation. I see a lot of monks, especially in the mid-game, use healing breeze a lot. Healing Breeze, in my opinion, is best used when combating health degeneration. I don't think it's wise to use as a general healing spell. A lot of times (especially past Kryta) 7-9 pips of health regeneration doesn't regenerate health fast enough and it would be wiser to use Dwayna's Kiss or Word of Healing and get that 150 health in 1 second rather than 7 seconds. I think everyone has their own personality of healing. As far as which skills are best, it's really a good thing for everyone to experiment with healing spells to see what they need. Suprisingly there is a healing spell for just about every situation. I have my own way of handling situations and so my skill bar is full of skills that compliment what I do. I'm sure there are a lot of people who use skills very similarly, and I'm sure there are people who use very different skills. I'm sure there are good monks out there who would look at my skill bar and say, "geez, I would never use *that*!". Don't feel bad if you can't save everyone. If a team completes a mission then you did a good job; it doesn't matter if everyone died ten times. The first time anyone on my team ever died in a mission was while doing the bonus part of Frost Gate. I felt so incredibly bad that three people fell. As we finished the mission one said to me that they had never partied with a monk who was able to keep their team so healthy through the bonus. The rest of the group a greed, and I realized then that it's more important to make certain that a mission is completed than to make certain that not a single person ever dies during that mission. (Even though it definitely helps if no one dies!) Last thing I'll put in here is that sometimes you party with a character who believes that because there is a monk in the party they should automatically become invincible. In the early game (pre-desert) I took a certain amount of pride in being able to keep these reckless idiots alive. By the time I got to the desert I learned that these individuals are a great risk to the success of the group. They tend to stand still while getting pounded by the enemy. They may have very poor armor. They choose to place themselves in great danger and yet they're not built to do this. I most commonly find this mind-set in elemental nukers. [Dao's note: I saw this as well. A LOT.] Not to stereotype nukers (because there are a lot of them that play very well), but some people play nukers and believe that since they have the highest damage output (until they run out of mana or stand there waiting on their skills to recharge) the monk should focus on keeping them alive over anyone else in the group. I have easily sacrificed 45+ energy over a period of 15 seconds trying desperately to keep some of these people alive. Unfortunately that is not healthy for the rest of the group. I do not think it is impolite to ask these people to try to hang back and stay out of harm's way so that I can more effectively protect them from death as well as save some energy for the rest of the team. Most of the time they comply and are nice. Sometimes you get nasty remarks and/or they just leave. Occasionally you will find this in necros or warriors. I handle it the same way with them as well. [Dao's note: I just tell them I won't be healing/resurrecting them. That usually works well, too, and it's a *lot* more satisfying for me.] Monks will always be invited into parties. I've never been kicked out or refused when asking to party with someone. Unfortunately, you have to be wary. I've joined tons of groups who simply invited me to join and, once we got started, obviously thought that I should make them completely immune to severe damage. They do things like show me that their health is 150/400, while I'm trying to keep alive two other teammates of theirs who have a sliver of life left etc. You have to have thick skin when dealing with people, even though they may say awful things." --------------- 7. Useful Links --------------- Below are some of the links I use all the time, as well as others that you may find useful on a per-case basis. www.google.com STOP MAKING THREADS ASKING FOR W/MO BUILDS! www.guildwarsguru.com Probably the best site for information on skills and quests. www.guildwarsonline.com The site I go to when I can't find what I need on the previous site. www.guildwiki.com An awesome collaborative site, they have *the* definitive collector database. Definitely worth a bookmark. http://www.xennon.co.uk/eliteskills/ All your questions about capping elite skills can be answered here. Bookmark it, and save yourself a lot of time hunting. http://cleaned.beyondunreal.com/temp/GuildWars/GW_SkillRewardQuests.htm This site has the quest rewards and skill trainers for every class. Bookmark. http://topolla.net/armor Chrono put together a great site with pictures of all the 15k armors he could find, and has included some additional info such as material requirements. This site is a life-saver when you're debating how to spend your 75k, and you want to know what you'll look like when you've done it. ---------------------- 8. Thanks & Disclaimer ---------------------- I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions to the FAQ. Without you, I'd have actually had to do some real work: Diamond Angel99 & theallstarcrab - for writing half my FAQ for me, yet still letting me take primary credit. =) Surrealknight - for knowing what a Monk should be, and writing it up better than I could. Chrono - for doing the thankless task of compiling pictures of all the 15k armors available (and letting me link to it). ILoveEverything - for his FoW/UW Protection build SineNomine - for answering my question about how to make a two-man UW team, and writing the other 90% of the GW FAQs for us. ParadoxGP, CamtheMan, Zafal the Waffle, Binro, Cazz, Shocking, reaper_41590, and anyone else on GameFAQs who submitted information that didn't make it into the final FAQ. I ended up changing the structure of the FAQ, and some of the things I asked for I didn't end up needing. But I'm still grateful for your opinions, and they did influence the work. And a special thanks to all the crappy Monks I've teamed with in the past. Not only did you force me to become a better Monk, but you inspired me to sit down and hammer out this info. This FAQ is for you, my friends. Please stop sucking now. Lastly, the disclaimer: Nothing written here is a challenge to NCSoft, ArenaNet, or any individual or entities' rights or ownership. That's pretty much a given, right? I'm all about love and respect, people. Love and respect. On that note, if you want to use anything from my FAQ for your own purposes, I only ask two things: 1) let me know, and 2) give me credit (or if you're quoting someone I pulled info from, give them credit instead). I only posted this FAQ to gamefaqs.com originally, but I don't mind if it spreads. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that everyone who contributed thinks likewise. ----------------- 9. Final Thoughts ----------------- I'm *much* more friendly than most FAQ writers - I answer almost all of the email I get sent by people, and I try to help when writers have questions. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised when I wrote my last FAQ that so many people wanted to email me to thank me for my work - it is very gratifying to hear how much they enjoyed my style of writing. (Heck, I still get an emailed compliment every few weeks from people that use the FAQ.) Having said that, however, I've learned that a few ground rules need to be established. Before sending me an email asking me a question, ask yourself this: is Dao the *best* person to be asked this question? Have I exhausted *all* other avenues of inquiry? Remember: I'm just a guy that plays this game, same as you. Writing a FAQ doesn't mean I've suddenly become an all-knowing guru with wisdom beyond the pale. Also important when emailing me a question: good spelling and grammar. People that write like mentally challenged third-graders rarely get a response. If you want an intelligent answer to your question, then ask the question intelligently. Lastly, a few "don'ts": DON'T ask me questions about how to beat missions/quests. There are other FAQs for that. DON'T ask me how to get X item/find X place/locate X guy. I don't know, either. DON'T add my email address to your "buddy list", and start emailing me chain letters and pointless gibberish. You'd think this would be common sense, because I'm not really your "buddy", and yet it has happened to me more than once. DON'T email me to tell me what a crappy FAQ writer I am. I already know. DON'T ask me non Monk-related questions. What kind of FAQ is this? Exactly. DON'T email me to tell me cool stories about how 1337 you are, or some awesome loophole you found in the game. I don't care, nerd. and lastly... DON'T ASK ME TO SEND YOU ANY @%ing FARMING BUILDS! I swear I will email you a virus if you do. Assuming you follow the above rules, I'll do my best to answer your questions. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. So that's it! Sorry it was so text-intensive. Hope this guide was helpful to you in some way. Now get playing, and good luck!