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Elzhi's Guide to Karate

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Contents

Introduction:

Update as of 1/28/16: After a 4 month hiatus from the game, I am back and am determined to finish this guide for all the young aspiring monks out there.

I never have claimed to be a really good monk (only in jest), but there are a lot of monks on this server who could use a good detailed guide on the class. I have a lot of information that I don't mind sharing and I think people would get some use out of it. I played a monk on Tallon Zek on for a while (roughly original EQ through Planes of Power) and fell in love with the class. It's partially the reason I don't have any other high level alts, I just don't enjoy playing anything that isn't my monk. Hopefully this guide will help those newer to the class get an idea on how to optimally play their monk.

Character Creation:

Why a play monk?

They are the second best DPS in the game, can tank moderately well and it's rare that there is ever a situation where they are not the most optimal puller. To top off all of these other skills they have the second most powerful disciplines in the game. One of the greatest parts about being a monk is the freedom to go nearly anywhere in the game. With some invisibility, careful sneaking and liberal use of feign death a monk can get to almost any place in any zone with relative ease. Just today I started at the entrance of Old Sebilis and got all the way to Trakanon's lair in a span of five minutes with only a bit of invisibility, sneak and liberal use of feign death; how many other classes can do that? Most important though and above all else; they get a sweet flying kick. You should not be asking 'why a play monk?' but 'why not play a monk?'.

Race Strength Stamina Dexterity Agility Bonuses & Experience Modifiers Suggested Stats
Human 80 80 85 85 Eyepatches & Mustaches, +5 FR -20% Experience 25 STA
Iksar 75 75 95 100 Forage, Infravision, Increased Regeneration, Increased AC, -10 CR, +5 FR -44% Experience 25 STA

Basically iksar is better than human in every single way but the trade off is you have to look at that awful character model forever.

As for stat point allocation, I would recommend just dumping everything into stamina. The optimal end game build would be to dump all your points into stamina so you can swap stamina gear out for +HP later and have a higher max hp (more hp = more healed with mend). Strength is really easy to come by as you approach late game so I wouldn't drop any points there. Dexterity is good if you plan on using a
Tranquil Staff
Tranquil Staff
Item 601.png

MAGIC ITEM LORE ITEM
Slot: PRIMARY
Skill: 2H Blunt Atk Delay: 30
DMG: 29
Effect: One Hundred Blows (Combat, Casting Time: Instant) at Level 50
WT: 10.0 Size: LARGE
Class: MNK
Race: ALL

and might actually be the better choice if you are a monk on red (the stun is 80 damage on players, is unresistable and lasts roughly 6 seconds).


At level 60 the difference between an iksar and a human isn't really that big of a deal on blue (it is on red, never roll a human monk on red, I can't stress this enough). I was able to do most of the duo artist challenge without a problem on my monk when I was able to convince a shaman to run around with me and complete it.

If you are playing on red though you should absolutely be playing an iksar. Extra ac, regeneration and the fact that you can put a
Stone of Morid
Stone of Morid
Item 967.png

MAGIC ITEM LORE ITEM
Slot: RANGE
STA: -5
SV FIRE: +30 SV COLD: +30
WT: 7.0 Size: TINY
Class: WAR SHD MNK SHM NEC
Race: IKS BAR TRL OGR

in your range slot is a massive advantage. Velious is out now and the differences between human and iksar are slightly less once you get the end game gear. Both races will eventually cap all their stats if you join a guild that is doing Sleepers and North Temple of Veeshan.

For religion, iksar can only choose Cazic Thule and they will be hated by nearly every npc in the game but this isn't a huge deal thanks to feign death and sneak. For humans there are two choices for religion, Quellious and agnostic. I would recommend making an agnostic monk because it will make faction levels even among most races allowing you to faction up easier and go places without having to take time to feign flop through them. Quellious monks will start in Freeport, agnostic will start in Qeynos and iksar will start in Cabilis.

Check the Technique:

Nunchuck Skills

Skill Name Level Obtained Max
1H Blunt 1 252
2H Blunt 1 252
Defense 1 252
Hand to Hand 1 252
Offense 1 252
Dodge 1 230
Dual Wield 1 252
Kick 1 250
Mend 1 200
Throwing 1 113
Round Kick 5 225
Tiger Claw 10 225
Block 12 225
Double Attack 15 250
Feign Death 17 200
Intimidation 18 200
Eagle Strike 20 225
Dragon Punch / Tail Rake 25 225
Disarm 27 200
Flying Kick 30 225
Riposte 35 225
Sneak 8 113


Every few levels monks get a new special attack, the newer attack will have a higher max damage so you should use them when you are able to skill them up. Once you pick up flying kick you won't ever want to use any other special attack though, the attack rating and max damage of flying kick trumps all of the other special attacks. Intimidation was pretty handy to have when I was leveling up my monk on blue, unfortunately they nerfed it (made it classic) so that the fear check applies at the end of the animation instead of the beginning. This skill is now so much worse, the fear will only proc on dark blue mobs on the lower end of the level scale, the animation takes forever to finish and the fear itself can be resisted (and is resisted quite often). The mob you feared will also take off full speed in a random direction if/when a fear lands and thanks to the wonky hitboxes on feared mobs you can end up in range of attacking but your combat log being filled with, "Your target is out of range". It is incredibly unreliable so don't think you can use it to solo effectively. I honestly wouldn't even recommend bothering to level it up.

When you first start your toon, dump all of your points in mend. It will fail the majority of the time until you get to about 100 and it is on a 6 minute cooldown. Mend will heal 25% of your hp, so stacking hp and using mend will give you more net hp.

Basically all of these skills you get take a backseat to the two best skills you get on your bar, sneak and feign death. These skills are so good that they deserve their own section. Playing a monk well entails using these two skills to achieve greatness.

Feign Death

This is probably the best skill in the entire game, it might be one of the most creative things to ever exist in a game at all. This ability radically changes the way you are able to play your class so much that it will upset you to not have it on your bar when you go to play another character. Necromancers and shadow knights get a gimped version of this with a cast time, longer cooldown and it costs mana. You my friend get an instant way to drop aggro that is available for use every 10 seconds.

Feign will fail a lot of the time when you first get it. There is a cap on how much you can raise the skill per level. It reaches max skill at level 50. Do not expect feign to be reliable at all until you hit over 100 points with it and even then it's not perfect. It seems that feign will fail roughly 5% of the time at max skill. Occasionally you will run into a bad streak and get the dreaded double fail or my personal favorite the triple fail. You likely won't ever live to see a quadruple fail because you will be in a loading screen before your feign refreshes for you to try again.

A common mistake from new monks is feigning when they have their auto attack running. This will cause feign to fail 100% of the time. If you have problems remembering to turn off your auto attack you can make a macro to do it for you. Just set the first line to stop attacking and the second to do ability number X for your feign. Whenever you hit feign death and feign successfully, mobs will immediately stop their melee attacks. If a mob is casting this will not interrupt their channeling and when they complete casting their nuke/debuff/dot your feign will be broken. Whatever you had just feigned will then continue beating on you. Keep an eye on the combat logs to catch mobs that begin casting a spell. If you see they are casting on you, tank whatever is on you and wait for the spell to complete before feigning.

Feigning also has a memory wipe component. Mobs level 35 and under will automatically clear you off their hate list with a successful feign but any mob over 35 will keep you on the list until they reset at their static spawn point or you get cleared off the hate list with a successful feign. With mobs under 35 you can tap feign and immediately stand up and not reaggro them assuming you are out of the initial body aggro range. With mobs over level 35, you will stay on their hate list until they reset (reach their initial spawn point). Some roamers do not have a static spawn that they reset at and may require multiple feigns or abuse of sneak (explained in the next section) to wipe their hatelist of you. Each feign gives a 20% chance that the mob will forget you; this effect seems to add with each additional feign (so most of the time you will be cleared from hate lists with 2-4 feigns).

A way to 100% guarantee you are cleared from all mobs hate list is to use /q or /exit after successfully feigning. If no mobs are in the middle of a cast and you aren't hit by an AoE spell to break feign your character will log out after 30 seconds or so and you can log back in with a cleared hate list. This can be a risky thing to do if the area you have feigned and then quit out of has traffic of mobs with AEs. It doesn't do much good to feign then immediately /q when someone else is going to be dragging a mob with an AoE ability past you because you will be hit by it while linkdead and then likely be logging back in to find your character at his bind point.

Your hp regeneration while feigned is reduced to 1/3rd of what it normally would be. As a human I sometimes need to be spot healed between particularly hard splits even when using my fungi. My iksar friends rarely ever need heals between pulls and less so if they have a fungi of their own.

If you are hit by a spell while feigned it will break your feign and any mobs that you are on the hate list for will begin heading towards you. The only spell that can land on you and not break your feign death is dispel. Try to keep your camera on the mobs that are casting so you can see what spells will land on you.

Sneak

Sneak probably the 2nd most powerful skill in the game after feign death. Although you will not be notified through text on whether or not you are sneaking, it is very easy to tell as your character's move speed will be reduced and any mob that you are behind will con as indifferent. Sneak is on __ second cooldown and can be used instantly. The effects of sneak in game consists of the following:

  • If you are in the rear of the 270 degree arc of a mob, you will con indifferent to that mob.

Your aggro radius when standing behind a hostile mob with sneak active is reduced to 0. As long as your sneak is active and you remain behind that hostile mob, that mob will never aggro on to you assuming the mob never changes the direction it is facing. This indifferent status makes it possible for you to complete quest turn ins to NPCs who would otherwise be hostile to you. Sneak will not turn off when you open a trade window with an NPC or player. It also allows you to sell to any merchant even if their faction would be dubious or lower without sneak. Some care is needed when interacting with a hostile NPC while in sneak, the mob may turn depending on how you interact with it. Merchants will change direction to face you when you use them while sneaking.

  • Sneak will end if you are hit by a spell, melee attack, or cast a spell.
  • You can swim with sneak on
  • Sneaking has no effect on aggro you previously had before sneaking. If you ran across a zone with a mob chasing you and used sneak to get past more hostile mobs that first engaged mob will still be coming for you.

Pulling

Because our class gets a reliable way to drop aggro on a short cooldown you will almost always end up being the puller in a group. If you are not comfortable with doing so or like to AFK dps then I recommend rerolling to a wizard or rogue. No one likes a shitty monk and don't be that guy in the group who sucks at his class; you make other monks look bad. A good monk will be able to split rooms efficiently, breaking them so that a group can maintain a consistent flow of mobs to camp. This means keeping track of mob timers and spawn locations. It also includes knowing not to overpull, you can easily ruin a good xp group by bringing too many mobs to camp at once, this will result in (at worst) a wipe and/or a med break. Med breaks are the thing you want to absolutely avoid. Although having a med break can be partially out of your control at times (ex. group gets trained or bad players taking avoidable damage forcing healers to spend more mana), generally the puller is responsible for helping the support classes maintain a healthy mana bar.

Disciplines

There are only 4 disciplines ever worth using:

Discipline Name Level Obtained Description Duration Reuse Time Reuse Time @ Level 60
Stonestance Discipline 51 66% Damage reduction on melee attacks 12 Sec 12 Min 4 Min
Whirlwind Discipline 53 Riposte every attack (must be facing mob) 9 Sec 60 Min 53 Min
Voiddance Discipline 54 Avoid all melee attacks (mob can be hitting you from any direction) 8 Sec 60 Min 54 Min
Inner Flame Discipline 56 Massive dps boost, mash this when your raid leader tells you to burn a mob down 12 Sec 30 Min 27 Min

Thanks to a bug the special attack disciplines do not function properly and just put your discipline timer on cooldown for no return. Hundred Fists is useless when you have a haste item and spell haste. Inner flame makes you hit for a truckload, it's not uncommon for me to double for 350+ and kick for well over 200 during the duration of this discipline. Add in swapping your staff out for an extra attack from your main hand and inner flame can rival rogue DPS until the timer runs out.

Proper Karate Attire (Gear and Inventory):

Assuming you end up becoming a Class R hero like I am, your monk will eventually look something like this.