Purpose of this Guide ? What are Monks good for?
Monks are mostly one of the misunderstood classes in Skyforge. Overall, their damage is subpar, and they have to be in melee range to do any good. Right in the heart of area of effects and at times any other nasty things comng their way. However, they have another side that most do not realize until they play the monk extensively. The monk, unlike other classes, can achieve control effects far easier and with more effectiveness than just about anything else. My purpose in writing this guide is to let others know of this and that, overall, the Monk is mostly fine as is. You just have to know how to play it.
Do you know your stances?
The first and most misunderstood compared to other classes is the Stance system. As a Monk, it is important that you keep switching Stances once you use up a Stance?s buff. Do not sit there in Fire Stance because it looks ?cool? or ?awesome? but switch to Earth, beat in the monster?s head, then swap back. The Stance system is what makes the Monk both confusing and very effective in making sure you keep an enemy too busy to jump the support or tank in a group. No other class has the ability to swap the look and abilities of their attacks like the Monk.
In personal experience, I have effectively kept a shield monster or group of pack monsters near me with the Monk if not down for myself or someone else to take out. They may get one or two shots in, but otherwise they stayed right there. All of this from effectively switching Stances as needed. The rule of thumb to remember on the Monk is that usually if you left click three times or left click and any right click, you are using that buff. And now the rundown of the Stances. The stances are all located on 1, 2, and 3 in order.
Earth Stance: This stance is your initial stance for a being at least a bit more survivable. The initial talents and abilities make this Stance an effective tool for surviving that big attack coming at the lower prestige ranges. It is designed for single target beat downs and leaves damage over time effect called Hidden Trauma. Further, the abilities later on include a stun and a strong knockback that still apply Hidden Trauma.
Fire Stance: This stance is the go to for area of effect damage in the Monk?s abilities. The initial two basic attacks do single target, while the third and most of the right click combinations do area of effects not to mention the ability linked to it called Burning Staff. Overall, it has the highest damage output for the Monk and has some effects that can spread Hidden Trauma from Talents. The buff from this is called Rage of Fire.
Wind Stance: This is the stance to go to as far as getting away from monsters, knocking them down, pulling them into one spot, or pushing them into another damaging effect. The basic attacks end with the push, while the first right click is a long range lunge. This stance also has a movement buff associated with it. The buff from this is called Elusiveness of Wind.
Pace of a Crane: While not a stance, it is worth mentioning here. This is your ?uh-oh? Z key move. It is important to keep it in mind as it is basically a life saver by turning you temporarily invincible and even getting out of range if something big is coming. You can usually avoid almost anything this way.
Beating things with a stick ? Ability Breakdown
Important: This section is the views of the author of this guide and not those of the developers of Skyforge.
The next thing most Monks wonder is what abilities are the best and which are not. I, as a person, can not answer that. The best thing to do is try them out for yourself and find that niche you like. But, in the mean time, here is a run down of the abilities per stance. Please note, I have not included the basic left clicks because they are pretty self explaining themselves.
Stone Palm: This is your first ability and basically an ?active? ability. It can only be used from Earth Stance and basically deals a quick bit of damage. It is located on the 4 key.
Aggressive Lunge: This ability basically has you do a short charge into an enemy. It is great for a quick stun right out of Earth Stance and can be lengthened with a talent. This is the right click for Earth stance.
Dragon Strike: The second stun of Earth Stance and also applies Hidden Trauma. This stun is actually a knockdown, so if you see something fall over, hit it quickly with another Stance?s attacks. This is the left click followed by right click combination.
Lotus Strike: This is one very nice move overall. It is also a good setup for Wind combinations or to buy time to take care of something else, hit a consumable, or any number of things on melee oriented monsters. The attack knocks a target backwards a considerable distance. This is the two left clicks followed by a right click combination.
Burning Staff: This is the number one attack for Fire Stance when you encounter more than two enemies. If used with more than two, it will leave a patch of flames that acts as a damage over time.
Heart of Phoenix: This is an initial damage over time area effect located on a right click. The drawback is that you are unable to move while it is going. The good news is that it does not consume the Rage of Fire buff and gets stronger for up to three more enemies around the Monk.
Scorching Strike: One of the major area of effect attacks, this basically makes the Monk do a spinning staff animation around them with a bit larger staff than normal. The damage is over four seconds, however, and like Heart of Phoenix leaves you a sitting duck. It is placed as a left click followed by a right click with a hold.
Spiral Attack: This is a large burst attack over an area. It activates Impulse Charge, but also consumes Rage of Fire. This is a double left click followed by a right click ability.
Wind Catcher: When you really need to get away, this is the ability you want. It increase not only your running movement, it gives a much longer dodge range enabling you to bounce all over a battlefield with no problems. You can literally out run most monsters this way with no problems.
Rapid Stream: The initial lunge off of the right click. It also resets stance cooldowns if the target is 15 yards or more away as well as does more damage the further away from the target the Monk is.
Return Wave: This is the left click right click ability. After a small charge, it acts as an area pull while placing you roughly five feet behind where you were. Elusiveness of Wind causes it to give a massive movement debuff for five seconds on anything in that attack.
Gust of Wind: This is the double left followed by right click combination. I find this move interesting for two reasons. The first is that it doesn?t consume the Elusiveness of Wind buff and places you to use Rapid Stream right after. It knocks a target up and forces the Monk a good distance away. Even on bosses, this is a great move to get away quick if you can read that an area or big attack is incoming.
By your powers combined ? Elemental stance combinations
One of the oddest things to deal with on the Monk is that it is impossible to balance all three stances. You get your choice of Heart of Phoenix or Aggressive Lunge. Likewise, you get a choice between Dragon Strike, Scorch Strike, and Return Wave. You can?t take all Stances and make them effective. Don?t try it. It simply holds you up as a Monk. Instead, consider one stance the ?fluff? for the others and don?t worry about abilities on it.
The best way that I, the author of this guide, have found is to take all of a Stance?s abilities and ignore the odd one one. Try out different pairs and see what works best for you as a Monk.
An example is my usual build. I took all of the Earth and Wind Stance and the Gusty Wind Talent. The Gusty Wind basically turns the end of the Fire Stance?s left click combinations into a burst with the Hidden Trauma plus some more damage. Meanwhile, I have my stuns on the Earth along with a decent knockback and I can swap to Wind stance if it?s a ranged to get in close.
Monk?s Got Talent ? What talent?
So, one of the big things and that I plan on expanding at some point is this section. The Talents are the bread and butter of Monk abilities much like other classes. One of the most recommended if you do start to experiment with Talents is look at what Stance abilities you have. If you are using an ability constantly, get some talents to back it up. If you?re not using that ability constantly, don?t worry about taking a Talent for it.
To use the above example, I use the attack that kicks off Gusty Wind for the additional damage. I also use the Gust of Wind and Return Wave a lot. If it came down to it, I could possibly drop the Gusty Wind for something else.
In short, if you absolutely have to pick up a Talent? Don?t go nuts and stick it into a slot right away. Check what it does, think about your style of play, then give it a try. If it doesn?t fit, reset and give something else a try.
The symbols of power ? What symbols do I use?
This is a big one. Depending upon how you have favored your nodes getting to the Monk and what you do afterwards, you can do this one of two ways. The first is obviously going to be your Clever Maneuver. That can keep you alive in a pinch between Earth Stance cooldowns. Another I recommend is Impulse Barrier. That activates every time you finish a combination and have an Impulse Charge, granting you a steady shield to survive what is trying to take you down in case you screw up the combination somewhere. It can also be activated off of Stone Palm.
Other recommendations are of course the Lightbinder and Paladin class symbols. Since Monk is near it, Painful Spasms may also be worth it to a Monk. There is also a large variety of symbols that inflict increase Impulse damage as well as gives a bit of a stun, damage, or otherwise effect. In this case, this is up to the play style of the Monk themselves and what they are willing to go for.
Tactics, tactics, tactics ? Keep an eye on what you are doing!
This is one of the big steps overall. If you are focused on one monster, your team mates might be running into trouble with another for some reason. Further, you can easily lose track of what combinations you are doing when trying to get that extra bit of damage inside there.
A favorite control combination of mine is Aggressive Lunge, Dragon Strike, then go for Dragon Rage if I have Gusty Wind in my Talents. However, if I see a team mate in trouble, I will usually hit Gust of Wind so I have some distance to switch targets and go help them out.
Another thing to remember is that the Monk is not a tank. No matter if you take Talents that give you shields or not. Your method of tanking will not hold up against a boss monster. Nor will it hold against anything with more than one health bar to my knowledge.
Expectations of the Monk ? Keep that monster down and make sure it stays there!
In closing, my recommendations overall is not to go into the Monk expecting to out damage something. Against the ordinary monsters, you will do fine so long as you remember that the Monk has the easiest control setup there is. The key point to a Monk is not to focus on the damage aspect, but to focus on the control aspect so you have time to deal out the damage or allow someone else to deal out that damage.
You can use either Earth or Wind in your element combinations and Fire can achieve the damage if you choose. Against elites and bosses, let the tank do their job and add to the damage. You have the means to do it no matter what you pick as far as your Stance focuses. Keep your balance, keep your head, and above all keep your cool.
The Monk is fun for those that prefer controlling the fight rather than dealing out enormous amounts of damage, so it is not for everyone but at the same time can be handy in a party more often than not.
I hope overall this guide helps and I hope to see some comments with some more helpful information or things that other Monk players will want to see in this. Thank you.