Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

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default Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 7:57

I've gotten some questions occasionally about Monks and "Monking" in general. I've decided to write up a guide about what I've learned about Monking in the year or so that I've been playing Guild Wars. This is mainly about PvE Support Monking. PvP Monking and Smiting is generally a whole different game altogether. Also, this is a guide for human Monking. A Hero Monk will generally have different skills because of the way the AI handles skillbars, but they are still pretty similar. I also will not be covering farming. I'll split this up into sections. Each section will be in another post.

Note: Some of the skills have been updated and the forum's code does not have the updated versions of these skills. If you would like to find more detail on any skills I mention, I suggest looking them up in one of the Wikis.

I. Attributes
-1. Divine Favor
-2. Healing Prayers
-3. Protection Prayers
-4. Smiting Prayers
-5. Unlinked Monk Skills
II. Skills
-1. Basic Skills
-2. Staples
-3. A Case Against Some Less-Than-Effective Monk Skills
-4. Secondary Professions
III. Equipment
-1. What I Use
-2. Wand and Focus
-3. Staff
-4. "Defensive Set"
-5. High-energy Set
-6. Weapon Swapping
-7. Armor
IV. General Tactics
-1. Stay Alive
-2. Positioning
-3. Energy Management
-4. The Party Window
-5. Coordination
-6. A Two-Monk Backline
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Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 7:58

I. Attributes
-1. Divine Favor (List of Divine Favor Skills)
For each point in Divine Favor, all of your Monk spells heal for an additional 3.2 health (rounded up).
This attribute line is extremely important. This is basically the difference between being a Primary Monk and a Secondary Monk. Each rank in this attribute will boost the "Divine Favor Bonus" by 3.2 health. This means that if you have 10 Divine Favor, your spells that target an ally will heal for an additional 32 health. This might not seem like much at first, but this boosts the effectiveness of your skills by making them more energy-efficient. A lot of monks usually do not use Divine Favor skills, but will still have a heavy investment into this attribute. Generally, you should always invest in this attribute if you plan on being an effective support character. It's basically a free bit of healing.

-2. Healing Prayers (List of Healing Prayers Skills)
With a powerful healing skill list, Healing Prayers increases the effectiveness of health recovery spells and enchantments.
The skills in this line generally focus on one thing: getting that red bar to go up. There is not much variety in this Attribute for that reason. Though there are some very power Healing Prayer skills, this Attribute line cannot solely manage supporting an entire party, at least not effectively. If your skill bar looked something like this:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
Well then, that's just dandy. You can heal, but you can't do much else. In no way are you mitigating the damage that your party takes, but you're simply just healing them as they take damage. This can be very costly to your poor energy bar. Spamming heals left and right will run your energy dry before the battle is over. I personally discourage builds like this because of its lack of focus on other facets of Monking (ie, the Protting part).

-3. Protection Prayers (List of Protection Prayers Skills)
With a varied skill list of protective enchantments, Protection Prayers increases the effectiveness of spells that protect allies from harm.
Other than healing, you can support your party by "Protting" (using Protection Prayers skills). There is only one skill in this attribute that directly heals an ally without having to meet any prerequisites and that is Zealous Benediction, so as you can see, this line is very different from Healing Prayers. Most skills in this attribute focus on either mitigating or outright preventing damage. If used effectively, you can reduce the amount of direct healing that you have to do on your party (thus reducing the amount of casts and thus reducing the amount of energy you have to use to keep everyone alive).

-4. Smiting Prayers (List of Smiting Prayers Skills)
With a skill set of offensive strikes, Smiting Prayers increases the effectiveness of holy spells and signets, particularly effective against the undead.
Other than very specific or niche situations (ie, Shards of Orr), I have never found this attribute to be too useful. Even with the recent buff to Ray of Judgment, I still find this attribute lacking in damage. Honestly, an Elementalist, Mesmer, or Necromancer can outdamage a Smiter very easily. The only general situations I have found a Smiter useful in is when they fit the role of both an offensive member as well a supportive player. This usually means that the team has near-sufficient defenses and that the Smiter Monk has "back-up" protection as well as spells to aid in offensive combat. Here is an example:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
This build provides a bit to party support, but nowhere near that of a healing/protection Monk. However, roles such as that can also easily be played with a Ritualist, though the advantage of a Smiter Monk is the ability to remove hexes. I guess it all boils down to personal preference, but I have personally never found that much use in this attribute line.

-5. Unlinked Monk Skills (List of Unlinked Monk Skills)

Okay, so this isn't really an attribute, but it's worth mentioning anyway. These skills are "unlinked". That means they don't require any investment into an attribute to be used effectively. How great is that? There are some very useful skills in this line.

{name} is a great Elite. However, this is more useful on secondary Monk. The reason I say that is that pimary Monks have better options for the type of support this skill provides and it can be used by secondary Monks without having to put points into Healing or Protection prayers. Not so great on a Primary Monk, but still worth a mention.

{name} is similar to Empathic Removal but requires an enchantment to function and does not affect the caster. The advantage is that it is free and has a shorter recharge. Also like Empathic Removal, this skill is more useful on a secondary Monk for the same reasons.

{name} costs 5 energy and recharges in 8 seconds. This skill is awesome and very underrated. This skill provides no extra effect, but the quick recharge and straightforward effect make it excellent to just remove a hex, which you might be doing a lot in some areas.

{name} takes some skill to use but is otherwise a great way to prevent hexes. This skill is not that useful in PvE where monsters will constantly reapply hexes and battles generally do not last for more than a minute. This is a great skill for PvP, however, but I will not go into that considering this guide's focus. Still worth a mention, though.
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Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 7:58

II. Skills
-1. Basic Skills

The Monk is one of the most energy-intensive characters to play. By this, I don't mean they have the most expensive spells (that would be the Elementalist), but they have a wide variety of spells that they may need to use constantly to keep a group of people alive while having almost nothing in the way of energy management. I will go into more detail later about good energy management in a later section, but for now, I will just say to stay away from energy-heavy builds. In other words, don't use this:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
Don't get me wrong, some of those skills are fantastic (Aegis, Blessed Light), but if you have too many expensive skills in your bar, you will run dry almost instantly. Also, many of the skills in that bar have long recharges which will leave you standing around when your party needs you the most.

Personally, I think the best Monk builds find a good balance between healing and protting. Don't bring too many skills that do the same thing. If you keep a variety of skills in your bar, you can help your party no matter what. If you kept a bar that only focused on healing and your party was suffering from large amounts of degeneration through hexes and conditions, you would be healing constantly. If you had skills to remove those said conditions and hexes, you would have to do a lot less work as well as conserve your precious energy. The way I see it, Protection skills are there to defend your party and Healing skills are there to heal what slips through the cracks.

Also, one thing I would like to say is that Monk should not carry a Resurrection spell. That should really be left to the other party members. If you are joining a pug, then perhaps you should bring {name} (Don't use this in battle. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever), but for any other situation, don't bring a res. You will be a lot more useful with another skill that helps with party support. Also, if you're in a good, balanced team, deaths should be infrequent. Most of the Resurrection spells are meant to be used after battle due to the fact that the ally is ressed with low health and energy. Most of these spells are also expensive and take a while to cast. That energy and time should be focused on the surviving members. It really should be your other members' responsibility to carry in-battle resses like {name} or {name} (this one needs more love!) and perhaps someone else with {name} in case of an emergency.

-2. Staples

I will have to admit, there is very little diversity from useful Monk builds. This has happened because there is only a portion of Monk skills that are energy-efficient as well as useful. Many skills have become staples to most Monk bars because of this. They're staples because they work, and they work well. I will mention some of these staples but the best way to start building a good set of skills is to learn what each skill does. Not every situation is the same. Some may call for more direct healing (because of life-stealing), some might call for a lot of condition removal or hex removal, and some might need you to deal with all three. Those situations call for specific skill bars and the best way to build those are to know what your options are and taking the best ones. In other words: study.

Elite Staples-
{name} - It's quick, it's powerful, it's cheap, it's Word of Healing. There is not much to say about this skill that the skill description does not already say. This skill is the most popular Monk skill because of it's healing power, quick cast, and short recharge. It becomes extremely energy efficient when used on a target that is under 50% health (200+ heal for 5 energy? Awesome.). I would suggest waiting until then to use this skill on a party member unless they are under a lot of pressure.

{name} - This skill is used more often in GvG PvP rather than PvE, but it still has its uses in PvE. It's a great way to remove pesky conditions, especially if you've got a frontline player that is taking the brunt of the damage (which usually means the brunt of the conditions and hexes as well). However, I do not advise taking this skill in extremely condition-heavy areas. That may sound like the opposite of what you might expect, but in condition-heavy areas, you will be using this too frequently to remove conditions from your entire party. That requires a lot of time and a lot of energy. For heavy condition removal like that, it's better to leave it to another party member such as a Paragon with {name}, a Minion Master with  and , or anyone with {name}. However, those are very niche situations where you should be bringing an organized party. But, generally, Restore Condition is a great form of condition removal AND healing.

{name} - This was highly underpowered before it's recent update. Before, it nearly negated an amount of damage which was negligible in high-level areas or in Hard Mode where it would last maybe half a second. Now, it works like {name} with condition removal on top of it. How sweet is that? This can be taken over Restore Condition if you need less condition removal but more protting.

{name} - This has become a lot more popular recently. Though I advise strongly against builds that focus on only healing, this skill can still be used on a hybrid (a Monk who prots and heals) with some success. It greatly increases the amount of healing and lowers the amount of time it takes to cast Healing Prayer skills which makes them a lot more energy-efficient. When used with {name} and {name}, you can heal your entire party for over 100 health. However, you need to be smart when you play with this skill. Overhealing is bad. It's not your job to keep everyone at a full red bar, but to keep them alive. The advantage on taking this on a hybrid, though, is you will not need to invest as much into Healing Prayers to make the spells viable which lets pump up your protection skills.

{name} - Basically the Elite version of {name}. Its similar to Word of Healing as being a quick, direct, and powerful heal, but it does not need to meet a condition to heal to its full effect. It also casts quicker and recharges a lot quicker. But, just because it's recharged doesn't mean you have to use it. Don't spam this. Ever.

{name} - This is a less powerful, but cheaper version of {name}. I am not too fond of this skill for its low heal but many Monks seem to love it. It's a great counter to party-wide damage.

{name} - This is usually seen as the Protection Prayers equivalent of {name}. It always heals to its full effect, but you get energy returned if you heal someone that is below 50% health. This makes this skill EXTREMELY energy-efficient by costing only 3 energy if the condition is met. This skill also works great with {name}. Let's say you use Glyph and then heal someone with less than 50% health. Then you heal another person under 50% health. Because of the Glyph, the two Zealous Benedictions you used were free, but you still got the 7 energy from them. Cool, huh?

Other Staples-

Cool, now you have your Elite Skill. What about the other 7 slots? Well, like I said, it would depend on the area you're going to. Some areas will require more of one type of support than another. It's your job to make sure you bring the optimal set up for the area. However, I will list some popular non-elite spells:

Condition Removal
**
*If you bring these skills, make sure someone else in your party has a way of removing conditions on you.

Hex Removal
*
*If you bring these skills, make sure someone else in your party has a way of removing hexes on you. A Monk hexed with {name} with no way of removing it is bad.

General Protting


General Healing


-3. A Case Against Some Less-Than-Effective Monk Skills

{name} - This used to be very popular a very very long time ago when the list of useful Monk skills was very limited. It was generally used with {name} to keep up energy while basically healing and protting the team like crazy (it was called Boonprotting if anyone was curious). Nowadays, that is completely ineffective. There are a lot of better options. I personally find this skill a little useless with the current selection of good skills.

{name} - This skill should never be used for it's healing effect which is just plain terrible. More often, it's used as a recharging Divine Favor skill to power up the amount of hexes removed by {name}. Never bring this skill if your only intention is to use it as healing.

{name} - No. No. No. Disabling your skills = dead party.

{name} - Its effect is great, but unfortunately in the cases where this skill would be useful, the skill would recharge for over 300 seconds. That is just terrible rubbish.

{name} - Unless you're using this skill with {name} or {name}, I would never bring this skill. The easily interrupted bit means that you will be interrupted if you're hit by an attack while casting it (similar to Ranger traps).

{name} - Again, disabling skills = bad. However, this has some use in a full Protting build with a very modest investment into Healing Prayers with this being the only Healing Prayers skill. Nothing will be disabled and you get a decent heal.

{name} & {name} - No. Healing enemies is bad. Healing adjacent allies might be useful, but you shouldn't be too close to anyone because of AoE damage. Also, the 10 energy makes this a very expensive skill to use to just heal.

{name}, {name} - You should never spend more than 5 energy for just a direct heal to one person. If someone needs to be healed up a lot, there are better options like {name}

{name} - Scion has said it already.

{name}, {name} - The amount of energy being spent to keep these up is not worth the very very small healing power that they provide. They are plain terrible.

{name} - Too expensive on a Primary Monk, but has some use on Secondary Monks with better energy management.

{name} - The extra healing is nice, but if you want that, {name} is a better alternative. The amount of energy you're spending to keep this enchantment up is not worth the extra healing, especially since it's still up when you're not healing. However, it works on all Monk spells, which means it works with Protection Prayers too which Healer's Boon does not. But, besides {name} (an elite, can't bring two) and {name} (requires a bit of spamming which you should not do while maintaining enchantments), there's really no use for it. What about it's resurrection effect? Not worth it. Don't bring an Elite skill if you intend to use it to res. That is a complete waste of an Elite slot.

{name}, {name} - This has very little use at all. Icon is pretty, though.

{name} - This skill is terrible. It's 25 energy, recharges in 20 seconds, and is a terrible res. If you read everything else before this, you would know that I suggest not even bring a res, but I would never bring this even on Secondary Monk. To top it off, this skill is bugged. The actual range is more like adjacent meaning you have to basically stand on their corpse for it to work. That also means for it to res everyone, they need to have all died in the same place. It's terrible, don't use it.

{name} - It's a self heal, basically. You should never run up to the frontlines to use this on a warrior, and like I said a few lines up, you really shouldn't be too close to anyone. I've heard arguments from other monks like "Your main priority is to keep yourself alive, the party second". No. Your main priority is to keep everyone alive. This skill is somewhat useless when spells like {name} or {name} can be used on yourself.

-4. Secondary Professions

One of the greatest parts about character building in Guild Wars is the secondary profession. Usually a secondary profession with a monk will be used for defense or for energy management. Below I've listed each secondary profession and how I think it would be useful/useless.

Warrior-
This is used more commonly in PvP than in PvE. A warrior secondary will allow the Monk to bring skills like {name} (providing they have a shield in a defensive weapon set), {name} (can't do anything while you're the floor), or {name} (fun for blocking).

Ranger-
Similar to the blocking stances used with a Warrior secondary, you can bring {name}. Again, this is for PvP. In PvE, you will not get much out of this profession.

Mesmer-
The Inspiration Magic line has some semi-useful skills for gaining energy. However, I would suggest in using better forms of energy management. Skills like {name} are great, but with it's long cast time and recharge, you might miss a chance to save someone's life.

Elementalist-
This is my personal favorite. {name} is simply awesome. It's great, it doesn't count as a spell, and is still useful without any Energy Storage.

Necromancer-
I have never found too much use from this as a secondary with a supportive Monk.

Dervish-
There is very little benefit from this one either. {name} may look attractive, but there are better stances to use.

Paragon-
Have never found too much use from this either.

Assassin-
This is common for PvP Monks, especially in Random Arenas. Skills like {name} or {name} help keep you alive as well as get away from your enemies. I would not suggest this for PvE, though.

Ritualist-
There are some interesting combination here. Ritualists have the Restoration Magic line which is used for party support. However, none of those will benefit from Divine Favor. And even though {name} or {name} may look like good choices, the 10 energy and lack of Spawning Power make them more useful on a primary Ritualist.


Last edited by Curatio Animus on Sat 14 Feb - 3:43; edited 11 times in total
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Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 7:58

III. Equipment
-1. What I Use
In both PvE and PvP, I use 4 different weapon sets. Why so many? Because of a little thing called Weapon Swapping (will be explained in more detail below). The four weapon sets are going to be explained in more details below.

-2. Wand and Focus "Casting" Set
This set would depend on my build. If my build's Elite is Word of Healing, then both the wand and focus will be tied to Healing Prayers. If I'm running something like Zealous Benediction on a Prot-heavy build, I would bring a protection wand and focus. If I'm running a Blessed Light build, then it would be Divine Favor. Regardless of what attribute, the Wand and Focus combo I use is always "40/40". 40/40 means a 20/20 Wand (20 Half Skill Recharge, 20 Half Cast Time) and a 20/20 Focus. When you're trying to keep a party alive, you're going to want to make sure your spells are always available. A 40/40 set has a lot of advantages in that sense. However, these values do not add, but rather are multiplicative. With a 40/40 set, there is a 36% chance to pull of a half cast and a 36% chance to pull of a half recharge. There is also a 4% chance for a 1/4 Cast and a 1/4 Recharge. Getting a half recharge on Word of Healing or something like Cure Hex really helps out, so you should take whatever chances you can get.

-3. Protection Staff "Enchanting" Set
Cool, so you have a 40/40 Wand and Focus now for your healing spells. What about your protection enchantments? For those I use a protection staff that has:

Adept Staff Head (20% Half Cast)
Aptitude not Attitude (20% Half Cast)
Staff Wrapping of Enchanting (20% Longer Enchantments)

This set-up is great for using skills like Protective Spirit or Shield of Absorption. It is similar to a 40/40 Protection set except one of the Half Skill Recharge is replaced by an Enchanting mod and provides 2 less energy. You should use this set to cast ANY enchantment (except Patient Spirit).

-4. Defensive Set
The two previous sets are for casting. When you are not casting, you're not using any of the Half Cast or Half Recharge bonuses, so why use that weapon set? This is why you have a defensive set. This generally includes a one-handed physical weapon (Axe, Sword, or Spear) and a shield.

The weapon:
Axe, sword, spear. Pick one. Most people pick ones with a nice skin to use since damage isn't important here. Most people also pick spears for fun and to attack from the distance. The prefix does not matter too much. Just don't pick Zealous or Vampiric. Some team builds might require you bring a Fiery Spear (if someone is bringing Mark of Rodgort). Otherwise, just pick whatever. The other two mods are what is important.

The suffix mod should either be Fortitude or of Defense. Your choice. Either more health or more defense.

Inscription will either be one of two choices. The first is an "I Have the Power!" inscription. This provides an unconditional +5 energy. Neat huh?
The other option would be a "Brawn over Brains" inscription. It provides an unconditional 15% damage which is completely unimportant to the monk. However, it also removes 5 energy from you. Why is this useful you ask? If a Mesmer is draining your energy, they can only drain what energy you have. They can't bring you down to negative energy. If you bring a low-energy defensive set, you can keep it up while you're being pressured by the Mesmer. Then, you can switch to a casting set to cast a spell and then go back. This is called "energy hiding" and is really useful in some areas. This is mostly a PvP tactic but some areas in PvE have large amounts of energy denial (Domain of Anguish).

This has another benefit in PvE. Monsters (Especially Mesmers) will cast spells on you depending on what weapon you're wielding. By being on your defensive set, the Mesmer will think you are a Warrior or Paragon so they won't use something like Backfire on you. Useful in most areas. Also, having high armor and high health will put you at the bottom of the monster's priority list. You want to stay alive, right? This is why Warriors or Rangers are generally attacked last and Monks and Elementalists are taken down first by monsters.

The shield:
Why a shield? Well, since you're not casting, you don't need the energy gained from the focus. A max shield will provide 8 armor if you don't meet the requirement. It will provide 16 armor if you do. In PvP, I generally bring 8 Tactics since I have a Tactics shield that requires only 8 Tactics and provides me with 15 armor. If you don't have a low-req shield, the +8 armor is still useful.

The suffix mod should be a fortitude mod. No questions about it.

Inscription is a little tough. A lot of monks bring a selection of shields, especially in PvP. They usually have one with an inscription that provides 10 Armor against a type of damage. Then, they change shields depending on what they're facing. This obviously might be a hassle in PvE. I would suggest keeping a variety of shields and bringing the ones that will be useful in the area. Some common damage types in PvE are Fire, Air, Slashing, and Piercing. If you don't want to keep shields like this, having a shield that provides -2 Physical Damage while Enchanted works too, but is a lot less effective. One thing I would not suggest is a -5 Physical Damage (20% Chance). On average, they reduce about 1 damage per hit. It's better to rely on something that works all the time (ie, +10 Armor against Fire Damage when fighting against Charr in Eye of the North) then something that only works 20% of the time. Also, in areas with lots of Daze, I suggest bringing a shield that reduces Daze duration by 20%. I guess this is all down to personal prefence, but shields that provide +10 Armor against a damage type are very useful.

If you have a shield that provides +10 Armor Against fire and are hit by fire damage, you have a total of +18 armor (8 from not meeting the shield's requirement), that is about 20% less damage (very rough estimate).

-5. Wand and Focus "High-energy" Set

This should be similar to your normal wand and focus set except the inscriptions on both provide +15 Energy at the cost of -1 Energy Regeneration. You should never use this for just regular casting, but if you are low on energy on your other three sets, you go to this one to cast and then switch back to another for the full energy regeneration. This is commonly referred to as the "emergency" or the "oh crap" set. Sometimes this will usually mean the difference between life and death to a party member. Keep one of these sets handy, but use it smartly.

-6. Weapon Swapping

Okay, you have 4 weapon sets now, but you can't use them all at the same time, so what do you do? You weapon swap. This is a tactic that came from early PvPing. You basically use different weapon sets for different spells or situations. Let's use my favorite Random Arenas build as an example:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
Use your 40/40 Set for Word of Healing and Patient Spirit.
Use your Staff for Guardian and Dismiss Condition.
For Spotless Mind, it depends whether you want a quick recharge (if multiple party members are being hex pressured, use a 40/40 set) or if you want an extra hex removed by making it last longer, then use your staff.
Use your staff for Holy Veil. Your other weapon sets don't provide any bonus to it, but a Staff has a universal 20% recharge.
For your stances, it doesn't matter what you activate them on, but if you are using them, that probably means you're being attacked. Switch back to your Defensive Set.

If you're not doing any of the above, you should be on your defensive set. This is just an example. It'll be different depending on what skills and weapons you bring. Like I said, this is mostly a PvP tactic, but I still use it in PvE because it allows for me to optimize my casting and spells. You want to use your spells to their full effect, don't you? Here is what might be going through my mind:

Nothing's happening -> Defensive Set
Someone is low on health, -> 40/40 Set -> Heal -> Defensive Set
Someone is being hexed pressured and being attacked by a warrior -> Staff -> Spotless Mind -> Guardian -> 40/40 Set -> Patient Spirit -> Defensive Set

etc. You get the idea. This obviously takes some practice and does not come naturally to most people. If you plan on PvPing as a monk, you should practice this in PvE just so that it becomes second nature to you. If you don't plan on PvPing, you should still practice to get the optimal use out of your equipment and spells.

-7. Armor

Now you have your weapons. What about armor? Go get a set of armor you like, make sure it has 60 Armor. Go ahead, I'll wait.
(...)
Okay, now what? You need to put insignias and runes on them.

Insignias:
You want either one of two things from an insignia. Armor or Health. I like Survivor Insignias. High health means I will be attacked less by monsters. High health also means I'll stay alive longer. One thing I'd like to say is that Radiant Insignias are not energy management. Neither is high Energy Storage. Sure, high energy will allow you to cast more, but casting often will still bring your energy down just as fast. If you can master energy management, you won't need Radiant Insignias.

Runes:
Some are obvious. If you're running a Heal/Prot build, you put a Healing rune in your head piece, and then a Divine Favor and Protection rune in two other pieces. Never ever ever ever use anything higher than minor runes for these. The added bonus of +1 or +2 in an attribute is not going to be worth the -35 or -75 health. Never. Ever. So you should have 3 or 2 armor pieces without a rune yet. Stick a Vigor rune in one. Get the highest one you can afford. The last one is sort of the optional one. If you're going to be frequently in areas with a specific kind of condition, you should bring a rune that reduces those conditions. You can bring a reduced daze insignia if you want as well. Otherwise, fill it in with a Vitae rune for the same reason you use Survivor instead of Radiant.

Awesome. Now you have your skills, your weapons, and your armor.

But, if you gave 5 different monks the same skills, weapons, and armor, they will probably not be equally effective. The one thing that can make or break a monk is their use of tactics.


Last edited by Curatio Animus on Fri 13 Feb - 8:25; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 7:59

IV. General Tactics
-1. Stay Alive

I quote Jebus "A dead monk is a useless monk" (or something like that). Stay alive. Survival has to do with a lot of things and some of them might be out of your control. Make the best of the situation. Know what you're fighting against and know what your team is doing. Don't run into a Meteor Shower and don't walk up to the frontlines. You need to focus on the party as well as yourself at the same time.

One of the easiest ways to avoid damage in PvE is kiting. Kiting is just a fancy word for running around to avoid damage and to run away from warriors, dervishes, or assassins. You can also use this to avoid projectiles. Just make sure you don't run into more monsters or aggro another group (*ahem*, that means you, Alesia).

Also, don't forget, you have a skill bar full of support skills. If you're being damaged or attacked, use them. Don't just save them for the other party members (though make sure you prioritize). Each party member has their part, and if they're dead, well, then they're not doing much are they?

-2. Positioning

Positioning is key. You need to find an area where your party is within casting range but you are still fairly far away from where the battle is taking place. Here is a generic example of what I'm talking about:



You should try to keep everyone within casting range. If you ever need to heal or protect someone, you don't have to run around to get to them. This will obviously take some coordination from your party, especially if your warrior decides to run far away from you. Also in that example, you can see that the Monk tries to stay away as far as they can from the red dots. Red dots are bad.

One last note about positions: stay in defensive wards. If there's an Elementalist with you that is putting wards like Ward Against Harm, Ward Against Melee, and Ward Against Elements, stay in them. The only time I would suggest not staying in them is if there is heavy AoE, lots of melee, or annoying wells like Well of Profane or Well of Weariness that are in the ward.

-3. Energy Management

There are basically 3 different methods that you can use to manage your energy.

Reduce skill costs -
This is even more important for expensive skills like Aegis. The easiest way for a Monk to do this is by using Glyph of Lesser Energy. Even if you don't have any spells that cost more than 5 energy, it still lets you use 2 spells for basically free.

Gain energy -
There are not really any viable options like this for Monks. A small investment into Smiting Prayers might allow you to use Castigation Signet. You can also go Mesmer Secondary to use skills like Channeling (Not suggested. You shouldn't be this close to monsters) or Energy Tap (Long cast and recharge, not really a good choice)

Passive energy conservation -
This basically means to not use energy. The best way to do this is to prioritize members and only use skills when you need to. Don't spam heals when your party doesn't need it and don't use Aegis if you're fighting a group of Mesmers. Another way is to use signets like Signet of Rejuvenation.

-4. The Party Window

You'll be looking at this a lot as a Monk. This is something that most monks end up doing too much. The party window does not tell you what's actually happening in the battle. You need to be able to concentrate on both the window and what is happening. It's really hard to tell who needs a Protective Spirit or Guardian just by staring at the party window. If you can observe what's going on, you can tell which party members are being targeted by the monsters. You can tell which ones are taking the most damage and which ones are safely away from the monsters. Don't rely on either method too much. Learn to use both.

-5. Coordination and Prioritizing

Find out what each of your party members are doing. If you know which ones are going to be taking the majority of the damage, then you know where to put a majority of your focus on. For example, if you have a tank, then you know that you need to put a large portion of your protection enchantments on them. If there is a Paragon or Ranger in your party, then you know that they will probably take very little damage at first. Depending on what your other party members are running, they may be closer/farther away from the main area where the battle is taking place. It's your job to keep everyone alive, but if you know some people are going to take more damage than others, then you know where to put more of your attention to.

-6. A Two-Monk Backline

It's not uncommon for parties to have a Two-Monk Backline. If this is the case, your main priority before you head off into an area is to coordinate with the other Monk. There are some different tactics for this case. Both monks can bring different spells. This way, each monk has a separate role from the other Monk and can focus on a different part of support (ie, one monk can focus on healing and hex removal and one can focus on protting and condition removal). Another method is that each monk is responsible for 1/2 of the team. I'd say this is a little risky, but some people like to play this style. Basically each monk is responsible for themselves and 3 others. This also reduces the risk of overlapping (both monks using the same spell on the same person meaning one person had wasted a cast).

In short, know what the other Monk is doing and make sure you guys are optimizing the use and power of separate monks.
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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 8:34

Wow that was a lot longer than I thought it was going to be. I will end this with what I think a good, general Monk build should look like:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
I leave the last one blank since the rest of the build has a lot of things covered already. The last slot could go to different skills depending on your situation or playing style.



I encourage you to make your own builds. Not every map or group of monsters is the same. Find out what's a threat to your party's survival and bring a counter for it.

Let me just end this with a short note-

Practice and don't get lazy.

Any questions?


Last edited by Curatio Animus on Fri 13 Feb - 13:04; edited 1 time in total
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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Game Nurse on Fri 13 Feb - 10:22

O. M. G.

This is going to take me a month to wade through!!!

Thanks for posting this Bob!!

Just what I needed, more homework *smile*

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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Pampered One on Fri 13 Feb - 18:59

Your view on Peace and Harmony and Empathic removal??

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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Godzuki on Fri 13 Feb - 19:59

Both of those skills have become increasingly useful in PvP with the hex-heavy meta. If you're planning on using them on a Monk, most teams that carry either of those two skills are running a 3 Monk Backline. This is because these two elites are not powerful enough to stand on their own to support en entire party, but can support the other two Monks greatly. An example of an Empathic Removal bar being used nowadays on top of a Word of Healing + Restore Condition Monk is this:

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
And a PnH Monk (More suited for HA):

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
Again, these are more suited for PvP where a 3-Monk backline is becoming more common in coordinated PvP. However, that Empathic Removal Smiter is still very useful in PvE to help out the other supporting members, especially in Hex/Condition-Heavy areas. They however cannot support an entire party by themselves.

The Peace and Harmony bar also cannot support an entire party by themselves but can support the other members in an extremely Hex-Heavy area. You can substitute the Well of Weariness, Aura of Stability, and Rend Enchantments for something better suited for PvE.

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
Even in areas where there may or may not be rampant conditions and hexes, they can still be used to take a load off the other supportive characters so that they can focus on other things while they leave condition/hex-managing to you.

Also, Empathic Removal is commonly used in PvE by Secondary Monks who do not need their Elite to function. They can use it to help the party out without putting points into Healing/Protection/Smiting since it is unlinked. An example can be found in Jon's Imbagon Guide where his two Paragon heroes are given Empathic Removal to help out in areas with lots of hexes and conditions where the other two Monks might have some problems keeping up.
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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Scion on Fri 13 Feb - 20:21

Strong work. Anyone playing Monk should read this and ingest it all. 'Specially about weapon swap, which I'm still learning.

My $0.02:

If you really want to use Smites in PvE, this is the only build I've seen that would really rock. Every spell time you cast a spell the receiver gets hit with a big chunk of bonus health because of all the Boons.

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
I've used {name} on two Monk heroes before, which worked well. I could take off all antihex and condition stuff their bars and just go-go healing/prot. Between the two of them there was never conditions or hexes on the team as they just spammed away a no Energy signet.

{template_download}{prof_imgs}{skills}
{build_name}
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default Re: Franc's Guide to Successful Supportive Monking in PvE

Post by Lady Herodias on Tue 10 Mar - 6:22

Okay...Franc....I thought I would try and read this tonight...but after half a page...and man it is good stuff....I have decided that you the "man" I would take whenever I need a monk.

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