Diablo III Monk build - Inferno guide

Your dedication as a Monk is commendable, but you again must prove you are worthy of a greater challenge. If Diablo 3’s Inferno Difficulty has dimmed your hopes, study these writings. From the zombie invasion at Tristram’s gates to the extinction of evil from the high heavens, we will help you defeat infernal scourge.

Note: This guide is based off of Patch 1.0.3 (the most current patch while writing this article). Recommended skills and stat allocations may chance in future patches.

Recommend Inferno Build

Note: Make sure elective mode is toggled on so you are not limited to one skill per category. To do this go to Options, select Gameplay, and toggle on Elective Mode.

Crippling Wave – This spirit generator dampens enemy movement speed, attack speed, and damage when equipped with the Confusion rune. This attack will strike in an arc in front of you for 110 percent damage not only decreasing the effectiveness of your foes, but also hitting multiple targets for you to gain life and/or spirit from. While the Resolve passive is active, enemy damage is decreased by 45 percent! Dedicate this to your left click.

Mantra of Evasion – This mantra increases your chance to dodge by 15 percent. Combining this with the Backlash rune makes for a powerful offensive and defensive aura. Any time you successfully dodge, there is a good chance all enemies around you will instantly burn. This amount of AOE fire damage is based off of attack speed. With the base 1.00 attacks per second, Backlash triggers for 35 percent of your damage. If your attacks per second are as high as 1.75 (our benchmark number for defeating Inferno) Backlash will trigger for 61 percent of your damage. When you have spirit to expense, remember to activate the Mantra for an additional 15 percent dodge chance for three seconds. This will also increase your chance to Backlash! Keep your mantra bound to right click for frequent reactivation.

Sweeping Wind – This technique, when bound with the Blade Storm rune, serves as a persistent Backlash. When you land three critical hits while Sweeping Wind is active, you will constantly deal 60 percent of your damage to all enemies surrounding you within ten yards. The Fire Storm rune is also useful for it’s extended range of 14 yards, which has slightly greater synergy with the Resolve passive. Remember that recasting Sweeping Wind will keep your three-stack alive. This is very useful when moving between demon packs.

Breath of Heaven – Our first defensive skill is this AOE heal spell with the Blazing Wrath rune. Acting as an offensive and defensive ability, this 6k heal will also imbue you with 15 percent weapon damage for 45 seconds. The cool down is only 15 seconds on Breath of Heaven, so your damage should stay buffed 100 percent of the time.

Blinding Flash – the second defensive skill blinds all enemies around you providing a crucial window of time to regain life, spirit, and momentum during a fight. With the Faith in the Light rune, you will gain a 30 percent damage increase during these precious three seconds, increasing your blade storm, backlash, and crippling wave abilities.

Serenity – Our third and most important defensive ability is this trusty bubble. Serenity grants full immunity to damage for three seconds. It will resist frozen orbs from champ packs, break you out of jails, and let you escape freely when you are vortexed into a pile of desecrated, plagued molten. The Peaceful Response rune will add a 6k heal when casting Serenity. Appoint this to the highest probable number key you’d click when any “Oh Sh!t!” moment occurs.

Passive Abilities

Resolve – The build is intended to decrease the effectiveness of enemies around you while increasing your own. Resolve dedicates itself to this by reducing enemy damage by 25 percent once you attack them. Sweeping Wind, Backlash, and Crippling Wave keep this debuff active on the unholy beings surrounding us.

Seize the Initiative – Your armor is increased by 100 percent of your dexterity. When paired with at least 1300 dexterity and the Enchantress’s Power Armor, you will net about a ten percent overall damage reduction from enemies at level 60.

One with Everything –This passive takes your highest resistance and matches all other types with it. It allows the Monk to gain far higher resistances than any other class. You can gain over 100 to all resistances on each armor piece (see the Gear section for more info). High resistances equal greater damage reduction and are crucial to winning your fights against Inferno champion and elite packs.

Boss Fights

Here are two skills you may want to swap in for boss encounters. These swaps were used to defeat the demon lords as well as Ghom (arguably the toughest fight for a Monk).

Swap out Mantra of Evasion for Mantra of Conviction.
Swap out Crippling Wave for Deadly Reach.

Mantra of Conviction – This mantra paired with the Overawe rune will allow you to burn bosses down fast. While active, the demon lords will take 24 percent additional damage. When you have enough spirit, reactivate the mantra to deal 48 percent additional damage for three seconds. Remember to recast this mantra as much as you can to quickly annihilate your high-ranking opponent.

Deadly Reach – This spirit generator imbued with the Foresight rune will increase your attack damage by 18 percent. The range on this attack is incredibly important versus Ghom since you will need to kite him around the room while avoiding poison clouds. Foresight is also useful when racing an enrage timer.


After testing all of the companions with the Monk, the Enchantress was worshiped most. Her attack speed and armor bonus bring harmony to our progression build. She’ll be dealing over 5k damage with a good amount of intelligence, attack speed, and a 1k + two hander. Here is Eirena’s build (you do know her name is Eirena, right?). Spells you should select are in bold:

[Charm] [Focused Push] – Focused Push is an offensive attack that also knocks back enemies in an eight-yard radius. This is useful while tanking and can occur every ten seconds.

[Reflects Missiles] [Powered Armor]– Powered Armor is a passive ability granting a 15 percent armor buff to our already well-enhanced defenses. In addition, all attackers will be slowed by 30 percent.

[Disorient] [Erosion] – Erosion adds yet another damage buff to our area of effect attacks: a 15 percent increase to all enemies within the energy pool. Although Disorient can act as a second Blinding Flash, Erosion should occur three times as often. There is also the slight chance the Enchantress will cast Disorient at the same time you invoke Blinding Flash, rendering it useless.

[Focused Mind] [Mass Control] – Focused Mind is a three percent attack speed bonus to you and Eirena. Attack speed is of high importance for this build. It increases the frequency of life and spirit you will gain in combat and also buffs the damage of your Backlashes.