PlanetDiablo | Diablo III | Characters | Monk

The Monk


Heralding from a place called Ivgorod and its reclusive order, the Monk is the new melee mage of Diablo III and the fourth playable character class revealed for the game. Blizzard Entertainment unveiled this class using its male form along with the Act II desert area of the Borderlands at BlizzCon 2009 with a special trailer. Using a combination of martial arts moves and spells, this so-dubbed "Holy Warrior" takes down enemies through debuffing effects and rapid attacks that can get quite explosive.

We like to refer to the Monk as the Guerilla Crusader because of his nature of hit-and-run attacks. He (or she) is very much a blended form of the Paladin and Assassin classes from Diablo II and its Lord of Destruction expansion set with his own unique points, possessing the holy origins, religious-styled spells, and melee force of the former and the kung-fu abilities of the latter. This class represents middle ground between the heavy tank Barbarian and the ranged mage Witch Doctor.

Blizzard iconifies the Monk with a staff as seen pictured to the right, but he will also have Fist Weapons at his disposal, the same variety of hand-to-hand combat weapons known as Claws in Lord of Destruction and should be able to dual-wield them.

The Monk comes with a set of combo martial arts moves that provide different effects depending on how many hits he's made on a target. These differ from the Assassin's charge-up skills, however, in that they take effect immediately, debuffing enemies or dealing special attacks. These hits are clever, too: The player can put two hits on one combo skill and switch to another to get the effects of its third hit rather than starting over.


There is little reported about the Monk's origins save for the fact that he comes from a secretive order of monks that reside in Ivgorod, an area previously unseen on Santuary.

The look and style of this character comes from the influence of 13th century Eastern European monks and traditional Asian monks. He was inspired by pen-and-paper role-playing games, and much like the other character classes has a solid history in the genre interpreted in new and innovative ways.

From the writings of Abd Al-Hazir

The last weeks of autumn had settled upon Ivgorod, and the first breath of winter had crept into the air. As night fell and the sun dipped below the horizon, I was all too grateful to take refuge in a tavern. As I entered, I noted a certain tension in the room. Despite the hour, it was not busy, with only scattered, small groups huddled at the tables around the edges of the room. The benches at the center of the room were empty except for one man.

The man seemed ignorant of the cold. He was dressed like a beggar, wearing little more than an orange sheet wound around his body, leaving half of his chest exposed. A garland of large wooden beads hung around his thick neck. His head was completely shaved, with the exception of a wild bushy beard. Then, recognition struck me: upon his forehead he had a tattoo of two red dots, one larger than the other. As any informed student of the peoples and cultures of this world must also realize, this man was one of the monks of Ivgorod, the secretive and reclusive holy warriors of the country.

I had heard countless fantastic stories about the monks, tales that were surely the beneficiary of significant embellishment. The monks’ skin, the accounts said, was as hard as iron, impenetrable by the blade of any sword or by the point of any arrow, and their fists could break stone as easily as you or I would snap a twig. Though the unassuming man before me seemed miles away from what I had heard and read of the monks, I approached cautiously, sliding down onto the bench across from him, eager to take his measure. He beckoned me forward with a small wave of his hand.

"Ah, a soul brave enough to sit with me. Come, friend."

Food was placed before me, but I had little hunger for it, focusing instead on recording the details of the monk's life. He told me of his belief in the existence of a thousand and one gods, gods he believed could be found in all things: the fire in the hearth, the water in the river and the air that we breathed. Pretty enough for a story, perhaps. But any reasoned individual must surely, as I did, scoff at such a view of the world as little more than superstition. He went on to describe his intense mental and physical training, his unending quest to hone his mind and body into an instrument of divine justice. Though I do wonder for what need his thousand gods would require a mortal man to implement their will. When I asked him why he did not carry a sword or, indeed, any weapon at all, he simply replied, "My body is my weapon." Then raising his hand and tapping his forehead, he added, "As is my mind."

Most unexpectedly, I would be treated to a display of this mastery.

A group of men approached our table, knocking my book to the floor and shoving me out of the way, producing knives and other weapons as they advanced. They were focused only on the solitary figure of the monk seated across from me. I scrabbled beneath the table, having an inkling of what was to come. I watched as at some unseen signal, they attacked.

Without rising from his seat, the monk met the first man's lunging slash, grabbing his wrist and tossing him carelessly over his shoulder, throwing him into a table with a loud crash. The suddenness of the monk's attack momentarily stunned the men, and as they stood there, he rose.

That was when chaos broke out.

The monk was a fluid mass of restrained energy, meeting every attack with hardly a moment's distress. He fought with hands and feet in a way I had never seen before. In my days, I have witnessed my share of drunken bar brawls, but this was something else altogether. The sound of bones crunching with each of his strikes mixed with something I could not quite believe: the monk was laughing as he fought. One by one, he dispatched his foes until only one remained.

That one picked up a chair and hurled it toward the monk. The monk swung his arm forward and struck the incoming projectile, meeting the solid oak of the chair with his closed fist. The wood broke apart, splinters filling the air as the shattered pieces of the stool fell harmlessly to the ground around him.

"You don't fool me, demon," the monk spat. He pulled his arms back to his sides, then extended his hands before him and began to chant. A nimbus of white light appeared around his head, growing larger and more intense until it completely encompassed the monk’s body. He roared, and the light blew outward. As it washed over the other man, his skin peeled away, revealing a red-skinned demon beneath and threw the creature through the front doors of the tavern.

The monk hurtled forward, but his individual movements were too fast for my eyes to track. It seemed as though there were seven of him raining blows upon the demon from every side. Staggered, the demon stumbled. The monk grabbed the demon by the neck, grinning as he pulled his free arm back, crackling energy glowing on his open hand. He shoved his palm forward, and when it struck the demon, its body exploded: muscle, skin and bones tore apart, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air.

I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own two eyes. It seems the stories of these peerless warriors might not have been as exaggerated as I first thought.


As with the other four character classes, the Monk possesses three unique skill trees. Blizzard Entertainment has yet to decide on a name for the Monk's skill trees, which at BlizzCon 2009 were referred to simply as A, B, and C.

These sets of abilities include:

  • Skill Tree A
  • Skill Tree B
  • Skill Tree C

Skill Tree A

A Force Without Thought (Passive)

Counterattack enemies without interrupting the normal flow of your attacks. When you dodge you automatically counterattack the attacker for 30% normal weapon damage.

Rank: 1/5
Deals 30% normal weapon damage
Mana Cost: 0 (Passive)

Required Level: 5

Seven-Sided Strike

Dash at your enemies, striking 6 times in succession for 50% of weapon damage.

Rank: 1/5
Strikes 6 times
Deals 50% weapon damage per hit
Mana Cost: 30

Way of the Hundred Fists (Combo)

Fast series of attacks that strikes enemies in front of you.

  • First Hit: A short-ranged dashing attack that deals 100% weapon damage.
  • Second Hit: Attacks rapidly 6 times for 8% weapon damage.
  • Third Hit: Attack all enemies near the Monk for 80% weapon damage.

Inner Sanctuary

Creates a protected region on the ground for 6 seconds that cannot be passed by enemies.

Rank: 1/5
Duration: 6 seconds
Mana Cost: 24

Skill Tree B

Crippling Wave (Combo)

Light attacks that apply a series of increasingly debilitating debuffs.

  • First Hit: 50% Weapon Damage. Target's movement speed reduced 50% for 2 seconds.
  • Second Hit: 50% Weapon Damage. Enemy's damage reduced 25% and take 25% more damage from attacks.
  • Third Hit: 60% Weapon Damage. Debuffs refreshed on all targets.

Exploding Palm (Combo)

Quick successive attacks ending in deadly "Exploding Palm."

  • First Hit: 40% Weapon Damage.
  • Second Hit: 60% Weapon Damage.
  • Third Hit: Target bleeds 80 damage over 7 seconds. If it dies, it explodes and deals 60~100% of its maximum health [in splash damage].

Skill Tree C

Impenetrable Defense

Momentarily turn weapons into an impenetrable wall that rebounds enemy ranged attacks, grants 100% [chance to] dodge versus melee attacks.

Rank: 1/5
100% Chance to dodge melee attacks
Mana Cost: 5

Radiant Visage

A flash of light sears the eyes of all enemies within 20 feet, blinding them so they cannot see for 2 - 5 seconds. If attacked, they fight back with 42% reduced chance to hit.

Rank: 2/5
Blindness Duration: 2 - 5 seconds
42% Reduced chance to hit
Mana Cost: 15

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