Here we are again! If you’re a Fresh L70 Monk and wondering where to go – look no further. Seriously. Here, we teach you what to do step by step until you reach your free seasonal 6 piece set. Get your Haedrigs Gifts, complete your seasonal journey, and get your Monk to endgame with our Fresh Level 70 Monk Guide!

Updated Apr 16 2021: Added mentions of Follower Guide where applicable.

In Season 23, the Monk free set is: Raiment of a Thousand Storms. BUT, keep in mind, we will not be using the free set in this guide, for a couple reasons.

Raiment is not a great set to start out with, and not even a great set alltogether. It’s poor at speedfarming, and honestly quite outdated (IE a little behind the other modern sets). Don’t worry – you will still be ABLE TO COMPLETE THE SEASONAL JOURNEY (stash tabs or pets etc), but you will NOT NEED (or WANT) to use S23’s Haedrigs Gift on your Monk.

Season 23 and YOU. How does it affect?

This season’s “theme” is the Follower buff + emanate items. I’m guessing it will be a permanent addition from after this season.

This mainly affects farming speed. While the follower buff skills make them more relevant in tryharding GR’s, it is by no means game-breaking.

Essentially, this season unlocks
NEW HEIGHTS FOR SPEEDFARMING

I highly recommend checking out our Follower Guide (Builds, Item, Skills etc)

Fresh 70 Monk – summary of our path to power!

So here’s what we’re going to do. Let me outline it for you so you can get a grasp on what we’re trying to do ASAP and keep it in mind.

  • Get a basic Fresh 70 Monk Build
  • Core Legendary gems for your “transition LoD Wave of Light build”.
    >> Maximizing Legacy of Dreams, and “absolute bare minimum rerolls”.
  • Being aware of, and how to get your core items for LoD WoL.
    >> Awareness about other useful items, and how best to get all of these items.
  • Increase your farming capability via follower, and other things
  • Awareness on “how powerful” you should aim to be, and how to measure it.
    >> “Where to go from here”? If you’ve reached this power level.

Keep in mind since you’re not rushing for Haedrigs Gift (Raiment), treat this process as a little more of a marathon than a sprint! Also, these checkpoints aren’t strictly linear. Try to be aware of each point as you progress.

Fresh 70 Monk Flexible Temporary Build

This build is a basic build that kinda looks like our “final LoD WoL build” that we’re shooting for here.

S23 Fresh 70 Monk NO SET BASIC BUILD
Skill Rune
Crippling Wave Rising Tide
Wave of Light Explosive / Pillar
Dashing Strike Falling / Blinding
Sweeping Wind Inner Storm
Mystic Ally Air Ally
Mantra of Salvation Agility
Passives
Seize the Initiative
Mythic Rhythm
Exalted Soul
Chant of Resonance

IMPORTANT EARLY GAME NOTES

  • Socket a Topaz into helm to help with Spirit issues.
  • Socket DIAMONDS into chest/legs (ideally 3/2 socketS) for massive defense.
  • Crafted Reapers Wraps helps spirit problems (recipe from any Torment Malthael)
  • Getting Life per Hit is pretty good in the early game!

I tried to make the build powerful, but easy to adjust given your random drops. It’s pretty straightforward and effective. Abuse Mythic Rhythm + Seize the Initiative + Wave of Light  early on. Crippling Wave – Rising Tide is purely to gain spirit for your WoL. If you can better manage spirit you can start removing spirit management skills / passives.

Core Legendary Gems

Complete any level of GR that you can QUICKLY and RELIABLY clear. No need to tryhard here, you just want to get them done ASAP. You want these gems.

Legacy of Dreams: Your CORE gem. This gem essentially allows you to run “setless”, and instead greatly increases your power for every legendary item you have. Remember, that this DEACTIVATES once you wear an active set item bonus. Dump as many points into this as you can, once you get your other core gems up to 25.

Bane of the Powerful: A great gem that “maxes” out at L25. It’s a low investment, strong gem that doesn’t scale with further levels (which is fine, since you don’t need or want to pump gem levels other than Legacy of Dreams).

Your first 2 GR clears should ALWAYS give you LoD and Powerful.

Moratorium: An all-around defensive gem. You can alternatively choose either Esoteric for a more late-game proof defensive gem, or Wildebeest for a more newbie friendly one. Basically, I choose Moratorium for your go-to defensive gem of choice as you’ll likely need a defensive gem option early on.

Other gems? The only other gem I would consider RIGHT NOW are Esoteric Alteration for more defense. You can go double defensive gems if needed.

Don’t worry about “wasting gem levels” on some temp gems
as you can use them for augments later on.

Again, try to get them quickly, and level them up efficiently. No need to ultra tryhard every GR. Find a balance of speed and rewards.

Legacy of Dreams? Legendary items and rerolls!

The core to our speedy ascent to ownage is the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem. Naturally, you have to be aware on what it needs to work and how to maximize it.

  • LoD will not give any benefit if you have an ACTIVE SET BONUS. So you can equip 1-of set items if you like their stats or are ancient.
  • You get more and more bonuses for each legendary item you have equipped, and increases with each ancient item as well. So in this case simply wearing a legendary in a slot (regardless if the stats are trash) is a huge bonus over, lets say, a yellow.
  • This is the gem you want to stack as many levels ups as you can. It’s core to your transitionary build, but you can use the gem for augments later on if you wish.

What’s the best way to get these filler / junk pieces? Just playing the game in general if you’re lucky. BOUNTIES, and CRAFTED LEGENDARIES ARE GREAT FOR THIS. Spending your blood shards on pieces that you haven’t filled out yet works. I would ADVISE AGAINST using DEATHS BREATH rare item upgrade until you get a desirable weapon. IE, use DB’s to find a decent legendary weapon first, before trying your missing slots.

Stats and Rerolls for early fresh 70 Monk

So here’s the problem – you NEED to have legendaries equipped since you’re using LoD, but rerolling them is EXPENSIVE early on. Death’s Breath and Forgotten Souls aren’t exactly abundant. So how do we solve this?

Focus on “removing the absolute trash stats”
try to reroll once to get “anything usable”

Remove useless statsRoll useful stats

Life Regen: practically useless, this stat is widely considered joke-tier.

Unused Skill%, Unused Elemental%: actually useless. Like actually useless!

Armor: Is actually terrible for Monk, take ALLRES instead.

Excessive Reduced Resource Cost: Crutchy, and mostly unnecessary after some time.

Excessive CDR: this stat is wildly variable from build to build. Not that hot here.

Attack Speed / Flat Damage: not for most early game builds, and some builds entirely.

VIT / ALLRes / Life%: amazing stats for your survivability.

Sockets: are super important on helm, chest, legs, and accessories.

Useful Skill%, Crit-related stuff: basic usable DPS stats. WoL% on boots > helm.

DEX: if somehow your equipment has the wrong primary stat.

Elemental%? Very likely you will use FIRE.
Fire WoL is safe even for endgame speedfarming builds!

If you must, take CDR, RCR or anything else that’s “ok”, even if I discouraged them in the previous tab. Just remove the TRASH STATS!

Again, I wont go into the nitty gritty detail about getting the perfect stats. What you should focus on is removing the absolute trash stats and getting something even remotely useful without spending too much resources/time/effort in doing so. Small investment for huge gains!

Items to look out for

Items are important for any build, and you’ll need to be aware of what you want, and how to best get them. Thankfully this build can pretty much work at 2 (or 3) items. Everything else is defense and utility!

Core items

Here are the main items you’re looking for.

Incense Torch of the Grand Temple (Daibo): Well, what else is there to say. Unbelievable DPS increase, while halving the spirit cost. This is insane, and should be your top priority.

Pinto’s Pride: Buffs up damage of WoL, and applied a slowing effect. Great for survival and triggering Bane of the Trapped if you want another DPS gem.

Tzo Krin’s Gaze: The legendary text is more useful than it seems. Turns WoL into a ranged nuke. However, don’t cube this – there’s a “hidden legendary effect” which always gives this item a huge +WoL%.

Kyoshiro’s Blade: Another weapon that buffs up WoL. Ideally, in the early game, I would rather cube this and wear the Incense Torch.

For LoD setups, wearing Kyoshiro’s Blade and Cubing Incense Torch allows you to have a utility fist in the offhand such as Crystal Fist, and gives +1 stack to LoD!

High value fillers

Bracer – Nemesis (Pinto): Getting nemesis to wear (or place on follower) is a welcome speed boost for rifts. Also, Pinto’s Pride is in this pile so there’s huge value to gamble for Bracers first using Blood Shards.

Chest – Cindercoat: Reduce spirit cost on fire WoL is huge, as well as having a auto-roll for +Fire%. Can’t go wrong with this.

Belts: Kyoshiro’s Soul for us to brainlessly keep up Sweeping Wind – Inner Storm. Some  decent defenses here like String of Ears, and Goldwrap = the latter is a huge win for Nephs.

Finding the items: Spending Death’s Breath, Blood Shards

While you may be lucky to find some of these items while just playing the game, there are other ways to “try”. Specifically, Death’s Breath and Blood Shards. Here’s how you should spend your currency…

LoD Random Item Slots

First of all, the RANDOM ITEM SLOTS ARE IMPORTANT. In case you forgot, LoD Gem desperately wants a legendary item in all slots.

There are many ways to go about this as mentioned earlier in this guide, but ideally you want to get as many slots initially filled with random drops, bounty drops, and crafted legendaries.

If you’re desperate, that’s when you start using Blood Shards and Death’s Breaths. DB’s can be used for a Legendary Amulet as they’re quite expensive from Blood Shards. Hellfire Amulet works too.

Spending Death's Breath

DB’s are best spent finding your Legendary WEAPONS via the “upgrade rare item” mechanic in the Kanai’s Cube. Here’s how you should invest DB’s:

> Daibo: Incense Torch (Not many useful fillers)
> Fist: Kyoshiro / Crystal Fist
> Upgrade random items to fill out LoD slots?
> Ring: Unity, Zodiac, etc (a longshot – but if you really need ’em…)

Once you find one or both of these, you can then use DB’s to fish for other non-weapon CORE ITEMS. If you’re desperate, you can use ’em to fill out your random slots for LoD.

Spending Blood Shards

Blood Shards are great for any non-weapon, non-ring, non-amulet piece of equipment. This is typically how you fish for these core items. Here’s a spending strategy / flowchart:

> Bracer: Pinto / Nemesis
> Helm: Tzo / Leoric
> Body: Cindercoat
> Belt: String of Ears / Goldwrap
> Fill out random slots for LoD if you haven’t
> Rings: Unity, Zodiac, etc. (Expensive, but if you’re desperate…)

You can also use a few shards to get the random legendaries you need for LoD. This isn’t a bad way to use them up. Although, bounties and crafting should prove more practical.

Weapons are an EXCEPTIONALLY POOR way to spend BS. The chance you get anything you want is so remotely low, while costing a lot. Avoid. Use DB’s for weapons.

Followers & Improving your farming speed

S23 introduced massive follower buffs including allowing your follower to have a “full build”, and have items which affect your active character even when equipped on follower. The most impactful in the early game are Sage set, and Nemesis Bracer.

  • Sage set doubles the amount of Deaths Breath dropped by enemies. While completely useless in combat, you can see how this will greatly speed up your farming.
  • Nemesis spawns an elite pack at every pylon / shrine you activate. Great for Nephs and GR’s for giving huge chunks of speed and progress towards rift completion.
  • Gloves of Worship (found in bounties) is also an emanate item for Followers that helps out quite a bit!

They kinda synergize. Nemesis spawns elites, and when killed are the main source of Death’s Breath.

Of course there’s a lot of other useful follower items. I won’t discuss that in detail here, but you can check out our Follower Guide & FAQ.

Fresh Level 70 Monk “Final” Build Preview

Welp, here’s what your fresh level 70 Monk build SHOULD look like after a few farming sessions. Use this as a reference on how everything should come together for you in season 23.

S23 Fresh L70 Monk Temp LoD WoL Build
Head Tzo Krin’s Gaze Skill Rune
Shoulder Any Epiphany Desert Shroud
Chest Cindercoat Wave of Light Explosive Light
Arms
Magefist, St. Archew (Any)
Dashing Strike Falling / Blinding
Legs Any Sweeping Wind Inner Storm
Boots Crudest Mystic Ally Air Ally
Belt
String, Goldwrap (Any)
Mantra of Salvation Agility
Bracer Pinto’s Pride Passives
Amulet (Any) Beacon of Ytar
Ring
Unity > Zodiac (Any)
Transcendence
Ring
Unity > Zodiac (Any)
Exalted Soul
Weapon
Kyoshiro’s Blade
Chant of Resonance
Offhand
Crystal Fist (Any)
Kanai’s Cube Legendary Gems
Incense Torch of the Grand Temple Legacy of Dreams
SEE NOTES (Lefebre, Leoric etc) Bane of the Powerful (or DEFENSE)
Unity > Zodiac > CoE (See Notes) DEFENSE (Moratorium / Esoteric)

Build notes:

Overall, this build is a great transition into any of the WoL speedfarming builds! It’s easy to refine keeping the LoD core – giving this “temporary” build an actual useful engame goal (LoD WoL speedfarming build).

Remember the early game notes: Good rerolls. Stack ALLRES. Socket Diamonds. Topaz on helm, Diamond if you can manage. Get good defensive stats, and a Life per Hit if possible.

Stacking defense! Double defensive gems early on is an option if you’re getting your butt kicked. Don’t be too proud! Passives like Resolve or Sixth Sense are also great if you can manage to fit them in.

Kanai Body piece? Honestly, there’s a bunch of OK choices here but nothing godly. Any defensive or utility / speed item is good… I don’t think you need any low-tier offensive item here (IE Magefist). Leorics Crown basic, but can really help.

Passives? Exalted Soul and Chant of Resonance are here to help you manage with Spirit. Keep or remove them depending on your overall builds spirit requirements. There are many great passives you can swap into.

Mantra choice? Honestly, Mantra of Salvation – Agility is never bad. Every defensive choice has its ups and downs. If you need a speedier choice, Mantra of Conviction – Annihilation.

Air Ally? Is really great once you get Crudest Boots. You can swap to another one (for stat bonuses) if you feel like you can live without the spirit (IMO, not worth it. I’d rather change up the passives).

When am I strong enough? Where to go from here?

That’s exactly the goal of this guide. To get enough power to “transition into any build you like”, or finish the Seasonal Journey with ease.

Farming speed is the most important expression of your builds power. Ideally, you can easily farm Torment 8+ with a follower decked out with at least the Sage setup. Also being able to safely and reliably clear a decent GR level (70+, minimum). 99% of D3 is farming, so you want to be fast at it!

I’m strong enough, where to go from here? Well, finishing the seasonal journey is a start. Farming quickly still empowers every decision you make from here. Wether you need to finish other set dungeons, transition to try another build or character…


Ultimately getting past that “fresh level 70” roadblock of power is your aim, and if you’re reading this far down that means you’re close to or at least got there!

Other useful links, speedfarming, ETC

!!! Not every link is updated for S23 yet!!!
although many are still very usable as a point of reference

So you skipped a whole chunk of the powering up phase with the free set. Now what? Like I always say, “Speedfarming first before pushing GR’s”. So, convert what you have NOW to be as speedfarmy as possible, first.

It’s highly likely you’ll transition into a PURE speedfarming build. If so, check out:
Monk Best Speedfarming Builds

Other Monk Guides:

Check out our D3 Guide Directory for other resources.

Support TeamBRG! Check out our Patreon!

26 COMMENTS

  1. hello, this is my first season and this helped greatly. It took me the three day weekend, but I made like paragon 50 and have the full set. I see the paragon recommendation in the comments. thanks again.

  2. Thanks for the guide, just started supporting you guys on Patreon since I’ve been using your guides for the last few seasons.

    Do you have paragon point recommendations? I only saw the small bit in the section on beating GR20.

    Thanks!

    • Oh wow! Thanks so much! Paragon Priorities are as follows for a basic fresh 70 monk using Uliana:

      MS > DEX > Spirit optional > VIT
      CDR > CHC > CHD > AS
      ALLRES > Life > Armor > Regen
      AD > LPF > RCR > GF

  3. Thanks a lot for the guide, I killed T4 Belial without many problems(and without doing the GR20 or good sockets). If anyone needs, the paragons and the skills were the same as the guide suggests, except for one swap, which is Cyclone Strike(with the Soothing Breeze run) for Sweeping Wind.
    Here you have the setup I used for it: http://imgur.com/a/op0bY

  4. Really awesome content on this website. Was wondering why fill a skill slot with a mantra, while wearing 4 pieces of inna’s? the set bonus already gives every mantra, epiphany desert shroud seems like a solid skill to use instead

  5. In the recent guide for season 9, you list one of the requirements for getting the 6 pc as having to kill Ghom on T1. The achievement requires T2.

    • Blood Shard section gives a good idea. Depth Diggers is best, and everything else is tiny in comparison. Magefist… I’ts difficult to have a useful body slot. Spirit Guards/Nemesis. Ring? RoRG > Rue Chambers… CoE. Weapon is Flying Dragon best > Crystal Fist? In-geom? Raiments strength is so narrow (Basic attacks) that options improving on it aren’t that vast.

      • I’m on GR40 now and cubed Crystal Fist is very good actually, cuz we’re dashing every 6 sec anyway and Raiment (you said it) are low-def set. Some hits couldn’t be covered with LoH even with Flying Dragon proc, so -50% dmg received is great. Just a thought.
        No doubts about Diggers and RoRG, bis.
        When I’m supposed to switch to Shenlongs? Non-ancient 2h legendary mace gives like 676k dps when Shenlongs 580k, but “in the field” I’d say the fists shows more stable results even with weaker emeralds in both.

        • Shenlongs gives an otherworldly DPS increase… youll unerstand once you try it. My only advice is switching once you have the “full build” including the Lefebres rorg diggers.

  6. I’m a total noob in monks but this guide has helped me greatly. Just to let you know guys, this work is appreciated, thank you very much!

  7. For your Inna’s 4 set clear GR20 build I think there is an error.

    You have the build with Crippling Wave: Mangle but then you say to try to stack Assimilation as much as you can. Which is it?

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