I’m Marina Amrita, of Team Lastation, ex-Cactuar Scholar. I came to Adamantoise around 9 months ago, and with the change in server came the decision to change my main Job to my favourite in the game: Monk!
pestered asked nicely to share some of the more advanced Monk play tips, whilst also easing some newer players into the basics of the Job. Let’s get to the punch!
WHAT IS MONK?
We are the greed Job, the Black Mage’s brother in arms. Nobody else‘s DPS matters; you’re carrying your team on your broad, well toned shoulders, and they need to be reminded of this at every opportunity!
In essence, Monk is a very simple Job to play at a “good” level. The job flows so well that, even if you make mistakes in your rotation, you’ll still be putting out high DPS. At a high level there’s some more detail that goes into what you’re doing, and that’s what I hope to explain with this guide.
Your bread and butter tools to punch, kick and scare your main tank into hitting Power Slash more often.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100; 150 when executed from a target’s flank. Form bonus: Reduces target’s blunt resistance and INT by 10%. Duration: 15s. Keep this up at all times.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100; 140 when executed from a target’s flank. Also increases damage by 10% for 15s. Keep this up at all times. Same duration as Dragon Kick, so just refresh them one after another and you’re good to go.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 140; 180 when executed from a target’s flank. Grants Greased Lightning (GL).
Delivers an attack with a potency of 150. Critical damage if dealt from a target’s rear.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 150; 190 when executed from a target’s rear.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 30; 70 when executed from a target’s rear. Additional Effect: Damage over time – 50 potency for 21 seconds. Also grants Greased Lightning.
TOUCH OF DEATH
Delivers an attack with a potency of 20. Additional Effect: Damage over time – 25 potency for 30 seconds.
ARM OF THE DESTROYER
Delivers an attack with a potency of 50 to all nearby targets. Opo-opo Form Bonus: Silence. Duration: 1 second.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 130 to all enemies in a cone before you. Grants Greased Lightning.
FRACTURE [MRD LVL6]
Delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Additional Effect: Damage over time – 20 potency for 18 seconds.
(to keep this simple we’re only going to talk about DPS-centric abilities)
These, with the exception of Meditation, are your off-GCD abilities. You use them between your weaponskills.
STEEL PEAK SHOULDER TACKLE HOWLING FIST
Allows execution of weaponskills that require a certain form, without being in that form. Duration: 10 seconds. Use this in your opener to build GL3 right away, then use as necessary throughout the fight if boss mechanics force you to drop your stacks. Once you exit Perfect Balance you’ll be left without a form, so start with Bootshine again.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 150. Additional Effect: Stun. Duration: 4 seconds. Use on cooldown unless you’re on stun duty.
Rushes target and delivers an attack with a potency of 100. Additional Effect: Stun. Duration: 2 seconds. This is your gap closer, and also one of the coolest abilities in the game. Use this to get back into melee range fast, or use on CD for extra dps if not needed as a gap-closer.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 210 to all enemies in a straight line before you. Great for extra dps, especially on multiple targets.
Delivers an attack with a potency of 220 to all nearby enemies. Recast: 30s.
MEDITATION, THE FORBIDDEN CHAKRA & PURIFICATION
Meditation opens a chakra (instant cast, 1.20s recast), and once 5 chakras are open you can spend them on one of two abilities: The Forbidden Chakra – delivers an attack with a potency of 320, or Purification – restores 300 TP. Never meditate if you can still hit the boss unless you’re TP starved or at 4 stacks already.
Increases critical hit rate by 30%. Duration: 15s. Syncs up nicely with Elixir Field and Howling Fist, don’t pop this before Bootshine.
BLOOD FOR BLOOD [LNC LVL 34]
Increases damage dealt by 10% and damage suffered by 25%. Duration: 20s. Essential cross- class skill for boosting your DPS, but be careful using it when big AoE damage is happening.
MERCY STROKE [MRD LVL26]
Delivers an attack with a potency of 200. Can only be executed when target’s HP is below 20%.
( ) = off-GCD | PRE-PULL : Fists of Fire: On > Meditate x5 + Form Shift x3
(Shoulder Tackle) > Demolish > (Perfect Balance) > Snap Punch > (Blood for Blood) > Snap Punch > (Internal Release) > Dragon Kick > (Potion of Strength) >Twin Snakes > (Elixir Field) >Snap Punch > (Howling Fist) >Touch of Death > (Steel Peak) > Bootshine > (The Forbidden Chakra) >True Strike > Demolish > Dragon Kick > Twin Snakes > Fracture > Snap Punch
From here, it‘s just keeping Demolish/ToD rolling, keeping Dragon Kick and Twin Snakes up, and using Bootshine, True Strike and Snap Punch as filler until you need to reapply the aforementioned.
Never let your GCD sit still; always be punching. And never ever use two off-GCDs in one GCD!
HOW TO POSITIONALS
Dragon Kick, Twin Snakes and Snap Punch are “flank” skills: you use them on the side of the enemy. Bootshine, True Strike and Demolish are “rear” skills: you use them behind the enemy.
What if you can’t access the flank and/or rear? You definitely don’t delay your GCD. Do not stop attacking!
You have 2 choices: hit your skills out of position, or use non-positional fillers if the timers work out. Fracture and Touch of Death are both good for this. Demolish also isn’t hit too hard by being used out of position, so don’t worry too much about it. Remember that the positional “check” for a weaponskill is done when you start the skill, you’re completely free to move out of position once you’ve locked it in.
GREASED LIGHTNING TIPS
Form Shift is your best friend. Shift to Coeurl almost every time you can’t hit the boss and be ready to refresh GL.
Snap Punch is the worst Coeurl skill for holding GL, as it applies it to yourself instantly. Not as useful as it sounds because this effectively shortens the timer by ~2 seconds.
Demolish is fantastic because you are granted GL at the end of the animation (and you‘re soft-locked into keeping it even if GL ticks down to 0 during the animation); extremely useful for when you need to break off the boss and there‘s a risk of GL loss (timegate and inception are perfect examples of this).
Rockbreaker? On single target? It‘s more likely than you think: if there‘s a case where you can‘t quite get into melee range to land a Snap/Demo and you absolutely need to refresh GL, Rockbreaker has the range to do so a lot of the time.
SHOULD YOU USE FRACTURE?
Yes. There‘s a guaranteed fracture in the opener, after that you need to eyeball-math the correct times to use it. Use Fracture to get an extra tick out of Demolish. Never use Fracture in the same Dragon Kick/Twin Snakes timer that you use a Touch of Death in unless you have stupid high Skill Speed or attack speed buffs.
How to use One-Ilm Punch effectively and be an asset to your team. On your hotbar, right click it, and hit “Remove.”
WHEN TO MEDITATE?
Any time you can‘t hit what you should be hitting. I also use it 5x at the start of A12S add phase because the mobs are split up for a few seconds and single target damage is worthless outside of fflogs padding. Getting a TFC for one of the Wings is more valuable to your team.
PURIFICATION OR TFC?
TFC almost every time. The only fight you should be having TP issues in this tier is A9S, in which case, depending on the rest of the DPS, you may want to purify to keep yourself going.
Purification really shines in dungeons, where excessive AOTD and Rockbreaker will sap you dry, and TFC is worthless in AOE compared to the 300 TP.
THE FORBIDDEN CHAKRA TIP
Don‘t use it if you don‘t have damage cooldowns up, you don‘t need to blow it like your other off-GCD‘s. Save it until you can pack a wallop with it, UNLESS you‘re about to get another chance at meditating 5 times soon.
ARM OF THE DESTROYER? WHO EVEN USES THAT LOL?
You do, hit that shit on 5+ targets. What are you, bad? It‘s especially nice in Gubal because of the casting mobs.
ROCKBREAKER IS GOOD RIGHT?
Yes! Use it on 2 mobs once you have Demolish on both. It’s not really worth on 3, however, because maintaining Demolish on all 3 is technically better, unless the dots aren’t going to have the time to tick out; superior on 4+.
It‘s shit, fam. Jk! It‘s okay in this tier. A11S has a lot of opportunities for it with Cruise Chaser’s invulns. Just hit that shit whenever a boss is going to piss off and you know you can‘t keep your love juice going.
WD (15.459) > STR (1.0) > CRIT (0.297) > DET (0.212)~SS (0.173)
Accuracy – 700
Det is technically better than SS, but if you can get enough SS from a single materia use to push yourself up 0.01 on your GCD it‘s worth doing.
CREATOR SAVAGE SPECIFIC TIPS
In A9S, once the Faust spawns, the boss will gain a huge vuln down buff. If you‘re not killing the Faust on the second platform, then use this time to ignore what I said about keeping the GCD rolling and Meditate x5. Keep GL up with Snap; keep DK and Twin up ready for the vuln down buff to drop.
In A10S, there‘s a lot of Meditating you can do. Every time you‘re forced away from the boss you can get 1 or 2 stacks; when you run away from the steamroller you can get 2 or 3. Also in A10S, think twice about Shoulder Tackling on cooldown. There is a lot of chasing and long distance target swapping to do, and a well saved tackle can easily save you 2 GCD‘s worth of running.
A11S is a really fun fight for MNK. You can hit Cruise Chaser during his invulnerability phase to maintain Greased Lightning, and to apply DK and Twin Snakes. With good timing, it‘s possible to keep GL3 going into a limit cut and leave the phase with GL3, DK & Twin already up. You‘ll sca-
re your team, but it‘s worth it.
A12S is another fun fight. Use AOTD+Rockbreaker on Lanners, Shoulder Tackle between the Wings to apply Dragon Kick before the next Almost Holy. Save BFB for the General‘s Time;it will sync back up nicely for when Prime returns for your next opener.
Save Shoulder Tackle in A12S for timestops (get back in fast, apply DK or Demo, dodge mechanics) and for rushing your timegate add. Don’t bother saving cooldowns (except Tackle) for your timegate either.
They’ll come back up sometime during timegate, so you’ll still clear it in time even if you’re a little slower on your add.
While your tank is running every mob in a section into a neat little easily destroyable group, Form Shift while running and hit whatever you can with Demolish and Twin Snakes! Be ready for when you stop, and you can melt them down much faster. Shoulder Tackle and Steel Peak are nice here to stop mobs for you.
WHAT THE HELL IS A BEST IN SLOT?
Best in Slot is an ideal build. Money‘s no object to you if you can use this true BiS.
Alexandrian Metal Knuckles + 2 Det V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Headband + 2 Crit V
Alexandrian Jacket of Striking + 2 Accuracy V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Gloves + 2 Crit V
Alexandrian Belt of Striking + Accuracy V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Hose + 2 Crit V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Boots + 2 Det V
Alexandrian Neckband of Slaying + Crit V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Earring + Crit V
Alexandrian Bracelets of Slaying + Accuracy V
Augmented Shire Pankratiast’s Ring + Crit V
Alexandrian Ring of Slaying + Det V
Food: Priestly Omelette HQ
Can’t afford the food? Use Baked Pipira Pira instead and add another Accuracy meld in place of a Det meld! Alternatively you could add 2 Accuracy melds and use the pricier Steamed Staff. I don’t use this exact build. I opted for the Augmented Shire Belt for the SS, and replaced all Det melds with SS melds, simply because I prefer the feel of moderately high skill speed over the marginal potency gain of determination.
That about wraps it up I think, hopefully you aspiring Monks out there took something positive from my ramblings! This was a weird guide to write, because Monk is a Job I feel doesn‘t really need a traditional guide, so instead I opted to share a collection of tips and tricks that I‘ve picked up in my time playing. I‘m not a perfect Monk and I won‘t ever claim to be, but I do believe I‘m at least good enough to share my knowledge of the Job in a way that won‘t be detrimental to anyone reading.
I hope to see more quality Monks on FFLogs soon!
Thanks for reading.
<3 Praise Lady Black Heart <3