This is the Juggernaut, designed to be the heavily armored vanguard that is both unstoppable and relentless. If the enemy can not damage you, you beat them down, if the enemy does damage you then you beat them down faster. The five D's are what you need - damage, DR, defenses, deflection and damage. In the words of Patches O'Hoolahan - "A frontline melee who can't take a beating is as useful as a **** flavored lollypop"
Onto the build. (Used and tested on PotD and in White March)
Class - Monk
Race - Boreal Dwarf
Any will work, you are not at any max or min for stats so pick whatever you want. If one started with Brigandine armor I'd say take that.
Might - 18 You want damage to get through DR. Plus you will get speed from Two Weapon Style and Swift Strikes
Constitution - 15 You want high endurance and high health. Getting a very high Fortitude is also very good.
Dexterity - 10 More would be better but you run out of stat points. Can swap with Perception
Perception - 15 The accuracy helps, especially at the beginning. Interrupts are also useful as your fast attack speed will frequently interrupt enemies. Also gets you some dialogue options. Can swap with Dexterity.
Intellect - 10 Many of your attacks are AoE and this also extends your duration of Swift Strikes and other buffs. Again more would be better but you run out of points.
Resolve - 10 You are a frontline melee who will get hit so more deflection and more concentration is wanted but again you run out of points.
All of the stats are not at any racial/cultural minimum or maximum so you can freely choose whatever suits you. I'd like to get the benefit of maxing any of the stats but I do not like the minimum effects on a Monk. Every stat is useful. Your dialogue is limited to Might. Constitution and Perception. The good news is that any items you find that boost stats will be appreciated.
Level One - Swift Strikes - I like the speed boost and it lasts for ten seconds instead of one attack with Torment's Reach. Works with weapons as well as fists.
Level Two - Lightning Strikes - Adds 25% lightning lash to all your swift strikes. Works with weapons as well as fists.
Level Three - Torment's Reach - Spend the first wound on Swift Strikes and then blast out as many Torment's as you can. Cone AoE will get multiple targets and also has a minor debuff. The Monk AI does a good job of using these as fast as it can.
Level Four - Weapon Focus Peasant - +6 accuracy for you fists. Also works with spears and hatchets to give you alternate damage types or quarterstaff for a reach weapon. At low levels I find missing more problematic rather than slower attack speed.
Level Five - Turning Wheel - adds a +5% burn lash per wound. Currently bugged in that it does not work at the same time as your lightning strikes lash. The lash is applied against 25% of the targets DR so you want to get past five wounds to start to put out a big beat down, but even extra minimum damage adds up. Wounds only last for ten seconds or so, so you still want to spam out your Torment's but this will help with the damage output.
Level Six - Two Weapon Style - +20% attack speed that works with fists or weapons. Can swap with level four pick if desired.
Level Seven - Duality of Mortal Presence - +8 to either deflection or defenses. Time to start shoring up our vulnerabilities.
Level Eight - Vulnerable Attack - Set it and forget it. Even against only 5 DR it still kills faster then to not use it.
Level Nine - Crucible of Suffering - gets you +10 defenses for 20 seconds after a hostile effect expires. If the first stun gets you this will help against the next ten. This is where the relentless part starts to take shape.
Level Ten - Savage Attack - More damage is always popular.
Level Eleven - Flagellant's Path - A teleporting attack that damages and debuffs everyone between you and your target. Start in the frontline get a few wounds, activate Swift Strikes and then zoom across the battlefield and hit the mage. Run to the mage's farside and then zip back towards another target or back through the melee that is busy trying to chase you. With this you ARE the Juggernaut.
Level Twelve and Fourteen - Pick whatever you want. Superior Deflection if you need more deflection, Weapon and Shield Style if you find yourself swapping to a shield often, some of the defense boosting talents like Bull's Will or the specific defenses like Mental Fortress, even Interrupting Blows can have some utility.
Level Thirteen - The summon fire and ice twins. Just too cool not to take, add in spell use on items and you're even better.
Notable Omissions -
Armor - You want the heaviest you can get. Brigandine or plate. When I hire mercs at level two to fill out my team until I get the story companions I always pick the culture that starts with Brigandine, 10 DR in the beginning is a godsend. Sanguine Plate is very nice with the Frenzy when crit effect activates but the speed does not stack with Swift Strikes.
Shield - Having a shield and fist on one of your slots is very useful, especially in the beginning. Start taking too much damage and swap to the shield. The Larder Door with its bash even counts towards Torment's Reach's damage output as it is a full attack. You can even swap to your shield when you are paralyzed or prone.
Weapons - Primarily you want to use your fists. They scale with level, they are fast speed, they do more damage than other fast speed weapons. You will want to have another damage type available, for this I like Spears. There are a few good spears, no one else ever uses them. The custom designed one Cladhaliath works well. Throw a lash and a Spirit Slayer on it and you'll be happy.
You can go with weapons only. I'd suggest going two handed with Tide Fall and Greenstone Staff. I actually have Zahua set up like this and he does well.
Misc. Equipment - Anything that activates when you are critted is great, Shod in Faith is unbelievably good with this build. I missed them when I swapped for the unarmed damage boosting boots but Zahua is getting good use out of the boots now. Defense boosts are better than deflection.
Team Support - A Paladin with the DR boosting Aura, Zealous Endurance, Greater Lay on Hands, Herald shield and Reinforcing Exhortations is great.
Chanters can help with their fire lash song and frighten the enemy song. Dropping a big AoE paralyze is always useful as well.
Durance makes a great contribution as a sacrifice to the Blood Pool for +1 Constitution and +5% total endurance.
Edited by KDubya, 24 September 2015 - 11:22 PM.