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CAUTION!
This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide.
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.


Foreword

Still starting it, lots of work still to do. I welcome input, just put it in the discussion part and i will try to work it in. I will mainly talk about the monk job as it progresses through the levels and what a lvl75 monk can do. I have no experience so far with endgame as monk so far, so i will leave this to others for now.


I am a strong believer that everyone should do their best at a given job, there are no such things as "just my subjob" or stuff like that. If you do not try your best, you making life harder for all in your party or within the same event.

Monks are not lazy, monks farm, monks work hard for their gear and their power to deal damage. Do not try to cheap out of it, get the good stuff, it is worth every fist you will swing in party after that.

The Subjob issue

Well, the question of the subjob is always heatedy discussed. When you are looking at monks in levels 70+, ask around a bit and try some stuff out, it all breaks down to some easy choices.

Warrior
Your main subjob, you can back up provoke, have added attack, double attack, Berserk, and so on. It is simply the most powerful subjob for a monk. That can also be a problem in terms of hate controll, since your damage over time output is so high, that a tank might have some difficulties keeping the hate of you. If you are to turn the mob for SaTa, this is always your choice.
Thief
This subjob should be avoided at all costs prior to level 60. That said, you can be the one responsible for hate control in the party after level 60. SaTa with Howling Fist or later with Dragon Kick works nicely, your overall damage output is reduced a little though. Do not let yourself be fooled by the high damage numbers of your weaponskill together with Sneak Attack and Trick Attack (SaTa) - your single punches do less, and that is noticable, and you do not double attack any more. Still, if hate control is needed, a good choice.
Ninja
This subjob should be avoided prior to level 74, at level 74 it is a good option though. You can use Utsusemi: Ni now, and so keep shadows up most the time. Very often used for TP-burn parties.
Samurai
It is a good subjob for some HNM situations due to Meditate, where you can not melee to gain TP. Otherwise pretty useless for a monk.
White Mage
Needed Subjob for HNM situations and good for soloing
Red Mage
Might be useful for solo, but... you have no -na spells, which makes it lacking in comparison to the white mage.
Summoner
What would you do with this? I have no idea why one would chose this subjob except to show of avatars.
Dark Knight
You will find people recomending this for fast kills on special enemies like Dynamis lord by using Hundred Fists with Souleater. This will kill you fast, if you do not have at least one, better more, healers watching over you. You get the souleater damage and the damage from the hate you draw. This means you are going down really fast. Since this is the only thinkable usage for a /DRK, it sums up to beeing not even remotely useful to a monk.
Paladin
Since the Paladin got autorefresh, this can be a good subjob for solo / farming situations. You gain healing capabilitis, as well as some buffs, and your mp refill by itself. It lacks the treasure hunter from /thf, so i am not sure if the reduced downtime is worth it.
Dragoon
There is some argument about the usefullnes of this subjob at early levels. It mainly adds accuracy and at level 10 DRG Attack Bonus, and the jumps. It lacks the advantages of the ability to provoke, so you can not back up tank any more. i recomend staying away from it.


Black Mage
Level it to 17, so that you can go to a moogle, change subjob (at level 34+ and if you can get 100 mp by just subbing it) or just your job (prior lvl 34), and go warp yourself to your homepoint in another city. Saves you a lot of time, and thats about all of the usefullness of BLM sub for a monk.
Ranger
You are seeking a specific NPC or farming a specific mob? Widescan is very useful there. Unlock it to be able to sub RNG for situations like these, no further use for a monk.
Bard
Ehm... yes, well... no!
Corsair
There is nothing here, move on
Beastmaster
You can now charm mobs, but to what use? I would not know.
Puppetmaster
Plain and simple: no.
Blue Mage
/em laughs

How to play

The monks role in a party is to deal damage. Since the armor of the monk is not even decent, the monk has to watch out not to gain too much hate, called "walking the line of hate". Do not be mislead by the enormous amount of hitpoints a monk has - if a monk has hate he takes a lot of damage very fast, and is almost impossible to keep cured - one dead monk is more often than not the result. If needed turn away from the monster, to not anger it more.

A monk is usually not a puller for the party, since he has vitually no ranged attacks. With Chi-Blast and pebbles a monk can pull if absolutely necessary, but it should rather be left to another job.

Often the monk will be asked to be the so called "first provoke", which means when the monster comes into the camp the monk provokes first. The tank and the thief will line up behind the monster, and the thief applies a combination of sneak attack and trick attack, transfering the hate of this critical attack to the tank. This already should turn the monster towards the tank, but this is also the point of time where the tank uses provoke, to ensure the monsters hate is on him. The monk should not be moving around during this time, just keep attacking. If you move around the setup will not work, and then you are in for some trouble.

So much for the general stuff, now something more specific:

Your role in the Game by level

When passing through the levels, your role and your options change. Your role will always be in the front line of the fights, but style will differ, and so will your strength and your weakness.

1-10

The time to play solo. Your subjob, if you already have the option, can be Warrior or Dragoon or Thief, it does not really matter. Just go out there, and tear stuff up. Eating some meat food helps a lot to speed things up, a cheap and good option is Meat Jerky. If you are rich take some regen drinks with you, makes downtime even less. Starting zones and the areas around the 3 crags, Holla - Dem - Mea, will be your home.

11-20

It is time to move on to your first party. The first levels all frontline fighters have similiar gear, it starts to change with the attribute rings on lvl 14. Still the armor a monk has these levels is pretty weak, unless you take gear for defense and tanking with you. A monk can tank in Valkurm Dunes, which is the traditional first testing ground for exp in a party. Set your homepoint in Selbina or at the Outpost, the spell raise is lvl 25, so you have to be lucky to get one in the dunes. Just homepoint and get back to fighting as fast as possible. You subjob should be Warrior in these levels, because you will be back up tanking a lot - which means that in case the tank goes down in HP too fast you have to Provoke the monster off him. If the tank dies, more often than not all die. Let him do his job, but do not let him die. The role of puller is not yours, if someone asks.

21-25

Usually Parties head out to Qufim Island for exp now - and after the first worms they move to crabs and more crabs, and maybe some pugs. Crabs have high defense, not the best enemy for a monk. You will notice that. Do not forget your attack food, you do not want to hit for zero. You are still the back up tank here, but normally your tank should be able to handle himself quite ok by now.

25-31

The Jungles in the Elshimo Lowlands and Elshimo Uplands will be your battleground probably. Your ability to tank lessens, mostly now you only do it for emergencies. If your gear is good, this is the point where you need to have learned to walk the line of hate, meaning to deal damage in a way so that you do not draw hate of the tank. At level 30 a thief will have Trick Attack, and most likely it will be your job to turn the mob away from the tank so that the hate of the SaTa attack can be planted on the tank again. Stand opposite of the tank, behind the mob, to do this. The other version is, that you tank the first moments of the fight, untill the thief did the SaTa on the tank. Do not move around, provoke the incoming mob and stand still, so that the tank and the thief can line up.

32-60

Once you got started in these levels, nothing much changes. You are no longer a tank, you can be partner for SaTa but your ability to tank is not really worth mentioning. You are dealing damage, and doing your skillchains. Do not underestimate weaponskills like Backhand Blow, if you are asked to use them for a skillchain just go for it. Damage is ok, and your main damage is coming over time by each single punch. Eat meat if you have no accuracy problems, change to sushi if the mobs evade you too much for your taste. If you have no other means of making gil (like a craft or a higher job), you will spend a lot of your time farming during these levels, especially 32-40 there is a lot of expensive gear.

60-73

The levels where party leaders actually start to look for monks. You gain the weapon skill Howling Fist, it does decent damage and lets you open a distortion skillchain. Your ability to turn the monster reliably makes you the friend of all thiefs these levels. At least for 60 to 65. Then your options are even bigger with Dragon Kick which lets you participate in light skillchains. Have a thief subjob ready to be able to close a light skillchain with SaTa + Dragonkick. You have to walk the line of hate in these levels, if you go all out most tanks will not be able to hold hate. So your role in these levels now includes hate control if you sub THF. Otherwise, go on as usual.

74-75

The final levels. Now is the time for all that endgame content like dynamis, limbus and HNM. I would not recomend to you starting earlier with it, since these last steps really make a difference. On HNMs you are... well, not very useful. You will either be in a party taking care of adds, or you will be boosting a long time, be invited into the alliance, do your Chi Blast, and dropped out of alliance again. Otherwise, you still will be beating up stuff, and you are as good as never before at it. In exp-parties you will have to sub NIN most of the time. I can not add much more at this point.

Equipment

The gear listed in for the seperate slots is party and damage dealing gear only. If you really need Chi-blast gear, which means *MND whereever you can get it, there might be a section for it later. Soloing gear might include other setups too, but will not be listed here. I made the equipment part from my own experiences and what i am getting on input from other monks. Feel free to add stuff i missed. --Gisselle 10:26, 4 August 2006 (EDT)

Otherwise there is another guide to the monk gear, Monk: Guide to Weapons and Armor

Weapon

First off, one general notion on hand-to-hand weapons. Basically you have the choice on a high damage, high delay weapon or a low damage, low delay weapon. Now - high delay is relative, a high delay weapon will have around 100 delay, a low delay weapon close to 0. But - the final delay of the attack is calculated by adding base delay and weapon delay. At the beginning a monk has a 400 base delay on his attacks with hand-to-hand. So in the start the difference would be 500 delay versus 400 delay - still a big difference, but not that awesome than 100 to 0 any more. In addition to that it should be noted, that a monk can easily encounter the problem of fighting high defense enemies, which leads to hits for zero damage when you use a low damage weapon. So generally low delay, low damage weapons should be avoided at all costs. They might be cheap, but even 1 gil is too expensive for them.

  • 01 Cesti get the +1 version if you can, if not no worries, you'll not use them long
  • 05 Bronze Knuckles same comment as on Cesti
  • 10 Legionnaire's Knuckles skip the lvl 9 ones, and go straight for these, keep them untill 15
  • 15 Republic Knuckles these will seem quite expensive at the time you have to get them, but they are worth it. Get them, they last you a long time.
  • 32 Impact Knuckles skip all in between, your Republics are just fine. Impacts are an upgade you should not miss though.
  • 38 Mythril Knuckles go for the +1 version if you can get hold of it
  • 39 Vampiric Claws are not for party usage, but they can be pretty useful for farming. They are the only Hand-to-hand weapon with HP drain. Not the easiest to obtain though, since they are rare/ex and drop from Tres Duendes in Phomiuna Aqueducts, which is a lvl 40 cap area. As far as i know you need more than one party to kill that NM.
  • 48 Patas again, +1 is nicer, but still a good damage upgrade
  • 50 Cross Counters well, well, well - the famous cross counters. Undoubtedly one of the best monk weapons in the Game, but very expensive. At the time of writing they go on Ramuh for 5 million gil, i have seen them even higher. As one of the best weapons in the game they are kind of worth it, but there are no worries if you do not get them. I would say, if you are rich get them, otherwise just leave them on the side, you are not gimped without them, especially because...
  • 50 Tactician Magician's Hooks are a suitable upgrade on lvl 50.
  • 52 Tactician Magician's Hooks +1 and +2 versions are lvl 52, the +2 version is not cheap - but a lasting upgrade, which is worth it.
  • 58 Spartan Cesti very good weapon, there is a discussion if you should get these or stick to the TM-Hooks+2, so i say try it out yourself and get them if you did not get the TM-Hooks +2.
  • 69 Avengers a rare/ex drop from the Bomb Queen - good weapon but not worth the trouble in my opinion
  • 73 Destroyers a rare/ex weapon from KSNM30 - get them, they are only surpassed by a fully upgraded relic weapon. There is no excuse for not having them

Ammunition

Ammunition - a constant pain to a monk - he can use almost none of it. All you can do is equip something which helps you on your hand-to-hand attacks. The only actual throwing weapons are the pebble and the astralagos - with pebbles stacking only to 12 and such not very usable, and astralagos almost never beeing available since it is too expensive in the crafting process.

  • 01 Happy Egg - if you have one use it untill Tiphia Sting
  • 01 Pebble - pulling weapon...
  • 50 Optical Needle - not a big help, get it if you have some gil to throw out
  • 50 Astragalos - pulling weapon, almost never available
  • 58 Tiphia Sting - good choice, stick with it
  • 60 Bibiki Seashell - quested - good for VIT dependend weaponskills
  • 70 Fenrir's Stone - Reward from defeating Fenrir valuable at nighttime only if you need to sub [Ninja] and tank. If you are helping on Fenrir and have nothing better to get go for it. Otherwise...

Head

Well, take something with defense or whatever you like at the start. If you can get

  • 24 Emperor Hairpin / Empress Hairpin but not really needed
  • 30 Mercenary Captain's Headgear is a good option
  • 41 Voyager Sallet is a rare/ex drop, and not easy to come by, do not worry if you can not get it
  • 50 Crow Beret or its HQ is very useful - -7 enemity make it much easier for the tank, especially since you start dealing more damage than many tanks can handle with your new lvl 50 weapons.
  • 56 Temple Crown your AF headpiece... well, macro a gearchange for Focus, do not use it otherwise
  • 61 Carapace Helm interesting piece of gear, latent triggers when you are in yellow hitpoints. If that would work somewhat consistently, it would be great, but in my opinion not worth getting.
  • 70 Optical Hat finally something where you can say its really good. Get it, keep it. It is rare/ex and a pain to get, but you plain have to.
  • 72 Pahluwan Qalansuwa comes from Assault, nice accuracy / attack mix
  • 73 Shura Zunari Kabuto a piece of so called "Gods gear", it is created from a Cursed Kabuto and a Dryadic Abjuration: Head, the later one is a rare/ex drop from Seiryu. Good piece of endgame gear.
  • 75 Genbu's Kabuto another piece of "Gods gear", drop from Genbu, rare/ex - good because you have weaponskills which depend on your VIT
  • 75 Melee Crown so called AF2 or dynamis artifact armor, a good piece of gear, drops in Dynamis - Xarcabard, rare/ex
  • 75 Walahra Turban only good for the haste on it, rare/ex

Neck

  • 7 Wing Pendant +1 AGI, better than nothing
  • 21 Spike Necklace +3 STR, +3 DEX - learn to like it, you will probably be using it very long.
  • 33 Peacock Charm / Peacock Amulet +10 accuracy is the relevant stat here, but it is very expensive, and debateable if the STR on the Spike Necklace from lvl 21 is not better. Your choice if you are rich.
  • 50 Storm Gorget +6 attack and +2 DEX, definitely an option
  • 59 Spectacles were good once, but since you can get ....
  • 60 Chivalrous Chain +3 STR, Store TP +1, Accuracy +5 - get it, you'll probably never use something else, at least i see nothing worth it.
  • 75 Faith Torque extremely hard to obtain, you need to be on CoP 8-2 or higher to get to the monster that drops it, and it is rare/ex, unbeatable in quality though.

Ear

Basically the ear slot is easy - always go with the best +attack / -evasion earring you can get at your level, and you should be pretty much set. Only in the end a monk strays from that path. If no name for an high quality (HQ) earring is given, you can safely assume it is just (name) +1.

Body

  • 01 Bronze Harness your first piece for some defense...
  • 08 Kenpogi more defense, +1 even has a point of Dex
  • 10 Legionnaire's Harness for more defense and fire resistance, which is good for Valkurum Dunes Parties
  • 13 Power Gi +1 str, nice - Note i would stick with this up to 21
  • 15 Republic Harness if you upgrade from Power Gi, do it right. This is the HQ
  • 16 Bone Harness defense, careful with the HQ, it has - fire resistance
  • 21 Beetle Harness defense, a good upgrade, go for it, +1 is even better, the - ice resistance does not matter
  • 25 Federation Gi this is the HQ, your armor upgrade for the jungles.
  • 30 Mercenary Captain's Doublet some dex, some agi, some defense
  • 40 Jujitsu Gi +4 accuracy, buy it, camp it, whatever. It is expensive though, and it will hurt your finances unless you are rich. It is 500k on Ramuh at the time of writing.
  • 50 Aikido Gi nice piece of gear for capped stuff. Comes for the Brygid quests. +4 Vit, +2 Agi
  • 50 Raven Jupon good if you have hate problems, which you will have with a NIN tank and no SaTa for example
  • 57 Scorpion Harness +10 accuracy and +10 eva - you need to get it, even though it hurts your gil balance.
  • 58 Temple Cyclas your AF body piece. Use it as gear change in your chakra macro, leave it otherwise.
  • 67 Arakan Samue Agi+4, Att+5, Eva+10, Subtle Blow +3 - new ToAU gear, even monk only, ISNM drop
  • 72 Pahluwan Khazagand gear from Assault, i do not have it myself yet, so i can not really comment on it. Stats look good though.
  • 73 Shura Togi gear coming from a Dryadic Abjuration: Body and a Cursed Togi. The Abjuration drops from Kirin only. Acc+10 Att+20 are pretty awesome, so it is worth the effort.
  • 73 Melee Cyclas AF2 from Dynamis, it has its uses.
  • 75 Kirin's Osode probably the best piece of gear you can wear as monk as body piece. +10 all stats is hard to beat. Kirin drop again, can be bought, going for around 40 million though.

Hands

Note: You can also use several +STR braceletts which are not listed here, benefits are good especially for weaponskills. Especially in the endgame this is a good option, otherwise stick with the level 32 item.

Rings

Basically, 2 things should / can be covered with rings: accuracy and strength. Depending on the situation a monk should adjust his gear. When you hit for like 95% of the time, you can try and go for more damage and less accuracy, equiping strength gear instead of accuracy gear. Mostly you will need accuracy though, untill end game parties. Ah, and by the way, whats good on one finger is better on two, just to mention it.

  • 01 use the ring of your home town.
  • 14 Courage Ring +2 strength, and fire resistance - do not be cheap and use the +1 version, you'll fight lots of crabs and they have high defense. You do not want to hit for zero damage.
  • 30 Rajas Ring The so called "CoP-Ring" - you can pick this ring as one of 3 choices after finishing the CoP storyline - so forget the notion that you can have that ring on lvl 30 if monk is your first job.
  • 34 Venerer Ring +3 accuracy
  • 36 Jaeger Ring rare/ex, +4 accuracy
  • 36 Puissance Ring your +3 strength ring, which you really should get
  • 40 Sniper's Ring +5 accuracy - do not ask "Do i really need them?" - just get them. For the rich ones reading this: there is a +1 version of this. - or get some
  • 40 Woodsman Ring which does not make a difference in terms of price in gil

Back

It takes a long time untill anything really worth it comes for the back slot for monk. You'll see why when you look at the gear.

  • 4 Rabbit Mantle some defense, well ...
  • 12 Traveler's Mantle +3 evasion - useful, take it
  • 18 Dhalmel Mantle again some defense....
  • 24 Nomad's Mantle 1 AGI and 3 eva, 2 AGI on the HQ, at least somewhat useful
  • 36 Ram Mantle defense...
  • 37 Cavalier's Mantle gives 2 VIT, some def...
  • 47 Jaguar Mantle finally something useful, it gives +3 attack, at least a start. Get it.
  • 55 Royal Army Mantle 2 STR and 2 MND, better than Jaguar so get it
  • 60 Behemoth Mantle it is a good piece of equip, but since the synthesis to make it requires behemoth leather, its very expensive
  • 61 Amemet Mantle THE damage dealer back piece, finally. get it, and get the HQ if you can in any way afford it, it will not get much better than this
  • 71 Forager's Mantle slightly better than the Amnemet Mantle +1, one more STR. Expensive usually, so.... your choice.

Belt

  • 1 White Belt +1 STR - in my opinion stick to it to lvl 18
  • 1 Blood Stone +5 hp
  • 1 Pellet Belt dispenses pellets, for pulling, might be an option, personally i would not recomend it. I had one, i tossed it after not using it for ages.
  • 15 Warrior's Belt some VIT, some HP
  • 18 Purple Belt +3 STR and 4% haste, beeing monk has advantages. It can be quested, but not at lvl 18. buy it (but do the quest later). The quest involves a drop from the NM ram in Konstat Highlands and of the NM ram in La Theine Plateau
  • 40 Brown Belt reward form the follow up quest of the purple belt, and even better than the purple belt. buy it. (but do the quest later). The quest involves a drop from Deadly Dodo, Morbolger and Nue
  • 70 Black Belt reward from the follow up quest of brown belt. A monks dream. You can not buy it. Its very hard to get, since you need drops from Fafnir, Adamantoise and Behemoth. Dream of it and get it some day.

Legs

Legs - yes a monk shows his or her legs most of the career

  • 1 Bronze Subligar defense
  • 8 Sitabaki defense
  • 11 Brass Subligar defense, and better get used to that subligar look
  • 16 Bone Subligar defense, and more subligar look... (if you are elvaan you start to regret playing monk about now ;-) )
  • 18 Cotton Sitabaki defende, and no subligars - but do not rejoice to much ...
  • 23 Battle Slops an item rumored to exist.... never seen it, never on the auction house, forget it
  • 25 Republic Subligar +5 attack, +1 VIT - there is nothing better than these for a long long time - i hope you are already used to that subligar look, because...
  • 53 Master's Sitabaki are the first other option, and only an option in the HQ version
  • 60 Temple Hose is your artifact armor, do not use it, it is not worth it
  • 72 Melee Hose your dynamis artifact armor for the legs, and rejoice, this is the point where you are finally no longer needed to wear subligar - if you can get this piece, which is not that easy...
  • 72 Pahluwan Seraweels rare/ex from Assault
  • 73 Shura Haidate is "Gods Gear" which comes from a Cursed Haidate and a Dryadic Abjuration: Legs, later one drops from Byakko
  • 75 Bahamut's Hose umm... yes, well ... rare/ex - from Bahamut fight AFTER you finished the Chains of Promathia missions
  • 75 Byakko's Haidate +15 DEX and +5% Haste is great, as the name says a rare/ex drop from Byakko and you'll like to leave it to a Thief probably, since Dex is not a prime stat for you. If your LS likes to give you some, you are lucky, but its still not one of the real good pieces for you.

So you see, since the 70+ leg gear pieces are not exactly trivial to get, you are stuck with subligar for a real long time. Show your legs, monk, and i hope for you that you did not pick Elvaan as race. ;-)

Feet

There are heated discussions about the feet slot for monk. Basically there are 2 builds, one for haste, and one for kick attacks. Some people like the haste more, some the kick attacks. The build i will do here is the kick attacks build - if you want a haste build go for whatever you can use and has the moste haste. Or if you know how that build goes add it here. Whatever, here we go.

  • 1 Bronze Leggings some defense
  • 8 Kyahan a bit more defense
  • 11 Brass Leggings guess.... - right, some defense again
  • 13 Light Soleas nice, +3 eva and some defense
  • 20 Royal Footman's Clogs +1 Agi
  • 21 Beetle Leggings yay, beetle gear - HQ has +1 eva, so try to get that
  • 25 Federation Kyahan now here we go, our first good feet gear. Get it, do not waste your and your parties time with anything less
  • 51 Kung Fu Shoes you'll think: "Why these, they do not have any bonus?" but here it goes: They have a hidden stat, they enhance your kick attacks, the passive ability you got at lvl 50. More / harder kicks - sounds good.
  • 52 Temple Gaiters AF feet, macro them for Dodge but leave them aside otherwise
  • 66 Wulong Shoes the upgraded version of the Kung Fu Shoes - nice but not a must
  • 70 Dune Boots rare/ex, but the best you can get to enhance your kick attacks on your feet slot. The NM dropping it is a cactuar, spamming 1000 Needles, so you'll need some help, full party 75s or more if lvls are lower. Once you got them they are all you'll ever need.
  • 71 Melee Gaiters AF2 from dynamis - oh well... use it for solo? put it on your mannequin?
  • 72 Rasetsu Sune-Ate well, they are ok - if you do not go for the kick attack stuff endgame, these are a good choice - and if kick attack boots are the best is debatable endgame...
  • 72 Pahluwan Crackows Assault gear... not so sure about it
  • 73 Shura Sune-Ate the Dryadic Abjuration: Feet gear. Not worth the effort.

Chi Blast Gear

The real power of Chi Blast unfolds in endgame situations, where you boost to full power and blast for more than 1000 points of damage. Therefore i will only list endgame gear for this. If you want to go to full power with this job ability before that, just go for whatever +mnd you can get. Use your items which strengthen your boost, then switch to mind gear and use Chi Blast

So all in all you can get something like +52 realistically, and more if you put real effort in it, ideally +79.

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