Exploding Palm Monk Solo Guide

Introduction

Blow'em Up is a Exploding Palm Monk Build that excels at farming Solo Bounties, Elder Rifts, Lairs, and Tasks. This setup achieves a balance between going fast and dealing plenty of damage. Seven-Sided Strike will deal plenty of single target damage while Exploding Palm blows up any large packs with ease. Little to no changes are required to take this build across all solo content, lets get into how you can set it up.

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 60. Check out the Monk 1-60 Leveling Guide and Complete Leveling Guide if you're not there yet!

Great Mobility ✔
High AoE Damage
Fast-Paced Combat
Pulls Enemies Together

❌ Melee Range
Stop and Go Playstyle
❌ Relies on Skill Combos
❌ Slower than Most Classes


Solo Build - Blow'em Up!

Mystic Strike - An almost indispensable movement skill that also deals damage, pulls enemies and can charge up for multiple uses.

Exploding Palm - Whenever you are fighting more than one enemy and finish another, this will hit like a truck with added value when you have more enemies around you. Crippling Insight grants one extra charge allowing you to put Palms on most groups you come across and Inner Rhythm takes the damage even further.

Seven-Sided Strike - A great mix between single-target and AoE that can trigger Exploding Palm. Dragon's Indignation and Discipline's Weight add more damage and a burning effect. Breath of Incense lets you trigger Exploding Palm when you kill affected enemies.

Cyclone Strike - One of the best grouping skills in the game, it can also be charged up for bigger effect. Eye of the Storm increases the radius further.

Fists of Thunder (Primary) - The standard primary attack skill. It allows you to do a short-range teleport, saving valuable cooldowns for that purpose while adding a bit of DPS.

Use the 4 piece bonus from Issatar Imbued as well as the 2 piece from Windloft Perfection. This gives you tremendous movement speed helping you make the most of your playtime.

Check out our Set Item Guide and Equipment Guide for more information.

Alternative Setups

There are a few changes you can make depending on your preferred playstyle:

  • Mystic Strike is not strictly necessary and could be replaced for another DPS skill such as Wave of Light or Mystic Allies.
  • To reduce incoming damage more, Imprisoned Fist can be very useful to keep enemies at a distance while you prepare to nuke.
  • In groups, Inner Sanctuary can be a great addition to either decrease damage taken, allowing everyone to ignore most incoming attacks for a while, or to buff damage done with Empathy's Blessing.
  • If you want to go full support, you can drop most of your damage skills to include defense and crowd-control effects while your team deals with the enemies. Shield of Zen, Imprisoned Fist and Cyclone Strike are wonderful additions to any coordinated team.

Gameplay

In the Open World, Bounties and Elder Rifts, the Exploding Palm Monk gameplay is straight forward. Two of your skills help you stay mobile while the other three work together to group up enemies and deal damage. Here's the rotation:

  1. Use Mystic Strike for extra mobility to explore and engage lots of enemies. Always keep at least one charge ready so that you can get out of danger or dodge incoming attacks.
  2. Drag enemies along to make a larger pull and use Cyclone Strike to pull them together.
  3. Once you are ready to fight, apply Exploding Palm once or twice to the weaker enemies in the pull.
  4. Pop the Palms with Seven-Sided Strike. If necessary, keep punching and reapply Exploding Palm for more booms.
  5. Either finish off whatever is left with a similar rotation or move on to the next spot. On high HP targets like elites and bosses, use Fists of Thunder as much as possible while waiting for cooldowns.

To complete Elder Rifts in a timely and efficient manner, you want to group up large packs of enemies and nuke them down together. It's important (especially while pushing to your limit) to find the right balance and not bite off more than you can chew. In general, rush past a few enemies to make them follow you, stay out of melee range while grouping them up, then unleash your combos, rinse and repeat.

Check out our Bounty Guide and Elder Rift Guide for more information.


Legendary and Normal Gems

Legendary Gems provide incredible attribute bonuses and unique effects. They are found as a reward after completing an Elder Rift that is enhanced with a Legendary Crest. Many of them are also crafted using Runes and Platinum at the Jeweler in Westmarch.

Read our Legendary Gems Guide for more information.

Starter Legendary Gems
  1. Everlasting Torment deals incredible damage over time after a Critical Hit. For a simple 1 star Legendary Gem, it packs a punch.
  2. Fervant Fang does fantastic single target damage. It can easily be acquired from the Battle Pass without relying on luck from crests.
  3. Berserker's Eye provides increased damage at the cost of taking more damage. This tradeoff works well for this build.
  4. Power & Command amazing DPS gem that can also dispel harmful effects.
  5. Lightning Core does direct damage to an enemy group, often wiping them out in the process. While the damage is infrequent, it's useful for taking down larger targets.
  6. Seled's Weakening gives a frequent damage boost anytime you kill elites, making it have natural synergy with this build.
Best in Slot Legendary Gems
  1. Blood-Soaked Jade is the best Legendary Gem in the game. It provides massive damage and movement speed, which is perfect for solo content.
  2. Seeping Bile has poison that is devastating in large densities, like Elder and Challenge Rifts. Another AoE explosion for your arsenal, how tasty indeed.
  3. Blessing of the Worthy is amazing because you're constantly in melee range of enemies. Any damage taken activates devastating damage every 15 seconds, obliterating anything nearby.
  4. Howler's Call blasts your enemies from incredible range and is triggered by any Primary. This adds an important ranged attack to your arsenal that triggers off your already stacked rotation.
  5. Zwenson's Haunting is a good damage boost. When scooping multiple enemies it's especially useful and can proc a few times in drawn out fight.
  6. Echoing Shade This is generally not our top choice, but since you can disregard defense in solo farming content this is a great option for even more DPS.

Normal Gems

  1. Tourmaline is better than Ruby, since Damage is better than Life.
  2. Sapphire is better than Aquamarine, since Armor Penetration (Critical Hit Damage) is better than Armor.
  3. Citrine is equal to Topaz, since both Potency and All Resistance are underwhelming stats. Simply use the highest leveled Yellow Gems you've obtained.

Attribute Priorities

Primary Attributes

The Monk's main Primary Attribute is Strength, giving +0.3 Damage per point. All other things equal, use gear with Strength to maximize the damage you deal. Fortitude is also important early on because it gives you Armor Penetration (Critical Hit Damage), but becomes less important later due to diminishing returns.

The Monk's worst Primary Attribute is Intelligence because it only gives +1 Combat Rating. If possible, don't use it.

  1. Strength +1 Combat Rating and +0.3 Damage.
  2. Fortitude +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Armor, and +0.1 Armor Penetration. Armor increases your chance to Block, which mitigates 20% of incoming damage. This is a nice defensive boost, especially when pushing Challenge Rifts or Helliquary bosses. Armor Penetration gives Critical Hit Damage, which is nice if you already have a high Critical Hit Chance.
  3. Vitality +1 Combat Rating and +3 Life. It never hurts to have more life, especially for end game pushes and PvP. Vitality is the best attribute after the damage-dealing ones.
  4. Willpower +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Potency, and +0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects on enemies, while Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects on you from enemies. Willpower may play a larger role in the future, but currently it is never prioritized.
  5. Intelligence +1 Combat Rating. Gives nothing extra and is therefore the worst attribute.

Check out our Stats Mechanic Guide for more information.

Special Attributes

Because the total amount of primary attributes is so important, you rarely prioritize special attributes on gear. Still, several special attributes can make a difference, here are some of the best ones you can find:

  1. Critical Hit Chance to proc Everlasting Torment attack speed effect at Rank 6.
  2. Critical Hit Damage to increase damage.

Check out our full Attribute and Magic Affix Guide and Upgrading and Reforging Guide for more information.

Bonus Attributes, Family Bonus, and Reforging

Family bonuses are hard to change so picking a powerful option is important. Here are some of the best Family Bonuses available for the Exploding Palm Monk:

  1. Wildfire Stone rolls Critical Hit Damage, which is one of the strongest offensive attributes in the game. The Hydra isn't all that useful, though, unless you desperately need something to soak damage.
  2. Vengeance Stone is a great option for the extra single target damage. Focus on the Attack Speed rolls here for even more overall DPS and Vengeance Stone procs.

For more details, see our Upgrading and Reforging Guide.


Awakening

Focus on Awakening your gear with 1 star Gems at first (Trickshot Gem, Berserker's Eye, Everlasting Torment etc.). All item slots provide great benefits for an Exploding Palm Monk, we recommend Awakening your items in this order:

1. Shoulders

  • Discipline's Weight - Seven-Sided Strike cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • The First Wind - Seven-Sided Strike cooldown decreased by 10%.

2. Legs

  • Inner Rhythm - Exploding Palm cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Path of the Storm - Cyclone Strike cooldown decreased by 10%.

3. Chest

  • Storm Spirit - Cyclone Strike damage increased by 10%.
  • Breath of Incense - Exploding Palm cooldown decreased by 10%.

4. Off-Hand

  • Eye of the Storm - Cyclone Strike cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Scolding Storm - Exploding Palm cooldown decreased by 10%.

5. Main-Hand

  • Dragon's Indignation - Seven-Sided Strike cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Spirit's Reach - Seven-Sided Strike summons life increased by 10%.

6. Helmet

  • Crippling Insight - Exploding Palm cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • The Open Mind - Mystic Allies summons life increased by 10%.

Check out our Awakening Guide for more information.


Paragon

For Paragon Points, always prioritize Damage and Life. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree that you want to use. Vanquisher is the best for damage, and Treasure Hunter can be used for a small Experience boost. Avoid activating the Gladiator Tree since its active nodes only work in PvP.

Note: This path is used for all PvE content, but is subject to change on launch as we achieve higher Paragon and see the finalized trees.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 1-150 progression

Once you hit Paragon 150 respec your Paragon Points so you can utilize the more powerful Mastermind tree. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree! From here continue to pick up Life and Damage nodes in the other Paragon Trees.

With this setup you can also activate the Gladiator tree when you PvP. Once you have Mastermind filled in and active you can prioritize picking up the Gladiator tree sooner or later based on how much PvP you do.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 150-200 progression

Check out our Paragon Guide for more information.


Video Guide


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Summary

  • Dominate Bounties, Elder Rifts, Lairs and Tasks with this build.
  • Group up enemies with Cyclone Strike then Blow'em Up with Seven-Sided Strike and Exploding Palm. Use Mystic Strike and Fists of Thunder for mobility to plow through content fast
  • Equip Dragon's Indignation, Discipline's Weight, Breath of Incense, Inner Rhythm, Eye of the Storm, Crippling Insight and Issatar Imbuedfor maximum power.
  • Rank up Normal and Legendary Gems for huge bonuses while hunting for a Wildfire Stone Family Bonus.
  • Seek out Critical Hit Chance and Damage Special Attributes with Strength and Fortitude Primary Attributes.
  • Awaken gear slots to boost your Seven-Sided Strike and Exploding Palm to another level.
  • Accumulate Paragon and invest in all the Damage nodes you can find while picking up key active nodes.
  • Smash them with the power of One-Thousand-And-One Gods.

Credits

Written by Facefoot, wudijo
Reviewed by Raxxanterax, Rob


Changelog

Apr 11th 2022
Published Guide