Job discussion: the Monk

#1DjibrielPosted 10/10/2011 11:25:27 AM
I don't know about you, but I thought the pilot was a smashing success story, so I figured I'd give it another go. Tighten your belt and focus your chi, 'cause tonight I'd like to talk with you about:

The Monk!

The Monk has the highest Strength and Stamina in the game, which also means he has the most HP. Barehanded gives the Monk a free weapon that increases in power while you level, and inherent Counter can be a free turn of attacking which is almost always nice. The Monk's stand-out feature also has its drawback though; Barehanded punches are difficult to boost in power, and the fact that the Monk cannot equip weapons or Robes make sure it's the only Job in the game that cannot boost any element. In addition, don't forget that when a Monk attack non-fatally, he may provoke two counter-attacks rather than one.
The Monk's great HP makes for excellent White Wind healing, though consider the fact that Goblin Punch will work with only 3 Battle Power and is therefor completely useless on the Monk without a weapon. Some Mix outcomes are also based on the caster's HP (Monk + !Mix + Goliath Tonic and Holy Breath) and can provide excellent results. !Guard combines nicely with the Monk to provide immunity to physical attacks and the ability to counter them.

As a damage dealing machine, it must be said that the Monk grows stronger the more you over-level. The Monk's punches cannot be Dual-Wielded or held with both hands and since the Monk already has the game's best Strength, so you can't boost damage there. There is however a feature that makes the Monk's punches stand out compared to all other weapons: the fact that their Fists' Attack Power are based on Level and not static. This means that Level is factored in twice rather than once (as it is for other weapons) and that means that Barehanded punches grow faster in power. This is why !Drink and !Mix are great action abilities to give to the Monk; with the ability to easily increase its own level, you will see a tremendously significant increase in damage.

I find little use in !Focus; it theoretically deals with high-Defense enemies and can one-shot monsters that could otherwise use counter-attacks, but I ever don't see that potential translated in practice since it's such a niche scenario. !Chakra quickly loses steam and isn't even worth the ability slot when you first get it; Counter isn't worth the ability slot either (maybe in the Minotaur fight) and the HP boosting skills really aren't worth the ability slots. The one ability that really rocks the house though is BAREHANDED. Barehanded gives every Job reliable physical damage output and boosts Strength to the game's highest level. This is useful for those Jobs that can have difficulty dealing damage when their weapon options are poor (Thief, Ranger, Blue Mage, Beastmaster) or those Jobs that have good weapons but relatively little Strength (Ninja, Mystic Knight, also Ranger/Beastmaster at some points in the game).

Mastering the Monk is a great boon to all characters; even if mages won't use the Strength bonus, the Monk provides the best HP increase the game has the offer. Some people dislike Counter as it can mess up stealing attempts; if this bothers you, you might want to pass up the Monk and go for Gladiator (identical Strength) and Berserker (one less Stamina).

I find the Monk's high points in the game are the very first parts, where physical attacks are plentiful (and Counter excels) and when defenses provided by equipment are marginal (so the Monk's HP excels). The Kaiser Knuckles provide a much-needed boost, but I'm not sure they elevate him above Jobs that can equip powerful weapons. I find myself using the Monk before the Fire crystal breaks and discarded as soon as Barehanded seems to obsolete the rest of the class.

There is my opinion, I hope you disagree strongly :p
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The genius who created me only took care of my dashing good looks, my razor sharp wit and my irresistible attraction to the wrong women.
#2Link484Posted 10/10/2011 12:48:16 PM
A Berserker with Barehanded is really good all through world 1, so yeah, the Monk is already worth it just for that :P
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#3QazitoryPosted 10/11/2011 4:07:07 PM
I'm with you on the Monk. Apart from teaching Barehanded and abusing HP-based attacks, I don't find much use for them. After Barehanded, they don't teach anything good except possibly Counter, so I stuff them in the closet until it's Freelancer time.
#4thunderbird006Posted 10/11/2011 11:45:51 PM
Personally, I have some mixed feelings...

I agree that the monk has high HP, high strength, and has the innate 'counter" ability.

However, I'd also agree that the monk, can't exactly use spellblade, or rather make it elemental based.. The fact that the monk can't equip anything, hurts it quite a bit.Well particularly on the defensive side.So,that kind of defeats the purpose of having a very high HP, since the monk will be taking as much damage it dishes out. So,that's kind of interesting.

On, the whole, though, the monk does what its supposed to do.. Dish out damage,high strength, and a innate ability to counter physical attacks.. Yeah the counter ability can really mess up your plans, if you want to keep the enemy alive.

Also noticed that you said the monk can't use dual wield.. yeah,true.
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#5DigitalDicePosted 10/15/2011 9:56:21 PM
Barehanded comes with a built-in dual wield analogue. Granted, the damage multiplier for a punch is roughly half that of a weapon, making it more necessary than nice, but it does exist.

Black mages are noteworthy for having a huge damage spike every time they gain a new level of spells, which everyone else catches up with in a bit. Monks are the opposite of that. Punching is generally less effective than newly-found weapons, but improves at a faster rate. This actually gives them a nice moment in Karnak and again around Regole, when all the shiny new equipment eats a hole in your wallet. Barehanded punches free up gil to keep other gear topped off.

It's really a solid job whose biggest problem is how front-loaded its abilities are. 45 gets you its primary feature. 105 more nets you the rest of its useful features. The remaining 550 AP are junk features designed to pad out the job. It'd be one thing if more capstone features were like !Rapidfire, where there was actual reason to make use of them beyond mastery. Instead, there's little reason to stick with them until you're ready to crystal grind for Freelancer stats.
#6the_rowanPosted 10/16/2011 7:28:24 AM
Get Barehanded on everyone that isn't going pure magic all the time, then ditch the job forever IMO. No point in dumping more APB into it and HP/stamina is really not that important. If you're leveling normally you'll have plenty of HP and things that one-shot you are generally designed to be outright nullified somehow. If you're going with !Mix to attack you want to be using succubus kiss in almost all situations rather than HP-based attacks, mainly because turtle shells take a lot less time to farm than dragon fangs which are used for almost all the amazing buffs and dragon cannon as well.
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"That is why war is so tragic. To win means to make victims of your opponents and give birth to hatred." - Kratos Aurion, Tales of Symphonia
#7Djibriel(Topic Creator)Posted 10/17/2011 8:56:41 AM
I agree that Dragon Fangs are to used responsibly, but there are two enemies I like using Holy Breath against: Exdeath (in Exdeath's Castle) and Exdeath's Soul. Monk + Goliath's Tonic + Holy Breath deals more damage than any other attack at reasonable levels.

Dragon Breath I feel is a waste of rare items and Dark Breath and Poison Breath aren't good enough to waste a Fang on either.
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The genius who created me only took care of my dashing good looks, my razor sharp wit and my irresistible attraction to the wrong women.
#8the_rowanPosted 10/17/2011 8:20:12 PM
I always just use Yellow Dragons for Exdeath. I suppose that's a viable way of hurting him a lot, though. Sucks that you also have to give up an Elixir for every Goliath Tonic unless you have both !Drink AND !Mix, which can't be done on a Monk.

Exdeath's Soul... why not just use Holy? You really can't wait to fight the guy? I mean, there's no real reason to fight him anyway other than for Dark Matter, and I'd rather just farm a few off Prototype (or not farm at all; chests/boss drops tend to last through world 2 just fine for me), use it very sparingly for Death Potion/Dark Sigh, and then steal the rest of my Dark Matter when it becomes a common steal in the Rift.
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"That is why war is so tragic. To win means to make victims of your opponents and give birth to hatred." - Kratos Aurion, Tales of Symphonia
#9FBike1Posted 11/3/2011 12:16:42 PM
:In my current run, I'm getting it out of the way for Bartz early. For everyone else, waiting til freelancer time.
#10Supernova 163Posted 11/4/2011 5:42:50 AM
Monk gets limited use from me. I'd probably have 2 Monks until Walse, where they get ditched in favour of Knights and Water Crystal jobs.
May make a reappearance as a !Mix monkey in World 2. Magic Pot AP is generally thrown at Monk in world 3. That, plus whipping it out in areas where Odin dispatches everything, generally masters it without actually using a Monk.
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