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Guild Wars - Guides and Strategies
Guide to Running – For Primary Monks

This is a supplement guide to my previous guide which focused on the W/Mo runner. This one is for you Primary Monks out there.

There is more than one build that can be used for a Monk runner, and more than one secondary class that is effective. You can be a Mo/W and make use of the Warrior Tactics skills. You could be a Mo/R and make use of the Ranger Wilderness Survival skills.

The primary Monk's advantage over a primary Warrior is their access to Divine Favor skills that can be optimized, and much higher energy in terms of energy regeneration and overall maximum energy total. However, the disadvantage for a primary Monk over a primary Warrior is reduced Armor, and an inability to optimize the Strength attribute, which only primary Warriors have access too. Even with these disadvantages, we can still produce a very effective Monk runner.

The W/Mo runner's strengths are his/her armor, and the use of Charge combined with Stances. Most of the needed stances for running, along with Charge, come from Tactics, which fortunately for most everyone else, is not the Primary attribute for a Warrior, so any sub-class warrior can make use of these skills effectively. Therefore, we can build a Mo/W and make use of these same skills.

Warrior Skills to consider:
1. Charge
2. Sprint (8 seconds only)
3. Balanced Stance
4. Deflect Arrows (great for a runner… since melee damage is unlikely)
5. Any of the other Tactics stances you prefer, though I prefer Deflect Arrows.

I'm not going to go into detail on these skills, as my previous guide covered the Warrior skills and it's pretty obvious how to use them.

Lets look at what you have available to you as a Monk, and more importantly, as a Primary Monk runner.

Monk Skills to consider:
1. Spell Breaker (elite)
2. Blessed Aura
3. Mending
4. Watchful Spirit
5. Healing Touch
6. Healing Hands (elite)
7. Smite Hex
8. Purge Conditions
9. Holy Veil
10. Mend Ailment
11. Essence Bond
12. Remove Hex

In my previous guide, I explained that the primary bane for any runner is the Hexes and Conditions that hampers your ability to run. Therefore you MUST have skills that defend against Hexes and Conditions.

Spell Breaker:
This spell is the perfect defense against Hexes. “Enemy spells targeted against target ally fail.” You can't get any better than that to defend against Hexes. Generally if you max out your Divine Favor attribute, you can get Spell Breaker to last 15 seconds.

Now I'm going to give away the secret right now, rather than waiting until later in the Guide. The secret for a Monk runner is to get Spell Breaker to last long enough for Spell Breaker to recharge itself and be ready to cast again. In other words, have an almost permanent Spell Breaker on. I measure my success by how far Spell Breaker has recharged before it wears off.

Spell Breaker takes 45 seconds to recharge, and with Divine Favor maxed out, last about 15 seconds. That's a 30 second difference. We need to close that gap. We can do this in two ways. We can lengthen the time Spell Breaker lasts, and/or we can shorten the time it takes for Spell Breaker to recharge. Enter the next skill…

Blessed Aura:
While you maintain this Enchantment, Monk Enchantments you cast last X% longer than normal. When you have Divine Favor maxed out, you can get 30% longer, or even higher. If you have this enchantment on before you cast Spell Breaker, you'll get Spell Breaker to last long enough to recharge to about 45% recharged. If you measure this by the recharge line on the skill icon, it will be pointing almost to the bottom of the skill, probably just about past the small number in the bottom right corner of the Skill slot.

We can help Spell Breaker along with skills from the Ranger Class.

Ranger Skills to consider:
1. Serpent's Quickness
2. Storm Chaser
3. Dryder's Defenses
4. Melandru's Resilience (elite)
5. Escape (elite)

Serpent's Quickness:
“Stance. For X seconds, recharge times for your skills are reduced by 33%. Serpent's Quickness ends if your Health drops below 50%.” With Serpent's Quickness, we can gain another 33% off the recharge time for Spell Breaker. Simply turn on this stance before casting Spell Breaker. With Serpent's Quickness and Blessed Aura, we can get Spell Breaker to recharge to about 65% recharged before it wears off. I usually turn on this Stance, then activate Spell Breaker, then activate Storm Chaser, which ends Serpent's Quickness, but that's fine. We got what we wanted from it when we activated Spell Breaker.

Storm Chaser:
For Ranger secondaries, your Sprint or Charge skill is Storm Chaser. This is a really good running stance. It usually lasts about 18 seconds if you have Wilderness Survival maxed out. Combined with Spell Breaker which lasts about the same length, you can basically run though large groups of Imps and Siege Golems fully protected from their hexes.

Ok, so if you're reading closely, we got Spell Breaker to recharge to about 65%. That's not good enough.

In order to get the remaining 35%, we need to look at weapons and focus items. First is a Holy Rod you can acquire from a collector. You're looking for a Holy Rod that says “Improves skill recharge using Divine Favor skills (chance: 20%)”. There are two collectors you can get this from that have max damage rods. The easiest is from Hoknil the Lesser in Snake Dance. He wants 5 Azure Remains. The other collector is North of Thirsty River (Lord Dorn Lendrigen). He wants Beached Shells. You get Bleached Shells by killing Sand Worms or Siege Worms. (Note: This is the same guy that the Warrior gets his nice Crimson Carapace Shield from). If you are on a budget, you can get a 7-13 damage rod with the same 20% chance from Milny Samhammil in Bergen Hot Springs. He wants 4 Mergoyle Skulls. (Remember, we won't be attacking with this Rod, so we don't care if it's max damage or not!) So, with this Rod, 20% of the time you'll get Spell Breaker to recharge FULLY before it wears off.

However, 1 chance in 5 activations of Spell Breaker still isn't good enough. We need more help. So now we go get the Divine Symbol focus item that has the same text. “Improves skill recharge using Divine Favor skills (chance: 20%)”. This can be acquired from two collectors that have max stats on their Divine Symbol. The easiest one is Cinder Linnwood in Diviner's Ascent northeast of Elona Reach. He wants 5 Bleached Carapaces. The other is Cember Goreaxe in Talus Chute just outside of the Ice Caves of Sorrow. He wants 5 Frigid Hearts. If you are on a budget, you can get a Divine Symbol with the same 20% chance from collector Fytch in the Eastern Frontier. He wants 3 Fetid Carapaces.

With both the Rod and the Divine Symbol, you have a pretty good chance of getting Spell Breaker to recharge FULLY before it wears off. Yeah it's not 100% of the time, but it works just fine.

Dryder's Defenses:
When you're unable to get Spell Breaker to fully recharge before it wears off, you'll need additional protection skills. This is a good Stance; similar to what primary Warriors have available to them.

I listed additional Ranger skills that are helpful when running, but the Elite ranger skills should be used by characters that are not Monk primaries, as Spell Breaker is simply a better choice if you're a Monk primary.

Other Monk skills you should use include:
1. Purge Conditions or Mend Ailment
2. Smite Hex or Holy Veil
3. Watchful Spirit or Mending

When I run with my Monk/Ranger, I use the following skill set-up:
1. Serpent's Quickness (activate this before Spell Breaker)
2. Spell Breaker
3. Storm Chaser (activate this after Spell Breaker)
4. Dryder's Defenses
5. Purge Conditions
6. Smite Hex
7. Watchful Spirit (turn on second when you enter new zone)
8. Blessed Aura (turn on first when you enter new zone)

I use Watchful Spirit over Mending because I get almost the same thing from Watchful Spirit as I would from Mending. I get 2 regeneration pips instead of 3, but when Watchful Spirit ends, I get healed immediately. When you're running, you really don't have the time to heal while under attack. You want to get to a safe location and then heal. You'll notice that of my 8 skills listed above, I have no Healing or Protection skills. I'm concentrated on just Divine Favor and Wilderness Survival. I can max out both of those attributes. If I need healing in a pinch, I simply double-click Watchful Spirit off. When it ends I'm immediately healed for 160 points. Once I get to a safe location, I turn Watchful Spirit back on and let the regeneration take effect.

In addition, any monk spell you cast on yourself will heal you from your Divine Favor, so if you need the healing, cast Purge Conditions or Smite Hex on yourself, even if you're not affected by a hex or condition. It will heal you none-the-less.

If you want to build a Mo/W runner, I suggest the following skill set:
1. Sprint
2. Charge or Spell Breaker
3. Balanced Stance (if you expect to get knocked down)
4. Deflect Arrows
5. Watchful Spirit
6. Smite Hex
7. Purge Conditions
8. (your choice of Blessed Aura, Mending, Holy Veil, Healing Breeze, Healing Touch, or another warrior stance)

Now…where to run!!!!

I find that for Droknar's Forge runs, the Warrior/Monk is still the best choice. I've actually completed Forge runs with a Monk/Warrior, but it was much harder to stay alive unless I got one of the better spawns. The Monk/Ranger can't do it because of the knockdowns. You need to have Balanced Stance to make a Forge run.

Where the Monk/Ranger runner works really well is for runs from:
1. Deldrimor War Camp to the The Granite Citadel
2. The Granite Citadel to Copperhammer
3. Iron Mines of Moladune to Marhan's Grotto
4. Marhan's Grotto to Thunderhead Keep (or vise-versa)

For all of those runs, you'll encounter large numbers of Siege Golems or Imps. Let me tell you how sweet a sound it is to hear Imp hex spells fizzle as they attempt to cast them on you. Oh how I love that sound.

Of those 4 runs listed, the hardest is the first one, Deldrimor War Camp to the Citadel. This run is difficult because there really aren't too many safe locations to get too. There are 3 pathways you can traverse to get to Spearhead Peak (area outside of the Citadel). The main path is the middle path, which most people will attempt to run. You can successfully run up this middle path with the Mo/R runner, but you'll want to make sure that your Spell Breaker will fully recharge before it wears off. I suggest turning on Serpent's Quickness, then turning on Spell Breaker, and then look at the speed the Spell Breaker skill is recharging. You can tell when you got the bonus from your Holy Rod or Divine Symbol because the recharge speed on the skill will be very fast. If you don't get the bonus…then simply wait for Serpent's Quickness and Spell Breaker to recharge…and try again. Don't start the run up the middle until you're sure you got the bonus on Spell Breaker.

There are also a Northern and Southern path that you can use to get to Spearhead Peak, avoiding the middle path. The path I use most often is the Northern path. There are more opportunities to find safe locations on the Northern path, and if you time it right, you can run through this path when there are few patrols moving though it. The Southern path is pure suicide, so don't even bother.

The other 3 runs are a piece of cake with your Mo/R runner. If you want to give this build a name, call it the “Spell Breaker Monk”. I mean…really…that's the meat of the build.

To complete the path from Beacon's Perch to Thunderhead Keep, we are missing two areas. We need to run from Camp Rankor to the Deldrimor War Camp. And we need to run from Copperhammer to the Iron Mines of Moladune. The best runner for those two stretches is the W/Mo runner. Of the two, the run from Copperhammer to Iron Mines is the hardest. If you want to make this run, I suggest one change to the W/Mo build that I suggested in my previous guide.

W/Mo runner build for run from Copperhammer to Iron Mines:
1. Endure Pain
2. Sprint
3. Charge
4. Balanced Stance
5. Deflect Arrows
6. Purge Conditions
7. Smite Hex
8. Holy Veil

The change is the removal of Healing Signet in favor of Deflect Arrows. Again… if you understand the rules for running…you shouldn't have to heal yourself while under attack. If you're in a safe location…then is healing really necessary? You can just stand around and wait for natural health regeneration to take care of itself. That's what is needed in this case. The difficult part of the run is a stretch in the middle of the run where you have no safe location for a long stretch, and you get hit with Bleeding and slow hexes. You need to run this middle area with Charge and Deflect Arrows turned on. Once they wear off, turn on Sprint and get to a safe location.

Well…good luck with your running. I hope you found this guide insightful.

Guild Wars