How can I effectively play a monk solo?
I've tried several times playing solo with my monk but always find it nigh impossible. I find myself effective as a supporting character but not as a main character for a defense setup. It tends to be extremely tricky because the monk has no wall summons. I have trouble coming up with ways to hold enemies back where I am not temporarily. If I throw up an ensnare and electric aura, electric immune mobs spawn and I can't deal with them. Enrage aura is finicky and never works as I would expect. Are there any effective strategies to actually play solo with a monk?
My brother and I are currently playing monks together, and while there are two of us a lot of this information might be useful. I will use the Deeper Well map as reference.
- Map Awareness is key for a monk. All of your auras that can affect the creeps in a progression manner have an elemental association that will allow creeps of that type to be immune. You need to keep an eye on the map as often as you can to see when one slips through.
- Ranged Damage is what you should be focusing on as a monk. Melee is fun and should not be neglected, but try and find a multi-shot weapon as soon as you can with good damage output. This will help reach that one creep nearing your crystal.
- Enrage Aura
- Description: These are your bread and butter for controlling creep progression. They require multiple creeps to be in them at a single time as an enraged creep must have something to attack or it will keep walking like normal. A combination with a slow aura to keep things in the aura longer can help.
- Fire creeps appear immune to this aura (or I have just had rotten luck with them).
- Ensnare Aura
- Description: These are great for slowing creeps down with two main focuses, keeping creeps within an aura to affect them longer (Enrage or Lightning Aura) or giving you reaction time when you see a creep who has slipped through one of your aura zones.
- Poisonous creeps appear immune to this aura.
- Lightning Aura
- Description: Your main damage dealing aura, this aura can rival the damage output of any other class's defenses. The downside is that the damage is 100% elemental.
- Lightning creeps are immune to this aura.
- Healing Aura
- Description: While nice I really only use this in boss battles when receiving damage really is not up to you.
- Weaken Aura
- Description: Another aura that has limited use. Often you will find better use for your defense points than this aura but it can be handy near a crystal to reduce damage to it and you.
Alrighty, information about how awesome Enrage aura's are. These should be the first auras that creeps run into. If possible put them at choke points where multiple columns of creeps come together. For the Deeper Well this is at the bottom of the initial staircases. Combine them with an ensare if you can to give the ragers a good chance to attack. These also act as a sort of wall when put in choke points as creeps only try for so long to go in one direction before they turn around. We have noticed very often that creeps will bounce back and forth between these auras and not advance when set up as mentioned above.
Next, you will want a lightning aura right after the enrage auras. Anything that makes it through the enrage aura is already going to have lower than max health and this will take out most of them. This will kill any of the fire immune creeps that just pass through the enrage. These auras are also useful where creep flow is minimal. For the Deeper Well that is top paths where only one or two creeps will appear and go for the crystal. Combination on these low creep paths with an ensnare aura helps but you should consider putting down two auras just to be safe.
Any area that is not covered by the top two paragraphs should be After those areas and in path ways leading to your crystal. I highly suggest filling up these areas with as many ensnare auras as you have the defense points left for. Consider a weaken or healing aura near the crystal where you may have to get up close and personal with a creep. And while it seems odd, I also recommend having one path always have one less ensnare aura than the others. This will be your Go To path when you have creeps coming in multiple directions (Note that this should be a minimal number of incoming creeps). This makes it very clear which one to clear out first and can often help by getting the creep to you sooner.
That pretty much sums up how I/We currently play Monk Only.
EDIT: Application of the things detailed above.
The next 2 levels add in another choke point on the last 3 hallways towards the crystal. Simply repeat the pattern above for the extra path to the crystal. Start with the enrage so that when things get fed up they will try and go to one of the other paths. For the third level (Magus Quarters) you have to take out the flying creeps. You -can- set an aura that they will run into but its not a guaranteed placement like for the ground creeps.
When dealing with the alchemy lab (this is where we developed these strats actually) you use two enrage auras as close to the lower entrances as possible with the lightning ones right after it followed by another slow. Then up where the stairs come down from the main entrance put an enrage on each winding stair case down. This keeps them in the enrage as long as possible. In the center of the flat areas is where you put the slow and electric auras, then where things converge again consider another enrage or a slow. This keeps you in the center ready to take on the few lightning immune that make it through the enrage auras. What you should notice though is that the lower entrance creeps will be caught between the enrage turrets and wander back and forth.
I am not saying you will for sure be able to make it through the entire game as a monk and I can almost guarantee you will not be able to do it on insane, but the key is to find the choke points where creeps meet and enrage them so they will then turn around and go the other way to the other enrage aura. Some times these areas are very near the crystals like the 2nd and 3rd level, other times they are near the creep entrances like levels 1 and 4. I have not gotten to Ramparts yet, but I would imagine the lower entrances, at the bottom of each narrow stair case is the best place with the enrage then other auras, Up in the mid section there is a point where the creeps will split for the side stairs on the lower and upper crystal which is the place for the enrages there then the front steps, same thing. You will again need to take care of the flying creeps most likely by hand.
I can not stress Map Awareness (learn to play holding down the shift key if you can) and the use of a multi-shot ranged weapon.. My level 24 monk, for example, has a 4 shot 102 damaging weapon. Takes out most things on hard in one shot if I am up close for all four bolts to hit them. Just cause I have a ranged weapon does not mean I use it at ranged, it just attacks faster than a swing.