Monk Assassin Build

skills, stats and equipment about the Diablo 2 Monk Assassin Build

monk build
Art by Flux

The Monk Build is an Assassin build that relies on AoE (area of effect) skills like Phoenix Strike and Death Sentry. It’s powerful for farming monsters, but not for PvP.

It uses a tank such as a Shadow Master in order to bring enemies together into a tight group. This way it maximizes the damage potential of AoE skills.

Monk Assassin Build Skills

Your primary skills are Phoenix Strike and Dragon Talon, so you have to max them. Phoenix Strike contains 3 different elements (depending on charges) in one skill and it damages many enemies at the same time. Therefore, it’s perfect for dealing with monsters with every kind of elemental immunity.

The Dragon Talon is your main finish move. It can kill everything in combination with Death Sentry.

Your secondary skills are:

  • Death Sentry: It explodes a corpse causing damage in a large area. You don’t need to max out this one, but invest more than 15 points in it.
  • Shadow Master: You will use this summon as a tank to gather all enemies together before you attack them. It also uses some of your skills. It’s not necessary to max this one but place more than 15 points here too.
  • Claw Mastery: Invest a lot of points here too as it boosts your critical chance and damage.

Other skills you should place at least one point:

  • Blade Fury: It’s useful versus lightning enchanted monsters because you can kill them from far, especially if you’re low on health.
  • Venom: It adds poison damage to charge-up blows. If your items boost also this skill, the poison damage will be significant. In the case you use Treachery Rune Word don’t spend any points here.
  • Fade: It’s more effective in PvP or versus Oblivion Knights. If you will use Treachery Rune word, don’t invest any points here too.
  • Burst of Speed: An increased movement and attack speed is very useful for an Assassin and for hit-and-run tactics.
  • Cloak of Shadows: It hides your character, allowing more effective hit-and-run tactics.

Monk Assassin Build Stats

Invest most of your points in Strength and Dexterity in order to maximize the potential of the build. In addition, you need these attributes for equipping the proper gear. These two stats should be approximately equal.

It’s good to have a few points in Vitality, but your shadow minions will take the majority of the enemies’ hits. Thus don’t invest many points here.

Don’t invest any points in Energy. A few items can help you in the case you have mana problems.


Monk Assassin Build Equipment 

Weapon: Claw

The Monk is a hybrid build, so you can use any claw that enchants your main or secondary skills. Mostly it relies on traps, charge-up attacks and kicks, only one claw is enough. It’s better to equip a shield to your other hand.

Some of the best options are:

  • Bartuc’s Cut-Throat
  • Firelizard’s Talons
  • Shadow Killer
  • Any rare or enchanted claw that grants a bonus to skills


Usually, you won’t be on the first line of  battle, because you will use your mercenary and summons to initiate a battle. So you don’t need to equip Armor with the highest possible defense. It’s better to select one that boosts your overall performance.

You can choose from items like these:

  • Treachery Rune Word (Highly recommended)
  • Chains of Honor Rune Word
  • Enigma Rune Word
  • Stone Rune Word
  • Natalya’s Shadow
  • Duress Rune Word
  • Any Runeword or unique armor that has Crushing Blow (Crushing Blow in combination with a high-level Dragon Talonis very strong)


You don’t need to wield dual Claws, so it’s preferable to carry a shield with a high chance to block.

Some good examples are:

  • Gerke’s Sanctuary
  • Moser’s Blessed Circle
  • Rhyme Rune Word
  • Sanctuary Rune Word



The best choice in an Iron Wolf Mercenary with Glacial Spike skill. It can slow or even freeze large groups of monsters. An alternative choice is Desert Defensive Mercenary (Act 2) with Holy Freeze Aura. It can also slow enemies and act as a tank alongside with your Shadow Master.