Nuke Monk (Pet Nuke Variant)
Flame Aura: Medallion
Boost Aura: Medallion
Sky Guard Tower: Medallion
Lightning Strikes Aura: Medallion
Since there doesn’t seem to be an up-to-date guide complete with optimal shards and complete information on this DPS build, I made one myself.
The Nuke Monk is a DPS build that is capable of instantly destroying any boss in the game (up to perhaps floor 114). In the game’s current state he can Nuke for well over 100 million damage. His biggest weakness is that his wave clearing abilities aren’t as strong other dps options, and he doesn’t have a great deal of sustain (although he’s not used as a tank anyway). Ideally you’ll want a Heavy Polearm with 5 projectiles and a 4/s fire rate. Any Elemental Chip on the Polearm works as they will all do the same amount of damage given that they rolled the same way and are at the same chaos tier. Keep in mind that this guide is purely a DPS guide and does not account for defenses in the ascension category (I may change this in the future).
If your Polearm happens to come with a storm chip, [Drenching Strikes] is a good replacement for [Burning Strikes] or [Thunderstruck]. [Overwhelm] can be used here as well in place of either Burning Strikes or Thunderstruck.
Something to keep in mind: [Heroic Power] is currently bugged (and has been for around a year). If you switch another hero and then back to Monk, the shard’s effects will be diminished by roughly half. The bug is fixed by removing the shard and putting it back in. Therefore, if you can stay on Monk the whole time in Combat Phase, do so.
[Radiant Critical Power] and [Thunderstruck] are of course, not required shards for this build.
Ascension (in order of importance):
Hero Category (First Tree):
- Max out Heroic Wave Damage Boost, as maxing it out doubles your damage output after using Heroic Wave (instead of the 2% that is shown in game).
- Max out Hero Damage
- Max out Hero Health
Defense Category (Second Tree):
Utility Category (Third Tree):
- Max out Hero Critical Chance
- Max out Ability Mana Resource
- Max out Movement Speed
- Max out Hero Critical Damage
Any pet with a hero damage based nuke ability will work. The most commonly used pet with this build is a Gato, with the ability Gato Fireworks (2745% Hero Damage). Alternate pet abilities that can be used are:
- Snowball, from any water pet (2750% Hero Damage)
- Fire Barrage, from any fire pet (2550% Hero Damage)
- Rock Throw, from any earth pet (2500% Hero Damage)
- Lil Betsy Projectile, from Lil Betsy (2500% Hero Damage)
Snowball does more damage than Gato Fireworks, but it travels slower. Gato Fireworks may also be used more often because it launches a trio of rockets (each dealing 915% damage), so it can hit another enemy if the target enemy is killed by the first or second rocket. Using Lil Betsy is also not recommended as getting Lil Betsy from the Pirate costs 10,000 defender medals, and it’s not even the best pet to use for this build.
How to use:
It is important that you learn and understand how to use Nuke Monk, as the nuke used to instantly eliminate bosses requires some setup: Heroic Wave and [Crane Stance] are used to increase your nuke damage. Heroic Wave increases both your primary attack nuke damage and your pet nuke damage, while Crane Stance only affects the primary attack nuke damage. Note that the 4th swing of your primary attack cycle will deal the most damage (the swing cycle can be observed by holding down left click, or whatever button is used to primary attack on console). When setting up the nuke, stack up Crane Stance first, and then use Heroic Wave. After this, all you need to do is use your pet ability on the boss. As for the primary attack nuke, time your swings so that the 4th swing of your Polearm is the one that hits the boss. The insta-kill comes from using both nukes at the same time.
More useful information:
- Each projectile from your secondary attack produces one stack of Crane Stance, and not each separate attack, so you can get full Crane Stance stacks in as little as two secondary attacks if you have a Polearm with 5 projectiles.
- Pet abilities (that make physical contact and deal damage) are very similar to your regular attacks in that they can proc shards you have equipped like [Burning Strikes] and [Concussive Chi]. This means that the pet nuke is capable of dealing additional damage over time to the boss (in the millions at C7) and also stunning enemies (including assassins!) if you get lucky.
- Pet abilities cannot land a critical hit, so they will always deal the same amount of damage.
Q: Why don’t you use Dragolich instead?
A: Several reasons. First, Dragolich costs 7500 defender medals, and the pets I listed cost nothing other than a little bit of your time (with the exception of Lil Betsy which I do not recommend using either). Second, Dragolich will only allow you to deal more damage if you get a critical hit with your primary attack. Since the maximum amount of hero critical chance you can obtain with Monk is 40%, this Pet Nuke variant will deal more damage than a Dragolich build 60% of the time. Finally, since Pet abilities essentially count as a primary or secondary attack as I mentioned above, they can proc [Burning Strikes] or [Concussive Chi] on the boss. The total damage if you proc burning strikes is greater than that of the Dragolich variant even if you get a critical hit with your primary attack nuke. Also, like I mentioned above you can also stun if not kill assassins off in a pinch.
Q: Could I go with an Ability Power hybrid build?
A: Sure! In fact, Juicebags does this in his video here (Cookiebinger and I also helped him with this video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XEMelB0OB0. With a hybrid build you’re trading some damage from your nuke for better wave clear with Chi Blast.
Q: What’s better? Nuke Monk or Chi Blast Monk?
A: I like using Nuke Monk more, because usually my defenses take care of everything else. But each build has an advantage and disadvantage. Nuke Monk will be able to kill bosses faster than Chi Blast Monk, but Chi Blast Monk is much better at clearing lanes with Chi Blast.