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The following article contains information from the Diablo I expansion Hellfire, which is of ambiguous canon status.


Monk artwork

The Monk is a powerful unarmed combatant. They are strong and dextrous. Monks have some skill with fighting with staves, and though it does less damage than their bare hands, staves enable them to execute a sweeping attack and block incoming blows. Likewise, heavy armor actually gives them less defense than lighter armor. Since they possess great natural damage already, they search out staves which will give them faster attack. Dexterity adds to their damage equally to strength, however Dexterity also increases their ability to block incoming attacks with their staves. Their high natural defense makes searching for high defense armor less of a necessity. They try to find armor that gives them effects instead. In unarmed combat they prefer to use their feet as weapons rather than their hands. Their kicks are very fast and do a lot of damage at high levels.

The Monk search skill is very useful. In Diablo I, items could not be highlighted on the ground with the magical spell search. This caused problems when trying to find rings, amulets or Elixirs on the ground, especially if they fell behind an object. This necessitated a tiring search by the player to find the tiny item on the ground. The Search spell highlighted not only the item on the ground, but also all items that had fallen on the map. Other classes could learn Search as a spell.


Monks of the Brotherhood of the Bough are a rare sight. It is said that they come from a desolate wilderness, where their people were forced to flee after being conquered by an invading horde. Because of their great defeat, these people vowed to master the arts of combat. Lacking resources such as iron, they learned to use their bare hands and simple wooden staves as deadly weapons, and do not depend on metal armor to provide protection in battle. Instead, they rely upon speed and concentration. In their harsh native climate, they have been forced to find food and other essentials in the most unlikely of places. Over time, this careful searching has honed their visual perception to an almost supernatural level.

It is rumored that a dark sickness has fallen upon the homeland of the Monks, and many of their people have died. The Brotherhood of the Bough has sought to unearth the source of the foulness, to no avail. Desperate for answers, lone Monks have ventured to distant lands, searching for regions suffering a similar affliction. Tales of the evils besetting Tristram will have already attracted the attention of the Brotherhood.

Character Attributes and Information.[]

Beginning Stats
Strength 25
Magic 15
Dexterity 25
Vitality 20
Life 45
Mana 22
Life / Level +2
Life / Vitality +1.5 ¹
Mana / Level +2 ²
Mana / Magic +1.5 ¹

¹ Rounded down. Additionally, the rounding down is done separately for each source of vitality or magic, so while monks will get the full 1.5 life or mana per point of vitality or magic given to them by magic items, they only get 1 life or mana per stat point allocated to magic or vitality. Rogues also suffer from this glitch.

² Monks get 3 mana instead of 2 upon hitting level 33. Rogues also experience this glitch.

Maximum Stats
Strength 150
Magic 80
Dexterity 150
Vitality 80
Life 201 ³
Mana 183 ³

³ These are what the values theoretically should be according to the other numbers in these tables. Real results will differ due to bugs, Shrines, etc.

Strategy, Tips, and Warnings[]

  • The Monk performs admirably well concerning damage when he is unarmed or using a Staff. In addition, he attacks faster compared to even a Warrior or a Barbarian when using such weapons. Keep this in mind when gearing him.
  • Concerning blocking, a warning to keep in mind is that all spell effects that can be blocked will be blocked if the check succeeds, regardless of resistances. When facing many attackers, this can result in the Monk's inability to attack due to being locked in block animations.
  • Due to the Monk's bonus to Armor Class for attaining levels, he does not have as dire a need for body armor as other classes do. This leads to Monks only wearing lighter armor or heavy armor for their effects while keeping their Armor Class in good shape. Medium tier armor is generally not worth the drop in level bonus to Armor Class, unless the armor in question is Unique.
  • Monks possess blocking abilities when using Staves or with one free hand, so a Monk can go on the offense with his Staff while still retaining his defense.