Vaeus's "Demon Queller" Monk

Vaeus's "Demon Queller" Monk

For this week's Theorycraft Thursday, we're taking a look at a mesh of functionality and form in this Area of Effect heavy build sent in by Vaeus#1389.

Are you ready to quell some demons in style?

About the Build:

Power, grace, and speed are all terms that come to mind when it comes to describing the Monk. These warriors have mastered techniques over years of disciplined training. They achieve physical and mental perfection and lay waste to those who would upset the Thousand and One Gods of Ivgorod.

Vaeus’s build focuses on the Monk's cunning and elemental prowess, and how to best make use of their sudden strikes and impressive displays of power when obliterating the forces of the Burning Hells.

Turning a massive pack of enemies into a rain of limbs is one of the signature signs of this Monk.

Mechanically speaking, Vaeus has focused on Area of Effect abilities and Fire damage to create "a living, breathing AOE spell of epic proportions." Why cast a fireball when you can be the fireball? The full 360 degree coverage this build provides will allow you to roll effortlessly through your enemies, delighting in their spontaneous and inevitable combustion.

The Skills:

For context, this build was submitted prior to the launch of Patch 2.0.6; however, it should have no bearing on the skill selection listed below.

As an added bonus, I reached out to our most excellent Monk MVP Druin to discuss the finer points of this build, and he had several recommendations, also listed below (under "Alternative Skills").

Active Skills:

  • Crippling Wave (Mangle)
    • Primary Spirit generator
    • Fits the 360° and elemental Fire themes
  • Wave of Light (Explosive Light)
    • Fits the 360° and elemental Fire themes
    • Looks amazing and offers an interesting alternative for low Torment play
  • Cyclone Strike (Sunburst)
    • Fits the 360° and elemental Fire themes
    • Repositions your enemies to make the best use of the high AoE aspect of this build
  • Dashing Strike (Barrage)
    • Offers mobility for those tough situations
    • Bonus single target damage on the last enemy you strike
  • Sweeping Wind (Fire Storm)
    • Fits the 360° and elemental Fire themes
  • Mantra of Evasion (Backlash)
    • Fits the 360° and elemental Fire themes
    • Synergizes with Sixth Sense passive
    • Provides additional, if unreliable, Toughness

Passive Skills:

Alternative Skills:

The following skills are encouraged as substitutions to increase the single-target aspects of this build without sacrificing mobility or the focus on Fire damage.

  • Dashing Strike (Way of the Falling Star)
    • Replaces Dashing Strike (Barrage)
    • Allows this escape to focus more on providing mobility than a boost in single-target DPS
  • Epiphany (Inner Fire)
    • Replaces Sweeping Wind (Firestorm)
    • Sweeping Wind is an expensive additional source of AoE damage
    • Epiphany fills in a source of much-needed single target DPS
    • Gives a significant boost to Spirit generation for a very resource starved build

The Items:

You'll find that the items recommended below should complement theme as well as functionality. Some of the items are really needed to make this build shine, especially as Spirit is hard to come by. 

Vaeus has a lot of the recommended items below, and has meshed his other drops with his theme.

Recommended Items:

  • Cindercoat
    • Provides exceptional Resource Cost Reduction and bonus damage to all used skills
  • Burning Axe of Sankis
    • Boosts Fire Damage in an additional equipment slot
    • Secondary Legendary affix is a great source of survivability, though shouldn’t be completely relied upon
  • Devastator
  • Reaper's Wraps
    • Additional Resource generation lessens the struggles of a resource-heavy build
    • As a crafted item, these are a great place to start when gearing up
  • Magefist
    • Even more Fire Damage? Yes please!

Complementary Items:

Many different set pieces complement this build. Below are options you might seek out actively via crafting or consider using if you've collected a few of the others with a Ring of Royal Grandeur.

  • Inna's Mantra
    • 3-piece bonus reduces the expensive cost of Sweeping Wind
    • 2-piece and 4-piece bonuses provide a huge boost to survivability and DPS if you have them available
  • Born's Defiance
    • 2-piece set bonus is a quick and easily accessible start for building Toughness
    • Offers an accessible entry level weapon for an early DPS boost
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings
    • Early source of Resource Cost Reduction that’s easily acquired via crafting
    • Cooldown Reduction boost is an added benefit if running Epiphany

Thematic Items:

The following items provide more of a thematic match than a synergistic or mechanical benefit while still remaining useful. They may also be good substitutes if you have access to these items while seeking out other recommended options above.

  • Eight-Demon Boots
    • 2-piece set bonus is a nice additional perk
    • Thematically matches the concept of a Monk that’s dedicated their life specifically to destroying demonic forces
  • Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners
    • 2-piece set bonus is a nice additional perk
    • Thematically matches the concept of a Monk that’s dedicated their life specifically to destroying demonic forces

Recommended Stats:

Your primary focus on additional stats should be geared towards +% Fire Damage, as all your abilities will benefit from it. In addition, you may consider stacking Critical Hit Chance for its great DPS benefits and to get more out of Mantra of Evasion (Backlash). Resource Cost Reduction is also important for this build, as you’ll find it has an insatiable hunger for your hard-earned Spirit. 

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

Vaeus is currently running his Demon Queller build in Torment II on Normal. It's definitely a struggle to use this build without a Cindercoat, but once you land that and a couple other pieces, you’ll find you’re pretty comfortable in introductory levels. The suggestions offered above by Druin can help nudge this build higher, and it has the ability to climb to Torment VI with the right gear.

Why We Like This Build:

The builds that really catch my eye are those that make it clear the entire picture has been considered. Vaeus has considered how this build looks visually in his gear and skill animations, the lore-oriented reasons behind why his character uses these abilities, and the mechanical synergies that make it thrive. 

Is it getting hot in here, or is it just because you're on fire?

Fire is a very strong element right now, but not one you traditionally think of applying to a Monk, especially with the recent changes to the Raiment of a Thousand Storms and Monkey King’s Garb sets. There's also something really compelling to the description Vaeus provided—the idea of being a living, breathing AoE spell. This build captures that concept perfectly, and it’s a fun notion that both delivers and pays off.

Tell Us What You Think!

Which element have you been experimenting with on your Monk? How would you change this build to match your preference? Are there any Legendary items you’d find useful for the Demon Queller that we didn’t mention above? Hop into the comments below and let’s get our discussion on! 

We're looking at the Barbarian next week, so if you've got a build you want to see up here on the front page, send it to me! You can e-mail me at, and find all the details on the info you need to include here.