I've been slowly working my way through Inferno, and I think I've come up with a respectable build. I'm focusing on a hybrid dodge/life regen build.
- Primary: Fists of Thunder with Lightning Flash - the dodge is subject to diminishing returns, but it's still an extra ~8% while I'm attacking. That's not bad at all.
- Secondary: Lashing Tail Kick with Hand of Ytar - this is mostly to keep Sweeping Wind from falling off. It also helps attract attention from enemies standing in damage spots.
- Skill 1: Serenity with Instant Karma - mostly my panic button. But with Instant Karma, when I'm in the middle of a giant group, this helps thin the crowd.
- Skill 2: Dashing Strike with Blinding Speed - This helps get me out of damage spots, and gives me a dodge boost while I'm at it.
- Skill 3: Sweeping Wind with Cyclone - nothing like a group of guys trying to beat on you, and dying in the process. At max stacks, it provides a very respectable 45% AoE, with a chance to spawn tornados that do 20%. That's nothing to laugh at.
- Skill 4: Mantra of Evasion with Hard Target - my armor isn't very high, so the 20% boost is very helpful. When I get my armor high enough, I'll be switching the rune to Backlash, for the AoE fire damage.
- Passive 1: One With Everything - Pretty self explanatory. Focus on a single resistance.
- Passive 2: Seize the Initiative - Adds Dexterity to Armor. Monks are all about the Dexterity. With this single passive, Dexterity provides Dodge, Damage, and Armor.
- Passive 3: The Guardian's Path - Adds 15% dodge with dual-wielding. Since this is a dodge build, this is pure gold.
Required, in order of importance:
Life on Hit is the saving grace of this build. It's what keeps you going in the middle of a giant group. If both weapons have 400+, then Fists or Daggers will give you over 1000 life per second just for beating on something. Slightly less for slower weaponry. Enough life on hit means you can basically ignore anything a boss throws at you (as long is it doesn't kill you in one hit), as the life regeneration will just heal you back to where you were before he even attacked.
Life Regeneration is the secondary concern. Life on hit heals burst damage. Life regeneration heals damage areas, keeps you up while you run over them to get to (or away from) something. Also, it's easy enough to replace the Mantra of Healing entirely with all of two or three pieces of equipment, allowing you to focus on dodging.
A single resistance; it doesn't matter which one. If you find a piece of equipment that has your chosen resistance and resist all, that's gravy. You can get 90+ resist from one piece of equipment. This will mitigate damage to a very large degree, which is absolutely required for Inferno, even for dodging. You are going to get hit. Make it hurt as little as possible.
Dexterity is your all-around do everything stat. More is better, as always. Don't skimp on the above for this, though. You'll do more damage, yes, but you'll also have more trouble surviving the pain being thrown your way.
Vitality is the last required modifier. This one is last because you don't need a whole lot; enough to survive the biggest hits, but anything that doesn't one-shot you will die. This is why I currently have a grand total of 14,000 life.
Nice to have, but not essential:
Attack Speed is a no-brainer. Faster attacks mean more hits, which means more life. The damage boost is a side bonus.
Strength adds to armor, which is always good. Don't look for it, though, as that's all the bonus it give you.
Intelligence will boost your resistances, and that's never a bad thing. Your chosen resistance is better, though, as it takes 10 Intelligence to match a single point of resistance.
Higher Critical Chance synergizes very well with Sweeping Wind. If you can get this without sacrificing any required stats, get it. It will crank your DPS into overdrive.
Higher Critical Damage is just a damage boost.
Melee/Ranged damage reduction is gravy on top of your armor and resistances. I haven't tested whether this gets dumped on top of existing armor or not, leading into a straight damage reduction, but like I said earlier, less damage taken is a good thing.
Control Effect Reduction will unfreeze and un-jail you that much faster. Freeze is the critical one. Not being able to attack means you can't bring your life on hit to bear. This is not optimal.
Thorns are not really needed. Yeah, you'll damage those that hit you, but between Sweeping Wind and your third hit, you'll already be doing much more to those in front of you.
Other resistances are entirely useless. They will provide no benefit whatsoever, unless it goes higher than your chosen. In which case, why are you diluting your equipment choices to that extent? You might as well focus exclusively on Resist All, then.
First up, this build will not let you stand there and take Arcane Sentries and Desecrators without moving. I don't think there's any build that will let you do that. So, get used to moving. Not to kite, but to pull away from damage spots, arcane sentries, that sort of thing. Move is your watchword. Moving is life.
You can stand and take it from enemies that have Reflect Damage, Fast, Vampiric, anything that doesn't drop a damage spot. Even Molten is fine, as long as they don't move. Just remember, they explode when you kill them.
Dashing Strike dashes you to the other side of the enemy that you are on. It can also dash you out of a tight spot. Use this to avoid boss attacks. Butcher winds up his big swing? Dash behind him, and keep going. This takes split-second timing, however, as I've found some enemies will wind up, and if you dash before they begin the attack animation, they'll turn to hit you. You may have better luck dashing away from your enemies. The dodge bonus from the rune only functions when you hit something. It will not work just dashing from one point to another. Also keep in mind that damage spots tend to interrupt the dash, so don't take it as a get out of jail free card.
When fighting bosses, champions, anything with over 100,000 health, turn on Sweeping Wind. You'll regain your Spirit, and be doing extra damage. If you need to run away, use Lashing Tail Kick on an enemy to keep it from falling off.
Don't worry about your life dropping; it's going to happen. It's when you're standing in a plague patch, or other damage area that you need to worry. Remember our watchword? Move. Why are you trying to imitate a Barbarian? Monks are about speed, grace, and balance. Flow around the battlefield. Let them come to you, away from their Arcane Sentries and Plague patches. A live monk is a happy monk.
Anything that can't kill you in one hit will die. You won't be able to stand there and take it from Arcane or Plague champion groups, but normal monsters provide no difficulty.
You are going to die from time to time. It happens. Don't get frustrated. Learn from it, and experiment. Vortex sucks you onto an Arcane Sentry? Hopefully Serenity is available. If not, take your lumps and try again.
Last tip: Have fun. If you're not enjoying having to run around to avoid Arcane sentries or Desecration patches, this build is not for you.