Hey guys. A little background here. I have been playing FFXI for almost 6 months now so to most here, I am a baby when it comes to FFXI. I am a pretty experienced MMO player though with a couple years of WOW under my belt along with a few years of Everquest back in the day, playing in guilds that were the best on their servers and competed server wide. But anyway, the point of this post was to maybe help some people like myself who are relatively newer to FFXI, or maybe just new to the monk job in general.
What I'm not going to do is go over anything pre-90. There is PLENTY of information around there as far as equipment guides and leveling guides to get you to 75. And leveling in abyssea is so fast and easy that there's no reason to talk about gear to get from 75 to 90 except making sure you pick up the Aurore gear for upgrades. For me, as a new FFXI player, the full Aurore set was a big upgrade compared to items that I was wearing (Scorpion Harness, Republic Subligar, etc). But anyway, let's get on to useful information.
Once you hit level 90 on your monk and you've skilled up your H2H, the first thing to focus on is finishing up those merits. I would recommend the following:
Kick Attack Rate 5/5
Counter Rate 5/5
Formless Strikes 1/5
And personally I did Invigorate 4/5 but depending on what you are doing, you may find another merit more useful. I did Invigorate mostly for soloing purposes (I actually did 5/5 in this and then later as I started doing more in abyssea, I capped Pennance and dropped a point in Invigorate)
After merits, you need to get the appropriate atmas to be useful. We need to get you that AF gear, but the atma bonuses are so far superior to any gear that we'll work on that first.
First thing's first though. You'll need to buy that first lunar abyssite, and then join a shout group for a zone boss (Mega Boss is what you'll see in shouts). This will get you your 2nd lunar abyssite. Your third one will come after the 7th zone boss, so as you see shouts for other mega bosses, try to get in as much as possible to work on your 3rd lunar abyssite. Now, on to the goodies.
Atma of the Razed Ruins (RR) - this is the atma you will use 100% of the time. Look it up, learn about Ironclad Pulverizer so you can be prepared for this fight. If monk is your only job, you will probably have to settle for not doing much for this fight.
Atma of the Gnarled Horn (GH) - another atma you will use almost 100% of the time, especially for tanking. With these 2 atmas, even if you only have 2 lunar abyssite you will notice a significant increase on not just your damage, but your tanking ability.
Atma of the Voracious Violet (VV) - you see this one a lot on the forums too. Very powerful DD atma. Before Atma of the Apocalypse you will be using these 3 most of the time.
Atma of the Ascending One - you will want this to farm your AF3+1 body seals to fight Gamayun. With this atma + Shell + Baraera, Gamayun will be a joke.
Atma of the Ebon Hoof - not really necessary, but if you happen to get it, the bonus hp just makes you a beast of a tank, especially with Abyssites of Merit
Others - there are a few other atmas that are more situational. For example, monks are considered tanks, so a magic defense bonus atma can come in very handy. Atma of Vicissitude and Atma of Brother Wolf are both fairly easy to obtain. I prefer Vicissitude for the extra defense and regen, but Brother Wolf can definitely be handy for things like Itzpapalotl or other NMs with nasty fire damage. The other +100 resist atmas can all be situationally useful. Not something I would focus on, but if you happen to see a shout for it, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go pick it up. Also, some monks prefer the Atma of Roaring Laughter over Gnarled Horn. I personally use GH but I plan to get the Roaring Laughter and check it out some time.
Abyssites of Merit - these are arguably THE MOST important abyssites for a monk, besides the lunar abyssite of course. 4 of the 6 is just solo work, so get to it when you have some solo time.
Azure - you can look up how to raise your reputation and what not. The quests are very easy. The rep grind - just do 2 turn ins every 2 hours so that you can utitlize those 2 hours for other things.
Indigo - Xibalba is a pain in the anus. Bring a full alliance and keep reraise on yourself. This is the hardest one to get imo. So make sure you have all the red procs because you DO NOT want to have to do this NM a second time.
Ivory - 6k cruor
Jade - The 2nd hardest one to get. Warbler can be really annoying. Having a couple extra evasion tanks with you and a good healer makes him pretty easy. I also highly suggest making sure you have the jobs to proc red on him. I remember low-manning him with about 5 people I think.
Viridian - Bhumi is easy solo with RR and GH, even if you're nakid.
And now for the gear. A pretty pink monk is all fine and dandy, but after a while I really got tired of being in pink all the time as I started to look at it as an easy way to advertise "I'm a NOOB!" So yeah, let's look at the AF3+1 seals and see what we need to get. (Btw I'm not going to tell you how to get the AF3 base items as you can look that up yourself). If you've done the research, you will notice that every seal for every slot can drop from 3 different NMs, so it's a matter of choosing which NM is the easiest for you, then forming the group. As far as forming a group goes, as a monk, you're expected to tank, and in my personal experience, I found it MUCH easier to do my own shouts and find the jobs I wanted. The ideal setup would be MNK/NIN (or MNK/WAR), BLM/BRD, BLU/NIN, and WHM/whatever. Sometimes I had BLM that couldn't sub bard but my whm or blu could. Sometimes I just couldn't find all the proc jobs and just settled without. I tried to waste as little time in Jueno as possible.
Before AF - there are some easy pieces I highly suggest you pick up off the AH or through quests. You can get these between getting atmas or before getting atmas. Either way. Some of these you'll see on 1-75 equipment guides but I guess I'm reiterating them here for the simple fact that they are easy to get and/or cheap.
1) Ultion Mantle - arguments on forums that this is actually the best damage dealing cloak when tanking. Super cheap
2) Fuma Sune-ate - 3% haste boots. Not capped on haste? Use them. I bought mine for 5k on the AH
3) Raja's Ring - complete COP. You can solo or duo the entire mission story line with **** gear. I did.
4) Brutal Earring - I duo'd the coins as MNK/NIN with a NIN/DNC. We were able to beat all floors easily, and with another friend we were able to full clear all floors. Much easier than trying to buy coins off people I think.
5) Brown Belt - little time consuming on the quest, but anyone who plays monk should have either brown or black belt (Twighlight for certain monks)
6) Thew Bomblet - should be super cheap on the AH now
7) Kema's Earring - fairly cheap
8) Spiral Ring - fairly cheap. When I had the money, I bought Heed Ring.
9) Neck - honestly, I found myself using either Spectacles or Tiger Stole for so long. I'd love to get Faith Torque but haven't convinced anyone to help me do it yet. Would also love to get Tantra Necklace too. But for a beginner monk, I ended up just using Tiger Stole mostly until I got evasion torque for my ninja, dancer, and thief. Then I just decided to use it on monk too until I get something good.
Also, I'd suggest doing the AF1 quests for macro gear. At the very least get the Temple Cyclas.l
Ok, so now you have your Aurore Gear and some good, cheap gear in a fairly short amount of time. I think the only pieces I spent a significant time on was the Brown Belt, Raja's Ring, and Brutal Earring. But those items are so good, and so easy for how good they are, you really should go get them.
On to AF3+1 gear.
Tantra Crown +1 - your best option here is to farm Berstuk. The other NMs are kindof a pain and the other seals are less common. Berstuk shouts happen occasionally and you can either make your own shouts or sit in Jeuno and wait for a shout. Up to you.
Tantra Gloves +1 - Audumbla is sooo easy. I've solo'd him as a pretty pink ninja/dancer but I definitely preferred having other jobs for faster kills and grellow.
Tantra Hose +1 - Avalerion is pretty annoying, but you can also get a free Spiral Ring which is pretty nice. I didn't go this route though. I joined a group doing Minax Bugard which I also don't really recommend unless you have 2 tanks because Tyrant Tusk can just be a real pain if it instantly KOs you. However, I happened to be very lucky on this and got 8 tantra seals in 6 kills. Athamas is definitely the easiest of these 3 and is also just a spawned time so you don't even need to farm pop items. The only issue would be competition with other seal farming groups.
Tantra Cyclas +1 - I've never even seen the Ironclad Triturator or a shout for him. I highly recommend doing Gamayun. If you don't have competition, it's the easiest way to farm body seals. A few things to know though.
1) You have to get a Colorful Demilune Abyssite. If it gets upgraded to Indigo when you spawn Gamayun, go get another, but DO NOT throw away your Indigo. Keeping the Indigo will keep your second Colorful from being upgraded. Also, Gamayun ALWAYS, 100% of the time, will spawn in the area northeast of base camp where the Limules are. He does roam as far as northeast of conflux 6, but once you get that first kill, your group needs to warp back to conflux 1 and then just run to the Limule area and wait for him to spawn again. I suggest either farming time, or zoning out for 9 minutes while you are waiting on Gamayun to respawn.
Tantra Gaiters +1 - I saved these for last because they aren't really valuable until you get AF3+2 gear or cap haste. You'll basically want to use Fuma Sune-ate and use that 3% haste. Still, you'll want to get the AF3+1 because you definitely want them and the AF3+2 later on, just no need to focus on them. But anyway, Iku-Turso is the way I went. He was very easy for my group. Also the pop items are pretty easy to farm and I think they're really cheap too. I've never done Pascerpot but I've heard he's pretty easy as well, just more annoying b/c of paralyze and paralyga. Hanuman is a timed spawn which is always nice, and he's not camped often. Also nice. However there's a reason why. He can heal himself for up to 4k which is pretty annoying and every time he heals he gains a mini hundred fists. All his spells he casts are aoe and he has ensilence so a very rough fight for ninja or /nin. However, if your mages stay out of range, I personally think it's an easy fight for mnk/war tank.
Well, that about covers it for getting your 90 monk started. I may be missing some things. I didn't include AF3+2 because by the time you get your atmas and AF3+1 you should be good to go on your own. Good Luck!
-Peldin (Sylph server)
Edited, Jun 12th 2011 3:41pm by xxPhyrexx