A pressure build is a build which continually deals damage or employs energy denial to tax enemy monks and eventually overcome their ability to heal. It could be considered the opposite end of the spectrum from spike builds. With spike builds, the key resource is time, as whether a player lives or dies relies on whether the monks are able to heal that player mid-spike or not. In contrast, the key resource against pressure teams is energy, as the goal of those teams is to force enemy monks to spend more energy over time than they gain. Eventually, if the pressure is successful, the monks will reach a breaking point where they have no energy left to spend. If that point is reached, then the pressure build will generally be able to chain together kills with its heavy DPS. Common elements in pressure builds are warriors and rangers (for a consistent damage output), many sources of health degeneration, or a large number of various hexes (referred to as stacking hexes).
Even though their main focus is the opposite of spiking, pressure builds often have the ability to deal some spike damage. Once the enemy monks are near their breaking point, a moderate spike can easily kill.