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LIGHTNING MONK 2.0.3
Hey guys. My names Rai and I've been playing Monk for a fair amount of time now, both in game and theorycrafting out of game. I try my best to keep up-to-date with any changes to the game and how they will affect Monks in order to keep my knowledge as relative as possible. I really enjoy the class, the speed at which you can move and clear while farming, and the variety of builds that the class offers for the many different situations you and your group may face.
Deadly Reach - Strike From Beyond
Crit Hit Chance is vital. For almost every build, for every class, this is your bread and butter. Deadly Reach itself is a short distance, fast attacking skill which gives us a 50% chance to knock up enemies on our third hit. This small amount of CC coupled with the Strike From Beyond rune allows us to generate an additional 3 Spirit for EVERY ENEMY we critically hit while keeping them at bay. While being the lowest base damage spirit generator, Deadly Reach offers a knockup which no other Primary does, and allows us to switch the rune to Scattered Blows for additional Lightning Damage if our Spirit Generation is substantial enough without Strike From Beyond.
Main Spirit Spender:
Lashing Tail Kick - Scorpion Sting
So. This is lots of damage. Lots of Lightning Damage. With an 85% Chance to stun. At 30 Spirit cost. Not only is this a heavy hitting skill (624% Weapon Damage), but the stun works on ALL enemies in the game. At 85% Chance to stun, and the stun lasting 1.5 seconds, this skill is the primary spirit spender, damage dealer, and crow control ability for a Lightning Monk.
Dashing Strike - Barrage/Way of the Falling Star
Since the Dashing Strike change, almost all Monks are now using this skill. The ability to maneuver yourself in and out of the fight thanks to the multiple charge system is extremely powerful and allows the Monk to be even more mobile than they already are. Many of the runes are useful and fit different situations. I am currently using Barrage for some extra damage to the last enemy I dash through but often change the rune out for Way of the Falling Star for the burst of speed afterwards.
Sustained Damage/AoE Skill
Sweeping Wind - Cyclone
Sweeping Wind is an awesome skill, lets be honest. Not only is it the other Lightning Skill in our Lightning Monks arsenal but seeing mini cyclones shoot from you and electrocute enemies, thanks to the rune, while your treating their face to a lobster dinner is something that you just cannot miss. Sweeping Wind costs 75 Spirit to activate, but that is the only downside to an otherwise great skill. Once Sweeping Wind is up, we can keep it running by ACTIVELY ATTACKING enemies or surroundings. Sweeping Wind will not refresh its duration if it is the skill doing the damage, however a Dashing Strike through a barrel or just a Tail Kick to Malthael's face will refresh it, allowing us to save the 75 spirit needed to re-activate for more Lashing Tail Kicks.
Epiphany - Desert Shroud
Epiphany is our new Level 61 skill. It allows us to fly around like Jet Li and deliver many a blow to enemies while generating a ton of spirit. It has a 60s cooldown, but with Cooldown Reduction being available both on gear and in the Paragon Point System, it can be alot shorter. I prefer to use the Desert Shroud rune so that I have a 50% Damage Reduction while Epiphany is running. This can prove useful if you overpull and find yourself in a sticky situation, and Epiphany allows you to do alot of damage without other viable runes, such as Inner Fire, being an absolute neccessity.
Mantra of Retribution - Transgression
Mantra of Conviction - Overawe
As you can see I have listed 2 Mantra's here and the simple reason is due to the benefits of them in Solo and Group play. Using Retribution with the Transgression rune allows you to deal a fair amount of damage back to your attackers (101% Weapon Damage) while also boosting your Attack Speed by 10%. This is an ADDITIONAL 10% Attack Speed and does not grant you 10% of your CURRENT Attack Speed. If your playing solo and your gear is lacking AS, this could be the Mantra for you.
On the other hand, playing in a group, Attack Speed will not benefit everyone. In this situation we use Mantra of Conviction with the Overawe rune, allowing all enemies within range of the Mantra to take 16% ADDITIONAL DAMAGE. Whoops....as if Wizards didn't hit hard enough already.
One With Everything
An extremely strong passive allowing you to stack one resistance (i.e. Poison) and having it apply to your All Resistances. Almost EVERY Monk should be using this.
Chant of Resonance
This passive will vary depending on your Mantra and therefore depending on if you are playing with a group or solo. They both provide us with 2 Spirit per second, but Exalted Soul grants us an additional 100 Spirit to our pool, while Chant allows us to use the active part of our Mantra's with half the spirit cost. If you are using Mantra of Retribution then you will want Exalted Soul as you will not be using the active Mantra effect as much as you would be for Mantra of Conviction. If you are using Mantra of Conviction then use Chant of Resonance so that you can make use of the Active part of the Mantra and allow enemies to take even more damage.
Seize the Initiative
This passive grants us 30% of our Dexterity as Armor. In my opinion this Passive is a must and extremely strong as it will scale as our gear does and provide us with even more toughness.
The last passive slot can vary. Currently I am using Transcendance as it allows me to recover life for each point of Spirit that I spend. This number scales with the Secondary stat on items which increases the healing received from Health Globes allowing it to become a great source of sustain. The other skill I would consider, is Unity. If you do not need the sustain from Transcendance and are playing in a group, Unity will grant you 5% increased damage for EACH ally affected by your Mantra's. This can grant you 15% Increased Damage and even more so if you have the 4 Piece Inna Set bonus, which allows you to gain the base effect of all four Mantra's at once.
"Mythic Rhythm as a passive option needs mentioning here, alongside Sweeping Winds.
Thanks to BBA322.
Your gear requirements will vary depending on what your character currently requires, but I will outline below what I believe to be the most efficient and benefical stats on each piece of gear for a Lightning Monk. I will also add any Lightning Monk specific Items that are essential to being the best you can be.
Helm - Dexterity > Crit Hit Chance > Attack Speed > Socket/Vitality/% Life
BiS Helm - Eye of the Storm. Can give upto 30% Increased Lightning Damage
Neck - Dexterity/Lightning Damage > Crit Hit Chance/Crit Hit Damage > Attack Speed > Vitality/Life On Hit
Shoulders - Dexterity > All Resistance > Vitality > Resource Cost Reduction
BiS Shoulders - Mantle of the Upside Down Sinners. One set piece that contributes towards our 4 set 15% Lightning Damage bonus.
Chest - Dexterity > 3 Sockets/Vitality > All Resistance > % Life > Monk Skill Damage
BiS Chest - Heart of the Crashing Wave. One set piece that contributes towards our 4 set 15% Lightning Damage bonus.
Gloves - Dexterity > Crit Hit Damage/Crit Hit Chance > Attack Speed/Vitality/All Resistance
BiS Gloves - Fists of Thunder. One set piece that contributes towards our 4 set 15% Lightning Damage bonus.
Bracers - Dexterity/Lightning Skill Damage > Crit Hit Chance > Vitality/Life On Hit/All Resistance
"For bracers I would mention strongarms, especially when we are already using deadly reach."
Credit to FilthyMonkey for bringing this up.
Rings - Dexterity > Crit Hit Chance/Crit Hit Damage > Attack Speed/Damage > Vitality/Life On Hit/All Resistance
BiS Ring - Stone of Jordan with Lightning Damage
"Wyrdward can be a handy ring for lightning monks to have, 15% chance for lightning damage to stun for 1.5s. When all your damage is lightining damage, that comes more often than you think."
Thanks to SkruWD for this.
Belt - Dexterity > Vitality/Life On Hit/% Life/All Resistance (Some belts but not many have Attack Speed. If it does, prioritise this second)
Thundergod's Vigor (Thanks to SkruWD)
Legs - Dexterity > 2 Sockets > All Resistance/Vitality > Monk Skill Damage
BiS Legs - Scales of the Dancing Serpent. One set piece that contributes towards our 4 set 15% Lightning Damage bonus.
Feet - Dexterity > Vitality/All Resistance > Monk Damage Modifier > Movement Speed (Try to obtain movement speed from Paragon Points to free this affix for the above priorities). Thanks to SkruWD for this.
Weapons - Dexterity > Socket. There are many things that can influence how good a weapon is but a main stat roll and a socket can save even the worse rolled white damage. Attack Speed and % Damage are the second best modifiers and your own judgement should be used when deciding which one to roll for.
BiS Weapons - Currently Thunderfury is one of the strongest weapons in the game. The unique proc and its frequency does such high damage to 5 enemies at once. Second to this I would look for a Lightning based weapon such as Odyn Son, Fulminator or Shard of Hate. Won Khim Lau also is a good alternative.
So thats my guide!
Thanks for reading this guys. It is much appreciated. I hope that I help some of you new budding Monks out there, and also hope that I can help the veterans out a little. Failing that I hope that they can respond to this thread and help me :D.
Please check out my Youtube at Youtube.com/RaisuunTV
There is a shorter and less in-depth version of this guide there as well as new videos every week.
Also check out my live stream at Twitch.tv/Raisuun
I have only just started streaming again so my schedule isn't fully set yet.
Hope this guide helps you all and much love to your Diablo 3 community.