You can see the datamined notes here --
Before we start, it should be noted that there are two hidden mechanics that we do not know the numbers for and they are APS-mod of generators (how much attack speed using a generator gives you) and Proc C of generators (how likely the attacks are to proc various effects).
They have come out and said that the APS mods are supposed to be higher this build and until I do testing it will be impossible to know just how much higher they are.
They have also alluded to increases in Proc C's that can be made now that LoH isn't tied to Proc C.
This is more of a speculation call on my part as there has been no hard-evidence to suggest a Proc C change and, without LoH, this is actually not something I can prove anymore.
It seems like Diablo 3 is simply drifting away from a gen->spend system and these patch notes reflect that movement. The developers seem reluctant to the point of being obstinate when it comes to spender / generator damage buffs and this means they have no way of competing with the extremely powerful class-sets / god-tier legendary items.
I understand why this is happening but I think it's toxic for the game. This mentality slowly but inevitably removes skills from the available pool by over-promoting those that work with the high-power items.
Perhaps it is the long-term plan to add support-legendary effects to all the skills to keep them competitive but, in the short term, it means we are stuck with extremely limited options.
This patch appears to only have a minor effect on Monk's total DPS output potential and a fairly substantial effect on Monk's total eHP potential.
I imagine the sustain / mitigation changes will allow some progression potentially pushing monks into the range where they can compete with the other melee classes and it will be extremely unlikely to allow us to compete with the ranged classes.
Line by line review
p1_ItemPassive_Unique_Ring_943 - Mystic Ally summons two Mystic Allies that fight by your side.
This will be some item that makes Mystica Ally summon 2 allies instead of 1.
While interesting, it is unlikely to matter much. The best case scenario is that it is tied to a non-weapon / non-glove / non-helm slot (shoulders please!!!) in which case there is an outside chance it sees play either by activating a monk-pet-spec (extremely unlikely) or by granting 2x Ally passives (probably worth the shoulder slot for some people) or by granting additional effective toughness in high-tier GR's by adding bodies to take hits.
I see all three of these scenarios as unlikely at best and I give this item an initial rating of "meh" with possible upside in the future.
ItemPassive_Unique_Gem_015_x1 - now gains .5% increased damage (Down from 1%) for 4 seconds (up from 3). Gaining a stack no longer refreshes all existing stacks
ItemPassive_Unique_Gem_015U_x1 - Now gains .5% increased Armor for ever stack (Down from 1%)
This change, at first glance, makes no sense at all. If the gem is meant to gain max possible stacks as it levels and stacks don't refresh then leveling it does nothing.
I will tentatively assume they are changing it more substantially and leveling it now increases the % not the stack count. This means it's up to your spec to proc it as many times in 4 seconds as possible.
Let's live in a world where I am right and review it from there (bearing in mind that if I am wrong this gem is obviously no longer playable and should be ignored by everyone forever).
I like this change. Keeping a stack count of 50+ was a poor game mechanic that directly punished people for high-ping and double-punished people for getting CC'ed. The last thing this game needs is MORE penalties for getting CC'ed.
If we assume it gets 0.2% per level which gives it ~10% per stack at lvl50 then it's pretty reasonable. Spending your resource 5 times in 4 seconds is easy for any spec that is deisnged to do so and it might maintain its place as one of the best gems in the game situationally.
ItemPassive_Unique_Gem_010_x1 - now increased the damage of your pets instead of the Critical Hit Chance of them.
ItemPassive_Unique_Gem_010U_x1 - Pets are no longer unkillable and now take X% less damage
This doesn't really affect monks but it's not a surprising change. Pet specs are both boring and overly powerful right now and this was just even more ridiculous power to them. I am sure this works out to a major nerf to this gem but I don't really want to live in a world where every class' best spec is running away while pets fight it out.
ItemPassive_Unique_Ring_903_x1 - Now increases the maximum stack count of sweeping Winds instead of making it last for 60 seconds
Been beaten to death already.
Probably non-viable vs other weapons if SW doesn't proc AD (which I have been assured it does not) and will see little to no use.
Still 5000000000% better than the gloves.
Transcendence Every point of Spirit spent heals you for 1568 Life. (up from 248) / Heal amount is increased by 2% of your Health Globe Healing Bonus. (up from 0.2%)
This is probably the biggest change this patch.
This passive likely fixes every non-storm-breaker monk's sustain issues. Say goodby to any thought of LoH or LPS, even a modest 60k globes gives you a whopping 138,400 life every time you activate a mantra.
While this will be manditory for nearly everyone, I think it's a wonderful change. Sustain in melee was pretty much impossible and this hard-requires you to actually interact with your resource to gain its benefit.
This is obviously the biggest buff for SWK 4pc monks who have seen nothing but buffs from every PTR build and might now be the best possible setup.
This is the biggest buff this patch even if they increased our gen APS by 50% or more and it's nice to see.
The Guardian's Path While dual-wielding, you gain a 35% (up from 15%) chance to dodge incoming attacks. While using a two-handed weapon, all Spirit generation is increased by 35%.
Dodge sucked when it came from dex and it still sucks when it comes from a passive you should not be using.
Nice for those monks who want to dodge things because of flavor beliefs.
Reduce all non-Physical damage taken by 25%.
This comes directly from player input which is really nice to see. We have been asking for basically this exact passive for quite some time and replacing sixth-sense is just icing on the cake.
It's actually a pretty substantial mitigation boost as it should be multiplicative with all other sources of mitigation.
Physical damage is VERY unlikely to kill you now that Transcendence will heal you through any and all sustained damage which means reducing spike-damage from the various elite affixes is all we need which is what this delivers. I expect to see this get a LOT of use.
Alacrity (from Guiding Light)
Increase the attack speed of Spirit Generators by 15%.
This is another player-input-driven change. People HATED that Crusaders were faster than monks and now it is unlikely that will remain true.
It's interesting that this doesn't grant IAS which means it may actually stack multiplicively with IAS (testing required) which would make it much stronger than it appears and, for any spec focusing on gens (swk 4pc / lightning-proc / shatter-palm) it would almost certainly be better than STI.
PS. Sorry Vox ... GL is dead and gone.
Fists of Thunder
Generate: x Spirit per attack / Teleport to your target and unleash a series of extremely fast punches that deal 200% (down from 255) weapon damage as Lightning. / Every third hit deals 400% (down from 510) weapon damage as Lightning split between all enemies in front of you.
Thunderclap : Release an electric shockwave with every punch that hits all enemies within 6 yards of your primary enemy for 120% (up from 105) weapon damage as Lightning and causes knockback with every third hit.
This is just the usual "nerf the thing you are buffing" change Blizz almost always includes with their changes. The APS buffs SHOULD either completely make up for or make up for more than this dps loss.
I will obviously be testing this but I expect favorable DPS results.
Interesting to note that while FoT does less, Thunderclap does more which means a TC build isn't completely out of the question if the APS boost is big enough. (depth diggers + things that don't need a high Proc C would be required such as WKL/SoH).
Now that monk sustain will only be tied to spirit and not LoH, the ultra-low proc C on TC probably matters a LOT less.
Generate: 12 Spirit per attack / Project lines of pure force over a short distance for 260% (up from 200) weapon damage as Physical. / Every third hit has a 50% chance to knock enemies up into the air.
A buff in damage? This could mean DR isn't getting an APS boost or that DR was simply performing SO poorly that it needed both damage and APS. I have no idea as I would never use this as long as FoF and Rising Tide exist.
Generate: 12 Spirit per attack / Unleash a series of large sweeping attacks that deal 155% (down from 175) weapon damage as Physical to all enemies in front of you. / Every third hit also dazes enemies within 11 yards, slowing their movement speed by 30% and attack speed by 20% for 3 seconds.
Mangle : Increase damage to 255% (down from 265) weapon damage as Fire.
Tsunami : Crippling Wave's third attack has its range increased to 17 yards and Freezes enemies for 1 (down from 1.5) seconds second. / Crippling Wave's damage turns into Cold.
Rising Tide : Each enemy hit generates 2.5 (down from 3.5) additional Spirit. / Crippling Wave's damage turns into Holy.
Exactly the same as FoT, values lowered to reflect new APS level net-change SHOULD be a buff / equal.
Way of the Hundred Fists
Generate: 12 Spirit per attack / Unleash a rapid series of punches that strike enemies for 190% (down from 220) weapon damage as Physical.
Hands of Lightning : Increase the number of hits in the second strike from 7 to 10 and increasing damage to 423% (down from 490) weapon damage as Lightning.
Windforce Flurry : Every third hit also generates a wave of wind that deals 500% (up from 285) weapon damage as Cold to enemies directly ahead of you. / Way of the Hundred Fists's damage turns into Cold.
Same as FoT / CW except Windforce Flurry saw a very substantial buff which may actually make it viable with DD's (assume they double the damage of the proc) + SoH. 1000% WD line-nukes every third hit are actually getting to the point where you can maybe kill something.
We shall see! :D
Mantra of Healing
Heavenly Body : Passive: Mantra of Healing also increases maximum Life by 20% (up from 10).
Time of Need : Passive: Mantra of Healing also reduces damage taken by 30% when below 50% Life.
As long as nothing in the game scales with max HP, more max HP is unlikely to see any use.
However, ToN could work out to a pretty massive toughness increase. Because new-Transcendence is consistent healing and MoH's active is a bubble instead of a heal, reducing damage below 50% HP is actually quite useful.
If you have 4pc Inna's and thus already get the Salvation buff (seen below) then I would think MoH-ToN would be the mantra to spam for a SWK 4pc monk.
Cost: 1 Charge / Quickly dash up to 50 yards, striking enemies along the way for 305% weapon damage as Physical. / You gain a charge every 8 (up from 6) seconds and can have up to 2 charges stored at a time.
I was just thinking to myself, you know what needs to be nerfed? The only skill that actually feels good to use!
This is just stupid. I get it. CDR-DS was a lot of movement ... but movement is basically all we have and this does nothing at all but punish people who don't have good CDR which is something that was already extremely true.
Storm-breaker has seen no buffs at all outside the DS->CDR change and now this slaps them right back to being only a tiny bit better off than 2.0.6.
I can't, for the life of me, understand this change so I will stop trying.
Wave of Light
Cost: 75 Spirit / Focus a wave of light that crushes enemies for X% weapon damage as Holy.
Wall of Light : Wave of Light Stuns enemies for 1 second. / Wave of Light's damage turns into Physical.
Empowered Wave : Increases the damage of Wave of Light to 1045% (up from 960) weapon damage as Holy.
Shattering Light : Wave of Light deals an additional 165% weapon damage as Cold in a line.
Okay, this is a bit hard to interpret so bear with me for a second.
In previous patch notes, it has been the case that even though the stated number for the new WoL damage is 1045%, that is actually the value of Empowered Wave and it is likely the base damage received the same-sized buff that EW did.
EW went from 960 to 1045, an increase of ~9%.
This would take the current WoL's 605% and increase it to ~659%.
IF this is the case, it's exactly what we said NOT to do. This barely even qualifies as a QoL increase let alone a real buff.
IF, instead, the damage of the base rune is increased to 1045, we have some potential on our hands.
Wall of Light's auto-stun is nice though 1s is pretty short. De-coupling it from chance / crit is nice and perma-stunning a BUNCH of trash mobs is probably quite easy now. Not big but certainly cute.
Shattering Light's new line-proc (which was removed from all other runes of WoL) can't compete with any variation of WoL (buffed or unbuffed) so I don't know why it exists. If the line-nuke did 1650%, it would still have trouble being a good skill due to the line-nuke's horrid AoE / pathing issues.
The last thing to note is that the line-nuke portion of WoL has been removed from the base rune and all non-shattering-light runes. This MAY significantly reduce the cast-animation of WoL which would be quite nice. The line-nuke portion of the WoL animation was something like 33% of the total animation and would make WoL have a positive APS mod.
I doubt this would make WoL used much but it would certainly be one step closer to viable.
Mantra of Salvation (formerly Mantra of Evasion)
desc : Cost: 50 Spirit / Active: You and nearby allies gain an additional 20% increased resistance to all elements for 3 seconds. / Passive: You and your allies within 60 yards gain 20% increased resistance to all elements. / Only one Mantra may be active at a time.
Agility (formerly Backlash) : Passive: Mantra of Salvation also increases Dodge Chance by 35%.
Perseverance : Passive:Increases the resistance to all elements bonus to 40%.
Ah, MoE is gone! Rejoice!
Salvation now gives 20% all-res with options for 40% all-res, 20% armor (nice!) 35% dodge (ew).
It also actives to give 20% more all-res on top of the base 20% (or 40% if runed).
No matter how you slice it, this is a substantial toughness increase for monks who want to use a mantra. 20% all-res / armor with 20% more all-res when active is a TON of mitigation stats.
When you combine this with the buff to Transcendence it starts to look like monks might be able to tank things again.
I appreciate this change as flat-mitigation is better than no-mitigation.
Lashing Tail Kick
Cost: 50 (up from 30) Spirit / Unleash a deadly roundhouse kick that deals 755% (up from 624) weapon damage as Physical.
Vulture Claw Kick : Release a torrent of fire that burns enemies within 10 (up from -5) yards for 755% (up from 624) weapon damage as Fire and an additional 230% weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds.
Spinning Flame Kick : Hurl a column of fire that burns through enemies, causing 755% (up from 677) weapon damage as Fire to each enemy it strikes.
Sweeping Armada : Unleash a large roundhouse kick that deals 825% (up from 671) weapon damage as Physical to enemies within 15 (up from -5) yards.
Knockback removed (thank the lord)
Scorpion Sting : Enemies hit are (up from 85% chance) stunned for 2 (up from 1.5) seconds. / Lashing Tail Kick's damage turns into Lightning.
These changes are interesting and will need some serious testing before real feedback can be given.
At first glance, this looks like a pretty substantial nerf. 30 -> 50 spirit = 67% increase in cost while 624 -> 755 damage = 21% increase in damage for a net chance of 27% LOSS in spir->dmg efficiency.
The story may very well end there and LTK will be further relegated to zero-use-flavor-only-land like many other skills.
However, the silver lining that MAY make this change into a net-zero or even net-gain is the little, less noticable changes.
VCK hits monsters within 10 yards. That is a big area. SW is 10 yards which means VCK received something like 80-120% increased range. That's a LOT of range.
Additionally, VCK now has a DoT component. DoT's do no damage BUT they have historically came with Proc C's of their own which would skyrocket VCK to the top of the Proc C charts for spenders and protentially open up a 2h Furnace build (or something similar).
SFK saw no text change but one can dream that the tornado got some AoE size / range love?
Sweeping Armada saw the biggest obvious buffs with a 23% damage buff, a ~200% range increase and no more knockback. This will be the one and only spender for Physical monks if that is ever actually a thing.
Scorpion Sting's stun was increased to 2 seconds. Even though this LOOKS like a small change, it actually makes SS's stun get closer to perma-stunning bosses. It's possible (and I would need to do some math I don't know by heart) that a Voo-powered SS-stun is actually long enough to break the min-threshold for elite/champ/boss stun duration and allow for perma-CC.
Additionally, the stun is now 100% which is a godsend as chance-to-CC skills make me want to die when they actually fail and kill you.
All-in-all I will need to test the new LTK before flatly decreeing it a nerf ... but this whole "give you small damage then massively increase the cost" tactic Blizz is taking makes me pretty upset.
Cooldown: 60 seconds / Have an Epiphany, increasing your Spirit Regeneration per Second by 20 (the 45 is certainly a datamining error) and enabling your melee attacks to instantly dash to your target for 15 seconds.
Insight (formerly Windwalker) :Increases the bonus Spirit regeneration from Epiphany to 45.
Windwalker (the worst rune by miles) is now Insight which gives 45 spir/sec instead of 20 spir/sec.
If monks can tank things without Desert Shroud thanks to all the new toughness / sustain options then this rune might see some use. It's exactly what SWK 4pc users were looking for and it's enough spir/sec that any monk even remotely thinking of using a spender should probably take a hard look at it.
This puts even more pressure on monks to get CDR which is annoying but c'est la vie.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Druin, the happy monk