Diablo® III

The Momentum Monk

Recent Edit:
I recorded some MP10 Ubers using this build. You can see them here:

Leoric and Magda: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRjR6_0h7PU

Zoltan Kulle and Seigebreaker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkYhs2Hg8iQ
/Edit

Hello! I've been seeing a lot of builds getting away from this sort of skill set and I wanted to show those interested that it is still viable in current content. When the recent patch hit I, like most of you, was very interested in seeing what the changes would inspire me to do with my build. After a lot of testing I landed on something very similar to one of the old style cookie cutter specs, but with my own personal touch. I have an in depth review of my spec on my website but I just wanted to show a video of how it works on here to see if I could get some feedback.

The build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aUYXkS!gVU!aZcbac
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tHgw-N0JUc

A link to my personal website is included in the info attached to the youtube video. Thanks for checking it out!

Forward

Firstly I want to state that I am not the first person to use this build. I am unaware of who the first person is, and it doesn't matter anyway. That being said, I did happen across this build by my own tweaking of skills based on a cookie cutter build that I found months ago before Paragon or MP were introduced. I had gotten bored with the game after that and just recently got back into it to explore what Paragon, MP and Ubers could do for my enjoyment of the game. Turns out they were enough to get me interested again.

Philosophy

The Momentum Monk gets its name from the synergy of Way of the Hundred Fists - Blazing Fists with the other parts of the spec. As you need to build and maintain this as well as Sweeping Wind stacks, the name seems to fit very well. Once you are up to speed its important to keep killing as fast as possible so we use the very popular Fists of Thunder - Thunderclap to get us places quickly.

Quick Overview on Gear Swapping
In total I have 3 rings, 2 amulets, 2 belts, 2 bracers, 2 weapons and 1 shield that I swap actively as the situation changes. In my opinion this is essential to the spirit of the build. This is typically a dual wield spec (personally I like Echoing Fury, but I can see why some wouldn't, especially at lower gear levels) and you don't have Serenity to save your !@# from being stupid, but a solid shield can get you through a lot of damage and buy you time to get into a better position to survive.

The gear that I don't swap is a mix of survivability and damage, but the gear that I do is quite polarized. That is to say that I have DPS pieces, and I have survival pieces. I won't get into the specifics of each one, but you can get a good idea of what I use from pausing at opportune times in this video: /watch?v=9tHgw-N0JUc, and you can look at what gear I happened to log out in at my armory page here: /d3/en/profile/Judlas-1631/.

The Momentum Monk is all about flexibility. Flexibility of gear, skills and passives. Flexibility of approaches to fights, knowledge of how certain elite pack affixes are going to affect the gear choice you want to bring. Some of you may not have ever swapped items in combat before, some of you might swap more than I do. At the end of the day the amount of flexibility determines the scope of the ability to maximize your result. You can take it as far or as short as you want.
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 3/5/2013 8:48 AM PST
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The Skills

Fists of Thunder - Thunderclap: This is an essential skill as it allows us to keep Sweeping Wind active and also just generally allows us greater movement and options on the field.

Way of the Hundred Fists - Blazing Fists: This is essential to the survivability and damage of the build, and what makes it primarily different from other cookie cutter builds I have seen. Keeping this buffed up is not only fun, it increases the amount of life you leech and the damage you do. Plus it makes you move faster and is the primary reason for the name "Momentum Monk".

Blinding Flash - Faith in the Light: Huge DPS boost as well as survivability for us as enemies are temporarily out of order. Another good use for this is resurrections in Ubers. If you get next to a corpse and use Blinding Flash right as you begin to resurrect, you can get it off before the boss can regain its senses. Of course if you get interupted by another means this is useless, so be mindful. Perhaps this will get nerfed?

Breath of Heaven - Blazing Wrath: This is a well rounded ability that can help us in many ways. The heal can save our !@# or an ally in a pinch, and the dps boost is significant. Also allows us to open up the flexibility of incorporating Guiding Light into our build, which I will discuss in the Passives section later.

Mantra of Conviction - Overawe: What can I say, 48% increased damage is a monster. I like to spam this right when I am refreshing the buff on Way of the Hundred Fists, so I just tap space while I click the right mouse button, and the DPS flows like sunlight through breeze. Some people might need to run a different mantra if their gear isn't up to par or if they are running with another monk, but this is considered essential in my book.

Sweeping Wind - Cyclone: Not much to say here other than I really like the new patch that fixed the directional problems that these had in the past. Other than the large damage this does, I think the main thing about this ability that might not be stated enough is that with life leech the cyclones can keep you alive when you are stunned, trapped or otherwise incapacitated. Plus they look pretty.
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 2/26/2013 10:35 AM PST
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The Passives

Let me start by saying that my choice of passives changes with the level of Monster Power that I am in as well as if I am solo or in a group. I'll lay out my approach and then try to explain it if it isn't self evident.

Solo, MP1-7: Combination Strike, Beacon of Ytar, One With Everything. If the MP is Really low, or I am rushing someone I'll change One with Everything to Fleet Footed.

Solo, MP8+, Ubers: Combination Strike, Seize the Initiative, One With Everything.

Group, MP1-7: Combination Strike, Guiding Light, One with Everything. Again, if the MP is Really low, or I am rushing someone I'll change One with Everything to Fleet Footed.

Group, MP8+, Ubers: Guiding Light, Seize the Initiative, One With Everything.

I think what I am getting at here is self explanatory, and you can change your MP thresholds as your gear permits, but just to go over it...

One with Everything: If you are super rich you might be able to afford to get away with not having this, but I really think it limits your ability to swap into highly specialized pieces if you don't utilize this passive. I can talk at length about this issue if you really want, so if you have any feedback here don't hesitate to send it to info@douglasknoll.com.

Combination Strike: This is a powerful ability that synergizes extremely well with our main purpose which is keeping Way of the Hundred Fists active at all times. The only time I don't use this is when I am doing group play in MP8+.

Guiding Light: I really like this ability because it invests in the synergy of everyone involved. Being vocal about your use of this ability will allow people to be more willing to group up when you need to refresh the buff. Everyone wants more DPS!

Seize the Initiative: Unless you know something I don't this passive is unavoidable in really high MP. It allows you to have some dps pieces on while not suffering from Glass Cannon Syndrome. It is even more important in high level ubers where a death of the monk might mean the wipe of the party. Use liberally.

Beacon of Ytar: This is a really useful passive that I think sometimes gets overlooked in terms of its ability to increase everything from a monk, survivability, dps, movement, but also synergizes very well with Guiding Light if you are unable to always get the heal to cover your entire party. Its not something I can recommend for high level Ubers, but I try to fit this in whenever I can.

Fleet Footed: Nothing feels better than running at 34% speed passively, then boosting that even higher with Way of the Hundred Fists. Go baby go! I really wish that I could have this passive all the time but sanity objects when I am in anything over MP3.
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 2/27/2013 9:55 AM PST
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The Gear

Coming soon.
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 2/26/2013 10:39 AM PST
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The Future

It's possible, maybe even probable that Blizzard will decide to nerf gear swapping. Considering their blatant attempt to normalize diablo across PC and Playstation, its very likely that at some point in the future swapping a piece of gear will mean dropping your Nephalem Valor. I really hope that this doesn't happen because gear swapping is something that goes with the very spirit of the Diablo franchise, at least in my opinion. I was disappointed to see that you couldn't swap weapons quickly in Diablo 3 like you could in Diablo 2, but I'm hoping this was an oversight and not foreshadowing.

If they do decide to destroy gear swapping in combat, the gear process will resemble that of the current Passive system. You chose the gear you need for the current MP level you are in and the job you want to accomplish. It won't kill the fundamental reason I carry around multiple pieces of gear, but it will put a damper on the level of fun I have with this particular spec.

Conclusion

I'd like to take a moment to thank you for checking out this guide, and redirect your attention to the video at the top post of this thread that showcases the build in action as well as has a link to my personal website. I'm not sure if its legit to make a direct link to it here so I'll just let you guys go through there.

Thanks!
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 2/26/2013 2:49 PM PST
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Nice post! Well explained. I approve.
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i dont mean to burst your bubble or bring you down but you are by no means the first person to use this build. i have seen this build from many a monk before you. With that being said it is a good build and very viable. If it works for you use it.
Edited by mifinke#1364 on 2/26/2013 12:54 PM PST
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02/26/2013 12:53 PMPosted by mifinke
i dont mean to burst your bubble or bring you down but you are by no means the first person to use this build.

02/26/2013 10:29 AMPosted by Judlas
Firstly I want to state that I am not the first person to use this build. I am unaware of who the first person is, and it doesn't matter anyway. That being said, I did happen across this build by my own tweaking of skills based on a cookie cutter build that I found months ago before Paragon or MP were introduced.


Yes I do realize that I did not invent this, I tried to make that clear but its a lot of text so people probably skim over that part. My main point is actually that this style of build is not dead, even with the buffs to the other skills we have. Thanks for the feedback though!
Edited by Judlas#1631 on 2/26/2013 1:17 PM PST
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Second page? Hate to do it but I gotta bump this. Second wind for my first topic..I'm not bumping it again though so if it dies it dies this time. Let the community be the judge!
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If you're not using a spirit spender other than Overawe, DR/Foresight would seem to be a better choice than WotHF/Blazing Fists. You get more damage, and the ability to attack from range. The latter can be handy when jailed/walled in, or you don't want to Thunderclap into plague pools. You lose out on the extra spirit from attacking faster, but Overawe on its own shouldn't drain your spirit anyway.

Of course, once you do that you're basically back to the 1.0.6 cookie cutter....
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If you're not using a spirit spender other than Overawe, DR/Foresight would seem to be a better choice than WotHF/Blazing Fists. You get more damage, and the ability to attack from range. The latter can be handy when jailed/walled in, or you don't want to Thunderclap into plague pools. You lose out on the extra spirit from attacking faster, but Overawe on its own shouldn't drain your spirit anyway.

Of course, once you do that you're basically back to the 1.0.6 cookie cutter....

You may think that (as I did too, before using BF for a long period of time) at first, but its not really the case.

The FS vs. BF argument is basically the same as pdps vs. edps. Quite often what is actually better isn't actually visible. Heres a few reasons why I would say BF is better than FS:

1. increases sustain via +aps
2. increases spirit generation via +aps
3. increases cyclone generation via +aps

Whereas FS is strictly a pdps increase. You can still argue the range of DR is better, which I won't argue, but I WOULD counter that with the fact that BF's ms increase actually works just as well (if not better). It allows you to reposition faster potentially lowering TC downtime further than DR actually could.

Of course, the best of both worlds is actually replacing FitL with either FS or BF (whichever you weren't already using) and using 3 generators + CS. I generally do that when running ubers if I'm not needed for FIW too.
Edited by gotaplanstan#1369 on 2/26/2013 11:58 PM PST
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looks similar to the spec i use when farming mp6+, although i prefer bells for my spirit dump

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UbegSk!XgU!Zcbacc
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sadly this build was nerfed last patch..

i was stacking insane amounts of ias to get the most out of the BF FitL / SW snapshot.. lost 10% of my dps

i use serenity.. less kite equals more dps

i have since dropped BF FitL for BoH using guilding light passive coz i normally co op when i get the chance to play..

momentum monk.. catchy i like

uber ias cc let the cyclones do dmg yes please
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Good write up, nice vid. Even shows a death which we all know happens but some leave those out as if it adds to credibility. The reason I never really got into gear swapping is I was the monk in my group that was running mantra of retribution:transgression for the buffed AS and whenever you do any swap you have to recast. For some reason it hasn't been coded into the other mantras (not sure if accident or purposely) but it would often happen at inopportune times and be caught spirit starved.

I do agree that FitL def has a place when doing ubers. The siege kuhl one someone almost always get stuck in a bubble with a pile of rocks on there head...
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! We did get hit with a bit of a nerf as you say junior but I actually think that overall the gameplay is better when you don't need to worry about creating some big snap shot for your sweeping wind. In my opinion it makes the game much more enjoyable and that's why I wanted to create a build that incorporates the old style which I like so much with the newer patch that destroyed snapshotting. That meant increasing overall damage which eventually led me down the path of getting rid of Serenity.

I really am not a big fan of spirit dumps as I like to keep the 48% increase flowing through Overawe and with just a bit of +spirit gained on my items that keeps my spirit in check pretty well, with just enough to squeeze in Guiding Light heals, blinds, and sweeping wind. In actuality I have to keep an Innas belt on me at all times because the cost is so much without it.
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Definitely approve for group running especially as a barbarian, there isn't a better combo pair for speed farming or party boosting.

And agreed on hoping they make at least weapon swapping an easier customization (similar to D2), even if they do inevitably drop gear swapping.
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02/26/2013 12:53 PMPosted by mifinke
i dont mean to burst your bubble or bring you down but you are by no means the first person to use this build. i have seen this build from many a monk before you. With that being said it is a good build and very viable. If it works for you use it.


I've been running this build since 1.0.6.
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good name for the build, I've been using this build for a quite a while on my higher MP farms

good explanation
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The FS vs. BF argument is basically the same as pdps vs. edps. Quite often what is actually better isn't actually visible. Heres a few reasons why I would say BF is better than FS:

1. increases sustain via +aps
2. increases spirit generation via +aps
3. increases cyclone generation via +aps

Whereas FS is strictly a pdps increase. You can still argue the range of DR is better, which I won't argue, but I WOULD counter that with the fact that BF's ms increase actually works just as well (if not better). It allows you to reposition faster potentially lowering TC downtime further than DR actually could.

I'm going to agree to disagree. Certainly, everything you said is correct: BF increases sustain, increases spirit generation, and increases tornadoes. But it's not that simple.

  • It benefits sustain by increasing your APS, but it's only guaranteed to be better for LpH players. If you focus primarily on LS, you only need to know whether it's better for your EDPS. And it won't be under certain circumstances, many of which cover most of the monk community.
  • It increases your spirit generation, but this is only important for most players if they're using a real spirit spender, like Wave of Light or Cyclone Strike. Even the slowest dual-wielder is going to have enough spirit to spam a mantra. If you're running a build that relies on skills with small costs or SSS and its associated cool-down, the extra spirit won't benefit you.
  • It creates more tornadoes, but they're always weaker. And tornado damage, as noted above, might be 30% of a monk's EDPS. In most circumstances, spawning an extra 10% is a wash if the other player's tornadoes hit 10% harder.

I'll start by laying out the conditions under which you might favor Blazing Fists to Foresight:

  • You have a 2H weapon. Most of them have low attack speeds. Blazing Fists adds +0.05 APS per stack, not 5% IAS per stack. The raw number means more for weapons with lower attack speeds, i.e., 2H weapons. If you're using a 1.00 APS weapon, +0.15 APS translates directly to +15% damage; if you're using a pair of 1.40 APS fists with +10% IAS apiece, +0.15 APS is worth less than +10% damage.
  • You have a lot of LpH. LS users will simply care about eDPS, which typically favors Foresight. For LpH players, however, a faster attack speed translates into better sustain.
  • You have a real spirit spender on your bar. This is the only way to really take advantage of the extra spirit you generate during combat. Without it, the extra spirit simply keeps you globe even . . . fuller?

Most monks are dual-wielders, however, and many of those who aren't use Tempest Rush to farm and therefore want a pure DPS bump that doesn't have to be refreshed constantly. But let's consider a monk with the following:

A pair of 1.40 weapons that deliver 800 damage per swing
A 2200 DEX
+15% in IAS gear, plus the 15% bonus for dual-wielding
40% CHC
+400% CHD

His paper DPS is 87,068.80, and his EDPS is just under 515,646. We'll give him the following skills, for starters:

Thunderclap
Cyclone
Overawe (we'll assume full up-time, or +48%)
Combination Strike (+8% currently)
Seize the Initiative
One with Everything

That leaves room for three skills, one of which will be Foresight or Blazing Fists.

What happens if we give him Foresight? Well, we boost his additive buffs from 56% to 82%, so he gains 26/156, or exactly one-sixth of his current value. Therefore:

Foresight eDPS: 601,587

What happens if we give him Blazing Fists and assume that he keeps it up full-time? Well, we boost his additive buffs from 56% to 64%, so he gains 8/156, or just under 5%. The base APS of his weapons goes from 1.40 to 1.55, a gain or 15/140, or just under 11%. These are multiplicative, so his eDPS goes up by just under 16.4%. (IAS doesn't affect this number, as it simply scales the result.) Therefore:

Blazing Fists eDPS: 600,170

As we can see, this is on par with Foresight, but it's not better. The results don't change with the number of mobs in the area, either:

  • Foresight vs. 6 opponents: 2,422,000 eDPS
  • Blazing Fists vs. 6 opponents: 2,417,000 eDPS

Blazing Fists has an icon, which is nice. And it comes with a movement bonus, although I think it could be limited by the MS cap. But it comes with a penalty: you have to keep tapping Blazing Fists every 5 seconds, versus one third strike every 30 seconds with Foresight. This means that your Thunderclap up-time is much lower with Blazing Fists despite the APS boost.

Now, let's change that dual-wielding monk to a 2H player. We'll give him a 1.10 APS weapon and only 15% IAS.

  • Foresight, single-target: 418,000
  • Blazing Fists, single-target: 428,000
  • Foresight, 6 targets: 1,684,000
  • Blazing Fists, 6 targets: 1,724,000

I'm not arguing for one skill over the other; I think it depends partly on your weapons, partly on your build (if you're a DW who doesn't use Overawe, Foresight is much better), and heavily on the other skills on your toolbar.

I consider both skills good choices, and I've used both; I simply use Foresight because it provides a bigger bang for that slot in the absence of Overawe. Regardless, I hope all this information ends up being useful to somebody.

Cheers!
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