[Build] DW XP/Loot Dashing Ninja Build

Welcome to my second guide thread written on these forums EVER. My first one http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7005435708 was very long winded, so I hope that this one will be more concise and still get my main points across.

Introduction - A viable alternative to Druin’s TR Build?
I know that the TR build has gained popularity in these forums because, well, let’s face it, Druin’s awesome and the build works. But for me, the reason that I put this together was because I wanted to get something that will be a fast MP0 XP/loot build while spending minimal amounts on gear and still get somewhat good results. I like being a DW monk, so I wanted a build that can emulate some of the results of the TR build without having to get a 2H skorn and gimping my attack speed.

Based on the skills laid out in this build (for an "entry level" monk for this build @ unbuffed 100K DPS), a minimum of 30M XP/hr is possible. However, with some modifications to some of the skills from higher tiered monks, the XP/hr can come close to 80M XP/hr (and possibly more).

With that, I believe that this can be a fun & viable alternative to the TR build. See "Addendum" section of post at the end for links to posts with description of modifications to achieve higher XP/Hour.

Basic Build Requirements & Considerations
  • With your hellfire ring and ruby in helm (giving you at least +60% XP), I would hope that you are still maintaining 100K dps unbuffed for SW purposes. It may well work with lower, but I have not tested it out yet.
  • Max movement speed in gear and some pickup radius will be helpful for you to pick up gold along the way without having to backtrack
  • Adequate resistances and armor would definitely help
  • Flexible gear requirements - 4-piece Inna's not required!
  • Increased attack speed welcomed

  • Build Elements & Description:
    First, the link to my build:

    Chant of Resonance
    Fleet Footed
    One With Everything or Seize the Initiative

    Way of the Hundred Fists - Blazing Fists
    Seven Sided Strike - Fulminating Onslaught
    Blind Flash - Faith in the Light
    Mantra of Healing - Circular Breathing or Mantra of Conviction - Submission
    Dashing Strike - Way of the Falling Star or Dashing Strike - Quicksilver
    Sweeping Wind - Master of Wind

    Movement Speed
    This build emphasizes movement speed and passive killing (through SW/MoW). In terms of movement speed, here is the breakdown of what this will be:
  • 24% from gear
  • 10% from Fleet Footed passive
  • 15% from WoTHF / Blazing Fists at max stack
  • 25% from DS - WofFS

  • So at max, your MS can max out at around 74% MS (without shrine) for very short bursts if you play your cards right, but still maintain a base of +34% and average around +50% MS. This should also require you engage in minimal of fighting, since the SW will kill most MP0 monsters you come across just by running around them. Maintaining 3 stacks for blazing fists can be a bit tricky, so there is reason to punch from time to time. Dashing Strike to the middle of a pack is also useful, as SW/MoW can kill a bunch of monsters just by landing in the middle of a pack of whites.

    Passive Spirit Regeneration
    At the same time, DS from target to target can be very spirit draining. So some passive spirit generation will be helpful. This build has elements that will give you 5 spirit per second without relying on gear at all. MoH/Circular Breathing gives you 3 spirit/second (along with some extra healing per second) and Chant of Resonance increases duration of mantra from 3 minutes to 10 minutes AND it gives you 2 spirit/second regen. Both of these are helpful, as it allows you to essentially spam MoH and then forget about it for most of the run (and not waste spirit trying to keep up the mantra). For a typical A3 XP run, you may only have to refresh the mantra once.

    Champion/Elite Packs
    In terms of what to do about elite and champion packs, this is where SSS/FO comes into play. I would typically DS in the middle of an elite/champion pack, BF/FitL (blinds them and damage buff) and then SSS/FO and allow my SSS to strike them down. Fuliminating Onslaught is useful in this scenario because of the AOE effect, so it can kill monsters surrounding target as well. I would say that it probably kills >75% of monsters in one shot, and usually it’s either the fast ones or the extra health that require some extra effort to kill. Remember, that there is some benefit in punching as it can help build 3 stack of MS if need be, so attacking does still have a positive side effect.

    Other Points
    Defence will still be a consideration, as you still have to engage in battles and fight your way through some mobs. So going completely glass cannon may not be advised, as dying really does take a chunk away from your XP/hour rate.

    Some people may be wondering what happened to Serenity in this build, to which I say... it is not necessary with MP0. You will be killing so quickly that the protection that serenity provides will be wasted. Beyond that, Dashing Strike between packs can also get you out of trouble quickly in case you find yourself in a bit of trouble and need to get out of sticky situations.

    What to do after 1.0.7 drops?
    At present, I do use BF/FitL to buff/snapshot SW. Once we lose the snapshot utility, the question then becomes whether you want to use BF or Blazing Wrath for buffs. It will be something I will experiment with later. For now BF/FitL will still be useful as it will buff SSS by ~60% because of the increased attack speed for most DW monks, and more if you happen to arrive with a full BF stack before spamming the skills.

    The other element worth considering is to drop SSS for Wave of Light. With the upcoming damage buff from 390% to 829%, it may be worth using Empowered Wave (reducing spirit cost to 40) to drop bells on elite and champion packs. Seeing that there is also no cooldown to this skill, it may end up providing more utility as the AOE effect can wipe out large mobs in one blow, especially if elites are “hiding” amongst the white mobs. Again, something I will be experimenting with once new patch drops.

    What are some alternative runes / skills to consider?
    For one thing, if you are not an OWE monk and you have plenty of armor, you have a free passive from which to choose. There can be a variety of them (not as much as we wished), but you can consider Combination Strike for a flat 8% damage buff. Beacon of Ytar could also be useful to reduce cooldowns for both BF and SSS.

    Dashing Strike is a great skill to move from point to point. If you don’t find yourself being affected by the increased movement speed, then you can also consider using the Quicksilver rune to reduce spirit cost from 25 spirit to 10. With the minimum 5 spirit / second spirit regen, this almost makes DS free (as one strike with BF will get you back the remaining spirit) and you may find this to be far more useful than the increased movement speed that WotFS rune provides..

    Sweeping Wind / Master of Wind is typically really useful for those who don’t have the Inna’s 4 piece set. If you do have it however, you could consider using other runes for SW. Inner Storm may be a useful one as it increases passive spirit generation by another 3 spirit per second at maximum stack count, giving your monk a total of 8 spirit / second. This makes DS that much more useful, and refreshing your SW every 3s between enemies is going to be free anyway. Fire Storm may also be worthy of consideration as it increases the radius of the SW, therefore increasing the killrate (thanks to Teckno for the suggestion). Just bear in mind that if your SW is too strong, you may not have many monsters to swing at to keep the SW and the BF stack up.

    If you are finding that spirit generation is NOT an issue for you, Mantra of Conviction / Submission may be a great alternative. It provides a 12% monster defence debuff, and inflicts a constant 12% weapon damage x APS to surrounding enemies. This would add to the 45% weapon damage from SW/MoW, giving you a total of a constant ~70% weapon damage for the average DW monk @ 2.0 APS AND the 12% monster defence debuff. This should increase kill rates as well. This would be my first choice if it weren't for the fact that I needed more passive spirit regeneration.

    Notes about Gameplay
    This build actually raises the heart-rate, so it's not for the faint of heart! It requires constant awareness and engagement with what you see in the screen because of the DS component. This is especially true if you go through Fields of Slaughter (I think that's what it's called) and encounter those long-armed monsters (forget the name). It requires you to DS in the midst of them and kill them before you kill anything else (otherwise, they get you from underneath and you die quickly because you don't see those arms springing up from under you). I find this to be a very engaging gamestyle and is not something that can bore you to tears.

    Start the run with MoH spam, and check in on it now and then during the run. While we are in patch 1.0.6, it will be most helpful to punch away at your first pack to build the WotHF/BF attack speed & movement speed buff, BF/FitL, and then SW/MoW to get your SW to do the most damage for you. After that, it's just punching on occasion to keep the SW up or re-spam SW if you need to keep the stacks and there is no monster in sight.

    From here on out, most of your kills will consist of DSing to a pack or to a monster and then moving on to the next target (striking is likely not necessary if it's just a single or a couple of monsters). If there's a big mob, then running around may be necessary, but no need to strike with BF unless the monster's health pool is a bit higher. This can also help build your WotHF/BF MS stack if you are engaged in one battle for long enough. When you do come across an elite / champion pack, the key sequence (assuming nothing is on cooldown and your spirit pool is pretty high) is DS to target, BF/FitL, SSS/FO and then WotHF/BF to kill what's still alive. And repeat sequence as you come across new packs.

    This build works off of the element of surprise by attacking before they get any attacks in - especially with the elite/champion packs, so you may never have to feel the effects of jailer, molten, plague, etc with the exception of some particularly nasty affix combinations. You'll know them when you see them. ;)

    There is a potential issue with this build in that if your DPS is in fact TOO strong for a certain MP level, you may not have enough to punch with your spirit generator since your SW will kill on contact. In instances like that, moving up MP levels may be advised, as not having an active way of generating spirit kind of works against what this build attempts to do. Unless you have a good amount of passive spirit regen between gear and skills to negate the consequences.

    Concluding Thoughts
    So there you have it. Yet another MP0 XP/loot speed run build. For the higher-tiered monks, the build can be modified to a point that it could even compete with Druin's TR build in terms of XP/hr efficiency with less restrictive build requirements. It’s a little off the beaten track and it (hopefully) provides some more build variety amongst monks who are getting sick of the cookie cutter build, not a fan of the TR playstyle and want to try something a bit different.

    I do want to acknowledge LordRaahl / Countfury for his assistance with elements of this build. Believe it or not, he can actually be quite helpful!

    If any of you have tried this build out, and have any feedback or suggestions for me, feel free to do so below. Thanks for reading.

    Feedback posts:

    Modifications from higher DPS Monks:
    Piffle (a TR monk) was able to get to ~59M XP/hour with some modifications (and room for improvement). See this post:

    EmperorMao tested the build, made some modifications that got him to ~77M XP/hr. See this post:

    NOTE: I tried this build and you really do move fast! I tried to play with it an swap some skills around but quickly realized why each skill was so skillfully selected.

    Interested in hearing others experience...
    Love it.

    DS:WotFS is an underplayed rune and needs more attention!


    -Druin, the happy monk
    I am looking forward to trying this out. Should be a fun change of pace if nothing else! Looks like you've got some good synergy with your skills there.

    Question - if I were to use my current TR gear (in profile atm), do you think I'd be better off using my Skorn or using DW weapons? Have you tried it with a 2her?
    I am looking forward to trying this out. Should be a fun change of pace if nothing else! Looks like you've got some good synergy with your skills there.

    Question - if I were to use my current TR gear (in profile atm), do you think I'd be better off using my Skorn or using DW weapons? Have you tried it with a 2her?

    I haven't tried using a 2her, but I have always found the attack speed with a 2her to be too slow for my tastes (and I know how much you hate DR because of the SLOW attack speed), which is why I have gone DW and haven't looked back and I emphasized IAS when possible in my gear selection (before I got this HF ring anyway). The faster attack speed from DW (and IAS) benefits BF/FitL and WotHF/BF (since it won't take as long to build 3 stacks), but lack of damage does hurt SW/MoW and SSS.

    If someone does want to try this with DW vs. a 2her, I'd love to see the results. As of right now, I'm not interested in forking out millions of gold for a decent LS skorn (which is why I created this build in the first place. :P)
    Your first guide (Huge thanks for that) was one of the ones I had bookmarked and constantly referred to (and even sent to my MIL). Never did officially say "Thank you" till now. :)

    I'm going to try this out later this week. It sounds intriguing and I need to re-read it a few more times to fully glean everything.

    That... and get movt speed boots or a pair of lacunis.

    Thanks for another great guide! :D
    Oh boy. Just saw this - you've answered my prayers as an IAS addict. =) Jumping in to try this right now!

    EDIT : Oh Lord. =) Nameless, you're the man. I tried this build, and although I can't really speak to the xp/hr (never really cared all that much), all I can say is - this is the most fun I've had playing this game yet. Period, bar none. =) Seeing a bunch of enemies go down as I DS into them just made my day. Man, I'm going to do this again right NOW! =))

    What I didn't expect is how quick things happen. If you're in a properly-populated area, as soon as one group goes down, another usually starts to appear onscreen, and you can DS to it, etc., etc. This is insane fun. =)

    Anyhow, insanely more fun than mindless TR'ing if you ask me. But then again, I never really enjoyed TR'ing....
    @Druin -- thanks for the props. Truly, I am honoured that you would +1 my thread.

    @Silver32 -- Thanks for the note. I'd love to read your feedback after giving it a whirl. I'm always up for fine-tuning the build, as it has gone through some modifications over the past couple of weeks (my decision to incorporate MoH/CB and CoR passive was something I put in this past week). So yeah... feedback will always be appreciated!

    @Joysze -- your welcome. Thanks for your (belated) appreciation -- I'm glad you found my first guide helpful. And yes, getting a pair of MS boots (with pickup radius) would be helpful too. You may lose some DPS and defence, but it won't be needed since you are running MP0. I actually have 3 pairs of boots that I swap around depending on situation. I have my "uber" boots (that are high DPS, high EHP, no MS), my MS boots (has some DPS, vit, res, armor, MS) and my MS + PuR boots, each getting progressively worse (defensively) but all reasonably priced.

    Thanks for the positive feedback so far. Hope some of you find this helpful.

    (Edited: added note to Druin -- missed this earlier)
    Posted my feedback above, Nameless. In short : effin' amazing. =) LOADS of fun. =)
    @Silver32 - thanks for the amazing feedback. I didn't know it would impact you that greatly. I'm so glad you are having fun with this! :)

    One quick note that I should post here that is not yet in the main build description (but will probably be there soon) is to further the point that Silver32 made about DSing from pack to pack. The more packs you are able to string together without any pauses, the more monsters D3 would say you killed in their defined period of time, and from that, even more bonus XP. So the act of finding more packs to DS to after killing one pack without any break in action is a big challenge for me and you might want to see how many you can kill in a row. I think I maxed out at ~80 monsters killed in one d3-defined session (not sure) and the bonus was sizeable, but I'd love to see if I can get over 100.
    As someone who has not wanted to TR at all, but wanting to speed up runs a bit, I thank you greatly and will be trying this out :D I am not quite at 100k anymore, but if I equip my non-LS axe I will be just under it. :D

    Did I say :D? Because this idea makes me :D
    @Sinafae - Thanks for the note. While I haven't actually tested this, I'm not sure if you actually need any LS with this build. The kills happen so quickly, that health globes (especially with more pickup radius) and the occasional health potion might actually be enough to keep you alive for the whole run. Again, I should probably test this at home by dropping my LS fist and go higher DPS and see whether I can still do it without dying.

    If anyone wants to test this with two non-LS weapons, let me know if it would still work. :)
    I don't have two non-LS or I would test it for you. I'll have 2.7 when I use the old axe. I'm out of money too, trying to turn my wiz into CM for uber runs o_o
    WRT the bonus experience when killing a string of enemies : is the bonus experience from hellfire/gem already factored in to the number you see on screen, or is it added on top of it?
    @Silver32: I actually have no idea. I guess a good way to test it is it try one run with XP buffs and one run without it. And calculate the bonus XP/kill (assuming it's linear, but it might not be, so you might need to chart this). If it's not factoring in the XP bonus in HF and helm, then that's even better! :)
    Just a suggestion and thought, don't mean to be rude or anyting. Here is my Opinion.

    Drop Blind for Cyclone Strike and this build will be bad !@#. After the patch Cyclone Strike does more dmg plus it will help you kill trash quicker.

    You shouldn't need the extra attack from blinds to basically almost destroy Elites with SSS and Cyclone Strike.

    Some Players could also switch out OWE for whatever skill they desire. Combination Strike, Exile Soul, or maybe Guardians Path if there 2 handing.

    Other than that I wouldn't change a thing. For Cyclone Strike though, it seems the player would need more Spirit gear and stuff to make it work.

    I plan on trying this build out. Seems fun~

    Edit: I think Fire Storm could also work here. The two problems I see here are.. You need 4 Inna for sure. The bigger problem is. When it does drop, you want it max. So I dono how well this would work on mp0 since stuff dies so quickly. This is same reason Cyclone wouldn't be the best choice. Worth some testing im sure. Fire Storm also looks very freaking cool.
    Was actually think just that, as I was going through : Cyclone Strike would absolutely rock here. I might just try that out.
    Way to think a little outside the box and use some of the skills/runes we don't normally consider with dual wielding. I like the overall approach and I might try it out next time I get to play a couple rounds.
    @Teckno: Thanks for the suggestions. I don't find feedback rude at all, and actually quite welcome it as I don't pretend to say that this is the best build for these purposes ever. I haven't tested all of the possibilities yet, but I will make some comments about your suggestions if you don't mind.

    Because of how quickly monsters die with SW in MP0, using any rune other than MoW would be hard to keep up and require constant monitoring of the stacks. Attention when playing is typically on what monsters you see, and manoeuvring the mouse so that you can DS to the location you need to in order to attack. So the fewer buffs and stuff you need to monitor, the better. However, if you are in the habit of keeping the SW up by periodic pressing of your SW key, then this could work for you. And the problems you mention about keeping stacks is also an issue. Building 3 stacks is not that hard. Keeping it can be because, again, many monsters die as soon as SW touches them, so it's not as if you can crit to keep the SW stacks alive. High passive spirit regen becomes even more important in this case...

    As for your comments about CS... yes, I think it would completely rock with this build. In fact, I'd take it one step further, and use CS / Implosion, and then drop a WoL/Empowered Wave bell (instead of SSS) on them for a quick two strike kill. The problem, as you also identified, is that we are spirit starved. That's why I went with the BF/FitL CC & buff, because it only costs 10 Spirit to spam, and does wonders for the other skills. I'd love to test out CS, but I have a feeling that my spirit will be too low to use on a regular basis.

    But if you do get a chance, please test out the build as is first before making attempts to modify it. I'd love for you to experience the build as it is meant to be used, and on a selfish level, would love to get field-tested feedback from you... and then modify after according to what your needs are (and post your suggestions as well). Thanks for taking a look. Looking forward to your feedback.

    @Surly: thanks for the comment. Please let us know how the testing goes for you, as I'd love to hear back and see if this is working for you too.
    Okay so I just ran through MP1 with this build.


    I actually like fire storm, I bought an innas belt for it. Im using extra pick up radius, 14 atm.

    This build is super fun... elites die in one SSS usually if position right.

    I'm gonna try this build in a little higher MP with a Monk Friend.. but yeah this build is soo fun wow. Cyclone Strike is freaking fun.. can't wait for the buff!

    Edit: We about to have fun with this build in Mp3-5, switching in OWE for Exalted Soul.

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