[Review] My take on Storms 2.0 and SWK 2.0

Monk
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Well, our two sets received "massive" buffs last night and so I went mule hopping and found my best set of each and gave them a whirl after spending some serious time theory-crafting up setups that might actually work.

The following are my opinions, if you disagree I would love to talk about it! :D

    Sunwuko's 2.0
Change --
4x set bonus went from 100% weapon damage as holy to 1600% weapon damage as holy. Duration of clone went from 1 second to 0.5 seconds.

Results --
Not good.

I was the most excited about this change as, on paper, it fits my type of playstyle the best. I already want to max CDR and use infinite Epiph to spend a ton of spirit so I figured this would be a shoe-in.

At 800k unbuffed DPS, 45% elite damage and 40% holy damage this set did terrible damage.
(Sunkeeper + Born's Sword ended up being my weapons of choice)

I tried out several specs and found the most effective to be the following --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UefRVP!bVUX!bbZcZa

The concept is simple. CS things, EP them, drop IS, spam bells that proc the SWK clone.

The results were abysmal. The damage from WoL is incredibly low, the damage from SWK is very low and the damage from un-buffed EP is pretty low. All in all it lead to a spec that was VERY like Lightning-Pillar-EP but with less AoE damage (Pillar + TF + Odyn + Andy is nuts) and less single target damage (FoF + TF + Odyn is REALLY nuts).

Why? --
There are no really good monk damage options so there was nothing to accompany the SWK proc which, all by itself is not actually that much damage.
If you think about it, 1600% damage for 75 spirirt is only slightly above average.
WoL-Pillar is 635+785 for 75 spirit which comes out to 18.93 damage/spirit.
SWK is 1600 for 75 spirit which comes out to 21.33 damage/spirit.

These numbers are actually fairly favorable for SWK because it's "free" damage in that you are supposedly doing something else with the spirit it takes to proc SWK.

However, the only way monks can even come close to dealing enough damage to work in T6 is by using RRC to make the dmg/spirit number better and/or by using procs.

SWK ignores both of these scalars making its 1600% dmg / 75 spirirt get worse and worse as you stack more of those other two stats.

So, in the end it's not that the set bonus isn't good, it's that it's not nearly enough.
Monk damage is already so low that ~doubling it via SWK still leaves us with too little damage to be effective.

What do? --
Well first off ... this bonus is boring as heck. The clone idea was neat because it was unique ... with the change to 0.5s duration it is now just an AoE proc-on-a-stick. As with all sets, I recommend changing it something interesting instead of "deal damage".

Skill changes are the most interesting but there are plenty of ways to make things interactive without "when you do what you would do normally, you do more damage" which is just about as boring as it gets.

If that isn't an option, and I no longer have much faith in the dev team's ability to do interesting things here, make the spirit requirement scale with RRC. If you have 50% RRC, it only takes 37.5 spirit to proc.

This will make the same stat that scales your spender-build's damage also scale your SWK damage.

Also ... that 2 piece ... omg it's so bad. Just remove it and add something that isn't wretched OR (and I am dreaming here) make 2h weapons not suck.

Options left to try --
Apparently this set works quite well in the already established FoE-SSS build.

FoE-SSS already stacks holy damage, already uses a Daibo and already spends spirit to deal its damage.

The SWK set basically adds ~45% damage from 3 pieces which, while not at all interesting, is enough to matter.

Think of it this way, there are no viable holy-gloves so that set-item is "free" there are no viable holy amulets so that items is "free" so you are giving up shoulders to complete the set. I would gladly give up my shoulders for 45% more damage (even if it means giving up 10% CDR from Born's).

How does it increase damage by 45%?
The combo is -- CS mobs together (50 spirit) EP x2-3 (80-120 spirit) Blinding Flash-Faith (generate lots of spirit) SSS-FO (50 spirit). This procs ~2 clones assuming you have the normal ~20% RRC.

The whole combo deals 261% damage (CS) + 6,893% damage (SSS) = 7,100% damage.
2x Clones = 3,200% dmage.
10,300 / 7,100 = 1.45 or ~45% more total AoE damage.

Other things that might work -- 3x SWK + 3x Inna's (using BP + belt + wep) + Ice Climbers (so you can snapshot TR and have it never break due to elite CC) + CDR + Epiph + TR-Northern Breeze.
You can snapshot TR's APS using a white 1.8APS dagger which means it will cost ~30 spir/sec given some IAS. You can easily generate 30spir/sec with a 2h wep + GP which means you can get a clone every ~3 seconds for ~500% Damage/sec for "Free" plus TR at 3 APS with a 2h weapon is actually "okay" damage (something like 445% weapon damage).

If you do a really good job snapshotting you might get TR up to ~800% damage + 500% from SWK = 1300% WD/s .... yea ... not going to be killing T6 fast but it's better than nothing?

    1000 Storms 2.0
Change --
6x is now 3000% damage as lightning to everything in and around the path of your Dashing Strike.
(was 100% weapon damage as an AoE when you teleport)

Results --
MUCH more favorable than the SWK tests. T6 viable, potentially T6 good.

I wasn't at all excited about this but it turns out to be a million times more interesting than SWK.

Because the massive damage number is tied to a skill that normal has no relation to damage and has a very unique cooldown system the spec actually creates interesting gearing choices.

Disclaimer -- I do not own a Shard of Hate so I was unable to test what I believe to be the best use of this set.

I tried several setups and felt BY FAR the best with a pretty simple max-light-dmg setup.
I am a CDR junkie and I truly believe this spec scales the best with CDR even though it has no effect on DS because DS also doesn't scale with IAS and CDR allows for other skill use.

I did NOT test any non-CDR specs because I don't even have non-CDR gear ... it is possible that this set is best used with 0 CDR but I have no idea what your third DPS would be instead ... Area damage doesn't proc on Storms damage so that is out ... ?

I ended up with a Dex > CHC > CHD > Lightning Damage > CDR > other stat distribution system.

Once you take CDR into the build, you open up the use of the utility spenders because Epiphany will give you infinite spirit while you dash around for nothing.

I ended up here --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ZdfRVP!SVUX!YYacZa

I went with a Stun-Vaxo build because the Clones are extremely useful as they CS and EP for you which lets you focus on DS. When they aren't doing their job, you have to CS-EP instead.

With even moderate RRC (20% or so) EP CS and LTK are all pretty easy to spam thanks to Epiph spir/sec.

The concept is pretty simple ... Dash > CS > EP EP > Dash boom.

The problem is that even 3000% damage with 100% light damage and 800k pDPS felt like a wet noodle against elites and especially the RG (who you don't have FoF + Furnace for) additionally, EP without any of the normal EP buffs is MUCH worse.

As you have CS, I think storgarm is BiS which means 5x Storms and Andy's (imo). I am not a fan of Aug's so there is that.

Eventually I would love to try this spec --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bdfRVP!SVUX!bbacZa

I would use SoH + WKL for sustained DPS with a triple-DS burst to kill elites with palm on and I would use Breaker + WKL for trash.

I think this has the most potential but I need a SoH to test.

What do? --
Honestly ... I think they need to tie the DS cooldown to CDR. I know this will make CDR mandatory but I think it basically already is thanks to epiph and this would help monks on all fronts. Non-Storms specs would gain much needed mobility, Storms would shift to a DS-only DPS model (way more interesting IMO) ....

Alternately, a buff to Jawbreaker would work. Changing the range from 30-35 to 10-15 (as suggested in another thread) would be the ideal type of switch. The 30-35 requirement is a bit much and makes for unbelievably clunky gameplay.
This change is almost exactly opposite to the first proposed change and would make Storms scale with IAS instead of CDR.

Without one of these changes, I don't think Storms will compete with other classes in T6 though it may be able to compete with Shatter-palm given ideal setups for both.

Options left to try --
Plenty. I am by no means the best Jawbreaker user in the world and I do not have the best lightning damage gear (looking as Solo and Neuron here) so it's possible my results were artificially bad. It's also possible (as I mentioned earlier) that CDR isn't right even though it feels like it is. Perhaps IAS is still the way to go.

<3
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Home -- BannedOfGamers.com
Druin, the happy monk
I think if they had attached raiment bonus to Epiphany teleport instead of DS would make it more T6 viable.
06/11/2014 10:50 AMPosted by Davlok
I think if they had attached raiment bonus to Epiphany teleport instead of DS would make it more T6 viable.

I think that would be numerically better but worse in every meaningful way.

The Eiph teleport is horribly clunky to use which would result in infinitely more frustrating gameplay.

Additionally, this would make CDR required rather than optional.

I will hold out that buffing Jawbreaker to 10-15 is the best fix.
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Home -- BannedOfGamers.com
Druin, the happy monk
Thanks Druin!

i was trying to follow along with you in clan chat last night when you were testing, but i ended up focusing more on the rifts i was running.

was looking forward to reading this :-)

i'm short 1 set piece to test 1000 storms
you know, cdr is requirement for WD and crusader.
so why not monk
I've been running SWK-Inna sets last night on T6 group rifts instead of my "shatter monk" and I must say, I'm liking it. Damage/Spirit ratio is not to the point where this build could shine but it's a pretty good alternative. I can actually do damage on RG/Elites without using a Furnace. With mantra spamming after CS, clones every half second, 160m-200m+ / sec, and mobs with EP:SS, I got full spirit after every pack.... I just need to optimize my gear.

SWK gloves/shoulder/ammy
Andys
Inna chest/belt/daibo
RoRG
SoJ
Crimson boots/pants (can try BT for 10% elites or Rainments for 500dex, Just not sure which will add more damage to the clones - maybe you can give some light on these???)
but i dont want to be a ping pong ball :(
06/11/2014 11:06 AMPosted by Esspay
but i dont want to be a ping pong ball :(


hum, but bliz want u to be, so what.
Hmn druin why use Wol with light rune, it currently bugged and doesnt scale with holy, my cs do more damage than wol.
I also think you jump the gun too soon, cuz you havent try sss-foe build yet, also. I tried it yesterday, even with only 18% holy , cs spam to pop clone in IS with stromguard bracer really doing some nice damage and then there that sss every 9 secondes which also proc clone.
06/11/2014 11:05 AMPosted by Keperbipy
I've been running SWK-Inna sets last night on T6 group rifts instead of my "shatter monk" and I must say, I'm liking it.

I am very glad you are having a good result. As my results obviously do not match up with yours, is there any way you could record you playing so I could see what you are doing differently?

06/11/2014 11:05 AMPosted by Keperbipy
With mantra spamming after CS, clones every half second, 160m-200m+ / sec, and mobs with EP:SS, I got full spirit after every pack.... I just need to optimize my gear.

This, for example, seems WAY out of line with what I saw.

First off, you can't actually spend 150 spirit in 1 second with Mantras as they have a very short but very real internal cooldown.

Second, 160-200m DPS with two clones would mean you have Harringtons plus out of control perfect Holy gear plus group buffs I assume?

I hope you are right, I just did my own testing and saw nothing even remotely close to this :(
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Home -- BannedOfGamers.com
Druin, the happy monk
06/11/2014 11:16 AMPosted by DalaiLama
Hmn druin why use Wol with light rune, it currently bugged and doesnt scale with holy, my cs do more damage than wol.

Good to know. That's even worse than I thought! :P

I will try again without WoL ... but that doesn't bode well for SWK.
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Home -- BannedOfGamers.com
Druin, the happy monk
Kudos for sticking it out this long druin.

I'm honestly pretty happy at the moment that I looked to playing other games, I wasn't expecting this patch and its depressing that its another spit to our monk faces.

Gonna just continue playing other games and waiting for 2.1 to hopefully not be as depressing as the last two patches were.

I hate to be that guy but I really feel like whoever controls monk design at blizzard is completely out of touch with the monk class. I was very off-put by the dev twitch vod a while back that said some very disheartening things about class / item balance and this kinda stuff is not helping that feeling.

I'd be shocked if they re-did the sets a second time, but boy do I hope they do.
SWK still adds quite a good bit of damage for a 4 piece bonus though. I can't think of any other 4 piece bonuses from other classes that I'd rather over SWK. It's just a shame there aren't many viable builds that work around it.

I'm more optimistic about jawbreaker though.

After seeing some videos, it looks like its a 15 yard aoe completely around you with no internal cooldown, not a frontal cone like the animation implies.

And 30 yards isn't too terrible. 5 yards is about our characters collision radius. Dashing only 10 yards is pretty challenging since the clickbox is fairly small in a 10 yard radius for example.

I remain cautiously optimistic that people will learn to master the jawbreaker. 3000% weapon damage is comparable to fate of the fell afterall. Some awkwardness is a small price to pay.

I don't think SoH is BiS with jawbreaker either. WKL's 25% of 3000% is 750% weapon damage.

SoH does 250%*3*elemental bonus? So you would only need to hit about 2 targets per dash to break even with a SoH. Maybe SoH has some use for bursting down EP targets though.
Good stuff!
06/11/2014 10:46 AMPosted by Druin
If that isn't an option, and I no longer have much faith in the dev team's ability to do interesting things here, make the spirit requirement scale with RRC. If you have 50% RRC, it only takes 37.5 spirit to proc.


This would be a cool idea. Right now I don't use rcr and cdr is not necessary for the build I'm using either, so rcr seems ideal for the build, but yeah makes it a juxtaposition currently..

also, agree they need to upgrade daibos or boost the 2 set up.

06/11/2014 10:46 AMPosted by Druin
Duration of clone went from 1 second to 0.5 seconds.


think you got those backwards btw.

Anywho, for me, personally, I'm enjoying SWK set. It could be better with the changes to rcr and 2 set for sure. Still, I'm doing well in t6 with holy, which is nice, so no big complaints. It's still early to take any definitive position, so keep on testing and playing.
Just an idea here....

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/flying-dragon

For the Wuko proc: While using Flying Dragon, would the Daibo's proc force TR to use spirit faster while channeling? If it does, then wouldn't that mean a surge of clones whenever it procs?

Maximum uptime on Epiph is required to sustain it of course.
06/11/2014 12:13 PMPosted by Lightdemon
Just an idea here....

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/flying-dragon

For the Wuko proc: While using Flying Dragon, would the Daibo's proc force TR to use spirit faster while channeling? If it does, then wouldn't that mean a surge of clones whenever it procs?

Maximum uptime on Epiph is required to sustain it of course.


You will be wasting spirit if the weapon does not proc while epiph is on.
06/11/2014 12:17 PMPosted by Tossed

You will be wasting spirit if the weapon does not proc while epiph is on.


That would be trivial depending on your downtime for Epiph, tho

I'm not sure what is the max CDR is for a 5 or 6 piece storm set up.
06/11/2014 11:05 AMPosted by Keperbipy
I've been running SWK-Inna sets last night on T6 group rifts instead of my "shatter monk" and I must say, I'm liking it. Damage/Spirit ratio is not to the point where this build could shine but it's a pretty good alternative. I can actually do damage on RG/Elites without using a Furnace. With mantra spamming after CS, clones every half second, 160m-200m+ / sec, and mobs with EP:SS, I got full spirit after every pack.... I just need to optimize my gear.


wait, so you're saying your clones are doing up to a 100m dmg with your current profile set up?
06/11/2014 11:25 AMPosted by Ohm
Kudos for sticking it out this long druin.

I'm honestly pretty happy at the moment that I looked to playing other games, I wasn't expecting this patch and its depressing that its another spit to our monk faces.

Gonna just continue playing other games and waiting for 2.1 to hopefully not be as depressing as the last two patches were.

I hate to be that guy but I really feel like whoever controls monk design at blizzard is completely out of touch with the monk class. I was very off-put by the dev twitch vod a while back that said some very disheartening things about class / item balance and this kinda stuff is not helping that feeling.

I'd be shocked if they re-did the sets a second time, but boy do I hope they do.

If shatter-palm didn't exist, it would be tough for me to keep playing.

Because it does and I can get relatively competitive clear-times using a spec I actually enjoy playing (I am one of the VERY few who actually like the playstyle) I am satisfied for now.

I have a pretty low level of expectation though ... I agree that it seems there just isn't the backing to make meaningful change. Whether that it the dev team not understanding the problems or simply not having the resources to address them adequately ... they are moving in directions that make me pretty skeptical.

I will let you know if Monks ever get back to place where they are "in a good place" for reals! :D

06/11/2014 11:30 AMPosted by Rukan
SWK still adds quite a good bit of damage for a 4 piece bonus though. I can't think of any other 4 piece bonuses from other classes that I'd rather over SWK.

Earthquake set is like 50x the damage of SWK and a 4 piece :P

06/11/2014 11:30 AMPosted by Rukan
After seeing some videos, it looks like its a 15 yard aoe completely around you with no internal cooldown, not a frontal cone like the animation implies.

The AoE felt great ... I have no idea what the deal with the "frontal cone" thing was ... but it was easy to use, hit what I wanted and never had directional issues when I used it.

06/11/2014 11:30 AMPosted by Rukan
And 30 yards isn't too terrible. 5 yards is about our characters collision radius. Dashing only 10 yards is pretty challenging since the clickbox is fairly small in a 10 yard radius for example.

Here I disagree. 30 yards is a lot especially given the perspective issue causing you to lose tons of potential distance when dashing down or down left/right.

10 yards is small enough that most "long" dashes would proc JB while spam clicking on the same spot would not. It would require movement to proc but not require dashing up-right or up-left as the current JB has a tendency to do.

06/11/2014 11:30 AMPosted by Rukan
I don't think SoH is BiS with jawbreaker either. WKL's 25% of 3000% is 750% weapon damage.

You probably misunderstood me on this one.

WKL is BiS no matter what.

JB, on the other hand, is pretty bad when fighting elites because the time it takes to run away far enough to dash again could be used to just auto-attack with SoH for more damage.

I would ideally want to use JB for trash where the dash in + dash out is enough to kill them for free and SoH for elites where the dash in and dash out barely scratches their HP.

06/11/2014 12:11 PMPosted by RelytReborn
think you got those backwards btw.

I believe the delay before explosion was changed FROM 1 second TO 0.5 seconds?

This causes teh damage to be more reliable but the clone to be virtually useless as a taunt / special mechanic.
________________________________________________
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all" ~ HK
Home -- BannedOfGamers.com
Druin, the happy monk

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