How to solo Inferno: Updated 1.0.4

Monk
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Hi all, I've seen a lot of complaining about monks in Inferno and people complaining that melee in general is not viable. I just wanted to inspire the community to believe that you don't need to be a full time player or real money spender to get through inferno. All you need is the ability to itemize, budget your income well, and pick the skills that fit your play style best.

I wanted to write a guide describing how I got through Inferno (Diablo and all). The build I used, the game changing items I bought, and general gear selection strategies. I also wanted to toss in some general auction house strategies that you may find helpful.

Edit: I've reworked the guide for 1.0.3 using a new dps strategy.

Key Concepts
Getting the most out of your primary/ Abusing thunderclap rune mechanics
Sweeping wind + Elemental Ally = Lots of Free Dps
Ability to effectively use all offensive stats and weapon speeds (gearing flexibility)
More spirit than you can shake a stick at
Mitigating damage through mobility and well timed invulnerability as well as resistance
Maximizing dps time and countering burst through use of mobility, and invulnerability.
2 panic buttons and a pocket tank

Skill Selection and explanation
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adgSjh!aXU!acYcba
for monks trying to progress.

or alternatively

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#adgSjh!aXU!abYcba
for monks that have downed Diablo and are looking to farm act 3.

I've updated the build to work around the lack of viable IAS.

The best part of it is that the build can be used to kite or to stick on to ranged targets.
This makes it great if you are hunting down a treasure goblin or ranged elite or if you are kiting a pack of fire chainers.

I'll now go through each skill and explain it's uses:

Fists of Lightening: Thunderclap

Who would of thought that the very first primary with the very first rune would be what I'd stick with all the way through?

The primary is literally the most broken thing monks have going for them. The skill does more damage per second than any other primary, while providing great mobility, while damaging in AoE, while CCing everything in AoE, while generating more spirit than any other primary. And...it proc's life on hit (and other on hit effects) twice in AoE per attack. You can also jump over projectiles and damaging magic affects with the teleport and not take damage.

Sweeping Wind: Blade Storm (5-25% crit/slow weapon) or Cyclone (25%+ crit)

This skill makes it possible for a monk with 20k dps to out damage a DH or Wizard with 4 times the damage on their paper doll. It's steady, reliable, free dps in AoE. While kiting mobs I constantly burn them with this skill. It's a necessary part of an inferno monk's kit IMO.

If you have crit (25%+ recommended) you can switch to the cyclone run, spawning "fun-nados". These act like little lightning sentry zapping enemies (single target) as they roam. This is especially effective when fighting one large enemy and several small ones in melee. Your fists of thunder AoE has 2 chances to proc tornadoes per target in melee. You'll quickly dispatch the smaller enemies and launch waves of several tornadoes to burst down the large/high hit point main target.

The cyclone rune deals more damage over all when above 20% crit, but you'll have less control of where that damage goes. I'd suggest 25% crit chance before switching runes because of the loss in control.

Thunderclap is really key to the cyclone rune as each attack has 2 chances to spawn a "funado". Sadly the AI for them isn't very good, so they are clumsy, but spawning enough of them gets past this.

Mystic Ally: Air Ally

This ally helps in three ways. First off, much like sweeping wind, it is a fire once and forget skill that trickles dps for the entire fight. That means that it boosts your REAL damage far beyond what is listed on your paper doll.

Secondly, it tanks some of the incoming damage. With the inferno nerf, mystic ally has become even more powerful. The ally regenerates hp at a considerable rate and since enemies deal less damage over all and especially deal less burst damage, the air ally has benefited from a huge boost in survivability and hence effectiveness. Very often the mystic ally is capable of tanking two elites while you tank the other two, effectively reducing incoming damage by 50% while it also deals considerable dps.

Third, spirit generation. The ally can restore insane amounts of spirit to the monk. This makes up for the spirit generation lost from not being able to attack as quickly.

Serenity: Ascension

I've always run ascension over PR. It's just plain better. The extra second of invulnerability will provide you the ability to make more attacks to gain more life and will out weigh the heal once you have a decent amount of life on hit while effectively dealing more damage. The cd also begins refreshing upon activation. Longer duration means a shorter CD.

Seven Sided Strike: Sustained Attack

This skill is the most under-rated skill in the monk's kit. I've used it since I unlocked it and it's allowed me to win. It's a cleanse, heal, aggro shed, burst dps, ranged dps, invulnerability skill all wrapped into one.

The most obvious benefit is the invulnerability. You can avoid an arcane sentry, molten explosion/frozen explosion, a big swing, or a projectile by timing the skill well. With some life on hit (or spirit spent) it also will give you a decent heal. The damage it deals is phenomenal against a single target or a target that is hovering over an area that can't be accessed (or on the other side of a wall). Monsters also forget you exist and go chasing after your Merc (or mystic ally if you run one) which is very handy if you get yourself surrounded.
The ability is also great for keeping your 3 stack of sweeping wind and giving the enemy elites a poke at range.

I enjoy sustained attack because it provides me with the tool more often. With a 7 second shorter cd I can alternate between this and serenity to enjoy cc immunity/burst damage immunity every 5 seconds over the course of an extended fight. That strategy counters almost every boss in this game and many elites!

Or As an alternative to 7SS.

Dashing Strike: Blinding Speed

This skill is becoming a favorite of mine. Dashing strike is a nice substitute for 7SS especially for any monk not running FoT:thunderclap. This can be used for an evasion, for repositioning, for a spirit spender that deals damage, and for rooting fleeing enemies in place/closing after repositioning. The damage it deals isn't exceptionally high, but the ability has no CD and doesn't cost much spirit. If you choose to run a more defensive primary such as deadly reach or crippling wave, I'd definitely consider this to make up for the loss of thunderclap. I lately have been running both thunderclap and dashing strike. Dashing strike allows you to teleport behind your opponent which is often favorable. It also allows you to ignore pathing unlike thunderclap. I wouldn't recommend swapping 7ss for dashing until you out gear the content to some extent though as the skill is a bit clumsy at times. I think this will be a pvp staple skill in addition.

Mantra of Evasion: Hard Target

This mantra is excellent to keep your armor on par with your resistance. Right now, self buffed, I'm enjoying 72.80% mitigation from armor and 72.84% from resistance. It closes that gap between your resistances and armor nicely and makes grabbing dex with seize the initiative more rewarding.

The mantra itself is also really amazing. It gives me about 10% more dodge passively and an additional 9% or so when I activate it to give me a 54% chance to dodge in a pinch. That's huge against melee elites as you can use the active on this mantra to avoid damage spikes between cds. This is way way more useful than the pathetic life regen of MoH with time of need, especially since it has a broken active atm (Blizz plz fix).

One with Everything: Mandatory! Stacking a single resistance is a cheap and effective way to get a lot of stats for not a lot of gold. Getting 40+ of the same resist on each piece is not expensive but is very very effective and even more cost effective.

Seize the initiative: This skill scales with you. Upon entering inferno, chances are that its not going to be as good for you as Transcendence. Upon achieving 1000 dex you should consider switching Transcendence out for Seize as it will effectively decrease incoming damage by 25% at that point.

Resolve: This ability is the tried and true passive that I've used since normal mode. At no point should it ever be replaced unless you are rolling a Dw/ 2-hander glass cannon spec. At low levels, it vastly out performs Seize and at high levels it vastly out performs transcendence. So it always has a spot in your build.

Itemizing your Monk

First off, every so often, go to the AH and don't buy anything. Instead go to the sell tab and look at each piece of gear. Honestly question each piece's strength and try and replace the weakest link.

IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE:

1) Keep your weapon up to date (paper doll dps is all that matters)
2) Keep your Amulet up to date (600 life on hit amulets out perform EVERYTHING! and they are vastly less expensive than IAS amulets. (It doesn't even need other stats tbh.))
3) Keep your Shield up to date (It is huge to keep your armor value up to par, AND to have a shield with a good block percentage AND amount)
4) If those 3 pieces are sitting nicely, then upgrade your weakest slot.

What to look for in a weapon:

The one that gives the highest paper doll dps wins. Faster is always better.

The crit craze is upon us. By stacking the crit chance stat, the value of the crit damage stat can get very very high. Because of this, an open socket or crit damage affix on your weapon can result in considerably high dps than a weapon with higher base dps but no crit damage.

To figure out which is better (higher dps on the weapon or higher crit damage with lower dps), follow this short guide.

If you are lowering the dps on your weapon, you'd need to multiply your damage by new weapon dps/ old weapon dps first (which would be a number less than 1 in your scenario).

HDPS=The higher dps weapon
LDPS=The lower dps weapon
NoCD= Your crit damage with the weapon without crit damage
CD= Your crit damage with the additional bonus

Which is better:

(LDPS/HDPS x (CC%/100) x CD/NoCD) + HDPS/LDPS

If > 1 then the Crit damage weapon is better
If < 1 then the higher dps weapon is better

It's important to note that how high your crit chance is dictates the power of each crit damage %. With only 16% just realize that the crit damage stat is going to do absolutely nothing for 84% of your attacks.

NOTICE:
This is without any consideration of potential changes in dexterity, IAS, or defensive stats.
Also consider:
Plan for the future. If you plan to build a crit monk, chances are that the crit damage one will eventually be better if they are currently close, as the CD will improve in value as you get more CC.

DON'T WASTE YOUR GOLD ON LoH WEAPONS! The reason these are so over priced is because the people buying them are guys that have Diablo on farm and have tons of gold for upgrades. It's a huge distraction for anyone progressing and a huge waste of gold.

You can get plenty enough LoH using your ring and amulet slots. Again,
DO NOT SACRIFICE DPS FOR LoH!

Jewelry:

Get a 600 LoH amulet. The is the most affordable slot to get lots of LoH. If you can find one with good other stats and your stacked resist, all the better. Don't waste 12 million on a poorly rolled Blackthorne's Medal!!!

You can find very reasonably priced rings with other stats and 250+ LoH on AH. I'd recommend finding rings with your stacked resist + LoH (dex is expensive in this slot and IAS is way way expensive [but still really good if you can find it]).

Sockets in rings. Normally a single socket is a low quality affix for gear because the upper end of stats is 3-4 times as powerful as a single socket can provide for raw stats. However, the upper stat limit for rings is only 80. An affordable gem can provide 40+ dex or vit regardless of the armor slot its placed in (exception of helms). That means that a single socket in a ring is about twice as strong a single socket in another armor slot (minus helm). Consider how much a 42 dex affix runs you on a solid ring, and then compare that to what an open socket costs you on a ring with identical stats...

Armor:

Try to get stuff with 40+ resist of your stacked resist. It's cheap and effective!
Also look for all resist, dex, and if possible vit or %life
However! The amount of each is more important than having all of them. People will try to charge you 10 million for a piece with 100 dex and 100 vit on it. But will only charge you 3 million for a piece with the same stats but 200 vit or 200 dex on it. Keep an eye on these things!
I have 4 dedicated "HP" slots with minimal dex and the rest of my gear has no HP on it at all but tons of dex.
AND I SAVED TONS OF MONEY DOING IT THAT WAY!

Two of the best slots to dedicate for HP are chest and pants. Base stats are fairly cheap for these two slots because they have very high upper limits and can have multiple sockets (3 chest and 2 pants). Sockets allow you to swap gems between vit and dex which means you should value dex and vit equally. You can essentially add the two together as if they were one stat when picking gear and then adjust gems to the preferred ratios.

Note: there is a +200 vit affix on chest and pants and a +100 dex AND +100 vit affix. This means that a single piece could have 300 vit and 100 dex on a single slot plus open sockets.

Because of high max affixes on chest and pants (and sockets available) it is easily possible for a chest piece to have a dex+vit value of 400+ and for pants to have a dex+vit value of 370+ (chest is higher because of extra socket). Look to get a bulk of your base stats on these two slots. Don't worry as much about resist all. You can get very high bulk stats plus the single resist you are stacking for an affordable amount in these slots and get lower vit/dex stats and high resist stats in your other slots to compensate.

Also, %life is a useful stat in small doses. BUT DO NOT OVER STACK IT.

%life accumulates additively, not multiplicatively. That means that the first +15% life from your helm actually does increase your life 15%, but when you add another +10% life stat, your hp will actually only jump up say 8% because you don't get 10% of the initial 15% that you already had.

A good way to calculate the worth of %life is to know how much vit you have. If you have 700 vitality and add 10% life, that stat is worth 70 vitality.

%life can sound stronger than it really is, so just be careful when itemizing with it. The best way to go is just to convert it into vitality equivalent using the percentage of your vitality and add it to your dex+vit score when gearing.

If you are choosing between %life and vitality:

First off, calculate how much hp each will give. More hp is better.

Second, consider how mature your monk is. If it is an end-game monk and you doubt that you'll gear it up much more, go with vitality. If it is a young monk, especially one with 25k life or less that %life is going to "grow" with you. Your other pieces will have more vitality and that %life is going to be worth more.

3rd, consider how much %life you have already. The more %life you already have, the more each point of vitality is worth. The more vitality you have, the more each %life is worth.

There is no "optimal" amount of %life that you should stack. Don't try to hit a %life thresh-hold. Gear your hit points on a piece by piece basis, based off what you find at a good price.

Some things to look for when building gear:

A socket on your helm. You can easily get 16%+ hp out of this one stat. It's one of the most powerful sockets. If you are looking to build a crit monk, the helm is a good place to pick up some crit. If you have a decent amount of crit damage, this will be the highest dps affix for the helm. % damage for your primary or sweeping wind is also solid.

Note: Even though a socket is very powerful on you helm, remember to not over look the potential of straight vitality being better. A typical end-game monk will have between 700-1000 vitality. That means 15% life will equate to 105-150 vit worth of hp (with no other %life). Don't take a helm with a socket over a helm with 150 vitality (rare but possible) just because it does have a socket.

Movement speed on boots: I run 12% MS on some sage's seekers that I picked up for under a million. Move speed is so so effective for kiting, dodging things manually, and keeping your dps in time high.

Crit / Crit damge on gloves: This is an affordable way to get a lot of dps for not a huge cost.

Block and crit on shield: block is a given. Crit goes for a fraction of the cost on shields since DH don't run shields. It's a great way to improve your dps!

Here is the compendium done by Unleashed. Use it!
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5573705891

When itemizing the following things are most important (in corresponding order):

1) Life on Hit: Since your weapon won't have this, you have 3 slots to work with. Use all three of them to get your LoH above 1k.
2) The resist you are stacking: Cheap and effective. It's the central focus across your armor slots!
3) Crit/Crit damage: These multiplicatively enhance you dps/the value of other dps stats. Look for these stats while building gear.
4) Dex: Armor, dodge chance, and Damage. What's not to love?
5) Resist all: (int/9 counts) valuable in large doses in combination with 40+ of the resist you are stacking to get that resist all stat up there.
6) Armor: (strength counts) Dex is the best source of armor but +armor and high base armor is beneficial.
6) Vitality/%life: Use both in combination for max effect. Look for a few items with massive amounts of HP plus your stacked resist. Get your health pool over 30k and focus on your resistances.
Anything that can 1 shot you with high resists and armor at this hp pool is slow enough or predictable enough to avoid. High resists and low hp means inflated value of LoH, healing (potions), and block values, which is exactly what we are going for.

Other fun and useful stats to consider:

Life per second:

Life per second is a decent secondary stat that should be valued when purchasing gear. The stat does become more powerful as your mitigation increases. 20 life per second is roughly as strong as 4 vitality is roughly as strong as 1 life on hit is my standard.

Life per spirit spent:

I really like this stat and think it would be amazing for this build. But its availability is soooo limited. I would never compromise the dps on my main hand for any stat, including this one. That said, if ever I found a 1k dps weapon with this on it, I'd happily use it.

The only other slot to get this stat is on your helm. With the IAS nerf, your primary has become a less dominant source of damage. Perhaps this stat could out weigh the %damage to primary now. I have no play testing experience on this yet though.

Chance on hit to CC. These items make bosses a joke. The best one is freeze (on belt) as it works literally on every mob in the game (including treasure goblins). Stun, and blind are also good. "Hey Diablo, chill out!" Each auto attack with FoL has 2 chances to proc one of these if using a thunderclap rune and it works with the AoE. Don't sacrifice large amounts of other stats to get theses, but when given the option, get them (totally worth it!). (These stats were silently nerfed with IAS. They are still solid, but not AS good as before.)

Some Alternatives for skills:

Following are some skills that I've enjoyed in the past. While I personally don't use these in my standard kit, you may want to swap in one or more of these depending on your preferences.

Cyclone Strike: Eye of the Storm

This ability is great for party play and for repositioning/stun locking enemies. It can be spammed.

One really nice thing about the skill is that it can be used to pull enemies out of ground effects such as sentries, and plagues, it is even somewhat successful at shutting down molten and fire chains.

It's great for protecting squishy teammates and can be used to interrupt most monsters in addition.

Thanks for reading!


Feel free to ask any questions and comment. I'll keep an eye on this thread.
For some additional info, I also recommend:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6079781580
This goes in depth to describe mechanics/math behind monk skills.
The build the author promotes is more farming centric, but viable.

It's my personal policy to only friend people I know.
Please don't be offended if I declined your friend request.
I have precious little room left on my friends list and lots of RL friends and family that play.
I'm more than happy to answer your questions on this public forum and my reply here can help all future readers as well.

__________________
BL2 Gaige Guide: http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=170482

BL2 Salvador Guide: http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=149846

Diablo 3 Monk Guide: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5825482987#1
Peli, you should edit in if that armor number in your stats is buffed or unbuffed. Otherwise, very interesting :) I'm curious how you deal with molten with thunderclap but no deadly reach. I'm currently running thunderclap + foresight, and I'm having trouble imagining replacing the damage and utility of DR.
Hey Fey, Armor is buffed.

I'll edit that in too.

Actually the best way to deal with molten or Firechains is to simply position them correctly. Use a doorway, some debris or a hole in the floor and make it so they can't flank you. Other wise you can use the blinding flash to stun and get some dps and then go all out on them in serenity until it end, then in the last half second retreat and kite them. Pop them once in a while to keep up sweeping wind (SSS does well for this) and then when cds are up do it again. A good shield and high dodge goes a long way against fire chains as well (not so much against molten though but moltens base damage is lower).

As long as they don't have vortex/jailer, molten/fire chains is a pretty simple game of kite and burst.
Nice info. Thanks
No problem fellas. I wish I could give you some farming advice...all I can say is that slaying in bulk provides the best results.

Don't worry about stacking up and slaying bosses from my experience.

I've found two pricy items so far (A deadman's legacy with ele arrow damage and a poorly rolled blackthorns that I pawned for 12 mill (sucker!!)). But both those items dropped off random mobs in Act I.

I've found nothing of value in act II, III, or IV so far (given, I run act I with friends a lot more than the rest).

Get 5 stacks and kill kill kill. That's what has worked best for me. You get dry spells where you vendor everything you find for days...then you hit the jackpot twice in a run...but you can't find anything unless you are killing stuff!

Edit: Since posting this, I have found many valuable things in act 3. Including two items that I'm wearing: A dex, stam, LoH, Resist All, o/s ammy and a 1150+ dps mace.
i like the idea behind the build. I am looking at modifying it slightly for dual wielding purposes but my build is close. i just have a hard time incorporating sweeping wind...but will be fun to test when i get back from work.

Thanks again!
#1 Info I got from the guide was the LoH only amulet/rings. I never thought about searching for that one stat! that's gonna save my but. Also, with a weapon I know DPS is a high priority, but if you can get a nice 900+ dps I think a socket with some more LoH (300 gem frees up a ring for more dps stats.)

But, I can't even get to act 2 without QQing, so Idk lol.
A couple things, seven sided strike does not stack up very well in public games at all. It does little damage in a public games and is really only viable by yourself, and also if you're only using thunderclap you are going to die a lot. A lot of monks you deadly reach because you can stand out of molten or plague and deal damage instead of teleporting into plague and dying in about 3 seconds with 900 resist.
Ok serious noob question...

How is it that you are using blinding flash and serenity? The game makes me pick between one or the other, but I always see people posting specs like this.

Is there a way to change up skills that i am not seeing?
tagging this for later. bored of SC, going to play an HC character and follow your guide, deciding monk and it's my first time playing it so wish me luck ;)
Ok serious noob question...

How is it that you are using blinding flash and serenity? The game makes me pick between one or the other, but I always see people posting specs like this.

Is there a way to change up skills that i am not seeing?


Elective mode
@Neon- Personally, I wouldn't roll DW unless they reworked the DW mechanics. DW simply can not compete with the sword and board method.

There are lots of threads on this, but to sum it up. To maximize dps all you care about on your main hand is damage. That said, any dps stats on your off hand are adding ZERO benefit to your champ...actually the off hand has a significantly higher chance of lowering your dps rather than raising it. At the end of the day, DW will give 15 IAS and that's about it. Unless you have two 1400 dps weapons with tons of stats on top (not likely).

On the other hand, you can have a shield. Personally, my shield reduces the damage I take by 40% simply due to its high armor value and resistance. Additionally, it boosts my Dex, and provides me with a 23% chance to take no damage from all but the largest swings incoming. That outweighs the 15% IAS 5 times over.

@Rax I see what you mean. But I think what you need to focus on is increasing your effective health...not your health pool. If your character has 100k hp and no armor or resist he has 100k affective health. If your character has 70% armor and 70% resist and 20k hp he has 20,000/(.3x.3)=222,222 effective health. Also realize that higher resist/armor appreciates the value of all healing/regeneration. Obviously, you don't want to gimp your pool so low that you can get 1 shot by a typical melee but it's better to skimp on hp than it is to skimp on resists/armor.

This is what I did. I set up an acceptable HP range. I set mine 26-30k hp. And then I said "I will not go above or below this range and I'll ideally shoot for the middle at 28k. Each time I upgraded my gear, I would either upgrade a second piece or change out a few gems to get myself close to the middle of the range. This left me open to jump on any piece of gear that was a good value without feeling like I had too much or too little hp.

That said, if I saw lots of purple gems in my gear, I started shopping for an item with vitality on it for my next upgrade, and if I saw a lot of green gems, I knew I could afford to make that trade to boost my dps 1k for 1k hp and feel good about it.

As far as having the absolute best piece in slot...

I view it this way:

I buy things undervalued. I watch the AH for opportunities and I jump on them. As long as there aren't any huge changes in the market, I'm going to get back what I payed for something because I'm going to resell it for 15% more than what I bought it for (at least).

That said, I improve my character and get into better content for better loot (or just plain kill things faster and easier) and it doesn't "cost" me anything.
More profit with no cost is always better.

That said, I get burned from time to time. I bought a 930 dps weapon at 1.1 mill when I first got into inferno and resold it for only 500k a few weeks later. That said, I used that weapon for at least 25 act I runs where I made millions selling what I found and through gold drops.

I also geared up my league partner's monk, a WD friend, and a Wizzy friend in the process. While I lost about 700k on the 1-hand, I made 10+ mill on the act I rares while using it...so did I really lose anything? Not to mention I got 3 other guys geared up in the process.

So what I'm saying is don't buy gear...invest into gear. Just remember that it's a whole lot easier to afford top tier things, when you are already clearing top tier content.

06/15/2012 11:57 AMPosted by Guardian
A couple things, seven sided strike does not stack up very well in public games at all. It does little damage in a public games and is really only viable by yourself, and also if you're only using thunderclap you are going to die a lot. A lot of monks you deadly reach because you can stand out of molten or plague and deal damage instead of teleporting into plague and dying in about 3 seconds with 900 resist.


Note the name of this thread. How to SOLO Inferno. But SSS is actually still good in public games as it is now a much more reliable aggro shed in a pinch with others around (although they may not appreciate this much lol).
If you are dying to plague, you need more resists or more LoH. You should be able to out pace plague's damage with use of serenity, SSS, blinding flash, dodge (their melee on top of plague not plague itself), and loh. Better yet, simply take a step back and let them come to you out of the plague.
The key to molten has always be keep them from flanking you. Molten does 0 damage to those who don't stand in it. Find a door way or nice safe corner and swing away.

Deadly reach has it's flaws too. You can about forget about treasure gobs while using it. You get kited a lot by mobs while using it and you can't as easily reach the high priority ranged mobs like Shamans, pestilence demons, and quillbacks. The biggest draw back to deadly reach is its lack of synergy with LoH and it's inability to stun lock mobs.

Yes, you take a lot more damage with fists of lighting, but you heal a ton more through LoH and can avoid certain things better.
Thanks for the guide, it's great! Few questions on your skill selection though (this is directed to anyone if they have an answer):

- Why always Blade Storm on SW? If you're going pure DPS, wouldn't the Cyclone rune provide more DPS? Also, would the Fire Storm rune be good to increase Resolve 4 more yards and affect more targets?

- If playing in a group, would you switch out Fists of Thunder for Deadly Reach w/ Keen Eye? Or hell, is Crippling Wave with Concussion ever worth it (group or solo)?

- Lastly, in group play, would you almost certainly switch out SSS with Breath of Heaven w/ Blazing Wrath? Or Earth Ally for an extra 10% health and an optional tank?

Thanks! I'll mainly be playing with friends which is why I'm wondering.
06/15/2012 11:42 AMPosted by RaxZergling
SW with bladestorm: I find this ability to be quite annoying. I hate having the feeling of "always having to keep SW up by hitting something" and while it becomes easy to keep it up with thunderclap teleporting, I find myself teleporting into bad situations just to keep my winds up. It's great dps, but the spirit cost and the mentality I start to play with caused me to drop this ability. Thoughts?


Use barrels, and other destructibles when possible. Or pick on the easiest target when just going for a refresh. You don't have to refresh on the target you are trying to kill. If you are low hp and want to refresh, consider just hitting sweeping wind again. You can dump your spirit to keep the stacks if you have no defensive cds. There are a lot of mobs that simply are fodder. They deal next to no damage. They are good targets for refresh...it's not a bad idea to just not target them for this purpose. You don't always have to go back out either. Consider hitting an elite's flank and then using destructables or fodder mobs on their far side to kite them, refresh sweeping wind and heal.

06/15/2012 11:42 AMPosted by RaxZergling
SSS: How do you keep enough spirit to use this with SW? Do you spirit dump on mantra?


Resource management and high attack speed. Try to keep your spirit bar near full for the start of each fight. A good practice is to not use any spirit at the end of each fight for damage as the last mob is usually an easy free kill.

Check mantra duration, if good then freely use sweeping wind. If not, use mantra and wait until near full to use sweeping wind (so you have SSS spirit almost always).

06/15/2012 11:42 AMPosted by RaxZergling
MoE: Clearly an amazing mantra for monks as most use it. Have you gotten your gear to a point where conviction actually becomes not only viable, but maybe preferred? What point would you say this is? Conviction has some sick runes, like submission (10% less dmg taken) and the AOE holy damage as well as overawe being great for parties. My guess is the armor is too valuable in your/most monks current state.


submission pales in comparison to the mitigation hard target provides. For me hard target gives me about 1400 armor. That's over 25% damage reduction. The more armor or resist you have, the more hard target and time of need will mitigate. You'll never out gear these two runes...they keep getting better with your gear.

If I did act I farming, I might go over awe just to improve speed. but anything that I don't way over gear, i can't afford to take 25% more damage and lose 20% dodge chance in.

06/15/2012 11:42 AMPosted by RaxZergling
What are your thoughts on transcendence and/or gear with life/spirit spent? When I do a heavy DPS build for act 1 farm, I actually swap out resolve for transcendence and rely almost solely on transcendence healing (I'm awful and have 0 LoH).


You need some form of constant combat healing. LoH scales with the number of targets available to hit. LPSS does not and I can't get it on amulets or rings either. That's really the only thing I have against it.

I used transcendence until I got over 1k LoH. Then I didn't need it anymore as I could refill my hp bar in 2 seconds beating on a mob and it was better just to not take as much damage in the first place.

It's a great passive. If I could use four, I'd use it.
thanks man im having a lot of success with this (finally)

the only problem is the lack of damage. !@#$ takes forever to kill and i find myself wishing i could use montra of conviction. 20k base dps with this build makes it slow, but now i skip much less elites. thanks
Why always Blade Storm on SW? If you're going pure DPS, wouldn't the Cyclone rune provide more DPS? Also, would the Fire Storm rune be good to increase Resolve 4 more yards and affect more targets?

- If playing in a group, would you switch out Fists of Thunder for Deadly Reach w/ Keen Eye? Or hell, is Crippling Wave with Concussion ever worth it (group or solo)?

- Lastly, in group play, would you almost certainly switch out SSS with Breath of Heaven w/ Blazing Wrath? Or Earth Ally for an extra 10% health and an optional tank?


Blade storm is for dps only yes. The cyclone rune is inconsistent and doesn't work with kiting as well. Plus, I only have 14% crit. 20-25% crit is needed to really make good use of it.

I really like fists...so I'd stay fists. But, I'm sure that keen eye would make you tankiest, and crippling wave would have more utility for the party. But I find them both too sluggish.

Personally I really like Cyclone strike in groups. I'd consider it over blinding flash.

I'd say BoH would be better in a group than SSS as well. In solo, the immunity is nice, in a group you aren't being focused with every CC and attack.
Well since I've been getting spanked in act 3 I may as well try this. Thanks for the write up!

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