Blazing Monk (Work in progress) build

  • #1
    Seeing the change Blizzard is looking to make to legendaries (all can drop in Inferno and use the i62/63 base item and such), I started looking at some of the lower legendaries and while doing a Signet farm, I had a pair of 20% mage fists drop. That got me thinking about all of our fire damage abilities. This led to the below build set I named "Blazing Monk". As the title states, this is a work in progress build so feedback is welcome and appreciated.

    Basic idea
    - Stack Increased fire damage from skills items.
    - Use fire based attacks and abilities to capitalize on them.

    Monk Fire Skills
    - Lashing Tail Kick: Vulture Claw Kick
    - Lashing Tail Kick: Spinning Flame Kick
    - Exploding Palm: Essence Burn
    - Cyclone Strike: Sunburst
    - Mystic Ally: Fire Ally
    - Sweeping Winds: Firestorm
    - Mantra of Evasion: Backlash

    Sample Build
    http://us.battle.net...Sjgk!ZXU!ZcbZYa

    Required items
    18%+ Dexterity Magefists
    24%+ Dexterity Maximus with Life Steal
    or
    24%+ Dexterity Burning Axe of Sankis

    The linked build is meant for the two handed play style.

    Skill Selection

    Left Mouse
    WotHF: Blazing Fists - Used for the damage and movement increase. Can be easily replaced by FoT: Thunderclap.

    Right Mouse
    Exploding Palm: Essence Burn - This is the main source of damage. The initial burn is increased as is the burn applied by the explosion. Unsure if the damage from the explosion is increased. Essence Burn will cause packs of mobs to "popcorn", spreading the explosion around a larger group than caught by a normal explosion.

    Action Button 1
    Sweeping Winds: Fire Storm - Tested on Hell with no weapon equipped, equipping the Magefist almost doubled the damage it dealt. Thus the %Fire damage items increases the base damage of this ability by that amount. Unsure about the stacking nature, still need to test it. This is a major source of damage.

    Action Button 2
    Mystic Ally: Fire Ally - With the increased damage and the Ally scaling with your gear, the Fire Ally hits very hard.

    Action Button 3
    Serenity: Ascension - Moving along...

    Action Button 4:
    Mantra of Conviction: Overawe - yup...

    Passives: Standard setup, pick and choose to taste.

    Play style
    Get a 3 stack of Sweeping Winds, apply Exploding palm kill things. Rather simple play style. It is fun as heck to watch packs popcorn.

    Tanking "Dodge" based build
    http://us.battle.net...Sjgh!WUX!ZabZYc

    Basic idea for this build is to maximize dodge chance to maximize the amount of times Mantra of Evasion: Backlash procs. It also packs sources of indirect damage.

    Gear
    Magefist
    Burning Axe of Sankis
    Shield with high EHP (All res, Dex, Vit,main res) and 8+ CC

    Left Mouse Button
    Fists of Thunder: Lightning Flash - Fists of Thunder is the best spirit generator we have at the moment. This build goes with Lightning Flash over the stand by of Thunderclap, mainly due to the extra dodge that it grants.

    Right Mouse Button
    Lashing Tail Kick: Vulture Claw Kick - Used as a spirit dump and to give some breathign room if you find yourself surrounded.

    Action Button 1
    Sweeping Winds: Fire Storm - Boosted to 105% weapon damage at a three-stack when wearing a max Magefist and Burning Axe of Sankis, this provides a good source of damage

    Action Button 2
    Mystic Ally: Fire Ally - Another body to take targets, plus an additional source of indirect damage

    Action Button 3
    Serenity: Ascension - Standard really

    Action Button 4
    Mantra of Evasion: Backlash - The main focus of the build, the gears boosts the damage to a maximum of 80% weapon damage. This provides more indirect damage as well as protection from the dodge itself.

    Passives
    One With Everything - No explaination needed, but I suggest Fire Res as your primes resistance due to the burning axe having natural Fire res on it.
    Seize the Initiative - See above
    Sixth Sense - Additonal source of dodge. Focus on getting around 50% critical hit chance and this will provide an additional 15% dodge chance.

    Play Style
    Where the first build was heavily offensive, this is more defensive. The Burning Axe's "Ignore Pain" proc combined with the dodge and EHP from the shield provides a large amount of survivability, but you will need to be on your feet to avoid non dodgable damage sources like Plagued, Molten, and Desecrator. The lack of life steal or Life on Hit on the weapon will need to be made up for on rings and amulets. A dex roll on The Burning Axe of Sankis can be exchanged for high LoH, Lifesteal, or a socket if you want weapon based healing.

    Build 3
    "Stood in the Fire"
    http://us.battle.net...Sjgh!dXU!YcbZYc

    Gear
    Sledge Fist w/ Socket and high stun
    Burning Axe of Sankis
    Magefist

    This combined the backlash build above with the Tsunami Sledge Fist build. It results in a swirling vortex of flame that most targets stand stunned in. The ones that don't get stunned you will often end up dodging their attacks, releasing more fire. Also found that if you get a socketed Sankis, toss in a Ruby, the damage it provides will result in a larger increase than an emerald as a lot of the passive abilities are weapon damage based.

    I vetted all three builds on MP7 & MP8, the best performing build was a tie between the basic backlash shield build and the Flamewave Tsunami build. All in All, they are a lot of fun.

    Comments, criticisms, etc are all welcome.


    Extra Information

    So, I've been messing around some more and doing some number crunching and have come up with, what I think may be the most optimized version of this build. The idea for this is to maximize the effective DPS of the build.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aVXSgk!dgU!acbbYa

    The Biggest change is the removal of the Mystic Ally and the addition of BoH:Blazing Wrath and taking Combination Strike. This results in a large increase in passive damage.

    For example: Base of 100K DPS (D) with a 40% (C) critical hit chance yeilds effective DPS (E)

    Cyclone Rune with a 2-hander (not Maximus) with simplified calculation for cyclone damage

    (D * 1.23) + (0.6 * (D * 1.23)) + (((D * 1.23) * 0.26) * 0.4) = E
    123,000 + 73,800 + 12,792 = 209,592

    210K effective DPS from single attacks and Sweeping Winds

    Firestorm rune with Maximus and Magefist

    (D * 1.23) + (1.05 * (D * 1.23)) = E
    123,000 + 129,150 = 252,150

    252k effective DPS from single attacks and Sweeping Winds.

    This yields around a 20% increase in effective DPS. Now if we look at the incidental damage, which does not require attacking, we see a 75% increase in passive DPS. Overawe applies to both sides, so its not figured in.

    Now while Exploding Palm: Essence Burn doesn't have the "Boom" and done aspect of all the other EP runes, it provides a spreading burn which will effect a larger radius of mobs. This is compounded by the increases from Magefist and Maximus, raising the burn to 105% of weapon damage over 3 seconds. This results in large scale death in an area with higher monster density.

    Combining the EP:EB with SW:FS results in a large are of incidental damage that propogates across an area and with the right density, can kill things before you even damage them with an attack. I'll try to post a short video tonight, but anyone with a video of this build would be aprpeciated.
  • #2
    Seems cool, I might give it a go :)
    Make your peace...Quickly!
  • #3
    Doesn't Mantra of Evasion - Backlash do fire dmg as well ? Maybe in your build, fire dmg from it would outweigh the flat dmg from Overawe or at least match it, while offering better protection at higher MP lvls
  • #4
    i'm a "blazing" monk but I don't use any fire skills, you get me? :hehe:
  • #5
    Quote from dimstog

    Doesn't Mantra of Evasion - Backlash do fire dmg as well ? Maybe in your build, fire dmg from it would outweigh the flat dmg from Overawe or at least match it, while offering better protection at higher MP lvls


    While it will offer higher EHP, the damage is just not there. The proper use of Overawe will cause the explosions from Exploding Palm to deal 98% of their life as damage to those affected by Overawe instead of just the 50% (see the Speed Palm build post for details). I did mention MoE:Backlash in the fire skills section, but the sample build is more focused on DPS. I will add a tanking build that I've been working on the the main post as well.
  • #6
    Added a third build and some comments at the bottom with what MP's I tried them on.
  • #7
    This build looks super nice and hopefully this is exactly what Blizz are trying to accomplish with the upcoming changes. :)
  • #8
    Playing on HC, I'm really liking your 2nd build especially.. I think I might give something like that a go with just minor changes
  • #9
    Quote from rathgood

    While it will offer higher EHP, the damage is just not there. The proper use of Overawe will cause the explosions from Exploding Palm to deal 98% of their life as damage to those affected by Overawe instead of just the 50% (see the Speed Palm build post for details).


    Keep in mind that - unless I'm misunderstanding the description - Essence Burn deals its explosion damage based on weapon damage, not monster HP like all other EP runes:
    "Instead of bleeding, the target will burn for 745% weapon damage as Fire over 9 seconds. If the target dies while burning, it explodes causing all nearby enemies to burn for 60% weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds. This effect can happen multiple times."
    Not that that invalidates using it, just thought I'd point it out.

    I tried a build a couple months ago with Essence Burn, Fire Storm, Backlash, and Fire Ally along with the Sankis axe and wasn't that impressed. Granted, my Monk is pretty poorly geared to begin with, but maybe with the upcoming buffs to Legendaries it'll work a little better.
  • #10
    Quote from Kickin_It

    Quote from rathgood

    While it will offer higher EHP, the damage is just not there. The proper use of Overawe will cause the explosions from Exploding Palm to deal 98% of their life as damage to those affected by Overawe instead of just the 50% (see the Speed Palm build post for details).


    Keep in mind that - unless I'm misunderstanding the description - Essence Burn deals its explosion damage based on weapon damage, not monster HP like all other EP runes:
    "Instead of bleeding, the target will burn for 745% weapon damage as Fire over 9 seconds. If the target dies while burning, it explodes causing all nearby enemies to burn for 60% weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds. This effect can happen multiple times."
    Not that that invalidates using it, just thought I'd point it out.

    I tried a build a couple months ago with Essence Burn, Fire Storm, Backlash, and Fire Ally along with the Sankis axe and wasn't that impressed. Granted, my Monk is pretty poorly geared to begin with, but maybe with the upcoming buffs to Legendaries it'll work a little better.


    You are correct. I actually noticed that the other night when I was doing rune testing for Exploding palm. I think the burn from the explosion does stack though as it would explain why the groups seems to drop quicker the more that burn and boom. The Jury's still out for which rune is best for this build.

    Also, I'm glad people seem to be enjoying the builds. I'm hoping to post a video of the fun once I find a decent game recording software for mac thats free and not a POS.
  • #11
    Quote from rathgood

    Quote from Kickin_It

    Quote from rathgood

    While it will offer higher EHP, the damage is just not there. The proper use of Overawe will cause the explosions from Exploding Palm to deal 98% of their life as damage to those affected by Overawe instead of just the 50% (see the Speed Palm build post for details).


    Keep in mind that - unless I'm misunderstanding the description - Essence Burn deals its explosion damage based on weapon damage, not monster HP like all other EP runes:
    "Instead of bleeding, the target will burn for 745% weapon damage as Fire over 9 seconds. If the target dies while burning, it explodes causing all nearby enemies to burn for 60% weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds. This effect can happen multiple times."
    Not that that invalidates using it, just thought I'd point it out.

    I tried a build a couple months ago with Essence Burn, Fire Storm, Backlash, and Fire Ally along with the Sankis axe and wasn't that impressed. Granted, my Monk is pretty poorly geared to begin with, but maybe with the upcoming buffs to Legendaries it'll work a little better.


    You are correct. I actually noticed that the other night when I was doing rune testing for Exploding palm. I think the burn from the explosion does stack though as it would explain why the groups seems to drop quicker the more that burn and boom. The Jury's still out for which rune is best for this build.


    Might be a good argument for Maximus over Sankis... :)
  • #12
    Quote from rathgood

    Quote from dimstog

    Doesn't Mantra of Evasion - Backlash do fire dmg as well ? Maybe in your build, fire dmg from it would outweigh the flat dmg from Overawe or at least match it, while offering better protection at higher MP lvls


    While it will offer higher EHP, the damage is just not there. The proper use of Overawe will cause the explosions from Exploding Palm to deal 98% of their life as damage to those affected by Overawe instead of just the 50% (see the Speed Palm build post for details). I did mention MoE:Backlash in the fire skills section, but the sample build is more focused on DPS. I will add a tanking build that I've been working on the the main post as well.


    I haven't seen the Speed Palm build but correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you just add 48% from mantra to the 50% of the mob's HP and arrive at 98% do you? So where did you get 98% of the mob's HP?

    50% of the mob's HP lets say 100 hp mob's explosion will deal 50 dmg. with mantra's 48% more dmg, the 50 damage will become around 75 damage no? Which is not 98%.
  • #13
    Quote from Zuchi

    I haven't seen the Speed Palm build but correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you just add 48% from mantra to the 50% of the mob's HP and arrive at 98% do you? So where did you get 98% of the mob's HP?

    50% of the mob's HP lets say 100 hp mob's explosion will deal 50 dmg. with mantra's 48% more dmg, the 50 damage will become around 75 damage no? Which is not 98%.


    This was a mistake on my part. The Speed Palm build also used +% damage to elites which stacks with the overawe to generate the near 100% HP damage.

    -------------------

    As for an update on the build, I'm working on some relativistic number crunching to provide an "effective DPS" measure. That is to say a total DPS with regards to the added %fire damage from Maximus/Sankis/Magefist. Still trying to find decent recording software for my Mac as well.
  • #14
    Quote from rathgood

    Quote from Zuchi

    I haven't seen the Speed Palm build but correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you just add 48% from mantra to the 50% of the mob's HP and arrive at 98% do you? So where did you get 98% of the mob's HP?

    50% of the mob's HP lets say 100 hp mob's explosion will deal 50 dmg. with mantra's 48% more dmg, the 50 damage will become around 75 damage no? Which is not 98%.


    This was a mistake on my part. The Speed Palm build also used +% damage to elites which stacks with the overawe to generate the near 100% HP damage.

    -------------------

    As for an update on the build, I'm working on some relativistic number crunching to provide an "effective DPS" measure. That is to say a total DPS with regards to the added %fire damage from Maximus/Sankis/Magefist. Still trying to find decent recording software for my Mac as well.


    Thanks, your build looks cool :D

    I'll check out the speed palm guide more thoroughly, just scanned through it before.

    PS. Wasn't really trying to be all like "ZOMG Som1 is wrong on the INTERNET! Got to diss him!". Just really wanted to know how to get such insane buff on expl.palm
  • #15
    So, I've been messing around some more and doing some number crunching and have come up with, what I think may be the most optimized version of this build. The idea for this is to maximize the effective DPS of the build.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#aVXSgk!dgU!acbbYa

    The Biggest change is the removal of the Mystic Ally and the addition of BoH:Blazing Wrath and taking Combination Strike. This results in a large increase in passive damage.

    For example: Base of 100K DPS (D) with a 40% (C) critical hit chance yeilds effective DPS (E)

    Cyclone Rune with a 2-hander (not Maximus) with simplified calculation for cyclone damage

    (D * 1.23) + (0.6 * (D * 1.23)) + (((D * 1.23) * 0.26) * 0.4) = E
    123,000 + 73,800 + 12,792 = 209,592

    210K effective DPS from single attacks and Sweeping Winds

    Firestorm rune with Maximus and Magefist

    (D * 1.23) + (1.05 * (D * 1.23)) = E
    123,000 + 129,150 = 252,150

    252k effective DPS from single attacks and Sweeping Winds.

    This yields around a 20% increase in effective DPS. Now if we look at the incidental damage, which does not require attacking, we see a 75% increase in passive DPS. Overawe applies to both sides, so its not figured in.

    Now while Exploding Palm: Essence Burn doesn't have the "Boom" and done aspect of all the other EP runes, it provides a spreading burn which will effect a larger radius of mobs. This is compounded by the increases from Magefist and Maximus, raising the burn to 105% of weapon damage over 3 seconds. This results in large scale death in an area with higher monster density.

    Combining the EP:EB with SW:FS results in a large are of incidental damage that propogates across an area and with the right density, can kill things before you even damage them with an attack. I'll try to post a short video tonight, but anyone with a video of this build would be awesome.
  • #16
    Been on a small hiatus while I get caught up in WoW, but I tested this out on the PTR and the higher monster density in acts 1 and 2 really make this build shine. I've managed to get a large portion of the weeping hollow burning at the same time on lowerish MP (thank you packs of wretched mothers). Anyone else still experimenting with this build?
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