What if I told you I solved the damage problem by sacrificing sheet dps? What if I told you I solved the spirit problem by dropping spirit generating attacks? Finally, what if I told you I did both those things while buffing my groups damage, reducing the damage they take, and locking elites in place? Before I go into detailed information about the build, I'd like to share some links, stats, and concepts that are important to this setup.
The build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ZPRdjg!XbVY!Yccbbb
Profile (stat totals are incorrect, but the gear is fine):http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Nicdanger-1955/hero/21224091
Soloing a Torment 3 Rift:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f3020lE2KM&feature=youtu.be
- Our damage is calculated by some % of weapon damage. This means the damage range on your weapons. This DOES NOT mean the damage on your character sheet or your weapons DPS. Because of this, and the fact that we have a finite amount of spirit to spend, slower weapons are usually preferably to fast ones. Hitting harder > hitting faster!
- Since damage is calculated by % of weapon damage, we want to use high % weapon damage skills as much as possible. We never want to resort to using a primary to regen spirit.
- Getting the proper stats in the right places is important, sheet damage is not.
- Maximum health is overrated by almost everyone. I'm running T4 with less than 200k, and soon I'll be doing T5 with the same amount.
Key Stats to aim for
- We need 50-55% cooldown reduction (CDR). I don't recommend trying this build with less than 50%.
- 25-35% cost reduction (CR). Depending on your weapon speed and any attack speed increases from buffs/ gear.
- Critical hit chance (CHC). You want this everywhere you can get it. I'm at just over 50% with a few paragon points left to add.
- Critical hit damage (CHD). Gloves, Neck, Rings, and green gems in weapons should give you plenty!
- + % Lashing Tail Kick damage can be found on Boots and Helm. Getting it on boots is easy. Helm is a little more complicated since we need a socket and many helms have effects that are very good, but obviously get it if you can.
- + % Lightning Damage is also very good. Normally you can find it on Neck and Bracers. Additionally there are a number of legendaries that you'll want to look for. Here's an excellent write up of all skill and elemental damage affixes http://www.diablofans.com/forums/diablo-iii-general-forums/diablo-iii-general-discussion/82397-list-of-skill-dmg-and-elemental-dmg-affixes
- Toughness varies widely based on what torment you're doing and where it comes from. Generally speaking, armor and all resist are good, vitality and %life are not. More toughness will allow you to stand in more AoE, less toughness will teach you to move!
- Healing also varies, but here we want a good variety. Life per kill and bonus to healing globes are both solid and come from secondary stats on gear. Life per spirit spent we can get from a passive (scaling with globe). Life per second from paragon is a great value after all resist, but not so much on gear. Life per hit is probably the least desirable healing stat for our build considering its a primary stat and its in the same paragon tree as cost reduction and area damage.
- Lashing Tail Kick: Scorpion Sting- 624% weapon damage for 30 spirit and an 85% chance to stun. The range is small but since we never stop using it all you need to do is hit those elites once and chances are they simply don't get to move. The stun also works on bosses and rift guardians, stopping them from doing bad things to you.
- Epiphany: Inner Fire- 20 spirit per second and the ability to make LTK move us to whatever we want to hit. Add in the inner fire rune for 353% weapon damage to various things around the screen and the reason for getting all that CDR becomes very clear.
- Inner Sanctuary: Forbidden Palace- 55% damage reduction for you're team, 30% damage buff for your team, and if somehow stop stunning the enemies inside of it, they'll be walking away 80% slower than normal. 55% CDR means you get to keep this up 2/3 of the time.
- Dashing Strike:Quicksilver- One of, if not the best mobility spell in the game. Will allow you to engage elites before they can scatter, jump over walls, skip area's void of enemies, and avoid all sorts of life threatening situations. I prefer the extra charge from Quicksilver, but the movement speed from Way of the Falling Star is nice as well.
- Mystic Ally: AirAlly- Again, CDR makes another ability amazing. Giving this a 15 second cooldown makes this 8.7 spirit per second and a dude thats sometimes kind of annoying. Use it whenever you're down 100 spirit or more!
- Serenity: Any Rune- This makes you completely immune to damage and crowd control for 3 seconds. Its usable while you're stunned, frozen, ect. Once more CDR makes this a 9-10 second cooldown. At 55% CDR we can alternate Serenity and Inner Sanctuary with 100% uptime, making us extremely tough without relying on toughness. I use the Tranquility rune in groups, and either Peaceful Repose or Unwelcome Disturbance solo.
- Seize the Initiative: We want lots of Dexterity for damage, this turns some of that into armor. Its super effective!
- Exalted Soul: 100 Maximum spirit and 2 spirit per second. This lets us kick longer in between cooldowns, and makes Reaper's Wraps insanely good.
- Beacon of Ytar:20% cooldown reduction. An absolute must for our build.
- Transcendance:Life per spirit spent is going to be a key part of our healing on high torment levels. Note that it scales with bonus to health globe!
- Core:Movement Speed (up to 25%) > Maximum Spirit > Dex/Vit
- Offense:Cooldown Reduction > Crit/Crit Damage > Attack Speed
- Defense:All Resist > Armor/Life Per Second > % Life
- Utility:Resource Cost Reduction > Area Damage > Life Per Hit > Gold Find
A few gear suggestions
Since the AH is no more, rather than give you specific gear requirements I'll just toss some random thoughts here. If I have time I might do a proper section on this later.
Reaper's Wraps and the Captian Crimson's set are extremely good for us and are both crafted, I suggest getting these asap.
Gyana Na Kashu is a spirit stone, the proc shoots a projectile that does ~325% weapon damage whenever you use Lashing Tail Kick. Since we're using LTK all the time, its extremely powerful.
Weapons can roll 10% CDR and 10% CR making them a great place to put those stats if you're lucky enough to be able to roll or reroll into them. Slower weapon are generally better, but if you've got a Thunderfury or Shard of Hate I'd fine a way to make those work.
Last but not leastThis build take practice and patience to become comfortable with. You will need to watch 4 different cooldowns, your spirit, your health and try to position yourself to do maximum damage and stun everything all at the same time. You will probably have to sacrifice your damage stat in order to make it work (mine went from 750k to 450k at first), yet you will do more damage than before.
I hold the point of view that monks are not just buff machines, we are not meant to spam primaries while piling up monsters for our buddy's to kill.This build is designed for high torment play, where everyone should be bringing some kind of buff or utility to the group while still doing massive damage, so far this is the best build I've found to do that.
There are a number of small details and idea's that I don't have time to put here right now, so any questions or comments you have regarding this build would be most welcome. I look forward to the discussion!