Here's what I had a few weeks earlier when 1.0.4 just came out:
You can do whatever you want with this or the original article.My focus with this new article is to collect useful information about the Monk class. I'm assuming the reader at least leveled a Monk to 60 and is familiar with all the tooltips, spells and runes, I won't be covering any basics.
Spirit generators have different attack speeds. I've attempted to test them as good as I can here. Knowing these values allows us to actually compare spirit generators accurately. Lets look at weapon damage per second and spirit generation per second, assuming a 1.0 attacks per second character.
Fists of Thunder: 45% faster. This converts into 159.5% weapon damage per second and 8.7 spirit per second.
Deadly Reach: 16% faster. This converts into 127.6% weapon damage per second and 6.96 spirit per second.
Crippling Wave: 11.5% faster. This converts into 122.65% weapon damage per second and 7.805 spirit per second.
Way of the Hundred Fists: 8.75% faster. This converts into 152.25% weapon damage per second and 8.7 spirit per second.
Let's consider direct weapon damage increasing runes. Runes that increase the damage of only a part of the combo I will simply average out.
Fists of Thunder with Thunderclap: applies only to non-finisher strikes, averages out to 133.33% weapon damage per strike. Converts into 193.33% weapon damage per second.
Deadly Reach with Scattered Blows: averages out to 130% weapon damage per strike. Converts into 150.8% weapon damage per second.
Crippling Wave with Mangle: converts into 159.44% weapon damage per second.
Way of the Hundred Fists with Hands of Lightning: averages out to 160% weapon damage per strike. Converts into 174% weapon damage per second.
Way of the Hundred Fists with Windforce Flurry: averages out to 176.66% weapon damage per strike. Converts into 192.12% weapon damage per second.
Other weapon damage runes.
Fists of Thunder with Bounding Light: doesn't proc on the main target. If you attack a single target, it just does nothing. If you're up against two targets, the lightning does proc, but it only hits the secondary target, and doesn't chain back to the main target (chain lightnings don't get reduced between jumps, they always hit for 73%). It's useless in single target, although it's fairly close to Thunderclap for AoE.
Fists of Thunder with Static Charge: puts a debuff on the target you're clicking on when you attack with FoT. When you click on another target, it strikes the debuffed target for 37% weapon damage (and debuffs the new target - you can have multiple debuffs up). This is the only way it works - the AoE finisher of FoT doesn't proc it nor applies the debuff, other sources of damage don't proc it. Single target wise, this has no benefit at all, and it's not exactly a comfortable way to AoE things either.
Way of the Hundred Fists with Fists of Fury: applies a DoT on all targets hit by WotHF. The DoT doesn't stack, attacking again only refreshes it. This is basically a flat 20% weapon damage per second, so this skill/rune converts into 172.25% weapon damage per second.
I'm not going to compare runes that give buffs such as crit, attack speed or run speed, because that's gear and build dependant. It's well possible that 15% attack speed or 18% damage are worth more than the differences between primary skills, but we can only know that with a spreadsheet that accounts for all sources of damage and your gear.
The other thing about choosing your primary is understanding how on-hit modifiers work. First thing you need to know - AoE strikes are affected and proc separately on all targets. Second thing you need to know - all procs are scaled according to these values: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0ArKUly7-jsZzdGhjaG1ERDMtS2M0cHhkTjB5b0hZTkE
Thunderclap hits, which are separate from the main strike, proc on-hit effects for 75% each. This includes the hit on the main target. So, if you're fighting a bunch of mobs, you get 140% of your life on hit every time you strike the main target, and then 75% for every offtarget Thunderclap hits. This all applies to Bleed effects as well which further gives FoT/Thunderclap a damage advantage. WotHF/Fists of Fury has this effect too, as the DoT application procs on-hit effects.
The tooltip for Sweeping Wind is very vague - it doesn't even mention in which time frame it does its damage. Tests show that it does 20% of your tooltip DPS per second, so it scales with everything - attack speed, crit, crit damage (note that these tests were done with a single weapon, dual wielding mechanics are described below). Sweeping Wind snapshots your stats when you cast it and keeps them until it fades or is recasted, Cyclones inherit that snapshot.
This has a very interesting interaction with the dual wield mechanics: with DW you strike with your main and off hand in turns, i.e. your character actually switches between the weapons and your stats update, namely your attack speed and weapon damage range. This is easily observed: look at your attacks per second and at your weapon damage range at the tooltip for "Attack" ability, which is available if you drag a mouse ability off the bar; the DPS tooltip doesn't update on this because it simply counts the average of the two. When you cast Sweeping Wind (or pretty much any spell), it takes a snapshot of all of your stats, with the weapon that is currently active. Ergo casting Sweeping Wind while your stronger, higher DPS weapon is active is profitable.
There's a misconception that weapon attack speed somehow matters here and that you should "use a slow mainhand and a fast offhand". It doesn't, because Sweeping Wind scales with attacks per second. If you use two weapons with the exact same DPS but different speeds, it doesn't matter which hand is active when you use Sweeping Wind. Similarly, there's a misconception that off-hand DPS is less important than main-hand DPS, and that's very far from the truth.
Another interesting thing about Sweeping Wind is that if you cast the spell again while the aura is already up, it will simply extend your current buff without scanning the stats again, as well as keep your stacks. It doesn't matter which weapon or buffs you have when refreshing, only when you cast it first time. This is fairly useful when moving between packs.
Blinding Flash/Faith in the Light scales with attacks per second. So, if you have 2.0 attacks per second, the buff will increase your damage by 60%. Whether this is intended or not is still unknown, but it makes the rune much more effective than it looks like on the tooltip.
Regarding the pure damage dealers, Lashing Tail Kick and Wave of Light. The problem with these two spells is that you will have to choose between casting them or casting Mantra - under most circumstances you simply won't have the spirit for both. Now, it's easy to compare them (just look at damage per spirit), but it's not easy to calculate how much exactly Mantra of Conviction/Overawe is doing. Based on my very abstract calculations for a single target, it's never worth casting either of them regardless of which runes you run, but to prove that for sure we will need to model it properly, i.e. we need a spreadsheet or a simulation. Also, take into account that you need to cast them instead of a primary strike, unlike Mantra which has no cast time and doesn't disrupt your left click DPS. LTK's knockback can and will affect your DPS as well, mostly in negative ways.
I didn't include Seven-Sided Strike in the paragraph above because of the cooldown. It's a good skill and it does a lot of damage for its cost, there's just no scientific way to compare it to the other skills as you're probably not going to use it by cooldown and definitely not on every pack. I'll pull the "depends on playstyle" card here. (Using it with Fulminating Onslaught rune and Cyclone Strike can be fun.)
Exploding Palm has a very nice damage per spirit ratio assuming all of the damage lands, but is a skill that's only useful on elite packs - non-elites generally have very low hp so the debuff won't tick for 9 seconds and the explosion won't do much damage. Essence Burn looks like a rune that could make the skill useful on non-elite packs, but 60% weapon damage is just too little; it also makes the skill worse against elites as it takes away the 30% of max hp explosion component.
From my limited testing of Mystic Ally I've figured out the following: their attack speed is constant 1.5 attacks per second, however attack damage is scaled by the characters attack speed; they dynamically scale with buffs and weapon switches when dual wielding, i.e. each attack scans your stats and weapon and it doesn't matter when you spawn them; they can crit. They're still not that great for our damage because 40% isn't much and they lack any reliable, decent AoE.
Damage reflect effects become worse the more damage you mitigate (Mantra of Retribution and Serenity/Reap What Is Sown).
Damage is absorbed after it is mitigated, so Mantra of Healing absorb does scale with gear.
All the other skills do exactly as their tooltips say and are fairly obvious. If you know anything interesting - things that aren't obvious from the tooltips or things that can be used as a reference for calculations later on - please post them.
Resolve only procs from actual attacks, not "all" sources of damage as the tooltip implies. Sweeping Wind doesn't proc it, Mantra of Conviction/Submission aura doesn't proc it, Thorns damage doesn't proc it.
Combination Strike works like most other stacking buffs. If you attack with spirit generator A, then once with spirit generator B, and then just continue attacking with spirit generator A, you will still have 2 stacks of it until you stop attacking. The only downside is that the buff isn't displayed on the UI so it can be problematic to track it.
A common question I used to see on the forums is about One With Everything. If you have 500 all resistance, 500 lightning resistance, you will have 1000 all resistance with One With Everything. This is why this skill is so good and is used by almost every Monk in Inferno.
Dodge, reduction, and damage stacking