I enjoy trying out new builds for my Monk. This – however – is the build I found myself defaulting back to as I was levelling. I call it:
Crippling Wave – I like this basic attack since it places some serious debuffs on the enemy. With the Concussion Rune that adds up to a 20% attack speed reduction, a 30% movement speed reduction and a 20 % damage reduction. The fact that the attack visually consists of swirly/glowy purpleish runes also appeals to me – style is important.
Wave of Light – probably the most silly attack in the game (not counting everything the Witch Doctor does) but with the Explosive Light Rune the attack goes from being an embarasment to a wicked cool martial arts move. Since Crippling Wave does not offer a knockback this explosion is a very nice way to get out of being overrun by a horde of mobs… and the 430% weapon damage makes sure a lot of your foes evaporate in a flash of golden light – again: style.
Serenity – the Monk panacea. With the Peaceful Repose Rune this gives me a breather and let’s me be fit for fight once the immunity wears off once again.
Dashing Strike – I love this ability. It let’s you pick precisely where you want to be and since elites placing nasty stuff on the ground (and let’s not forget Arcane Sentries) this is a very effective ability. The ability places you behind a mob so you can – in essence – use it to flicker back and forth if engaged with an enemy who does a slow but powerful attack to the front (Mallet Lords I’m looking at you). As an extra bonus the targeted mob is rooted for a short while making it very useful when you want to get rid of that darn Fallen Shaman. Using the Quicksilver Rune to reduce the spirit cost of the ability to 10 means you can count on being where you want to be when you want it. This ability also get’s you out of being trapped by Jailer elites and round the walls of Wallers and a lot of other nifty stuff.
Seven Sided Strike – one of my favorite abilities. It is an active and tactical ability that you can use to cause a shitload of damage to one isolated foe OR to soften up a big group of enemies (usually slaying the softer ones in one hit). The Fulminating Onslaught Rune places makes it even more effective as an AoE tool. Even better this ability makes you invulnerable while you are carrying out your seven strikes – giving you a little breather while getting rid of some enemies.
Mantra of Conviction – with the Overawe Rune 24% (48% right after activation) bonus damage is just too nice to pass up. As I have mentioned before I do not really like the passive nature of Auras – sorry – Mantras. While I adore the Monk being a strange hybrid of a righteous Paladin and a clever Rogue I do not think that the attempt to make them feel like less of a bore by adding a bonus right after activation has been all that much of a hoot. In general I do not like abilities that is a “buff”. The Mantra works even less well with this build since you rarely have spirit to spare for extra activations.
Exalted Soul – a bonus to your maximum Spirit and a bit more regeneration is very essential since both Wave of Light, Seven Sided Strike and Mantra of Conviction consumes large amounts of Spirit. Since positioning is as important as ever you also end up spending quite a bit on Dashing Strike.
Seize the Initiative – if I remember correctly it’s about 8-10% more damage reduction for me at this point. I have been ecperimenting with replacing this with The Guardians Path and there seems to be some benefits from going up to about 55% dodge (for example you seem to be able to dodge explosions and the ice bombs conjured by Frozen enemies).
Resolve – a flat 20% damage reduction. I do not know how it interacts with the Concussion Rune but the more reduction the better (right?)
Iason Is A Control Freak works by applying a lot of penalties to the enemy and having a high ability to absorb damage. On top of that I use Dashing Strike to keep the enemy moving and taking out the weakest and/or hardest hitting enemies first (as well as avoiding hazards).
Crippling Wave keeps applying debuffs and generating spirit while Seven Sided Strike and Wave of Light are the heavy hitters (both of these use holy damage and I have collected a lot of gear boosting this). With a Spirit pool of 250 and three abilities consuming a lot of Spirit the Life pr Spirit Spent stat also becomes very useful when you are taking a beating.
Seven Sided Strike and Serenity both offer some protection from all of those nasty elites placing hazards and doing burst damage.
What I like about this build is the focus on Holy damage – fitting for the Monk and there’s some good items with a bonus to Holy damage. I also like the control (obviously) over my own movement and the ability to break most crowd control. Most of all what I enjoy is the feeling of using my powerful abilities to defeat the enemies. Seven Sided Strike and Wave of Light makes you feel very epic and it is very satisfying unleashing them at just the righe moment with devastating effects.
On the down side you are always wanting Spirit and being caught without enough for the right ability at the wrong moment means death – which can be frustrating. You need to focus very carefully in order to be able to place yourself using Dashing Strike effectively – at times causing a permanent squint.