Monk Wave of Light Build

Monk Wave of Light Build submitted by Galm.

Background (skip if you don't care about this kinda thing)

Sometime ago I read about someone trying a Lashing Tail Kick: Hand of Ytar build, which basically had him going around the map spamming the skill on anything that moves, without any Spirit Generator.

I tried that spec for a bit, and while it was certainly novel, it lacked a certain kick for me (plus, I was way too Spirit-starved - didn't have enough Spirit per Second on my gear).

With the arrival of 1.04 though, I've been experimenting quite a bit with Spirit Spenders, primarily of course everyone's favourite silly gong ability, Wave of Light. As a Daibo user (yes, our kind exist), I was initially most interested in Wall of Light, but when I was thinking about the Hand of Ytar, I wondered: what if I spammed Empowered Wave bells instead?

What resulted was (amusingly) the most effective build (for my gear and playstyle) that I had ever put together.

The Bell Spam Build (if you're skipping this, I have no idea why you're reading this thread)


Build continued after the page break..
If you don’t wanna click, it’s -

1. Deadly Reach: Foresight
2. Wave of Light: Empowered Wave
3. Breath of Heaven: Blazing Wrath
4. Serenity: Ascension
5. Spirit Ally: Air Ally
6. Mantra of Healing: Circular Breathing

P1. Guardian’s Path
P2. Exalted Soul
P3. Chant of Resonance

Not one defensive passive, woo! This set-up should give you a passive 8.1 spirit per second (6 with a 35% bonus from Guardian’s Path) before items. And speaking of items, there’s one I highly recommend to make this spec really soar:

Weapon: The Flying Dragon
Get one preferrably with Wave of Light crit bonus. More on this under the Wave of Light breakdown.

If you can’t get a Fwying Dwagun (seriously, you guys need to say this with a faux-Chinese accent), then another high damage Daibo or two-hander will suffice. Look out for stats like lots of +Dex, >=1.2k DPS, IAS and preferrably some Vitality. 

Stuff like crit, crit damage, life steal and life on hit are great, but not essential.

As a yardstick, I’m flying with around:

- 3.3k armor
- 579 all resists (700+ poison)
- 34k health
- no LoH / Lifesteal
- 1.2k life per second regen
- +20k health globe bonus
- 12% movement speed (highly recommended)

- no bonus crit and crit damage (great to have, but not critical. … Get it? Critical? Ahahaha. Haha. Ha.)
- 24% IAS (get some)
- 33k dps before buffs
- 696-1632 weapon damage (this matters more than your listed dps)
- 2003 Dexterity
- Paragon Level 10

Skill Breakdown, Justifications and Considerations

This is not a face-tank build. You will be squishier, you will be attacking with your primary much lesser and there will be times where you’ll be running away.

Well. Maybe you think you’re monk’s running away. In my head my monk’s backflipping, somersaulting and charging Spirit as she avoids enemy attacks.

Oh, and you’ll be dropping Bells on your enemies. A lot.

Deadly Reach: Foresight
I got this mostly for the 18% damage buff and as a Spirit Generator. If you have high crit, I’d recommend Strike from Beyond as well.

Wave of Light: Empowered Light
At max spirit with Exalted Soul, you can drop 6 (!!) bells and still have leftover spirit for Serenity.

Though it’s not in the description, Wave of Light actually deals it’s 390% damage across 3 hits, during the “mystical-staff-swinging” animation the Monk does the bell first falls. In other words, this skill actually does 130% damage on 3 hits, and then blasts forward for 40%. Each hit has it’s own chance to crit.

Also, note that the skill does damage based-off your WEAPON damage (not its listed DPS, though that’s a good indication), increased by your Dexterity. In the case of dual-wielding, it’s an average of your weapons’ damage (?).

Wave of Light also puts normal mobs in a stun-animation during the bell-smacking part, and only Rare mobs (yellow champs), bosses and mobs with innate immunity (such Demonic Tremors) do not get knockbacked from the wave blast. In other words, WoL is both crowd-control and a large AOE-nuke.

The bell also hits slightly beyond than it’s graphic radius. It’s entirely possible to hit certain mobs standing behind you with WoL.

Wave of Light, like most skills, is affected by IAS, either from your gear, buffs, a Frenzy shrine and - this is why we wanted one - the Flying Dragon’s double IAS proc. When procced, your your WoL monk turns into a gattling gun. That shoots bells.

Breath of Heaven: Blazing Wrath & Serenity: Ascension (The Optional Slots)
These two skills are actually, in my opinion, optional.

Of the build, these are the two slots where you can mix and match as you so desire. Because I have no LoH / Lifesteal, I use these two skills to stay alive. Serenity’s damage immunity is nice, but considering that only Rare mobs are immune to your knockback, you might find yourself using that skill only in more specific scenarios.

Blazing Wrath’s damage boost is nice of course, though it really does depend on your current gear - you might not need the 15%, and can trade it in for, say Seven-Sided Strike or Blinding Flash.

Another possible rune for Breath of Heaven is the Infused with Light rune. You’ll need to make snap judgement calls about this at times though - do you save it for the heal, or use it early to spam Bells to push mobs away?

Other recommendations - Dashing Strike: Way of the Falling Star (the speed boost is nice), Blinding Flash (anything), Seven-Sided Strike: Several Sided Strike (for damage and immunity).

Spirit Ally: Air Ally
Besides being an excellent source of damage and the occasional tank, Air Ally’s chance to restore 100 (135 with Guardian’s Path) Spirit on attack is the true gem of this rune.

Be on the lookout for a graphic similar to when you drink a potion or pick up a health globe - except that in this case, it’s beige in colour; that’s when you know the Spirit recovery procced. I mean, besides suddenly discovering you have a lot of Spirit.

Mantra of Healing: Circular Breathing
3 Spirit per Second. ‘Nuff said.

If you have innate Spirit regen on your gear, you might also want to consider Mantra of Conviction instead. Overawe or Dishearten would be useful runes for this build.

Passives: Guardian’s Path, Exalted Soul, Chant of Resonance

These passives all work towards having a large and regenerating Spirit pool. ‘Nuff said.

If you have Spirit regeneration on your gear, you might want to consider dropping Chant of Resonance for another passive. I recommend Transcendance (you’ll be getting a lot of life back from the Bell spamming) or Fleet Footed (you’d be surprised how good this is) or Beacon of Ytar (if you’re running with SSS especially).

Putting It All Together - How Bell spamming works

Oh look, enemies.


That’s really all there is to it. Avoid enemies attacks, or let your Air Ally soak up the damage. Go close to them, then cast Wave of Light.

Note that in most situations, 2 WoLs will eventually push mobs out of your range (though frankly, in solo situations 2 WoLs are all it takes to kill most mobs), so don’t just hold right-click (or whatever you mapped it to) and expect everything to die. It will, you just gotta get into position. WoL’s “stun” and pushback is what makes this spec really shine.

When Flying Dragon’s double-IAS procs, don’t just use it on WoL - double attack speed also means more Spirit, so you’ll need to judge when to generate spirit and when to spend it.

Use Deadly Reach to generate Spirit, or run around if necessary to wait for Spirit to regen. Use your defensive abilities to get out of dangerous situations, and always assume that you’re squishy enough to get killed by more than a few hits.

Arreat Crater is an excellent place for you to test this spec out.

- A solid single-player build that melts non-elites and punishes most elites easily. Be careful around “heavy” mobs though (those with innate knockback immunity), and also mobs that have Fast or Vortex.

- You don’t have to build heavy resistances or armor for this build. In fact, you don’t even need to build dual-resistances. You just need a hard-hitting two-hander.

- This build can farm Act 3 and 4.

- This is also the most group-unfriendly spec I have ever played. You’re going to want to be sensitive to your group’s makeup. Critical Mass-Frost Nova wizards will hate you, Vengeance Barbarians will hate you, just about anything that needs stuff to stay still will hate you.

To offset the hate, try to position yourself so that the mobs get knockbacked into a corner. And make it clear to your group that you’re Bell spamming - if they’re nice, they’ll accommodate you too (hopefully by tanking the mobs near a corner, for example).

- You’ll need to gear for higher resistances / armor to kill Diablo (unless you’re running with SSS). Phases 1 and 3 are actually not too bad at all, but the Shadow Clones on Phase 2 can be rough, especially when *they* through bells in YOUR face.

- It’s noisy. Unless you’re into that sorta thing.

- You might feel silly doing nothing but throw bells down. Until you see all the dead corpses.

Gonna try and see if I can get a video up of me running around. Till then, go try it yourself!