Monk Dual Wield XP/Loot Dashing Ninja Guide / Build

Diablo 3 Monk Dual Wield XP/Loot Dashing Ninja Guide / Build submitted by Nameless.

Introduction - A viable alternative to Druin’s TR Build?
I know that the TR build has gained popularity in these forums because, well, let’s face it, Druin’s awesome and the build works. But for me, the reason that I put this together was because I wanted to get something that will be a fast MP0 XP/loot build while spending minimal amounts on gear and still get somewhat good results.

 I like being a DW monk, so I wanted a build that can emulate some of the results of the TR build without having to get a 2H skorn and gimping my attack speed.

Based on the skills laid out in this build (for an "entry level" monk for this build @ unbuffed 100K DPS), a minimum of 30M XP/hr is possible. However, with some modifications to some of the skills from higher tiered monks, the XP/hr can come close to 80M XP/hr (and possibly more).

With that, I believe that this can be a fun & viable alternative to the TR build. See "Addendum" section of post at the end for links to posts with description of modifications to achieve higher XP/Hour.

Guide continued after the page break..

Basic Build Requirements & Considerations

  • With your hellfire ring and ruby in helm (giving you at least +60% XP), I would hope that you are still maintaining 100K dps unbuffed for SW purposes. It may well work with lower, but I have not tested it out yet.
  • Max movement speed in gear and some pickup radius will be helpful for you to pick up gold along the way without having to backtrack
  • Adequate resistances and armor would definitely help
  • Flexible gear requirements - 4-piece Inna's not required!
  • Increased attack speed welcomed

Build Elements & Description:
First, the link to my build:!cZU!ZccZaa

Chant of Resonance
Fleet Footed
One With Everything or Seize the Initiative

Way of the Hundred Fists - Blazing Fists
Seven Sided Strike - Fulminating Onslaught
Blind Flash - Faith in the Light
Mantra of Healing - Circular Breathing or Mantra of Conviction - Submission
Dashing Strike - Way of the Falling Star or Dashing Strike - Quicksilver
Sweeping Wind - Master of Wind

Movement Speed
This build emphasizes movement speed and passive killing (through SW/MoW). In terms of movement speed, here is the breakdown of what this will be:

  • 24% from gear
  • 10% from Fleet Footed passive
  • 15% from WoTHF / Blazing Fists at max stack
  • 25% from DS - WofFS

So at max, your MS can max out at around 74% MS (without shrine) for very short bursts if you play your cards right, but still maintain a base of +34% and average around +50% MS. This should also require you engage in minimal of fighting, since the SW will kill most MP0 monsters you come across just by running around them. Maintaining 3 stacks for blazing fists can be a bit tricky, so there is reason to punch from time to time. Dashing Strike to the middle of a pack is also useful, as SW/MoW can kill a bunch of monsters just by landing in the middle of a pack of whites.

Passive Spirit Regeneration

At the same time, DS from target to target can be very spirit draining. So some passive spirit generation will be helpful. This build has elements that will give you 5 spirit per second without relying on gear at all. MoH/Circular Breathing gives you 3 spirit/second (along with some extra healing per second) and Chant of Resonance increases duration of mantra from 3 minutes to 10 minutes AND it gives you 2 spirit/second regen. Both of these are helpful, as it allows you to essentially spam MoH and then forget about it for most of the run (and not waste spirit trying to keep up the mantra). For a typical A3 XP run, you may only have to refresh the mantra once.

Champion/Elite Packs

In terms of what to do about elite and champion packs, this is where SSS/FO comes into play. I would typically DS in the middle of an elite/champion pack, BF/FitL (blinds them and damage buff) and then SSS/FO and allow my SSS to strike them down. Fuliminating Onslaught is useful in this scenario because of the AOE effect, so it can kill monsters surrounding target as well. I would say that it probably kills >75% of monsters in one shot, and usually it’s either the fast ones or the extra health that require some extra effort to kill. Remember, that there is some benefit in punching as it can help build 3 stack of MS if need be, so attacking does still have a positive side effect.

Other Points

Defence will still be a consideration, as you still have to engage in battles and fight your way through some mobs. So going completely glass cannon may not be advised, as dying really does take a chunk away from your XP/hour rate.

Some people may be wondering what happened to Serenity in this build, to which I say... it is not necessary with MP0. You will be killing so quickly that the protection that serenity provides will be wasted. Beyond that, Dashing Strike between packs can also get you out of trouble quickly in case you find yourself in a bit of trouble and need to get out of sticky situations.

What to do after 1.0.7 drops?

At present, I do use BF/FitL to buff/snapshot SW. Once we lose the snapshot utility, the question then becomes whether you want to use BF or Blazing Wrath for buffs. It will be something I will experiment with later. For now BF/FitL will still be useful as it will buff SSS by ~60% because of the increased attack speed for most DW monks, and more if you happen to arrive with a full BF stack before spamming the skills.

The other element worth considering is to drop SSS for Wave of Light. With the upcoming damage buff from 390% to 829%, it may be worth using Empowered Wave (reducing spirit cost to 40) to drop bells on elite and champion packs. Seeing that there is also no cooldown to this skill, it may end up providing more utility as the AOE effect can wipe out large mobs in one blow, especially if elites are “hiding” amongst the white mobs. Again, something I will be experimenting with once new patch drops.

What are some alternative runes / skills to consider?

For one thing, if you are not an OWE monk and you have plenty of armor, you have a free passive from which to choose. There can be a variety of them (not as much as we wished), but you can consider Combination Strike for a flat 8% damage buff. Beacon of Ytar could also be useful to reduce cooldowns for both BF and SSS.

Dashing Strike is a great skill to move from point to point. If you don’t find yourself being affected by the increased movement speed, then you can also consider using the Quicksilver rune to reduce spirit cost from 25 spirit to 10. With the minimum 5 spirit / second spirit regen, this almost makes DS free (as one strike with BF will get you back the remaining spirit) and you may find this to be far more useful than the increased movement speed that WotFS rune provides..

Sweeping Wind / Master of Wind is typically really useful for those who don’t have the Inna’s 4 piece set. If you do have it however, you could consider using other runes for SW. Inner Storm may be a useful one as it increases passive spirit generation by another 3 spirit per second at maximum stack count, giving your monk a total of 8 spirit / second. This makes DS that much more useful, and refreshing your SW every 3s between enemies is going to be free anyway. Fire Storm may also be worthy of consideration as it increases the radius of the SW, therefore increasing the killrate (thanks to Teckno for the suggestion). Just bear in mind that if your SW is too strong, you may not have many monsters to swing at to keep the SW and the BF stack up.

If you are finding that spirit generation is NOT an issue for you, Mantra of Conviction / Submission may be a great alternative. It provides a 12% monster defence debuff, and inflicts a constant 12% weapon damage x APS to surrounding enemies. This would add to the 45% weapon damage from SW/MoW, giving you a total of a constant ~70% weapon damage for the average DW monk @ 2.0 APS AND the 12% monster defence debuff. This should increase kill rates as well. This would be my first choice if it weren't for the fact that I needed more passive spirit regeneration.

Notes about Gameplay
This build actually raises the heart-rate, so it's not for the faint of heart! It requires constant awareness and engagement with what you see in the screen because of the DS component. This is especially true if you go through Fields of Slaughter (I think that's what it's called) and encounter those long-armed monsters (forget the name). It requires you to DS in the midst of them and kill them before you kill anything else (otherwise, they get you from underneath and you die quickly because you don't see those arms springing up from under you). I find this to be a very engaging gamestyle and is not something that can bore you to tears.

Start the run with MoH spam, and check in on it now and then during the run. While we are in patch 1.0.6, it will be most helpful to punch away at your first pack to build the WotHF/BF attack speed & movement speed buff, BF/FitL, and then SW/MoW to get your SW to do the most damage for you. After that, it's just punching on occasion to keep the SW up or re-spam SW if you need to keep the stacks and there is no monster in sight. 

From here on out, most of your kills will consist of DSing to a pack or to a monster and then moving on to the next target (striking is likely not necessary if it's just a single or a couple of monsters). If there's a big mob, then running around may be necessary, but no need to strike with BF unless the monster's health pool is a bit higher. This can also help build your WotHF/BF MS stack if you are engaged in one battle for long enough. When you do come across an elite / champion pack, the key sequence (assuming nothing is on cooldown and your spirit pool is pretty high) is DS to target, BF/FitL, SSS/FO and then WotHF/BF to kill what's still alive. And repeat sequence as you come across new packs.

This build works off of the element of surprise by attacking before they get any attacks in - especially with the elite/champion packs, so you may never have to feel the effects of jailer, molten, plague, etc with the exception of some particularly nasty affix combinations. You'll know them when you see them. ;)

There is a potential issue with this build in that if your DPS is in fact TOO strong for a certain MP level, you may not have enough to punch with your spirit generator since your SW will kill on contact. In instances like that, moving up MP levels may be advised, as not having an active way of generating spirit kind of works against what this build attempts to do. Unless you have a good amount of passive spirit regen between gear and skills to negate the consequences.

Concluding Thoughts
So there you have it. Yet another MP0 XP/loot speed run build. For the higher-tiered monks, the build can be modified to a point that it could even compete with Druin's TR build in terms of XP/hr efficiency with less restrictive build requirements. It’s a little off the beaten track and it (hopefully) provides some more build variety amongst monks who are getting sick of the cookie cutter build, not a fan of the TR playstyle and want to try something a bit different.

I do want to acknowledge LordRaahl / Countfury for his assistance with elements of this build. Believe it or not, he can actually be quite helpful!

Thanks for reading.