Tuesday 26 February 2013

Monk buffs (or how to quadruple (or more!) your sheet DPS]

I've read a ton of different threads, here and elsewhere, about monks and their different skills, and it seems that the vast majority of monks stick to the tried and trusted FoT/SW build with Breath of Heaven Blazing Wrath & Blinding Flash, along with Resolve, StI & OWE passives.

I wanted to share a variation on that build that I've been running for a while that allows you to put out absolutely disgusting DPS.

Everyone is familiar with Overawe. How can you turn down 48% extra dps? What a lot of monks don't realize is that you can get nearly that much again with the use of the Combination Strike passive.

For those not familiar with it, combination adds 8% dps for each spirit generator you use, and it keeps that buff provided you keep attacking. You don't even need to cycle the different attacks so you can continue to spam FoT like normal, while enjoying the extra damage combo strike provides.

My "cookie cutter" FoT build has always used combination strike & deadly reach in place of either resolve or fleet footed and Breath of Heaven. Let's face it, that heal from BoH is a joke, and while 15% extra dps is nice, with those two skills you get +34% With the buff to plague damage, deadly reach is also great for being able to dish out damage without having to step in that green goo.

Yesterday I turned it up a notch and added Way of the Hundred Fists with Blazing Fists rune into the rotation. This gives +5% move speed and +5% attack speed per crit and can stack 3 times, so +15% MS +15% IAS with 3 stacks.

So what does all that mean in terms of DPS output? For 99% of monks, Fists of Thunder is going to be your main attack & damage dealer, so I'm going to focus on FoT damage in particular.

It should be noted that I have a Won Khim Lau that adds 22% to my FoT damage, and also an Inna's helm that adds another 10% so my base sheet dps of 150k is already buffed to around 200k just from those two items, even though it doesn't show up on sheet dps. (worth every piece of gold spent!)

Let's run through the damage calculations step by step, as shown on d3up (use it, love it!):

My base FoT:TC dmg: 427k (includes +32% from gear)
  • Add 48% from Overawe: 582k
  • Add 18% from Deadly Reach: 640k
  • Add 15% IAS from 3 stack WotHF: 700k
  • Add 24% (8% x 3) from Combo strike: 786k
  • Add 3% crit chance from Scoundrel: 820k

Here's a screenshot I grabbed from d3up as proof that this is legit: 

So I've gone from base sheet DPS of 150k up to 820k. This is just FoT damage too...you've still got sweeping wind hitting for 200-300k dps on top of that, so easily over a million dps all up.

Here's my strategy going into fights:

Start with Deadly Reach to get that +18% bonus going. I'll usually cast SW around this time since it doesn't matter too much when you cast it now with the removal of snapshotting (though if anyone has evidence to the contrary I'm all ears)

I'll follow that up with WotHF and Overawe then start with the FoT spam. The handy thing about WotHF skill is that it's buff appears on your bar so you can tell how many stacks you have and how long until they expire. Coincidentally, that expiry time is 3 seconds, so right about the time you need to refresh overawe to keep the +48% bonus anyway.

So, refresh overawe & WotHF at the same time, then continue to hold down FoT as per normal. Use Deadly Reach every 20-30 seconds to keep that buff up, and you're golden.

Sorry this ended up getting a little long-winded, but hopefully this gets the information out there about how powerful our buffs can be, and encourages some of you to mix it up a bit.