Patch 1.0.4 Preview: Monk

The first of the remaining three class change previews is up. Here’s what is happening to the Monk.

The most important changes for the DiabloWikimonk in 1.0.4 are aimed at improving damage-focused Spirit Spenders. We’re happy with where Spirit Generators are right now, but unfortunately once you have Spirit, there aren’t very many appealing ways to use it. In many cases, the most effective use of Spirit has been to recast a Mantra repeatedly for the three-second bonus. While this is certainly one possibility, it doesn’t seem as exciting as using one of the more offensively-focused Spirit Spenders (or at least having that option available).

Spirit Spenders

DiabloWikiExploding Palm: (db)

exploding palmFrom a strict usability standpoint, we think the visuals for Exploding Palm can be a little difficult to interpret. It’s hard to tell who’s affected by the DiabloWikiBleed and who’s being damaged by the resulting explosion. Our Visual Effects team has made some improvements in 1.0.4 which will make it easier for players to tell who’s bleeding and who’s getting damaged.
From a mechanics standpoint, the three-second Bleed can make the explosion hard to pull off, and the damage just doesn’t seem enough to be worth the Spirit cost. To help with both of these issues, we’re increasing the duration of the Bleed to nine seconds as well as its damage per second, which should make it more likely that monsters you’ve touched with Exploding Palm will go boom when they die.

  • Current: 220% weapon damage over 3 seconds
  • 1.0.4: 745% weapon damage over 9 seconds

(Don’t worry, Impending Doom is also having its duration increased to 15 seconds.)

DiabloWikiSeven-Sided Strike: (db)

seven sided strikeThe original intent for Seven-Sided Strike was for it to be a solid damage dealer that you could use for a quick burst. Where Serenity granted you an amazing period of invulnerability, and your other combat skills could put out some damage, Seven-Sided Strike would ideally exist somewhere in the middle by offering some invulnerability and some damage. Unfortunately, the way it currently plays out, Seven-Sided Strike feels more like a bad version of Serenity, and the damage just doesn’t seem worth it. To address this, we’ll be doing a straight damage increase to Seven-Sided Strike to make it an attractive option for those who are looking for a skill that really packs a punch.

The damage buff to Seven Sided Strike is significant. And although players rarely complain when a skill gets buffed, it does leave one wondering why a lower damage existed in the first place.

The answer is: our initial design was flawed in several ways. To get the skill where it needed to be, we identified three distinct problems that were plaguing not only Seven-Sided Strike, but other class skills as well, and each problem merited a damage increase.

First, we’re upping the damage of many skills with longer cooldowns in 1.0.4. Across all classes, if I can only hit a button once every so often, it needs to dole out some significant damage to justify the spot on my bar. While some skills, like Archon and Wrath of the Berserker, are significant enough to make the cut, there are a lot of skills that need DPS improvements to make their cooldowns worthwhile. Indeed, many monks use Seven-Sided Strike for the brief invulnerability, not the damage.

Second, we’re also upping the damage on skills that spend Spirit. As mentioned in the introduction, Spirit Spenders are getting buffed because the Spirit cost needs to be weighed against the benefit of using that Spirit on something else — such as refreshing your Mantra.

Third, we’re taking a hard look at distinctive, class-defining skills that create better tension on your skill bar. We’d like to promote skills that help to fulfill the fantasy of a class; skills that make you feel happy that you chose the class you did. Since the fantasy of a monk involves being fast, agile, and hard to hit, Seven-Sided Strike seemed like a natural candidate.

We looked at making these improvements across all skills and all classes, and Seven-Sided Strike benefitted all three times. As a result, the 1.0.4 version of the skill is incredibly potent (we’ll save the details for the patch notes).

DiabloWikiWave of Light: (db)

wave of lightWave of Light is the kind of skill that just needs to do way more damage. It has a big Spirit cost, but it doesn’t seem to pay off based on the amount of Spirit invested into it. In general, we’d like Lashing Tail Kick to be a skill that’s good against a small number of targets and feels relatively “spammable,” and for Wave of Light to be a skill that’s more of an investment — something that you don’t use as frequently, but pays out with bigger damage numbers when you actually do hit the button.

  • Current: 215% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE
  • 1.0.4: 390% weapon damage as Holy + 45% damage as AoE

This is just for the base skill. Wall of Light, Explosive Light, and Pillar of the Ancients damage has also been buffed up by a fair amount.


In terms of passives, it’s pretty clear at this point that DiabloWikiOne With Everything (db) is considered a mandatory passive for all monks. While “mandatory” passives aren’t great, making any major change would do more harm than good, particularly when a) incoming damage is so high and b) monks need the extra durability in order to survive.

Additionally, as a result of this passive, monks are more heavily tied to their current gear, so making changes to One With Everything would have very noticeable negative repercussions to the gear monks have invested in.

While we’d prefer that there wasn’t an “absolutely mandatory” passive, we’re going to let this one ride for now. If we do try to make changes we’ll ideally do it in a way that doesn’t invalidate the passive, doesn’t hurt monk survivability, and doesn’t undermine the gear people are currently wearing.

Last but not least, we added the ability for monks to wield two-handed weapons in 1.0.3, along with supporting animations. This has allowed some monks who enjoy two-handers to play this way, but it’s not always effective. In the Systems Preview, we mentioned that two-handed melee weapons are getting a buff, and that will help. As additional support, the Spirit generation bonus granted by The Guardian’s Path is going to be increased from 25% to 35%.

Still to come, later today. The Witch Doctor and the Demon Hunter.

How’d you like them apples? Juicy and tempting or a bit dry leaving a bitter after taste.

Related to this article
  • Legendaries 1.0.4 vs 1.0.3 Comparison Charts
  • Vote: What do you think of the v1.0.4 patch?
  • 1.0.4 Undocumented Changes

  • You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

    65 thoughts on “Patch 1.0.4 Preview: Monk

    1. Really wanna know just how good Seven Sided Strike will be since it has been part of my build from when I unlocked it…

    2. Good thing they are not touching “One with everything” . Many people would be pissed.

      Looking forward to seven sided strike buff

      • I wanted them to make it an inherent ability like the 30% damage reduction then change this passive altogether. Anything necessary for survival shouldn’t take up one of the slots used for customization.

      • I agree that Blizzard should not touch One With Everything (OWE). First of all, contrary to what was said, I do not see it as being mandatory. I don’t use it. My passives are picked and I’m not swapping one of them out for an additional +120 AR. Granted I could go higher by getting more AR gear that also has +LR, but trying to find that without losing necessary stats that are currently on my gear is never going happen. The gear is simply not going to drop and will be way out of my price range if available on the AH. Second, as alluded to above, to take advantage of OWE, and benefit, one needs to be very particular about gear, specifically going out of the way to stack only one type of resist on top of AR. Anyone that has done this, especially to the point of getting +300 or more AR as a result, an amount the makes a difference (120 doesn’t), deserves to not have their build fubar’d, especially considering the expense of such gear.

        • You’re describing what happens when you obtain gear elite enough to overcome the lack of resistance problem. Most monks don’t have that kind of gear.

      • It’s not a good thing. It just shows how big of an impact the AH has on game balance when the devs are afraid of nerfs because they might “undermine the gear people are currently wearing.”

    3. This is the first preview that didn’t make me excited at all. I guess WD will be the last one to get the blog post, with a big fat surprisingly awesome pet buff

    4. I would like to hear more about what they did change for passives, rather than a novella about the skill they didn’t touch.

    5. “We’d like to promote skills that help to fulfill the fantasy of a class; skills that make you feel happy that you chose the class you did. Since the fantasy of a monk involves being fast, agile, and hard to hit, Seven-Sided Strike seemed like a natural candidate.”

      This seemed like a bit of a reach to me. Maybe this makes sense in a deep-immersion RPG, but I’m not sure it’s true for Diablo. In the original, I enjoyed donning full plate mail and a shield as a sorcerer and teleporting right next to the monsters before unleashing spells. Not exactly a high fantasy archetype there. In Diablo 2, it was fun to run around stabbing things with a poison dagger, or spamming hammers all around the outdoors. I know when I think of paladins, I think “fast-casting damage dealers!” Just to belabor the point: “singing barb.” So…just tell us “This skill sux. Moar damage now.” No need to go to such lengths to justify it.

      Also…doesn’t the monk have two must-have passives? Is anybody running Inferno without Seize the Initiative? (If so, they have much better gear than I do-not that that is saying much.)

      • I think it’s the correct approach even if it doesn’t seem so important by the numbers. Blizzard’s success on these games is partially based on providing strong RPG archetypes. People who enjoy playing an “archetypical” character in ways that don’t fit the archetype are a minority. You and I are in the minority.

        • yeah, I mean at some point they have to draw the line between allowing every wacky build in each class and having each class unique. That’s why they’re different classes, so that you can pick a character that tailors to your playstyle and maybe customize him a bit but it stays true to the core. At which point does an obsession with tanking DH turn into a realisation that maybe you really want to play a Barb?

    6. It’s just weird that the Barb changes were really detailed compared to what has been shown for the other classes so far. As a Monk, I like the idea of them buffing damage oriented spirit spenders, I just hope it will prove useful. I for one loved using Exploding Palm and was sad I had to let it go once I hit Inferno. We’ll see if it makes its way back in after the patch. I was never big on SSS because of the long cooldown and it never feeling like it did appreciable damage to anything.

      • Each preview seems to have a different author and style. Barb was cool. Wiz was “look how deep we can go discussing a single point – i.e., this design thing takes time”.

        This one was really underwhelming. Let’s hope patch notes brings some cool stuff.

    7. IMO I dunno that these changes are going to make much of an impact.
      Current monk builds (other than ones with wonderful gear) already use almost all of their stat slots for survival. Damage boosting skills need to be absolutely humongous in order to be worth replacing these survival skills.

        • What? Is this really all you were hoping for? Right now there is 0 build diversity, and that is not because spirit spenders have too low percentages. I was hoping for changes to OWE, fixing mantra of healing, beta version of exploding palm etc etc. Something FUN and game changing, not a few increased percentages.

      • Or, as is more likely (because they said it outright, right at the beginning), they’re just not describing every single little change in these previews. But giving us a flavour of their thought-process by example.

        • They explain in the beginning of the post that the main issue with monks is that spirit spenders are not worth taking so they want to buff them. I’m saying I don’t agree with that statement. The reason people are not using spirit spenders is because you need 4 defensive abilities to have any chance of surviving inferno, so you can’t afford spirit spenders no matter how shiny the percentages are.

          I guess a fix for OWE or combining offensive and defensive abilities was too much to hope for.

          • Well, I really am no expert at all on Inferno, so forgive me that. BUT to begin with people were loading up on defensive skills to get through. Now I read in some of the build topics in the forums that the best tactic is a good mix of offensive and defensive skills. Being able to tap more effectively into any skill that provides a bonus to offense or defense is good, the way I see it.

            But if you’re using defensive skills so much, then obviously they are much more important than offensive skills, and they’re trying to do something about that.

          • Dead enemies can’t kill you though.

            I’ve yet to see if the buff’s good enough to efficiently take down enemies fast enough to justify them in the skill bar. It looks to be the approach at any rate.

            I’m pretty happy about it; I never gave in to using ‘that same build’ as everyone else anyway, so it just means that things are looking up for me.

    8. “How’d you like them apples? Juicy and tempting or a bit dry leaving a bitter after taste.”

      Golden, with a pinch of discord. ^^

      Sorry… Couldn’t help myself. Nothing to say on the monkchanges, though, as he doesn’t fit my playstyle. But the changes seem to me, as if Blizzard is a bit clueless on how best to promote the underused skills of the class or the class as a whole…

    9. So basically they improve the damage of all of the skills people don’t use and that’s it. I really don’t think so that’s the only problem but whatever…

    10. Monk is my main class, but I didn’t find this preview very exciting. I was hoping they’d buff some of the generators, since currently it’s very hard to justify using anything other than thunderclap or keen eye. The buff to spirit spenders is nice, but the difference is going to have to be massive to justify giving up blazing wrath, faith in the light, cyclone, or serenity (yeah right). At least they didn’t nerf thunderclap! 🙂

      • I think they’ll make incremental rune changes to generators too that improve it (they’d BETter…), but the changes probably weren’t significant enough to warrant being in the preview (content/minor changes for better balance but not overall buffs and increase in generation).

        • I hope you’re right. As of now, the damage, AoE, and proc coefficient of thunderclap leaves everything else in the dust. They said they’re happy with where spirit generators are right now, but hopefully that doesn’t mean they went completely unchanged. 😕

      • I know. I’m thinking about my build, Thunderclap, Blazzing Wrath, Serenity, Cyclone, Mantra of Evasion… nothing was said that will make me give up any of these. This leaves me one slot, which has Tempest Rush. I don’t use this often, but there are times when it’s required (though I do have to pray I don’t get rubber-banded each time I use it). And if there are situations where I need it, then I have to have it, especially if switching skills loses all NV stacks, and the fact that I detest switching skills on a case by case basis.

        I want to create a build that can play the entire game and wish the game would embrace/enforce character builds. The willy-nilly, “Oh, I’m fighting this. I need to switch to a/b/c. Oh, I’m now fighting this, I need to switch to a/d/e…. a/b/d… a/c/d… bde… whatever best-wins the situation”, is a bunch of crap in my opinion.

        • I agree. Even if you do decide to drop tempest rush, you’ll have to replace it with some skill that has a useful escape mechanic, or else you’re dead meat any time you get in over your head and serenity is on cooldown. That doesn’t leave many choices. I don’t think my build will change at all.

        • well, I don’t mind having different builds/skill sets for different situations but now you can’t even do THAT effectively, because there are no hot-swap mechanisms and changing a skill on the fly is the hardest thing in the game, not to mention doing it in the heat of the fighting. And with NV stacks, you don’t even want to do it before a boss.

    11. There are many monk skills that do not seem worthy of placement on the skill bar. Would like to have seen changes to more than the few mentioned above. Hopefully the patch notes will list more.

    12. There’s a big problem with OWE. At first it seems like a great passive but it’s a double-edged sword. By the time you get to Act 2 and want to move on to Act 3 finding upgrades is very difficult (especially if you’re like me, who does NOT use the AH). The issue is that you now require an additional stat on your gear.

      The odds of finding upgrades to get past Act 2 is pretty much nil, and even if you do use the AH prices are very high.

      I’ll give you an example:

      Let me give you 4 cards. What are the odds the first card is better than 10? And what are the odds the next card is also better than 10? And all cards after that?

      For gear upgrades for most slots to upgrade you have to find something that is better:
      + dex, and
      + vit, and
      + all res, and
      + your chosen OWE resist

      • don’t forget +crit +crit damage and +loh or life regen

        yes and no. allres rolls higher than a single resistance, so you’re bets bet is to get both to roll on a single item or use a mix of allres and single res when you can,

        • agreed, I forgot u can get both on the same item and didn’t know all-res can roll higher than a single res (Which btw seems unbalanced? if you’re just getting 1 type of res, shouldn’t it be much higher to offset the bonuses to other res u get with all-res?)

          • that would make sense, this is the way it was in Diablo2 where you also had the option to socket resistances with gems, all of that made sense in Diablo2 and i still miss it in Diablo3.

    13. I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but I’m still a little disappointed that they didn’t switch Exploding Palm back to its class-reveal-era badassery as a Spirit Generator. Much, much more fun to play with then, I feel bad for the folks who’ll never get the chance to experience it. 😐

    14. Well thats made my mind up.

      Not nerfing the 100% uptime on barbs wotb and overpower 100% uptime along with huge buffs to other skills, I was hoping monk would get the same but sad to see the barb getting such huge buffs while the monk only gets a small damage boost.

      Class balance, what a fcking joke, hello barbar :mrgreen:
      Monk is now weak and underpowerd compared to other classes 😡

      lol even talking about nerfing owe, that would of killed the class monks would die so fast we don’t have the huge res and armour boost that barbar does.

      Thanks for buffing barb to disgusting lvl’s and letting people waste a fortune of gold and time on there monks, fu blizzard

      • yes please show me full patch notes too! and a video new everything?

        p.s. class balance? build diversity… was intention. More people will start experiment now with monk again, and will use that wizard build less, because of nerf. together with legendarys and full patch notes we havent seen yet (rest of all nerfs ;)), i think more diversity will be achieved. change ur name in D3Creative, instead of hater 😉

        • Wizard nerf… by the Dev’s own admission, with enough crit chance, “you may not even notice”. I guarantee that anyone using the build is maxing out their crit chance, which means, no one is even going to notice.

          • But people will abandon that build. because they are angry. 🙂 more diversity 😉 until every1 is 7handed strike monk with something we dont know about yet. or a certain legendary that is easily crafted or whatever.

            Im guessing the WD fetish army health globe exploit we hear about in the next post 😉

          • Award for most uninformed comment of the day goes to you. Congrats.

            WW Wiz’s are dead in the water now. Do a bit of research. You need minimum 30% ctc to do the build effectively and consistently. You will need 60% post 1.04. Know anyone with that amount of ctc? I don’t either, because it’s not possible with the wiz specific gear requirements.

        • All you need to know is, I have forseen and the future does not boed well for the noble warrior monks of Ivgorod. :mrgreen:

    15. Breath of Heaven’s Blazing Wrath has 100% up time too.

      If I have Overpower in my tornado build then I have only 1 fury generator, and that’s my shout on 30 sec CD. Without a CD-less fury generator, many times I just give up against a ranged rare monster.

      The main point of WOTB is to provide immunity to jailer and frozen, which stops the WW barb instantly. Monk doesn’t rely so heavily on being able to move to do anything.

      I have barb and monk in a3 and a2 inferno. If you think barbar is OP then just go play it.

      tldr: hater’s gonna hater.

      • I do have a baby barbar lvl10, maybe I will.

        I must admit to hear “Bul Kathos guides my hand! RWAR” gives me a satisfying feeling :mrgreen:

    16. People obviously don’t have a clue what previews are for. So since the intelligence level of those typing has apparently dropped I’ll explain it. A preview does not tell you everything that is going to happen, much like a movie. EPIC FAIL

    17. This is the worst preview so far. It contains the following information:
      SSS does more damage
      EP does more damage
      WoL does more damage
      Here’s a cool story about OWE

      The end.

      What it doesn’t contain:
      – Any useful information about extremely useless skills with stupid mechanics, like Wind Through the Reeds on Mantra of Evasion
      – Why Mantra of Retribution is absolutely terrible
      – Why Tempest Rush is absolutely terrible
      – LoH and attack speed with slow generators
      – Mystic Ally rarely being worth the spot on the bar
      – No useful information on other passives, nothing on Seize being almost another mandatory passive
      – Essentially mandatory sweeping wind
      – Dashing Strike rarely useful in PvE, needs to be reverted to beta version where you could dash without a target (like Vault)
      – Lots of bad passives (nothing like an awesome -15% reduction to 30 second cooldowns no one uses)

        • A bad preview. I, and everyone else, predicted skills would get more damage. We don’t need a preview about the obvious.

        • well if these are the epitome of what is noteworthy about 1.04 for the monk i think that he has valid concerns ; and i share them.

          i completely disagree that “Combo Generator are something to be happy about.”

          and i also dont understand why the disparity in Mantras and Mantra runes is so incredibly huge – it is as if they never played with their own designed skills.

          tell me in which scenario or gear setup is mantra of retribution ever worth it ? the only scenario i can think of is that i play with 4 monks and all other mantras have already been taken. i also dont understand why Mantra of healing does not scale with the rest of your gear;

          sure its effectiveness rises with level of your mitigation. but if you compare what you get from 1 skillslot in comparison to what you can get as affixes on Items than mantra of healing is a total joke.

          with my current A3 gear i have 1200 HPS and 700 LOH ; if i wanted to i could put on my Loh weapon for extra ~800 LOH. but thats not even necessary ; my point is that an amulet with 600 LOh can already be twice as valuable as Mantra of Healing. that being said i think that its power is laughable. everyone who’d ever try to maintain his sustenance with this skill and not with items would be a fool for doing so.

    18. Damnit, they didn’t buff the AoE damage on WoL?? Without that I still see no point to this skill.

    19. This doesn’t address the core monk problem that 5 defense skills and 3 defense passives are mandatory to play inferno. Adding more damage to skills there’s no room for on the skill bar is stupid. All this does is help you race through nightmarehell difficulty faster.

      Not fixing OWE? Fucking lazy.

      • being mandatory is simply not true ; damage can help in a fundamental way. Its the same with Barbarian ; it was unthinkable at release that any baba would go without Impunity, Revenge and Ignore Pain.

        but a high offense can really offset a low defense. either way what i don’t agree with is the blatant inequality of ; Generators , Mantras and Passive skills.

        everyone will use these. 1-2 generator FOT Thunderclap always included.

        everyone will always use Mantras ; if you are smart you always pick conviction Overawe as it scales exceptionally well with gear and selfbuffs , if not mantra of evasion is still reasonable.

        everyone will always use Passives ; and OWE and Seize the iniative are among them ~90% of the time; not because they are so exciting or OP but because the alternative suck big time (more so than for other classes that is).

        i appreciate them buffing Spender but thats not enough by a long shot. all monks already have found a way to get by without a single Spirit spender ; so those buffs have to be really mindblowing to convince me to change my current specc.

        I also think that they misinterpret the popularity of OWE because of the fact that Monk passives generally suck. OWE is not just a straight up buff. its more of an trade off. which makes inflexible at times and increases the price range of items tremendously ; whereas as a baba i just have to pop Impunity on my regular all res- gear and I am good to go.

        that being said i think that Blizzard does still a very poor job at identifying problems and correlations of multiple game systems.

    20. Not excited, too. In terms of a preview, as stated above, it is a bad preview. Yeah, there might be much more changes in the final patch notes, all the stuff we hoped for. But it seems weird that they were only writing about stuff everybody knew would change, because basically it is just about more damage, but not about changing some mechanics, which really are just plain stupid (skills and rune effects, but also full spirit after dying, no spirit buildup against shielded enemies/barrels etc.).

      But: Don’t forget that Inferno itself seems to become easier, this might imply that you won’t need all those 3 defensive passives anymore (which still doesn’t change, that the rest of the passives also is only like “meh”, but well…). So this also might open up one or two skill slots you used to need for defensive stuff.

      But again: It’s sad, they didn’t mention that more clearly, and well, this again makes this preview a bad preview.

    Comments are closed.