The Battle.net PTR forum is awash with monastic grief over the nerfs to Monks coming up in the next patch. The details at this point come just from datamining, so aren't final or confirmed, but they are enough to spark controversy, both pro and con. Here are the supposed Monk nerfs, with the nerfs in bold: Shenlong's Spirit [2 Pieces] - All damage is now increased by 1.5% (down from 2%) Seven-Sided Strike Cost: 50 Spirit Cooldown: 30 seconds Dash rapidly between nearby enemies, dealing 5677% weapon damage over 7 strikes. Now the cooldown does not start until the ability is over. Tempest Rush > Flurry : After you stop channeling Tempest Rush, you cause an icy blast to all enemies within 15 yards. The damage of the explosion increases by 90% weapon damage (down from 150%) as Cold while channeling. Tempest Rush's damage turns into Cold. The Tempest Rush change seems to have everyone baffled, (update, since it was an error): Remember that time I said take datamining with a grain of salt? That's still true; strings never provide the full picture. --Nevalistis[source]https://twitter.com/CM_Nevalistis/status/629074816583073792[/source] But the other nerfs are not exactly unexpected, and plenty of non-Monk players are in favor of them. For some evidence why, check out the current PTR Leaderboards. PTR leaderboard class distribution (4-player grifts, season, top 100): Crusader: 0% Wizard: 0% Witch doctor: 1% Demon hunter: 1% Barbarian: 18% Monk: 80% PTR leaderboard class distribution (4-player grifts, season, top 1000) Crusader: 1.8% Witch doctor: 2.1% Wizard: 3.3% Demon hunter: 5.9% Barbarian: 14.1% Monk: 72.8% Click through for more on the Monk (and Barbarian) dominance in the current patch, and some arguments against these Monk nerfs. I grabbed screenshots of all the PTR S4 leaderboards (which are much higher level than the non-season ones) just before the PTR went down for maintenance and probably the new patch. Here are the solo Grift records for the #10 ranked in each class (Not #1 since that gets freakish run outliers.) PTR Season 4 solo Leaderboard GRift #10: Barbarian: 68 Crusader: 62 Demon Hunter: 62 Monk: 70 Witch Doctor: 60 Wizard: 64 If you look at the pics of two, three, and four player Leaderboards, you'll see more of the same. If there were any more monks, you'd expect to see the Dalai Lama. [gallery link="file" ids="385323,385322,385330,385327,385329,385326,385325,385324,385328"] So what's the other side of the argument? Obviously Monks are currently way ahead of the other classes in power, and sadly, I've not seen many forthright defenses of it. Where's the, "Monks have been weak forever so we should be the strongest for a patch! All classes should get a turn, and Barbarians and Demon Hunters have had that joy in the past." Most of the arguments are pretty much just whining, but there are a few that make some points. Seven Sided Strike: This ability does not start its cooldown until after its effects expire. This is literally a 50% increased cooldown to SSS if your character is anything close to well geared. My character currently has 54.25% cooldown reduction before gogok buff and the CD for SSS is approximately 4 seconds. Animation is approximately 2 seconds long. With this nerf, the CD is effectively now 6 seconds aka 50% increase. This means you are getting 50% less SSS over time and therefore doing 50% less damage because 99.999% of your overall damage comes from SSS/EP. Edit: Now I'm not saying that Ulianas does not need a nerf here, but I think instead of nerfing SSS directly, Lions Claw or Fist of Az should be turned down a few notches. As both of these weapons each nearly double your damage output. --Binnes monk also pushes it self to the limits... we have tons of activate testers that push the char/sets to the limits while other classes hang back and avoid nerfs. People also dont bother looking at which clears legit and what not.. how can you take someone with lvl 150 gems and paragon 5k serious? --Esspay Do you even Play Monk? Don/Wyatt/Travis/John? After the coming PTR patch , 2 of 3 new sets are useless:Seeker of the Light and Uliana's Strategem , well done~ --fangshoushi Shenlongs was already nerfed too hard. I still can't even comprehend why they think that another nerf is needed. And the tempest rush is just plain a stupid. I saw the SSS nerf coming, but I was also hoping for some sort of damage compensation to stay competitive. Looks like we will be going back to being a solo only class with R6 being the only viable build. Kind of don't even wanna play s4 anymore. =/ --TheGhost dumbest nerf possible. cooldown should at least be reduced by the time sss takes to cast. period. but it's still dumb. GIVE US [email protected]#$ING CONTROL AND REMOVE THE IMMUNITY FFS! buff the belt. done. without immunity, we'd actually have to get some defense in high grifts, without making the whole build go south. but... oh yea, it's actually a buff! we dont need madstone anymore, just the gungdos everyone was using for no %^-*[email protected]# reason anyway. also, this buffs the 2p set bonus for a 6p build as you now have the time to actually attack 3 times inbetween sss... yea, you still need madstone in a multi uliana setup. but tbh, why would you meet any monk using this crap set now AND play the same crap set at the same time? we'll need loh. we'll need more defense. we'll get less damage per point of cdr. finally, monk will be back where he belongs, now go out and DPS like a templar! --psySPY The other objection is that the highest Grift scores are skewed since lots of players used the GRift exploit (explained with video here) last week before it was hotfixed, to gain massive Paragon levels and LGem upgrades. That's why the top Barbarian is GR75 and 5 GR ahead of the others... since he's Paragon 3200! The top Monks are similarly blessed, and all of thsoe guys have their Legendary Gems upgrade to rank 150, which gives an unbelievable buff. Top 5 for Seasonal softcore: Barbarian (wastes with BK) 75 14:48 (3270) * 70 14:10 (908) 70 14:30 (716) 70 14:57 (2854) * 69 14:18 (705) Crusader (Hammerdin) 65 13:17 (714) * 64 13:02 (716) 63 14:08 (792) 63 12:56 (636) 63 14:04 (693) Demon Hunter (natalya's) 66 13:16 (1795) * 66 13:59 (722) 66 14:57 (674) 64 11:49 (768) 64 13:55 (723) Monk (top 2 and 4th are generator builds, 3rd and 5th are uliana's) 73 13:59 (3268) * 72 13:19 (2856) * 71 11:32 (1798) * 71 14:13 (2847) * 71 14:25 (744) Witch Doctor (top 2 and 5th are dart build, 3rd and 4th are helltooth garg setup) 63 14:43 (706) 62 13:07 (658) 61 12:21 (693) 61 13:52 (616) 61 14:17 (708) Wizard (all vyr's archon builds) 69 13:45 (741) 68 13:36 (740) 67 11:52 (3270) * 67 13:56 (2855) * 66 10:39 (649) Source. Taking all this info together, it's a mess. Monks are clearly powered above other classes right now, and the near-perma invulnerability from constant Seven Sided Strike is definitely OP. That said, the top Grift times are also pretty dubious thanks to all the players with Paragon 3000 due to the Grift exploit. Hopefully Blizzard will do a full PTR and Leaderboard wipe with the patch and we can see see how things shake out once players gear up again, with the new stats on Monk gear and no one rolling P3000. What do you guys think of the monk nerfs in the Next PTR Patch? Is it all Monky Business? Continue reading the Original Blog Post.