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Druin #1518
[Review] My take on Storms 2.0 and SWK 2.0(1)Category: MonkJune-11-2014 10:46 AM PDT (8 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
Well, our two sets received "massive" buffs last night and so I went mule hopping and found my best set of each and gave them a whirl after spending some serious time theory-crafting up setups that might actually work.

The following are my opinions, if you disagree I would love to talk about it! :D

    Sunwuko's 2.0
Change --
4x set bonus went from 100% weapon damage as holy to 1600% weapon damage as holy. Duration of clone went from 1 second to 0.5 seconds.

Results --
Not good.

I was the most excited about this change as, on paper, it fits my type of playstyle the best. I already want to max CDR and use infinite Epiph to spend a ton of spirit so I figured this would be a shoe-in.

At 800k unbuffed DPS, 45% elite damage and 40% holy damage this set did terrible damage.
(Sunkeeper + Born's Sword ended up being my weapons of choice)

I tried out several specs and found the most effective to be the following --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#UefRVP!bVUX!bbZcZa

The concept is simple. CS things, EP them, drop IS, spam bells that proc the SWK clone.

The results were abysmal. The damage from WoL is incredibly low, the damage from SWK is very low and the damage from un-buffed EP is pretty low. All in all it lead to a spec that was VERY like Lightning-Pillar-EP but with less AoE damage (Pillar + TF + Odyn + Andy is nuts) and less single target damage (FoF + TF + Odyn is REALLY nuts).

Why? --
There are no really good monk damage options so there was nothing to accompany the SWK proc which, all by itself is not actually that much damage.
If you think about it, 1600% damage for 75 spirirt is only slightly above average.
WoL-Pillar is 635+785 for 75 spirit which comes out to 18.93 damage/spirit.
SWK is 1600 for 75 spirit which comes out to 21.33 damage/spirit.

These numbers are actually fairly favorable for SWK because it's "free" damage in that you are supposedly doing something else with the spirit it takes to proc SWK.

However, the only way monks can even come close to dealing enough damage to work in T6 is by using RRC to make the dmg/spirit number better and/or by using procs.

SWK ignores both of these scalars making its 1600% dmg / 75 spirirt get worse and worse as you stack more of those other two stats.

So, in the end it's not that the set bonus isn't good, it's that it's not nearly enough.
Monk damage is already so low that ~doubling it via SWK still leaves us with too little damage to be effective.

What do? --
Well first off ... this bonus is boring as heck. The clone idea was neat because it was unique ... with the change to 0.5s duration it is now just an AoE proc-on-a-stick. As with all sets, I recommend changing it something interesting instead of "deal damage".

Skill changes are the most interesting but there are plenty of ways to make things interactive without "when you do what you would do normally, you do more damage" which is just about as boring as it gets.

If that isn't an option, and I no longer have much faith in the dev team's ability to do interesting things here, make the spirit requirement scale with RRC. If you have 50% RRC, it only takes 37.5 spirit to proc.

This will make the same stat that scales your spender-build's damage also scale your SWK damage.

Also ... that 2 piece ... omg it's so bad. Just remove it and add something that isn't wretched OR (and I am dreaming here) make 2h weapons not suck.

Options left to try --
Apparently this set works quite well in the already established FoE-SSS build.

FoE-SSS already stacks holy damage, already uses a Daibo and already spends spirit to deal its damage.

The SWK set basically adds ~45% damage from 3 pieces which, while not at all interesting, is enough to matter.

Think of it this way, there are no viable holy-gloves so that set-item is "free" there are no viable holy amulets so that items is "free" so you are giving up shoulders to complete the set. I would gladly give up my shoulders for 45% more damage (even if it means giving up 10% CDR from Born's).

How does it increase damage by 45%?
The combo is -- CS mobs together (50 spirit) EP x2-3 (80-120 spirit) Blinding Flash-Faith (generate lots of spirit) SSS-FO (50 spirit). This procs ~2 clones assuming you have the normal ~20% RRC.

The whole combo deals 261% damage (CS) + 6,893% damage (SSS) = 7,100% damage.
2x Clones = 3,200% dmage.
10,300 / 7,100 = 1.45 or ~45% more total AoE damage.

Other things that might work -- 3x SWK + 3x Inna's (using BP + belt + wep) + Ice Climbers (so you can snapshot TR and have it never break due to elite CC) + CDR + Epiph + TR-Northern Breeze.
You can snapshot TR's APS using a white 1.8APS dagger which means it will cost ~30 spir/sec given some IAS. You can easily generate 30spir/sec with a 2h wep + GP which means you can get a clone every ~3 seconds for ~500% Damage/sec for "Free" plus TR at 3 APS with a 2h weapon is actually "okay" damage (something like 445% weapon damage).

If you do a really good job snapshotting you might get TR up to ~800% damage + 500% from SWK = 1300% WD/s .... yea ... not going to be killing T6 fast but it's better than nothing?

    1000 Storms 2.0
Change --
6x is now 3000% damage as lightning to everything in and around the path of your Dashing Strike.
(was 100% weapon damage as an AoE when you teleport)

Results --
MUCH more favorable than the SWK tests. T6 viable, potentially T6 good.

I wasn't at all excited about this but it turns out to be a million times more interesting than SWK.

Because the massive damage number is tied to a skill that normal has no relation to damage and has a very unique cooldown system the spec actually creates interesting gearing choices.

Disclaimer -- I do not own a Shard of Hate so I was unable to test what I believe to be the best use of this set.

I tried several setups and felt BY FAR the best with a pretty simple max-light-dmg setup.
I am a CDR junkie and I truly believe this spec scales the best with CDR even though it has no effect on DS because DS also doesn't scale with IAS and CDR allows for other skill use.

I did NOT test any non-CDR specs because I don't even have non-CDR gear ... it is possible that this set is best used with 0 CDR but I have no idea what your third DPS would be instead ... Area damage doesn't proc on Storms damage so that is out ... ?

I ended up with a Dex > CHC > CHD > Lightning Damage > CDR > other stat distribution system.

Once you take CDR into the build, you open up the use of the utility spenders because Epiphany will give you infinite spirit while you dash around for nothing.

I ended up here --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#ZdfRVP!SVUX!YYacZa

I went with a Stun-Vaxo build because the Clones are extremely useful as they CS and EP for you which lets you focus on DS. When they aren't doing their job, you have to CS-EP instead.

With even moderate RRC (20% or so) EP CS and LTK are all pretty easy to spam thanks to Epiph spir/sec.

The concept is pretty simple ... Dash > CS > EP EP > Dash boom.

The problem is that even 3000% damage with 100% light damage and 800k pDPS felt like a wet noodle against elites and especially the RG (who you don't have FoF + Furnace for) additionally, EP without any of the normal EP buffs is MUCH worse.

As you have CS, I think storgarm is BiS which means 5x Storms and Andy's (imo). I am not a fan of Aug's so there is that.

Eventually I would love to try this spec --
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#bdfRVP!SVUX!bbacZa

I would use SoH + WKL for sustained DPS with a triple-DS burst to kill elites with palm on and I would use Breaker + WKL for trash.

I think this has the most potential but I need a SoH to test.

What do? --
Honestly ... I think they need to tie the DS cooldown to CDR. I know this will make CDR mandatory but I think it basically already is thanks to epiph and this would help monks on all fronts. Non-Storms specs would gain much needed mobility, Storms would shift to a DS-only DPS model (way more interesting IMO) ....

Alternately, a buff to Jawbreaker would work. Changing the range from 30-35 to 10-15 (as suggested in another thread) would be the ideal type of switch. The 30-35 requirement is a bit much and makes for unbelievably clunky gameplay.
This change is almost exactly opposite to the first proposed change and would make Storms scale with IAS instead of CDR.

Without one of these changes, I don't think Storms will compete with other classes in T6 though it may be able to compete with Shatter-palm given ideal setups for both.

Options left to try --
Plenty. I am by no means the best Jawbreaker user in the world and I do not have the best lightning damage gear (looking as Solo and Neuron here) so it's possible my results were artificially bad. It's also possible (as I mentioned earlier) that CDR isn't right even though it feels like it is. Perhaps IAS is still the way to go.

<3
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Druin, the happy monk
Avatar of Grimiku
Grimiku
[Review] My take on Storms 2.0 and SWK 2.0(96)June-12-2014 11:42 PM PDT (8 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
That's a very good review, Druin, and it seems to have inspired a lot of discussion. It's kind of late at the moment, but I plan on coming back and reading it again to make sure I didn't miss anything.
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Grimiku
[Review] My take on Storms 2.0 and SWK 2.0(209)June-16-2014 6:55 PM PDT (8 years ago) Go to Blizzard forum post
Posted by: Druin

For context, these changes are highly appreciated relative to no changes ... they are simply not enough to put us on par with the other classes.


I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on feedback while the 2.1 PTR is going on, and see where things are after that set of changes. We're not done yet, that's for sure.

Posted by: Druin

I will make a video for sure!


Nice. I'm looking forward to it, and I've been catching up on this thread as promised. It's a really good discussion, everyone. Thanks for all of the constructive conversation, and feedback.
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