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Monk Dashing Strike Cold Build with the Raiment of a Thousand Storms Set (Patch 2.4)

Last updated on Jan 12, 2016 at 23:40 by Deadset 14 comments

Table of Contents

The Dashing Strike Monk turns the signature mobility skill of Monks, Dashing Strike, into a powerful and agile damage dealer through the power of the Raiment of a Thousand Storms set. This bursty, fluid playstyle is unlocked through the following pieces:

Following the nerfs to the 4-piece and 6-piece bonuses in Patch 2.4, this build is no longer competitive. We have removed it from the menus, but we decided to leave it on the website for documentation purposes.

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

3. Build

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Fists of Thunder Icon Fists of Thunder Quickening Quickening Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Blinding Speed Blinding Speed 1 Inner Sanctuary Icon Inner Sanctuary Forbidden Palace Forbidden Palace 2 Breath of Heaven Icon Breath of Heaven Infused with Light Infused with Light 3 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud 4 Mantra of Salvation Icon Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility
Passive Skills

4. Strategy, Skills, and Runes

The basic strategy of the build is to charge into the fray, and then stick to your targets through Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder. The Raiment set allows you to Dashing Strike Dashing Strike continuously on top of the enemies while holding down Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder, destroying them with a powerful 12,500% damage modifier to the dashes. For your protection and additional utility, you will be using Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven and Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary on cooldown, and strategic uses of your strongest defensive skill — Epiphany Epiphany — will ensure your survival even in the highest of Greater Rifts.

Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder is the generator of choice in the Dashing Strike Monk build; with the Quickening Quickening rune, it turns into the most efficient Spirit generating primary in the Monk arsenal, and gains additional value by sticking you to your target. While its meager damage will be amplified by the Raiment set, the attack speed increase from the 2-piece bonus is what makes the real difference in Spirit generation, and subsequently — damage potential.

On the topic of DPS, the real damage dealer of the build is Dashing Strike Dashing Strike. This normally movement and utility oriented skill is turned into a tool of destruction for six seconds after using Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder, upping its damage to the impressive 12,500% through the 6-piece Raiment set bonus. Even though it remains a charge-based skill, the four piece bonus of the Raiment set allows you to spend 75 Spirit to refund a charge. As long as you are careful not to lose those charges by overspending Spirit, you can keep dashing infinitely. To add to the survivability in high Greater Rifts, the rune of choice is the dodge-boosting Blinding Speed Blinding Speed.

With damage dealing taken care of, four powerful mitigation skills with various utility bonuses will add to the Toughness of the build.

Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary creates a protective circle that more than halves the damage taken when inside its 11 yard radius. On a reasonable 20 second base cooldown, this skill will serve as a defensive bubble when dashing in place, further entrapping enemies with an 80% slow and increasing their damage taken by 30% through the Forbidden Palace Forbidden Palace rune.

Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven is yet another skill on a relatively short cooldown, whose base healing effect is eclipsed by the Spirit generation utility of the Infused with Light Infused with Light rune. Vastly improving the resource regeneration potential of your primary attack, Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven usage simply translates into more Dashing Strike Dashing Strikes.

Epiphany Epiphany is the third, and arguably strongest of the defensive cooldowns in the build. It bolsters your mobility by allowing you to stick to your target, securing the kill. It increases your Spirit regeneration by 20 per second, ensuring your Dashing Strike Dashing Strike spam remains uninterrupted. Last but not least, the Desert Shroud Desert Shroud rune strengthens your defenses with 50% damage reduction while active.

Rounding out the protective choices, Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation passively increases all resistances by 20%, and adds 35% dodge chance through the Agility Agility rune. Its active component, which further increases resistances for a brief duration, will not be frequently used — as it consumes Spirit that could otherwise be spent on Dashing Strike Dashing Strikes — but still has its own utility. When out of Dashing Strike Dashing Strike charges (by mistake or necessity) but still in battle, Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation can be spammed to heal you through the Life per Spirit Spent stat on your gear.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Beacon of Ytar Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. The sizable 60 and 20 second timers for Epiphany Epiphany and Inner Sanctuary Inner Sanctuary respectively, are important enough to demand a high CDR goal.

A mainstay in the Monk arsenal of passives, Harmony Harmony fuels your All Resistance with 40% of the single elemental resistance per piece of gear. (E.g. 100 Fire Resistance roll on the boots will add 100 to your sheet Fire Resistance and add 40 to your other resists.) While an even spread of the various resistances across gear will result in the highest sheet All Resistance, try to properly harmonize with one of the key legendary gems, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration. Stacking Physical resistance whenever possible in an attempt to catch up with the elemental mitigation provided by Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration will yield the best protective setup.

Near Death Experience Near Death Experience is the cheat death passive provided to Monks; on an acceptable 60 second cooldown, it will prevent a lethal situation and restore you to 35% Life and Spirit instead. The 2 second immunity to damage and crowd control impairing effects is just icing on the cake, giving you time to reposition and reassess the situation.

Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative is the lonely offensive passive among a trio of defensive ones, but stands out on its own. Providing you with a temporary attack speed increase when engaging enemies over 75% health, it results in speedier Spirit generation and faster Dashing Strike Dashing Strikes. As you get more comfortable with the build, you will learn to draw the attention of additional enemies or freshly spawned boss adds to effectively extend the benefits from Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The Dashing Strike Monk takes advantage of all six pieces of the Raiment of a Thousand Storms set, opening up the jewelry slots for the all-out offensive Bastions of Will set. Rolls-wise, this offense-heavy set makes good use of Toughness rolls. Sought after on the Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners, Cooldown Reduction is taken as the fourth primary stat after Dexterity, the guaranteed All Resist and the Dashing Strike skill damage. Skill damage is also rolled on the Heart of the Crashing Wave Heart of the Crashing Wave, alongside the usual Dexterity, Vitality and triple Sockets. Straight mitigation rolls are preferred on the Mask of the Searing Sky Mask of the Searing Sky, Scales of the Dancing Serpent Scales of the Dancing Serpent and Eight-Demon Boots Eight-Demon Boots, and double Crit stats alongside Dexterity and Vitality take priority on the Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder.

Not skipping on any of the set pieces allows you to wear a strong offensive combo on the rings: the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. These rings offer a whopping 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between a primary and spender attacks — which, incidentally, mirrors the exact tactic of this build. It is worth noting that at a high enough Paragon level (900+), Cooldown Reduction rolls become the preferred fourth stat over Dexterity, while the other three remain double Crit and an open Socket.

To complete the jewelry, a strong protective amulet such as the Eye of Etlich Eye of Etlich will make a tight fit. Offering around 30% reduction of ranged attack damage, this amulet will often be the difference between closing the gap to enemy archers, or facing the death screen. Other viable options are found in elemental immunity necklaces such as Mara's Kaleidoscope Mara's Kaleidoscope and Xephirian Amulet Xephirian Amulet. Regardless of your choice, the ideal rolls are double Crit stats, Cold elemental damage, and an open Socket.

Introduced in Season 3, the Spirit Guards Spirit Guards bracers offer up to 40% damage reduction for 3 seconds after using a Spirit Generator. Taking the place of the former favorite for damage mitigation, the Unity Unity ring, these bracers open up the jewelry to additional offense. If you do not have access to those bracers, Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders and a quick switch of the generator to Crippling Wave Crippling Wave Tsunami Tsunami are the next best way to allow the rings to be Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. The suggested roll is Dexterity, Vitality, Cold elemental damage and Crit chance.

The final armor slot is taken by yet another defensive piece, the String of Ears String of Ears. Providing with up to 30% melee damage reduction, this belt will shine in high Greater Rifting environments for this strictly melee-range setup. An alternative for sub-GR 50 progression (or simple farming) is The Witching Hour The Witching Hour, whose Increased Attack Speed and Critical Damage rolls will add nicely to your burst.

No build is complete without its weapon, and the suggested Best-in-Slot weapon for progression is the Flying Dragon Flying Dragon. With the potent ability to double your attack speed in battle, this weapon will maximize both your Spirit generation and Dashing Strike Dashing Strike frequency. While rolling for maximum damage output is possible, a highly suggested option is to roll into double healing stats (Life per Hit and Life per Spirit Spent) instead; this allows you to survive Dashing Strike Dashing Strike mismanagement, healing through the Spirit cost of Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation.

6. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Vitality
  5. Life %
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Dashing Strike Dashing Strike %
  4. All Resistance (guaranteed)
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. Dashing Strike Dashing Strike %
  3. Vitality
  4. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  5. Reduced damage from Elites
  6. Armor
Wrists
  1. Cold Damage
  2. Dexterity
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Cooldown Reduction
  6. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. 2 Sockets
  4. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  5. Armor
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
Amulet
  1. Critical Hit Chance
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cold Damage
  4. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  5. Socket (guaranteed)
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Dexterity
  5. Cooldown Reduction
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Dexterity
  5. Cooldown Reduction
Weapon
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. Weapon Damage
  3. Dexterity
  4. Life per Hit
  5. Life per Spirit Spent
  6. % Weapon Damage

7. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Dexterity
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Spirit (personal preference)
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Armor
  3. Life %
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Resource Cost Reduction
  2. Area Damage
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find

8. Gems

Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration, and Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. Easily procced by your chills, slows and its own level 25 property, Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is inseparable from this melee build.
  • Introduced in Season 2, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration is the strong mitigation gem for incoming elemental damage. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level, as well as providing you with a near-impenetrable last line of defense through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration becomes a good companion to an otherwise fragile build.
  • Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness is the synergistic third choice for your last jewelry slot, indirectly providing you with more resources and protection. It is an easy source of another 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction, with your relentless assault easily keeping the stacks capped.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

9. Kanai's Cube

10. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

11. ChangeLog

  • 12 Jan. 2016: Following the Patch 2.4 nerfs, this build is no longer viable.
  • 25 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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