Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Monk Shenlong Raiment Build (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Aug 20, 2016 at 07:50 by Deadset 75 comments

Table of Contents

An engine converting Spirit generation into raw damage, the Shenlong's Spirit set absorbs the best of the Raiment set into a build that pummels the enemy with your fists alone. This control-heavy, sustain damage setup is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

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. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Crippling Wave Icon Crippling Wave Mangle Mangle Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Radiance Radiance 1 Breath of Heaven Icon Breath of Heaven Infused with Light Infused with Light 2 Cyclone Strike Icon Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion 3 Mantra of Salvation Icon Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility 4 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Crippling Wave Icon Crippling Wave Mangle Mangle Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Radiance Radiance 1 Breath of Heaven Icon Breath of Heaven Infused with Light Infused with Light 2 Cyclone Strike Icon Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion 3 Mantra of Conviction Icon Mantra of Conviction Annihilation Annihilation 4 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The build tackles the enemy head on, using the powers of the Shenlong set to turn the generator skill of choice — Crippling Wave Crippling Wave — into a primary damage dealer. While holding down your generator is easy, the intricacies of the build lie in the management of cooldowns and getting to a CDR point where the important skills overlap. Epiphany Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud is maintained for survivability, while Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven Infused with Light Infused with Light helps with stacking Spirit and gets the Shenlong's multiplier to a higher value faster. When facing trouble, pop the active of Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation for a brief toughness spike, or Dashing Strike Dashing Strike away from danger. The latter should also be used offensively at least once every 6 seconds, as the skill grants you the generator damage buff from the Raiment set, and the Radiance Radiance rune grants you increased attack speed — speeding up Spirit generation. Finally, Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike will be used at least once every 5 seconds to group the enemy into tight packs within the Crippling Wave Crippling Wave area of effect, as well as to maintain the Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy damage reduction buff.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

Crippling Wave Crippling Wave is the primary damage dealer of the build; a solid, AoE-oriented generator with the boilerplate 12 Spirit per hit. Preferred with the fire rune Mangle Mangle, this generator wins over the competition with its wide, sweeping motions and consistency in delivering the DPS. Note that a viable alteration of the build uses Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists Fists of Fury Fists of Fury, largely due to its superior proc chance benefitting the cubed Flying Dragon Flying Dragon and crowd control secondary stats on gear. The guide assumes you pick Mangle Mangle in the stat priorities, so substitute elemental damage to Holy if you go the Fists of Fury Fists of Fury route. To optimize the spec for speedruns, you can also consider a swap to the Fire Way of the Hundred Fists Way of the Hundred Fists rune — Blazing Fists Blazing Fists, which will provide additional movespeed.

Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike will assist in clumping up enemies within range of the Crippling Wave Crippling Wave carnage, taking advantage of the extended 34-yard pull of the Implosion Implosion rune. This skill is instrumental for the build due to the Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy legendary bonus, explained further in the gearing section.

With a generously low cooldown allowing for very high uptime, Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven adds great utility to the build. The base healing effect is eclipsed by the Spirit generation utility of the Infused with Light Infused with Light rune, which more than doubles the resource regeneration potential of your primary attack. In short, this will translate into a lightning-fast reserve fill, and quicker Shenlong amplification.

Epiphany Epiphany is the centerpiece defensive cooldown 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 Shenlong bonuses are quickly maxed out. And perhaps most important of all, the Desert Shroud Desert Shroud rune strengthens your defenses with 50% damage reduction while active.

Uncommon among the protective skills because of its spender nature, 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 further increases resistances for a brief duration, and its Spirit cost can be quickly accounted for through Crippling Wave Crippling Wave and Epiphany Epiphany regeneration — do not hesitate to pop it when needed. When speedfarming, you will replace the survivability of Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility for Mantra of Conviction Mantra of Conviction. Its base additive damage increase is welcome, but negligible compared to the movement speed utility of the Annihilation Annihilation rune — which also affects the entire party, reinforcing its value when grouping up.

Mobility is arguably one of the greatest assets when pushing the Leaderboards, and Monks are blessed with the most fluid movement tool of all — Dashing Strike Dashing Strike. A charge-based skill on a low cooldown by default, its role is flipped into a spender via the Raiment set 4-piece bonus. Notice the Raiment 6-piece bonus, making Dashing Strike Dashing Strike and Spirit generators trade buffs — increasing damage of one when the other is used. It is up to you to choose which skill will be augmented and which will simply act as the buff; and while a variation of a Raiment build can focus on Dashing Strike Dashing Strike as the damage dealer, this spec focuses on generators instead. As such, you need to cast Dashing Strike Dashing Strike at least once every 6 seconds to maintain the Raiment 6-piece bonus; ideally, once every 4 seconds in a good engagement to maintain the Attack Speed bonuses of the Radiance Radiance rune.

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 15-second timers for Epiphany Epiphany and Breath of Heaven Breath of Heaven respectively are important enough to demand a high CDR goal. Note that in a highly optimized gear setup (40+ CDR without Beacon of Ytar Beacon of Ytar), this passive can be replaced by Exalted Soul Exalted Soul to further the damage potential of Shenlong's set.

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). A well geared Monk will usually sport secondary resistances in all the gear slots that are able to roll them, adding significantly to his overall Toughness.

Two attack speed oriented passives round out your passives selection. Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative provides you with a temporary attack speed increase when engaging enemies over 75% health, resulting in faster Spirit generation for more Crippling Wave Crippling Wave damage. 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. Alacrity Alacrity is another offensive fit for the build, adding a 15% separate attack speed multiplier to your Spirit Generators and directly translating into better damage through the faster buildup of resource for Shenlong.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

This build takes advantage of the full set bonuses of the Raiment of a Thousand Storms set, taking five of the six available pieces and cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur to reduce the number of items for set bonus completion by one. You will be taking Mask of the Searing Sky Mask of the Searing Sky, Heart of the Crashing Wave Heart of the Crashing Wave, Scales of the Dancing Serpent Scales of the Dancing Serpent, Fists of Thunder Fists of Thunder and Eight-Demon Boots Eight-Demon Boots. You will be skipping Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners due to the inclusion of Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy in the build, which in turn necessitates Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. While this guide will not delve into the specifics of Attack Speed breakpoint chasing, this generator Monk can take three distinct approaches to the matter:

  • Pure damage, no attack speed rolls: This is the suggested setup in the guide, as it arguably has the highest GR pushing potential in favorable rift circumstances. With the reduced damage of monsters in GRs as of Patch 2.4.1, the buffed healing of Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength, and considering this setup is independent of the Enchantress follower and her Attack Speed buff, this variation can go fully into Toughness, CDR and Area Damage where applicable. Rings can be dedicated to increasing average damage and CDR. As a downside, this variation will struggle more with sustain.
  • Mid breakpoint: requires a modest investment of Attack Speed (one maximized IAS roll, i.e. on a ring) and taking the Enchantress follower for her Focused Mind Focused Mind buff. Benefits slightly more from Life per Hit sustain on weapons and cubed Flying Dragon Flying Dragon procs.
  • High breakpoint: This variation requires heavy investment into Attack Speed (maximized IAS rolls on both rings and gloves), as well as taking the Enchantress follower for her Focused Mind Focused Mind buff. Benefits the most from Life per Hit sustain on weapons, gets the most Flying Dragon Flying Dragon procs, and most benefit out of crowd control secondary stats on gear.

The remaining gear has to split Toughness, Area Damage, CDR and skill bonuses depending on your chosen Attack Speed path. Double Crit stats alongside Dexterity and Vitality are universally sought after on the gloves, and a perfected roll would include Chance to Stun in the secondary stats. The general recommendation for the shoulders is to feature both Cooldown Reduction and Area Damage. The pants and belt should both have a Crippling Wave Crippling Wave skill roll, and the latter can also have Chance to Freeze in the secondaries. High main stats (Dex and Vit) are required on the helm, alongside Crit Chance. The chest and boots can be dedicated purely to Toughness.

Unlocking the 6-piece Inna set bonuses via Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube allows you to balance between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. Reworked in Patch 2.4, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This balance mirrors the Shenlong's playstyle, which delivers punches rooted in one spot for extended periods of time, with periodic dashes of movement to the next big fight.

The remaining ring slot will be taken by Unity Unity, as it provides you with unparalleled damage reduction when paired with another on the follower, plus an immortality item for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor). In Multiplayer where followers are not allowed, swap Unity Unity for the damage increase of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements.

It is worth noting that the damage buildup mechanics of the Endless Walk set and the protection of Unity Unity will be excessive in speedruns, where you have other synergistic options available. You can go all-out on damage, taking the strongest offensive rings in the game: the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. They 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. In a hyper-optimized setup (high Paragons, fully perfected and augmented gear, etc.) you might feel like you are overkilling on damage, so you can even swap into a utility ring setup of Avarice Band Avarice Band and Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan. Regardless of your choice of rings, the speedrun specs are best completed by a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet, as it allows you to include another farm-appropriate passive like Fleet Footed Fleet Footed.

You have several options for the belt slot. String of Ears String of Ears is a great option for Hardcore characters, while Softcore heroes should lean towards the glass cannon The Witching Hour The Witching Hour for its unique Crit and Attack Speed rolls. When farming The Witching Hour The Witching Hour is still a sensible choice, but the preferable belt for Torment clears is Goldwrap Goldwrap. Synergizing with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder (more so if you manage to include Avarice Band Avarice Band), Goldwrap Goldwrap will render you practically invulnerable and allow you to focus on killing and looting without regards for your safety.

Introduced in Season 3, the Spirit Guards Spirit Guards bracers will multiply your damage reduction by 40% for 3 seconds after using a Spirit Generator — functionally a permanent bonus for this primary-focused build. Stacking with your other sources of damage mitigation, these bracers will add sorely needed survivability to this melee setup. Note the significant range of the unique bonus (30-40%) and try to obtain the maximum without sacrificing Elemental damage, Dexterity, Vitality and Crit Chance.

The mandatory weapon set (and namesake) of the build is Shenlog's Spirit, Shenlong's Fist of Legend Shenlong's Fist of Legend and Shenlong's Relentless Assault Shenlong's Relentless Assault. These Fist Weapons have been reworked into multiplying your damage by 1.5% for each point of Spirit you have, and upon reaching your maximum reserve will irreversibly deplete it, forcing you to rebuild the damage bonuses as quickly as possible. This necessary weakness is offset by another 100% damage multiplier, ensuring top tier viability of the build. The desired primary stats on both weapons are high Damage range, Dexterity, Life per Hit and Area Damage; additional Spirit is required in the secondary stats, and a perfect roll would also include a hard crowd control proc (either Stun, Freeze or Blind). Note that in a highly optimized endgame setup (Paragon 1500+), you can consider rolling away the Dexterity on weapons for Cooldown Reduction, in turn allowing you to drop the Beacon of Ytar Beacon of Ytar passive for Exalted Soul Exalted Soul.

6. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Area Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. All Resistance
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Reduced damage from Elites
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  6. Armor
Wrists
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Fire Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  6. Chance to Stun (Secondary stat)
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Crippling Wave %
  4. Chance to Freeze (Secondary stat)
  5. All Resistance (Guaranteed stat)
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Crippling Wave %
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  4. Armor
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Fire Damage
  5. Single Elemental Resistance (Physical prefered)
  6. Chance to Blind (Secondary stat)
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed (depends on breakpont)
  5. Average Damage (depends on breakpont)
  6. Cooldown Reduction (depends on breakpont)
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed (depends on breakpont)
  5. Average Damage (depends on breakpont)
  6. Cooldown Reduction (depends on breakpont)
Weapon #1
  1. Weapon Damage
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Life per Hit
  5. Area Damage
  6. Cooldown Reduction
Weapon #2
  1. Weapon Damage
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Life per Hit
  5. Area Damage
  6. Cooldown Reduction

7. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Maximum Spirit
  3. Dexterity
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Armor
  3. Life Regeneration
  4. Life %
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  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, Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength and Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken (Progression) or Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder (Torments).

  • 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. The gem will be procced by its own level 25 property when in melee range, where the Shenlong Monk fights by default.
  • Simplicity's Strength Simplicity's Strength is one of the best DPS gems you can take for the build, as it was changed into a separate damage multiplication source to primary skills in Patch 2.4.1. Upgrading with a steady pace of half a percent per gem level, it quickly becomes a priority and a fixture in your gem choices. Its buffed healing secondary effect is just icing on the cake.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken takes a firm spot in your jewelry sockets for Progression. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. The Shenlong Monk is not an exception, and Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken is considered a great addition to the setup. When farming Torments, this gem is best replaced by Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder for its movement speed bonuses and Toughness buff from the interaction with a worn Goldwrap Goldwrap.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

9. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: Flying Dragon Flying Dragon (Progress) or In-geom In-geom (Speedfarm) for the weapon slot, Depth Diggers Depth Diggers for the armor slot, and Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur for the jewelry slot.

  • Cubing the Flying Dragon Flying Dragon provides you with one of the strongest weapon procs in the game: a chance to double your attack speed with a separate multiplier, an incomparable bonus for a build that benefits so much from IAS. In speedruns, fights are often over within a few hits, leaving little chance for the Flying Dragon Flying Dragon to shine; you can either swap into The Furnace The Furnace for more consistent burst, or run In-geom In-geom to improve your Epiphany Epiphany uptime.
  • Depth Diggers Depth Diggers are a natural inclusion in this generator build, since by cubing them you gain the maximized 100% damage increase to your generator (multiplicative damage source as of Patch 2.4.1). Still, it should be noted that this slot is interchangable with Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy depending on your better rolled item, as long as you can adjust your worn Raiment pieces accordingly.
  • In the jewelry slot you will use the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary item from Act I bounties. Running the full 6-piece Raiment set bonus while dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power is a tremendous boost to the build.

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

  • 20 Aug. 2016: Fixed required set items list at the beginning of the guide.
  • 28 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect the Raiment set buffs, as well as to include speedfarming options.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Revised the guide to Fists of Fury, included more information on breakpoints and 2.4.1 gem buffs.
  • 12 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs, the introduction of the Inna set into the build, and Kanai's Cube swaps.
Force desktop version
Force mobile version