Monk Shenlong Raiment Build (Patch 2.5 / Season 10)
Table of Contents
- 1. About the Author
- 2. Builds
- 3. Rotation
- 4. Skills, Runes and Passives
- 5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
- 6. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot
- 7. Paragon Points
- 8. Gems
- 9. Kanai's Cube
- 10. Follower
- 11. ChangeLog
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, multiplayer progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.
The build requires the following set pieces:
- Helm: Mask of the Searing Sky;
- Chest: Heart of the Crashing Wave;
- Shoulders: Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners (groups only);
- Gloves: Fists of Thunder;
- Pants: Scales of the Dancing Serpent;
- Boots: Eight-Demon Boots;
- Ring: The Compass Rose;
- Amulet: The Traveler's Pledge;
- Weapon: Shenlong's Fist of Legend;
- Weapon: Shenlong's Relentless Assault.
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.
|Crippling Wave Mangle Dashing Strike Radiance 1 Breath of Heaven Infused with Light 2 Cyclone Strike Implosion 3 Mantra of Salvation Agility 4 Epiphany Desert Shroud|
|Crippling Wave Mangle Dashing Strike Radiance 1 Breath of Heaven Infused with Light 2 Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation 3 Mantra of Retribution Transgression 4 Serenity Ascension|
|Crippling Wave Mangle Dashing Strike Radiance 1 Breath of Heaven Infused with Light 2 Cyclone Strike Implosion 3 Mantra of Conviction Annihilation 4 Epiphany Desert Shroud|
The build tackles the enemy head on, using the powers of the Shenlong set to turn the generator skill of choice — usually Crippling Wave — into a primary damage dealer. Note that in groups, you will alternate between two generators depending on monster density; Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation against large packs (10+ monsters), and Crippling Wave for single target (Rift Guardian or small packs). 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. When soloing, Epiphany Desert Shroud and the active of Mantra of Salvation are maintained for survivability. In groups, where toughness hinges on support teammates, you will buff the party attack speed with Mantra of Retribution Transgression and protect yourself from the occasional burst with Serenity Ascension. Breath of Heaven Infused with Light helps with stacking Spirit and gets the Shenlong's multiplier to a higher value faster. Dashing Strike 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 rune grants you increased attack speed — speeding up Spirit generation. Finally — when soloing, you will drop the second generator in favor of Cyclone Strike, and it will be used at least once every 5 seconds to group the enemy into tight packs within the Crippling Wave area of effect, as well as to maintain the Lefebvre's Soliloquy damage reduction buff.
4. Skills, Runes and Passives
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, this generator wins over the competition with its wide, sweeping motions and consistency in delivering the DPS. In multiplayer, you will be adding a second generator to the build (in the place of Cyclone Strike) — Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation, due to its stacking damage mechanic that works wonders against large groups of enemies (10+ stacks). You will alternate between the two generators depending on the density of the current fight. Note that this will not require you to switch elemental damage on gear, which should remain focused on Fire bonuses.
When soloing, Cyclone Strike will assist in clumping up enemies within range of the Crippling Wave carnage, taking advantage of the extended 34-yard pull of the Implosion rune. This skill is instrumental for the build due to the Lefebvre's Soliloquy legendary bonus, explained further in the gearing section. As explained above, in groups this skill slot will be taken by a second generator, Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation.
With a generously low cooldown allowing for very high uptime, 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 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 is the centerpiece defensive cooldown in the soloing 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 rune strengthens your defenses with 50% damage reduction while active. In groups, where your protection is taken care of by support teammates, you should replace Epiphany with Serenity; this brief invulnerability (extended by the Ascension rune) will help you ignore otherwise lethal spikes of damage such as Molten explosions.
Uncommon among the protective skills because of its spender nature, Mantra of Salvation passively increases all resistances by 20%, and adds 35% dodge chance through the Agility rune. Its active component further increases resistances for a brief duration, and its Spirit cost can be quickly accounted for through Crippling Wave and Epiphany regeneration — do not hesitate to pop it when needed. With a similar reasoning behind the Epiphany swap, in Greater Rift progression groups you should take the party-wide attack speed buff of Mantra of Retribution Transgression. Lastly, during normal rift speedfarming, you should take advantage of the Mantra of Conviction Annihilation movement speed buff.
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. 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 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 as the damage dealer, this spec focuses on generators instead. As such, you need to cast 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 rune.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
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 and Breath of Heaven respectively are important enough to demand a high CDR goal. Note that in a highly optimized soloing gear setup (40+ CDR without Beacon of Ytar), as well as any GR group gear setup, this passive should be replaced by Exalted Soul to further the damage potential of Shenlong's set.
A mainstay in the Monk arsenal of passives, 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 provides you with a temporary attack speed increase when engaging enemies over 75% health, resulting in faster Spirit generation for more 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 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 when soloing, or simply all six pieces when grouping up. You will be taking Mask of the Searing Sky, Heart of the Crashing Wave, Scales of the Dancing Serpent, Fists of Thunder and Eight-Demon Boots by default. For soloing, you will be skipping Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners due to the inclusion of Lefebvre's Soliloquy in the build, which in turn necessitates Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. In groups however, Mantle of the Upside-Down Sinners will be taken.
While this guide will not delve into the specifics of Attack Speed breakpoint chasing, the 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, 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 buff. Benefits slightly more from Life per Hit sustain on weapons and cubed 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 buff. Benefits the most from Life per Hit sustain on weapons, gets the most 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 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 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 ring and 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, 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). In Multiplayer where followers are not allowed, swap Unity for the damage increase of Stone of Jordan.
It is worth noting that the damage buildup mechanics of the Endless Walk set and the protection of 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 and 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 and Stone of Jordan. Regardless of your choice of rings, the speedrun specs are best completed by a Hellfire Amulet, as it allows you to include another farm-appropriate passive like Fleet Footed.
You have several options for the belt slot. String of Ears is a great option for Hardcore characters, while Softcore heroes should lean towards the glass cannon The Witching Hour for its unique Crit and Attack Speed rolls. When farming The Witching Hour is still a sensible choice, but the preferable belt for Torment clears is Goldwrap. Synergizing with Boon of the Hoarder (more so if you manage to include Avarice Band), 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 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 and 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 passive for Exalted Soul.
6. Stat Priorities per Gear Slot
7. Paragon Points
- 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 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 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 is considered a great addition to the setup. When farming Torments, this gem is best replaced by Boon of the Hoarder for its movement speed bonuses and Toughness buff from the interaction with a worn Goldwrap.
|Torso and Pants|
9. Kanai's Cube
The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: Flying Dragon (Progress) or In-geom (Speedfarm) for the weapon slot, Depth Diggers for the armor slot, and Ring of Royal Grandeur (Solo) or Convention of Elements (Group) for the jewelry slot.
- Cubing the 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 to shine; you can either swap into The Furnace for more consistent burst, or run In-geom to improve your Epiphany uptime.
- 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 when soloing this slot is interchangable with Lefebvre's Soliloquy depending on your better rolled item, as long as you can adjust your worn Raiment pieces accordingly.
- When soloing, the jewelry slot will be taken by Ring of Royal Grandeur — a cache legendary item from Act I bounties. Running the full 6-piece Raiment set bonus along with the protection of Lefebvre's Soliloquy is a tremendous boost to the build. When grouping up, this slot should be taken by the cyclical damage increase of Convention of Elements instead.
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+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
- 28 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Season 10.
- 06 Jan. 2017: No changes needed for Season 9.
- 21 Oct. 2016: Updated the guide with group recommendations.
- 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.
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