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The Sweeping Winds

Monk Farming Guide

By periklean on April 25, 2013


Q: Isn't this the standard "Cookie Cutter" build?

A: Yes it is. So why create this guide?

  • Because Monks as a class are increasing in popularity and new players need a starting point
  • Because experienced players may not be aware of build variants
  • Because no one else has made such a guide!

Q: Why would I want to use this build?

A: Because, for Monks, this build has the potential to be the most powerful in the game.

Please note, this guide does not cover the vast expanse of gearing options available to Monks at this time. That section may be added (or linked to) at a later date.

Skills - Cookie Cutter (Primary Variant)

  • Fists of Thunder synergizes well with the other primary damage-dealer in this build (the cyclones from Sweeping Wind), in that it is the highest attack speed spirit generator in the game. The Thunderclap rune teleports you to your target, increasing movement speed (and therefore farming speed).
  • Each crit has a chance to spawn a cyclone, which can strike an enemy up to six times before expiring. The number of cyclones spawned is a function of crit chance and attack speed, with the damage done by the cyclone a function of crit damage and DPS. It is important to note that cyclone damage is not incorporated into sheet DPS within the game nor most DPS calculators.
  • Although the "snapshot" mechanic has since been retired, this skill remains a part of the Cookie Cutter build. With the Faith in the Light rune, this skill gives a short "burst" DPS buff in addition to crowd-control blind effect. What's not to like?
  • Exploding Palm delivers a negligible Damage over Time effect but, especially with the "The Flesh is Weak" rune, a massive explosion upon the affected enemy's death. This explosion provides Area of Effect damage to nearby enemies based upon the target's maximum life. Applied multiple times, this can cause even an elite pack to disappear if grouped together tightly enough.
  • Four seconds of perfect immunity - this is as close as it gets to a  "Get out of Jail Free" card for Monks.
  • 48% Damage buff when spammed continuously, for you and anyone lucky enough to be in proximity to you.

Alternative Skills (Variants)

You may choose to use these skills/runes in place of one or more of the above.
  • No teleport, but spirit on crit!
  • A powerful AoE attack that can supplement and synergize with Palm. The Empowered Wave rune is best used while soloing due to the strong knockback effects. The Pillar of the Ancients rune works best for party play.
  • Whether you have an Echoing Fury and want to mitigate the Fear effect or you are partied with a CM/WW wizard, this skill and rune combination is for you! Cyclone strike pulls enemies to you, and Implosion can pull in even the Yellow Elites (if they are within a select range). Even better, Implosion pulls in monsters from greater range. Used with a CM/WW wizard, this can pull enemies into their twisters (or a WD's Bats), drastically increasing party DPS.
  • Solo farming alternative to Overawe, can provide more DPS. If Mantra of Healing with the Circular Breathing rune is not needed, then this is the best choice for Tempest Rush monks at lower MPs.
  • Utility movement skill. Requires an enemy to target but can be used to zip across the screen.
  • Paired with the Combination Strike passive, this spirit generator not only increases your movement speed, it also increases your attack speed, effectively buffing your damage a second time.


  • Required for 90% of monks. It is suggested that you stack both All Resist and one other resistance for this to be most effective.
  • More armor = more damage mitigation = more time beating demons to a pulp.
  • Faster cooldowns can be a great thing, especially if you put both Serenity and Seven Sided Strike on your skill bar!

Alternative passives to Resolve

  • Go faster! This passive breaks the 24% movement speed cap.
  • A second chance at life.

Additional passive alternative

Body of Section
  • Buffs your damage by 8% for each spirit generator you use. Using two spirit generators buffs your damage by 16%, three by 24%, etc.

Update for 1.0.8 (Skill)

Body of Section
  • Soothing breeze heals you and an ally within a 24-yard radius. This is the largest radius you can trigger the Guiding Light passive with, with perhaps the exception of mantra of Healing - Time of Need.

Update for 1.0.8 (Passive)

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  • This passive buffs you and any ally or allies you use a heal skill on for 20% damage for 15 seconds. There is no buff icon, but the buff shows up in your stat sheet. This pairs very well with Cyclone Strike: Soothing Breeze!
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