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PTR Patch 2.3: Monks Dominating

The biggest early winner of new/improved gear on the PTR for Patch 2.3 is the Monk. Not so much for the new Monk set, but initially for the huge buffs to an old set, Shenlong’s Spirit. This two weapon set got some crazy boosts to the damage dealing with Spirit Generators, and Monks are punching their way to GR70+ in a way never possible previously.

[blue]Shenlong’s Spirit

(2) Set Bonus

  • The damage of your Spirit Generators is increased by 1% for each point of Spirit you have
  • When reaching maximum Spirit, all damage is increased by 300%, but you no longer passively regenerate Spirit and 65 Spirit is drained every second until you run out of Spirit
  • [/blue]

    The idea seemed to be to encourage Monks to do good damage building up their Spirit, and then do huge burst damage with one of their Spenders as the spent it all, before starting over again. In actuality players have found that just the Generators do such amazing damage that they don’t need a spender, except for support or to Pull in more enemies.

    This set will certainly get some tweaks/nerfs in the next PTR patch, due imminently, so enjoy the visuals while it lasts. Monks have cleared into the GR70+ range with this on the PTR, but the highest vids I can find on YT show mid-60s, which they were doing without even fully unoptimized gear. It’s not the record run, but you get the idea as the screen is full of non-stop 2-3b crits from the Spirit Spenders.

    GR63 First Try… Bracer was not Fire damage 🙁
    and Most gear isn’t Ancient

    Click through for some more vids showing the Monk’s new gear and power on the PTR.

    A more explainy video of the Shenlong’s Set can be seen here, from JHowGaming.

    Uliana’s Stratagem

    The new six piece Monk set on the PTR is Uliana’s Stratagem, and it’s fun, but a lot less powerful than Shenlong’s (at least until the next patch does some balancing). Here’s what the Patch 2.3 notes say about that one:

    [blue]Uliana’s Stratagem

    • (2) Set Bonus
      • Every third hit of your Spirit Generators applies Exploding Palm
    • (4) Set Bonus
      • Your Seven-Sided Strike deals its total damage with each hit
    • (6) Set Bonus
      • Your Seven-Sided Strike detonates your Exploding Palm

    I tested this one out early on the PTR and we debated it a bit on the Podcast. I wasn’t a big fan of the initial iteration. It worked okay, but the 2 piece bonus felt like the real joy; something that could be paired with other builds to get perpetual free Exploding Palm. The 4p bonus was the next most powerful, turning SSS into a very good single target attack. The 6p was less useful, since in almost every situation all the monsters would blow up anyway, because dead. I envisioned the 6p and the whole set being more useful on very high difficulty/GRs, whereas on T6 where I was first testing it, they were all dying too easily.

    The other problem was that the gameplay was pretty simple, with nothing but pull, punch to set EP, SSS to kill. Repeat. And if ever the SSS didn’t finish off the last enemy, you had nothing to do but weak damage punching until your SSS cooldown ended, and that was pretty boring. Though admittedly, I was playing without optimize gear, so I didn’t have the SSS CDR all that high.

    Other players might have different opinions, and here’s LudwidLundgren giving the set a simple test on GR25.

    A more advanced version can be seen from Thang M, taking the set up to GR50.

    You guys happy to see the Monk getting some love and power these days? Hopes for changes and improvements in the patch this week?