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Is there any way for me to rapidly swap left click attacks? For instance, I want to use fist of thunder for the first 2 attacks then switch to crippling wave for the third effect.

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No, there is no way to switch between these skills with the same input. You can equip both of these skills, however, to separate keys (left and right click, or left click and a hotbar slot, for example) so you can still quickly switch between using them. See here for more information on doing that.

This is very different to how skill selection worked in Diablo 2, so if you're familiar with that game it will take some getting used to. If you're not in town, swapping out skills in Diablo 3 has a cooldown where you can't switch skills again or use the new skill, specifically to prohibit what you're going for.

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@NickT I haven't noticed that. They all seemed fairly the same to me. –  StrixVaria Apr 22 '12 at 23:39
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how do I equip an attack to a hotbar slot? –  z ' Apr 22 '12 at 23:44
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@yx. You can choose it directly from the "skills" menu by cycling through skill types using the left and right arrow icons. Once skills are picked, you can pick them up and drag to rearrange at any time. –  StrixVaria Apr 23 '12 at 0:05
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The cooldown for switching abilities is always 5 seconds. (Can potentially be up to the cooldown of the ability if you use it, swap to a new ability, then swap back) –  Raven Dreamer Apr 23 '12 at 3:06
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@StrixVaria I think I was probably in town; there is no cooldown when swapping there. –  Nick T Apr 23 '12 at 19:13
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