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The skill description for Fists of Thunder reads:

Generates Spirit faster than other Spirit-generating skills due to the high attack speed.

If Fists of Thunder has a higher attack speed, does it mean it deals more damage as well? Does it mean other on-hit effects (such as +life after each hit) get triggered more often?

And how much faster does Fists of Thunder generate Spirit compared with other generators?

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2 Answers 2

The tooltip is a bit misleading in this case. The only reason Fists of Thunder generates more spirit is because its animation is fast, which means you can use it repeatedly.

The thing about "on-hit" abilities in Diablo 3, is that there are very few static damage modifiers. Lifesteal is a %, and +damage is converted to % weapon damage by the skills as well. Hitting twice with Fists of Thunder will do 220% total damage, just like hitting twice with Deadly Reach (which also does 110% weapon damage). The difference is that you will perform two Fists of Thunder in less time.

As to how much faster Fists of Thunder is, that'll be hard until folks write tools to better read the game data, and it'll vary with weapon speed to boot. A slow weapon will mean slower Fists of Thunder (but still faster relative to other spirit generators with the same weapon).

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You write "you will perform two Fists of Thunder in less time" - doesn't it mean, in practice, that Fists of Thunder does indeed inflict higher damage over time? –  Oak Apr 24 '12 at 5:23
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@Oak Without knowing the % weapon damage of the 2nd two strikes, I can't answer that. If they're all the same (110%), then yes. Which makes sense, because it's higher risk (Deadly Reach has... reach). –  Raven Dreamer Apr 24 '12 at 5:32
    
fists of thunder is definitely faster than crippling wave, I like to use fists to charge the first two and then use crippling wave for the third for high aoe damage. The teleport (with the rune effect) to enemies also makes it much faster than having to run up to an enemy to punch them. –  z ' Apr 24 '12 at 12:22
    
Using the assumption that all abilities do 100% damage, Fists of Thunder does more damage in the same time due to the speed of the attack. However, all abilities don't do 100% damage, so the damage % per attack also needs to be taken into consideration making this answer only valid per-comparison. –  kalina Jun 18 '12 at 8:46
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Fists of thunder gets away with having a faster attack rate for the same '110%' because it has deficiencies in the AoE department. For fighting one monster at a time, it is probably the best of the first 3 primaries. On the other hand, you wont fight just one at a time very often.

Similarly, your on-hit effects will trigger more often in the case of single targets only.

It will probably beat 'way of the hundred fists' in spirit gain, but not in single target dps. As for How much it increases spirit gain over the other primaries, I would guess "a small, yet noticeable amount"

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"It will probably beat 'way of the hundred fists' in spirit gain, but not in single target dps." How many targets you hit does not affect your spirit gain. –  Olhovsky May 29 '12 at 12:54
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