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Are there a huge difference between the two? Which is better? Let's say 60 Life on Spirit Spent or 500 Life on Hit?

I apologize due to the lack of my experience with the Monk class. However, I am very interested in the theorycraft of Life Per Spirit / Life On Hit / Spirit per second / % Life per Damage viable after achiving X DPS in inferno mode.

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It depends on your style specifically as others have stated. You also left out another life gaining option.

  1. Life on Hit
  2. Life on Spirit Spent
  3. % Damage to Life
  4. Life Regeneration

The 3rd option is by far the best through the first 3 difficulties and evens out in Inferno due to the reduction but then scales back up once you have end game gear (dps > 100K).

They each have their own requirement for being practical:

  1. Attack Faster!
  2. Spend Spend Spend!
  3. Hit Harder!
  4. Tank Harder!

That said... they are all useful. Option 1 will probably give more survival if you are "Tanking" a group, but if your current items lead you to a kite & hit strategy, it is possible that Options 2 or 3 would be better for you. Option 4 also works well with a kiting strategy and is better with higher damage reduction to life ratio.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with having a moderate amount of each of these, but you also need to increase their effects by increasing your EHP. Increased EHP and lower HP results in heals being much more effective.

Also... If you like the Life on Spirit Spent option, another strong modifier to consider is Spirit Regen / Second.

A combination of Sweeping Winds (+3 spirit per second at full stacks) and the Passive that will increase your Mantra's duration and give you +2 spirit per second and 1-2 items with 1-2 spirit per second can allow you to get close to 10 spirit regen per second, without attacking.
This allows for increased value from Life on Spirit Spent.

Again, life gain without EHP is virtually useless... Stack up you ALL RESISTS > 1,000 if possible and watch how much easier inferno gets... heaven forbid you do that before your barbarian friend WARCRIES... +20% resists rune please!

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you should add life per kill to the list. I recently fiddled around with a high dps 2 hander with 3.8k life per kill and it was a surprisingly effective way to keep my health topped off as I went from 1 group to the next. –  z - Aug 27 '12 at 19:48
    
Life on Hit (#1) is often better than Life Steal (#3) in the early going. You should also mention life regeneration. It's most useful in the first difficulty, but it's another option. –  Brythan Aug 1 '13 at 0:23
    
@Brythan Thanks for the suggestion, added it. Life on hit is usually better around the end of Hell and when you first enter Inferno with low gear, but Life steal is particularly strong when you first encounter it at low difficulties before it gets scaled down. –  DiabloMonkey Oct 15 '13 at 20:52
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They're completely different and are used differently depending on your desired build. For example, Life on spirit spent focuses on burning your spirit for quick heals, and life on hit requires faster attack speed to emphasize drawn-out survivability. If you have an idea for a specific build, that would be helpful.

As is, both seem to be required for Inferno, and both required a large amount of Effective Health, with a lower amount of Actual Health.

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i have a fist weapon that has 60 LoSS and an open socket with potentially 500+ life on hit. the dps on it is 742. is this a good weapon for elite monks to go after? –  kjy112 Jun 17 '12 at 17:34
    
While the DPS is slightly low, it's definitely a good weapon. Eventually, I would aim for a weapon with over 900 DPS, but that's not even "necessary" until Act 3 or 4 of Inferno. –  Domocus Jun 17 '12 at 17:57
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Both can be very useful, but it depends on your build and play-style.

Life on Hit supports a sustained, fast-attacking playing style. This includes using fast weapons such as daggers/fists, dual-wielding, or using items/skills that increase attack speed. Also, since you need to be actually hitting monsters to regain life, you need a decent amount of survivability to be able to tank the monster's damage (even with high LoH).

Life on Spirit Spent goes well with kiting/burst-damage builds that have high passive spirit regeneration, and use of spirit spenders to manage monsters (e.g. crowd control skills such as Blinding Flash, or the knockback of Lashing Tail Kick).

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Not to mention that LoSS also goes well with spamming MoC + Overawe for the 48% damage increase –  Jetti Jun 20 '12 at 17:54
    
Currently 80+dps will off set LOS vs % to life...what's the verdict? –  kjy112 Jun 25 '12 at 0:33
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