Sweeping Wind seems like a pretty amazing skill. It does a nice amount of AoE and is potentially persistent if you can keep hitting foes. I want to ensure it stays persistent at max stacks as much as possible while maintaining a high damage output.

By default it:

  • Reaches 10 yards
  • Lasts 6 seconds between melee hits
  • Has a small chance to stack on each critical hit (it does not specify a percentage)
  • Stacks up to 3 times
  • "continuous" 15% weapon damage per stack (does not specify exactly how often)

Different runes can alter each of these things and more.

I want to know which other skills synergize well with Sweeping Wind (Way of the Hundred Fists comes to mind), what item bonuses (IAS, +Crit Chance, etc) I should look out for, and what tactics should I use to ensure I keep it at it's full potential.

Any info on the exact meanings of "small chance" and "continuous" would also be appreciated.

4 Answers 4


I use Fists of Thunder for the gap closer and the 10% movespeed Passive as means to get more uptime for the Vortex - that gap closer and more mobility is the difference between the vortex falling off or not, a lot of the time.

Small chance, I guess, is because your base crit chance is low. I've noticed the skill stacking up on each crit I make - and using Crippling Wave as my 2nd autoattack, for example critting two enemies with a cleave will pump the aura to 3 instantly.

Continuous is based on your attack speed as is with many other "tick" based spells.

I also use the Dodge Mantra to not have to back out of a fight since you wan't to be there, letting the Vortex work it's magic for as long as you can. I also use Serenity (absorb all damage for 3 seconds) and Blinding Light as means to keep me out of harms way while steadily grinding down waves of foes with cleaving and the Vortex.

  • Oh and while this is definately not the fastest way to grind down multiple enemies, I feel it's a pretty safe way. I've not built any vitality, just all out dex, and with the multitude of defensive buffs I feel I can pretty much stay alive without even having to any pots.
    – red
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 9:14

The biggest challenge in using Sweeping Wind is keeping it active by landing melee atacks. For this, mobility is going to be your best friend. Anything with +% Movement Speed is going to help you get to your next target quicker, but I prefer to simply use:

Dashing Strike

It's just a really awesome way to get to your next target, and it can be used in a pinch to avoid some power attacks.

Another solution is to bring the enemies to you. For this, look no further than:

Cyclone Strike

The benefits of this skill are numerous with Sweeping Wind. It pulls enemies within melee range (sometimes), keeps them in range of Sweeping Wind itself, and can be used to interrupt some nasty power attacks.

Choosing your other skills really just depends on how you want your overall build to look. Based on the fact that I was going to have a lot of angry demons around me at any given time, it seemed obvious to me to build a:

Dodge Monk

Mouse Sills

Primary Skill: Fists of Thunder
Rune: Lightning Flash

Don't get me wrong, Way of the Hundred Fists is awesome with Sweeping Wind, but the Dodge bonus Lightning Flash gives while attacking makes this skill a no-brainer for this build. The increased attack speed doesn't hurt either.

Secondary Skill: Dashing Strike
Rune: Blinding Speed

The reasoning for this was made clear in the beginning. This is your gap closer and the short dodge buff helps too. When all is said and done, this rune can easily be switched to something else if you want. Diminishing returns on Dodge means you aren't going to be getting that full 20% bonus anyway and you should have plenty with this build anyway. Nevertheless, it is what I prefer.
I know this isn't technically a Secondary Skill, but since I recommend placing it in the default Secondary Skill slot, that's what I'm calling it.

Skill Bar

Skill 1: Cyclone Strike
Rune: Wall of Wind

Again, the skill itself was explained earlier and what better rune could there be when you just surrounded yourself with a large group of enemies? Use this skill often.

Skill 2: Heaven's Breath
Rune: Infused With Light

Since you wont be dodging every attack, you'll need a healing spell. I am torn between this skill and Serenity(Peaceful Repose). I ultimately decided on Heaven's Breath because of the spirit generation rune. It helps me spam Cyclone Strike and Dashing Strike when I really need them most. Feel free to experiment with this one.

Skill 3: Sweeping Wind
Rune: Your Choice

This is why you are here. There are so many awesome rune choices, I can't choose one.

  • Master of Wind will help you if you have trouble keeping Sweeping Wind active. The extra 4 seconds really makes a huge difference
  • Blade Storm flat out increases your damage output by 5% per stack
  • Fire Storm will extend your area of influence and keep those fleeing demons in your gale longer.
  • Inner Storm could replace the Spirit recovery purpose of Heaven's Breath and allow you to use Serenity
  • Cyclone can be awesome if you have a high Critical Hit chance. With enough Tornadoes, this might outperform Blade Storm in terms of damage output.

This is really your choice. At 19.5% Crit Chance, I prefer Cyclone.

Skill 4: Mantra of Evasion
Rune: Backlash

This is your other core skill and it's a pretty obvious choice for this build. As long as you're dodging all these attacks, you might as well be making them pay.

Passive Skills

  • One With Everything - Pretty standard for any Monk in my opinion. Stacking one resist with this skill is essentially just an armor bonus.
  • Seize the Initiative - With this, Dexterity gives you damage, dodge chance, and armor. Pretty much a requirement for when your dodge fails.

The third slot is up to you and what you feel is necessary. I like Guardian's Path since I dual wield, but I would use Transcendence otherwise.


It should be pretty obvious that you want to prioritize:

  • Dexterity
  • Attack Speed
  • Critical Hit Chance
  • One Resistance Type
  • Vitality

Critical Hit Damage is also a good affix to look for and you should socket your weapon(s) with emeralds to this end. Life on Hit is another amazing affix and can really get you out of trouble.


Using this build, I can sweep through a large area at max stacks with little problem. Inferno Elites are still tough, but not impossible. Dashing Strike can get you out of the AoE effects and Cyclone Strike can keep them within reach. Space out your healing skill and your potion use so that you can keep your health up. If you do need to retreat, remember that red outlined objects can be dashed to and can refresh Sweeping Wind (if Sweeping Wind itself doesn't destroy them first). It can also be worth it to stop and get one hit in just to refresh if you can afford it.

  • Hmmm if you go for fists of thunder with the teleport rune(forgot the name), you have your gap closer and you don't need to get Dashing strike, leaving it open for another attack/defensive ability. But ofcourse you are going to lose some dodge.
    – Lyrion
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 13:51
  • @Lyrion Yes, but the Dodge is the point of this build :P Also, I know Dashing Strike breaks jailer, but I don't know if the FoT rune does the same.
    – user9983
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 13:54
  • How do you do on Inferno without Serenity? I actually generally use both Serenity and Breath of Heaven. Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 13:54
  • 2
    @StrixVaria Life on Hit does wonders with 2.2 attacks per second.
    – user9983
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 14:00

I agree having the max stacks is essential to getting the most out of the skill.

A basic tip I have not seen mentioned yet is the fact you can choose to recast the spell to refresh the countdown timer. Giving you extra time to land another blow. (repeatable until you run out of spirit)

A synergy for doing this is the passive which increases your overall spirit pool by 100.

Can be worth doing this when you are at 2 or 3 stacks and you know there are more enemies close by. Especially if your crit chance and / or attack speed are low and building stacks takes a long time.

I have also been able to use dashing strike to hit barrels, crates etc which counted as a hit and reset the countdown.

Using this approach in act 3 I popped an achievement kill 150 enemies without reaching max spirit.

I now have more attack speed and crit so dropped this approach and the passive, but it was very useful when leveling.

  • I mentioned this in my answer to another question
    – user9983
    Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 18:54
  • Thank you for that link, useful to know what other attacks refresh the cooldown. Commented Jun 28, 2012 at 20:59

While most people like to use dodge builds you can also try use Mantra of Conviction with Intimidation rune.

Gives you 12% extra damage for your permanent vortex, reduces enemy damage by 10% which allows you to stay close more easily, and you can use "spare" spirit to refresh the mantra for short time 24% damage bonus. Coupled with +dodge/+armor/+damage reduce primary skills, this really works well to sustain yourself in the midst of enemies and allows you to take the most advantage of vortex.

Couple Mantra of Conviction (+Intimitadation)[-10%] with Cripling Wave (+Concusson)[-20%] and Resolve[-25%] you get an overall reduction of enemy damage by 55%, add some life on hit and resistances to that, and you have a solid stand in the midst of foes, which still putting out slow but constant damage.

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