In what order does the Monk's spirit-generating skills generate spirit the fastest? Both with and without all runes unlocked?

I use Crippling Wave most of the time, but often find myself out of spirit so was wondering if there was a significant difference in the spirit-generating skills.

After looking into it a bit, I found that all 4 skills consist of 3 hit-combos, so generate the same amount of spirit per combo, although Fists of Thunder has the fastest attack speed, so generates the most spirit of the four without any runes.

However I don't like Fists of Thunder, and want to know which of the remaining ones are the fastest, and if there's even a significant difference in spirit-generation between them.

  • Aren't they all keyed off your attack speed so the same anyways?
    – Nick T
    May 18, 2012 at 3:35
  • @NickT I've been trying to figure that out, and I think there are slight variations in the last 3. I know Fists of Thunder is much faster than the other 3, and it even says so in the description if you turn on Advanced Tooltips
    – Rachel
    May 18, 2012 at 3:37

3 Answers 3


Deadly Reach is a faster spell than 100 Fists and Crippling Wave as the animations are much quicker (based on some brief observation), unruned your ranks would be

  1. Fists of Thunder
  2. Deadly Reach
  3. 100 Fists or Crippling Wave.

The rune bonuses are as follows:

  • Crippling Wave gives +5 per critical,
  • Deadly Reach gives +10 per critical, and
  • Fists of Thunder gives +15 per critical.
  • 100 Fists has a 15% chance to give +15 (not tied to criticals)

Assuming you're fighting "lots" of mobs mostly in front of you, Deadly Reach will be the best, but if they're around you, Crippling Wave would take over.

If you're fighting a single mob (say a boss), 100 Fists would be the better than the others until you get nearer to 10-15% critical chance, then Thunder would take over.

In any event, Diablo III doesn't rely on "optimal builds" like WoW, but allows you the flexibility to use creative builds. Use skills you like.

  • I'm fairly sure 100 Fists is the slowest one. If I equip a slow weapon the difference is fairly noticeable
    – Rachel
    May 18, 2012 at 3:52
  • Thanks for the summary though :) I use Crippling Wave and find myself frequently out of Spirit, so wanted to see if there was a major difference between spirit-generator skills. I didn't expect there to be such a little difference between them
    – Rachel
    May 18, 2012 at 3:54

There's not an easy answer to this question once you start to consider runes. The biggest question is "What's your crit rate?" as 3 out of the 4 spirit generators have a Rune that increases the amount of spirit gained on a crit.

The second question is, "How many enemies are you fighting?" Some of the spirit generators can strike multiple targets, and each additional target is another possible critical strike (though the bonus spirit can't trigger more than once, I believe). More targets = more chance to crit = higher average spirit.

But that's besides the point. Aside from Fists of Thunder, all of the spirit generators share the same relative speed. Fists of Thunder may be the fastest, but it's not that much faster, and the difference you get from moving from a Daibo (1.1 attacks / second) to a Fist Weapon (1.4 attacks / second) is much more of a difference than switching from Deadly Reach to Fists of Thunder.

If you're trying to optimize your spirit gen, you should be looking for fast weapons and items with bonus attack speed, not trying to rationalize using Fists of Thunder.


This is not a direct answer to your question, but a playstile with which you'll rarely be spiritstarved, and even when you are, you're not in heaps of trouble.

Enable the elective mode. When you have too many activated skills you'll be spirit starved all the time, so try using Fists of Thunder for LMB, and Crippling wave for RMB.

Close the Gap with LMB, AoE with RMB -> You'll generate tons of Spirit while remaining highly mobile and having no-cost cleaving.

Remember have at least one no-cd spirit dump ability on your 1-4 slots, otherwise you're wasting resources. :) I'm in Act III only yet, tho, but it's been a breeze.

  • you can always pump your mantra, it has no CD. Mantra of healing with the absorb shield when you pump it is very good for a defensive build May 22, 2012 at 23:06
  • 1
    The shield part in the runed Mantra of Healing was nerfed today.
    – red
    May 23, 2012 at 8:18

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