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I don't quite know which skills do the most damage (preferably AoE) but have a relatively low spirit cost.

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Here is the dps (damage per spirit) of all the Monk AOE spells, taken from http://us.battle.net/d3/en/class/monk/active/.

Note that I'm only listing AOE skills that hit a bunch of enemies at once (not Seven-Sided Strike or Tempest Rush), only runes that increase damage or lower spirit cost, and not listing spirit generators.

Skills, listed in decreasing dps:

  • Lashing Tail Kick: Spinning Flame Kick: 240% weapon damage for 30 spirit = 8 dps
  • Lashing Tail Kick: Vulture Claw Kick: 220% weapon damage for 30 spirit = 7.33 dps
  • Lashing Tail Kick: 200% weapon damage for 30 spirit = 6.67 dps
  • Wave of Light: Pillar of the Ancients: 420% weapon damage for 75 spirit = 5.6 dps
  • Wave of Light: Empowered Light: 215% weapon damage for 40 spirit = 5.38 dps
  • Wave of Light: Wall of Light: 312% weapon damage for 75 spirit = 4.16 dps
  • Wave of Light: Explosive Light: 285% weapon damage for 75 spirit = 3.8 dps
  • Cyclone Strike: Eye of the Storm: 100% weapon damage for 30 spirit = 3.33 dps
  • Breath of Heaven: Circle of Scorn: 80% weapon damage for 25 spirit = 3.2 dps
  • Wave of Light: 215% weapon damage for 75 spirit = 2.87 dps
  • Cyclone Strike: 100% weapon damage for 50 spirit = 2 dps

Of course, this is very situational. Some of these spells affect a large area and will make it easy to hit a dozen monsters. Some affect a cone or path and will make it hard to hit more than 2 or 3.

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    +1 to this. In my observation, Lashing tail kick with the spinning flame kick rune does considerable damage and can be case multiple times for a low spirit cost.
    – Tater596
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 1:55
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    Sweeping Wind: Potentially infinite!
    – user9983
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 4:01
  • @OrigamiRobot Yeah, a lot of these are hard to compare, for reasons like that. I tried to impose some rules to have the comparisons make sense, but your mileage may vary.
    – Wikwocket
    Commented May 26, 2012 at 15:31
  • this should be updated, seven sided strike after 1.04 buff with fulminating strike or sudden assault (for aoe or single target damage) is by far the highest damage per spirit
    – l I
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 20:04
  • @yx. I will try to update it later this week when I have time. If anyone has the data now, go for it!
    – Wikwocket
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 20:40

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