# Vulnerable Attack worth it on a Monk?

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Hi all,

Was just doing some sums re: the Monk class and thought I'd ask for peoples' views.

My main question is as follows: On a dual wielding Monk build that uses a lot of lashes, is it worth the hit in terms of recovery time to take the Vulnerable Attack Talent?

Assume following build

16

16

9

9

Sanguine Plate/Durgan Purgatory/Durgan Resolution, under effects of Swift Strikes (with lightning strikes) and Frenzy.

Also let's not pick Scion of Flame to keep the maths simpler.

Without Vulnerable Attack our recovery modifier is: 1.15 (Durgan) * 1.15 (Durgan) * 1.33 + 20 = 1.96 (See Kaylon's attack speed 2.0 Topic). With Vulnerable Attack our recovery modifier is: 1.76

Damage multiplier = 1.45 (Might) + 1.45 (Superb) + 1.2 (Savage Attack) + 1.15 (Sneak) = 2.25 Base Damage Multiplier

Modified Sabre Base Damage: 29 – 43 (Rounded to nearest SF)

My understanding of how lashes work is that they do not take in to account damage penetration and are calculated off the modified base damage dealt by the weapon before DP/DT are taken in to account.

SO, lets assume a Monk has 7 wounds, the target's damage reduction is 16 for all types of damage and we roll a hit with our median damage amount (36).

With Vulnerable Attack:

Base Damage: 36

Physical Weapon Damage: 36 vs 16 DR (-5 Vulnerable Attack) = 25

Turning Wheel Lash: 35% of 36 vs 4 DR = 8

Weapon Lash (Corrode): 25% of 36 vs 4 DR = 5

Lightning Strikes: 25% of 36 vs 4 DR = 5

= 43

30/45 Attack Animation + Recovery. 45*0.24 = 11

30 + 11 = 41

41 @ 13 Dex = 41/1.09 = One Attack every 37 frames (do we add +4 frame universal recovery here?)

Without Vulnerable Attack

38 Damage Total (Only thing modified by -DR is the Physical Weapon Damage)

30/45 Attack Animation + Recovery. 45*0.04 = 2

30 + 2 = 32

32 @ 13 Dex = 32/1.09 = One Attack every 29 frames (Again, do we add +4 frame universal recovery here?)

So we have:

43 damage every 37 frames (Vulnerable) or 38 damage every 29 frames (No Vulnerable)

LCD of 37 and 29 = 1073. Easier way to make the damage comparative is to make it per second, so 30 frames = 1 second.

Vulnerable = 30/37 * 100 = 81.08%, 43*0.81 = 34 Damage per second

Without Vulnerable = 30/29 * 100 = 103.45%, 38*1.0345 = 39 Damage per second

Conclusion/Further Thoughts

1. Given that damage for lashes is dependent upon modified base damage before damage penetration is in taken in to account, and that a Monk Build such as the following is likely to be within the wound range/scenario with Frenzy I've highlighted quite often, it appears as if the +20% additive recovery modifier added by Vulnerable Attack is more of a hinderance than a help. Even with Swift Strikes (1.15*1.15*1.25 = 1.65 recovery mod) rather than Frenzy I believe this would still be the case as Two Weapon Style affects recovery mod linearly - i.e. it will be the same in most cases.

2. It's interesting what happens when you throw the Gloves of Swift Action in to the mix with Vulnerable Attack (1.15*1.15*1.15*1.33 - 1.20 (two weapons) +1.20 (Vulnerable Attack) = 2.02, no recovery). Vulnerable Attack might be worth it with the gloves, however before I started doing the sums I actually completely forgot about the Monk Raw Wound damage gloves (2% raw damage Lash per wound). It then becomes a decision between -100% Recovery + Vulnerable Attack vs -95% Recovery + Raw Wound Gloves. With 6 wounds and an average hit of 36 the gloves will add 4 damage, 10 wounds they'll add 7.2 damage.  Given that instead of vulnerable attack your monk might be able to take Scion of Flame instead to increase damage without any kind of corresponding penalty this may be preferable (and a defence buff vs fire). Or, if you want to go full offence in your talent Choices without any defensive talents at level 16 you could go:

Savage Attack
Two Weapon Fighting
Sneak Attack
Weapon Focus
Lightning Strikes
Lesser Wounds
Vulnerable Attack
Scion of Flame

and forego the Monk Gloves for the Gloves of Swift Action, -100% recovery and -5 Damage Penetration from vulnerable attack.

SO: I would say that under the circumstances I've described above (Sanguine Plate, Durgan Weapon, Durgan Weapon) that Vulnerable Attack is not worth it unless you also have the Gloves of Swift Action, which will increase your recovery modifier when using Vulnerable Attack from -76% to -102%.  (1.15*1.15*1.15*1.33 -.20 +.20 = -102%). This extra consistency, not dependent on wounds, comes at the cost of a talent point (and maybe another char could benefit from those gloves) and a theoretical lower max damage than what would have been available with your monk gloves had they been walking around in really high wound ranges.

– A point in to Heart of the Storm might make more sense than vulnerable attack. Let's say you have a lightning lash weapon and lightning strikes on at the same time, that's 2 lashes vs 25% DR. Assume you hit for the average of modified 36 base against an opponent with 16 DR. 36*.25 = 9*1.2 (Heart of the Storm) = 10.8 - 4 = 6.8 *2 = 13.6: ordinarily this would have done 10 damage without Heart of the Storm and you get a -5 permanent lightning resist in exchange.

– I am not certain how Torment's reach factors in to this and everything I've said may have been wrong when this is taken in to account. As a Full Attack torment's reach has no recovery between the two hits, which means that the penalty from vulnerable attack matters much less.

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Also, finally, I'm not sure what role critical hits play in lashes one way or the other.

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One last thing: I think that in almost every circumstance, wearing armour or not, vulnerable attack works well with fists.

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I never tested with lashes active, from looking at your math they appear to make a difference.

When I tested I made two identical hired mercs to use as punching bags. I then made two monks and set them to each attack one of the targets, one with vulnerable activated and one without. I'd adjust the targets deflection via abilities and shields until it was right about at accuracy so that critical hits were not part of the test. The combat was all performed out of combat and continued until health loss dropped the target, this took a fair amount of hits to get down so averages would balance out.

What I found was that even against 5 DR, vulnerable attack dropped the target faster than not using vulnerable attack. This held true for dual wielding, two handed and even with estocs, more DR penetration always was faster. Since I ran these I always take vulnerable attack on every melee.

I was not using any durgan enchanted armor or weapons and for monk testing I used fists.

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I actually just realised I did a whole load of math wrong and didn't take Armour recovery penalty properly in to account:

DW Durgan Weps + Sanguine Plate (Durgan) + Frenzy + Vulnerable Attack + Two Weapon Fighting = 1.15*1.15*1.33 -0.35 -0.2 +0.2  = -41% recovery modifier

DW Durgan Weps + Sanguine Plate (Durgan) + Frenzy + Two Weapon Fighting = 1.15*1.15*1.33 -0.35 +0.2 = 1.26 = -61% recovery modifier

DW Durgan Weps + Sanguine Plate (Durgan) + Frenzy + Two Weapon Fighting + Vulnerable Attack + Gloves of Swift Action = -67% Recovery

DW Durgan Weps + Blaidh Golan (Durgan) + Swift Strikes + Two Weapon Fighting + Vulnerable Attack = 1.65 - .10 = -55% recovery Modifier

DW Durgan Weps + Blaidh Golan (Durgan) + Swift Strikes + Two Weapon Fighting  = -75% recovery modifier

DW Durgan Weps + Blaidh Golan (Durgan) + Swift Strikes + Two Weapon Fighting + Vulnerable Attack + Gloves of Swift Action = -80% recovery modifier

DW Durgan Weps + Blaidh Golan (Durgan) + Swift Strikes + Two Weapon Fighting + Gloves of Swift Action = -100% recovery modifier

I'll have to think about what this does to the results, I don't have it in me to do all the math again

Edited by Livegood118
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When you dual wield the recovery duration is halved - in the case of dual sabres it's something like 26/26 with 4 frames between each action. With 0% recovery you would swing every 34frames (with 10dex).

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Generally speaking: Vulnerable Attack obviously gets better the faster you hit. That's because it's like a flat +5 damage bonus instead of the usual percent based modifiers. You should do the math with a DEX score of 20 and see what happens.

If your attacks (doesn't matter if with lashes or however) do more than 5 damage in the time that Vulnerable Attack slows you down - then don't take Vulnerable Attack.

If your Attack Speed is >2.19 then it's obvious that you should use Vulnerable Attack because it doesn't slow you down.

Besides that: your math looks right (without armor).

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You can use this spreadsheet to calculate your average DPS in different scenarios against the weighted average DR from all enemies in the base game. It should make things quicker and easier.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

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OK thanks for the help guys. So after looking at the spreadsheet it appears that vulnerable attack is not worth it when you could go for a defensive talent instead.

With accuracy equal to your opponent's defence, 2.13 Damage Mod, 13 Dexterity, 100% recovery bonus, 1.3 Crit Mod, 15% Hit to Crit and 10% graze to hit dual sabres have 30.53 DPS vs 0 DR, 21.26 vs 10 DR and 12 DPS vs 20 DR. (The Blaidh Golan (Durgan) + Gloves of Swift Action Setup).

Under the same circumstances but with an 80% recovery bonus and -5 DR dual sabres do 24.6 DPS vs 0 DR, 20.88 vs 10 DR and 13.41 DPS vs 20 DR; so we can observe a slight improvement against high DR opponents and certainly not enough damage to spend a talent point on. (Same setup but with vulnerable attack).

But with accuracy +15 Greater than your opponents defences, the 100% recovery setup has 39.50 DPS vs 0 DR, 28.60 DPS vs 10 DR and 17.70 DPS vs 20 DR, and the 80% recovery with vulnerable attack setup has 31.86 DPS vs 0 DR, 27.46 DPS vs 10 DR and 18.67 DPS vs 20DR.

I'm still not sure how to work several of the Monk's lashes in to this however. For instance:

Torment's Reach: 50% mod base damage vs 25% crush DR

Turning Wheel: 0% – 50% mod base damage vs 25% fire DR

Weapon Lash: 25% mod base damage vs 25% elemental DR

Lightning Strikes: 25% mod base damage vs 25 elemental DR

These lashes have a damage penetrating effect all of their own. For instance, on a target with 20 DR and you do 40 unmodified damage, the torment's reach crushing lash will do 20 vs 5 DR, and the same again for all hits with Turning Wheel and 10 wounds.This is essentially a free +10 damage DT pierce.

Put another way, without vulnerable attack you get:

Physical: 40 v 20 = 20

TR: 20 v 5 = 15

Turning Wheel: 0 – 20X v 5 = Y

Weapon Lash: 10 v 5 = 5

Lightning Strikes: 10 v 5 = 5

Total Damage = 45 + Y

Then with vulnerable attack you get 50 + Y, but are attacking with an 80% recovery rate rather than a 100%.

I'm not sure where to go with the math from here. I want  to determine whether it is more efficient to attack at -100% recovery without -5 DR rather than at 80% recovery with -5DR when the character in question is utilising lots of lash effects.

Edited by Livegood118
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Another thing to keep in mind is that it will be the end game before you get  your Durgan steel weapons and armor needed to get to your 100% recovery.

Without doing the math I believe that dual wielding fists while wearing plate on PotD that Vulnerable Attack adds to my damage output. Dual wielding Sabres might have different results.

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You should worry about vulnerable attack only when it starts adding less than 5dmg - ie targets with les than 5DR and targets with high DR&DEF.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that it will be the end game before you get  your Durgan steel weapons and armor needed to get to your 100% recovery.

Without doing the math I believe that dual wielding fists while wearing plate on PotD that Vulnerable Attack adds to my damage output. Dual wielding Sabres might have different results.

I 100% agree with this – the reduced impact of recovery penalties definitely makes vulnerable attack more worthwhile and I think Dexterity should be prioritised in such a setup too.

You should worry about vulnerable attack only when it starts adding less than 5dmg - ie targets with les than 5DR and targets with high DR&DEF.

I think, given all the information as a whole, in the case of dual sabres with loads of lashes attached it's better to attack more often on the whole with those lashes than to have less attacks but to have -5 DR penetration.

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