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A quick calculation tells me that a Monk with 24 Might, Savage Attack, Sneak Attack and Spirit of Decay does 34.74 - 46.11 damage with his Fists and 29.92 - 43.52 with a Legendary Bittercut. On top of this, Fists are a fast weapon whereas Bittercut is average, which leads to Fists attacking between 30% and 40% faster (40% faster at Dexterity 10, going down as Dexterity rises) at zero recovery. Also Fists get +3 Accuracy in comparison.

 

Now Bittercut can be enchanted with a Lash and can be Durganified. The former is +25% damage (+30% if you have the appropriate talent), which comes close to closing the gap due to Fists' higher attack speed. The latter increases attack speed bonus, which primarily allows you to wear heavier armour, and crit damage and crit chance, which is probably enough to achieve parity or even overtake Fists. On top of this, Bittercut benefits from dual damage types which will sometimes lead to it facing a lower DR and pretty much guarantees you never need to switch weapons.

 

All in all, a Monk dual wielding duplicated Bittercuts will probably do more damage than a Monk using his Fists. The question is whether the investment (a Kraken Eye, the Helwax Mold and some Durgan Steel) is worth it. Thoughts?

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Hey dude,

 

I'm a little bit intoxicated right now but I did some sums on this earlier, and I'm not 100% certain if the initial maths of fists vs bittercuts is right:

 

Fists

 

24% (Base Might) + 24% (Might items/boosts) + 15% (Sneak) = 63% (48% for fists bonus only)

10 – 15 *1.63 = 16 – 24 
+12 damage (+2 unarmed shoes) = 14 * 1.48 = 21
16 – 24 + 21 = 37 – 45
avg = 41
20.5 = TR
12 = LS (With Heart of the Storm)
10.8/25 = TW
+5 Vulnerable Attack
= 90 W5/103 W10
 
Bittercut
 
11 – 16
24% (Base Might) + 45% (Superb) + 20% (Savage Attack) + 24% (Might items/boosts) + 15% (Apprentice Sneak) + 20% (Sabre) + 20% (Spirit of Decay) = 168%
11*2.68 = 29.5
16*2.68 = 43
AVG = 36
18 = TR
11/21.6 = TW
11 = WL (Heart of Storm)
11 = LS (Heart of Storm)
= 87W5 /97.6 W10
 
So if the Monk attacks much faster with fists then it stands to reason fists do more damage. A crit on fists will add 5 – 7.5 of unmodified damage and a crit on durganised sabre will add 9 – 13 damage. 
 
edit: scion of flame should probably be factored in
Edited by Livegood118
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I'm a big fan of fists only for Monks. As you showed it's only when Durgan steel and max enchantment comes into play that weapons might take over the lead in damage output. The savings in material and the automatic upgrades at level up are much better with fists.

 

Frequently at level four I've not even found a sabre, let alone two fine ones but I will have my fists automatically upgraded with damage as soon as I ding level four.

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Looks right to me. You could take Savage Attack with the Monk's Fists (it applies to the base damage to give +2-3 damage) and Vulnerable Attack with Bittercut (according to MaxQuest's table they stack) but even then this only just brings Bittercut's Damage to parity with the Fists. When you consider that the Fists attack quite a bit faster, and Bittercut's damage has more Lashes and hence more DR to overcome, it's clear the fists do more damage I think (even with Bittercut's higher crit chance and damage).

 

I can't imagine any other single handed weapon doing a better job competing to be honest, so unless you're looking for on hit effects or other things that you can't get from Fists I think Fists are the way to go.

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Additionally, with fists vs Bittercut you have to consider the following weird things:

- Transcendent Suffering's damage bonus is not base damage. So Savage Attack, Apprentice's Sneak and also crits only apply to the unarmed base damage. Livegood118 did that - just explaining here. ;)

- the ACC-bonus of Transcendent Suffering will not apply to ability attacks! Force of Anguish, Torment's Reach and so on will be done with reduced ACC compared to auto attacks.

- Bittercut profits from Spirit of Decay twice: first of all it gets +20% to weapon's base damage which will raise the lash damage, too. Lashes are based on the actual physical damage roll you will do including all dmg mods. And then the lash itself will get boosted, too.

Those things lead to the situation that Bittercut is even better if you don't have durgan steel yet. Mainly because of the two damage types and the ACC issue.

With the Long Pain it's different: the base damage is very high since there's no "on-top" flat damage bonus like with Tr. Suff. So crits and all other dmg mods will increase the damage A LOT.
BUT the ACC issue is the same as with Tr. Suff.
But since the auto attacks of the Long Pain are used more often it's not that bad. The fun thing about The Long Pain is that not only Two Weapon Style and Swift+Lightning Strikes and Turning Wheel Tirment's Reach and all most of the other stuff works, but also Sure handed Ila. We're talking about arquebus shots without the crit damage reduction with 0 recovery. Doemenel talent works especially well here, too!
As a bonus they also have a higher ACC bonus than melee fists.
Not to mention the advantage that they work in melee or ranged combat which lets you attack even faster because you don't have to move in order to attack.

So basically it's Long Pain > Bittercut > fists in my opinion.

That's the reason I always take the Long Pain if I want an unarmed monk. The Witch Doctor build I did was so freakingly powerful in terms of weapon damage that I don't want to miss The Long Pain any more.

Edited by Boeroer
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- Transcendent Suffering's damage bonus is not base damage. So Savage Attack, Apprentice's Sneak and also crits only apply to the unarmed base damage. Livegood118 did that - just explaining here. ;)

 

Yup, I was aware of that. What's strange about the bonus damage from Transcendent Suffering is that it does benefit from Might. Maybe that's not strange actually, are there any other situations where a flat +X damage is added that we can compared to?

 

- the ACC-bonus of Transcendent Suffering will not apply to ability attacks! Force of Anguish, Torment's Reach and so on will be done with reduced ACC compared to auto attacks.

 

Huh, I didn't think of that. Do those abilities gain the +1 Accuracy/level that some other abilities get? If so that goes some way towards making up for that, although of course that would presumably stack with a weapon bonus so it's still not as good.

 

- Bittercut profits from Spirit of Decay twice: first of all it gets +20% to weapon's base damage which will raise the lash damage, too. Lashes are based on the actual physical damage roll you will do including all dmg mods. And then the lash itself will get boosted, too.

 

Sure, but I believe Livegood118 took that into account with his calculations. He definitely added the 20% damage from Spirit of Decay and although his lash of choice was Shocking he assumed Heart of the Storm so the bonus damage comes out the same in the end. The damage still comes out to, roughly, the same per hit, but with a slower attack speed and facing off against slightly more DR (due to an additional Lash).

 

Those things lead to the situation that Bittercut is even better if you don't have durgan steel yet. Mainly because of the two damage types and the ACC issue.

 

I find it hard to judge how powerful the dual damage types is, but I'll agree that the Accuracy difference is pretty big.

 

With the Long Pain it's different: the base damage is very high since there's no "on-top" flat damage bonus like with Tr. Suff. So crits and all other dmg mods will increase the damage A LOT.

BUT the ACC issue is the same as with Tr. Suff.

But since the auto attacks of the Long Pain are used more often it's not that bad. The fun thing about The Long Pain is that not only Two Weapon Style and Swift+Lightning Strikes and Turning Wheel and all the other stuff works, but also Sure handed Ila. We're talking about arquebus shots without the crit damage reduction with 0 recovery. Doemenel talent works especially well!

 

Does Turning Wheel work with the Long Pain. Your Witch Doctor build says it doesn't.

 

One downside I noticed about the Long Pain Fists is that they're average attack speed rather than the fast attack speed of normal Fists. That means normal Fists attack at least 30% faster.

 

As a bonus they also have a higher ACC bonus than melee fists.

Not to mention the advantage that they work in melee or ranged combat which lets you attack even faster because you don't have to move in order to attack.

 

Yeah I'd noticed that. I wonder whether Transcendent Suffering was supposed to be +20 Accuracy at level 16 too. Up until level 10 all of TS, Novice's Suffering and TLP follow the same Accuracy progression - +4 at level 4, +8 at level 7 and +10 at level 10 - but then TS slows to just +2 at levels 13 and 16 whereas NS and TLP continue at +4.

 

So basically it's Long Pain > Bittercut > fists in my opinion.

 

The Long Pain does seem like it'll out dps normal Monk Fists. I am not so sure about placing Bittercut above them though. Perhaps I am undervaluing the Accuracy on TS and FoA, but the difference in autoattack speed is pretty huge.

Edited by JerekKruger
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The thing is that also the Torment's Reach cone will have reduced ACC with fists while a enchanted weapon will apply its ACC bonus to the cone as well.

Once Durgan steel is there there's no question that Bittercut is better than fists. Not only faster than before but also higher crit damage and a crit conversion.

But of course fists are still great because you don't need any resources and still have awesome dps with autoattacks. And you'll have it right from the beginning. And you don't need to clone a weapon for that, too. ;)

I would only clone Bittercut because I find it cool - not because it's the most powerful choice for cloning.

By the way I cloned Shame or Glory lately for a dual wielding Darcozzi in order to provide max marking and other ACC bonuses (+40 passive stackable ACC for your flanking buddy). Pretty sick. ;)

 

 

And yeah sorry - The Long Pain doesn't work with Turning Wheel. I meant Torment's Reach - because of the Full Attacks that also help with speed and dps. Will edit that...

 

I now wonder if Novice's Suffering would be cool with a dps paladin (maybe Goldpact or Bleak Walker) and his two FoD hits which can add a lot of lash damage and don't use weapon dmg mods... You wouldn't need high ACC because grazes and crits would do nealry similar damage. Non-monks have even lower unarmed base damage while the bonus is a bit higher. High MIG would also be good here. Hm...

Edited by Boeroer

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OK, I want to look at this topic from another side. Forget the maths for a second, although I thank the people who posted the numbers. The Long pain /subjectively/ ruined the fun for me with my monk:  I just do not like a ranged monk as a concept, although mathematically what you wrote applies. There is no RPG fun for me in there when the monk starts hitting the air and sending projectiles like a bow to hit a distant enemy, I like being face-to-face with the enemy. It is fun! The problem of many games, including DIABLO was that people looked for mathematics all the time and many builds were considered weak or were just laughed at because of their inefficiency. In fact many RPGs force you to not use some skills or combos because of the dmg numbers or the ration dmg - survival. Truth is I do not wish to be a maximum dps monk at all or in other words I wish to have fun regardless of the numbers. So I play all the time with fists, rarely using the Long pain but I would personally stick to what you wrote above if I care about pure effectivity. Also, it would be not so smart in the first place to make any weapon being more powerful on a monk main char than using fists - because the designers wanted to create a martial artist class. Why would they give him the bonus with fists if people could use weapons and get much more dmg than fists<?? So, that is why fists have to be kind of strong. Their problem is that they just do not work vs crush immunity.
:):):)

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Josh said more than once that they designed the classes in a way that they can be used with different builds and with differenent approaches. So they clearly didn't want to limit the monk to be an unarmed martial artist class. Other hints are that there are weapons like the Greenstone Staff which can only be soulbound to wizard, druid and monk.

In PoE, the only thing all monks have in common (lore wise) is that they all believe "that combat is the ideal path for pursuing their particular brand of mortification of the flesh". Of course you can choose to dislike monks who use weapons and also wear plate or whatever.  

 

The thing with The Long Pain is that even if you only use them in melee range (because you don't like the idea of flying fists for whatevr reason) they are better than the original fists. But they don't work with Turning Wheel. So if you want to use that you might want to skip TLP.

 

The problem with having fun with your char is that if your build is ineffective and can't do anything right it can also be frustrating and no fun most of the time. There might be exceptions though.

 

And once you realize that your Force of Anguish with fists doesn't hit while the Force of Anguish with sabres does you might feel disappointed.

 

I'm pretty sure this ACC issue with all fists is an oversight by the developers. 

Edited by Boeroer

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My problems with long pain, and your mileage may vary, are:

 

– It has a reasonably large cast/recovery time, which isn't great when you're under duress and is time you could have otherwise spent punching things in the face.

– I find they increase the micro-management on a class that is already kind of micro-intensive. I like my Monks as somebody who can take hits on the frontline, but with long pain activated they'll actively sit in the back unless you manually position them in to place. Monks' AI is alright but you still need to belt out those torments reaches yourself if you want the most dps.

 

Rebuttals to the above are obviously (1) they'll probably do more sustainable damage in the long run and are less dependant on having high wounds and (2) you have to micro monks a fair bit anyway and if you build your party around it this isn't an issue. Still, if I wanted a long range dps character, I'd probably still prefer to take a ranger.

 

As for weapon chat, I'm finding the arguments for weapons vs fists kind of compelling in favour of weapons. It's very hard to discount a +15 accuracy bonus Torments Reach, but I'm wondering why we're then putting so much focus on Bittercut.

 

Sure, Bittercut is amazing for damage because you get an extra +40% damage from the sabre bonus/Spirit of Decay and dual damage types, but why not go for dual Godansthunyr Instead? You'll get +1 Might, Stunning on Crit (which syngergises perfectly with enervating blows for continued supression), dual damage types and the hidden higher interrupt rating. You'd be able to:

 

(1) Constantly knock out 2x AoE stuns in a wide radius with TR

(2) Probably be interrupted a lot less by virtue of (1)

(3) Crit more often with your Monk and other party members by virtue of the fact that the dudes you're attacking will often have -30 Deflection, –28 Fortitude, -46 Reflex, -28 Will from stunned/weakened.

 

This is all assuming that weapon crit effects still apply to the TR radius, which I believe is the case? Boeroer?

Edited by Livegood118
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Yes, it is the case. :) Stunning, overbearing and spell chance weapons work very well with Torment's Reach. Also: very nice synergy with Enervating Blows and Apprentice's Sneak Attack (and a rogue).

 

You can of course prefer a ranger over a monk with The Long Pain becaue of several reasons - they are quite different. But if you're looking for the highest sustained ranged single target damage there's nothing better than TLP in my opinion. It's like arquebus shots (with better crits) without noteworthy recovery and without loading time. Basically a gatling gun.

Edited by Boeroer

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Sure, Bittercut is amazing for damage because you get an extra +40% damage from the sabre bonus/Spirit of Decay and dual damage types, but why not go for dual Godansthunyr Instead? You'll get +1 Might, Stunning on Crit (which syngergises perfectly with enervating blows for continued supression), dual damage types and the hidden higher interrupt rating. You'd be able to:

 

(1) Constantly knock out 2x AoE stuns in a wide radius with TR

(2) Probably be interrupted a lot less by virtue of (1)

(3) Crit more often with your Monk and other party members by virtue of the fact that the dudes you're attacking will often have -30 Deflection, –28 Fortitude, -46 Reflex, -28 Will from stunned/weakened.

 

This is all assuming that weapon crit effects still apply to the TR radius, which I believe is the case? Boeroer?

 

It always amazes me the things I still don't know about PoE mechanics. I was almost certain on hit abilities didn't work with Torment's Reach, the fact that they do is kinda amazing.

 

My main reason for focusing on Bittercut was the simple combination of it being available pretty early on (sadly Godansthunyr isn't, at least not in the way I play through the game) and dual Sabres looking good to my mind. I have to say I don't think I'm keen on the idea of dual wielding Godansthunyrs, but Wē Toki is an alternative that achieves a similar end (it misses out on dual damage types and +1 Might, but gets +50% crit damage which easily surpasses the +6% damage from Might and should hopefully fire a lot when your enemies are prone, and to my mind dual axes look better).

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Can't discount looks ;)

 

Stun is the better debuff though (-30 deflection stun vs -10 deflection prone) if you're looking to land physical crits. The axes might have better crits (assuming annihilation grants a better bonus than dual damage types) but if you'll probably crit more often if the dudes are under a stun debuff.

 

All of this Monk chat is really making me want to do another run though, but Dark Souls 3 DLC is out in two weeks 

Edited by Livegood118
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My problems with long pain, and your mileage may vary, are:

 

– It has a reasonably large cast/recovery time, which isn't great when you're under duress and is time you could have otherwise spent punching things in the face.

– I find they increase the micro-management on a class that is already kind of micro-intensive. I like my Monks as somebody who can take hits on the frontline, but with long pain activated they'll actively sit in the back unless you manually position them in to place. Monks' AI is alright but you still need to belt out those torments reaches yourself if you want the most dps.

 

 

Livegood118, I've been playing a monk with the long pain (TLP) for awhile now, and am now in WM2 at lvl 13. I agree with you that the cast time is long. My monk's DEX is relatively high, 16 without any modifications, and 19 with the Ring of Thorns. Even so, the cast seems painfully slow, at least in the stress of battle. However, the recovery time with my monk is very short; the recovery bar only appears for a fraction of a second if at all. This is with 19 DEX, a speed bonus from the Mourning Gloves (10%) or swift strikes (25%), and durgan refined Wayfarer's hide. So, as Boeroer commented in his Witch Doctor build, once you get TLP going it hits like a gatling gun. Personally I find this great. I enjoy having the character wade into battle for unarmed combat, but once he is wounded I switch on TLP IF there are still worthy foes to fight. I don't bother doing this in short battles against weak foes, as they're usually over by the time TLP could be activated. But in long battles, particularly against numerous foes in which it is difficult to maneuver (such as against the hordes of vessels and spirits inside Durgan's battery), it's fantastic.

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... a speed bonus from the Mourning Gloves (10%) or swift strikes (25%)...

 

Quick point, the speed bonuses from Mourning Gloves and Swift Strikes don't stack, see here.

 

 

Thanks for clarifying this, JerekKruger. I was aware that they didn't stack, which is why I wrote "or." But I'm glad that you pointed this out; I long assumed that they stacked until it was pointed out to me that Swift Strikes suppressed the Mourning Gloves speed bonus.

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Thanks for clarifying this, JerekKruger. I was aware that they didn't stack, which is why I wrote "or." But I'm glad that you pointed this out; I long assumed that they stacked until it was pointed out to me that Swift Strikes suppressed the Mourning Gloves speed bonus.

 

Oh sorry, I didn't read the or. My apologies.

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It's been a long time since I used the staff at all, but I'm pretty sure the Petrify is single target. That's why Torment's Reach allowing spellchances to proc matters (obviously, if each one were AOE it would be even better, since that would allow just one proc to disable multiple enemies).

 

I assume that an on-crit stun or prone would be more powerful, since they allow stacking accuracy buffs, deflection debuffs, and hit->crit conversion to achieve really consistent procs (the stunning-disorienting combo should be good on a monk, I imagine) and those afflictions are perfectly good ways of disabling enemies. I've done that before with a barbarian, though, so trying the more exotic route seems like fun.

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