Diablo 3 and the Monk received the patch 1.0.4 treatment today. While the Monk got quite a fair amount of boosts to primarily spirit spender damage dealing abilities, Diablo 3 endgame was extended with 100 Paragon levels.
Diablo 3 has had a rough summer. Patch 1.0.3 failed to deliver and despite the requirement for persistent internet connection, D3 still lacks PVP content. Regardless of the initial sale records and rave reviews, Diablo 3 has not been well received by the RPG community.
With patch 1.0.4, Blizzard makes a brave attempt at fixing some of the issues with Diablo 3. Paragon levels add to Diablo 3 endgame. Legendary items are improved and now include rare and unique abilities. The difficulty gap between Normal and Champion packs is reduced. Monk skills, particularly spirit spender damage dealing abilities get a much needed boost. So far, patch 1.0.4 seems to be a step in the right direction.
One of the Monk skills to receive a boost is Seven-Sided Strike. Originally designed to be a massive damage dealing ability, Seven-Sided Strike has featured in D3 Monk builds purely due to the invulnerability it provides. Post Diablo 3 patch 1.0.4, Seven-Sided Strike once again packs a punch. The damage has been upped to 1777% from 777% over 7 hits. The skills have been adjusted upwards accordingly rendering Seven-Sided Strike a viable alternative for Monk farming builds.
The viability of a Monk build, or any other build for that matter, is more often than not defined by intent and gear. Diablo 3 post patch 1.0.4 is no exception. One with Everything is still reasonably mandatory and Sweeping Wind with Cyclone still defines the cookie cutter build. However, the extension of patch 1.0.3 updates in patch 1.0.4 and the boost to Wave of Light and The Guardian’s Path in synergy with Mystic Ally and Mantra of Retribution do hint at viable alternatives to DW LoH builds.
See Battle.Net for details on Diablo 3 Patch 1.0.4