Bitshift's "Sizzle Splat" Monk

Bitshift's "Sizzle Splat" Monk

Play Your Way is back this week as we start from the beginning of our feature rotation! This means we're honing in on our inner focus and getting back to Monk basics with Bitshift#1254.

Let's get sizzling!

About the Build:

The rhythm and movement of the Monk class is mesmerizing. There's really nothing quite like hitting that stride between key presses and mouse clicks, where you feel in tune with your character and the beat of your gameplay is punctuated by the violent explosions of foes around you.

Today, Bitshift shares with us his ideal rhythm, a cyclical song and dance that invites your enemies in and abruptly ends their attendance with a sizzle and splat!

I believe this is the "splat" portion of the build — I hear goatment are good for that.

Bitshift's gameplay is traditional but very strategic. And, while this build was originally submitted prior to patch 2.1.0, it's important to note its potency hasn't diminished.

You'll want to effectively reposition your enemies using Cyclone Strike and spread the love with Exploding Palm, chaining explosions from one pack to another with devastating effect. Bitshift, like many Monks, has also chosen to focus on Lightning, though you'll find a few fiery alternatives below if that's more your style. The Sizzle Splat build is classic and flexible—a great way to start a new Monk or jump back in if you've just returned to the game.

The Skills:

What's recommended below is a great base to start from, so don’t feel as though you're locked into these choices. There are plenty of alternative skills suggested if you’d like to switch it up a little!

Active Skills:

  • Way of the Hundred Fists (Hands of Lightning)
    • Fast regeneration means more Spirit to unload your spenders frequently
  • Lashing Tail Kick (Scorpion Sting)
    • Your primary spender
    • Offers a useful and frequently available Stun
  • Exploding Palm (Strong Spirit)
    • The crux of your cascading damage
    • Strong Spirit is recommended due to the high Spirit demands of this build
    • While the elemental type doesn’t match perfectly, this is actually a boon, especially for difficult monsters like Fallen Angels
  • Dashing Strike (Barrage)
    • Primarily serves as your “Get out of jail free” card
    • Equally excellent for getting into the thick of things and initiating quickly
    • Barrages bonus damage is exactly that — a great additional perk when you can use it!
  • Sweeping Wind (Cyclone)
    • Fair amount of supplemental area damage
    • Excellent for proccing the effects of Fulminator, a recommended item
  • Cyclone Strike (Implosion)
    • Unsurpassed crowd control for repositioning enemies
    • While the Implosion rune doesn’t do Lightning damage, it offers greater utility with its high range

Passive Skills:

Alternative Skills:

Fire Options:

Try this load out if you find yourself rocking more +% Fire gear and want to make use of it! Just bear in mind some of these changes might impact your Spirit availability and regeneration, so don’t be afraid to tweak a few runes to your liking.

The Items:

I’ve often received feedback that builds that are too Legendary heavy are difficult to emulate and less of what you'd like to see. One of the major draws to Bitshift's build is that there are a slew of excellent Legendaries, but none of them are crucial for making it function. While there are a lot of suggestions below, they're all milestone items—in other words, things you should aim for and that will definitely make a notable difference in what difficulty you can tackle, but aren't mandatory in order to give the Sizzle Splat build a try.

Bitshift's Monk has acquired even more gear since he submitted his build. Definitely jealous of several pieces!

Recommended Items:

While this build doesn't absolutely require any of the following, you'll find these items give you substantial boosts.

  • Fulminator
    • While not strictly a +% Lightning Damage weapon, substantially increases your AoE capabilities
  • Thundergod's Vigor
    • Additonal +% Lightning Damage in an uncommon slot is always a welcome addition!
  • Monkey King's Garb (4 piece)
    • As a Spirit intensive build, you’ll frequently be proccing the 4 piece bonus on this set
    • Opens up Combat Staves as a viable option, should you be unlucky with your weapon drops
  • Raiment of a Thousand Storms (4 piece)
    • Yet another source of +% Lightning Damage makes the Raiment set quite appealing
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur
    • Instrumental in ensuring the 4 piece bonuses from both Monkey King’s and Raiment

Complementary Items:

  • Reaper's Wraps
    • Because of the high Spirit demands of this build, these bracers go a long way to keeping you in the action
  • Odyn Son
    • Great source of raw damage increase
    • Strong alternative to Fulminator or Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker
  • Won Khim Lau
    • Good raw source of +% Lightning damage
    • Adds another weapon alternative
  • The Eye of the Storm
    • Good filler while putting together your set bonuses
    • Another raw source of +% Lightning damage

Recommended Stats:

Lightning damage is definitely the stat you'll want to be actively stacking. There are tons of great alternative items out there to really push that bonus to its limits, so look for sources that aren't just on your Amulet and Bracer slots. This build is pretty demanding when it comes to heavy Spirit usage, so while general Damage stats like Critical Strike, Critical Hit Damage, and Attack Speed are always good choices, you should also keep an eye out for Resource Cost Reduction, Spirit Regeneration, and + Maximum Spirit.

Patch 2.1.0 introduced Legendary Gems, and as they're now available, I felt it was worth adding there are a few that would work to this build's benefit. Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver is a good first choice as it will help fill in the single-target gaps where this build can struggle. Wreath of Lightning is another great addition, complementing the +% Lightning focus of this build and further enhancing your impressive area of effect capabilities.

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

As previously mentioned, this build was submitted previous to Patch 2.1.0, and in that time, Bitshift has gained a whole lot of gear and stuck with it! While he was working regularly in Torment III and IV in Normal mode, with the given upgrades I could certainly see this build pushing into Torment V and perhaps VI. I know I'm interested in pushing it to its limits and seeing how far I can climb!

As for game mode, this build excels and clearing regular packs and falls a little bit behind on single target damage. This makes it ideal for clearing Nephalem Rifts and completing bounties, but it may fall behind if you’re looking to farm up your Hellfire Amulet. It will take a little tweaking to get that perfect balance of single-target and multi-target slaughter.

Why We Like This Build:

Bitshift's Sizzle Splat build had two major features that caught my eye. First and foremost, it’s a lot of fun. There's a clear rotation in which it performs best, and having a sense of pattern and rhythm is something I personally enjoy in my builds. Even so, the pattern here is fairly forgiving if you're trying out the Monk for the first time or recently returning. It performs well even if you mess up here and there, though you're greatly rewarded if you can hone your accuracy and placement.

If you were missing the sizzle, Bitshift doesn't disappoint.

Secondly, this build doesn't demand too much of your gear. A little +% Lightning damage is all you need, and even that's arguable if you're just starting out. There's a clear goal in its item progression, so if you need some guidance as you practice the tenets of Ytar, the Sizzle Splat is straightforward and a great place to start!

Tell Us What You Think!

So what kind of build is your Monk currently sporting: are you sizzling your enemies with electricity or do you prefer another element? How has the latest patch changed your approach? We’re eager to hear about it, so let us know in the comments below!

Next week, we'll be returning to our Mount Arreat roots and discussing the Barbarian! Got a build you want featured? Then send it in to us at and don't forget to include all the details!

Until next week!