Greetings fellow Monks!
I just made my way into Act 2 in Hell, hitting 56 right before The Butcher. I have been cruising through the game thus far, can't say enough awesome things about the monk. After experimenting with various builds throughout Nightmare, I came to this build, which in my opinion is very balanced and has served me quite well through Act 1 of Hell.
Where to begin...
As I have read many of you stating on the forums so far, I as well fell in love with the Thunderclap rune on FoT and have been using it as my main mobility skill since it became available. When I first came across CW I was a bit distraught at its apparent lack of speed, but along with the Mangle rune to increase its damage, I found it to work for me. Using 2 spirit generators was, at first, a little confusing, but after combining FoT and CW with the above mentioned runes along with Combination Strike as a passive, I found that using these 2 skills as a "combo" seems to shine for giving me decent damage output, mobility, and some damage mitigation.
I used Sweeping Wind for a large portion of Nightmare, but once I reached level 51 and unlocked the Essence Burn rune for Exploding Palm, I couldn't resist chain fire explosions. I have read some differing opinions on using Exploding Palm and also on using Sweeping Wind but found that it only takes one Exploding Palm to easily clear large packs of mobs and considering I tend to find myself in the middle of large packs 99% of the time, it seemed like Exploding Palm combined with the above mentioned main attack skills made sense.
As for healing/survivability, Breath of Heaven seems to be a no-brainer and I enjoy having Serenity with the Peaceful Repose rune as my 'uh oh' button not only for the shield but for the extra heal. Using Mantra of Healing with the Boon of Protection rune made sense to me as a spirit dump, since it is somewhat spamable and having a damage soak almost always available can't hurt, especially since Transcendence as a passive is helping with healing every time I go for that damage soak. I decided to throw Resolve in there as a passive for some extra damage mitigation since I'm not using Mantra of Evasion.
My stats at 56 starting Act 2 in Hell are as follows:
Vitality - 1117, which translates into 38,725 HP
Dexterity - 1253, giving me 32.53% dodge
Armor - 1882, putting my damage reduction at 40.20%
My DPS sits at 4525.82 before any buffs, and is somewhere just under 5300 when I'm in the fray. I use 2 fist weapons, have preferred dual-wielding over using a 2 hander due to the fact that it seems to me like a more efficient way to generate spirit...big crits are nice but in the end isn't survivability the name of the game?
So far in Hell I have had little to no trouble with rare/elite packs, except when I run headlong into something I'm totally not prepared for (so easy to do while trying to make everything go boom with Exploding Palm). I feel like I shouldn't be able to steamroll every pack I come across but at the same time shouldn't be smashing my head against a wall over and over again with a pack. Paying attention seems to be the game winner for me in most situations. By using a somewhat structured rotation for my cooldowns on heals/bubble along with a health pot, making sure I get that 3rd strike with CW, and not being that guy that stands in the strange colored stuff that just seems to hurt, I survive more than I thought I would be at this point.
Overall I have had nothing but fun with the Monk so far and am very much looking forward to clearing Hell, tweaking every last little thing I can about this awesome class, and breaking ground into Inferno!
Any suggestions and/or comments would be very much appreciated, otherwise I hope my input has been helpful and happy hunting to all...the storm breaks!