Crippling Wave


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Crippling Wave in action.

Crippling Wave is a Primary Monk skill unlocked at Level 11. The Monk performs a sweeping attack on all nearby enemies. Every third hit reduces their movement and attack speed.


As Monks are relatively frail without heavy armour or shields, they have developed techniques to hit enemies where it hurts the most, slowing them down, and making their attacks less successful.

Skill Rune Effects[edit]

The following is a very quick summary. See the Crippling Wave rune effects page for a more thorough description of rune effects, or any of the individual rune pages for numbers, screenshots, blue quotes, and much more.

Name Level Description
Crippling Wave

1 Increase damage to 255% weapon damage as Fire.
1 Enemies hit by Crippling Wave deal 20% less damage for 3 seconds.
Rising Tide
1 Each enemy hit generates 2.5 additional Spirit.

Crippling Wave's damage turns into Holy.

1 Crippling Wave's third attack has its range increased to 17 yards and Freezes enemies for 1 second.

Crippling Wave's damage turns into Cold.

Breaking Wave
1 Enemies hit by Crippling Wave take 10% additional damage from all attacks for 3 seconds.

Skill Design[edit]

During the beta, all the skills previously known as combos were simplified down so much that only three of them (Fists of Thunder, Deadly Reach, and Crippling Wave) still contain any semblance of combo functionality. These three skills now provide simply an additional effect on every third strike, while the others (Way of the Hundred Fists, Exploding Palm, and Sweeping Wind) now have a single function on every strike. Combos previously consisted of: the normal spell attack on the first strike; a stronger attack on the second; and on the third, an even stronger attack coupled with an additional effect.


A video of Crippling Wave can be seen below, courtesy of the You Tube channel.


The following Monk passives provide a benefit to Crippling Wave, runed or not:

Name Level Description

1 Damage you deal reduces enemy damage by 20% for 4 seconds.
Combination Strike

1 Each different Spirit Generator you use increases your damage by 10% for 3 seconds.


Crippling Wave was first shown at BlizzCon 2009 as one of the original skills when the Monk was unveiled. Flux was able to try it out:[1]

This one seems like it would be very useful against big bosses, since it makes them susceptible to damage, while making them deal less to you. Throwing in stage 2 or 3 of this in the midst of other more useful combo attacks could be helpful, now and then, since the curse-like debuff can hit multiple enemies in close proximity.

Crippling Wave was still in the game at BlizzCon 2010, but there are no gameplay reports from that event discussing this skill.


The beta started in September 2011, and Crippling Wave became a level 8 skill. The skill system was once again overhauled for the Beta Patch 13 in February 2012, and Crippling Wave was classified as a Techniques skill and moved to level 14. For Beta Patch 14, it was re-classified as a Primary skill, moved to level 11, and buffed a bit.

Previous Versions[edit]

See the Monk skill archive for more details on previous versions of Crippling Wave and other Monk skills.

Also, see the combos page for additional information on how this and other combo spells used to work.


Crippling Wave can be seen in action on video here:

You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery:


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