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Monk Lashing Tail Kick Build with the Sunwuko set (Patch 2.4.3 / Season 9)

Last updated on Jan 20, 2017 at 09:00 by Deadset 70 comments

Table of Contents

Following several set reworks and the addition of a handful synergistic items over the course of the Patch 2.4 lifetime, Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick finally comes into form for Patch 2.4.2. This high speed, visceral melee spec is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The Sunuwko variant of the build (easier to obtain) requires the following set pieces:

The Legacy of Nightmares variant of the build (harder to gear for) requires the following set pieces:

1. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Lashing Tail Kick Icon Lashing Tail Kick Vulture Claw Kick Vulture Claw Kick Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Blinding Speed Blinding Speed 1 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud 2 Sweeping Wind Icon Sweeping Wind Inner Storm Inner Storm 3 Blinding Flash Icon Blinding Flash Replenishing Light Replenishing Light 4 Mantra of Salvation Icon Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Lashing Tail Kick Icon Lashing Tail Kick Vulture Claw Kick Vulture Claw Kick Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Way of the Falling Star Way of the Falling Star 1 Epiphany Icon Epiphany Insight Insight 2 Sweeping Wind Icon Sweeping Wind Inner Storm Inner Storm 3 Blinding Flash Icon Blinding Flash Faith in the Light Faith in the Light 4 Mantra of Conviction Icon Mantra of Conviction Annihilation Annihilation
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

2. Rotation

The build begins runs with an activation of Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind, whose stacking mechanic will be maxed out by the build's melee range in combat and by Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul when moving between packs. While it will take significant carelessness to waste them completely, always keep your Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind stacks in mind and your dependence on them to reduce and deal damage from the Sunwuko set. If you do not want to deal with stacks mechanics however, and do not mind farming ancient pieces exclusively, we have provided a Legacy of Nightmares variant that does not need Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind at all. Use Dashing Strike Dashing Strike to find, begin or evade combat altogether; once you are in an engagement, begin your Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick assault. To protect yourself in Greater Rifts, apply Epiphany Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud on cooldown, and take advantage of the Blinding Speed Blinding Speed dodge buff. When faced with damage spikes, pop your Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility active for additional Toughness. Similarly to its Wave of Light Wave of Light counterpart, the Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick build is resource intensive and will demand the passive regeneration of Inner Storm Inner Storm and Epiphany Epiphany, but once resources drop lower you should pop Blinding Flash Blinding Flash to spike back your Spirit.

3. Skills, Runes and Passives

The focal point of the build is Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick, the main source of damage in the setup. Aided by the Sunwuko set bonuses, Rivera Dancers Rivera Dancers and the Patch 2.4.2 rework Scarbringer Scarbringer, this flashy melee spender is finally elevated to endgame potential. Due to its highest damage potential with the 3-second DoT factored in, Vulture Claw Kick Vulture Claw Kick is the recommended rune.

With its medium Spirit cost and scarcity of legendary-based resource cost reduction, you will have to devote a significant amount of your skills and item rolls to the maintenance of Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick spam. With the following setup, you will be able to maintain Spirit without the need for a generator skill.

Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind is an integral part of Sunwuko setups, as it reduces damage taken while active and its stacks are consumed to increase your spender damage astronomically. You will be keeping stacks up either by engaging in melee range with Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick, or relying on Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul in between fights. While Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind is central to the mechanics of the playstyle, the build does not focus on it as a source of damage — with that in mind, take Inner Storm Inner Storm for the 8 Spirit per second. In case you opt for a Legacy of Nightmares build variant, you should drop Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind entirely — your damage and protection will not hinge on its stacks anymore. This allow you to change this skill slot for another utility skill, such as the long range pull of Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion (coupled with the damage reduction of Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy).

Blinding Flash Blinding Flash is a second utility cooldown, focusing on crowd control rather than dealing damage. Its base effect blinds regular enemies and enfeebles elites in a generous 20-yard radius — double the reach of Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick. The worn Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac will ensure perfect overlap of the 3-second blind duration, and while successive CC application suffers from diminishing returns, it will still result in significant safety. In Greater Rift progression, you will be taking the rune Replenishing Light Replenishing Light; augmented by The Laws of Seph The Laws of Seph in the Cube, it will instantly restore you to full Spirit in any significant fight when popped. During speedfarming, it is less likely to fight large numbers of enemies at once, and very unlikely to run into Spirit problems — a swap to the additive damage increase of the rune Faith in the Light Faith in the Light is advised.

Epiphany Epiphany rounds out the list of 'threefold value' skills in this utility-packed build. It bolsters your mobility by allowing you to stick to your target, securing the kill. It increases your Spirit regeneration by 20 per second, ensuring your Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick spam remains uninterrupted. Last but not least, it strengthens your defenses with powerful 50% damage reduction from the Desert Shroud Desert Shroud rune while active. Similarly to Blinding Flash Blinding Flash, it will benefit immensely from the worn Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, which allows for zero downtime of this crucial self-buff. In speedruns, you can notably deviate into the Insight Insight rune for the amplified Spirit regeneration.

Uncommon among the protective skills because of its spender nature, Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation passively increases all resistances by 20%, and adds 35% dodge chance through the Agility Agility rune. Its active component further increases resistances for a brief duration, but should be used sparingly due to the already high resource costs of the build. When speedfarming, you will replace the survivability of Mantra of Salvation Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility for Mantra of Conviction Mantra of Conviction. Its base additive damage increase is welcome, but negligible compared to the movement speed utility of the Annihilation Annihilation rune — which also affects the entire party, reinforcing its value when grouping up.

To solidify their mobility options, Monks have the most responsive and fluid movement tool in the game, Dashing Strike Dashing Strike. A charge-based skill on a low cooldown, it will take you to cursor location without fail, as long as there is no closed door between the starting point and the destination. With two charges stored by default you can skip unfavorable fights, seek out the next pack, or simply boost your survivability through the Blinding Speed Blinding Speed rune. Following the logic of Epiphany Epiphany, you can swap survivability for more utility depending on your confidence in handling the build — usually by taking Way of the Falling Star Way of the Falling Star.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Beacon of Ytar Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. The sizable 60- and 15-second timers for Epiphany Epiphany and Blinding Flash Blinding Flash respectively, are important enough to demand a high CDR goal.

A mainstay in the Monk arsenal of passives, Harmony Harmony fuels your All Resistance with 40% of the single elemental resistance per piece of gear (e.g. 100 Fire Resistance roll on the boots will add 100 to your sheet Fire Resistance and add 40 to your other resists). A well geared Monk will usually sport secondary resistances in all the gear slots that are able to roll them, adding significantly to his overall Toughness.

Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative is one of the best damage-oriented passives at the disposal of Monks, providing you with a temporary attack speed increase when engaging enemies over 75% health, translating into faster Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick output for the Sunwuko Monk. As you get more comfortable with the build, you will learn to kite into and pull additional enemies or freshly spawned boss adds to effectively extend the benefits from Seize the Initiative Seize the Initiative.

You have some flexibility in your final passive slot. While pushing Greater Rifts, you can either take Near Death Experience Near Death Experience or Exalted Soul Exalted Soul — depending on certainty in your own Toughness. Near Death Experience Near Death Experience is the standard recommendation, as the cheat death passive available to Monks. On the standard 60-second cooldown, it will prevent a lethal situation and restore you to 35% Life and Spirit instead. The 2-second immunity to damage and crowd control impairing effects is another bonus on top. If you are pushing to the GR extremes of a Softcore character or simply doing speedruns, you can swap this passive out for Exalted Soul Exalted Soul, giving you additional leeway for Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick spam. Last but not least, you can consider options like Fleet Footed Fleet Footed (additional speed) or Relentless Assault Relentless Assault (additional burst) when farming normal rifts.

4. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

In its default, easier-to-gear form, the build includes five of the six available pieces of the Monkey King's Garb (a.k.a. Sunwuko) set, complete with a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur to attain the full set bonuses. Its alternate, Legacy of Nightmares set based variant, simply equips synergistic legendaries in the slots that would be otherwise occupied by set pieces. Rolls-wise, this Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick-centric setup makes good use of Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, Area Damage and skill damage bonuses. High Dexterity, CDR, RCR and Area damage are all desired on your shoulders, whether they be Sunwuko's Balance Sunwuko's Balance (Sunwuko variant), or Lefebvre's Soliloquy Lefebvre's Soliloquy (LoN variant). Double Crit stats plus Resource Cost Reduction and high Dexterity are optimal on the gloves — either Sunwuko's Paws Sunwuko's Paws (Sunwuko variant), or Magefist Magefist (LoN variant). With a Sunwuko setup, your chest and pants (Sunwuko's Soul Sunwuko's Soul and Sunwuko's Leggings Sunwuko's Leggings) should be pure Toughness slots; consider including Life Regeneration on either (or both) of them to account for the generally poor life sustain of the build. In a LoN setup, you can lean towards offense with Cindercoat Cindercoat and fire damage Swamp Land Waders Swamp Land Waders. Swamp Land Waders Swamp Land Waders can be troublesome to obtain, since they are a Witch Doctor-specific drop, and require an alt to farm. You can temporarily work with any well-rolled ancient legendary pants.

In a Sunwuko setup, your amulet slot will be taken by Sunwuko's Shines Sunwuko's Shines; in the LoN variant, you will be able to take a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with a synergistic fifth passive like Exalted Soul Exalted Soul or Relentless Assault Relentless Assault. Regardless, the ideal amulet roll includes double Crit stats and Fire elemental damage, alongside the guaranteed socket.

In a Sunwuko setup, Sunwuko's Shines Sunwuko's Shines denies you the option for the Endless Walk set and the need for defense in melee range denies you Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. Thus, the Sunwuko Lashing Tail Kick Monk splits the remaining jewelry slots between utility and defense as best he can: Unity Unity to halve incoming damage, and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac to reduce important cooldowns to a minimum. During normal rift farming, the protection of Unity Unity will not be necessary and its slot is best taken by Avarice Band Avarice Band. The latter is a cache legendary from Act III bounties that offers considerable utility in the form of pickup radius, synergizing perfectly with a gemmed Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder.

As previously mentioned, your alternative jewelry setup is the Legacy of Nightmares set — a 2.4 rework, allowing you to run any legendary item combination while not losing out on the damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6 piece sets. As long as the two rings — The Wailing Host The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted Litany of the Undaunted — are the only active set bonus you have equipped, every Ancient item will increase your damage dealt by 100% and reduce damage taken by 4%. In the stats, try to obtain a combination of Crit stats and flat Damage range.

Your head slot will be taken up by Gyana Na Kashu Gyana Na Kashu — the Spirit Stone that releases a fireball projectile when Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kicking, notably scaling with the skill and providing significant single target damage as a consequence. To further solidify its presence in the build, Gyana Na Kashu Gyana Na Kashu rolls with up to 100% additional Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick damage as a free fifth affix.

One of the 2.4 additions, Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul is a belt targeted at Sunwuko Monks. Building up stacks at a rate of 2 per second as long as Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind does not damage enemies, the belt allows you to maintain that crucial reserve in between fights. Naturally, in a Legacy of Nightmares setup you can ignore this belt altogether and simply run a strong offense piece like The Witching Hour The Witching Hour.

With no particular bracer providing a direct legendary affix for Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick, the build is free to turn to any of the utility staples. The general recommendation are the Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers, whose elite spawning property will both shorten the time to the Guardian fight in Greater Rifts, as well as provide a consistent stream of In-geom In-geom procs during speedfarming. In a LoN setup where you will likely be running Cyclone Strike Cyclone Strike Implosion Implosion, you should turn to Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers for the damage amplification against displaced enemies.

Rivera Dancers Rivera Dancers have been added in Patch 2.4 as an item tailored after this Sunwuko build variation. Rolling up to 300% multiplicative damage increase to Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick and speeding the skill up with a fixed 50%, these boots are a fixture in the slot. Note that boots are able to roll additional Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick % in their primaries, which is a recommended roll alongside the usual Toughness stats.

Two necessary weapons complete your itemization with powerful bonuses for the build. Reworked in Patch 2.4.2, Scarbringer Scarbringer is a straightforward addition to both variations of the build with its 300% multiplicative damage increase to Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick to the first few enemies hit (notice the variability in the legendary affix and strive to obtain the maximum 7 enemy damage increase). In a Sunwuko setup, Vengeful Wind Vengeful Wind will be necessary as your second weapon in order to maintain Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind active, considering the lighting-fast attack speed of Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick chewing through your stacks. The second weapon in a LoN setup should Crystal Fist Crystal Fist — a powerful protective piece that cuts damage in half at the mere cost of regular Dashing Strike Dashing Strikes. Resource cost reduction and Area Damage are both highly desirable on the weapons, alongside the usual recommendations for high Damage Range and Dexterity. You can also consider a Life per Hit roll on either (or both) of them to assist in sustaining life.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Resource Cost Reduction
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. All Resistance (guaranteed)
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Life Regeneration
  5. Secondary Resistance (Physical preferred)
Wrists
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Fire Damage
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Resource Cost Reduction
  5. Area Damage
Waist
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Secondary Resistance (Physical preferred)
  4. Armor
Legs
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. 2 Sockets
  4. Secondary Resistance (Physical preferred)
  5. Armor
Feet
  1. Dexterity
  2. Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick Damage
  3. Vitality
  4. Secondary Resistance (Physical preferred)
  5. Armor
Amulet
  1. Socket (guaranteed)
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Fire Damage
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Damage Range
  5. Dexterity
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Damage Range
  5. Dexterity
Weapon #1
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Resource Cost Reduction
  5. Life per Hit
  6. Area Damage
Weapon #2
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Resource Cost Reduction
  5. Life per Hit
  6. Area Damage

5. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Dexterity
  3. Maximum Spirit (up to personal preference)
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Armor
  3. Life %
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Resource Cost Reduction
  2. Area Damage
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find

6. Gems

The fixture in your gem slots is Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped. Your remaining jewelry sockets will depend on the content, with Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness and Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken being preferable for GR progression, and Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful — for speedfarming.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in melee range, and is otherwise triggered by Blinding Flash Blinding Flash.
  • Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness synergises well with the build, indirectly providing you with more cooldown resets and improved healing through your faster attacks. Your constant Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick spam will easily cap the gem to its 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction limit, ensuring optimal uptime of your numerous defensive abilities. The 2.4.1 addition of scaling Dodge chance to the gem is just survivability icing on the cake. In Torment runs, this slot is best taken by Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, whose interaction with the cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band will keep you rich and sped up throughout the run.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Aided by the Gyana Na Kashu Gyana Na Kashu Fireball, Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick finds great advantage in picking up this gem. In lower Greater Rifts or during farming, you can easily swap this gem out for the well-rounded damage and toughness increase of Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

7. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows:

  • Your weapon slot will vary depending on your gear setup and content you are clearing. During Greater Rift progression with the Sunwuko set, it is recommended that you take The Furnace The Furnace for its 50% additional elite damage affix, in order to speed up Champion and Rift Guardian fights without overloading on Attack Speed and endangering Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind stacks. In a LoN setup, you can freely run Flying Dragon Flying Dragon and double your attack speed with a separate multiplier, producing a tremendous Lashing Tail Kick Lashing Tail Kick output. During speedruns, In-geom In-geom shines over your other options by cutting 10 seconds off all your cooldowns after killing an elite, essentially nullifying resource and mobility concerns for a generous 15-second period — usually enough to keep the procs going.
  • Arguably your strongest source of Spirit regeneration will be hidden in the armor slot of the Cube: The Laws of Seph The Laws of Seph take the resource gains from Blinding Flash Blinding Flash Replenishing Light Replenishing Light to new heights, adding the guaranteed maximum 165 Spirit on use of the skill. Together, the cubed item and the rune should be able to restore you to full reserve in most fights.
  • Sunwuko setups have to use the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, in the jewelry slot. Running the full 6-piece Sunwuko set bonus and Gyana Na Kashu Gyana Na Kashu while dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power is a tremendous boost to that setup. LoN variations cannot wear Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac by definition, and since its cooldown resetting power is indispensable to the build, it will occupy the cube jewelry slot.

8. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

9. ChangeLog

  • 20 Jan. 2017: Made the existence of a LoN variation a little more prominent.
  • 06 Jan. 2017: Updated the guide to include the LoN gearing variant.
  • 21 Oct. 2016: No changes needed for Season 8.
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