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Monk Wave of Light Build with the Sunwuko set (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Jul 28, 2016 at 23:03 by Deadset 49 comments

Table of Contents

Previously stuck in the group-only support DPS role, the Sunwuko set receives a revision in Patch 2.4 to a viable soloing state. With this rework and the aid of several revised items, the Season 2 champion Wave of Light re-emerges in a new form. This ranged, sustained damage playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Wave of Light Icon Wave of Light Explosive Light Explosive Light 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 Mystic Ally Icon Mystic Ally Air Ally Air Ally 4 Mantra of Salvation Icon Mantra of Salvation Agility Agility
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Wave of Light Icon Wave of Light Explosive Light Explosive Light Right Mouse Button Dashing Strike Icon Dashing Strike Way of the Falling Star Way of the Falling Star 1 Blinding Flash Icon Blinding Flash Faith in the Light Faith in the Light 2 Sweeping Wind Icon Sweeping Wind Inner Storm Inner Storm 3 Mystic Ally Icon Mystic Ally Air Ally Air Ally 4 Mantra of Conviction Icon Mantra of Conviction Annihilation Annihilation
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

3. Rotation

The build begins runs with an activation of Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind, whose stacking mechanic will be maxed out by Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul instead of melee hits. Always keep in mind how the belt flips the basic mechanic of Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind and avoid dropping your stacks (and as a consequence, your Sunwuko damage and protection bonuses) by keeping distance from enemies. Use Dashing Strike Dashing Strike to seek out and draw the attention of massive groups of enemies, then begin your Wave of Light Wave of Light assault. To protect yourself in Greater Rifts, apply Epiphany Epiphany Desert Shroud Desert Shroud on cooldown and Dashing Strike Dashing Strike for the Crystal Fist Crystal Fist damage reduction, as well as 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. To satiate this Spirit-hungry setup you will enjoy the passive benefits of Inner Storm Inner Storm and Epiphany Epiphany, but once resources drop lower you should trigger Air Ally Air Ally for an instant refill.

4. Skills, Runes and Passives

The primary damage dealer of the build is the Spirit-intensive Wave of Light Wave of Light. This hard-hitting spender is among the skills benefiting the most from the 2.4 reworks, receiving damage multipliers from the revamped Sunwuko set, Tzo Krin's Gaze Tzo Krin's Gaze, the new Pinto's Pride Pinto's Pride bracer, and the new Kyoshiro's Blade Kyoshiro's Blade fist weapon. The preferred rune is the fire Explosive Light Explosive Light; while mathematically weaker than other runes, it benefits from the resource cost reduction of a cubed Cindercoat Cindercoat, allowing you to output the most Wave of Light Wave of Lights per point of Spirit.

Even with the Incense Torch of the Grand Temple Incense Torch of the Grand Temple resource cost reduction, Wave of Light Wave of Light spam will still take a toll on your Spirit reserves. A substantial part of your build and gearing choices will be focused on mitigating or recovering the Spirit expenditure in this generator-less setup.

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. Keeping enemies outside of Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind range is vital to maintain Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul automatic stacks, so the rune damage is irrelevant; with utility in mind, take Inner Storm Inner Storm for the 8 Spirit per second.

With both a passive and active component, Mystic Ally Mystic Ally will also aid your thirst for Spirit through the Air Ally Air Ally rune. Doubling the number of summons with The Crudest Boots The Crudest Boots, you increase the passive regeneration bonus to 8 per second, and the active bonus to 200 per use. While the summons themselves will serve as a distraction at best, their Spirit utility is invaluable.

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 Wave of Light Wave of Light 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. In speedruns, you can notably deviate into the Insight Insight rune for the amplified Spirit regeneration, or skip Epiphany Epiphany altogether for the additive damage increase of Blinding Flash Blinding Flash Faith in the Light Faith in the Light. The latter is done to avoid a persistent bug that nullifies Wave of Light Wave of Light damage in its drop location while Epiphany Epiphany is active — problem still present as of patch 2.4.2.

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 Crystal Fist Crystal Fist legendary power and the Blinding Speed Blinding Speed rune. Similarly to Epiphany Epiphany, you can shift away from survivability into 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 30 second timers for Epiphany Epiphany and Mystic Ally Mystic Ally 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 Wave of Light Wave of Light 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, take Near Death Experience Near Death Experience — 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 a nice bonus on top. If you are confident in your survivability during speedruns, you can swap this passive out for Exalted Soul Exalted Soul, giving you additional leeway for Wave of Light Wave of Light spam.

5. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

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. Rolls-wise, this Wave of Light Wave of Light-centric setup makes good use of Cooldown Reduction and skill damage bonuses. CDR is desired on Sunwuko's Balance Sunwuko's Balance alongside high Toughness stats; double Crit stats plus high Dexterity and Vitality are optimal on Sunwuko's Paws Sunwuko's Paws. Sunwuko's Soul Sunwuko's Soul and Sunwuko's Leggings Sunwuko's Leggings are pure Toughness slots. The ideal roll of Sunwuko's Shines Sunwuko's Shines includes double Crit stats and Fire elemental damage, alongside the guaranteed socket.

With Sunwuko's Shines Sunwuko's Shines denying you the option for the Endless Walk set and lacking a synergistic ranged generator to make Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint work in the setup, the Wave of Light Monk splits the remaining jewelry slots between offense and defense as best he can: Unity Unity to halve incoming damage, and Convention of Elements Convention of Elements to boost your damage. You need to keep Convention of Elements Convention of Elements's elemental rotation under close scrutiny and adopt a strategy of drawing monster attention during the off cycles, followed by major Spirit spending during the Fire cycle.

Both the protection of Unity Unity and rotation-based damage buff of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements are unfit for Torment speedfarming; they are best replaced by Avarice Band Avarice Band and Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan respectively. Avarice Band Avarice Band 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. In turn, Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan offers a consistent damage increase that is more suited to speedfarming.

In place of Sunwuko's Crown Sunwuko's Crown, you will be taking Tzo Krin's Gaze Tzo Krin's Gaze — the Spirit Stone that turns Wave of Light Wave of Light into a ranged skill. With the 2.4 revision it becomes mandatory for Wave of Light Wave of Light builds, as it increases Wave of Light Wave of Light damage by up to 150% 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 Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind stacks at a rate of 2 per second as long as Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind does not damage enemies, this belt dictates a large part of the playstyle by enforcing a distance between the Sweeping Wind Sweeping Wind vortex and the enemy lines.

Added in Patch 2.4, Pinto's Pride Pinto's Pride is a Wave of Light Wave of Light-specific bracer that doubles as a damage amplifier and a tool for crowd control, slowing enemies by the impressive 80% when struck with a pillar. Helping you keep foes at bay, Pinto's Pride Pinto's Pride makes it easier to keep the stacks from Kyoshiro's Soul Kyoshiro's Soul, and gives you a vital, effortless proc for Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped.

The Crudest Boots The Crudest Boots make a natural fit for the resource demands of the build, doubling your Mystic Ally Mystic Ally summons and thus increasing the effectiveness of Air Ally Air Ally to 8 Spirit per Second and 200 Spirit per activation. Notice that Wave of Light Wave of Light is a possible skill damage roll on the boots, so strive to get it as a fourth primary alongside toughness stats, and shift movement speed bonuses entirely to Paragon points.

Kyoshiro's Blade Kyoshiro's Blade is a crucial piece of a Wave of Light Wave of Light setup by bringing another 150% damage multiplier to the skill, and spiking your damage even further when fighting 3 or fewer enemies — indispensable versus Champions and Rift Guardians. Your other weapon will vary according to content: in Greater Rift progression, you will do well to include the Crystal Fist Crystal Fist for its massive damage reduction bonuses after using Dashing Strike Dashing Strike; in speedfarming, the slot is best filled by an In-geom In-geom for its unparalleled cooldown reduction utility.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Dexterity
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Dexterity
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Area Damage
  5. All Resistance (guaranteed)
Torso
  1. Dexterity
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Reduced damage from Elites
  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. Vitality
  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. Wave of Light Wave of Light 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. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Area Damage
Weapon #2
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Dexterity
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Area Damage

6. 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

7. Gems

Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance and either Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken for GR progression, or Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder for Torment speedruns.

  • 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. This gem will be easily procced by the slowing property of Pinto's Pride Pinto's Pride bracers.
  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance Zei's Stone of Vengeance is another independent multiplier, whose range-dependent amplification can be easily maxed out by the long reach of Tzo Krin's Gaze Tzo Krin's Gaze Wave of Light Wave of Lights. The level 25 property will add some minor control and safety to the build, as well as another proc for Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket in GRs. 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. The Wave of Light Monk does better than most builds in single target situations but still benefits decently from the gem — a testament to its quality. During speedfarming, this slot is best replaced by Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder, whose interaction with a worn Avarice Band Avarice Band (and potentially a cubed Goldwrap Goldwrap) will speed you up and keep you safe throughout the rift.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

8. Kanai's Cube

The one permanent item in your Kanai's Cube stays in the jewelry slot — the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur. The remaining two slots will vary depending on the content and your overall character power.

  • For Greater Rift progression, the weapon slot will be taken by the Incense Torch of the Grand Temple Incense Torch of the Grand Temple as its resource cost reduction bonuses soften the restrictive price of Wave of Light Wave of Light. During speedfarming fights will take significantly fewer casts to finish, enticing you to pick up The Furnace The Furnace for its elite damage bonuses, shortening battles even further. With a fully optimized character however (high Paragons, perfected and augmented gear, etc.), you can take your one shotting potential a step further by cubing the Act III cache legendary Envious Blade Envious Blade; its guaranteed crits against full health enemies will result in screen-wide annihilation on a decked out hero.
  • Unable to rely on generators for additional Spirit stability, the Wave of Light Monk generally leans on Cindercoat Cindercoat in the Cube; its unique bonus maximized to 30% from the extraction, this powerful resource management piece allows you to be trigger-happy with the fire rune Explosive Light Explosive Light while maintaining the Desert Shroud Desert Shroud defensive bonus. If you are speedrunning with Insight Insight and Exalted Soul Exalted Soul, you can swap this Cube slot into Goldwrap Goldwrap for the Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder-induced invulnerability, or simply take Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers to get through rifts quicker.
  • In the jewelry slot you will use the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties. Running the full 6-piece Sunwuko set bonus and Tzo Krin's Gaze Tzo Krin's Gaze while dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power is a tremendous boost to the build.

9. 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.

10. ChangeLog

  • 28 Jul. 2016: Revised the skill, passive and itemization guidelines, and included speedrunning options for Patch 2.4.2.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Updated the guide with additional skill, item and cube variations for Patch 2.4.1.
  • 24 Jan. 2016: Revised the build to reflect a general shift to fire damage.
  • 12 Jan. 2016: Updated the guide to reflect its Patch 2.4 buffs, the introduction of the several WoL-specific items, and Kanai's Cube changes.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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