LoD WoL Monk Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing LoD WoL Monk in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
|Wave of Light Explosive Light Mystic Ally Air Ally 1 Cyclone Strike Implosion 2 Dashing Strike Blinding Speed 3 Epiphany Desert Shroud 4 Mantra of Salvation Agility|
The build revolves entirely around the mass destructive capabilities of Wave of Light, and your ability to create massive fights that make the skill shine. Seek out large groups of monsters by using Dashing Strike around the rift, scouting from area to area and attracting their attention. Once you get spot a good pull, draw them in with Cyclone Strike (also proccing Bindings of the Lesser Gods) and begin the Wave of Light assault, mimicked by your Rabid Strike clone for incredible damage output. You will be protected at all times by the combined power of Epiphany Desert Shroud and Mantra of Salvation Agility, the former of which you should activate on cooldown, and the latter — whenever you anticipate burst coming your way. Lastly, once your Spirit drops low from the Wave of Light barrage, pop the Air Ally for an instant refill.
Skills and Runes
The primary damage dealer of the build is the Spirit-intensive Wave of Light. This hard-hitting spender is among the skills benefiting the most from the 2.6.1 reworks, receiving damage multipliers from the revamped Sunwuko set, Tzo Krin's Gaze, Pinto's Pride, Kyoshiro's Blade and the buffed Incense Torch of the Grand Temple. You have two viable runes to choose from for high-end Greater Rift progression. This guide assumes you will use the high AoE and relatively more convenient to use Explosive Light. However, you can also alter to the harder hitting, damage over time-oriented Pillar of the Ancients, and adjust elemental rolls on gear accordingly.
With both a passive and active component, Mystic Ally will also aid your thirst for Spirit through the Air Ally rune. Doubling the number of summons with 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.
Uncommon among the protective skills because of its spender nature, Mantra of Salvation passively increases all resistances by 20%, and adds 35% dodge chance through the 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. There are two notable alterations for this slot; you can forego the Mantra's protection for an additional damage buff via Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation, or exchange the Mantra's consistency for the timed invulnerability of Serenity Ascension.
To solidify their mobility options, Monks have the most responsive and fluid movement tool in the game, 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 rune.
Epiphany is the centerpiece defensive cooldown in the 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 and Cyclone Strike activations will always be available. And perhaps most important of all, the Desert Shroud rune strengthens your defenses with 50% damage reduction while active. Add to this the Epiphany-dependent clone from Rabid Strike, and this skill becomes a fixture to your lineup.
To clump up enemies for the convenience of your Wave of Light barrage and to trigger the bonuses of Lefebvre's Soliloquy and Bindings of the Lesser Gods (whose bonus applies to the Rabid Strike-spawned Ally), you will be using Cyclone Strike with one of the longest range pulls in the game — the 34-yard Implosion rune.
A mainstay in the Monk arsenal of passives, 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 (see this build's gear page for more information).
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 output for the WoL 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.
Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. This assists Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac in cutting down your sizable cooldowns, like the 60-second cooldown of Epiphany, or the 30-second cooldown of Mystic Ally.
When pushing Greater Rifts in early seasonal progression, take Near Death Experience in your final slot — 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. As you perfect your character and grow comfortable with losing this passive, you should alternate this slot to the valuable dodge increase of The Guardian's Path.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: Guide revised for Season 25.
- 21 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 16 Nov. 2020: No changes required for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Near Death Experience added as a final passive. Updated for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide added.
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