Monk Sunwuko (Monkey King's Garb) Fresh 70 Starter Build (Patch 2.7.6 / Season 29)
This build is a starter build for fresh Level 70 Monks who have access to the Sunwuko (Monkey King's Garb) set.
This guide is part of our Monk Seasonal Progress Guide, which also includes a leveling build and other early builds for fresh 70 characters.
The Sunwuko starting build leans on the Sweeping Wind powers provided by the set as early as possible, while remaining adaptable to legendaries you find, craft and gamble along the way — all due to the set's flexibility.
The following build assumes you will assemble the build in 2-piece increments, similarly to how Haedrig's Gift would dole the set out. Haderig's Gift is a seasonal participation reward that gives you a full class-specific set as you complete Chapters II, III and IV of the Seasonal Journey (accessible via the leaf-shaped icon in the top right corner). The cadence of early natural character progression is also not too far off the listed strategy, so even if the set is not part of Haedrig's Gift, you can put the advice below to good use.
Build at the 2-piece Bonus
|Fists of Thunder Quickening Lashing Tail Kick Vulture Claw Kick 1 Sweeping Wind Inner Storm 2 Dashing Strike Way of the Falling Star 3 Exploding Palm Shocking Grasp 4 Mantra of Healing Circular Breathing
At the 2-piece Sunwuko bonus, you will have a build that matches the leveling setup. Getting Sunwuko set from Haedrig's Gifts is quite possibly the best augmentation to a build that already incorporates Sweeping Wind. Quite unusually for class-specific sets, Sunwuko grants its damage reduction bonus at the 2-piece. While this deprives you of an early leap in damage potential, it allows you to forego gambling for protective pieces or caring to adapt survivability in your skills for quite a while. Your main damage dynamic remains unchanged from leveling as you Dashing Strike into a pack of enemies, Exploding Palm a weaker target and blow it up with Lashing Tail Kick, likely obliterating the whole group with it.
The remainder of your rotation is pretty self-explanatory. Mantra of Healing Circular Breathing plus Chant of Resonance, Exalted Soul and Sweeping Wind Inner Storm will all passively regenerate you Spirit. Get used to maintaining Sweeping Wind active, as it will be the basis of any Sunwuko playstyle.
At this point, no additional helpful legendary items are assumed. You might have lucked out during the leveling journey (especially if you followed the gambling and crafting advice in our Seasonal Guide), or in your first couple of farming sessions with items such as:
- Wave of Light combo items — if you lucked into crafting an Incense Torch of the Grand Temple and gambled a complementary Pinto's Pride at level 1, you likely leveled with Wave of Light and should use it over LTK. This is a best case scenario.
- Tempest Rush combo items — if you lucked into crafting a Balance and gambled a complementary Cesar's Memento at level 1, use Tempest Rush as your Spirit spender, and use Blinding Flash Replenishing Light over Exploding Palm to trigger the bracer's effect.
- If you gambled Gungdo Gear at level 1, stick with Exploding Palm until you gather the full 6-piece Sunwuko and all the complementary items for at least one of the dedicated spenders ( Wave of Light, Lashing Tail Kick or Tempest Rush).
- If you gambled Rivera Dancers at level 1, stay on Lashing Tail Kick for the remainder of your Sunwuko usage.
- If you gambled The Crudest Boots at level 1, you should use Mystic Ally Air Ally over Exploding Palm. If you got a complementary Bindings of the Lesser Gods at level 17, you should also get Cyclone Strike in the build over the Mantra.
Build at the 4-piece Bonus
|Fists of Thunder Quickening Wave of Light Explosive Light 1 Sweeping Wind Inner Storm 2 Dashing Strike Way of the Falling Star 3 Exploding Palm Shocking Grasp 4 Mantra of Healing Circular Breathing
At the 4-piece Sunwuko bonus, you get a damage proc from the set that will likely be able to kill most monsters in the difficulty you are in. If it does, you can safely drop Exploding Palm at the least, and focus on increasing utility by getting Cyclone Strike in the build.
It is also a good time to get used to adapting Dashing Strike runes to the content you are doing. Way of the Falling Star is quite versatile, but it shines the most during Bounties, where the additional movement speed buff pulls ahead in the long distance running. The triple charge of Quicksilver is preferable during standard Rifts, where levels are short and sweet and you can expect to get cooldown buffs on the regular. When you push against the upper limits of your character equipment, use Blinding Speed; if you are in need of more damage, go with Radiance.
At this point, it is not unreasonable to assume you have lucked into at least one synergistic item for Sunwuko-buffed spenders. This can solidify your build direction as you work towards the 6-piece bonus. Baseline items for the three Sunwuko variants include:
- Incense Torch of the Grand Temple and Pinto's Pride for a Wave of Light-based build;
- Balance and Cesar's Memento for a Tempest Rush-based build;
- Scarbringer and Rivera Dancers for a Lashing Tail Kick-based build.
Build at the 6-piece Bonus
|Fists of Thunder Quickening Wave of Light Explosive Light 1 Sweeping Wind Inner Storm 2 Dashing Strike Way of the Falling Star 3 Cyclone Strike Implosion 4 Mantra of Healing Circular Breathing
At the 6-piece Sunwuko bonus, you finally get a damage multiplication bonus to the skills you actually use. At this point, it is important to decide which of the three possible Sunwuko variations you will take your build into. This decision will be dictated by the items you found on your journey so far, most of which have been described above. You can find additional details to get a Wave of Light-based build going in the section just below.
At this point, your build should be solid enough that you do not need a secondary damage dealer from Exploding Palm. Use Cyclone Strike Implosion instead, which gathers enemies in convenient clumps for your AoE destruction.
Please refer to our endgame Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk guide to get an in-depth explanation of the necessary rotation, skills, passives, gear and gems, as well as details like stat priorities and breakpoints that will get this beginner Sunwuko WoL build into endgame Greater Rift pushing.
How to Get This Build Going?
In this section, we'll briefly go over how to kickstart this build into reality; which items you should aim for with priority when farming and gambling, and what is their relative priority for the functioning of this spec. Note that these suggestions are exclusively aimed at getting you up and running into endgame farming, and might not reflect the gear you need to wear for high-end Greater Rift solo or group pushing. This section also assumes a fresh Season's start, which usually is the point where most players work on assembling their first build with a particular set.
If the Sunwuko set is part of the Haedrig's Gift for the Season, your simplest and most straightforward path to assembling the build is to complete the Seasonal Journey chapters up to Chapter IV. The Seasonal Journey chapters will gradually give you a complete class-specific set, giving 2-3 pieces for Chapters II, III and IV.
From the pre-game menu, choose and do this week's Challenge Rift. When successfully completed, this weekly event will grant you 5,1 million Gold, 475 Blood Shards, 370 Reusable Parts, 350 Arcane Dust, 125 Veiled Crystals, 35 Death's Breaths, and 15 of each Bounty cache material: Khanduran Rune, Caldeum Nightshade, Arreat War Tapestry, Corrupted Angel Flesh, and Westmarch Holy Water. This will allow you some early Seasonal leeway to extract and reforge items in Kanai's Cube, speeding up the assembly of this build with the items recommended below.
Having some materials at your disposal, either from farming or the Challenge Rift, is particularly important when you get duplicate pieces of your desired set. When you do, you can use Kanai's Cube Skill of Nilfur recipe (10x Forgotten Souls, 10x Death's Breaths, 1x Set item) to convert into another item from the same set. You should never salvage duplicate pieces of a desired set before you have it assembled.
In order to assemble a Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk, you should do the following.
- Gather the full 6-piece Sunwuko set using the advice above, or by spending Blood Shards at Kadala. In order of gamble chance, you should spend for: Shoulders, Pants, Gloves, Chest, Helm, and Amulet. A trick you can also use is to gamble for duplicate pieces with an easier gamble chance (i.e., Shoulders) and convert them into another piece from the same set using the Skill of Nilfur recipe in Kanai's Cube.
- Upgrade rare (Hope of Cain recipe in Kanai's Cube) Daibos to get Incense Torch of the Grand Temple, which you might have lucked into with your level 1 crafts as per our Seasonal Starter Guide. This weapon provides the basis of your resource management and damage dealing in a Wave of Light-based build.
- Gamble Bracers for Pinto's Pride, which also might have been your lucky find from the level 1 gambling. These bracers bolster damage and provide indirect safety with their Slowing effect. Bracers gambling can also net you Nemesis Bracers, which are a cornerstone farming item.
- Upgrade rare Fist Weapons to get Vengeful Wind and/or Kyoshiro's Blade. Both these weapons will skyrocket the performance of a Sunwuko WoL build, as the former ties into your set mechanic and can be adapted to any SWK build, while the latter simply provides upfront burst that can carry you through the difficulty levels.
- Gamble Belts for Kyoshiro's Soul; this is a convenience item that will mostly carry you through early farming with the Sunwuko set and will allow you to focus on damage rather than monitoring Sweeping Wind stacks. While gambling Belts, you can also stumble into Goldwrap, which is a cornerstone standard rift farming item that makes you nearly invulnerable as you pick up gold.
- Upgrade rare Spirit Stones for Tzo Krin's Gaze for a skill damage boost and additional farming convenience — it turnes Wave of Light into a ranged skill.
- Upgrade rare One-handed Swords to get In-geom; doing this on a level 1 Demon Hunter alt will improve your chances due to their lowest loot pool of legendary swords.
- Do Act I bounties to attain the act-specific Ring of Royal Grandeur from Bounty caches. This will be helpful either in completing the basic set bonus, or mixing other helpful sets in (Aughilds) as described in the Sunwuko WoL Gear page. Bounties will net you the craftable set recipes to begin with, so you will be killing two birds with one stone. Bounties will also net you Avarice Band (Act III), another farming-oriented staple for most builds and classes, this one included.
- While largely undesirable due to high costs, gambling or upgrading rare Jewelry is also possible; Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Unity and Convention of Elements will all bring massive damage bumps to the build, with other standout pieces that can also substitute or be temporarily helpful in the face of Stone of Jordan, Squirt's Necklace, or Oculus Ring and The Flavor of Time for your Follower.
- 15 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Reviewed for Season 28.
- 10 Dec. 2021: Thorough rework for Season 25.
- 23 Jul. 2021: Reviewed for Season 24.
- 02 Apr. 2021: Reviewed for Season 23.
- 13 Mar. 2020: Reviewed for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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