Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates the complete Monkey King's Garb (a.k.a. Sunwuko) set bonuses, taking five of the six available SWK set pieces, and then adding two pieces of the craftable Captain Crimson's Trimmings set — Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Thrust. The auxiliary set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build. You will attain the complete set bonuses of this two-set amalgamation via Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube.
Rolls-wise, this Wave of Light-centric setup makes good use of Cooldown Reduction, skill and area damage bonuses. CDR is desired on Sunwuko's Balance alongside RCR and Area Damage; double Crit stats plus Area Damage are optimal on Sunwuko's Paws. Sunwuko's Soul, Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Thrust are pure Toughness slots. The ideal roll of Sunwuko's Shines includes double Crit stats and Lightning or Fire elemental damage (depending on your chosen WoL rune), alongside the guaranteed socket.
You have four legendary rings that bring tremendous value to the build. Ring of Royal Grandeur reduces the number of required worn set items for set bonus completion by one, allowing you to wear utility legendaries in competing slots. Convention of Elements brings a tremendous boost to your damage during the cycle of your chosen element. Unity halves incoming damage when paired another on the follower, plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor). Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac reduces cooldowns whenever you hit enemies with a Spirit spender, allowing perfect overlap of Epiphany. We suggest you wear Unity and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac and slot Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube as a start. When you grow more comfortable with the build, you can rotate either Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac or Unity for the cyclical damage increase of Convention of Elements.
The Crudest Boots are a crucial piece for the setup, albeit for a less than obvious reason. You will not be taking advantage of the doubled Mystic Ally summons, but the damage increase to Allies applies to the Rabid Strike clone — turning this build into an impromptu summoner, as the clone will deliver the bulk of your damage.
Added in Patch 2.4, Pinto's Pride is a 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 also gives you a vital, effortless proc for Bane of the Trapped.
Rabid Strike mimics your Wave of Light casts by spawning an Ally-like summon that mimics your Spirit spender; curiously, this Ally is affected by several Ally-related buffs like Bindings of the Lesser Gods and The Crudest Boots, resulting in a tremendously hard-hitting "pet" build. Your other weapon will vary according to content: in Greater Rift progression, you will do well to include Vengeful Wind in order to expand the burst potential coming from the Sunwuko set.
Bastions of Will set alteration
There is a notable alteration possible in the jewelry, the Bastions of Will set — Focus and Restraint. This will bring even more damage to the build at the cost of toughness, and will alter the rotation slightly as it requires the inclusion of a generator skill. This is generally done by replacing Cyclone Strike for Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation, and using Spirit Guards instead of Bindings of the Lesser Gods in the Cube.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
The build requires the standard investments in skill damage across the gear pieces that can roll the stat, helm and boots (max 30%). Aside from that, it requires as much Area Damage as you can fit (ideally 100%+) while still maintaining a high investment in Cooldown Reduction, which is by far the hardest and most demanding utility roll; for a setup using the Zodiac ring, try to obtain at least 50%+, achievable with a single roll on gear (i.e. shoulder) plus the Cpt. Crimson set, Diamond in helm, Paragons, Beacon of Ytar and using an Enchantress for Prophetic Harmony. In a non-Zodiac setup, you can push hard into CDR and still get 90%+ uptime of Epiphany by rolling CDR on pretty much any gear piece that can get it (except the amulet, where it will cost too valuable rolls) — shoulders, gloves, both rings, weapon and off-hand, plus the auxiliary bonuses described above. The problem is that you also have to balance it with Resource Cost Reduction, which should be present at least on shoulders, weapon and off-hand (45%+ with Cpt. Crimson factored in).
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 600-700k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with one high roll in your setup (i.e. bracer or weapon).
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Dexterity.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
Season 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Cooldown Reduction: 200 points.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Monks, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Dexterity-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that dump as much as you comfortably can into Dexterity, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness, or Maximum Spirit if you want to play around with a bigger resource pool.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction, Crit Chance, Crit Damage, and Attack Speed, in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Resource Cost Reduction and Area Damage first, then finish off with Life on Hit and Globe Radius.
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 bracers.
Introduced in Season 4, 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.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Emeralds in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Emeralds as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Dexterity in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Diamond. There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Since this is a fairly cooldown-dependent build, slot a Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. In your weapons, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Bindings of the Lesser Gods increase the damage of Mystic Ally (including the Ally-like clone from the Rabid Strike proc), against enemies affected by Cyclone Strike. As a result, you will have to Cyclone Strike at least once every 5 seconds.
In the jewelry slot you will use the Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties. Running the full 6-piece Sunwuko set bonus, the Cpt. Crimson 3-piece bonus, and The Crudest Boots while dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power is a tremendous boost to the build.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
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.
The preferred potions for this build are Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid (allowing you to break down Waller affixes that impede your Wave of Light damage) and Bottomless Potion of the Tower, whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Monks (due to Harmony) for optimal survivability.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: Guide revised and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Added Ethereal weapon recommendation for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: Added follower recommendation.
- 16 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Added Cpt. Crimson set as part of the itemization, significant changes to jewelry. Updated for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed for Season 18.
- 16 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 17 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
- 12 Nov. 2017: Revised gem recommendations to reflect the proper playstyle of the build.
- 28 Oct. 2017: Changed rings, weapon #2, and waist for Patch 2.6.1.
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