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 2.6.9 and Season 21.
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 Waders. 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 and skill damage bonuses. CDR is desired on Sunwuko's Balance alongside high Toughness stats; double Crit stats plus high Dexterity and CDR are optimal on Sunwuko's Paws. Sunwuko's Soul and Sunwuko's Leggings are pure Toughness slots. The ideal roll of Sunwuko's Shines includes double Crit stats and Fire elemental damage, alongside the guaranteed socket.
As far as jewelry is concerned, the popular sets — Endless Walk and Bastions of Will — are denied to the build, due to the mandatory Sunwuko's Shines and lack of a generator skill. In their stead, you will be using a trio of legendary rings: Ring of Royal Grandeur, which reduces the number of required worn set items for set bonus completion by one; Convention of Elements, for the tremendous boost to your damage during its Cold cycle; and finally, Unity for the damage reduction it provides when paired another on the follower, plus an immortality relic for him (i.e. Enchanting Favor. You will be wearing your best two of these rings, and cubing the third — ideally wearing the Unity and Convention of Elements, and cubing the RoRG.
In place of Sunwuko's Crown, you will be taking Tzo Krin's Gaze — the Spirit Stone that turns Wave of Light into a ranged skill. With the 2.4 revision it becomes mandatory for Wave of Light builds, as it increases Wave of Light damage by up to 150% as a free fifth affix.
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.
Kyoshiro's Blade is a crucial piece of a 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 Vengeful Wind in order to expand the burst potential coming from the Sunwuko set.
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 in this case, with the added benefit of Tzo Krin's Gaze rolling with Wave of Light damage as an innate roll). 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; try to obtain at least 50%+, but in an optimized scenario, break past the 60% CDR point — this will require a solid CDR roll on pretty much any gear piece that can get it aside from the amulet, plus Diamond in the helm and maxed out CDR in Paragons. Dedicated Resource Cost Reduction Rolls should not be necessary, and you can leave the stat to the minor gains from Paragon and the Cpt. Crimson set.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 500-600k; 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 isn't 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.
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 Gold Find.
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.
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 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. An alternative for this slot, if you choose a more defensive and close range playstyle (at the cost of some of your damage potential) is to slot Esoteric Alteration here.
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.
Tucked away in the Cube you have another source of resource cost mitigation, allowing you to skip on that stat on gear: Cindercoat, whose 30% RCR on Fire skills specifically makes Explosive Light spam quite a bit more manageable.
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 Tzo Krin's Gaze 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.
- 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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