Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Wave of Light Pillar of the Ancients Cyclone Strike Implosion 1 Epiphany Desert Shroud 2 Sweeping Wind Inner Storm 3 Dashing Strike Blinding Speed 4 Serenity Ascension|
The build begins runs with an activation of Sweeping Wind, whose stacking mechanic dictates the Sunwuko damage and protection bonuses. Use Dashing Strike to seek out and draw the attention of massive groups of enemies, then group them up 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 rely on Epiphany Desert Shroud for consistent protection (make sure to re-apply it only when it runs out to avoid wasting Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs), and Serenity Ascension for incoming bursts of damage. Your resources will be managed through a combination of the passive Epiphany effect and Inner Storm restoration.
Skills and Runes
The primary damage dealer of the build is the Spirit-intensive Wave of Light. This hard-hitting spender has two viable runes to push and farm with; for the absolute highest tiers of progression, you should be using Pillar of the Ancients, since its lingering effect will deal the most damage out of all the runes. For improved AoE and faster runs, you should be using Explosive Light.
To clump up enemies for the convenience of your Wave of Light destruction, as well as to trigger the bonuses of 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. Note that if you opt for a Focus and Restraint variant of this build (as discussed in the Gear page), you will drop Cyclone Strike for Way of the Hundred Fists Assimilation, and use Spirit Guards in the Cube instead.
Even with the Incense Torch of the Grand Temple resource cost reduction, Wave of Light spam will still take a toll on your Spirit reserves. A substantial part of your gearing choices will be focused on mitigating or recovering the Spirit expenditure in this setup (see this build's gear page for more information), but resource management will affect skills as well:
- Sweeping Wind is an integral part of Sunwuko setups, as it reduces damage taken while active and its stacks determine the damage increase of your spender. While crucial to have on your bar, the damage value of the particular rune is irrelevant; with utility in mind, take Inner Storm for the 8 Spirit per second.
- Epiphany is an almost universal addition to Monk builds, since its default crowd control immunity, Spirit regeneration bonus (20/second) and mobility enhancement (dashing you to nearby targets of your choice) are joined by the massive 50% damage reduction bonus of the Desert Shroud rune for an irresistible package. Add to this the Epiphany-dependent clone from Rabid Strike, and this skill becomes a fixture to your lineup.
Serenity is one of the most potent defensive skills in the Monk arsenal, allowing you a brief window of invulnerability on a reasonable 16-second base cooldown. Note that the downtime begins after the active effect expires, preventing permanent uptime exploitation. Thus, take the longer lasting Ascension rune and time its use when you expect short but powerful bursts of damage. If you do not like the timing playstyle of Serenity, you can viably alternate to Mantra of Salvation for a passive increase to all resistances by 20%, along with a 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 spending of the build.
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.
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.
Cooldown reduction is in high demand for this build, as you will be trying to get back into the CC-safety of Epiphany as soon as possible. To that end, Beacon of Ytar becomes an automatic inclusion.
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 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.
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.
- 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 and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 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: Skill setup moved to a non-generator setup, Epiphany added back. 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: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
- 12 Nov. 2017: Updated the passive skill recommendations.
- 28 Oct. 2017: Replaced Epiphany with Crippling Wave for Patch 2.6.1.
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