SWK LTK Monk BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your SWK LTK Monk in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.7 and Season 19.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build includes five of the six available pieces of the Monkey King's Garb (a.k.a. Sunwuko) set, complete with a cubed Ring of Royal Grandeur to attain the full set bonuses. Rolls-wise, this Lashing Tail Kick-centric setup makes good use of Area and Skill Damage bonuses. Area Damage and Cooldown Reduction are desired on Sunwuko's Balance; double Crit stats plus Area Damage 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.
With Sunwuko's Shines denying you the option for the Endless Walk set and the need for defense in melee range denying you Focus and Restraint, the Lashing Tail Kick Monk splits the remaining jewelry slots between utility and defense as best he can: Unity to halve incoming damage, and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac to reduce important cooldowns to a minimum.
In place of Sunwuko's Crown, you will be taking Gyana Na Kashu — the Spirit Stone that releases a fireball projectile when Lashing Tail Kicking, notably scaling with the skill and providing significant single target damage as a consequence. To further solidify its presence in the build, Gyana Na Kashu rolls with up to 100% additional Lashing Tail Kick damage as a free fifth affix.
The best-in-slot belt for the build when pushing Greater Rifts is the glass cannon favorite, The Witching Hour. What this belt lacks in unique properties, it makes up in unique rolls: it is the only item in the slot that can roll Attack Speed and Critical Damage. Both stats are immensely beneficial to your damage output, so seek as close to the maximum 7 IAS and 50 Crit Damage as you can.
With no particular bracer providing a direct legendary affix for Lashing Tail Kick and with the ease of applying a generator jab in between major attacks, the general recommendation for the bracer slot are the Spirit Guards for their massive damage reduction bonus.
Rivera Dancers have been added in Patch 2.4 as an item tailored after Lashing Tail Kick builds. Rolling up to 300% multiplicative damage increase to LTK and speeding the skill up with a guaranteed 50%, these boots are a fixture in the slot. Note that boots are able to roll additional Lashing Tail Kick % in their primaries, which is a recommended roll alongside the usual Toughness stats.
Reworked in Patch 2.4.2 and buffed further in 2.6.1, Scarbringer is a straightforward addition to any LTK build with its 600% multiplicative damage increase to Lashing Tail Kick on the first 7 enemies hit. Due to the Sweeping Wind-reliant mechanics of the Sunwuko set, your second weapon needs to be Vengeful Wind for the massive increase to your burst damage. Life per Hit and Area Damage are both highly desirable on the weapons, alongside the usual recommendations for high Damage Range and Dexterity.
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 innate roll on Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.
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 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.
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. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in melee range, and is otherwise triggered by Blinding Flash.
Gogok of Swiftness synergises well with the build, indirectly providing you with more cooldown resets and improved healing through your faster attacks. Your constant Lashing Tail Kick spam (see this build's skills page for more information) will easily cap the gem to its 15% Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction limit, ensuring optimal uptime of your numerous defensive abilities. The 2.4.1 addition of scaling Dodge chance to the gem is just survivability icing on the cake.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. 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. Aided by the Gyana Na Kashu Fireball, Lashing Tail Kick finds great advantage in picking up this gem. In lower Greater Rifts or during farming, you can easily swap this gem out for the well-rounded damage and toughness increase of Bane of the Powerful.
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|
Rabid Strike will preferably be stored in your weapon Cube slot due to its natural Crit Damage roll (preventing the perfect CDR plus RCR roll). While Epiphany is active, its legendary power will double up the Vulture Claw Kick destruction.
Cindercoat is a staple of resource intensive Fire builds, making it the preferable item for the armor Cube slot in Sunwuko LTK builds.
Sunwuko setups have to use the Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, in the jewelry slot. Running the full 6-piece Sunwuko set bonus and Gyana Na Kashu while dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power is a tremendous boost to that setup.
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.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Enriched the gearing page with additional information and improved stat tables. 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.
- 28 Oct. 2017: Switched to Sunwuko set for Patch 2.6.1.
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