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 2.7.3 and Season 26.
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 Lashing Tail Kick-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 Physical elemental damage, 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 Physical element cycle. 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.
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.
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 quite valuable to the build. The same applies to The Crudest Boots, albeit for a less than obvious reason. You be taking advantage of the doubled Mystic Ally summons for Spirit restoration, but the damage increase to Allies also applies to the Rabid Strike clone — turning this build into an impromptu summoner, as the clone will deliver the bulk of your damage. Wear your stronger rolled item between these two, and cube the other.
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 (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.
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. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in melee range, and is otherwise triggered by Blinding Flash.
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|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
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 through a greatly empowered Ally-like clone.
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 Rivera Dancers 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.
- 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: 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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