SWK LTK Monk Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing SWK LTK Monk in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
|Lashing Tail Kick Sweeping Armada Cyclone Strike Implosion 1 Epiphany Desert Shroud 2 Sweeping Wind Inner Storm 3 Dashing Strike Blinding Speed 4 Mystic Ally Air Ally|
The build begins runs with an activation of Sweeping Wind, whose stacking mechanic will be maxed out by the build's melee range in combat. While it will take significant carelessness to waste them completely, always keep your Sweeping Wind stacks in mind and your dependence on them to reduce and deal damage from the Sunwuko set. Use Dashing Strike to find, begin or evade combat altogether; once you are in an engagement, group enemies up with Cyclone Strike (also proccing Bindings of the Lesser Gods) and begin your Lashing Tail Kick assault, mimicked by your Rabid Strike clone for incredible damage output. To protect yourself in Greater Rifts, apply Epiphany Desert Shroud as it runs out, and take advantage of the Blinding Speed dodge buff. Similarly to its Wave of Light counterpart, the Lashing Tail Kick build is resource intensive and will demand the passive regeneration of Inner Storm and Epiphany — but do not hesitate to pop Mystic Ally Air Ally for an instant refill.
Skills and Runes
The focal point of the build is Lashing Tail Kick, the main source of damage in the setup. Aided by the Sunwuko set bonuses, Rivera Dancers and the Patch 2.4.2 rework Scarbringer, this flashy melee spender is finally elevated to endgame potential, taken with the superior AoE of the Sweeping Armada rune.
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.
With its medium Spirit cost and scarcity of legendary-based resource cost reduction, you will have to devote a significant amount of your skills to the maintenance of Lashing Tail Kick spam.
With both a passive and active component, Mystic Ally will also aid your thirst for Spirit through the Air Ally rune. Doubling the number of summons with The Crudest Boots, you increase the passive regeneration bonus to 8 per second, and the active bonus to 200 per use. Unlike their Rabid Strike sibling, these summons will serve as a distraction at best in battle, but their Spirit utility is invaluable.
Sweeping Wind is an integral part of Sunwuko setups, as it reduces damage taken while active and its stacks scale your spender damage astronomically. While Sweeping Wind is central to the mechanics of the playstyle, the build does not focus on it as a source of damage — with that in mind, take Inner Storm for the 8 Spirit per second.
Epiphany rounds out the list of threefold value skills in this utility-packed build. It bolsters your mobility by allowing you to stick to your target, securing the kill. It increases your Spirit regeneration by 20 per second, ensuring your Lashing Tail Kick spam remains uninterrupted. Last but not least, it strengthens your defenses with powerful 50% damage reduction from the Desert Shroud rune while active. It will benefit immensely from Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, which allows for zero downtime of this crucial self-buff.
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.
Beacon of Ytar is a solid foundation for high skill uptime, providing a 20% chunk to your Cooldown Reduction. The sizable 60- and 15-second timers for Epiphany and Blinding Flash respectively, are important enough to demand a high CDR goal.
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 (see this build's gear page for more information).
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 Lashing Tail Kick 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.
Round out the passive selection with the Monk's cheat death passive — Near Death Experience — as failsafe. 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 another bonus on top.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 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 for Season 25.
- 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: Reviewed 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.
- 28 Oct. 2017: Updated skills to reflect the build switching to Sunwuko in Patch 2.6.1.
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