SWK Tempest Rush Monk BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your SWK Tempest Rush Monk in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
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 is a Tempest Rush-centric build that makes good use of skill damage, Resource and Cooldown Reduction bonuses. Tempest Rush bonuses are possible on both Sunwuko's Crown and Captain Crimson's Waders, and should be sought alongside the usual crit chance on the helm and toughness stats on the boots. Both Area Damage and Resource Cost Reduction are highly desirable on the shoulders (see below) and Sunwuko's Paws. Get both stats on the shoulder piece ASAP, and pick either stat for the gloves for the majority of character progression — but try to acquire a quadfecta (Crit Chance, Crit Damage, RCR, and rolling off Dexterity for Area Damage) when you attain high Paragons. Get pure toughness stats on your Sunwuko's Soul and Sunwuko's Leggings. Finally, the ideal roll of Sunwuko's Shines includes double Crit stats and Cold 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, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac for its Cooldown resetting mechanics, which feed into the valuable CDs of the build. You will be wearing your best two of these rings, and cubing the third — ideally wearing the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac and Convention of Elements, and cubing the RoRG.
As previously mentioned in the guide, Cesar's Memento is the dedicated Tempest Rush bracer and a mandatory addition to the build. Note that it requires the application of a hard crowd control effect (Stun, Freeze or Blind), making the inclusion of a low-cooldown CC skill like Blinding Flash necessary (see this build's skills page for more information).
Mantle of Channeling is a build subtype staple, offering a substantial 25% damage increase, along with an equal amount of damage reduction while channeling. This is virtually a permanent bonus, as you will be using Tempest Rush throughout the run.
Vengeful Wind is a crucial piece of a Sunwuko set-based setup, as it expands the damage potential of your spenders through the interaction of the Sweeping Wind stacks and the Sunwuko 6-piece set bonus. Your other weapon will be the reworked Won Khim Lau, which acts as both a damage multiplier for Tempest Rush, and an automated source of Cyclone Strike, which adds tremendous value in any form of content by creating extra monster density (do not mind the lack of synergy with its lightning elemental damage bonus, it is an extra guaranteed roll on top).
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
Rolls-wise, this Tempest Rush-centric playstyle is quite demanding in terms of Skill and Area Damage juggling, as well as the balance of Resource Cost and Cooldown Reductions. Try to reach a minimum of 47% CDR, achievable with one CDR roll on gear (the Zodiac ring), as well as Beacon of Ytar, the Cpt. Crimson CDR set bonus, and the 10% CDR in your Paragon levels. This allows you to spend the remaining utility roll slots on Resouce Cost Reduction (shoulders, gloves, Flawless Royal Topaz in helm), optimally reaching 45%+ RCR.
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), as well as the Soothing Breeze rune on the automated Cyclone Strike casts; note its synergy with Health Globe healing bonus stats, and try to obtain them in your gear's Secondary stats if you can.
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.
Season 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Cooldown Reduction: 200 points.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Monks, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Dexterity-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
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, where the Tempest Rush Monk naturally fights at.
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. When doing lower tier content (standard rift farming or speed GRs), Bane of the Powerful should be used in this socket for a well-rounded, speed clearing-oriented bonus.
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. Due to the significant resource consumption in this build, you should slot a Flawless Royal Topaz 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.
One of your biggest damage boosters will remain hidden in the Cube's weapon slot. Balance is a daibo that boosts Tempest Rush damage and guarantees its crits against 3 targets or less — an indispensable bonus against Rift Guardians.
You have some flexibility in the armor Cube slot; for the absolute high end of Greater Rift progression, Stone Gauntlets will provide you with the strongest defensive buff (stacking armor bonus as you get hit, at the cost of a movement speed penalty that you will negate through Epiphany), but requires the most of your CDR optimization to minimize the item's downsides. There is a much less demanding option in the face of Lefebvre's Soliloquy, triggered by the automatic Cyclone Strikes from Won Khim Lau.
As previously mentioned, the jewelry Cube slot will be taken by your worst rolled item between Ring of Royal Grandeur, Convention of Elements and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Ideally, you will fill the slot with the RoRG to take advantage of the reduced requirements for worn set items, while skipping its lackluster primary rolls.
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.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Scoundrel due to his powerful crit buff, allowing you brief windows of extra damage that are well suited to the strengths of this build.
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.
The best potion for Tempest Rush Monks is the Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid, as it allows you to break through Waller affixes — an elite affix common enough to be a major pain in a build that is highly dependent on mobility.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: 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: Slight revision to item and Cube recommendations to reflect the high-end meta.
- 21 Nov. 2019: Added Cpt. Crimson set as part of the setup, significant changes to overall itemization. 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.
- 23 Mar. 2018: Added the guide.
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