Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk Guide

Sunwuko Solo Nephalem Rifts
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Introduction

Welcome to the fastest build in Diablo 3: Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk. Little known fact: the set used by the build is actually called Monkey King's Garb, but since every single piece is called "Sunwuko's this" and "Sunwuko's that" everyone in the community just calls it Sunwuko.

With nearly limitless mobility provided by Dashing Strike + In-Geom combo and huge AoE coverage of Wave of Light Explosive Light, this build can clear Nephalem Rifts like no other. Its true strength however comes from the flexibility of Monkey King's Garb set. Sunwuko's Shines allows us to keep the (6) Bonus while equipping Cain's Destiny for more Greater Rift Keystones.

Follower overhaul in Season 23 made it possible to include Cain's Destiny into every build, which brought many Nephalem Rift builds up to Sunwuko Wave of Light level. Followers however, are only available in solo play, so this build still retains its #1 spot when it comes to farming Greater Rift Keystones in groups!


Best Key Farmer ✔
Insane AOE Damage ✔
You Don't Have To Aim ✔
Fastest Build In Diablo 3 ✔

❌ Requires Decent Gear
❌ Struggles In Bad Maps
❌ Rotation Requires Practice
❌ Low Single Target Damage


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Sunwuko (2) Bonus gives 50% damage reduction when Sweeping Wind is active.
  • Sunwuko (6) Bonus gives 1500% increased damage for each Sweeping Wind stack for a total of 19,500% thanks to Vengeful Wind.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings (2) Bonus gives 20% Cooldown Reduction and Resource Cost Reduction.
  • Captain Crimson's Trimmings (3) Bonus increases our damage by our Cooldown Reduction percentage and decreases our damage taken by our Resource Cost Reduction percentage.
  • Vengeful Wind is mandatory as it gives us 10 extra stacks of Sweeping Wind providing us a 15,000% multiplier due to the Sunwuko (6) Bonus.
  • Incense Torch of the Grand Temple cuts the cost of Wave of Light in half and gives it 550% increased damage.
  • Tzo Krin's Gaze gives up to 150% Wave of Light damage, and allows us to cast WoL where our mouse cursor is.
  • Pinto's Pride makes Wave of Light slow enemies by 80% and increases its damage by 150%. The slow is significant because it's applied before the damage is calculated, letting us always get full benefit from Bane of the Trapped.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur completes our Sunwuko and Captain Crimson's Trimmings set bonuses.

Season 25 Soul Shards

Soul Shards are powerful socketable items that only drop during Season 25. There are 4 available for Weapons based on the Lesser Evils, with another 3 for Helmets based on the Prime Evils. They drop at Rank 0 and be upgraded three times with the brand new Hellforge Embers to unlock additional powers, or be used in the Kanai's Cube as Augments. Here's how they progress:

  • Rank 0: Soul Shards begin with a unique static Legendary Power. Creates a Rank 50 Augment.
  • Rank 1: Gives all powers from the normal gems. Creates a Rank 75 Augment.
  • Rank 2: Grants one additional powerful stat. Creates a Rank 100 Augment.
  • Rank 3: Unlocks 1 of 3 bonus Legendary Powers unique to that Soul Shard. Creates a Rank 125 Augment.

Warning: Leoric's Crown and Broken Crown do not work with Soul Shards!

Read our Soul Shards Guide for full details on how they work. What you should prioritize on them for Solo Pushing is the following:

  1. The Correct Soul Shard & Rank 3 Power
    The best shards for Solo Pushing are:
    • Helmets: We want to use Sliver of Terror for the massive damage buff from our abilities on cooldown. For the Rank 3 power take the additional Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance to further boost your character's power.
    • Weapons: We want to use Dregs of Lies for the massive bonus damage to Pets. For the Rank 3 power, go for the stacking Pet Damage effect for another major power boost!
  2. The Rank 2 Stat
    The stats that come from the second upgrade are not equal. Here's what we're looking for on them:
    • Helmets: We want either Main Stat for damage or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction to survive. Avoid Armor and All Resistance as their stat ranges are far too low compared to the other options.
    • Weapons: We want Fire/Lightning Damage to boost our character's power the furthest, although Critical Hit Chance is not too far behind. Avoid Attack Speed and % Damage because they only buff one of our two Weapons.
  3. The Stat Ranges on the Rank 1 and 2 Powers
    This is just icing on the cake because the ranges will not make or break your build. Still, look for the Soul Shards with the best stat ranges, especially on the offensive stats.

For the other game modes, other Soul Shards can be used. Check the Variants below to see what's used there.

What about extra Soul Shards? Either salvage them for gems, or upgrade and use them in Kanai's Cube for Augments.


Global Stat Priorities

Our offensive priorities are: Cooldown > Fire Damage > Critical Hit Chance > Critical Hit Damage > Attack Speed, along with as much Wave of Light damage as possible for speed content. We need the Cooldown to keep Epiphany up at all times and to gain damage from our Captain Crimson's Trimmings (3) Bonus. We stack Attack Speed to cast Dashing Strike and Wave of Light as fast as possible.

When solo pushing drop the Attack Speed rolls for Area Damage as too much Attack Speed will drain our spirit. Our playstyle will involve gathering up large groups of enemies to burn down with Area Damage.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. Gather the full Monkey King's Garb set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If your last missing set piece is Sunwuko's Shines - don't gamble for it! Instead gamble for a cheap and easy item, like Sunwuko's Balance, and once again convert it with Recipe 4. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.


3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Monkey King's Garb set
  2. Pinto's Pride
  3. Nemesis Bracers
  4. Goldwrap
  5. Tzo-Krin's Gaze

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Daibos to get Incense Torch of the Grand Temple
  2. Fist Weapons to get Kyoshiro's Blade and Vengeful Wind
  3. Swords to get In-Geom
  4. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
  • Act 2: Gloves of Worship (for your follower)
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny

6. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem or Speed Greater Rifts where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. It's better to spend your materials improving your set pieces, getting ancient weapon etc.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOT ITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandIn-geom
Rabid Strike
Incense Torch of the Grand Temple (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Damage %
Off-HandVengeful Wind1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Damage %
HelmTzo Krin's Gaze
Sunwuko's Crown
Cain's Insight (Crafted)
1. Wave of Light Damage
2. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Dexterity
5. Vitality
GlovesSunwuko's Paws1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Attack Speed (T16) / Area Damage (Push)
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Critical Hit Damage
ShouldersSunwuko's Balance1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Area Damage
3. Dexterity
4. Vitality
Chest Sunwuko's Soul1. Sockets Flawless Royal Emerald
2. Dexterity
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
PantsSunwuko's Leggings
Captain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
1. Dexterity
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Emerald
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
BootsCaptain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)
Cain's Travelers (Crafted)
The Crudest Boots
1. Wave of Light Damage
2. Dexterity
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
Ring 1Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
Convention of Elements
Focus
1. Socket
2. Cooldown
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Critical Hit Damage
Ring 2Restraint
Ring of Royal Grandeur (A1 Bounties)
1. Socket
2. Cooldown
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Critical Hit Damage
BracersPinto's Pride1. Fire Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Dexterity
4. Life per Hit
AmuletSunwuko's Shines
Squirt's Necklace (Cubed)
The Flavor of Time (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Fire Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
BeltCaptain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)1. Dexterity
2. All Resistance
3. Vitality
4. Life %
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull enemies
and increase DPS

Gems

  • Bane of the Trapped provides 60% increased damage to slowed enemies. Pinto's Pride applies the slow before the damage is calculated so we can take advantage of this gem.
  • Enforcer increases pet damage by 60%, which also affects Rabid Strike clone.
  • Zei's Stone of Vengeance provides up to 80% increased damage based on how far away we are from enemies (50 yards is the maximum which is about half a screen away). This gem is amazing because we will always be hitting monsters at range.
  • Boon of the Hoarder makes monsters spray gold everywhere for our Goldwrap and 30% increased movement speed for T16 content.
  • Bane of the Stricken gives up to 2.3% increased damage on successive attack against the same target. We'll need this gem if we want to solo push to kill the Rift Guardian.

Skills

  • Wave of Light Explosive Light is our damage dealer that blows up the entire screen with a fiery bell. This skill is cast at our enemies when we wear Tzo Krin's Gaze so we can kill enemies across the screen.
  • Sweeping Wind Inner Storm is needed to gain our massive Sunwuko (6) Bonus. Our maximum stacks are increased by 10 from Vengeful Wind.
  • Epiphany Insight gives 45 spirit per second and allows us to teleport to monsters with our melee attacks. This spirit regeneration is needed to spam Wave of Light.
  • Breath of Heaven Zephyr gives 30% movement speed so we can fly through speed content faster.
  • Mantra of Conviction Annihilation gives 16% damage and 30% movement speed when activated before killing an enemy. Overawe is another good choice if you'd prefer extra damage over the movement speed.
  • Mantra of Salvation Agility gives 40% all resistance and 35% dodge when solo pushing.
  • Crippling Wave Rising Tide all us to proc the 2nd part of Bastions of Will while solo pushing.

Passives

  • Beacon of Ytar gives 20% Cooldown Reduction to keep Epiphany up.
  • Momentum gives 20% increased damage for 6 seconds after we move 25 yards (about 1/4th of a screen).
  • Seize the Initiative gives 30% Attack Speed when hitting enemies above 75% HP.
  • Near Death Experience allows us to cheat death.
  • Harmony gives us extra resistances when solo pushing.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. All Resistance1. Area Damage
2. Maximum Spirit2. Attack Speed2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Vitality13. Critical Hit Chance3. Armor3. Pickup Radius
4. Dexterity4. Critical Hit Damage4. Life Regeneration4. Life per Hit

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 750,000 Life is recommended).

Follower

Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:

  1. The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
  2. Follower’s powers are based on their main stat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

T16 Enchantress

T16 Enchantress

For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
  • Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
  • Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
  • Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
  • Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.

GR Pushing Enchantress

GR Pushing Enchantress

For Greater Rift Pushing we recommend this Enchantress setup for the Slow from Temporal Pulse, Cooldown Reduction from Prophetic Harmony, Damage Reduction and Armor from Powered Shield, and the Attack Speed from Focused Mind.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Mempo of Twilight and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.

Gameplay

T16

The idea here is to fly as fast as possible from elite to elite, dropping a Wave of Light in between each Dashing Strike. If we consistently kill elites and keep our In-geom up, we'll be able to spam our abilities permanently. The best way I know to play this is to hold force stand still and Wave of Light all the time, and tap Dashing Strike. This playstyle will cause your dash to "interrupt" your constant attacking, which will guarantee you fire a bell the second you land from your dash. The rotation is:

  1. Spam Epiphany constantly.
  2. Activate Sweeping Wind one time. As long as you hit an enemy every 6 seconds, the your stacks will refresh. If you're traveling down long hallways or changing floors, make sure you refresh it manually to avoid losing all your stacks.
  3. Activate Mantra of Healing once every 3 seconds to maintain the shield buff.
  4. Hold down Wave of Light and force stand still while tapping Dashing Strike to continuously attack and teleport throughout the rift.
  5. Use Mystic Ally if you run out of Spirit.

Solo Push

When pushing we have to be much more tactical in how we play. This build is a bit squishy and grouping of enemies is required to get a proper clear.

  1. Activate Sweeping Wind one time. As long as you hit an enemy every 6 seconds, the your stacks will refresh. If you're traveling down long hallways or changing floors, make sure you refresh it manually to avoid losing all your stacks.
  2. Spam Epiphany, Mystic Ally and Dashing Strike as much as possible to get damage and toughness from Sliver of Terror.
  3. Once you've found a group of enemies use Cyclone Strike to group them tighter and apply Bindings of the Lesser Gods.
  4. Dashing Strike to a safer spot and start spamming Wave of Light.
  5. After 5 seconds the debuff will drop and you have to repeat go back in with Cyclone Strike again.

Hardcore

In speed content this build is already immortal as long as you pick up gold from Goldwrap + Boon of the Hoarder + Avarice Band. For solo if the current setup isn't tanky enough you can either add more paragon points into vitality, or drop Bindings of the Lesser Gods for Spirit Guards and Cyclone Strike for Serenity.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
T16

Concept
Since this is one of the best speed builds in Diablo 3, this is where we belong. Flying around detonating everything with Wave of Light is our specialty. Many players will make this Monk regardless of what class they main just to acquire Greater Rift Keystone as fast as possible.

Gameplay
The main thing to remember from the Gameplay section we already covered is you need a rhythm between Wave of Light and Dashing Strike. My favorite way to play is to put WoL on my left mouse button, hold it down constantly along with force stand still, and tap my dash. The basic idea of this in plain English is: "I'm always throwing Waves of Light, and I interrupt that with Dashes."

This is a bit counter-intuitive as we usually move, and then attack. Here we perpetually attack, and interrupt that with moving. With practice you'll be flying around faster than Neo from the Matrix.

Setups
At very high Paragon (5,000+) you can replace Tzo Krin's Gaze with Leoric's Crown to get Epiphany Teleports back.

If you're playing in groups, cube Nemesis Bracers and change Stone of Jordan into Avarice Band. Without Goldwrap we're not immortal so we use Serenity Ascension in place of Mystic Ally to pick up loot from Molten packs. On the Rift Guardian fight swap Captain Crimson's Waders and Tzo Krin's Gaze for Cain's Destiny. You can also change In-geom to Kyoshiro's Blade at the same time to make the fight shorter.

GR Solo Push
Solo Push

Concept
In solo push setup we use Rabid Strike and an assortment of pet multipliers to maximize our damage. In Season 25 with Sliver of Terror we can't stack enough CDR to get near-permanent Epiphany so we have to use Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. We also use Air Ally instead of Way of the Hundred Fists to get one more skill on cooldown and to be able to cast Wave of Light all the time.

Gameplay
Follow the DPS rotation described in the Gameplay section above. You can perform this rotation 3 times per Convention of Elements cycle. Make sure that one of the DPS phases overlaps with Lightning cycle! Since 95% of your damage comes from the Rabid Strike clone, it doesn't matter where you aim your own Wave of Light. It's best to hold down Force Stand Still and have your mouse cursor somewhere in the corner of the screen to prevent unwanted Epiphany teleports.

Setups
If you feel too squishy, use Unity (and Hand of the Prophet on the enchantress) instead of Convention of Elements.


Video Guide


Mechanics

Wave of Light

  • Sometimes this skill doesn't seem to do any damage. This can happen if a monster is directly in the center of the hit, or if there are wallers blocking the bell's path to the monster. If this happens, reposition yourself and/or break the walls with Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid.

Pinto's Pride

  • Applies the slow before the damage is calculated, so we can get value out of Bane of the Trapped.

Tzo Krin's Gaze

  • Changes your Wave of Light to be cast at your mouse cursor instead of on top of you.
  • With this item equipped Wave of Light will no longer teleport you to the enemy while Epiphany is active.

Bindings of the Lesser Gods

  • Applies the debuff to all enemies damaged by Cyclone Strike, i.e. all enemies within 15 yard radius around the monk.
  • Cyclone Strike cast by Won Khim Lau can apply the debuff.
  • Cyclone Strike cast by Rabid Strike clone cannot apply the debuff.

Rabid Strike

  • Epiphany needs to be active to get the clone.
  • The clone is considered a Mystic Ally. It gets buffed by Enforcer, The Crudest Boots and Bindings of the Lesser Gods, but not Mystic Ally damage.
  • Instead of picking a random value between the Minimum and Maximum Damage from your Weapon, the clone always uses the average of their sum.
  • When dual wielding, the clone alternates between your Main-Hand and Off-Hand Weapons to calculate its damage.

Summary

  • Put together the core items and acquire the full Sunwuko set.
  • Practice interrupting your Wave of Light with Dashing Strike to move as quickly as possible.
  • Learn to swap to Cain's Destiny set on the Rift Guardian for 25% more keys!
  • Enjoy the fastest build Diablo 3 has ever seen!

Town Is Lava!


Credits

Written by Raxxanterax & Northwar.
Updated by Northwar.