[Guide] 2.1.2 Sunwuko Strategy Guide


Diabloii.Net Member
Monks have been the weakest class in Diablo 3 since Reaper of Souls was released. When Seasons came out Monks were dead last on the Leaderboards. Not only that but the only build powerful enough to crack GR35 made your hands bleed.

Something had to be done so Blizzard did something. With Patch 2.1.2 the Sunwuko Set has received a complete rework which made Monk the, arguably, strongest class in the game.

This Guide has been inspired by the M6 Mega Strategy Guide by Flux. I don't want to give you a "THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO" sort of guide but much rather some general pointers to get you going.

1. A Short History Lesson

Before Patch 2.1.2 getting the 4 piece Sunwuko Set bonus would spawn a decoy everytime you spent 75 Spirit. This clone would spawn next to the Monk, taunt all enemies in a small radius and then explode for 3500% Weapon Damage as Holy Damage. The 2 piece set bonus gave you a flat 20% damage increase if you were using a Daibo.

The Idea was clearly to encourage players to use their big spenders to activate the 4 piece set bonus. What players ended up doing though was to spam activate their Mantras (costs 30 Spirit) and if that was not enough spam activate sweeping wind (costs 75 Spirit). Both of these do not force any animations so Monks could keep on using their Generators to while simultaneously spending massive amounts of Spirit.

There were many problems with this build, too many to discuss. The Damage was not that good, you had to be in melee range at all times, you basically had to use Holy Damage and you were basically spamming Mantra and Sweeping Wind as fast as humanly possible which brought much pain to Monk players all around the World.

2. The New Sunwuko Set

The new Sunwuko 2 piece bonus spawns an decoy that explodes for 1000% Weapon Damage everytime you cast Wave of Ligh, Lashing Tail Kick, Tempest Rush, Exploding Palm or Cyclone Strike. Unlike before this decoy will spawn on top of the enemy you have targeted at the time or next to you if you have no enemy targeted. The damage type of the decoy is equal to your highest Elemental Damage bonus.

The 4 piece bonus will give you a 500% bonus to the skills mentioned above once a decoy explodes. This buff lasts for 3 seconds. The buff does apply to all of those skills regardless of which one you use to spawn the decoy (Your Tempest Rush will deal 500% increased damage even if you have used Exploding Palm to spawn the decoy).
Also the 500% is its own damage multiplier and does not count as skill damage.

Let's take Wave of Light for instance the base damage is 835% Weapon Damage with the 500% bonus you will deal 835*6=5000% Weapon Damage while the buff is active.

That sounds like a lot ? Well, that is because it is a lot of freaking damage!

The major issue now is that the buffed skills cost a lot of Spirit. If we would have to spend some time using a Generator we would not be using one of the buffed spenders which in turn would limit our effective damage.

Luckily we don't have to and below I will tell you why and how.

3. Resource Management

Making the new Sunwuko Set work is all about resource management. Ideally you want to be using the buffed spenders all the time since those deal by far the most damage. So how do we achieve that ?

Well there are three essentiall components that are at the core of the solution of this problem

1. Resource Cost Reduction
2. Passive Spirit Generation
3. Attack Speed

3.1 Resource Cost Reduction

Rescource Cost Reduction (RCR) is generally considered to be a bad affix on most items and that is true even for us. An easy way to obtain some RCR are your Paragon Points. Another decentwayto get some RCR is the Captain Crimson Set.

But really general RCR just sucks. So is there something else we can use ?

Lo and behold there is. The Incense Torch of the Grand Temple (Torch) reduces the Spirit cost of Wave of Light by 40-50%. Not only that but the Torch has 5 primary affixes one of which is guarantueed to be 25-35% Wave of Light Damage. This weapon alone is the reason that all of the Monks in higher GRifts use Wave of Light as their primary spender. Also from here on I will assume that you use Wave of Light since it is the most powerful spender in the arsenal of the Monk. Does that mean that the other spenders are terrible ? Absolutely not.

Of course there is always Cindercoat. If you decide to use a spender that deals fire damage Cindercoat is great.

3.2 Passive Spirit Generation

Since the best Monk build pre 2.1.2 was centered around generating and spending massive amounts of Spirit Monk players have discovered a ton of ways to generate Spirit and they have figured out which one work and which don't.

The obvious choices are skills. Most notably Sweeping Wind - Inner Storm and Mystic Ally - Air Ally.

Inner Storm deals Holy damage but is in most cases preferable to other runes because the 8 Spirit per second is huge.

Air Ally on its own is pretty decent. The passive 4 Spirit per second is mediocre. The activation grants 100 Spirit on a 30 second cooldown (which scales with Cooldown Reduction). If you equip the Crudest Boots however this skill becomes great. The Crudest Boots spawns a second ally which doubles the passive and active effect.
In combination this is the single best source for Spirit generation you have at your disposal.

Of course Epiphany is another great way to increase your spirit generation (which also scales with Cooldown Reduction). The 50% Damage Reduction from the Desert Shroud rune is a must have in higher GRifts. The Insight Rune provides you with near infinite Spirit during the duration of Epiphany, given enough survivability this can be a great choice for T6.

There are 3 passives which directly increase your Spirit Generation: Chant of Resonance, Exalted Sould and The Guardian's Path (if you use a 2 Hander).

Of those three Exalted Sould is generally the best. It is tied for actual Spirit Generation in most cases and increasing your Maximum Spirit by 50 is great if you receive large bursts of Spirit (Activation of Air Ally) or if your Spirit generation exceeds your ability to spend Spirit (Epiphany).

The Guardian's Path just generates too little spirit in the vast majority of cases and Chant of Resonance is strictly worse since you want to spend your Spirit on spenders and not on Mantra activations.

Spirit Generation can roll as an affix on Daibos, Fist Weapons and Spirit Stones. On your Helm you generally want very specific afixxes (Dex, Vit, Crit Chance) but it is great on Weapons.

If you don't have the Unity+Unity+Follower Relic Combo or a good Stone of Jordan the Manald Heal can be a great option to supplement you Spirit Generation.

3.3 Attack Speed

Attack Speed is incredibly important when it comes to builds that are fundamentally about resource management. Using Attack Speed to increase your damage does not increase the effeciency with which you spend your Spirit. Let's do a little thought experiment.

Your Spender costs 100 Spirit.

In Situation A you attack witch 1 Attacks per Second for 150 Damage
In Situation B you attack with 1.5 Attacks per Second for 100 Damage

In both cases you deal 150 Damage per second but in Situation A you spend 0,66 Spirit per point of Damage and in Situation B you spend 1 Spirit per point of Damage.

Thus increasing your damage through means other than Attack Speed is more resource efficient. This does only matter if you are spending more Spirit than you are generating! If you find yourself at full Spirit all the time go ahead and get some Attack Speed.

4. Gear

4.1 Weapons

The Torch is the most powerful weapon for Monks right now and it is not close. Even a regular Torch with halfway decent rolls outperforms any other weapon (even the infamous Furnace. If you don't have a Torch any Ancient 2 Hand weapon will do but the difference is huge. In general you want slower weapons with high damage ranges (see 3.3).

4.2 Sets

Obviously you will be using the Sunwuko Set. Apart from that there are several good sets you could use in addition.

Notably in particular are: Aughilds and Inna's Mantra.

Inna's Mantra is generally the most powerful complementary set. Everything it offers us is awesome. Dex is always good and so is Life per Spirit spent. Some Spirit Regeneration is also always welcome and the set frees up a skill slot by giving you the base effect of all Mantras.

The Cost Reduction for Sweeping is insanely useful because of its interaction with the LGem Taeguk. Taeguk (lvl 25) gains a stack everytime you spend Spirit, these stacks last 3 seconds (max Number of Stacks increases with LGem level). Each stack grants 0.5% Armor and Damage and refreshes the previous stacks. This LGem is incredibly powerful but suffers from the fact that it is almost impossible to not loose the stacks in between fights. With Inna's Mantra and Sweeping Wind you can keep the stacks going indefinetly for almost no cost.

The 3 piece bonus of Inna's Mantra reduces the casting cost of Sweeping Wind by 70 Spirit (base cost: 75 Spirit). The interesting thing is that general Resource Cost Reduction takes place before effect of Inna's Mantra. This way you can reduce the cost of Sweeping Wind to a sliver of a point of Spirit.

Let's say you have 5% RCR. 75*0.95= 71.25 71.25-70=1.25

So your Sweeping Wind would only cost 1.25 Spirit to cast. Now it is easy to see how you can stack Taeguk for almost no cost. It is important to note that if you have more than 6.6% RCR you will reduce the Spirit cost of Sweeping Wind below 0 and Taeguk will not trigger. With 6.6% RCR Sweeping Wind costs 0.05 Spirit.

To make it even simpler to keep you Taeguk stacks up you can use a neat little trick. Bind Sweeping Wind to a number on the Num Pad. Press the respective number and then press Num Lock. The game will keep on pressing Sweeping Wind once every second giving you permanent full Taeguk stacks.

If your Taeguk is level 25 that means 22.5% Armor and Damage for 0.05 Spirit per second. That is insane!

Aughilds is the second best complementary set because you can easily combine it with Sunwuko's and Inna's, primarily because it occupies the bracer slot which lacks real competitive options. Elite damage bonus and Elite damage Reduction are just sweet. And the 7% melee/ranged damage reduction is also very valuable.

If you don't have the Inna's Temperance set yet there are other decent options that you can use. Notabley here are Blackthornes (which is essentially a poor mans Aughilds) and Captain Crimson (note that this messes with the Taeguk shenanigans).

4.3 General Advice

Single resistances as a secondary affix are basically mandatory because of Harmony. This frees up some affix slots for other useful stuff and it nets you some additional vlaue from slots where you ordinarily don't get All Resist (Jewelry, Gloves, Helm).

Elite damage reduction on the chest is incredibly valuable. And ranged/melee reduction as secondary affixes on chest and bracers are also awesome (Using craftable sts in those slots is a great way to get those specific affixes).

The passive unity (not to be confused with the ring) works very well with the Crudest Boots since the second Ally doubles the damaga bonus from the passive.

Tzo Krin's Gaze makes Wave of Light ranged which is awesome. It is difficult to fit it into most gear set ups but is certainly a decent option.

Cooldown Reduction is good but not super important. Beacon of Ytar is a staple in almost all Monk builds. Using a Diamond in the slot of your helm is also standard. Other slots to pick up some Cooldown Reduction are Gloves and Shoulders.

Slots in the jewelry are also incredibly important. LGems are just better than any affix you could possibly have.

4.4 Legendary Gems

Which LGems you should use depends entirely on what you are trying to do. Is it farming T6 or GRifts (and maybe even doing the Realm of Trials). All of the LGems that are great for GRifts are also very servicable in T6 but if you already have a lot of damage Boon of the Hoarder really stands out as a great option.

For GRifts there are essentially 4 viable option.

Taeguk - Maybe the best hybrid (offense/defense) LGem out there and it really shines in combination with Inna's Temperance and Sweeping Wind (see 4.2).

Bane of the Trapped - Prior to 2.1.2 the damage amplification would not apply to the decoys which made it absolutely terrible for Monks. Nowadays we do not rely on the decoys anymore and in turn this is the most powerful offensive LGem you can use. The Aura you get once the gem hits level 25 is enough to trigger the damage amp reliably since Wave of Light has a very, very limited range.

Bane of the Poweful - Elite Damage is just awesome and the 20% damage you get upon killing an Elite/Champion Pack is also very good. (Obviously this is a terrible choice for the Realm of Trials)

Gogok of Swiftness - 15% Cooldown Reduction is sweet. 15% Attack Speed is, well, it is not terrible. Not much to say here, it is very good but in most cases worse than the ones mentioned above.

Other LGems can also be quite good and I certainly encourage you to test them out but the 4 mentioned are just the best right now.

5. Builds

There are different builds for different purposes. Namely farming and GRifts.

5.1 Greater Rifts

The weapon we are going to be using is obviously the Torch. There really is no discussion.

Thus we will of course be using Wave of Light. Which rune ? Well, none of the runes give you any special effect worth noting so the one that offers the most damage seems to be the best choice. Pillar of the Ancients deals the most damage over all so Pillar of the Ancients it is. With the buff from Sunwuko Pillar of the Ancients deals (635+785)*6=8520% Weapon Damage. Yeah Buddy that's what I am talking about!

Dashing Strike is a must have skill for basically any Monk build. The choice is in between Quicksilver (3 charges) and Blinding Speed (40% Dodge) both are good but in high Grifts 40% Dodge can be a real life saver.

Now we need some Spirit Regeneration. The most potent options seem to be Mystic Ally - Air Ally and Sweeping Wind Inner Storm. If we are using Air Ally The Crudest Boots are awesome and if we are using Sweeping Wind we should also use Inna's Temerance and Taeguk.

If you have Spirit Regeneration as an Affix on your Weapon and you are using The Crudest Boots you should go for Unity (the passive) for a nice damage boost. If not Exalted Soul for some added Spirit Regeneration is a great choice.

Beacon of Ytar and Harmony are basically too good to pass up.

Epiphany - Desert Shroud (50% Damage Reduction) is necessary for survival in higher GRifts.

So far we have:


Beacon of Ytar, Harmony, Unity/Exalted Soul, ?


Wave of Light - Pillar of the Ancients
Dashing Strike - Quicksilver/Blinding Speed
Mystic Ally - Air Ally
Sweeping Wind - Inner Storm
Epiphany - Desert Shroud


Weapon: Torch
Helm: Inna's/Aughilds/Sunwuko
Chest: Inna's Aughilds
Shoulders: Sunwuko/Aughilds
Gloves: Sunwuko
Bracer: Aughilds
Belt: Inna's
Pants: Inna's
Boots: The Crudest Boots
Ring 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur
Ring 2: Unity
Amulet: Sunwuko


Taeguk, Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Powerful

So we basically are looking for one more active Skil and for one more passive.

The passive is relatively simple. Nothing is stopping you from using both Exalted Sould and Unity. Another very popular option is Sixth Sense.

The last Skill is more difficult. Mantras are decent but not great. Inner Sanctuary and Serenity are also servicable options. But the skill that seems to be the most potent option right now is: Exploding Palm.

I know it might seem counter intuitive to use an additional spender but Exploding Palm is so incredibly good at clearing large groups of mobs that it is absolutly worth it. You have to adjust your gameplay but if you do this is the most powerful Monk build for Greater Rifts.

There are two Runes for Exploding Palm that stand out among the others. Impending Doom and Shocking Grasp. Both are very good and you should test both to find out which one you like more. Most players tend to gravitate towards Shocking Grasp.

5.1.1 Exploding Palm

The correct usage of Exploding Palm is crucial to succeeding in higher GRift levels. The core idea is that you put Exploding Palm on enemies with little health in order to kill enemies with a lot of health. It is also important to note that the AoE of Exploding Palm is relatively small so you have to make sure to group mobs up tightly.

Your ideal scenario looks like this: You enter the area. There are a wholde bunch of small melee minions and a whole bunch of big melee minions. You go in, run around a little till the they have all focused on you. Then youi start applying exploding palm to the small mobs, drop a couple of Wave of Lights, watch everything die in one huge explosion and move on.

Of course it is not always that easy. Basically any enemy type that is constantly running away is terrrible for us and it is important to realize that skipping or leaving such mobs behind is much more effecient than chasing them for half an eternity.

A lot of the time you will be able to kill Elites/Champion Packs while you are killing the other mobs (with big EP explosions). But if you are not it is often a good a idea to "drag" the Elites/Champions towards the next big mob pack or "herd" the next mob pack toward the Elites/Champions. And as always if it is to much trouble or it takes too long, just skip it. Knowing when and what to skip is one of the most important skills you will need to succeed in higher GRift.

5.2 Torment 6/Farming

I don't want to go into too much detail here because so many things work in T6. Basically all you need is the 4 piece Sunwuko Set bonus and you should be good to go.

Still there are some things you might want to consider.

Pillar of the Ancients might deal the most damage but its AoE is fairly small. Explosive Light still deals massive damage but its AoE is half the screen.

Warzechian Armguards are a sweet option for some movement speed and so is Mantra of Mantra of Conviction - Annihilation.

Boon of the Hoarder has been mentioned and is great on its own but given relatively fast killing speed it becomes insane if you use in conjunction with Gold Wrap making you nearly invincible (this does not work in GRifts).

6. What lies Ahead ?

Well to put it shortly: Gundgo Gear. In other words: The future looks bright. Gundgo Gear spreads Exploding Palm to all enemies affected by an Exploding Palm explosion. It is nuts!

TO BE EDITET (I am just running low on time, hope you guys enjoyed the read, I welcome all sorts of feedback and Suggestions)
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Diabloii.Net Member
Good write up, I am actually running a monk pretty similar to what your describing in your guide with my personal twist.

here's my monk : http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Wurmer-1561/hero/29117220

If your gear allows it, I think the helmet I am using(Tzo Krin's gaze) is worth it. The problem in most cases is to find a good Sunwuko amulet (mine is not that good) which is pretty damn hard to get your hands on. I am still playing with my LGems to see what are my best options. I am not using exploding palm but I certainly agree that it is pretty powerful, I used it for good while. With my current setup I focus pretty much all my damage through wave of light and this is done by reducing its cost and increasing its damage. Also, not using Aughilds pretty much condemned you to use Bane of the Powerful in order to have enough DTE.
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