Just a few days into the new class changes and both Hit Combo and Mastery: Combo Strikes are already causing a ton of discussion; is it OK to drop it? Should I delay X until Y stacks? (Hint: No) and so on. Well, rather than talk it out I thought I’d go through and make a list. I assume this will be the first of eventually several posts about Hit Combo and Mastery: Combo Strikes over the next few months.
What they do:
Both Hit Combo and Mastery: Combo Strikes provide a flat damage increase to all abilities, provided that you don’t use the same ability twice in a row. Hit Combo stacks up to 8 stacks, with each providing 2% increased damage per stack, and Mastery: Combo Strikes provides the flat bonus with no stacks involved. If you use the same ability twice in a row, Hit Combo will drop all its stacks and you’ll have to start from 0, whereas Mastery: Combo Strikes only looks at the ability just used and the one preceding it.
Here is a comprehensive list of Windwalker abilities. I tested each ability for 3 things, Does it benefit from Mastery: Combo Strikes? Does it generate a stack of Hit Combo? Does it count as a separate filler ability, ie, can you Tiger Palm > X > Tiger Palm with gaining the Mastery bonus on the second Tiger Palm. Many of these seem redundant and obvious that they wouldn’t’ work, but for the sake of being thorough, I’m trying them all.
|Crackling Jade Lightning||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fists of Fury||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Flying Serpent Kick||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rising Sun Kick||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spear Hand Strike||No||No||No|
|Spinning Crane Kick||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Storm, Earth, and Fire||No||No||No|
|Strike of the Windlord||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touch of Death||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Touch of Karma||No||No||No|
|Ring of Peace||No||No||No|
|Rushing Jade Wind||Yes||No (Same Tier)||Yes|
|Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger||No||No (Same Tier)||No|
|Whirling Dragon Punch||Yes||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, it is pretty straightforward. Nearly all damaging abilities benefit from Mastery: Combo Strikes and if they benefit from Mastery: Combo Strikes they generate a stack of Hit Combo, with the exception of Rushing Jade Wind, which obviously doesn’t generate a stack of Hit Combo since they’re on the same talent tier.
What this means:
Obviously it doesn’t mean a whole lot. What it does mean is that some abilities that wouldn’t necessarily be used in a rotation, like Flying Serpent Kick and Crackling Jade Lightning, can be used in dire circumstances to keep up Mastery: Combo Strikes or not drop Hit Combo. Situations like this shouldn’t happen often and are more likely to be in your head than in reality. The truth is that sometimes you’ll have to just sit and wait for your other abilities to come off cooldown rather than spam Tiger Palm into Blackout Kick to fill GCDs.
There will, on occasion, come a point where you’ll be about to cap Energy, so you need to Tiger Palm to prevent from capping, but if you use Tiger Palm then you’ll over cap Chi. In this situation using Blackout Kick followed by Flying Serpent Kick or Crackling Jade Lightning enables you to Blackout Kick again, and drop 2 Chi so you can Tiger Palm again without overcapping**. This assumes you have 3 GCDs available before you’ll cap energy, and at least 4 GCDs before anything valuable comes off cooldown. An alternative to this situation is also to just use Spinning Crane Kick to dump Chi as a faster, but less damaging, alternative which only requires 1 GCD to drop 3 Chi and free up space for more Tiger Palm before another major ability, like Fists of Fury is available.
**Note: its not recommended to try and actively weave Flying Serpent Kick or Crackling Jade Lightning into the rotation to increase your damage regularly as they both need to be canceled immediately or you’ll lose more damage than you gain, making this incredibly difficult for a very small gain.**
Hopefully this answers more questions than it creates. As always you can find us on Discord to answer questions, and if you liked what you read don’t hesitate to scroll to the top and subscribe and support WtW.
Nice ! I only tricked the mastery (and hit combo) with chi wave, now i will do it with flying serpent kick and crackling jade lightning too !
Very helpful, thanks 🙂
I noticed Flying Serpent Kick giving me the stack last night, hadn’t noticed Crackling Jade Lightning. Thanks! I’ve just been using Spinning Crane Kick in those rare situations, should be pretty easy to Crackling Jade Lightning and immediately cancel into Blackout Kick.
Cancelling Crackling Jade Lightning with other abilities is a straight DPS loss, you’ll probably lose some white damage every time. What you want to do is either cast it and immediately strafe, which will cancel the channel immediately, or make a /stopcasting macro which you can just double tap with low enough MS. This lets you use the trick to its potential as you won’t lose any white damage if you do it fast enough.
Just to be sure, even if you are superfast, Crackling Jade Lightning triggers the GCD or am i just not fast enought?
It always triggers the GCD. Unless you’re tracking your autoattack and that GCD happens to fall right between them then you want to cancel right away, losing a GCD worth of autoattacks isn’t worth the CJL damage
I want to make sure I am interpreting this the correct way.
“The truth is that sometimes you’ll have to just sit and wait for your other abilities to come off cooldown rather than spam Tiger Palm into Blackout Kick to fill GCDs.”
So if I am not capping out chi or energy or building to cast one of our more powerful abilities: I should be waiting a few seconds instead of spamming TP to BOK over and over until FoF or something else comes off cooldown? I am finding it hard to find a rhythm.
I am assuming the priority list in the guide is the same with Serenity with the obvious changes.
As a new monk, this site along with the other resources have been invaluable. I will be raiding on WW as main in Legion and I am very excited to have this community to guide me! Keep up the good work!
Glad you’re finding it helpful. The answer is yes. The purpose of BoK is to prevent you from energy/chi capping while you wait for the harder hitters to come back.
very fringe case where I used chi wave and crackling jade lightning to keep hit combo up was plowing through heroic iskar. We killed the adds so fast that the boss was still floating in the air so I needed the ranged abilities or the stacks would have dropped.
I’m glad I saw this. I knew the CJL/hit combos was a thing, but no one was talking about it, so I felt like it was just bad to do even though it reduced my downtime by quite a lot. I’ll probably use it less as I keep learning how to manage the spec, but right now it’s nice.
Also, an obvious consequence is that you can indefinitely upkeep hit combos if you’re out of melee range with CJL, FSK, and a chi spell from the first talent row. This isn’t super helpful in PvE (well, I used it when I got font during tyrant in a bad pug where they wouldn’t move her close enough), but in PvP it means getting kited even through rolls/FSK/lust won’t break hit combos!
Hello guys !
First of all thank you for all this amazing work, indeed with monk becoming harder to play perfectly in legion, these kind of theorycrafting guides are welcome.
Secondly, i wanted to know, Pandanaconda, if you could put your UI and WA in your description in the “Authors” section.
We already have the ones from Babylonius and Ruhye but it would be great to have yours too !
Keep up the good work 🙂
Big secret here… I very often change the computers I play on. Therefore I have a google docs with a “backup” UI I use on computers with only big wigs and weak auras that pretty much consists of Bab’s weak auras revisited, my trinket things and a couple other things.
However lately I’ve worked into having my ElvUI settings around with me and installing them everywhere, so yeah sure I’ll try to do that 🙂
MAYBE, just maybe, I’ll be able to stream a bit in the next two months; if I’m able to obviously I’ll say it here/on discord.
This is a screenshot of someone using my elvUI settings with his own UI… if you’re interested in that!