We finally have a US First Kil'Jaeden kill, with LIMIT taking the top spot. In that raid group was our very own author of the Serenity "guide": Notxes, representing Windwalkers everywhere. After the kill I was able to sit down (unless he has a standing desk) with him to talk about himself and playing a Windwalker in Legion. This is the first time I've really done an interview, so no promises that its awesome. Let me know, in the comments, if I missed important questions or how to improve the next one (if there is one).
Who are you?
Who are you really?
How long have you played WoW?
Kind of a special case here, I have my own character from Vanilla WoW, with the titles/gear; Master Sergeant (a whopping rank 4) with a Tabard of the Argent Dawn, and stuff; even though I was only 6 when I started "playing" with my parents in 2004.
What else do you do inside the game when you're not raiding?
I'm actually competing in the last NA Arena cup (#5) tomorrow (Saturday) under the team Method: Synergy and I will also be accompanying them to the regional event in Columbus, Ohio in September as well. More on that here.
What do you do outside of the game?
uh… (hint: nothing) I'm 19, 1 year out of high school, plans to start school again after Blizzcon. I think I still want to go into computer science, I've always just been around a computer my whole life. My parents played EverQuest before WoW.
Do your parents still play WoW?
Yes, casually albeit.
They're not raiding with you in Limit?
How do they feel about you getting a US first kill and all the other stuff you've accomplished in WoW?
They're pretty proud, we have relatives that live out in Ohio so we got to visit them last year, getting to go out there to see them again this year (NA Arena Cup Regional).
How long have you been playing Windwalker?
April 2012, when I got invited to MoP beta.
What did you play before that?
Rogue in Vanilla/BC (of course), DK in Wrath (of course), and then Hunter in Cata.
What drew you to Monk?
I really liked the playstyle and how the rotation worked itself out. I was a huuge fan of Tigereye Brew and how that mechanic worked as well. I liked the slow-medium ramp-up time to do huge burst. Around the time I started playing Windwalker (I primarily played Brewmaster during MSV) I was PvPing, so I didn't really get into WW PvE until Siege of Orgrimmar.
What is your favorite or best memory of playing a Windwalker before Legion?
In PvE it would have to be the massive Tigereye Brews you could get with Rune of Reorigination in Throne of Thunder. I don't remember the exact percent but I know they were over 150+% increase (Bab's note: you could see nearly 400%), which made seeing that proc just so much fun. I also liked spamming Chi Torpedo in Kilrogg's down phase on all the Imps with Victory Roll.
In PvP it would have to be being the first Windwalker to make it to a regional PvP event. I'll also be going again this year as well.
How have you felt about Legion so far?
It hasn't been that bad, I was a little unhappy at the start about not having the best legendaries for a long time, (not getting the legendary bracers until 2 weeks before 7.2, and then not getting the chest until my very 10th legendary) but overall I have enjoyed raiding very much. Emerald Nightmare obviously was a letdown but Nighthold and Tomb of Sargeras for the most part have been amazing raids. World Quests, Mythic+, PvP, and Legendaries have been the worst parts for me but I have thoroughly enjoyed raiding, and I'm looking forward to Antorus on Argus as well.
What Legion encounter has really showcased what a Windwalker is capable of? And which has been the worst to play Windwalker on?
Well, there have been a couple of fights that have highlighted some of our strengths, of which I can name a few examples: Mythic Gul'dan (Parasites/Empowered Eyes/Soul Fragments) Tichondrius (Bat AoE) Fallen Avatar (Maiden Shield Burst)
There's also been a few that have been a little unpleasant, such as: Mythic Botanist (Awkward cooldown timings, can't cleave/AoE), pure single target fights (Trilliax/Goroth/Star Augur), burst AoE fights (Spellblade Aluriel), spread AoE fights (Mythic Demonic Inquisition).
We are still relatively strong as a spec though, being extremely versatile and mobile. Kil'jaeden also emphasizes that; being able to Flying Serpent Kick over to a soak that no one would otherwise be able to reach, rotating Karma/Diffuse for soaking Focused Dreadflame, priority target damage on Reflections, the list goes on.
You've been playing at the highest of levels for raiding as a Windwalker for awhile now, how do you feel about the general public perception that Windwalker's are not good enough for high level raiding?
Well, saying that Windwalker isn't viable is flat out wrong. It's always been a thing about "we're good, just not the best". We're pretty much a jack of all trades. Mobility, Defensives, and Damage. Rogues are incredibly defensive with medium mobility and good damage. Warriors have good mobility and a lot of damage, with no "immunity". Windwalker is incredibly mobile, with strong defensives through Karma/Diffuse and good damage. Overall, I think Windwalker is still a strong pick for any progressive guild. It has always been that way and it will continue to be that way just because of the toolkit available to us.
Tomb of Sargeras
How did you feel about playing Windwalker in the World/US first race in Tomb?
It felt great, the instance itself turned out to be much better than anyone could have anticipated it being for WW. Not once was I sat because my class "wasn't good for the fight". There was always something strong about WW on every single difficult fight in this instance and that's what I loved about it.
Did you sit any fights or play other specs on any progression?
I sat out on Harjatan because I didn't need any loot, and I played Brewmaster on Desolate Host (3 tank strat, I was tanking the engine of souls, you can dodge almost every bone shards with elusive brawler management) but I played WW on all of the other 7 fights.
How many attempts did KJ take you?
471 for the guild, I was in for 334 of them
How did it feel as a Windwalker? Do you think its a good fight for Windwalkers?
Yeah I thoroughly enjoyed it, (as I said earlier) Transcendence makes a huge appearance on this fight, Serenity is up for every Wailing Reflection as well as on the set of Erupting Reflections in p2. I was the person marking the safe spots from Obelisks in p3 so my damage was a little lower than it could have been.
Also we were fine soaking beams rotating Karma/Diffuse for each one, soaking dangerous Armageddons with Flying Serpent kick you can potentially save the raid, stunning/bursting Shadowsouls, it's just an overall strong fight for us.
Are there any Windwalker tips/tricks you have for any Tomb boss(es) that you think everyone should know?
There aren't any super duper top secret tricks I have for the most part, but definitely get your hands on a Convergence of Fates from Elisande and 1 Split Personality relic from Goroth, there are a lot of fights that you need to line up Serenity for certain mechanics: Maiden of Vigilance's shield (Convergence), Maiden of Valor's shield (Split Personality relic), Kil'jaeden's Wailing/Erupting Reflections (Both). Also this is a perfect instance for Transcendence abuse, especially on the Maiden of Vigilance, Fallen Avatar and Kil'jaeden fights in particular.
How do you feel about Windwalkers going into Argus?
Not sure haven't followed the PTR much yet. I'll know more when we start doing Mythic raid testing.
What advice would you give to people who are just getting started playing Windwalker or who want to get better?
I always highly suggest just hitting a target dummy for a long period of time, especially after getting the 2pc/4pc tier set combo from this tier. Getting familiar enough with your rotation to the point where you barely even need to look at the cooldowns on your bars will not only help you familiarize yourself with the rotation but will also let you focus on other things, such as the mechanics of whatever fight you would be doing instead, improving not only your damage but your skill as a player as well.
(personally I found my way through pvping in addition to doing that)
I was smacking target dummies forever, after school I would just hit them all day, also improved my typing speed, might be anecdotal evidence
If you could steal one ability from another class, what would it be?
FEINT. Well, I'm actually kinda torn between Feint and Cheat Death. Just the amount of safety those two abilities provide is insane, spammable 50% aoe reduction and everyone knows how broken a Cheat Death is.
If you could make one change to Windwalker, what would it be?
I think it would have to be making the Nighthold 2-piece tier bonus baseline in some way. 10 second cooldown RSK is just unbearable to play with after playing with a 7 sec cooldown RSK, which is close to the 8 it used to be. Locking us into using this tier bonus not only obstructs which legendaries we can use, but also forces us to use even up to 905 base Mythic NH tier over 955 pieces of the same slot. That's worth way too much power and needs to be put back into the base of the spec itself.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. Anything I missed or anything else you'd like to say to finish out the interview?
Just that I'll be streaming more, once I get the deal from Method, and now that progress is over: https://www.twitch.tv/trilltko
You can also follow Notxes on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrilltkoWW
Thank you so very much to Notxes for agreeing to be apart of my first interview. I know I had a good time doing it, so I hope to do some more of these in the future. Let me know if there are any questions I missed, or who I should interview next. If you like the content that I, and the others at PeakofSerenity provide then please support us through Patreon and PayPal. If you have any questions you can ask in Discord.