Select Page

This past week, we had the opportunity to test 6 more bosses in the first raid Uldir. With the previous raid testing of Zek’voz, that brings us to having tested 7 of the 8 bosses in Uldir, with just G’huun left to go. I was grateful again to <Clique> EU-Draenor for letting me come along. They were a great group to run with and didn’t flame me too much when I made dumb mistakes, or my daughter decided to bang my keyboard, sending my character flying off into the bad stuff. I was also fortunate to get some input from other Windwalkers who tested the bosses as well and were gracious enough to send me their logs, VoDs, and opinions; Kuyama on US-Crushridge and Tradu on EU-Auchindoun.

As a reminder, try not to read too much into where Windwalker’s fall compared to other specs on the DPS meters. We’re not yet at the point in the expansion beta process where specs have been balanced against one another. Beta is still about making sure everything works and that specs are balanced inside themselves and working the way that Blizzard intends.

 

Contributors

Babylonius – I raid in Occasional Excellence on US-Turalyon, finishing Antorus/Legion US 61 overall and #2 US for 2 night guilds, #7 World. I’ve been playing since Burning Crusade, and mained Windwalker since a few weeks before Throne of Thunder in Mists of Pandaria. Stream, Twitter, YouTube.

Kuyama – I play a monk named Kuyama on US-Crushridge in the guild Humble, we were US 86th in ABT. I stream most days on twitch.tv/jfunkgaming and try to answer any questions and help teach people about Monk, been mainly focusing on Beta Monk recently. I consider myself a WW main but end up tanking for my guild as well, I’ve been playing Monk since MoP.

Tradu – I raid in Whatever on Auchindoun-EU as Enhancement (Monkashuffle) on live, used to main WW from MoP launch until Legion beta. Stream: twitch.tv/thetradu

Mickey – “You can just say I’m in the discord or something”

Eliro – Windwalker player in <Clique> EU-Draenor, occasionally stream at https://www.twitch.tv/eliro_cb

 

Encounters

MOTHER

Babylonius's Thoughts

Visually, this fight reminded me very much of the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul scene in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, which I’m sure is intended. I fully plan on having a WA that just plays Duel of Fates any time I start this fight. Functionally, it reminded me a lot of Norushen from Siege of Orgrimmar, where you had assigned people to do a thing in some assigned order.

Beyond that, this fight seems like it will either be very exciting and engaging, or very boring. You can send people over in bursts, to get through each part of the fight faster, but with more risk, or you can send them over one at a time, which is what my group decided to do, which is relatively boring for anyone left on the opposite side of the boss. It will be interesting to see whether people prefer to be the last to go through, for maximum boss uptime, or go through first in order to AOE the slimes that spawn.

Kuyama's Thoughts

This is a fight I didn’t get to experience as much as I would’ve liked. From what I tested of this fight, Good Ol’ Dave (Dave) found a pretty great place for the adds that spawned as he would grab threat through the barriers and bring them on top of the boss.

Tradu's Thoughts

Windwalker: Tiger’s Lust is very nice for countering the wind and WW’s CC and CD-based damage, like Rising Sun Kick, Fists of Fury, and Whirling Dragon Punch, works quite well for killing the adds (although we had a Hunter with bugged scope, so we didn’t really have to worry about those), because there’ll be a bit of downtime between the adds.

General: Seems like a fight that’ll easily get frustrating, because you have to migrate the raid from room to room, and eventually it’ll be more damage efficient to move the boss into the next one(likely before the previous room is empty), forcing anybody who still has to pass through to just AFK. Until that point, the people who are in the next room will likely get bored, because you have more and more people to kill roughly the same number of adds. So either the adds are super tough for the first few people, or it becomes a snoozefest once you have most of the raid over. Was also quite hard to coordinate without any indication of which room people were in.

 

 

Vectis

Babylonius's Thoughts

This boss was pretty straightforward. You attack the boss and burn the add when it spawns. Windwalker’s mobility is nice to just have to Roll away from the target who gets the debuff that spawns the add. It was pretty easy to get to, and soak, the things that needed soaking in the second phase. Having a second add up almost the whole fight works out well for Windwalker as it was easy to switch to and do a ton of damage to burn it down quickly.

Kuyama's Thoughts

Fight seemed pretty straight forward and simple to me. Dave once again found some nice use for dragging the adds towards the boss

Tradu's Thoughts

Windwalker: Mobility and defensives were very nice for soaking the Totally Not Armageddon. Defensives could be nice depending on how the debuff bouncing ends up being handled as well. Almost always having an add up during the normal phase probably works quite well with WW’s kit, as there is still a fair amount of “free” cleave.

General: We just ended up having one tank effectively solo tanking. Seems like a decent fight, although the add health was maybe a bit high.

 

 

Mythrax

Babylonius's Thoughts

This fight was an odd one that was seemingly overtuned when we tested it. This made it very difficult to really get an idea of how the fight works. There are orbs that regularly spawn, as well as MCs that you can beat up on, however it was much easier to use knockbacks and other means of moving people so that the orbs disappear. This is where Ring of Peace really shined. It was very easy to place a Ring of Peace down on top of the orb and knock out anyone who is MC’d. Sur this cuts down on how much DPS you can pad, but it made things much easier.

The second phase was also very chaotic as all targets seemed to have WAY too much health for us to control them. However, there’s plenty of cleave and targets to hit and burn down, making it a good fight for the kit that Windwalker gets to play with.

Kuyama's Thoughts

Ring of Peace finds an exceptionally useful spot here in this encounter. You place it on top of the orb where people get charmed and they all get knocked back and aren’t charmed anymore and you feel super useful. In terms of talent choices, I ran Fist of the White Tiger, Power Strikes, and Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger for a few attempts and it felt the smoothest overall. I mostly experimented with the Rushing Jade Wind/Sunrise Technique interaction and found myself really enjoying it if one of the orbs we needed to kill was in melee. I didn’t reach phase 2 much but it seemed like an add phase which might make Whirling Dragon Punch a better option.

Tradu's Thoughts

Windwalker: Ring of Peace is extremely useful for breaking the mind controls. It’s 5 seconds off being up for every other set.

General: We honestly didn’t have much of an idea of how to do the fight. We spent most of the test trying to figure out if and how to get the Imminent Ruin to hit the boss while mind controlled, so can’t say much about the rest of the fight. We got to the add phase once, didn’t seem like anything special (basically Kin’garoth but the adds are active from the start of the phase)

 

 

Fetid Devourer

Babylonius's Thoughts

This was probably my favorite fight that we tested. Trans is a huge help in this fight, as is all the other mobility that Windwalker has available. Its a pretty straightforward fight with some adds that spawn. We dragged the boss on top of one of the adds, making melee’s job much easier. Windwalker has a ton of tools to get in and out of the mechanics quickly, which made it a very enjoyable fight to play.

Kuyama's Thoughts

Trans is a super great mobility tool to have on this fight to counteract the knockback and our great priority add burst damage makes us a nice addition to help kill the adds before the boss can eat them. I did want to run Tiger’s Lust because the adds could spawn potentially very far away from each other but I think having more damage reduction from the other two options help on the massive amount of raid damage. We only reached 50% once but the boss takes 50% bonus damage while below 50% hp and that seems like WW will be super strong on this fight for the same reason they are on Kin’goroth and that is Touch of Death’s double dipping on % increased damage taken. Side Note: This is where I really experimented with Fist of the White Tiger and Power Strikes and really enjoyed it on pure single target.

Tradu's Thoughts

Windwalker: Trans, and WW mobility in general, is very nice for the knockback as well as for getting to adds. Depending on how much mobility you need and how hard the debuff hits, you could also run Diffuse Magic/Dampen Harm to help out healers. WW’s 0 ramp up time target switching also works quite well for killing the eggs.

General: Good fight, not a fan of every fight having adds, but they fit with the mechanics and theme of the boss.

Mickey's Thoughts

Fetid was my favorite fight of the 4 I tested, didn’t see a lot of potential for tricks besides cleave the bloods onto boss and trans after knockback/position the knockback in one of the alcoves

 

 

Taloc

Babylonius's Thoughts

I spent A LOT of time dead on this fight as it seemed that every mechanic was very unforgiving in the amount of damage it does to you. Several times I died from 2-3 ticks of the blood pools in less than a second. When I was alive it was a pretty good fight for Windwalker. This is a fight that will really showcase our talent choices that we can choose from maximizing movement, maximizing defense, or mixing both.

The elevator phase felt very new and interesting and really gave a new meaning to “Elevator Boss”. It reminded me like so many elevator levels in other games where baddies are jumping at you as you go up/down the elevator. This phase was also very good for Windwalker with plenty of adds constantly spawning. It worked well for both Rushing Jade Wind and Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger depending on when/how you need to maximize damage for your raid. This was another fight where Ring of Peace could be useful in preventing the adds from getting to their targets.

Kuyama's Thoughts

Our mobility finds a nice place to shine on this fight and with the addition of having many cooldowns to clear the adds this fight overall feels great as WW. Single target into a heavy cleave/aoe Add intermission I ended up trying Fist of the White Tiger/Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger/Whirling Dragon Punch and Fist of the White Tiger/Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger/PS and out of the two I think Whirling Dragon Punch is strong but Power Strikes felt stronger on the ST portions and the Spinning Crane Kick heavy intermission. I ended up killing the boss with the Rushing Jade Wind/Sunrise Technique interaction which resulted in me being top DPS but I wouldn’t expect that to make it live servers. But I do enjoy the fact that this Azerite trait promotes a unique and different playstyle.

Mickey's Thoughts

The trash before him’s blood pools do an insane amount of damage. Actually, blood pools in general seemed to be doing a larger chunk than expected. Also, the raidwide damage from him throwing the cudgel had a weird second or two delay before it went out. Trans was super useful on Taloc and the longer CD than live was noticeable.

 

 

Zul

Babylonius's Thoughts

This fight was insane and fantastic. Another fight where Ring of Peace is useful to keep the healing blood from reaching Zul, or the fearing bloods from hitting their target. From the little bit of the fight that we were able to get through, there are a TON of adds. Its a Storm, Earth, and Fire dream. Although it seems made for AOE abilities like Whirling Dragon Punch, I found that I did better when talented into PS as there’s frequently enough targets to drop Rising Sun Kick in favor of Spinning Crane Kick, and their not frequently stacked up nicely in front of you, limiting the effect of Fists of Fury. The consistent extra Chi provided by PS and Fist of the White Tiger and the fact that you can’t really waste PS due to how it works, made me feel like I had more than enough Chi for spamming Spinning Crane Kick with the occasional Fists of Fury when things are stacked. I tried Rushing Jade Wind a few times as the consistent AOE seemed tailor-made for it, but felt that it was costing me too much energy that could be funneled into Spinning Crane Kick. This may have just been my feelycraft leading me down the wrong path, so there will have to be some theorycrafting to determine how/when to use it.

Kuyama's Thoughts

This fight is controlled chaos, think Desolate Host in Tomb of Sargeras with even more adds that you need to control. This fight was a tough one to decide what talents to run. I initially tried out EE/Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger/Whirling Dragon Punch which felt pretty strong but i was mostly focusing on using as many Spinning Crane Kicks as possible because there are so many adds on this fight. I then thought to myself that maybe because there’s so much AOE all the time that Rushing Jade Wind would be good. Turns out it’s not – at least it doesn’t feel that way. The Burst AoE that Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger provides on the pull combined with the fact that you are losing out on so many Spinning Crane Kicks because you are limited to your energy pull constantly being drained made me dump Rushing Jade Wind after about 2 pulls with it. The choice then became PS vs Whirling Dragon Punch on this Spinning Crane Kicks heavy aoe. I opted to try out PS for a few pulls and found that on these massive packs where i wasn’t using Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury the bonus Chi for Spinning Crane Kicks felt great. Towards the end of the pulls i went back towards Whirling Dragon Punch because of the insane amount of damage it can do in AOE and I ended up thinking it was worth meeting it’s criteria (using Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick) for that damage. We didn’t reach phase 2 very much and the control you have as WW (Ring of Peace and Leg Sweep) felt very useful for the ichors that would walk towards the boss.

Mickey's Thoughts

With Zul if you weren’t CCing stuff I was starting 90 degrees from the rest of the raid and Chi Burst + Roll to start with 5 chi

 

 

Overall Impressions

Babylonius's Impressions

These fights managed to feel both familiar and new. Fetid Devourer was definitely my favorite fight as it seemed to have a very cohesive theme where everything fit that theme well. On the whole, these fights seem like they will be very strong and fit Windwalker’s kit very well with a need for strong movement, strong defensives, and AOE.

How frequently Ring of Peace was useful really felt amazing to me as its an ability I’ve grown to really love, even in PvE.

The biggest surprise of all this week’s testing was how much I enjoyed the combination of Power Strikes and Fist of the White Tiger. I don’t typically like a faster playstyle, so I was concerned how I’d feel about the extra resources. However, once we did some math and found that Power Strikes is actually stronger than Whirling Dragon Punch in single target, I simply had to give it a try. The CDR mechanic of Blackout Kick continues to be the all-star of the Windwalker spec, seemingly smoothing anything that feels chunky.

The flexibility that Windwalkers have through our talents feels very enjoyable as we are unlikely to be locked into one talent set up for a whole raid tier.

If I had to pick some nits, the 1.5s GCD of Fist of the White Tiger definitely was just disruptive enough to be a problem. The odd, limbo-like, place that Rushing Jade Wind is in, was highlighted most on Zul where it managed to both seem perfect for the AOE, while feeling like it took away from my AOE capabilities. Its likely that we just need to figure out how best to use this talent through some theorycrafting, because the feelycraft is conflicting.

Lastly, the GCD change continues to pop up as a thorn in the side of many specs, and Windwalker is not immune to that. It slows down openers and delays reactive cooldown usage. When adds are going to spawn, you have to decide between wasting some of the CD time or resources, or wasting uptime on those adds by using the CDs after they spawn. Its not an enjoyable thought process of “do I want to lose damage by doing X or by doing Y?”

Overally, I continue to feel that if you enjoyed Windwalker in Legion, you will enjoy it in Battle for Azeroth as its mostly an improved version of itself.

Kuyama's Impressions

Overall impressions of WW during the raid testing were interesting. The Rushing Jade Wind/Sunrise Technique is obviously overpowered or bugged. Fist of the White Tiger felt the strongest on ST fights since you have a lot better control over your chi than your energy at the moment since dumping your Chi with Spinning Crane Kick isn’t as bad as it is legion since it only costs 2 chi and it does more damage than Blackout Kick on ST with 1 stack of MotC, the only thing you lose out on is the CD reduction. Running this talent does result from some periods of inactivity. The main reason I didn’t like this ability in AoE was that functionally it replaces where a Tiger Palm would go but it doesn’t apply MotC, makes you feel you are missing out on damage because of it. Right now I think that EE is better in these AoE situations because you can cast it during Spinning Crane Kick  and not lose any of it’s damage and the bonus energy helps out immensely when you are building up these stacks and are in a heavy Spinning Crane Kick phase.

I didn’t really expect to enjoy Power Strikes as much as I did during this testing. On ST encounters the extra Chi every 15 seconds is fantastic and the neat interaction that I found where it wouldn’t consume the proc if you were to overcap the chi from it. On any AoE situations though Whirling Dragon Punch came through strong.

Tradu's Impressions

Resource generation and spending feels better paced than on live, it feels like you get pretty much exactly the right amount of resources to keep Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury on CD while still being able to fill a bit in between. Blackout Kick‘s cooldown reduction element feels good to play with, because it reduces the amount of Blackout Kick weaving you have to do (thanks to getting to Rising Sun Kick/Fists of Fury more), which is one of my least favorite things about Legion WW.

Fist of the White Tiger feels good(and I’d imagine Power Strikes is similar), because it gives you a button that immediately takes you from 0 Chi to being able to cast Fists of Fury, similar to how Tiger Palm takes you from 0 Chi straight to Rising Sun Kick/Spinning Crane Kick. It does seem a bit strange to have 2 talents that do essentially the same thing in the form of Fist of the White Tiger and Power Strikes, where Fist of the White Tiger feels like the natural evolution and replacement of Power Strikes, because it gives more control over when you get the extra Chi by making it a separate ability.

AoE feels a lot simpler than on live, thanks to Spinning Crane Kick and Tiger Palm being perfectly synced in terms of Chi generation and spending.

The change to Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger‘s duration and CD is nice and should make him work better in raid scenarios, as they tend to line up with 2 minute cooldowns more often than 3 minute ones.

Chi Burst generating resources is an interesting change, because it finally differentiates it from Chi Wave beyond just AoE vs ST. Having to stand still for Chi Burst, even if only briefly, still feels a bit out of place on a super mobile class.

Mobility is top tier, as always, and depending on your needs you can trade mobility for defensives through talents, which is extremely powerful.

Getting Leg Sweep baseline and being able to pick Ring of Peace in addition also seems extremely powerful, especially in M+. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger, Energizing Elixir, Storm, Earth, and Fire and Serenity on the GCD feels extremely awkward, especially EE and Storm, Earth, and Fire/Serenity.

Overall, it seems like people who liked Legion Windwalker will probably like BfA Windwalker as well, because for the most part it takes the Legion iteration and improves on it(with the exception of the GCD change)

Mickey's Impressions

So I was running Chi Burst/Celerity/Fist of the White Tiger/Ring of Peace/Tiger’s Lust/Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger/Whirling Dragon Punch the entire time since that’s what I’ve been using to level as well. Basically, I really like this specific build and hope it becomes what’s used, except maybe Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger and of course defensives when applicable.

Chi Burst is nuts in terms of Chi generation, like many have said using it on AoE is amazing, and even on ST it just gives you a little boost which is useful.

Having Celerity/TL/FSK/Trans is even more mobility than we have on live, which is also kind of crazy. There’s almost no point (in open world or raid) where I’m out of options to move.

Fist of the White Tiger is probably the hardest one to evaluate. I’ve basically used it like I used EE on live, which is “Fists of Fury is ready, give me chi.” However the energy cost does force me to delay it for a second sometimes, and more noticeably, leaves me a bit energy starved right after if (especially if I didn’t spend it on Fists of Fury and thus have the few seconds of channeling for energy to regen). Part of this is probably Fist of the White Tiger itself, and part is probably just the sting of losing Inner Peace to help energy pool. Also the 1.5 GCD on it (though a bug) is super awkward feeling

Ring of Peace is Ring of Peace, not a ton to say, but seeing potential raid use already is nice. Side note: in open world, when running away from stuff, having Ring of Peace and LG together is also crazy, especially combined with mobility options

Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger is a little boring because it’s basically “press this on CD,” but there’s not an option I love for that tier. I haven’t tested Rushing Jade Wind enough to say that I like it or hate it, and Hit Combo is the same but worse. (If I could put SotWL somewhere it’d be here)

Whirling Dragon Punch is the same as live, maybe you have to plan it differently from the Blackout Kick CDR on Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury, but besides that, no change

As far as overall stuff, one thing (more in open world) I definitely notice is the lack of self healing. No healing elixirs, which is my go-to on live, plus no trans heal, AND no Good Karma, definitely hurts. Even though Vivify is stronger than Effuse was, since I mentioned energy starving issues with Fist of the White Tiger, using the energy for a heal feels kind of bad (and you run out quick). HE was nice as a free heal. If I could make any single minor change to the spec it would be giving back Good Karma.

Also, Storm, Earth, and Fire windows are definitely different, both due to no Strike/CJL with chest, and the Blackout Kick CDR. I feel like I should be trying to get as many Blackout Kick in a possible, as I noticed if I start with Rising Sun Kick, then weave as many Blackout Kicks as possible, I can get 3 Rising Sun Kick in, just barely.

I definitely get why people say they don’t miss SotWL, but I think it definitely is missed both to fill out what fits in Storm, Earth, and Fire, and also in open world/on priority adds as a quick nuke. It’s not necessary, but I feel the hole of losing it for sure

Eliro's Impressions

The rotation as a whole felt very nice, I believe most of the updates are positive to the feel of the class. Rushing Jade Wind works well as an ability that you only toggle on when you have some cleave to do but pure numbers wise it just felt inferior to Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger on the fights that I tested, would be nice to see it brought up slightly so we can see some talent change based on the encounter.

On the level 45 row, Fist of the White Tiger was the only nice talent to play with in my opinion, EE just feels very clunky to use especially during the opener and even more so when you lust – Ascension just brings next to nothing to the table, it only really helps slightly if you wanna take Rushing Jade Wind and it removes some tiny amount of strain on your resources but still not enough with the haste we had to allow for a normal rotation + 100% Rushing Jade Wind uptime. That being said I mostly stuck to Fist of the White Tiger because the rotation with it on ST just feels amazing compared to the other 2 so I didn’t really test them as much as I could’ve.

 

I’d like to thank Kuyama, Tradu, Mickey, and Eliro for helping to provide other perspectives and experiences to this article. Having such a supportive and helpful community is what makes Windwalker so strong, even when our in-game numbers don’t reflect that. Another big thanks to <Clique> EU-Draenor for letting me come along.

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.

You can also check me out on TwitterYouTube, and Twitch, where I stream all my raids as well as article writing and more.

%d bloggers like this: