Recently, the questions about how Windwalker are going to be in Battle for Azeroth are reaching a fever pitch, and its only going to get worse as we get closer and closer to August 14th (13th in the West). This question is nearly always answered with “we don’t know yet”, “numbers tuning isn’t done”, and other comments like that. Those comments are almost certainly correct, there hasn’t been much evidence that Blizzard is at the point where they’ve started tuning specs against one another.
With, at the time of this writing, only slightly more than 2 months to go until release day, its only a matter of time before we start seeing numbers changing all over the place. Since we’ve seen very little changes for Windwalker the past few weeks, I thought I’d venture to answer some of these question as they’d be answered today, without any further changes. It should go without saying, but it wont, what follows is entirely based on today’s information and may not be correct even tomorrow, or whenever the next Beta build goes through. This will be a, sort of, “rough draft” of a Battle for Azeroth guide… very rough.
So lets get this straight… pretty much everyone on the Beta has been playing Windwalker incorrectly. This isn’t any fault of our own, we’re playing it the way that makes the most sense to us from a playstyle and logical perspective. However, if you’ve read some of the recent articles about frequent questions, you have have read me say that Blackout Kick does too much damage. I’ll explain why, pulling the constants from one of my previous articles….
- Windwalker Aura (http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=137025/windwalker-monk) – Modifies nearly all abilities by -20% (Effect #1); maybe another -21% (Effect #4, not sure if thats in addition to #1 or two sides of the same coin); plus extra modifiers to specific abilities relevant to these discussions; +26% to Rising Sun Kick, Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm (Effect #5); +140% to Spinning Crane Kick (Effect #8); and +50% to Blackout Kick (Effect #9).
- Armor Reduction, Mastery, Vers, Crit, Hit Combo, and Windwalker Aura effects #1 and #4 are constant through all abilities discussed, so no need to include them in the math.
- Tiger Palm – 27% base AP * +26% = 34% AP
- Blackout Kick – 77% base AP * +50% (Effect #9) x* +26% (Effect #5) = 145.53% AP
- Rising Sun Kick – 115% base AP * +26% (Effect #5) * +70% (RSK Rank 2) = 246.33% AP
- Whirling Dragon Punch – 248.7% base AP per target, no additional modifiers
- Fists of Fury – 5 hits of 94.185% base AP = 470.925% base AP, no additional modifiers
- Spinning Crane Kick – 40% base AP * +140% = 96% AP per target
- Mark of the Crane – +10% damage to Spinning Crane Kick per stack
- Fist of the White Tiger – 87.75% + 87.75% * 0.5 (offhand penalty) = 131.25% AP no additional modifiers
So now, if you haven’t already, check out my article about how priorities are created. To summarize, the main way that Windwalkers prioritize abilities is by Damage per Chi, because, until recently, we did not have enough resources (chi) to fill all our time, so resources are the limiting factor. This means we want to get the most damage that we can with those resources. Currently, if you rank our abilities by Damage per Chi in a single target situation, it looks like this:
- Whirling Dragon Punch – 248.7% base AP per target for free
- Fists of Fury – 156.975% base AP per Chi
- Blackout Kick – 145.53% AP per Chi
- Rising Sun Kick – 123.165% AP per Chi
- Spinning Crane Kick – 52.8% per target per Chi
As you can tell, that looks a little bit different from where things currently are. Whirling Dragon Punch can move around, as based on the current priority, you wouldn’t use Rising Sun Kick any time since Blackout Kick does more damage per chi, has no cooldown, and reduces the cooldown of Fists of Fury which is stronger. However, because Whirling Dragon Punch is stronger than Blackout Kick, you’d want to use Whirling Dragon Punch as close to on cooldown as possible. This means that to determine its true priority, you need to take the damage of Whirling Dragon Punch and Rising Sun Kick and add it together, and divide it by the 2 Chi cost of Rising Sun Kick, which equates to 185.9325% AP, keeping it securely on the top. This means that you’d only use Rising Sun Kick in order to use Whirling Dragon Punch, or if you have an excess of Chi to dump.
This neither looks, nor feels, the way that most people expect Windwalker to play. If Blackout Kick were to have the 50% modifier removed, it would fall back below Rising Sun Kick and into, in most people’s opinions, its rightful place in the priority.
As I mentioned in my previous theorycrafting article, the use of Spinning Crane Kick in AOE is much more straight forward in Battle for Azeroth. With the cost reduction down to 2 Chi, and the benefit of Mark of the Crane reduced from 40% to 10%, there is a much more definitive line that we’d use each ability, and it looks like this:
- Spinning Crane Kick (3+ Targets and 13+ Stacks)
- Whirling Dragon Punch
- Spinning Crane Kick (7 Targets)
- Fists of Fury
- Spinning Crane Kick (3 Targets)
- Blackout Kick
- Spinning Crane Kick (2 Targets)
- Rising Sun Kick
- Spinning Crane Kick (1 Target)
Obviously the point where Spinning Crane Kick beats out Fists of Fury is a little bit more complicated, but its MILES less complicated than things are currently in Legion. Its technically; 3 Targets and 10 Stacks, 4 Targets and 9 Stacks, 5/6 Targets and 8 Stacks, 7-13 Targets and 7 stacks, or 14+ Targets and 6+ stacks, but 7 targets is a good guideline for 99% of situations. This is SOOO much more straightforward than Legion that its almost laughable.
Of course, currently on Beta, you seem to get Mark of the Crane stacks, up to 5, even in single target, and it seems to cap at 5 even in AOE regardless of the amount of targets. I’m currently assuming this is a bug, but if its not, it will be an interesting change that simplifies our Multi-Target priority even more.
In my opinion, the Multi-Target priority is MUCH better, with much less math required to figure out whats best, which means much less room for error and confusion. The Single Target priority mostly makes sense, with the exception of Blackout Kick being above Rising Sun Kick. Overall the priorities are nice and straightforward, with a little room for the best players to squeeze out more due to Blackout Kick‘s cooldown reduction mechanic.
Other questions like talents and stat priority, will be information for another day and another article. I used Whirling Dragon Punch in this article not necessarily because its the “best”, but because its the most straightforward of the major talents and easiest to visualize.
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Noticed it being rather high on the alpha, but honestly still think RSK is going to be used. If mostly just for the one azerite trait that causes ability damage to add tacked on damage (which means each tick of FoF trigger’s it’s own separate proc of damage).
Though I don’t know how much it truly is at 120, but from the time I’ve been dabbling with that one trait leveling up it’s amounting to a good 30-60% of the total damage RSK is doing (w/ RSK used on CD) though you’d only really need to have it used once every 15 seconds).
But if anything the trait has the potential to force RSK to stay relevant, albeit kind of forced if there aren’t better ST traits.
at 120 its not any different, even with the one RSK trait they have, the extra damage doesnt help it. There are a few pros to using it. 1:To use WDP (Still a great AOE) 2:Maintain Hit Combo 3: Uses 1 GCD vs 2 GCD on BKs 4: Mortal Strike Debuff
Ok forgive me for being denxe.. when you say 13+ stacks. Stacks of what
Mark of the Crane, the debuff you put on targets you hit with BoK, RSK, or TP
Blackout vs Rising Sun: I don’t actually mind our spammable ability doing higher damage per chi than a non-spammable one. Our three cooldown rotational abilities are still tied to each other, but now the “filler” segment of the rotation is more meaningful. RSK becomes optional in a sense that it becomes an optional chi dump if nowhere near FoF and WDP, and if we’re on multitarget, we have the option to also skip it and use chi on SCK instead. That’s my, perhaps flawed, reasoning anyway.
Fist of Fury is such a large portion of the damage I was curious if RSK is even worth using, since my non mastery BKs hit for around the same as a Mastery RSK. BK spamming will bring FoF cd down faster as well. Took Chi Wave (15 Sec cd to help weave it in for the mastery), Xuen (because i know i was going to spend BKs in a row on occasion) and Serenity (Spiritual Mastery really isnt that great and WDP is dead if im not using RSK). After running a few test my dps ending up being no different than the Chi Burst/Hit Combo/WDP build i’ve been running around with. The serenity windows I opened with a FoF in the window and tried to BK spam to get the most cast of FoF i could.
RSK really needs a bump up in Damage. On my 319 ilvl Monk the damage per chi is as follows.
FoF > 6061/Chi
BK > 4484/Chi
RSK > 3795/Chi
WDP > 2497
Without WDP RSK number make it look like its not even worth casting…. Sadly our mastery kind of forces us onto it.
Quick mention, right now the trait Pressure Point that increases Combo Breaker procs by 15% is bugged, and instead it is awarding full chi on every tiger palm. I took this bug into a dungeon thinking unlimited chi is gonna make my dps look amazing…. Well it didn’t, I had all this chi but no way to actually spend it. Kind of a bummer, if any other combo type class could use a full combo dump every other spell, their damage would sky rocket.
@Babylonius I know you’ve been around with the WW Monk for as long as I’ve been playing it, so maybe you can chime in on this. Do you think our Mastery should be change away from the non repeating spells? I personal would like them to let our mastery increase the chance/damage of combo breaker procs and the proc would turn BK into something more flashy (Chi Explosion or Tornado Kicks, there have been spells already n in the game for us to fit in here). I feel like this would help the flow of our rotation out and not be punished if we have to BK a couple times in a row to dump chi. The added RNG would make the rotation less predictable as well, really all we have now is the 8% chance for a free BK kick. The CD reduction on RSK and FoF really doesnt add that much rng to it.
This would change a few other things as well.
Eye of the Tiger could be taken for those that want an easier rotation, using this talent now gives you that one less ability to use a spell to maintain our mastery and you run into the situation of nothing to cast more often.
Side Note, Fist of the White Tiger: This is the spell i’ve been using over Energizing Elixir simply because its just so much easier to use. However compared to other classes i’ve tried on beta, WW has a handful more buttons than any other class. It really seems like the could give this talent the power strikes like effect. Every 30 secs Tiger Palm cost 10 less energy and gives 1 more chi.
Hit Combo would be out the window and replaced.
Spiritual Focus, we could use this talent more efficiently since we could actually dump chi with BKs while RSK/FoF are on CD.
Last quick mention has anyone played the new Fury Warrior? How fast that class plays is what WW use to feel like in MoP, which is the entire reason I enjoyed my monk, fast game play!