Blizzard recently announced a round of Azerite trait tuning changes that affect Windwalkers, in a big way.
Archive of the Titans: Primary stat bonus increased by 20%
Laser Matrix: Damage reduced by 30%
Thunderous Blast: Damage reduced by 35%
(Windwalker) Iron Fists: Required targets reduced to 3
(Windwalker) Swift Roundhouse: Damage bonus reduced by 55%
Justifiably, this article is going to focus almost entirely on the change to Swift Roundhouse. Although the change to Iron Fists takes it from a good AOE trait, like to a great AOE trait.
So.. what now?
Well, obviously this is a huge hit to the Swift Roundhouse playstyle, and pretty much certainly erases it as an option. This is going to be a reasonably large hit to our single target damage, what was heavily reliant on Swift Roundhouse and its playstyle combined with Serenity to be strong.
While we wait for the sims to update, and for the dust to settle, I will attempt to take a guess at how this will affect our DPS.
Currently, the Mythic Uldir simulation profile sims at 18,766 DPS, with the average Rising Sun Kick hitting for roughly 40119 damage. If you remove the Swift Roundhouse traits, in order to force it back to the “normal” playstyle, that profile gets 15,658 DPS, with the Swift Roundhouse-less Rising Sun Kick hitting for 19630. Obviously, we’re not going to lose 16.6% of our DPS, because there will still be damage from the traits. So the 3 Swift Roundhouse traits added 10244.5 damage per stack, to each Rising Sun Kick.
Now we go to the sim without the Swift Roundhouse traits to add back in the damage that was needed. After the 55% nerf, each stack would increase the damage of Rising Sun Kick by 4609.6 damage. In the profile that uses the “normal” playstyle, there are 68.4 Blackout Kick and 87.7 Rising Sun Kick, so there would only be 68.4 stacks of Swift Roundhouse to be used. That means that 3 Swift Roundhouse traits adds 315,296 damage, or 1051 DPS.
This brings the grand total of the “normal” Swift Roundhouse profile up to 16,484 DPS, or 13.8% less damage than the unnerfed Swift Roundhouse profile. This should be the maximum nerf, and anyone using less than 385 item level traits will see less than this.
For added reference, using my character which as 3x Swift Roundhouse traits on 340/340/370 pieces, the now “old” Swift Roundhouse playstyle sims at 15,502 DPS, with the profile without Swift Roundhouse traits simming at 13,461 DPS. My character gains 745 DPS with the nerfed traits, for a total of 14,206 DPS. This means that the 55% nerf to Swift Roundhouse would result in 9.1% less damage for my character without changing any gear around.
When simming with Whirling Dragon Punch, each stack of Swift Roundhouse provides 6758 damage to Rising Sun Kick. With 48.3 stacks to use, after the nerf that adds 146,885 damage or 489.6 DPS. So the nerfed profile simmed at 16,613 DPS compared to the unnerfed profile’s 17,513 DPS. This means that it is a 5.4% damage loss to the profile when using Whirling Dragon Punch.
It also means that the profile does more damage with Whirling Dragon Punch, as with Whirling Dragon Punch it did 16,613 DPS compared to Serenity’s 16,484 DPS. So its likely that we’ll be back to using Whirling Dragon Punch for everything.
The other way to look at this change is by comparing where it pushes Swift Roundhouse on the charts of the stacked traits, such as Bloodmallet.
Currently, according to Bloodmallet, Swift Roundhouse is in first place by a HUGE margin, with 3 traits being more than 1,300 DPS higher than 2nd place. However, because at 2 traits the sim profile switches to the Swift Roundhouse playstyle, the DPS increase is not linear. The first trait adds 705 DPS, 2nd adds 1280 DPS, and the third ads another 1065 DPS.
Now that the Swift Roundhouse playstyle is likely dead, the damage added per trait would stack more linearly, meaning that each trait would add 705 DPS. BUT, it was nerfed by 55%, so each trait would add 387 DPS. This means that at 3 traits, it would add 1161 DPS. According to the chart, this puts it right below, or even with, Filthy Transfusion. It still would be our best spec trait, and somewhere around 5th overall for traits once you consider the nerfs to Thunderous Blast, if we were still using Serenity. However, now that we’re back to using Whirling Dragon Punch, its one of the worst.
So the next thing I can do is to look at the logs we have available to us and see where Windwalker will fall after these nerfs. Looking back at the past week’s data, Windwalker largely held its spot from the previous week. However, if you were to take away around 10% damage, as a conservative estimate, the data changes quite a bit. Windwalkers fall below the average range pretty consistently, and even securely at the bottom of the charts using Heroic data. Obviously, this isn’t quite exact as the change will be more or less than 10% damage loss, and other specs did also see Azerite trait tuning, but it is a reasonable guess based on the data I’ve found tonight.
So, as of now, there has been no compensation buffs listed, but that doesn’t mean they wont come…. soon ™. With a pretty flat damage loss of 10% or so, this will hopefully justify buffs to bring things back in line. With the PTR for 8.1 going live soon, and hopefully changes to Touch of Karma or Good Karma coming with that, we could lose another 10-15% of our damage, which should certainly prompt buffs to bring everything back where it should be. There’s not really more than can be said about it beyond that the change is hopefully big enough to throw some red flags.
I don’t PvP, so I can’t comment on how hard this will be on the PvP side. However, I can only guesstimate it will be HUGE, likely bigger than in PvE where we have AOE in M+ and some bosses, and Swift Roundhouse traits were going to be hard to find in Uldir. I would imagine that Swift Roundhouse‘s strength is a HUGE boon in PvP, and losing it may be devastating.
The Bright Side?
So although this is all pretty bleak, its not quite the end of the world, or at least its the apocalypse before we’re all delivered to paradise. The last time Windwalkers were in this rough a place was the time between the end of Tomb of Sargeras and before Antorus when the 6 piece playstyle was murdered. It was a dark time for Windwalker, and very tough to slog through the horrible DPS. Thankfully, even this change wasn’t as big as that time, so if you survived that, you should be able to survive this. Everyone who plays Windwalker now likely knows how strong it was in Antorus, and many of whom are probably playing because of how strong it is. Because of all the damage we’re losing with this change and the “hopefully” coming change to Touch of Karma/Good Karma, we should see something changed to compensate. This may come in the form of changing our Windwalker Aura from -27% to closer to -7% or less. This would be a fantastic change as it shifts some damage into the actual abilities rather than propping them up by talents and traits. It also shifts some damage back into AOE, an area that many have felt was lacking compared to the past. Theoretically this could lead to Windwalkers being solid in all aspects without having to rely on very specific traits to be successful.
It should be obvious to anyone who’s able to look at this all objectively, but the Swift Roundhouse nerf was warranted, in a vacuum. The trait was CLEARLY too strong compared to other traits, and now its reasonably inside the bunch. However, the enormous affect this has on the thousands of Windwalkers who have 1-3 of these traits will hopefully not go unnoticed, and our sacrifices will not be in vain. Here’s the TLDR:
- 13.8% nerf to the current SimCraft profile, less for anyone without 385 azerite pieces
- 9.1% less damage for my character without changing any gear around (370/340/340 pieces and 3x traits)
- 5.4% damage loss to the profile when using Whirling Dragon Punch
- Likely that we’ll be back to using Whirling Dragon Punch for everything
- It still would be our best spec trait, and somewhere around 5th overall for traits, if we were still using Serenity. However, now that we’re back to using Whirling Dragon Punch, its one of the worst.
- Currently no compensation buff announced, this page will be updated if it does
- Maybe the falling sky before the second coming?
- For everything else we must wait for sims
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 Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch, where I stream all my raids as well as some article writing and more.
We knew it was coming, hopefully something will happen to compensate; for now we can go back to never breaking mastery and the class will feel more ‘right’ to me playstyle-wise. Does this put Swift Roundhouse solidly below the likes of Tidal Surge and Dagger in the Back (while from behind)?
I don’t really get that part about SR:
“It still would be our best spec trait, and somewhere around 5th overall for traits once you consider the nerfs to Thunderous Blast.”
If SR is now ~between “Filthy Precision” and “Battlefield Precision”, wouldn’t “Dagger in the Back” be the go-to talent now for single-target ?
Unless you meant “Dagger in the Back” is not a “real” WW-trait but a generic one.
Yes, dagger is not a spec trait, it’s a generic one
lol, i disenchanted azerite head armor with dagger yesterday, cause i got 370 piece with SR, feelsbadman
So whats the best trait for single target raid fights now?
Probably Dagger in the Back
Never went with swift roundhouse because I knew it was too good to be true and that it would be changed sooner or later, as it turned out, it was sooner. Also, it just felt wrong as a play style, not using FoF at all except during serenity windows was just a huge aberration. To anyone unduly upset over the nerf, you must surely have known it was coming.
I second this, the SR playstyle never appealed to me. I’m also not a big fan of serenity, I like being able to throw clones out and have good multi target damage. Like you, I expected this nerf to come quick.
Nerfs to Swift Roundhouse were probably warranted, but I am over this “Give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt” bullshit. Are we crushing the meters? No. Could they have delayed this nerf until a suitable solution was implemented? Yes.
This completely cripples damage in PvP Arena. Stacking 2 roundhouse traits was literally the only way I could do somewhat respectable damage in Arena. Please if discussion arises, mention PvP!
I did, didn’t I?
That’s a good news, the playstyle was really not great. Too bad the nerf come 2 days after I get my 3 SR pieces. I really hope we get buffed because now we lost some damage and with the ToK gameplay, it’s far from the gameplay I felt in love in Antorus 🙁
Thanks for taking the time to write the blog post, I have recently just switched to WW and really enjoying it. I take it the 20% buff to Archive of the Titans will still not be worth taking against other stats.
Gonna have to wait till sims are updated to know.
[Dagger in the Back] was the 3rd better trait and now that the first 2 got nerfed wouldn’t it be the better one?
So… I’ll be honest. I think this nerf is kind of lazy by blizzard. Was roundhouse too strong? Sure, but nerfing it like this potentially rips the serenity playstyle out for good, and it does nothing but hurt some of the flexabiltiy of the spec as a whole as we’re all funneled back into the same carbon copies of each other.
I think roundhouse and serenity has its place, and I think keeping them relevant, and a potential playstyle option alongside dragon punch should be a priority.
I love monks, but with our AoE feeling so much less interesting then it did in legion, and losing serenity, the playstyle i honestly really prefered.. idk. The specs losing a lot of draw for me.
What about Fists of Fury ? Is it now worth using ?
Well without the SR playstyle, yes we are back to the old way.
I believe mah man Robert Downey Jr. can express my shock better than I can in words.
But in all seriousness. Why? The trait already got nerfed by 35% week 1 of the xpac, why is it getting slapped with the nerf bat again? And why aren’t we getting some compensation buff to RSK? I get that the Serenity build is god awful to play and goes against our mastery, but for us not to be compensated is nuts considering Mythic. This change really kneecaps us for PvE and PvP.
I guess only thing left to ask now is, what are our new best traits?
Once sims are update we’ll be able to see
A simple thought that came to mind..
Switch the Good Karma talent to provide the healing that we had via Legions Artifact weapon trait.
Since Karma will be dropped back to its original state, absorbing 50% of total hp, you could give us a buff to our abilities in order to compensate for that loss of damage. It could be a passive flat dmg increase in a form of an aura. It could be an increase to our scaling.
Now since buffing our skills, Touch of Death will also get buffed, but if it comes to be so overpowered, where i doubt about it tbh, you could remove or at least lower the versatility scaling that affects Touch of Karma and Touch of Death.
In other words:
– With my previous quick thought, the risky gameplay with Karma is being removed.
– Karma becomes once again a personal preference ability. We can use it as a defensive cd in cases of emergency, or as a small extra dps cd that could boost our dps a bit since we are confident we can avoid stuff. By something extra i mean something not mandatory, like it is now. It will also provide extra self healing.
-Even by removing/lowering the versatility scaling from ToK/ToD, versatility will still remain 1 of our best stats, simply because that was the case when those 2 skills didnt benefit from it at all.
-Overall skill damage will be higher. Our AoE damage needs a boost. Spinning Crane Kick hits like a wet noodle. It got reduced from 40% per stack down to 10%. This can be buffed by either increasing the target cap, or buffing the % up to 20% for example.
I think there are some legit ideas here.
Speaking pvp wise (because i only do pvp) the huge damage of swift roundhouse was never the issue of WW monk,
our big issue is predictability, fighitng against someone whom doesn’t know our mechanic is a piece of cake: pop ToK
while the enemy is bursting and it’s an easy win.
The real problem comes up when you are fighting against someone who knows our only 2 spell for dmg, ToD and ToK, they will simply stun/dispel/snare/root and kite while you can almost do nothing against it. Then you will be useless for 2 min.
To my shame yesterday i lost against a DH with 50 (50!) less ilvl (me 320/him 270) simply because it’s a friend of mine and i told him to watch out from ToD and ToK.
The bottom line is we are too reliant on this two CDs to do anything in pvp and they are too easily counterable.
All of this is of course IMHO.
ilvl is useless in bfa pvp. There are no templates and spells e.g. Gleves deal 2% dmg.
I’m happy it came that way! 🙂
I did not enjoy the playstyle promoted by the trait at all, I did not enjoy keeping a 325 blue over a 370 epic because of that trait, and I did not like the harsh penalty that was incurred when you missed a part of that mindnumbingly boring rotation due to dozing off. Last, but not least, I did not enjoy the weak noodle AoE we got when playing with 3 Swift Roundhouse traits and Serenity.
Seeing the ‘normal’ rotation being fun and enganging, plus being a better fit for everything that is not pure single target, I am very happy that this outlier was fixed. Now I’m prepared to let them gather two weeks of data after the trait hotfixes to adjust class performances as a whole ( *cough* rogue *cough* unholy *cough* arms *cough* affliction ) and then I will be very fine with this change.
Sorry for everyone who enjoyed the playstyle and was dependant on it for a raid spot or whatever – I cannot stop to mention how glad I am to see that braindead rotation go.
Howls of lmao if you didn’t see nerfs coming to a trait that did THREE THOUSAND dps. My spec’s bis trait is something that we have to re-organize our whole playstyle and talent choices around and even after all that we’re lucky if it does 5%.
Idk what is your and 5% dps from them traits but the actual problem right now is that without that trait and how hard it got nerfed, there is no actual reason to play a ww monk when it overall dmg will be shit. I still understand the trait was overtune but the class need some love. Being the most geared of my guild and pulling isane percentiles and still almost getting beated by people doing poorly isnt fun to see.
Something tells me answering you is a waste of time, but still I’m gonna do it.
First of all, the WW trait nerf is by far not the only nerf across the board, so we move relative to other classes in the dps lists – we are not the only class affected by this. For example, Warlocks loose their best trait, too.
Secondly, you understand that the class was overtuned, but at the same time you want some love? Like, do these things happen on the same day in your universe or what are you thinking? Balanced traits will lead to class balance changes down the line – when there is actually a class to balance and not just 1-2 traits. Blizzard has always operated on empirical data, so they will wait for a few weeks now, then they will balance. If you expected otherwise you are ignorant as that has been their MO for years now.
Thirdly, you think there is no reason to play WW now. For the love of **** – do you expect sympathy after that thoughtless vomit? If you do not think there is a reason, then reroll and NO ONE will stop you. But I can guarantee you what’s not going to happen – any changes because you feel you’re entitled to a class at the top of single target AND the top of AoE damage.
And lastly, no one should care if you pull insane percentiles with a playstyle that is so slow and boring that a 3year old can do it. I’m betting on you’re being higher than other monks who said to themselves: ‘You know what, ultimately it’s about fun, so I will not play that obviously f’****d up rotation which will be changed in two weeks max’.
Or, another example, I only played 2 Swift Roundhouses in Mythic to have some AoE power left on my 3rd trait – yes, you will outdamage me single target with 3 traits, you will top my single target dps; and at the same time you will be extra worthless if you fail any Serenity window or any burst window throughout the fight, if there are adds, if you carry G’huun orbs, if you Zul mob dies at the wrong time etc etc.
Yet from your answer I can gather that you want the ‘big deeps’ and that ‘FotM goodness’ more than you care for a functional and fun class – so get out of here already and play whatever class passes your high standards – don’t come back when your new class in turn gets nerfed, please.
( non-english native speaker, keep the mistakes )
It is funny how you just change every word i say, the trait was overtune and not the class. We are talking about the best class against on of the bottom middle wtv you said up there just make no sense and prove me that you have no clue at all.You talk about Affliction warlock that got a little nerf being at the top of everychart, meanwhile there is no ww on mythic progression(even before nerf) because the class is weak and there is many other melees that can do great. If i would care about toping metter i wouldnt roll a monk to be honest, just feeling like blizz laughting at the spec with that other trait buff. A class at the top of single AND aoe, your joke is so good. Are we playing the same game ? Top of AoE ? Top of Single ? I just think you’re living in a dream and you need to wake up. The class is underaverage but still very fun to play, i just dont like how blizzard do things and nerf the top charters by little %.
what do we think of tidal surge or thunderous blast?
What I gathered from this is we should still be using 3 traits for Uldir and using WDP? Just really upsetting that they do this the second week into mythic / with no compensation. Makes it feel thoughtless on blizzards part.
I am surprised that open palm strikes sims so low. I suppose it’s because it also benefits cleave/AoE. I wonder how much cleave/AoE is needed for it to overtake other traits?
Ok so you guys know some of the WORST traits are simming higher than SR now for me. (With WDP)
Swirling sands does , and even filthy transfusion does does ( by 0.6% for me)
This is crazy. SR has gone from our best trait, to possibly our worst. Why don’t blizzard jsut remove it or rework it if they hated the playstyle change so much. Insane.
With serenity however, those traits are worse than SR, by roughly the same amount. This might be bad since now we might have to keep reforging and changing talent on pure single target as and then for AOE fights aswell…blizzard why.
To add to this, WDP is almost 4% higher simming for me than serenity. So yea basically Rip serenity
The developers have only one option now: remove the damage component off Touch of Karma and bring our -27% modifier to normal levels so we can continue to be competitive. As a melee class with limited defensives the only thing we can really bring to the table is damage and some utility.
That’s exactly what I’m looking forward to.
By all means remove the damage component of ToK (at least in PvE) and raise the WW aura.
After the nerf and trait discussion….. I was thinking about.. right now. My best sims are with 1x archive 1x matrix 1x ms…. but due to the new trait prio I came to the question if… using MS while using the old Prio “rotation” with using FoF more often etc….. Isnt it worth to consider using Combo Strikes for ST in Raid? …… seems legit to me while you are trying to get the best benfit out of MS
There was no need for them to go this far with SR. Nerf it so it doesn’t streak ahead sure, Nerf it so its not BIS… Annoying but if was like a top 3 talent fine, nerf it so it doesnt stop people using FoF great that was stupid anyway, but nerf it onto the ground so it is the 12th worst azerite possible knowing how many people will have farmed it is unfair. Now 100s or 1000s of people have to basically scarp their azerite armour and start farming again. Its bullshit.
So my pve dps was still in the meh, but acceptable range. I had to go back to WDP which is also meh, but that said in pvp / arenas I felt handicapped. As it stood our heavy burst was the only thing that gave us any viability at all and now we lack the control for our smaller burst to be able to apply the pressure our missing long cc abilitys would provide. I think all we really need to live in a world without burst is to fix paralyse.
I don’t see why some classes can chain cast their 7 second cc to control me for like 12 seconds and I get a 4 second cc. With leg sweep I suppose the case could be made that we can control for 9 seconds, but the difference being once they finish 12 second cc’ing me they can trade off and 12 second cc my partners I have to wait a minute to be able to be able to start controlling a target.