Yes. Its a yurt… its a round house… get it?
So recently now that the dust has started to settle on Azerite traits, people are able to start looking for potential ways to get the most out of them. The one that has popped up after some testing and theorycrafting by Slappa, is Swift Roundhouse. The past few days, several people have helped to get some information out of the potential for Swift Roundhouse in order to answer the questions that we know will come.
UPDATE (8/24): Blizzard nerfed the trait less than 24 hours after this article was written. All of the info in this article and the main guide has been updated.
UPDATE (9/17): It has just been announced that Swift Roundhouse was to be nerfed by 55% on the weekly reset. The playstyle is dead and the rest of this article is irrelevant.
What is Happening
When you have a Swift Roundhouse trait, using Blackout Kick gives you a stack that increased the damage of your next Rising Sun Kick, up to two stacks. What Slappa noticed was that because of how strong the trait was, and how high the damage was that it added to Rising Sun Kick, in pure single target situations once you had two traits of Swift Roundhouse, you could gain damage by using Serenity and using Fists of Fury only at the end of Serenity.
By using Fists of Fury so much less, you can have enough resources to use Rising Sun Kick with two stacks of Swift Roundhouse and be able to use Blackout Kick twice between each Rising Sun Kick to get to those stacks.
Why it’s Happening
Currently, outside of burst windows, like Serenity, we prioritize our abilities by the damage they do per the Chi they cost. When considering making this change, the damage that each stack of Swift Roundhouse provides to Rising Sun Kick can be added to the damage per Chi of Blackout Kick since that’s where the cost is. Once you do this, having two traits in Swift Roundhouse push the damage per Chi of Blackout Kick higher than Fists of Fury, meaning that you would prioritize using Blackout Kick to get Swift Roundhouse stacks over using Fists of Fury.
This becomes an even bigger deal since last night we determined how/why Swift Roundhouse was doing more damage than was on the tooltip. Basically the tooltip damage of Swift Roundhouse gets added to Rising Sun Kick before all the modifiers that increase and decrease Rising Sun Kick‘s damage. This was updated to SimCraft and we saw Swift Roundhouse‘s damage and value skyrocket in all situations.
What it Means
This means that the ideal build for single target will be to use Serenity with 3 Swift Roundhouse traits. When you have 2 or 3 traits, you’d aim to switch to Serenity for single target. When you’ve done so, you will only use Fists of Fury at the end of Serenity, when it’s free, or as a Chi dump. You will always aim to use Blackout Kick twice between each Rising Sun Kick, without dropping Mastery and always use Rising Sun Kick as close to on cooldown as possible. With either 2 or 3 traits, you can use Fists of Fury to dump excess Chi instead. This also means that you won’t want to break Mastery unless it will directly get you another cast of Rising Sun Kick. You’d also want to always enter Serenity with 2 stacks of Swift Roundhouse with your first ability after Serenity being Rising Sun Kick.
An example sequence between Serenitys will look like this: Tiger Palm > Blackout Kick > Tiger Palm > Blackout Kick > Rising Sun Kick > Repeat. As you can see this has exactly as much Chi going in as it has coming out and it doesn’t include any other abilities. However, you don’t generate enough energy to be able to use two Tiger Palm every 7 seconds or so, thats where other talents like Fist of the White Tiger, Energizing Elixir, or Chi Burst come into play. They help to fill in the gaps so that you have the Chi when you need it. It does result in a slight resource surplus in the long run, which is why you use Fists of Fury occasionally to dump the excess Chi. It’s best if you plan slightly ahead so that using Fists of Fury between two casts of Rising Sun Kick, while also getting two stacks of Swift Roundhouse before your second cast, delays that second cast of Rising Sun Kick for as little time as possible.
I can already predict the questions that we’re going to get, so I think its easier to just write them out this way and maybe update if others pop up.
1. What other talents do I take?
This is largely less important since the bulk of the damage comes from Rising Sun Kick. Chi Burst provides a little bit of extra Chi that you may need at times to keep things going, but Chi Wave gives you an extra button to not worry about breaking Mastery, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger will continue to be best for single target. Fist of the White Tiger or Energizing Elixir will be very close, Energizing Elixir provides a little bit more resources, but Fist of the White Tiger will provide another button to help keep up Mastery. If you’re going to use Serenity, you do not want to use Hit Combo since the rotation inside Serenity is that of Blackout Kick > Blackout Kick > Rising Sun Kick. General recommendations would be to take Chi Burst, Fist of the White Tiger, and Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
2. Is Swift Roundhouse still best if I’m not using Serenity?
Yes, currently Swift Roundhouse is the highest simming trait and has no real loss of benefit with more traits. Because of how strong it is, its still best the best trait even with Whirling Dragon Punch.
3. Do I follow the “FoF-less” priority with Whirling Dragon Punch?
You can, but the difference is much smaller. You’d still use Fists of Fury so that you could use Whirling Dragon Punch, so instead of using it on CD, you’d use it slightly less often.
4. What about multi-target?
The benefit of the “FoF-less” priority is mostly restricted to single target. Regardless of if you have 2 or 3 Swift Roundhouse traits, you will start using Fists of Fury normally again on 2 targets. Likewise, regardless of if you have 2 or 3 Swift Roundhouse traits, you will start using Spinning Crane Kick at 4 targets or more once you have 4 stacks of Mark of the Crane. Note that if using a Blackout Kick instead will get you an extra cast of Fists of Fury, you would do that instead.
5. Should I be dropping ilevel to get Swift Roundhouse traits?
The short answer is, sim it. The long answer is that it depends on what traits you have. For example, if you’re comparing a 340 item with Swift Roundhouse to a 385 with Dagger in the Back, it’s possible that the 385 will be better, since Dagger is a strong trait. If you’re comparing a 340 item with Swift Roundhouse to a 385 with a poor trait, then its almost certain that the 340 will be best. It’s recommended to item restore anything with Swift Roundhouse traits, and then just sim the combinations through Raidbots.
6. How should I open?
Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger > Fist of the White Tiger > Blackout Kick > Tiger Palm > Blackout Kick > Touch of Death > Serenity
7. What do I do inside Serenity?
Rising Sun Kick > Blackout Kick > Blackout Kick > Repeat
After the last (4th) Rising Sun Kick, you use Fists of Fury. Inside Bloodlust, add a Blackout Kick before using Fists of Fury.
8. Do I need to hold Rising Sun Kick till I have two stacks of Swift Roundhouse?
No, any Swift Roundhouse stack that’s generated will just go toward the following Rising Sun Kick. If you played WW in Legion, then its a similar philosophy to Transfer the Power. You should have no problem having two stacks for each. The only time this may feel like an issue is when you are using Fists of Fury to dump Chi between two casts of Rising Sun Kick. As long as getting the second stack of Swift Roundhouse doesn’t delay Rising Sun Kick for any significant amount of time, you would aim to get the second stack.
9. Can I cast Blackout Kick more than twice before using Rising Sun Kick?
You can, but overcapping Swift Roundhouse stacks wastes the gain that you get from the “FoF-less” priority. You shouldn’t have to anyways, since you should be dumping excess Chi with Fists of Fury. Just be sure to continue to use Rising Sun Kick as close to on cooldown as you can.
10. Should I be breaking Mastery outside of Serenity?
Generally, no. Breaking Mastery lessens the gap between using Fists of Fury and “FoF-less” and makes it less worthwhile, but if breaking Mastery to dump Chi with Blackout Kick will directly grant you an extra cast of Rising Sun Kick, it is worth it. You still want to do it as little as possible.
11. How much more/less damage is following the “FoF-less” priority compared to the normal priority?
If you have only two Swift Roundhouse traits, going “FoF-less” is a slight DPS increase. Once you have three traits then going “FoF-less” is a noticeably larger increase. How much of a change will depend on your character, so a general number can’t really be given.
12. Where do I get Swift Roundhouse traits?
The spell page for the trait, on WoWHead, shows the gear that is available with that trait: Swift Roundhouse
13. Does this mean I can use a 2H weapon?
Sure, as long as you are OK with doing less damage. The damage formulas give 2H a penalty for Windwalkers, so even when not casting Fists of Fury at all, it’s quite a lot better to use 1H weapons.
14. Do you have a WeakAura to track SR?
The playstyle is ssslllloooowww. Although the amount of buttons you press technically goes up, since you’re trading many Fists of Fury casts for 3 casts of Blackout Kick, you’re trading 4 seconds of dealing damage through Fists of Fury for 3 seconds of dealing damage through Blackout Kick. So most people will feel that this playstyle is very very slow. My opinion of enjoying slower playstyles is well documented, so I really enjoyed playing with it when I tried it out.
(Written before the nerf on 8/24): This build is incredibly strong. Windwalker is already simming toward, or at, the top of the SimCraft rankings, after we made the change to the profile using Swift Roundhouse. With the further improvements to the profile, as well as changing the APL to use the “FoF-less” Serenity priority when Swift Roundhouse, it may push Windwalker to silly heights when compared to other specs in the stacked SimCraft lists. This, by itself may justify Swift Roundhouse being nerfed since its so far ahead of all the other options, even without the change in playstyle.
It was pretty clear that dropping Rising Sun Kick from the rotation when Blackout Kick was too strong was almost certainly against Blizzard’s design philosophy. It’s equally clear that dropping Fists of Fury from much of the priority will likely also not be consistent with whatever their design philosophy is for Windwalkers. This means that they may nerf Swift Roundhouse damage so that its not a possibility, or so that its only a possibility with 3 Swift Roundhouse traits, creating a smaller, more niche playstyle.
The last potential issue is the availability of items with Swift Roundhouse traits. In Uldir there is only 1 piece with an Swift Roundhouse trait: Cowl of Dark Portents. This means that to get the trait at a high item level, you need to hope for a high item level Azerite piece from your M+ weekly cache. If you add in the fact that we will almost certainly want to use at least one trait that enables Reorigination Array, that limits the maximum Swift Roundhouse traits to 2, or less if we want to stack Reorigination Array, making this playstyle potentially not relevant in Uldir based on current assumptions.
As you can see, this new possibility may boost our single target damage to absurd heights. Its a very simple playstyle but does require more planning that it may seem like it would at first. It is restricted to single target, but not to talents, even though Serenity benefits more from it than Whirling Dragon Punch. There’s lots more possibilities including ones involving Rushing Jade Wind, Ascension, or Spiritual Focus. Initial theorycrafting is that those options are not as strong, but there may be more weirdness that we haven’t found yet.
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Very well written and interesting article.
The availability of the traits coupled with not using one of our, if not our most iconic ability, in order to get far greater ST DPS, makes me quite sad, I can see Blizzard hot fixing this as it feels very wonky.
This coupled with the good karma problem, makes me think the spec needs some precise tweaks.
All in all i’m happy with the spec currently, I just dislike being forced to cheese our survivability for maximum dps and I dislike feeling as if I have to “play wrong” to “play best”. I wish they’d tweak SR down and push other traits up, there are some really great ones out there. If they smooth out the playing-field so to speak, you can have people who can choose Fof- less style or not with little dps loss one way or the other I think this would obviously be brilliant, but searching for utopia never tends to be successful. Which makes me think they’ll just nerf it. I also resent WDP not being the top dps ability just because the animation is so great and I love the extra button in the rotation, but i accept that’s just my preference, not the way it should be.
Forgoing FOF and using a 2h such as a polearm is actually a really cool option, very RPG. Honestly think there should be something like that built into the spec, so that you can loose FoF equip staves and pole arms to get more stats and raw auto attack dmg, that could be a nice work around.
EU Sporeggar – Stumble
Not a fan of this at all, I hope they adjust this trait properly.
Wich Stat to focus on using this build ?
Same as other wise, get as much Vers as you can.
What about touch of death? do i need to wait 30 sec to use serinity with touch of death ? or use it when it up?
Generally it’s safer not to delay abilities.
how about using 2 stacks of SR and meridian strikes and then waiting for them to line up? Btw is this build still viable, simulations I run on AMR and raidbots all point to using wdp, chi burst and fist, yet in the real world the energy gen is so bad that I have to completely ignore FoF from my rotation in order to get 2 stacks of SR consistently, but then I cant wdp. (hence why I ignore sims and use 2 x Sr and a serenity burst build with chi wave + fist to keep mastery up between BoK’s). Sims just seem like nonsense to me
in my experience, meridian strikes seems not really worth it for PvE. It wont get you an extra cast in most situations and thunderous blast or laser matrix will get you more damage.
It depends entirely on the content you’re doing
edit : 3 x SR in my serenity build ****
In terms of stat prio…
I could improve my gs by using shoes 355 instead of 345 but I would loose 2% Vers for haste
Same with a ring.
Go for gearscore or versa?
Go with what sims tell you.
Is this build still the best?
Is this specific build still viable?
Yes, if it wasn’t, we would have updated the guide
So is 2xSR the same as 3xSR? Or did it mean that stacking SR is only worth it if you get 3 now, and having only 2 is basically like having 0 so you don’t need to worry about it unless you have 3?
Stacking SR is always worth it, as it’s our best trait. Switching to the priority outlined in this guide is only a noticeable gain at 3 traits, although there is still a small gain at 2, just not enough to make this playstyle noticeably better.
Hey Babylonius! Do you know if reorigination Array stack if i use armor and helmet uldir traits?
As far as we know the main trait stacks, but not the reorigination array
Picked up the Champ Exalt chest and chose Champ of Azeroth; the 15 ilvls on the chest and this trait okay to reduce from 3 SR to 2 SR? Other item is the Gore chest. I don’t know how to tell if my sim will properly prioritize SR.
If you sim with a up to date raidbots or SimC, it will do it correctly
It doesn’t seem like because it’s still fusing FoF with the same frequency comparing 2 or 3 traits of SR. Ah well, I’ll just play it safe with 2 I think because I should have an Uldir piece soon anyway and won’t want to use a 340 SR over it. Thanks for the help anyway.
The APL is set up to switch to the SR playstyle with 2 traits, so you won’t see a difference between 2 or 3
New to trying Serenity now, wondering how you get 4 RSKs off inside of Serenity? I can barely get 3 with time to start FoF at the end with GCDs. Am I missing haste or something? Curious what you think.
I just start with RSK and alternate RSK BoK BoK RSK till Serenity is over. I believe you may need lust to get more RSK. I haven’t looked at it as much
So… Reorig Array for Uldir or 3rd Swift Roundhouse trait? Anyone experiment and find when the trait stack is generally high enough to justify dropping 1X swift roundhouse?
It will depend on too many factors for there to be a general rule. We just have to wait till it’s implemented in sims to know for sure.
So I have the trait x3 now.
At this point, is it correct to completely ignore FoF?
I’m reading that we should dump excess resources into FoF…but I simply don’t seem to be experiencing that issue.
I am prioritizing pretty much what has been stated above:
– Maintaining mastery
– Always having 2 procs prior to RsK
– Never doing a blackout kick past 2 procs
By the time I have 2 procs, RsK is usually at ~4 seconds cd.
At that point I’m either waiting for it on CD or waiting for the next TP/FotWT to get the 2 chi and it’ll be off CD by then.
I even set up an aura with some conditions to trigger FoF flash when I seem to be in a state of excess resources
– Chi => 3
– RsK CD => 4 seconds
– Energy => 40
– SR proc = 2
Never once am I hitting the above conditions at the same time.
Does this seem correct? Any insight would be great.
With Serenity you only end up needing to use FoF at the end of serenity or with multiple targets.
You may want to make sure you set it to energy <= 40. If its backwards here but not in your aura maybe thats not the problem. Also just set the bit about rsk cd to 2 seconds, its still worth the fof at that point and should give your aura a shot at being more active.
At 3x SR traits, I don’t see a noticeable DPS increase over 2x SR traits (and 3rd trait goes to a higher iLVL
item without SRK). This is both on Sim and in game. I am unsure of the benefits of 3x SRK, since each time I BoK it only stacks once?
Thanks, new to 3x SR build.
The number of stacks stays the same, but the damage provided by those stacks gets bigger with each trait you have.
So at 1x stack, it adds damage from all 3 traits, same goes for 2x stacks?
Correct. If each trait adds 10 damage, then with 3 traits each stack adds 30 damage.
Thanks for that clarification. I think my dps is nearly equal due to the +30 ilvl increase (and therefore the additional agi is making up for it?) I will have to run more sims and test it out in game further.
SR is getting another 55% nerf in next hotfix apparently
Just saw that too, wtf.. guess SR is becoming shitty trait?
I wrote a whole article about it, and there’s an update at the top of this article.