Windwalker Battle for Azeroth Guide

by

Welcome to PeakofSerenity's Windwalker Monk PvE Guide. This guide is designed to be a basic, quick guide for Windwalker with just the information you need. For more in-depth, advanced, information follow the links to those pages in the "Further Reading" sections or in the "Advanced" section in the menu above. Navigate quickly to the section you need using the sidebar on the right.

This guide was last updated August 18, 2019 for Patch 8.2 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

Talents

General Talents

Further Reading: 

War Mode Talents (for open world)

Ability Priority

Windwalkers operate on a priority system, NOT A ROTATION. This means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority and try not to delay a higher up ability in favor of a lower one. This priority is aimed at minimizing damage loss. For more information on how priorities are generated, read Babylonius’s Understanding Priorities article.

Single Target

  1. Touch of Death
  2. Reverse Harm ( if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy, assuming target heals for 8% of your health)
  3. Fist of the White Tiger (if <3 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  4. Tiger Palm ( if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  5. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  6. Fists of Fury
  7. Rising Sun Kick (If you have Open Palm Strikes and no Glory of the Dawn you can use the “RSKless” playstyle for a small gain (read more here))
  8. Reverse Harm
  9. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  10. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  11. Spinning Crane Kick (with  Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  12. Blackout Kick
  13. Chi Wave (Talent)
  14. Tiger Palm

(Essences should be used as close to on cooldown as possible while delaying other abilities minimally)

Multi-Target

  1. Touch of Death
  2. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  3. Fists of Fury
  4. Rushing Jade Wind (Talent)
  5. Rising Sun Kick (ONLY to use  Whirling Dragon Punch)
  6. Reverse Harm
  7. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  8. Spinning Crane Kick (At least 2 targets and 3 stacks)
  9. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  10. Rising Sun Kick
  11. Blackout Kick (to build  Spinning Crane Kick stacks)
  12. Chi Wave (Talent)
  13. Tiger Palm

(Essences should be used as close to on cooldown as possible while delaying other abilities minimally)

Ability Usage

 

Openers

Using Whirling Dragon Punch

  1. Precast Reverse Harm 10-15 seconds before pull (to start with 1 Chi)
  2. Condensed Life Force (CLF Essence)
  3. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger (if talented)
  4. Reverse Harm or Fist of the White Tiger (if talented), else Tiger Palm
  5. Fist of the White Tiger (if talented and used Reverse Harm first), else Tiger Palm
  6. Touch of Death
  7. Storm, Earth, and Fire
  8. Crucible of Flame (CoF Essence)
  9. Cyclotronic Blast
  10. Other Essence Abilities
  11. Rising Sun Kick
  12. Tiger Palm
  13. Fists of Fury
  14. Reverse Harm
  15. Whirling Dragon Punch
  16. Tiger Palm (unless you used Reverse Harm earlier)
  17. Rising Sun Kick

From here, follow your normal priority, and for Heroism/Bloodlust, prioritize getting 3 casts of Rising Sun Kick inside Storm, Earth, and Fire. For an extended version of each that plans out another 10 seconds or so, including a cast of Chi Wave/Chi Burst, see the Extended and Alternate Storm, Earth, and Fire Openers article. This also has details on some other openers, the ideas behind the order of certain spell casts, and how they came to be.

Serenity: Read Wizard Dog’s Serenity Guide

Further Reading:

Gearing

Stats

Agility > Versatility > Critical Strike = Mastery > Haste

Stat priority can and will change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. To find the best gear for your character, use SimCraft or Raidbots.

Further Reading: How Stat Weights/Priority Work

 

Trinkets

To choose between what trinkets you have available, use SimCraft or Raidbots. If you’d like general “rankings” for trinkets based on simulations, use HeroDamage or BloodyToolsJust know that these tools use the simulation profile, which may not reflect your gear and talent choices.

Current Recommendations:

  1. Pocket-Sized Computation Device with Cyclotronic Blast – Strongest single target trinket currently available. Strong enough to merit using it in all content.
  2. Ashvane’s Coral – Strong in all content, but requires micro-management.
  3. Inkpod – Default for boss fights if you’re not using Ashvane’s Coral
  4. Harlan’s – Good default for non-boss content if not using Ashvane’s Coral

 

More information about Cyclotronic Blast courtesy of @wizard dog:

Even though you can no longer cast spells during the channel, the Cyclotronic trinket now crits and seems to still be strong for single target. Cyclotronic opener: Fotwt/RH > TP > ToD > SEF > Trinket > RSK > TP > FoF > WDP Important to note that both on pull and mid fight you want to have the entire channel of the trinket inside a ToD+SEF window cause of a bug causing SEF to triple Gale Burst trinket damage.

 

“Best-in-Slot”

The concept of “Best-in-slot” lists is mostly obsolete with the advent of War/Titanforging and sockets. Gear should be assessed on a case-by-case basis rather than as a whole, using tools like SimCraft or Raidbots. To see what Azerite or Trinket gear you should be aiming for, see those sections of this guide.

To assess what gear to aim for, you want to follow this priority:

  1. Item level trumps just about everything in just about every situation
  2. Aim for items with as high Versatility on them whenever you can
  3. Aim for items with Crit or Mastery as the other stat
  4. If you have more Mastery % than Crit %, then aim for a piece with the opposite

 

Benthic Gear

Belts

  1. Vim’s Scalecrusher Clasp – At 425 its on par with 445 raid gear as long as you’re in Nazjatar or Eternal Palace.
  2. Fathomstalker Waistband – The sims don’t assume that the target is an Aberration, so its safe to assume that if you’re target is an Aberration, this is THE belt to use.

Bracers

  1. Ori’s Tidal Wristwraps – As long as you’re in Nazjatar or EP, this is the bracers you want to use as its noticeably stronger than raid gear at 445.
  2. Neri’s Wavebreaker Bindings – Although not as strong as Ori’s in single target, scales better with multiple targets, so would be used whenever there’s more than two targets to smack around.

Boots

  1. Akana’s Reefstrider Footwraps – Slightly behind 445 Raid gear, but strong up till you get the Mythic boots.
  2. Fathomstalker Boots – This is hard to rate since it depends on killing targets that are Aberrations.

Gloves

  1. Poen’s Deepsea Grips – Stronger than 445 gloves from raid.

 

Azerite

Azerite is a new addition to Battle for Azeroth, largely replacing the Artifact, Legendary, Netherlight Crucible, and Tier systems. This system has somehow managed to become even more complicated than all those systems together. For information on how Azerite works, check out the WoWHead Azerite Guide.

For information on where you can get any of the Azerite traits listed below, simply click on it, use WoWHead’s Azerite Finder, or Azerite.info. In almost all situations of the top half of Tier 3 traits, they are stronger than the contribution of the Tier 2 trait, so decisions can be made with primarily the Tier 3 trait in mind.

 

Tier 3 (Outer Ring) and Tier 2 (Middle Ring)

To choose between what traits you have available, use SimCraft or Raidbots. If you’d like general “rankings” for traits based on simulations, use HeroDamage or BloodyToolsJust know that these tools use the simulation profile, which may not reflect your gear and talent choices.

If you’re hardpressed for a list of what to aim for, these are the traits to think about and try to get:

  1. Open Palm Strikes is our strongest all-purpose trait and the one we’ll be most aiming to stack three traits of. For much more info on this trait such as how exactly it works and when to use one or more of it, check out the OPS article.
  2. Fury of Xuen is a very strong trait in all content, although strongest in single target and low target cleave. Does not stack well as only the Haste portion increases, so you’ll likely want to aim for just one of these.
  3. Glory of the Dawn Decent trait for pure single target, but isn’t very useful in AOE where you use Rising Sun Kick less often. Also doesn’t stack well, so stick with just one.
  4. Dance of Chi-Ji is a very strong AOE trait. Stacking more doesn’t have the same effect, as only the damage increases, but it is a reasonable trait to stack for M+ where AOE is plentiful.
  5. Pressure Point – Good default filler

 

Tier 1 (Inner Ring)

These are largely up to personal choice as they provide mostly healing and damage reduction. for information about which does that the best, head over to the Brewmaster guide for information about what T1 traits keep you alive the best.

 

Special Notes

  • Not all traits stack equally! Traits like Dance of Chi-JiFury of XuenGlory of the Dawn, and others that have a % chance portion and a stat or damage portion will only see the stat or damage portion of their function stack with multiple traits. That means that traits like this frequently are no where near as strong with the 2nd or 3rd trait.
  • Dagger in the Back – All but requires you to be behind your target and has a ramp up time. If you are in front of your target, it is very weak, and not overly strong in short burst damage, making it less desirable in World Quests and other content where you may not be fighting behind your target, or the same target for an extended period of time.
  • Open Palm Strikes – A strong trait that enhances Fists of Fury. For much more info on this trait such as how exactly it works and when to use one or more of it, check out the OPS article.
  • Treacherous Covenent is a very strong trait as long as you can stay above 50%, if you’ can’t stay above 50% then its useless and likely actively detrimental. Probably not recommended for progression or harder content.

 

Gear to Aim For

Most of the time, you will choose the piece that has the highest item level, with few exceptions. Once you have pieces in your inventory, it is still best to sim them through SimCraft or Raidbots.

 

Essences

For more information on available Essences and the drop locations for each rank, see our Heart of Azeroth Essences Overview Guide. If you’d like a handy flowchart, check this out:

Raiding Essences

Mythic+ Essences

World Content Essences

Further Reading: 

 

Consumables

Gems/Enchants

 

Consumables

Leveling

Talents

You can generally follow the talent priority above, just use Chi Torpedo as Tiger’s Lust doesn’t stack with other movement increases from legendaries.

 

Legendaries

If you have any Antorus Raid gear, most people recommend (Crafted) crafted boots and March of the Legion or Sephuz’s Secret as you don’t need as much damage when leveling, but movement speed will make things go much faster. crafted boots and Sephuz’s Secret for faster out-of-combat speed, March of the Legion and Sephuz’s Secret for in-combat speed, or crafted boots and March of the Legion for a mix of both.

If you feel that you don’t have enough damage, you can switch to using Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred for fighting elites or Drinking Horn Cover for prolonged AOE.

 

Consumables

Miscellaneous

Racials

Currently all races sim within 1.4% of each other and reshuffle constantly. The added utility of Blood Elf’s Arcane Torrent can be useful at times. Other than that, pick whatever race you prefer.

 

Professions

Professions have no bearing on your ability to perform your role. Pick whatever will make your playing time easier and more enjoyable.

WeakAuras

WeakAuras are ways to show things on your screen in a customized and personalized way. The best WeakAuras are the ones that you set up for yourself specific to your style and needs. However, many people have already made ones for themselves to share, so check them out and use them as bases to customize your own.

WAGO.IO

No WeakAuras are “required” but some are very useful:

  • Touch of Karma Absorb remaining – Tracks the duration of Touch of Karma and the amount of shield left to absorb.
  • Last Ability Tracker – Tracks the last ability you used in order to minimize mistakes with Mastery. Turns red when a mistake is made, turns blue when an ability is dodged, parried, or misses.
  • Mark of the Crane Stacks – Tracks the amount of Mark of the Crane debuffs you have out.
  • Babylonius’s WeakAuras – WeakAura group created by Babylonius (author of this guide), aimed at having all you need to play Windwalker.
  • Ipse’s WeakAuras – Another common Monk WA group. Ipse makes WA suites for all specs and classes, so can be very useful if you’d like to use his for multiple classes.

Macros

Stopcasting Macro

#showtooltip Tiger Palm
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]
/cast Tiger Palm

Change Tiger Palm with whatever ability you want. This macro prevents you from cancelling the channel of Fists of Fury, while ensuring that you do not spend any unwanted energy on Crackling Jade Lightning.

 

Reverse Harm Macros

Check out this page for many examples.

 

Talent Swap Macros

These macros will allow you to have one button that functions for whatever talent you’ve selected at that talent row. This isn’t useful for all talent rows as some take the place of other abilities, or provide massively different functions.

Tier 1 (Level 15)

#showtooltip
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]
/cast [talent:1/1] Eye of the Tiger; [talent:1/2] Chi Wave; [talent:1/3] Chi Burst

Tier 5 (Level 75)

#showtooltip
/cast [talent:5/1] Inner Strength; [talent:5/2] Diffuse Magic; [talent:5/3] Dampen Harm

Tier 6 (Level 90)

#showtooltip
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]
/cast [talent:6/1] Hit Combo; [talent:6/2] Rushing Jade Wind; [talent:6/3] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger

Changelog

  • August 18, 2019 – Updated for “RSKLess” priority
  • July 3, 2019 – Updated consumable recommendations
  • June 23, 2019 – Updated for 8.2
  • January 16, 2019 – Updated for Battle for Dazar’alor
  • December 10, 2018 – Updated for 8.1
  • September 18, 2018 – Removed all semblance of Swift Roundhouse
  • August 31st, 2018 – Added Uldir Trinkets
  • August 27th, 2018 – Updated Potion to Bursting Blood
  • August 24, 2018 – Updated for Swift Roundhouse slightly-less-craziness
  • August 23, 2018 – Updated for Swift Roundhouse craziness
  • August 11, 2018 – Updated for BfA
  • August 7, 2018 – Updated for BoK nerf and other changes
  • July 25, 2018 – Updated a few things and added more Macros
  • July 18, 2018 – Fixed a few issues
  • July 15, 2018 – Updated for Prepatch information
  • July 5, 2018 – Guide Created