Windwalker Battle for Azeroth Guide

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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 October 13, 2020 for Patch 9.0. 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. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  3. Fist of the White Tiger (if less than 3 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  4. Expel Harm (if less than max Chi AND about to cap energy)
  5. Tiger Palm ( if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  6. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  7. Fists of Fury
  8. Rising Sun Kick
  9. Expel Harm
  10. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  11. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  12. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  13. Blackout Kick
  14. Chi Wave (Talent)
  15. Tiger Palm

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

 

Multi-Target (At least 3 targets)

  1. Touch of Death
  2. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  3. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  4. Fists of Fury
  5. Rushing Jade Wind (Talent)
  6. Rising Sun Kick (ONLY to use Whirling Dragon Punch)
  7. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  8. Expel Harm
  9. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  10. Spinning Crane Kick (At least 3 targets regardless of stacks)
  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

  • Blackout Kick! – Used before you would potentially generate another proc.
  • Dance of Chi-Ji – it is technically best to use the proc on Spinning Crane Kick ahead of any ability that would chance generating another proc, so any Chi spender. However, because of the comparatively low damage that Spinning Crane Kick does, its safer to use any ability with a cooldown ahead of it in the priority, hence its position above.
  • Energizing Elixir – Ideally used on cooldown when at 0-1 Chi with Tiger Palm after, to maximize resource gain.
  • Expel Harm – Use this as close to its cooldown as possible as long as you can generate 1 Chi. The damage it does isn’t as important.
  • Hit Combo and Mastery – Any ability that does damage, both, benefits from, and continues Mastery and Hit Combo.
  • Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger – Use on cooldown, ideally with stat procs or during cleave situations since his lightning hits up to 3 targets.
  • Rushing Jade Wind – If you are talented into this, keep it up ONLY when there are 2 or more targets. Be aware of having less resources and make sure you have enough for Fists of Fury and other important abilities.
  • Serenity – Read Wizard Dog’s Serenity Guide
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire – Used as close to on cooldown while lining up with other abilities and damage bonuses. Also useful to easily tag targets for increased Spinning Crane Kick damage. Try to keep one charge recharging at all times. Ideally you fit in 2x Rising Sun Kick, a Fists of Fury, and a Whirling Dragon Punch.
  • Touch of Death – Use whenever its available to kill something quickly or toward the end of a fight. On bosses you don’t always have to use it right away, you can wait until you have a natural opening.
  • Touch of Karma – Although technically a defensive ability, it can provide offensive power. Best used as frequently as you can get as much damage absorbed as possible. Most consistent way to use is to taunt a big target and tank it until the absorb is gone.
  • Whirling Dragon Punch can be used a very specific timing, roughly the last 0.2 seconds of Storm, Earth, and Fire, in order to get a HUGE burst of damage. We used to be able to force this by using a /cancelaura macro, but that was “fixed’, however its still technically doable. Check out this article for more information.

 

Openers

Using Whirling Dragon Punch

  1. Precast Expel Harm 10-15 seconds before pull (to start with 1 Chi)
  2. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  3. Fist of the White Tiger (if talented), else Tiger Palm
  4. Expel Harm
  5. Essence Abilities
  6. Storm, Earth, and Fire
  7. Rising Sun Kick
  8. Tiger Palm (if needed)
  9. Fists of Fury
  10. Whirling Dragon Punch
  11. Tiger Palm
  12. 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.

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

The best method to choose between what trinkets you have available, use the “Top Gear” tool on 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.

 

 

“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

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. Heart of Darkness x3
  2. Fury of Xuen x1
  3. Dance of Chi-Ji x1
  4. Open Palm Strikes to fill

 

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.

 

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 Wowhead’s Heart of Azeroth Essences Overview Guide. Simming the essences you have available to you to determine the best combination is currently a viable and recommended way to figure out what you should equip. If you’d like a handy flowchart, check this out:

Raiding

Mythic Plus

World Content

Horrific Visions

Further Reading: 

Using Blood of the Enemy:

The best way to use Blood of the Enemy is to line it up with Touch of Death and Storm, Earth, and Fire. Even though this will likely cost you a cast or two of Blood of the Enemy throughout the fight, it is better to line it up with your biggest damage window than have it augment nothing. If you know you have a big damage window, such as a large group of adds, or an increased damage phase, you can use it with Storm, Earth, and Fire without Touch of Death if its not available.

 

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.

Babylonius says, “Prefer Pandaren”

 

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 if you were channeling that for any reason. 

 

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]
/cast [talent:1/1] Eye of the Tiger; [talent:1/2] Chi Wave; [talent:1/3] Chi Burst

Tier 3 (Level 30)

#showtooltip
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/cast [talent:3/1] Ascension; [talent:3/2] Fist of the White Tiger; [talent:3/3] Energizing Elixir

Tier 5 (Level 40)

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

Changelog

  • Jan 14, 2020 – Initial 8.3 Update
  • 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