Windwalker PvP Guide (8.0.1)

Welcome to PeakofSerenity's Windwalker Monk PvP Guide. This guide is designed to be a basic, quick guide for Windwalker PvP 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 has been updated for Patch 8.0.1 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information. If you want to view all the changes to Windwalker in 8.0.1 check out our pre patch guide here here

Talents

War Mode Talents – the ones in bold are the most important

Further Reading

  • Tier 1 (lv15) – Most games you’ll be playing with Chi Wave. To use Chi Wave for Self Healing cast it on yourself rather than an enemy target to change the number of bounces made to either favor healing or damage but you must be in combat with your target and inside the 25 yard range for the jumps to occur. Currently the healing provided by Chi Wave makes it the better pick in nearly every game.

 

  • Tier 2 (lv30) – Tiger’s Lust is a staple ability for Windwalker PvP allowing you to break roots or clear slows for either yourself or teammates. To be more effective and maximize the potential for team utility consider making a macro similar to /use [@focus,nodead] Tiger’s Lust if you prefer a focus macro or /cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead][] Tiger’s Lust if you want a one button solution to cast it both on a friendly target or yourself with a mouseover macro.

Defensively Tiger’s Lust will improve your teams ability to play around pillars which is a very important strategy to utilize against teams like Rogue/Mage/Healer as well as other caster comps. As a Windwalker you are extremely mobile and usually able to move freely which allows you to maximize the benefit of this utility in a few ways. Since roll and flying serpent kick will take you the entire distance of a pillar and Transcendence:Transfer is available it’s important to keep a path clear for your team by clearing roots, killing totems, and without going out of line of sight be in position to prevent your team from getting controlled off, or away, from the pillar by something like Psychic Scream by using your Disable. Being in position to enable your team also allows your team to be in a position to support you. Wild Charge is a great example of enabling mobility on your team when you have a resto druid because it helps both avoid out of form crowd control by getting your healer out of harms way and puts them in a position with free globals to drop a vortex on your leg sweep.  Tiger’s Lust is the starting point for team utility and one of our most important tools.

The only time where you will probably not need Tiger’s Lust would be against enemy teams that are running a Mistweaver and playing Chi Torpedo will make it possible for you to chase and kill them with nearly identical cooldowns on each others mobility spells. This will not always be possible depending on the enemy team composition and remember that Way of the Crane is extremely dangerous. Two potential ways to win are to get them in a stun as Mistweavers are very vulnerable or to get them to start using Way of the Crane defensively without any mobility tools to escape from you, or to chase, but in these moments cross cc on the enemy teams DPS as well as coordination with your own teammates is going to be what decides if the trade is win or not.

In battlegrounds it’s usually not worth it to replace Tiger’s Lust with Celerity even if you are playing with exit strategy. On larger maps with a more open space or node control maps, like Warsong,Twin Peaks, Gilneas, there are situations where the utility provided by Tiger’s Lust is not as necessary . During escorts or where the fighting is centered around a flag and you are typically going to have a healer around to dispel many of the roots and Chi Torpedo can be an attractive talent in its place that can help you kite to avoid damage or increase response time for base switches, etc. The benefit is minimal but only do so when you have a reliable team,namely a healer, that can clear roots as well as a team with offensive and defensive control options.

  • Tier 3 (lv45) – The biggest mistake I see is when windwalker players underestimate the value of the level 45 row. Fist of The White Tiger is a 30 second cooldown that replaces a Tiger Palm in your setup with an ability that deals a moderate amount of damage to gain more Chi in return.  Fist of the White Tiger , like Chi Wave, allows you to fill the mastery gap between abilities when going for kills while generating Chi allowing you continue dealing damage without needing to slow down to Tiger Palm. Offensively it is the strongest in the row with the relatively short cooldown pairing well with typical setups even when you have to hit and run and dealing sustained damage when you are free too PvE someone down.  Ascension does not bring the same offensive value as Fist of The White Tiger but it is very strong in it’s own way to provide us with some increase in utility. Disable / Vivify / Reverse Harm / and Paralysis can get very expensive if you frequently switch between offensive and defensive play as well as associated costs with needing to para in order to stop DH mana break, or double disabling to root a Priests, or a mage to stop the blink, or for any other reason you may want to control a team instantly. The energy saved by Fist of The White Tiger and the energy gained by Ascension are not very far apart overall but Ascension is more streamlined. If you prefer this style of gameplay then Ascension is a fine pick in place of FoWT.

 

  • Tier 4 (lv60) – Ring of Peace, Good Karma, and Tiger Tail Sweep are all beneficial talents and you’ll change to each of them based on what your playing against and with. Good Karma increases Touch of Karma’s power defensively by allowing the damage to heal you. The cooldown reduction on Tiger Tail Sweep can help Leg Sweep line up Death Grip setups or increase the range of the stun radius to more reliably setup before Ursol’s Vortex & Capacitor Totem. The range increase on Tiger Tail Sweep is very useful to land double / triple stuns (in 3s vs melee teams) or  when you are doing damage while kiting the DPS to there own healer (2s), sweeps around pillars, etc. Ring of Peace makes it possible to block off entry ways, tunnels, or bridges and is a great tool for peeling melee off of your teammates but remember the knockback effect is on the incapacitate DR and is not very reliable against Demon Hunters. You can sometimes ring on the edge of a pillar to increase the distance that the enemy healer will have to walk which can help add pressure when you are going for a kill on an enemy that has over extended. All three talents have there uses and you just have to decide which will better suit your team for that game.

 

  • Tier 5 (lv75) – Inner Strength is a great way to passively reduce some of the incoming damage taken. Unlike Diffuse Magic this talent retains it’s value against a larger variety of comps and in battlegrounds working against both magic and physical damage. Diffuse should still be taken if you are playing against a caster cleave where a dispel + shield wall can save your life when used. Dampen Harm while less useful overall has a strength in the versatility of the cooldown since it can be used while kiting and not actively spending Chi.

 

  • Tier 6 (lv90) – Rushing Jade Wind is a very basic ability that doesn’t need much explanation and can be taken for it’s strength to cleave passively and provide a small increase to the sustained damage output. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger is one of our strongest options for burst and the damage he can provide can be devastating with uptime but remains susceptible to both crowd control resulting in larger amount of reduced damage given his shorter duration as well as being kited. Xuen will only benefit from Agility, Critical Strike, and Haste so you should actively try to use him with your trinkets such as Dread Gladiators Badge for a huge bonus but he does not benefit from flat damage increases like Serenity. Hit Combo still lives and for games where you can not foreseeable plan a good use of Xuen, which normally would not favor RJW either, Hit Combo should be taken instead of trying to make use on a wasted Xuen cast.

 

  • Tier 7 (Serenity) – Serenity can be an incredible amount of pressure on both the kill target and nearby enemies. With the cooldown reduction mechanic on Blackout Kick both baseline and during Serenity you can either rotate Rising Sun Kick to have Mortal Strike up on 2 or 3 enemies as long as they’re within range or commit fully to a single target. In 2s with the limited cc available you’ll try to gain the advantage through cc chains, pairing damage with your healer, and taking advantage of that additional pressure from Mortal Strike on 2 targets, Cleave, and Dampening. Currently I would not advise this talent to be run.

 

  • Tier 7 (Whirling Dragon Punch) – Whirling Dragon Punch is a very strong talent that should always be considered even with the sometimes buggy and unreliable SEF A.I. There is nothing special about this cooldown other than that it’s a damage increase. Fixate your clones on the target your attacking otherwise they’ll jump and break CC.

Ability Priority

  1. Rising Sun Kick *Keep Mortal Strike on your target*
  2. Fists of Fury
  3. Blackout Kick
  4. Rushing Jade Wind
  5. Fist of the White Tiger
  6. Chi Burst
  7. Tiger Palm

 

During a kill attempt with Leg Sweep or some other CC ready be aware of the cooldowns on;

  1. Invoke, Xuen the White Tiger if talented
  2. Fist of the White Tiger
  3. Touch of Death
  4. Serenity or Storm, Earth, and Fire
  5. Rising Sun Kick

 

Further Reading

Gearing

Stats

Agility>Versatility>Mastery=Crit>Haste

Stat priority can change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. To find the best stat weights for your character, check out Raidbots

Further Reading

Gems

Kraken’s Eye of Agility in the first gem slot available. Kraken’s Eye gems are unique equipped.

Versatile Royal Quartz in remaining gem slots.

Enchants

Follow your stat priority and remember it’s less beneficial to run two of the same type.

Versatile NavigationDeadly Navigation = Masterful Navigation / Gale-Force Striking

Gale-Force is not a haste proc and will not lower the cooldown of your abilities while they’re active. The primary benefit is the increased swing speed on your white attacks which happen in between all abilities with the exception of Fist of Fury during the channel time.

Trinkets

All trinkets have the potential to be worthwhile with some being more or less useful than others at different quality levels. If you have a trinket not in this list and it’s the highest item level available to you it’s still more than likely worth using. Either test it out for yourself or sim it on a site like raidbots against other potential upgrades.

“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. While you can not reliable simulate PvP situations it’s sometimes beneficial to understand how gear upgrades impact the damage your abilities will deal and make a judgement call from there.

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 unless its Azerite gear.
  2. Aim for items with as high Versatility on them whenever you can
  3. Aim for items with Mastery as the other stat
  4. Haste is not terrible but will not increase your damage at the same rate per rating as other secondaries
  5. Critical Strike damage is severely diminished in PvP

Azerite

If it’s not listed here then it’s not worth mentioning over anything else or I forgot to add it, in which case ping me in Discord. This is just a list of what is noteworthy and not all gear will have these choices available so you may have to sacrifice one trait for a better one. The Loot District is a site I’d highly recommend in order to get a snapshot of what other people are currently running with. Always form the best opinion you can on which traits to run for each game by getting the widest perspective possible.

Right now the meta is 3 Open Palm Strikes or 2 Open Palm Strikes 1 Fury of Xuen. The meta setup will also give you 3 stacks of resounding protection as your defensive trait. The reason you see people running Long Strider as the utility pick is due to a gear limitation (Honorbound Shoulders) when running Fury of Xuen and its just not available unless your wearing the Dread Gladiator shoulders, in which case you’d opt for Open Palm Strikes of Fury of Xuen.

While FoX is strong I would not recommend it in games where you can’t reliably build enough stacks to get a guaranteed summon of Invoke Xuen stacked with your other damage effects and crowd control.

As an added note, Fury of Xuen, will compete with Battlefield Focus & Battlefield Precision in the same slots. Open Palm Strikes is baseline stronger than both traits for a single stack, as is two stacks of OPS, the third stack of OPS is when the damage gain to Fist of Fury is closer to the damage gained from either FoX or Battlefield Focus/Precision. If you are playing as a healer/DPs in 2s as an example then 2OPS/FoX would out damage 2OPS/BF. In 3s the situation changes a bit based on if your teammate has also selected Battlefield Focus/Precision as a trait, if so, 2OPS/BF would be better than FoX. 

Tier 1 (outer rings)

Tier 2 (inner rings)

Tier 3 (inner rings)

 

 

 

WeakAuras / Addons

WeakAuras can be a blessing or a curse. While they can aid in tracking certain buffs or debuffs they can also clutter your screen and visual impair or distract you.What I link here is popular, simple, effective, and updated regularly. While you don’t have to use them I would still recommend finding something or creating your own to use following the same mindset.

Macros

A really handy tool to automatically switch buttons on your action bar with talent changes is the add on Talentmacros

#showtooltip as the first line will display an icon of your choosing if specified or will default to the icon of the first line in the macro.

/cast [target=focus] Spear Hand Strike
/cast [target=focus] Paralysis
/cast [target=Player] Tiger’s Lust

The “exists” parameter will enable the Macro to function as a normal key outside of Arenas

/Cast [@arena1, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/Cast [@arena2, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/Cast [@arena3, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/target arena1 or /focus arena1
/target arena2 or /focus arena2
/target arena3 or /focus arena3

/cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead][] AbilityNameHere

#showtooltip Touch of Karma
/target arenapet1
/cast Touch of Karma
/targetlasttarget

Patch Notes

Heart of Azeroth

  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor damage decreased 32%.

Player versus Player

  • The absorb granted by Mchimba’s Ritual Bandages is reduced by 55% while engaged in combat with enemy players.
  • The absorb granted by Xalzaix’s Veiled Eye is reduced by 70% while engaged in combat with enemy players.

Monk

  • Windwalker
    • Fists of Fury now deals full damage when engaged in combat with enemy players (was a 20% reduction).
    • Wind Waker will put a spell visual on the Monk when an ally triggers it.
    • Glory of the Dawn reduced in effectiveness by 50% when engaged in combat with another player
    • Swift Roundhouse (Removed)
    • Iron Fists (Removed)
    • Meridian Strikes (Removed)
    •  Touch of Death damage reduced to 35% of your maximum health (was 50%).
    •  Touch of Karma damage redirected is now 70% of absorbed damage (was 100% of absorbed damage)
Bugs
    • Windwalker
      • /Cancelaura Storm, Earth, and Fire (Fixed)
         
      • Alpha Tiger is not correctly benefiting Fists of Fury

Changelog

 

  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated for 8.1 by Talby 12/15/2018
  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated for 9/17/2018 hotfixes to Azerite traits and now includes patch notes for posterity.
  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated for Battle for Azeroth preseason by Talby 8/25/2018
  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated for prepatch by Talby 7/22/2018