Windwalker PvP Guide (8.1.5)

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 8.1.5 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information. If you want to view all the changes to Windwalker in Patch 8.1.5 check out our pre patch guide here here

Talents

Tier 1 (lv15) –  Eye of the Tiger

Tier 2 (lv30) – Tiger’s Lust

Tier 3 (lv45) – Ascension

Tier 4 (lv60) – Ring of Peace

Tier 5 (lv75) – Diffuse Magic

Tier 6 (lv90) –  Hit Combo

Tier 7 (lv100) –Whirling Dragon Punch

 

Gladiators Medallion

Reverse Harm

Turbo Fists

Alpha Tiger

Fortifying Brew

Disabling Reach

Disarm

Tier 1 (lv15) –  Eye of the Tiger

Tier 2 (lv30) – Tiger’s Lust

Tier 3 (lv45) – Ascension

Tier 4 (lv60) – Ring of Peace

Tier 5 (lv75) – Diffuse Magic

Tier 6 (lv90) –  Hit Combo

Tier 7 (lv100) – Whirling Dragon Punch

 

Gladiators Medallion

Reverse Harm

Turbo Fists

Alpha Tiger

Fortifying Brew

Tier 1 (lv15) –  Eye of the Tiger

Tier 2 (lv30) – Tiger’s Lust

Tier 3 (lv45) – Fist of the White Tiger

Tier 4 (lv60) – Ring of Peace or Good Karma

Tier 5 (lv75) – Diffuse Magic

Tier 6 (lv90) –  Hit Combo

Tier 7 (lv100) –Whirling Dragon Punch

 

Gladiators Medallion

Reverse Harm

Turbo Fists

Pressure Points

Alpha Tiger

Fortifying Brew

Wind Waker

 

Further Reading

  • Tier 1 (lv15) – Per cast, Chi Wave will do more total healing and damage than Eye of the Tiger over its full duration but the choice to use either comes down to personal preference in most cases and with both talents in the row we’re looking to maximize damage and self sustain. When there are multiple enemy targets for Chi Wave to jump to the value offensively starts to decrease for each bounce on a secondary target which can be especially harmful when those additional targets are pets. The two main benefits of running Eye of the Tiger are to proc Battlefield Focus if your wearing Sinister Gladiators Leather Hood, or if anyone on your team can provide the debuff, and for the minor HoT. If your not running that trait setup and your not playing vs. a stealth class that you want to keep in combat with the DoT then the benefits of Eye of the Tiger offensively start to diminish.
  • 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. You will play this talent in nearly every single game in any content. 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 provide you with two benefits. First, from getting “stuck”, in cc chains followed by damage that is setup with Frost Nova’s or Conflag roots with Entrenched in Flames and second, 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.

  • Tier 3 (lv45) –  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 still an excellent pick in place of FoWT. With Reverse Harm being one of our highest sources of damage, healing, and chi generation, Ascension has risen in popularity over Fist of the White Tiger.

 

  • 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 or interrupting spellcasts 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 uses and you just have to decide which will better suit your team for that game.

 

  • Tier 5 (lv75) – In the current meta where teams are running one or more Sinister Gladiator’s Maledict I’d advise running Diffuse even against melee cleaves. Inner Strength is a great way to passively reduce some of the incoming damage taken and you’ll frequently use this talent in 2v2 against Melee/Healer. Diffuse Magic 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) – Due to scaling and Azerite changes Hit Combo is currently on top in nearly every situation. Xuen can still be used as a niche pick in situations where the burst damage is valuable but don’t always expect to get a cooldown in response to Xuen damage alone.

 

  • 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 or split damage to a target you may not want them on. Remember that SEF will copy your trinket, and, fixating clones will trigger them to cast a Flying Serpent Kick and jump towards the target. This can be useful if clones get knocked back, feared, or the target is distanced from the clones for any other reason.

 

Ability Priority

  1. Reverse Harm   to generate Chi early
  2. Transcendence to prepare your port immediately

If you want to go right into dealing damage you can open in a way similar to this;

 

  1. Chi Wave
  2. Tiger Palm
  3. Fist of the White Tiger
  4. Touch of Death
  5. Rising Sun Kick
  6. Fists of Fury
  7. Whirling Dragon Punch

 Use this priority list loosely as it can vary based on the state of the game. Remember that the most important thing for a Windwalker to do is plan how to spend your Energy and Chi.

 

  1. Rising Sun Kick if Mortal Strike is not on your target
  2. Reverse Harm if you’ve taken more than 8% of your health in damage
  3. Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick! if Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury are both on cooldown
  4. Dance of Chi’Ji: Spinning Crane Kick
  5. Whirling Dragon Punch
  6. Rising Sun Kick
  7. Fists of Fury
  8. Blackout Kick
  9. Fist of the White Tiger
  10. Tiger Palm

Here are some cc / kill combo’s you’ll frequently see when Leg Sweep or Paralysis are available and want to be aware of to help you create pressure;

  1. Alpha Tiger Palm
  2. Fists of Fury
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Whirling Dragon Punch

 

  1. Alpha Tiger Palm
  2. Rising Sun Kick
  3. Alpha Tiger Palm a second target to refresh your Alpha Tiger buff
  4. In order to keep the cooldown reduction and prevent the snap back you need to use Rising Sun Kick a second time within the hasted duration.

 

  1. Paralysis during Evasion
  2. Leg Sweep from behind the target

 

  1. Paralysis to delay the target
  2. Touch of Death and wait for the timer to lower before dealing damage in order to line up the detonation with your RSK

 

Serenity is not the most competitive talent at the moment but when you can fill the duration with hard hitting abilities it can be an excellent tool for burst damage!

  1. Touch of Death
  2. Alpha Tiger Palm
  3. Serenity
  4. Rising Sun Kick
  5. Fists of Fury
  6. Rising Sun KickTouch of Death will detonate
  7. Blackout Kick
  8. Blackout Kick
  9. Rising Sun Kick
  10. Fists of Fury

 

Gearing

Stats

Agility>Versatility=Mastery>Haste>Crit

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

Versatile NavigationMasterful Navigation | Enchants do not stack

Enchant Ring – Pact of Versatility x2

 

Trinkets

  1. Sinister Gladiator’s Maledict| You will wear this in most situations.
  2. Diamond-Laced Refracting Prism | Currently one of the strongest defensive trinket options for Windwalker.

Sinister Gladiator’s Safeguard | Strong defensive Trinket if you are uncomfortable with wearing two on use trinkets, playing around a proc based damage trinket, or currently do not have a Diamond-Laced Refracting Prism

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.

 

Tier 1 Meta Traits (outer rings only)

From the following sources:

Helm: Shrine of the Storm / Opulence Crown / Sinister Gladiators Leather Hood
Shoulders: Shrine of the Storm / Jaina / Undderrot
Chest: Mekkatorque Bomber Vest / Grongpelt Vest

 

 

 

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

Changelog

 

  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated by Talby 3/24/2019
  • Windwalker PvP Guide updated by Talby 3/9/2019 removed patch notes tab
  • 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