Windwalker PvE Guide

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This guide is designed to be the full guide for Windwalker with all 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.

This guide has been updated for The War Within Pre-Patch and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

PRE-PATCH DISCLAIMER

Pre-Patch things are changing, and will change, constantly. Check back here regularly and don’t be shocked if things are different.

Talent Builds

There is a lot of flexibility with talents, so if you prefer a different setup or like to change a talent here or there then you can likely do that without dramatically lowering your damage. It’s a game, play what you’d like.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can pick in the Monk Class Tree.

  • Green = Always Pick
  • Orange = Your Choice
  • Red = Never Pick

 

Single Target

Windwalker Monk’s talent setup for Raid and Single target is going to seem very similar to what we were running before the Pre-Patch, but adjusted for the talent overhaul.

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Multi-Target

Similar to before the Pre-Patch, the AOE/Mythic+ talent setup looks similar to the single target one with a few small tweaks.  Inner Peace Rising Star, and  Knowledge of the Broken Temple are traded out for  Rushing Jade Wind Shadowboxing Treads Revolving Whirl to get a little bit more AOE damage.

If you need an Enrage dispel for a dungeon then you can grab  Pressure Points by dropping  Detox if you don’t need a dispel or another talent like  Dance of the Wind or  Windwalking that provide minimal benefit.

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Abilities

Instructions

Windwalkers generally prioritize our abilities by how much damage they do and the resources (Chi, energy, execution time) that they cost. There are a couple of general goals while playing Windwalker that should help with the bigger picture before diving into the priority lists below:

  • Manage Energy and Chi – Outside of big Haste cooldowns, Windwalker’s damage is restricted by how many resources we can generate and spend. This means that sitting at the Energy cap or generating more Chi than you have space for typically results in lost damage potential. Your focus is balancing having enough Chi for spenders and using  Blackout Kick just enough to prevent overcapping without using it too much and not having the Chi you need when a bigger spender becomes available.
    • During major cooldowns, you will often have more Energy and Chi than you can use due to the GCD and cooldowns of Chi spenders, making avoiding the caps less impactful, but still something to be aware of.
  • Keep Abilities on cooldown – With most of our Chi spenders having their own cooldowns, it is important to reduce the amount of time that these harder-hitting abilities are sitting off cooldown without being used. There will, inevitably, be overlaps where you’ll have to choose what to press based on the priority list. A key part of playing Windwalker recognizing that one of these situations is approaching and trying to have enough Chi for what you need to do.
  • React to procs – Windwalker has several procs that you’ll need to manage in order to maximize damage potential. The main ones are  Dance of Chi-Ji and  Blackout Kick!. Both of these can stack to 2 so that you don’t need to immediately use them. However, you will want to avoid risking overstacking, as that is lost damage potential. These procs can play an integral part in helping you balance your resources while still benefitting from  Mastery: Combo Strikes. They can also throw off what you were planning, so being able to react intelligently and quickly is important.
  • Do not break mastery. Simple as that, do not repeat the same ability twice in a row. For a full list of what counts for mastery, see here. There are currently no situations where it is worth it to break mastery as there have been in the past.

Following these rules is the largest part of playing Windwalker. You may notice that “always be casting” is not one of our core tenets, as you are only pressing something if it aligns with these rules (something comes off cooldown, you are close to capping energy, etc). This means that as a natural consequence of following these, you may not always fill every GCD. WINDWALKER IS A SPEC WITH NATURAL DOWNTIME. This is not an indication that you are playing incorrectly or that you need more Haste (which will not really affect this). To execute these rules in the most efficient way, follow the priorities below with the goal of never using something lower in the list if it will delay something higher in the list.

 

Cooldowns

As said above, the safest bet is to use things as close to their cooldown as possible. However, if you can use most cooldowns at the same time without losing a cast of them, you’ll get the most out of them. You can read more about it in this article by Talby.

  • Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger – Use on cooldown, pair it with other DPS cooldowns like  Storm, Earth, and Fire if delaying it will not lose you a cast throughout the fight. If you don’t know if it will or not, then use on cooldown as the safest strategy.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire – Used 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. Don’t sit on 2 charges, always have it recharging.
  • Touch of Death – Use when it can be triggered. If you are looking to really min/max, you can make sure to only use it when it will kill the target, as this can do a maximum of 100% of your HP as damage instead of the 35% it normally does to boss targets.
  • 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.

 

Priority Lists

The lists below assume you are doing what you need to do to avoid capping resources, avoid breaking your mastery and using above cooldowns appropriately.

 

Openers

Use these ability orders to start pulls, these may change frequently over time. If you are starting a pull with more Chi, such as in M+, then simply skip the steps that get you to the necessary Chi level. See the Trinkets section further down for how on use trinkets may change your opener.

  1. Cast  Tiger Palm
  2. Cast  Rising Sun Kick
  3. Cast  Tiger Palm
  4. Cast  Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  5. Cast  Jadefire Stomp (if talented)
  6. Cast  Storm, Earth, and Fire
  7. Cast  Rising Sun Kick
  8. Cast  Strike of the Windlord
  9. Cast  Fists of Fury
  10. Cast  Rising Sun Kick
  11. Cast  Whirling Dragon Punch (if talented)
  12. Proceed onto the normal priority list

 

Ability Usage Notes

  • Blackout Kick – Generally used between other abilities to “dump” excess resources.
  • Blackout Kick! (Free Proc) – Used before you would potentially overcap on procs (you can hold 2 at a time).
  • Hit Combo and Mastery – Generally, any ability that directly deals damage both benefits from and continues Mastery and  Hit Combo, as well as a few that don’t directly deal damage. For a full list, see here. Currently, there are no cases where we want to break Mastery that would outweigh its damage bonus.
  • Dance of Chi-Ji – Simply use the proc on  Spinning Crane Kick (according to priority, and even in single target) and spend it quickly enough to avoid overcapping on procs (you can hold 2 at a time).
  • Spinning Crane Kick – With The War Within, Spinning Crane Kick‘s channel can be interrupted by something else, so you will want to use a macro like the “Don’t Clip” one posted below, to avoid clipping it.
  • Strike of the Windlord – Use on cooldown unless a damage amplifier is happening in the near future (5 seconds at max)

 

Gearing

Stats

Agility > Haste >> Versatility > Critical Strike > Mastery

Stat priority can and will change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. Stat weights are largely an outdated thought. Sim the gear you have through Top Gear. If you’re looking for what gear to aim for, use Droptimizer.

 

Embellishments

​The best route is the Blue Silken Lining route. The expected uptime during keys (even higher levels) makes this a significant increase in comparison to other embellishments. Even for raids (including mythic) the uptime is high enough in most cases to be the better choice. Uptime issues can be resolved by talenting Yulon’s Grace. (e.g. increasing the uptime on mythic Smolderon from 30% to 50%.)

If you want to go the Blue Silken route: You’ll simply craft Blue Silken Lining onto any two pieces.

  1. Blue Silken Lining on one slot, like Neck or Ring
  2. Blue Silken Lining on another slot, like Neck or Ring
  3. Any free slot with Alchemical Flavor Pocket (does not count towards the 2 embellishment limit)

As always, sim yourself to see exact numbers for your own character.

 

Weapons and 1H vs 2H

You can expect dual wielding to be slightly better than 2H weapons. This assumes equal item levels and no special effects.

For specific situations or item level gaps, sim your character’s options with Raidbot’s Top Gear Tool.

 

Gems

Use Raidbot’s Top Gear Tool for the most specific and accurate results for your character. In general, it will usually follow the stat priority above.

A special note: Don’t forget you can use Tiered Medallion Setting to put up to 3 gem slots on any neck!

 

Enchants

 

Trinkets

We have a lot of strong trinkets that perform similarly at the moment, so as always, sim your options to see what’s best for you in particular.

 

Bullion Priority

During Season 4, we are once again able to buy targeted raid items with Bullion. You can acquire one of these per week, and non-cosmetic items each cost 2. We recommend buying the following items, but like most things, its always best to sim what you can get:

  1. Thorncaller Claw
  2. High Haste Offhand like Igira’s Flaying Hatchet or Wallclimber’s Incursion Hatchet
  3. Ashes of the Embersoul
  4. Neltharion's Call to Dominance Neltharion’s Call to Dominance (mythic+ only)
  5. Cataclysmic Signet Brand (long fights) or Manic Grieftorch for short fights or highrolling with resets
  6. Neltharion's Call to Dominance Neltharion’s Call to Dominance (raid only)
  7. Seal of Diurna's Chosen Seal of Diurna’s Chosen

 

“Best-in-Slot”

Sim the gear you have through Top Gear. If you’re looking for what gear to aim for, use Droptimizer.

 

 

Miscellaneous

Consumables

 

Racials

Currently, all races sim within a small range of each other and reshuffle constantly. 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. As a starting point, many players take Engineering and/or Alchemy for some small perks.

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:

  • Babylonius’s WeakAura Suite – WeakAura group created by Babylonius (author of this guide), aimed at having all you need to play Windwalker.
  • 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.
  • Jeremy’s Magic Rotation Helper – Works similar to Hekili, but uses dynamically updating math to tell you what to press.
  • Mark of the Crane Stacks – Tracks the amount of Mark of the Crane debuffs you have out.
  • Diffuse Magic – Gives you a warning when you have a debuff on you that can be dispelled or reflected using Diffuse Magic in Mythic/Mythic+ dungeons.

Here are some additional Plater things

Macros

Don’t Clip Things

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

Change  Tiger Palm to whatever ability you want. This macro prevents you from cancelling the channel of  Fists of Fury Crackling Jade Lightning, and  Spinning Crane Kick early and missing a tick of damage. It is recommended to use this on your main rotational abilities as its very very unlikely that we’ll look to cancel these abilities. If, for whatever reason, you want to be able to cancel one or all of these abilities, simply omit that line from the macro.

 

Focus Cast Macros

Windwalker has a number of spells you may want to target using the /Focus targetting option. You can replace the sample text in the macro below with spells such as  Spear Hand Strike Paralysis, or  Detox depending on your preference:

#showtooltip
/cast [@focus,exists] Sample Text

 

Mouseover Macros

In some cases being able to cast spells/heals on targets without having to switch targets is extremely useful. You can use the following macro to make the desired spell cast on the target you are currently mousing over instead of your active target. Replace the sample text with the desired spell name:

#showtooltip
/cast [@mouseover] Sample Text

 

Ring of Peace Placement

The following two macros will place  Ring of Peace without having to use a targeting circle to do so The first will place if at your feet when pressed immediately:

#showtooltip
/cast [@player] Ring of Peace

And this will place it where your cursor is currently targeting:

#showtooltip
/cast [@cursor] Ring of Peace

 

Shared Buttons

If you’d like for two talents to be on the same keybinding and change whether or not you know one of them, then use this:

#showtooltip
/cast [known:Chi Burst] Chi Burst;
/cast [known:Chi Wave] Chi Wave;

or this:

#showtooltip

/cast [known:137639] Storm, Earth, and Fire;

/cast [known:152173] Serenity;

Simply change out the ability so it looks like this: /cast [known: Talent A] Talent A; Talent B

You can either use the spell name in the known condition or the spell ID (which you need addons to see in your UI), but spell names with commas such as “Storm, Earth, and Fire” or “Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger” cannot be used and will require the id.

Changelog

  • July 22, 2024 – Updated for The War Within Pre-Patch
  • April 23, 2024 – Updated for Dragonflight Season 4
  • May 4, 2023 – Updated for 10.1
  • Mar 24, 2023 – Onyx Annulet Updates
  • Nov 26, 2022 – Guide created for Dragonflight