Windwalker PvP Guide

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Welcome to the Peak of Serenity’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 was last updated December 12, 2020 for Shadowlands Launch ( 9.0 ) and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

Talents

General Talents – Quick Play
Honor Panel Talents – Quick Play
Further Reading: Rated
  • In-Depth Talent Recommendations
  • Ability usage & FAQ

Ability Priority

 

Windwalkers operate on a priority system, NOT A ROTATION. This is especially true in Windwalker PvP. An ability priority means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority. A key to sustaining damage is to try and not to delay a higher up ability in favor of a lower one but unlike in PvE you want to always be aware of potential setups you can make when abilities are coming off cooldown.
 

 Heres an example of what I mean.

 

The Warrior uses Avatar (20 seconds) which gets immediately disarmed preventing the use of Mortal Strike and Colossus Smash. Most warriors will generally wait it out because the alternative is to Bladestorm without any debuffs rolling. If he had Bladestormed, I would have parried the full thing with Fists of Fury (Turbo Fists) either way so he was smart to wait it out.

My decision here follows the Single Target priority. High Chi, RSK on Cooldown, Expel Harm on Cooldown for healing and Chi.

The Warrior disarms me preventing me from using Fists of Fury and parrying the rest of his damage cooldown. Having Chi, being unable to FoF, and having Expel Harm down I used Rising Sun Kick to reapply mortal strike. The intent was for my Holy Paladin to Avenging Wrath for Hammer of Wrath, and Ashen Hallow, where we would go in to reverse the momentum. Still we are following the ST priority.

Rolling out, rooting the enemy Hpal in Ashen Hallow, when I get charged by the Warrior and Stormbolted.

Trinket -> Leg Sweep -> Storm, Earth, and Fire + Rising Sun Kick.

Now I’m stuck with 3 chi, Ashen Hallow is down, Leg Sweep has enough time remaining to Tiger Palm but there is the very real possibility of the Warrior charging my Paladin, intervening to his paladin, or heroic leaping away entirely.

The likelihood of getting 2 target cleave here was high so I prioritized FoF/WDP on the Warrior+Paladin which is what lead to my decision to BoK, aim for 5 chi, and try to cleave afterwards. (Which I was unable to get.) but we defaulted to the step below on 2 target cleave when the warrior was stacked up, which was Dance of Chi’ji procs over trying to chase that RSK->WDP and wasting globals on Tiger Palms in between.

 

Single Target

  1. Touch of Death (Execute)
  2. Expel Harm (if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy. More efficient generator Chi over a Tiger Palm at 15 energy, +1 baseline or +2 with Reverse Harm, and make effective use of the heal when you can.)
  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
  8. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  9. Reverse Harm
  10. Chi Burst
  11. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  12. Blackout Kick
  13. Chi Wave (Talent)
  14. Tiger Palm

Multi Target

  1. Touch of Death (Execute)
  2. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  3. Fists of Fury
  4. Rising Sun Kick (Generally you want to focus a single target and cleave off that target. There are some situations when it’s ok to spread your Mortal Strike Debuff, especially in BGs/RBGs.)
  5. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  6. Expel Harm
  7. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  8. Blackout Kick
  9. Chi Wave (Talent, a good time is right before you FoF for some extra damage / healing while your channeling.)
  10. Tiger Palm

Single Target Burst damage

Remember to ask yourself

  • Will my cooldowns line up with my crowd control abilities?
  1. Paralysis
  2. Leg Sweep

Create pressure and allow your team to follow up. Using Paralysis as a cross cc on a target can make or break your setup.

This is protecting your own damage as well. Often times you’ll see Wild Charge + Intimidating Roar, Hammer of Justice, cap totem, etc saved to peel away your Fists of Fury inside Storm, Earth, and Fire specifically.

  • What is the status of my buffs and debuffs?

Alpha Tiger and Keefers Skyreach both promote target swapping to trigger their respective buffs and debuffs.

Ideally; at 5 chi cost with a stun

  1. Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  2. Storm, Earth, and Fire

These two will be active on your target (Xuen will leap to your target if you switch, even without a pet attack macro)

  1. Tiger Palm (to trigger your buffs/debuffs)
  2. Rising Sun Kick
  3. Fists of Fury
  4. Whirling Dragon Punch
  5. Spinning Crane Kick (Dance of Chi’ji proc)
  6. Touch of Death

 

 

(WIP)

  • Disarm
  • Ring of Peace
  • Ride The Wind
  • Detox
  • Mystic Touch
  • Tiger’s Lust
  • Disable
  • Mark of the Crane
  • Rising Sun Kick
 
 
 

Kyrian Changes

 

Currently this is one of the most technical parts of Windwalker PvP. This is a trick mainly for when you have Storm, Earth, and Fire + Weapons of Order (Kyrian). 

 

The first change is to Fists of Fury.
  • Close to the end of your Fists of Fury channel, before Rising Sun Kick comes back up a second time, cancel the channel and use Whirling Dragon Punch.
  • Clones WILL continue to deal the rest of their FoF damage while casting WDP as well. You don’t lose any damage this way and you don’t lose access to WDP because of RSK coming off cooldown early due to your haste buff.

 

Theres a lot of conversation around “End your FoF at 80%” and these are rough gauges to cut the last tick, or two ticks, from your FoF which you can figure out for yourself by doing ((4 / (1+haste%)) /5) to get your tick rate in order to know when you’ll drop the channel in order to Blackout Kick.

The value in the precision allows you to know when you can stop your channel, BoK, and RSK. The last thing you want is for your Rising Sun Kick (Weapons of Order) buff to drop off because you will not have enough chi to recast it without using a Tiger Palm or Expel Harm.

 

The second change is to Rising Sun Kick
  • One of the more important aspects of Weapons of Order (Kyrian) is getting your Rising Sun Kick clipped inside of the Rising Sun Kick buff.

 

 

Low haste 30 – 40% haste will require 2 Blackout Kicks. If you can’t manage this then do not cancel your FoF.

High haste 60% haste (6 second base cooldown, 2 seconds reduced by BoK) is the lowest amount that will allow you to drop your Rising Sun Kick cooldown low enough after 1 Blackout Kick but gets a lot smoother the higher you go.

Because of how Alpha Tiger and Invokers work, 6% haste can turn into 83% haste easily, so it will not be the same for everyone.  Your initial damage will be the typical burst. RSK > FoF > BoK / RSK depending on the amount of haste you have going into it.

 

Example Burst w/ setup
  1. Paralysis on an off target (healer, or hybrid DPS capable of shutting you down like a Balance Druid or Ret Paladin)
  2. Storm, Earth, and Fire + Weapons of Order (If Kyrian) + Bonedust Brew (if Necrolord)
  3. Leg Sweep on your primary target and secondary targets if possible (leg sweep is 3 seconds, Keefers will have 4 seconds left at this point, so if you can get )

AT+Invokers (Kyrian) high haste

  1. Fist of the White Tiger
  2. Tiger Palm (proc Alpha Tiger)
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Fists of Fury (Cancel at roughly 80% of the channel (3 ticks) in order for your next BoK to bring RSK off CD)
  5. Blackout Kick
  6. Rising Sun Kick
  7. Blackout Kick
  8. Whirling Dragon Punch
  9. Blackout Kick

Invokers only (Kyrian) Low haste

  1. Fist of the White Tiger
  2. Tiger Palm (proc Alpha Tiger)
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Fists of Fury (Cancel at roughly 80% of the channel (3 ticks) in order for your next BoK to bring RSK off CD)
  5. Blackout Kick
  6. Whirling Dragon Punch
  7. Expel Harm 
  8. Rising Sun Kick

Keefers (Kyrian, Alpha Tiger) Low haste

  1. Fist of the White Tiger
  2. Tiger Palm (proc Alpha Tiger)
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Fists of Fury (cancel immediately)
  5. Blackout Kick
  6. Blackout Kick
  7. Rising Sun Kick
  8. Whirling Dragon Punch

Here is a handy chart for some WOO permutations made by Scurch that will allow you to get your RSK inside the buff for the Chi reduction.

How the chart works

 

Each Rising Sun Kick buff during WoO can be considered a segment. This chart represents the # of globals per segment to trigger RSK again in order to get your Chi reduction along with the cooldown required to make it work.

 

  • Adjust based on what buffs you have available. Power Infusion from a Priest teammate, or Bloodlust from wwEnh, etc. If you have nothing just prio RSKs. With enough haste it should flow together.
 
 
 
Tweaking the burst with Serenity!

 

The only goal here is to blast RSK!

  1. Rising Sun Kick
  2. Blackout Kick
  3. Blackout Kick
  4. Rising Sun Kick

Very basic burst rotation prioritizing Rising Sun Kick until the last second when you will Fists of Fury. 

 

 

Covenants

 

 Weapons of Order is a very strong cooldown on a very short cooldown for how powerful it is. During Weapons of Order Blackout Kick also works at double effectiveness on cooldown reduction allowing you to use even more Rising Sun Kicks and Fists of Fury’s than usual and now they’re inside your SEF window. It also comes with Phial of Serenity and a boat load of offensive and defensive Soulbinds that remain strong from launch to max renown. Pelagos is the go to with 2 potency slots, Combat Meditation, Let Go of the Past, and 2 endurance conduit slots to run Harm Denial, and Fortifying Ingredients. Early on this is a hard covenant to beat. Even the Alternatives to Pelagos ,Kleia and Forelite Prime, will come with their own unique Soulbind setup that can be advantageous vs. certain comps. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a A. 
  • Kyrian (Pelagos) 

 

Conduits

Potency

  1. Coordinated Offensive Direct buff to Storm, Earth, and Fire
  2. Calculated Strikes – Direct buff to Dance of Chi’ji
  3. Strike with Clarity – Direct buff to WOO
  4. Inner Fury – Good all around second potency.

Endurance

  1. Harm Denial
  2. Fortifying Ingredients

Finesse

  1. Pick what you think you’ll benefit most from as a player, honestly. The roll charges are nice.

 

NecrolordBonedust Brew is an interesting ground targeted debuff, like the old dizzying haze, that will give you a chance to proc an additional % damage for 10 seconds. What makes Necrolord good currently is the insane amount of defensive benefit in Fleshcraft and depending on if you play Emeni, Lead by Example, or Plague Devisor Marileth with Ooz’s Frictionless Coating and Ultimate Form. It’s a good balance between offense and defense (leaning a little more towards defense than Kyrian, who is very similar while leaning more towards offense). If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a B.

Conduits

Potency

  1. Coordinated Offensive Direct buff to Storm, Earth, and Fire
  2. Calculated Strikes – Direct buff to Dance of Chi’ji
  3. Bone Marrow Hops – Direct buff to Bone Dust Brew
  4. Inner Fury – Good all around second potency.

Endurance

  1. Harm Denial
  2. Fortifying Ingredients

Finesse

  1. Pick what you think you’ll benefit most from as a player, honestly. The roll charges are nice.
Venthyr: Fallen Order is your standard 3 minute cooldown. It does great burst damage, has a small defensive component, but its main drawback is that it can be crowd controlled. The real problem with Venthyr in my opinion is the lack of Soulbinds that support you. Soothing Shade and Wasteland Propriety are very strong as is Imbued Reflections but the benefit you gain from them is tied entirely to Fallen Order and if that is shut down, so are you. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a C in some best case scenarios. 

Conduits

Potency

  1. Coordinated Offensive Direct buff to Storm, Earth, and Fire
  2. Calculated Strikes – Direct buff to Dance of Chi’ji
  3. Imbued Reflections – Direct buff to Fallen Order
  4. Inner Fury – Good all around second potency.

Endurance

  1. Harm Denial
  2. Fortifying Ingredients

Finesse

  1. Pick what you think you’ll benefit most from as a player, honestly. The roll charges are nice.
Night FaeFaeline Stomp is a ground based AoE that deals nature damage (ignores armor), persistent damage, will reset mastery, and fighting on the Fae line has a chance to reset the cooldown of the ability. The strength in Fae is not just the small damage increase in Stomp but you gain access to several powerful Soulbinds that make it very competitive. Grove Invigoration with the high number of stacks you can get and Wild Hunt Tactics. While the stomp not doing large individual hits makes it seem like an unlikely choice for PvP, a chunk of the damage is being given to you through the Soulbinds, and as we gain renown throughout the season I believe will be very competitive. At the start of the season it will be behind a small bit so keep that in mind. This will also be the first covenant to reach 2 potency slots early in the season. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP at launch I would give it a C+ but at max renown I would give it a B.
Conduits

Potency

  1. Coordinated Offensive Direct buff to Storm, Earth, and Fire
  2. Calculated Strikes – Direct buff to Dance of Chi’ji
  3. Inner Fury – Good all around second potency.

Endurance

  1. Harm Denial
  2. Fortifying Ingredients

Finesse

  1. Pick what you think you’ll benefit most from as a player, honestly. The roll charges are nice.

 Windwalker Comps 

2v2 team compositions

Windwalker / Holy Paladin

A good mix of offence and defense. The primary objective is to keep each other mobile. Don’t let your Paladin sit behind a pillar trying to juke kicks from a melee alone.

General Strategy: Aim to cleave 2 targets. Enable your Paladin to run to, and through, the enemy healer where you will be able to cleave both targets and peel by utilizing Leg sweeps, 90% slow from Turbo Fists, etc. Do not leave each other behind and watch your Diminishing Returns on stuns. Pay attention to specific enemy team comps, such as Dps/Priest, or Druid, so you do not get feared by psychic scream or Incapacitating Roar leaving your healer vulnerable to a cc chain afterwards.

Offensively you will use Avenging Wrath, Ashen Hallow, and Hammer of Reckoning to punish out of position targets and land kills.

Defensively you will utilize Ride the Wind, Disable,  Tiger’s Lust, and Blessing of Freedom to play defensively around a pillar.  Blessing of Sacrifice, Blessing of Protection, Touch of Karma, Diffuse Magic, and Ring of Peace as tools that can be rotated to be disruptive and stay healthy. CC chains can be setup with Paralysis and Hand of Justice or the Paladin can setup himself with Hand of Justice and Repentance.

Notable Abilities: Ashen Hallow, Hammer of ReckoningBlessing of Freedom, Blessing of Sacrifice, Blessing of ProtectionHand of Justice, and Repentance.

Windwalker / Restoration Shaman

An offensive based comp. The primary objective is to pressure an enemy team and through the addition of Wind Shear and Purge, shut down incoming healing and force defensive cooldowns from the enemy team until they run out.

General Strategy: Lockout enemy spell casts and lock them down through stuns.

Offensively you will use Interrupts, Stuns, Purges, and damage procs from Lava Burst to focus down a target.

Defensively you will use paralysis, in conjunction with capacitor totem, to single out and shut down enemy cooldowns and attempts at crowd control.

Windwalker / Discipline Priest

Another offensive based comp. The primary objective is to create pressure through Reflective Shields, Purges, and constant CC chains on the enemy healer while shutting down defensive play through tactics like Mind Controlling a low health DPS so they can’t be healed, Mind Games, and Mass Dispel.

3v3 team compositions

Windwalker/Death Knight: 

Windwalker/Mage:

Windwalker/Affliction: 

Windwalker/Balance Druid

Ability Usage & FAQ

  • Blackout Kick! and Mastery: Combo Strikes – The best way to view Blackout Kick! is as a proc that can be consumed for cooldown reduction. Where it is placed as a priority depends what the priority is at the time it’s active. Mastery is not something listed as a priority because it is generally assumed you do not break it and maintain your damage buff. This is accurate 99% of the time. The 1% of scenarios do exist where the cooldown reduction has a higher value than a globals worth of damage.  Here is an example of when a Blackout Kick mastery break leads to a kill through CDR.

 

  • Dance of Chi-Ji – Q: “Do I hold the proc?” A: Yes. Dance of Chi’ji procs are extremely valuable and deal a very large amount of cleave damage especially if your playing with Calculated Strikes as a second potency conduit. If you are setting up damage and you can fit this into your burst window you absolutely do not want to waste this even without the conduit.

 

  • Ring of Peace – One of Windwalkers highest skill cap abilities. This can be used to zone control, bump casts for when you can’t kick a major cc from distance, and is used to peel.

 

Here we use it to block the rogues exit after my Transcendence.

Here is another example of using Ring of Peace to defend my healer who is rooted inside the Warriors Kyrian Spear tether.

  • Ride the Wind – is a good pick into something like, Dh/Healer, or dps/Disc Priest, where you want to play primarily around a pillar to Line of Sight and you can’t also play Disarm. While circling pillar you should be using Disable on the DPS that is training your healer to root them while simultaneously using Ride The Wind to give your healer a speed boost to the other side of the pillar to freely cast and stay healthy. How you achieve this will vary because you yourself must also stay mobile during this time and free from anything like Earthgrab, Mass Entanglement, or any other roots/snares.

 

 

 

Legendaries

Crafting for PvP

 

  1. Invoker’s Delight (Sorry guys – hit that raid)
  2. Keefer’s Skyreach
  3. Escape from Reality

 

Invokers will be a powerful legendary that will significantly boost the damage output of both you and Xuen when you use him. For raw damage and pressure in a short time frame there is not much competition.

 

Keefers is difficult to use with Storm, Earth, and Fire. It’s still a good legendary but its important to remember your clones don’t benefit from the crit increase. It will likely find a lot of play with Serenity naturally.

 

Escape from reality is going to be our strongest legendary for defensive gameplay and mobility. Remember the second port will consume the buff and remove your healing increase.

 

Gearing for PvP

Agility > Versatility / Mastery

Why don’t we gear for Haste?

There’s a lot of haste suppression in the kit so building out for it is not the greatest but in larger amounts it’s beneficial. Especially when it’s something like Invokers, or alpha tiger, for example. Getting additional casts of RSK, a second FoF in SEF, or just channeling faster are all some of the benefits of haste in large amounts. Otherwise damage increasing stats get better mileage. If it’s not a significant amount of Haste or Crit that is going to increase your kill potential in a small damage window it’s generally not worth pursuing

 

2h vs Dual Wield?

As of right now we’ll be playing Dual wield. There are no staves with a swing speed under 3.6 and there is currently a small modifier of -2% for 2h that is baked into most abilities while dual wield is getting a +2% bonus. The only time you’ll be throwing on a 2h weapon is when it’s significantly higher, like 15 ilvls.

 

Enchanting

 

Shadowlands Trinkets

 

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.

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

  • Spear Hand Strike Focus Macro

/cast [@focus, exists] Spear Hand Strike

  • Mouseover Detox 
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead] Detox; Detox
  • Mouseover Tiger’s Lust
/cast [@mouseover,help,nodead] Tiger’s Lust; Tiger’s Lust
  • Arena1,2,3 examples

/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

  • Example macro setup that I use for utility with my healer on focus

#Showtooltip
/target Arena1
/cast [@focus,mod:shift] Vivify 

#Showtooltip
/target Arena2
/cast [@focus,mod:shift] Detox

#Showtooltip
/target Arena3
/cast [@focus,mod:shift] Tiger’s Lust

 

 

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