Windwalker Guide

Introduction

I’ll avoid spelling out every single spell and aspect of the class and focus on the functional. Icy Veins and MMO-Champion have great guides that go into more depth. If you want to know what each ability does, click on its link. I also have a FAQ page with the questions that are seen most frequently.

To quote Icy-Veins:

Windwalker is the DPS specialisation of Monks, the most recently-added class in World of Warcaft.

Windwalker Monks provide competitive melee DPS in both single target and multiple target situations. They are extremely mobile, and they also have excellent personal survival cooldowns that allow them to mitigate a lot of damage in a raiding environment.

Stats  | Abilities  |  Cooldowns  |  Talents  |  Glyphs | Rotation

Stats

Stat Priority

Using ability_monk_serenity Serenity(w/o t18 2pc): Multistrike > Versatility > Crit >Haste >>>>>>>> Mastery

Using ability_monk_serenitySerenity(w/ t18 2pc): Multistrike to 59% > Versatility > Multistrike after 59% > Crit >Haste >>>>>>>> Mastery

Using ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion: Haste >> Multistrike > Versatility > Crit >>>>>>> Mastery

Gems/Enchants

Due to the changes in the enchant and gem system, they are pretty straight forward. For ability_monk_serenity Serenity, take Multistrike everything. For ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion, take Haste everything.

Exception: If you have two trinkets that have Multistrike Procs, you can likely overcap Multistrike (100%), use Haste weapon enchant to minimize that chance.

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Abilities

Abilities that are from talents and cooldowns will be covered in their sections.

Energy Spenders

ability_monk_jab Jab – Basic Chi Builder, use it to generate Chi to prevent energy capping

ability_monk_expelharm Expel Harm (EH) –  Use when below 80% health in place of ability_monk_jab Jab, when at range from target, and to generate Chi before the pull

ability_monk_cranekick_new Spinning Crane Kick (SCK) – Short AOE spell, use with 3+ targets that need to be AOE’d down quickly

ability_monk_surgingmist Surging Mist  (SM) – Small targeted heal.

Chi Spenders

ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm (TP) – Applies self-buff Tiger Power to ignore 30% of the targets armor (11% damage increase to physical skills)

ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick (RSK) – 2nd hardest hitting ability, applies debuff increasing target’s damage taken by monk abilities by 20%.

monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury (FoF) – Hardest hitting ability, use on cooldown unless you will cap energy or target will be out of range

ability_monk_roundhousekick Blackout Kick (BoK) – Filler ability to spend Chi to prevent capping

Non-Chi Abilities

ability_monk_flyingdragonkick Flying Serpent Kick (FSK) – Use to get from place to place quickly or to fill a second for slightly more damage while energy regens

ability_monk_roll Roll – Use to get from place to place, not quite as quickly or as far as FSK

spell_sandstorm Storm, Earth, and Fire (SEF) – Icy-Veins explains how to use this perfectly : HERE.   Note: Newly created clones need their own TP and TEB buffs, and RSK debuffs; they do not benefit from yours and you don’t benefit from theirs

monk_ability_transcendence Transcendence – Use to get from place to place instantly over long distances. Use monk_ability_transcendence Transcendence to set your teleport copy at current location and spell_shaman_spectraltransformation Transcendence: Transfer to teleport to it

pandarenracial_bouncy Combo Breaker – Provides a free, no-chi cost, cast of TP or BoK. Use up charge before next ability_monk_jab Jab

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Cooldowns

See talents below for other cooldowns

Offensive

ability_monk_tigereyebrandy Tigereye Brew (TEB) – Before any FoF or Serenity, when above 16 stacks, or when you get a trinket/legendary ring proc

ability_monk_energizingwine Energizing Brew  (EB) – When FoF is on cooldown and (a) you’re below 60 energy and can use a energy spender in the next 6s or (b) you’re below 40 energy

ability_monk_touchofdeath Touch of Death  (ToD) – Use it when the button lights up, target is below your health or 10%

Defensive

ability_monk_zenmeditation Zen Meditation (ZenMed) – Top notch defensive CD, use to survive a big hit or several hits when the other defensive cooldowns just wont cut it. Cannot damage while channeling

ability_monk_touchofkarma Touch of Karma (ToK) – Use to redirect up to 50% of your health worth of damage back to the target. Can be used defensively to prevent damage, or offensively. Use offensively at your own risk

ability_monk_fortifyingale_new Fortifying Brew  (Fort Brew) – Basic defensive CD for longer periods of damage. Also increases health to allow ToK to absorb/redirect more damage and ToD to do more damage and be activated sooner.

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Talents

Tier 1 (level 15)

Tier 2 (level 30)

  • ability_monk_forcesphere Zen Sphere – for Single target with very little SEF use, keep on two targets as much as possible
  • ability_monk_chiwave Chi Wave – for single target with SEF use
  • spell_arcane_arcanetorrent  Chi Burst – is best for AoE damage

Tier 3 (level 45)

  • ability_monk_ascension Ascension – when using ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion
  • ability_monk_chibrew Chi Brew – Select when using Serenity. Use so that one stack is always recharging. Use both stacks at beginning of fight then on CD or save a stack for burst TEB stacks.
  • Ignore ability_monk_powerstrikes Power Strikes

Tier 4 (level 60)

Tier 5 (level 75)

  • ability_monk_dampenharm Dampen Harm  – for several consecutive or physical damage
  • spell_monk_diffusemagic Diffuse Magic – for large magic damage or removing magic debuffs
  • ability_monk_jasmineforcetea Healing Elixirs – for small more consistent damage, or if neither of the above apply (rare)

Tier 6 (level 90)

Tier 7 (level 100)

  • ability_monk_serenity Serenity  – Best single target: use on cooldown, except if FoF has less than 10s left on its CD. Never during Bloodlust/Heroism outside of the opener
  • ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion – Best cleave: use at/above 4 Chi for cleave, at 3 chi for single target, replaces ability_monk_roundhousekick Blackout Kick
  • ability_monk_hurricanestrike Hurricane Strike – Ignore this for now, has some uses for burst, but not much.

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Glyphs

I’ll only mention the ones that have actual uses, not cosmetic or goofy ones.

Major Glyphs

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Floating Butterfly – removes the stun component but allows you to move while channeling monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury, useful 99.9% of the time

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Flying Fists – useful only if you need to stun adds with monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury and can give up the movement

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Touch of Karma – adds 20yd to ability_monk_touchofkarma Touch of Karma‘s range, practically mandatory

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Zen Meditation – allows you to move while channeling Zen Meditation Icon Zen Meditation, not required all the time, but very useful

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Freedom Roll – ability_monk_roll Rollability_monk_flyingdragonkick Flying Serpent Kick, and ability_monk_quitornado Chi Torpedo break you out of stuns, useful for PvP, haven’t found a use in PvE yet

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres – useful if you will be taking big hits, dropping you below 25%, and don’t need one of the first 3 glyphs

inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Touch of Death– useful if you will only have to use ToD once, or spaced out 3.5 mins

In most situations you will want to use inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Floating Butterflyinv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Touch of Karma, and inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Zen Meditation. If you are to substitute another then I recommend removing inv_glyph_majormonk Glyph of Zen Meditation first.

Minor Glyphs

inv_glyph_minormonk Glyph of Blackout Kick is the only one that matters, use it 100% of the time

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Rotation

Windwalkers operate on a priority system. This means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority. This priority system is divided up into ability_monk_serenity Serenity (Single Target), ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion (Single Target) and ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion (Cleave/AOE). I will leave out cooldowns, as they have a separate section above. I will also cover ability_monk_jab Jab first in its own section.

When to ability_monk_jab Jab/ability_monk_expelharm Expel Harm

  1. Use ability_monk_expelharm Expel Harm in any place of ability_monk_jab Jab when below 80% health or out of melee range
  2. Less than 4 chi (ability_monk_chibrew Chi Brew) or 5 Chi (ability_monk_ascension Ascension)
  3. Energy is going to cap
  4. No pandarenracial_bouncy Combo Breaker buffs up

ability_monk_serenity Serenity Priority (Single Target)

  1. ability_monk_summontigerstatue Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  2. ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm (missing buff)
  3. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick (missing debuff)
  4. monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury
  5. ability_monk_serenity Serenity
  6. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick
  7. ability_monk_forcesphereability_monk_chiwavespell_arcane_arcanetorrent Tier 2 (level 30) Talent
  8. ability_monk_roundhousekick Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick
  9. ability_monk_roundhousekick Blackout Kick (no combo breaker)
  10. ability_monk_tigerpalm Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm
  11. ability_monk_jab Jab

 ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion Priority (Single Target)(No 4pc and SDI)

  1. ability_monk_summontigerstatue Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  2. ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm (missing buff)
  3. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick (missing debuff)
  4. monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury
  5. ability_monk_chiexplosion Combo Breaker: Chi Explosion (2 or more Chi)
  6. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick
  7. ability_monk_forcesphereability_monk_chiwavespell_arcane_arcanetorrent Tier 2 (level 30) Talent
  8. ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm (4 Chi)
  9. ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion (3 Chi)
  10. ability_monk_jab Jab

6.2 Update: Once you have t18 4pc and SDI trinket from Archimonde, you should only use Tiger Palm if you have a Combo Breaker and won’t cap energy; basically ignore the buff otherwise.

ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion Priority (Single Target)(With t18 4pc and SDI)

  1. ability_monk_summontigerstatue Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  2. ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm (missing buff)
  3. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick (missing debuff)
  4. monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury
  5. ability_monk_chiexplosion Combo Breaker: Chi Explosion (2 or more Chi)
  6. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick
  7. ability_monk_forcesphereability_monk_chiwavespell_arcane_arcanetorrent Tier 2 (level 30) Talent
  8. ability_monk_jab Jab up to 5/6 Chi to fish for procs
  9. ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion (5/6 Chi) to dump Chi
  10. ability_monk_tigerpalm Combo Breaker:Tiger Palm

 ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion Priority (Cleave/AOE)

  1. ability_monk_summontigerstatue Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger
  2. ability_monk_risingsunkick Rising Sun Kick (missing debuff)
  3. monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury
  4. ability_monk_forcesphereability_monk_chiwavespell_arcane_arcanetorrent Tier 2 (level 30) Talent
  5. ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion (4 or more Chi)
  6. ability_monk_tigerpalm Combo Breaker:Tiger Palm
  7. ability_monk_jab Jab

Note: There is reasonable debate about keeping up Tiger Power while using ability_monk_chiexplosion Chi Explosion in cleave situations. Some advocate for only using ability_monk_tigerpalm Tiger Palm when you get a Combo Breaker, others claim use it like you would on single target, or use it before using monk_ability_fistoffury Fists of Fury, so that you get the armor penetration for our hardest hitting ability. No one school of thought has won out over the others.

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That concludes my version of a Windwalker Guide, check out my FAQ page for additional information.

  1. Your Serenity priority list doesn’t actually include Serenity!

    Also why on earth wouldn’t I use serenity during bloodlust? Why is that okay at the beginning of a fight but not the middle? It’s way easier to have the TEB, chi, and whatnot @ 30% say, than it is 2 seconds into a fight.

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    • It doesn’t include Serenity because I mention how to use Serenity previously.

      You don’t want to use Serenity during Bloodlust because then you’re essentially wasting the 10s of Bloodlust since your energy will cap anyway. Its OK at the beginning of a fight because all of your cooldowns are up at the start, so the ability to spam Serenity with all the damage increases is worth the energy capping. Later in a fight Serenity essentially acts as a 10s Bloodlust, allowing you to spam abilities at a much faster rate.

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      • But it’s a priority list. Serenity should be in it. Lots of my abilities should be used on cooldown, as an idiot who doesn’t know how to improve my dps, how on earth am I supposed to know where serenity sits in priority?? Is it first? Last? You say to use Fists of Fury on cooldown too, but you include THAT in the list. To those of us who are struggling, and/or are new “use on cooldown” isn’t enough, not when I’m told that about multiple abilities.

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      • I added it in, but “On cooldown unless FoF has -10s left on CD, and never during BL/Hero outside the opener”, as I said in its description is a better indicator on how to use it than a number in a priority, in my opinion.

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  2. Few questions about Chi Explosion: Is ChiEx better for both single target and Cleave/AoE if I have 4pc+SDI? In both situations, I believe I should use Ascension as well, right? And should I switch to Chi Explosion as soon as I get the 4pc or should I keep switching between ChiEx and Serenity according to fights until I get the trinket as well?

    Also, after getting T18 4 pc and the trinket, you still mention Tiger Palm w/o Combo Breaker, so should it still be used on single target but not for AoE?

    Thanks for the guide, will help me improve. 🙂

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    • I’m considering T18 4pc in all situations, ofc.

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    • in 6.2.2, Serenity is simming 10% better than Chi Explosion in single target, so it will be recommended to stick with Serenity regardless of your gear. If you’re using Chi Explosion you should always use Ascension. Chi Explosion only gains some ground on Serenity once you have the 4pc AND the trinket, although as I said, the gap will be much larger after 6.2.2.

      Once you have 4pc and t18 you want to make sure to keep the Tiger Palm buff up on single target since the extra RSKs will benefit from it. In AOE your emphasis is on Chi Explosion, which doesn’t benefit from Tiger Palm, so keeping the buff up isn’t worth spending a Chi unless you have Combo Breaker.

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  3. In a high cleave fight, like Hellfire Assault, do you want to be using RJW with ChiX, or is it much more beneficial to just run Xuen, and get the extra Chi from Jab, than the single Chi from RJW and additional AoE?

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    • It depends on what your guild wants you to do and what difficulty. On Heroic and Normal you can go RJW for maximum AOE. However on Mythic you have less targets to AOE and you will likely want to save big cooldowns for 3 minutes into the fight, which Xuen is perfect for.

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  4. should you go for tier 18 4p and make due with the stats or the 2p with 59% vers for seren?

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    • Not sure where you heard anything about a versatility cap, I’m assuming you’re confusing it with the Multistrike soft cap.

      Without a doubt, you want to get the 4pc asap in any combination you can as its way too strong to ignore, and even more powerful with the Archimonde trinket

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  5. I see that you say when you get the 4 piece set and the class trinket from archimonde that you no longer spec into serenity and i was just wondering why that is?

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    • I’m not sure where I say that, because that’s not the case. Several weeks ago, a case could be made for that, but not any longer. If you’re talking about the “Stat Priority” sections or the “Rotation” section, I don’t add Serenity with 4pc and SDI because they don’t change the priorities.

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  6. Why not use TeB when you get a trinket/ring proc, before FoF and Serenity, and whenever you reach 10 stacks?

    I don’t under stand the 16 stack point that’s mentioned?

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    • Using TEB above 16 stacks is to prevent capping stacks and wasting any that are generated. +16 is the number I prefer but you can go to 17 with CX and 18 with Serenity since you can always generate another stack from mastery that could put you over the cap.

      You don’t want to just use it at 10 stacks because then you may have very few for the next trinket, ring, FoF, etc. Because it scales linearly you don’t get anything special from using it at 10 stacks vs twice at 5. You want to have as many stacks available when you get a period of increased damage from a proc, so you don’t want to waste stacks by using it without anything else up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So if im starting a fight and about to pop my first FoF i should pop it regardless of stacks?

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      • Yes. With Chi brew this is easy since you’ll have a few stacks from that before using FoF. With ChiEx and Ascension you will want to use CX at least once from full Chi to get some stacks, if you get a combo breaker proc then you can do it again for a few more stacks. If there’s no reason to hold it then you should use it regardless of stacks.

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  7. Hey babs, not sure if you’re still active here or not, but i have a quick question for you. So, I have my normal Archimonde class trinket and tier 18 4pc, does chi explosion become more powerful even for single target? It sure feels like it.

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    • I talk about this a bit in my testing from back in August. ChiEx has the higher possible maximum if you have godly good luck. On average, however, ChiEx is around 10% behind Serenity. Because of this you’ll only want to use ChiEx on single target if you’re going for rankings, preferably not during progression.

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