Windwalker's in Dungeons

Battle for Azeroth Items and Classes
I thought this would be a good place to post my thoughts on Windwalkers in BfA Dungeons, and mostly overall, as I had some time to test them out and write an article about it. While overall a fun and enjoyable class to play, there are still some easy improvements that can be made to the spec.

More detail here: http://www.peakofserenity.com/2018/04/29/windwalker-beta-dungeon-impressions/

The Good
Like I’ve said somewhat frequently; I really enjoy playing Windwalker on Beta. Although I didn’t do as much experimentation with talents and playstyles as I had initially planned to do when I set out to prepare for this article, that’s because I felt so comfortable and powerful with the setup I used most of the dungeons. The amount and pace of resources going in with the amount and pace of them going out felt very smooth. There weren’t many situations where I felt I had too many or too few resources when using this setup. Fist of the White Tiger fits nicely into the rotation, makes the opener feel very smooth, and provides just that extra little bit of resources when needed in order to use other abilities during AOE. It could be tuned up a little bit to match the output of Energizing Elixir more so that they’re closer in maximum.

Tiger Palm generating two Chi and Spinning Crane Kick using two Chi feels really nice in AOE situations. In addition, because there are no more artifact traits and the damage bonus from Cyclone Strikes has been reduced to 10%, it will be much more straightforward about when you drop other abilities in place of Spinning Crane Kick. I won’t need to maintain a huge chart, there will just be a general rule for people to follow.

Beyond the silly DPS that Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger is capable of in both single target and AOE, the shining star for Windwalkers right now is absolutely Blackout Kick. Putting aside that with current tuning its stronger, per chi, than Rising Sun Kick, and stronger, per second, than Fists of Fury; the fact that it reduces the cooldown of those abilities means that they are up faster and you’re not spending as much time spamming Blackout Kick and Tiger Palm, waiting for something better. Playing it the “optimal” way following what would currently be the priority of mainly getting as many Blackout Kick as you can doesn’t feel very good and will hopefully be adjusted so its not “optimal”. Playing it the way I assume it is meant to be played feels real good.



The Bad
The biggest thing I can complain about is that I am still not used to abilities being on the GCD. After years of pressing a second ability as soon as I press Storm, Earth, and Fire, having to wait felt very weird. This also lead me to frequently spamming the button more than I would if there were another button my finger had to get to right afterwards. Because of this, I occasionally ran into the situation of focusing them on my target rather than them being able to bounce around.

Having Energizing Elixir made it much more difficult to use than had it not been. Although it is easier to use than it is on Live, putting it back on the GCD forces you into a situation where you still MUST waste some of the resources gained, as you continue to generate energy while on the GCD. In an ideal situation, you’d start with 0 or 1 Chi, use Energizing Elixir, followed by an immediate Tiger Palm so that you minimize the energy wasted, while getting the most out of the cooldown. With it on the GCD, you still waste one second of energy regen, no matter what you do.

Fist of the White Tiger not applying Mark of the Crane to the target also felt wonky as it, functionally, takes the place of where a Tiger Palm would be. So you’re spending the energy and getting the Chi, but not the stack of Mark of the Crane. When you’re in the flow of tab-targeting, this is disruptive.

I’m putting Rushing Jade Wind here as, although I didn’t test it in dungeons, and when I had tested it previously, it was “HOLY FORKING SHIZZ” awful; when using it in dungeons, with smaller pulls where resources are not as tight as you have time to regen between pulls, and being able to turn it on and off, it wouldn’t feel as bad and actually brings pretty decent damage for a toggle-able ability.



The Ugly
Ascension… boy howdy this talent just provides pretty much nothing compared to its alternatives. The template character on Beta even has higher haste than most people, and thus gets more out of Ascension, and that talent still felt useless.

Serenity was still not working, so I couldn’t test that at all.

Although Chi Burst is an enormously fantastic ability to have in dungeons, the fact that you can’t cast it on the move feels drastically out of place when literally every other damaging ability can. (No legendary chest on Beta)
What you think are stat weights will end up being? More into haste than before?
It'll probably be haste > mastery >Crit. Or mastery > haste depending.
Your link references a write-up done with the old alpha talents.
04/30/2018 05:47 AMPosted by Fiascoh
Your link references a write-up done with the old alpha talents.


Only the very first dungeon was under the old talents. The other 80% and the commentary at the end are all about the currently available setup.
First off thank you Babylonius for all your hard work with Peak of Serenity (http://www.peakofserenity.com/ for those who don't know) and all your sage advice on the Discord channel. It's all much appreciated.

I agree with everything you wrote but this stood out.....
04/29/2018 04:56 PMPosted by Babylonius
I’m putting Rushing Jade Wind here as, although I didn’t test it in dungeons, and when I had tested it previously, it was “HOLY FORKING SHIZZ” awful;

I absolutely LOATHE the new RJW in Beta. For those that played an Enhance Shammy in Legion it's just a green Fury of Air. An ability that was universally despised by the Shammy community.

I know that's not proper feedback so here's something for the devs.....

Energy based specs use energy to build resources to then use on big hitters. For WW Monks we use abilities that spend Energy like Tiger Palm to build Chi which we spend on things like FoF, RSK and SCK. The Energy>Resource>Damage chain is universal.

The current RJW breaks that design. It's an Energy spender that doesn't build resources. Why would you break your own design rules for something that also feels bad in context of the flow of WW combat?

I'd be fine with RJW using Energy if it was going from a spender to a builder. It would be perfect as an AoE builder for SCK either through Chi generation or going back to adding Mark of the Crane stacks. Both are resources that make SCK go.

I get that RJW and Fury of Air are supposed to mimic Blade Fury and the old Sweeping Strikes as toggled abilities that drain or lower resources but please rethink this change.
Should have probably posted this in the class forum section of beta, but pardon my ignorance how much of Windwalker has changed from legion I haven't played mine much.

I know Rushing Jade Wind was either a thing for some and not by another, but someone was telling me that windwalker can get ROP and a knockdown or something?
04/30/2018 03:12 AMPosted by Maladàth
What you think are stat weights will end up being? More into haste than before?

04/30/2018 04:27 AMPosted by Xinatha
It'll probably be haste > mastery >Crit. Or mastery > haste depending.


Right now the stat weights are looking largely the same. Haste is gaining some ground with losing Strike of the Windlord, which wasn't affected by Haste. Mastery is also losing some ground as AutoAttacks, which aren't affected by Mastery, make up a larger percentage of our overall damage.

Anything could change in the stat weights, but thats how its looking right now.

04/30/2018 07:38 AMPosted by Manales
I know Rushing Jade Wind was either a thing for some and not by another, but someone was telling me that windwalker can get ROP and a knockdown or something?


Yes, Windwalkers have Leg Sweep baseline and can talent into Ring of Peace as well. I believe all Monks can do this.
@Babylonius

Do you think WW is going to be in a pretty useful spot come BFA. I'm thinking high level keys. It kind of feels like they are going to be a top melee with a lot of moves doing cleave damage, an aoe stun, and ring of peace.

Also, thanks for your post and all your work. You are amazing.
Howdy OP -- I'm looking to test some monk stuff out on the beta and this will be my very first time playing WW. Looking to try something new for BfA. Can you give a quick lowdown on the beta priority system, what you use, stuff for aoe, etc? Going to give your videos a watch this afternoon as well to see what I can pull from those...thanks for all of this! :)
Don't forget to put FotWT being on the wrong GCD in the bad column, it almost seems as if all the following attacks also use that wrong cooldown as long as the damage buff is up. It is REALLY jarring
05/01/2018 12:05 PMPosted by Felforit
Howdy OP -- I'm looking to test some monk stuff out on the beta and this will be my very first time playing WW. Looking to try something new for BfA. Can you give a quick lowdown on the beta priority system, what you use, stuff for aoe, etc? Going to give your videos a watch this afternoon as well to see what I can pull from those...thanks for all of this! :)


The basic windwalker guide still applies for what will be in BFA. Currently there is not too much changing that'll require a total rework of the base guide. Just forget Strike of the Windlord exists and fit in Chi Burst during downtime when you need resources for ST, or Fit it in between casts for AoE.
http://www.peakofserenity.com/windwalker/guide/pve/

The opener I'm using is: Tiger Palm > Fist of the White Tiger > Touch of Death > Ancestral Call + Storm, Earth, and Fire > Rising Sun Kick > Fist of Fury > Whirling Dragon Palm. You can fit all of this inside your ToD.

Then Tiger Palm for 2 chi > Chi Burst before the next Rising Sun Kick comes off cooldown > Rising Sun Kick > Tiger Palm > Blackout Kick, etc > continue with the rotation.

04/30/2018 06:49 AMPosted by Chimmee
I get that RJW and Fury of Air are supposed to mimic Blade Fury and the old Sweeping Strikes as toggled abilities that drain or lower resources but please rethink this change.


RJW does not mimic either, in my experience playing with each of them, and the best way to explain this from my perspective is to examine your current gameplay in Live Legion and think about all the blackout kicks you use in the time lapse between your major cooldowns. Instead of converting Energy into Chi and then spending it on Blackout Kick you are going to skip the conversion and just spend the energy on Rushing Jade Wind to deal AoE damage, in the same time lapse. You toggle it off and on based on this to essentially 'delete boks" from the rotation. Hopefully that made sense.

In any event it'll be toggled on and off semi-frequently when you can afford to spend Chi and disregard energy. Such as the times you are going to RSK - FoF - WDP, or just FoF on light cleave. You'll toggle it off when you need your energy regen unrestricted to get chi for your next set of actions and then turn it back on when you perform them.

Currently RJW is bugged and only deals 45% of it's normal damage during SEF and even then it's accounting for a fairly large chunk of my overall damage. This ability could be very strong in the future for dungeon content once the bugs get fixed.
RJW shouldn't reduce energy regen so much that you can no longer use RSK/FoF on cooldown. You might not be doing much else, but you should be able to keep both of those on cooldown. I went to a training dummy, with chi burst and energizing elixir, and could use RSK and FoF on cooldown without ever stopping RJW on a single target. Even still had room for a couple BoKs.

The only question is whether it is more energy efficient than tiger palming for more BoKs/SCKs. If it is, you'll keep it on 100% of the time. If it isn't, why use it at all? Obviously a different talent would be better in that case, because using RJW would be a damage loss compared to not even using a talent. There isn't a lot of room for it to be something you have on only -sometimes- while also being at all competitive with other talents. The best possibility is it being less efficient than BoK on a single target but more efficient than SCK (and RSK, of course) on multiple targets. But even then, you'd probably get more out of just having hit combo or xuen than a small margin on AoE from RJW.

And with it on 100% of the time, well, there are a whole lot of open globals. I don't think people would like playing that way, and would be hoping that it isn't competitive.

Assuming RJW is competitive at all, I'd imagine it'd typically be paired with serenity. The reason being is that it gives you a period where the energy cost doesn't matter, and you are getting RJW on top of the full serenity window damage on top of getting a chance to pool energy again.

I spent some time on a dummy to try to shake out where it stands now. Theoretically this can be just sussed out with the tooltips and spell formula but they haven't seemed to be 100% accurate so far, so I figured I'd just actually hit something and get rough numbers.

RJW on one target is less energy efficient than tiger palm and two BoKs, not even including the cooldown reduction aspect. So, if you have it on a single target, it is basically never worth turning on. It is only worth turning on if you are going to energy cap no matter what you do, but even then it may not be worth the global.

It about breaks even with tiger palm + 2 BoK at two targets. The RJW is slightly more raw damage, but the cooldown reduction would likely even them out.

It is more energy efficient than SCK until about 5 marked targets. So it is worth having on in a standard pull or the kind of smallish AoE that typically happens in a raid encounter. Especially with serenity where it doesn't interfere with SCK. But it may not be ideal when pulling multiple packs in a mythic+ or something.

But overall I feel the region where it is clearly useful (having 3-5 targets) is too narrow to make it competitive with the other talents. Even in the region where it isn't a loss compared to just spending the energy on tiger palm, is the gain larger than the gain from Xuen/hit combo? I'll not try to math that out right here, but my gut tells me no.

Maybe sims will help us find a more clever way to use it, but I don't have many hopes for the ability.
05/02/2018 10:33 PMPosted by Weihuu
RJW shouldn't reduce energy regen so much that you can no longer use RSK/FoF on cooldown. You might not be doing much else, but you should be able to keep both of those on cooldown. I went to a training dummy, with chi burst and energizing elixir, and could use RSK and FoF on cooldown without ever stopping RJW on a single target. Even still had room for a couple BoKs.

The only question is whether it is more energy efficient than tiger palming for more BoKs/SCKs. If it is, you'll keep it on 100% of the time. If it isn't, why use it at all? Obviously a different talent would be better in that case, because using RJW would be a damage loss compared to not even using a talent. There isn't a lot of room for it to be something you have on only -sometimes- while also being at all competitive with other talents. The best possibility is it being less efficient than BoK on a single target but more efficient than SCK (and RSK, of course) on multiple targets. But even then, you'd probably get more out of just having hit combo or xuen than a small margin on AoE from RJW.

And with it on 100% of the time, well, there are a whole lot of open globals. I don't think people would like playing that way, and would be hoping that it isn't competitive.

Assuming RJW is competitive at all, I'd imagine it'd typically be paired with serenity. The reason being is that it gives you a period where the energy cost doesn't matter, and you are getting RJW on top of the full serenity window damage on top of getting a chance to pool energy again.

I spent some time on a dummy to try to shake out where it stands now. Theoretically this can be just sussed out with the tooltips and spell formula but they haven't seemed to be 100% accurate so far, so I figured I'd just actually hit something and get rough numbers.

RJW on one target is less energy efficient than tiger palm and two BoKs, not even including the cooldown reduction aspect. So, if you have it on a single target, it is basically never worth turning on. It is only worth turning on if you are going to energy cap no matter what you do, but even then it may not be worth the global.

It about breaks even with tiger palm + 2 BoK at two targets. The RJW is slightly more raw damage, but the cooldown reduction would likely even them out.

It is more energy efficient than SCK until about 5 marked targets. So it is worth having on in a standard pull or the kind of smallish AoE that typically happens in a raid encounter. Especially with serenity where it doesn't interfere with SCK. But it may not be ideal when pulling multiple packs in a mythic+ or something.

But overall I feel the region where it is clearly useful (having 3-5 targets) is too narrow to make it competitive with the other talents. Even in the region where it isn't a loss compared to just spending the energy on tiger palm, is the gain larger than the gain from Xuen/hit combo? I'll not try to math that out right here, but my gut tells me no.

Maybe sims will help us find a more clever way to use it, but I don't have many hopes for the ability.


On 4-6 targets it is still extremely strong and the strain on resources isn't so high than you can't continue to tp bok or sck. You just can't do it for long.

It takes something like 10 seconds or so to have drained enough energy to have removed the possibility of a tiger palm and that is already a long time to have been using tp/sck to begin with but what you feel the most, in my opinion, is the 3 seconds added to downtime before you can tiger palm during the active toggle. That is where I think the difficulty comes from for the few people I've asked to play with the talent and the handful I've seen in testing. The learning curve for RJW alone has been steeper than the entire spec lol

I have not finished testing all the talents abilities yet, and I'm still in the process of difining rules to RJW for the SimC APL (it wont be ready for some time though )
Ultimately it just seems like it won't be suitable for mythic + because on large pulls, you can mark so many targets that SCK is a more efficient use of energy, and when you are on a single target (e.g., most bosses) the talent is basically a dead button, while the other two talents are much more flexible and useful throughout.

Kinda similar to raid encounters. Even if maybe it works out okay for burning down adds you don't always have time to mark properly for SCK to outpace RJW, most encounters have long periods of time where there are 1-3 targets and the other talents will be doing more.

But maybe I'm underestimating the grace period provided by chi burst, in that it fills you up on chi and then some, giving you a window where you aren't relying much on energy to get chi spenders out.

I do hope that instead of it actively costing energy, it just reduces energy regen in the future, so you can still tiger palm at 50 energy without dropping it, instead of waiting for 54 energy.

And the one time we get a fight with 4 constant targets and you just leave it running forever? That will be an awful fight to play.

I did just discover something interesting about it. It snapshots mastery. This might cause some problems with trying to stack mastery procs/use effects, putting it up, and never letting it fall down. Every other stat else seems to work dynamically, but not mastery. I imagine this can't be intended, this sort of snapshotting shenanigans has been very much been eliminated other places it has shown up.
Thanks for mentioning that it snapshots. I have no gear to check so I couldn't test in combat.

With it being bugged during SEF I haven't been able to properly test its damage output on heavy AoE. I did a dungeon yesterday and had my boy Syless aka "BlizzconSlayerx" just pull entire hallways and rooms and it was doing a relatively large chunk of my overall % while being reduced to 45% damage for the duration of sef. We'll have to wait and see how it does on large AoE. At 3/4 targets it would probably lose to xuen even after tuning. Just a guess but it won't get my vote of confidence against the kitty
I wish Kitty was just baseline. Such a beautiful looking ability/pet, and it's a shame if it ends up underperforming and not being all that viable...
RJW is awful indeed, i hope they remove it completely and replace with something better.(more fun)

Also big THANKS to Babylonius for all your hard work with Peak of Serenity, keep it up! :)
05/02/2018 05:52 PMPosted by Talbyy
RJW does not mimic either, in my experience playing with each of them, and the best way to explain this from my perspective is to examine your current gameplay in Live Legion and think about all the blackout kicks you use in the time lapse between your major cooldowns. Instead of converting Energy into Chi and then spending it on Blackout Kick you are going to skip the conversion and just spend the energy on Rushing Jade Wind to deal AoE damage, in the same time lapse. You toggle it off and on based on this to essentially 'delete boks" from the rotation. Hopefully that made sense.

I have to politely disagree on a number of things you mention.

a) It does mimic Blade Fury and Sweeping Strikes as toggled abilities that convert resources to AoE. I don't see how you can say otherwise but in the end who cares how it's defined.

A toggled ability feels odd and an ability that uses Energy but doesn't build resources (Chi) is totally at odds with how Energy classes work. I find the Beta version of RJW totally counter to the normal flow of Builder/Spender and not at all enjoyable to use.

b) Having an ability to use in place of BoK is fine and could have been accomplished by keeping RJW as a Chi spender. That's basically what it is currently and I don't understand the need to make it into an Energy draining, toggled skill to achieve that goal.

If it has to cost energy just give it a fixed cost and have it build Mark of the Crane stacks again since those still count as a Resource in my book .

TLDR
It's a crap change to a fun spell that disrupts the wonderful flow of the Windwalker rotation. I'm boggled to what Blizzard was thinking,

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