WW] 5.4 - Siege of the Fist
All the credits go to -> Calligraphy. " I've been playing various roles in WoW for several years, starting wayyyy way back when I first made my shaman. I just so happen to play a Windmasta Brewwalkin' monk, with an emphasis on that Windwalkin'. I chose to write this in order to have an up-to-date guide on Windwalker mechanics and changes, with an emphasis on compiling current theorycraft in an easier-to-digest manner."
Windwalker is not a class to be confused with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. For one thing, we have an L in Windwalker. We bring front-loaded damage, and are extremely effective in AoE and cleave fights.
We do not have initial burst, though we do have a stacking buff that allows us to do a large amount of damage over a short period of time (for more information, read the section on Tigereye Brew). In addition to that, we have a multi-dot that allows us to maintain great damage on 2-3 targets (though, with an impact on our own damage). Finally, to top all of this off - we also do fantastic sustained damage.
How to read this guide: I will give the short answer first (for those who are perhaps just switching to Windwalker and have 10 minutes before raid) and then go into more technical reasoning for those who are curious, or those who are attempting to min/max.
This guide is designed to fascilitate discussion of Monk's DPS spec, Windwalker. While I attempt to write in a neutral voice, some personal opinion is bound to surface. I attempt to notate where personal opinion begins and stated facted begins - however, it is up to the user to test through simulations, spreadsheets, and actual gameplay whether statements herein are fact or opinion. In addition, I will attempt to keep this guide as up-to-date as possible - however, World of Warcraft is a game which changes quite often, and therefore some changes may not be documented as quickly. Again, this is up to the user to test.
Initial credit is given to Nextormento for creating the original Windwalker guide (and for the tables I may have borrowed and simply amended), and Mihir on Mmo-Champion, in addition to Eeinx for his great work on the monk module for SimulationCraft, Venyasaur for his spreadsheets, and the monk TC community in general for the wealth of spreadsheets that have been provided. (Todo: provide a links, preferrably to Google Documents/other free-to-access-online, to helpful spreadsheets).
Additionally, I will monitor this thread as much as possible in order to integrate future changes, and to revise any mistakes made. While free information is good information, wrong and/or outdated information is still bad information.
Here are some resources that you can use in order to better optimize your character.
Trinkets Ranking Spreadsheet: Credit to Promdates and Eyedore for creating the two spreadsheets that lead to this. Simply follow the directions in the sheet, rank the trinkets, and profit.
Eyedore's Monk Energy spreadsheet: Credit to Eyedore for compiling this. Inserting mastery and haste, in addition to talent choices, gear choices, and rotation choices, allows the user to view statistics on energy regeneration, regeneration/min, jabs/min, chi/min, etc. Very useful in determining the amount of time active for a Patchwerk situation.
5.2 Monk Energy Sheet (Eyedore): Willl replace the former link upon launch of 5.2
Calligraphy's Spreadsheet of Pre-Raid Gear: Spreadsheet of items a player can obtain without having stepped foot in a raid instance (LFR included) that require no valor to obtain.
SimulationCraft.org: Credit to Eeinx for his work on the Windwalker profile. Please view this for how to use this tool.
:Rotund's Stat Weight Simulator Spreadsheet.
Monks can use staves and polearms, or they can dual-wield one-handed maces, swords, axes, and fist weapons. The stats for each weapon is important in calculating the damage of your spells. Therefore, you should always place the most emphasis on upgrading your weapons.
Which to Choose?
Dual wield is (almost always) king. Here's a basic idea of how to choose your weapon:
- You are dual wielding, and your main hand and offhand are the same item level. You receive a two-handed weapon that is ten item levels or less above both. Choice: dual wield. The difference between the two hand and dual wielding will be arbitrary at best.
- You are dual wielding, and your main hand and offhand are the same item level. You receive a two-handed wepaon that is more than ten item levels above your main hand. Choice: two-hander. The difference in stats and weapon damage on the two-hander should be significant enough to show a difference between it and your mainhand.
- Your Main Hand is the item level of current tier (let's say 496, which is Tier 14 "normal") and your offhand is that same main hand's Looking For Raid Version (let's say 483). A 496 staff drops. Choice: dual wield. Even with a worse Offhand, the differenge is neglible at best, and dual wield should still pull ahead.
- Your Main Hand is the item level of the current tier (we'll say 496 again), but your offhand is from a previous tier (let's say 463). A two hander drops of item level 496. Choice: It depends. This is actually a more complicated question, simply because of the difference between your offhand and your mainhand. Theoretically, however, it would be advised to use the two-hander, but try to find a better offhand.
It is honestly always a hard choice when the 2H has much higher stats and item level, but it really comes down to the fact that we scale with our weapon damage and dual wield gives us the benefit of double-proccing Dancing Steel (amongst other things). Early on, when RPPM trinkets scaled with weapon speed, we did see MAJOR benefit in 2H - but unfortunately, that did not go live, and so a very, very slight delta still exists between DW and 2H.
Note, however, that in current tier - with Heroic Thunderforged and several different item levels, it is not going to be uncommon for a 2H to outperform DW. That is the problem with having a tier in which weapons with a 19 item level difference can drop - it will complicate things for you.
Windwalker monks are often compared to rogues and retribution paladins, and for good reason. Like the other two classes, we utilize two resources: energy and chi. Our energy is converted into Chi, which is then used for more powerful attacks. Note: Spells and abilities which use Chi DO NOT use energy! Meaning, our resources are either/or resources, using ONLY energy or ONLY Chi.
Energy is regenerated at a constant rate (haste and energy regeneration cooldowns aside). It is typically used for our utility spells (interrupts, disarms, etc), but the primary usage of our Energy (as mentioned above) is to generate Chi. The majority of our energy should be used by the spells Jab and Expel Harm. Setting aside haste procs and haste cooldowns such as Timewarp, the only way to increase energy regeneration is throughEnergizing Brew.
Chi is the source for our major damage spells. Windwalkers generate 2 Chi every time they use Jab or Expel Harm. This Chi is then used for some of our major damage spells.
This is a basic list of spells which can be used in order to generate Chi.
Expel Harm: self-heal that also deals damage and grants 2 Chi (thanks to Stance of the fierce Tiger). Considered to be a damage increase over Jab, provided that it heals the monk when used.
Spinning Crane Kick: AoE spell which generates 1 Chi, provided it hits 3 or more targets.
Chi Brew: Level 45 talent which grants 4 chi when used. 90 second cooldown.
Power Strikes: Another talent from the level 45 tier. Grants 1 chi every 20 seconds.
Crackling Jade Lightning: Ranged channeled ability which has a 35% chance to grant 1 Chi every tick. Knocks enemies back a short distance if they melee you while you are channeling it on them.
Mastery: Bottled Fury: As of 5.2, this is a passive effect all Windwalker's have with a baseline 12% chance to produce either Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm and/or Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick. These allow the monk a free Tiger Palm and Blackout kick (meaning, your next Tiger Palm and/or Blackout Kick will be free of cost). Note the way this is stated - there is a chance for one Jab to produce a free Tiger Palm as well as a free Blackout Kick.
Brewing: Tigereye Brew: Every time the Windwalker uses 3 chi, they gain a stack of Tigereye Brew, stacking up to 20 times. This part of the mechanic is passive. However, it is up to the player to use it to the full potential - that is, the player must use this ability to consume the stacks of Tigereye Brew. Each consumed stack of Tigereye Brew increases the players damage by 6%, up to 60% of damage increased (or, 10 stacks). Only ten stacks can be consumed at a time, while the rest are "saved".
Stance of the Fierce Tiger: This can be considered our damage stance (similar to Cat Form for druids). It causes us to generate 2 Chi every time we use Jab or Expel Harm and increases our damage by 20%, in addition to increasing our movement speed by 10%.
Tiger Strikes: A proc which increases attack speed by 50% and causes the next 4 autoattacks to cause an extra attack.
Way of the Monk: An attempt to balance dual wield and two-hand using monks. This increases weapon damage by 40% for dual wielding monks, and attack speed by 40% for two-hand using monks.
Sparring: when the enemy attacks you from the front, you gain the Sparring buff. This increases your chance to parry by 5% for 10 seconds, stacking up to 3 times. The effect does have a 30 second cooldown. Attacking the target amplifies Sparring by 5%.
Swift Reflexes: Increases the monk's chance to parry by 5%. When an attack is parried, you reflexively strike back for a certain amount of damage. 1 second cooldown.
Monks produce raid-wide +5% stats with Legacy of the Emperor and grant raid-wide +5% crit with Legacy of the White Tiger.
Spells and Abilities
Basic Spells: The Windwalker's Groundwork
- Jab for Chi (Or Expel Harm if at less taon 80% HP)
- Tiger Palm if no Tiger Power buff
- Rising Sun Kick, and keep this on cooldown
- Fists of Fury if you will not be moving within the next 3 or so seconds.
- Chi Wave when it is not on cooldown and you will not energy cap in the next second.
- Spend extra Chi on Blackout Kick.
Name | Cost | DMG Mod | CD | Comments
Jab | 40e | 1.5 | none | Creates 2 Chi
Expel Harm | 40e | 3.15 | 15s | Creates 2 Chi
Tiger Palm | 1 Chi | 3 | none | Grants Tiger Power
Blackout Kick | 2 Chi | 8 (+1.6) | none | Also casts Combat Conditioning
Rising Sun Kick | 2 Chi | 14.4 | 8s | Also casts Mortal Wounds and increases damage taken by the target by 20% for 15s.
Fists of Fury | 3 Chi | 5 (*5) | 25s | 20 second CD with 2set T14. Conal stun.
Your main chi builders should be Jab and Expel Harm. Rising Sun Kick will be used on cooldown, and Tiger Palm should only be cast if your Tiger Power buff is about to fall off. Otherwise, your main usage of Chi will be Blackout Kick. Fists of Fury should be used when you are certain you will be able to finish the cast and are at <85 energy. Note that Fists of Fury splits its damage when used over multiple targets.
AoE: Gotta Hit 'Em All
If specced into Rushing Jade Wind:
- Cast Storm, Earth, and Fire on targets that you are not targetting.
- Cast Rushing Jade Wind.
- Tiger Palm if you/SEF clones do not have a Tiger Power buff.
- Rising Sun Kick on Cooldown.
- Blackout Kick.
- Refresh Rushing Jade Wind when it falls off, repeat.
- Spinning Crane Kick for Chi. (You may wish to Jab for initial Chi to gain Tiger Power and cast your initial Rising Sun Kick)
- Tiger Palm if you do not have a Tiger Power buff.
- Rising Sun Kick on Cooldown.
- Fists of Fury to use your extra Chi (also allows you to stack Tigereye Brew a bit faster). (Note that the math on whether or not Fists of Fury is a loss or gain is a bit fuzzy at this time - it is considered a gain as each hit of it can possibly crit.)
Name | Cost | CD | Comments
Spinning Crane Kick |40e| None | Generates 1 Chi when used on 3 or more targets.
Spinning Crane Kick |40e| 6s | Generates 1 Chi when used on 3 or more targets. Note that its cooldown scales with the monk's haste (more haste means a shorter cooldown, as well as a shorter duration of the buff).
Flying Serpent Kick | None |25s | Moves the monk forward very quickly, and does an AoE damage/slow upon landing. Should not be considered a filler, but rather for an opener to re-enter combat and quickly enter melee range.
Spinning Fire Blossom: Ranged attack (with a snare, if not glyphed) which does increased damage when at least 10 yards away. Uses 1 Chi. This spell can be useful if you are outside of melee range for a time and are Chi capped, or while running in while Roll or Flying Serpent Kick are on cooldown. When glyphed, it requires a target but does not snare. Otherwise, it will hit the first target in front of the monk and cause a 2 second snare.
Name | Cost | CD | Effect/Notes
Paralysis | 20e | 15s | Basic CC that breaks when the target is hit with damage. 20 yard range.
Detox | 20e | 8s | Clears target of Poison and Disease effects.
Spear Hand Strike | 0e | 15s | Interrupts the target and (if they are facing you) silences them for 2 seconds.
Resuscitate | 40e | None | Basic out-of-combat resurrection spell.
Grapple Weapon | 0e | 60s | Disarms the target, and if successful, increases your damage done by 5%. Note that raid bosses cannot typically be disarmed, but that adds and trash typically can - it is up to the user to experiment and find which adds/trash can be disarmed.
Disable | 15e | None | Slows the target for 15 seconds. This effect is refreshed if the target remains within 10 yards of the monk, but becomes an 8s snare if used twice on the target.
Name | Cost | CD | Effect/Notes
Fortifying Brew | None | 3min | Increases HP by 20% and decreases damage taken by 20% for 20s.
Touch of Karma | 2 Chi | 60s | All damage taken is deflected and applied to the enemy in a 6s DoT. The effect cancels if the damage exceeds the monk's total health.
Zen Meditation | None | 3min | Reduces damage taken by 90%, and redirects up to 5 harmful spells to the monk. Effect is cancelled if the monk attempts to move (while this spell is not Glyphed) or if the monk is struck with a melee attack.
Nimble Brew | None | 2min | Removes all stun, Fear, and root effects, and reduces the duration of those effects if they are reapplied by 60% for 6 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown.
Name | Cost | CD | Effect/Notes
Roll | None | 20s | Moves the monk a short distance in the direction they are moving. Doesn't have a true cooldown, but rather "charges". Without the level 15 talent Celerity (increases Roll's charges by 1), roll can have up to 2 charges that take 15 seconds each to recharge.
Flying Serpent Kick | None | 25s | Moves the monk forward very fast. Cast again to cancel and cause a small amount of AE damage.
Transcendence | None | 45s | Similar to a demonic portal, this must be cast in the location the monk would want to teleport to. Cast Transcendence: Transfer in order to return to the location in which the original spell was cast.
In the Raid Environment
First, a note on food: I recommend learning the Wok specialization in order to acquire recipes for Agility food and feasts which favor Agility. However, this food is not bind on pickup, so you can also have someone who has learned the desired Wok specialization recipe or purchase it in-game for usage. Note that Pandaren receive double the stat benefit of food; unlike other races, switching from 275 to 300 food is not a change of 25 agility: it is a change of 50 agility. This can be a significant advantage considering how valuable Agility is as a stat, and therefore I recommend that Pandaren windwalkers user 300 food as often as possible. Windwalkers, like other agility users, receive agility from eating banquets (including the banquet introduced in 5.4).
300agi (food) | Sea Mist Rice Noodles
275agi (food) | Great Pandaren Banquet, Pandaren Banquet, Valley Stir Fry, Chao Cookies
250agi (food) | Sauteed Carrots
1000agi (flask) | Flask of Spring Blossoms
4000agi (potion) | Virmen's Bite
I've discussed the mechanics and boring part of our spells - so let's delve into our basic rotation or priorities.
- If there is more than one target, cast Storm, Earth, and Fire on target(s) that you are not targetting (and cancel the clone if you begin targetting that target!)
- Cast Rushing Jade Wind if you are specced into it and there are 3 or more targets (or it is about to fall off)
- Tiger Palm if your Tiger Power buff is about to fall off
- Use Rising Sun Kick if it is off of CD
- Use Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick proc if you have T16 2piece.
- If you are at <80% health, Expel Harm in order to generate Chi
- Otherwise, if you are >80% health, Jab to generate Chi
- Tigereye Brew in conjunction with major CDs Energizing Brew, Fists of Fury, on-use Trinkets, Timewarp/Blood Lust/Haste, if you have a proc from a trinket, or if at 20 stacks
- Fists of Fury if you (and target) will not be moving in the next 2-3s (depending on your haste) and if you are at <85energy
- Chi Wave when it is off of CD, and you will not energy cap during your next global, and you are not capped on Chi
- Use Combo Breaker procs (BoK/TP) as they become available. Note that some levels of haste may benefit from delaying Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm; however, this should prodice a very negligible difference.
- Extra Chi should be used on Blackout Kick
If you are at a point where you are going to either energy cap or Chi cap, it is generally less of a damage loss if you expend the Chi first. In other words, it's better to waste energy than it is to waste Chi.
Combo Breaker Procs
- Both types of procs will count toward stacking Tigereye Brew.
- It is better to use a Combo Breaker proc and energy cap, than it is to Jab before using a Combo Breaker Proc. Otherwise, using Jab while you already have a Combo Breaker proc active is considered a damage loss. Note, however, that some levels of haste will benefit from delaying a Tiger Palm proc. Nevertheless, the difference between using a proc and delaying it should be altogether negligible.
- The Tier 16 two set bonus increases the damage dealt by Combo Breaker procs by 40%. This produces a very noticable difference for Blackout Kick, and a slightly more noticable difference for Tiger Palm. Simulation shows that it does shift Tiger Palm's priority up just a bit, but not enough so that delaying it is not a damage loss (in fact, delaying it should still be beneficial).
Previously, monks could not burst; however, with changes to Chi Brew, Monks may change from Ascension to Chi Brew in order to be slightly more burst-y.
But let me grow on that thought. Consuming 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew is still a 60% damage increase, and therefore it is advised to pool Tigereye Brew stacks if there is an incoming burst phase. In addition, one could talent into Chi Brew for on-demand burst - however, note that other talents on this tier typically reward more Chi per second (therefore, this is not really advised).
Also, our level 90 talent (Xuen) does provide a nice damage increase over 45s. Note that Xuen does not benefit from Tigereye Brew, but will benefit from things such as on-use trinkets and an engineer's Synapse Springs, in addition to procs from trinkets and item enchantments.
Storm, Earth, and Fire
For a fight with two to three targets, 5.2 gives Monks the ability to use Storm, Earth, and Fire
This allows you to summon 1-2 clones of yourself. When you split the first time, you and your clone will do 60% of your normal damage. Another split will cause yourself and all of your clones to do 45% of your normal damage.
A few notes on this ability:
- If you begin attacking the same target as your clone, your clone will only copy your autoattacks and not your specials. This will hurt your damage, and you will not benefit. If anything, using a clone on a single-target fight will hurt you.
- Your clones are affected by your Tigereye Brew.
- To delete your clones, you will need to cancel the effect. Otherwise, the clone will disappear when its target dies (or is unavailable).
Note that the spirits also copy your specials. Therefore, you can continue your typical single-target rotation, and still benefit from this multidot effect.
15 | Celerity | Celerity | Tiger's Lust | Tiger's Lust | Momentum | Momentum
30 | Chi Wave | Chi Wave | Zen Sphere | Zen Sphere | Chi Burst | Chi Burst
45 | Power Strikes | Power Strikes | Ascension | Ascension | Chi Brew | Chi Brew
60 | Ring of Peace | Deadly Reach | Charging Ox Wave | Charging Ox Wave | Leg Sweep | Leg Sweep
75 | Healing Elixirs | Healing Elixirs | Dampen Harm | Dampen Harm | Diffuse Magic | Diffuse Magic
90 | Rushing Jade Wind | Rushing Jade Wind | Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger | Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger | Chi Torpedo | Chi Torpedo
Talents important to windwalkers:
Level 30: These provide hybrid heal/damage spells. With the changes in 5.2, Chi Wave is currently the strongest spell in the tier. It can be considered a strong point in the Windwalker rotation, and it is strongly advised to track its cooldown.
Level 45: Chi Brew is the strongest talent here for fights which require early lust, or for high mastery/crit builds. Ascension is still very strong, but is behind by a very small (almost negligible) margin. Power Strikes should not be used in an end-game PvE environment.
Level 90: Xuen is useful in almost every scenario. Rushing Jade Wind provides more damage for a fight with a greater amount of sustained AoE (or any encounter with 3 or more targets), but keep in mind that Xuen also AoEs over his 45s duration. Chi Torpedo may be useful if rolling through the group, but generally speaking, is the weakest talent in this tier for the Windwalker spec and should be avoided.
I will not cover glyphs that do not affect Windwalkers.
Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick | You move at full speed while channeling Spinning Crane Kick.
Glyph of Afterlife | Increases the chance to summon a Healing Sphere when you kill an enemy while gaining experience or honor by 100%.
Glyph of Touch of Death | Your Touch of Death no longer has a Chi cost, but the cooldown is increased by 2 minutes.
Glyph of Zen Meditation | You can now channel Zen Meditation while moving.
Glyph of Transcendence | Increases the range of your Transcendence: Transfer spell by 10 yards.
Glyph of Enduring Healing Sphere | Increases the duration of your Healing Spheres by 3 minutes.
Glyph of Fortifying Brew | Your Fortifying Brew reduces damage taken by an additional 5%, but increases your health by 10% rather than 20%.
Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres | Allows Expel Harm to be used on other players.
Glyph of Detox | Causes Detox to heal the target when it successfully removes a harmful effect.
Glyph of Detox | Makes the next Roll or Chi Torpedo go farther after using a Roll or Chi Torpedo.
Glyph of Detox | Causes a healing sphere to be summoned near the Monk at no cost when their health falls below 25%. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.
Glyph of Nimble Brew | Causes Nimble Brew to heal the Monk when it clears a root, stun, fear, or horror effect.
Glyph of Touch of Karma | Your Touch of Karma now has a 20 yard range.
Glyph of Fists of Fury | When channeling Fists of Fury, your parry chance is increased by 100%.
Glyph of Sparring | While Sparring, you also have a 5% chance to also Deflect spells from attackers in front of you, stacking up to 3 times.
Glyph of Sparring | Causes the Monk's Paralysis to remove all damage-over-time effects on the target.
Glyph of Blackout Kick | Your Blackout Kick always deals 20% additional damage over 4 sec regardless of positioning, but you are unable to trigger the healing eefect.
Glyph of Spinning Fire Blossom | Your Spinning Fire Blossom requires an enemy target rather than traveling in front of you, but is no longer capable of rooting targets.
Glyph of Flying Serpent Kick | Your Flying Serpent Kick automatically ends when you fly into an enemy, triggering the area of effect damage and snare.
Glyph of Rising Tiger Kick | Your Rising Sun Kick's visual is altered to the color of the White Tiger.
Glyph of Spirit Roll | You can cast Roll while dead as a spirit.
Glyph of Crackling Tiger Lightning | Your Crackling Jade Lightning visual is altered to the color of the White Tiger celestial.
Glyph of Fighting Pose | Your spirit now appears in a fighting pose when using Transcendence.
Glyph of Zen Posture | Rather than sitting on the ground, you hover in meditative state.
Glyph of Jab | You always will attack with hands and fist with Jab, even with non-fist weapons equipped.
Glyph of Water Roll | You can Roll over water.
Glyph of Honor | You honorably bow after each successful Touch of Death.
Glyph of Zen Flight | Teaches you the spell Zen Flight. Zen Flight: You fly through the air at a quick speed on a meditative cloud.
- Generally speaking, you will always want to have the minor Blackout Kick glyph active (especially in fights where you may be in front of the boss, such as during Devastating Combo in Will of the Emperor or on Ultraxion-like fights).
- Spinning Fire Blossom's glyph can be useful, but keep in mind that there is a suspected bug in which the glyph causes the chi consumption of Spinning Fire Blossom to not count toward Tigereye Brew (as of 5.1).
- Touch of Death's glyph may prove useful during add phases.
- Spinning Crane Kick's glyph is useful in AoE situations, but can be replaced in all other situations.
- You can still fish and gather while using the spell gained from Glyph of Zen Flight. Note that it is only 100% flight speed an is not affected by master riding skill (though you are required to have flight skill for whichever area you happen to be using the spell in) and can only be used in areas where you could normally use a flying mount. (Simply put: it's very similar to a druid's flight form, but does not have an Epic Flight version.)
Agility is the favored stat for monks. Higher agility outweighs secondary stats in a 2:1 ratio.
Your short, basic stat prioritization:
Hit/Exp (7.5%) > Haste (5K-8K, depending on fight and player skill) > Crit > Mastery >= Hastae after 8k
However if you are using Alacrity of Command (Cooldown Reduction Trinket), your stat priority will shift depending on the ilevel of the trinket. Most players report that - due to a higher usage of Energizing Brew and Fists of Fury - they are comfortable around 4-5K haste. This allows for more of your gear's stat budget to be pushed into Mastery and Crit.
This seems WILDLY different from the above priority set, but again - your priorities tend to shift as a Windwalker. My priorities are not going to be the same as your priorities, and a week from now, your priorities may also not be your priorities. Therefore, you ought to be using a combination SimulationCraft, spreadsheets, and ingame testing as often as possible in order to determine whether or not more crit or more haste is beneficial, in addition to testing your setup in-game (note that SimulationCraft is designed more around Patchwerk, and you may find that its results do not suit your playstyle - however, it is very useful for taking an educated guess at what your weights will be).
And finally, Simulating: Learn it, live it, love it. We are a new class, and therefore, as a community, still have things to learn and discover. The value of your Mastery, Haste, and Crit WILL change depending on your item level and gearing choices.
The value of haste - for you - will shift here and there at certain gear values. Haste not only makes your attacks hit faster, but also increases the amount of energy you regenerate. In addition, Fists of Fury scales with haste as of 5.1 (meaning, higher haste will reduce its cast time, but you will receive the same number of damage ticks.
You probably realize that capping on energy is bad - and that is why there is considered to be a "haste cap" (per se - it is not a true cap). Most Windwalkers aim for around 6k haste, and then begin prioritizing Mastery. However, our Tiger Strikes continue to benefit from Haste following this cap, as does the speed of our white (normal) hits.
At level 90, 425 haste rating is needed for 1% haste.
Increases the chance for attacks (auto and otherwise) to be a critical strike, which causes them to deal 100% (double) damage. Critical strike is the next stat that most monks prioritize. Critical strike works with damage multipliers, and is therefore always going to be a very valuable stat (at the time of writing this sentence). In more technical terms, critical strike works very well with damage modifiers such as our Tigereye Brew and the debuff fromRising Sun Kick.
Note that there is a cap for critical strike. While early math showed lower numbers for a soft cap, new math has shown that Dual Wield stops benefitting as much from crit after around 57%, whereas two-handed monks stop benefitting after around 75%.
At level 90, 600 critical strike is required to increase crit chance by 1%.
Windwalkers have the mastery, Mastery: Bottled Fury
As of 5.4, Mastery will affect how quickly you are able to gain Tigereye Brew stacks. 1% more mastery gives you 1% more chance to gain an additional stack. Past 100% mastery, you will always gain 2 stacks of mastery after spending 4 chi, and every percentage after that is a chance to gain a third stack.
At level 90, 240 mastery is required for 1% mastery. 1% mastery increases how much more damage Tigereye Brew gives us.
Haste, Crit, and Tiger Strikes - Prioritization
Tiger Strikes generally benefit evenly from haste and crit - though recent math suggests they slightly favor crit. With 5.2's Mastery: Bottled Fury they will also benefit while Tigereye Brew's buff is active.
The haste benefit Tiger Strikes receives, in addition to the increased energy regeneration from talenting into Ascension, means that most monks are generally comfortable at 5-7k haste (though some prefer to go as high as 8K haste). This is where playstyle and encounters come into question.
In a Patchwerk fight, a slightly higher amount of haste may be more beneficial than a higher amount of crit or mastery. However, most encounters are going to have some degree of movement or downtime, which is why crit and mastery tend to be favored.
Slot | Enchant | Profession Alternative
Shoulder | Greater Tiger Claw Inscription | Secret Tiger Claw Inscription
Back | Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike or Enchant Cloak - Accuracy | Swordguard Embroidery
Chest | Enchant Chest - Glorious Stats | None
Wrist | Enchant Bracer - Greater Agility | Socket Bracer, Fur Lining - Agility
Hands | Enchant Gloves - Greater Haste, Enchant Gloves - Superior Mastery, or Enchant Gloves - Superior Expertise | Socket Gloves, Synapse Springs
Waist | Living Steel Belt Buckle | None
Legs | Shadowleather Leg Armor | Primal Leg Reinforcements
Feet | Enchant Boots - Blurred Speed, Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step, Enchant Boots - Greater Haste, or Enchant Boots - Greater Precision | None
Rings | None | Enchant Ring - Greater Agility
Weapons | Enchant Weapon - Dancing Steel, Enchant Weapon - Windsong or Enchant Weapon - Elemental Force | None
The largest change in Pandaria is the fact that gems with secondary stats have double the stats of gems with primary stats (other than stamina, which has 3/4 the amount of a secondary stat gem). This means that there is less of a disadvantage when socketing for a bonus. In addition, perfect-cut Uncommon gems have the same amount of stats as a rare gem cut.
| Agility | Expertise | Haste | Mastery | Critical Strike | Hit
Agility | Perfect Delicate Pandarian Garnet
Expertise | | Perfect Precise Pandarian Garnet
Haste | Perfect Deft Tiger Opal | Perfect Wicked Tiger Opal | Perfect Quick Sunstone
Mastery | Perfect Adept Tiger Opal | Perfect Keen Tiger Opal | | Perfect Fractured Sunstone
Critical Strike | Perfect Deadly Tiger Opal | Perfect Crafty Tiger Opal | | | Perfect Smooth Sunstone
Hit | Perfect Glinting Roguestone | Perfect Accurate Roguestone | Perfect Lightning Alexandrite | Perfect Sensei's Alexandrite | Perfect Piercing Alexandrite | Perfect Rigid Lapis Lazuli
General tips: Lower gear levels may benefit more from gemming for hit or expertise, but generally speaking, these sockets can be ignored (especially if one is well over hit or expertise cap, unless gemming for a smaller bonus allows one to reforge more into other secondary stats). Testing should be done before writing off gemming for or away from a bonus. Also, lower gear levels will benefit more from gemming for haste until their energy regen is ~12.5 energy/second, after which they will benefit more from gemming for crit.
Yellow sockets will typically use hybrid gems, while red sockets will generally use agility gems. If you are still stacking haste, then using a hybrid haste/agility gem is recommended for yellow sockets - otherwise, agility/crit (Deadly) cuts are preferred. Blue sockets should utilize hit/agility.
Your meta should be Agile Primal Diamond.
Crafting professions are the preference for monks, as they all give an extra 320 agililty (upon average).
Profession | Enchantment/Effect | Stat
Alchemy | Alchemist's Flask and Mixology | 320agi
Blacksmithing | Delicate Primordial Ruby (x2) | 320agi
Engineering | Synapse Springs | ~320agi, or 1920 for 10s every 60s
Enchanting | Enchant Ring - Greater Agility (x2) | 320agi
Herbalism | Lifeblood | ~4800haste
Inscription | Secret Tiger Claw Inscription | 320agi
Jewelcrafting | Delicate Serpent's Eye (x2) | 320agi
Leatherworking | Fur Lining - Agility | 320agi
Mining | Toughness | 480sta
Skinning | Master of Anatomy | 480crit
Tailoring | Swordguard Embroidery | 8000ap proc
Generally speaking, Engineering is considered the best for min/maxing damage throughput due to the fact that is a large amount of agility that can be paired with another proc or cooldown (such as Tigereye Brew). However, the advantage provided is minimal over other crafting professions. Herbalism, skinning, and mining are not advised.
Generally speaking, you are going to want to favor gear which has Mastery on it (or Haste if you are having issues maintaining at least 5-7K haste), though any combination of your secondary stats is a viable option. However, always favor pieces with a higher item level (and therefore a higher amount of agility). Always run tests through simulations, spreadsheets, and ingame play to determine the strength of an item.
Our Tier 16 set bonuses are as follows:
2 pieces: Damage from Combo Breaker: Tiger Palm and Combo Breaker: Blackout Kick is increased by 40%.
4 pieces: Every time you spend 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew, your Fists of Fury, Rising Sun Kick, or Blackout Kick will cost one chi less (In Laymen's Terms: You gain the buff Focus of Xuen, which allows one of your chi-utilizing moves [not counting Tiger Palm] to cost one less Chi).
Our Tier 15 set bonuses are as follows:
2 pieces: Your Chi generating abilities have a 15% chance to generate an Energy Sphere, which will grant you 10 Energy when you walk through it.
4 pieces: You have a 10% chance to gain an additional charge of Tigereye Brew every time you gain a charge of Tigereye Brew.
Our Tier 14 set bonuses are as follows:
2 pieces: Reduces the cooldown of Fists of Fury by 5 seconds.
4 pieces: Increases the duration of Energizing Brew by 5 seconds (110 energy over 11 seconds vs. 60 energy over 6 seconds).
Possible and Known Issues
I will be using this area to keep track of known issues and possible issues. A possible issue is an issue which has been noticed in-game, but may not yet have enough supporting data to submit a bug report. A known issue is an issue which a bug report has been submitted.
- Spinning Fire Blossom (regardless of whether or not it is glyphed) will not hit Amber Globules on Heroic Amber Shaper Un'sok (awaiting more data before submitting report as of 1/4/2013)
Weak Auras is an extremely useful addon that can be customized to track certain spells, procs, and buffs/debuffs. This thread on MMO-Champion contains some very helpful strings that can be imported.
Otherwise, I recommend any module which can be used to track energy, Chi, our Tiger Power buff, Tigereye Brew stacks, and cooldowns such as Energizing Brew in a manner that the user is comfortable with. I have known many Windwalkers which were perfectly comfortable (and very successful) with the default UI.
Currently, there are no make-or-break Macros due to the change in rotations - now that classes typically use priority rotations (monks included), cast sequence macros aren't terribly helpful.
However, it might be worthwhile for some Windwalkers (Engineers in particular) to macro the use of their Synapse Springs with a cooldown, or the use of their Potion with a major cooldown (as items can be used simultaneously with using spells, it would activate both cooldowns at the same time). Again, however, this will not "make or break" the Windwalker in question.
In addition, the following macro is helpful for Storm, Earth, and Fire:
/cancelaura Storm, Earth, and Fire
This cancels your Storm, Earth, and Fire if you - for whatever reason - need to remove both clones. Note that it removes ALL active clones - not just one.
9/9/2013 A few clarifications for rotation. Nobody cares about T14 anymore because it was poop. Clarified crit cap.
5/25/2013: Added link to Zephyrus, my new BFF. Cancelaura for SEF. Fixed a stupid statweight BS. Freaking RSK buff.
4/29/2013: Fixed some false information with the Herbalism/Skinning professions.
3/31/2013: Added Chi Wave to combat priorities (its placement is a bit strange). Fixed Tigereye Brew prioritization (it stated 10 stacks, should be 20). Added note about Rune of Re-origination below stat priorities. Adjusted stat priorities - testing has shown crit to be stronger than mastery (actually, I would say that Mastery is still very strong, perhaps add something about a base mastery to avoid people investing entirely into crit). Adjusted note on Tier 30 talents, as it was highly outdated. Clarified some values on stat priorities - Mihir beat me to the punch here, so I'll give credit where it's due.
3/7/2013: Fixed a bad tag on a list. Fixed a bad tag in weapon prios.
3/4/2013: 5.2 Revision
1/10/2013: The link at the top looks silly. If people are interested in accessing and having the new guide shared with them, they can still PM me.
1/7/2013: Added link to the 5.2 draft.
1/4/2013: Reminded self it is not 2012. Added link to Venyasaur's great post about why crit > haste for both weapon setups, and clarified language in that portion of the guide. Added known issues in order to track active/possible bugs. Eeinx, I am so, so sorry I misspelled your username.
1/3/2013: Found an outdated Engineering snippet. Adding more spreadsheets.
1/2/2013: Posted guide. Edited Professions table to be in lexicographical order, adjusted a few typos and numbers that did not match tooltips. Fixed math with Engineering agility bonus. Duel wield is NOT dual wielding. Link to Promdates's trinket spreadsheet added.
1/1/2013: New Year, initial revision.