Let’s just list how many AOE tools we have access to. For comparison, in WOD we have SCK doing pitiful damage, RJW being unplayable in most tiers because competing with stronger talents, Chi Burst, the infamous Chi Torpedo and then some passive cleave on FoF/Chi Explosion.
In Legion, we have:
- Rushing Jade Wind tuned to be relevant; does more than 150% of
BOK‘s damage single target, even with artifact traits its strong single target
- Whirling dragon punch gives burst AoE after each Fist of fury.
- Fist of fury deals 100% of its damage to all targets, making it crazy burst AoE damage.
- Chi Burst remains
- Strike of the windlord is almost as strong as a Fist of fury, except its instant. Sure feels like our cataclysm and gives us crazy threat when we deal 1 million damage instantly to 10 targets.
- Spinning Crane Kick has been reworked, with the target tagging system, making it very relevant when a few targets are tagged with SEF; while SEF is up, it’s quite easy to stack up.
- Chi Orbit now changed to deal AoE damage; Hinalover thinks there’ll be some diminishing returns mechanics beyond a number of targets, still AOE/Cleave.
All of those AOE tools are, in design, usable. So, when adds come up, what do I do?
- Here we face kind of a conflict. Chi Burst can be precast prior to adds spawn so that one is fine.
- Fist of fury, SOTW, WDP are part of the single target rotation so they’ll kinda fit nicely. WDP requires you to maybe toss in a RSK at some point, considering haste will make its cooldown pretty short so it won’t be obvious for most players to have it on cooldown when adds spawn.
- What about SCK? SCK scales on tiger palm, RSK and BOK tagging targets. Notice how most of those are not mentioned earlier.
- Ascension will grant you access to 6 chi when adds spawn, covering FoF/SOTW/WDP. Energizing elixir will grant you access to 9 chi, covering FoF/SOTW/WDP and one SCK. Issue is, where do you stack up SCK, to what extent?
Of course you keep in mind that adds/AoE in World of Warcraft raiding is often very volatile. That’s why Warriors/Warlocks were able to shine most of WOD there: it’s way more relevant to be able to do crazy AoE for first few seconds of adds than to be able to set up for damaging them 8 seconds later. Also, from one group to another, adds may die at very different speeds.
So what does this mean for young Windwalkers?
- Adds are going to live 2-5 seconds: SOTW/FoF/WDP asap, precast Chi Burst/RSK
- Adds are going to live 5-15 seconds and are less than 8: SOTW/FoF/WDP then go crazy on SCK
- Adds are 10+ and live 7+ seconds: go ham on SCK?
This of course is not precise nor definite yet but the right choice will be very hard to make, depending on how strong SCK is. If you start setting up for SCK and adds die before you get rewarded, it’ll be extremely frustrating.
TL;DR: Supposedly we just underwent “pruning”, which basically means tiger palm is gone and Energizing elixir replaces energizing and chi brews. On the other hand, we went from 1-2 AoE tools to 6 different relevant tools working for the same spots.
When first spoiled, Whirling dragon punch sounded like our crazy burst AoE mechanic after FoF. Now its just one of our many AoE tools. I think it may be VERY confusing to tell people what to do in which cases. Also, I fear either some of those buttons will end up irrelevant or we’ll be too strong on AoE, too weak for single target, or imbalanced in some other way?