With the 7.3.5 PTR likely coming in the next few days/weeks. We are constantly getting questions in Discord about how strong Windwalker will be in the next raid, Antorus. This post will seek to answer none of that. What it will try to do is to look forward toward what will likely change with 7.3.5 and the other changes that are coming with it.
All of this is entirely speculation based on what I know now, which will likely change as the 7.3.5 PTR cycle starts and continues. As per usual, I’ll have articles discussing any changes on the 7.3.5 PTR once its up and running.
These are, without a doubt, the most frequently asked questions we get… “How strong is t21?”… “Will we still be using t19 in Antorus?”…. and more.
The answer to those questions are, “Not very right now” and “Not for long”.
To elaborate, the current iteration of the t21 bonuses aren’t very strong. The potential is there, specially in the case of the 2pc bonus, which I am a HUGE fan of, provided it is tuned appropriately. The 4pc, on the other hand, seems like a ridiculous design that could prove to be a reeeeal pain to play with that much Chi, and could result in us doing some silly things like casting Spinning Crane Kick in single target simply because we can’t spend enough Chi without it.
Mechanics aside, right now the tier bonuses need be buffed to be roughly equivalent to the strength of past bonuses. There is likely to be changes to many tier bonuses in both their mechanics and strength, so only time will tell if ours is one of them.
What we also know is that no matter how strong you think the “6pc” is, and it is quite strong, one of the strongest tier bonus combinations we’ve ever seen, all tier bonuses have a point that they’re not worth taking lower item levels for it. Right now, that point is around 100-120 item levels for the t19 2pc, if you have the t20 4pc, which means that in nearly all situations, you’ll take the lower item level piece in order to keep the tier bonuses, because its very unlikely that you’ll gain 50-60 ilvls on each of two pieces.
However, with the opening of Antorus, we’ll have a whole new batch of higher item level pieces to choose from, which means that hitting that magic point where you drop tier bonuses will be much more reachable. Once you drop the t19 2pc, which is likely the pieces that are the lowest item level, so the first you’d look to drop, it sets off a chain reaction. Without the t19 2pc bonus, the t20 4pc bonus isn’t as strong, so it becomes more reachable to drop that bonus with a higher item level. Similarly, the t20 2pc is worth almost nothing by itself, so you’d replace those items with higher item level pieces as soon as you can. Lastly, there is currently no synergy between the t20 and t21 bonuses due to focusing on different abilities.
Obviously, if you’ve been bizarrely lucky with the item levels of your t19 and t20 tier pieces, then you may not trade them in as quickly as people who haven’t been as lucky. In general, though, people will almost certainly all be wearing 4 pieces of t21 tier regardless of what the bonus looks like simply due the fact that the bonus will have strength over items of the same item level and slot.
The next most frequently asked question we get is about talents, specifically whether we’ll be using Serenity or Whirling Dragon Punch. As with all the questions that regard the future, we don’t know for sure.
What we do know is that part of the reason that Serenity is overwhelmingly the best choice right now is because of how well the combination of the t19 and t20 bonuses synergize with Serenity. Basically, Serenity‘s power comes from the damage of Rising Sun Kick, which gets an auto-crit from Fists of Fury because of t20 4pc, which crits feed into more Fists of Fury, can be cast more because of the t19 2pc, AND twice as often due to Serenity, which leads to some intense synergy. Once we’re not using the “6 piece” Serenity will lose a chunk of its power, while likely still being very strong.
Because the current t21 tier bonuses are focused around the Blackout Kick proc, which comes from Tiger Palm, and you dont use Tiger Palm during Serenity, there is very little interaction between Serenity and current t21 bonuses. Furthermore, the t21 4pc gives you more resources, which is pretty much never an issue with Serenity, further lessening the benefit that Serenity gets from the bonuses. The only interaction is that if you have a Blackout Kick proc thats up when you go into Serenity, the 150% bonus from the tier and the 40/45% bonus from Serenity *may* stack multiplicatively, but that gain will be small.
On the flip side, Whirling Dragon Punch doesn’t have as many resources as Serenity, so an extra Chi from the 4pc will be more beneficial. There also isn’t an 8-11s period of time where you’re not casting Tiger Palm, so you’ll get more Blackout Kick procs when using Whirling Dragon Punch, which means more benefit from the tier bonuses.
All this means that Whirling Dragon Punch will get stronger and Serenity “weaker”. Whether we suddenly use Whirling Dragon Punch over Serenity, both depending on the situation, or nothing different from now will remain to be seen. We probably won’t know till the raid comes out and still be more experimenting even after that.
Finally, the next most popular question is what legendaries will be strongest when the next raid comes around and legendaries can be upgraded to an item level of 1000. Right now we don’t have a ton of variance in our legendary choices because many of the slots are taken up by tier, which leaves Drinking Horn Cover and a mix of a few others depending on the situations. However, once the barrier of 6 tier pieces is removed we’ll have all the possible legendaries at our disposal once again.
The clear winner in t21 is The Wind Blows. Every Strike of the Windlord gives you a Blackout Kick proc, which means more benefit from the tier bonuses. While previously it was almost solely a single target legendary, the extra Chi provided by the 4pc will be slightly helpful in AOE when you’re using Spinning Crane Kick.
The next winner of the “Not 6pc” change is obviously The Emperor’s Capacitor. It was, and still is, the best single target legendary we have available, we just haven’t been using it because the benefit from the 6 piece bonus was stronger. Now that that is unlikely to be the case, The Emperor’s Capacitor will return to being one of, if not THE, best single target legendary.
Right now the combination of t20 4pc, The Wind Blows, and The Emperor’s Capacitor is only slightly behind 6pc, Drinking Horn Cover and Boots or Belt. The Blackout Kick proc from The Wind Blows also adds a stack for The Emperor’s Capacitor whereas the free Blackout Kick doesn’t benefit Drinking Horn Cover at all, meaning the tier bonus also will benefit a different set of legendaries.
Barring changes to legendaries, it currently looks like t21 4pc, The Wind Blows, and The Emperor’s Capacitor will be the way to go for single target with Drinking Horn Cover et al being switched in for multitarget. The Emperor’s Capacitor does benefit more from Serenity, further complicating the talent discussion above.
Not much is changing here; Blackout Kick procs do more damage, so Strength of Xuen will get stronger. Its possible, but unlikely that they will gain enough to be stronger than the current best relic traits, but they will gain value, making it more likely to choose them with the right Netherlight Crucible options. Rising Winds will also not be quite as strong as it is currently as we’ll be casting Rising Sun Kick less often and they will deal less damage due to no more higher crit damage. It will still be strong, just not as strong.
I’m sure I’m missing something that people have been asking, but his article has been put together over several days, so its a bit scattered. Don’t forget about all the new stuff that you can get in our Teespring shop. All proceeds go to supporting the site.