Welcome to opener hell. This article is here to serve as a public scratchpad for all of my Storm, Earth, and Fire opener testing, with which I had help from Slappa, Wizard Dog, Eliro, and Neeb. It features longer planned out versions of each opener found in the main guide, though they might be a bit long to memorize or actually execute without mechanics getting in the way. The talents for these openers are Chi Burst, Fist of the White Tiger, Xuen, and Whirling Dragon Punch. Some of them apply to Chi Wave as well, including both openers found on the main guide, and Xuen is skippable if not talented in all of them. Also, a quick note on Touch of Karma, you can use it (and Provoke) at the same time as Touch of Death if applicable, since they are off the global cooldown. If you just want a quick summary, here’s the TL;DR:

  • If you’re just here to see the extended versions of those found in the main guide, just look at the sequences marked “MAIN GUIDE”.
  • There are also marked sequences that Chi Wave works fine for too. Xuen is skippable if not talented in all sequences.
  • For Bloodlust, the recommended opener is theoretically very slimly behind another, but is likely the best in practice.
  • For non-Bloodlust, there’s a few extremely close options, but a pretty easy choice for which is the go-to.
  • All of these will probably change with traits, especially Swift Roundhouse.

A Word on Using Touch of Death or Storm, Earth, and Fire First

For anyone wondering about why to use Touch of Death before Storm, Earth, and Fire, or vice versa, here is a general explanation that is considered for every sequence below. Using Touch of Death first makes you use waste a GCD inside the Touch of Death window to cast Storm, Earth, and Fire, so you lose a potential 10% damage on a cast. Using Storm, Earth, and Fire first makes you waste a GCD of Storm, Earth, and Fire casting Touch of Death, so you lose a potential 35% damage on a cast. In a vacuum, this would mean you always cast Touch of Death first. However, if the extra cast inside Touch of Death‘s 10% bonus damage outweighs the final GCD of Storm, Earth, and Fire‘s 35% bonus damage, it can be worth it to swap the order of the two. For example, if you could get an extra Rising Sun Kick inside the Touch of Death window, that would provide double the bonus damage of Tiger Palm at the very end of Storm, Earth, and Fire. Some non-Bloodlust opener options also had downtime towards the end of Storm, Earth, and Fire, so for those you don’t lose anything at all by using Storm, Earth, and Fire first. All the openers below took this into account, as you will see if you read on.

Bloodlust Openers

Technically Optimal Bloodlust Opener

Xuen -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Tiger Palm -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Touch of Death -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Chi Burst -> Fists of Fury

*Chi Wave/Chi Burst Agnostic* – You use Chi Burst here because there’s nothing better to do, not for the 1 chi. Works with either.

This is the opener that I mapped out that would do the most damage, by a very slim margin. However, the timing for this is extremely tight, and seems unrealistic to reliably pull off after a bunch of testing. Namely, getting the second Rising Sun Kick inside the Touch of Death window completely depends on if you can get Fists of Fury‘s channel to be under 3 seconds long. Theoretically, this only requires 3.33% haste with Bloodlust active. Even using a /stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury] macro (see the bottom of the main guide) to cast Whirling Dragon Punch right after will result in casting Whirling Dragon Punch later than Fists of Fury actually *should* finish (but still faster than manually watching for the 5th tick). As an example, ignoring Bloodlust, and with 8.77% haste, Fists of Fury‘s channel time should be 3.677 seconds long. In testing, even when binding the Whirling Dragon Punch macro to the scroll wheel to get the input in as quickly as possible, I was only able to get Whirling Dragon Punch to go off at a minimum of 3.854 seconds after Fists of Fury was cast. By messing with the spell queue window, I could get it down to 3.786 seconds, but this is still a far cry from 3.677 (and yes, that 0.1 second gap can and will mean the difference between Rising Sun Kick being in and out of the Touch of Death window). So, with a bunch of haste as a band aid, or possibly with low ping or a low spell queue window, or some combination of those, this opener would win out. It’s also worth noting here that with a very fast, stable connection and no, low, or normal spell queue window (I tested each), I couldn’t consistently get this to actually work outside of one or two times, and sometimes the final Rising Sun Kick fell out of Storm, Earth, and Fire as well. I noticed a sort of lag on spells whenever I did Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Touch of Death instead of the other way around. These inconsistencies lead me to list a “safer” version that’s not far behind, and is actually ahead if you don’t get 2 Rising Sun Kick inside the Touch of Death window.

 

MAIN GUIDE: More Consistent/Safer Bloodlust Opener

Xuen -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Tiger Palm -> Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Rising Sun Kick  -> Tiger Palm -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Chi Burst -> Fists of Fury

*Chi Wave/Chi Burst Agnostic* – You use Chi Burst here because there’s nothing better to do, not for the 1 chi. Works with either.

If you’re looking for the difference, it’s just swapping Touch of Death and Storm, Earth, and Fire. The downside to this opener is that you don’t have a chance of getting 2 Rising Sun Kick casts inside the Touch of Death window. However, the punishment for not having perfect timing is much more lenient. Missing the last GCD inside the Touch of Death window (i.e., having Fists of Fury‘s channel last longer than 3 seconds) is now just missing out on a measly 10% of a Tiger Palm (and weirdly, without the strange timing delay that happened every time I tried Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Touch of Death, I usually got this Tiger Palm inside Touch of Death anyway. Something tells me the usual culprit, Storm, Earth, and Fire spaghetti, is to blame here). Similarly, if you don’t get the last spell of Storm, Earth, and Fire quite in there, it’s also just a Tiger Palm. In the previous opener, this final GCD of Storm, Earth, and Fire was the last Rising Sun Kick, but the timing wasn’t quite as ridiculous as the second Rising Sun Kick. Still, if you were at all delayed in hitting each spell as it came up, you could realistically miss it (you could swap it with the Blackout Kick before it if you’re insistent on using Storm, Earth, and Fire first for whatever reason). So compared to above, you mostly just lose the Touch of Death window’s 10% bonus on one Rising Sun Kick, and don’t risk losing a Rising Sun Kick inside Storm, Earth, and Fire if you don’t have quick timing. Personally, I like that it also has the very minor “feel” bonus of preserving the order of Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire, and it matches the non-lust opener that way. But you might not care about that.

 

Sidenote: Another (Worse) Approach Entirely

(Prepull) Chi Burst -> Xuen -> Tiger Palm -> Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Rising Sun Kick -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Fists of Fury

This is really just for posterity, but this was the Bloodlust opener I ended up with before Slappa tried out using Fist of the White Tiger before anything else in search of a more energy efficient opener (you can note that the openers with Fist of the White Tiger first barely cap energy). It more closely resembles the Legion style openers, with Fist of the White Tiger in place of Energizing Elixir. It doesn’t line up quite as smoothly, in that there are a few ~0.15 second gaps where you wait for Rising Sun Kick to come off CD before casting it, so you actually end up with 1 less spell inside Storm, Earth, and Fire (which turns out to be a Tiger Palm). You energy cap briefly in the middle, and also have to wait a half a second before the last Tiger Palm. Also, a bigger, unsolved problem with this is that Rising Sun Kick comes off CD as you’re hitting the second Fists of Fury, and using Rising Sun Kick first here would delay Fists of Fury a ton. You end up delaying Rising Sun Kick for ~4 seconds. I stopped looking at this at this point since the first two openers seemed like they would perform equally or better anyways, so I wouldn’t really recommend using this.

 

Non-Bloodlust Openers

MAIN GUIDE: The “Best” One

Xuen -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Tiger Palm -> Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Rising Sun Kick -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Chi Burst -> Blackout Kick

*Chi Wave/Chi Burst Agnostic* – You use Chi Burst here for the damage and to maintain mastery, not for the 1 chi. Works with either.

All of the options listed here are very close in damage, with about a 1% difference between the best and worst. This one has the advantage of getting Fist of the White Tiger on cooldown as early as possible. You use Tiger Palm first after Whirling Dragon Punch here to get energy regeneration going as quickly as possible, too. When testing with Blackout Kick first (inside the Touch of Death window), you end up energy starved later in the sequence and miss Chi Burst and Blackout Kick being inside Storm, Earth, and Fire. The only other thing to really say about it is that the timing at the end for getting Chi Burst and Blackout Kick in at the end is kind of tight, but shouldn’t be an issue if you’re just hitting everything as it comes up, and preferably use the /stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury] macro for Whirling Dragon Punch. This timing also applies to the rest of the openers below, but since this opener has two hits at the last second because of Chi Burst, it would be hurt by missing the last cast a little more than the rest – just a note if you find yourself constantly missing out on Chi Burst/Blackout Kick inside Storm, Earth, and Fire.

 

Close Behind (or Technically, Ahead)

(Prepull) Chi Burst -> Xuen -> Tiger Palm -> Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Rising Sun Kick -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Rising Sun Kick -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick

This actually gives extremely slightly more damage than the first sequence listed, even if only 1 of Whirling Dragon Punch 3 damage ticks fits inside the Touch of Death window (which is usually what I got during testing). However, the damage difference is so miniscule (if you somehow get all of Whirling Dragon Punch inside Touch of Death, ~0.5%) that getting Fist of the White Tiger on cooldown sooner outweighs it. That’s why this one isn’t the one on the main guide.

 

Another Considered (But Slightly Worse) Option

(Prepull) Chi Burst -> Xuen -> Tiger Palm -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Touch of Death -> Rising Sun Kick -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick

This is slightly worse than the above openers in that it does slightly less damage, has slightly worse worse energy management, and also waits to use Fist of the White Tiger for a few seconds. It’s still very close, but definitely behind, so I figured I’d throw it on here for the curious. One weird thing you might note about this sequence is that you end up fitting a Tiger Palm inside the Touch of Death window even though you have 1 chi and are ready to use Blackout Kick instead. The reason for this is that if you swap those and Blackout Kick first, you sit on capped energy for a while. This directly results in having to wait for energy for the last Tiger Palm, and missing out on getting one more Blackout Kick inside Storm, Earth, and Fire. That far outweighs the 10% bonus on a Blackout Kick vs Tiger Palm.

 

A Note on the Above

(Prepull) Chi Burst -> Xuen -> Tiger Palm -> Touch of Death -> Storm, Earth, and Fire -> Rising Sun Kick -> Fist of the White Tiger -> Fists of Fury -> Whirling Dragon Punch -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick -> Tiger Palm -> Blackout Kick

All this does is swap Touch of Death and Storm, Earth, and Fire to be in the more obvious order that the others follow. This is strictly worse than the above, but the difference is extremely minor. You miss out on a Tiger Palm and either 1 or 2 of Whirling Dragon Punch‘s hits, inside the Touch of Death window, depending on your timing/haste. That comes out to less than a single Tiger Palm‘s worth of damage lost. But, as an inferior version of an inferior version of the opener, try not to do this.

 

And the best part….

All of these will change with traits. Especially Swift Roundhouse. And it’s kinda looking like that’s the way to go. So expect an update or part 2 at some point in the (hopefully near) future on that.

 


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