So I’m gonna go out and say it…. but I predicted this. I said it would take two weeks for them to consider compensation buffs, and we’re getting them two weeks later. No, I don’t believe that my Wowhead posts magically made this all happen, or at least I am refusing to let myself believe that. But… to get right down to it.


What Buffs?



What Do They Mean?

First they mean that we are now on a different path in the  9.0.5  flowchart….

Previously we had been at “Feel Super Bummed” with a slight lean toward “Feel Slightly Less Bummed but still pretty bummed” following the positive bug fixes to Dance of Chi-Ji and Fists of Fury. We’re now solidly at “Feel slightly less bummed, but still pretty bummed” with a strong lean towards “Feel Great”.


Mark of the Crane Damage

Numerically it means that with every Mark of the Crane stack, your Spinning Crane Kick damage grows even more. So it looks like this:

So, as you can see, this is a relatively strong buff. Before the patch came out, in my PTR Bug Fixes: Bug Fix Good? Bug Fix Bad? article, I calculated that on Scurch’s log on Huntsman he would lose about 13.57% damage from being at 2 stacks of Mark of the Crane when he could previously been at 6.

On this fight he cast Spinning Crane Kick 33 times for a total of 3235.1 DPS out of his total 9377.4 DPS. He certainly had 6 stacks of Mark of the Crane the whole time and was using an ilvl 200 Calculated Strikes conduit, so each of his Mark of the Crane stacks was 24% more damage for a total of 144% more Spinning Crane Kick damage per use. If he could only maintain as many stacks as there are targets, he could only maintain a 48% damage increase from Calculated Strikes. This means that his 3235.1 DPS from Spinning Crane Kick would now be 1962.3 DPS (3235.1 / (1+144%)) x (1+48%); for an overall DPS loss of 13.57%.

So, if we assume that his 48% damage increase from only have 2 active stacks of Mark of the Crane is now a 58% damage increase, that takes his Spinning Crane Kick damage from 1962.3 DPS to 2,094.9 DPS. This is only an increase of 132.6 DPS, which is only 1.6% increased overall damage. However, thats only on a two target boss.

Back in my PTR Bug Fixes: Bug Fix Good? Bug Fix Bad? article I also looked at Chiggma’s Stone Legion Generals kill:

For a less extreme situation we can look at Chiggma’s Stone Legion Generals kill from earlier, where he undoubtedly had 6 stacks during the whole fight despite there only really being 5 targets up at any one time. He did a total of 3148.6 DPS with Spinning Crane Kick. If he had 5 stacks of Mark of the Crane instead of 6 he would have done 2833.7 DPS with Spinning Crane Kick for a total loss of 314.86 DPS or 4.2%. Add to that the 1.65% damage loss from the Fists of Fury “fix” and Chiggma’s SLG kill just lost 5.85% DPS to two bug fixes.

So, if his 5 active stacks of Mark of the Crane give 75% more Spinning Crane Kick damage instead of 50%, with his 213 Calculated Strikes giving another 15% per stack for a total of 125% more Spinning Crane Kick damage instead of 100% then his Spinning Crane Kick damage will go up accordingly. This means that his 2833.7 DPS would now be 3,187.9 DPS for an increase of 354.2 DPS or 4.96%. This does, however, actually put it higher than the 3148.6 DPS that he did in his log before Mark of the Crane stacks were fixed but still gave 10% per stack. So instead of 7455.1 DPS he would have done 7494.4 DPS, a grand increase of 0.5%. This doesn’t account for the change in having spend resources to maintain the stacks, so its likely the difference is almost perfectly even.

You can easily extrapolate that if you are in a consistent 6 target situation that you’ll get even more of an increase over current damage.


Getting/Keeping MotC Stacks

Beyond the damage increase, the biggest change, in my opinion, is that Mark of the Crane now lasts for 20 seconds instead of 15. This not a big deal in Mythic+ where packs may not last that long, depending on your group and the key you’re doing, but in AOE raid fights or longer lasting Mythic+ packs its an enormous change, functionally allowing you to keep up stacks manually whereas you needed some type of external Haste amount to do so. This also cuts down on the resources that need to go into maintaining those stacks, which means more resources for Spinning Crane Kick. Even for those faster dying packs, this may allow you to carry a stack or few in between packs to help you get started depending on how quickly you pull between them.

For all the players who played in Legion and BfA and had little trouble adjusting after the 9.0.5 changes, I would imagine having the extra 5 seconds will feel life changing in situations where you’re managing the stacks manually. For anyone who started in Shadowlands, this should lessen the blow of needing to manage them yourself.

An extra 33% time is absolutely nothing to scoff at. It would be great if it were 30 seconds and became even less tedious, but something is better than nothing.


Fists of Fury Cleave

Previously, on my post on Wowhead, I had recommended that Fists of Fury do 100% damage to all targets and have its damage increased by 50%. While this isn’t quite those changes, its definitely going to be something of note, especially when combined with the fact that Fists of Fury hits one additional secondary target. So the math looks like this:

So… yeah… this Fists of Fury increase is HUGE, especially at that 6th target compared to how it was before 9.0.5. Its a much needed increase to Fists of Fury‘s damage in cleave/AOE, but doesn’t quite help in single target where Windwalker is less than ideal. It doesn’t look it it will shake things up in regards to the priority or the choices that you make, but it will make instances where you want to cleave a a bunch of targets and don’t have time to get Mark of the Crane up for Spinning Crane Kick much stronger.


Where Are We?

Single Target

This will change almost nothing in single target. If you are using Dance of Chi-Ji then you’ll see a small small increase in your single target damage, but not enough to switch away from Hit Combo in pure single target situations. Looking at the current charts, Windwalker’s single target damage isn’t great, but it’s not terrible either, and given the strength in AOE situations, its probably a worthwhile tradeoff.


AOE Mythic+

The biggest change for Mythic+ is going to be the 20 second duration as it increases the chance you can carry stacks between trash and cuts down on having to restack them on longer trash pulls. The damage increase for Mark of the Crane will be noticeable and further reward the strong players that already manage their stacks well. The increase to Fists of Fury will also be very noticeable when you don’t have time to rely on Spinning Crane Kick for damage or are between CD windows.

There will definitely be a DPS increase in Mythic+, but its hard to quantify exactly how much it will be as it will be different for each player.


AOE Raid Fights

This is where we’ll see the biggest increase in damage because you don’t suffer the problem of dropping stacks between trash packs. In these situations, with the 20 second duration of Mark of the Crane you’ll be able to spend more time AOEing and less time keeping stacks up, and doing so will net you even more DPS now. Windwalker lost a large amount of damage on the charts here, and while its hard to say that we’ll be exactly back to where we were before 9.0.5, the gap will definitely get smaller, if there is a gap at all.

The best players will see the best increases, but lesser skilled players who now have more leeway when dealing with Mark of the Crane will also see an increase in damage from this QoL change.


What Changes?

Really not much.


What Now?

Re-fucking-joice. We should be almost back to the damage from 9.0.5, albeit requiring more active attention, but not as much as we required before these changes.

It will take a week or two to see how the numbers have changed compared to 9.0.5 and to the past two weeks. After that period I’ll certainly put out another article about how things have shaped up.

There are still things that I feel would be useful to the spec, like the list of other bugs that remain, a further increase in single target damage, being able to move during WDP, or finding some way to make XT the best legendary for all situations. However, if the past two weeks have been any indication, it’s that someone, or someones, at Blizzard care about Windwalker and fixing it, making it better

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