A few weeks ago, Wowhead asked me to write an article with my thoughts of what I’d like to see for the Windwalker in the Dragonflight talent tree. I
totally didn’t go overboard and write over 3100 words on the topic put together my thoughts on the topic. As far as I know, my ideas were pretty well received, and considering how long I’ve been around, I should have an idea of what people want. So, since its likely that Monks will be toward the end of the order for releasing new talent trees, I thought I’d take a few hours today and ignore the actual work I have to do craft myself a Windwalker talent tree that I’d like to see in Dragonflight. I had copious help from my stream, with much of what I did being talked to death over 6 hours, and loads of ideas that I couldn’t take credit for.
First thing that I think is important is to lay out what my goals are for the talent tree. For anyone that’s been following the last few months, I have continued my tradition of not playing Windwalker for the last tier for the second expansion in a row. I played Demon Hunter in Nyalotha because it was easy and Windwalker was very very weak, and I am currently playing Feral Druid because I did not enjoy the way that Windwalker was strong as this expansion has gone on. I talked about it in an article a few months ago; OPINION: Windwalker is a Toxic Spec.
So my main goal for the Windwalker talent tree is that it will demonstrate a commitment to single target damage, rather than simply doubling down on AOE damage as the design has been for most of Shadowlands. Its no secret that Windwalker is incredibly strong in AOE and incredibly weak in single target. I believe this is more a result of design decisions rather than ability tuning, so I want to focus on a talent tree that is designed around both single target and AOE damage.
Because it would be too big of an ask to use actual numbers to balance the talent tree, I’m going to stick to the design and keep the numbers as vague or made up as possible. I am also not going to attempt to work on the Class tree, as that’s just more work than I’d like to do right now. I will, however, discuss the things that I think will be in it as I’d obviously be leaving them out of the Windwalker tree.
The next step that I need to do is to look at the talent trees that are currently in place for inspiration. My first instinct was to use the Feral Druid talent tree. I know there’s some complaints about this tree for being simpler than many, but what jumps out to me about it is that its clear the left side is AOE focused and the right side is ST focused, which is what I’m going for. I was recommended to look at the Elemental and Enhance talent trees, which have a lot more paths to allow for more choices. Because I think its more aesthetically pleasing, I’ll be sticking with the Elemental tree’s design but making it a little bit more symmetrical, because I’m OCD like that.
- Fists of Fury – As is
- Dance of Chi-Ji – Spinning Crane Kick critical strikes have a chance to make the next Spinning Crane Kick free.
- Flowing Strikes – Whirling Dragon Punch or Strike of the Windlord trigger automatically, for ##% of maximum damage, when both Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick are on cooldown.
- Glory of the Dawn – Rising Sun Kick has a chance, equal to your Critical Strike change, to trigger a second time, dealing ## damage.
- Shadowboxing Treads – As is.
- Storm, Earth, and Fire – As is, minus tagging targets for MotC
- Hit Scheme – As is.
- Serenity – Increase duration to 15 sec and damage increased higher than 20%.
- Teachings of the Monastery – As is.
Crack Bird– Using a Dance of Chi-Ji proc coats all targets struck for 10 sec in Chi-Ji’s crackspecial powder. Spinning Crane Kick refund 1 Chi when striking enemies coated in Chi-Ji’s crackspecial powder
- Caught by the Dropkicks – Enemies interrupted by your Spear Hand Strikes take ##% increased damage for 6 sec.
- OLD TOD – Touch of Death can be used on targets regardless of health %, but triggers its damage after 8 secs.
- Fatal Flying Guillotine – Touch of Death strikes up to 4 additional targets for 10% of your maximum health.
- Hidden Master’s Forbidden Touch – Touch of Death can be used on a second target within 5 sec before its cooldown is triggered.
- Thunderfist – Targets hit with Fists of Fury increase the damage of the next Rising Sun Kick by ##.
- Meridian Strikes – As is, maybe minus the additional damage.
- Gale Burst – During the 8 sec duration of Touch of Death, 10% of all other damage you deal to the target will be added to the final damage dealt.
- Hit Combo – Each successive attack that triggers Combo Strikes in a row grants ##% increased damage, stacking up to ## for 15s. One stack is used when Combo Strikes is not triggered, to give Mastery bonus to that attack.
- Heartstopper Technique – Each successive attack that hits a single target and triggers Combo Strikes adds a stack of Pressure Points, to that target for 15 secs, to a maximum of 100 stacks. Critical Strikes adds one additional stack of Pressure Points. Pressure Points explode for ## damage per stack when that target is below 30% health, reaches 100 stacks, or stacks fall off. (Thanks Feodin)
- Spinning Crane Kick Damage Buff – Damage of Spinning Crane Kick is increased by ##%.
- Mark of the Crane – As is.
- Technique of the Rushing Tiger – Add BoK to the trigger, remove the dash, so its simply increased range.
- Xuen’s Battlegear 1 – Rising Sun Kick critical strikes reduce the cooldown of Fists of Fury by ## sec.
- Lightning Storm – Crackling Jade Lightning‘s channel speed is increased by 10/20%, range increased by 10/20% and can be cast while moving. (Thanks Wordup)
- Transfer the Power – As is.
- Rising Sun Kick Damage Buff – Damage of Rising Sun Kick is increased by ##%.
- Calculated Strikes – Storm, Earth, and Fire spirits will jump to any targets, currently in combat, and tag them with Mark of the Crane, increasing its damage done by ## per stack.
- Coordinated Offensive – Pressing Storm, Earth, and Fire again will fixate the clones onto the same target, dealing ## more damage. Pressing Storm, Earth, and Fire again will return them to attacking other targets.
- Keefer’s Skyreach – Add BoK to the trigger, remove the dash, so its simply increased range and critical change debuff.
- Xuen’s Battlegear 2 – When a Fists of Fury ends, the critical strike chance of Rising Sun Kick is increased by ##% for ## sec.
- Last Emperor’s Capacitor – As is.
There are some pretty clear issues with the talent tree above, mainly being the ability to pick Storm, Earth, and Fire AND Serenity at the same time, which would likely be the clear choice just to stack them together. I went over a few dozen options in my head and on my stream and none of them seemed very good to me as I want the 6th row choice nodes to be able to augment how each of those abilities function.
The best solution I could come up with, other than the one I went with, was for the central node on the 5th row to be a choice node between Storm, Earth, and Fire and Serenity. That makes a lot of sense except then the choice nodes in row 6 cause a problem since you could technically pick Serenity and then have access to talents that modify Storm, Earth, and Fire, or visa versa.
Another solution is to put them farther down in the tree, such as the 9th row, so that the opportunity cost to get both is high, or even prohibitive. My problem with that is the time it takes before you get one of them, which would be after level 30. In an ideal world, there’s a placeholder ability, like TEB, that then gets turned into Storm, Earth, and Fire or Serenity, but I really don’t like the idea of having three potentially different cooldowns, even if you could only have one at a time.
Class Tree Ideas
There were a lot of things that I could have put in here but fit better as a class talent. A few great things would be boosting the power of Windwalking, like March of the Legion or making Tiger’s Lust a raid-wide movement ability like Stampeding Roar or Rolling Tigers. Things like Chi Wave vs Chi Burst, Celerity vs Chi Torpedo, and Diffuse Magic vs Dampen Harm would also clearly go into the class tree.
One idea that I was thankfully reminded about, was moving FSK into the class tree and making it a “Flying Celestial Kick” or something like that, where each spec gets something added to it, like Windwalkers getting damage, Brewmasters getting a big threat increase when they land on a target, or Mistweavers healing targets they go through, maybe even launching Chi Waves like Flowing Chi Rolls.
There’s too many ideas to toss in here, but there’s plenty of ideas for a class tree, and maybe one day I’ll get with the other writers and we’ll put it together.
This shit is tough, exactly as tough as I expected to be. I spent over five hours doing this and there’s still a ton of problems. However, it was a fun thought experiment, and one that I’m sure will be talked about and ripped apart until we get the actual Monk trees for Dragonflight, at which point we’ll be able to rip theirs up.
I hope you enjoyed it, even though there are problems. If you like the content that I, and the others at PeakofSerenity provide, then please support us through Patreon, PayPal, or buying Peak Merchandise. If you have any questions you can ask in Discord. I also stream most of my guide writing (which I did for this article) and playing through Twitch, post guides on Youtube, and occasionally Tweet.