Windwalker Battle for Azeroth Guide


Welcome to PeakofSerenity's Windwalker Monk PvE Guide. This guide is designed to be a basic, quick guide for Windwalker with just the information you need. For more in-depth, advanced, information follow the links to those pages in the "Further Reading" sections or in the "Advanced" section in the menu above. Navigate quickly to the section you need using the sidebar on the right.

This guide was last updated March 10, 2019 for Patch 8.1.5 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.


General Talents

Further Reading: 

War Mode Talents (for open world)

Ability Priority

Windwalkers operate on a priority system, NOT A ROTATION. This means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority and try not to delay a higher up ability in favor of a lower one. For more information on how priorities are generated, read Babylonius’s Understanding Priorities article.

Single Target

  1. Touch of Death
  2. Fist of the White Tiger (if <3 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  3. Tiger Palm (if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  4. Whirling Dragon Punch (if talented)
  5. Rising Sun Kick
  6. Fists of Fury
  7. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  8. Fist of the White Tiger (if talented and <3 Chi)
  9. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  10. Blackout Kick
  11. Chi Wave (if talented)
  12. Tiger Palm


  1. Touch of Death
  2. Whirling Dragon Punch
  3. Fists of Fury
  4. Rising Sun Kick (ONLY to use Whirling Dragon Punch)
  5. Chi Burst (if less than max Chi)
  6. Rushing Jade Wind (if talented and 2+ targets)
  7. Spinning Crane Kick (at least 2 targets and 3 stacks)
  8. Rising Sun Kick
  9. Blackout Kick
  10. Fist of the White Tiger (if talented)
  11. Chi Wave (if talented)
  12. Tiger Palm

Ability Usage

  • Serenity – Read Wizard Dog’s Serenity Guide
  • Touch of Death – Use as close to on cooldown while lining up with other abilities and damage bonuses to amplify the 10% damage dealt mechanic.
  • Energizing Elixir – Ideally used on cooldown when at 0-1 Chi with Tiger Palm after, to maximize resource gain.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire – Used as close to on cooldown while lining up with other abilities and damage bonuses. Also useful to easily tag targets for increased Spinning Crane Kick damage. Try to keep one charge recharging at all times. Ideally you fit in 2x Rising Sun Kick, a Fists of Fury, and a Whirling Dragon Punch.
  • Hit Combo and Mastery – Any ability that does damage, both, benefits from, and continues Mastery and Hit Combo.
  • Blackout Kick! – Used before you would potentially generate another proc.
  • Rushing Jade Wind – If you are talented into this, keep it up ONLY when there are 2 or more targets. Be aware of having less resources and make sure you have enough for Fists of Fury and other important abilities.
  • Touch of Karma – Although technically a defensive ability, it can provide offensive power. Best used as frequently as you can get as much damage absorbed as possible. Most consistent way to use is to taunt a big target and tank it until the absorb is gone.
  • When you have Dance of Chi-Ji, it is technically best to use the proc on Spinning Crane Kick ahead of any ability that would chance generating another proc, so any Chi spender. However, because of the comparatively low damage that Spinning Crane Kick does, its safer to use any ability with a cooldown ahead of it in the priority, hence its position above.
  • Whirling Dragon Punch can be used a very specific timing, roughly the last 0.2 seconds of Storm, Earth, and Fire, in order to get a HUGE burst of damage. We used to be able to force this by using a /cancelaura macro, but that was “fixed’, however its still technically doable. Check out this article for more information.


Storm, Earth, and Fire:

Using Whirling Dragon Punch and Fist of the White Tiger with Heroism/Bloodlust:

Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger (if talented) -> 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

Using Whirling Dragon Punch and Fist of the White Tiger without Heroism/Bloodlust:

Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger (if talented) -> 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 

From here, follow your normal priority, and for Heroism/Bloodlust, prioritize getting 3 casts of Rising Sun Kick inside Storm, Earth, and Fire. For an extended version of each that plans out another 10 seconds or so, including a cast of Chi Wave/Chi Burst, see the Extended and Alternate Storm, Earth, and Fire Openers article. This also has details on some other openers, the ideas behind the order of certain spell casts, and how they came to be. (Note: This article was written before some discussion that resulted in a very small change in the non-Heroism/Bloodlust opener, the Tiger Palm in the middle. The difference is extremely minimal, just a matter of energy capping vs the small damage bonus on Whirling Dragon Punch).

Serenity: Read Wizard Dog’s Serenity Guide

Further Reading:



Agility > Versatility > Critical Strike = Mastery > Haste

Stat priority can and will change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. To find the best stat weights for your character, use SimCraft or Raidbots.

Further Reading: How Stat Weights/Priority Work



To choose between what trinkets you have available, use SimCraft or Raidbots. If you’d like general “rankings” for trinkets based on simulations, use HeroDamage or BloodyToolsJust know that these tools use the simulation profile, which may not reflect your gear and talent choices.

Darkmoon Card is stronger than any trinket up to strong trinkets above 385 item level.

Battle of Dazar’alor

All trinkets from Battle of Dazar’alor have a use: Kimbul’s Razor Claw from Conclave of the Chosen is the strongest in single target, Invocation of Yu’lon from Jadefire Masters is the strongest for AOE, and Variable Intensity from Mekkatorque is useful for both.


The best Dungeon trinkets are roughly even between:



The concept of “Best-in-slot” lists is mostly obsolete with the advent of War/Titanforging and sockets. Gear should be assessed on a case-by-case basis rather than as a whole, using tools like SimCraft or Raidbots. To see what Azerite or Trinket gear you should be aiming for, see those sections of this guide.

To assess what gear to aim for, you want to follow this priority:

  1. Item level trumps just about everything in just about every situation
  2. Aim for items with as high Versatility on them whenever you can
  3. Aim for items with Crit or Mastery as the other stat
  4. If you have more Mastery % than Crit %, then aim for a piece with the opposite



Azerite is a new addition to Battle for Azeroth, largely replacing the Artifact, Legendary, Netherlight Crucible, and Tier systems. This system has somehow managed to become even more complicated than all those systems together. For information on how Azerite works, check out the WoWHead Azerite Guide.

For information on where you can get any of the Azerite traits listed below, simply click on it, use WoWHead’s Azerite Finder, or In almost all situations of the top half of Tier 3 traits, they are stronger than the contribution of the Tier 2 trait, so decisions can be made with primarily the Tier 3 trait in mind.


Tier 3 (Outer Ring) and Tier 2 (Middle Ring)

To choose between what traits you have available, use SimCraft or Raidbots. If you’d like general “rankings” for traits based on simulations, use HeroDamage or BloodyToolsJust know that these tools use the simulation profile, which may not reflect your gear and talent choices.

If you’re hardpressed for a list of what to aim for, these are the traits to think about and try to get:

  1. Open Palm Strikes is our strongest all-purpose trait and the one we’ll be most aiming to stack three traits of. For much more info on this trait such as how exactly it works and when to use one or more of it, check out the OPS article.
  2. Fury of Xuen is a very strong trait in all content, although strongest in single target and low target cleave. Does not stack well as only the Haste portion increases, so you’ll likely want to aim for just one of these.
  3. Glory of the Dawn is the next strongest trait for pure single target, but isn’t very useful in AOE where you use Rising Sun Kick less often. Also doesn’t stack well, so stick with just one.
  4. Dance of Chi-Ji is a very strong AOE trait. Stacking more doesn’t have the same effect, as only the damage increases, but it is a reasonable trait to stack for M+ where AOE is plentiful.
  5. Treacherous Covenant is a very strong, all-purpose trait, that is very hard to come by as it only appears on a select few items in the right combinations. If you’ can’t stay above 50% then its useless and likely actively detrimental. Probably not recommended for progression or harder content.


Tier 1 (Inner Ring)

These are largely up to personal choice as they provide mostly healing and damage reduction. for information about which does that the best, head over to the Brewmaster guide for information about what T1 traits keep you alive the best.


Special Notes

  • Not all traits stack equally! Traits like Dance of Chi-JiFury of XuenGlory of the Dawn, and others that have a % chance portion and a stat or damage portion will only see the stat or damage portion of their function stack with multiple traits. That means that traits like this frequently are no where near as strong with the 2nd or 3rd trait.
  • Dagger in the Back – All but requires you to be behind your target and has a ramp up time. If you are in front of your target, it is very weak, and not overly strong in short burst damage, making it less desirable in World Quests and other content where you may not be fighting behind your target, or the same target for an extended period of time.
  • Open Palm Strikes – A strong trait that enhances Fists of Fury. For much more info on this trait such as how exactly it works and when to use one or more of it, check out the OPS article.
  • Treacherous Covenent is a very strong trait as long as you can stay above 50%, if you’ can’t stay above 50% then its useless and likely actively detrimental. Probably not recommended for progression or harder content.


Gear to Aim For

Most of the time, you will choose the piece that has the highest item level, with few exceptions. Once you have pieces in your inventory, it is still best to sim them through SimCraft or Raidbots.









You can generally follow the talent priority above, just use Chi Torpedo as Tiger’s Lust doesn’t stack with other movement increases from legendaries.



If you have any Antorus Raid gear, most people recommend (Crafted) crafted boots and March of the Legion or Sephuz’s Secret as you don’t need as much damage when leveling, but movement speed will make things go much faster. crafted boots and Sephuz’s Secret for faster out-of-combat speed, March of the Legion and Sephuz’s Secret for in-combat speed, or crafted boots and March of the Legion for a mix of both.

If you feel that you don’t have enough damage, you can switch to using Cenedril, Reflector of Hatred for fighting elites or Drinking Horn Cover for prolonged AOE.





Currently all races sim within 1.4% of each other and reshuffle constantly. The added utility of Blood Elf’s Arcane Torrent can be useful at times. Other than that, pick whatever race you prefer.



Professions have no bearing on your ability to perform your role. Pick whatever will make your playing time easier and more enjoyable.



WeakAuras are ways to show things on your screen in a customized and personalized way. The best WeakAuras are the ones that you set up for yourself specific to your style and needs. However, many people have already made ones for themselves to share, so check them out and use them as bases to customize your own.


No WeakAuras are “required” but some are very useful:

  • Touch of Karma Absorb remaining – Tracks the duration of Touch of Karma and the amount of shield left to absorb.
  • Last Ability Tracker – Tracks the last ability you used in order to minimize mistakes with Mastery. Turns red when a mistake is made, turns blue when an ability is dodged, parried, or misses.
  • Mark of the Crane Stacks – Tracks the amount of Mark of the Crane debuffs you have out.
  • Babylonius’s WeakAuras – WeakAura group created by Babylonius (author of this guide), aimed at having all you need to play Windwalker.
  • Ipse’s WeakAuras – Another common Monk WA group. Ipse makes WA suites for all specs and classes, so can be very useful if you’d like to use his for multiple classes.


Stopcasting Macro

#showtooltip Tiger Palm
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]
/cast Tiger Palm

Change Tiger Palm with whatever ability you want. This macro prevents you from cancelling the channel of Fists of Fury, while ensuring that you do not spend any unwanted energy on Crackling Jade Lightning.


Talent Swap Macros

These macros will allow you to have one button that functions for whatever talent you’ve selected at that talent row. This isn’t useful for all talent rows as some take the place of other abilities, or provide massively different functions.

Tier 1 (Level 15)


/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]

/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]

/cast [talent:1/1] Eye of the Tiger; [talent:1/2] Chi Wave; [talent:1/3] Chi Burst

Tier 5 (Level 75)


/cast [talent:5/1] Inner Strength; [talent:5/2] Diffuse Magic; [talent:5/3] Dampen Harm

Tier 6 (Level 90)


/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]

/stopcasting [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]

/cast [talent:6/1] Hit Combo; [talent:6/2] Rushing Jade Wind; [talent:6/3] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger


  • January 16, 2019 – Updated for Battle for Dazar’alor
  • December 10, 2018 – Updated for 8.1
  • September 18, 2018 – Removed all semblance of Swift Roundhouse
  • August 31st, 2018 – Added Uldir Trinkets
  • August 27th, 2018 – Updated Potion to Bursting Blood
  • August 24, 2018 – Updated for Swift Roundhouse slightly-less-craziness
  • August 23, 2018 – Updated for Swift Roundhouse craziness
  • August 11, 2018 – Updated for BfA
  • August 7, 2018 – Updated for BoK nerf and other changes
  • July 25, 2018 – Updated a few things and added more Macros
  • July 18, 2018 – Fixed a few issues
  • July 15, 2018 – Updated for Prepatch information
  • July 5, 2018 – Guide Created