Windwalker PvE Guide

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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 has been updated for Dragonflight and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

 

Talent Builds

There is a lot of flexibility with talents, so if you prefer a different setup or like to change a talent here or there then you can likely do that without dramatically lowering your damage. Its a game, play what you’d like.

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Personal Preference Changes:

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Personal Preference Changes:

 

Ability Priority

Windwalkers generally prioritize our abilities by how much damage they do and the resources (Chi, energy, execution time) that they cost. There are a couple of general goals while playing Windwalker that should help with the bigger picture before diving into the priority lists below:

  • Use damaging abilities with cooldowns as soon as you can once they are off cooldown, following the priority below for the order in which to do so. This is generally about shorter cooldown core damage abilities like Rising Sun Kick. For longer damage boosting cooldowns like Storm, Earth, and Fire, see Ability Usage Notes below, though as a general rule of thumb for all of WoW, you want to stack your major cooldowns together.
  • Do not overcap resources. This includes Chi, Energy, and buffs such as Teachings of the Monastery stacks, if talented. You want to spend these resources before they would overcap. For Chi, this means “don’t use Chi generators if they would put you over your maximum Chi.” For Energy, this means “spend energy before it fills up.” For Teachings of the Monastery and other buffs (Blackout Kick!, Dance of Chi-Ji), see Ability Usage Notes below, but it generally means “spend these buffs before doing something that may generate them again.”
  • Do not break mastery. Simple as that, do not repeat the same ability twice in a row. For a full list of what counts for mastery, see here. There are currently no situations where it is worth it to break mastery as there have been in the past.

Following these rules is the largest part of playing Windwalker. You may notice that “always be casting” is not one of our core tenets, as you are only pressing something if it aligns with these rules (something comes off cooldown, you are close to capping energy, etc). This means that as a natural consequence of following these, you may not always fill every GCD. WINDWALKER IS A SPEC WITH NATURAL DOWNTIME. This is not an indication that you are playing incorrectly or that you need more Haste (which will not really affect this). To execute these rules in the most efficient way, follow the priorities below with the goal of never using something lower in the list if it will delay something higher in the list.

 

Ability Usage Notes

  • Blackout Kick – Generally used between other abilities to “dump” excess resources. See Teachings of the Monastery below for notes on that, if talented.
  • Blackout Kick! (Free Proc) – Used before you would potentially generate another proc.
  • Bonedust Brew – Use on AOE packs, preferably with other DPS cooldowns. DO NOT JUST SPAM Spinning Crane Kick DURING! Due to the relatively low power of Bonedust Brew and Spinning Crane Kick compared to the past, it is not worth losing the damage bonus from Mastery. It’s even less worth it since we take Hit Combo in nearly every talent build.
  • Dance of Chi-Ji – It is best to use the proc on  Spinning Crane Kick quickly to prevent overwriting a proc.
  • Expel Harm – Damage based on the healing it does, healing amount is based on your health, but because it generates Chi for very little Energy, just use it on cooldown when you have room for the Chi it generates.
  • Hit Combo and Mastery – Generally, any ability that directly deals damage both benefits from and continues Mastery and  Hit Combo, as well as a few that don’t directly deal damage. For a full list, see here. Currently, there are no cases where we want to break Mastery that would outweigh its damage bonus.
  • Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger – Use on cooldown, pair it with other DPS cooldowns like  Storm, Earth, and Fire if delaying it will not lose you a cast throughout the fight. If you don’t know if it will or not, then use on cooldown as the safest strategy.
  • Rushing Jade Wind – If you are talented into it, then you do not have to keep it up 100% of the time, use it at its place in the priority and let it do damage for you while you do other abilities. Think of it as a strong filler, not a maintained buff.
  • Spinning Crane Kick – Casting another spell does not interrupt the channel of Spinning Crane Kickwith the exception of anything that is a cast/channel (Fists of FuryChi BurstCrackling Jade LightningVivify, or another Spinning Crane Kick, which you cannot cast anyway while already channeling Spinning Crane Kick unless you use a specific macro to do so). You can cast your next spell as soon as the GCD is up and not interrupt Spinning Crane Kick as long as it is not one of the abilities mentioned, except Expel Harm which cannot be cast during the channel at all. For when to use this spell in general, follow the AoE priority above.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire – Used 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. Don’t sit on 2 charges, always have it recharging.
  • Teachings of the Monastery – Use Blackout Kick as usual UNLESS you are at 3 stacks, then it moves up the priority. DO NOT OVERCAP STACKS.
  • Touch of Death – Use when it can be triggered. If you are looking to really min/max, you can make sure to only use it when it will kill the target, as this can do a maximum of 100% of your HP as damage instead of the 35% it normally does to boss targets.
  • 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.

 

Gearing

Stats

Agility > Versatility = Critical Strike > Mastery > Haste

Stat priority can change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. Stat weights are largely an outdated thought. Sim the gear you have through Top Gear. If you’re looking for what gear to aim for, use Droptimizer.

Dual Wielding vs 2 Handed Weapons

TL;DR: Generally, dual wielding wins for now with full enchants and consumables. It is likely that later in the expansion, 2 handed weapons will pull ahead. For specific situations or item level gaps, sim your character’s options with Raidbot’s Top Gear Tool.

Early sims and quick math show that the difference between 2 handed weapons and dual wielding should play out roughly the same way it did in Shadowlands. In short, dual wielding started ahead by roughly 3% (with full enchants and consumables) early in the expansion and was eventually overtaken by 2 handed weapons as item levels hit a certain point. For Shadowlands, this was early season 3 (patch 9.2) around item level 265. For Dragonflight, we are predicting that the point where 2 handed weapons will start to pull ahead will be roughly around item level 450. This mostly happens because of very powerful enchants coming in Dragonflight. For some math behind this topic from the Peak of Serenity discord, click here. As always, the best way to tell what is best for your character is to use Raidbot’s Top Gear Tool for the most specific and accurate results.

 

Gems

Use Raidbot’s Top Gear Tool for the most specific and accurate results for your character. In general, it will usually follow the stat priority above.

Enchants

*May be matched or marginally beaten (as in, within margin of error) in pure single target by using 1 or 2 Sophic Devotion instead, but Frozen pulls far ahead the second any cleave or AoE situation happens, so that along with the nearly nonexistent single target difference makes Frozen the clear recommendation.

 

Trinkets

The easiest thing is to look at the lists on BloodMallet or HeroDamage. They’re lists based on the sim profiles.

“Best-in-Slot”

Sim the gear you have through Top Gear. If you’re looking for what gear to aim for, use Droptimizer.

 

Miscellaneous

Consumables

Racials

Currently, all races sim within a small range 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

Professions have no bearing on your ability to perform your role. Pick whatever will make your playing time easier and more enjoyable. As a starting point, many players take Engineering and/or Alchemy for some small perks.

WeakAuras

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.

WAGO.IO

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

Macros

Don’t Clip FoF

#showtooltip Tiger Palm
/stopmacro [channeling:Fists of Fury]
/cast Tiger Palm

Change Tiger Palm to whatever ability you want. This macro prevents you from cancelling the channel of Fists of Fury early and missing a tick of damage. It is recommended to use this on your main rotational abilities. If you are using Last Emperor’s Capacitor, you may want to add this line in the middle for the same effect for Crackling Jade Lightning:

/stopmacro [channeling:Crackling Jade Lightning]

 

Using Invoke Xuen in a Castsequence Macro

Normally, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger cannot be used in a castsequence macro due to the comma in the name. However, there is a workaround that will allow you to, as an example from Shadowlands, combine Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger and Weapons of Order into a single macro. Note that you still have to press this twice, since they are both on the GCD:

#showtooltip

/cast [nopet] Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger

/cast [pet] Weapons of Order

 

Shared Buttons

If you’d like for two talents to be on the same keybinding and change whether or not you know one of them, then use this;

#showtooltip

/cast [known: Storm, Earth, and Fire: Fixate] Storm, Earth, and Fire: Fixate

/cast [known: Serenity] Serenity; Storm, Earth, and Fire

Simple change out the ability so it looks like this: /cast [known: Talent A] Talent A; Talent B

Changelog

  • Nov 26, 2022 – Guide created for Dragonflight