Windwalker PvP Guide

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Welcome to the Peak of Serenity’s Windwalker Monk PvP Guide. This guide is designed to be a basic, quick guide for Windwalker PvP 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 November 22, 2020 for Shadowlands Launch ( 9.0 ) and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

Talents

General Talents
Further Reading: 
  • In-Depth Talent Recommendations (coming soon)
Honor Panel Talents

Ability Priority

 

Windwalkers operate on a priority system, NOT A ROTATION. This is especially true in Windwalker PvP. An ability priority means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority. A key to sustaining damage is to try and not to delay a higher up ability in favor of a lower one but unlike in PvE you want to always be aware of potential setups you can make when abilities are coming off cooldown.
 
 

Single Target

 

 

Very similar to PvE. Windwalker PvP combo sequences have many permutations but each combination generally has the same goals and is driven by efficiency.

  1. Touch of Death (Execute)
  2. Expel Harm (if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy. More efficient generator Chi over a Tiger Palm at 15 energy, +1 baseline or +2 with Reverse Harm, and make effective use of the heal when you can.)
  3. Fist of the White Tiger (if <3 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  4. Tiger Palm ( if <4 Chi AND about to cap energy)
  5. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  6. Fists of Fury
  7. Rising Sun Kick
  8. Reverse Harm
  9. Chi Burst
  10. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  11. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  12. Blackout Kick
  13. Chi Wave (Talent)
  14. Tiger Palm
 

Multi-Target

 

 

In this context it’ll be when you can group up 2 or 3 players to maximize your cleave. You won’t get much mileage out of something like spamming Spinning Crane Kick even in battlegrounds. Try to avoid it.

  1. Touch of Death (Execute)
  2. Whirling Dragon Punch (Talent)
  3. Fists of Fury
  4. Rising Sun Kick (Generally you want to focus a single target and cleave off that target. There are some situations when it’s ok to spread your Mortal Strike Debuff, especially in BGs/RBGs.)
  5. Expel Harm
  6. Spinning Crane Kick (with Dance of Chi-Ji proc)
  7. Fist of the White Tiger (Talent)
  8. Blackout Kick
  9. Chi Burst
  10. Chi Wave (Talent)
  11. Tiger Palm
 

Single Target Burst

  1. Line your cooldowns with your setups.
  2. Is Paralysis ready?, is Leg Sweep Ready? Can you proc Alpha Tiger or Keefers Skyreach?
  3. If you have Fist of the White Tiger, use it before Tiger palm, to help generate without wasting time on your damage buffs.

 

 

These three abilities will be your primary way to burst a target down and deal damage.

 

 

These are the primary buffs and cooldowns you’ll want to be tracking

 

 

How they’re executed is going to depend on which covenant you’ve selected

  1. Storm, Earth, and Fire (it is off the GCD)
  2. Tiger Palm ( 3 Chi, Tiger Palm for the 5th and to proc Alpha Tiger / Keefers, and then start to deal damage)
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Fists of Fury
  5. Whirling Dragon Punch

 

 

Close to the end of your Fists of Fury channel, before Rising Sun Kick comes back up a second time, cancel the channel and use Whirling Dragon Punch. Clones WILL continue to deal the rest of their FoF damage while casting WDP as well. You don’t lose any damage this way and you don’t lose access to WDP because of RSK coming off cooldown early due to your haste buff.

 

  1. Tiger Palm ( 3 Chi, Tiger Palm for the 5th and to proc Alpha Tiger / Keefers, and then start to deal damage)
  2. Storm, Earth, and Fire + Weapons of Order
  3. Rising Sun Kick
  4. Fists of Fury
  5. Whirling Dragon Punch
  6. Rising Sun Kick
  7. From this point, play normally inside the buff, and you’ll get a second Fists of Fury inside SEF for increased pressure.

Currently I haven’t found any reason to ignore the 2x mastery bonus that is beneficial. With higher haste the timings are not as tight after the first set of RSK>FoF>WDP increasing the # of BoKs you can squeeze in for free.

  • When do you cast Xuen

He will 100% break crowd control with his chain lightning so when you are absolutely positive that he will not ruin your setup then include him with your normal burst rotation. Be aware of your timings and cast him early enough not to disrupt the other things. 

 

 

 

Example Burst w/ setup
  1. Paralysis on an off target (healer, or hybrid DPS capable of shutting you down like a Balance Druid or Ret Paladin)
  2. Tiger Palm ( 3 or 4 Chi, Tiger Palm for the 5th and to proc Alpha Tiger / Keefers, and then start to deal damage)
  3. Storm, Earth, and Fire + Weapons of Order (If Kyrian) + Bonedust Brew (if Necrolord)
  4. Leg Sweep on your primary target and secondary targets if possible (leg sweep is 3 seconds, Keefers will have 4 seconds left at this point)
  5. Rising Sun Kick
  6. Fists of Fury
  7. Whirling Dragon Punch ( You want this inside your Keefers Buff )
  8. Rising Sun Kick

 

 

If you were quick enough you should have gotten all of your major abilities through with SEF & Keefers buff and either covenant.

 

 

Ability Usage 

  • Blackout Kick! – Used before you would potentially generate another proc. Efficient usage will help sustain your damage, resources, and reduce downtime. Even if it seems small remember that any damage you do goes into the enemy healers mana pool.
  • 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.
  • Energizing Elixir – Ideally used on cooldown when at 0-1 Chi with Tiger Palm after, to maximize resource gain.
  • Hit Combo and Mastery – Any ability that does damage, both, benefits from, and continues Mastery and Hit Combo.
  • Expel Harm – Use this as close to its cooldown as possible unless you know you can get more worth just a 1-3 seconds later.
  • 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.
  • Serenity – Read Wizard Dog’s Serenity Guide. More information about the changes to Serenity will be coming when we get verification on potential changes.
  • Storm, Earth, and Fire – Ideally you fit in 2x Rising Sun Kick, a Fists of Fury, and a Whirling Dragon Punch. Don’t forget to fixate your clones on the target you want to focus damage on!
  • Touch of Death – is an execute that will deal full damage through DRs like Dispersion but will not deal damage during Aspect of the Turtle, for an example, be vigilant!
  • Touch of Karma – A defensive ability with an offensive punch. It can be removed through effects like Blessing of Protection so plan your defensive usage out with your team.
  • Fortifying Brew – A returning defensive ability that increases your maximum health (also increasing Touch of Karma and Touch of Deaths effects) and damage reduction.
  • 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.
  • Alpha Tiger– Massive energy regen, CDR on RSK if you extend it ( Tiger Palm -> Rising Sun Kick -> Tiger Palm on a new target ), quicker FoF channel.
  • Ring of Peace – While you like teams that stack up , you don’t like teams that run away, lock them down with FoF (Turbo Strikes), and Ring of Peace to create pressure and block off terrain.
  • Ride the Wind – Keep your team safe, keep them mobile, and keep them on your target. With RTW and Tiger’s Lust you can even help your Warlock and Healer friends stay very mobile.
  • Disable – Double disables can cost a lot of energy so don’t over use them but a short root can force early defensive tools when a teams options are limited.

 

 

Covenant Abilities  

 

 

  • KyrianWeapons of Order is a very strong cooldown on a very short cooldown for how powerful it is. During Weapons of Order Blackout Kick also works at double effectiveness on cooldown reduction allowing you to use even more Rising Sun Kicks and Fists of Fury’s than usual and now, they’re inside your SEF window. It also comes with Phial of Serenity and a boat load of offensive and defensive Soulbinds that remain strong from launch to max renown. Pelagos is the go to with 2 potency slots, Combat Meditation, Let Go of the Past, and 2 endurance conduit slots to run Harm Denial, and Fortifying Ingredients. Early on this is a hard covenant to beat. Even the Alternatives to Pelagos ,Kleia and Forelite Prime, will come with their own unique Soulbind setup that can be advantageous vs. certain comps. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a A.

 

  • NecrolordBonedust Brew is an interesting ground targeted debuff, like the old dizzying haze, that will give you a chance to proc an additional % damage for 10 seconds. What makes Necrolord good currently is the insane amount of defensive benefit in Fleshcraft and depending on if you play Emeni, Lead by Example, or Plague Devisor Marileth with Ooz’s Frictionless Coating and Ultimate Form. It’s a good balance between offense and defense (leaning a little more towards defense than Kyrian, who is very similar while leaning more towards offense). If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a B.

 

  • Night FaeFaeline Stomp is a ground based AoE that deals nature damage (ignores armor), persistent damage, will reset mastery, and fighting on the Fae line has a chance to reset the cooldown of the ability. The strength in Fae is not just the small damage increase in Stomp but you gain access to several powerful Soulbinds that make it very competitive. Grove Invigoration with the high number of stacks you can get and Wild Hunt Tactics. While the stomp not doing large individual hits makes it seem like an unlikely choice for PvP, a chunk of the damage is being given to you through the Soulbinds, and as we gain renown throughout the season I believe will be very competitive. At the start of the season it will be behind a small bit so keep that in mind. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP at launch I would give it a C+ but at max renown I would give it a B.

 

 

  • Venthyr: Fallen Order is your standard 3 minute cooldown. It does great burst damage, has a small defensive component, but its main drawback is that it can be crowd controlled. The real problem with Venthyr in my opinion is the lack of Soulbinds that support you. Soothing Shade and Wasteland Propriety are very strong as is Imbued Reflections but the benefit you gain from them is tied entirely to Fallen Order and if that is shut down, so are you. If I had to rate this Covenant for PvP I would give it a C in some best case scenarios. 

 

Soulbinds & Conduits
  • Kyrian (Pelagos) 
  • Necrolord: (Emeni or Plague Devisor Marileth)
  • Night Fae: (Niya or Korayn)
  • Venthyr: (Nadjia)

 

 

 

Conduits

Potency

  1. Bone Marrow Hops (Necrolord Only)
  2. Coordinated Offensive (Single Target)
  3. Strike with Clarity (Kyrian Only)
  4. Imbued Reflections (Venthyr Only)
  5. Inner Fury
  6. Xuen’s Bond

Endurance

  1. Harm Denial
  2. Fortifying Ingredients

Finesse

  1. Pick what you think you’ll benefit most from as a player, honestly.

Legendaries

Crafting for PvP
  1. Invoker’s Delight (Sorry guys – hit that raid)
  2. Keefer’s Skyreach
  3. Last Emperor’s Capacitor

Gearing for PvP

Agility > Versatility / Mastery

Why don’t we gear for Haste?

There’s a lot of haste suppression in the kit so building out for it is not the greatest but in larger amounts it’s beneficial. Especially when it’s something like Invokers, or alpha tiger, for example. Getting additional casts of RSK, a second FoF in SEF, or just channeling faster are all some of the benefits of haste in large amounts. Otherwise damage increasing stats get better mileage. If it’s not a significant amount of Haste or Crit that is going to increase your kill potential in a small damage window it’s generally not worth pursuing.

2h vs Dual Wield?

As of right now we’ll be playing Dual wield. There are no staves with a swing speed under 3.6 and there is currently a small modifier of -2% for 2h that is baked into most abilities while dual wield is getting a +2% bonus. The only time you’ll be throwing on a 2h weapon is when it’s significantly higher, like 15 ilvls.

Enchanting?
Shadowlands Trinkets

It’ll likely be a Badge, Insignia, or Freedom combination for Gladiators Distinction but I’ll keep this section updated.

 

 

WeakAuras / Addons

WeakAuras can be a blessing or a curse. While they can aid in tracking certain buffs or debuffs they can also clutter your screen and visual impair or distract you. What I link here is popular, simple, effective, and updated regularly. While you don’t have to use them I would still recommend finding something or creating your own to use following the same mindset.

 

 

Macros

A really handy tool to automatically switch buttons on your action bar with talent changes is the add on Talentmacros

#showtooltip as the first line will display an icon of your choosing if specified or will default to the icon of the first line in the macro.

/cast [target=focus] Spear Hand Strike
/cast [target=focus] Paralysis
/cast [target=Player] Tiger’s Lust

The “exists” parameter will enable the Macro to function as a normal key outside of Arenas

/Cast [@arena1, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/Cast [@arena2, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/Cast [@arena3, exists] Paralysis; Paralysis
/target arena1 or /focus arena1
/target arena2 or /focus arena2
/target arena3 or /focus arena3

/cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead][] AbilityNameHere

#showtooltip Touch of Karma
/target arenapet1
/cast Touch of Karma
/targetlasttarget