Windwalker Monk Review - Battle for Azeroth Class Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth State of the Class and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Windwalker Monks. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Windwalker Monks community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of Windwalker.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Windwalker Monk Guide
Peak of Serenity is the online community for Monks.
Babylonius is a former moderator on MMO-Champion; current owner and administrator of the PeakofSerenity Monk class discord; founder and Windwalker author of the Monk Class site, PeakofSerenity.com and those that came before it; raider in
Occasional Excellence on US-Turalyon
; Windwalker main since early Mists of Pandaria, guide writer/theorycrafter/teacher for several years.
Kuya aka J-Funk is a Theorycrafter, Guide writer, Windwalker author on the Monk Class site, PeakofSerenity.com and a raider in
Humble on US-Crushridge
Wizard Dog - Raider in
Imperium on EU-Nagrand
; theorycrafter; moderator on the PeakofSerenity Monk class discord; Windwalker one-trick.
Famo is a raider in
Club Camel on US-Stormrage
; theorycrafter; veteran on the PeakofSerenity Monk class discord; melee-only player.
is back to being the best ability ever for running old content, letting you literally just run through mobs and kill them without ever having to reactivate the ability.
cooldown reduction passive creates interactive gameplay and ensures you are never overrun with resources.
is now a baseline ability instead of a talent, allowing one to bring both
to any fight. This alongside Windwalker's signature mobility (2 rolls +
+ level 30 talent), decent defensive options (
+ level 75 talent +
5% physical damage increase, and smaller utility like
and speed taunt, means that the spec's utility toolkit is better than it has ever been, especially in Mythic+ dungeons.
While Strike of the Windlord was removed, it has a spiritual successor in
, filling that role of giving you a feel good button to press every 30 seconds.
even uses a very similar animation.
now can generate chi per enemy damaged up to 2. Where previously we relied solely on
for burst Chi in AoE Situations we now have a new tool. Just be careful not to pull extra mobs with it.
Gale Burst artifact trait has been baked into
baseline giving us better scaling in our burst cooldown.
requires a small amount of energy to sustain itself, it can be accidentally turned off if you are spamming an ability that costs energy like
, you can find yourself turning off RJW due to not having enough energy in a split second.
Just like during Legion with pre-nerf Cenedril,
creates very toxic gameplay - standing in bad stuff to do damage or even going as far as taunting a boss for maximum
Windwalker in multi-target situations has been significantly scaled down from Legion, Mark of the Crane now can only affect up to 5 targets and its damage bonus per target has been reduced to 10% from 40%. This causes you to rely more on talents such as
for your multi-target damage.
is still broken by design because if it is tuned too highly it becomes too situationally dominant and becomes the go to in every situation. If
is tuned too low it becomes effectively defunct. It doesn’t feel rewarding as a talent but instead punishes if you make a mistake. Surprised to see it unchanged mechanically in BfA.
Your opener as a Windwalker in BfA will take some getting used to with Storm, Earth, and Fire,
, Invoke Xuen the White Tiger, and
being on the GCD. Speaking of abilities that are on the GCD,
is now on the GCD which makes it more difficult to use in majority of situations because you are going to waste energy unless you
immediately after using it.
doesn’t seem to fit in the talent row it was placed. It is a throughput talent in a utility talent row which makes it the default choice unless you can make good use of
such as certain dungeons in M+.
can be snapshot with mastery which may result in people switching to a super high mastery set before a fight starts then using
and afterwards switching back to their “regular” gear and trying to keep that snapshotted
up throughout the fight.
doing 50% damage to secondary targets means you constantly have to cast Fists on the target with the most HP if the mobs are near death.
Removal of Inner Peace makes capping energy and wasting resources very easy and practically unavoidable - you’re being forced into inefficient gameplay; an easy fix would be to increase the total energy pool by 20-40 energy
Adding a Chi Spender to our talents (the return of Chi Explosion?) would fill the void that Strike of the Windlord left behind as a Chi Spender.
got pushed down the priority list to the point where you nearly never cast it outside of
windows due to it doing less damage than 2
s in a row. Since it’s very contradictory to Legion Windwalker gameplay and confuses newer players
should be buffed. Even a slight damage increase would put it back on top of the priority list.
I would like to raise a point regarding the “ahoy
” that was mentioned above. While this is mathematically true for a simulation or for a fight that is mostly patchwerk with barely any time away from boss(say, Varimathras), things change drastically in a realistic raiding scenario. Execution window matters and when the difference in output is so small but the amount of extra gcds it throws into your rotation is substantial, many times you would waste resources by going the
spam way. This is simply due to the fact execution time is a resource of sorts as well, “I look at my logs and replace
s -> damage increase!” is not really a good way to look at it because there is an additional cost tied to this replacement - extra time required. This becomes even more prominent the worse a player performs(as it gets harder to efficiently use all their resources in a given time frame), so I think it’s safe to assume that for the vast majority of players, replacing
s with 2
s would be a net loss in a realistic encounter where they have more to do than just poke at the boss from start to finish.
To summarize, I think the fact you have a flexible component to your rotation between two variants - “gcd-heavy” and “resource-heavy” - is only a good thing and can lead to some pretty interesting decision making process. This creates a very special resource management gameplay, more complex than what energy specs usually get in the form of “to cast a spell or wait for energy”(ahm, feral druids, ahm), because you need to balance out your time/resources in a much more active fashion. It partially solves the harsh T21-style extremely punishing result of being away from the boss for a few seconds, since you can simply spend your resources more aggressively before/after said downtime.
I don’t think we should request changes that only make sims align more nicely with reality. Remember the actual game is not simcraft, and that’s a good thing!
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