Reviewing the Current Awkward State of Windwalker and Proposing Some Solutions


This is a post to summarize and centralize the various issues being brought up about Windwalker Monk across the WoW forums and other Monk communities. As a bit of background, I am a Hall of Fame WW monk for several tiers now. I solely one-trick WW, and I believe that at the current point in time, WW is in a pretty poor spot design wise, and through this post I’ll look to break down various issues plaguing the spec, including Talents, Play Style, and some recommended changes to the spec. This will be a pretty lengthy post. This post was created with the help of numerous high ranking WW players and Theorycrafters alongside numerous members of the WW monk community.


I’ll Start by reviewing the spec talent tree and touch on a few class nodes at the end. In general, the WW spec tree has some major issues, primarily existing later on in the tree, where numerous useless talents restrict build variety to a high degree. The center talents of the tree capstones are good, but the branches are quite frustrating to play with as I’ll discuss later on.

Row 1 Talents

Fists of Fury: The classic WW ability and channel. FoF feels fine to press as it always has. The largest gripe with FoF people have is that we end up canceling it inside cooldowns, such as serenity, due to its poor Damage per Execution Time (DPET), essentially meaning that its damage isn’t dealt fast enough during the times where each global is critical. My personal gripe with FoF is that you cannot auto attack during the channel, which is rather frustrating. This mechanic is just hindering melee value of the spec and when we discuss Thunderfist, the channel can make it near impossible to properly get all the value out of other talents. Though overall, the ability feels satisfying to press to me still. Current tier bonuses and playstyle make it one of your top damage sources.

Row 2 Talents

Touch of Karma: Karma is a solid defensive that can be used offensively if wanted. Slightly degenerate, but it's up to the player on how they want to use it.

Ascension: Great talent that is pretty much always taken. Not too much to say about it. Extra chi is always nice to have.

Power Strikes: Another resource generation talent. Power strikes feels pretty good in most cases. Being able to immediately cast FoF after a single Tiger Palm (TP) is always nice. My main issue with the talent is that it can lead to resource waste depending on the resources you have when it procs.

Row 3 Talents

Widening Whirl: One point talent node for more AoE radius on Spinning Crane Kick (SCK). Not very impactful, but its positioning is nice and it only being 1 point allows for some build variety depending on the scenario, as you can invest a later point somewhere else. Not too many complaints about this talent.

Touch of the Tiger: It’s just a flat damage amount to TP. I wish this was a little bit more interesting or only required 1 point. Having to invest 2 points in it is kinda unneeded in my eyes. Rather underwhelming overall.

Hardened Soles: Hardened Soles is just a doomed talent in my eyes solely due to its positioning on the tree. There can pretty much be no world where Hardened Soles is good unless it’s just extremely overpowered where it means you drop later talents for it. Hardened Soles is connected only to Flying Serpent Kick (FSK), meaning that if you wanted to stack it up with Shadowboxing Treads for a super juiced BoK-oriented build, you would have to waste important points for Widening Whirl or Touch of the Tiger to do so. Honestly, hardened soles either need to be just one point or its positioning with Touch of the Tiger would be swapped. BoK is a decent portion of our damage, and it being able to connect to Shadowboxing Treads makes a lot of sense.

Flashing Fists: Just a generic amp for FoF. No real issues with the talent, if not a little boring.

Open Palm Strikes: Another FoF amp talent but with some extra resource generation tied behind it. OPS is nice and allows for dynamic resource generation. Not sure why two FoF amp nodes exist right next to each other though. Some adjustments could easily be made there.

Row 4 Talents

Mark of the Crane: Another WW staple of our AoE gameplay. Not too many issues with this talent as it keeps our gameplay somewhat interesting in managing debuffs. Would be interesting to see a talent where MoTC could be applied by other abilities like FoF.

Flying Serpent Kick: It’s a mixed bag of opinions on this node. Personally I think its fine to have it be the node required for our big cooldowns. If it was located anywhere else, it would be viewed as pretty much useless and never taken. Having mobility be taken in order to take cds is fine in my book.

Glory of the Dawn: Glory of the Dawn is cool in concept, but for some reason the proc damage itself is not based on the RSK damage like it was in Legion. Glory of the Dawn is taken because of its tree position primarily alongside the chi it can generate for you. The talent should feel more significant tuning wise in my eyes like it was in the past.

Row 5 Talents

Shadowboxing Treads: SBT is one of my favorite talents on the tree. Making BoK hit multiple targets makes it just stronger overall in AoE now in damage and in utility for Mark of the Crane, as each cleave hit can spread the Mark. Honestly, the main change I would love to see for Shadowboxing Treads is to just move it to the Class tree. Literally all 3 monk specs have a version of Shadowboxing Treads. Brew and WW have it as Shadowboxing treads, and Mistweaver has its functionality in Ancient Concordance. Makes so much sense to have it in the class tree.

Inner Peace: More energy and more flat TP damage. Still an underwhelming talent even after the buffs. It’s never really run besides in solely ST encounters and even then it still loses out slightly to shadowboxing treads.

Storm, Earth, and Fire (SEF): SEF is another iconic ability. Blizzard has fixed a bunch of its bugs over time, and it feels pretty nice in keys, but underwhelming in raid. Being able to safely cast while clones are in packs is a nice quality of life feature, but the numbers just aren’t there in raid compared to serenity.

Serenity: The current go-to major cooldown choice for WW. Serenity is a pretty fun ability. It shifts our focus from utilizing resources like chi properly towards a focus on doing as much damage in as little time as possible. However, this does cause issues like mentioned previously where they cancel Fists of Fury.

Meridian Strikes: First of many Touch of Death (ToD) talents. Meridian is probably the most useless of the various ToD talents, as its benefit relies heavily on actually getting more casts of ToD out. You lose much of its value if in an encounter you still cast ToD the same number of times. In m+ it feels okay, but in raid it’s never taken realistically.

Strike of the Windlord: A Legion favorite returns in good form. A solid damage ability on a longer cooldown. SoTWL feels great to press, especially when specced into Thunderfist. This talent is essentially always taken.

Row 6 Talents

Dance of Chi-Ji: A shadowlands talent brought back at a slightly lower power. Dance is still great in AoE. I think many are frustrated with proc RNGs dictating overalls in AoE raid fights especially. I know I strongly hate it when my performance is determined by if I get a couple procs during the one add spawn phase in a fight. Overall power of the talent is fine, but it’s a little frustrating at times.

Jade Ignition: JI is rather underwhelming in its damage, plus its also locked behind the underwhelming Inner peace. This has pretty much doomed it to irrelevance the entire expansion besides a short time where our highest single target build ran it alongside dance of chi ji. You don’t really play around JI and it’s pretty weak, could definitely either use a tuning change with Inner peace or a gameplay change.

Drinking Horn Cover: Pretty much a required talent due to its power and placement on the tree. Drinking Horn cover adds up to 25% duration on Serenity and More on SEF. Very solid overall. Though its design is actually another root of the issue with canceling FoF inside serenity. Since FoF and RSK both extend serenity the same amount, we prioritize casting RSK and canceling FoF as much as possible to extend Serenity. Honestly, you could adjust the talent to change duration extension based on the ability, similar to how it works for SEF.

Spiritual Focus: Another dead talent due to it being gated behind a rather useless talent in Meridian Strikes. Also, there is anti-synergy with Spiritual Focus and Serenity. For some reason, Spiritual Focus is not adjusted like Drinking Horn Cover for Serenity, meaning that you get actually zero value out of the talent while inside Serenity, whereas if you had SEF, Drinking Horn cover actually reduces the charges cooldown. Give this talent the Drinking Horn Cover treatment, where instead of chi spent reducing Serenity Cooldown, make it so just casting chi spenders reduces serenity’s cooldown and adjust the reduction accordingly. Otherwise, its always gonna be dead.

Hit Combo: A very controversial and frustrating talent for many. Hit Combo might as well say: Increase Mastery by a flat 6%. WW is never really gonna break mastery anyways, so this talent really just makes it even more punishing to do so, because if you have to break mastery, you’re actively griefing yourself because you lose 5-6 global casts of 6% more damage. If I were to adjust it, just make it so breaking mastery just makes you lose a stack instead of all 6, or maybe 2 stacks. Though frustrating, its power is strong, and the talent is taken 100% of the time.

Row 7 Talents

Rushing Jade Wind: Absolutely awful and absolutely dead talent. RJW is just horrendous to play. It’s an extremely short duration and costing chi makes it disrupt the gameplay of WW way too much. That alongside its poor tuning just kills its viability. To me though, the most heinous part of this talent is its reverse scaling with haste. Haste just makes the RJW end faster, and because WW is global capped, more haste just makes it harder to maintain RJW without missing casts of other abilities. At least for WW, RJW really needs to just have a static duration and make haste increase the overall damage. I shouldn’t be punished for having haste from Invoker’s or Lust when using RJW.

Forbidden Technique: The 2nd ToD talent. Honestly Forbidden Technique (FT) is personally the source of my frustration with the ToD talent build. Prior to the ToD delay fixes, oh man I was always fuming when using this talent. The delay fix makes it much more bearable. Now honestly my main issue is the 5 second window. In keys especially, if you tunnel down one priority add, you sometimes just can’t cast ToD again because it dies to the global, then since the rest of the pack is up, the 2nd ToD cast is dead. An extra second or 2 in the 2nd cast window would be great. Of course some major rehauls of these talents is also possible.

Invoke Xuen: The spec celestial. Xuen is taken 100% of the time based on its tree location. It gates the entire center portion of the tree pretty much. Its power without other talents is rather underwhelming, but stacked up with later talents it feels like an impactful CD.

Teachings of the Monastery: One of my favorite talents on the spec tree. ToTM honestly just keeps the WW playstyle fresh compared to previous expansions. The fact that each individual hit of BoK can reset RSK means you can have a playstyle of building stacks while getting other spenders out, then once at 3 you can RSK → BoK and then have a very high chance of resetting right into another RSK. Great talent. Its synergies are even higher in AoE with Shadowboxing Treads, as each individual + copied hit of BoK can reset RSK. Meaning that with 3 targets and 3 stacks of ToTM, a single BoK hits 12 Times, pretty much guaranteeing an RSK reset, and with our current Tier Bonus, that is great. Top tier talent in my eyes and a good location, and the talent is always taken.

Thunderfist: An always-taken talent gated behind SoTWL. Thunderfist is really where the power of SoTWL shines. TF gives us some solid funnel and just general damage. Honestly, the largest gripe I and many have with this ability is that the procs are locked behind auto attacks. And as mentioned before, we can’t auto attack in Fists of Fury or Spinning Crane Kick. So the frustrating part is the limited duration of the buff: if you hit a high stack count of Thunderfist in AoE, you can just not use all stacks if you just play your rotation normally. Why is this a thing? Being punished for just playing your rotation is annoying and frustrating. And once you start using a 2-hander weapon instead of Dual Wield, that issue is made even worse. Just make the hits based on when you do ability damage instead of melee autos and its immediately improved.

Row 8 Talents

Crane Vortex: Boring talent. Rather underwhelming too since SCK is not much of our damage profile current. Also why is this 2 points? Crane Vortex was originally supposed to be Calculated Strikes from Shadowlands, so a nerfed version of that old conduit would be fine. Just needs proper tuning.

Xuens Bond: Suffers a similar fate to that of Meridian Strikes, where you only really get good value out of the talent if it results in an additional cast of Xuen. The damage itself it adds is pretty bad. The cooldown reduction part of it really should be buffed. At its most optimal situation, this talent reduces Xuen up to a maximum of approximately 10 seconds. That is so bad in my eyes and it really doesn’t let you adjust your cooldown usage. You’re still gonna align Serenity and Xuen, all it means slightly less time holding serenity. If this talent really wanted to be a powerhouse, make its cooldown reduction put Xuen to around a 90s cooldown, shifting WW from a 2 minute spec to a 1.5min spec. As it stands though, XB is just a whatever talent not really taken unless you need to reach Fatal Flying Guillotine but don’t want Crane Vortex.

Fury of Xuen: Old Azerite power brought back from BFA. Fury of Xuen is essentially just a talent you ignore at most times, but there are situations where you can play around it, such as on Raszageth, where you could hold FoF before going over to the add platforms, building up high stacks to almost guarantee a Tiger proc on the first FoF cast. Honestly not too many issues with this talent. Talent is strong but can be dropped depending on the build.

Empowered Tiger Lightning: A near 100% taken talent due to power and tree location. Its just more damage on Xuen and is reminiscent of the old Gale Burst gameplay with ToD. Solid enough talent.

Rising Star: Just a big damage amp to Rising Sun Kick. If you want Faeline Stomp you need this. Kinda boring overall but solid enough. Some mechanical changes to spice up RSK would be cool to see.

Row 9 Talents

Bonedust Brew: Old covenant ability unfortunately brought over from Shadowlands. BDB is a fine enough talent in any AoE situations, which is the only time you will take this talent since its gated behind Crane Vortex. The current version of BDB is fine enough as we don’t have conduits that encourage the old degenerate gameplay of WW where we broke mastery and spammed SCK. Honestly my gripes with BDB are the capstone talents following it.

Fatal Flying Guillotine: The defining talent of the ToD-oriented build, where ToD now hits multiple targets. This talent is a little controversial. At the moment, this sort of build feels the smoothest to play in keys, but it feels awkward to really understand the value it adds. ToD damage kills mobs that are so low in hp that it often feels like it’s just “Pad” damage instead of useful damage. But in my eyes, with the ToD build you can have up to 12-14% of your overall damage in a dungeon be ToD, and at that point it’s not just pad. I think a revamp of the ToD talents is needed, but the current versions of the talents aren’t as horrendous to play after the fix in the ToD delay.

Emperor’s Capacitor: Cool talent gimped by awful tuning and awful tree location alongside it not really fitting within the current WW playstyle. The actual damage of EC is not really significant enough to use. Plus it’s gated behind the poorly tuned Xuen’s Bond. Also, why is the talent that wants you to cast abilities every single global connected to Emperor’s capacitor, a talent that encourages an ability that takes multiple globals to finish channeling? This talent needs some mechanical changes and tuning adjustments otherwise it will remain dead as it always has been. I literally have never specced into this talent without it being a meme. If I were to adjust this talent without completely reworking it, I’d make the buff also increase the cast speed of the Crackling Jade lightning, so when at max stacks, it could either be instant or finish the channel within a global.

Xuen’s Battlegear: Another defining talent of the current WW playstyle. This talent makes the playstyle of WW much faster paced, as our globals have become more and more condensed when combined with ToTM. A nice gameplay loop of getting FoF reductions with RSK and RSK resets with BoK feels rather good. Sometimes I think it’s a little too spammy for the playstyle, but its not too absurd yet. Great talent that we never drop in our builds.

Transfer the Power: Solid talent that is essentially just another blanket passive buff to FoF. We don’t play around the talent, so it would be cool to make this late talent have some mechanics tied behind it that are more impactful on the playstyle. But players aren’t going to delay FoF for more stacks, because missing a potential FoF cast just for a 3% increase in its damage doesn’t make sense. Overall the talent is solid though. Can be dropped in some scenarios but generally is always taken.

Whirling Dragon Punch: Staple of the WW rotation in past expansions but currently is a dead talent the vast vast majority of the time. WDP has pretty poor tuning and will never really see play in ST as is. And in my eyes, it really doesn’t suit the current WW playstyle. Currently, WW has so few free globals. Every global something impactful can be cast. Even stuff like TP is impactful because that translates to additional ToTM stacks which means more BoK hits for RSK resets. RSK and FoF cooldowns are at an all time low, meaning that WDP really never has opportunities to be cast without it feeling bad.

Faeline Stomp: Pretty awful ability without its follow up talent, Faeline Harmony. After this patch, I’ve come to hate this ability. I won’t lie. We pretty much always want this talent because of Faeline Harmony. I have a number of issues with the talent. The first is the tiny hitbox you have to stand on. The smallest of steps can shift you off the stomp, meaning you can’t get resets. So in an M+ scenario, you could throw a stomp out and then your tank decides to move. At that point you’re essentially just screwed. To an extent it can be a skill issue, but man it’s frustrating using this ability when it’s a stupid straight line. My preferred change to this ability without reworking it would be to make it either a cone or circle ground effect instead of a line. This would allow for more flexibility around movement and make the ability a lot less frustrating to play with.

Row 10 Talents

Attenuation: An absolutely gutted version of the Shadowlands conduit. The damage is so little and isn’t even taken when you do take BDB. It’s never been viable and never will be without tuning.

Dust in the Wind: The most egregiously offensive talent on this tree. Why in the world does this talent exist? It quite literally does nothing. Nothing at all for throughput. Also, if you can’t hit enemies with BDB radius, how are you expecting to hit them with SCK? This talent is just completely and utterly garbage. I don’t think I’ve seen other talents besides Glacial Spike from Frost Mages (Who are getting many talents reworked) that just actually don’t provide any DPS increase whatsoever. The worst part of this talent is that if it were to be replaced, we would most likely get Bountiful Brew back, similar to how Brewmaster has it. Personally, I hate that talent too, as in shadowlands, it just turned WW into a dumb-luck casino spec, where you need to get Dance Procs and Bountiful Brew procs at the right times to do well. After looking over the BDB portion of the tree, I’d love to see it entirely removed from WW and have it replaced with new stuff.

Skytouch/Skyreach: The first good Capstone WW has! Skyreach is a great damage talent, and after Blizz allowed for dash or no dash I see very few complaints about this ability. No complaints with it really now.

Invoker’s Delight: The Shadowland’s legendary that was always used returns and as we see now, we always run it. ID is what makes Xuen feel so impactful. We get a mini bloodlust without cooldowns and I think it’s great. More haste for serenity and big damage windows is awesome and it’s one of my favorite talents. This talent is always taken, and I really don’t see issues being posted about this talent.

Way of the Fae: First of 2 Faeline Stomp capstones, and boy is this talent awful. The damage is just so little, even in AoE where it’s supposed to shine. Needs mechanical adjustments in my eyes. Tuning won’t save this talent. Just awful and no one runs this.

Faeline Harmony: Honestly the source of my frustrations with FLS and the current WW playstyle. Oh man this is rather simple talent, it’s just a debuff on enemies that makes them take more damage, but oh man did I mention that this debuff affects all damage and not just Monk abilities? So that means trinkets and external damage sources are affected. I really hope to see Blizz adjust this like they did Brew. Besides that, this ability is literally the only reason to take FLS. It essentially averages out to like 10ish% damage amp to your target over the course of the fight, assuming like a 70-80% buff uptime.

I hate how powerful this talent is because of how awful the placement of FLS is. Oh, your tank moves to kite mobs after you thought he was planting? Well there goes your 10% damage amp for a while. I know it’s not exactly like Rune of Power, but that’s the closest thing I can compare it to. Its scuffed rune of power that you have to use in melee. More opportunity for resets unlike Rune of Power to make it less awful, but it still feels so awful to play. I’ve seen many people swap their opinions on FLS from positive to negative after being forced to run it in all scenarios this tier.

My previous suggestion of making FLS a circle or cone would make this issue much much better in my eyes. If that wasn’t an option I would have two other possible changes: one is to make it so no matter what, your abilities always have a flat 6% chance to reset FLS even if you’re not on it, but if you are on the Faeline you have a double chance to do so. The second one I’ve seen from community posts is to make the reset chance be based on hitting targets affected by the debuff. In other words, you would have a 12% chance to reset FLS when you attack an enemy affected by Faeline harmony. Either change would make this talent much less frustrating to play. I really hope to see this talent get changed or removed. Its so centralizing in our builds and is killing any and all variety at the moment thanks to Faeline Harmony.

Play Style:

Now that the Spec tree review is done, I can cover community thoughts on the current gameplay loop and playstyle of WW. This section shouldn’t be nearly as long. This review on gameplay will be oriented around how we play with the current Aberrus Tier Bonus where RSK hits in a Nova to nearby enemies. A general theme throughout the current playstyle of WW is a really high emphasis/priority on casting RSK. The power from the tier makes it crazy efficient to cast, even above FoF a good chunk of the time.

Currently, there really isn’t much a difference between the playstyles of AoE and Single Target. Our current tier bonus encourages a type of play in AoE where we send RSK as much as possible instead of the typical SCK-oriented gameplay we’ve become used to over Shadowlands. This has been a rather nice change in pace for AoE. We play to fish out RSK resets from ToTM, since SBT hits also can reset. Then we primarily SCK as a last-option Chi spender to not break mastery or if we get a Dance Proc. Blizzard really nailed the 2pc bonus this tier. Adjusted our gameplay in a unique way.

The current rotation feels like a faster paced version of the WW rotation we’ve always had in the past. As mentioned in the talent review, XBG Cooldown reduction combined with ToTM resets just makes the spec feel much faster compared to the Methodical playstyle we had in Shadowlands. Through this patch, I and some others have found that sometimes WW’s resource management has become more muddied compared to past expansions. Resource waste and pooling has become less of an issue to worry about. WW takes so many resource generating talents. Glory of the Dawn, Open Palm Strikes, Power Strikes, and Ascension all drive excess resources and its reached a point where occasionally you just will inevitably waste resources in some way. This shift in resource dynamics is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can feel at times less skillful or feel more “spammy” compared to the rotation in the past.

I don’t want to beat a dead horse too much, but a lot of issues in the current gameplay is this centralizing idea of Faeline Stomp with Faeline harmony. Debuff maintenance to this extent has never been part of the WW rotation in the past, and its quite jarring with how positioning-oriented a good portion of our DPS is. Our scuffed version of Rune of Power is quite toxic in how you lose so much if you cannot foresee where your tank is moving. Hopefully adjustments to the talents like the ones made in the Talent review can be made. The change that makes the reset based on just hitting the debuffed target rather than standing on the Faeline would be quite nice in my eyes and would immediately eliminate the majority of issues I have with playing the talent.

Talent Rework Recommendations:

Touch of Death Talent Group:

    New Touch of Death: You pour your spirit into a focused strike, targeting your opponent’s weak point. Deals Damage based on a combination of attack power and stamina rather than only stamina. Only usable on targets below 15% health. 60s Recharge

    • Brewmaster: Expel chi from the target, forming a Guard Sphere. Moving through this sphere shields you 50% of the damage dealt by Touch of Death.
    • Windwalker: Weaken the target’s spirit, increasing the Monk’s physical damage by 5% for 10sec.
    • Mistweaver: Expel chi from the target and convert it into a healing mist. Apply Renewing Mist to the 3 most injured allies within 40 yards.
    Fatal Touch (2 points): Touch of Death cooldown/recharge reduced by (10s/20s) (To total recharge of 40s)

    Improved Touch of Death: Touch of Death can now be used on targets with less than 35% health remaining.

    • Note: Improves flexibility in raid scenarios and reduces frustration in M+ by widening the time frames where it can be cast.

    Forbidden Technique: Touch of Death gains an additional Charge and deals 20% increased damage.

    • Note: Additional flexibility given by instead just having 2 charges rather than requiring 2 casts within 5 seconds.

    Fatal Flying Guillotine: You can now carry the momentum of your Touch of Death to 4 additional targets in quick succession, reducing the damage dealt by 40% each time.

Bonedust Brew Talent Group:

The theme of BDB is reworked to match that of WW.
    Storm Brew: Take a big gulp of Storm Brew, charging your abilities with a furious storm for 10s. Your hits have a 40% chance to affect their target a second time at 35% effectiveness as Nature damage or healing. After drinking, hurl the remaining brew at the ground, coating all targets struck for 10 seconds. Critical damage or healing to affected targets is increased by 20%. 60s cooldown
    • Note: Allows for additional crit scaling to help with our lack of benefits from secondary stats.

    Sparks in the Wind:Your Mastery and Haste are increased by 50% of their value for 5 seconds when striking targets affected by your Storm Brew.

    • Note: Additional help with stat scaling.

Faeline Stomp Talent Group:

The theme of FLS is reworked to match that of WW.
    Stomp of Li Zen Ba (FLS): Strike with intense energy that courses through the ground, dealing nature damage to up to 5 enemies and restoring health to up to 5 allies with 30 yards caught in the blast. The energy sears up to 5 targets for additional damage. Your abilities have a 6% of resetting the cooldown of Stomp of Li Zen Ba while striking affected targets.
    • Note: Removes the positioning issues current FLS has and makes the theme more appropriate.

    Static Exposure (Faeline Harmony): Your abilities reset Stomp of Li Zen Ba 100% more often. Enemies and allies hit by Stomp of Li Zen Ba are affected by Static Exposure, increasing your damage and healing against them by 12% for 10 seconds.

    Li Zen Ba’s Conduit (Replace Way of the Fae): Every target you strike with Stomp of Li Zen Ba generates a stack of Li Zen Ba’s Conduit, which stacks up to 10. Crackling Jade Lightning deals x% more damage per conduit stack and chains to an additional enemy for each stack of Li Zen Ba’s Conduit. Stacks are removed when casting Crackling Jade Lightning.

    • Note: Adds an additional Crackling Jade Lightning synergy and spices up AoE gameplay.

Additional Recommendation: Increase Mastery Scaling

Similar to the recent evoker changes, WW should receive an increase in its Mastery scaling in order to make it more impact compared to stats like vers. Mastery is a defining part of the WW rotation, so making it worth more per point makes a good amount of sense to many players.

Wrapping Up

As it stands now, Windwalker is in quite a peculiar position. The number is currently puts up are not necessarily bad, but I can’t say they’re great. The spec has slowly lost its niche in the game. ST is lackluster as always and AoE is great but not necessarily the best. A lot of issues the spec has originate from poor talent and design choices for spec.

I don’t wholly expect a complete rework of the WW tree, nor do I personally think it really needs one. Though certain outliers on the tree heavily need adjustments. Our side capstone traits are either horrendous or build-warpingly-good, and build variety is at an all time low now. Spicing up these talent branches and updating the themes would do tons for the spec’s enjoyability.

Though I don’t expect a large rework, I think its okay to expect more communication regarding the spec from Blizzard. I feel players have been rather discontent with certain portions of our kit for long periods of time now, but they haven’t been addressed. The main hope is that Blizzard stays as good at reacting to WW feedback as they did during 10.1 PTR, as they adjusted our Tier Bonuses and other issues rather fast then.

WW players should look to remain vocal at the moment, as several issues are placing this spec in such as an awkward position. I believe this post brought up some critical points that need addressing, and I hope that changes are brought about soon for the spec.


Just want to say congratulations for a great post. I am a casual player, but truly respect the analysis you did.

1 Like

The only gripe I have about FoF is that its cleave got cut in half. Full cleave should be brought back.

Karma should really be reverted back to MoP strength. That way it’s an actual defensive.

Should have been a one point talent that gave Tiger Palm the armor penetration buff from MoP/WoD again.

This is gratuitous bloat. The 3 talents could just be made into 1 talent with OPS.

  1. Revert MotC back to Legion strength and functionality.
  2. Let RJW benefit from it.

Hard agree on this.

Both of these need to be un-nerfed. Also the person who failed basic math class at Blizzard who cut Serenity’s damage buff in half, but only increased its duration by 50% should be relegated to texturing grass for the next 5 xpacs.

Strike got returned to us weak. It used to do health bars in damage, not this pitiful crap we’re stuck with.

RNG dependency has no place in our spec. The power should be returned to MotC, and DoCJ should be converted to free bankable procs for SCK w/o the damage amp.

These should just be fused or positioned better.

Should be fused with Invoker’s. They do similar things, but just with different haste values.

Should be baked back into Xuen like it was in SL. It’s bloat/a space-waster in its current iteration.

Revert every nerf that they put this poor talent through. Its earliest iteration was a 65% crit chance bonus to RSK, and we had a 5% crit buff back then too, so it might as well have been 70%.

Delete it and its branch of the tree. Move all the ToD talents there in its place.

Delete it and its branch of the tree. Replace with a single talent that gives RSK its damage debuff back.

Should have been a PvP talent. The increased crit means blizz drags our base damage down to compensate.

The states of our trees are horrendous.

I like your thinking here, but it feels like too much bells and whistles. The ToD talents should be moved to where BDB’s branch of the talent tree is, and Forbidden Technique should just give 2 charges of ToD like you said. More ToD AoE is not something we want. You could achieve better performance results by just reverting FoF, SCK/MotC, and SotWL back to their strength at the start of Legion.

I’d rather not salvage BDB. Let it die.

FLS’ branch of the tree could be summarized and replaced with 1 talent that brings back RSK damage debuff from MoP/WoD. You could add an extra talent in there if you wanted to to make it be AoE, but I like the depth of tagging several targets with RSK.

There is too much bloat on the WW tree that block actual potential game changers.

Simple stuff like 2 charges of RSK or 2 charges of Serenity. New things that build off of existing talents/precedent like CDR for SotWL per Chi spent. Things that enhance gameplay like letting roll/chi torpedo discharge all your charges of Thunderfist all at once over everything you roll through and we can call it Rolling Thunder.

Yet, we are stuck mostly with uninspired and bloated amps, recycled ideas implemented poorly, recycled ideas that were good but got nerfed, and just nerfs in general.


Talent Tree Rework Concept

This is a reworked concept of the WW Talent Tree written up by High-level WW player J-Funk.

J Funk’s proposed WW rework

It is no secret that Windwalker Monk has grown stale for many of us jaded boomers and while the others here have proposed QoL fixes that I support (you should go read them), I decided that it was time to come out of the woodwork and give my thoughts on what the Windwalker Talent Tree should look like. Before that though, there are a few problems that need to be addressed.


Windwalker’s Mastery has gone through many iterations throughout the years before we finally have settled on Combo Strikes in Legion nearly 8 years ago. It isn’t a perfect mastery but I believe the problem in it lies not in the inherent design of our mastery, but rather A) there isn’t enough support surrounding it and B) the per pointing to percent ratio is too damn low. Addressing either one of those points would cause it to rise in value. As an addendum to point A there seems to be design mistakes in our talent trees that cause it’s value to decrease such as the inclusion of Resonant Fists which doesn’t scale with mastery, or our old friend Xuen.


Another secondary stat that is often undesirable for this spec because of energy classes’ inherent design in which they have a 1 second GCD by default but can’t lower it like other classes and don’t benefit from the constant resource flood and cast speed reduction like casters. Additionally, the fact that certain spells (Fists of Fury and Spinning Crane Kick) reset our swing timer and prevent us from auto attacking during them is a huge hit and should be addressed before making any other drastic changes.

Fists of Fury

Fists of Fury to me is an antiquated and boring ability with the potential to be so, so much more. In my mind Fists of Fury should be a set 3 second channel (similar to Fel Barrage) made up of many, many smaller hits and have it finally conclude with a larger hit at the end. Gaining haste would increase the number of hits during the channel significantly and still lowering the cooldown, but the channel time would remain the same. This would create a more interesting gameplay loop and create gameplay hooks and tuning knobs for the developers to play with.

Intro to tree

My talent tree tries to evoke feelings from the distant past of Windwalker history while incorporating more of the modern design philosophies they have currently in a glorious fun marriage. I’ll go over each row of my tree and the design philosophy of the changes I made.

Row 1:

Fists of Fury (explained above)

Row 2:


Row 3:

Widening Whirl replaced with Good Karma
Good Karma - 100% of the damage redirected by Touch of Karma also heals you over 10 sec.

Touch of the Tiger reworked - Now also increases the chance for your Tiger Palm to make your next Blackout Kick free by 3/6%.

Hardened Soles now increases Blackout Kick critical strike chance by 5/10% and critical strike damage by 10/20%.

Flashing Fists now increases Fists of Fury damage by 15/30% and has 2.5/5% chance to refund Chi when Fists of Fury deals damage.

Open Palm Strikes replaced with Tiger Strikes.

Tiger Strikes - Your attack crits have a chance to grant you Tiger Strikes, causing your next attack to have 50% increased attack speed and trigger 4 extra attacks.

Row 4:

Storm, Earth, and Fire is now a choice node with Mark of the Crane. (Storm, Earth and Fire has returned to the MoP/WoD version.)
Summons an elemental spirit to attack the target. The spirit mirrors your damaging abilities when attacking a target different than your own. Max 2 spirits. A single spirit taxes your body, reducing your damage and its damage by 30%. Two spirits reduce damage by 45%. Spirits last until cancelled or their target dies.

Flying Serpent Kick unchanged. Glory of the Dawn replaced with Tornado Kicks.

Tornado Kicks - Rising Sun Kick strikes a second time for 25% additional damage.

Row 5:

Shadowboxing Treads unchanged. Inner Peace replaced with Crosswinds.
Crosswinds - During Fists of Fury, Wind Spirit images of you attack your Fists of Fury targets for additional Physical damage.

Storm, Earth, and Fire/Serenity replaced with Tigereye Brew.

Tigereye Brew - For each 4 Chi you consume through the use of abilities and attacks, you gain a charge of Tigereye Brew. Use Tigereye Brew to consume the charges, granting you 6% increased damaged and healing for 15 sec.

Tigereye Brew can stack up to 20 times, but you can only consume up to 10 stacks at a time for 60% increased damage.

Meridian Strikes replaced with Second Sunrise.

Second Sunrise - Your Rising Sun Kick has an additional charge.

Strike of the Windlord moved to Row 9 and has been replaced with Last Emperor’s Capacitor.

Row 6:

Dance of Chi-Ji is now a choice node with Jade Ignition. Jade Ignition replaced with Windscarred Blows.
Windscarred Blows - Your Wind Spirit images apply Windscarred Blows to targets hit, increasing your Fists of Fury damage against those targets by 3%, stacking up to 15 times. Last 5 secs.

Drinking Horn Cover is now a choice node with Serenity and both have been reworked.

Drinking Horn Cover - You now also generate a charge of Tigereye Brew for every 6 Combo Strikes. 

The Duration of your Tigereye Brew is extended by 0.3 sec for every Chi you spend.
Serenity - During your Tigereye Brew, Chi spenders are free and cool down 100% faster.

Spiritual Focus has been removed. Added Combo Breaker.

Combo Breaker - When you gain the Blackout Kick! effect, Your next Blackout Kick deals 50% increased damage and reduces the cooldown of your Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick by 1 additional sec.

Meridian Strikes has been reworked and is now a choice node with Hit Combo.

Meridian Strikes - Your Combo Strike crits against enemies have a high chance to apply Meridian Strikes. Touch of Death inflicts an additional 5% damage per stack.

You may now only use Touch of Death when an enemy is below 15% health.

Row 7:

Rushing Jade Wind redesigned and is now a choice with Fatal Flying Guillotine.
Rushing Jade Wind - Casting Spinning Crane Kick triggers Rushing Jade Wind for 6 sec. Rushing Jade Wind deals 10% of the total damage caused by your Spinning Crane Kick and Jade Ignition.

If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Rushing Jade Wind.

Forbidden Technique removed. Moved Transfer the Power in its place. Invoke Xuen unchanged. Teachings of the Monastery unchanged. Thunderfist has been moved to Row 10. New choice node: Emperor’s Wrath and Improved Crackling Jade Lightning.

Emperor's Wrath - Your fully empowered Crackling Jade Lightnings apply Emperor's Wrath to enemies, increasing their nature damage taken by you by 5% for 20 sec. Stacks 5 times.
Improved Crackling Jade Lightning - Crackling Jade Lightning channels 50% faster and has 20% increased critical strike chance on enemies below 35%.

Row 8:

Crane Vortex reworked.
Crane Vortex - Spinning Crane Kick radius and damage increased by 15/30%.

Jade Ignition radius and damage increased by 15/30%.

Xuen’s Bond removed. Moved Invoker’s Delight in its place. Fury of Xuen unchanged. Empowered Tiger Lightning unchanged. Rising Star has been redesigned and renamed to Setting Sun.

Setting Sun - Rising Sun Kick deals 15/30% more critical strike damage when the target is above 80% health.

Rising Sun Kick deals 15/30% more damage when the target is below 35% health.

Row 9:

Bonedust Brew has been removed. Replaced with Whirling Dragon Punch.

Added Emperor’s Reach.

 Emperor's Reach - Crackling Jade Lightning now chains to 4 nearby targets for 50% damage.

Added Xuen’s Might.

Xuen's Might - Tiger Palm crits have a 100% increased chance to proc Blackout Kick!

Blackout Kick! stacks up to 2 times.

Xuen’s Battlegear unchanged. Added White Tiger Strikes.

White Tiger Strikes - Xuen gains 50% increased attack speed and can proc Tiger Strikes.

When Xuen procs Tiger Strikes, you gain Tiger Strikes as well. Tiger Strikes now stacks up to 5 times.

Added Katsuo’s Eclipse.

 Katsuo's Eclipse - Fists of Fury's cooldown is reduced by 5 sec and costs 1 less Chi.

Faeline Stomp removed. Replaced with Strike of the Windlord.

Row 10:

Attenuation removed. Added Jade Infused Strikes.
 Jade Infused Strikes - Whirling Dragon Punch now generates stacks of Jade Ignition.

Every 3 casts of Whirling Dragon Punch procs Dance of Chi-Ji.

Dust in the Wind has been removed. Added Improved Whirling Dragon Punch.

Improved Whirling Dragon Punch - Whirling Dragon Punch has an additional charge and Blackout Kick reduces its cooldown by 1 sec.

Skytouch/Skyreach unchanged. Added Tempest Herbs.

Tempest Herbs - Tigereye Brew now increases your movement speed by 30% and empowers your attacks and Physical abilities with wind, causing them to bypass armor and deal Nature damage.

Way of the Fae has been removed. Added The Wind Blows.

The Wind Blows - The cooldown of Strike of the Windlord is reduced by 20% and causes your next Blackout Kick to cost no Chi.

Faeline Harmony has been removed. Added Thunderfist.


My goal of these changes was to introduce new playstyles while also bringing back version of older playstyles such as the reintroduction of the Antorus Blackout Kick heavy build. I wanted to remove the redundancy in our talents such as removing Open Palm Strikes and baking its effect into Flashing Fists which gives way for Tiger Strikes to return. Tiger Strikes will give us some much needed auto attack synergy (I'm operating under the assumption that our auto attack issue with Fists of Fury and Spinning Crane Kick is resolved seperately.)

The biggest changes are the return of MoP/WoD Storm, Earth, and Fire as a choice node with Mark of the Crane and Tigereye Brew once again becoming the main damage cooldown. The former gives us a hard choice of whether we want to do AoE or cleave. It also reestablishes Windwalker as the premiere melee for spread cleave fights. The latter replaces our potentially buggy, pet-based cooldown with one that lacks initial upfront burst on a fight but rewards you later with proper planning.

All in all, I wanted to make this spec a new and novel experience for players at all skill levels again by giving Windwalker a plethora of options for different situations and encounters. Let me know what you think below. I've included link to the pastebin for the Talenttreemanager custom tree that I made for this if you'd like.

The thought that maybe they’ll make necessary changes because players have essentially done their job for them sadly has me hopeful again. But the realization that this is a lot more than just changing a tier set, or applying a Band-Aid means I expect the usual silence as the mental of WW players continues to sink below rock bottom to the core of the earth.

Very good post and reasoning, just sad we see more time and analysis put into even a single talent choice from players than the dev team puts into the spec as a whole.

I think getting rid off combo points, and making the cds of the spenders unable to be shortened would be solid tbh.

This is way more creative then blizzard could possibly come up with.


The recent Annulet Changes and the compensatory buff to WW is quite laughable at this point. Early profile adjustments for the loss in 40% to the annulets show a 1% nerf actually to WW. This includes the change to the profile where we instead use a crafted ring rather than Annulet. Extremely frustrating to see that somehow WW will end up worse soon.