Windwalker Monk Guide - WOW Dragonflight
Game Guides , World Of Warcraft , WOW Gameplay Guides
A Windwalker monk is a melee DPS specialization that converts Energy into Chi to use on Chi-spending abilities to deal damage. It is just your normal builder -> spender spec like all the others, except there are a few things that set Windwalker apart from the rest of the pack
Why play Windwalker Monk
Windwalker monk has had an incredible presence in M+ Dungeons and in PvP for quite a while now, and has comfortably sat near the top in these environments. Windwalker monks are a jack of all trades - you have access to healing, utility in stuns, slows, Ring of Peace, and an incredible amount of defensives. You have access to a nearly unparalleled amount of tools that increase your mobility and Windwalker has one of the strongest burst windows in the entire game during its cooldowns in a stacked, AoE setting.
With this knowledge, be aware that the main weakness of this specialization is that Windwalker generally falls behind slightly in raids, because our weak spot as a Windwalker monk is nearly always our single target damage.
You can say that Windwalker has weak utility because it doesn’t have any immunity ability, but it’s arguably one of the tankiest and most mobile DPS specializations in the entire game.
If you’re in a dungeon with similar item-level players and you’re on a Windwalker monk - if you play your cards right and use your cooldowns effectively - you simply will not lose in damage in an AoE setting.
Windwalker Monk has an incredible impact on any team, whether it’s a raid team with their Mystic Touch debuff or a dungeon group with their utility and damage profile or even a PvP team with the control and mobility they bring with the burst windows that they have access to, Windwalker has a place in every aspect of the game and is never a bad choice for someone feeling like Melee dps is for them. To understand how to play Windwalker at a higher level you need to have an understanding of the rotation that is too long for any one guide to provide. Peak Of Serenity is the website that is maintained and updated by the owners of the Monk discord and will house a lot of the rotational complexity and nuanced pieces of Windwalker gameplay you need to learn to become a great Windwalker and is an incredible tool in learning how to get better. Reading through that is never a bad decision, regardless of the level you’re playing at.
The basics of Windwalker Monk gameplay
The playstyle of Windwalker is a little nuanced and complex but rotationally simple. At its core, Windwalker is a builder/spender spec. You use your energy to build Chi (which are effectively the same as Combo Points on a rogue) and then you spend that Chi on a wide array of damaging abilities.
It’s a specialization that revolves around not only managing resources but also managing abilities and cooldowns effectively at the same time.
The fundamental rotation for Windwalker is to use Tiger Palm to generate Chi through spending energy, so you can use abilities like Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury with as low of a delay as possible, while not overcapping and wasting any Energy or any Chi.
Windwalker, obviously has significantly more to use than just those few buttons with its resources. Windwalkers have to learn how to adequately add enough Blackout Kick into the rotation so you don’t cap on your Chi, but if you overuse it, you won’t have the Chi for Fists of Fury or Rising Sun Kick when they come off cooldown.
The Mastery effect of a Windwalker Monk is Mastery: Combo Strikes, and it forces the Windwalker to prepare and think several casts ahead to avoid casting Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick twice in a row, and instead trying your best to alternate and never repeat the same ability.
Windwalker Monk Utility
Windwalkers have an incredible amount of utility, and we’ll start with the first and most obvious -
- Ring of Peace. This ability is one of the only few in the game that creates forced space for a set amount of time and it’s on a ridiculously short cooldown. It’s a talent so you have to specifically spec into it but if you do, aside from the big elite mobs & bosses that ignore it, it creates space in a way that no other ability in the game does. It has a countless amount of applications and purposes and a monk that is good with Ring of Peace is so valuable to any group in any dungeon when things go sideways.
- Leg Sweep is a 3 second AoE stun 6 yards around your character and has an amazing amount of utility with the ability to stop casts, create space for your tank and interrupt otherwise uninterruptible abilities. It’s on a minute cooldown and you will use it on cooldown the entire dungeon, it’s one of the few AoE stuns in the game.
- You have offheals in Vivify & Soothing Mist and they only cost Energy, so you’re able to use them frequently and often. Vivify can become instant if cast during Soothing Mist, but even if not it’s a short cast that heals a considerable amount and is incredibly helpful when everything is down and your healer has fallen behind.
- You have Tiger’s Lust which acts the same as a Paladin Blessing of Freedom in the way that it removes movement impairing abilities. You can use it on anyone and it has a short 25 second long cooldown so you’ll keep it on cooldown frequently and it provides a great quality of life bonus to your group.
- Paralysis is a single target incapacitate ability that lasts for 60 seconds, which will not always find use but being able to take a mob completely out of the fight or the pull is incredibly valuable on Inspiring affix weeks and for especially dangerous packs.
- Access to Touch of Karma, Diffuse Magic and Dampen Harm. You generally take all 3 of these talents in most builds, and they are all incredibly useful and much more potent than most personal defensives. Karma is a huge shield based on your health which translates to a DoT effect on the target you casted it on, Diffuse Magic is not only a massive reduction to magic damage, but it also reflects quite a few dots and magic abilities back onto the mob or person that casted them on you which translates to more damage. Dampen Harm is a massive reduction to physical damage and all of them together form the tankiest cooldown kit that almost any DPS specialization in the entire game has access to.
- Windwalking. You give yourself and everyone within 10 yards of you a 10% move speed bonus. It doesn’t sound like much, it’s only 10%, but when the seconds count in a mythic+ run it makes all the difference.
- There is also some value in your Touch of Death executing mobs with one of the strongest single damage events in the game and cleaving to 4 targets with a talent, as well as the damage profile of the class with the way you evenly cleave everything at the same time to die together and while relatively unimpactful overall, it makes a difference.
Keep an eye out for more Monk guides after this, we cover it all!
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