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Windwalker Monk DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (MoP 5.4.8)

Windwalker Monk Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Windwalker Monk coreabilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of WarcraftMoP 5.4. We also explain whento use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtletiesthat you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a WindwalkerMonk.

The other pages of our Windwalker Monk guide can be accessedfrom the table of contents on the right.

1. Single Target Rotation↑top

The Windwalker Monk rotation is based on a priority system, involvingseveral buffs and debuffs. Below, we provide a summarised version. Later onin the guide, you can read many more details.

  • Chi builders (by order of priority). Only use when you have 2 or fewerChi.
    1. Use Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm when you are not at full health.
      • You must be missing at least twice the amount of health that Jab Icon Jabdeals as damage, for Expel Harm to be worth using.
    2. Use Jab Icon Jab, your default Chi builder, and your primary source ofdumping Energy.
    3. If you have taken the Chi Brew Icon Chi Brew talent, you should use it often enoughto ensure that at least one of its 2 charges is reloading.
  • Chi finishers (by order of priority)
    1. Maintain 100% uptime on Tiger Power Icon Tiger Power, the self-buff applied byTiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm. Proceed as follows:
      • cast Tiger Palm at the start of the fight, in order to applythe buff;
      • cast Tiger Palm if the buff is about to expire;
      • additionally, you will often cast free Tiger Palms thanks toCombo Breaker Icon Combo Breaker, a passive ability (see below), which will greatly help inkeeping up this buff.
    2. Use Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick on cooldown.
      • This will also maintain 100% uptime on the debuff it applies).
    3. Use Fists of Fury Icon Fists of Fury on cooldown, provided that the following fourconditions hold true.
      • Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick will not come off cooldown while Fists of Fury ischanneling.
      • You will not reach maximum Energy while Fists of Fury is channeling (eitherinnately or because Energizing Brew Icon Energizing Brew is active).
      • Tiger Power Icon Tiger Power has at least 5 seconds remaining on its duration.
      • You will not have to break your Fists of Fury channel by moving.
    4. Use Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick and Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm when you benefit from aproc from Combo Breaker Icon Combo Breaker.
      • It is important to use these procs before using Jab Icon Jab again.
    5. Use Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave (a Tier 2 talent that you should take) on cooldown,provided that you are not going to reach maximum energy.
    6. Use Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick to dump Chi.

Additionally, you should use Flying Serpent Kick Icon Flying Serpent Kick if you have noEnergy or Chi.

This priority is very basic (despite appearing complex), and it does nottake into account your DPS cooldowns, or abilities with very situationaluses. To get a better understanding, we recommend that you read our more detailed section, as well as our section on cooldowns.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

Against 2 enemies, you should continue your normalrotation. A special mention is due to the use of Storm, Earth, and Fire Icon Storm, Earth, and Fire,though. This ability can be used against 2 or 3 enemies, but it is only worthusing if all 3 following conditions are met.

  • Condition 1: you are facing 2 or 3 enemies, and they have equalpriority. Storm, Earth, and Fire will result in an overall DPS increase, butit will lower your DPS on any single target out of the ones you areattacking.
  • Condition 2: your enemies will be alive for at least 10 seconds.The ramp-up time of Storm, Earth and Fire makes this ability a DPS loss if thetargets die any sooner than that.
  • Condition 3: your clones will be alive and stay in range of theenemies until these enemies die, and the enemies themselves will be attackablefor this duration.

Against 3 or more enemies, you should use Storm, Earth, and Fire Icon Storm, Earth, and Fire on2 targets that will live the longest. From this point on, you should continuea normal rotation, with the exception of the fact that Rushing Jade Wind Icon Rushing Jade Wind(a talent that you should take if you are concerned about AoE damage) becomesyour top priority. You should also use the Ascension Icon Ascension talent.

3. Cooldowns↑top

As a Windwalker Monk, you have several DPS cooldowns. They are best used asfollows:

  • Energizing Brew Icon Energizing Brew should be used on cooldown, as long as you do notrisk reaching maximum Energy.
  • Tigereye Brew Icon Tigereye Brew should be used whenever you have 10 or more stacks of theself-buff it passively applies. It can be delayed slightly so that you can domore burst damage when required.
  • Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death should essentially be used whenever available, dueto the massive amount of damage that it deals. Keep an eye out for any targetsyou can use it against (such as adds), since it may be very difficult or evenimpossible to use it against a boss.

Additionally, your talents have the potential to provide you with anadditional two active DPS cooldowns. We discuss this, as well as the propertiming and usage of your default cooldowns in asubsequent section.

4. Stance↑top

You will always be in Stance of the Fierce Tiger Icon Stance of the Fierce Tiger, which provides youwith various benefits. It is not technically possible to be in any otherstance (or to have no stance at all) as a Windwalker Monk.

5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Windwalker Monk↑top

The above information tells you everything you need to know in order to havehighly competitive DPS as a Windwalker Monk. However, in order for you to trulymaster the spec, there are more things that you need to understand indetail.

5.1. Energy and Chi

5.1.1. Energy

Energy is a resource that Monks share with Rogues and Feral Druids. Thereare several things you need to know about Energy:

  • Energy is generated passively. The regeneration speed is affected by yourhaste. Additionally, some abilities grant you Energy.
  • Energy is spent mainly on Chi-generating abilities, most notablyJab Icon Jab.
  • You have a maximum capacity of 100 Energy.
  • Energy never decays. A natural consequence of this is that your normalstate is to have a full Energy bar (such as before starting combat).
  • Being at maximum capcaity causes any additional Energy you would generateto be wasted.

5.1.2. Chi

Chi is a Monk-only resource. There are several things you need to knowabout Chi:

  • Chi is generated by several abilities, the most notable of them beingJab Icon Jab.
  • Chi is spent on many crucial abilities, that are part of yourrotation.
  • You have a maximum capacity of 4 Chi (5, if you have the Ascension Icon Ascensiontalent).
  • Chi decays quickly when outside of combat, but it does not decay whilein combat. A natural consequence of this is that, when starting a fight, youwill have no Chi.
  • Generating Chi while you are at maximum capacity will cause the new Chito be wasted. The only exception to this is the Chi generated thanks to thePower Strikes Icon Power Strikes talent, which spawns a Chi sphere each time your Chiwould be wasted. The sphere grants you 1 Chi when you walk over it.

5.2. Single Target Rotation in Detail

The priority list we provide at the start of this article contains all theactions you need to perform as part of your regular rotation. However, becausesome of the concepts require a deeper understanding, we go into furtherexplanations in the following sections.

5.2.1. Rising Sun Kick and Tiger Power

While performing your usual rotation, there are two things you have to beconstantly aware of.

  • Maintain 100% uptime on the debuff applied by Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick.Fortunately, Rising Sun Kick is also your most damaging ability. Therefore,you will want to use this as often as possible, which will also guarantee thedesired uptime of the debuff it applies. It is important to note (especially forwhen you are facing multiple targets), that the debuff applied by Rising SunKick is applied to all enemies within 8 yards of the main target.
  • Maintain 100% uptime on Tiger Power Icon Tiger Power, a self-buffapplied by Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm. Tiger Palm is an inefficient way to use your Chi(Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick is better), so you will only use Tiger Palm to refreshTiger Power before it expires (it has a 20-second duration). Note that youwill often get procs of free Tiger Palms from Combo Breaker Icon Combo Breaker (seebelow).

5.2.2. Mastery: Bottled Fury

Your Mastery, Mastery: Bottled Fury Icon Mastery: Bottled Fury, gives you a chance to generate anadditional stack of Tigereye Brew Icon Tigereye Brew each time you gain a stack.

5.2.3. Combo Breaker

Combo Breaker Icon Combo Breaker is a passive ability that grants you a chance, each timeyou use Jab Icon Jab, to proc a free Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm or a freeBlackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick. There are several things you must know about theseprocs:

  • The two effects (free Tiger Palm and free Blackout Kick) are separate fromone another. This means that it is possible for Jab to only proc one of them,or to proc both of them at the same time.
  • The proc has a 20-second duration, and any new procs gained while an oldproc exists are wasted.
  • Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm, which we recommend as an alternative means to sometimesgenerate Chi with, instead of Jab, does not proc Combo Breaker.

The general rule is to always use these procs as soon as they becomeavailable. More specifically, you must use them up before using Jab again.Therefore, it is perfectly fine (and recommended) to delay using them up ifother, more important abilities are available.

5.2.4. Flying Serpent Kick

Flying Serpent Kick Icon Flying Serpent Kick can be a small DPS increase, if you use it as afiller spell when nothing else is available (this means you do not haveenough Energy for Jab Icon Jab, and you have less than 2 Chi).

You will want to cast it, and then very shortly afterwards cancel theeffect. This is due to the mechanics of the spell, which will quickly becomeapparent to you after a use or two (you "land" and deal damage when you cancelthe effect).

Keep in mind that, after you land, you may be out of position relative tothe boss (most likely in front of it), so you must be prepared to move backinto position quickly.

5.2.5. Expel Harm

As we mentioned in the priority at the top of this page, Expel Harm Icon Expel Harmis sometimes used as a Chi builder. There are several aspects regarding howExpel Harm works, and when it is best to use it.

Expel Harm costs 40 Energy, and generates 2 Chi. In this sense, it isidentical to Jab Icon Jab. This, however, is where the similarities with Jabend. Unlike Jab:

  • Expel Harm has a 15-second cooldown.
  • Expel Harm's main effect is that of healing you. The healing is based onyour attack power and your weapon damage. A secondary effect of Expel Harm isthat it deals damage to a nearby target, worth 50% of the amount that you werehealed for. Only actual healing (not overhealing) will count towards the damagethat Expel Harm does.
  • Expel Harm is not a targeted attack. You can cast it out of combat,or without selecting a specific mob. It will damage a nearby mob within 10yards of you, so, unlike Jab, you do not need to be in melee range.

What this means in practice is that you should never cast Expel Harm insteadof Jab, if your health is not low enough to justify it. More specifically,you must be missing twice as much health as Jab deals damage, for Expel Harm tobe worth using. The exact amount will depend on your gear, so you must checkthese values for yourself.

Finally, while the self-healing provided by Expel Harm can help to heal youup when you have sustained damage, you should not save it foremergencies, but rather you should use it whenever its damage iscompetitive with Jab's damage.

5.2.6. Spinning Fire Blossom

Spinning Fire Blossom Icon Spinning Fire Blossom can be used to damage enemies who are not withinyour melee range. It costs 1 Chi, and deals unimpressive damage when theenemy is at 10 yards or closer to you. When the enemy is farther than 10yards away from you, its damage is increased.

While you should not normally make use of this ability, if the encounterconditions prevent you from reaching melee range for a while, you can useSpinning Fire Blossom to deal some damage.

5.2.7. Afterlife Procs

Afterlife Icon Afterlife is a passive ability that gives you a 75% chance, eachtime you kill an enemy that grants experience (or would have done so were younot at maximum level) or honor, to summon a Healing Sphere Icon Healing Sphere next toyou. The Healing sphere lasts for 30 seconds, and heals anyone who walks overit, healing them for a small amount.

Furthermore, thanks to the same ability, each time you kill an enemy usingBlackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick, you have a 50% chance to summon a Chi sphere. The Chisphere lasts for 2 minutes, and grants you 1 chi when you walk over it.

5.3. Detailed Cooldown Usage

5.3.1. Energizing Brew

Energizing Brew Icon Energizing Brew has a very straightforward usage. It restores 60Energy over 6 seconds, with a 1-minute cooldown. To maximise the benefit ofthis cooldown, you should make sure to use it as many times as possible duringan encounter. The only thing to be wary of is not to use it when you areat maximum Energy. If you use it while you are over 40 Energy, make sure touse an Energy-consuming ability within the following 6 seconds.

5.3.2. Tigereye Brew

Tigereye Brew Icon Tigereye Brew is a stacking self-buff that you gain a stack of eachtime you spend 4 Chi. The effect stacks up to a maximum of 20 stacks. When youuse Tigereye Brew (an active ability with the same name as the stacking buff),up to 10 of your stacks are consumed, and your damage is increased by 6% foreach stack, for 15 seconds.

There are a few aspects to consider when managing your Tigereye Brew.

Firstly, you should make sure not to have it capped at 20 stacks, becausedoing so is wasting any further stacks you may gain.

Secondly, you should be stacking it with any effects that increase thedamage you deal (trinket procs, DPS potion,Heroism Icon Heroism/Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Time Warp Icon Time Warp, and so on) or the damage thatthe target takes (encounter mechanics). When you know that one of these eventsis about to happen, it is recommended to save up Tigereye Brew stacks inpreparation for it.

5.3.3. Touch of Death

Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death is only usable against enemies who have equal or lesscurrent health than you. This means that, in most cases (at level 90), it willonly be usable on enemies who have around 400,000 health or less. The spelldoes a huge amount of damage, killing the target. Essentially this means itdeals damage equal to their remaining health.

Using Touch of Death against raid bosses is very difficult. This is becausethe health of raid bosses decreases very rapidly, especially when they are in"execute range" (below 20-25% health). You will, at best, have a 1-2 secondwindow of opportunity to use this spell.

Even so, however, you should do your best to use it whenever possible. Youshould look out for low health adds that you can use it against.

5.3.4. Survival Cooldowns

Fortifying Brew Icon Fortifying Brew increases your health by 20% and reduces all damagetaken by 20%, for 20 seconds. It is a useful defensive cooldown to use duringtimes of intense raid damage, or other dangerous moments.

Healing Sphere Icon Healing Sphere allows you to place up to 3 healing spheres on theground. When a player walks over a sphere, the sphere is consumed and theplayer is healed. These can be useful in some situations, but they have a highEnergy cost (resulting in a DPS loss).

Touch of Karma Icon Touch of Karma redirects all the damage that you take to your target,for 6 seconds, up to a maximum damage equal to your total health. The spell canbe used to deal extra damage against raid bosses when there is raid damage.

Zen Meditation Icon Zen Meditation redirects to you the next 5 harmful spells castagainst your party or raid members, and reduces all damage taken by you by90% for 8 seconds. A few things are worth noting here:

  • The spell is channeled, meaning that you cannot DPS while it isactive.
  • The utility of the spell will depend on how likely it is that spells castby raid bosses will be susceptible to this effect.
  • The spell is extremely useful for its 90% damage reduction, which worksas a near-immunity effect.

5.3.5. Tier 2 Talents

Of your Tier 2 talents, only Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave is a boost to your single-targetDPS. Chi Wave has a low position in your DPS priority, being overtaken by allof your special attacks, with the exception of Jab Icon Jab andBlackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick (in the case of the latter, only when you are using it todump Chi).

Against multiple targets, Chi Burst Icon Chi Burst is a DPS boost, and you should useit in the same way as Chi Wave.

5.3.6. Tier 3 Talents

Power Strikes Icon Power Strikes provides its benefit passively, by causing yourJab Icon Jab, Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3targets), and Crackling Jade Lightning Icon Crackling Jade Lightning to generate 3 Chi instead of 2,with a 20-second internal cooldown. This is a benefit you should simply enjoy,which will not affect your rotation in any way.

Chi Brew Icon Chi Brew is a DPS cooldown. The ideal time to use it is when youhave 0-2 Chi. Depending on the encounter, you can attempt to time this in such away that will allow you to perform burst DPS, but you should always try to useit as many times as possible during an encounter.

Ascension Icon Ascension, will also provide its benefit passively, by giving you alarger Chi pool, and increasing your energy regeneration rate.

5.3.7. Tier 6 Talents

The unequivocal best single-target choice, is Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Icon Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger. This spell should be used as many times as possible during the fight, evenagainst single targets. If there are moments in the fight where multipletargets are available, you should save the spell for such moments.

Against 3 or more targets who can be cleaved for most of the fight, youshould use Rushing Jade Wind Icon Rushing Jade Wind.

5.4. Roll

Roll Icon Roll is an ability that allows you to quickly move 15 yards infront of you. It is a useful mobility ability, which you should useextensively for quickly traversing short distances. Here are a few facts aboutRoll:

  • Roll has no resource cost and no cooldown. It is based on a chargesystem.
    • It has a maximum of 2 charges, and each charge has a 20-second rechargetime.
    • The Celerity Icon Celerity talent increases the number of charges to 3, andreduces recharge time to 15 seconds.
  • Roll is off the global cooldown, but while you are rolling, you are unableto use any other ability.
  • Roll will always send you in the direction that your character iscurrently moving (including backwards). If your character is stationary, Rollwill send you in the direction your character is facing.
  • You cannot roll through objects or obstacles. If you encounter anobstacle, your Roll is ended prematurely.

Finally, Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo, a tier 6 talent, replaces Roll with ChiTorpedo. Chi Torpedo is identical to Roll in every way, except that it rolls5 yards further, and it damages enemies and heals allies in your rollingpath.

6. Changelog↑top

  • 16 Oct. 2013: Made several improvements to the single and multipletarget rotations, as well as a few other minor tweaks.
  • 29 Sep. 2013: Fixed an issue with Combo Breaker Icon Combo Breaker accidentallylinking to the Windwalker Mastery.
  • 11 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
  • 09 Apr. 2013: Clarified ideal stat balance in theRune of Re-Origination Icon Rune of Re-Origination section.
  • 06 Apr. 2013: Made several updates.
  • 11 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.
    • Added mention of Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave being used in the single-targetrotation.
    • Added explanation for the new Mastery: Mastery: Bottled Fury Icon Mastery: Bottled Fury.
    • Updated explanation for Tigereye Brew Icon Tigereye Brew to account for the changes thisability has received (increased number of maximum stacks, lower damage perstack, more frequent stacking).

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