Windwalker Monk DPS Guide
Kicking Your Way to Victory
Updated for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.4.1
Windwalker Monks are a fine DPS class with very good A of E capability. Patch 5.3 pretty much just brought some tweaks, while patch 5.2 just added to their Windwalker utility, see here for details. Note that this page is focused on Windwalker PvE, ie: raids and such. (For Windwalker PvP see SkillCapped.)
- Patch notes
- Windwalker Talents
- Wind Stats
- Leveling Quickly
This Windwalker Monk guide is primarily intended for use at level 90, for PvE content and Raiding. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process and somewhat for PvP, though talent picks and rotations will differ somewhat. If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 90 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite in-game leveling guide:
Important patch 5.4 notes.
- Legacy of the Emperor had its energy cost reduced to 1%, down from 6%.
- Ring of Peace had been redesigned. The ability forms an 8-yard sanctuary around a friendly target for 8 seconds, instantly disarming and silencing enemies within the area-of-effect for 3 seconds. Enemies that use abilities other than auto-attacks or cast spells on allies within the Ring of Peace will be disarmed and silenced for 3 seconds. Disarm and silence effects are subject to diminishing returns.
- Mastery: Bottled Fury has been redesigned. Bottled Fury now gives a chance to generate an additional charge of Tigereye Brew when the Monk gains one normally. This will help you to burst more frequently, but does nothing outside of your burst.
- Tigereye Brew received an adjustment: It now increases damage by 6% per stack, (up from 1% per stack) but is no longer increased by Mastery.
- A charge of Tigereye Brew is gained for each 4 Chi consumed through use of abilities and attacks (up from a charge for each 3 Chi consumed).
Various talents were either buffed or tweaked in a positive way.
- Chi Burst no longer requires a target. It now travels as a 40-yard line in front of the Monk.
- Zen Sphere now deals 15% more healing and damage.
- Chi Brew now restores 2 Chi, has a 45-second cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes), and generate stacks of Brew/Teas based on the Monk’s specialization.
- Power Strikes will now activate from more abilities
- Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger now has a pet control bar for Xuen, and the talent is no longer on global cooldown for all Monk specializations.
- Rushing Jade Wind has been redesigned and replaces Spinning Crane Kick: Using Rushing Jade Wind the Monk summons a whirling tornado around them, dealing damage to nearby enemies (heals nearby allies for Mistweavers).
Talents can be easily swapped as necessary, whenever you like. Keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind handy for such changes (ditto for glyphs.)
Tier 1 offers us three mobility enhancing talents.
- Celerity is one of two options this tier that enhance roll and Chi Torpedo, increasing the limit of charges by 1 and reducing the cooldown time by a small amount.
- Tiger’s Lust gives us a speed increasing spell that can be cast on both ourselves and others. Best for PvP, and provides the least movement for raids and such, but provides reliable emergency movement that is not subject to the occasional snare or root.
- Momentum is a passive that causes our Roll and Chi Torpedo abilities to grant us a speed increase for a short time, stacking up to 2 times. This is my personal favorite for most encounters as it’s the most flexible talent here.
The choice for this tier is largely preference based. Tiger’s Lust offers the greatest speed increase, but also has the shortest duration. The other two improve your consistent mobility, but can’t be cast on other players.
- Chi Wave is a basic chain heal type ability. 5.2 boosted the damage by quite a bit and removed the cost. It does a decent amount of healing and is the most generally useful ability in this tier at this time, especially when fighting one opponent.
- Zen Sphere summons a sphere that periodically heals the target and damages a nearby enemy. Zen Sphere can be detonated early for a small burst of AoE healing. Buffed in 5.4.
- Chi Burst is best used for healing a stacked up raid. Buffed in 5.4.
At lower levels of Haste go with Power Strikes, at high levels Ascension wins out. Chi Brew can help when loading up your Brew stacks and Chi for that next burst.
- Power Strikes causes our Jab to generate an additional 1 Chi once every 20 seconds. Power Strikes grants the greatest overall Chi generation, but Chi Brew is a competitive option, particularly for encounters that demand burst damage. Buffed in 5.4 to proc from more abilities.
- Ascension increases your maximum Chi by 1 and also increases your Energy regen. This makes it the most generally useful of the three, especially at high levels of Haste (over 6k) though Power Strikes is even at lower Haste levels.
- Chi Brew instantly restores all of our Chi and provides two stacks of Tigereye Brew
- Ring of Peace is new for 5.2 and changed in 5.4. It looks like it’s greatest use is for PvP or for tanks, though you, being in the thick of the fight, could certainly use it to good effect and save the tank a fair amount of damage. It disarms the opposition (they will do less damage) and silences casters.
- Charging Ox Wave stuns all targets in its path up to 30 yards away. A decent option for stunning targets you need to catch up to.
- Leg Sweep stuns all enemies within a 5 yard radius. This is usually be the best choice for dealing with groups of trash mobs.
Your choice from this tier should be based on the encounter you’re currently facing.
- Healing Elixirs adds a small heal to our use of Brew/Tea abilities. A useful healing ability given how often it’ll trigger.
- Dampen Harm is fairly potent when you need to endure a damage spike. Use Diffuse Magic instead, if you’re looking at a lot of magic damage.
- Diffuse Magic will be a very helpful damage mitigation cooldown on fights with heavy magic damage.
Healing Elixir offers consistent healing, but is inferior to Dampen Harm and Diffuse Magic when dealing with heavy burst damage. Either of the two damage mitigation cooldowns is useful depending on the type of damage you’re taking.
- Rushing Jade Wind provides an AoE damage increase and replaces your Spinning Crane Kick. This is the pick for fighting groups.
- Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger provides optimal DPS in most situations and is the overall best choice at this time.
- Chi Torpedo is inferior to the other two options at this time.
Windwalker Monk Glyphs
Glyphs, like talents, are easily changed depending on the situation. Grab any that look like they might be interesting. (See our gold pages if the price is a bit high.) There aren’t really any required glyphs, but there are several that are quite useful in particular situations. Once you know the fights you’ll be able to pick and choose as necessary.
Not necessarily in order of preference:
- Glyph of Touch of Death – No chi cost, longer cooldown, nice for zapping adds.
- Glyph of Touch of Karma – Now with New! Improved! 20 yd range!
- Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick - Move at full speed while spinning, Useful for A of E fights, not so much for single target.
- Glyph of Retreat – Lower threat while rolling/torpedoing. Threat shouldn’t be an issue if your tank is any good at all.
- Glyph of Fists of Fury – Higher parry chance.
- Glyph of Fortifying Brew – A bit more damage reduction at the cost of a bit less healing.
- Glyph of Transcendence – More range for your transcendence. Might be useful at times.
- Glyph of Paralysis - removed damage over time effects from the target, allowing your Paralysis to stick. Has the occasional use.
- Glyph of Blackout Kick – More damage, but you lose the healing.
- Glyph of Zen Flight – Fly about on a meditative cloud.
- Glyph of Water Roll – Roll over water.
Windwalker Monk Stat Priorities
- Primary Stats: Agility
- Secondary: Hit and Expertise to 7.5% each > Haste > Critical > Mastery
- Useless: excess Hit and Expertise
Haste, Crit, and Mastery are pretty close in value to each other. Haste will give you faster energy regen, as well as casting. Crit and Mastery will give you more damage. You do not want to cap Energy (as it’s then wasted) so you will want to limit Haste to somewhere around 6 to 8k, depending on how you do things.
Crit scales well and syncs well with various of your abilities.
Mastery – after getting your 6 to 8k Haste you should put as much of the remaining points in Crit as you can, but If you’re awesome enough to get the trinket Rune of Reorigination you should know that Mastery becomes more valuable. If you have it then make sure that Mastery is the highest of the three stats, even if only by 1 point, unbuffed. (Mastery stacks up your Tigereye Brew faster, for more bursts. It does nothing for your damage outside of that burst. )
Reforge to get your Hit and Expertise to 7.5%, then to around 6k Haste. After that go for Crit, but see the Mastery note above.
In-Depth Rotation Guide
As mentioned at the top of the page this rotation assumes that you’re level 90. (well, you are raiding, right?) Just in case you still need to get leveled, go here.
You should always use Stance of the Fierce Tiger.
- Jab is your default Chi building attack.
- Use Expel Harm when you’re able to benefit from the self-heal. The damage that Expel Harm deals is based off the amount you’re healed for, which is why it’s only practical to use when the healing is necessary.
- Use Rising Sun Kick on cooldown. This applies and maintains the debuff, increasing the damage your abilities deal to the target.
- Tiger Palm should be used as often as is necessary to maintain 3 stacks of the Tiger Power buff.
- Use Blackout Kick or Tiger Palm when Mastery: Combo Breaker triggers. Note that when the effect triggers you’ll be granted either a free Blackout Kick OR Tiger Palm not both or a choice of either one, meaning you’ll simply have to use whichever ability is available.
- Fists of Fury should be used on cooldown.
- Blackout Kick is a filler attack to expend excess Chi when not needed for other abilities.
- Against a small group of targets, continue your single target rotation.
- When facing 4 or more enemies, maintain the Rising Sun Kick debuff on all targets and use Spinning Crane Kick.
- Use Energizing Brew on cooldown so long as the energy generated won’t be wasted. Try to be below 35-40 energy when triggering this ability.
- Use Tigereye Brew when you have 10 stacks of the buff. You gain a stack of Tigereye Brew each time you expend 4 Chi.
- Touch of Death should be used as often as possible, although the damage window in which it’s available makes it difficult to use on bosses.
- Fortifying Brew is a decent survivability cooldown for when you’re taking heavy damage.
- Touch of Karma allows you to redirect all damage taken to your target for a short period of time, up to a maximum of damage equal to your total health. This acts as both a damage avoidance and DPS increase cooldown.
- While Zen Meditation doesn’t increase your damage, it can be used to great effect as a raid survivability/damage mitigation tool if necessary.
Tier 3 Talent Abilities
- Power Strikes is a passive increase to Chi generation.
- Chi Brew is best used as often as possible so long as you have 0 Chi and can therefore obtain full benefit. If an encounter demands burst damage at specific times or has phases in which you deal increased damage for a period of time, use it then for optimal effect.
- Ascension is a passive increase to maximum Chi.
Tier 6 Talent Abilities
- Rushing Jade Wind is best used for AoE damage.
- Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger should be cast as many times as possible for maximum DPS.
Windwalker Monk Gems
The secondary gems have twice the value of primary gems (320 Haste Vs 160 Ag.) It’s worthwhile to match socket bonuses, especially if they are for Agility. If you want to match a socket bonus the you can use an Orange gem in a yellow slow, and purples in the blue slots. If you’re short on gold then see our guide.
Your Leather bonus adds to any Ag. gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Agility. That bonus does not add to other stats.
Make sure you have your Hit and Expertise first, 7.5% each. Then gem for Haste until your energy regen is around 12.5. After that go for Crit. Some Hit/Exp gems are shown in case you need those last few points.
Gemming for Haste:
- Red & Prismatic sockets (such as belt buckles:) Delicate Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Quick Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Glinting Imperial Amethyst – If you need the hit, otherwise skip the bonus and put one of the other two (above) gems into the slot.
- Meta: Capacitive Primal Diamond if you are able to do the quests, otherwise Agile Primal Diamond
- Belt buckle and Blacksmithing slots: Delicate Primordial Ruby
|Meta||Capacitive Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Agile Primal Diamond: 216 Agil & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility
Precise Primordial Ruby: 320 Expertise
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: 320 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: 320 Mastery
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: 320 Crit
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit|
|Orange||Deadly Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Crit
Adept Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Mastery
Crafty Vermilion Onyx: 160 Expertise, 160 Crit
Deft Vermilion Onyx: 80 Agility, 160 Haste
|Purple||Glinting Imperial Amethyst: 80 Ag, 160 Hit
Accurate Imperial Amethyst: 160 Expertise, 160 Hit
|Prismatic||Delicate Primordial Ruby: 160 Agility|
|Cogwheel||Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit – requires an engie helm, such as this.
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Enchantments for Windwalker Monks
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants all come from the Inscription profession.
Short on gold? Most of the enchants below have similar enchants available, of lesser value, for less cash. Check with the rep vendor or the Auction House for these. If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about improving your situation.
Boots and Cloak both have Hit enchants if you still need that stat.
|Ranged Weapon||Not applicable|
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Dancing Steel: Sometimes add 1,650 Ag when striking.|
|Shoulders||Secret Tiger Claw Inscription 520 Ag, 100 Crit, requires Inscription 575
Greater Tiger Claw Inscription: 200 Agility, 100 Crit
|Cloak||Swordguard Embroidery: Sometimes pops 4k AP for 15 sec. Requires Tailoring.
Enchant Cloak – Accuracy: 180 Hit rating
Enchant Cloak – Superior Critical Strike: 180 Crit rating
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: 80 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Fur Lining, Agility: 500 Agility, requires Leatherworking.
Enchant Bracer – Greater Agility: 180 Agility
Socket Bracer: Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice Agility gem.
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: 170 Haste
Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: 170 Mastery
Socket Gloves – Self only, Blacksmithing, pop in a nice gem.
|Belt||Living Steel Belt Buckle: put a nice gem into this slot.|
|Leggings||Shadowleather Leg Armor: 285 Agility & 165 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Blurred Speed: 140 Agility and Slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Precision: 170 Hit
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Agility: 160 Agility, Requires Enchanting 550|
Comsumables for the Windwalker Monk
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour. Any Agility bonuses also add to the food and chemical bonuses. Alchemists will get about 30% more in stats and an extra hour in duration from flasks and elixirs.
Food buffs go away when you’re killed, flasks do not. Your agility flask is better than any pair of elixirs.
- Flask of Spring Blossoms: 1,000 Ag for one hour
- Virmen’s Bite: 4k Ag for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 120k HP
- Darkwater potion, for an extra movement burst.
- Runescroll of Fortitude III: 8% increased Stamina to your entire group.
Professions for Windwalkers
All of the professions provide some benefit for any class/spec, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by using those to build a larger gold stash. (Note the big Haste buff from Herbalism.)
Most of the professions add an average of about 320 Agility. Since gems with secondary stats are twice the value of those with primary stats (320 Haste Vs 160 Agility, for example) Blacksmithing might be the most valuable profession if you’re just looking for the buffs, especially if you need a bit more Haste.
Note that Jewelcrafting provides only 320 in any stat over non JC gems.
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 4k Attack Power for 15 seconds.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 Ag.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total 320 Ag gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Ag and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Ag and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Ag by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket the two gems for 640 Haste instead of 320 Ag.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds.|
Race Choices for the Windwalker Monk
Worgen and Goblins are the only races which cannot become Monks. The most that any particular race will provide in term of DPS is maybe 1% overall, not enough to care a lot about. Still, if you want every bit of burning power for your flying kicks here’s how they stack up. Pandaren
- Can be either Horde or Alliance
- Better buffs from food is a nice benefit.
- Rested XP lasts longer, for faster leveling.
- Melee range stun will have use on trash mobs and occasional bosses.
- Take less falling damage, but that probably more useful in PvP than in raids.
- Diplomacy skills make rep gains less grinding
- Escape ability will have occasional use
- Mace or Sword expertise will help you get to that 7.5% cap (if those are the best weapons available.)
- Stone form washes away some effects and reduces damage by 10%, which will have occasional use.
- Ranged weapon expertise is useless to you.
- 2% Dodge is a sometimes useful stat, but more for Brewmasters than you.
- Shadowmeld is perfect for those times when the opposition ignores the tank and comes running towards you.
- Expertise with swords is useful if those are the best weapons available.
- Your Escape will find occasional use.
- +1% Hit is nice and makes end-game gearing a bit easier and you don’t have to have any particular item equipped to get it.
- The self-heal is always useful
- Blood Fury is very nice for those times when you need a bit of extra smash. Put it in a macro with your openers or other “it’s burst time” abilities/items.
- Expertise with axes and fist weapons is useful if those are the best weapons available.
- Resistance to stun effects will only be rarely useful
- Berserk is very nice for those times when you need the burst.
- Increased damage Vs beasts will be helpful vs some types of trash.
- Ranged weapon expertise is useless to you.
- The ability to remove fear and other effects is occasionally useful.
- Touch of the Grave is a small DPS add and also heals you for the same amount that it drains.
Tauren – My mind boggles at Taurens doing spinning kicks.
- Additional Stam doesn’t scale well at very high levels, but is still nice.
- War stomp will have definite use.
- Arcane Torrent will silence casters, which is situationally useful.
The Fast Monk Leveling Guide
Now we have the new Monk class, 90 levels, thousands of quests, and a bazillion mobs to kill. Whether or not you’re playing a Monk that’s a daunting task.
Here’s how to make it easy: Now you have a guide which sits in-game, in a small window, and shows you step-by-step where to go, what to do, and everything you need to know to make leveling easier. Dugi’s Guide shows you the best and fastest path to complete those quests and get yourself to the top levels ASAP.
Want to get a level, or several levels, in the dungeons or in PvP? No problem. Dugi’s will remember where you left off and then it will figure out where you should be at your new level and pick up from there.
Brand new to WoW? Decked head to toe in Heirlooms? Mixing up questing with PvP and/or dungeons? No problem, Dugi has your back all the way from level 1 to the level cap, or whichever level you start from. Dugi’s in-game guide is always quickly updated for all patches and expansions, so it’s never obsolete.
Grab yours here and get leveled fast.