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World of Warcraft: Legion: Windwalker Monk guide (7.1)

Our guide-in-progress to mastering the Windwalker Monk in the latest WOW expansion.

The Windwalker Monk is the supreme martial artist, capable of harrassing his foes with a plethora of combination attacks and martial arts strikes, while using his wits and agility to stay out of harm’s way. This Windwalker Monk guide will help you get to grips with the complexities of the class and play it at a master’s level.

In Legion, Blizzard has taken steps to further ensure that each Monk spec truly lives up to its fantasy billing. For Windwalker Monks, this means they are now more incentivised to chain together several different abilities, as this increases their damage output.

In this ongoing Windwalker Monk guide, we’re going to give you some very specific suggestions on how to create a levelling build that will allow you to quest in a way that is both fun and time-efficient, ensuring you reach the new level cap nice and quickly.

For this initial version of the guide, we will be focusing on a very specific set of talents for the Windwalker specialisation, as it's the easiest and fastest to level with. But further along, we will show you how to tweak the talents to make your Windwalker Monk a force to be reckoned with in endgame content.

In future updates to this guide, you can also expect to see advice on the best gear you should be hunting for, so that you can conquer all of the challenges that Legion has lined up for you.

Update #1: While patch 7.1 didn’t bring any meaningful modifications to the Windwalker Monk specialisation, we’re updating our guide with our recommendations for upgrading the specs’ Artifact Weapon: Fists of Heavens. Our trait selection will focus on a progression that compliments our suggested talent build, but we will also offer some guides for those who want to take a different route. Finally, we will advise you on the best relics to pick and equip on your weapon.

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Windwalker Monk talents

Here's a complete list of every talent that's available to the Windwalker Monk.

LevelOption 1Option 2Option 3
15Chi Burst - A conical AoE ability that heals allies and damages enemies in a large area in front of you.Eye of the Tiger - Your Tiger Palm attacks leave a damage-over-time effect on your enemy, and a heal-over-time effect on yourself. Both last 8 seconds.Chi Wave - This ability creates an effect that bounces between you and any nearby targets, healing you and friendly players while damaging hostiles.
30Chi Torpedo - Replaces Roll with a similar effect, but covering a bigger distance and giving you a 30% speed boost for 10 seconds.Tiger’s Lust - On a 30-second cooldown, this ability removes all root and snare effects your you or a friendly target, and grants a 70% speed boost for 6 seconds.Double Time - Upgrades Roll, granting it an extra charge and reducing its cooldown by 5 seconds.
45Energizing Elixir - A 60-second cooldown ability that completely fills your Chi and Energy.Ascension - Increases your maximum Chi by 1 and accelerates your Energy regeneration by 10%.Power Strikes - Upgrades your Tiger Palm, making it generate one extra Chi every 15 seconds.
60Ring Of Peace - Places a ring around a friendly target that will knock back enemies that attack or use harmful abilities while within the ring. Lasts 8 seconds.Dizzying Kicks - Makes Blackout Kick reduce the target's movement speed by 70%.Leg Sweep - An AoE 5-second stun on a 45-second cooldown.
75Healing Elixir - Heals you for 15% or your maximum health and has 2 charges on a 15-second cooldown, and activates automatically if you go below 35% health.Diffuse Magic - An active ability on a 60-second cooldown that removes any debuff from you and places it on its caster (if possible), while at the same time reducing all magic damage taken by 60% for 6 seconds.Dampen Harm - An active ability on a 60-second cooldown that lasts for 45 seconds. During that window, the next 3 attacks that would hit you for over 15% of your maximum will have their damage reduced by 30%.
90Rushing Jade Wind - An AoE that causes moderate damage to nearby enemies over 6 seconds.Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger - Summons Xuen to assist you in combat, on a 3-minute cooldown. Xuen deals damage to your main target and splash damage to nearby enemies.Hit Combo - A passive ability that causes each successive attack that is different from the previous one to have 2% increased damage, stacking up to 8 times. The buff lasts for 10 seconds, with each new application refreshing its duration, and fades immediately once you use the same attack twice in a row.
100Chi Orbit - Passively generates an orb of energy (up to 4 orbs can be active at the same time) every 5 seconds. The orbs rotate around you until they come in contact with an enemy, at which time they explode and deal moderate damage to all nearby enemies.Whirling Dragon Punch - An active ability that deals high damage to all nearby enemies, but can only be used when Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick are on cooldown.Serenity - When triggered, this ability grants you a 40% increase in damage and healing done, as well as reducing the cooldown of your Chi spenders by 50% and making them free. It has a 90-second cooldown.

Windwalker Monk talent build

These are the particular talents we recommend picking if you want to hit the new level cap as quickly as possible. We've also provided the reasoning behind our choices, so you can make efficient use of each talent.

LevelTalentReason
15Chi Wave - This ability creates an effect that bounces between you and any nearby targets, healing you and friendly players while damaging hostiles.This is the most efficient ability in this tier, providing added survivability and damage output across most encounters.
30Double Time - Upgrades Roll, granting it an extra charge and reducing its cooldown by 5 seconds.This is a good quality-of-life improvement, allowing you to quickly escape from AoE attacks or simply get from place to place that little bit faster.
45Ascension - Increases your maximum Chi by 1 and accelerates your Energy regeneration by 10%.We’re opting for this one because it’s totally passive and always useful, while the other two are more situational.
60Leg Sweep - An AoE 5-second stun on a 45-second cooldown.No contest here, this mass stun on a very reasonable cooldown is consistently useful while leveling.
75Healing Elixir - Heals you for 15% or your maximum health and has 2 charges on a 15-second cooldown, and activates automatically if you go below 35% health.This is the clear choice for leveling, as the other two are highly situational. Besides, the safety-net component will allow you to relax a lot more.
90Rushing Jade Wind - An AoE that causes moderate damage to nearby enemies over 6 seconds.While the other two talents in this tier are arguably of greater overall quality, they don’t mesh well with the average fight length while questing. This one does.
100Chi Orbit - Passively generates an orb of energy (up to 4 orbs can be active at the same time) every 5 seconds. The orbs rotate around you until they come in contact with an enemy, at which time they explode and deal moderate damage to all nearby enemies.This talents gives you constant and consistent damage output without having to mess around with your rotation.

Windwalker Monk rotation

At the core of the Windwalker rotation is the need to generate Chi in order to fuel your most powerful attacks. You have a single tool for achieving this - Tiger Palm - which is itself fuelled by your continuously regenerating supply of Energy.

Since most of your abilities are on relatively short cooldowns, you will want to make use of them as soon as possible. This means that you will very rarely reach maximum Chi, and you should simply aim to accumulate enough of this resource to be able to use the next ability coming out of cooldown - or the most powerful of the ones that are already out of cooldown.

A final thing to consider is that Windwalker Monks have a passive ability called Mastery: Combo Strikes. This increases the damage output of your skills by a considerable amount, so long as you don’t use the same ability twice in a row. While it’s very difficult to keep this sort of combo flair up indefinitely - eventually you’ll need to use Tiger Palm twice or thrice in a row to gather Chi for one of your spenders - you should keep it in mind when going through the rotation priority.

Something that will help with this is the fact that Tiger Palm has an 8% chance to make your next Blackout Kick cost zero Chi whatsoever. This means that you can Cast Tiger Palm, then a free Blackout Kick, then another Tiger Palm to generate one extra Chi without losing your Combo Strikes bonus.

Windwalker Monk - Single target rotation

Here's a tried and tested rotation for dealing with single targets as a Windwalker Monk.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Storm, Earth and FireAt the start of the fight, OR right before using Fists of Fury (try to use one charge at start, second charge on Fists).
2.Touch of DeathIf the target is expected to live for over 10 seconds.
3.Tiger PalmBuilding up just enough Chi for your next avaliable Chi spender. Cast Blackout Kick in between if Tiger Palm made it free.
4.Fists of FuryGo back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
5.Strike of the Windlord (ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)Go back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
6.Rising Sun KickGo back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
7.Tiger PalmIf at 5 or less Chi AND Energy nearly at 100.
8.Chi WaveIf at 5 or more Chi and none of the previous Chi spenders available.
9.Blackout KickTo dump extra Chi when none of the previous Chi spenders available.
10.Repeat from Step 3

Windwalker Monk - Multiple target rotation

Something to keep in mind here is that your AoE Spinning Crane Kick ability is empowered with 50% extra damage for each unique target you managed to hit with Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick during the previous 15 seconds.

So, once you get comfortable with the rotation, practice switching between targets as you build up the Chi for the Spinning Crane Kick. Rising Sun Kick also awards this same bonus benefit, but on this particular build it’s not worth factoring into the combat rotation.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Storm, Earth and FireAt the start of the fight, OR right before using Fists of Fury (try to use one charge at start, second charge on Fists).
2.Tiger PalmBuilding up just enough Chi for your next avaliable Chi spender. Cast Blackout Kick in between if Tiger Palm made it free.
3.Fists of FuryGo back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
4.Strike of the Windlord (ability provided at Lvl 100 with your Artifact Weapon)Go back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
5.Rushing Jade WindGo back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
6.Spinning Crane KickGo back to Step 3 if this ability is available and you haven’t enough Chi.
7.Tiger PalmIf at 5 or less Chi AND Energy nearly at 100.
8.Blackout KickTo dump extra Chi when none of the previous Chi spenders available.
9.Repeat from Step 3

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Windwalker Monk Artifact and Relics

Windwalker Monks get a double Artifact Weapon, Fists of Heavens, although mercifully the upgrades apply to both. This artifact weapon grants you the Strike of the Windlord ability, which as you have seen in the previous section, becomes a central part of your rotation.

While some classes have pretty straightforward Artifact development paths, the Fists of the Heavens are quite flexible in this regard, and your speciality will differ depending on whether you start your path through the circular trait tree in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.

We’re recommending the anticlockwise route because it benefits single-target damage first, which we feel is a more versatile pursuit. Going the clockwise route nets you a decent multiple target damage increase, which is mostly useful if you intend to get to max level and head straight to Mythic+ dungeons.

Recommended Order Trait
1 Rising Winds
2 Death Art
3 Light on Your Feet
4 Fists of the Wind
5 Spiritual Focus
6 Inner Peace
7 Tornado Kicks
8 Transfer the Power
9 Tiger Claws
10 Crosswinds
11 Gale Burst
12 Power of a Thousand Cranes
13 Strength of Xuen
14 Healing Winds
15 Good Karma

Relic Choices

Your relic choices are much more streamlined than the decisions you have to make when powering up your weapon. The priority here is on increasing your artifact weapon’s item level, which will in turn increase its stats. In cases where a relic’s item level is equal or merely 5 points over your current one, prioritize the following trait:

  • Fists of the Wind
  • Rising Winds
  • Inner Peace

And thus our Windwalker Monk guide draws to a close for now, although this is only the beginning of what we have planned! You can expect a lot of refinements and updates in the coming weeks.

As always, please leave your feedback in the comments section below. Currently we are planning to include a loot / prefered stats section in the next iteration of this Monk guide, but let us know what else you would like to see and we’ll be happy to oblige!

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