Windwalker Monk DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoW MoP 5.4)

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Windwalker Monk Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Windwalker Monks in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

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

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Justmonk, one of the best Windwalker Monks in the world, who raids in Method. You can follow him on Twitter: @Justw8.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Celerity Tiger's Lust Momentum
30 Chi Wave Zen Sphere Chi Burst
45 Power Strikes Ascension Chi Brew
60 Ring of Peace Charging Ox Wave Leg Sweep
75 Healing Elixirs Dampen Harm Diffuse Magic
90 Rushing Jade Wind Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Chi Torpedo
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents offer you a choice between 3 ways of improving your mobility.

  • Celerity Icon Celerity passively increases the number of charges of Roll Icon Roll and Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo by 1, and reduces their recharge time by 5 seconds.
  • Tiger's Lust Icon Tiger's Lust removes all immobilising and movement-impairing effects from the target, and grants 70% increased movement speed for 6 seconds. It has a 30-second cooldown. It is targeted, so it can be cast on yourself or on another ally.
  • Momentum Icon Momentum passively causes each Roll Icon Roll and Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo to increase your movement speed by 25% for 10 seconds, stacking up 2 times.

While the choice of talent here is somewhat encounter-dependant, we believe that Tiger's Lust Icon Tiger's Lust is preferable in the vast majority of situations. Roll Icon Roll (which both of the other two talents in this tier improve) is mostly sufficient on its own. Tiger's Lust provides an additional movement speed burst, and the snare-removal component is also useful in some PvE situations.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 hybrid, DPS-healing abilities.

  • Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave is essentially a chain-heal that bounces to the 7 nearest targets. The bounces target friends and allies alternatively. Each target that the wave bounces to is healed or damaged, depending on their alignment. The healing portion of Chi Wave is a smart heal, in the sense that it prefers healing low health players. It has a 15-second cooldown, and it is free of cost.
  • Zen Sphere Icon Zen Sphere summons a sphere above the head of a friendly target (yourself included), which lasts for 16 seconds. Every 2 seconds, the sphere heals the target, and deals damage to the nearest enemy within 10 yards. It has a 10-second cooldown, and it is free of cost. You can have a maximum of two spheres at one time. Finally, the Zen Sphere will detonate, causing it to deal a moderate amount of damage and healing to all targets within 10 yards, whenever its target drops below 35% health, or after its duration runs out.
  • Chi Burst Icon Chi Burst heals all friendly targets, and damages all hostile targets in a 40-yard cone in front of the caster. The spell has a 30-second cooldown, a very short cast time, and it is free of cost.

Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave is used in your single-target rotation, and it provides you with a solid single-target DPS increase. In AoE situations (when hitting 3 or more targets), Chi Burst Icon Chi Burst is a better DPS increase.

Zen Sphere Icon Zen Sphere is not a viable DPS alternative.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

  • Power Strikes Icon Power Strikes passively causes Jab Icon Jab, Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3 targets), and Crackling Jade Lightning Icon Crackling Jade Lightning to generate 1 additional Chi. The effect has a 20-second internal cooldown. If you are at maximum Chi when this effect procs, a Chi sphere will spawn next to you. A Chi sphere grants you 1 Chi each time you walk through/over it, consuming the sphere in the process.
  • Ascension Icon Ascension increases your maximum Chi by 1 (from 4 to 5), your maximum mana by 15%, and your energy regeneration rate by 15%.
  • Chi Brew Icon Chi Brew instantly restores 2 Chi, and generates 2 stacks of Tigereye Brew Icon Tigereye Brew. It has a 45-second cooldown.

In the vast majority of situations, we believe that Chi Brew Icon Chi Brew will be the best choice. It is very good for moments in the fight when it is important for your raid to do a lot of burst DPS (such as to a very dangerous add).

Ascension Icon Ascension is also quite good. In addition to increasing your Chi pool by 1, which makes management easier, it also boosts your energy regeneration throughout the fight.

The only reason to take Power Strikes Icon Power Strikes is if there is a lot of regular downtime during the fight, because Power Strikes' internal 20-second cooldown would continue to tick while you are unable to attack, but this is rather rare.

It is also worth noting that Ascension Icon Ascension is ideal for AoEing, since if you are AoEing you need energy to maintain Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick (or Rushing Jade Wind Icon Rushing Jade Wind, a Tier 6 talent you are probably going to take if you are interested in AoE damage), and not Chi.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 crowd-control abilities.

  • Ring of Peace Icon Ring of Peace is an ability that can be cast on a friendly player. It creates a ring with an 8-yard radius around the player, lasting 8 seconds. When Ring of Peace is cast, enemy players who are inside this area are instantly disarmed for 4 seconds and silenced for 3 seconds. Enemies inside the area who cast spells or use any abilities other than melee attacks are disarmed for 4 seconds and silenced for 3 seconds (the disarm and silence effects both being subject to diminishing returns). This ability has a 45-second cooldown.
  • Charging Ox Wave Icon Charging Ox Wave summons an ox that stuns all enemies located in a 30-yard path in front of you for 3 seconds. It has a 30-second cooldown.
  • Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep stuns all enemies within a 5-yard radius of you for 5 seconds. It has a 45-second cooldown.

These talents have no meaningful impact on your gameplay and will not affect your performance. Therefore, you can choose them based on your own preference or the crowd-control requirements of the encounter.

That said, Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep is quite useful in certain Tier 16 raid encounters, while Ring of Peace Icon Ring of Peace can also have some fruitful situational uses in the current content tier.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 survival abilities.

  • Healing Elixirs Icon Healing Elixirs heals you for 15% of your maximum health each time you drink from a Brew or Tea. The effect has an 18-second internal cooldown, and it does not proc when you are at full health. It procs automatically when you have less than 35% health.
  • Dampen Harm Icon Dampen Harm causes the next 3 attacks against you (within 45 seconds), which deal 20% or more of your maximum health in damage, to have their damage reduced by 50%. It has a 1.5-minute cooldown.
  • Diffuse Magic Icon Diffuse Magic removes all magical debuffs from you. Additionally, for 6 seconds, it reduces all magic damage taken by 90%, and reflects all spells back to the caster.

We believe the best choice is either Diffuse Magic Icon Diffuse Magic or Dampen Harm Icon Dampen Harm.

  • Diffuse Magic Icon Diffuse Magic is mostly the best option. It will help you greatly mitigate magic damage against you (most raid damage is magic damage), as well as clear harmful debuffs from yourself.
  • Dampen Harm Icon Dampen Harm can also prove beneficial, but it will always provide a smaller damage reduction than Diffuse Magic. Despite the ambiguous wording of its tooltip, Dampen Harm does work against magic attacks as well as physical. Due to its 45-second duration, you can also use this to mitigate the damage of several large blows that are spread out over a longer period of time.

While Healing Elixirs Icon Healing Elixirs may provide substantial self-healing over the course of the fight, the fact that this healing is tied to your usage of other abilities makes it less flexible. Therefore, you will often have to either have the healing be wasted, or you will have to delay using an important ability just to benefit more from the healing.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 multiple target abilities.

  • Rushing Jade Wind Icon Rushing Jade Wind is an improvement over Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick, which it replaces. It acts exactly like Spinning Crane Kick, but it only deals 80% of its damage/healing. At the same time, it is instant, and not channeled, allowing you to continue casting spells while the spell is on-going.
  • Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Icon Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger summons a tiger that will attack your current target, and 3 other nearby enemies. The tiger persists for 45 seconds, and it can be controlled by means of a pet action bar. It has a 3-minute cooldown.
  • Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo is an improvement over Roll Icon Roll, which it replaces. It causes you to roll a short distance in front of you, dealing damage to all enemies, and healing all allies in your path.

Currently, Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Icon Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger provides the greatest single-target DPS increase of the three talents.

Rushing Jade Wind Icon Rushing Jade Wind is a better alternative than Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger if you are cleaving 3 or more targets for most of the encounter.

Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo provides a hybrid role of DPS and healing. Currently, from a DPS standpoint, it is undesirable.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

There are several Major Glyphs that are interesting for Windwalker Monks, although they do not offer anything in the way of performance improvements. We only mention those which we consider to be the most important.

  • Glyph of Touch of Karma Icon Glyph of Touch of Karma increases the range of your Touch of Karma Icon Touch of Karma ability. Touch of Karma is a very powerful survival cooldown, and this glyph allows you to use it even if there isn't an enemy in your melee range.
  • Glyph of Zen Meditation Icon Glyph of Zen Meditation allows you to move while channeling Zen Meditation Icon Zen Meditation. This is particularly useful since Zen Meditation is often used to soak damage, so having the ability to move away from the raid while Zen Meditation is active is a great benefit.
  • Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres Icon Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres causes a healing sphere to be summoned near the Monk, when their health drops below 25%. It has no cost, and it has a 30-second internal cooldown. This glyph is useful when you have a spare glyph slot, and especially so in fights where your health often drops below 25% health.
  • Glyph of Touch of Death Icon Glyph of Touch of Death removes the Chi cost of Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death, but increases its cooldown by 2 minutes. Since using Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death against a raid boss will be extremely difficult (you must cast it when the boss' health is between roughly 400,000 and 0), removing the Chi cost will make using it exactly when you want to somewhat easier.
  • Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick Icon Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick removes the movement speed penalty while channeling Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick, which makes it a viable way to perform AoE DPS while moving.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

Interestingly, there is a performance-enhancing Minor Glyph for Windwalker Monks, as well as a few Minor Glyphs that can prove beneficial in some situations.

The following glyph stands a chance to increase your DPS:

  • Glyph of Blackout Kick Icon Glyph of Blackout Kick causes Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick to act as though it was cast from behind the target (dealing an additional 20% of its damage over 4 seconds), regardless of your positioning. As a drawback, you no longer benefit from the self-healing component if you attack the target from the front. This glyph will probably have little applicability in normal situations (since you should be attacking from behind), but it can come in handy when the targets move, or when you are unable to attack targets from behind due to encounter mechanics.

Finally, Glyph of Spirit Roll Icon Glyph of Spirit Roll and Glyph of Water Roll Icon Glyph of Water Roll allow you to use Roll Icon Roll and Chi Torpedo Icon Chi Torpedo while dead, and while traveling over water respectively. They have no raid applicability, but they can prove to be very convenient.

10. Changelog↑top

  • 31 Mar. 2014: Removed an outdated mention of Glyph of Retreat.
  • 16 Oct. 2013: Updated the tier 2, 3, 4, and 6 talent discussions. Added Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres Icon Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres.
  • 11 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
    • Updated the descriptions of the talents that have been modified with the patch (minor changes, mostly).
    • Updated the relative value of Tier 3 talents.
  • 23 May 2013: Updated Ring of Peace Icon Ring of Peace description for Patch 5.3.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
  • 06 Apr. 2013: Made several updates and improvements.
    • Reworded the Tier 1 talent discussion to better emphasize the fact that Tiger's Lust Icon Tiger's Lust is usually the best choice.
    • Reworked the Tier 3 talent discussion to state that Ascension Icon Ascension is generally the best talent, and to better explain when the other two talent choices are preferable.
    • Added mention that Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep has several uses during Tier 15 raiding.
    • Fixed an error in the description of Dampen Harm Icon Dampen Harm, and a typo in the subsequent discussion. Also clarified this section a bit.
    • Added Glyph of Touch of Karma Icon Glyph of Touch of Karma and Glyph of Zen Meditation Icon Glyph of Zen Meditation.
  • 11 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.
    • Updated explanations for all Tier 2 talents to include the addition of cooldowns, and the removal of Chi costs. Also further updated the explanation of Zen Sphere Icon Zen Sphere to account for the fact that now two spheres can be active at once.
    • Removed explanation for Deadly Reach, following its removal from the game.
    • Added explanation for Ring of Peace Icon Ring of Peace, a new talent introduced in Patch 5.2.
    • Updated Healing Elixirs Icon Healing Elixirs explanation to mention that the healing provided is 15%, up from 10%.