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Windwalker Monk Changes in War Within Alpha: April 25th

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Here come this week's Windwalker changes as well, with Blizzard detailing adjustments to Tiger Palm and Combo Strikes, as well as announcing talent tree layout changes coming with next week's build.

Blizzard LogoMonk (Source)

This week’s Alpha build brings more updates to Windwalker and we’d like to go over the underlying philosophy and reasoning for these changes. The main changes we’ll be discussing are to Tiger Palm and its damage distribution, making Combo Strikes more consistent and intuitive, and some incoming shifts to their spec tree talent layout.

Tiger Palm
Tiger Palm is the most commonly used button for Windwalker, but historically it has represented very little overall damage itself. We want Tiger Palm to remain mostly about generating Chi, but also represent a more meaningful percentage of Windwalker’s damage breakdown. Our goal is not to change rotational priorities, but to make every button press feel directlymeaningful to your overall damage.

This also helps us tackle some interesting damage profiles by increasing their priority target damage, even in AoE scenarios. We’re excited about talents like Martial Mixture for this reason, which could offer some additional support to this profile.

Combo Strikes
We’ve removed Chi Wave and Expel Harm from the list of spells that trigger Combo Strikes for Windwalker Monks in The War Within. Since these are now automatically triggered, we didn’t think it was intuitive for these to trigger Mastery. Our intent for Combo Strikes is that the main focus should be directly on the action bar and relying on direct spell casts rather than auras to determine your next spell to cast.

Alongside this, we’re making a couple adjustments to Combat Wisdom and Storm, Earth, and Fire to support these changes.

Combat Wisdom will now rebalance Chi to 2 while out of combat instead of the default depletion. We think this will help both Windwalker’s opener feel more intuitive (only one required Tiger Palm before entering cooldowns with max Chi when playing with Ordered Elements) and also improve the experience of traveling between packs in Mythic Plus or the open world.

Storm, Earth, and Fire is being added to the list of spells that triggers Combo Strikes. Our goal here is to make the transition to bursting feel as smooth as possible – both when maximizing Rising Sun Kicks with Ordered Elements and in the cases a Windwalker may choose to Storm, Earth, and Fire immediately before using other globals to set up Combo Strikes.

Windwalker Tree Talent Layout Adjustments
In next week’s Alpha build, we’re repositioning some nodes in the Windwalker tree to free up some builds we’re excited about. The main change is moving Teachings of the Monastery to Flying Serpent Kick’s location and moving Flying Serpent Kick baseline. Teachings of the Monastery is a talent we’re now considering core to the spec’s design in all scenarios, and moving it to a more centralized location frees up a talent point to increase optionality elsewhere.

Thank you very much for your testing and feedback!

And the changes from the development notes:

Blizzard LogoWindwalker (Source)

Developers’ notes: Please note that not all of the below changes will be available in Public Alpha 2, but we want to give players a full picture our next planned update for Windwalker, so we’ve opted to include all of our changes.

  • Windwalker
    • Expel Harm no longer triggers combo strikes.
    • Chi Wave no longer triggers combo strikes.
    • Combat Wisdom now balances your Chi to 2 while out of combat.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Expel Harm from the list of combo strikes triggers, we’d like to naturally smooth out Windwalker’s opener by having them start each combat with some additional Chi. This also reduces the ramp-up steps for them to get going rotationally.
    • Storm, Earth, and Fire now triggers Combo Strikes.
      • Developers’ notes: Moving forward, we’d like for Combo Strikes to not trigger from spells that aren’t intuitive to mix into your rotation or aren’t directly under your control, such as Flying Serpent Kick and Chi Wave / Expel Harm procs. Along this line of thinking, we’re also adding Storm, Earth and Fire to the list of spells that can trigger Combo Strikes. We want the initiation of cooldowns to feel as smooth as possible, and we’d like to allow for Ordered Elements to feel easier to play around (also back to back Rising Sun Kicks are fun!).
    • Ordered Elements now has a 7 sec duration (was 5).
    • Jadefire Harmony now increases damage and healing taken by 8% for its duration (was 12%).
    • Crane Vortex is now a 1 point talent and increases the radius of Spinning Crane Kick by 15%.
    • Rising Star is now a 1 point talent.
    • Vivify healing increased by 30% for Windwalker.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Expel Harm as an active button for Windwalker, we’d like Vivify to better fill the on-demand healing niche for them.
    • Skytouch no longer increases the range of Tiger Palm, now increases critical strike chance by 15% (was 50%), and its lockout duration is 30 sec (was 60).
    • Dance of Chi-Ji may now stack up to 2 times.
    • Storm, Earth, and Fire clones will now copy your Tiger’s Lust casts.
      • Developers’ notes: With the removal of Serenity in mind, we’re looking to open up counter play options for Windwalkers when their Storm, Earth, and Fire clones are crowd controlled in PvP.
    • Flying Serpent Kick is now a 30 sec cooldown (was 20).
    • Shadowboxing Tread’s extra Blackout Kicks are now 80% effective (was 100%).
    • Developers’ notes: We’re adding a tuning knob to Shadowboxing Treads so we can more easily tune Blackout Kick’s damage between single target and AoE scenarios.

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