Windwalker Monk DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated on Oct 05, 2018 at 17:12 by Pandanaconda 36 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find the best Azerite trait choices for a Windwalker Monk in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.0.1. To unlock the traits, you will need the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth. Our Heart of Azeroth guide has information on how to obtain it.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Pandanaconda, one of the main theorycrafters of the spec. He is a co-founder of the Monk resource site Peak of Serenity, in charge of the Windwalker pages.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Windwalker Monk

Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.

The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait (Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite) to an extremely good one (Primal Instincts Icon Primal Instincts). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.

It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Windwalker Monk

In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline.

2.1. Outer Ring Traits

The first Ring of Azerite Traits are special effects that can be activated through Azerite items throughout Battle for Azeroth. These are all the damage-increasing options.

2.1.1. Windwalker Monk and Uldir Traits

The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.

Open Palm Strikes Icon Open Palm Strikes increases the damage of Fists of Fury Icon Fists of Fury and gives it a 5% chance to refund 1 Chi when it deals damage. It is the best trait for most single target situations, by far the best option on 2 targets and extremely strong on AoE encounters. This makes Open Palm Strikes the easiest pick when choosing between two pieces.

Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix and Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans are essentially mandatory traits to have on your gear when raiding in Uldir on any difficulty. This is because having at least one of these traits will activate Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, a passive effect that vastly increases your highest secondary stat each week. Archive of the Titans is generally the best one, but it is not very important which one you have, as long as you have at least one in Uldir.

Meridian Strikes Icon Meridian Strikes causes the cooldown of Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death to be reduced by 0.25 seconds, and its damage increased, whenever you Combo Strike. Having several occurrences of this trait only increases the damage, not the cooldown reduction. Therefore, it has very little value in multiple copies. Having one of these traits is very strong on several fight lengths, making it relevant in the Uldir raid for mythic progress.

Iron Fists Icon Iron Fists causes Fists of Fury Icon Fists of Fury to grant you Critical Strike for 10 seconds when it hits at least 3 enemies. The tooltip indicating 6 seconds is not correct. It is useless on single-target situations but extremely strong against multiple targets.

Swift Roundhouse Icon Swift Roundhouse causes Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick to increase the damage of Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick stacking twice. When using it, try to maximize its effect by only using Rising Sun Kick when you have two stacks.

Sunrise Technique Icon Sunrise Technique causes Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick to apply a debuff to the target, causing your damaging melee abilities to inflict additional Physical damage to the target.

Pressure Point Icon Pressure Point increases Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm's chance to make your next Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick free by 10%, as well as increasing Tiger Palm's damage.

2.1.2. Generic

These are the generic Outer Ring traits, although they are not listed by order of power.

  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming causes you to gain a buff for 8 seconds that transforms into a 20-second Haste buff after you cast 3 different spells while it is active.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep causes your spells to have a chance to spawn a Surging Droplet nearby, which you can collect to increase your primary stat for 18 seconds. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created instead, which increases your primary stat for twice as much as Surging Droplet's when collected.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.

2.2. Middle Ring Traits for Windwalker Monk

The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. For Windwalker Monks, these traits are on average on third the power of the Outer Ring traits, making this choice way less important in your gear decisions. Here is the list of these traits, sorted by power level.

Keep in mind traits such as Gutripper Icon Gutripper will only benefit your single target output while traits that give you primary or secondary stats, such as Earthlink Icon Earthlink, will retain full value on Multi Target. Additionally, not only is a trait like Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call the best for single target, but it benefits significantly from cleave, making this a very solid pick.

When unlocking your Middle Ring Trait, Simulations can easily help you make the best choice. However, very rarely should you pick your Azerite gear based on this tier of traits.

  1. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.
  2. Gutripper Icon Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
  3. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
  4. Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
  5. On My Way Icon On My Way passively increases your Versatility and Speed.
  6. Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
  7. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
  8. Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.
  9. Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
  10. Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed passively increases your Haste and Avoidance.

2.3. Inner Ring Traits for Windwalker Monk

This Ring will provide a variety of survival and movement tools, varying from defensive increases, to healing effects, to shields. There are some Monk-specific options, but most are shared amongst all classes.

It is worth noting several of these traits only affect you in very specific situations which most encounters do not offer. For instance, Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification requires you to be crowd controlled, whereas Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses requires at least 4 enemies to do anything. Therefore, you can easily default to the Traits that fit the type of content you encounter the most. For a raider, we would recommend traits that are useful in any raid encounter, such as Gemhide Icon Gemhide. On the other hand, if you mostly do solo content, Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance is a great pick up.

There are no ways to rank these traits as they do not directly contribute to your output, so take into account the fights and content you will use a particular Azerite piece for when unlocking this Ring.

  • Strength of Spirit Icon Strength of Spirit causes Fortifying Brew Icon Fortifying Brew to heal you every second that it is active.
  • Sweep the Leg Icon Sweep the Leg slows targets hit by Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep, and grants you a boost of speed for 6 seconds.
  • Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification heals you when you are stunned, immobilized, or knocked back.
  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses causes you to gain a moderate absorb shield when surrounded by 4 or more enemies, but can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.
  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
  • Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 20 yards of you.
  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed causes you to self-heal and gain Speed for 6 seconds whenever an enemy you damaged dies.

3. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Windwalker Monk

Below we have listed the relative strength of the most relevant Azerite Traits, as far as they are implemented in our simulation tools at the moment.

Because you can have the same trait multiple times, and because some traits can change the rotation if you stack it multiple times, we have listed the relative strength of the traits depending on how many of them you have.

We are not including different item levels of Azerite pieces, because in most situations you are going to want the highest item level piece regardless. As with any rule, there are exceptions and you should always sim your own character's traits with Raidbots to be sure.

3.1. DPS Azerite Trait Ranking for Windwalker Monk

Both of these simulations are based on Heroic Uldir gear with a good distribution of stats for the spec. Trinkets have been left out, as they can arbitrarily alter the results. As always, treat these simulations as a guideline, not a rule, and always sim your own character to be sure.

The traits listed here are mostly from the Outer Ring, or in the case of "TIER 2" marked traits, they are from the Middle Ring. The Inner Ring traits do not provide a DPS increase. Almost all your item choices should be based on the trait in the Outer Ring, as the difference between Tier 2 traits is very small.

3.1.1. Single-Target

For the complete simulation results, check out

3.1.2. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc.)

For the complete simulation results, check out

Thank you to Bloodmallet for providing the data for these Azerite traits.

4. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Windwalker Monk. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

Filter #1:
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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

5. Changelog

  • 05 Oct. 2018: Updated the template and made the Middle Ring section more accurate.
  • 03 Oct. 2018: Added Bloodmallet sims for outer ring traits.
  • 24 Aug. 2018: Updated Azerite priorities to be in line with simulation changes.
  • 15 Aug. 2018: Added an AoE segment about traits.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018: Added initial Azerite Traits page.
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