Windwalker Monk DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
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 ( Sunrise Technique) to an extremely good one ( Open Palm Strikes). 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 increases the damage of 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. Unlike several other traits, most of the value of this trait lies in its damage component, making it very good even in multiples.
Laser Matrix and 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, 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.
Dance of Chi-Ji gives you a chance, when spending Chi, to have your next Spinning Crane Kick not cost Chi and deal significantly increased damage. Although this effect is not the best for single target, it is very powerful for AoE. Keep in mind it gets significantly weaker in multiples, as the free cast does not benefit from it. This is on a 2 procs per minute system, modified by Haste. Currently, there is a bug which prevents your Storm, Earth, and Fire clones from benefiting from Dance of Chi-Ji.
Fury of Xuen gives you a stacking buff whenever you trigger Mastery: Combo Strikes. Using Fists of Fury has a 1.5% chance per stack to consume them, summon Xuen, the White Tiger, and grant you a Haste increase for 8 seconds. Despite the tooltip showing a 2% chance per stack, it is actually 1.5%. The Haste buff stacks with multiple traits but the Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger part does not, making this trait significantly weaker in multiples.
Glory of the Dawn grants Rising Sun Kick a 25% chance to hit a second time for additional damage, restoring 1 Chi. Having access to one of this trait is a strong asset, in multiples you do not gain additional value from the restored Chi.
These are the generic Outer Ring traits, although they are not listed by order of power.
- Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
- Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
- 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 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 gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
- Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
- 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 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 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 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 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 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 gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
- 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 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 one 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 will only benefit your single target output while traits that give you primary or secondary stats, such as Earthlink, will retain full value on Multi Target. Additionally, not only is a trait like 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
- On My Way passively increases your Versatility and Speed.
- Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
- Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
- 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.
- Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
- 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 requires you to be crowd controlled, whereas 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. On the other hand, if you mostly do solo content, 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 causes Fortifying Brew to heal you every second that it is active.
- Sweep the Leg slows targets hit by Leg Sweep, and grants you a boost of speed for 6 seconds.
- Exit Strategy grants you significant Avoidance when you use Roll.
- Azerite Fortification heals you when you are stunned, immobilized, or knocked back.
- 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 causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.
- Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
- Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 12 yards of you.
- 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.
Additionally, many traits have two separate effects, one that benefits from multiple traits, and one that does not. When that is the case, it is said in the trait descriptions. Because of that, some traits lose a lot of value when in multiples ( Dance of Chi-Ji, Glory of the Dawn, Fury of Xuen) while others do not get any diminishing returns (or barely for instance with Open Palm Strikes). Keep this in mind when chosing your Azerite Traits.
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.
3.1.2. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc.)
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.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated with 8.1 changes, adding 4 new traits and removing 3 old ones.
- 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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