Hey, I’m J-Funk. I have been playing Windwalker Monk since MoP and have been raiding in Humble since Legion, which in SoD was US 28th. In BfA I was consistently one of the higher-rated WW Monks in M+ and have been a Windwalker Monk theorycrafter/guide maker for several years.
Windwalker Monk is a melee DPS spec that boasts some of the highest AoE burst damage in the game and has flexible cooldowns, great utility, and excellent mobility. It is not without its drawbacks as it does suffer from average to mediocre single target damage and an increasing reliance on RNG thanks to Dance of Chi-Ji. Overall, Windwalker Monk is a fun and a semi-difficult spec that has had a reliable roster slot in Shadowlands.
What has changed
Season 4 Changes
Spinning Crane Kick reduced by 5%. This is a 1-2% nerf in AoE, doesn’t really change anything and is an attempt from Blizzard to bring WW AoE more in line.
9.2.5 Windwalker Monk Changes
- Rising Sun Kick damage Increased by 20%.
- Fists of Fury damage to primary target increased by 20%.
- Blackout Kick damage increased by 20%.
- Tiger Palm damage increased by 20%.
- Fist of the White Tiger damage increased by 20%.
In patch 9.2.5, you want to use RSK on two targets over SCK.
9.2 Windwalker Monk Changes
Bonedust Brew’s (Necrolord Ability) damage and healing effectiveness have increased to 40% (was 35%), and the ability can no longer critically strike.
Bountiful Brew (Necrolord Runecarving Power) now extends the duration of Bonedust Brew if it triggers while Bonedust Brew currently afflicts a target.
The changes to Bonedust Brew and its corresponding covenant legendary - Bountiful Brew have some implications. First, with Bonedust Brew no longer being able to crit, it pushes the value of Critical Strike stat down to be more in line with Versatility for Necrolord Windwalkers. Overall, the change is roughly a ~2.5% nerf in Single Target situations, ~5% in AoE situations, and an ~8% nerf to your Bonedust Brew burst window. Secondly, Bountiful Brew procs now can extend the duration of BDB, which is a welcome change as previously the behavior was that Bountiful Brew was unable to proc if BDB was currently active. This change increases the effectiveness of this legendary by quite a bit. Overall these changes are a nerf to Necrolord Windwalker Monk, but it remains the dominant AoE covenant choice.
9.1.5 Windwalker Monk Changes
Mark of the Crane has been increased to 18% per target, but the maximum amount of stacks has been reduced to 5.
Fallen Order (Venthyr Ability) now spawns an equal amount of off-spec Adepts (was random), and Adepts now apply Mystic Touch to their targets.
Ox Adepts now throw a Fallen Brew at the Monk after spawning, granting the Monk an absorb shield for 10% of the Monk's maximum health for 8 seconds.
Tiger Adept's Tiger Palm damage increased by 200%.
Tiger Adepts now cast Spinning Crane Kick if there are more than 1 enemy within range.
While Tiger Adepts are active, the Monk and their allies gain 5% movement speed, stacking with other movement speed increasing effects such as the Monk's Windwalking.
Way of the Fae (Night Fae Conduit) effect increased by 100%.
The biggest change for Windwalker was the uncapping of Spinning Crane Kick which significantly increases our damage in M+. The Venthyr changes are largely inconsequential, and the covenant situation remains unchanged.
9.1 Windwalker Monk Changes
Fixed an issue that prevented the damage and healing of Bonedust Brew (Necrolord Ability) from critically striking.
These two changes have resulted in Necrolord becoming the new best covenant for Windwalker Monk, significantly improving the damage of Bonedust Brew.