I will not read any private messages off of Arenajunkies, if you need to message me, do so by commenting on this guide and I will read and respond to it.
Note: After WoD releases I will update the sections in blue that I am unable to update right now.
WoD) What's New What's Gone?
0.0) Additional Help UPDATED
1.0) Introduction UPDATED
1.1) Streaming UPDATED
1.2) Abilities UPDATED
1.3) Races UPDATED
1.4) Glyphs UPDATED
1.5) Talents UPDATED
1.6) Gemming & Enchanting UPDATED
1.8) Professions UPDATED
1.9) Armories UPDATED
2.0) Keybindings UPDATED
2.1) Class Synergy
2.2) Monk Comps UPDATED
2.3) Macros UPDATED
2.4) Addons UPDATED
2.5) Monk Streams UPDATED
2.6) Rated Battlegrounds
If there is something I forgot to include in the guide or something I explained poorly feel free to whisper me in game and I'll answer your question, if I don't I'm either in a game and didn't see or afk, if I don't and you have to go you can just send a mail or try when I'm out or not afk.
Server: Thorium Brotherhood
Character Name: Balance
Hello there! My name is Steve, in game I am known as Balance, Steve, or Steven. I made this guide for Windwalker monks in 5.3 and 5.4, 5.4.7, and now 6.0! I will continue to update this guide as needed and as I am able to do so. My PvP history dates back to BC where I was a clicking feral druid at the age of 11. I clicked up to Cataclysm where I re-rolled Resto shaman and keybound things which lead to my greatest success of the expansion at a peak rating of 2000! Then MoP came around and I am now considered a "MoP Hero" so to speak.
S12 - Arenas with friends ranging from 2-2.2k MMR,
S13 - Ranked 10th in the Vengeance battlegroup playing WW, Ele, Disc and achieving the prestigious title of R1 Duelist.
S14 - Achieved my first gladiator title and my first R1 title playing WW, Shadow, Resto.
S15 - Achieved R1 on 3 different monks with a peak rating of 3041 mainly playing WW, Destro, Resto combined with some WW, Affl, Resto.
Here you can click on my character to be taken to it's armory.
I sometimes stream World PvP, RBGs, BGs, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, and anything in between. You can follow me at twitch.tv/balancerexxar
Rising Sun Kick
Fists of Fury
These are your primary damaging abilities. You use jab and expel harm to build Chi to use your other abilities. You use expel harm when you aren't at 100% HP or can't jab anything. You also need to keep Tiger Strikes buff up at all times. You need to use Rising Sun Kick off cooldown. Fists of Fury is situational, You may use it to peel or control. I often use it after a Leg Sweep or Ox Wave for damage and control. It can do a lot of damage when channeling with stacks of Tigereye Brew up. For an example of how to do the basic rotation, please refer to this quality video created by Blizzard themselves.
- Fists of Fury, Fists of Fury is also a high damage ability will stun any target on their first tick received, if dodged or parried it will not try to stun them again..
- Leg Sweep, Charging Ox Wave, and Ring of Peace Leg Sweep and Charging Ox Wave are just stuns which is a control, Ring of Peace is a AoE incapacitate.
- Paralysis, Paralysis is one of the best peeling abilities in the game, a ranged 4s incapacitate that can lock down classes during critical points in the game. It breaks on damage and only removes DoT effects with the glyph so be careful when using it.
- Spear Hand Strike, Spear Hand Strike isn't just an interrupt but a tool to out think your enemy. If you can successfully predict what the other play will do or won't do, it can turn the game. For example, if you are training a healer and they begin to cast, don't just throw your kick out there because they will most likely try to juke you which will lead to them getting a heal. If you can wait until the second, third, or fourth fake cast and be able to immediately kick them, you've effectively locked them out for 4 seconds in attention to all the time they wasted attempting to juke. Another thing to note about kicking is focus kicking, if you see a healer nearby, try to Tiger's Lust and run over and kick them if they are standing still, when a healer stands still they are either about to cast or are mid-cast, this will give a great chance to successfully lock them out or pre-kick them. Not only is that effective but it makes you look super cool. :duckers:
- Flying Serpent Kick, Flying Serpent Kick is an AoE 4 second 70% slow. It can be used to slow players. It is one of our high mobility cooldowns so use it wisely.
- Disable, Disable is a spammable slow & root, it is similar to how Improved Hamstring used to work, if they are slowed already when you re-apply it it will root them, you can spam this slowing a lot of people for a long amount of time. When you melee a target with disable already on them, the duration is refreshed.
- Fortifying Brew, this ability can be very useful, if you're facing a team with an execute you can use it to avoid that or just use it before taking large amounts of damage to reduce it, it's basically an Ironbark + a self Rallying Cry on a 3 minute cooldown. This ability combined with healthstone and expel harm can prevent you from having to use Karma or Diffuse magic a lot of the time.
- Detox, I use this ability just about off CD against Death Knight teams to remove their diseases. I also use to to remove rogue poisons like Crippling Poison and Paralytic Poison before stacks are high enough to stun you. The best use of it it to remove Devouring Plague against priests who play Insanity effectively stopping a major part of their burst, another game changing use is to get Wyvern Sting off your teammates so they don't have to trinket.
- Crackling Jade Lightning, this ability is mostly used for fun or to keep people from leaving combat to avoid re-stealths, drinks, etc. It also can get spell reflects from warriors.
- Nimble Brew, It is crucial that if you play a Windwalker monk you have an "out" which is a way to get out of CC to be able to use Touch of Karma or Diffuse Magic. Rotating cooldowns between your trinket and Nimble brew should allow you to always have a way to karma.
- Provoke, This is one of my favorite abilities. Most people see the taunt and think, "Oh it's just PvE." They couldn't be more wrong. Whenever I see a grounding totem down, I taunt. It is off the GCD, has no cost, and destroys it. It also keeps rogues in combat going for stealths or healers going for drinks. It also gets spell reflects and my favorite use for it is to taunt pets. Those pesky hunter pets see me taunt them and chase after me behind a pillar where I then fists of fury it to death. It can also be used to break yourself out of CC, similar to how a priest "deaths" traps, wyvern, or polymorphs, you can provoke a pet to break these CC's as well, but it can be difficult. I bolded this because it is the most underused ability by monks.
- Storm, Earth, and Fire, this is another great ability. It has few purposes outside of PvE but it is in fact useful. The primary use to to stop drinks and re-stealths from healers and rogues. By the time a rogue or healer gets it off them it's been a good long while and the re-stealth probably never got off because we stopped them ourselves. Another use it for RBG's just throw them on random targets and start using Spinning Crane Kick or Rushing Jade Wind for decent AoE damage and fantastic flag spinning. Something to note is that if you get your Rising Sun Kick debuff on another target from your clone that extra 15% damage only applies to that clone and doesn't help your own damage.
- Zen Meditation, This is a interesting ability. The mechanic that allowed spells from your team to be applied to you was removed so now it is purely a defensive ability. It can be used to prevent large hits such as Chaos Bolts, Starsurges, or other various hard hitting abilities. It can be used as a last resort if you have no other defensives, and it can be used to prevent you having to use a better cooldown that you would rather save for later.
- Transcendence, this ability is pretty standard. Put it down behind a pillar at the start of a game. Sometimes you can reverse port back to get to a target if they are near it. Be sure if you're on Blade's Edge or Dalaran Sewers Arena to have this up before chasing after someone who jumps. Make sure to keep track and have this at whatever pillar the fight is taking place mid-game.
Based off my personal opinions, I will create a spectrum of what race is best for each faction. But it without a doubt, humans are the best race for WW out of both factions.
Horde: Blood Elf > Orc > Undead > Tauren > Troll
Alliance: Human > Dwarf > Night Elf > Gnome > Draenei
Humans: Human's racial is Every Man for Himself. This ability replaces the use of the commonly used Insignias purchased with conquest. This allows a new trinket to take place of the Insignia. That means you could have a Badge instead. It probably isn't worth using PvE trinkets because when you use two PvP trinkets you gain a significant amount of resilience. This means that you need to compare a 2nd PvP trinket to the other racials of the other races to determine what is better. The Human Spirit has been redesigned. It no longer increases spirit by 3% but instead increases two secondary stats by a varying amount. As of 10/21/2014 is has not been implemented.
Night Elves: You probably know this but if you don't it's important for you to know that if you use Shadowmeld the same time another ability hits you it acts as if that ability never hit. For example, if you Shadowmeld right as a mage finishes casting Polymorph it will act as if the mage never casted it on you. This is very good to prevent being Crowd Controlled (CC). There is also Quickness which can prove to be game breaking if you dodge something like a 6 second Kidney Shot while a teammate is very low, the odds are not in your favor but miracles do happen. It also slightly increases your movement speed by 2%. Your critical strike chance is increased by 1% during the day and your haste by 1% at night.
Orc: They have several racials that benefit the monk class. The second racial is Blood Fury, which is a nice damage bonus. The third is Command which is unknown if it affects Xuen or your clones via Storm, Earth, and Fire but if it does then it is a minor overall damage bonus but a bonus nonetheless. And the last racial is Hardiness which reduces stuns by 10%.
Undead: Will of the Forsaken is the reason why many people go Undead. But since fear isn't as powerful as it was in Mists of Pandaria, Undead don't rate that high on the "best race totem pole". They also have Shadow Resistance which is decent against classes like Warlocks, Death Knights, Priests, and Rogues (with Shadow Blades up). They also have Touch of the Grave for extra damage and healing throughout the game, which is minimal but it's something. And of course Cannibalize our favorite ability to disgrace your opponent after slaying them.
Blood Elf: Blood Elves racial is Arcane Torrent and an increased critical strike chance of 1%. Although this is all they provide, Arcane Torrent is a handy ability. Not only does it provide a 2s silence it gives you a free chi which can sometimes allow you to get another RSK, Blackout Kick, or Fists of Fury without having to Jab right before. With the removal of our silence on our kick and many other blanket silences in the game, Blood Elf ranks the #1 best horde race for WW monks if you can successfully use Arcane Torrent in an effective manner.
Dwarf: Stoneform allows you the remove all diseases, poisons, and now magic effects as well as giving you a 10% damage reduction bonus. So, if you are able to use this RIGHT before you get stunned and take a lot of damage it could save you. Dwarves critical strike bonus has been increased by 2%
Gnome: So with WoD, gnomes are now a viable race for WW because they are able to get out of roots every minute and have a passive haste bonus of 1%. Although they aren't better than humans, they aren't the worst either.
Glyphs in 5.4.7 are generally the same with very few expectations. Your go-to glyphs are italicized and the ones that can be useful are normal. Also, there is no way I can tell you what to pick against everything because this post would be massive so you need to take into account what you are playing and who you are facing to decide which glyphs to take.
Glyph of Touch of Death: This is a glyph that needs to be taken against every comp you face and play with. Being able to touch of death without using Chi is very important. A lot of times a target isn't under 10% for 1-2 globals so you really have one chance to get it off and if you have to jab or expel harm 1-2 times to get the chi they are probably dead or above 10% already. I recommend this glyph all of the time.
Glyph of Touch of Karma: Since Touch of Karma is our best defensive cooldown this glyph gives it a 20 yard range. This is extremely valuable seeing how without it you'd have to be in melee range to get it off and most of the time you need to get it off there is a slow on you and you can't get to the target. Even if there is double melee training you I recommend this glyph all of the time because of how essential it is to get it off exactly when you need it.
Glyph of Paralysis: This glyph allows you to safely paralysis a target without DoT effects breaking it. Depending on what comp you're playing you may or not need this.
Glyph of Flying Fists: This glyph allows your fists of fury to have a 5 yard range. Since it is no longer part of our PvP set bonus and FoF has become a more important part of our burst, it is crucial that we are able to land this on our target and this glyph makes that easier. It has the lowest priority of all the major glyphs because of how valuable the others are.
Glyph of Freedom Roll: This glyph is very good and I will use this quite often because when we acquire full Primal gear at level 100, our glove bonus will no longer provide this same effect that the glyph provides. Therefore, our personal way to get out of slows is once every 25 seconds with Tiger's Lust. Since we do not have a way to slow our targets from afar, it is crucial that we are able to reach our target after we roll or FSK and if we are slowed coming out of those it very well may be the case where we just continue to get kited. I would highly recommend using this against teams that have many slows and can kite easily.
Zen Flight: I've died a lot from falling so this is my savior. I have it bound to "U" just because it's somewhere I can get it but not super needed.
Glyph of Blackout Kick: You should use this one just because it will be a damage increase, 20% of your blackout kick damage will also be applied as a dot. Definitely worth taking.
Tier 1 - Mobility
Celerity: This talent could potentially be used if desired. The only time it would be okay to use is if the other team has few rooting abilities. This ability combined with Chi Torpedo could be very beneficial.
Tiger's Lust: This talent is used just about every game because it is rare to find a team that doesn't have a root. And even if they don't, it wouldn't be a bad thing because it can be used to allow teammates to kite or for you to catch up to a target that isn't moving in a linear path.
Tier 2 - Healing
Chi Wave: This talent is my personal preference over the other two because I find that instant casts are always better in PvP situations. Although it does less damage than Chi Burst, it is half the cooldown and if you were to double the damage of it as if you had used it off cooldown twice, it would roughly be about the same as Chi Burst. I would recommend this all of the time but Chi Burst is NOT a bad choice at all unless you are trying to kill a very mobile target or are being trained.
Chi Burst: This talent is good in situations where you target isn't moving and you are not being attacked. It provides roughly two times more damage than Chi Wave but has twice the cooldown and has a cast time. The negatives is that if you try to use it on a moving target they can escape and if you try to use it you can be interrupted or suffer pushback increasing its cast time. Combined with 10 stacks it can hit very hard but from what I've experienced I don't one shot in this game anymore so the consistency of Chi Wave suits me better.
Tier 3 - Chi
Ascension: This talent is good because it allows faster energy regeneration and a free chi slot doesn't hurt. The problem with this is that at a start of a game where everyone has cooldowns up, your oppoents will be ready to go offensive a lot sooner than you can, but as a game progresses Ascension will become for valuable than Chi Brew.
Chi Brew: This talent is good because at the start of the game you are immediately ready to go offensive if you consume both stacks of Chi Brew. It also provides Chi which you can use when bursting if you already have 10 stacks and do not need any more before going offensive.
Tier 4 - Control
Charging Ox Wave: This talent is decent if you plan on using it for CC. Since you already have FoF, the diminishing returns of this small stun in unison with FoF make it less valuable. But it can prove quite useful if use as a ranged CC for targets you do not plan on stunning with FoF.
Leg Sweep: This talent is the one you should use just about all the time because of how effective long stuns are. There isn't much to be said about this other than that you can FoF out of this for a combined stunlock of 7 seconds which can prove very lethal.
Tier 5 - Survival
Healing Elixirs: This talent is useful when you are not facing opponents with the majority of their damage being magical. A good example of when to use this is against a composition similar to Ferals and Warriors.
Dampen Harm: This talent is useful when facing teammates with overpowered burst. Although I am not aware of any classes than possess the ability where Dampen Harm would be more beneficial over the other two options, it can be an option if the time for precaution ever presents itself.
Diffuse Magic: This talent is extremely useful and I find myself using this the most. I prefer this over Healing Elixirs a lot of the time because the thing about Healing Elixirs is that it doesn't always go off when you need it to, in other words, it isn't reliable. Diffuse Magic is, you can use it before you get stunned, when you are low, or any time you need it. I use this talent against just about any magical caster, an example would be Frost Mage, even if they are paired with a physical DPS I still use it. And it is an absolute against double magical DPS.
This tier requires you to decide what is best in your current situation and you need to judge what to take yourself. Good luck!
Tier 6 - Damage
Rushing Jade Wind: This talent is good for RBG's because of its high damage in combination with Storm, Earth, and Fire. But at level 100, our energy regeneration is not quite high enough for it to be viable, therefore I would not recommend using this until late in the expansion when our haste (energy regeneration) percentage goes with as gear scales.
Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger: This talent is can be good and bad. The tiger can do a good amount of damage and help you land a kill or break CC and end up losing you the game. Take at your own risk.
Chi Torpedo: This talent is quite useful not only for its increased distance in Roll but for the damage and healing as well. The only thing to watch our for is not to break CC when rolling.
Tier 7 - Damage
Hurricane Strike: This is the talent I run for most games, either the tooltip is bugged or the actual ability because it doesn't split damage, it just applies 100% of it to the nearest target, so as long as you are closer to your kill target than anything else the damage will go on them. Since the CD lines up with leg sweep and it does high amounts of damage I find it very good.
Chi Explosion: This talent can be used for good consistent damage and against targets with high mobility. I often take it against Resto druids in 2s but not in 3s because I find Hurricane Strike too valuable. This also allows you to have quicker stack regeneration which leads to less damage taken because of our 4 set bonus.
Serenity: This talent can be used for a large amounts of damage over 10 seconds. The reason I tend to use Hurricane Strike over Serenity is because with Serenity they can avoid all or parts of the 10 second duration where as Hurricane Strike is a quick 2 seconds and is a little harder to avoid. Serenity is also twice the cooldown so in fast games you may only get to use it once or twice compared to 3-4 Hurricane Strikes. But sometimes I take it versus comps I know I will have a lot of uptime against like Disc Priests or Shamans where they cannot easily out range it.
There are no gem sockets on PvP Gear so you won't need to worry about that as far as enchants go here they are, also you stats priority should look something like this.
Versatility > Crit + Multistrike > Haste > Mastery
If Chi Explosion then...
Versatility > Haste + Crit > Multistrike > Mastery
Weapons: Mark of the Frostwolf or Mark of Warsong (Chi Explosion)
Professions are now unusable in Arenas and RBGs, therefore I would recommend Engineering because of how good it is in world PvP and for your other available profession, take whatever you like, I personally am going with Enchanting because of how much money it makes.
I know a lot of people want to know what the absolute best way to gear, reforge, gem, talent, glyph, professions, etc. without having to go through a huge guide like this so I made this category dedicated to monks who I believe to be educated on the class and know how to personalize their monk to make it as deadly as possible. Here they are...
(Note: Some may be out of date and I cannot account for accuracy their setup)
- Venfuki @ Tichondrius
- Tornadotom @ The Forgotten Coast
- Trilltko @ Moonrunner
- Smexual @ Tichondrius
- Voltariux @ Naxxramas
- Nauree @ Blackrock
- and mine Balance @ Thorium Brotherhood
I know that everybody has their own personal keybindings and I understand that it isn't likely that anyone will change based on what I have to say here but I feel like it needs to be said.
My keybinds are bound in an effective way. I have each ability bound to a great bind that allows me to do a lot of things, get places, and pop cooldowns. I'll explain after you look at this picture.
This picture shows how all my damaging abilities are bound to my naga. This allows me to use my QWE keybinds to move and I use my right thumb to deal all my damage. The purpose of this allows me to hit all of my damaging keybinds while being able to keep up with my target by using my strafes and move forward binds. I feel like if I had those abilities on other keybinds I would have conflict with doing damage and moving.
I also have my mobility keybinds such as roll, tiger's lust, and flying serpent kick to keybinds close to my movement binds.
This allows me to keep moving accurately towards my target while using mobility keybinds so I don't end up rolling off to the side of them.
If you're new to monk try changing your keybinds to get to your mobility binds as quick as possible and have your damaging abilities not collide with being able to move.
But in the end do what is most comfortable and you'll have the most success.
Obviously some comps will do better depending on what comp you face but overall these are the comps of just queuing ladder that I think will have the most success.
Windwalker / Frost DK
Windwalker / Unholy DK
Windwalker / Shadow Priest
Windwalker / Affliction Warlock
Windwalker / Frost Mage
Windwalker / Hunter (BM slightly better)
Windwalker / Arms Warrior
Windwalker / Balance Druid
Zen Meditation Macro
/cast !Zen Meditation
- I use this macro so if I spam my keybind for Zen Med it won't cancel the channel by mistake, that is what the "!" does.
/cast [target=party1] Tiger's Lust
/cast [target=party2] Tiger's Lust
/cancelaura Stampeding Roar
/cancelaura Body and Soul
/canelaura angelic feather
/cast [target=Balance] Tiger's Lust
- These are my party sprints and my self sprint, I also have just the spell bound to shift-Y for bg's and stuff but for arena this is what you should use. Also you can't Tiger's Lust yourself when Stampeding Roar or Body and Soul is on you so if you're rooted you need to cancel them to escape.
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
- Every melee class needs one of these.
/cast [target=focus] Paralysis
- Just focus paralysis.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cast [target=focus] Spear Hand Strike
- Your basic focus kick with a cancel aura Spinning Crane Kick because in case let's say a priest Spectral Guises and you need to hit him out so you use SCK and he's out and starts to cast but you need to kick but you can't because of SCK, that's why the cancel aura is there.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cast Touch of Karma
- I died more often than I like to admit because I was spinning before I could karma (mostly on big mob pulls outside of arena) but it doesn't hurt to have it in arena. I also have cancel aura BoP on there because sometimes if you are facing a melee and caster and a paladin BoPs you, you are unable to karma and die to the caster.
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
/cast Spear Hand Strike
- Same thing as the focus one.
- I've been playing monk since they came out, I'm not 100% sure if you can still auto-attack after a paralysis but it used to happen, better safe than sorry.
#showtooltip Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cancelaura Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cancelaura Rushing Jade Wind
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
- I'd rather have a separate macro to get rid of clones than waiting for global on actual ability. Also since RJW and Xuen are on the same tree you can either cancel RJW to not break CC or move Xuen so he doesn't break CC, perfectly fine to have both in one macro.
/cast [target=party1] Detox
/cast [target=party2] Detox
- This is pretty important to avoid your team being owned by DK dots, Devouring Plague, Paralytic Poison, and Wyvern Sting.
/cast [target=focus] Storm, Earth, and Fire
- This macro allows you to throw a clone on your focus instead of having to target them just to throw a clone up.
Here are some extremely useful addons for WW monks.
ChiBar: This addon lets you have a chi bar that you can freely move around, make it bigger or smaller, vertical or horizontal, and many other options.
Nameplates Modifier: This basically adds a percentage to the default blizzard name plates. This is the most important macro WW monks can have because of how crucial it is to get Touch of Death off at the precise moment.
Everybody wants to see some WW monk PvP. Since that is hard to come by I'll link you to a couple of channels that may show some, I can't guarantee that they will but here is where you might find some. I also put mine in there in case I ever stream.