Windwalker Monk Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems and priorities

by on September 25, 2012

Rising Sun Kick! Yes, as a Windwalker Monk in Mists of Pandaria, your major challenge may well be stopping yourself from shouting out the names of your abilities in a kung fu movie stylee. We can’t really help you with that – but we can help you understand your new class from level 1 to level 90, including your stat weights, reforging and gems, glyphs, talent choices, and of course ability rotations from the starting zone to the end of MoP, now updated for WoW Patch 5.4. Let’s get going!

Updated 17th September 2013 for World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Windwalker changes in Patch 5.4

No major changes.

DPSing with a Windwalker Monk

Windwalker Monks operate a lot like Rogues – they have two resources, Energy and Chi. Energy regenerates automatically, and you use Energy to power abilities which then generate Chi. Chi stacks up to 4, and in turn powers your more powerful abilities.

Single-target DPS as a Windwalker Monk

The key here is to avoid the debuff from Rising Sun Kick dropping off your target. Delay other Chi-using abilities if necessary to make sure it stays up.

Open by using Tiger Palm to get the buff running.

  • Top Priority If Rising Sun Kick is available, use it.
  • Second Priority If Tiger Power is about to expire, use Tiger Palm. If Fists of Fury is available, use Fists of Fury.
  • Third Priority If you have a free Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick (they’ll be lit up), use them. If you have 4 Chi, use Blackout Kick.
  • Fourth Priority If you have taken more than half your health in damage, use Expel Harm. Otherwise, use Jab. If you can’t use Jab, use Flying Serpent Kick.

AoE As A Windwalker Monk

Use Storm, Earth and Fire as soon as you’re fighting more than one foe.

Against less than 4 foes, use your single-target rotation.

Against more than 4 foes, keep Tiger Power up, use Rising Sun Kick on cooldown and spam Spinning Crane Kick.


  • Tigereye Brew Use whenever you reach 10 stacks of Tigereye Brew.
  • Energizing Brew Use as often as possible when you have low energy.
  • Touch of Death Use whenever possible.
  • Spear Hand Strike Spell interrupt and silence on a short cooldown.
  • Nimble Brew Cancels stuns, fears and slows.


Make sure to cast Legacy of The Emperor or Legacy of the White Tiger if there’s a Paladin or Druid casting Blessing of Kings or Mark of the Wild. Stay in Stance of the Fierce Tiger

Leveling as a Windwalker Monk

Windwalker is the recommended spec for questing as a Monk. Here’s how it changes through the levels:

  • 1-20: By level 20, you’ll already have most of your core abilities. You won’t have Rising Sun Kick yet, and you don’t need to watch for free Tiger Palms or Blackout Kicks. You also won’t have Expel Harm or Spinning Crane Kick.
  • 26-45: At 26, you gain Expel Harm – use it as above.
  • 46-54: You get Spinning Crane Kick, making AoE DPS easier
  • 55-79: You gain Rising Sun Kick, and will need to maintain its debuff.
  • 80-90: You gain your mastery, and will need to watch for free Tiger Palms and Blackout Kicks. Your basic rotation is identical from here to endgame.

Windwalker Monk Talent Choices

Here’s a basic, general-purpose recommendation for talents – however, once you’re comfortable with your Windwalker, you should definitely experiment with other talent options to find your personal preference.

  • Tier 1: Tiger’s Lust: speed cooldown.
  • Tier 2: Chi Wave – gives you a group or self heal.
  • Tier 3: Chi Brew – restores Chi
  • Tier 4: Leg Sweep – AOE stun
  • Tier 5: Diffuse Magic – gives you a powerful cooldown against magic damage.
  • Tier 6: Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger – gives you a powerful DPS cooldown.

Stats, reforging and gemming for Windwalker Monks

Agility is a Windwalker’s most important stat, followed by Hit and Expertise to the 7.5% / 2550 rating cap, then Haste, Crit and Mastery in that order.

Reforging: Reforge to Hit first, then Expertise, then Haste. Reforge out of Hit and Expertise above the cap, then Mastery, then Crit.
Gems: Delicate (Agility) gems in Red slots, Deft (Agi/Haste) in Yellow slots and Glinting (Agi/Hit) in Blue slots.
Meta Gem: Agile meta gems.

Windwalker Monk Glyphs

Glyphs are a very personal choice in MoP – there aren’t many automatic must-haves. Having said that, here’s a good selection:

Major: Glyph of Touch of Karma, Glyph of Touch of Death and Glyph of Zen Meditation.
Minor: Glyph of Blackout Kick plus two more of your choice.

Windwalker Monk Enchantments

Use whichever enchantment works better with your level of reforging – in other words, don’t use Hit enchants if you’re over hit cap already! If a profession enchant gives you useful stats, it’s probably better than the equivalent generic enchant.

  • Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
  • Cloak – Accuracy
  • Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Bracers – Greater Agility
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Gloves – Greater Haste
  • Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
  • Boots – Blurred Speed
  • Weapon – Dancing Steel

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

JP December 4, 2012 at 12:59 am

Glyph of Blackout Kick is mandatory for dps. It’s a minor glyph.


Hugh Hancock December 4, 2012 at 10:09 am

Good catch – thanks.


Denny January 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Any suggestions as to how I go about beating the Master Yong???


R May 23, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I’d recommend a few changes although what you’ve written above is close enough to accurate that you might not want to bother. Not at my computer to confirm but I think these points are accurate.

* Ascension is generally the better talent in that tier to take for the energy regen and, less importantly, the extra Chi point bank. Power Strikes is more for leveling/soloing where you’ll have time to regen energy at a slower speed between fights.

* That 5th Chi from Ascension also makes your “Blackout Kick at 4 Chi” statement correct, otherwise you’d want to hit Blackout Kick at 3+ Chi, otherwise hitting Jab with 3 Chi would waste one. With Ascension, there’s no waste.

* No mention of one of the greatest cooldowns in the game, Touch of Karma? FANTASTIC for periods of anticipated damage &/or “oh crap, just pulled aggro and I’m not on my hunter/rogue/priest/’lock/(etc)/Nelf” &/or “alright, I know there’s supposed to be a clear spot in this maze somewhere but I’m just not seeing it…” moments. The damage it does is a nice perk if it actually happens, that isn’t something I’ve ever paid attention to, I use it defensively on pretty much every fight, any damage it causes is just a bonus.

* SEF sucks. I could do an entire comment on it but I think just this basic fact is worth mentioning in the guide. “Use Earth Storm and Fire as soon as you’re fighting more than one foe that will live for a while. Note, however, that SEF is a festering, sucking wound of “WTF Blizz?” re-design necessity.” Something like that, but perhaps a bit less subtle to make sure the point gets across. If someone tries using SEF and finds that it sucks, the fault lies with the ability itself, not with the player.


Hugh Hancock June 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Thanks for these comments! I’ll take a look, particularly at Touch Of Karma.


Joe Soydan June 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

As a 510 WW Monk I find that fists of fury becomes utterly useless. At a certain item level, say 490+ you should just drop it. Your dps rotation along with auto attacks pumps out much more damage. Also taking into consideration ToT has an abundance of mobile boss fights, which makes fists suffer even more.


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