Post Prepatch Hype

In Legion by pandanaconda

Hello there! Haven’t posted in a while, allthough I have many topics I want to cover on legion windwalker and have a few posts allmost ready.
However I’ve seen a lot of confusion lately on information we gave for prepatch and how people received it. Many people added me ingame specifically to ask for openers, or came to discord for the same reason. Now that prepatch is upon us and people have had a couple days to panick and get used to the rotation, I’ll try to give some help!

Serenity and Whirling Dragon Punch

Yeah let’s deal with the big topic first. Sure, we said countless time that Whirling Dragon Punch was the way to go, that the two stacks of 15 seconds buff from SEF were too good and that serenity was not worth losing that.

However, an important bug was left in the prepatch: SEF spirits DO NOT benefit from our mastery. That’s pretty massive since stats are high: without any proc, you’re likely to have 30-40% mastery. Whenever you have the Tier 18 bonus, you can add in 10% more mastery and with the archimonde trinket that’s pretty much all day.
If you’re sitting on 45% mastery when taking tier 18 into account, then SEF is a 7% damage increase. That’s not too strong.

Clearly this is a bug, I don’t think blizzard intends our big iconic cooldown to be a dps loss as we get a large mastery proc. However, in the meantime serenity just became very good.

What about the other aspect of SEF, marking targets for spinning crane kick?
Well it turns out it isn’t as relevant either for now. In most cases, you’ll want to get a good Fists of Fury in, then if you’re specced into it WDP. Once that’s done, you’ll need to build stacks for spinning crane kick, that’s another couple seconds. Sure, you’ll get 8 stacks but by the time you use this chi most relevant things are dead. Imps, wether it is on Mannoroth or Xhul’Orac, are most likely dead.
Bosses where that AoE still shines are probably Archimonde where you can grind a LOT of damage during phase two (spread AoE, dogs tend to die slowly and there are things everywhere), maybe Shadow Lord Iskar and Mannoroth, Xhul’Orac because even with dead imps spinning crane kick will wreck the bosses.

TL;DR: as long as SEF is bugged and doesn’t benefit from mastery, I’ll advise you to make extensive use of serenity as this is the strongest option. Legendary ring is still a 100%+ damage increase, and you want to stack as many strong cooldowns as you can on it.

Openers

Here’s the question you’re probably here for. We haven’t clarified openers all that much, specially since we didn’t advise you to go for serenity.
Here’s a general serenity opener:

9 seconds prepull: pop Energizing Elixir;
1.5 seconds prepull: pop an agility potion and Chi Wave;
Pull: Land on boss with Flying Serpent Kick; this will grant a stack of hitcombo
1) Cast a RSK to get masterful strikes on your next two (important) spells
2) Touch of Death; even if this isn’t cast during ring, as long as it explodes during ring it’s fine; this will snapshot masterful strikes without using a stack
3) Pop serenity and channel a full FoF during serenity
4) Follow serenity rotation of RSK > FoF > spinning crane kick > BOK
5) As you come out of serenity, your second FoF should come off cooldown. Follow normal rotation and get a huge ring.

If you used to open with SEF, you’ll probably notice a huge difference when you switch to this – you’ll suddenly have potentially one of the strongest openers instead of a weak one.

Things worth noting:

1) You can weave in ticks of CJL to avoid breaking mastery or stack Hit Combo; however this is the type of things only Ruhye and Conjugate will do properly; I will not try and abuse that too much personally as in most cases you’ll execute it badly and lose dps as a result. Don’t overthink it.
For one thing, don’t use it ever as a filler; it comes at the cost of melee hits, and deals too low damage. It is only for the purpose of mastery and hitcombo if done perfectly at no GCD cost that this might be useful.

2) It is possible, allthough complicated, to fit two Fists of Fury into your serenity. That would require to start serenity by casting FoF first, and to have at least 60% haste. Obviously this is only really possible during Bloodlust as it wouldn’t be worth it to stack this much haste and bad trinkets just for this. During bloodlust on pull however this is more than doable: you only need 30% haste AS YOU CAST FoF to perform it.
For instance, I myself run 24% haste with one warsong enchant. On a Bloodlust pull, if I use serenity 2 or 3 seconds in, I most likely still have enough haste from my warsong stacks to get 7.5 seconds cooldown on my FoF. I still cast a RSK prior to serenity and TOD to ensure I have stacks of Tier 18 bonus up for it. I then go into serenity and instantly FoF. After that I fill with what I can out of RSK and others but make sure you get your last cast of FoF before the buff fades.
What this accomplishes is that it gives you another massively reduced cooldown on FoF. You won’t get to cast 3 during the legendary ring but will still get to cast it once more during agility potion.

What happened to RJW?

So that’s another thing I want to talk about since we didn’t speak about it much since Hit Combo got buffed.
Our single target spells got buffed, but so did RJW. How then did it move from being our best Single target talent to being never picked?
Of course, the biggest change was Hit Combo getting buffed and pushing RJW out of viability. Hit Combo is now a flat 16% damage increase you can easily keep up for the whole fight, RJW will only give you a 7-8% damage increase.
Sure, but for AoE, RJW is better still, right? Why are people not using it?
Well, as I said countless times, we have way too many AoE buttons, even without SOTW. It’s not a big surprise the one that had to be let go was the talented one. During AoE fights, if some adds spawn, you’ll first want to get that neat FoF out of the way. FoF“>Chi Burst is free, so why not; if you picked that, WDP still rocks. Then, if things are still up, you can try using spinning crane kick or RJW. One is baseline, the other one comes at the cost of 16% damage on everything that was cast prior to it. Easy choice.

We’re mostly going for serenity, during which RJW is close to useless; outside of it, it is very hard to justify RJW; it is worse on single target, and on AoE you’d rather gain 16% on the important spells.

We have too many good things to do on AoE, they take time to set up, RJW just doesn’t have much of a spot. Sure on Xhul’Orac you’ll do decent with it, the same way people did good with it on Tectus during Highmaul progression. It is a very strong talent, and designed to be so, but so is Hit Combo.

What about stats? Is my dps going to be bad if I don’t have exactly 10% versatility?

No, of course not. 10% versatility is not a generic important value, nothing mystical happens at that point. It just happens to be the point where Hinalover found that it had caught up with other stats at the gear level he was testing with his stats balancing.
What really happens is:
Crit: we have gazillions of this. It’s all over our HFC gear. When I first logged in prepatch I had 3500 or something. I managed to get it down to 2500 or soemthing, but still got way more of it than any other stat. Diminishing returns mean this is my lowest priority.
Haste: not as bad as Crit but pretty high too. It is unlikely you want much of that since you still have a ton and haste tends to have diminishing returns for us at very high amounts, specially on short fights with high bloodlust uptime. I only kept some because I was going for that double FoF in opener.
Mastery: Not so high in HFC gear, however Tier 18 bonus works as a 10% mastery increase, and its up on most spells when running SDI. So our mastery is virtually 700 points higher. You’re likely to have an “effective” 1500-2000 mastery without any efforts.
Versatility: well then, we have this lonely stat. You have some on your legendary ring, some on your belt maybe, and then? Gems, enchants, but overall unlikely to represent more than 500. With Stone of the elements you’re bumping that up a bit, sure, but it is still likely to be your best stat by a fair amount as you first log in. Wether you stop at 10% because you feel like versatility’s a bad stat for no reason, up to you. Hinalover tested with all stats on 1500, and found them to have pretty similar stats weights. When he tried to have one stat be a bit higher, it would very quickly be the worst stats weight.

Worth noting: Mark of Shadowmoon now gives a versatility buff. I run that one mainhand.

Well, this was longer than I’d have liked. I hope I didn’t lose too many readers along the way because I couldn’t make it shorter, but since was a bit of an explainations post, I wanted to avoid skipping things. If I forgot something important I wanted to say, I might edit or do another prepatch post. Prepatch isn’t as relevant as getting used to new windwalker is for most of us, and if using serenity for AOE is indeed the way to go we all want to be prepared.