Art of War

A brewmaster monk blog.

[Guest Post] Fists of Fury

Sunnier Note: This is a guest post from returning contributer Rotund of Something Wicked, a heroic Windwalker raider on Whisperwind-US.

Three tiers into the expansion, and players still love to argue about this one. Should I use it? Is it good? Where do I point it?

To be honest, I’m still not sure. I love to hate it. It’s an ability that is my last resort in my toolkit. To add insult to injury even after I decide to cast it, fate usually conspires against me and forces me to interrupt the channel whether it be fire under my feet, or the tank pulls the boss away from me as I stand firmly punching nothing but air. Windwalkers, more like windpunchers amirite?

All kidding aside, it’s an ability that got a lot of use in T14, and has fallen a little by the wayside as the tiers have progressed and our mastery has changed. Some windwalkers swear by it, some shun it, and there are some that just look at it and wonder whether the juice is worth the squeeze.

Actual fist size may vary.

The Golden Rules of Fists of Fury

Generally when deciding if the ability fits the situation I ask myself a few questions:

  1. Is standing still for the next 3-4 seconds going to kill me?
    This should be the first question every melee should ask themselves. I know that I ask myself this question continuously regardless of whether we are doing farm content or progression. A dead DPS does no damage, so even though you did some faster than the eye kung fu, it will be the last thing you will do if the boss decides to cleave you down in the middle of your punching.

  2. Is this going to cause me to energy cap and potentially waste energy?
    Energy is gold. Energy is precious. If you spend multiple seconds at energy cap, you are wasting a lot of future potential. If you have more than 50 energy, most likely you will cap during your channel. Whittle down your energy a little bit before you let the fists fly.

These rules are the most important and will make the most out of the ability. If you want to hack Fists of Fury further, there are some additional guidelines to follow.

The Silver Rules of Fists of Fury

These rules are a little more flexible. Breaking or bending one of them is acceptable, but violating more than one is not a good idea.

  1. Am I going to be able to finish a complete channel?
    If I spend 3 Chi on Fists of Fury, I want it to count. One of the main benefits of using Fists of Fury is that you are regenerating your energy while you are doing some damage. A complete Fists of Fury is the most efficient in terms of energy return while maintaining damage output. Breaking a channel is not the end of the world, but if you need to move to avoid damage, or the tank pulls the boss away, don’t feel bad about moving.
    Further analysis shows that even when removing energy gains from the equation, breaking a channel early can even be a DPS gain compared to a normal Jab > BOK rotation.

  2. Will my Tiger Power buff fall off before Fists of Fury completes?
    Tiger Power makes all our attacks hit harder with the exception of our T30 talents. Letting this buff fall off is not the end of the world, but your Fists of Fury will be less effective if your Tiger Power expires.

  3. Will using this ability cause me to delay a Rising Sun Kick?
    This rule also isn’t that big of a deal, but keep in mind that Rising Sun Kick maintains a debuff on your target increasing the damage taken. You can bend it, but keeping RSK on cooldown is important. What I like to do is use Fists of Fury as soon as possible after using Rising Sun Kick, just to make sure it does not clash with the next RSK in my rotation.

Embiggening the Noodle

GMO and preservative free.

Ok, so now that you know how to use Fists of Fury, should you?

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes but.

A lot of monks, (including myself) are occupied with the idea of a “haste cap” and how to take advantage of as many GCDs per minute as possible. If you don’t use Fists of Fury in your rotation, you are going to need more haste to reach your GCD cap. Even then, if you have all the haste and resources in the world, Fists of Fury is still a theoretical DPS gain in comparison to a Jab > BOK rotation; Fists of Fury even slightly beats out BOK > Jab > RSK at high levels of haste.

As you get more haste, the value of FOF goes down, because you need less filler in your rotation. While FOF becomes less valuable, it’s value does not drop below 0. If you can use Fists of Fury correctly, and you are close to the GCD cap, it’s a marginal gain to use Fists of Fury. So, how do you pick up more haste in your gear while maintaining Fists of Fury as a viable gain?

There is a theory in economics called “Enlarging the Pie.” When you have two conflicting forces, say raiders and raid spots, sometimes you don’t have enough to go around for everyone. One strategy for dealing with this problem is to enlarge the resource pool (raid spots) so that you create the most benefit. In this example, if you have 16 raiders and 10 raid spots, one way to deal with this problem is to make a 25man raid and recruit more people so that you create the most benefit.

In the case of Windwalkers, you have two things GCDs and abilities. You try to fit the most optimal ability mix into your GCDs so that you maximize your DPS. Haste is a good way to maximize your GCDs so that you can use as many abilities as possible. So what happens when you have too much haste, and Fists of Fury loses some of its value? Enlarge the pie! If I have too much haste, I can do some of the following:

  • Change your talents from Ascension to Chi Brew
  • If you are using Assurance of Consequence, swap it out for another trinket
  • Use Chi Wave/Chi Burst less often in favor of abilities that spend Chi. This will increase your damage via Tigereye Brew generation.

If you are still having haste issues with the above recommendations, you can also reforge a little haste off your gear, but keep in mind that haste has other benefits other than resource generation. It affects some RPPM effects, and your melee attack speed. In most situations, haste has a higher value than critical strike or mastery rating, use reforging as a last resort. For additional information I will include a link to my spreadsheet where I calculated the value of FOF vs. other ability combinations.


Fistier and Furiouser

There are some additional things you can do in order to get the most out of Fists of Fury as well.

Fists of Fury will snapshot any buffs that you have active the moment you cast it, so any short term trinket/enchant procs will endure through the entire channel. It’s best to pair this with a ramping agility trinket like Renataki’s Soul Charm or Ticking Ebon Detonator and try to snapshot the ability with the most agility possible. Pair this with a Tigereye Brew, and you are going to be putting out a freight train’s worth of hurt.

While it’s acceptable to use it on multiple targets, keep in mind that the damage is spread evenly across all targets, so if you need to focus on a single target you can aim to the side of the hitbox for whatever you need to focus damage on.

Since this ability also stuns everything it hits, it will also activate stun diminishing returns. Just make sure it’s okay to stun whatever you will be hitting; the Bonecrushers on Galakras are very dangerous once they are immune to stuns.

So go ahead, try it out. Go to your local training dummy and build up some calluses.