One of the key themes being presented with the new monk class is arcade brawlers, and the new windwalker specialization delivers this in spades. I spent my youth getting rocked by Sagat in Street Fighter II on the SNES and I’ve enjoyed the genre ever since. From my time on the beta with windwalkers, here’s three abilities that immediately evoke my childhood. Sorry, brewmasters and mistweavers; these abilities are only for those of us who can kick back and knuckle up.
Flying Serpent Kick Josh Myers touched on this in his earlier article on monk abilities, but remember Liu Kang’s signature flying kick from Mortal Kombat? It’s here, and it’s every bit as awesome now as it was then. Hit Flying Serpent Kick and your windwalker takes off at what appears to be epic mount speed, which lasts for several seconds (about 100 yards of travel). Click again and he lands, damaging and slowing anything in the area. This doesn’t hit overly hard, but combined with Roll, it’s amazing maneuverability around the battlefield. I used to call feral druids the fastest spec on the battlefield, but not anymore. Forget Heroic Leap; this is now my favorite ability in the game.
Fists of Fury Instead of Liu Kang, your Windwalker now calls upon E.Honda’s Hundred Hand Slap from SFII. This channeled ability, a core part of our AoE rotation, causes everything in a cone-shaped area in front of the windwalker to be stunned and take massive damage. While the positioning of this ability is still buggy on the beta (sometimes things get hit, sometimes they don’t), this ability, in combination with Tigereye Brew, enables windwalkers to lay down some major AoE damage.
Rising Sun Kick Continuing with the Street Fighter theme, this kick resembles Ryu and Ken’s nasty roundhouse which lost me several matches (I liked aerial attacks). This move will be a key part of both the single-target and AoE rotations of the windwalker, due to its ability to increase the amount of damage taken. So far, my only problem with it is its ability (combined with Fists of Fury) to rip threat off tanks, which makes me feel good as I’m dying horribly.