Cleave; SEF, FoF, CX and you

In Warlords of Draenor by Babylonius

A popular question, and a difficult one to convey the answer to, is how to use Fist of Fury,  Chi Explosion, or  Storm, Earth, and Fire, or how they work. These are complicated answers.

I’ve done my best to explain how  Fists of Fury and  Chi Explosion‘s damage works, how its split among many targets, and how the math works, in my Windwalker FAQ.

As to using  Storm, Earth, and Fire, I’ll try to explain as best I can.

When to use it

Storm, Earth, and Fire is a pretty straight forward spell to set up. Simply cast it on the target you want, and a clone will fly out from your character and attack that target. Want that clone to stop attacking it? Just cast it on the target again, or cancel the aura, and it will come right back. You can use it whenever you have a second or third target that you want to pump extra damage into, provided those targets will be alive around 8 seconds, unless you’re using  Chi Burst then it falls to about 3 seconds including a  Chi Burst cast.

When to NOT use it

Do not use it if you will be attacking the same enemy as your clone. Your clone will stop copying attacks so you’ll just be doing the reduced damage.

How to use it

As of Warlords of Draenor,  Storm, Earth, and Fire is off the global cooldown, so it does not interfere with other abilities beyond taking your attention and mouse clicks. Many people (myself included) use mouseover macros such as:

#showtooltip Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cast [target=mouseover] Storm, Earth, and Fire; Storm, Earth, and Fire

#showtooltip Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cancelaura Storm, Earth, and Fire

You can also use a targeting macro like:

#showtooltip Storm, Earth, and Fire
/cast [target=targetnamehere] Storm, Earth, and Fire; Storm, Earth, and Fire

All of these serve to use it with as few button presses as possible. It is highly recommended that you use an addon or this weakaura to track where your clones are and what they’re doing. The weakaura will also tell you if you’re targeting the same target as a clone, which is bad.

What it does

Each clone you send out will copy the spells that you cast. They gain and lose stats as you do, but do not receive bonuses from % damage increases like  Tigereye Brew. When you have one clone out, both you and your clone will do 70% of your normal damage, with both clones out, you and two clones will each do 55% of your normal damage. This means that one clone pushes you to 140% damage and two gives you 165%, and that’s before the cleaving effect of  Chi Explosion and  Fists of Fury explained in my FAQ.

Each clone also operates on its own  Tiger Power buff and  Rising Sun Kick  debuff. This means that once they are cast, the clone will need you to use  Tiger Palm  before it will receive the 30% armor penetration from its own attacks. You’ll have to use  Rising Sun Kick  at least once before the clone will place its own debuff on its target and anything in 8 yards to gain the damage increase from that, this includes your main target if you want the clone(s) to get 20% increased cleave damage to it. Recalling a clone, or it dying, and sending it back out will require you to refresh the buff and debuff to regain the effect.

Clones can cast almost any spell you cast. Some exceptions:

  • Movement spells – they do not roll, they will FSK/leap to get to their target, but not when you cast it
  • Touch of Death – yeah, cause that wouldn’t be totally OP
  • Defensives – They’re on their own

Finally, clones are considered “guardians”, which is why they gain stat increases and normally wouldn’t gain % damage increases. However, they will cast their own version of TEB when you do, which means that if you cast TEB before casting SEF, they will not benefit from the % increase, only if you cast TEB after the clones are already out. This also affects their survival. Clones take 90% reduced damage from AOE sources, but have 10% your health to compensate. They deal reduced levels of threat, but will likely be killed easily if they happen to get any agro.