Will you be a Brewmaster, a Mistweaver or a Windwalker? Nick Kolan has all the answers.
By Nick Kolan on September 17, 2012 at 11:12 am
In case you haven’t been paying any attention in the last year or so, Blizzard has another World of Warcraft expansion on the way. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria is due out in a matter of weeks (the 25th to be precise), and with it comes the introduction of the first new class since the Death Knight, and the first new class that is immediately playable regardless of your progress. The class? The Monk.
Tying in with Mists‘ whole Eastern-culture-theme, the Monk is a martial-arts expert. It’s a leather-wearing class like the Druid, even at the level cap, and also like the Druid class, the Monk is hugely flexible — able to fill almost any gap in a group.
Unlike the Druid though, the Monk can’t switch roles at will in quite the same way. And the Monk has a new resource system revolving around Chi (it’s changed a lot since its introduction at BlizzCon last year), which is earned by a few moves and spent by several others. Monks also use the energy system, unless they take on their healing role, which swaps the energy for standard mana.
The three possible talent specialization options available for the Monk are the Brewmaster, suitable for tanking, the Mistweaver, suitable for healing and the Windwalker, which is your damage-dealing option.
What the Brewmaster lacks in raw damage-mitigation, he makes up for in utility. The Brewmaster has a spammable area-of-effect slow that deals high threat and has a chance to make the enemies caught in it hurt themselves instead of whoever they’re attacking (probably you!). He also has ways to direct damage around the battlefield, and can create his own personal damage-absorbing shield. He’s still quite squishy, but passively delays a portion of incoming damage, which gives healers an extra window to keep him alive.
The Mistweaver puts a large emphasis on heal-over-time spells, and many of the Mistweaver’s spells will automatically choose their target, or jump between players. Playing a Mistweaver consists of some elements that may ring familiar to Shaman players, as Mistweavers can drop structures that heal nearby allies. Mistweavers also have quite decent damage potential, as healing stats are simultaneously converted into damage stats while in Wise Serpent stance. Mistweaver players gain all this at the cost of bursty healing and the ability to control their heals as well as a Priest might. But, Mistweavers get to drop green balls of healing power for allies to run over. So that’s pretty cool.
Windwalkers are going to be an absolute pain in PvP, as they’re extraordinarily mobile. Flying Serpent Kick, for example, sends the Monk flying forward for a surprisingly large distance. He can then hit the ground anywhere along the path, dealing damage and substantially slowing any nearby foes. The Windwalker also has ways to redirect damage, though whereas the Brewmaster is happy to direct it away from allies and towards him, the Windwalker is all about flipping that damage back on his foe.
Perhaps you’re wondering if the Monk is right for you. The best way to describe the playstyle is somewhere between the Death Knight’s methodical rune system, and the Rogue’s burst capabilities. To play a Monk effectively, you have to carefully choose how to generate and spend your Chi, as Chi is used for your core skills, and your ability to generate it is limited by your energy supply. It’s a much faster, more tactile class than what we’re used to in WoW, and leveling one up should be a good deal of fun — but 85 levels is a big gap to close to catch up to your friends.