“When the pandaren were subjugated by the mogu centuries ago, it was the monks that brought hope to a seemingly dim future. Restricted from using weapons by their slave masters, these pandaren instead focused on harnessing their chi and learning weaponless combat. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to throw off the yoke of oppression.” WorldofWarcraft.com
Monks were first introduced in Mists of Pandaria (September 2012), and have quickly become everyone’s favorite alt. They are also considered to be a hybrid class, rivaling Paladins and Druids in versatility, however they are not as popular amongst end-game raiding teams as Blizzard had hoped. Their dps and healing are overall rather weak in comparison to other classes that have been around longer. I actually believe that they appear to be weak because most players only play Monks as an alt (alternate character) to their main, and thus do not put in as much effort into being as good on a Monk as they could be.
Class info is obtained from WoWPedia.org
Available Races : [A] Dwarf, Draenei, Gnome, Human, Night Elf | [H] Blood Elf, Undead, Orc, Tauren, Troll | [N] Pandaren
Role : Melee DPS, Tank, Healer
Specializations : Windwalker (Melee), Brewmaster (Tank), Mistweaver (Healer)
Gear Type : Agility Leather (Tank/Melee) & Intellect Leather (Healer)
Resources : Energy, (Melee/Tank), Mana (Healer), & Chi (all specializations)
Useable Weapons : Fist Weapon, Staff, One-hande Sword, mace, Axe & Polearm
Levelling Speed : 10/10
Survivability : 7/10
Gameplay : 9/10
Utility : 5/10
Soloing Capability : 8/10
Transmog Options : 5/10
Overall : 7/10
Monks have definitely won my heart over in the short time I have played them. They require a lot of skill and patience to play well.
I also love the fact that you can level a monk SO quickly. Starting at level 20, monks receive a daily quest to give them a 60 minute buff to increase all experience gained. This buff can now be stacked up to 24 hours. There used to be no cap, but to even out the leveling experience for all classes, Blizzard has enforced a cap. If you are fortunate enough to have Bind on Account (BoA) gear which also increases experience gained, plus the monk daily buff, you will soar through the levels faster than anyone else. It is so rewarding!
In addition to the buff, Monks are also considered hybrids so that means you can tank heal or DPS your way to max level. This makes questing and dungeon ques go by a lot faster!
Monks survive very well during the leveling process…..at least they do up to about level 86. Around 86 I started to struggle to keep myself alive, as I often had to choose between the tank specialization to survive and do no damage, or the melee dps specialization to try and kill things before they killed me. I have read that a lot of monks easily solo encounters and do well in pvp, but I personally do not have much experience on the matter!
In fact after some research on the official Warcraft forums, it appears that a lot of players view monk survivability as excessively low in comparison to other classes. However the original posters of those threads were also met with a lot of conflicting statements, so I will let you decide for yourself.
Monks, despite their low survivability, are very fun. I am a personal fan of Brewmaster and Mistweaver due to the fact that you can summon statues to aide you in your job! I will explain more about the statues in the Utility section. For now, let’s just talk about their neat abilities, like Xuen or Spinning Crane Kick (I prefer to call it spinny-shit, but that’s just me).
Below is a photo of what I think is like the absolute best monk ability in the game…Spinny-shit! In addition to that image, I will also include what Xuen looks like when summoned. I personally love the graphic, let alone his abilities.
Unfortunately I don’t personally like a lot of the Monk utility. Outside of the statues, Monks are lacking in raid-wide utility. They have a few personal cooldowns to reduce incoming damage, but as for helping the raid as a whole, they offer very little. Legacy of the Emperor is a Monk-only buff that provides a 3% stat increase for all party members. Similar to a Druid’s Mark of the Wild or a Paladin’s Blessing of Kings.
The one ability I do like is the Brewmaster’s Black Ox Statue, which places an absorption ward around party members. For more information on Brewmaster abilities, be sure to check out this awesome guide on WoWhead.com
Mistweaver Monks have a similar ability to the Brewmaster’s statue, but instead of an Ox, it is the Jade Serpent! This statue basically replicates 25% of direct healing done to random players in the monk’s party. Pretty nifty healing ability if you ask me! Mistweaver monks also have the ability Revival, which is a raid-wide mass dispel in addition to a massive heal.
For more information about monks in general, head on over to MonkMeditation.com
Despite their low survivability, Brewmaster monks are actually extremely overpowered. With the combination of their minimal self healing and incredibly high damage due to vengeance, they are able to solo a lot of content that a lot of people wouldn’t think they can solo.
Here is a video of a Brewmaster Monk soloing Stone Guard 10-man Heroic in Mogu’shan Vaults
Monks have a lot of awesome options for transmog. But unfortunately since they are new to the game, they only have 3 tier sets to choose from, making collecting gear to transmog a lot more time consuming. I personally like how the Pandaren look in monk gear, though I have included a picture of a Human female wearing the exclusive Challenge Mode set. Since monks are leather users, they can use any non-class specific leather piece they can get their mits on. I often see monks looking like rogues.
I really enjoy the monk due to the fact that their playstyle is so different from the pre-Mists of Pandaria classes. They are definitely unique and have their own place in my heart, but I would not main switch to one any time soon. But if you are looking for a new alt, or a character you want to get to max level FAST, then I would most definitely recommend leveling a monk!