Zen Meditation: Monk New Year resolutions

It’s that time of year again. We’ve gotten done visiting our families, we’re reflecting on how the year’s come and gone, and maybe we’re even making plans for what we’re going to do in the new year. We might’ve even told ourselves we’ll cut back on the sugar, or maybe we want to do just a bit better at work or school. Regardless, maybe those of us in the Monk community could make a few resolutions for ourselves. We’re a pretty diverse bunch, so it might make more sense for us to just decide on three good ones.

Note that many of these are simply fun things you can do — I really don’t recommend cooking or annoying your raid members relentlessly with toys.

A Brewpup and his Christmas Keg

Just a few more good brews

When we tank, let’s provide just a few more good brews to our raid and party members. With the changes coming to Legion this shouldn’t be too hard, but perhaps we could even share with our friends? There’s a few easy ways to do this. Probably the easiest — but the most expensive — would be the Alterac Brew Pup. When the pup is right-clicked, it gives you a Mulled Alterac Brandy — an easy brew to share! While this pet is only available through the Blizzard store (and as of writing this, is on sale!), you have to admit that he (or she) is actually pretty cute — and the fact that it’s a Saint Bernard bringing you alcohol only adds to the charm.

If you just aren’t that big of a fan of Mastiff-type breeds or maybe you aren’t inclined to swipe from the Blizzard store, then maybe a quick quest in Spires of Arak to pick up the Mystery Keg might be just the trick. This quest reward does require you to have the Brewery in Spires of Arak, but using it allows you to summon a keg of brew. Otherwise, the better solution is to just do Brewfest. While it’s too late now and the ‘fest doesn’t begin again until next fall, two items make it easier than ever to share brew with friends — the Brewfest Keg Pony and the Pandaren Brewpack. The Keg Pony allows yourself or party members to right-click for some refreshing brew, or you can simply don the brewpack to toss it to party or raid members yourself!

But maybe you’d rather just go for more of an aesthetic look with your Brews? If that’s the case, then the Honorary Brewmaster Keg has you covered. It adds a keg to your back so that you can look just like Chen Stormstout — even if you’re on your Druid alt! To receive this item, simply finish the Pub Crawl achievement. Well, perhaps “simply” isn’t quite the best term here, since you’ll need to go back to Pandaria and complete several Brewmaster scenarios.

Calligraphy on Windrunner-US taking a swig of Fortifying Brew

Less fighting, more soothing

Mistweavers received big news this past year with the announced removal of fistweaving and their stances. That makes this resolution pretty straight-forward — and also, pretty easy to keep.

Nonetheless, there’s been a pretty varied reaction. While many Mistweavers are angry, many others are pretty happy about the streamlining of the class. With these mixed reactions, it may make our community a little bit less cohesive. Since we’re going to have semi-permanent Soothing Mist available, we could instead try to add this influence to our raids and parties as well? Mistweavers are the masters of zen; as the only spec that will still have access to Zen Meditation, its fully reasonable that this should be shared — especially if there are other Monks in your raid.

Become a Watcher

In other words, once the patch hits that takes this spell away from Windwalkers, Mistweavers should use the spell as often as possible. Does someone need a soaking job? Throw up a heal to trigger Soothing Mist, pop Zen Meditation, and soak away. Congratulations — you’re not only still healing, but you’re also filling an awesome niche by soaking up something that might have needed to be soaked! (Note: Zen Meditation may interrupt your Soothing Mist channel; details on when a Mistweaver continues to channel Soothing Mist have changed and will likely continue to change.)

Seem a bit boring compared to the kegs that Brewmaster provides to their raids? Well, keep in mind that you can still use your fists and deal damage — it just won’t do any healing anymore, and you’ll now be targeted by ranged attacks. So during downtime, you could instead amuse raid members with your Bubble Wand, a drop from Sulfurious in Gorgrond. Just keep in mind that this item is a channeled cast if you want to macro it to spells, and might interrupt anything you may be casting at the time. Or if you just want to raise everyone’s spirits, the Cozy Bonfire may be exactly what you need. Not only does it bring that bonfire cheer, but you can also cook (likely while still channeling Soothing Mists — don’t quote me on that). This also allows you time to brew Thistle Tea for your raid. What better way to relax while fighting the hordes of demons than to have a bit of tea next to a bonfire?

DMF Fishing, courtesy of Caligraphy on US-Windrunner

Manage our… energy

Windwalkers are a pretty… energetic class. With a fast-paced playstyle, if we aren’t doing damage then we’re certainly trying to figure out why. In Hellfire Citadel, we were also one of the least played specs during progression. While we’ve certainly caught up in numbers, hardly a Windwalker could forget the tears and the benching that we dealt with during early progression.

Right now, we push our keys as hard as we can, but maybe we need to fill up some of the time that we can’t be in raid. While you could go and take a few selfies out and about with the S.E.L.F.I.E cam, perhaps you could instead do the reverse, and bomb a few? Oh, not literally — we just mean the Photo B.O.M.B. When your friends are out there making memories, you can remind them that you’re always there – you may not be a Rogue, but you don’t need stealth when you want to them to just barely notice you. Otherwise, perhaps we want to be reminded of how the Windwalker Aura was supposed to really be a gamechanger for us — then we can just put on our Ring of Broken Promises. Or, you can act as a support role — put up Nat’s Fishing Chair, and maybe get a bit of raid food for your raid members.

More seriously, we still don’t know the state of Windwalker in the next tier. Further, we’ve become far more desirable in Hellfire Citadel, which means that we we should try to bring something fun for our raids and parties as well, lest they consider bringing in a different melee. In other words, get on PTR as soon as it’s up! Practice your new rotation and play with the new mastery. As it stands, we received our Winter Veil gift early this year through the announcement of the new mastery. It will change our playstyle into something pretty different from what we have now — but presumably not too different.

As far as DPS goes, Windwalkers will remain one of the more difficult classes simply by nature of the new mastery. The best way to ensure you’ve got a raid spot is to study each encounter, and be able to play your spec like the back of your hand. So this year, let’s make the resolution to support our team, but to also be at our very best outside of the game. After all, we have far more at stake in terms of competition than Mistweavers or Brewmasters. Our balancing is far different, and as a melee, we have to illustrate that we are more valuable than other melee, and especially valuable over ranged.

mistweaver monk header

Standing united

Finally, as a class, we seem to represent many different things. However, we all still bear that jade green class color and don the same tier — so in the end, we’re all part of the same big, crazy community. This year, let’s work on uniting that. Not only do we have the Zen Meditation column where we get to talk about our favorite class every week, but we also have our forums, Twitter, and a myriad of other media. There’s even a Peak of Serenity Discord channel where you can discuss Monks, get your questions answered, and in general get in touch with more of the community.

All in all — have a wonderful new year, monks. Get some new toys, work on some achievements — but most of all, let’s look forward to a great 2016!

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