Zen Meditation: The monk in patch 6.1
Welcome to Zen Meditation, the monk column for monks. This week, your host, Kim Holmes (@CalliMonk), will be discussing changes in patch 6.1 and how they affect all three roles.
Finally — it’s here. For the last several months, most monks (other than Mistweavers) have chosen to ignore patch 6.1 until now. New changes were added seemingly at last minute — changes that even a mulling Mistweaver or a jaded Windwalker can be excited over.
First, let’s take a look at how we’ve fared thus far in Warlords. We started out on top, but just a few weeks in, our Christmas present became very, very low damage for Windwalkers, while Mistweavers and Brewmasters continued to enjoy an existence of being very competitive with their roles. With the opening of Blackrock Foundry, many Windwalkers have been rather upset with how their damage has fared. Will 6.1 change this? Let’s discuss!
Changes for everyspec
First, a few changes will affect all of the specs.
- Chi Torpedo‘s damage has been increased by 150%, and healing by 42%. This means that Windwalkers may actually consider this talent, and it will also be one for consideration for Mistweavers. Brewmasters may consider it, though Rushing Jade Wind and Xuen will still likely continue to be better choices.
- Zen Sphere‘s detonation damage has been increased by 97%, and healing by 70%. However, its periodic damage and healing have both been reduced to compensate for this. This actually makes modeling the spell far easier, as well as making it far more usable. Previously, too early of a detonation would cause the monk to never enjoy its fullest potential. This may make it usable for survivability for all specializations.
Most changes will be far more spec-dependent, though most of our changes have been wrapped into talents.
Brewmasters, I have both good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: your PvP four-set bonus has been changed. Guard will now only affect one other player, rather than two. This is a nerf as far as 3s in arenas, or in rated battlegrounds. The other bad news: you aren’t getting buffed again.
The good news is that you aren’t getting nerfed, other than your PvP set bonus. Also, you’ll now be able to see when you have fifteen stacks of Elusive Brew. Just in case you didn’t already receive a notification, the button will now light up for you. Enjoy shiny buttons!
The bulk of changes that Mistweavers will notice is mana regeneration. Previously, spirit and mana have been rather devalued by Mistweavers, and 6.1 seems to try to change that — again.
Mana tea has been almost completely changed. Rather than 4% more mana, it will now be based upon your unbuffed spirit. This means that temporary buffs (such as trinket procs) will not cause your mana tea to restore more mana. This should also increase the actual value of mana as well. Complimentary to this change is also an adjustment to Ascension. Rather than increasing base mana, it will now increase your base spirit. So, in 6.1, Ascension will still not be the best talent, in that it will still affect how much (or little) mana is returned by your mana tea.
The changes to your mana tea will, however, still affect your playstyle. It’s very likely that Rushing Jade Wind will no longer be a go-to for level 90. Rather, Chi Torpedo’s buff will likely make it more desirable for that tier — it would likely be used in many of the same instances that you are already using Rushing Jade Wind. Thus, you will likely be trading some of your mobility for a free heal with a little bit of damage, rather than something that will turn into quite the mana strain.
Level 100 talents have also received quite the revamp — Breath of the Serpent in particular. While many Mistweavers will agree that it’s not the most useful talent, it will still be useful for anything in which your team is stacked for a long period of time. With an increase of around 50% more healing, on a Patchwerk-esque fight it will be equal to another Uplift approximately every ninety seconds. The core problem with this talent remains, however: cases in which the raid is stacked enough in order to receive full benefit from it are still rare.
Chi Explosion has also received some tuning. It will now be castable while channeling Soothing Mists — a huge win for Serpent stance, as you can now cast Soothing Mists all day without thinking about Chi Explosion. Its amount of healing has also been increased.
At the same time, however, its healing has been reduced while in Crane Stance. This is likely to compensate for another buff to Crane Stance. Rising Sun Kick will now increase your damage by 20%, up from 10%. This is a damage increase of approximately 6.7%, which translates to a 2-3% healing increase for Crane Stance. In other words, continue to compete on both meters, Craneweavers!
Rising Sun Kick changes bring us to our last but certainly not least spec: Windwalkers. The nerf has been reverted — as they say, we’re back, boys (and girls)! Just as for Mistweavers, Rising Sun Kick will now increase damage from abilities by 20% (as it did prior to being kicked into the ground by class tuning hotfixes), up from 10%. This translates to a roughly 6.7% damage increase when you are in the best gear from Blackrock Foundry. It would be more, but keep in mind that Rising Sun Kick does not affect your auto-attacks. You should still see a fairly significant increase in your current gear.
Keep in mind, too, that this change will affect Windwalkers in all areas of damage. For a quick rundown of Rising Sun Kick, it applies its debuff to everything around your target, in an 8 yard circle. This means that it increases your damage for single target, cleave, and multi-target. Additionally, it should help some of the scaling issues that Windwalkers were experiencing moving into Blackrock: Windwalker was very strong at the start of Highmaul, and then barely beating the tanks for many encounters in Blackrock.
While this change will affect all Windwalkers, most of the rest of tuning is more aimed at Windwalker in PvP, likely in hopes that we will begin to exist there (as many were forced to play as Brewmaster instead). First, our damage is increased: Hurricane Strike‘s damage is now increased by 25%. This will give us better burst for PvP, as this talent is commonly taken for it. You will likely not use Hurricane Strike outside of PvP even with this change, but that is a topic for another time! In PvE, Chi Explosion and Serenity will remain the strongest talents.
Second, PvP set bonuses have also been adjusted. Your two-set will now make Touch of Karma that much more wonderful to use. Touch of Karma‘s absorb component will now exceed 50% of your total health, similar to how it previously functioned in Mists of Pandaria (keep in mind, it was changed in Warlords to compensate for our much larger health pools, which sadly made the spell far less useful). So, you at least won’t die as soon as the arena gates open now!
Additionally, the four-set for PvP has been changed so that your Tigereye Brew will now act as a damage reducing skill as well. In addition to 6% more damage for 15 seconds per stack of brew used, it will now also give you 2% more damage reduction for 20 seconds per stack of brew used, for a total of 20% damage reduction over 20 seconds. You will still likely want to use the spell for quick burst, but given that you already want to use it early and often in the more quickly-timed PvP world, it will still give you some reduction over time.
These changes alone should more than compensate for the weak points with Windwalker in PvP. Not only has survivability been increased with set bonuses, but burst damage has also been increased with the change to Hurricane Strike. While PvE monks likely will not be able to use Hurricane Strike still, this is a very good quality-of-life change.
See you Tuesday!
While Brewmasters will be seen far less in PvP, many of these changes should be taken very positively. Mistweavers may find their mana management a tad more difficult and it seems that Crane Stance’s viability will be increased. Windwalkers will enjoy an increase in damage and PvP representation. Bring on the brews!
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.