Patch 6.2: Monk changes for Brewmasters and Windwalkers
Let’s be honest. Every monk, aside from Mistweavers, took a look at the 6.2 patch notes and went to Blizzard’s forum, Twitter, or the character deletion screen. Prior to entering my commentary on the matter, please understand that these are not necessarily final patch notes. It’s likely certain things that will change as they generate data from players testing the PTR.
But let’s be honest: Large changes like a 30% decrease in damage to your main abilities for Windwalkers or a class redesign for Brewmaster can really make the eyes glaze over, especially considering the hotfix nerfs for Windwalker that happened during early Highmaul. But again — this is an extremely early pass. Here are the current patch notes:
- Blackout Kick now deals 30% less damage.
- Provoke now has a 30 yard range (down from 40 yards).
- Tiger Palm now deals 30% less damage.
- Tiger Strikes no longer triggers from multistrikes, but now provides a 40% increase to Multistrike chance while active.
- Blackout Kick no longer increases the Stagger amount for Brewmaster Monks.
- Stance of the Sturdy Ox now increases armor by 125% (up from 75%) and provides a 10% base Stagger percentage. Additionally, the Stagger effect no longer works against attacks which ignore armor.
- Fists of Fury now deals 30% less damage.
- Hurricane Strike now deals 30% less damage.
- Tigereye Brew now increases damage dealt by 10% per charge consumed (up from 6%).
- Chi Explosion now deals 30% less damage for Windwalker Monks.
- Serenity now lasts 5 seconds for Brewmaster Monks (down from 10 seconds).
I suppose the good news of the situation presents as the Windwalker changes are not quite a 30% nerf overall. Given that Tiger Palm, Fists of Fury, and Blackout Kick are a little over half of your damage, and Tigereye Brew now increases your damage by 100% with ten stacks, it amounts to a roughly 15-20% nerf for a class that really only could top the meters for one encounter, and was decently good (but not top of the meters) for a handful of other encounters. At least they haven’t yet removed our 10-yard, 10% movement speed increase, so we have that going for us. Additionally, Tiger Strikes can — once again, previously from a bug — no longer proc off of multistrikes. Haste is now the strongest secondary stat, and Mastery is almost a stat that we can consider as a gain.
In other words, Windwalkers will go from roughly middle-of-the-pack for most fights (against players of equivalent skill) to very, very low on the meters, and will be extremely RNG-dependent upon having Tigereye Brew up.
Brewmasters, well. What a bunch of changes! While on PTR Blackout Kick still grants shuffle, patch notes indicate that it will no longer increase Stagger for Brewmasters. This greatly devalues Serenity — and, to be quite honest, Serenity’s own changes mean that the talent is very much in question. Rather than 10 seconds of refunded Chi, it is now at 5 — and given that one can no longer gain nearly infinite shuffle from Serenity, the talent is only questionable at best. It remains to be seen how Chi Explosion will be changed in the coming PTR cycle to adjust to the new Brewmaster model.
As for set bonuses, it is safe to assume that these are not finalized. Brewmaster’s are pretty clearly a placeholder, and thus it is too early to comment on them. Windwalker’s seem to interact more with Combo Breaker:
- Windwalker T18 2-piece bonus: Your Rising Sun Kick has a chance to generate Combo Breaker.
- Windwalker T18 4-piece bonus: Increases the chance for you to gain Combo Breaker by 3%, and increases your maximum Energy by 10.
This means that we should see some of the same amounts of combo breaker that we enjoyed in Siege of Orgrimmar, in addition to a small quality of life buff with our energy regeneration. In other words, it’s likely not a very strong bonus, but let’s wait on the full numbers before we make too many estimations.
Again — allow me to emphasize that this is a very early PTR cycle. Many classes are seeing some sweeping changes, such as the removal of key cooldowns from mages and hunters, and some very large nerfs aimed at Warlocks. It can be safely assumed that we should see more class balancing acts.
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