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WoWNov 23, 2015 1:00 pm CT

Zen Meditation: Analyzing datamined Legion info for Monks

The datamining teams have already started digging into spell changes for the upcoming beta for Legion, including a look at what’s in store for Monks. Moving forward with this post keep at the front of your mind that this is an extremely early view. Spells that have been removed or otherwise changed may not be that way when 7.0 finally rolls around, while new, promised spells may change or be scrapped entirely.

So what’s in store for Monks in Legion, according to the current datamined info? Let’s take a look.

Abilities removed or rearranged

The first thing I noticed when looking at spells was those marked as removed. Nimble Brew, added in 5.3 when Monks had difficulty establishing a foothold in PVP, has been marked as gone. Other spells that are gone in this datamine but not mentioned as axed in the preview include Expel Harm and Leer of the Ox.

Other class-wide abilities are now listed as specific to just one or two specializations. For example:

  • Brewmasters no longer have Spinning Crane Kick.
  • Bremasters and Mistweavers will no longer have Ascension and Power Strikes.
  • Brewmasters and Mistweavers will no longer have Touch of Death.
  • Brewmasters and Mistweavers will no longer be able to summon Xuen. However, though it isn’t in the datamine, it’s been suggested that Mistweavers will be able to summon Chi’ji, meaning you’d be able to summon an effigy associated with your spec.
  • Brewmasters and Windwalkers will no longer be able to rez teammates out of combat with Resuscitate.
  • Mistweavers no longer have the ability to interrupt.
  • Mistweavers and Windwalkers will no longer have the taunt Provoke.
  • Mistweavers and Windwalkers no longer have Chi Brew.
  • Windwalkers no longer have Zen Meditation.

There are a myriad of other changes that are not entirely clear, but it seems that the intent is to remove any spells that do not directly correlate to each spec’s role. Again, all of this may change in beta, but for now it seems that Monks — as hybrids — will feel far less hybrid-y with no off-tanking from non-Brewmasters, and less healing from Windwalkers. Further, Brewmasters will also not self-heal as much due to the loss of Expel Harm, but will still have access to some healing from Gift of the Ox. However, it’s worth remembering that we’ll have access to tri-specs in Legion, making it easier than ever to switch specs (and roles) on the fly.

A monk in Stormstout Brewery

Abilities renamed and changed

It seems that a few class-wide abilities will be renamed rather than removed. Zen Sphere, which has acted as a problem child for much of its life through various buffs and reworks seems to be gone — except it’s not quite gone, as it’s reappeared with the name Zen Pulse. This will now pulse damage around the targeted ally while healing for the amount of damage dealt. Definitely an interesting spell that might give Zen Sphere Pulse more use than juggling two keybinds or a macro to track targets!

The aforementioned Chi Brew has renamed Black Ox Brew and will refill Brewmaster energy and restore charges of Iron Brew and Purifying Brew. Likely we are missing tons of information for what will happen with this tier of talents. This change appears confusing at first, but likely results from Mistweavers and Brewmasters no longer using Chi —  it seems probable that all specs will receive talents that work with their mana or brews.

And how about that Touch of Death rework? Rather than relying upon an add to be 10% of their health or less than your health it’s a 2 minute cooldown that deals damage equal to your maximum health after 8 seconds.

Calligraphy on Windrunner-US taking a swig of Fortifying Brew

Brewmaster changes

The most notable change for Brewmasters comes in the loss of Leer of the Ox, meaning Dave the Ox will no longer act as our copilot. You can still summon a Black Ox Statue, which will pulse threat every few seconds, but you won’t be able to put adds on him at a moment’s notice.

With the removal of Multistrike, many questions have been risen about how Gift of the Ox will work. Rather than relying upon your Multistrikes, you will summon a healing sphere when you take damage. Thus, taking a hit will serve two benefits: it will add a stack of the new Mastery and will grant a healing sphere. It seems that more of your baseline mitigation and self-healing will require you to take damage first.

As noted before, Brewmasters will no longer have access to Spinning Crane Kick. This is likely to encourage the usage of Breath of Fire in its place to gain AE threat. Keep in mind that the rework for Breath of Fire makes it share a cooldown with Blackout Strike — so this will be your main source of damage when you don’t have anything else to cast, even though it has had its active mitigation component removed.


Tsuki on Windwhisper (US) casting Uplift

Mistweaver changes

Where to even begin? How about Thunder Focus Tea, which has been thrown out and replaced, basically. Do you want a free heal? A bigger heal? Renewing Mist to not go on cooldown next cast? Thunder Focus Tea can do all of that for you now. This cooldown’s useage will now be imperative for standing out — here’s your throughput healing, your free healing, and your healing while running around.

Uplift isn’t gone, unlike what I initially reported. Rather, it’s now got a more vivid name — Vivify, actually. It’ll pretend that it’s Chain Heal by taking your target and healing it and a few allies around it. Oh, and by the way, it’ll be instant-cast. Sorry, Shamans.

Other changes are reflected in the discussion about the class previews, but worth of noting that many Fistweaving mechanics will remain in regards to Blackout Kick and Rising Sun Kick — they just won’t heal anymore.

Calligraphy on US-Stormreaver using Storm, Earth, and Fire

Windwalker changes

First, Windwalkers take a moment to mourn for Zen Meditation and the Glyph of Zen Meditation. This spell and its associated glyph made for a fantastic emergency ability to soak damage when you had to. However, we’ve lost access to them — Brewmasters will be the only Monks to enjoy Zen Meditation.

Now that we’ve had a moment of silence for our future deaths, let’s celebrate our now talent overlord: Spinning Dragon Strike. This will take the place of Hurricane Strike, the level 100 talent we all wanted to love but could never actually enjoy (or actually understand what it did). For those of us that have forgotten about Hurricane Strike, its tooltip is incredibly misleading — it selects the closest target and does a flurry of wet noodle hits at it while making you immune. Sounds cool, but wasn’t even useful in PVP due to how weak the hits were and the fact that rather than cleaving or hitting random targets like the tooltip indicated, it only ever hit one target. Spinning Dragon Strike seems to fix this. It will only be usable when you’ve exhausted your other cooldowns — both Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick must be on cooldown —  and it will actually act as an AE.

Oh, and while we’re at it — Glyph of the Floating Butterfly has gone the way of the Dodo. It’s baseline. That’s right — Fists of Fury will be usable while moving without using a glyph… though without a limit on the number of glyphs you can use in Legion, this is rather less of a consideration. Unfortunately, the base ability will keep the glyph’s limitation: it will no longer stun targets.

Also worth noting, Energizing Brew is now Energizing Elixir and now restores both Energy and Chi — and instantly instead of over 6 seconds. With the seeming removal of Chi Brew, it seems that Energizing Elixer is now serving as both Energizing Brew and Chi Brew

In terms of tooltip buffs, keep in mind that Tiger Palm‘s (and thus Tiger Power’s) removal means that other abilities will now be buffed to compensate for its loss.


Rolling forward..

There are tons of spell changes here that we simply don’t have time to discuss. The basic message: everything is changing as we know it.  Just remember that datamining dumps are interesting and give us a good preview of what’s to come, but they are hardly an indication of how the final game will look. This is an incredibly incomplete picture, but it’s a good start for where things may head in Legion.

So, how hyped are you getting? Tell us in the comments!

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