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NewsJul 18, 2016 8:00 pm CT

Zen Meditation: What Windwalker and Mistweaver Monks need to know for Patch 7.0

It’s almost time for the Legion pre-patch! Servers will go down this Tuesday, July 19th, and when they’re back on line we’ll be in a patch 7.0 world. That means it’s time to review all of the Monk specs so you’re ready to hit the ground running when the patch arrives. We’ve already talked about Brewmasters, so now it’s time to cover Windwalkers and Mistweavers.

So let’s cut to the chase, because there’s much to go over to prepare!


Windwalker stat and ability changes

Let’s talk stats. If you’ve been working your way through Warlords of Draenor, you probably have tons of Multistrike and Haste — but Multistrike’s about to go the way of the Dodo. On Tuesday it’s gone and any Multistrike you have will be converted to another secondary stat. As such, you’re going to want more Versatility, as that is your new best stat.

Haste also still stands as a strong contender, but interestingly — and for the first time since our introduction — we won’t want to completely ignore or avoid Mastery. Actually, it’s pretty good for us overall. Mastery has also been changed. It will now increase your damage every time you do an attack that was not a duplicate of the previous attack.

Now, let’s talk about abilities, because there are some significant changes here.

Important note: You are going to need to have two one-handed weapons, as some of your abilities will no longer function if you have a staff or polearm equipped. Fists of Fury now requires you to be using two one-handed weapons in order to be cast, and it’s still one of your main damage abilities.

You won’t just be using Storm, Earth, and Fire in multi-target situations: it’s now your main damage cooldown. These guys are now going to bounce around and optimize the next ability to discuss: Spinning Crane Kick. This will still be baseline, and it now costs Chi to cast. However, it will hit harder for every target you or a clone of yourself have hit with your other targeted abilities (meaning Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick, and anything else you’ve pressed with that target selected).

Undead Monk at the end of Spinning Dragon Strike

Whirling Dragon Punch courtesy of Coldfysts on US-Hyjal

Windwalker talents

We can’t go as in-depth with talents as we did for Brewmasters, but the good thing is that there aren’t many sweeping changes. Here are the basics:

  • Level 15: Now has Eye of the Tiger. It’s not bad, but you can still use Chi Burst or Chi Wave the same as always.
  • Level 30: Hasn’t changed other than the addition of Chi Torpedo.
  • Level 45: Energizing Brew is now a talent, but it’s been renamed Energizing Elixir and now restores all of your energy and Chi. Until you feel comfortable with that, feel free to use Ascension.
  • Level 60: Hasn’t changed. Yawn.
  • Level 75: Again, no notable changes, aside from Healing Elixirs now being an instant-cast heal.
  • Level 90: Now has Hit Combo. Rushing Jade Wind has also changed to cost Chi. All of these talents are situational, but right now it tends to be “pick your favorite.”
  • Level 100: Serenity‘s been rekeyed slightly for our new Mastery. Whirling Dragon Punch is actually pretty fun and worth trying out as well.

Tsuki on Windwhisper (US) casting Uplift

Mistweaving, Fistweaving, and stats

So let’s talk about the much-mourned Fistweaving. It’s kind of there, in terms that you can use pick talents that optimize your melee ability. You still shouldn’t be targeted by ranged abilities if you stay in melee; boss abilities currently care more about your distance from them than your role, so you could say you have “melee immunity” (though not completely true, given more mechanics work differently now). Unfortunately, it would be extremely lengthy for me to go too far in-depth, so let’s wait for another time to discuss that and focus on our main Mistweaving here.

For stats, you’re really going to like Haste, then Crit, Versatility, and then Mastery.

Mastery has been changed to now be a direct heal after any Renewing Mist, Enveloping Mist, or Effuse. Vivify also will cast this direct heal, but only on the targeted ally. If Essence Font is currently ticking on them, then they will also receive a direct heal from your Mastery. Soothing Mist is also now a channel that occurs after you cast certain spells.


Mistweaver talents

We saved some time with Windwalker talents, which is good because Mistweavers have a ton of changes. We might as well dive in:

  • Level 15: While Chi Burst remains familiar, Mistwalk allows you to quickly move to a target and heal them at the same time. Zen Pulse probably reminds you pretty strongly of Zen Sphere, but it functions slightly differently in that it doesn’t wait for a health threshold or amount of time before detonating. It does damage to multiple enemies, but only acts a single-target heal.
  • Level 30: Has remained the same, aside from the addition of Chi Torpedo.
  • Level 45: Completely different. Lifecycles adds a quirk to your rotation by causing Vivify and Enveloping Mist to reduce one another’s mana cost by 20%. Spirit of the Crane allows some form of Fistweaving to continue by making your Blackout Kicks to restore a bit of mana. Mist Wrap is probably the most useful talent here. This allows you to continue channeling Soothing Mist while moving so you never stop healing, even when you can’t cast something. It also increases the healing by Enveloping Mist, but that’s not nearly as useful as channeling a heal on the run!
  • Level 60: There’s only one notable change here: Song of Chi-Ji. You can now lull people to sleep (or rather, disorientation) with the mists.
  • Level 90: This tier probably seems terribly different, but it’s not as changed as it looks. Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane acts very similarly to the previous Xuen summon, except a more spec-appropriate crane heals your allies. Refreshing Jade Wind acts just as you’d expect: it’s the healing brother to Rushing Jade Wind, creating an AOE HOT that also increases the healing of Essence Font. And finally, our old statue has been added as a talent in this row with Summon Jade Serpent Statue, which replicates your Soothing Mist channel while you are channeling it on an ally. All in all, Chi-Ji seems to be the strongest for most encounters, acting as a seemingly “free” heal, but your statue can still see a fair amount of use in dungeons.
  • Level 100: This tier has more-or-less been recreated. Mana Tea has been moved to this tier as a short cooldown that allows you to have 50% off on the mana cost of your spells. Focus Thunder empowers Thunder Focus Tea, which adds different buffs your next two spellcasts. Rising Thunder causes your next Rising Sun Kick to reset the cooldown on your Thunder Focus Tea. All in all, you will receive the most mileage out of Mana Tea, as mana will be a bit tight at the start of Legion that mana will be a bit tight. During the pre-patch, however, feel free to play around with all three of them!

Overall, both specializations are seeing some pretty major changes. Which are you looking forward to the most?

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