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WoWApr 8, 2020 9:10 am CT

Monk class changes in WoW Shadowlands

So you want to play a Monk in World of Warcraft‘s upcoming expansion, Shadowlands. You are a person of fine taste! And people of fine taste like you deserve only the best information about what is changing for their class of choice, preferably in a concise and neatly organized manner — you may call us the tl;dr to the official blog post; we don’t mind!

So sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide. Maybe have a fine brew, too, if you will.

All specializations

  • Spells that are once again shared by all three specs:
    • Expel Harm, for another self-heal option.
    • Fortifying Brew, a defensive cooldown — always handy to have.
    • Spinning Crane Kick, to let us deal some AoE damage.
    • Touch of Death, our trademark finisher, is back to its original design (kills an enemy that has less health than you), and now has an added benefit for each spec.
  • The three “Invoke” talents are now baseline instead of talents. They’re Niuzao for Brewmaster, Xuen for Windwalker, and Yu’lon for Mistweaver, which is a new one (although Chi-Ji still exists for them, as a talent).

Brewmaster Monks

  • Major changes:
    • You may choose to equip either two 1-handed weapons or one 2-handed weapon again!
  • Minor changes:
    • Blackout Strike is, once again, going to be known as “Blackout Kick”.
  • Returning spells:
    • Shuffle — a passive that increased the amount of damage you could Stagger as you used certain other abilities, such as Blackout Strike.
    • Clash — that cool ability that was like the love-child of a Warrior’s Charge and a Death Knight’s Death Grip.
    • Exploding Keg (talent) — this was the ability from your Legion Artifact, Fu Zan. (Rumor has it that if you yell “keg!” while casting it, it casts better.)
  • New abilities:
    • Celestial Brew — absorbs damage, based on your attack power.
  • New talents:
    • Celestial Flames — gives a chance to increase the damage reduction on your Breath of Fire whenever you drink a brew, and spreads its damage over time component when you use your Spinning Crane Kick.
  • The added Touch of Death benefit for Brewmasters is to cleanse any remaining Stagger damage on you — like a “Double” Purifying Brew, if you will.

Mistweaver Monks

  • Major changes:
    • The new version of Invoke Chi-Ji, the Red Crane increases your physical damage, makes you immune to movement-impairing abilities, and, more importantly, heals your allies for a part of the damage you deal. “Fistweaving” seems to be back, baby! Even if temporarily.
  • New talents:
  • The added Touch of Death benefit for Mistweavers is to spawn Healing Spheres.

Windwalker Monks

  • Major changes:
    • You may choose to equip either two 1-handed weapons or one 2-handed weapon again!
  • New talents:
  • The added Touch of Death benefit for Windwalkers is to spawn Chi Spheres.

Monk Covenant abilities in Shadowlands

  • Kyrian:
    • Weapons of Order — a temporary Mastery buff, that also resets the cooldown on one of your stronger rotational abilities, and gives it an added benefit that is unique to each of the three specs:
      • Brewmaster: resets the cooldown on Keg Smash, and makes enemies take increased damage from you — this effect stacks.
      • Mistweaver: resets the cooldown on Essence Font, and adds extra healing for your allies on the beginning and end of its channeling.
      • Windwalker: resets the cooldown on Rising Sun Kick, and makes it reduce the cost of your other Chi abilities.
  • Venthyr:
    • Fallen Order — summons fallen adepts of the Ox, Crane, and Tiger orders to fight and with you. One every six seconds, for 24 seconds.
      • Adepts from your spec will fight for longer and cast additional abilities.
  • Necrolords:
    • Bonedust Brew — you make brew from the bones of your enemies — yum! — and coat people with it. Abilities that hit them will have a 15% chance to strike again, doing 25% extra damage (as Shadow) or healing. In addition:
  • Night Fae:
    • Faeline Stomp — you stomp, and it opens a Faeline, which deals Nature damage, and has a spec-specific additional effect:
      • Brewmaster: the wording is wonky, but it sounds like Breath of Fire ignites all enemies along the Faeline.
      • Mistweaver: same as above; sounds like Essence Font heals all allies along the Faeline.
      • Windwalker: rips Chi and Energy spheres out of enemies along the Faeline.
    • In addition, fighting on a Faeline gives your abilities a 10% chance to reset the cooldown on Faeline Stomp.

Most of the Monk changes seem positive at this point. No major reworks, for a class that didn’t really need them. The return of weapon choice for Brewmasters and Windwalkers is a very welcome surprise, as is the new Invoke Chi-Ji talent for Mistweavers, that seems to revive the ability to “fistweave”.

At this point, I am cautiously optimistic about the Monk class in Shadowlands.

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