Enter the Monk

So with Mists of Pandaria being out for about 7 weeks now, a lot of people will have had a chance to role a monk and give it a go. Some people will have a monk at 90 already, some people will have quit within 10 or so levels and some people will be in the middle. With all these different levels of monks out there the monk class and its abilities might be known or a mystery.

The monk has a very wide ability set, some of them you’ll use every time you’re in combat and items that are much more niche in their use. This post is going to detail the different abilities that you have in your arsenal as a monk, as well as why you would use them. I won’t be going over the abilities that you get when you pick your Monk Specialisation just yet.

To start off, monk use Energy. Energy is a resource that regenerates over time, and you use it to build up your Chi. Your Chi stacks up to 4, and is a resource for more of your damaging abilities. Playing a monk successfully will rely on your ability to manage these two resources and make sure that you aren’t wasting any Energy or Chi.

So let’s get into it.


Stance of the Fierce Tiger – This is the stance for Windwalker monks, and the stance that you will be leveling in most of the time unless you decide to level as a Brewmaster. This stance increases the damage you deal by 20% as well as makes your Jab and Expel Harm generate an additional Chi.

Energy Users / Chi Generators

These are a set of abilities that use Energy and generate Chi.

Jab –  Is a melee attack that costs 40 Energy, the icon of Jab will change depending on what weapon you have equipped, which might be a little weird the first time you see it (I know it was for me). Jab generates 1 Chi, and if you are in Stance of the Fierce Tiger it will generate 2 Chi.

Jab is the ability that you use when you aren’t at your maximum amount of Chi (4 normally) and you have the energy for it.

Expel Harm – Expel Harm costs 40 Energy. This ability instantly heals us and causes 50% of the amount of healing we receive to be dealt as damage to a nearby enemy within 10 yards. This ability generates 1 Chi unless you are in the Stance of the Fierce Tiger in which case Expel Harm generates 2 Chi. This spell has a 15 second cooldown.

Expel Harm is like Jab, but you only use it when you are not at full health, because if it doesn’t heal you, it won’t do damage.

Spinning Crane Kick – Is a channelled ability that costs 40 Energy. We deal damage to all targets within 8 yards of us. Our movement speed is reduced by 30% while we are channelling this ability. You continue to dodge and parry while Using Spinning Crane Kick and if you hit 3 or more targets you generate 1 Chi.

Spinning Crane Kick is used when there are three or more mobs that you can hit. This ability replaces Jab in AoE situations.

Crackling Jade Lightning – Is a channelled ability that costs 20 Energy per second. It has a 40 yard range and deals damage over 6 seconds. While you channel this ability you have a 25% chance to generate 1 Chi. If your target melee attacks you while they are getting hit with Crackling Jade Lightning they are knocked back a short distance. This knock back effect has an 8 second cooldown.

Crackling Jade Lightning is used when you cannot get to a mob, due to AoE effects that will kill you, or for knocking enemies off of ledges like at the Lumber Mill in Arathi Basin.

Energy Users

These abilities use energy, but don’t generate Chi. These are our utility abilities for the most part.

Detox – This ability costs 20 Energy and is our dispel effect. It has an 8 second cooldown, has a 40 yard range and removes all harmful Poison and Disease effects.

Detox is used when you want to help your healers out with dispelling, or in PvP when you have Poisons or Diseases on you.

Disable – Is an ability that slows enemy targets by 50%. It costs 15 Energy and the duration of disable will be refreshed if the target remains within 10 yards of us. If we use disable on a target that is already snared the target will be rooted for 8 seconds instead.

Disable is used to keep targets in melee range of you, and to root them in place. Mainly useful for PvP.

Healing Sphere – Costs 60 Energy and has a 40 yard range. You summon a Healing Sphere at a target location for 2 minutes. When an ally walks through it, they will use the sphere and be healed. You can only have 3 Healing Sphere active at any one time per Monk.

Healing Spheres isn’t something that I usually use while I am in PvE, I can see some use in PvP, but the energy cost is very high for this ability.

Paralysis – Costs 20 Energy and has a 15 second cooldown. You incapacitate the target for 30 seconds. If you use it while behind the target the duration of the incapacitate is doubled. If the target takes any damage the effect will be cancelled.

Paralysis is good for Crowd Controlling mobs in dungeons or solo play, an as an interrupt or Crowd Control effect in PvP.

Path of Blossoms – Costs 30 Energy. You create a Fire Blossom at your feet every second for 3 seconds. The Blossoms last for 10 seconds and deal Fire damage to the first enemy that walks over it. They cannot be created within 3 yards of an existing Blossom.

Path of Blossoms isn’t something that I have used much, so if anyone knows any good uses for it feel free to comment on this post.

Resuscitate – This is our resurrection spell. It costs 50 Energy and has a range of 40 yards. It brings a target back to life with 35% of their maximum health and mana. You cannot cast it while you are in combat.

A general purpose resurrection. Great for PvE when you need to bring someone back to life after they have died.

Spear Hand Strike – Costs 30 Energy and has a 15 second cooldown. This is our interrupt ability. If you use it while your target is casting a spell they will be locked out of that school of magic for 5 seconds. If the enemy is facing you when you use Spear Hand Strike they will also be silenced for 4 seconds.

A general purpose interrupt. Used in both PvP and PvE.

Chi Users

Now we will get into what to use your Chi on once you have generated it. Most of the Chi users that you have as a Monk are Spec specific, but I will go over the general ones in this post.

Blackout Kick – This ability costs 2 Chi and hits the target for physical damage. Dependant on the Spec you are, it gains either a buff to you, or a debuff to the target.

Blackout Kick is used after you have gained 3 stacks of Tiger Power from Tiger Palm.

Tier 2 Talents – When you hit level 30 you get to choose between three different abilities that require 2 Chi to use. Each of them either do damage to your target or heal you or nearby friendly targets.

These abilities are useful when you need to do some healing to help out your raid or during PvP. Their damage isn’t wonderful compared to Blackout Kick, but the healing makes up for it if you need it.

Tiger Palm – Tiger palm costs 1 Chi, deals damage to your target and gives you a stacking buff called Tiger Power that causes your attacks to ignore 10% of enemies’ armour for 20 seconds. This ability stacks up to 3 times.

This ability is used when you need to stack Tiger Power to three stacks and when you need to refresh it.


These abilities are useful for when you need to reduce that damage you take from bosses or during PvP.

Fortifying Brew – This is our standard cooldown. It is on a 3 minute cooldown and lasts for 20 seconds. It increases your health by 20% and reduces the damage you take by 20%. It also changes your character skin to stone which is quite cool to look at.

Zen Meditation –This is our raid cooldown. It reduces that damage that we take by 90% and redirects up to 5 harmful spells cast against raid members within 30 yards. It lasts 8 seconds. If you are hit by a melee attack Zen Meditation ends. I haven’t found any spell that it redirects, or the buff that appears at the top left of your screen doesn’t show it properly, so if you know what encounters that it works for let me know.

Everything Else

This is for all the other abilities that we have at our disposal that didn’t fit into another category.

Grapple Weapon – This is the disarm ability that we have access to, except it is much cooler than all the other ones out there. It is on a minute cooldown with a 40 yard range. The disarm effect lasts for 10 seconds and if we steal a main-hand weapon better than the one we are using then our damage or healing will be increased by 5% or our damage taken will be reduced by 5% depending on what spec we are in. This also works on some bosses, so does have some PvE benefits.

Legacy of the Emperor – This is our buff. It costs 50 Energy and increases Strength, Agility and Intellect by 5%. This buff is the same as Blessing of Kings or Mark of the Wild.

Provoke – This ability is our taunt, it has an 8 second cooldown and has a 40 yard range. However the target that we taunt runs towards us with a 50% increased movement speed.

This is only useful in PvE.

Roll – The signature move of the Monk allowing us to roll a short distance. It has an 18 second cooldown and 2 charges.

This is useful for anytime that you need to change position or get away from someone in PvP. I have used it both in PvP and PvE, so it is definitely something worth learning how to use.

Transcendence – This ability makes a copy of us at a target location that lasts for 15 minutes that we can switch places with at a later time with Transcendence: Transfer as long as we are within 40 yards of our copy.  Placing the copy has a 45 second cooldown and has no cost. Transferring places with the copy has a 25 second cooldown and a 15 Energy cost.

It is useful in both PvE and PvP, but you need to know what you are using it for, whether it is to get away from something or to move to a spot in a PvE encounter (Elegon is a good example).

Zen Pilgrimage – Takes us to the Peak of Serenity in the Kun-Lai Summit where there are different Monk quests teaching us how to use some of our abilities. Zen Pilgrimage has a 30 minute cooldown Each quest also increases the experience you gain by 20% if you are not at max level and increases your mastery if you are at max level. After using Zen Pilgrimage it transforms into a new spell called Zen Pilgrimage: Return which returns you a set point in the zone you were in when you cast Zen Pilgrimage.

That finishes off this post and I hope that you were able to weather the storm of information that is above. Most posts won’t be this long, I just felt like it was important to lay out our main abilities for everyone. I will go into Brewmaster and Windwalker specific abilities at a later date. To keep you all updated, my guild is now 1/6 for Heroic Mogu’shan Vaults and let me tell you, Brewmaster damage during that fight is crazy.

I will talk to you all later and have another post up on Sunday. As always comment on this post if you have questions, or suggestions.



~ by matthewsmonk on November 16, 2012.

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