Hello all, first time poster here. Just wanted to present what I believe are the main problems affecting WWs in PvP with some appropriate solutions for them and hopefully get a good discussion going. This information is all coming from my own experiences duelling, bging, wpvping and arenaing on my monk combined with the feedback of both average monk players and the few high rated monk rerollers with illustrious past PvP credentials. I have tried to be detailed in this post so that those who don’t play a monk can come here and have a better understanding of the issues behind the problems.
Overall WW monks seem to be on the lower end of the PvP spectrum. Even though they are good in certain 1v1 situations, in group play and especially arena despite bringing a lot of utility their lack of damage mitigation combined with the absence of any real burst potential and vulnerability to being cced means you are bringing a knife to a gun fight if you choose a monk as your partner.
The Big Issues:
1. Offensive mobility– whilst they are great at allowing the monk to play defensively and escape, Roll & to a lesser extent Flying Serpent Kick are subpar at allowing the monk to offensively stick on a target. This is mostly due to the target-less nature of those abilities but also the limitations put on the other skills monks can use to get to a target, those being spinning fire blossom and paralysis. Additionally as monks possess no passive damage mitigation and are extremely vulnerable to both ranged damage and being nuked in ccs (stuns especially), many of these mobility tools have to be used defensively for healing and recovery which then creates the problem of not having them available to get back to your target.
2. Vulnerability to CC – WWs do not have good protection against taking huge amounts of damage in stuns or being cced/attacked from range. Whilst one stun with one target attacking is not too much of a problem since WWs have enough defensives to both kite and regain health quickly, either several stuns in succession or having multiple people wailing on you in the single stun quickly turns the situation into a grim fight for survival. Against ranged attacks/ccs monks have a few options although they are not particularly great. If you find your partners cced in arena and need to rely on your own abilities to save you, other than quickly losing the incoming attack, a monk could:
- Paralyse the enemy although only if they are within 20 yards, (most ranged attacks are 40 yards and ccs are 30 yards)
- Roll up and blanket/interrupt the caster with spear hand strike (if rooted this won’t happen if not then the problems with roll in general will prevent this from happening successfully)
- Pre-empt the attack and use touch of karma before the cc goes off to stop future damage (again only 20 yards glyphed)
- Stand there like a lemon and use Zen Meditation (90% damage reduction but a silence, interrupt or melee attack will cancel it) or Fortifying Brew (not that good considering its 3 minute cd and the damage reduction portion only being 20%)
Overall the situation feels similar to ferals in cata after they had their root shift taken away but without the spammable bear form for damage mitigation. And whilst the options monks have to stop or prevent ranged cc from going off would not be as bad if all ccs were casted, unfortunately in the wow of pom polys/rings and blood fears they just don’t cut it. However I do believe if the roll issues were addressed then the vulnerability to ranged would radically decrease.
3. Vulnerability to burst damage & lack of own burst damage– poor passive damage mitigation combined with vulnerability to ccs especially stuns and instant ranged ones make the monk a good target for nukes. Whilst the sort of concentrated burst that warriors and mages amongst other classes are capable of affect everyone in wow I believe that WW monks are probably more susceptible to being a good target for it than any other class. And in an arena scene where games are decided by blowing someone up with 3 minute cds a monk brings an obvious disadvantage to a team. This coupled with the lack of any real burst capabilities coming from the monk himself are why many top players profess to “ignoring” the monk when they see one in arena. WWs have Xuen, Energising Brew and Tigerye Brew to provide extra damage. Xuen can be cced for almost his entire duration and Energising Brew grants some extra energy over time but the damage is still delivered consistently rather than in one burst which would be better in arena. Possibly our best burst comes from Tigereye brew which gives a flat 20% dmg increase at 10 stacks though it does have a ramp up time which could be considered its “cd” and many monks will be using it at fewer than 10 stacks if they have taken the Healing Elxiris talent.
I think most of these problems exist because blizzard did not want a repeat of s5 DKs so better to make monks underpowered then buff them rather than vice versa. Monks are in a lot of ways a balanced class. By this I mean that almost all their abilities have some sort of “brake” applied to them to prevent them from being too good – Xuen is ccable, Zen Meditation can be silenced, the Touch of Karma dot is dispellable, Roll does not work like Charge, Transcendence placement has a 45 sec cd, Spear Hand Strike’s energy cost etc. Since their damage is also consistent rather than bursty it does not really allow them to gib someone and win an arena match in an unavoidable/“cheesy” way. However this is all exactly what puts them out of place in WoW PvP today – other classes have insane burst and seemingly overpowered abilities with no downside. Essentially a balanced class cannot succeed when everyone else is imbalanced.
Having said all that, here are some solutions I propose that would make monks good (and I do mean good rather than average, with monks being below average at the moment).
For Roll, either
- New Glyph (Major) – Glyph of the Drunken Master: your roll now reduces the movement speed of all targets in an 8 yard radius of the player while you are traveling by 50% for 3 seconds
- New Glyph (Major) – Glyph of the Acrobat: your roll can now be cancelled by using the ability a second time in the same fashion as flying serpent kick
- New Glyph (Major) – Glyph of the Blessed Tiger: Xuen is now immune to crowd control effects but lasts for 25 seconds instead of 45
- New Glyph (Major) – Glyph of Paralysis: removes all damage over time effects from your target when paralysing them
- New Glyph (Minor) – Glyph of Concentrated Lightning: your Crackling Jade Lightning is now emitted in a burst and interrupts spellcasting for 3 seconds but has a 0.5 second cast time and a 30 second cooldown
- New Glyph (Minor) – Glyph of Chi Wave: your Chi Wave now only bounces between yourself and your target
- Glyph of Fortifying Brew has been changed - now reduces damage taken by 30% but no longer provides a health increase
- Glyph of Touch of Karma has been changed - now makes Touch of Karma usable from 30 yards but increases its cooldown to 2 minutes
- Glyph of Spinning Fire Blossom has been changed – the root effect remains but the spinning fire blossom now has to travel 20 yards before it can root its target. This root now shares diminishing returns with the root on Disable
- The PvP glove bonus has been changed - Roll and Flying Serpent Kick now remove both snares and roots
- Dematerialize is now also a passive Windwalker talent but its cooldown for this specialisation is 35 seconds
- Deadly Reach now makes paralysis usable from 30 yards away - paralysis now shares diminishing returns with Polymorph and fear effects
- Fists of Fury now requires 2 Chi, down from 3
- Spear Hand Strike now requires 25 energy, down from 30
- Energising Brew can now be used out of combat
- Spinning Crane Kick now dazes enemies by 30% for 3 seconds but can be cancelled in the same fashion as Flying Serpent Kick
Personally I do think WW monks will be buffed in small increments before the end of this season and in a large way at the beginning of the next. In Ghostcrawler’s recent PvP blog he explained how the conservative approach to the class was born out of the consequences of introducing DKs as they did and that the team is keeping a close eye on the progress of pvp monks. As I see it, they are also a completely new class and no one has been playing it for more than a few months so it would be unreasonable to buff them right now without seeing them played at their skill cap. And, unlike the original 9 classes, monks were designed by the Blizzard team knowing that they would need to be viable in arena and bgs which should hopefully prevent them from being ignored from receiving PvP buffs like certain specs of the original classes in season after season of arena. I believe that monks were designed with brakes applied to them for the above reasons and sooner or later those brakes will come off. Hopefully we can speed that up with some good discussion!