Alright punks listen up... No wait that's a terrible intro… YOUNG GRASSHOPPERS. LISTEN TO YOUR MASTER. Nope also terrible...
Okay here it is, a no-nonsense, no !@()&#!(, 1-90+ guide for Windwalker Monks.
1a. BOA gear
1b. Questing vs Dungeons
1c. Tips and tricks
2. Low-level PVP
2a. How not to get roflpwned every 2 seconds
3. The summit of pwnsauce (aka level 90 stuff)
3a. Pre-raid checklist
3b. Stats, priorities, and other math.
3c. The eternal question: Dual-wield or 2h
So you've started your monk, probably a panda, and are going throught the initial zone. You'll notice there's no mailboxes so your BOA gear is irrelevant right now. Just quest your way though there, get out, and choose your faction (Personal recommendation: Horde).
1a. BOA Gear
You'll naturally want to have every advantage if you want to level quickly like I did (1-90 in 3 days and 18 hours /played) but let me just tell you this: The trinkets aren't necessary, but are nice.
Helm: Shadowcraft BOA helmet
Shoulders: Shadowcraft BOA shoulders OR Stormshroud PVP BOAs
Cloak: Cape of the Black Baron (Agility)
Chest: Shadowcraft, again.
Legs: Legplates of Might... No just kidding, get the damn shadowcraft ones.
Weapons: Now here you have some actual choice. Blizzard put in a BOA agility staff specifically for monks just before MoP went live, however, I used the maces with double crusader. You can use whichever you want, there's not much of a difference between them, however you can double enchant the maces. Or you can get swords. Maces are cooler though.
1b. Questing vs Dungeons
Neither route is straight up better than the other. Let me just say that right now. However questing can be faster due to que times, bad players, and other variables found in the LFD system. If you're lucky you can chain dungeons from 15-40+ in a matter of hours, however you can also quest that same amount in the same amount of time. Personally I suggest doing dungeons every time you enter a new bracket (I.E. When you can do Scholomance, do it.) due to the staggering experience some dungeons will give from their quests.
What I did was quest 1-15, and do dungeons with questing in between ques to get the dungeon quests done. Once I finished up any quests available to me I just quested to the next set of dungeons and repeated.
Dungeon experience will slow down drastically past level 80 so I recommend you do them ONLY for quests or if you want some gear, but keep in mind you'll upgrade that gear rather quickly come 85.
A nice tip to make Cataclysm go SO much faster: Hit up the auction house at lvl 80 and get yourself some MoP weapons. There's a few you can use at 80 and you will, literally, one shot just about everything until 85.
1. You get a 50% experience buff every day for one hour starting at level 20. Use it as much as possible. Try to optimize it (heavy grind sessions in dungeons for example). It will persist through death so don't be afraid to push yourself.
2. Fists of Fury > groups of mobs. I can't count how many times I saved my group from a wipe, or just outright beat a bunch of mobs to a pulp, because of FoF.
3. If you're chainpulling, while solo or in a group, try to keep tiger power up. It won't make a huge difference if you don't, however, as you get higher in levels it's a good habit to keep (especially 80+).
4. DO NOT TAKE TALENTS BASED ON WHAT'S GOOD AT 90. If you're leveling, why would you want a lvl 90 build? Personally I used this:
5. You can stack the Enlightenment buff. How do you do this? Well it's simple, make sure you currently have the buff when dailies reset, go do the quest again, obtain buff, enjoy extended duration (2h).
Leg Sweep is non-negotiable when leveling. It will make groups of mobs SO much easier as you can stun em, and just before the stun wears off, Fists of Fury them for the kill.
2. Low Level PVP
I'm gonna say this right now: You will get messed up. Hard. It's very unbalanced at low levels so be prepared to get decimated. That doesn't mean you can't dish out some punishment yourself though...
2c. How not to get roflpwned
If you can lock someone down in it at low levels, fists of fury is stupidly overpowered. So is Rising Sun Kick and Spinning Fire Blossom. Use them as much as possible. At the low end Spinning Fire Blossom does more damage than Blackout Kick for chi spent. It also has a very nice root. Use it.
3. The Summit of Pwnsauce
Okay so you've made it all the way to 90 (congratulations!) and you must be wondering "What now?" Well it's simple: Gear up, kick ass, get loot.
3a. Pre-raid checklist
- Hit and Expertise cap?
- Haste at 6072?
- Decent weapons?
- Talents, reforges, gems and enchants?
You're pretty much good to go if you answered yes to all of these. By decent weapons I mean 463+ by the way. Your ilvl should be AT LEAST 460 before entering Mogu'shan Vaults. Personally I used the crafted Masterwork agility sword and a Siege-captain's scimitar until I got my mainhand from MV.
3b. Stats, priorities, and other math
Melee Hit (7.5%) > Agility > Expertise (7.5%) > Haste> Crit > Mastery
There's your stat priority. It's worth mentioning right off the bat that most Windwalkers go for 6,072 haste for that extra tick off FoF. After that, crit all the way baby. If you can't get any crit, more haste > mastery. If your only option is mastery, well, that's your only option. You can use tools like wowreforge and askmrrobot to perfect your toon.
DISCLAIMER: These tools, being that they're dealing with an entirely new class, may not be the most accurate. Feel free to tinker with your setup to find out what works best for you!
As for your priority - note, not rotation, priority - well, that's pretty easy:
Rising Sun Kick on cooldown. >
Tiger Palm as needed to maintain Tiger Power. >
Fists of Fury on cooldown. >
Tiger Palm with Mastery: Combo Breaker procs. >
Blackout Kick to dump excess Chi.
For Chi, use Expel Harm if you're below 80% hp. If not, use jab. Do not jab if you're at 3 chi, you'll waste a chi. Also do not let your energy hit 100 or you're wasting it.
Personally I almost never use Fists of Fury. It's not all that good and is very situational. I mean it's good, but I find I do great without it. I WILL use it if I get the proper opportunity, but otherwise nah.
AOE is pretty easy as a windwalker, your goal is to keep the RSK debuff up while spamming SCK as much as possible. That's it.
1. Rising Sun Kick
2. Spinning Crane Kick
3. Repeat as necessary
Invoke Xuen - Use on CD
Energizing Brew - Use on CD AS LONG AS you won't energy cap with it, you have enough time to stand there and burn it and not have to run around, and you don't plan on using FoF soon.
Tigereye Brew - Use at 10 stacks. Don't waste it. Pew pew.
3c. Dual wield.
Let me clarify this a bit. In the end, dual wield > 2h. However, at different gear levels each has their own place. Or rather, different item levels. Two ilvl 463 weapons won't be a 489 2h, however a 489 and 463 together generally will.
Two 489 one handed weapons will always beat a 489 2h. It's not so much better that it's gamebreaking mind you. You can use whatever you prefer. But if you're trying to perfect your character on a hardcore level, dual wield will beat 2h assuming equal/BiS gear levels.
That's it for now folks, I'll be updating and adding to this as I go. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please note THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND I WILL BE ADDING TO IT AS I GO.
- Corzaftw aka Gweilo