Posted Mon, Jun 25, 2012 by Messiah
We have looked at many different talent trees that will be coming into effect once the Mists of Pandaria expansion is released, however potentially none as important as that of the new Monk class. So let’s take a look at the talents that this brand new class has available to it, and what exactly those talents can do. Which ones are best at each tier and why, and which should you take.
The first tier for the monk class is about improving your ability to move around. All three talents improve your mobility in different ways. The talents are Celerity, Tiger’s Lust, and Momentum.
Celerity increases the maximum number of charges that your Roll and Chi Torpedo can have by 1 and deduces their cooldowns by 5 seconds. Tiger’s Lust clears movement impairing effects and increases your movement speed by 70% for 6 seconds and is on a 30 second cooldown. Momentum grants 25% more movement speed for 10 seconds every time you use roll of chi torpedo, and it can stack up to 2 times.
For PVE thee choices here seems to be about your desire to either move more often with Celerity or move faster all the time with Momentum. It seems to be a personal choice since they roughly equal out over time. If you are a tank or healer I think Celerity is the better option so that you can move when you need to, if you are DPS then being able to chase enemies down all the time with Momentum would be more important.
If you are into PVP then Tiger’s Lust is the obvious choice since it will get you out of a lot of traps and slows since you can use it every 30 seconds. In PVE though these situations are less common and less harmful.
The second tier of Monk talents provide different ways to use your chi. There is Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, and Chi Burst.
Chi Wave is an ability that bounces between either 5 friends or foes, if friends it heals, if enemies it deals damage. Zen Sphere places a sphere in the air above a target healing them every 2 seconds for 16 seconds and dealing minor damage to any enemy that comes in the area of effect. Chi Burst is a direct shot that hits the target and everything in its path either damaging or healing them depending on them being friend or foe, similar to Chi Wave.
Chi Wave and Chi Burst are both fairly close, while burst does more healing and damage it relies on the targets being in a row, which wave moves around making it a lot easier to use. Your preference depends on your playstyle, I prefer the chi wave since you will not need to worry about positioning as much. If you are a healer or tank then Zen Sphere is probably your best choice since you can use it directly above yourself or the tank (if you’re the healer) for easy over time healing. All three of these talents work well in PVE or PVP and will just depend on which you like, although in PVP the bigger healing and damage of Chi Burst is probably the best option.
This tier is about managing your chi so that you have it when you want it. This is done in three different ways, there is either Power Strikes, Ascension, or Chi Brew.
Power Strikes empowers your jab to generate an additional chi when it lands, on a 20 second cooldown, or a chi sphere if you are at maximum chi already. Ascension grants you an extra chi so that you can have 5 chi instead of the normal 4 than Monks without this talent get. Chi Brew allows you to get all of your chi back instantly on a 90 second cooldown.
Unless you are a healer Power Strike is likely the best ability as it provides a constant stream of additional chi through your normal chi generating ability. Chi Brew is better if you want precise control on when you get your chi back and is better for PVP as well for bust usage, however it does provide slightly less chi over time (but nor by much at 4 per 90 seconds instead of 4.5 per 90 seconds). Chi Brew and Ascension are also the better choices if you are a healer since it allows you to have more chi or get chi back without having to be in melee range.
For those with not yet familiar with how Monk Chi works you can check out our guide to it right here: Guide to Monk Chi.
This tier is about providing crowd control options for Monks. The talents are Deadly Reach, Charging Ox Wave, and Leg Sweep.
Deadly Reach allows you to use your paralysis from up to 40 yards away instead of just in melee range. Charging Ox Wave sends an ox charging forward for up to 30 yards stunning anything it hits for 3 seconds. Lastly is Leg Sweep that knocks down all enemies in melee range and stuns them for 5 seconds.
All of these options are really nice and can be incredibly useful. The obvious option for healers is Deadly Reach since it will allow you to do something from range to help with CC. While Charging Ox Wave could be used at range, the fact that it affects everything in its path up to 30 yards means that it best used close in to combat. If you are melee or a tank then the best choice is Leg Sweep since it will stun everything around you for 5 seconds. That leaves Charging Ox kind of left out for PVE to me at least since I think leg sweep is better.
For PVP I would use either Ox for battlegrounds or deadly reach for arena combat. The ability to affect lots of enemies at range in a battleground with Ox can be really powerful so that you don’t get mobbed. In the arena where you would only be able to affect a few players anyway, it is far better to get a longer stun from range than getting a 3 second stun.
The fifth tier for the monk class is made up of abilities that help you manage the damage that you are subjected too. The three abilities are Healing Elixirs, Dampen Harm, and Diffuse Magic.
Healing Elixirs empowers your brews and teas to heal you by 10% every time you drink one, but limited to occurring once every 15 seconds. Dampen Harm is a buff on a 90 second cooldown that allows the next 3 hits that you suffer within 45 seconds that would inflict more than 10% of your health as damage to be halved. Diffuse Magic is also on a 90 second cooldown but is aimed at magic attacks. It instantly clears any magic debuffs that you are afflicted by and prevents 90% of magic damage that you suffer in the next 6 seconds, better yet if the attacker is within 40 yards of you the damage is reflected back at them.
I am torn as mainly a tank player between all of these abilities as they all provide some really great damage management. As a tank at least it is really hard to choose. Healing Elixirs seems like a great passive type ability and should likely be your go to base ability since it will provide a constant healing stream over time without having to do anything other than your normal rotations. Dampen Harm is also really good as it has the potential to prevent huge amounts of damage and even out the damage over time to help out your healers. The issue however is that if the next three attacks are normal attacks that manage to just inflict 10-12% of your health each, that means it would only prevent a total of 15% health over 90 seconds. Lastly Diffuse Magic can really help out against big incoming magic attacks but has such a short duration and long cooldown that it could be difficult to time.
As a healer or DPS the choice is a little easier to me, take Healng Elixirs. For PVP the choice is also pretty easy I believe, take Diffuse Magic for a chance to clear a bunch of debuffs, prevent some damage, and bounce it back at your enemies.
The sixth and final tier for the monk class is about area of effect damage abilities. There is Rushing Jade Wind, Invoke Xuen: the White Tiger, and Chi Torpedo.
Rushing Jade Wind sends a tornado out infront of you dealing damage to everyone it hits as well as increasing the damage enemies hit would suffer from your spinning crane kick by 30%. Next up is Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger which as you could guess summons a tiger to assist you and is an ability on a 3 minute cooldown. The tiger lasts 45 seconds and attacks your main target while doing an aoe attack as well every 6 seconds. Lastly there is Chi Torpedo which replaces your roll ability. Chi Torpedo launches you forward just like roll however any enemies in your path suffer damage and any friends are healed.
These abilities are really varied but all provide some AOE ability to help you out. My choice would be the tiger because it will mainly focus on your main target while still providing AOE damage. If you are a DPS player then Rushing Jade Wind is another valid option as it provides some ranged AOE damage ability. Lastly there is Chi Torpedo which if you end up using roll a lot anyway and moving around a lot then its damage and healing could be very useful. Which is best for you will depend on your preferences and playstyle, as no single ability appears to outclass the others.
It may be a little bit hard to judge these talents just yet with so little playtime in for most of us. However the talents have already improved several times from the first talents trees we saw a few months ago.
While I have my favorites, I think other players will find equally good combinations that work well for them. While we do suffer from fewer choices with the Mists of Pandaria talent trees the choices are more significant in general and are more evenly balanced across the board.
You can find the official Monk talent tree calculator over at the Blizzard site here: Monk Talent Calculator.