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Disclaimer: I was waiting till I got t2 to actually post a solid review on the class since I felt that might give me credibility in the eyes of the players. I'd like to voice my opinion that it is very difficult to carry a monk before anyone suggests that, and the monk HAS to be on his game to do well(not to mention most good players will not play with bad ones no matter what). I'll point out I'm only a player, and the following will simply be my honest opinion as a player based on my experiences. Also, in no way am I suggesting any changes be made to the class, since I am not qualified nor do I have access to the raw information the developers try to process to make those decisions.
I'll try to break it down into three major categories: Damage, utility, and survivability.
The simple way to put this is that it's good. It's fine, if the game lasts over 30 seconds you can easily put out the same overall damage as any class. We all know that doesn't win games. The sustained pressure is great because our white damage is amazing. Tiger strikes is amazing. The ranged damage is amazing. I don't know any other melee that can put out the same ranged pressure a monk can, even if you're being kited. SFB crits for 80k with cooldowns popped? Awesome. It helps alleviate some of the 'I'm getting peeled' annoyances.
Burst starts out slow; you will not be gibbing someone in under 10 seconds by yourself. Burst is really good when tigerseye brew is popped at max stats. Burst is high with on use trinkets. You can solo healers in stun/spear hand combos if they don't have cooldowns up. You can crit RSK's over 100k(although the weakness where you have to have the rsk debuff up already to hit really big rsk's is somewhat annoying). Your white hits can crit 60k with cds popped. It's not 1 global burst like a mage or warrior, but it's high enough to kill people in stuns or assist those classes. The comparison I always draw is to season 3/4 shadowstep hemo rogues(i understand everyone may not get this). The damage is like that and should likely scale like that into the future. Burst at ranged is also high if SFB crits. 80k is a lot for a melee's ranged attack. It also consistently hits 30-40k cds popped at range. Certainly enough to pressure someone.
Paralysis is terrible. There is no denying our cc is some of the worst in the game. However it is functional. It's not fire and forget like instant hex. You have to think about using it an position well for it which does increase the fun factor. I will say what comes in useful is that it's the only cc on that dr (minus sap which I don't think counts) that will land on a feral or tree druid, so that's a plus. The facing requirement is very lag prohibitive and essentially renders one of our talents useless (the range increase). Using this CC smartly will make or break a WW monk and seperate the 1800s from the 2000s. I'm okay with this weakness however, because our other cc is quite amazing for a melee.
Throwing our stuns into the mix makes our cc very good. When playing with other classes who stun it's nice just to be able to throw the stuns out for peels or as extra cc on a healer. We're a pretty good class at peeling because of them. We can lock down healers for 12 seconds in switches. Pretty good overall.
Disable is nice, spear hand is probably one of the best tools in our kit, bordering on overpowered especially being a mechanic exclusive to us now. Wouldn't be surprised to see it nerfed in a trade with other cc's being buffed. Ranged disarm is one of those unique monk things that is just great.
The jury is still out for me on our heals. They seem....ok. Definitely better as self healing. Our party heals are good in twos but really don't seem to make that much of a difference in high rated 3s, despite attempting to use Chi Wave on CD or healing sphere in clutch pressure situations, I rarely feel they make a huge difference. They might help my healer with a little bit of sustained pressure which is always nice.
Tiger's lust is extremely strong when used on some classes, and is probably some of our best utility. I know some people think the cd is prohibitively long when breaking self roots, but it does help quite a bit. I think these people need to learn how to use their energy and chi when they're being kited to do ranged damage with sfb or use the energy for offhealing while they can't make contact. If you factor in the abilities you can use at range, kiting a monk is actually really hard, even when you do have to sit a full root every other DR set.
Zen Med is good and bad. It has such a long cd to be so quickly ended. Being able to ground a few skills is fine, but you almost always eat a cc or melee hit very early. Also, it doesn't feel very responsive at grounding things like hunter traps, but that could be me. It can be clutch, but it's definitely not a 'go to' skill for any monk I feel.
Our active defense is man-mode strong. Our cd's are amazing and we can live for quite a bit on them alone. They are good enough to survive others' defensive cds. When not stunned, we can kite extremely well with transcendence and rolls/fsk/tiger's lust and offheal while we do it. Sparring is amazing against melee teams, and rng against casters is nice as well.
That said, our passive defense is weak. We get destroyed in stuns. Everyone knows that now(I feel). Because of this, you can rarely afford to trinket CC people use to peel you. You have to sit fears, sit sheeps, sit rings, sit cyclones, etc because you know that that one cooldown-popped shockwave or deep freeze will kill you. I've died in intimidation stuns and pounces as well 100-0. It happens, we're squishy when we're not able to press buttons. However I don't feel we're alone here just because we can't pop cd's while stunned. This happens to a lot of people. That said it would be nice to have a little something there as it feels like our most glaring and easily exploitable weakness. Especially given the cooldown of something like deepfreeze or shockwave when compared to a trinket.
We were routinely trading games with or winning against the top 10 teams on our battle group.(The team I am on is currently 20th) I was 2150+ with three different comps so far this season at various points, but I was finally able to reach 2200 with mage/monk/paladin. The other comps were a 2180 warrior/monk/shaman(and paladin) and 2160 spriest/monk/paladin. I hope to be able to do analysis on some other monk comps including feral/monk, hunter/monk, and warlock/monk. Of the three I played warrior/monk actually felt the strongest. My stun/spearhand combos could force defensives from healers and dps before he had to use his cooldowns. Splitting and switching worked well as well. The spriest I played with was fairly inexperienced as shadow but with that comp I routinely felt we had to play too defensively and lacked major pressure that was present with the mage and warrior. I would typically greatly outdamage the spriest while I typically only edged out the warrior or mage by 60k-100k damage per match(if it went over 30 seconds). Spriests are very good at playing defensively, however, and a lot of our success came from longer games.
My overall impression is that the class is amazingly fun. It's pretty good overall and glad capable if not necessarily the best class for the job. It brings things to the team and if you are able to play it well you will get many many compliments and surprised comments from your opponents and your teammates. Unfortunately monk publicity is low right now, so the hardest challenge for a monk will be finding teammates and getting recognized. So to the monks out there who are sticking to their class there is hope. Keep trying. I played with a lot of bad players just to play (hence my terrible win-loss on my current team), but eventually you will find ones that will synergize and stick it out well. To the ones who haven't stuck to their monks and are waiting for buffs..well you probably won't read this anyway.
TL:DR Monks are fun and don't suck. I don't feel they're terribly overpowered either. There are opportunities to do well with good teammates and a good skill level.
P.S. For those following my youtube channel and have been disappointed lately at the lack of content, I should be adding more of my recent games on the push to 2200 soon.
Edited by Innverse on 12/8/2012 3:00 PM PST
Good WW analysis, I would agree with almost everything you said.
The shockwave/leg sweep/FoF DR doesn't get annoying?
Edited by Miligou on 12/7/2012 8:39 PM PST
Thanks for the post! I skimmed over it cause I don't have time to read it all, but it looks like you are spot on to what I think about them too!
They are in a better place than a lot of people think. They could potentially use some help, but if they don't get anything, people will just have to adapt and learn to play the monk class!
In therms of comps, I too found that warrior/monk was very good as well. Mage/monk is good too, but surprisingly i found that feral/monk was very good as well.
Edited by Tèdril on 12/7/2012 8:41 PM PST
Good WW analysis, I would agree with almost everything you said.Of the three I played warrior/monk actually felt the strongest.
Not on comps where you split, but for ones where like...the strat is to train a healer, he'll typically just take dragon's roar.
I would typically greatly outdamage the spriest while I typically only edged out the warrior or mage by 60k-100k damage per match(if it went over 30 seconds)
wat how :<
I outdamage my warrior by like, a billion.
I'm usually like 1.5 times his damage at least, if not more.
Usually feels like I do lots of damage, but feels like we do almost zero pressure.
I'm not really sure what we're messing up, but I've watched you and a few of the other monks stream, and it doesn't seem like I'm missing something major personally.
I hate to say it might be the warrior, since he's a really good friend of mine, but other warriors generally do much more damage than him.
I really like that, as a monk, almost every game there's something I could have done better, slightly faster.
Whether or not that does anything productive is a different story. :3
Could come down to player skill. I feel like other shadow priests typically out damaged the one I played with as well. The warrior games I played were also typically shorter games. In longer games I could edge out his damage more I feel.
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment that there's always something that could have been done better. Monks aren't complex in terms of dps rotation, but they certainly do have a lot of other stuff to do in your average game.
The warrior games I played were also typically shorter games. In longer games I could edge out his damage more I feel.
I think something is going massively wrong, then.
Our games usually last forever, it feels like.
I usually outburst and outsustain him, even if I'm wrecked by CC or being focused. :/
I'm not the best player, especially not as monk, but the paladin and I are past glads, while the warrior's just a friend (who we also took to 2400 playing warrior/rogue/hunter in s9 with, hipster triple DPS).
I played a hunter in BC as well, which was an exercise in frustration just because of the drain game back then, so I'm used to putting up with some poopy situations.
My only complaint these days is not being able to respond to stuns as a monk. CC in general, but stuns especially.
(Trying to make half a post on topic and half about our problems is hard)
I feel you. I'm not a rank 1 player either (honestly who wants to deal with that kind of stress), but I do feel like I'm decently good. The long games can be hard, espeically with a cleave.
I can give the play-by-play of our warrior games here:
-Warrior takes dragon roar
-Warrior starts other dps, waits for me to stun shaman
-I stun shaman(fists of fury usually)
-warrior charges blows all cds-shaman will probably trinket
-I stun shaman again(leg sweep)
-I silence shaman (spear hand)
-shaman dies or can never top himself up again as we train him
-If he lives(amazing peels) he can be killed as soon as leg sweep comes up again because he has no cds and we should have a few stacks of tigerseye brew by then.
-start dps, warrior tries to fear paladin
-get a trinket, hopefully...if not try to follow up with healer cc or try to paralyze to get a trinket.
-warrior waits for you to swap paladin, stun combo, he follows up with a charge.
-hopefully get bubble(or at least trinket, if not already used) without warrior cds. If you feel like you are training him too long, pop cd's for pressure to force bubble.
-go dps till bubble is down and stun dr is off
-switch back and stun/silence combo with warrior cds.
-If this fails control and pressure their dps (preferably caster). Their paladin shouldn't have any more outs to your cc at this point (around 1 minute in). Your warrior can go for another fear into your healer's cc's soon. You can paralyze as well. You can try to switch back if they don't have any real pressure on you and their paladin is in a bad spot. Or you can leave your warrior on the paladin while you split onto their caster.
-start dps(preferably caster)
-have warrior fear druid when he comes out to try to get trinket, follow up with para if he's not going to trinket.
-stun combo after trinket to force block without cds
-switch back dps and try to cc druid till stuns are back up(split and leave warrior on druid if you want) or break block and pop cds and kill.
These didn't work every time vs every team, and a couple times it came down to healer trading shaman against those teams. But the general idea is that shaman are extremely weak to being cleaved, especially because of our silence. In general the average length of a winning game was under 3-4 minutes. We only killed dps in about a quarter of our 50 or so games.
If you lose the aggressive pressure, especially while paladin cleaving, the game isn't going to go well for you. IN fact the longer it goes, especially without warrior cds up any more, the worse it'll be for you. Your paladin is good, so it's really up to your warrior to try to cause pressure in the opener while you focus on your positioning and control.
Edited by Innverse on 12/7/2012 10:01 PM PST
Thank you! I'm leveling my monk WW through PvP, in hopes of learning to play well BEFORE I get to 90 (I'm learning with the curve, not against it ;-). I think It's amazingly fun at the low levels and it's good to hear of good fortune to come!
There is no doubt that this class is incredibly fun, I'm dishing out 100k Rising Sun Kicks in my poop gear on full resil targets, (granted I haven't had the chance to do much bgs yet) so I can't imagine how great our damage is when actually geared for it. I'd still like a little buff to survivability, I like my idea of making Brewmaster's Guard a universal ability for all specs.
I'm pretty sure we're the only tank hybrid without access to weakened blows. That would help as well.
However, access to the ox stance would be preferable. Even if it didn't give shuffle outside of brewmaster spec.
That said, given our passive healing ability I'm not sure either would be balanced. Something while stunned would certainly help.
Id like to try with a warrior, do you have him take disrupting shout then just make a healer cry?
Edited by Innverse on 12/8/2012 2:27 AM PST
I just started my monk a few days ago. Already got him to 61 while doing BGs a good amount of the time. I gotta say they are amazingly fun. What I wanted with my enhance was a mobile fast damage dealer that can heal itself, but it has turned out to be not so hot, and is probably the least self-sufficient spec in the game.
The WW seems to have everything I wanted in a spec. The complexity of the rotation alone is incredibly difficult and engaging, making for a real good challenge. Survivability is great, except yes, in stuns, but what I think I like most about the spec is it's not reliant on burst cooldowns. I love to play with sustained pressure.
It does look pretty odd that auto-attacks to so much damage. I thought enhance had a large part of its damage come from auto-attacks, which I guess do a pretty good chunk, about 30%, but monks seem to have even bigger auto-damage, which I don't mind.
Oh and 30% armor penetration is friggin sweet.
Thanks for the post BTW. I was gonna ask for something like this.
100 Human Paladin
So do you ever use deadly reach ? I actually find it rather useful, more so than leg sweep.
I like to think of it as a 15 sec CD fist of justice or cyclone, even if you land the 4 sec paralyze, its still 4 sec, compared to 5 sec cyclone or 6 fist of justice, with the option to go 8 on a 15 sec cd?
The reason most people take leg sweep is because melle cleaves are popular and leg sweep is a much needed peel, plus paralysis breaks on a sneeze. 20yrd should be baseline just for the fact that xuen breaks that !@#$ rank1 us.
Still prefer chi brew. Chi brew is still the only way to generate chi at range without actually hitting anything or wasting a gcd on expel harm or jab when you absolutely need to touch of karma or apply more pressure. There are far too many uses for that.
Jab is a terrible skill to have to work in when you're trying to burst someone in as quick a window as possible as well. It comes down to saving gcds for me. If you are a top end player, you know that gcds are everything in the high end situations.
Ascension is just too limited for my tastes. Also, I'm not finding I need the energy. You might find that you perfer to spend a lot more time dps'ing the same target. Or you don't get cc'd often in the comp you play. Or energizing brew is just too long of a cooldown for you. It's up to you I suppose. For me the argument is simply one of gcds and how to save them.
Edited by Innverse on 12/8/2012 2:13 PM PST
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