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An early look at patch 5.2 for monks, part 1

An early look at patch 52 for monks
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

Greetings! I've been bitten by the real-life bug for the last few weeks, but I'm back and ready to break down the changes occurring in patch 5.2. As a new class, Monks have a ton of changes and new abilities coming, so let's buckle down and take a look! This week, we'll look at the major mechanics changes from a PvP perspective; next week, we'll take a look at PvE and speculate how your rotations and weighting might be affected.

PvP woes

Let's face it: Monks were pretty weak for PvP. Windwalkers were reasonably good at generating sustained damage but had trouble putting out good burst (getting a kill typically required having a high Tigereye Brew stack, full chi, and a damage trinket effect active). Unfortunately, they frequently didn't have time to generate the brew stacks they needed due to having weak passive defense. Once your trinket was down, a Shockwave or Deep Freeze usually meant you were done. Touch of Karma helped, but required skill to use pre-emptively. Add to this diffficult-to-use CC making it hard for Monks to help land lockdown chains on healers, and windwalkers were, well, terrible.

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Filed under: Monk

Shifting Perspectives: An early look at 5.2 for druids

Shifting Perspectives An early look at 52 for druids

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we discuss the future.

Happy New Year!

Hmm. I guess I'm a little late for that. Anyway, my no-notice household move is mostly complete, and I've finally had a chance to start breaking down the new changes for druids in 5.2. With the exception of Feral PvP, things look pretty positive across the board, so let's dive in!

Cyclone a-no-no

Cyclone is the crowd-control effect that everyone loves to hate. Unlike the vast majority of other CC effects in the game, Cyclone does not share a diminishing return category with other effects, meaning you could couple it with another CC from a teammate to lock down an enemy target for a long period of time. By itself, this wasn't the end of the world. While a "clone" was powerful, it had a short range and a cast time, making it difficult to land in the first place.

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

From ding to spring: Fully clearing Mists of Pandaria's endgame raids in 3 weeks or less

Something about gearing up
In case you missed the big news, the Thunder King will be upon us in Patch 5.2, coming to you (live!) sometime in the next couple months. Unfortunately, many of you are just now receiving Mists of Pandaria under the tree, or are getting back into the game after reaching level 90, and are overwhelmed with all the endgame options available to you. Don't worry about it! By following this guide, we'll get you from a fresh level 90 character to a full clear of all 5.0 raids in three weeks or less, with no expensive outlays of time or cash. Plenty of time to prepare for dinomancers!

Prerequisites

First, you need to have a level 90 character. If you don't have one yet, it's okay: the experience required to level from 1-85 was significantly reduced when Mists of Pandaria was released, so you'll be able to catch up quickly. Once you reach 85, hop over to Pandaria and enjoy the new quests. You'll gain a level for each zone you clear, more or less. You can also run some normal mode 5-man dungeons if you'd like, though go easy; you'll be running the heroic versions quite frequently at 90.

Second, you'll want a DPS spec and a good set of starter gear for it. Completing the Dread Wastes or Townlong Steppes quests will get you outfitted; if you don't have DPS gear laying around to actually complete the quests, Len of Arms will happily sell you a set of 408's to get going. You can also search the auction house; many blue BoE's in the ilvl 430-450 range are listed frequently, for pretty reasonable prices.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

A closer look at the Ascension talent for monks

A closer look at Ascension
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!
Ascension: Passive talent. Increases your maximum Chi by 1, your maximum mana by 15%, and your energy regen by 15%.
In patch 5.1, Blizzard quietly reworked Ascension to make it a more useful talent. (I say quietly, because the change wasn't listed in the official patch notes, which was likely an oversight.) Previously, the talent had only increased maximum chi by 1, which made the talent useless for most players. Sure, in theory, you could use it to save up an extra chi for burst-type situations, but Chi Brew and its instant four chi was a much better choice for those anyway.

After finding out about the changes, my initial reaction (after a bit of napkin math) was that the talent was significantly improved to the level where it was a reasonable choice, but probably still not ideal over Power Strikes or Chi Brew. After I posted that in last week's column, a few commenters asked me to take a closer look, so I'll go spec-by-spec and take a closer look at the talent.

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Filed under: Monk

World of Warcraft Monopoly now on major sale

World of Warcraft Monopoly now on major sale
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Veil, or something else, you're probably looking to give that special someone something around this time of year. Amazon.com has just unveiled a major sale (65% off!) on the World of Warcraft Monopoly board game, dropping the price down to a cool $14 for U.S. customers. If you want some more info, we previously covered the currency (gold! Pass Go, collect 200g!) and the spaces on the board. Our parent site Joystiq also has a full set of unboxing pics.

Filed under: News items

Monk changes in patch 5.1

Monk changes in Patch 51 and associated hotfixes
While I've taken a brief hiatus from writing recently, the many, many changes to monks in the 5.1 patch and the immediately following hotfixes have lit the ol' theorycrafter spark. I'll go spec by spec and list the changes, along with some analysis.

Spoiler alert: Mistweavers aren't gonna be happy.

General changes This is nice, though it's not something that I particularly thought was necessary. With proper use of Roll (and Flying Serpent Kick for windwalkers), movement generally wasn't much of a problem for monks. The energy reduction for the buffs is nice for a quick rebuff after dying.

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Filed under: Monk

Patch 5.1: Treant Form now combustible

Patch 51 Treant Form now combustible
Apparently, we haven't seen the last of self-immolating lumber. Back in Firelands, the Moonkin 2-piece bonus allowed you to summon Burning Treants to attack your foes. Blizzard wasn't content with that, however, and took the next step: As of patch 5.1, treant form can now catch on fire. Yes, fire.

As discovered by Sunfyre of Sunfyre's Nest, simply activate Treant Form and gain the Cozy Fire buff from a basic campfire to see the theatrics. Have fun igniting your druids! (Sadly, paladins remain incombustible.) And, above all else, remember this: we didn't start the fire.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: Druid

3 advanced monk tactics you might not be using

3 advanced monk tactics you might not be using
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

In the previous weeks, I've covered the basics for brewmasters, mistweavers, and windwalkers. Now that we've had a month to get used to the new specializations, it's time to try some advanced tactics. Stick with me as we roll through one ability for each specialization that'll help propel you to the top of the charts, be they healing, damage, or your healer's Christmas card list.

Windwalker: Touch of Karma

All damage you take is redirected to the enemy target over 6 sec instead of you. Damage cannot exceed your total health. Lasts for 10 sec. 90 second cooldown.

Touch of Karma is amazing. First, this is one of the best defensive skills for a DPS'er in the game, as it essentially gives you a 350k HP shield which works against everything. It won't save you from insta-kill void zones, but for damage you know is coming, it's much better than a druid's Barkskin or a paladin's Divine Protection. In a raid setting, it's worth telling your healers to add Touch of Karma to their raid frames so they don't waste heals on you for the duration.

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Filed under: Monk

Shifting Perspectives: Feral druid macros of power

Shifting Perspectives Druid macros of power
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Shifting Perspectives for cat, bear, restoration and balance druids. Welcome to our DPS edition, brought to you by Chase Hasbrouck, aka Alaron of The Fluid Druid blog. This week, we automate (legally!)

So, you might have seen references to macros, macro-ing, or other mac-type things (the non-cheesy variety) in my latest column, and wanted to know just what I'm on about. I've combed through my personal setup, the macro discussion threads over at Fluid Druid, and the excellent tips at Macro WoW to lay down some (automated) beats.

Before we begin, though, a quick introduction/refresher. Macros are an in-game method of grouping up commands or actions so they can be used in a more efficient way. To create a macro, you open the macro UI pane (/macro), type or cut-and-paste the macro text into the field. pick an icon if necessary, and save it. This saves the macro text to an icon that can be dragged to an actionbar, just like one of your regular spells. Macros have two main limitations; they can only be 255 characters or less, and they can only execute one ability on the global cooldown per click. Other than that, go wild! (Just don't miss the litter box.)

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Filed under: Druid, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives

Kissed by the Mist: The mistweaver 101 guide

Kissed by the Mist The mistweaver 101 guide
Interested in trying out the new monk class, but can't tell your Tiger Strikes from your Tiger Palms? Written by Chase Hasbrouck of World of Monkcraft, WoW Insider's new monk coverage will get you kicking in no time!

With Mists of Pandaria now released, I've been actively engaged in playing my monk, and having a blast doing it. I've received several polite notes from readers about how I haven't written a mistweaver guide yet, so this week: mistweavers!

Mistweaver is the healing specialization for the monk class. Any race, except Worgen and Goblin, can be a monk. Mistweaver monks have two resources that power their healing abilities: mana and chi.

Resource Management

Unlike the other two specializations, Mistweavers use mana instead of energy as their primary resource. This powers the majority of their heals. Mistweavers can regain mana through the same ways as other healers (in-combat Spirit regeneration via Mana Meditation, mana potions, etc.). However, Mistweavers also generate Mana Tea stacks by using chi; one stack is generated for every 4 chi consumed (Brewing: Mana Tea). To regain mana, you channel the Mana Tea ability, which regenerates 4% mana/sec/stack. An alternative solution is to glyph Mana Tea which removes the channeling behavior and causes it to simply use two stacks (8% mana) instantly, on a 10 second cooldown.

As a supplement to mana, chi is a static 4-point pool, similar to a paladin's holy power, that decays when out of combat. Maximizing your chi generation is vital for maximizing your healing output; while you can heal without chi at all, most of your strongest HPS abilities require chi to use.

Overall, of all the healing classes, Mistweavers likely require the most thought when it comes to resource management. All the other healers get large mana regeneration cooldowns (Mana Tide Totem, Innervate, Hymn of Hope) that they can typically fire and forget; Mistweavers require more constant attention to mana and chi levels in order to maximize their performance.

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Filed under: Monk

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