I just loved this post from Aunaka Heals in which Aunaka created a mixed drink for each member of her raiding team. In fact, I loved it so much I had to try it out myself!
(Milric – Raid Leader and Holy Paladin)
Ingredients: Gin, lemon juice, and club soda with a lemon peel garnish. Yell “Hooooooooly … SHOCK!!!!” as you pour.
Story: Milric likes to Holy Shock things to death, including his own raid team. Anytime I get mind-controlled he likes to yell, “DIE, TZUFIT, DIE!” It’s a really comforting trait in a healer.
(Hanani – Raid Organizer and Windwalker Monk)
Ingredients: Combine whiskey (it’s going to need to be Bushmills and if you have to ask why we probably shouldn’t be friends), sugar syrup and lemon juice. Heat, then add hot water. Drink until your ears are smoking, then munch on a mint leaf to calm yourself down (you’ll have some time until the healers rez you).
Story: Hanani manages the schedule for our raid group and makes sure that we stay on task and on time. So let’s just get through this trash and move on to the first boss and GODDAMMIT GUYS I WILL F*#KING PULL IF YOU DON’T STOP TALKING IN VENT GOSH.
(Sashan – Protection Paladin)
Ingredients: In a shot glass, layer 100 proof cinnamon schnapps over hazelnut liqueur and ignite. Extinguishing the flame before consumption is optional. Multiple stacks/shots will increase your damage done.
Story: Sashan enjoys taking avoidable damage because he says it helps him build stacks of Vengeance. We’re sure that’s why he does it.
Line of Sight
(Bluebaloo – Guardian Druid)
Ingredients: 1 bottle of bourbon, 1 shot glass. May impact RL line of sight. Avoid stairs after drinking.
Story: Blue has died once, maybe twice, because he was tanking mobs on stairs and his healers couldn’t keep him in LoS. We will never let him forget it.
Sha of Inebriation
(Azandir – Sometimes Discipline Sometimes Shadow Priest)
Ingredients: Drip chocolate into a martini glass. Mix Kaluha, Bailey’s, and creme de cacao and pour. Top with chocolate shavings (and the fears of your enemies).
Story: Azandir was the first person in our group to get one of the weapons that is a part of the legendary questline. Now his Shadowfiend is one of those black and white Sha minions. He tells us it’s a happy Sha, but … we only know of one Sha of Happiness.
The Pro Mage
(Felanima - Mage / Angler extraordinaire)
Ingredients: Combine vodka, melon liqueur, coconut rum, and pineapple juice and blend with ice. Garnish with a paper umbrella - pro mages need to kick back and enjoy some tropical deep-sea fishing on their off days.
Story: Fel is our awesome Fire/Arcane mage who is always willing to drop what she’s doing and fill in when we need a 10th person. (Luckily for us, she and Milric are married so we are always able to summon her.) She is also the guild angler and LOVES fishing … we don’t actually know why.
(Soulthirst – Warlock)
Ingredients: Sour apple schnapps, amaretto, lime juice. Garnish with 4 slices of lime (3 if you aren’t using the glyph).
Story: Maybe you haven’t heard about it because warlocks don’t mention it often, but some warlocks want green fire. And you should probably give the warlocks what they want. Before every pull, Soulthirst kills his felhunter. We know it’s for the DPS from Grimoire of Sacrifice … but, killing your dog? Damn, that’s cold. Keep that in mind, Blizz.
(Pollia – Frost Mage)
Ingredients: Mix champagne and blue raspberry vodka, and pour over frozen melon balls. Serve in a chilled champagne flute, and line the rim with sugar.
Story: Pollia has been a Frost Mage since before it was COOL – you get it?! Cool! He named his water elemental “Bubbly” because apparently it’s actually made out of champagne.
(Chrixus - Mostly Boomkin unless you want him to go Bear/Cat/Tree today)
Ingredients: Vodka, gin, and triple sec. Cranberry juice if you have it, pineapple juice if not. Maybe both, actually. A splash of rum unless you’d rather do tequila, and then some sweet and sour mix for good measure. Oh, wait. Do you have grapefruit juice? Maybe add that too. Actually, why not do an orange wedge while you’re at it. Did anybody buy Kool Aid packets while we were at the store?
Story: In Firelands, Chrixus was a Boomkin. And then in Dragon Soul he was our off tank and sometimes a Boomkin and sometimes a cat. And now in t14 Chrixus is a Boomkin again except when he’s a Tree – oh, or if we’re short a tank he can just go back to a city and spec Bear for tonight, Ok?
The Ginger Dwarf
(Emelaine – Hunter whose pet wolf Scraps does all the work)
Ingredients: Ginger beer mixed with your choice of ale or lager. Drink 1, head to ICC, and see if you can successfully disengage back onto the platform after a Val’kyr picks you up. If you can, have another. Feign death, reset the ecounter, and try again. If you still can, have another. Repeat until death, at which point you can properly say that you’ve had a few shandies.
Story: It is a well-known Fact that Scraps soloed Deathwing AND the Lich King AND Nefarian AND Onyxia AND a couple of Shas with two paws tied behind his back. Scraps pretty much carries our raid. He has to since Emelaine is usually busy Disengaging off the Frozen Throne.
(Hachidori - Mistweaver Monk, a.k.a. Tzufit)
Ingredients: Kahlua, brandy, creme de cacao, and hazelnut liqueur. Guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Story: There is a common misconception in the guild that I never swear. The reality is that the guild never hears me swear because my Vent is push-to-talk. When I do swear in Vent, it seems to become a major *thing* and I like to believe that it makes the rest of the raid get ready for SERIOUS RAIDING BUSINESS. (It doesn’t.) Any and all profanity comes from a place of love (probably).
Side note: What a nicely transmogrified bunch we are! It’s no coincidence – Hanani threatens to kick us from the raid for Fashion Reasons on a regular basis.
So, go on! Now that we’re all good and thirsty … what’s YOUR mixed drink?
Like most things Mistweaver, our system for mana return is vastly different than that of every other healer in the game. Priests, shaman, druids, and paladins all have some sort of ability they can use every few minutes that will return a chunk of mana to them. Monks, on the other hand, must constantly manage our mana-return ability throughout an entire fight. It is a significantly more active system than for other classes.
The Mistweaver’s only way to regenerate mana is through our Mana Tea ability. The ability requires stacks of a buff by the same name to use, and this buff can stack up to 20 times. We generate 1 stack of Mana Tea for every 4 Chi that we spend.
Let’s go back and review that again:
In order to return mana, we have to spend Chi.
This is extremely important, and makes up a significant part of what we need to learn to be effective healers. At first glance and during leveling, Chi may seem somewhat optional for us. The vast majority of our direct healing spells require mana to use, not Chi. But the introduction of Mana Tea at level 56 completely changes the importance of our second resource.
In order to efficiently generate stacks of Mana Tea, Chi should be spent as quickly as we generate it. The only exception to this is when we know that there is large spike in damage coming soon, and we want to hold on to 2 or 4 Chi to use Uplift on our raid group. Aside from these situations, there is essentially no reason to save Chi nor to allow it to cap.
To Glyph or Not to Glyph
Unglyphed, our Mana Tea ability returns 4% mana for every 1 second that we channel it – up to a maximum of 80% of our mana over 20 seconds. The obvious downside to this ability is that we must channel it, meaning we are able to do nothing else during that time (think of Potions of Concentration/Focus as a parallel). Stacks are not wasted if we cancel the channel, so we can easily cancel the ability and resume healing if we need to (unlike the Potions mentioned).
Given the difficulty of using Mana Tea as a channeled spell, however, the vast majority of Mistweavers choose to Glyph Mana Tea. The glyph makes Mana Tea an instant cast, and uses up to 2 stacks of the buff each time (it will always consume 2 stacks unless we only have 1 stack when the ability is used). It also gives Mana Tea a 10 second cooldown. Basically, the Glyph of Mana Tea can give us 8% mana back every 10 seconds – assuming we have enough stacks of the buff to constantly support this.
In order to track when I should use Mana Tea, I have created a Weak Aura that checks for 3 variables:
Is the Mana Tea ability off cooldown?
Do I have 2 or more stacks of Mana Tea?
Do I have less than 85% mana?
If the answers to all 3 variables are “yes,” then my Weak Aura will appear to remind me that I should use Mana Tea. The import string for this Weak Aura is provided below:
Overall, I find myself enjoying this system and the added complexity it brings to the Mistweaver spec. I really appreciate how much thought went into the way that mana use, spending Chi, and returning mana all interact with each other. It makes for a challenging, interesting, and incredibly unique healing model.
A quick tip today for all the new Mistweavers out there. You have probably noticed that one of the annoying side effects of channeling Soothing Mists is that your camera follows your healing target all over “Hell’s half acre.” The same is also true for other channeled spells like Penance, Arcane Missiles, Mind Flay, and many more. Chances are good that this is driving you bonkers.
Fortunately, it is very simple to turn off this camera option. If you are planning to raid (or, really, do any level 90 content on your Monk) I would go so far as to say that doing so is necessary. Having your camera constantly turning – and it will be constant, since you will be using Soothing Mists a lot – is a sure way to get yourself killed by a void zone or other ability that you need to watch closely in order to avoid.
To disable camera turning on channeled spells, simply copy and paste the following into your chat window:
/console cameraSmoothTrackingStyle 0
Should you want to re-enable camera tracking, the command to do so is:
/console cameraSmoothTrackingStyle 1
So you’ve created a Mistweaver Monk and hopefully read my earlier post on the pros and cons of the spec. Now it’s time to start leveling.
If you have chosen to create a Pandaren Monk, you will find that the Wandering Isle does not have mailboxes (this is because of the problems that come from Pandaren being essentially faction-less until they complete all the quests on the Isle – also, can you IMAGINE the shipping costs to send something to a turtle in the middle of the sea who’s constantly moving?). Low level Pandaren, therefore, will not have access to heirlooms until they choose a faction and are ported to their new home city. At that point, and at level 1 for all other races, the following heirlooms are available:
- Preened Tribal War Feathers - Available if your guild has reached level 20, purchased from guild vendors for 1,500g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Preened Ironfeather Shoulders - Purchaseable for 2,175 Justice Points, 110 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 60 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
- or -
Lasting Feralheart Spaulders - Purchaseable for 2,175 Honor Points. (These shoulders have + PvP Resilience.)
- Preened Ironfeather Breastplate - Purchaseable for 2,175 Justice Points, 110 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 60 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
- Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak - Available if your guild has reached level 10, purchased from guild vendors for 1,200g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Preened Wildfeather Leggings – Available if your guild has completed the achievement Working As a Team, purchased from guild vendors for 1,750g. You must be Honored with your guild to purchase this piece, and the price is reduced based on your reputation level.
- Discerning Eye of the Beast - Purchaseable for 2,725 Justice Points, 130 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 75 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown. You can equip 2 of these trinkets at the same time.
- Dignified Headmaster’s Charge - Purchaseable for 3,500 Justice Points, 160 Darkmoon Faire Prize Tickets, or 95 Champion’s Seals from Argent Tournament Dailies in Icecrown.
(The staff is preferable to the 1H Intellect mace, which your Mistweaver can also use, only because using a 1H weapon while leveling means that you will be dependent upon quest rewards and dungeon drops to fill your offhand slot. The Headmaster’s Charge is also generally preferable to the Grand Staff of Jordan, which is weighted more toward defensive stats for PvP.)
The shoulders, chest, trinket, and weapon(s) will all increase your experience from levels 1-80, meaning you will benefit from the XP gain until you hit 81. The helm, legs, and cloak will all increase your experience from levels 1-85, meaning you will benefit from the XP gain until you hit 86. Remember, however, that heirlooms count as an iLv of 1, so you may have some difficulty queueing for dungeons beyond level 70 if your heirlooms are equipped.
Before you are able to choose your specialization, you will have a chance to get used to the way your damage abilities work to build and spend Chi. For these first 10 levels, your primary resource will be Energy rather than mana. You will learn:
|(1) Jab – Your basic attack that grants 1 Chi|
|(3) Tiger Palm – A stronger attack that costs 1 Chi. It also grants the buff Tiger Power, causing your attacks to ignore 10% of enemies’ armor for 20 sec. Tiger Power can stack up to 3 times, for a 30% armor penetration buff. (In Patch 5.1, this ability will no longer stack.) Tiger Palm will be the best way to get rid of excess Chi for the much of your leveling experience.|
|(5) Roll – Allows you to roll a short distance. You cannot change directions while you are rolling, nor can you stop yourself (unless you run into something). You can, however, roll backwards if you are moving backwards when you activate the ability. Roll has 2 charges, and those charges begin to regenerate after you use the first one.|
|(7) Blackout Kick - A strong attack that costs 2 Chi. While you are leveling, you will find that Blackout Kick is not significantly stronger for a Mistweaver Monk, so you can mostly ignore it and spend your Chi on Tiger Palm instead. This will change slightly after level 34.|
Choosing Your Specialization, Level 10
Upon reaching level 10, you will officially be able to become a Mistweaver. Doing so will grant you the following abilities:
|(10) Stance of the Wise Serpent – This is the stance you will always use when you are healing. It converts your Energy to Mana, increases your healing done by 20%, grants hit and expertise equal to 50% Spirit gained from items or effects, and your attack power is equal to 200% of your spell power. Essentially, this is the ability that makes it possible for you – wearing caster leather – to effectively deal melee damage.|
|(10) Eminence - Your Stance of the Wise Serpent also grants this passive effect. When you deal damage with any ability (except auto-attacks), Eminence heals the lowest health target within 20 yards for 50% of the damage done. This is what makes it possible for you to heal by DPSing.|
|(10) Soothing Mist – Your first healing spell, Soothing Mist is a long, channeled spell that heals for a moderate amount. Each tick has a 25% chance to generate 1 Chi, and this is the only direct heal you will have until level 32. At low levels, it is best used when the tank or another group member is taking a steady stream of incoming damage. Otherwise, you will find that it is equally effective to use your damaging moves to passively heal with Eminence.|
Leveling with a Mistweaver spec is perfectly viable. You really don’t take any longer to kill mobs than a Brewmaster or Windwalker would, and you have the added benefit of always being able to heal yourself. Particularly if you are using heirlooms, you are very unlikely to run out of mana while you are questing.
Most of what you learn for the next several levels will be utility or situational abilities (and I have only included those that are likely to be relevant to a Mistweaver):
|(18) Resuscitate – Your resurrection spell.|
|(20) Detox – Your dispell, which removes Poison and Disease effects. Because you are speced as a Mistweaver, it will also remove harmful magical effects from a friendly target. Like all MoP dispells, this ability is on an 8 second cooldown.|
|(20) Zen Pilgrimage – A teleport spell that brings you to a Monk sanctuary at the top of Kun-Lai Summit. Every 10 levels, you will have a class quest to complete that rewards you with a weapon or belt and, more importantly, a 50% increase to your XP gained for the next hour. These quests require you to defeat a monk NPC at the temple, and usually teach you about using your CC spells. They can also be repeated once a day to get the 50% XP boost back. There are also trainers at the temple should you need to respec or change your glyphs and talents.|
|(22) Legacy of the Emperor – Your raid buff, it increases Strength, Agility, and Intellect by 5%. This is the same buff as Blessing of Kings and Gift of the Wild, so it will not stack with either of those.|
|(22) Touch of Death – This ability costs 3 Chi and “instantly kills” a non-player target with equal or less health than you. What it really does is deal physical damage equal to your maximum health that ignores the target’s armor. If you have the 3 Chi, it’s helpful to use on cooldown while questing to quickly take out a quest mob, and the same goes for dungeon groups.|
|(24) Fortifying Brew – This is a damage reduction cooldown you can only use on yourself, increasing your health by 20% and reducing damage taken by 20% for 20 seconds. It’s been a lifesaver when I have an overzealous tank who can’t hold agro on everything he pulls.|
|(26) Expel Harm – A nifty self-heal, this spell is on a 15 second cooldown and is quite cheap to cast. It also generates 1 Chi and damages a nearby target for 50% of the healing you receive. If you are at anything less than full health and Expel Harm is available, use it.|
|(28) Disable – A helpful snare to keep you away from melee in PvP, or from angry mobs. Disable reduces your target’s movement speed by 50%, and its duration is refreshed if the target remains within 10 yards of the you. If you use Disable on a target that has already snared, they will be rooted for 8 seconds instead.|
Once your Mistweaver gets into the 30s, you’ll really start to see more of your healing toolkit. The spells you learn between 30-60 are the ones you will use the most often for direct healing and group healing.
|(32) Spear Hand Strike – Our interrupt, which can also silence a target if they are facing us when we hit them.|
|(34) Surging Mist – This is somewhat like a Flash Heal for monks. It is expensive, heals for a large amount, generates 1 Chi, and becomes an instant-cast if we cast it while we are channeling Soothing Mist. This is part of what makes monks so much different from other healers – the way that many of our spells work differently if they are used while we are casting Soothing Mist. There is really never a reason to hard-cast this spell; it should always be used while channeling as an instant-cast. Use Surging Mist during periods of high damage when you need to quickly top up the tank or someone else in your party.|
|(34) Enveloping Mist – A HoT which both heals its target for a moderate amount over 6 seconds, and also increases the amount of healing done by Soothing Mists on the target. Just like Surging Mist, Enveloping Mist is instant-cast if used while channeling Soothing Mists and, again, never should be hard-cast. This is doubly true with Enveloping Mist, since the idea is to cast it on a target who you will then continue to heal with Soothing Mist. Enveloping Mist costs 3 Chi.|
|(34) Teachings of the Monastery* – This passive skill enhances 3 of your DPS abilities: Tiger Palm, Blackout Kick, and Spinning Crane Kick. Our Blackout Kick will now provide the buff “Serpent’s Zeal,” which makes any auto-attack damage we do heal nearby party members for 25% (or 50% at 2 stacks). Our Tiger Palm ability will now grant the buff “Vital Mists,” which reduces the cast time and mana cost of our next Surging Mist by 20% per stack (up to a total of 5 stacks, at which point Surging Mist will be instant-cast and free). Finally, our Spinning Crane Kick will heal nearby injured targets in addition to causing AoE damage. If you heal at least 1 target (other than yourself) with Spinning Crane Kick, it will also generate 1 Chi.|
* Teachings of the Monastery is the ability that makes so-called “Fistweaving” (a somewhat awful name for the Monk style of healing that involves actively damaging an enemy rather than traditional, cast-based healing) a viable way to heal in many fights. Whether Fistweaving is an effective way to heal at max level is a hotly-debated topic among Mistweaver monks right now. For leveling purposes, however, you will find that healing through melee abilities is certainly possible, and often more engaging than casting.
The 40s will give us access to our group-healing spells, as well as a few additional utility abilities.
|(42) Renewing Mists – Easily my favorite monk healing spell, Renewing Mists is a very unique HoT. Not entirely unlike Prayer of Mending, Renewing Mists jumps from its initial target to 3 additional party members, applying its HoT to each of them. The HoT lasts for 18 seconds, but only has an 8 second cooldown – meaning it can be rolling on several people at the same time. Casting Renewing Mists generates 1 Chi.|
|(44) Paralysis – The monk’s CC ability, which lasts 30 seconds against PvE mobs – or a full 1 minute if you cast it while behind your target. In PvP, this ability lasts 4 seconds if cast from the front and 8 seconds from behind. Unless you choose to take the Deadly Reach talent, you must be within melee range to use this spell.|
|(45) Dematerialize – A handy emergency passive during PvP or when unruly mobs decide to smack the healer, Dematerialize causes you to “phase out of existence” when you are stunned. This effect lasts for 2 seconds and temporarily causes all melee, ranged, and spell attacks to miss you. It has a 10 sec cooldown.|
|(46) Spinning Crane Kick – As cool as it sounds, Spinning Crane Kick puts your character into a whirlwind that both damages enemies and heals friendly targets. Unglyphed, it will also slow your movement speed by 30%. For fights in which our party or raid can be tightly stacked, this is a very strong AoE heal.|
Levels 50-90 will be covered in the second half of this guide. Questions, comments, and corrections are more than welcome!
Like many of the WoW bloggers out there, I’ve been a little absent recently and the reason is pretty simple – Mists of Pandaria is a LOT of fun!
Though I spent the first 2 weeks raiding on my Resto druid, I also leveled a Monk (in record time for me), and brought her to heal our 10-man group this past Thursday. I’ve definitely caught the Mistweaver bug, so you’ll be seeing some Monk healing and leveling guides up on the site before too much longer.
I hope that you’re all enjoying the new expansion as much as I am, and I’ll leave you with one parting thought:
When Mists of Pandaria was first announced, I wrote a post detailing my fears about the new expansion. Primarily, I was afraid of 3 things (some of which I owned up to that post, and some of which I didn’t):
- I was afraid it would be awful, silly, and ridiculous.
- I was afraid my guildmates would hate it and leave the game.
- I was afraid that I would roll a monk and love her more than my druid.
Fortunately, I’ve come to realize that Fear 1 was pretty stupid and based on a snap judgment of what Pandaria would be about. Fear 2 is still a concern, as we certainly lost plenty of guild members during Cataclysm, not all of whom have returned. And then there’s Fear 3.
The idea of the Monk class really appealed to me when it was announced. I have always wanted to play a DPS/healer hybrid, but have yet to find one that balanced both damage and healing output very well (in WoW or elsewhere). Atonement healing in Cataclysm was very fun, particularly while leveling priests, but the system didn’t translate to max level. Atonement priests would Smite to 5 stacks of Evangelism, and then use Archangel to increase their healing. It wasn’t truly a damage-to-heal model at 85, so it lost my interest at that point. Monks seemed like maybe they would cross that bridge.
I am absolutely loving the healing style of the Mistweaver Monk, and – depending upon how I feel about it at level 90 – this “alt” may end up getting a lot of play in this expansion. The healing style is incredibly different from what most seasoned healers will be used to, and it probably isn’t something that’s going to have universal appeal. This is not, for example, a healing alt you should create simply because you want to have one of every type of healer (my Paladin exists and made it to 85 purely for this reason).
So you’re thinking about creating a Mistweaver and leveling to 90. Here are a few questions to consider first:
- Have you ever played a melee DPS class? Did you hate it?
If you don’t like melee DPS, you’re not going to like playing a Mistweaver. As soon as you choose the Mistweaver spec, you will learn the Stance of the Wise Serpent. In addition to converting your energy to mana, this stance also grants you Eminence, which will do the vast majority of your healing early on. Eminence will heal the target with the lowest health within 20 yards for 50% of your non-auto attack damage. Simply put, each time you deal damage from any of your abilities, you will heal someone for 50% of the damage you deal.
At low levels in particular, I saw many Mistweavers who were content to stand back and cast their first heal, Soothing Mist, and never get anywhere near the melee pile. I found this a little baffling, since you are literally doing nothing but channeling a single spell for the entire dungeon if this is your early healing strategy. Personally, I had a lot more fun running through low level dungeons doing almost nothing but DPSing, trying to see what the limits of Eminence really were, and getting a feeling for how often I would actually need to cast Soothing Mist.
On my monk, I generally spend about 95% of my time within melee range of the boss and/or mobs. While, strictly speaking, this is not absolutely necessary to be able to do your job as a Mistweaver, you are significantly impairing your healing if you are not close enough to use your melee attacks. At level 34 you will learn Teachings of the Monastery, which will cause Tiger Palm and Blackout Kick to provide buffs to your healing, and you want to have near 100% uptime on each of these. In addition, Jab is your cheapest way to generate Chi, a resource you will need in order to cast many of your healing spells.
Without going into a long explanation of Mistweaver healing, I think the point is already clear that the monk is designed to be the melee healer. If you hate playing melee DPS (and there are plenty of reasons to hate it, as I’ll discuss below) this is probably not the class for you.
- Do you have trouble with situational awareness and standing in the bad?
Truth talk: Some healers spend a lot of time standing in fire, and they get away with it because they can heal themselves. They also get away with it because they usually aren’t standing in melee, where some of the worst one-shot cleave and whirlwind mechanics happen. If you are the healer who never volunteers to stand with the melee pile because you know you’re probably going to get yourself killed, this is not the class for you.
Let’s face it – there are a lot of things melee DPS have to deal with that ranged don’t. Boss mechanics are notoriously tougher on melee due to positional requirements, having to chase the boss around the room to DPS it, and lots of bad things to avoid standing in. If you’re playing a Mistweaver, all these problems are now your problems.
- Are you capable of and/or willing to set up a UI that can function simultaneously for healing and DPSing purposes?
All the stuff that a healer needs to see on their UI (player health levels, debuffs, HoT durations), a Mistweaver needs to see. And all the stuff that a DPS needs to see (your debuffs on the boss, buffs on yourself, ability timers for yourself and for the boss), a Mistweaver needs to see. While my Mistweaver has fewer spells bound through Vuhdo than a lot of my other healers, she has way more keybinds and mousebinds in general.
Some of this is due to spells like Healing Spheres and my Jade Serpent Statue, which require me to place them on the ground. But a lot of my additional keybinds are for buttons I need to DPS while I heal. I’m still trying to work out my own ideal setup for all this, but I know that whatever I do I’m going to end up with a pretty complex UI for my Mistweaver.
- Are you in love with the small cheap/fast expensive/large slow healing model?
… because Monk healing breaks it completely. You have something that’s somewhat equivalent to a fast heal in Surging Mist, but even that interacts much differently than your typical Flash Heal because it’s an instant cast if you’re already channeling Soothing Mist. The closest thing you have to a small cheap heal is Soothing Mist, but that’s really a long channeled spell that’s hard to compare to any other heal in the game.
Most Mistweaver spells are very different from any existing healing spells, so if you are a big fan of the current healing system and aren’t interested in learning a completely different model, this class probably isn’t for you.
- Does having 2 resources to manage sound frustrating?
Mana and Chi are both essential to Mistweaver healing. Some of your heals will cost mana (and usually these generate or have a chance to generate Chi), and others will cost Chi. Your mana-return mechanic, Mana Tea, is dependent upon using Chi. It’s a slightly complicated system, but one which flows really well once you get the hang of it. The point is, though, that you are going to have to get the hang of it. You have two resource bars to watch now instead of just one, and you’re going to experience some frustration the first time you hear your Monk tell you that you “don’t have enough Chi to do that.”
- Have you played a healer before?
I’m of two minds about this one. On the one hand, I think that a player who hasn’t healed before may not experience a lot of the problems seasoned healers will with Mistweavers. They won’t have a lot of preconceived ideas about standing at range, always casting, and what tools a healing system should have.
On the other hand, I’d have a really difficult time recommending this class to a first-time healer. One of the most important things seasoned healers acquire is a keen sense of “oh no, things are starting to go bad.” Early in your healing experience, it may be difficult to see the difference between a normal damage spike and a true emergency, or even realizing that there is a difference between these things. For monks, this is particularly important because they need to develop an idea of when to stop doing damage and start focusing on direct healing.
As much as I stressed the importance of being in melee and doing damage earlier, there will still be times when this simply isn’t enough to counteract the damage your group is taking. One of the most important things you need to learn as you level your Mistweaver is how much damage you can heal through with your DPS and instant spells, and at what point you need to switch to the big heals. It’s going to be a bit of a weird balance for anyone to figure out, and I think it will be doubly so for someone who isn’t already familiar with the ebb and flow of healing spikes.
So, you’re saying I shouldn’t try a Mistweaver, huh?
Absolutely not! If you read all the questions above and kept thinking to yourself, “She’s crazy, this all sounds like a blast,” then this just may be the class for you! I’m having a ton of fun on my Mistweaver, and I can’t wait to get her into some Pandaria dungeons in the next few weeks.
If you’re really looking to dive into the complexities of this class, I highly recommend Icy Veins’ Guide to the Mistweaver Monk. It is extremely helpful for anyone who wants to get a sense of how Mistweaver abilities work at max level. The best learning experience, however, is actually logging on and rolling your Mistweaver. The class’ damage output and passive healing makes it extremely easy to quest in your healing spec – since I never have to stop to replenish my health, I actually find it more efficient to quest this way than in my Windwalker spec. Currently, dungeon queues are running from anywhere between instant to 10 minutes depending upon the level and time of day.
So yes, definitely, try it and see whether this brand new healing style suits you! Mistweavers are incredibly fun and a really unique new challenge. Given how much I’m enjoying my panda, this probably won’t be the last you hear from me on the topic.