Mistweaver 101: Cooldowns, Talents, & Glyphs
Today we will review the Cooldowns, Talents, and Glyphs that we regularly use as Mistweaver Monks. This post will primarily focus on the uses of these abilities in raiding environments. An upcoming post will suggest some ways to get the most of your cooldowns and talents in specific fights in Siege of Orgrimmar.
Revival is a large, instant heal that affects everyone within 100 yards of you. It also dispels all Magic, Poison, and Disease effects from anyone it hits. It can be used once every 3 minutes.
Revival is our go-to major raid cooldown. Because it is instant, however, and not channeled like Tranquility or Divine Hymn, it can be a difficult to decide when in a major damage spike we should use it. My rule of thumb is generally to use it as far into a damage spike as I comfortably can, to ensure that it does as little overhealing as possible and so that players come out of the damage phase relatively close to full health. Alternatively, if much of the raid is low and I know we are about to go into a major damage phase, I may use it in advance to make sure we keep everyone standing.
While the dispel is incredibly helpful, you generally do not want to use this cooldown for the dispel alone since the heal is so powerful. The only time I have found it helpful to use Revival primarily for the dispell is on the second or third door on Horridon, where the stacking poisons and diseases could quickly become unmanageable at lower gear levels.
Life Cocoon places a large shield on your target that also increases all “periodic healing” taken by 50%. (Periodic healing means heal-over-time and channeled spells like your Renewing Mist, a Druid’s Rejuvenation, a Priest’s Renew, and so forth.) The tooltip says that it lasts for 12 seconds, but this is misleading. Life Cocoon will only last for a full 12 seconds if the entire shield isn’t consumed in that time.
Currently, my Life Cocoon usually places around a 600,000 absorb shield on its target. If I put that on my one of my tanks, then it is probably going to be consumed before that 12 seconds is over, depending upon what abilities the boss is using at that time. All of this means that the increase to periodic healing isn’t really the main selling point of the spell, and it’s not something that you want to count on.
Use Life Cocoon when your tank is taking a large amount of damage, or when they are below 50% health and you need a bit of a buffer to give yourself time to heal them back up. You can use it when you know they are about to take a big hit, or if they call that they are out of cooldowns. You can also use it on DPS who have pulled aggro (if you feel like saving them), or really anyone who is taking a large amount of damage in a short period of time.
If you glyph Life Cocoon, then you can use it while you are stunned. This can be very helpful in PvP situations, but has limited use in a raiding environment.
Fortifying Brew is a standard damage reduction cooldown that increases our health by 20% and reduces the damage we take by 20% for 20 seconds. It has a 3 minute cooldown and we should use it anytime we know there will be a large damage spike.
Fortifying Brew can be modified with a glyph that changes the spell so that our damage taken is reduced by 25%, but our health is only increased by 10%. For healing Monks there is little difference to Fortifying Brew’s effectiveness regardless of whether we take the glyph, so we are likely to bypass it in favor of 3 Major Glyphs that modify our healing.
Zen Meditation is probably our least understood personal cooldown. It reduces our damage taken by 90% and it can redirect up to 5 harmful spells cast against your allies to you. It can be channeled for up to 8 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown. If you are are the victim of a melee hit, however, the channel will end.
It is important to understand that the redirect portion of this spell will work against almost nothing in a raiding environment. There are a few exceptions to this rule in Siege of Orgrimmar, but they are all abilities cast by trash packs or adds rather than bosses themselves. As a general rule, Zen Meditation’s redirect will usually work on anything that a Shaman’s Grounding Totem or a Warrior’s Spell Reflect also works on. In short, don’t count on the redirect to work on anything while you are raiding. If it does, that’s a bonus.
The main benefit of Zen Meditation is the 90% damage reduction. As stated in the tooltip, a melee hit will cancel the channel so you cannot use it to save yourself if you have adds swarming you. While I have not personally tested this, the comments on the WoWHead page indicate that it will absorb the damage from the very first melee hit you take, after which it will cancel. The spell can also be glyphed so that you can channel it while moving (meaning you will need to hit Escape if you want to stop channeling it.)
Zen Meditation is best used when there is a large and predictable damage spike, especially if that spike happens in a single hit. A single hit is preferable because, while you are channeling Zen Meditation, you will not be able to heal or do anything else. Thus, if you use Zen Meditation through the large hit and then immediately cancel it, you will have negated the damage and also be able to quickly heal up the rest of your team. In some fights, Zen Meditation can also allow you to solo abilities that would usually require a group to stack up in order to split the damage. (This was particularly helpful for Static Shock on Lei Shen, for example.)
Since the talent changes made at the start of Mists of Pandaria, there is no standard set of talent choices for a spec 100% of the time. I frequently go through at least a stack of Tomes of the Clear Mind in a raid night. That said, below we will discuss each of the talents available to us and when we might want to use them.
Tier 1 – Movement
Celerity allows us to Roll 3 times instead of 2, and it also reduces the cooldown on our Roll to 15 seconds instead of 20. This talent can be very helpful in movement-heavy fights where we need to move frequently but not necessarily travel a long distance.
Tiger’s Lust is a buff that we can place on ourselves or our teammates that increases movement speed by 70% for 6 seconds and also clears all immobilizing and movement-impairing effects. It has a 30 second cooldown. Because a single Roll is often enough for me to get out of harm’s way, I often take Tiger’s Lust so that I can give it to one of my teammates who does not have a speed burst.
Momentum gives us a 25% speed increase for 10 seconds after we Roll. The buff can stack, so if we Roll twice in a row, we will get a 50% speed increase. This talent is helpful in fights when it is necessary to have a speed boost for a long period of time, such as when we need to kite adds or maneuver through a very large room.
Each of these 3 abilities is perfectly viable in most PvE situations and this tier choice is largely personal preference. I generally run with Tiger’s Lust because it is the only choice that allows me to provide a speed boost to someone else if they need it.
Tier 2 – Free Healing
Chi Wave has a 15 second cooldown and can be cast on either a friendly or enemy target to do damage or healing. It will then “bounce,” up to 7 times, from an ally to an enemy to an ally, and so forth. It always bounces from ally to enemy, never to 2 allies or 2 enemies in a row; and if there are no more enemies to damage, then the spell will simply end. Chi Wave is the best option in this tier for fights that require the raid group to be spread out, as the other 2 talents are dependent upon your raid being grouped up.
Zen Sphere is a heal-over-time that lasts for 16 seconds with a 10 second cooldown – meaning you can have it up on 2 targets at once. This spell will place an orb over its target’s head that pulses for both healing and damage every 2 seconds. If its target reaches 35% health, then the sphere will detonate for an added burst of damage and healing. It will also detonate if it is allowed to expire, which you should allow it to do. You will never want to refresh a Zen Sphere on the same target or you will not get the burst of damage and healing it does when it detonates at the end. When I use this spell, I typically place either a sphere on each tank or 1 sphere in melee and 1 in ranged. I find that it is most helpful in fights that require my team to group up but are not suited to Chi Burst.
Chi Burst has a 1 second cast and is a “skill shot” ability, meaning that the spell does not require a target but will instead fire out in the direction your character is facing when she casts the spell. Chi Burst will always heal you, and it will also heal or damage any ally or enemy that it hits along its path. This talent has a 30 second cooldown and can be great for any fights that require your raid group to stack tightly, or on fights that have low-health adds spawning on regular intervals. It actually does quite a lot of damage and can easily help your group quickly pick off a pack of adds. That said, if you have difficulty with the skill shot mechanic and worry that you might not be able to consistently aim the spell, I would recommend choosing something else.
I frequently swap between these 3 talents depending upon the mechanics of a fight. For a fight like Thok, during which most of my raid group will be stacked up but I do not want to have to worry about a cast time, I will take Zen Sphere. On a fight where my raid group is stacked and we will have adds on a predictable timer (such as Sha of Pride), I may take Chi Burst. If the group is spread out, or if I intend to Fistweave for the majority of a fight, then I will take Chi Wave. When I am first learning a fight, I usually default to Chi Wave as it requires the least setup and is most forgiving if the group is not tightly stacked.
Tier 3 – Chi Modifiers
Power Strikes is a passive ability that procs every 20 seconds and causes our next Jab, Soothing Mist, Spinning Crane Kick, Expel Harm, or Crackling Jade Lightning to generate 1 additional Chi. Essentially, each of those abilities will now generate 2 Chi instead of 1 every 20 seconds. If you are already at maximum Chi, a Chi Sphere will be summoned near you. These are small grey spheres that you can walk through to gain back 1 Chi.
Ascension is a passive that increases your maximum Chi by 1 (so that you will have a possible total of 5 Chi instead of 4) and which increases your maximum Mana by 15%.
Chi Brew is an active ability that has 2 charges, and for each charge it will give you 2 Chi and 2 stacks of Mana Tea. Each charge has a 45 second cooldown. You can use the charges back to back and you will have 1 charge back again after 45 seconds, and a second charge will return an additional 45 seconds after that.
As discussed in the Chi & Mana post, Chi Brew is currently considered a “mandatory” Mistweaver talent. While Ascension may seem appealing because it increases our Mana pool, Chi Brew is superior because of the on-demand stacks of Mana Tea and the burst healing that 2 guaranteed Chi can provide.
Tier 4 – Crowd Control
Ring of Peace places a green circle around yourself or a team member that lasts for 8 seconds. Any enemies inside the circle will be instantly silenced and disarmed for 4 sec. If the enemies within the circle attack or cast harmful spells, they will be disarmed and silenced for an additional 4 sec. This ability does not work on raid bosses themselves, but it can work on many of the adds in most raid environments. If you have adds who need to be silenced or disarmed, and who are usually in range of at least one member of your group, then this spell can be helpful. Ring of Peace has a 45 second cooldown.
Charging Ox Wave is another “skill shot” ability like Chi Burst, meaning that it will fire out in a straight line from the direction that your character is facing. It will travel 3o yards in front of you and stun all enemies that it hits for 3 seconds. It has a 30 second cooldown. I tend to prefer Charging Ox Wave for any fights that have adds that need to be controlled because I can fire it off from a distance without having to check if there is a friendly player in range as I would with Ring of Peace. Again, as with Chi Burst, the downside to this spell is that managing the skill shot aspect can take some practice.
Leg Sweep is an area of effect ability that knocks down any enemies within 5 yards of you and stuns them for 5 seconds. The short range means that you will need to be quite close to the enemies that you want to stun, but it can still be very helpful when you need to get away from a mob that is attacking you or help your group control a pack of adds.
Any of these talents can be useful on fights with adds that are able to be stunned, disarmed, or silenced. Keep in mind that Charging Ox Wave is a “skill shot,” meaning that you do not have to be near a mob to stun it, as you would with Leg Sweep, but it also means that you probably don’t want to take it if you have difficulty accurately aiming the shot.
Tier 5 – Personal Damage Reduction
Healing Elixirs is a passive ability that can proc every 18 seconds. If you fall below 35% health, Healing Elixirs will heal you for 15% of your health. Also, if you drink your Chi Brew or Mana Tea while you are injured, you will be healed for 15% of your health. This talent is generally not taken by Mistweaver Monks, both because we should constantly be healing ourselves with Expel Harm (which has a much shorter cooldown) and because the other 2 abilities in the tier are much stronger for us.
Dampen Harm is a self-buff that has 3 charges, which last for 45 seconds or until all 3 charges have been used up. If a damaging ability hits you that would deal more than 20% of your health, Dampen Harm will reduce the damage you take by half. Dampen Harm has a 90 second cooldown and you can cast it while you are stunned. It is helpful on fights that have very large hits within a 45 second period. It is important to remember that the actual damage per hit must be large (more than 20% of your health) in order to proc the charges. Therefore, this ability would not be helpful on a fight in which there is a lot of sustained, small hits going out over a period of time.
Diffuse Magic is a very powerful self-buff that reduces all spell damage taken by 90% for 6 seconds. Because it only reduces spell damage, it is important to review a boss’ abilities before the fight starts to see whether the large damage spikes are physical or spell damage. In most cases, you will find that the largest hits (for non-tanks) are from spell damage, and so this talent will usually be your strongest choice. Diffuse Magic has a 90 second cooldown.
Healing Elixirs is not helpful for Mistweaver Monks. Diffuse Magic is generally the best possible choice in this tier, unless a fight has major physical damage spikes. I generally only take Dampen Harm for the Iron Juggernaut fight so that I can help my raid team by soaking Crawler Mines. In most fights in Siege of Orgrimmar, I prefer Diffuse Magic. It is also important to remember that as you gear up and gain additional health, Dampen Harm may not actually proc on the same abilities that it used to because 20% of your health would now require a larger hit.
Tier 6 – DPS Abilities
Rushing Jade Wind replaces our Spinning Crane Kick ability and changes the spell. Instead of being out of control of our character when we use this ability, Rushing Jade Wind places a healing wind around us that heals our allies and damages our enemies. It lasts for 6 seconds and, just like Spinning Crane Kick, it generates 1 Chi if it heals or damages at least 3 targets. Rushing Jade Wind provides more powerful healing and damage than Spinning Crane Kick does. Remember that if you do take this talent, you should not take Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick because you will already be able to move at 100% movement speed. Rushing Jade Wind can be helpful in fights that require your group to be tightly stacked and that have a lot of group damage.
Invoke Xuen will summon a controllable tiger pet that attacks your primary target and also does area-of-effect lightning damage to enemies within 10 yards of himself. Xuen lasts for 45 seconds and has a 3 minute cooldown. Xuen provides a decent burst of passive damage (and healing via Eminence) and can be helpful on nearly any fight. Xuen also requires the least amount of management on your part of the talent choices in this tier, so if you aren’t comfortable with the way that Rushing Jade Wind or Chi Torpedo work, then Xuen is probably a good choice for you.
Chi Torpedo replaces your Roll ability and makes you travel farther than Roll. When you use Chi Torpedo, you will travel approximately 25 yards and you will heal and deal damage to any enemies or allies who are in your path. Essentially this is a free ability that can potentially do a very large amount of healing if you are good at aiming it. If you choose to take Chi Torpedo, you should certainly pair it with the Celerity talent in the first tier so that you are able to use it 3 times rather than 2. You generally would not want to take Chi Torpedo if your raid group is too spread out to be able to hit several targets, or if you absolutely need your Roll ability for mechanics that require you to move quickly.
Chi Torpedo can be a very powerful healing ability if your raid group is tightly stacked and if you are comfortable with aiming the spell. While Rushing Jade Wind can be a very powerful group heal, it does require your group to be tightly stacked and can be a strain on your Mana. Xuen is a good choice for fights that require the raid to spread out, or if you are not comfortable with the additional management that goes into using either Chi Torpedo or Rushing Jade Wind.
For the most of raid encounters, you will want to choose three of the following Major Glyphs:
Glyph of Renewing Mist changes Renewing Mist so that it jumps to the furthest player within 40 yards of the original target, rather than the closest player within 20 yards. The glyph is desirable especially in raiding situations when a group has to be spread out. I generally prefer to run with this glyph, as the number of situations where I would prefer that Renewing Mist is capable of traveling 40 yards greatly outnumbers the times when I’d prefer that it stayed within 20.
Glyph of Surging Mist is recommended if you are Fistweaving because it will make your Surging Mist into a smart heal that automatically heals an injured player without you needing to target them. It is not especially helpful when you are not Fistweaving because if you cast Surging Mist while channeling Soothing Mist, then you will still only be able to heal your Soothing Mist target with that cast. As such, the glyph is relatively pointless for a stand-back-and-heal style Mistweaver because we never hard cast Surging Mist.
Glyph of Enduring Healing Spheres increases the duration of our Healing Spheres (both those we summon manually and those generated from our Mastery) to 4 minutes. While we rarely cast Healing Spheres during a raid fight, we often end up generating quite a lot of them through our Mastery. My raid group has become especially adept at picking up the “green power pellets” and so I end up doing a very respectable amount of healing from my spheres over the course of a fight. Simply put, the longer your Healing Spheres last, the higher the probability that someone will run through them (even unintentionally) at some point during the fight.
Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick should be used anytime that you intend to make use of Spinning Crane Kick in an encounter so that you will be able to move at 100% speed while you channel the spell. It should not be used if you take the Rushing Jade Wind talent.
Glyph of Zen Meditation allows you to use Zen Meditation while moving, and it can be useful in fights where you need to mitigate a large hit of damage while on the move. Remember that if you take this glyph, you will need to hit Escape or use a /cancelaura macro to end the channel.
Remember, as discussed in the Chi & Mana post, the one glyph you currently do not want to take as a Mistweaver is the Glyph of Mana Tea.
Up Next: UI & WeakAuras
The next post in the series will cover some of the Mistweaver-specific challenges you may face when you set up your healing UI. I will also review the WeakAuras that I use on my Monk and provide export strings for those auras. As always, questions and comments are welcome!