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Legion Windwalker Monk Change Guide - Tweaks & Streamlining of Talents

Suzie Ford Posted:
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 With the new alpha build in place for World of Warcraft: Legion, it seems a good time to check out some of the significant changes coming to every class with the arrival of the expansion in Summer 2016.  While the Demonology Warlock, Outlaw Rogue, Enhancement Shaman and Survival Hunter are undergoing the most drastic changes, all other classes and specs have also been revamped in one way or another to fit what Blizzard calls the “core fantasy” for each.

Introduced in the Mists of Pandaria expansion, monks have become popular, though seemingly less-so than Blizzard may have hoped. A  cursory look at statistical information reveals that monks are the least-played class in WoW, something that Blizzard hopes to turn around in Legion.

One of the primary ways that developers are hoping to increase the class popularity is by decreasing the seemingly unnecessary complexity of gameplay.  By streamlining abilities, passives and talents, Blizzard removes cumbersome mechanics and smooths out the overall experience. In addition, and in particular, Windwalker Monks will receive a new Combo Strike mastery that encourages a mixing of several abilities and that can affect every ability used. Developers stated that Windwalkers “draw inspiration from classic fighting games” and that they bring a completely different fighting style into the game.

WindWalker Monks will receive an artifact that will help bring this new, streamlined and very deadly battle style to bear. Called  Fist of the Heavens, Blizzard had this to say in the  Monk Artifact reveal article:

Thousands of years ago, the famed tol'vir smith Irmaat crafted a pair of magnificent handblades. Unsatisfied with his work, Irmaat tried to capture the essence of Al'Akir the Windlord to infuse into his blades. Al'Akir was not amused. To spite the smith, Al'Akir poured unspeakable amounts of raw elemental fury into the handblades. When Irmaat attempted to unleash their might, a great vortex sprang up, engulfed his city, and scattered the weapons to the winds.

As with all Legion artifacts, Fist of the Heavens brings a host of traits to the player depending on the way in which it is leveled. In addition, the appearance of the artifact will change as well and in reaction to what traits are chosen by the player. As with all things Legion at the moment, keep in mind that this is a very early alpha build and things are likely to change fairly significantly over the coming months.

As with all of the class specifications, it is the available talents that have seen the most change. However, while having several key new talents, the main differences for WW Monks in the talents as they exist in Warlords of Draenor and the way they will appear in Legion is in realignment. Talents have shifted from one tier to another and have had the complexity streamlined with more understandable and simpler mechanics in order to facilitate the use of the soon-to-be iconic talent, Hit Combo.

Let’s take a look at the way the Legion talent tree level by level as compared to the Warlords talent tree. You can view each by clicking the images below. Brand new talents in each row are starred.

Click for a larger image

Level 15 - Healing: 1 new talent, 2 realigned

Chi Burst and Chi Wave: moved to this level from level 30

*Eye of the Tiger: Tiger Palm also applies Eye of the Tiger dealing 100% of Attack power Nature damage to the enemy and * Healing to the Monk over 8 seconds

Level 30 - Movement: 3 realigned talents

Chi Torpeo: Moved from Level 90

Tiger’s Lust and Celerity: Moved from Level 15

Level 45: 1 new talent, 2 remain as-is

*Energizing Elixir: Chug an Energizing Elixir instantly refilling Energy and Chi

Ascension and Power Strikes: unchanged

Level 60: 1 new talent, 2 remain as-is

Ring of Peace and Leg Sweep: unchanged

*Dizzying Kicks: Blackout Kick also snares the target by 70% for 3 seconds

  Click for larger images: Warlords on left; Legion on right

Level 75: existing talents unchanged

Healing Elixirs, Diffuse Magic and Dampen Harm remain as-is

Level 90: 1 new, 2 remain as-is

Rushing Jade Wind and Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger remain as-is

*Hit Combo: Each successive attack that triggers Combo Strikes in a row grants 1% increased damage, stacking up to 10 times

Level 100: 1 new talent, 1 redefined, 1 remains as-is

*Chi Orbit: Each 5 seconds, an orb of energy forms and rotates around you until it impacts an enemy dealing 300% Attack power damage. Max 4 orbs

Spinning Dragon Strike: redefined and streamlined version of existing Hurricane Strike

Serenity remains as-is

While it may appear that there are seemingly few changes, those made for Windwalker Monks are significant in generally simplifying the class overall. This is not “dumbing down” for WW Monks, but is simplifying the background algorithms and statistical percentages needed to perform successful attacks. Keep in mind that this is an early build for WW Monks and that there are likely to be big changes over time.


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom