A WoW Monk Guide

The Monk is a new class introduced with the Mists of Pandaria expansion to WoW. Monks use their martial arts skills, fortified with various exotic brews, to make their way through the world, kicking butt and taking names (sometimes.)

Night Elf MonkMuch like Paladins, Monks can heal, damage, and tank and their resources are similar.

Monks use Chi as their main resource, but also Energy, and Chi operates much like the Paladin’s Holy Power. You build it up with certain abilities and then use it to power other abilities.

Monk abilities that don’t use Chi, such as their basic strike Jab, will use Energy or Mana.

Everything that you do will be based around building and expending these resources.

This page is an overview of Monks in general. For more detail in specific areas you’ll want to hit one of the linked pages, just below the contents.


  1. Stats
  2. General Monk Abilities
  3. Specific Monk Abilities
  4. Race Choice
  5. Faster leveling


Monk Leveling – our leveling guide for Monks covers abilities, gearing, talents, glyphs, and more. everything you need to understand the class and charge ahead is here.

Windwalkers for the Damage – This is the “damage” (DPS) specialization (spec) for Monks. Windwalkers can effectively handle small groups of enemies with their heals and area effect attacks. They can also be effective in PvP. Here’s a Windwalker Monk PvP gearing guide to get you started.

Mistweavers for the Heals – Mixing together brews, mana, and chi the Monk is an effective healer.

Brewmaster tankage – Brewmasters round up the group and, with a little help from the friends, burn them down. Brewmaster abilities are geared around survival and keeping the attention of all of the opposition (gaining threat through area damage.)

Brewmasters are also interesting in PvP. Not so much damage, but your slows and mitigation make it a challenge  to take you down.

world of warcraft alliance and horde leveling guide
Click Here to get it all

Stats and Notes

Warlords completely killed off Expertise and Hit rating, along with the reforging mechanic. You did, however, gain new stats:

  • Versatility adds to your damage and your heals. So 5% Vers. adds 5% to both. It adds half its value to your damage reduction.
  • Various tertiary stats and gems slots have a random chance to appear on dropped or created gear (such as from gear tokens earned in your Garrison.) None will appear on vendored gear. These stats are Speed (move faster,) indestructible (item takes no damage,) Avoidance (like Dodge,) Leech (gain health,) and the gem slots.

See the links above to get to pages with far more detail on stats, rotations, talents, etc.

All Monks will wear leather armor and all monks will get a bonus at level 50 which adds +5% to your main stat if you are wearing all leather armor.

  • Brewmaster: Agility
  • Windwalker: Agility
  • Mistweaver: Int

PvP Stats

PvP stats for older gear, but not after level 90.

  • Resilience adds to your defense by reducing incoming player damage. The Res on your gear will be good enough, so any gems or enchants you add should be for stats.
  • PvP adds damage/dealing towards players. As with Res. and gems or enchants should be towards stats.

See the main pages for gemming and enchanting detail: Brewmaster tanking, Windwalker Damage, Mistweaver healing

For Monk PvP it’ll be worth your while to visit Skill-Capped.



General Monk Abilities

These are the abilities that all Monks will learn as they level. See below for the abilities learned by the Winwalker. All abilities are learned automatically as you level.

General Abilities
1 Jab – Your basic attack. Use this to generate the Chi for your bigger attacks. Costs Energy to use.
1 Stance of the Fierce Tiger – Your basic stance. Increases Chi generation and movement speed.
5 Roll – Quickly roll a short distance. A bit like a mage’s “blink.” Two uses every 20 seconds. Your first tier talents modify this ability.
7 Blackout Kick – Uses Chi, also enables a small amount of healing to your team.
14 Provoke – “Yo momma is so fat…” This is a taunt and the mob will run towards you.
18 Resuscitate – restore a friendly target to life.
20 Detox – Remove poison and disease.
20 Zen Pilgrimage – Teleports you to the Peak of Serenity, leaving a marker behind. Cast it again to return to the graveyard nearest your marker.
22 Touch of Death – Insta kill a non-player enemy with health <= yours. Requires 3 chi.
24 Fortifying Brew – Increases health and reduces damage for 20 seconds.
26 Expel Harm – Instant heal that also does some damage to a nearby enemy. Generates 1 or 2 Chi (depending on stance.)
32 Spear Hand Strike – interrupt spell casting, also silences casting if used in front of the opponent.
44 Paralysis – Put your target to sleep for a while. Costs energy.
46 Spinning Crane Kick – Damages all nearby targets, costs energy, generates 1 Chi if it hits 3+ targets.
54 Crackling Jade Lightning – Cast lightning at the enemy causing damage over 6 seconds. Might generate a Chi point. Enemies affected by the lightning will be knocked back if they attack within melee range.
87 Transcendence: Split your body and spirit, leaving your spirit behind. Such as at the top of that cliff.
87 Transcendence: Transfer: Swap positions with your spirit, to get back to the top of that cliff, for example.


Monk Abilities by Specialization

These are the abilities that define you as one or the other flavor (spec) of Monk. Note that many of these are passive (P) effects.

Brewmaster Mistweaver Windwalker
1 Critical Strikes (P) – Base 10% chance to crit. 10 1 Critical Strikes (P) – Base 10% chance to crit.
10 10 10 Dual Wield (P)– Weapons in each hand. 
10 10 Teachings of the Monastery (P) – Your Spinning Crane Kick now heals. 10 Combo Breaker – sometimes get a free Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick
10 Dizzying Haze – Area effect brew splash causes threat and slows enemies. Spammable. 10 10 Fists of Fury stuns and pummels targets in front of your for 4 seconds.
10 10 Soothing Mist – heals the target over 8 seconds. 18 Flying Serpent Kick – Fly for 2 sec, the landing damages enemies.
10 Dual Wield (P) – Weapons in each hand. 10 20 Combat Conditioning (P) for better kicking.
10 Stance of the Sturdy Ox – More defense. 16 Enveloping Mist – heals the target over 6 sec. 22 Touch of Karma – damage is reflected to the enemy.
11 Keg Smash – damages and slows nearby enemies. 20 26  Afterlife (P) – occasionally gain healing or Chi spheres.
18 Breath of Fire – Your spicey breath damages targets in front of you. 22 36 Energizing Brew regenerates 60 energy over 6 sec.
26 Guard improves your absorbs and heals for 30 sec. 24 Renewing Mist heals over 18 seconds and bounces to allies. 50 Leather Specialization (P) – More agility if all your armor is leather. 
36 45 56
36 Elusive Brew – Use your brew to better dodge attacks. 50 Leather Specialization (P) – More Int if all your armor is leather.  56 Rising Sun Kick your kick causes nearby enemies to take more damage and your main target to receive less healing.
45 50 Life Cocoon – cast an absorption shield on your target. 56
50 Leather Specialization (P) – More agility if all your armor is leather. 56 75 Storm, Earth, and Fire summons an elemental spirit to help you out.
56 Gift of the Ox (P) – summon the occasional healing sphere. 56 80 Mastery: Bottled Fury (P) – more charges of Tigereye brew.
70 Summon Black Ox Statue – drop a statue which threatens all enemies within 30 yards. 80
75 Purifying Brew – purifies away your staggered damage. 62 Uplift heals all targets already affected by your Renewing Mist. 81 Legacy of the White Tiger – Increase Str/Ag/Int and Crit for the whole raid. 
80 Mastery: Elusive Brawler (P) – More Stagger and  Attack Power. 64 82 Zen Meditation – 90% reduction to all damage for 8 seconds. 
81 66  Thunder Focus Tea improves your next Surging or Renewing Mist. 90
82 Zen Meditation – 90% reduction to all damage for 8 seconds. 70 Summon Jade Serpent Statue improves certain abilities depending on your stance.
90 78 Revival heals all party members (within 40 years) and removes effects.
80 Mastery: Gift of the Serpent (P) – healing spheres are randomly summoned.


Racial Choices for Monks

Kul Tiran MonkIn Warlords: Racials with Hit & Expertise are dead, as are those two stats generally. But most of the races have something to add to their combat value.

Most races can be a Monk. Yes, even MechaGnomes, but no Goblins or Worgen.

Best Horde? Orc (Blood Fury, pet damage)

Best Alliance? Humans for overall PvP “best” (escape allows two other trinkets & Versatility.)


  • Can choose to join either the Horde or the Alliance upon earning the right to leave their starting area. You don’t have to join, you can play as a “neutral” for awhile, if you want to experiment.
  • Melee range stun has definite uses, even for Mistweavers, as it allows an escape from melee.
  • Inner Peace: Rested XP lasts longer for faster leveling.
  • Epicurean provides increased benefits from food buffs, which is generally a very nice ability.
  • Being “Bouncy” means you take less falling damage; it is just the thing if you’re into cliff jumping.
  • Their Gourmand ability provides a +15 cooking bonus.

Horde Races

Blood Elf

  • Arcane Torrent is a nice spell interrupt with some PvP utility (silence only in PvP.) Pretty nice for Brews and Winds, and those Misty dudes who like to get up close when healing.
  • Well ok, Blood Elves look good. A truly devastating ability. Really.
  • Acuity adds +1% to your Crit rating, which is a good stat for all Monks.
  • Belves are good with Enchanting, via their affinity.
  • Belves take slightly less Arcane damage, via their Resistance.


  • Blood Fury increases melee and spell damage, which is perfect for Monks.
  • The slightly increased pet damage (command) isn’t interesting to Monks at all, being petless.
  • Hardiness allows a 20% decreased stun duration, which is pretty nice for PvP.


  • War Stomp: Stuns up to 5 enemies within 8 yds for 2 sec. And a stomp is sort of a kick. Really.
  • Brawn: Critical strike bonus damage and healing increased by 2%. This is not crit rating, just extra damage.
  • Endurance: Increases your Stamina by 197 (scales with level).
  • Nature Resistance: Reduces Nature damage taken by 1%.
  • Cultivation: Herbalism skill increased by 15 and you gather herbs faster than other herbalists.

Troll  – Taste me Voodoo, Mon!

  • Increased Haste when Berserk is very nice, esp. for Mistwalkers.
  • Your regeneration is increased, but it’s trivial.
  • More XP from beast slaying is very nice for leveling, but of no value otherwise.
  • Shuffle reduces snare (slow) duration by 20%.


  • Underwater Breathing was gone (in Mists of Pandaria) and was replaced with a rather nice Drain Life ability, which will actually add a bit to your DPS numbers. This ability returned with Warlords and is now of indefinite duration. Useful when leveling and pretty nice for exploration, with occasional other uses.
  • Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP skill (anything that breaks Fear, etc is a nice PvP skill.)
  • Cannibalize is useful when you just have to rub it in to that other player you killed. Maybe that’s good enough reason to go Undead.
  • Minor Resistance (here)  to Shadow damage.

Alliance Races



  • Stone Form is a nice PvP talent, and occasionally useful elsewhere. It washes away bleeds, various magical effects, and adds a 10% damage reduction for a few seconds.
  • Might adds 2% to your critical damage (not crit rating.)
  • Resistance allows a small reduction to incoming Frost damage.
  • Explorer – Dwarves are good with Archeology.


  • Escape artist is very nice for PvP, as is their small size, and they get an increased mana pool.
  • More – +5% more mana, which is noce for the Mistwalker crowd.
  • Nimble – +1% more Haste, which is a decent stat.
  • Resistance – Gnomes take a bit less arcane damage
  • Engineer – Gnomes are good with Engineering.


  • The Human Diplomacy skill will allow for more rapid faction gain (very nice if you’re working towards any of the zillion faction in WoW)
  • the escape ability is nice for PvP, especially since it allows the use of two DPS trinkets.
  • Bonus Versatility adds +1% to your Versatility

Night Elf

  • Shadowmeld requires you to stay still. It drops aggro and can be used in combat. If you time ‘meld just so you can break incoming spells.
  • Quickness makes you slightly harder to hit and slightly increases your run speed.
  • Wisp Form: Get back to your body faster.
  • Resistance for 1% less Nature damage.
  • WoD: Touch of Elune: Increases your Haste by 1% during the night. Increases your Critical Strike by 1% during the day.  Quickness also makes you 2% faster.


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Patch Notes for Monks

Warlords Monk Changes here.

5.3 Patch Notes for Monks: Here are the patch 5.4 Monk changes. Or go here for all the official 5.4 patch notes.


5.2 Patch Notes for Monks: The official 5.2 patch notes, for everything, are here.


The Fast Monk Leveling Guide

WoW Monk leveling guide - get to the level cap, fast
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Once upon a time, while leveling, you had to look up quest details on some website. There was no in-game help and you had to trundle along as best you could. That was when there were only 60 levels. Now we have thousands of quests and a bazillion mobs to kill. Whether or not you’re playing a Monk that’s a daunting task.

Here’s how to make it easy: Now you have a guide which sits in-game, in a small window, and shows you step-by-step where to go, what to do, and everything you need to know to make leveling easier. Dugi’s Guide shows you the best and fastest path to complete those quests and get yourself to the top levels ASAP.

Want to get a level, or several levels, in the dungeons or in PvP? No problem. Dugi’s will remember where you left off and then it will figure out where you should be at your new level and pick up from there.

Brand new to WoW? Decked head to toe in Heirlooms? Mixing up questing with PvP and/or dungeons? No problem, Dugi has your back all the way from level 1 to the level cap, or whichever level you start from.

Dugi’s in-game guide is always quickly updated for all patches and expansions, so it’s never obsolete. Grab yours here and get leveled fast. Who knows, you might be be able to match their Leveled 1 – cap in 3 days, 2 hours /played time. 

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2 thoughts on “A WoW Monk Guide

    1. Well, you could follow the links at the top of the page to pages with far more details on stats, and lots more info on the appropriate spec…

      Actually, this page IS due for some more generic Monk info, including basic stats and such.

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