Monk Leveling in the World of Warcraft

Monk LevelingMechagnome monk has heard the call.Monk leveling is an easy thing and all Monks, like Paladins, are extremely capable in every role: damage, defense, and healing. Enjoy the journey.

The elder masters of Pandaran Martial Arts have made the decision to train outsiders. Perhaps they felt that the discipline of Martial Arts study would help to cool overheated heads and ease the Horde/Alliance war. Perhaps they weren’t so wise, after all.

Monks fuel many of their abilities with various beverages, giving their skills a certain resemblance, if only in concept, to Drunken Kung Fu.

Human monk demonstration

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Contents for the Monk Leveling

  1. Quick notes for Monks
  2. Monk leveling build: Talents
  3. Monk Abilities
  4. Stats for leveling
  5. Gems, Enchants, Gearing
  6. Monk Dailies, Consumables, Misc
  7. Race Choice
  8. Professions
  9. Leveling tips
  10. Leveling Faster

Other Monk Guides

The Monk, an Overview

Male Pandaren Monk, no longer leveling, in Contender's Gear

Monks are probably the fastest levelers in the Game, and Pandaren Monks are the fastest of all.  Why? Two reasons:

  1. A daily quest that gives you +50% XP gain for an hour and it stacks (adding time) with itself and similar buffs. Plus, every ten levels you get an additional daily. Do ’em both and get two hours of bonus.
  2. Pandarens get longer lasting “Rest XP” than other races.

As a Brewmaster, a Monk can tank dungeons and raids. While leveling they can round up groups of opponents and smash them down with their strikes. Brewmasters use Energy and Chi as their resources. If you’re leveling in the dungeons and like tanking, then this is a good way to go.

Mistweavers use mana and chi to heal the most grievous of wounds and keep their team battle ready at all times. They even do decent damage, but the other two specs will crush the opposition faster.

Windwalkers inflict punishing melee damage and, like Brewmasters, use Energy and Chi as their resources. They are effective and fun. They can handle small groups of mobs well and keep themselves healthy. This is the recommended spec for leveling your monk and will do very well in both dungeons and PvP.

This page covers what you need to level your monk quickly, but it does not cover end-game stuff, such as PvP and Raiding. For those Monk guides, see our Brewmaster tankingMistweaver healing, and Windwalker DPS pages.


Quick notes for Leveling Monks

Weapons and Gear As a Windwalker or Brewmaster you will be using the same gear as a Rogue or Feral Druid. Mistweavers will use the same gear as Resto Druids.

  • Agility for Wind and Brew
  • Int for Mist.
  • Use a 2-handed weapon, because good ones are generally easier to find than than a pair of decent 1 handers.
  • You can use Cloth or Leather armor, but leather will have the right stats and there’s a bonus at level 50 if all your armor is leather.
  • Heirloom gear is very nice and will take enchants that can be applied to level 1 items. Check your guild vendor or Heirloom vendor, in Ironforge or Undercity, for pieces. You’ll need a bit of gold to get them.


  • Agility is #1 for Wind and Brew
  • Int for Mist.
  • Stamina is your #1 survival stat at low levels.
  • If you find gear with gem sockets then pop in an appropriate gem, Delicate for Agility, Brilliant for Int.
  • Enchants if you want ’em: for your primary stat and for Stam. Haste is also a good choice.
  • Don’t worry much about secondary stats (Haste, etc.) until you hit 90+

Specializations (Spec)

  • Windwalker is the best choice for damage and general ease of leveling. This is our choice for general leveling. You can enter the dungeons as “damage” (DPS) or smash face in PvP.
  • Mistweaver is great for healing groups, but not so hot for smashing opponents. You can level quite nicely in the dungeons or with a PvP (battlegrounds) group, but questing will be slow since the damage isn’t there.
  • Brewmaster is a decent tank, so leveling in dungeons will be fast and easy enough. As a tank your wait times for the dungeons will be close to zero. PvP will be generally painful due to lack of damage. Questing can be fun if you can round up groups of enemies to mash. One on one is a bit slow.


  • Anyone, except Goblins, Worgen, and Lightforged Draenei can be a Monk.
  • Trolls and Orcs have a nice damage cooldown.
  • Humans, Gnomes, and Undead have useful escape abilities (especially in PvP.)
  • Night Elves get Shadowmeld, which has its uses.
  • see below for more.


  • See the build, tips, and info below
  • Snag a copy of Zygor’s Guide to go really fast.



Windwalker Monk Leveling Build

Depending on your exact situation (healing, tanking, quessting, ganking, battlegrounds, etc) you might want different talents. This set is intended for Windwalkers and generally for questing.

Talents are easy to change, but you have to be in a “rested XP” area, such as an Inn or the big city. Switch ’em up as you like. If you have a Tome of the Quiet Mind then you can switch talents anywhere that you are out of combat, even while in the dungeon.

Specs (such as switching from Wind to Brew, can be done anytime you are out of combat. You’re out questing and see a large group of mobs you want to smash? Switch to brew, finish them, then switch back to Wind.

Windwalker Monk leveling talents

P= Passive, DOT = Damage over Time, CP = Chi Point, the “Z” on some talents are from Zygor’s picks. Our picks are checked: Best talent   Experiment a bit to get a feel for what works best for YOU.

Tier 1, level 15 talents:

Pick the one that suits YOUR game best.

  1. Eye of the Tiger – Applies a small DOT to the enemy and a heal to you, both lasting 8 seconds. Rather weak, but it’s a passive effect, one less button to kit.
  2. Chi Wave – provides a small heal to you and a little damage to the target, but will get their attention (and tag them). It’s instant, and has a 25 yard range, so works well as a “Taunt” effect.
  3. Best talent Chi Burst – Hurl a ball of Chi up to 40 yards, damaging all mobs it hits and healing you and any allies in the line. Generates up to 2 Chi. 1 second cast. This is the most generally useful one of the group. Note that it is not targeted, so be careful of your aim.

Tier 2, level 30 talents:

  1. Celerity adds 1 charge to your roll (to a max of 3) and reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds. Replaces your Roll.
  2. Best talent Chi Torpedo sends your flying forward, for a longer distance than your roll, and increases your run speed by 30% for 10 seconds. Replaces your Roll. Need to keep up a good rate of movement, unmounted? This is your pick.
  3. Tiger’s Lust is the pick if you PvP, since it adds an escape from roots and snares. Otherwise it’s a 6 seconds “Sprint” of +70% run speed (no rolls.) It is an added ability and does not replace your Roll, so is also a good general pick.

Tier 3, level 45 talents:

  1. Ascension is a passive effect that increases your max Chi by 1, max Energy by 20, and increases your energy regeneration speed by 10%.
  2. Best talent Fist of the White Tiger is a solid strike that adds 3 Chi, but costs 40 energy, on a 30 second CD. Generally the most useful of this set.
  3. Energizing Elixir grants 2 Chi and then, over 5 seconds, 75 Energy. 1 minute CD.

Tier 4, level 60 talents:

  1. Tiger Tail Sweep extends the range of your Leg Sweep and reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds. Not generally as useful as the others.
  2. Best talent Good Karma is the most generally useful of the set for leveling & questing. Any damage redirected by your Touch of Karma ability now also heals you.
  3. Ring of Peace can be dropped around your healer during those moments. Anyone entering the ring in the next 5 seconds is kicked out.

Tier 5, level 75 talents:

  1. Best talent Inner Strength keeps up a small damage reduction effect as long as you keep spending Chi. 2% reduction per Chi spent, up to a max of 10%, lasting 5 seconds. Passive. Useful if you don’t fight stuff that will squish you. It’s the pick because it’s passive and is up, to some small degree, almost all the time. The other two will be better for specific situations.
  2. Diffuse Magic has a 90 second CD and reduces magic damage by 60% for 6 seconds and tries to redirect it back to the caster.
  3. Dampen Harm is a 2 min. CD and will reduce damage by up to 50%, with the bigger hits being reduced by more than the smaller ones. Are you likely to get squished? Then this is a good pick.

Tier 6, level 90  talents:

  1.  Hit Combo causes each hit that triggers your Mastery, Combo Strikes, to do +1% damage, stacking up to 6%. A little extra damage, passively, over the long run. Good all-purpose pick, but you DO have to make sure you are triggering your mastery. Otherwise take Xuen.
  2. Rushing Jade Wind causes a tornado to appear around you that damages all enemies within 8 yards. Fighting groups all the time? This will be useful.
  3. Best talent Invoke Xuen is nice for those times when you need a little extra burst damage. It appears for 20 seconds and attacks your primary target, and also attacks up to 3 others with Tiger Lightning. It’s the pick here, over Hit Combo, for the burst and being a bit easier to use.

Tier 7, Level 100 Talents:

  • Spiritual Focus reduces the Storm, Earth, and Fire cooldown by 1 second for every 2 chi you spend. Not much use for this one.
  • Whirling Dragon Punch is a hard hitting strike when both Fists of Fury and Rising Sun Kick are both on cooldown. Hits hard enough that it’s pretty much the choice for any situation. 23 second CD.
  • Serenity has a 90 second CD and for 12 seconds you have 20% more damage and healing, all Chi using abilities are free, and they also cool down 100% faster. So you really need a burst cooldown? Then this is your pick, otherwise take the punch.

War Mode Talents

Care to join the PvP game? You’re find with getting run over occasionally by much higher level players? Cool. You get +10% experience and and you can earn Conquest points. At max level you get better world quest rewards.

The value of the rewards will also increase if you side is significantly outnumbered on your server.

Some of the PvP talents are useful for leveling/questing and you gain them at levels 15, 40, 70, and 110 . Here are our suggested choices: are:

Level 15: Take on of the escapes: Gladiator’s Medallion or Adaptation. The former breaks any “loss of control” effect on you, with a 2 minute CD, and the latter breaks the longer ones, those with a duration of 5 seconds or more. The Medallion will probably be more generally useful for most leveling.

The others you can take in any order, pick three:

    • Turbo Fists improves your Firsts of Fury to now hit all targets for full damage, and while you are channeling it reduces the target’s movement speed by 90% while you parry all attacks.
    • Pressure points allows your Touch of Death to instantly kill targets at 10% health or lower. Also its CD resets on that kill or of the target otherwise dies while T of D is active. Nice for rares, elites, etc.
    • Fortifying Brew increases max health by 20% and reduces damage taken by 20%, for 15 seconds. NIce for tougher situations.
    • Reverse harm lets you cast a small heal and 100% of the amount healed is fired off at the nearest target as damage.


Glyphs for Monks

Once upon a time glyphs had useful combat value. That’s been gone for awhile. Some “minor glyphs” are available which make cosmetic changes to various abilities.

Minor glyphs

Most minor glyphs for most classes are just cosmetic, but several of the Monk minors have some small use, such as Glyph of Honor – As a respectful point of your martial training you must always bow to your opponent after using Touch of Death.



About the Monk Abilities

All Monks use Chi to power certain abilities, such as Touch of Death. Other abilities generate Chi. your game is to keep rotating these abilities such that you always have some Chi to spend on the appropriate abilities. You will also want to keep an eye on your energy or mana reserves.

Think of Chi points like combo points or Holy power. You use your abilities to build them up and then spend them on other abilities. Jab (gives two points for WW, one for Brew) to Blackout Kick (costs two points,) for example. Abilities like Fists of Fury will use more Chi.

Energy is your other resource and is consumed by abilities such as Tiger Palm. None of your abilities will use both resources at once.

Generally speaking, the Windwalker will be best for most leveling. Mistweavers can heal groups, so will be in demand for dungeon and PvP teams, but do less damage and will find that questing will be slower than with either of the other specs.

For this reason most of the discussion below will be oriented towards Windwalkers. If you like to do dungeons or just want info on the different specs, then check out our PvE pages for each spec, with builds, rotations, gems, enchants, etc. They’re aimed at max level raiding (go here to get there,) but you might find something interesting there: WindWalker DPSBrewmaster TankingMistweaver Healing.

(P) = a passive ability


General Monk Abilities (All Monks)

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

CD = Cooldown, CP = Chi Point.

    • 1 – Parry might deflect an enemy attack.
    • 1 – Tiger Palm is your basic strike. At level 42 it has an 8% chance to make your next Blackout Kick cost no Chi.
    • 1 – Zen Flight lets you fly, at ground level, at running speed on a soft and comfy cloud.
    • 3 – Blackout Kick is your basic Chi using strike, and reduces the CD of your Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury by 1 second when used. At level 12 and 22 it costs one less CP.
    • 5 – Roll lets you dive and roll forward for a few yards, 2 charges, 20 second CD.
    • 8 – Vivify heals you or the target. Does 25% more at level 12. The Mistweaver version also heals nearby allies at level 28.
    • 13 – Provoke is your ability to insult the target so skillfully that is runs towards you at 50% increased speed.
    • 14 – Resuscitate lets you revive, out of combat, your dead associate with 35% health and mana.
    • 14 – Zen Pilgrimage lets you send your spirit to the temple. Just use the ability again to return. 1 minute CD.
    • 18 – Crackling Jade Lightning sometimes knocks back the attacker and does some damage over 4 seconds.
    • 25 – Paralysis causes one target to stand still for a minute. Damage will cancel the effect.
    • 52 – Leg Sweep lets you spin around, knocked legs out from under your opponents, knocking them down and stunning them for 3 seconds.
    • 80 – Transcendence lets you split your body and spirit for 15 minutes. Move away and then swap places with your spirit.
    • 80 – Transcendence: Transfer lets you actually do the swap. Range is 40 yards. Move too far and you cannot pop back. Stay within 40 yards of your spirit and you can swap every 45 seconds. You can reset your position with Transcendence at any time after the 10 second CD.  I’m sure you can find a use for this.


Windwalker Monk Abilities

These are the abilities that define you as a Windwalker Monk.

    • 1 – Critical Strikes gives you a +5% Crit chance.
    • 1 – Dual Wield (P) – Yep, weapon in each hand.
    • 10 – Rising Sun Kick kicks upwards delivering a pretty good hit and, at level 20+, reduces the effectiveness of healing on the target for 10 seconds. At 36 it does 70% more damage.
    • 16 – Disable reduces the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds and its duration is refreshed buy you melee attacks.
    • 20 – Fists of Fury is a channeled attack, over 4 seconds, and you can move around while pummeling all enemies in front of you.
    • 22 – Detox removes all poison and disease effects from you or the target. Assassination Rogues and Death Knights come to mind here…
    • 28 – Afterlife summons a healing sphere when you kill an enemy. If you kill it with Blackout Kick then you get a Chi Sphere instead, which returns 1 Chi. Great for groups. Each one you kill gives you a healing sphere.
    • 32 – Touch of Death has a 2 minute CD and an 8 seconds delay, after which it hits your opponent for 35% of your max health, plus whatever damage you have done to it in those 8 seconds. Great for tougher enemies.
    • 35 – Spear Hand Strike is a silence with a 15 seconds CD. You jab the target in the throat interrupting its spellcast and silencing that school of magic (EG: Frost) for 4 seconds
    • 38 – Windwalking gives you and any allies within 10 yards +10% movement speed.
    • 40 – Spinning Crane Kick is a whirling kick hitting all enemies around you for 1.5 seconds.
    • 42 – Combo Breaker gives your Tiger Palm and 8% chance to cause your next Blackout Kick to cost no Chi.
    • 48 – Flying Serpent Kick – Soar through the air towards, or away from, your opponents. Useful as an escape or a bit of boosted travel speed. If you use the spell again, while flying you will stop and do damage to all enemies within 8 yards and also reduce their movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds.
    • 50 – Leather Specialization: Wear leather in all appropriate slots and gain 5% Agility.
    • 50 – Storm, Earth, and Fire – Become 3 elemental spirits, each doing 45% damage. Lasts 15 seconds. At level 70 it has two charges.
    • 55 – Touch of Karma has a 90 second CD, lasts for 10 seconds, and absorbs all incoming damage, up to 50% of your max health, and redirects 70% of that as nature damage to your attacker.
    • 78 – Mastery: Combo Strikes gives you bonus damage when you can keep from repeating strikes back to back. Keep up the variety. Ab, B, C, D, etc… Rather than A, B, B, C, D, A, A


More WindWalker Abilities and Buffs

Leveling Monks (all Monks) have a nice daily buff.

  1. Enlightenment – Increases XP by 50% for an hour. See the Daily Quests section, below. One could argue that this buff makes the Monk one of the, if not THE fastest leveling of all classes. This buff also stacks with any other XP buffs you have, such as from heirlooms.


Movement is generally better than most classes. You can’t Blink or Sprint, but you can keep up a fairly steady movement that most can’t touch.

  • Roll is like a brief sprint. Very useful.
  • Flying Serpent Kick lets you quickly travel over a short distance. It’s useful as an escape as well as movement or closing in.
  • Your level 30 talents will modify your rolls or add a sprint.

WindWalker Self-Healing

  • Bandages – buy off the Auction House or from a friendly tailor. Sure you have some heals, but something a bandage is just the thing.
  • Potions – Healing potions (and mana potions for Mistweavers) are generally pretty cheap on the Auction House. If you have the Alchemy profession you can make your own.
  • Afterlife summons up healing and Chi spheres.
  • All of your level 15 talents help with self-healing, such as Chi Wave.
  • Vivify and Detox – Heal yourself up, remove poisons and disease.

Stuns and Control

Stunned opponents do no damage. Neither do Paralyzed opponents.

  • Crackling Jade Lightning (18) – Knockback is very nice, unless you’re knocking things away from your tank (in a dungeon,) then it isn’t.
  • Paralysis (25) – Nappy time. He wakes up when someone pokes him.
  • Touch of Death (lev 32) – What’s better than killing the enemy outright? Well, heavy damage anyway.
  • Spear Hand Strike (35) – stops spell casting briefly while you punch his face in.
  • Leg Sweep (52) stuns the opposition.


Windwalker Monk Leveling Stats

This section, and the parts below, will mostly focus on Windweaver Monks, since they’re the best choice for general leveling.

  • Agility is your #1 stat (Windwalker or Brewmaster.) You have no use for Int or Strength. They’re useless to you.
  • Stamina  is your health. If you find yourself getting beaten up too often then either find gear with more Stam or buy some Stam enchants off the Auction House (they’re often pretty cheap.) You can also get Stam scrolls and potions.
  • Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken.
  • Strength is useless to any Monk.

As a general rule while leveling you will want to stack as much of your main stat (Agility for Windwalkers) as you can. The secondary stats provide an assist. Generally, don’t worry too much about the secondary stats while leveling.

Stat Priority: Agility (Item Level) > Mastery > Versatility

None of the secondary stats are bad, it’s just that Mastery and Versatility are a bit better overall.

  • Haste speeds you up in all things, including energy regeneration and how fast your “over time” effects work. It’s “the best of the rest” of the stats.
  • Mastery is gained at level 80 and improves some aspect of what you do. For example, with Windwalkers you will the occasional extra charge of Tigereye Brew. You’ll probably find all of the other stats to be of more use.
  • Crit is random. It can double your damage or heal, you just can’t count on it.
  • Versatility adds to both healing and damage and also to damage reduction, but at half value.


Gems and Enchants and Gearing up

Windwalkers will want leather armor with Agility.

You can often find cheap Stamina enchants on the Auction House. At low level a few points of Stam can make a big difference to your survival.

Some enchants are expensive and you will likely be leveling fast enough that you will be out of your enchanted gear soon. Up to you whether you want to burn the gold for those enchants. The same is true for gems, though gear with gem sockets is pretty uncommon. If you do have the sockets and if Agility or Stam gems are cheap enough, then go for it. If you need more gold to buy gems or anything else, then go here.

Heirloom Gear for Windwalkers

Heirloom Gear is what many are wearing these days, at least those who’ve been around long enough to handle the costs. You can buy them with gold, for a few hundred gold each, and they’re good through level 60. spend a fair amount more and the items are good to the level cap. (Figure 9k gold to give the armor, ring, or trinket a level 120 cap and 13.5k for a weapon. Need more gold?)

Why bother? Because they’re better than any other gear you’re likely to find, at any level, with rare exceptions. And they scale with your level and no other gear does. With a full set you’ll be overgeared for dungeons and questing at your level. You’ll also get +25% XP.

To get your heirlooms go see:

  • AllianceKrom Stoutarm is in the Library of Ironforge, which is found on the north-eastern edge of the outer ring.
  • HordeEstelle Gendry lurks around the south-western side of the Rogue’s Quarter of Undercity. Note that if you are 110+ and Undercity has been sacked, then she is on top of the front gates of Orgrimmar.
  • Guild Vendors will have several items for sale.
  • PvP heirlooms in your main PvP hall in Orgrimmar or Stormwind.

Heirlooms Vs Blues: At the point when you get them, if they are at  your level, blue titled gear will often be a little better than your heirlooms. The ‘looms will pull ahead in a level or two. I recommend just keeping the ‘looms and selling the other gear. If you don’t have any heirlooms then skip the above. 🙂   Is it all too easy? Probably, if you constantly have the best gear. Of course, that’ll also mean that you’ll level that much faster as you mow down the opposition.

  • Easy mode: Get the best gear you can, all the way. Heirlooms are great.
  • Moderate: Nothing better than quest gear. Use only what you find. No heirlooms.
  • Hard: Nothing better than white titled gear. No quest rewards. Or just don’t bother to upgrade the initial gear set you get when you create your Death Knight.
  • Naked?? Once upon a time a Naked Troll leveled to 60 with no gear, other than his weapon. Naturally he was a Hunter, DKs weren’t invented yet. So if you want “really hard mode” …
  • Insane: Now do any of the above, “moderate” or harder, with War Mode on.


  • If you are Ok with (or like) PvP then you can get the epic arena gear set at 70 for under 2k Honor. Do a few battlegrounds in your 60s and you’ll have enough.
  • It used to be that you’d start looking for “Cataclysm” gear at 77, because it was item level 270 as opposed to 170 for the gear you’d find at that level. With the stat squish in Warlords it isn’t worth the effort. There is no real difference, so just keep on as before. Around now youir quest gear might start replacing that PvP gear.
  • At 81 you may be able to find Mists of Pandaria blues appearing on the Auction House. There are as good as the level 85 Heroic Cataclysm raid gear. By the time you hit 85 you might be very well equipped.
  • At 81 put your level 80 heirlooms (if any) into your bank.
  • At 85, once you hit the Mists of Pandaria zone and start questing there you will find vendors (example) that sell M of P level greens. Your leatherworking skill, if you have it, will also let you make some nice gear.
  • Another option at 85, if you PvP a lot or live on a PvP server, is to buy the Crafted Vicious Leather set, though if you can afford that I’d suggest grabbing the nice M of P blues instead.
  • 90+ Starting in Warlords with the timeless or PvP gear will make things that much easier. You’ll replace it with better stuff soon enough.
  • 120: COngratulations. See our Gearing up at Max Level post.



Monk Consumables, Dailies, Etc.

Note that a Pandaren Monk will be the one of the fastest levelers in the game, due to enhanced rest XP and the Monk quests.

Monk Daily Quests

Starting at level 20 you will be able to do a Monk only Daily quest. The first of these is here and it simply involves beating up one of the Monk Masters at the Peak of Serenity. Besides being a chance to prove your mightiness,  it gives you an opportunity to achieve Enlightenment, which provides a 50% boost to all XP for an hour.

This is a pretty cool mechanic and the other classes should have something similar. For now, they don’t.

  1. If this is your first time to the Peak you will be able to follow the tour guide around.
  2. Use Zen Pilgrimage to get to the Peak of Serenity, once there you will be able to grab the quest to Defeat Master Cheng. As you level up you will eventually fight different masters, but the general routine is the same.
  3. Head down to the lower combat area, find him, challenge him, wait for him to move to the center of the area, /bow him, and engage. Use your roll to get out of any area effect (fire, spinning kicks, etc.) effects. Your stuns and interrupts can also block these effects.
  4. If you like you can simply use Touch of Death to finish him and skip the mechanics.
  5. When done head back up and hand it in.
  6. Use your Zen Pilgrimage to head back to the graveyard nearest your starting point, or just hearth.
  7. Note that you can use the portals in the temple to take you to Stormwind or Orgrimmar (to do whatever.) You can use your Zen Pilgramage from the big city to return to your questing area.

Spend your XP buff.


Alchemists get better effect from their potions and stuff, Pandarens get better food buffs. These aren’t essential, but they will make you more effective and/or increase your survival chances.

  • Scrolls – You can buy scrolls to buff Agility (or Stam or Int or other stats) off the Auction House. Usually they’re pretty cheap. Anyone with the Inscription skill can also make them. Scrolls count as Elixirs, so you can have a scroll and an elixir at the same time.
  • Potions – Healing and mana potions are often cheap, potions that buff stats are usually more expensive. Keep a few on your action bar.
  • Elixirs and Flasks – These buff a stat, such as Agility, for a period of time. Usually an hour.
  • Food – Various foods will buff stats. M of P foods buff only one stat, most of the others buff some stat plus Stam.



Race choice for Monks

The #1 reason to pick any given race is to play something you like. The racial bonuses are all pretty small, though some are useful. Your skill at using your abilities will far outweigh your racials. The details are below if you really want to be “efficient.”

If you’re a PvP fiend, then it’s Orcs > Humans > Blood Elves > Undead as the most used races at 2200+. (source)

All races except Goblin, Worgen, and Lightforged Draenei can be monks.

Note that the allied races require achieving exalted rep with that race, and then doing a quest chain that starts in the Stormwind or Orgrimmar embassies. They start at level 20 in BFA and 10 in Shadowlands.


  • 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.



  • Your Every Man for Himself ability removes all stun effects (no other effects are removed,) so is something like a partial PvP trinket. This effect shares a 90 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
  • The Human Spirit : You gain 2% more of all secondary stats (Haste, Critical Strike, Mastery, Versatility) from all sources.
  • And since you are skilled at Diplomacy you have a 10% faster rep gain with everyone than does any other race. Useful at times, especially if you want the perks that come from “Exalted,” such as access to the various allied races.
  • Need an inspiring figure? Check out this WoW Jaina Figurine


  • 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.)
  • Explorer – Dwarves are good with Archeology.

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.
  • 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.



  • A small heal (Gift of the Naru) is occasionally handy. Also usable on others.
  • Draenei are good at gemcutting and love their bonus to their Jewelcrafting skill.
  • Your Heroic Presence  increases your Agility and scales as you level. It also increases you Int should you try the Mistweaver spec for a time.

Dark Iron Dwarf – Starts at level 20.

  • Your Fireblood removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects, just like your Dwarven “brethren,” but your ability increases your primary stat (Agility) by 600(!) (scales with level) +200 for for each additional effect removed. Lasts 8 sec. with a 2 min cooldown.
  • You’re a tunnel dweller and Dungeon Delver and you’ve learned how to move 4% faster while indoors, plus your people have the  Mole Machine : While out doors you can summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth and can pop you up in a variety of places.
  • Having spent your life working in the forges you have a Mass Production skill , giving you +5 to your blacksmithing skill and letting you work 25% faster.

Kul Tiran– Starts at level 20. 

  • Wind up, then unleash your mighty Haymaker upon your foe. Doesn’t hurt much, but does stun then for 3 seconds and knocks them back substantially.  2.5 minute cooldown. Knock ’em back then roll in to attack.
  • Your Child of the Sea ability lets you swim a bit faster and hold your breath longer than anyone who is not Undead.
  • You are a Jack of All Trades  which increases all of your Tradeskills by 5. Unfortunately it does not give you free tradeskills, just a boost to the ones you actually learn

Mechagnome– Starts at level 20. 

  • Hyper Organic Light Originator summons a couple of images of you to distract your foes. Added damage or use it to give yourself a moment to set something up. See it in action here .
  • And you get some Racial Passives:
    • Combat Analysis : You gather and analyze combat data every 5 sec, increasing your Strength by 25, stacking up to 10 times. The data decays while out of combat.
    • Mastercraft : You function as a personal Blacksmithing Anvil, Cooking Fire, and Mining Forge. In addition, your limbs include every profession tool.
    • Emergency Failsafe : When you fall below 20% health, heal for 15% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 2.5 min.
    • Skeleton Pinkie : Allows opening of locked chests and doors at your current level x 5, so at level 100 you can unlock chests that require 500 skill.

Void Elf– Starts at level 20. 

  • Your abilities have a chance to empower you with the essence of the Void, Entropic Embrace , which increases your damage by 5% for 12 sec. It has a 33% proc chance with 60 seconds internal cooldown. Nothing like a bit of Void energy added to your attacks, right?
  • Spatial Rift : Tear a rift in space. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift. 30 yd range. 3 min cooldown. You can activate this, then change direction, hit it again, and be back to the original spot. Practice this to get a good idea of how it works, it has similarities to your level 80 Transcendence ability.



Undead Female Monk in T14 Raid GearUndead

  • You have a rather nice Drain Life ability, which will actually add a bit to your DPS numbers. It also allows underwater breathing.
  • Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP ability (anything that breaks Fear, etc is a nice PvP skill.) It removes fear, sleep, and charms.
  • 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.


  • War Stomp is a very useful area stun for Brew or Wind, Mist might find it useful to get away from melee.
  • Your mighty Endurance gives you an increase to base health, which scales with level.
  • Your massive size, your sheer Brawn power, gives you 2% added Crit damage (not crit chance.)  It also give that same 2% bonus to and healing abilities you have.
  • Tauren are good with Herbalism and have +15% skill.


  • Increased Haste when Berserk is very nice. +10% Haste for 12 seconds on a 3 minute CD.
  • More XP from beast slaying, +20%, is very nice for leveling.
  • Shuffle reduces snare and slow duration.

Blood Elf

  • Your Arcane Torrent removes one beneficial effect from any nearby enemies (8 yards) and restores some or your Energy.
  • And your Arcane Acuity gives you a bit more crit (1%.)
  • Naturally your Arcane Affinity gives you +10% to the Enchanting skill.

Nightbourne– Starts at level 20. 

  • You can do an Arcane Pulse , which damages all nearby enemies and reduces their speed for 12 seconds. Note that this will break most “crowd control” effects you might have on those enemies. 3 minute cooldown.
  • Your love of lore and Ancient History give you +15 to your Inscription skill.

HighMountain Tauren– Starts at level 20. 

  • Bull Rush is a charge forward that knocks down any enemies in your path. It’s a fast move and a decently long charge. Can be used as another burst movement.
  • Being versatile you get +1% Versatility ( Mountaineer ) and you also take a bit less damage ( Rugged Tenacity .) Both are nice passives.
  • Your Pride of Ironhorn allows you to mine faster and adds 15% to your mining skill.
  • Having gone to survival school your philosophy is Waste Not, Want Not , so you have a chance to gather more meat and fish from appropriate situations.

Mag’har Orc – Starts at level 20.

  • Your Ancestral Call will boost a random secondary stat (crit, haste, versatility) for 12 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown. The boost scales with level.
  • Your love of the open skies increases your mounted speed by 10%.
  • Savage Blood : Since you are extremely healthy you get reduced duration of curses, poisons, and diseases (by 10%.)

Zandalari Troll– Starts at level 20. 

  • Your Embrace of the Loa ability allows you to choose which Loa you are associated with. Has a 5 day cooldown. Each embrace also lasts through death.
    • Embrace of Bwonsamdi  – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Shadow damage and heal you for 100% of the damage done. Pretty good general ability for tanks and damage dealers.
    • Embrace of Kimbul  – Your damaging abilities have a chance to cause the target to bleed over 6s. This effect stacks up to 3 times. More damage is always good.
    • Embrace of Pa’ku – Your abilities have a chance to grant you +4% critical strike for 12 seconds. Live by the crit? This is for you. This is your default Loa.
    • Embrace of Akunda – Your healing abilities have a chance to heal their target for some extra points. Good for anyone with a ranged heal.
    • Embrace of Gonk  – Increase movement speed by 5%.
    • Embrace of Krag’wa  – Taking damage has a chance to grant you additional Health and 66 Armor. Good tanking ability.
  • Regeneratin’ – Regenerate 100% of your maximum health over 6 sec, interrupted by damage. 2.5 min cooldown.
  • Pterrordax Swoop – Slows your fall for two minutes. Time for some serious cliff jumpin’.

Vulpera – Starts at level 20. 

  • In Game Guide for FAST Monk Leveling Bag of Tricks : Cunning thing that you are you can use a trick on an enemy to damage them or on an ally to heal them. You can rummage your bag to change tricks. Your bag can eventually have a few additional Tricks:
  • Make Camp : Set your camp location outdoors and then you can use  Return to Camp , which teleports back to your camp location. Basically another hearthstone.
  • Nose For Trouble : Take a little less damage from the first strike inflicted by an enemy and due to your being wary around fire, your Fire Resistance reduces fire damage taken by 1%.
  • Your  Alpaca Saddlebags  increase the total size of your backpack by 8 slots.



Skillz to pay the billz? Maybe. You have the crafting and the gathering professions. If you want to make the gold then then gathering professions are the best choice for most people. Run around for awhile, or gather as you leveling, pile up stacks of ores, skins, or herbs, and send it to your bank alt for future reference.

The gathering professions are the easiest for earning decent amounts of gold. Just gather the stuff up and sell it. By the way, Mining and Herbalism also grant XP.

  • Herbalism – The best of the gathering professions. Why? gather herbs, make gold, sweet. You will also, with the new M of P herbs, find the occasional life and water spirits. These provide a very nice heal and mana regen, respectively.
  • Mining – Smash rocks, build big muscles, sell ore, make gold.
  • Skinning – Skin ’em up and sell the skins.

The Crafting Professions have their sweet spots if you want to make stuff to sell. You will also be able to make stuff that people can use for transmogrification.

Leatherworking will get you your armor, Inscription for a staff or Blacksmithing for swords or other blades. Or just buy ’em.

  • Alchemy: Grind up herbs to make potions, elixirs, and flasks with a variety of interesting effects. Plays very well with Herbalism. You can also create a very nice trinket and upgrade it.
  • Blacksmithing: You won’t be able to use the armor, but you can make some useful weapons and other items, suck as keys, which can be useful.
  • Enchanting: Enchant you own gear, disenchant gear that you don’t want and sell of use the resulting parts. Transmog the enchants on your gear (Draenor.)
  • Engineering: Make all sorts of useful stuff (bombs! Rockets! Gliders!)
  • Inscription: Make glyphs, shoulder enchants, off hand items, staves, Darkmoon cards, and some other items. Every player in the game needs glyphs and all the high end players will want the shoulder enchants, so there’s some opportunity to make back your costs. Inscription is also is bit cheaper and easier to level than the others.
  • Jewelcrafting: Makes gems for sockets and also make a variety of rings and neck pieces.
  • Leatherworking: Make your own leather armor, if such things interest you.
  • Tailoring: Not much here for Monks except a flying carpet.

The other professions

  • Archeology: Great for lore hunters, but a boring profession otherwise. There’s some interesting stuff at the high end to be found, but you’ll likely take a long time to find it unless you’re lucky. Can also find a recipe for, and create, a dragon mount if you also have Alchemy.
  • Fishing: Mostly just a way to pass the time, gathering fish for cooking or other uses (some are used in Alchemy.) Various fishing daily quests will allow you to earn interesting items. In Pandaria you can actually cook all the junk fish you catch (Golden Carp) or sell them to the vendor. In Draenor you can do a daily quest, in your Garrison, that awards +15 skill per day.
  • Cooking: Create all kinds of yummy delicacies. Foods can enhance stats and regenerate health and/or mana.


Tips for Monk Leveling

It used to be that a decent speed to get to level 60 was about 6 days in-game time. It’s a lot faster now and if you know what you’re doing and charge forward you can hit 120 in roughly the same time. Apparently Shadowlands will be much faster, at least to 50. 50 to 60 might be a more “normal” pace.

Even More XP

  • Several pieces of Heirloom gear have an experience bonus.
  • Do your Daily Quest. When done you will get a 50% experience bonus for an hour: Enlightenment. See above for more info on the daily thing.
  • Log out at an Inn for the “Rest XP” bonus when you come back.
  • PvP leveling, via the Battlegrounds, can get some fast XP if your side is winning. Mistweavers will always be in demand in the BGs and Windwalkers can get by just fine. In addition, you will earn honor that  can be used to buy nice PvP gear.
  • Dungeon leveling can be a nice break from questing and can provide some fast XP. Windwalkers will want to mix this up with questing since the dungeon Queues can take awhile.
  • Level with a new friend for 3x XP via Blizzard’s Recruit a Friend plan.

General Stuff

Having enough gold can make the process of leveling easier, in that you can buy the big bags, better gear, and so on. Either  work those gathering skills hard or take a look at our gold guide for many more tips.

  • Make a bank alt. You will mail all of your sellable stuff to this character and post it on the Auction House when you like. This save the long trip to the nearest Auction House and back. Just drop the stuff in the mail and get back to whatever you were doing.
  • Get the biggest bags you can afford as this will minimize trips back to town to dump stuff. With a bit of luck you might be able to get them through your guild.
  • Food is good to have, just ask your Pandaren trainers. It’ll restore your health and/or mana and some foods will buff stats. Always carry a stack of the best healing food you can find.
  • Potions of healing are nice to have for emergencies. All Monks have good self-healing abilities, but sometimes things get a bit tight. A few potions can save you a run from the nearest graveyard.
  • If you’re feeling squishy then get better gear and consider Stamina enchants and scrolls.



PvP Leveling and Dungeon Leveling

Dungeons for the New Player

If you’re new to the game and/or the dungeon thing, then here are a couple of tips.

  • As a Windwalker, using the “dungeon finder” tool, you will enter the dungeon as “Damage.” The queue to actually get in might take awhile, so go quest or something while you wait.
  • Once you’re in figure out who the “tank” is and follow him for the entire dungeon, even if others run off some other direction. It’s the Tank’s job to gather up all the enemies while you pound them down and the healer keeps everyone healthy.
    • I like to put a star on the tank’s head. It makes it a lot easier to follow him around. Click the tank, right click his nameplate, select “target marker icon” and pick the star. Some tanks don’t care for that and will remove it, most are Ok with it.
  • Do NOT go chasing other enemies that the tank is not attacking.


Brewmasters especially will find the dungeons to be fast leveling. Your wait times will be near zero and, as tank, you have command of the group and can set the pace. See our Brew Tank page for tanking info and rotations and such. Even though you’re not yet max level you will get some useful info there.

As tank your gear is more important than that of the rest of your team. Do what you can to get better gear, usually this will mean keeping an eye on the Auction House. or breaking down and buying those heirlooms.

For PvP  you likely won’t do enough damage to find it interesting, though your durability will be fine. Get a pocket healer and you should be able to stay up indefinitely.

WindWalkers can join in the dungeons as Damage (or DPS,) and have the same chance for nice gear and plenty of XP. The only problem is that you will have to wait awhile for each queue to let you in, DPS doesn’t have the same short waits that tanks do. Be prepared for a group that wants to move along as quickly as possible. Stay behind the opposition, where possible, and blast away. Interrupt casters with Fist of Fury, Leg Sweep, Spear Hand, etc.

For PvP you don’t have much in the way of burst damage or control, even though your steady damage is just fine. Without the burst and control you will be at a disadvantage. Beyond that, PvP is about being aware of what’s going on and what others can do, as well as knowing your own stuff inside out. Stay with a group, stay with your healers (and protect them,) and then harass and burn down the opposition. When fighting casters you might try this (requires level 60+:)

  • Spear hand to leg sweep to Fists of Fury to Paralysis to Spear hand.

This will keep them effectively stunned and silenced. Mix in your regular strikes to turn them into jelly. You can see more  about this rotation, and some other tricks, on Skill-Capped.

Mistweavers are like any other healer in Warlords of Draenor, very hard to kill in PvP and essential to group survival in dungeons and raids. Keep the group alive and you won’t have to (or be able to) kill anything.

In PvP you should find yourself some “damage” to hang out with. Keep them alive and they’ll kill stuff for you.  Human Kicking Orc Butt


The Fastest Monk Leveling

Level your monk to 90, ASAPEven with the hot gear and having leveled several characters before, there are still thousands of quests and endless enemies to destroy to get to max level. You can do it all yourself or you can save a lot of time and grab yourself an in-game leveling guide.

As you can see from the pic, Zygor will show you where to go, what to do, what to collect, and seamlesslessly switch to the next task when you’re done, regardless of your current level.

Whether you’re brand new to the World of Warcraft or decked head to toe in heirlooms, Zygor will get you to the level cap fast. Even if you grab a bunch of levels in the dungeons or PvP Zygor has your back. Come back to questing and it will automatically adjust to your current level, show you the best place to go next, and help zap any old quests.

To make things even faster Zygor can auto-accept and hand in quests. This speeds things up nicely.

And if you’re just not quite sure about gear or talents, well, Zygor will help you out there, too. Its adviser functions will make the decisions easy. Go here to get yours now and get leveled faster.

Possibly Related Monkish Postings and Pages

6 thoughts on “Monk Leveling in the World of Warcraft”

  1. tand for pvp guys what do you say? 2W or 2h? cuse when i brought pvp 1h wepons my miss chance get to 18% in autoatacks and theres no way to gtet taht to 0 with pvp gear even with all gear reforged for hit so maybe 2h for pvp btter ?

    1. For leveing it’s generally easier to get a decent 2h weapon than two 1h weapons. For PvP, after you’ve hit 90, go with the DW for better stats and better overall damage. See our Monk PvP gearing guide for gear notes.

      As for Hit: You only need 3%, regardless of weapons. If Dual Wielding then any additional Hit applies to you autoattack, but that additional Hit is best spent elsewhere.

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