Introduced with Mists of Pandaria as the playable component of the Pandaren race, the Monk is another one of World of Warcraft’s fully hybrid classes, one that's capable of fulfilling any one of the roles in World of Warcraft’s trinity: healing, damage dealing, and tanking. Our comprehensive Monk guide will help you decide which of these roels suits you best and how to perform it well.
In its current state, the class excels at any one of these roles. Players that enjoy combo-centric combat that requires them to think on the fly will feel right at home with the damage-dealing Windwalker, while Brewmaster players can live the fantasy of being more the sort of slippery-as-an-eel martial artist that dodges and blocks all incoming blows. Finally, Mistweavers are masters of channelled healing, and will prove immensely satisfying to players who want to focus on providing a steady layer of support to their allies.
Although all specialisations wear leather armor, their background in the martial arts makes them tougher and harder to hit than the average leather-user, leading to a very reasonable degree of survivability - with superior mobility too.
In this general overview of the class, we’ll give you an idea of what each specialisation's playstyle entails, along with the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Once you’ve made your choice from this hub guide, feel free to dive into our more detailed specialisation guides.
Consider this Monk guide your hub for everything Monk-related though. We’ll update it regularly, as the class goes through the tweaks and tunings that are commonplace with each patch that lands in every WOW expansion.
Editor's note: Update #2 - Right on the heels of patch 7.1.5, we've launched our Brewmaster Monk guide. This specialisation just benefited from a big buff and is currently one of the top tanking options in WOW. It's still challenging to play, however, and that's where we step in, offering you expert advice on how to pick your talents and manage your defensive abilities - and much more! Check it out via the Brewmaster section below.
As fearsome melee brawlers, Windwalker Monks attack their enemies with lightning-quick strikes of claw-like fist weapons, and they rely on their zen mastery and agility to avoid danger. They offer a complex playstyle that revolves around juggling two resources: Energy (much like the Rogue) and Chi.
Despite having two resources to juggle, the Windwalker Monk is not, however, a bad choice for beginners. It is simply harder to truly master as a result. Of all the Monk specs, it’s certainly the prime choice for levelling, and it's certainly on par with other top melee classes in all kinds of endgame content.
If it’s drunken Kung-Fu you’re after, then the Brewmaster is the spec for you. It's unique among Warcraft’s tanking classes, as instead of parrying, dodging or blocking attacks like other tanks, the Brewmaster uses his iron constitution and strong will to spread incoming damage over time, through their Stagger mechanic.
This means they have a very smooth damage intake, which makes them easy to heal, and they can even use further abilities to skip part of the damage that they delayed. The playstyle revolves around very careful use of abilities in order to manage their ability to Stagger.
While not having as many defensive cooldowns as the other tanking classes, Brewmaster Monks are nevertheless extremely viable in endgame content.
More WOW class guides:
|Death Knight guide||Demon Hunter guide||Druid guide|
|Hunter guide||Mage guide||Monk guide|
|Paladin guide||Priest guide||Rogue guide|
|Shaman guide||Warlock guide||Warrior guide|
Other WOW guides:
The Mistweaver is a zen master that uses a combination of willpower and meditative techniques - as well as some tea! - to summon healing mists that protect and restore their allies. Their playstyle is all about looking through their big selection of versatile spells and picking the one most appropriate to the target and incoming damage.
Indeed, the Mistweaver is possibly the most versatile healer currently in the game, one that's capable of adapting to any kind of healing assignment. Crucially, however, they're unable to do everything at once, leading to a very choice-rich playstyle.
And that concludes our complete overview of the Monk class and its specialisations! We’ll be updating this guide consistently in the coming months, so keep checking back in for new additions. Remember also to take to the comments below and let us know about your experiences playing the Monk!