Hey, I’m Chase Hasbrouck (aka Alaron) from WoW Insider and The Fluid Druid. Welcome to my full Mistweaver Monk guide! This page will teach you everything you need to know about playing a mistweaver monk for Mists of Pandaria. Read, enjoy, and if you find it helpful, feel free to hit the donate button in the sidebar. Let’s begin!
Guide Status: Updated for 5.0.5.
Mistweaver monks are a healing specialization that was newly added to the game for the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Any race, except Worgen and Goblin, can be a monk. (All my pictures are pandaren because, well, that’s all the art at the moment.) Mistweaver monks have two primary resources that power their healing abilities: mana and chi.
Mana: Your Lifeblood
Unlike the other two specializations, Mistweavers use mana instead of energy, which powers the majority of their heals. Mistweavers can regain mana through the traditional ways (in-combat Spirit regeneration via Mana Meditation, mana potion, etc.). However, Mistweavers also generate Mana Tea stacks by using chi; one stack is generated for every 4 chi consumed (Brewing: Mana Tea). To regain mana, you channel the Mana Tea ability, which regenerates 4% mana/sec/stack. Mana Tea can be glyphed, which removes the channeling behavior and causes it to simply use two stacks (8% mana) instantly, with a 10s cooldown. This is a strategic choice that will need to be made on a fight-by-fight basis.
Chi: Finishing Touches
Chi is a static 4-point pool, similar to a paladin’s holy power, that decays when out of combat. Unlike the other specializations, where chi abilities are essential and energy abilities are used mainly to build chi, chi usage as a mistweaver is secondary to mana-using spells. That doesn’t mean you can ignore chi, however; chi heals, specifically, Uplift, are very critical. FInding a way to generate chi consistently is a large strategic decision of the clas.
Fistweaving or Mistweaving: You Choose
Mistweavers have the capability to do some limited DPS healing (similar to Smite/Atonement disc priests) due to their passive ability Eminence, which causes 50% of (most) of their damage to be converted to a smart heal on the lowest-health target. This is doubled if the mistweaver drops a Jade Serpent Statue, which should be up for every fight due to its short cooldown. For maximum healing potential, a mistweaver monk should be in melee; however, it is possible to heal from ranged, though chi generation will be significantly constrained.
Healing Spheres: Lightwell 2.0
Healing Spheres are little green globes that float near the ground, and heal anyone who touches them for a significant amount. (Just like Diablo 3!) The mistweaver can place one directly, or cause them to pop up randomly on the battlefield via their mastery ability, Gift of the Serpent. Yes, this requires your raiders to have situational awareness in order to move and pick them up; don’t know about your raid, but I’m staying as far away from mastery as possible.
Primary Healing Abilities
These are the abilities you’re going to use most often, so know them, love them, hotkey them.
|Soothing Mist||8 sec channel, 1% mana per tick. It’s channeled and fairly weak. but cheap. During the channel, you can cast Surging Mist or Enveloping Mist as an instant to heal the channel target. Has a 25% chance to generate 1 Chi with each tick. Jade Serpent Statue will cast this on a low-health ally when you do.|
|Surging Mist||1.5 sec cast, 8% mana. A fast, strong, expensive heal, similar to Flash Heal for priests. Generates 1 Chi. Becomes an instant when channeling Soothing Mist.|
|Enveloping Mist||2 sec cast, 3 chi. Your primary use for chi when tank healing, this is a very strong short heal-over-time. Becomes an instant when channeling Soothing Mist.|
|Renewing Mist||Instant, 4.5% mana, 8 sec cooldown. Generates 1 chi. Getting tired of “mist” spells yet? This is a Rejuvenation/Prayer of Mending hybrid; cast it on one player, and on the first tick, it spreads to a second player, and continues until it’s spread three times (for 4 total players healed). For almost all fights, you will want to use this on cooldown. Uplift instantly heals all players with RM on, while a Thunder Focus Tea + Uplift combo instaheals and refreshes the RM duration (though not the spreading).|
|Uplift||Instant, 2 chi. Heals all targets with Renewing Mist active for a good amount; about three ticks of Renewing Mist. This is your primary AoE heal if your raid isn’t clumped. When used with Thunder Focus Tea, it renews the duration of all Renewing Mist effects back to 18 sec.|
|Chi Burst||1 sec cast, 2 chi. This is one of your level 30 talents, and the best talent choice for maximum healing throughput if your raid is stacked. I’ll discuss the others in the talent section.|
|Healing Sphere||Instant, 2% mana, 0.5 sec cooldown. Can be used in two ways: either as a quick heal (drop it on someone’s feet) or during lulls as a way to make a “heal point,” probably for your tank. You can have up to 3 that are manually placed.|
|Summon Jade Serpent Statue||Instant, 9% mana, 30 sec cooldown. The statue will mirror your Eminence heals and Soothing Mist casts, so you want it up and nearby at all times.|
|Spinning Crane Kick||2.25 sec channel, 5.5% mana. Does AoE damage to enemies and AoE healing to friends within 8 yards. Generates 1 chi if it heals 3 targets.|
|Jab||Instant, 3% mana. Basic attack, increases chi by 1 and does a bit of Eminence healing. Your most reliable chi generator.|
|Blackout Kick||2 chi, no cooldown. This kick will do a significant amount of damage (which becomes healing via Eminence) but also buffs your autoattacks to convert 25% of their damage to healing. This Serpent’s Zeal buff stacks twice, and lasts 30 seconds.|
|Tiger Palm||1 chi, no cooldown. Stacks up the Vital Mists buff, which reduces the cast time and cost of your next Surging Mist by 20%. Also stacks up Tiger Power, which slightly increases your overall damage.|
There’s not much here; generally, MW’s don’t get huge raid savers like some of the other classes do.
|Thunder Focus Tea||Instant, 1 chi, 45 sec cooldown. This doubles your next Surging Mist, or causes your next Uplift to refresh Renewing Mist. Best used for the RM refresh unless you really need the extra single-target healing.|
|Life Cocoon||Instant, 4.5% mana, 120 sec cooldown. This is your big single-target save. It’s a huge absorb shield that increases periodic healing taken while its up; a Life Cocoon/Enveloping Mist combo can heal a tank back to full very quickly.|
|Revival||Instant, 7% mana, 180 sec cooldown. Large instant AoE heal and dispel. Not much more to say about it then that; one second everyone’s cursed, diseased and close to death; next minute everyone’s fine.|
|Zen Meditation||8 second channel, 180 second cooldown. This is sort of a hybrid personal/group cooldown; it reduces the damage you take by 90%, and redirects 5 harmful spells cast against the raid to you. Unfortunately, it seems to work like Grounding Totem, so a lot of boss abilities aren’t redirectable. It’ll take testing on a fight-by-fight basis to see what it’s useful for.|
|Fortifying Brew||180 second cooldown. This is your big personal survivability cooldown. Increases health by 20% and reduces damage taken by 20%. Best saved for predicted burst moments or “I’m about to die” times.|
|Dampen Harm / Diffuse Magic||90 sec CD. You get ONE of these abilities as your Level 75 talent choice. (Or Healing Elixirs, but I wouldn’t recommend that one at all.) Both talents are great; DH is great for boss burst, while DM is more situational but absolutely killer in those situations|
Other Notable Abilities
|Mana Tea||Channeled. You’ll build up Mana Tea stacks as you use Chi, and then channel MT to remove the stacks and restore mana. Can be glyphed to make two stacks restore instantly but add a 10s cooldown to the ability.|
|Roll||20 sec CD per charge. This gets you out of the way of something fast; click it, and your monk instantly rolls about 20 yards in the direction you’re currently moving. (This is different from things like Blink and Disengage, which operate according to the direction you’re facing.) It has two charges so can be used twice.|
|Crackling Jade Lightning||Channeled, 1.5% mana per tick. You’ll use this mostly while soloing as your damage ability, though it can also be brought out in 5-mans for strong Eminence healing; just watch your mana.|
|Detox||2.6% mana, 8 second cooldown. Your dispel, with a lovely cooldown that all healers get to share now. Maybe people will learn not to Stand In Bad (not likely).|
|Legacy of the Emperor||It’s a buff! Gives 5% to primary stats for you and your group. All monks get this.|
Theorycrafting for healers is probably the most difficult, as the situations you find yourself in are so flexible compared to DPS (maximize damage) or tanks (minimize damage). Still, here’s a few tips.
- In all cases, you need to reliably generate Chi to use your strongest heals. Jab is the best way to do this, but if you are playing from range, you will need to channel either CJL or SoM to get Chi.
- If you have extra Chi and nothing to heal, dump it on Blackout Kick. I wouldn’t recommend using Tiger Palm unless the healing is very trivial; the 5 chi it costs to stack up Vital Mists can be better spent elsewhere.
- Low Damage: DPS heal. Use Jab to generate Chi, then attack with Blackout Kick/Spinning Crane Kick (see Teachings of the Monastery) and let Eminence + Serpent’s Zeal do your healing. Channel Crackling Jade Lightning for extra heals. Use Renewing Mists on cooldown.
- Medium Damage: Channel Soothing Mist on your target and cast Enveloping Mist,
- Heavy Damage: Cast Surging Mist as necessary, which is instant during the Soothing channel. Use Life Cocoon or Thunder Focus Tea + Surging Mist if things look bad.
- Low Damage: Renewing Mists. Note the 8 sec CD and travel time; need to start early to blanket your group. In most fights, probably worth casting on CD anyway.
- Medium Damage: Chi Burst and Spinning Crane Kick, if people are stacked. If not (and you can predict this ahead of time) use Chi Wave instead.
- Sustained Damage: Uplift Renewing Mists. Use Thunder Focus Tea on your third RM cast; if you’ve been casting RM every 8 seconds, you should have 8 stacks out after 16 sec and can keep those rolling for 16 more seconds. Use Revival if things look bad.
- Level 15: Celerity or Momentum. Either is pretty useful, though Momentum probably edges out Celerity for me. Your mileage may vary.
- Level 30: Chi Burst or Chi Wave. For raids where everyone stacks up, Chi Burst does amazing raid healing. For non-stacked situations, Chi Wave is better for the smart-heal, even though you’ll only get three heals out of it. Zen Sphere isn’t that great since Enveloping Mist is just all-around better as a single-target HoT, and if you need burst healing, 2 uplifts beats one ZS detonation.
- Level 45: Chi Brew. PS is the best chi generator option, but only if you can reliably Jab every 20 seconds. I’d generally prefer Chi Brew in order to be able to TFT/Uplift when I need to. Ascension isn’t a great choice; it’d be a bit more interesting if it raised the cap more.
- Level 60: Charging Ox Wave or Leg Sweep. Whichever one fits your style, ranged or melee. Deadly Reach isn’t bad but I didn’t generally use Paralysis much since other CC’s outrange it significantly.
- Level 75: Dampen Harm or Diffuse Magic. I mentioned this above, but Dampen Harm is an excellent mini-cooldown. Diffuse Magic is more situational, but absolutely killer for bosses that use mostly magical damage. Healing Elixirs is meh.
- Level 90: Invoke Xuen. Now that SCK has been nerfed, RJW’s not as good as it used to be. Xuen does some Eminence healing itself and a good bit of damage, so that’s preferred. Chi Torpedo just feels…off.
For a broader discussion, see the Monk Talents page.
I like the Renewing Mist glyph; everything else has pros and cons. I’ve listed them roughly in the order I would choose them.
- Glyph of Renewing Mist Essential to ensure Renewing Mist works as it should in most cases. You’d only NOT consider it if you had a specific plan for RM (say you had a melee and ranged stack, and you wanted to keep RM in one place).
- Glyph of Mana Tea In general, I recommend the glyphed behavior of Mana Tea over the nonglyphed version. Fights where you have uninterrupted time to stop and channel are rare, but fights where you have to move are common.
- Glyph of Expel Harm Expel Harm is the most efficient heal you have.
- Glyph of Uplift I think this glyph is generally worth it for non-meleeweavers, as your chi gen is much spottier with no Jabbing. Mostly, though, I don’t recommend it.
- Glyph of Surging Mist For leveling/5-mans, I could see a meleeweaver using this. In general, though, the Soothing/Surging combo is pretty solid, and you don’t want to mess that up. (Quick, tank’s at 30% health, go SoM/SuM…dammit SuM why are you healing the hunter!?!? wipe.)
- Glyph of Spinning Crane Kick Helpful, but too many other good choices, I think.
- Glyph of Crackling Jade Lightning Meh, reasonable for soloing.
- Glyph of Enduring Healing Sphere Doubt this will be useful anywhere.
- Glyph of Life Cocoon PvP glyph (but a good’un).
- Glyph of Transcendence: Helpful, but situational.
For the full list of glyphs (including the cosmetic minor glyphs), see the Monk Glyphs page.
Gear, Stat Weights and Reforging
I’d like to work up a gear list, but I haven’t had a chance to yet. In the meantime, stat weights are roughly:
Spirit > more Spirit > even more Spirit > Int > Haste to 1350 > Crit > Haste > Mastery. (Prioritize Mastery over Haste for 25-mans.)
First tier + new class means lots of learning, so do yourself a favor and stack spirit. For the other stats, intellect is of course good, crit is pretty strong seeing as so much healing done is HoT based (which means less overheal for crits), haste is bad because most of the healing spells are instant, and mastery is worse because nobody picks up the healing spheres it generates.
Big Caveat: You need 8.35% haste to get an additional tick on Renewing Mist/Enveloping Mist, which is important. If you have the 5% haste buff (moonkin, spriests, ele shamans, or hunter sporebats), you only need ~1350 haste to get the additional 3.35% to get there, which should be trivial. If not, you’ll need about ~3540, which is doable but fairly difficult, and not worth compromising on spirit for.
Here’s all the recommended enchants: I’ll try to go back and add in others if options present themselves. Having two crafting professions remains the best choice. Not mentioned in the table is Alchemy (+320 int and Jewelcrafting (2 gems that give +320 int over their rare equivalents). Herbalism (2880 haste on-use ability) and Skinning (480 crit) bonuses are half as effective as those from the crafting professions; Mining (480 stamina) will likely not be very helpful.
|Head||Head enchants are gone!|
|Shoulders||Greater Crane Wing Inscription (200 int/100 crit)
Inscription: Secret Crane Wing Inscription (520 int/100 crit)
|Chest||Glorious Stats (80 all primary stats) or Mighty Spirit (200 spirit)|
|Waist||Living Steel Buckle (gem socket)|
|Legs||Greater Pearlescent Spellthread (285 int/165 spirit)
|Feet||Pandaren’s Step (+8% movespeed/140 mastery) or Greater Haste (175 haste)|
|Wrists||Super Intellect (170 int)
Leatherworking: Fur Lining – Intellect (500 int)
Blacksmithing: Socket Bracer (gem socket, stacks with enchant)
|Hands||Superior Mastery (170 mastery) or Greater Haste (170 haste)
Blacksmithing: Socket Gloves (gem socket, stacks with enchant)
Engineering: Synapse Springs (1920 int proc, stacks with enchant)
|Fingers||Enchanting: Greater Intellect x 2 (160 int)|
|Back||Superior Intellect (180 int)
Tailoring: Lightweave Embroidery (2000 int proc)
|Main Hand||Jade Spirit (1650 int/occasional 750 spirit proc)|
Gems, Consumables, and Professions
In order to make non-primary stat gems more compelling, Mists doubled the amount of secondary stats provided by gems. However, spirit is so good that I wouldn’t recommend going against it with anything but intellect unless you have a compelling reason to do so.
Perfect gems are now equivalent to rares. Epic gems are in the wowhead database, but I’m holding off on those for right now. Of course, if you’re a Jewelcrafter, use your supergems first.
- Meta: Revitalizing Primal Diamond (432 spirit/3% crit) or Ember Primal Diamond (216 int/2% mana). I prefer the Revitalizing.
- Blue: Sparkling River’s Heart or Perfect Sparkling Lapis Lazuli (320 spirit)
- Red: Purified Imperial Amethyst or Perfect Purified Roguestone (80 int/160 spirit)
- Yellow (aka Green):Misty Wild Jade or Perfect Misty Alexandrite
Consumables basically work the same as they did in Cataclysm, with one major difference: there are now three tiers of food, instead of two. The best tier (+300 agi) is individual foods; the bottom two tiers (275 and 250) have individual foods or feasts, now known as “banquets.” The Pandaren Banquets/Great Pandaren Banquets are for 10m/25m respectively, and offer 275 to all; the lesser banquets give 275 for a certain stat only, and 250 to the rest. Be prepared to level Cooking or spend heavily on the AH. Flasks and Potions work the same way they did in Cataclysm. (Stamina food added for those that prefer it.)
- 300 spirit: Steamed Crab Surprise
- 300 int: Mogu Fish Stew
- 275 spirit: Fire Spirit Salmon, Banquet of the Steamer
- 275 int: Braised Turtle, Pandaren Banquet/Great Pandaren Banquet, Banquet of the Pot
- 250 spirit: Shrimp Dumplings
- 250 int: Swirling Mist Soup, all other lesser Banquets
- Flasks: Flask of Falling Leaves (1000 spirit) or Flask of the Warm Sun (1000 int)
- Potion: Potion of Focus (4500 mana/sec over 10 seconds, channel), Master Mana Potion (28-32k mana), Potion of the Jade Serpent (4000 int/25 sec)
Boss-Specific Strategies (TBA)
Coming soon, likely sometime after launch.
Extra discussion/tidbits here that didn’t make sense anywhere else in the guide. I’ll add things here periodically.
1H + OH or 2H?
Haven’t seen much of a difference. I’d recommend 2H just because they seem to be a little easier to come by.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Mistweavers
Overall, Mistweavers are very strong at single-target damage. The Soothing/Surging/Enveloping trio works well together to really keep a tank topped up. AoE is pretty good if the raid is stacked. Things get iffy once the raid is spread out, though; Renewing Mist doesn’t heal for very much and its spread is uncontrollable, so if AoE burst is coming, you have to anticipate it 15+ sec prior so you can have a TFT+ Uplift ready. This is less of a problem in 10′s (where RM on CD generally means 8/10 people are covered, so Uplift works pretty well without needing TFT).
Heirloom Gear Recommendations
- Weapon: Dignified Headmaster’s Charge. Nothing else compares, really.
- Chest: Preened Ironfeather Breastplate
- Shoulders: Preened Ironfeather Shoulders
- Head: Preened Tribal War Feathers
- Back: Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak
- Legs: Preened Wildfeather Leggings (will be obtainable as a guild reward once Mists launches)
- Finger: Dread Pirate Ring (yeah, right, good luck)
- Trinkets: 2x Discerning Eye of the Beast
Well, that wraps up the guide! If there’s anything specific you’d like me to add, discuss, just think I got wrong, just drop me a note and let me know! Also, here’s some other guides/info you’d do well to check out:
- Disargeria, as always, is an invaluable resource for anything Monk: here’s his Mistweaver guide.
- Dedralie has an excellent and comprehensive guide to Mistweavers over at healiocentric (thanks to DIsargeria for pointing me to it).
- Arison started out amazingly well with the Mistweaver thread over at EJ, but I believe he’s since decided not to play MW anymore. I’m sure someone will pick up the thread and run with it soon, though. He did design a very nice online calculator, which I used for the stat weights I gave above.
- The End Game Tactics blog has a good mistweaver guide, and they’ve also got a guide post over at mmo-champion.