5.2: Mistweaver Monk Changes

With Patch 5.2 looming ominously over my shoulder, I’m frantically pounding on keyboards and poking at calculators and scribbling on notebooks and tearing my hair out over the new Mistweaver Monk changes, so I thought, why not share them with you guys? πŸ™‚

I’ve fallen quite behind on my spreadsheet-updating schedule, thanks to the urgency of PTR raid testing and also finishing out tier 14 content, so it will be a few days before I can update my spreadsheets and the more comprehensive content on the Introducing the Monk page. Until then, I hope you’ll all be able to make do with this brief overview!

Mistweaving vs. Fistweaving: The Showdown

Something we learned very quickly about Mistweaver Monks once Mists of Pandaria went live is that Jab-Jab-Uplift was ridiculously mana-efficient and provided extremely quick, reactive, and powerful AoE healing. Partway through the first tier of raiding, Blizzard addressed this by increasing the mana cost of Jab (but in a bugged way, so most Mistweavers never experienced it) and nerfing the extent to which Renewing Mist could spread through the raid. However, it seems the developers still were not happy with the result, and wanted to – for whatever reason – fiddle with this “rotation”.

In 5.2, Jab will now cost a whopping 8% of your mana! That is 24,000 mana per Jab! Which works out to 24,000 mana per Chi. It is now worse than all other Chi generators except Surging Mist for its mana-per-Chi efficiency.

To compensate for this, Soothing Mist’s Chi generation has been smoothed out some. The first tick of Soothing Mist has a 15% chance to proc a Chi, and if it does not, each subsequent tick has an additional 15% chance to proc it, resetting upon successfully obtaining a Chi. The end result is that you should obtain Chi from 34% of your ticks instead of the 30% you are used to in 5.1, or an average of 2.94 Chi per full-duration Soothing Mist channel.

This stacking chance to proc a Chi from each tick does not seem to reset upon restarting a Soothing Mist cast. So, those of you who are already used to spamming Soothing Mist over and over again in order to generate Chi will still reap the benefit of this strategy. I do not know if it resets when you gain Chi via the Soothing Mist/Power Strikes interaction.

Due to the extreme cost of Jab, many Mistweavers I raided with on the PTR seemed to mostly abandon their Fistweaving ways. Not entirely – in some cases it was still convenient for them to be in melee range, and if you’re going to be – and you have some down-time in your healing requirements – you may as well throw a few punches. But for the most part, the healing breakdown seemed to be populated by Uplift, Renewing Mist, Chi Torpedo, Chi Burst, Spinning Crane Kick, Soothing Mist, Enveloping Mist. Their output was phenomenal and their mana-efficiency seemed pretty solid, so this will work pretty well.

Besides just the Jab change, there were a few other changes as well. First of all, Eminence was reduced by half, now healing a low-health ally within 20 yards for 25% of the damage dealt. However, Mistweavers now have a new passive ability, Muscle Memory, which means that after a successful Jab or a Spinning Crane Kick that damages at least 3 enemy targets, their next Tiger Palm or Blackout Kick deals 150% more damage and restores 4% mana. This makes Jab/Tiger Palm much more efficient both in terms of mana cost and healing done via Eminence; and the developers have indicated that they foresee Blackout Kick’s Chi cost being paid by Jab/Renewing Mist or Jab/Expel Harm.

Teachings of the Monastery also picked up some new passives; Tiger Palm and Crackling Jade Lightning deal 100% more damage, and Blackout Kick will deal 50% of its damage to each of up to 4 nearby enemy targets. This basically evens out – and in the case of Blackout Kick during multi-target fights, overcompensates for – the reduction in Eminence healing. And finally, Serpent’s Zeal now maxes out at 25% of your auto-attack damage, but requires only a single application of the buff via Blackout Kick, which is a bit of a quality-of-life adjustment.

Blizzard’s stated design philosophy is that Fistweaving should, like Atonement, be able to deal 50% of a DPS player’s damage while doing 50% of a healing player’s healing. I’m not sure they have hit the mark, or if it is a worthwhile mark to aim for. The end result is that it is now less appealing to mix the two healing styles together, making the Mistweaver toolkit a little less fluid and perhaps a little less interesting for those Monks who were already used to it.

Other Healing Changes

Renewing Mist’s mana cost has been reduced to 5.85% mana (down from 6.5%) in an attempt to ease the mana burden on lower-geared healers.

Mastery: Gift of the Serpent spheres will now persist for 30 seconds. If they have not been consumed by the end of their duration, the spheres will heal a nearby ally for 50% of the amount it otherwise would have healed for. This should make Mastery a more valuable stat, especially for 1o-player raiders.

Healing Spheres will now persist for 1 minute.

Summon Jade Serpent no longer costs mana, meaning there is no penalty other than the cast time to move your statue to a new location during mobile fights.

The mana cost on the Glyph of Uplift has been increased to 16% to match the cost of Jab-Jab-Uplift.

Life Cocoon is now undispellable, a buff to PvPing Mistweavers. However, Thunder Focus Tea is now not usable while Silenced, a nerf to PvPing Mistweavers. πŸ˜›

Talent Changes

The Level 30 Talents now all have cooldowns and do not cost Chi. This leaves Mistweavers with very few things to spend their Chi on – I suspect this change was aimed at Brewmasters and Windwalkers with more demands on their Chi. As well, their healing has been tinkered with.

While I haven’t done a full evaluation of these talents, I can do a little bit of a breakdown for you here, keeping in mind that these numbers are still using the basic “483 PvP gear” profile that all my spreadsheets have. Your numbers will be higher, but that probably will not change how these Talents compare to one another:

Mistweaver Level 30 Talents
Talent CD (sec) Adj. Healing HPS Comment
Chi Wave 15 83,825 5,588 8 bounces, 4 of which deliver healing
Zen Sphere 10 28,103 2,810 Periodic healing only
86,171 8,617 Detonation effect on 6+ targets
114,274 11,427 Detonation on 6+ targets + periodic heal
Chi Burst 30 279,413 9,314 6+ targets

Note that you can have two Zen Spheres active at any one time, and their mechanic has changed a little bit. Zen Sphere now detonates if its target reaches 33% health or if it expires or is dispelled; you can no longer force the Sphere to detonate in immediate response to moderate raid damage. The numbers displayed above are for a single Zen Sphere cast.

While Zen Sphere can theoretically put out more HPS than Chi Burst, this depends upon it detonating right at the end of its HoT effect, and that detonation effect healing at least 6 targets. This is not something that is necessarily reliable. However, its low cooldown and multi-target capabilities could make it useful for some of the heavy tank-damage fights in the next raid tier where you can be reasonably assured the Spheres will detonate.

I’ll take a closer look at these Talents with a more realistic gear set when I get around to updating the spreadsheet for 5.2.

Ring of Peace: Disarms, deactivates auto-attack, and silences casters who attempt to cast. And looks great!

Ring of Peace: Disarms, deactivates auto-attack, and silences casters who attempt to cast. And looks great!

Monks have access to a new Level 60 Talent, now that Deadly Reach’s effects have been made baseline. Ring of Peace has a 45-second cooldown and creates a sphere of sanctuary around the Monk. Any enemies within the Ring are disarmed and cannot auto-attack. Any casters within the area of effect who attempt to cast will be silenced for three seconds. This is a powerful ability for PvP, but also may be handy for trash and adds-heavy encounters in PvE.

There have also been smaller changes to many Talents:

  • Tiger’s Lust no longer costs Chi;
  • Charging Ox Wave’s CD has been reduced to 30 seconds (from 60 seconds);
  • Healing Elixirs now heals for 15% of maximum health;
  • Dampen Harm can now be used while stunned, and its cooldown begins upon activation, rather than upon its charges being consumed/the buff fading; and
  • Chi Torpedo deals 15% more damage.

Utility/Glyph Changes

There have been several tweaks to non-healing Monk abilities as well:

  • Path of Blossoms has been removed;
  • Paralysis is now a physical effect and cannot be dispelled, reflected, or Grounded. Its range has been increased to 20 yards. When used on a non-player target, it will last 40 seconds; when used on a player, it will last 4 seconds. If used on a target from behind, it will last an additional 50%;
  • The Glyph of Paralysis causes Paralysis to remove all DoT effects on its target; and
  • Spear Hand Strike’s silence effect has been halved in duration.

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2 Responses to 5.2: Mistweaver Monk Changes

  1. Amarah says:

    This post was great!, I cant wait till you come out with more information concerning our level 30 talents because I believe that depending what we choose will greatly affect our overall healing. Before patch 5.2 I used Chi wave which did loads of healing in 10 man raiding, I dont know if with the 14% nerf it will be as effective. I want more info about Zen sphere I really didnt use it before since i thought it was trash but after looking at ur calc i am very interested. Now chi burst i dont care about I really dont see how its affective in 10 man especially with 30 sec cd. Any more info with be great and in Pve gear pls. What Lvl 30 talent you going with? will you be switching based on fight? and if so plz elaborate. The info would be really helpful TY πŸ˜€ and as soon as possible since I will be raiding in a few hours πŸ˜€

    I been looking all over the net for info havent found ANYTHING regarding best pick for lvl 30 talent. GJ once again

    • Dedralie says:

      I actually don’t have a level 90 monk on live servers yet, so I don’t have great advice for you regarding level 30 talents in 10-player raiding. Yet! I will hopefully be able to get a full analysis done over the weekend. I’ll be looking at monks in 10- and 25-player guilds who have defeated the new content and see what they are doing.

      Keep in mind that Zen Sphere’s detonation cannot be controlled by you. It triggers automatically if the target you put it on dips below 35% health. You may see no detonation at all – in which case it’s a very weak HoT effect – or you may cast it on a person at low health and get an immediate explosion, which is a moderate AoE heal but is best if it can hit 6 targets – or you may randomly get an explosion at any time during its duration. Using it wisely is going to be the hardest part of Zen Sphere.

      Chi Burst’s long CD is kind of a drag, but there are still a fair few fights where I think you could get it to hit its maximum number of targets, and it works very well as a burst heal when things go bad. I think you ought to be able to find uses for it in Jin’Rokh, Horridon, Megaera, Ji-Kun, Iron Qon, and Lei Shen, but I don’t know necessarily if it is the best choice for those fights.

      Chi Wave probably will be best for situations where the raid is spread out, so Zen Sphere and Chi Burst won’t hit their max targets, or specifically right as Quake Stomp occurs on Tortos so it will continue to bounce around and heal when your raid is stunned.

      I’d say, be flexible and try the talents out on each encounter you have trouble with, and see what works best for you. As always, healer talents can’t be evaluated in a vacuum; your other healers’ cooldowns and skill and reactivity are a huge factor in your own performance. But if you get a chance to play around with them and find some clear winners, by all means let me know! πŸ™‚

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