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The Mistweaver is the healing specialisation of the Monk class, which will be added in Mists of Pandaria. In this article, we will review the general characteristics of the specialisation, as well as presenting what the healing playstyle of Mistweavers is likely to be.
As usual, keep in mind that this article is based on Beta content which is not definitive and is very much subject to change. Level 90 is not yet available (which includes the final tier talents). Moreover, raid encounters are not available either, so it is difficult to discern with certainty what the healing style will look like when Mists of Pandaria goes live.
Mistweaver Monks are a hybrid healing specialisation, which borrows several concepts from the other healing specialisations, while still maintaining a high degree of originality. It is difficult to say what Mistweaver's healing niche is, although they currently seem to be proficient at both single target and raid healing.
Mistweavers have several raid cooldowns. At the moment, it appears that there is a relatively high skill threshold to playing a Mistweaver Monk to maximum potential, due to the many complexities and intricacies of the specialisation.
General Mistweaver Characteristics
Mistweavers have the following characteristics:
- melee healer (for competitive healing, the Mistweaver must be in melee range of a target and must be attacking it);
- can use One-Handed Axes/Maces/Swords, Off-Hand Frills as well as Staves.
- dual resource system comprised of Mana and Chi (more on this below);
- the usual array of healer spells, such as removing magic debuffs, diseases and poisons, resurrecting dead players (out of combat) etc.
Mistweavers use a dual resource system of Mana and Chi.
Mana works in the same way as for all other classes, and its regeneration benefits greatly from Spirit. Some Mistweaver healing spells (especially those that would generally be used in an emergency) cost Mana.
Chi is a resource that has a maximum capacity of 4 (5 if the Ascension talent is taken). Chi is generated through several abilities, and never decays (unlike Paladins' Holy Power). Mistweavers have several healing spells that cost Chi to use. The Chi costs are fixed, and having more Chi does not increase the power of the heal.
Spells, Abilities and their Interaction
The healing done by Mistweaver Monks can be divided into two categories: passive healing and active healing. Moreover, Monks have several cooldowns (that benefit either themselves or the raid as a whole). In all cases, Mistweavers must keep a close eye on their Chi management as well as the many interactions between their abilities.
Mastery and Stance
Mistweaver Monks should always use Stance of the Wise Serpent while healing. This stance grants many benefits:
- healing increased by 20%;
- Energy (the default resource for the Brewmaster and Windwalker specialisations) replaced by Mana;
- Eminence, which causes you to passively heal a random low health party or raid member for 50% of the damage you deal with any non-autoattack ability ( Jab, Blackout Kick, Tiger Palm etc.);
- Hit and Expertise Rating worth 50% of your Spirit (allowing you to successfully land your various melee attacks);
- 200% of spellpower granted as attack power (thus giving a scaling damage boost to your attacks).
Mastery: Gift of the Serpent, the Mistweaver Mastery, gives each heal a chance to spawn a healing sphere next to the target of the heal. Healing spheres persist on the ground, and walking over them causes that player to receive a heal.
There are three ways in which Mistweaver Monks perform passive healing:
- thanks to Teachings of the Monastery, dealing damage with Blackout Kick stacks a self-buff on you which causes 200% of the damage you deal with auto-attacks to be done as healing to a nearby low health friendly player;
- thanks to Eminence, 50% of all damage you deal with non-autoattacks is done as healing to a nearby low health friendly player;
- Jade Serpent Statue, if active, duplicates all your passive heals (both from autoattacks and non-autoattacks), as well as your heals from Soothing Mist. In each case, the statue will target a nearby low health friendly player, and not necessarily the same target as you.
Naturally, the healing spheres generated by your Mastery can also be considered passive healing.
As a Mistweaver Monk, you have a number of active healing spells. We will go through them in this section.
Soothing Mist is a channeled single target heal. It heals the target for a relatively high amount over 7 seconds, ticking once each second. It costs Mana to use, and each time it heals, it has a 20% chance of generating 1 Chi.
Two of your spells can be cast while Soothing Mist is being channeled, making them instant cast while not breaking your Soothing Mist channel:
- Enveloping Mist, a powerful HoT;
- Surging Mist, a rather expensive, emergency heal (that also generates 1 Chi).
Soothing Mist is similar to Discipline Priests' Penance.
Enveloping Mist is a single target HoT with a cast time, that costs 3 Chi and heals the target for a rather large amount over 6 seconds. While Enveloping Mist is active on the target, all healing that that target receives from Soothing Mist is increased by 30%.
Surging Mist is a single target fast heal that is very similar to the emergency heals of all other healing specialisations ( Flash Heal, Flash of Light, Healing Surge and Regrowth). It only costs Mana and it generates 1 Chi.
Renewing Mist is a single target spell that places a HoT on the target, and jumps (up to 3 times) to nearby injured players, placing HoTs on them as well. A total of 10 players can have a HoT from Renewing Mist on them at one time from the same Monk.
Renewing Mist has an 8 second cooldown and costs Mana. It is similar to Priests' Prayer of Mending.
Renewing Mist also has an important interaction with Uplift. Uplift extends the duration of Renewing Mist's healing buff on all targets by 6 seconds, also heals them for a small amount. Uplift has no cooldown and costs 2 Chi.
Healing Sphere is a spell that allows you to place up to 3 healing spheres on the ground. These spheres work exactly in the same way as the healing spheres generated by your Mastery. You can target the ground and decide where you wish to place each sphere. Placing a sphere causes a 0.5 second global cooldown.
From your tier 2 talents, you can choose one of the following 3 abilities:
- Chi Wave, which acts as a smart heal that heals several nearby players, or damages mobs. It currently seems like the most useful of the 3 tier 2 talents, but more testing is required in actual raid content.
- Zen Sphere, which heals you for a small amount over 16 seconds. If cast again (detonated), the sphere will heal all nearby players (within 10 yards) for a very small amount.
- Chi Burst, which heals all the friendly players in its path from your location to the enemy you are casting Chi Burst on. Because of this positional requirement and the fact that you must always be in melee range yourself, it is unlikely to have a wide usefulness in raid encounters.
As a Mistweaver Monk, you have 3 cooldowns of interest to the raid, and 2 cooldowns that are of personal use.
Your raid cooldowns are:
- Zen Meditation, which reduces all damage taken by 99% and redirects all spells cast at your raid members (within 30 yards) to you. It lasts 8 seconds. Getting hit by a melee attack (by an add for instance) breaks the effect. It costs Mana and has a 3 minute cooldown.
- Revival, which heals all friendly targets in your line of sight for a decent amount and also removes all magic debuffs, poisons and diseases from them. It costs Mana and has a 3 minute cooldown.
- Life Cocoon, which places an absorption shield on the target, lasting 12 seconds. While the shield is active, all healing done to the target from HoTs is increased by 50%. It costs Mana and has a 2 minute cooldown.
Additionally, you have two cooldowns that benefit you exclusively:
- Thunder Focus Tea, which causes Uplift to refresh the duration of Renewing Mists on all targets. It costs 1 Chi and has a 45 second cooldown.
- Mana Tea, which is a Mana restoration ability. Each time you spend 4 Chi, you gain a stack of Mana Tea, lasting 2 minutes and stacking up to 20 times. These stacks can be consumed by Mana Tea, a channeled ability, granting 4% Mana for each stack consumed. Mana Tea is a channeled spell that has a duration of 1 second for each stack consumed. It can be interrupted at any point without the stacks being wasted.
Chi can be generated through a variety of abilities, although Jab is by far the most reliable one.
- Jab costs Mana and deals a small amount of damage, generating 1 Chi.
- Surging Mist, your emergency heal, generates 1 Chi.
- Expel Harm, a hybrid damaging and self-healing ability, generates 1 Chi.
- Spinning Crane Kick, an AoE DPS and healing spell, generates 1 Chi.
- If talented, Chi Brew restores all your Chi, on a 1 minute 30 second cooldown.
The healing style of Mistweavers will revolve around doing damage (for passive healing purposes), generating Chi and using Chi to perform your various heals.
As the class is still in development and raid content is not yet available, we can only issue what we believe will be the most efficient healing strategies:
- Always have your Jade Serpent Statue active and near to the raid.
- Keep up the stacks of Serpent's Zeal by casting Blackout Kick every 19 seconds or so.
- Keep Renewing Mist up (refreshing it with Uplift) whenever there is raid damage.
- Perform single target healing with Soothing Mist and Enveloping Mist.
- Use Surging Mist for emergency situations (spamming instant cast Surging Mist during a Soothing Mist channel will result in a very large amount of healing, although it is quite costly).
- Regularly place healing spheres next to raid members that might take damage (or directly under raid members whom you wish to heal).
- Melee the boss or another add as much as you can to perform passive healing.
- Use Mana Tea regularly, whenever you have a spare moment, to maintain your Mana regeneration.
Additionally, you can use Tiger Palm, if you do not need to heal players and can afford to spend the Chi on it. This will stack two buffs on you: one that causes you to deal more damage with your attaks (and thus do more healing) and one that, at maximum stacks (5) causes your next Surging Mist to be instant cast. Stacking these buffs in preparation for a damage spike can be useful.
In AoE situations with many enemies, you can use Spinning Crane Kick to deal some damage and also do some AoE healing.
This concludes our first look at the Mistweaver Monk healing playstyle. It should serve to give you a very good idea of what to expect of this specialisation and how it can be put to use during raids.
In the future, we will present the various talent and glyph choices available to Mistweavers and how they can influence gameplay.
As usual, we are eagerly awaiting your comments.