Blainie

Artifact Series: Monk

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

15126-artifact-series-monk.jpg

Triple backflip into a double roll, fly across the room and then lash out with a vicious kick. Could this class literally be any more fun? It's the Monks!

 

Before we get started with our acrobatic friends, let's make sure you haven't missed any of your other favourite classes:

Without further ado, let's check out the specialisations available to the Monks:

  • Brewmaster uses the well-known powers of liquid courage to avoid damage and ensure that their allies are well protected.
  • Mistweaver takes a more traditional stance on battle, using ancient martial arts and medicines to ensure that their allies are healed.
  • Windwalker is the brawler of the three, with martial arts abilities unmatched by any others.

Brewmaster Monk - Fu Zan, the Wanderer's Companion 

 

An interesting name no doubt, let's take a look at what the story behind it is:

 

"Long ago, as the titanic watcher Keeper Freya set out to populate the world with life, she placed one of the first seeds in Pandaria. From it grew Fu Zan, the first, and all of Pandaria's forests descended from it. Before populating the rest of Azeroth, Freya fashioned a walking stick for her travels from one of Fu Zan’s branches. Eventually Freya passed her staff to the Jade Serpent, Yu’lon, who later gave it to a uniquely clever hozen. The Monkey King, as he was called, hung his most prized possessions from the staff, which he carries with him to this day." (source)

 

S0viZDq.jpg

 

This backstory really does have everything, doesn't it? A titan watcher, an August Celestial and one of the legends of Pandaria. Let's start off with the watcher, Freya, and who she was. As one of the watchers of Ulduar, she was tasked with protecting the prison of the old god, Yogg-Saron. She initially resided in the Temple of Life before Loken, one of the watchers, rebelled. 

 

jQCLdtc.png?1

 

The remnants of Freya's temple, found in the Storm Peaks.

 

After Loken's betrayals, Freya's temple was destroyed and she now resides within The Conservatory of Life, in Ulduar, corrupted by Yogg-Saron. Her strong affinity to nature and life made her attempt to populate Azeroth with natural essences. She went on to plant one of the first seeds located in Pandaria, from which the first tree grew - Fu Zan.

 

She took from the tree a single branch and fashioned a walking stick, to ensure that she would make it through her travels. After years of use, Freya decided it was time to pass the walking stick on to the August Celestial, Yu'lon.

 

Yu'lon is known as the Jade Serpent and acts as the spirit of wisdom in Pandaria. The story behind Yu'lon is actually rather sad, spanning back to the conquest of Pandaria. When Lei Shen, the Mogu King, began his conquest, he and the mogu ended up capturing the four August Celestials: Xuen, Yu'lon, Niuzao and Chi-Ji.

 

Yu'lon evaded captivity for the longest out of the four Celestials, but was eventually brought down out of the skies by Lei Shen. She was gravely wounded, but the Pandaren miners hid her underground from the prying eyes of the Mogu. Touched by the Pandaren's actions, she infused the surrounding stone with her magic. 

 

She eventually requested that the Pandaren build a statue of her; they worked over hundreds of years to fulfill her request, but Yu'lon was still extremely wounded. When they finished the work, she eventually gave her last breath and passed away.

 

kczTMi6.jpg

 

The current statue of Yu'lon, found in Pandaria.

 

The Pandaren mourned her, but the statue eventually began to move. Yu'lon used the statue to reincarnate herself, still going through the process when she is weakened in the present day.

 

Yu'lon, as the spirit of wisdom, understood the value of wisdom. She chose a uniquely intelligent Hozen as the next wielder of the branch of Fu Zan. This Hozen was in fact the Monkey King, a close companion of Emperor Shaohao.

 

It is from the Monkey King that it seems we will be obtaining the Brewmaster artifact, but I do wonder why it was Yu'lon that was mentioned in the lore. Traditionally, when looking at Brewmaster lore, Niuzao was the "tank" Celestial. He was present as the patron of the tank cloak in Mists of Pandaria, he was present on tanking trinkets, there are even a number of Brewmaster-only moves that relate to the Ox. So why is it that Yu'lon was mentioned in the lore?

 

Yu'lon traditionally stands as the matron of wisdom on Pandaria, but has never been linked to the style of fighting for Brewmasters, nor any of their items and spells.

 

Alternative Artifacts for Brewmaster Monks

 

The Weapons of Chen Stormstout

 

Arguably one of the most well-known monks in the game, I feel like we've got a big missed opportunity here. The entire story behind Chen is actually amazing, but the majority of players only know him from the Mists of Pandaria expansion.

 

Chen was a martial arts expert during his early years, training each day with his friend, Strongbo. They would spar with each other all day, but Chen would occasionally drift off and just spend the day dreaming. Chen was never complacent on the Wandering Isle, but it was almost sacrilege to suggest that a Pandaren might leaving the Isle.

 

Strongbo and Chen eventually grew so talented in martial arts that they were to compete for the spot of master in the martial arts school. On the day of the challenge, Chen never showed up. He fled the Isle in search of what he truly wanted: adventure.

 

owiJEIw.jpg?1

 

He ended up on the continent of Kalimdor, eventually making his way to Durotar. Chen was a skilled martial artist, but he was more concerned with becoming a master of brewmaking. He had planned yet another brew, but was unable to get the ingredients himself. He eventually met another wanderer, in the form of Rexxar, the Beastmaster.

 

Rexxar retrieved the ingredients for Chen, but when he was offered the brew by Chen, he couldn't believe how strong the mix was. Chen realised his recipe needed some alterations, but that could wait. He volunteered to join Rexxar's journey and adventures.

 

h2yPj5P.jpg

 

Rexxar tries some of Chen's brew.

 

Chen eventually found himself on Theramore Island, sent on a secret mission to try and understand why the humans were still attacking the Horde. On this mission, the group ended up meeting Jaina Proudmoore. Her father, at the time, was ordering the attacks on the Horde. She was disgusted with the atrocities he had committed, and so offered her aid.

 

They ended up defending Thrall and Durotar from the skrimishes put forward by the Kul Tiras army, but the main event was their counter-attack. They moved swiftly and put an end to the life of the great Grand Admiral, Daelin Proudmoore.

 

Chen ended up staying independent from the Horde and Alliance, instead acting as a wanderer, pledging allegiance to neither. He is a neutral entity with a very rare attribute: he is a Pandaren, traditionally trained in martial arts and brewmaking, but his history is still very strongly intertwined with that of the two player factions.

 

I think a combination of a barrel and weapon could have been an extremely cool way to give the Brewmasters an artifact, while still presenting an amazing story with Chen. He undoubtedly has the ability to weaponise his brews, so perhaps a 2-handed weapon with a completely customisable barrel skin for certain spells would have been possible.

 

Mistweaver Monk - Sheilun, Staff of Mists

 

Mistweavers using a staff of mist? That sounds more like it! Let's check out the story:

 

"During last pandaren emperor's reign, a prophecy arose that a ruthless Legion would invade the world of Azeroth and leave it shattered. To save his people, Emperor Shaohao embarked on a series of trials, taking with him the ancient staff Sheilun. Afterwards, he used his newfound wisdom to become part of the land. He made Pandaria into a separate continent and enshrouded it in mist to protect it. His staff clattered to the ground, where it lay until the monks of Tian Monastery found it and took it to the Terrace of Endless Spring for safekeeping." (source)

 

NHNgiHp.jpg

 

For those of you that played during Mists of Pandaria, you most likely spent more than enough time on the Timeless Isle to realise who Emperor Shaohao is. For those of you that don't, he was the last emperor of Pandaria and is one of the most significant characters in Pandaren legend.

 

His story takes us back to a time before the Legion invaded Azeroth, to a time before the War of the Ancients. A prophecy was given, by a Jinyu waterspeaker, that a great power would invade and ruin the world as it was known. Shaohao took it upon himself to act as the saviour of his people; after hearing the prophecy, he climbed Mount Neverest, weathering the bitter cold and shearing winds, with only his robes for protection.

 

When he reached the summit, he found peace for the first time since being made emperor. He spoke to the Jade Serpent, Yu'lon, who told him that he must purify his spirit and become one with the land. He meditated on her counsel, thinking of her words, but he simply couldn't understand them.

 

It was actually his comrade, the Monkey King, who helped him in his path. The Monkey King created masks which enabled Emperor Shaohao to create physical forms of his fear, doubt, anger, despair, hatred and violence. He traveled to the temples of the Celestials, purging himself of every negative emotion.

 

Eventually, the day came when the Legion arrived and Shaohao assured his people they were not in danger. He went to the Terrace of Endless Springs and attempted to separate Pandaria from the other continents, but he found himself unable.

 

Ckt9BNx.jpg

 

Shaohao becomes one with Pandaria.

 

He couldn't understand what had gone wrong, he had cleansed his spirit just as Yu'lon had told him to do. The Sha that had been created began seeping into the world again and Shaohao feared he had lost everything. He cried out to Yu'lon for aid, but she only reminded him of that which he had forgotten. 

 

Everything on Pandaria was a part of the land, just as the Pandaren were. Shaohao remembered the walls erected around the Pandaren areas and realised his faults. His last emotion, pride, was finally removed from his spirit. He recognised the Mantid as equals to the Pandaren and his spirit began to seep into the land. His robes and staff fell where he had stood, left there until monks came to claim the staff. They kept it hidden until the time was right for another to wield it.

 

A great mist enveloped Pandaria, keeping it safe until the Horde and Alliance stumble upon it in the expansion, Mists of Pandaria.

 

While there is no particular mention of there being any regenerative powers on Shaohao's behalf, I do think the staff is a good choice for the Mistweavers. Shaohao symbolises the act of helping others, which is essentially what the healers do. They practice certain martial arts in an attempt to help others and keep them safe. There is also, of course, the fact that Shaohao literally wove mist to help his people. Technically, he's a mist-weaver!

 

It's an interesting choice, but I like it. I don't think you can really choose another artifact, since there simply isn't a notable Mistweaver in the lore. The only other possibility is a direct relation to the Celestial, Chi-Ji, but I actually think this works better.

 

Windwalker Monk - Fists of the Heavens

 

I'm already happy that they have chosen fist weapons, but let's hope they are the right kind! Let's take a look:

 

"Thousands of years ago, the famed tol'vir smith Irmaat crafted a pair of magnificent handblades. Unsatisfied with his work, Irmaat tried to capture the essence of Al'Akir the Windlord to infuse into his blades. Al'Akir was not amused. To spite the smith, Al'Akir poured unspeakable amounts of raw elemental fury into the handblades. When Irmaat attempted to unleash their might, a great vortex sprang up, engulfed his city, and scattered the weapons to the winds." (source)

 

2TAvmpV.jpg

 

The first thing that really jumps out at me here is, well, Shaman. This really doesn't feel like a monk weapon, but let's take a look anyway.

 

Irmaat has actually been mentioned before, namely in regards to the djinn of the Four Winds. These djinn are generally referred to as the lieutenants of Al'Akir; they were each given a weapon crafted by Irmaat, one of which is actually in game and can be obtained through Archaeology - trade_archaeology_scimitar-of-the-siroccScimitar of the Sirocco

 

It seems like Irmaat must have got in over his head, since he ended up trying to double cross Al'Akir himself. For those of you that don't know, Al'Akir is the Elemental Lord of air. The Elemental Lords were the most powerful lieutenants in the armies of the Old Gods and included Ragnaros, Therazane, Al'Akir and Neptulon, who ruled over fire, earth, air and water respectively.

NkpgAd3.jpg?1
 

Al'Akir in The Throne of the Four Winds.

 

When the war between the Old Gods and Titans occurred, these Elemental Lords acted as skilled tacticians. Despite their immense powers, they were no match for the titans and were defeated one by one. They were eventually banished to what is now known as the "elemental plane". They were left there to fight each other for eternity, never again reaching the mortal plane. Al'Akir made Skywall his domain, ruling over it from the Throne of the Four Winds. 

 

The idea of the elements and the introduction of the winds feels very Shaman-esque. I really think they had the right idea with using fist weapons, but went the wrong direction. They took it in a very elemental-based direction, with a melee aspect added in, rather than a melee-based direction with the elemental aspect being added in. I like the style, I like the story, but definitely not for a monk. 

 

Alternative Artifacts for Windwalker Monks

 

Paws of the White Tiger

 

This one is going to take a bit of lore invention, but stay with me. The August Celestials are without a doubt the most intensely applicable lore area for the Monk class. The Monks originated in Pandaria, they harness abilities based on the Celestials and they can even summon avatars of them. 

 

Xuen the White Tiger is undoubtedly best applied to Windwalker Monks, with his savage claws, fierce teeth and incredible strength. When he dueled Lei Shen, Xuen lost, but learnt an important lesson. He understood one of the most important aspects of a Monk's training: balance. He understood that ferocity could not win battles alone, his pride was put back into place by his defeat, but he grew stronger from it. 

 

Above I described the fact that I believe, since they are masters of martial arts, Monks should have a melee-based artifact, especially for Windwalker. The story behind the current artifact is too elemental-based.

 

Here's the lore invention part!

 

If you look at a number of the powerful beings in the Warcraft universe, they often have multiple "forms". The August Celestials are essentially the same as the Ancient Guardians, they just remained in Pandaria. 

 

When you look at the Dragon Aspects, beings of slightly lesser power, they have a dragon form and humanoid form. If we were to extrapolate this to the Ancient Guardians, we could implement lore based on Xuen's humanoid form.

 

Xuen, when fighting as his tiger form, uses his paws to swipe and claw at those he battles. If there were to be an alternate form for him, he could perhaps use a pair of very close-fitting fist weapons to mimic his "paws". Lore could have been created to say that, during his time of imbalance in the run up to the Mogu empire, Xuen lost sight of what he represented.

 

As the spirit of strength, one would expect this Ancient to have complete control over his own. When he began to lose sight of "noble" strength and instead slowly turn to pride-fueled ferocity, Azeroth might have betrayed its oath to him.

 

whdaHtV.jpg

 

Xuen battles Lei Shen.

 

Unlike the Dragon Aspects, who got their powers from the Titans, the Ancients were granted their powers by Azeroth itself. As Xuen lost focus and gave in to ferocity, he perhaps could have spent time after his battle with Lei Shen as a humanoid.

 

Azeroth had recalled the power it granted to him until it deemed him worthy once more. He would wander the world of Pandaria, trying to re-establish in his mind what true, noble strength was.

 

The Windwalker monks could have been given a questline in which we uncover this personal moment of Xuen. He describes his journey of revelation and what he discovered true strength to be. We are taken through his time as a humanoid, in which he had to fight for his life, equipped only with his "paws". 

 

We complete a feat which proves to him that we truly understand the balance of strength and so can wield his humanoid weapons, which are directly infused with the power of his raw strength.

 

The story, of course, is not perfect, but it's an idea. It presents a melee weapon, infused with the power of an Ancient, but not the power of the elements. The weapon itself would be far smaller, an extension of ones hands, rather than a separate entity. 

 

That's it for the Monks, as well as for the leather-wearers. Next time, get ready for the demonic powers of the Warlocks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Starym
      It's time to poke our friends over at exceL and get some hints and tips for Mythic+! It's up to you guys to dig up all the interesting info and ask the right questions, whether it's about the recent MDI Invitational, Mythic+ in general or even next season's new Reaping affix!
      Submit your questions right here in the comments over the next 7 days and the awesome players of exceL's Angels will answer when we collect all of them.
      Have any questions for the M+ team? Come and ask them!
    • By Starym
      It's a good day for solos it seems, as we now have a Mythic Helya kill, right after the amazing +11 Atal'Dazar! Durendil went into Trial of Valor on his own and faced the tentacles and light water splashes of Helheim and came out on top in what he describes as a fight that has everything he ever wanted from a solo encounter.
       
      Source.
    • By Stan
      We saw him solo Freehold +9 and now Iway is back with another impressive soloing video. With item level 382, he managed to clear Atal'Dazar +11 alone!
      Affixes
      Tyrannical Raging Volcanic Infested
    • By Stan
      Events for this week include Burning Crusade Timewalking and the Temple of Hotmogu PvP Brawl!
      Mythic Keystone Affixes
      The following affixes will be enabled on live servers this reset:
      Fortified Teeming Explosive Infested Check our our Mythic+ guides for specific class tips!
      Weekly Quests
      Azerite for the Alliance & Azerite for the Horde: Collect 40,000 Azerite from Island Expeditions to receive 2,500 Azerite and 1,500 reputation with Honorbound/7th Legion. Win a PvP Brawl for Something Different. From within the Adventure Journal, accept A Burning Path Through Time and complete 5 Timewalking dungeons to receive a cache that contains a piece of Normal Uldir gear (Cache of Uldir Treasures). World Boss
      Hailstone Construct
      Built by the original inhabitants of Drustvar, the Hailstone Construct was built to defend these lands from any invaders. However, years of dormancy have left it addled, and it now sees all residents as threats, vowing to destroy them all.

      Overview
      The Hailstone Construct uses a variety of attacks to chill its enemies, from inflicting Frost damage in its melee swings to massive AOE attacks that both slow and freeze anyone hit.
       Damage Dealers
      Use cover created by Permafrost Spike to avoid being frozen by Freezing Tempest. Move to avoid Glacial Breath.  Healers
      Use cover created by Permafrost Spike to avoid being frozen by Freezing Tempest. Move to avoid Glacial Breath. Tanks may required additional healing since |Ice-rimed Fists causes all of Hailstone Construct's attacks to cause Frost damage instead of Physical.  Tanks
      Ice-rimed Fists causes all of Hailstone Construct's attacks to cause Frost damage instead of Physical, so magical defenses will be handy. Use cover created by Permafrost Spike to avoid being frozen by Freezing Tempest. Move to avoid Glacial Breath. Loot Table
      Ice-Carved Shoulderplates Hailstone Hauberk Chill's End Wristguards Glacial Spike Gauntlets Freezing Tempest Waistguard Girdle of Biting Winds Frostbreath Leggings Ice Stalker Boots Ice-Rimed Slippers Drust-Runed Icicle Permafrost-Encrusted Heart Island Expeditions
      This week's Island Expeditions include Rotting Mire, Un'gol Ruins, and Whispering Reef. Islands will be invaded by Old Gods.
      World Events
      Burning Crusade Timewalking (November 13th - November 20th)
      Timewalking dungeons drop ilvl 335 items, so they're a great for gearing up your alts. On top of that, Reins of the Infinite Timereaver has a chance to drop from all Timewalking bosses as personal loot. The Timewalking vendor Cupri can be found in Shattrath City. Players can also queue up for Black Temple Timewalking for gear, Raiding with Leashes III: Drinkin' From the Sunwell  pets, and Demon Hunters can acquire moggable Warglaives of Azzinoth.
      Blizzard (Source)
      ILLIDAN AWAITS
      Head to Outland to face Illidan and his cohorts once more in The Black Temple!
      The Black Temple raid is available throughout the Burning Crusade Timewalking event. The difficulty is set to Normal and, like any Normal-level raid, will not be available through Raid Finder. To take on this challenge, you’ll need to get your guild or a group of friends together, or head to Group Finder > Premade Groups. The raid scales for your group size (between 10 — 30 players) and your level and gear will be scaled back to match the raid’s challenges.
      Want to relive the time you first defeated Teron Gorefiend? Face (face, face) the Reliquary of Souls once more? Witness the showdown between Maiev and Illidan before the final fight? Now’s your chance. Inside you can earn transmog sets, the pets you need for Raiding With Leashes III, a Music Roll: The Burning Legion, and gear drops. And for Demon Hunters, there’s the enticing possibility of obtaining the legendary Warglaives of Azzinoth. Are you, this time, prepared?
      DUNGEONS IN THE BURNING CRUSADE TIMEWALKING
      All week, open Group Finder (default hotkey: i) and then select Dungeon Finder and Timewalking in the Type dropdown. When you hit ‘Find Group’, you’ll be matched up with other players and sent to one of the following Heroic dungeons:
      The Arcatraz The Black Morass Magister’s Terrace Mana-Tombs Shattered Halls The Slave Pens Your character and items will be scaled down to a power level fitting for the challenge at hand, but bosses will yield loot appropriate for your natural level. Timewalking dungeons also have a chance to drop items that usually drop when you run them on Heroic, and you’ll earn reputation with a faction that is interested in the dungeon. For example, when you Timewalk through The Slave Pens, you’ll earn reputation with the Cenarion Expedition, which could open access to purchasing the Cenarion War Hippogryph mount.
      Look for the following all week long:
      Chronicler Shoopa in Zuldazar or Chronicler Toopa in Boralus has a quest for you has a quest for you. Or, if you forget to pick it up there, you can start it from within the Adventure Journal. Quest requirement: Complete 5 Timewalking dungeons. Rewards: Artifact Power and one loot box containing a piece of gear from Normal difficulty Uldir. EVERY WEEK
      The Bonus Events system consists of a rotating schedule of different activities, currently scheduled to run each week beginning on Tuesdays. Each Bonus Event grants a passive bonus to a particular game activity and offers a once-per-event quest with a noteworthy reward for accomplishing a related goal. The in-game calendar can serve as your one-stop reference for the event schedule. The Adventure Guide also offers a direct link to active Bonus Events, allowing you to easily accept any associated quests.
      Temple of the Hotmogu PvP Brawl (November 13th - November 20th)
      Blizzard (Source)
      TEMPLE OF HOTMOGU [NOVEMBER 13—20] RESOURCE RACE
      Enter the Temple of Kotmogu for this fast-paced match. For a whole new twist, players will be able throw the Orb of Power to friendly players in a game of hot potato. Beware, they’ll also gain the debuffs along with the orb so choose wisely. We’re turning things up (to 11) by changing resurrection time to a quick 5 seconds. Who will be able to hold on to the power to claim victory?
    • By Stan
      Feeling old yet? Wrath of the Lich King was released 10 years ago!
      On 13th November 2008, Blizzard released World of Warcraft's third expansion Wrath of the Lich King. Many players still consider Wrath WoW's best expansion to date. Death Knights were first introduced to the game and the level cap was increased to 80.
      Wrath Cinematic
      The first major content patch of the expansion was Patch 3.1: Secrets of Ulduar released on April 14, 2009. Storm Peaks have been updated with Ulduar, a new raid where players had to confront Yogg-Saron. Notable loot includes Mimiron's Head. Blizzard also added the Argent Tournament to Icecrown in this patch.
      Call of the Crusade went live on August 4, 2009 and the patch came with Isle of Conquest, the Crusaders' Coliseum dungeon, and Trial of the Crusader raid. Story of the Argent tournament continued and only the boldest of adventurers could prove they were worthy and ready to end Lich King's reign.
      At the Wrathgate, both factions confronted the Lich King, but Varimathras' betrayal caused Grand Apothecary Putress to unleash plague on both armies, resulting in massive casualties for both factions. Bolvar Fordragon and Dranosh Saurfang were killed and recovered by the Lich King.
      The final major content patch of the expansion went live on December 8, 2009. It was finally time to put the Lich King to rest and Blizzard added Icecrown Citadel along with three dungeons (Halls of Reflection, Pit of Saron, the Forge of Souls ) to the game. Notable loot includes Invincible's Reins. 
      Do you miss Wrath of the Lich King? Let us know in the comments!