Monk Shadowlands Leveling Guide From 1 to 60

Last updated on Jun 28, 2021 at 15:27 by Babylonius, Sinzhu, and Dhaubbs 3 comments

Table of Contents


Leveling in Shadowlands

Welcome to our Monk leveling guide. Here you will find all you need to know to level up your Monk efficiently. Leveling received a lot of changes in Shadowlands, which we have documented in our Shadowlands Leveling Changes page. In addition, we now have a revamped Leveling guide, complete with detailed information on XP, mounts, addons, consumables, tips, and more. We encourage to read it to increase your leveling speed even more.

Leveling as a Monk is pretty simple, and there are many routes one can take in doing so. If you prefer group content, then you can play either Brewmaster or Mistweaver in order do queue for dungeons more quickly. Conversely if you prefer solo-leveling or just DPSing in general, Windwalker boasts a toolkit perfect for gathering large groups of quest mobs and AoEing them down quickly, while also remaining fairly healthy because of Afterlife Icon Afterlife.


Best Leveling Spec for Monks in Shadowlands

While it is mostly a matter of personal preference, generally Windwalker will be the quickest, given the normal leveling route of doing quests and unlocking the story. That being said, flexibility can be very beneficial, so having the ability to swap specs in order to do a dungeon quest can drastically lower the amount of time spent waiting around in queue.

In the open world, both Windwalker and Brewmaster are viable options for questing. Windwalker, for reasons mentioned above, is suited to leveling purely on the basis of it being a DPS spec, as well as having great tools for self-sustain. Brewmaster also can be an efficient choice due to its ability to pull larger groups of enemies, while using its durability to outlast them.

Generally, Mistweaver is not a recommended spec for open world leveling, as their damage is significantly lower than the other two options. However, Mistweaver is very good at killing elite mobs with high Health totals, because Mistweavers can usually out-heal the incoming damage while slowly whittling down their opponent. If you find yourself against a tough quest that might be meant for 3-5 players, consider swapping to Mistweaver. It will be slow, but you will be able to outlast most elite mobs.


Ability Unlocks for Monk Leveling in Shadowlands

  • At level 2, you unlock Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick. This is the default damage spender for Monks.
  • At level 3, you unlock Roll Icon Roll. This will help you close the gap between yourself and an enemy, or to escape a dangerous situation.
  • At level 4, you unlock Vivify Icon Vivify. This is the baseline Monk heal, that will gain functionality for Mistweavers as they level up.
  • At level 5, you unlock Crackling Jade Lightning Icon Crackling Jade Lightning, a ranged ability usually only used to engage foes who are at a distance.
  • At level 6, you unlock Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep. It is a simple AoE stun centered on the caster.
  • At level 7, you unlock Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick. This deals damage in an area around the Monk, capped at 6 targets. As Windwalkers level, this ability gains functionality.
  • At level 8, you unlock Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm. This is a self heal that deals damage to a nearby enemy for 10% of the amount healed. Usage of this ability will vary based on the spec.
  • At level 9, you unlock Roll Icon Roll rank 2, which grants an additional charge to Roll.
  • At level 10, you unlock Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death. This will instantly kill an enemy with lower Health than you.
  • At level 11, you unlock Zen Pilgrimage Icon Zen Pilgrimage. This allows you to teleport back and forth between your Monk's temple.
  • At level 13, you unlock Resuscitate Icon Resuscitate, allowing you to resurrect a fallen ally.
  • At level 14, you unlock Provoke Icon Provoke which taunts an enemy into attacking you.
  • At level 22, you unlock Paralysis Icon Paralysis. This incapacitates an enemy for 1 minute. Any damage dealt to the enemy will cancel this effect.
  • At level 24, you unlock Detox Icon Detox. This will allow you to remove all Poison and Disease effects from an ally. For Mistweavers, this will also remove all Magic effects as well.
  • At level 28, you unlock Fortifying Brew Icon Fortifying Brew. On a 7-minute cooldown, you will be able to increase your Health by 15%, and reduce incoming damage by 15%.
  • At level 32, you unlock Transcendence Icon Transcendence and Transcendence: Transfer Icon Transcendence: Transfer. The former will allow you to place your spirit in a location for 10 minutes. The latter will allow you to swap positions with that spirit on a 45-second cooldown.
  • At level 39, you unlock Provoke Icon Provoke rank 2. This causes the Provoked target to run 50% faster for a short time.
  • At level 44, you unlock Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death rank 2. This allows you to cast Touch of Death on powerful enemies who are under 15% Health, in order to deal 35% of your maximum Health to them.
  • At level 49, you unlock Mystic Touch Icon Mystic Touch, causing your damage to debuff enemies, increasing the amount of damage they take from physical sources by 5%.
  • At level 56, you unlock Paralysis Icon Paralysis rank 2, reducing its cooldown by 15 seconds.

Best Heirloom Items for Monk Leveling

When selecting your Heirlooms, you want to consider which spec you will likely spend the most time playing during your leveling experience. While Brewmasters get good usage out of haste for their DPS, both Windwalkers and Mistweavers do not get as much benefit from haste. As such it is probably the best option to favor pieces with Critical Strike and Versatility. For more information on Heirlooms such as where to obtain them, or what stats they provide, check out the link below.



  • 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for 9.0.5.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Revamped page for Shadowlands, with subpages for each spec coming in soon.
  • 08 Mar. 2019: Added a line for Chi Wave in the rotation.
  • 18 Dec. 2018: Made some minor tweaks.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Added Mistweaver.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Consistency updates to give all leveling guides a similar feel. Added Brewmaster.
  • 09 Aug. 2018: Windwalker Monk Level 1-120 section added.
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