|Taran Zhu, lord of the Shado-Pan|
- Why do we fight? To protect home and family... To preserve balance and bring harmony. For my kind, the true question is: What is worth fighting for? -Chen Stormstout
The monk is a hybrid class, introduced with the Mists of Pandaria expansion. Monks are able to perform each of the three group roles via different specializations: Brewmaster monks tank, Mistweaver monks heal, and Windwalker monks deal damage using melee abilities. Energy is the primary resource of Brewmaster and Windwalker monks, while Mistweavers use mana instead. All monks also use chi as a unique secondary resource, and an appropriate stance - , or - to augment their abilities in their chosen role. Monks are available to every race except goblins and worgen.
Whatever their combat role, monks rely mainly on their hands and feet to do the talking, and on a strong connection with their inner chi to power their abilities. Abilities such as and heal their allies while at the same time damaging their enemies.
When the pandaren were subjugated by the mogu centuries ago, it was the monks that brought hope to a seemingly dim future. Restricted from using weapons by their slave masters, these pandaren instead focused on harnessing their chi and learning weaponless combat. When the opportunity for revolution struck, they were well-trained to throw off the yoke of oppression.
Masters of bare-handed combat, monks never rely solely on the need to have a weapon in their hands to defend against their enemies. Although most widely known to the outside world for their fearsome jabs and flying kicks, they refuse to limit themselves to a single method of combat. Many monks prefer instead to “soak it up” and seem to revel in the intoxicating effect of absorbing blow after blow while their companions press the attack. Other monks specialize in calling upon the restorative power of the mists to balance the good and bad energy within people, returning them to good health and fortune.
Nearly 12,000 years ago, long before the War of the Ancients, the continent now known as Pandaria was ruled by a monstrous race of warlords known as the mogu. Their reign was incredibly harsh and brutal. Mogu taskmasters forbade their slaves to carry weapons. During these dark times, many pandaren tried to lift the spirits of their beleaguered brothers and sisters. They were the storytellers, the brewmasters, and the healers who helped knit their oppressed society together in the midst of darkness.
As the mogu empire began to fray, the pandaren saw an opportunity for a revolution. Because they had no weapons, they trained common people to fight with their unarmed fists and feet. They mastered the use of positive energy - or 'chi' - to empower themselves. These unarmed resistance fighters would become the first monks.
For the history of the spread of the ways of the monk to the other races, see Monk races.
- Blood elves — Have the racial ability . It provides a 2-second AoE silence effect as well as restoring 1 Chi.
- Draenei — improves hit by 1% (~340 rating at level 90) for the Monk. Their ability also grants them a heal over time.
- Dwarves — Can be useful for tanking, as well as dispelling harmful debuffs in PvP. improves their expertise with one handed maces.
- Gnomes — increases a healing Monk's mana capacity. improves a Monk's expertise with one handed swords. is useful, especially in PvP.
- Humans — frees the Monk from CC effects, which is useful in PvP and in some PvE situations. and improve their expertise with one handed swords and maces, respectively. can help a Mistweaver Monk's mana regeneration.
- Night elves — Provides the Monk with an aggro-dump. Also allows the Monk to enter a stealth state (which breaks on movement); can improve a tanking Monk's avoidance.
- Orcs — acts as an extra trinket (boosting your attack power). Monks use both Axes and Fist Weapons, making useful (Increases Expertise).
- Trolls — acts as an extra trinket (boosting your attack speed). provides increased damage against Beasts.
- Tauren — causes a short area-of-effect stun around the Monk, useful for rough spots, as well as which can increase a Monk's health by a small amount.
- Undead — frees the Monk from Charm, Fear and Sleep effects, which helps in certain situations in PvE and PvP. improves DPS as well as survivability.
- Pandaren — doubles benefits from food buffs, giving you twice the benefit when Well Fed. is a very Monk-feeling ability, and can be useful for short crowd control.
A sturdy brawler who uses liquid fortification and unpredictable movement to avoid damage and protect allies.
Brewmasters are capable tanks who use a combination of ancient martial arts techniques and drunken taunts to draw the attacks of their enemies and soak up damage. Brewmasters absorb and stagger damage, while provoking their enemies with traditional brewing-based attacks.
A healer who mixes traditional herbal medicine with Pandaren martial arts.
Mistweavers are healers with a sideline in damage dealing. As well as a range of traditional healing techniques, Mistweavers can heal their allies through dealing damage to their enemies, with a number of special attacks enhancing the monk's healing. Mistweaver monks gain mana as a primary resource, in place of energy.
A martial artist without peer who pummels foes with hands and fists.
Windwalkers are damage dealers, focusing on dealing melee damage through a range of martial arts abilities. With their lightning kicks and furious fists, Windwalkers can pummel nearby foes, but also have some ranged attacks and can use their legendary abilities to move swiftly across the battlefield.
- Main article: Monk abilities
Monks are culturally considered ascetic and studious. When Malygos is in humanoid form, he takes the shape of a studious monk or similar individual. Pandaren are formidable monks, following their philosophies to the letter and perfecting their martial arts as they see fit. Runemasters are said to be monk-like as well.
Monks initially were a denied class in the original Warcraft RPG sourcebook, at the time believed not to be relevant to the Warcraft world. However, monks were later incorporated through the Runemaster, and references to monks appear throughout various points in RPG lore as well as in World of Warcraft. However (at the time) no specific monk class was ever created in the RPG, and no specific lore was ever given.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Added.