So, you're thinking of playing a monk? This page is intended to give a short overview of the class, just to get you started on the right path. If you're looking for more detailed information on the class's abilities, see the main monk page.

Things to consider when picking a monk:

  • Do I like to be in the center of a battle scene?
  • Do I like to be quick, yet also powerful?
  • Do I mind abilities that require a fast pace of play?

For a more general overview on starting out playing WoW, see the Newbie Guide.


The monk is a master of speed and can be melee DPS, tank, and healer. They use a variety of fighting stances to fit their situation, and excel at short-distance crowd control, evading damage, and abilities that combine healing with damage. They have few ranged attacks, but instead have abilities that allow them to quickly get into their opponent's melee range.

Race selection

Each race has its own unique racial traits, passive bonuses and active abilities that can be very useful. Below is a brief exploration of those racial traits particularly useful for monks. For a full list, see Racial trait.

Every race except worgen and goblins has the option to be a monk. Keep in mind that the differences between the races is minor, and what matters most is to pick a race that you enjoy playing.

Alliance HumanHuman Human

Alliance DwarfDwarf Dwarf

  • [Stoneform] is an excellent defensive spell, especially useful for tanking or PvP.

Alliance Night elfNight elf Night elf

Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome

  • [Escape Artist] allows you to more easily get and stay within (or out of) range of opponents, making it great for PvP.
  • [Expansive Mind] increases mana, good for healing.

Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei

  • [Heroic Presence] gives +1% chance to hit. Having more hit chance is important for a DPS or tank.
  • [Gift of the Naaru] is a heal over time spell, which may be handy if a tank or DPS.

Horde OrcOrc Orc

  • [Blood Fury] gives you an attack power boost for 15 seconds every 2 minutes, great for DPS.
  • [Hardiness] decreases the length of stuns, meaning you are more quickly in control of your character. Good for tanking and PvP.

Horde ForsakenForsaken Forsaken

  • [Will of the Forsaken] will remove a Charm, Fear or Sleep effect on a 2 minute cooldown, which is useful for PvP or the occasional boss fight.
  • [Cannibalize] can be used to regenerate health, which is useful mostly for DPS.
  • [Touch of the Grave] has a chance to drain health from the opponent with every attack, giving the health to you. This is good for PvP, tanking, and DPS.

Horde TaurenTauren Tauren

  • [War Stomp] gives an extra stun ability, good for PvP.
  • [Endurance] gives a small bonus to your base health, a consideration for a tank.

Horde TrollTroll Troll

  • [Berserking] gives you a temporary speed buff to casting and attacks, great for DPS or healing.
  • [Da Voodoo Shuffle] reduces movement impairing effects, allowing you to more easily get in or out of melee range.
  • [Beast Slaying] increases the amount of damage done against beasts. This is useful for PvE, where you will sometimes fight beast enemies.

Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf

  • [Arcane Torrent] restores energy or mana and silences enemies, which is good for PvP.

PandarenPandaren Pandaren Mists of Pandaria

  • [Epicurean] increases bonuses from food, which in turn will increase your most important stats. Very useful.
  • [Bouncy] decreases falling damage, which can come in handy out in the world, in dungeons, and in battlegrounds.
  • [Quaking Palm] gives an extra CC ability, good for PvP.

Early leveling

The easiest way to progress through the early levels is to simply complete all of the quests you can find. Not only will you breeze through the first levels, but you'll get useful gear and money. Money is particularly important for purchasing personal items such as potions, food, drinks, etc.

Most everything needed at these early levels can be obtained from vendors, who are found at nearly every settlement. Likewise, any inventory loot you've gathered can be sold to these same vendors.

It's important to keep up with your abilities and your gear. If you find armor or a weapon that is better than the one you have equipped, put on the better item. Remember that you only need to visit a monk trainer when you want to reset your talents or specs. All class skills are learned automatically as of Patch 5.0.5.

Now is also an appropriate time to start training in your chosen professions.

At level 20, and every 10 levels thereafter, you will get a class quest to go to the Peak of Serenity for training. When you complete this quest you will get [Enlightenment]. There will also be a daily quest available to get the same buff.

Talent specializations

At level 10, you will be able to chose a specialization. This is one of the most important decisions in the game, though if you want to try something different, it is easy to visit a class trainer and reset your spec, or buy Dual Talent Specialization (at level 40). Your specialization options are:

  • Brewmaster is the specialization for those that would like to be a tank and protect other players. They are based more on evasiveness than taking damage. For leveling, it is not as quick or easy to solo with, but is good for battlegrounds and excellent for dungeons.
  • Mistweaver is the specialization for those that would like to be a healer and aid other players. For leveling, it is not as quick or easy to solo with, but is good for battlegrounds and excellent for dungeons.
  • Windwalker is the specialization for those that would like to deal damage as a melee DPS. For leveling, they are best of the specs (specializations) at soloing. They are good for battlegrounds, but are only okay for dungeons, with longer queues than for the other two specs, which are much more in demand.

At level 15, and every 15 levels there after, you will gain a talent point. You will be able to chose one of 3 abilities in the corresponding tier.

Armor and weapons

Monks start in leather armor, which gives more defense than cloth. It is recommended that you switch completely to leather armor by level 50 to take advantage of the bonuses given by Leather Specialization.

The weapons and type of armor that work best depend on your specialization:

  • Brewmaster: Armor and weapons should have stamina and agility. Avoid intellect.
  • Mistweaver: Armor and weapons should have intellect. Avoid agility and strength.
  • Windwalker: Armor and weapons should have agility. Avoid intellect.

On soloing and grouping


Monks can be extremely reliable for solo players. With a combination of extreme mobility, the ability to heal, and reflect incoming damage (Touch of Karma) Monks are considered to be among the top tier for solo classes, only falling behind Hunters and Warlocks. Generally, if being played solo, a monk will want to utilize the Windwalker specialization as Mistweaver (Healer) not being able to do enough damage, and Brewmaster (Tank) being reliant on heals from other players. Solo play is still possible for for Mistweaver and Brewmaster Monks, but can be much more difficult, and in many cases, not as fast. The only exception being pulling massive groups of enemies as a Brewmaster and 'kiting' them to take as little damage as possible while performing Area Of Effect attacks.


Monks do exceptionally well in groups on account of their hybrid status. While it would be impossible to keep up with every nerf or buff, in general the Monk class has always done well at performing all 3 roles in PVE; Tank, Heal, and DPS. In many encounters near the endgame, they may even be sought after for various reasons; i.e a Brewmaster's stagger, and Mistweavers lightining fast healing, and Windwalker for when you need a class to pick up adds quickly without much risk (due to Touch of Karma).

Useful professions

The Monk can benefit directly and indirectly from all of the professions available. Here is a selection of the best for leveling.

Primary professions

The gathering profession that is used with leatherworking to make leather armor. As monks should almost always be wearing leather armor, this is a good and practical choice. This is also a great leveling profession in its own right, as leather you do not use can be sold on the auction house for money. Skinning also gives a buff to critical strike, which is good for healers and DPS. This buff increases the higher your profession skill level is.
A crafting profession that requires most of its ingredients from Skinning. It is used to create leather armor, which is what monks should almost always be wearing. Leatherworkers can also craft armor kits and other bonuses to put on armor. At high levels, many of the best items leatherworkers can make are BoP, which means that to wear the item, you have to craft the item yourself.
A gathering profession used most commonly with inscription and alchemy. It is a good choice for leveling because you will commonly come across herbs when traveling the world while questing. The herbs can be kept and used with another profession, or sold on the auction house for money. Herbalism also gives a healing spell that temporarily increases haste. The power of this spell increases the higher your profession skill level is.
A gathering profession used most commonly with blacksmithing and jewelcrafting. As with herbalism, mining is a good choice for leveling because you will commonly come across mining nodes when traveling the world while questing. The ore and gems can be kept and used with another profession, or sold on the auction house for money. Mining also gives a buff to stamina, which is good for tanking. This buff increases the higher your profession skill level is.

Secondary professions

This profession allows you to make food which will heal your character and restore mana. At higher levels, you become able to make food that can not only feed multiple people, but provides substantial buffs.
This profession allows you to fish. Fish are often used in cooking, and there are many interesting items to besides fish that you might collect. It requires much patience, but has its payoffs.
This profession allows you to make bandages which can heal yourself and teammates. Especially at lower levels, this is a great fixer-upper after combat. It is mostly useful if you are not specced for healing.


The type of heirloom items you can use will depend on what spec you would like to level as. All items with resistance are purchasable with [Justice Points] or Champion's Seals and PVP gear can be purchasable with [Honor].

At level 50, Monks gain Leather Specialization, a 5% damage increase if they wear leather in every slot. Well itemized cloth items might cause you to break that bonus.

Equipment Slot Brewmaster/Windwalker PVE Mistweaver PVE Brewmaster/Windwalker PVP Mistweaver PVP
Head [Stained Shadowcraft Cap] [Preened Tribal War Feathers] -- --
Shoulder [Supple Shadowcraft Spaulders] [Majestic Ironfeather Shoulders] [Superior Stormshroud Shoulders] [Wild Feralheart Spaulders]
Chest [Supple Shadowcraft Tunic] [Majestic Ironfeather Breastplate]
Back [Inherited Cape of the Black Baron] [Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak]
Ring [Dread Pirate Ring] [Dread Pirate Ring]
Trinket 1 [Forceful Hand of Justice] [Piercing Eye of the Beast] [Bequeathed Insignia of the Horde] [Bequeathed Insignia of the Alliance]
Trinket 2 [Forceful Hand of Justice] [Piercing Eye of the Beast]
Weapon [Refinished Warden Staff] [Scholarly Headmaster's Charge] -- [Elder Staff of Jordan]

Long-term goals

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External links