Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When They Said Monk, I Thought They Meant Thelonious

Every time I think that the big wave of Pandaren have passed my Rogue by, another wave blows through the low level BGs.  I haven't decided whether these are second or third (or fourth!) alts or not, but their popularity has plumbed depths not seen since the Sindorei made an appearance as "The Pretty Horde".

As far as Monks go, they're definitely more popular in low level BGs than either of their play-any-role brethren, Druids and Paladins.  Time will tell whether this holds up, but I suspect that they're eventually settle into the space where in select battlegrounds they'll be the second option after Druids and in others they'll be the first.

Here are a few notes from what I've experienced as a player attempting to slice and dice the three classes:

  • In spite of the Monk's multitasking abilities, the stealth of the Feral Druid still is King in Warsong Gulch.*  Being able to stealth in, lay a few nasty attacks, and then switch out and drop healing all over the place means that a single Druid can keep almost half of a WSG team busy attempting to DPS them down.  The Monk simply doesn't have the utility to compete with that, and the Paladin is reduced to a support role by comparison.
  • At low levels, the Monk's healing spec is more useful than the Paladin's Holy Spec, but not as good as the Resto Druid's.  Once a Holy Spec Pally gets Beacon of Light at the end of the 30s this may start to change, but Soothing Mist is more useful than Holy Shock (which has that 6 second cooldown) when you have to switch gears and change who you're healing in a BG at the drop of a hat.
  • An extremely tough combo to crack is the Druid/Monk duo protecting a flag.  Between the Monk's interrupts/heals and the Druid's AoE heals, they can withstand an attack by a group more than twice their number long enough for support to arrive.  It's only when the flag carrier in WSG gets upwards of 10 stacks does that debuff start to overcome the healing disparity of the Druid/Monk duo.
  • Ironically enough, I prefer attacking Paladins even more than Warriors.  Maybe it's that Paladins don't really reach their stride until higher levels, but Warriors get enough stuns and have enough armor on them that it's easier to pick on a Pally instead.
  • One thing I've noticed is that although they're based on a similar frame, the female Pandaren is much much more popular than the female Dwarf.  Never underestimate the power of fur, I suppose.
  • Playing Straight, No Chaser while running Warsong Gulch gives a completely different vibe to the BG.  I think I need to check out some of Monk's old CDs out of the library, just so my Night Elf has something to be hep to while stunning, well, Monks.

*And, I presume, Eye of the Storm and Twin Peaks, but I haven't made it there yet.

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