The second of WoW’s classes to be added, Monks have been part of the game for nearly four years as of this writing, and I believe it’s safe to say that they’ve been one of the more volatile classes when it comes to gameplay ever since. In Mists itself, Windwalkers could never focus on a mastery to stick around with up until Warlords where all three specs received fairly large overhauls in their gameplay. Now in Legion, all three specialisations have completely changed their style of playing once more. Let’s face it, if you choose to play a Monk you’ve got to get used to change. That may be why their player numbers are on the lower side of things…
Regardless, their weapons are equally unimaginative between themselves – with little lore outside of Pandaria it’s hard to think of impressive artifacts that they can wield. What they can wield, is staff crafted from the first of Pandaria’s forests; using the same staff that their most famous and last emperor, Shaohao, used during his series of trials; and wearing the fist weapons literally imbued with the essence of the Windlord, Al’Akir, Blizzard have made a good effort to design weapons for monks that we can feel are awesome. They’re no Felo’melorn, Ashbringer nor Doomhammer, but Fu Zan, Sheilun and the Fists of the Heavens are mighty weapons to take up against the Legion.
Straight after settling Dalaran in its new location above the Broken Isles, Initiate Da-Nel runs up to you claiming that Grand Master Hight has requested all senior monks to return to the Peak of Serenity as soon as possible, so it’s high time that we use our personal teleport to get to there!
Master Hight explains that the Broken Shore was a massive blow to the Horde and the Alliance, but before he can finish a young monk comes rushing in, warning of a Legion invasion at the Peak! The monk then gets picked up by an infernal and pummeled against the opposite door, before you dispatch of the infernal.
Heading out of the doors, you find that the Legion are swarming everywhere at the Peak, so you’ll have to fight your way through to the Cave of the Crane. When you reach the cave, Number Nine Jia thanks you for helping save the ancient scrolls, and tells you that Chen Stormstout was teaching a class of youngsters when the attack began, so we have to go round and help him. She will turn you into a zen sphere to take you close to Chen, but not close enough that you’ll have to fight through some demons to get to him.
When you get to him, Lasy Keletress will taunt you, saying that you can’t hide and that the monastery will burn. When you save him, he will assist you in fighting demons on the way back to the monastery, where you will meet back up with Master Hight. The Grand Master will tell Chen to take the cubs to a safe location far away from the Peak, while you and Hight will seal the portal.
Running down the steps, you face against the Portal Master, Jorvinax, before destroying the master fel stone in front of the Legion portal. When you try to destroy it however, hordes of demons come through the portal, so you do a small jump and spinning kick to take out the stone and black out… Before arriving at your class hall, the Temple of the Five Dawns on Shen-zin Su, the Wandering Isle.
Fearsome Jang greets you at the base of the Temple, and tells you the bad news that Grand Master Hight now rests with the ancestors, and that the new leader for the monk order should be you. After a short ceremony, you are able to choose which artifact to pursue.
Brewmaster – Fu Zan, the Wanderer’s Champion
As one of the oldest weapons on Azeroth, Fu Zan dates back to when the titans first molded Azeroth. Long ago, Keeper Freya set out to populate the world with life, and she place one of the first seeds in Pandaria. From the seeds grew Fu Zan, the first of all of Pandaria’s forests, and the ancestor to all of the region’s forests. Before continuing on her journey, Freya fashioned a walking stick for her travels before passing it onto the Jade Serpent, Yu’lon, who later gifted it to a hozen known as the Monkey King.
The Monkey King hung his most prized possessions from the staff, and it is said that the bearer of the staff cannot be harmed by any weapon, so we must begin our search for this weapon with the Monkey King himself. He was last spotted at Tian Monastery in the northern part of Jade Forest. When you arrive at the Ring of Balance, the Monkey King is already there, overseeing a bunch of hozen being trained in the ways of the monk. He then gives you three rhyming riddles for you to solve, in the riddle of purity, of the barrel and of the land.
Fortunately, Blizzard’s quest tracker will lead you directly to where you need to go and what you need to gather. Gone are the days of working things out for yourself… Then giving up and searching for the answer on Thottbot, Allakhazam or (currently) Wowhead. All three of the answers are in the Valley of the Four Winds, so you’ll have to take a flight over to the Pools of Purity as your closest stop, taking care of Desecrator Ma’veth who is currently corrupting a Pandaren Water Spirit. Take the Pure Water Core from the Spirit, and the Monkey King will appear in front of you to tell you to carry on finding the other riddles.
The next stop for both the riddle of the barrel and of the land is at the Imperial Granary, where the Legion are, predictably, setting fire to everything. Grab sacks of grain dotted around the place, and in the top floor of the building is a demon holding onto a barrel of brew. Kill him and take it for yourself. When you hand in the riddles, the Monkey King makes you go flying again – this time to the Temple of the Jade Serpent in the Jade Forest. I get that you want us to see Pandaria again Blizzard, but couldn’t you have kept everything in the Jade Forest? It doesn’t give a great sense of urgency too, as when you’re flying over the continent you don’t actually see any signs of Legion invasion – only at the points where the Monkey King tells you to go.
The Monkey King tells you his final task is to help him with brewing in order for him to tell you where his weapon lies. It’s one of those simple “I tell you a clue what item to press, and keep doing it until the bar fills up” kind of deals, and after you finish with all the ingredients the Monkey King tells you that the staff was only a gift from Yu’lon while he completed his task. After the task was finished, he had to return it to her (seems like a good closing clause for us to relinquish the weapon at the end of Legion too, huh?).
We accompany the head hozen to the temple to request the staff from the Jade Serpent, and we find that the temple is suddenly overrun by the Legion, despite it being peaceful and tranquil just moments before. You’ll have to fight your way round and save who you can starting from the Scrollkeeper’s Sanctum. You fight your way through to Belphiar, an observer, who is currently feasting on the minds of a couple pandaren, though when you defeat him you find that Lorewalker Stonestep did not make it, unfortunately – you may remember the Lorewalker from the 5man instance.
The Monkey King tells you that Yu’lon is in trouble, and that you have to come and help immediately to fight off the demons while the Jade Serpent recuperates. When she eventually revives herself, she goes on into the temple itself to fight off a monstrous felbat while you fight its rider, Lord Korithis. When you succeed, she will grant you Fu Zan and offers to take you back to your order hall.
Mistweaver – Sheilun, Staff of Mists
Mistweavers get to wield the staff of the last and legendary emperor of the Pandaren, Shaohao. The last time the Legion launched a full-scale invasion of Azeroth, the emperor received a prophecy that the Legion would leave the world shattered, so to save his people he embarked on a series of trials. When he finished, he became part of the land, and vanished into the mists that enshrouded the continent, now separate from the rest of Kalimdor. The staff he took on his journey, Sheilun, clattered to the ground, where it lay until monks of Tian Monastey found and took it to the Terrace of Endless Spring for safekeeping.
The current major Legion invasion has broken into Pandaria and Shado-Pan defenders have rushed to secure the area. They haven’t reported back, so it’s up to us to save their hides! Considering this is the healing line, I’d guess some are alive, but we have to help keep them that way…
Tak-Tak will take us back to Pandaria, to the Terrace of Endless Spring, where you will find our good old Shado-Pan friend Taran Zhu waiting for you.
And he’s gotten himself injured again.
When you heal him up, he will tell you to free the other Shado-Pan while he takes on Hellwarden Xaphan. Taking down the jailer will allow you to carry on up the terrace, where you get to choose which of the Shado-Pan members you wish to focus on keeping alive while they go be a terrible tunnel-focusing DPS. The choice is between Fei Li, the firemage; Taoshi, the rogue; or Hawkmaster Nurong, the hunter. Whichever you choose will affect how the fight progresses, but it’s largely down to your own playstyle as a mistweaver to go for mana regen, mobility or attack speed.
Or you can go for all three bonuses if you feel up to the challenge and overgear the scenario. Speak with Taran Zhu, and your crew can start attacking Aspersius. When you defeat the fel-blighted water elemental, Sheilun, the Staff of the Mists, is yours to take! Short and sweet for the mistweavers, not an awful lot going on here!
Windwalker – Fists of the Heavens
Moving away from the Pandaren culture (seeing as there’s more than just Pandaren Monks in this game), the Windwalker artifacts look at one of our side-character races, the tol’vir. Tol’vir smith Irmaat crafted a magnificent pair of handblades thousands of eyars ago, however he was unsatisfied with his work, so he set out to try and capture the essence of the Windlord, Al’akir. The elemental lord of air was not amused by the tol’vir, and to spite him he poured significant amounts of raw elemental fury into the blades, and when Irmaat unleashed their might, a giant vortex sprung up, taking out the city and scattering the weapons to the winds.
Little more is known of them, so it’s up to us to see if the legends are true as these weapons would be beneficial against the Legion invasion. Iron-Body Ponshu tells you that Li Li Stormstout is one of the most traveled people on the Wandering Isle, so it is best to start with her to find the whereabouts of this weapon. She tells you that she met with a tol’vir in Booty Bay, and tells you the legend of the handblades concerning Irmaat and Al’Akir.
She tells you to take her kite and meet her in Ramkahen, and once you land she tells you that while you’ve been taking the scenic route, she’s been in discussion with King Phaoris, ruler of Ramkahen, and found out that he can help as long as we take care of a problem for him: an elemental called Nader attacking his people.
You quickly take care of Nader, where he mentions a lord Typhinius, and grab the essence of the whirlwind for the first clue and return it to Phaoris. He tells you that using the stone will take you to Skywall itself, and says that the Fists of the Heavens should be in the elemental plane of air. When you arrive, Li Li immediately gets herself into trouble with Typhinius, and its up to you to save her. You then make your way through Skywall (ahem, Vortex Pinnacle) to destroy 3 stormtouched orbs to bypass the raging winds.
Getting to the end of the platform will cause Typhinius to appear again, and send four of his minions against you, alongside a couple extra enemies per wave, with an air elemental dragon (the Cataclysm winds dragons, not the new storm dragons from Legion content) who you defeat and then jump onto the back of. Zaurac, the dragon, will take you to Typhinius himself, who you also end up defeating. When you win, the Fists of the Heavens are yours to keep!