Encrypted Text: How to gank a monk

Chase Christian
C. Christian|09.26.12

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Encrypted Text: How to gank a monk
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Chase Christian will be your guide to the world of shadows every Wednesday. Feel free to email me with any questions or article suggestions you'd like to see covered here.

With the launch of Mists of Pandaria, the season of world PvP is upon us once again. Over the next few weeks, there will be thousands of players trying out the new monk class. These rerollers are likely to be undergeared and inexperienced, making them perfect targets for your daggers. Rogues were able to take advantage of fledgling death knights as they were still learning to use their awkward new bodies in Wrath. Blizzard promised to bring world PvP back in Mists, and with the massive influx of grounded players trying to level, they've made good on their promise.

Don't plan on facing many mistweaver monks out in the open world, as they'll be safe inside of their dungeon queues. The staff-wielding brewmaster tanking monks will be very difficult to defeat unless they're at a significantly lower level than you, so be careful. Our primary targets will be our melee DPS rivals, the windwalker monks. You can identify them by their dual weapons and smug (likely pandaren) faces.

Attack their weaknesses

Monks are a class that has it all. They've got mobility, offensive and defensive cooldowns, and more than their fair share of utility abilities. You're not going to find any major gaps in their toolkit. Their ranged arsenal is fairly limited, but at the same time, so is ours. You're not going to defeat a monk by spamming Shuriken Toss at them.

In order to get the upper hand on a windwalker, you have to attack the fact that most of their abilities consume chi points, which are sort of like combo points. They have a ton of cool moves, but most of them rely on either energy or chi, so they can't chain them back-to-back. While our cooldowns like Vanish and Evasion don't cost us anything, monks have to sacrifice damage for utility.

Masters of melee

If you're going to stand a chance against a monk in PvP, you have to attack from behind. Monks have the ability to parry a large number of attacks from the front via their Sparring passive skill. In addition, their Grapple Weapon move is much better than our Dismantle. Even if you do Dismantle a monk, they gain a huge dodge bonus while their weapon is missing. Focus on attacking a monk from behind, using Shadowstep and Gouge to your advantage.

A windwalker can both slow and root you via Disable and Spinning Fire Blossom, so they are going to win the mobility game. Make sure that you don't let the monk get behind you, as some of their attacks are very powerful from behind. With both Roll and their first-tier talent boosting their movement speed, you're not going to be able to outrun a monk. Monks can also knock us back with Crackling Jade Lightning, although only once every 8 seconds. Once you engage a windwalker, you're not escaping without Vanish and some luck. Their Blackout Kick will often leave a nasty DoT effect behind, so use Cloak of Shadows to clear that if you want to get back into Stealth.

Healer hybrids

Monks are able to cleanse our poisons via Detox, but with our new poison proc rates and Detox's long cooldown, that shouldn't be an issue. Their instant heal, Expel Harm, also deals damage to you when cast, but there's not really a good way to avoid it. The heal has a 15-second cooldown, so you need to ensure that you're dealing enough damage between cooldowns to take the monk down. Their other major heals require casting, so keep your Kick on the ready.

Playing the control game

Monks have a Blind-like ability, Paralysis, which lets them incapacitate us for a few seconds. Don't both burning your PvP trinket to avoid it, but also be wary of their next barrage of attacks from their full energy bar. My biggest concern will be their talent Leg Sweep, which is a powerful AoE stun on a 45-second cooldown with no resource cost. They'll definitely use Leg Sweep to set up a big attack, so you can safely use your PvP trinket on the first one. Their Fists of Fury attack also stuns us, but since they can't use any other abilities or autoattacks during that time, it's usually not fatal.

Watch out for one of the most deadly moves in the game: Touch of Karma. The monk can reflect incoming attacks back on us, which is just as potent as Iron Maiden from Diablo II. Treat it like a very powerful version of Combat Readiness. You want to disengage immediately, wait for the buff to fade, and then reengage with a full energy bar. You can even use Gouge to keep them in once place while you wait the buff duration out.

Rush your target

Most of the monks you encounter haven't been playing their monk for very long. Leveling monks will be in whatever random gear they picked up along the way. Their keybinds are likely sloppy, and they haven't had a reason to pop every spell in their arsenal just yet.

Your best bet when trying to assassinate a windwalker is to simply overrun their defenses. Pop your offensive cooldowns early and be relentless in your assault. There's a time and a place for the chess battle of a 5-8 kite and elegant blows, but that's not what you're going to be facing in Pandaria. Dig your daggers into a monk's back and don't stop stabbing until they stop moving. Remember that these are the guys that will be rolling on our gear and competing for our raid spots once they're level 90.

Sneak in every Wednesday for our Molten Front ganking guide, a deep-dive into the world of playing a subtlety rogue -- and of course, all the basics in our guide to the latest rogue gear.

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