monk

The Way of the Monk

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Okay so being primarily a Shaman/Warlock player, you might think I am unqualified to be talking about what it means to be a Monk, but let me tell you, everyone refers to me as Grandmaster Lunchi, I’m wearing the clothes of a Grandmaster, and that wouldn’t be the case if I wasn’t a position of authority within the bigass turtle we all ride upon.

LOOK. SEE? Says it right there. Grandmaster.

So, given that I am the undisputed GRANDMASTER LUNCHI, isn’t it my duty to impart my wondrous wisdom upon you? To teach you the WAY OF THE MONK? Yes, I thought so, let’s begin.

  • Roll everywhere. There’s a talent that lets you Roll more. Use it. There’s a brew that makes Roll have no cooldown for an hour. Use that liberally. Travel at the speed of Roll.
  • Be careful when near cliff edges, especially if you are not a pandaren. Other races are not as Bouncy as us, and therefore cannot take the fall.
Sometimes even pandaren struggle if you fall off a cliff high enough.
  • Kick. Punch. It’s all in the mind. If you wanna test me, I’m sure you’ll find that the things I’ll teach ya is sure to beat ya, but nevertheless, you’ll get a lesson from teacher, now KICK.
KICK
KICK
  • It’s important to drink heavily when a monk. Whether it’s MAGICAL TEA that focuses your mind, deeply alcoholic brews that allow you to breathe fire or shrug off hits, or energy drinks to reinvigorate you, pick your poison and become one with it!
  • You know how they say “never work with animals or children”? Ignore that, you have a cat, bird or ox to befriend.
Yes, I blew a 3 minute cooldown just to get this picture. Twice.
  • JAB JAB UPLIFT oh wait that’s not a thing anymore.
  • Utilising your zoning abilities (hadoken, long-ranged normals et al) is very important in controlling the horizontal playfield. A common tactic is to throw a fireball, then use a shoryuken if the opponent jumps over it towards you. Experienced players may well bait the shoryuken followup out of you, leading to a massive punish combo if mistimed.
TENMA GOZANKU!
  • Try to remember some of the basics of CQC.
  • Flying Serpent Kick, if walking upon the wind is more your style, can be an even better launcher than mere rolling or Chi Torpedoing. Skim atop the surface of water! Rush towards your enemies at lightning speed! Plummet to your death off a cliff yet AGAIN!
  • Never use Roll, Chi Torpedo or Flying Serpent Kick when you’re on the Spine of Deathwing. Probably best to not use it where there’s Instant Death Water™ either, such as during the Krosus fight, or Gorefiend.
  • Expecting to need an expeditious retreat? Transcend space and time by mere meditation!
That basically means “you have a Demonic Circle-esque ability, fuckin’ use it”

There are, of course, many more aspects to the Way of the Monk, but I think that is all a beginner like you needs to handle for now.

And yes, this was an excuse to show off what Lunchi looks like. Seriously, that Grandmaster armour set (from the class hall) is bloody amazing-looking, and several of the Sheilun appearances look STUNNING with it.

Cool Leather Transmog Items

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With all the political drama going on in the world, it’s important to focus on the important things in life.

Important things like making Pandaren look fucking fabulous.

Over the weekend, I played on my Rogue, respecced her to Assassination for a bit of variety, then threw her into every raid instance from Molten Core onwards. I stopped after doing Bastion of Twilight and Throne of the Four Winds, mainly because I had to go to bed, but I will resume later on, most probably. The reason for all this?

TRANSMOG!

Her void storage and bank was relatively empty, and as I’m gonna play two leather-wearing classes in Legion (alongside my Warlock of course), I figured I’d get on with filling the wardrobe. Both Lunchi and Fujikomine would be able to benefit! Let’s have a look at some notable items!fuji1

This set is one of the Bind on Account transmog sets (The Thunderlord Set) you get from the Dwarven Bunker in exchange for Iron Horde Scraps. Her daggers are called Shard of Azzinoth, dropping from everyone’s favourite boss, Illidan Stormrage. The eyepatch, as you will no doubt gather, is the one mainstay I have on Fujikomine, and drops from Hurley Blackbreath in Blackrock Depths. It’s called Ragefury Eyepatch.

fuji2

Here we have the Sanctified Shadowblade Set from Icecrown Citadel. The chest, head, shoulders, gloves and legs are purchasable from the Rogue vendor at the start of the instance, and you “upgrade” those pieces using tokens gained from normal/heroic bosses. Here, I am using the ilvl 264 version of the set because I prefer the colour, but there’s a matching set both higher and lower in item level, of different colours.

The matching belt and boots you have to get from bosses. Professor Putricide drops the Astrylian’s Sutured Cinch waist piece, and Lord Marrowgar drops the boots, Frostbitten Fur Boots.

fuji3

The heroic Wind Dancer’s Set is another tier set, this time from Cataclysm. It’s the Bastion/Throne/Blackwing Descent tier, and it’s relatively easy to get thanks to Al’akir. Any token you DON’T get from the other bosses, you can use an Essence of the Forlorn to purchase instead, and on 25hc, Al’akir drops 3 of these lovely things. The waist is a seperate item, dropping from the Elementium Monstrosity in Bastion of Twilight. It’s called the Dispersing Belt.

fuji4

This slightly garish, terribly mismatched set isn’t a set, but some random items thrown together. The mask is the Bonechewer Skincloak (world drop), the shoulders are Runetotem’s Mantle from Lady Vashj, the chest is Vest of the Changing Heart (quest reward, Redridge, “His Heart Must Be In It”), the legs and feet are Leggings of the Lifetender and Boots of the Prolific Sire (Freya in Ulduar, Redridge Quest “Still Assessing the Threat”). Those gloves are the Lakeshire Gloves from a Redridge quest called “Surveying Equipment”, and the daggers are called Blade of Tarasque, from Icehowl in 25 Man Trial of the Crusader.

More random cool items?

fuji5

Now NONE of these match, and they’re not really meant to, I’m just highlighting a few favourites. The head item is probably the most well-known, the Cursed Vision of Sargeras which drops from Illidan Stormrage. Look like a Demon Hunter before the Demon Hunters become a thing!

The chest item is one of those skimpy armours I like so much, and is actually just as skimpy on the men too! It’s the Murkblood Chestpiece. Your best bet to getting this and other items in the Murkblood set is to kill things in Burning Crusade raids and dungeons, or just buy it on the Auction House. It’s never terribly expensive from my experience.

Those fancy-lookin’ white gloves are the Boneshredder Gloves which, again, drop from Burning Crusade mobs, so get grinding those old raids!

The dagger on the left is Soulscribe which is dropped by everyone’s favourite god of death himself, Yogg-Saron (25 man). The dagger on the left with the natty purple fire is Alysra’s Razor and is dropped, strangely enough, by Alysrazor in the heroic version of the Firelands.

Sometimes the best way to come up with a transmog set is to take one item you like then build around it, which is why I highlighted some of my favourites here. I’d recommend using the MogIt addon, which allows you to sort items by colour (among other things), so if you want to use those fluffy white gloves, but not the rest of the items in that set, you can find items that are similar in colour!

Maybe I’ll do another of these posts for the other armour types! But for now, what are YOUR favourite leather pieces?

Omnia Mutantur

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The next couple of weeks promises to be one of many changes. An exciting time, to be sure.

The boyfriend and I are moving out of our current place, after our landlord decided to hike our rent by 20%. We spent last week looking at places, we found somewhere we like, we paid the bond and we’re waiting to sign the contract. We start moving our stuff next week.

The place we’re moving to is mostly unfurnished (there’s kitchen appliances and that’s about it), which means we’re gonna spend the next few months living on a tiny budget, while the rest of our pay goes on furniture. I’m cool with this though; I can get enough food to last me over week for about £10-£12, because I shop dirt cheap. This DOES mean though that my plan of buying a nice mic to do a possible podcast with will have to be put on hold, at least for now. Sad face.

Still, this means we can accumulate ACTUAL FURNITURE. Furniture that is ours, and we don’t have to leave when we move out! The beginnings of the rest of our lives.

I’ve sold a number of my books too, in the name of downsizing. Stuff I haven’t read in years, and don’t plan on doing again. I expected to get less than £20, I ended up getting over £65! Flabbergasted, I was.

Other changes? Altogether more frivolous.

lunchiinblack

Lunchi has changed her transmog temporarily, to keep things fresh and interesting. Amusingly, her item level (from 2 normal runs of 9 bosses, and one round of Mythic dungeons) is now higher than that of my Heroic-raiding Warlock. What?

Shokei the Warlock will still be my main going into Legion, but like I’ve stated before, I want my Monk to keep up with her, artifact/item level-wise. Monk is, in short, the most fun melee DPS in the game to me, and I want to continue playing her. Brewmasters make powerful and deadly tanks for soloing too, so that adds an extra dimension of fun to her. I can solo things with Lunchi that I can barely even attempt on Shokei.

necalli2

Street Fighter V comes out next month, and while I am very excited at the thought of playing as R. Mika and Zangief, one character has ended up growing on me. When he was first announced, Necalli didn’t interest me very much, but the more I’ve seen of him (usually through YouTube replays, I don’t have the beta!), the more I’ve wanted to play as him as well. His two “forms” seem to play rather differently from one-another; they have the same moves, but the moves themselves have slightly different properties, so mastering Necalli means mastering two characters! Kinda reminds me of Gen, one of my favourite Street Fighter IV characters!

necalliboom

Anyway, that’s all from me. Keep feelin’ fascination!

Panda Steve’s Current Transmogs

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I haven’t done a transmog post in such a long time
To have left it this long truly feels like a crime
Maybe I’ll have cheesecake. The flavour? Key Lime.
But the restaurant is closing, will I get there in time?

Okay okay enough of that. THE TRANSMOGS, IF YOU PLEASE.

Shokei the Warlock

This transmog actually came from an outside source! I wanted to use the Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, saw this site, and thought “that looks BOSS, mate.”

shadomog

It’s not a complete lift; I did use different gloves and a different weapon. It might not fit in terms of colour, but it’s a weapon I think is pretty cool. Flashing lights and moving parts.

  • Head: Replica Shado-Pan Helmet (Shado-Pan Quartermaster)
  • Shoulder: Consortium Mantle (world drop, try Magisters’ Terrace)
  • Chest: Vestments of Thundering Skies (Golden Lotus Quartermaster)
  • Hands: Ceremonial Gloves of Karabor (Hand of the Prophet Quartermaster)
  • Waist: Durable Belt (world drop, try Gnomeregan)
  • Feet: Cindercloth Boots (Tailoring)
  • Weapon: Lever of the Megantholithic Apparatus (Mythic Siegecrafter Blackfuse, Siege of Orgimmar)

Fujikomine the Rogue

fujiko

She’s all about the purple. Even has matching highlights in her hair.

Fujikomine lost her eye in a terrible inscription accident involving a quill, and a mistimed sneeze.

(in truth I appear to have an obsession with eyepatches, and will use them at any given opportunity)

  • Head: Ragefury Eyepatch (Hurley Blackbreath, Blackrock Depths)
  • Shoulders: Shoulderpads of the Forgotten Gate (Heroic Baleroc, Firelands)
  • Chest: Incendic Chestguard (Heroic Rhyolith, Firelands)
  • Hands: Muckdweller Gloves (quest reward)
  • Waist: Nimble Climber’s Belt (Auriaya 10, Ulduar)
  • Legs: Firecat Leggings (Heroic Staghelm, Firelands)
  • Feet: Treads of Sordid Screams (Heroic Ultraxion, Dragon Soul)
  • Weapons: Firethorn Mindslicer (Heroic Firelands, drops from all bosses except Ragnaros)

Lillorigga the Warrior

With the removal of Gladiator Stance in Legion, Lillorigga’s taking her anger out on the world by going back to Fury.

lilmageddon

Pink plate is best plate, you know.

  • Shoulder: Pauldrons of Roaring Flame (Ragnaros, Firelands Normal)
  • Chest: Bloodscale Breastplate (world drop, try Slave Pens/Blood Furnace)
  • Hands: Bloodscale Gauntlets (world drop, try Slave Pens/Blood Furnace)
  • Waist: Bloodscale Belt (world drop, try Slave Pens/Blood Furnace)
  • Legs: Bloodscale Legguards (world drop, try Slave Pens/Blood Furnace)
  • Feet: Bloodscale Sabatons (world drop, try Slave Pens/Blood Furnace)
  • Weapons: Armageddon (Gluth 25, Naxxramas)
Hey Lillorigga, you happy about the Gladiator Stance removal? Take that as a no then.
Hey Lillorigga, you happy about the Gladiator Stance removal? Take that as a no then.

Disgleirio the Paladin

It’s the Welsh word for “shining,” is Disgleirio. Or something like that. It’s fittingly Paladin-y. They’re all about shining lights at people to make them healthy/die.

Hey that's Lillorigga's weapon STOP THIEF
Hey that’s Lillorigga’s weapon STOP THIEF

It’s not a Draenei pose picture if they’re not using /flex.

  • Head: Fel-Proof Goggles (Tanaan Jungle, Fel-Drenched Satchel in The Fel Forge)
  • Shoulder: Rethban Pauldrons (world drop, Throne of the Tides)
  • Chest: Fel Iron Breastplate (Blacksmithing)
  • Hands: Fel Iron Plate Gloves (Blacksmithing)
  • Waist: Fel Iron Plate Belt (Blacksmithing)
  • Legs: Fel Iron Plate Pants (Blacksmithing)
  • Feet: Fel Iron Plate Boots (Blacksmithing)
  • Weapon: Armageddon (Gluth 25, Naxxramas)

Lunchi the Monk

Yeah, she’s based on Chun Li.

lunchi

Monks don’t really have a lot of emphasis on their weapons (especially mine! She has a polearm equipped but I’m using the Glyph of Jab) but Lunchi’s looks pretty cool.

polearmish

Decorative and little else.

  • Shoulder: Spaulders of the Ring (quest)
  • Chest: Lo’ap’s Tunic of Muck Diving (quest)
  • Hands: Caustic Feelers (quest (A) quest (H))
  • Waist: Stalk-Skin Belt (Heigan 25 or Gluth 25, Naxxramas)
  • Legs: Leggings of Telhamat (quest)
  • Feet: Mud Encrusted Boots (quest)
  • Weapon: Banner Slicer (world drop, try Violet Hold/Drak’Tharon Keep)

Last, but not least:

Lixiu the Hunter

aimandFIRE

Okay so the bow string clips through her pandaboob slightly but she still looks killer.

  • Shoulder: Grunt’s Pauldrons (world drop, Blackfathom Deeps)
  • Chest: Outrunner’s Chestguard (world drop, Blackfathom Deeps)
  • Hands: Outrunner’s Gloves (world drop, Wailing Caverns)
  • Waist: Outrunner’s Cord (world drop, Wailing Caverns)
  • Legs: Outrunner’s Legguards (world drop, Blackfathom Deeps/Wailing Caverns)
  • Feet: Outrunner’s Slippers (world drop, Wailing Caverns)
  • Weapon: Crypt Fiend Slayer (Halls of Reflection Normal, Lich King event)

I’m working on transmogs for my 2nd Monk, my Priest and my Mage at the moment, not that I have many ideas for them just yet. When I do, though, I will probably do another of these posts to show them off!

Other Games, Other Classes

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Since getting my laptop back, I’ve not really played many other games. I was obsessed with Fallout: New Vegas and Saints Row 4 (before the issues took hold and made it unplayable) and now I’m back on the WoW they’ve fallen by the wayside again.

I have a day off work today so I may fire up Saints Row 4. I rebought the game on the Xbox 360 and it’s working fine so far, reinforcing my guess that it was the (preowned) PS3 disc  giving me issues. I’m hoping this will allow me to play this frickin’ awesome game all the way to the end!

I’ve also played a bit of Pokemon recently. There was a brief event to download the Eon Ticket allowing you to get Latias/Latios in your game, and I also went to GAME to get a serial code to download Darkrai!

Rar
Rar

In World of Warcraft news, 6.1.2 is on the PTR, introducing the WoW Token, some garrison mission changes to award 1000 gold, and probably some class changes. It’s Warrior and Paladin ones at the moment, but I assume other classes may see changes at some point. When could we see 6.1.2? I’d guess within a month?

I’ve been playing Lunchi a lot recently.

Here she is!
Here she is!

In terms of melee DPS, I’m finding Monks to be by far the most fun in the game. Mobile, powerful, awesome-looking (and you KNOW I’m all about the aesthetics!), the only spec that comes close to them in fun factor is Gladiator Warrior. Subjective, I know. Some of you out there may hate the Monk playstyle, preferring that of a Feral Druid, or a Rogue, or even a Paladin!

Warlock is still my favourite class, but man is the Monk catching up. As someone who favours long range classes/characters (sneaky archer assassins in Skyrim, snipers in FPS’s, etc), to find melee classes I enjoy is almost alien to me, but variety is the spice of life, I suppose.

"Now off with you, lest you feel my backhand!"
“Now off with you, lest you feel my backhand!”

Tricky Boss Soloing: Spine of Deathwing

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Because most bosses below Mists of Pandaria level are delightfully faceroll-ish, instead of doing full instance soloing guides, I’m going to focus on bosses that, even in a 6.1 world, have weird mechanics or are just plain difficult. Spine of Deathwing is one of them.

spineofdeathwing

Here’s a masterpiece of MS Paint representing Deathwing’s back! I made it myself, can you tell?

The numbered orange blobs are Corruption tentacles. When solo, they don’t really do anything special. When there’s two or more of you (or one + a pet, for those hunters, warlocks and frost mages out there), they cast Fiery Grip and are altogether more annoying.

What you want to do is destroy tentacles 1, 2, and either 3 OR 4, then sit in the spot where one used to be. This causes small tendrils to root you to Deathwing’s back, but cause a small amount of damage every half a second until you step off them. You want to stay there until Deathwing rolls, which causes the Hideous Amalgamations spawned by the death of the Corruptions to fly off his back. Bye!

What causes Deathwing to roll? When he detects more people on one side of his back, he will start a 10 second countdown, in which you want to have an even amount of people on both sides, lest he rolls and you all fly away. When solo? You want to move back and forth between the left side and the right side, which will restart the countdown. Some classes will have it more easy than others.

So, once the 3 Hideous Amalgamations are flung off his back, move to the centre area and keep moving between each side. The dead Corruption tentacles will release mobs called Corrupted Blood, and you want to kill them near each-other, while dancing between each side. When Bloods die, they leave behind Residue, which is the key to winning this encounter. Hideous Amalgamations absorb this Residue, which increases the damage and attack speed of it, but also causes it to become more unstable. This effect stacks 9 times, at which point it becomes Superheated. This is when you want to move it to the plates (Plate 1, 2 and 3 on the diagram) and kill it! Once its health reaches 0, it casts Nuclear Blast, and if it’s close enough to the plate, it will tear up, revealing Burning Tendons for you to kill. Once you do, the plate will rip off, revealing 2 more Corruption tentacles, and the process begins again.

So to recap:

  • Kill Corruptions until you have 1 left.
  • Force Deathwing to roll to kill the spawned Hideous Amalgamations.
  • Kill 9 Corrupted Bloods while moving to the left and right across Deathwing’s back to prevent him rolling.
  • Once you have 9 Residues, kill the 4th Corruption to spawn a Hideous Amalgamation.
  • Make the Amalgamation run over the residues so it gets 9 stacks of Absorbed Blood.
  • Move the Amalgamation to one of the plates and kill it.
  • Kill the Burning Tendon to rip off the plate and reveal 2 more Corruption tentacles.
  • Repeat.

lunchisgunningforyou

Heroic Changes

The only real worry is a debuff called Blood Corruption: Death. When the debuff fades and isn’t dispelled, it causes you to explode. As a warlock, you want to use Grimoire of Sacrifice, and sacrifice your Imp. This gives you the Singe Magic Command Demon ability, which you want to be using whenever the debuff appears on you. This transforms the debuff into Blood Corruption: Earth which, after 15 seconds, buffs you with 20% reduction in damage taken! It stacks twice too.

Recommended Talents (for the classes I play)

  • Destruction Warlock: Searing Flames, Mortal Coil, Soul Link, Unbound Will, Grimoire of Sacrifice (Imp), Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, Charred Remains OR Cataclysm.
  • Affliction Warlock: Harvest Life, Mortal Coil, Soul Link, Unbound Will, Grimoire of Sacrifice (Imp), Kil’jaeden’s Cunning, Cataclysm.
  • Demonology Warlock: Not really recommended, as you can’t sacrifice a demon, and are thus unable to cleanse the debuff in Heroic OR are susceptible to being grabbed by tentacles.
  • Windwalker Monk: Tiger’s Lust, any, Ascension, any, Dampen Harm, Invoke Xuen, Hurricane Strike OR Serenity.

With monks, Windwalker is a very good spec to do this fight with, as Blackout Kick will easily heal you for any damage you take. The Blood Corruption: Death debuff is something you’re gonna have to just take, but Blackout Kick will top your health up nicely, as if heals you for 30% of the damage you do. It’s very important you do NOT take Chi Explosion from the level 100 talent tier, as this ability replaces Blackout Kick and doesn’t have a heal attached to it, meaning you have to rely on Surging Mist and Expel Harm.

be incredibly careful when using roll or flying serpent kick. be too careless and you can and will fling yourself off deathwing’s back.

Warlocks have it pretty difficult. Though they are able to burn off the debuff, the difficulty stems from Destruction’s lack of spells you can cast while moving. Ember Tap is also pretty weak, and is dependent on you having embers. Affliction is an easier way to solo this boss as Corruption and Agony are instant cast, and glyphed/talented Drain Life is an incredibly powerful heal. In both specs, you want to take Kil’jaeden’s Cunning so that 8 out of every 35 seconds you can cast anything on the move.

Demonology is less effective as it doesn’t have access to Grimoire of Sacrifice, which means you’ll either have to go petless and rely on Unbound Will to dispel the debuff which has a heavy health cost and a long cooldown, or have an imp/fel imp out and risk being snared by the Fiery Grip of the Corruption you leave alive.

Being able to do this encounter means you’ll have a shot at the mounts dropped by Madness of Deathwing! Good luck!

cheerful

Warlock Hotfix, Nobody Cared

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Level 45 Talent Hotfix

  • Soul Link healing now ignores effects that increase or decrease the amount of healing received.

So, that’s a thing I suppose. It’s both a buff and a nerf for obvious reasons, and to be honest, what does it affect? The relatively small amount of healing that Soul Link provides you cannot be increased or decreased. Maybe that means it ignores effects that block healing? For instance, Loatheb in Naxxramas has Necrotic Aura, which decreases healing by 100%. With this change, would healing from Soul Link (3% of damage you deal) go through anyway? A potentially interesting change for soloing, perhaps.

WoWBlog30 Challenge

The Pink Pally issued a challenge to the Warcraft blogging community! Make at least one blog post a day for the entirety of March! I decided I’d participate in this, because Heaven knows I need the practice. I’m horrendously ill at the moment so this post will be a brief one, but tomorrow I will have something better planned out!

Monk Level 100

Lunchi hit level 100 earlier this week, and now begins the long, painful process of gearing her up. And by gearing, I mean getting her the 680 ring and then throwing her into LFR. I’m only a filthy casual.

She only looked derpy 50% of the time.
She only looked derpy 50% of the time.

I’m then going to do some old raid soloing with her. Literally everything Cataclysm is faceroll-easy as a fresh 100, so I may get some heroic dungeon/LFR gear and take her for a whirl in Mogu’shan Vaults.

After all, people soloed stuff in that place at level 90.

How hard could it be?