Patch 9.1.5 is here and you want to try out Venthyr Monk but don’t know where to start? Here is a write-up of the commonly asked questions I have seen in the Peak of Serenity Discord that will help you with your swap or new alt. The focus of this guide will be to address how Venthyr Monks play in a raid setting. Mythic+ will be touched on where things differ from a raid environment.
Why is Venthyr the newish hotness?
If you previously mained a monk as Kyrian, Necrolord, you might have felt as though you had to pair up your covenant ability with one of your throughput CDs such as Revival, Yu’lon/Chi-ji. This aspect feels somewhat underwhelming for these two covenants. With these abilities being weak on their own, needing another of your CDs to prop them up makes them feel like a prerequisite ability for your healing rather than letting them be an expansion-defining ability and the power that that should have.
WoO when used by itself did not feel impactful enough to justify hitting it unpaired. When used with revival you were in for a metric ton of overhealing since the current raid damage profile does not match up well with how much burst healing this combo can do. Yu’lon does not have any direct interaction with the mastery bonus provided by WoO making this an unideal pairing. WoO and Chi-ji to be a powerful combination; however, the desync of their CDs makes it so you would have to sit on WoO 50% longer to pair it up with Chi-ji. Over the duration of some longer fights, this would result in losing uses of WoO or having to desync these CDs.
BDB with its lower cooldown has the flexibility to be paired up with any of your major CDs but is reliant on your raid being more tightly stacked to gain maximum value. This has always been the downside of BDB and is why properly utilizing this ability can feel awkward. You cannot always count on your fellow raid member remembering that you are a Necrolord and benefit from them playing more tightly stacked. BDB runs into the same issues that WoO has when paired with our major CDs. With revival, BDB will pump a lot of HPS but most raid damage profiles do not require this level of throughput. Once again Yu’lon does not have direct interaction with the bonuses provided by BDB making this an unideal pairing. BDB and Chi-ji interact very well with the GoM healing now interacts with BDB’s mastery healing. BDB has the advantage of a shorter CD meaning it will not be desynced from Chi-ji.
FLS has an entirely different issue that makes it feel awkward for Mistweavers to use. The mana cost of FLS is too high for you to realistically chase resets. If you intend to interact with the reset portion of the ability you will forgo casting vivify. RJW is not sustainable with FLS as they are both high mana consumers. FLS has the shortest CD of the covenant abilities which means it is always available, but it, unfortunately, does not synergize with our major CD like how the previously discussed abilities do. Targeting this ability on enemies and allies can be challenging. The main advantage of this ability is that it is the only one that offers a rotational damage ability, albeit minimal for the trade-off in healing it provides.
FO overnight, due to a last minute buff, became the best covenant ability for Mistweavers. Despite it having minimal kit interaction, no real synergy with our major cooldowns, and being an ability that relied on blizzard pet ai. FO works to fill in the gaps between our major CDs and raise up our HPS troughs to provide monks with the highest average HPS. SiT turned a mediocre ability, which required planning, on a 3 minute CD to a fire and forget, substantial HPS tool on a 1 minute average CD. For its mana cost FO does a ton of healing, which leads to you not having to commit as many globals to more mana intensive spells, leading to greater mana efficiency. Being able to use FO and not having to change your gameplay in any substantial way smooths out monks’ playstyle when compared to other covenant abilities.
How did we get here?
FO before 9.1 was far and away the worst covenant ability for MW in raid. It had some use in PVP situations, but the CD was too long, and the ability did not do quite enough healing. 9.1 introduced the SiT legendary, and with a last-second buff changed Venthyr from being our worst choice to our best choice. 9.1 also brought higher levels of conduits and conduit empowerments. IR adds more oomph to FO making it truly worth the original 3 minute CD. Now with SiT, reducing FO to a 2 minute cooldown, the HPS provided by FO is unmatched by the other legendary and covenant combinations.
Q. Legendary options as Venthyr?
The only legendary option as Venthyr is the covenant ability-specific legendary SiT. The power of Venthyr is locked behind this legendary. Other legendaries such as ATotM and ToM are not options for Venthyr Monk until you unlock double legendaries in 9.2
Q. How does SiT work?
Sinister Teachings is the Venthyr Monk legendary. Fallen Order summons 1 additional Ox, Crane, or Tiger adept for 24 sec based on your spec. While you have an active adept, your abilities that critically hit reduce the cooldown of Fallen Order by 2.5 sec.
In theory, the maximum CDR is 80 seconds; however, in practice, it shakes out to making FO a 2 minute CD (roughly 60 seconds of CDR). Hitting the theoretical CDR is difficult due to an ICD on the CDR effect. Additionally, server lag, the total number of events available, and tick rates all contribute to making it extremely challenging to hit the theoretical max.
The tooltip is not very clear but crits provide CDR while the FO buff is active. The visual of the clones can take a bit to spawn in and fade out due to server lag. The CDR provided by SiT has an internal cooldown of .75s. This means that you are unable to benefit from the CDR as a result of your crits for .75s after benefiting from the CDR. As previously mentioned, this takes the CD of FO from 3 minutes to 2 minute on average.
Q. What slot and stats should I craft SiT with?
Ring is slightly ahead of wrists in overall stats provided by the item. Ring gives no main stat but provides a whole bunch of secondary stats. Even though main stat is our best stat for healing, the amount of main stat provided by wrist is very small. If you are hurting for money, craft whichever slot is the cheapest on your server. If you do not care about cost, look at your available gear for these slots and determine which slot can have the biggest upgrade. For instance, if you have crit/vers wrists with leech on them, you will probably gain more benefit from a legendary ring.
In terms of missives (stats), it is recommended that you want crit + one of haste/verse.
Gear and Stats
Q. How much crit is too much crit?
Over 100% crit is too much crit. Cri was already one of our best secondary stats and it is the catalyst that makesSiT an amazing legendary. Blizzard introduced diminishing returns breakpoints on secondary stats this expansion; however, these breakpoints do not stop us from wanting to stack crit. This makes gearing very simple as you want to avoid mastery where you can and add haste/verse paired with crit everywhere.
For the best gearing advice check out QE Live as it is an online tool designed to sim healer HPS. It even has a Venthyr specific sim
Q. Are their other breakpoints for haste and verse?
Q. How Do I Use FO?
FO is a fire and forget CD. You hit the button and let it do its thing. The power of SiT is letting you get more casts of FO off during an encounter. For this reason, you want to hit FO as much as possible.
For mythic+ you generally want to rip FO on CD. But it takes a bit more judgment on your part. If a pack is about to die and you are in for some running, save it to start the next pack off so you can dedicate your time to SCK. This CD does help contribute a bit of damage, so it is okay to use to push damage. However, the main benefit of this CD in mythic+ is that it frees you up to push damage yourself while it is doing its thing keeping the party healed.
Q. Gameplay changes?
The quick and easy answer is nothing really changes. This is true of all our covenants since they do not fundamentally change the buttons we want to hit. The ideal way to play Shadowlands monk is to be in melee, punching and kicking things while we throw out our healing spells. This is why RM has become the far and away go to level 50 talent choice. The day of caster monk with UW being the go to is long gone as playing this way sacrifices a large portion of your kit and damage potential.
The only key gameplay changes with Venthyr Monk are with your decision making on casting EF. EF as a general rule should only be casted when there are 6+ targets in range that are damaged. EF is by far the best, and maybe even is the perfect tool, to maximize the CDR of SiT. The previously mentioned rule on casting EF goes out the window when FO is active, and you slam that button on CD.
Q. How do I properly play my FO window?
Prior to pull I will cast 1 ReM 9 seconds before pull and then another one at 3 seconds before pull. I immediately start to channel EF as I run in so that I have full HoTs on the party. A third charge of ReM becomes available as the pull happens and I will cast that before Casting FO. As soon as I can, I will hit TFT and RSK on the boss I will. This is roughly 1.5 to 2 seconds into the fight. At this point you have full HoTs going on the raid and your FO will immediately start receiving CDR from all your HoTs.
My preferred cast sequence for FO during an encounter assumes I have no stacks of ReM available to cast prior to channeling EF. My FO window during an encounter is as follows. EF -> TFT -> FO -> RSK -> TP ->RSK -> ReM -> TP -> TP -> BoK -> EF -> ReM -> RSK. From there I will hit ReM’s as they become available, stack TotM stacks in my downtime and spend these stacks with BoK. I will use RSK on CD as long as my EF is not about to become available. Your second cast of EF becomes available at around 14-15 seconds remaining on your FO window. You get a third cast of EF during this window at 3-4 seconds remaining on FO’s duration.
Q. Talent changes?
There are no talent changes.
Q. Is RJW required to play SiT?
The easy answer is no, not at all. To understand why RJW is not as great in providing CDR you have to understand how the healing of this spell works. RJW has all of its instances of healing tick at the same time. So even though there are 6 instances of healing occurring, you can only benefit from 1 of the crit instances from the healing. Due to this RJW can help provide a bit more consistency but it in no means carries the amount of CDR provided by SiT.
Q. Can I still play RJW as Venthyr?
Yes! When used correctly and on the right encounters it is still an extremely powerful tool. However, your decision making on whether to run it or not should be about having external mana available via Innervates and the damage profile of the encounter. Your covenant does not dictate whether you run RJW or not.
Soulbind and Conduit
Q. Which Soulbind should I use?
Far and away the best Soulbind in the game for Monks is Theotar. This soulbind provides Mistweavers with 3 potency conduit options and in a raid setting an incredibly powerful soulbind ability in Token of Appreciation.
In a mythic+ situation you would diverge towards Wasteland Propriety. In 5 man situations you wont get a ton of value from Token of Appreciation and Wasteland Propriety will have pretty good uptime and help contribute to the groups overall success via added versatility.
Q. What Conduits should I run?
For an in depth look at conduits please check this guide as it is accurate for Venthyr Monk in 9.1.5.
Q. Should I use SCK in single target for more instances of crit?
SCK works the same way RJW does, where all the instances of crit happen at the same time. SCK breaks down to 4 events over 1 GCD. This results in 2 CDR events for 1 SCK cast. So, in raid it does not provide a significant increase of crit over the standard single target rotation with TP, RSK, and BoK. This is because your healing events will carry the majority of the CDR and SCK will only add a minimal amount of instances while sacrificing damage. Using SCK, in mythic+, over the standard single target rotation can provide more significant CDR instances because you will have less healing events ticking in 5 man content.
Q. Does FO interact with our Celestials?
Q. Does EnvM from FO work with Rising Mist?
Q. Does FO monks benefit from mist wrap?
No. This interactions was removed in 9.2.
Q. Does FO monks benefit from our 4set?
Yes. All of their events are boosted by 450 while you’re still in the rune.