Why Lightforged Draenei Should Be Able to Play Monks

This is ridiculous.

I just want to start with that statement, since arguing for what classes should be available to what races has always been a pointless endeavour in World of Warcraft. If I was a wise person, I’d let it rest and give in to the inevitability of playing what feels like my perfect race as a different class (I mean Sunnier and a race of hooved, big-horned, tattooed light people?!).

But I spent all of Blizzcon obnoxiously telling everyone who would listen about why I thought lightforged should be playable as monks, so I’m going to finish out with this little blog post and leave it at that. Worst comes to worst, I’ll continue as my vanilla-Draenei monk, or play a warrior as one of my mains in Battle for Azeroth, or convince my guild to become traitors to the Alliance so that I can live as the other love of my life — the hooved, antlered, tattooed/painted race of Highmountain Tauren.

Now, how much sense does it make for a holy race of aliens that we only just met to quickly learn the Pandaren arts of unarmed defense? If we go under the assumption that the monks in World of Warcraft can only arise after they meet a Pandaren, then sure, makes sense. But monks aren’t death knights or shaman. They don’t use a magic source unique to Azeroth, nor is their appearance limited to a very specific time and place. Monks punch stuff. They’re much more akin to warriors, which every race can play because anyone who picks up a sword and shield can be a warrior.

There’s also precedent. Not much, just one lone guy, but at least there is one example of draenei spontaneously learning how to punch stuff before ever meeting a Pandaren. That guy is Pitfighter Vaandaam. Yes, he’s a pop culture reference, but I’ll take what I can get. Pitfighter Vaandaam is a native Draenei you can find on alt!Draenor. You rescue him from the ogres, who had captured many similar gladiators. The guy clearly learned how to punch people on his own, as a mercenary brawler.

Screenshot from Wowhead.

Or it’s possible he remembers martial arts from something else, something Draenei have done for thousands of years in a highly ritualized sport called Jed’hin.

You might remember Jed’hin from one of the daily quests on Mac’Aree, where you take control of a ghostly warrior and use a selection of wrestling moves to take down your opponent. There’s even a whole arena of onlookers watching the match.

What is Jed’hin if not for a draenei martial art that could lead to an official monk class? It’s unarmed combat based on grapples, shoves, and, dare I say it, Guard.

I know that’s all a bit of a stretch, since Jed’hin is just a nod to a devoted fan, and a single non-pandaren-influenced draenei monk is little more than a fluke. I would love it just because I got extremely excited about new customization options only to learn that I couldn’t combine my favorite class with my favorite allied race. And as we can see with Demon Hunters, I have a history on changing mains simply for character customization.