Monk Question: Guard, Turn, Parry, Ha, Thrust?
This is for all of you monk tanks out there. Now that it's been several months, what's your muscle memory like?
I'm finally raising my monk tank up to at least 85, since that's one of the last two things we need for the Classy Guildies achievement. But I digress.
Monks feel like a hybrid of pally tanking + druid tanking to me. When you start a pull, there's a choice of:
a) Shuffle first -- ups your pally chance, but takes your first two Chi, which means that you have more time before you get Guard up, plus increases your Stagger amount
b) Guard first -- lowers your damage intake while you're setting up your first Shuffle, but at the cost of a lower Guard shield total and getting hit more often while you're doing it.
c) Crackling Jade Lightning/Spinning Crane Kick + Breath of Fire first -- to establish aggro before you put up defenses.
Since I'm only level 63 at the moment, I don't have Purifying Brew yet.
What makes sense to me is to put up Shuffle first, similar to putting up Savage Defense -- it's a static 'avoid incoming damage' move. Then it's four more GCDs (Jab, Jab, Tiger Palm, Guard) to get Guard up, and by then I should have gotten hit enough to have a higher overall Guard due to Vengeance.
However, 4 GCDs is the 6 seconds it takes for that first Shuffle to fall off, which means I've got to put together 2 more Chi to put it back up, but at least my next Keg Smash is about to come up, making the sequence:
Keg Smash, Blackout Kick, Jab, Jab, Tiger Palm, Guard, Keg Smash, Blackout Kick.
Guard first puts up a somewhat weak Guard (starting from low Vengeance), but handles both magic and physical damage (and can be glyphed for _only_ magic damage). The big drawback of this is that Guard has a 30 second cooldown, so if you take more damage than the shield bubble, you're stuck until it comes off cooldown.
As I understand it, later on you want to save Guard for right after you get whomped hard, making it similar to the paladin Sacred Shield rather than treating it like it's Shield of the Righteous on a long cooldown, and Purifying Brew and Expel Harm become the new Frenzied Regen-style button -- which seems to imply stacking Mastery to get a higher amount pushed off into Stagger, which you can just Purify off every other GCD that you don't need for re-applying Shuffle.
Sound about right?