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.
Leveling and End game Monk's play very differently, Breath of Fire is hardly if at all used in end game, Using Chi to DPS is just meh kinda like using Maul without a tooth and claw.
When you pull there is no choice. You put shuffle up. As a monk tank you have shuffle up all the time. if you don't have shuffle up you are doing it wrong. Shuffle isn't savage defence, it's bear form. You don't tank as a monk without shuffle being up, kinda like you don't leave your house without putting on some clothes. Shuffle isn't Just extra Parry its extra staggered damage which pretty much works like EH. Just keep Shuffle up
You cannot keep Guard up whilst tanking anything non-trivial, and you really shouldn't. Guard is more akin to Might of Ursoc; it's your primary oh shit button and sure you can use it strategically to counter mechanics but when the shit hits the fan Guard is what you should reach for, its something rediculous like a 200-400k shield on current content. This is nothing like a paladin's Sacred shield, which they want up 100% of the time, making Sacred shield more akin to shuffle, if sacred shield was the most important part of the Pally rotation. Guard is also off the GCD.
Your Opening should generally be about generating as much SHuffle uptime as possible before you rack up large enough staggers to purify. At low haste levels <~15 Energy Per second you want to use Power strikes, which makes it very easy to open as you can KS>BoK>Jab>Bok which leaves you with 8 seconds of shuffle and >40 energy.
Purifying Brew is Off the GCD, and you generally aren't going to have enough Chi to PB every couple of seconds and even if you did you wouldn't want to anyway. You want to get hit and expertise capped and then a lot of Haste, about 9k @90, enough that you're GCD capped after that your left with either going crit, which is Threat and TDR, or Mastery which is smoothness and EH. Mastery has some weird scaling issues for monks because it doesn't have a DR yet is a scaling percentage reduction, so as you get more mastery mastery becomes more valuable.
Last edited by Tengenstein; 07-05-2013 at 02:27 PM.
Makes sense, thank you. I don't ever let Shuffle fall off, unless I get stunned mid-opening sequence. I like the analogy of making it akin to bear form. Right now Guard is holding up for the full 30 seconds unless I pull a whole pack of dungeon level mobs on myself -- and even then it holds out long enough to get ~20 seconds of Shuffle up. I did notice that we have less emergency buttons, and I was wondering about whether switching it out later would be the case once I get Purifying Brew, but it's the only other damage reducer I have right now.
As far as AoE damage/threat goes, I'd figured that BoF should be fit in there somewhere because it's the monk's only AoE dot (similar to Thrash). Would you recommend once you have over 15 seconds of Shuffle, just hitting Spinning Crane Kick to keep aggro, then?
Monks are probably the highest DPS Tanks right now, maybe tied with paladins, and due to Keg Smash have insane snap aggro (something pallies don't really have) so keeping aggro is never really a problem. Using SCK over Jab is a DPS boost and should replace Jab on 3+ targets but unless it's an AoE pickup and KS is on CD, its rarely if ever a case of "if i don't SCK i will lose aggro". I don't think i have BoF on my bars, tab BoKing seems to provide the same DPS and i don't have to worry about Clipping the dot or keeping tabs on whether its immune to Dizzying Haze and i get extra survivability;Easier rotation, better DPS, Better Survivabilty.
I recommend doing your single target rotation and just substituting Jab for SCK on 3 or more targets. SCK doesn't cost Chi so how long you have left on shuffle is irrelevant.