We are still on Horridon. We’ve progressed to the fourth door twice now, but the third door with the Frozen Warlords is still messy. The issue of my health dropping, and taking a lot of spike damage from the Mortal Strikes was brought to my attention. I looked at my stats and wondered to myself “How?” How could I fix it? How was it happening? What was I doing wrong. Couple that with a bad week in real life and I was at a low point. What could I do? I already veer away from Ask Mr Robot as his stat weights are different to what I use (I cap Expertise and hit regardless of what he says.)
So this drove me to mmo-champion, where I got a significant amount of help! People were very willing to give me criticism, and suggest areas in my rotation and stat priority that I could improve on/change. The crux of the issue was, however, that I was stacking far too much Stamina.
Now, I’ll explain to you all why I was stacking stamina. My raid leader/healers. Now that I have regemmed/forged and enchanted, without raid buffs I am about 470k HP… almost 200k below my Paladin offtank. When this issue first arose, we were doing Will of the Emperor and I was getting blown to pieces, so I stacked a bit more stamina. However, now that I have a much greater understanding of the way my class works/mitigates damage, I no longer have the need for that much health, however I was always urged to get more because I was so much lower than my offtank.
Of course the thing is… we as Monk tanks are always going to be low on health in comparison to other tanking classes. It’s the nature of the way we are. The way I like to explain it to people is we are not a high mitigation tank, we are first and foremost… an avoidance tank. Stat priorities of haste and crit being at the forefront of our spec. Haste for quicker energy regen and attack speed, more attacks = more gifts of the ox to heal yourself. The more crit we have the more white hit crits we get which means more stacks of elusive brew. However, the only thing that healers and my raid leader seem to see at one point or another is their perception of my lack of health.
But I digress, I changed everything around, and we went in to do horridon. It was after these changes that we made it through to the fourth door. I also have to note that I was pulled up by an mmo post that asked if I was falling into the trap of dps’ing as opposed to tanking, and it’s true. On horridon, I solely tank adds (pally offtank can solo tank horridon becuase of Hand of Protection) so of course, the instant we had all the adds together, I was just using Keg Smash, SCK, and BoF… I was forgetting black out kick, and rushing jade wind, at a crucial time of high damage. Because I was so focussed on getting the adds down.
So I have to keep telling myself “Just because you can do a lot of damage, doesn’t mean you should.” Because in all honesty, what’s the point of me doing 100k dps, if I die before the fight is over? If I die, it’s almost always a wipe, the adds go banans and start running over our dps and healers like they don’t even matter. So I’ve had to train myself to go back to my basic rotation, stop trying to be fancy, and just concentrate on what’s in front of me.
What’s in front of me is usually a lot of floating health bars, green, red, yellow and white text, with intermittent spell flash warnings! It’s chaos, but the point of the Horridon fight is to make that chaos, organised.
So we will be doing Jihn’Rok and Horridon again on Sunday and Monday, hopefully getting the fat triceratops down. I’m going to miss two weeks of raiding due to a trip, and I kinda want to see him go down before I go away!
On a semi-related note, I still hate LFR. In fact I hate it even more since the invention/introduction of Durumu in “halls of the flesh shaper” however, my hatred of that boss, was dwarfed today by sheer and unadulterated rage towards the loot system. I have been using bonus rolls on Horridon LFR for the last however long the damn things been out, and gotten nothing. I just want the weapon, is that too much to ask? So anyway, here I am in the halls of the flesh shaper, we down Dark Animus, and what does Blizz award me…
The. One. Handed. Mace.
What the hell am I going to do with that?! Do I look like I have another one hander to go with it? Do I look like I even use one handers at all. The only other one hander I have is the fist weapon off Spiritbinder, and it’s the LFR version.
So here I am, in a bit of a bind. I have my polearm from the spirit kings 10m Normal, upgraded one level to 493. I have my 502 one handed mace, and my LFR fist weapon. What on earth do I do? And has ANYone got any idea what is going on with hit rating in regards to Dual Wielding? I am hit capped, but when I switch to DW it says that my normal attacks have up to a 19% chance to miss on a 93 elite boss… what the?
So now I’m going to spend a long time running Heart of Fear: The Nightmare of Shek’zeer, to see if she’ll drop her fist weapon, so that I can put my sha-touched gem in it, and see if that makes any difference to anything I’m doing currently. My grievance with this is two fold:
1) HoF LFR… *stabs eyes out*
2) Having to fork out cash for two x Weapon enchants, on weapons I may not even end up using, but need to enchants on to do any kind of comparisons on.
If you ever find yourself bored on a Saturday, this is one of the easiest Achievements to get. All it requires is to run these specific Scenarios on a Saturday. You don’t even have to do them all in one Saturday!
It’s a lot of fun, and quite an amusing title to go with it!
Onto the Monk stuff!
One of the first things that I came upon very quickly in my quest to better myself as a Brewmaster Monk tank happened within the first 40 or so levels. I found myself scrounging around for gear that had dodge on it, channeling my days as a bear tank. Mind you, I hadn’t tanked as a bear since SSC in the Burning Crusade days. But my mind was telling me “Dodge is important for a tank, your warrior uses it, your DK uses it, your bear used to use it” So when I came upon the realisation after much theory crafting, that the stat priority for a Monk tank doesn’t even INVOLVE dodge (it all comes passively from your agility of course) my brain kinda twitched and I puzzled over it for some time.
It wasn’t until level 90 that I realise the need for the stat priority that a Brewmaster monk uses.
Stamina > Agility > Expertise (15%) > Melee Hit (7.5%) > Crit >= Haste > Parry > Dodge > Mastery
The necessity for Crit and Haste is easily explained, once you understand the mechanics of a brewmaster monk. Elusive brew is one of our BIGGEST physical mitigations. Elusive brew stacks are created by critical WHITE hits. So normal crit hits, not special ability hits. So the need for Crit strike, is upped by the need to have these stacks at our disposal when we have large incoming damage.
A perfect example of this is the last boss of Mogu’Shan vaults, The Will of the Emperor. The titanic constructs that get summoned hit the tanks like trucks, even if they’re managed to dodge the devastating strikes. This appears to be the case, because of the amount of time they don’t spend hitting the tank, doing the previously mentioned devastating strikes. I was finding that I was getting hit really hard, the the detriment of my healers. I changed some talents around, taking Dampen Harm over Diffuse Magic and taking out Glyph of Guard to get the physical damage absorb back, after needing the magic absorb for the previous boss Elegon. But of course this wasn’t enough. This is where haste and crit take part. Whilst the boss is doing his devastating combo, as a brewmaster tank you must hit the boss. It is imperative that you keep Shuffle up for your added parry bonus, regardless of the boss you are fighting. This comes from using blackout kick, and is an essential part of your rotation.
With the haste and the crit that you should have reforged into, you would by the end of devastating combo have about 9 stacks of elusive brew. You should throw in a tiger palm, which with your Brewmaster training will give you power guard. Upon completion of devastating combo, you should throw up your guard, hit the boss a few more times, and by this stage you should have 15 stacks of elusive brew, which you then use, to mitigate the large incoming hits from the boss, before you rinse and repeat during the next devastating combo.
Dampen Harm is used if you miss one of the devastating combo’s, to help your healers deal with the massive incoming damage, from the armour debuff you take if you get hit by the boss.
Fortifying brew is best saved for Titan Gas.
A monk tank has less “Oh shit buttons” than most classes, but can make up for that by absorbing a lot of damage with our guard ability. I find I take less damage than my paladin offtank, purely become of my absorbs. I have less armor than her, yes, but I absorb and dodge a lot more hits than she does. She can take large smacks to the face and laugh it off, I would get squished!
The key to playing a Brewmaster monk is knowing when to use what, and how effective that will be in a given situation.
If you have any questions regarding Brewmaster tanking, please don’t hesitate to ask me on twitter!
Have fun, feed your tanks and thank your healers! 🙂
~The Fat Furry Tank