Post new topic   Reply to topic    Always Faithful Forum Index -> Tank Talk
View previous topic :: View next topic  
In-Game Rank 7

Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 8

Send private message
Reply with quote

re: I took out the math you're welcome Dave


Monastic shenanagins 


Despite what it may seem monks are a class of counters. By counters I mean you essentially need to have something ready to prevent or bounce back from any damage you take, lest you risk being in execute range. 


Before I go into this I'd like to explain the way monk tanks work. 


We are a low health, low armor, avoidance based tank. Now what the fuck do these words I stole/made up mean? 


Low health: during heroic progression I have about 700k health which is ~30% less than my plate and furry counterparts. As a tank health is essentially margin of error the more health you have the longer you have before you're dead/start freaking out.


Low armor: again as a monk I have about 46% less armor rating and ~30% less overall armor value than my non monk counter parts. 


Avoidance tank: a tank who relies primarily on stats that push hits off the combat table e.g dodge and parry. The original avoidance tank was the druid. The idea behind druid tanks was to rely on dodge to avoid a decent amount of attacks, and have a large health pool to allow healers time to react to bad dodge RNG without the druid being globaled.


Another important thing to understand is how monk cooldowns work. We have our two big boys fort brew and our tier 75 talent. Fort brew is stupidly broken, I cannot remember the last time I have died while under the effects of it. (To see why it's broken read my other monk post that describes single source cooldown values). As a cooldown it provides the highest physical damage reduction of any cooldown in the game. Next is our tier 75 which is almost always diffuse magic surprise surprise it's also the strongest magical cooldown in the game. The other thing you'll notice about these cooldowns is they're long as fuck. But that's actually a good thing. Say what? Most fights in siege of orgrimar are between 6-9 minutes long.(garrosh doesn't count). This means you will more than likely only be able to use fort brew two possibly 3 times per encounter. This makes it very easy from a planning perspective to decide what are the 2 times where I am most likely to get fucked up by this boss? The same is true for diffuse magic and dampen harm. Unlike other tanks monks don't really have backup "oh shit" cooldowns typically we have our CDs pre delegated to specific mechanics. We play much in the same way all other tanks approach heroic siegecrafter. We figure out what cooldowns we need when and hold them for that specific time. So on most encounters I play like I don't have CDs because I've already assigned them. So there are two questions that stem from this first being "what the fuck do I do when it's not dc popping time?" And "what about when shit gets real and I need a cd?"

To the first one ill cover that later in the counters section to the second, the answer depends. If you trust your healers (lolnope) you call for an external, if you don't you pop your cd then and there and let them know in advance when you will need an external to cover the cd you already used.



So counters. This is disjointed as fuck but whatever. Like I said above monks are a class of counters. We need to have a response to everything or we risk being globaled because we have a relatively low health pool and base mitigation. There are two types of counters there are mechanics counters and melee counters we can start with melees. So on a warrior you can face tank ~ 8-12 boss melee swings without doing anything at all before dying monks could get away with 2-3. However warriors have fewer responses to said melee swings than monks do. So when tanking a boss you always need to be able to know the answer to "what is my answer to the next unavoided melee swing?". Because of our low health pool 2 unavoided melee swings in succession puts us in execute range for most bosses. 


The counters


These are the normal most often used responses to substantial melee damage, and the factors that alter their throughput, or set them apart.


Expel harm: Scales with vengeance. Generates chi. On gcd. No cooldown below 35% health. 40 energy cost.


Chi wave: Scales with vengeance (scales slightly better with vengeance than expel but has lower base snap healing). Can heal you either 3 or 4 times depending on target. Acts like a hot. Tick rate dependant on travel time I.e distance. On gcd. Healing acts much like cenarion ward. If there is no appropriate target to bounce off spell will cease.


Gift of the ox: fucking gangster as shit. Collects in pools on either side of you. Throughput is dependant upon both time and vengeance, the longer you generate orbs without consuming them the more healing you can stockpile. Activation doesn't require a gcd merely that you move yourself over them. Highest potential throughput (pretty much lay on hands if used right).


Alright that's how this shit works, now here is how each one shines in certain scenarios. Note this is purely from a defensive perspective with no offensive considerations. 


Expel harm. Typically I use this spell between 60-80% health, or when I quickly gain a high stagger. Typically when you need to purify stagger you will also have just taken a fuckton of damage. This spell is a great way to kill two birds with one stone by both healing you and generating the chi you need to purify. I have this spell bound twice, one normally and once a macro that casts a purifying brew at the same time bound to my middle mouse. Being able to quickly do both of these at the same time will save your life. Expel harm is a great maintanance tool for your health but it doesn't provide amazing snap throughput, it's good to keep you in the safe zone but if it doesn't crit I wouldn't rely on it to save me when shit gets real. 

Final verdict: use it to keep shit from getting real, not so much when it actually is real.


Chi wave. The best use I've found for this spell is also at around 60-80% health, but with a caveat. That caveat being that I'm about to take some pretty decent damage in the next couple seconds. So the idea being the first tick tops me off and the subsequent ticks help me recover from the damage I'm about to take. Since monks don't quite have the cooldowns to cover every stack of a debuff, usually you have to face tank the first one. Chi wave is a perfect preventative and recovery tool for that first stack. I also have my chi wave macroed with a control modifier that causes it to target myself when pressing control, and the boss when not. Since chi wave bounces seven times you will either get 3 or 4 ticks of healing or damage respectively. So when face tanking that first stack if I'm not topped off I will target myself first if not ill target the boss so that by the time it bounces back I've already taken the tank swap stack damage. Another good use for chi wave is in conjunction with expel harm to get back to full health from decently low. So at about 40-50% health I'd do something like this. Self target chi wave into an expel harm and let those two with passive heals bring you back up safely.


Gift of the ox orbs. These guys are interesting because their usage depends on the fight. So these things generate randomly on your melee white swings independent of critical strikes based solely on your swing timer. These snapshot your vengeance and attack power buffs, which is nice but it makes it difficult to visually discern how much healing you actually have on tap. The other problem with these spheres is they don't follow you around, so in a fight like dark shamans you'll have to use them much differently than you would a fight like malkorok. So in a malkorok scenario where you'll be in the same general area the entire time I treat gift of the ox orbs like a two charge system similar to shield block. This is because the orbs will accumulate in two piles adjacent to you. So essentially I'd use the left pile first then the next time I needed them I'd use the right pile etc. In cases like this I tend to view these two charges as lay on hands, because for the most part each pile of orbs will be enough healing to heal more than the entirety of your health when you strafe into it. In these cases you should use them accordingly as oh shit heals that can quickly bring you back from the brink. You can also use the more recently consumed pile as a stabilizing supplement to your 15 second cooldown heals. On kite fights like dark shamans or spoils, you should prioritize using these orbs immediately because you will not have access to them later so therefore you should use them like expel harm as small stabilizing heals.  There are many other clever uses of these orbs but those can only come through practice. Proper use of gift of the ox is the most difficult part of brewmaster tanking, and as such is the hallmark of great brewmasters. 


Being 3 steps ahead.


As a brewmaster your death should never come as a surprise. In the time between you realizing you're going to die and being dead you should be able to draw up a will and do your entire bucket list. You should recognize when you're out of tricks up your sleeve, and thus a paper tank in leather armor. If you don't have an answer to "what will I do in response to this melee swing/boss mechanic?" And the tank swap is far away, you're dead. Well you're not really dead. Because there are these things called healers. If you at any point realize you are out of or going to be out of CDs or heals, tell the healers. They can toss you an external or just focus heal you. Having a healer focus healing you is stupidly powerful this expansion pretty much nothing but a 1shot can bring you down with a healer chain casting their flash heal on you. Now usually if you're out of tricks and the boss is still punching you, either you fucked up or the other tank did.(Or in the case of challenge modes the dps fucked up and everything should already be dead.)



So let's apply the principle of counters to challenge modes. In challenge modes the idea of counters is applicable to most mobs in challenge modes as most of them have an ability that makes them dangerous. So you can view each trash pack as an interval of time. That interval will determine the number of times you will be able to use your defensive abilities and the number of times each mob will be able to use their dangerous ability. Since their offensive abilities are typically on a shorter cooldown than your defensive abilities, simple ratio properties tell us the shorter the time the more in our favor an encounter is. Another important consideration for the use of counters is to get the maximum effect out of them. So most notably you want to get as many enemy casts into a single diffuse magic as possible, therefore leaving your other counters for subsequent casts and getting you the most vengeance safely. This means that using your interrupt during diffuse magic is a waste on two counts. Spreading out your defensive cooldowns and interrupts gives you the largest window of time in which you are taking non spiky damage. 


The best defense is a good offense.


Vengeance is paramount to survival in challenge modes. Vengeance makes your heals actually useful, your guards brokenly OP, and allow you to drastically shorten the time the mobs are alive. Therefore it is always better to be taking survivable damage than not taking any damage because the mobs are aoe stunned. However, aoe stuns can allow you to preserve ridiculously high vengeance by not allowing the mobs to decay it.  An important portion of surviving challenge modes is effective use of guard. Going off of that the only way guard is useful is if you have decent vengeance. Guard is sort of a get out of jail free card that you can sit on until you need it/ have vengeance for it. Talking about this is kinda weird and abstract so let me illustrate what I'm getting at with what I'd call a perfect pull of my least favorite trash pack, the evangelist pack in scarlet halls.


To preface the pack consists of 4 casters. 2 evangelists whose casts hit for around 250-300k. And 2 evokers whose casts hit for about 100k.  And a couple melee that tend to just consistently hit semi hard.


So ideally from a semi defensive perspective you'll want to have rjw rolling and open with clash stunning all of them for a moment or two. Then keg smash breath of fire during the stun. Once the stun expires pop fort brew and have another rjw rolling. At this point all the casters should be casting, you'll want to pop diffuse magic as near to the end of their casts as you can (in case a trigger happy druid decides to typhoon. That diffuse magic should eat all 4 casts. After that you'll still want a heal to bring you back up from the casts and the melee swings without shuffle you've been taking. However at this point you're home free. You have a fuckton of vengeance and can therefore pop an emergency guard whenever you need it. You also still have your big boy aoe stun as another stop gap should you get low. From this point onward your job is to keep the mobs in a tight aoe able group, ensuring that 2 holy fires don't go off at the same time, and putting out as much damage as you can. 


The biggest mistake I see brewmasters make is playing reactively on the opener. The thing they fail to realize is when they are or are not in danger. In the opener all the mobs will use their most dangerous abilities and all of their swing timers will be synced. So running in there like Johnny badass trying to hold their cooldowns to use reactively and play offensively to start is counterproductive. At that point you've gotten behind on the damage, wasted your CDs, and will have to spend the rest of the trash pack playing defensively. Recognizing when damage is or isn't happening and when it's coming is critical in challenge modes. For example, when any mob is casting, it is doing no damage to you for a solid 3 seconds. So in caster heavy packs like the evangelist, your goal isn't to keep up shuffle, but to ensure you have enough health/a cd for when the cast ends. This idea of casters doing no damage while casting is important to understand when you need to play defensively. Basically you can render a mob entirely ineffective for the entirety of a pull. Taking the evangelist for example it spends 3 second casting it's only dangerous ability. Therefore kicking them gives you 9 seconds of that caster doing absolutely nothing. Add an Los you get another 6 seconds plus travel time. Compound that with a leg sweep you've got another six, and then another 9 from diffuse magic. By chaining these things together you have given yourself more than enough time where in the most dangerous mob in a pack 


Posts from:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Always Faithful Forum Index -> Tank Talk All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum