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Question regarding monk tanking

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As of last sunday I dinged level 90. I was looking forward to tanking so I specced into brewmaster straight away. I looked at the guides on the site regarding tanking and felt that I knew all I needed to know. Was I surprised...

Bosses weren't the problem. It was the trash packs, I take so much damage that healers have a lot of trouble keeping me up. I know that after dinging recently and queuing right away as tank I wasn't going to optimum route but I wasn't expecting the damage to be this bad.

What is the most important ability to get going on the pull? I open up with Keg Smash and getting Blackout Kick up as soon as possible, after this I get the Tiger Palm going to three stacks (using Jab inbetween) to get Guard up as soon as possible. By this time I've already taken at least 60% of damage, which I feel is way too much. What am I forgetting? I usually have to use Fortifying Brew and other cooldowns at this time to at least be able to stay up.

Any pointers? I would link my armory page but the silly thing isn't updating.

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Greetings!

I've been playing the Brewmaster throughout beta, and now in live since week 1, so I'll give you my 2cents to take or leave. From my experience, the largest detriment to our tanking trash packs occur at two places: 1) heavy magic dmg, and 2) when stunned. For the first, say, the packs leading to the last boss of Shado Pan, I tend to flip to the Glyph of Gaurd because it gives a little extra protection at those crucial times. The second, I've learned to know which packs are going to stunlock me (e.g. dogs in Palace or the DW melee in SM), and be sure to have a fully charged guard up asap from the pull.

Beyond these two pieces, healers are still getting used to keeping us alive vs. healing other tanks, and I have found that constant small amounts of healing go a lot further in keeping me alive than someone spot-healing me directly. This is not really your fault as a tank, and will vary depending on who is healing you.

Finally, to get at your question...the most important ability will depend on the pull like I described above. What you need to remember is to use ALL of your unique abilities to their fullest in order to help staying alive. For instance, abilities like roll, clash, leg sweep, and transcendence provide an incredible amount of survivability on trash packs. Try this combo out next time you're pulling a large pack and need to keep them locked down: Keg Smash, Breath (glyphed for the second of disorientation), Backward roll (yes, you can do it), Clash. This will generate a big amount of threat, but the backward roll+clash immediately afterwards will put you JUST at minimum clash range and the mob will not "meet" you far enough away from the pack, so they will all be stunned. Follow that up with a leg sweep, and most of it should be dead if your DPS doesn't suck. Another fun one is to use Transcendance to LoS packs or put distance between you and them. In Shado-pan, for instance, I'll set transcendance at one end of the bridges then pull, keg smash, transfer, and give my healer a solid 5-10 seconds to top off whatever dmg they need to. Finally, Xuen is incredibly strong for heroics, and I have pulled full packs before sicking him on the boss, and everything goes totally smoothly.

Other tips on abilities to prioritize: Can't stress enough the need to use blackout kick or jade wind to keep up shuffle as much as you can (impossible to keep it up 24/7, but it will help more than you think). Also, I would not recommend popping guard just because it is up and flashing, but instead stagger the CD uses to have "something" always going rather it is gaurd, elusive brew, or some other CD you feel you need. Popping everything at one time doesn't seem to get me very far. Finally finally, Grapple weapon is a great boost of protection on trash packs if you have the extra GCD, especially at low ilevels due to the buff, and Expel harm is a very big help.

I am positive that I'm forgetting something, but these are some tips that work for me...monks are mobile tanks (I'd argue the most so), and to not utilize this set of abilities is gimping yourself.

~B

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Thank you for the information, I will be putting this to use once I get a little more gear :)

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No problem! Feel free to message or post with any more monkish questions :)

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If shuffle is running off and I don't have chi to refresh shuffle I pop elusive brew even at 5 stacks this makes up for that time when shuffle is off or I need chi for something else.

If you use Chi Brew talent use it often and early, I find it best after I get very low energy from a Keg Smash, Blackout, jab, jab, Blackout or Guard. Im low energy and I can get Guard or 2 Blackout kicks in which takes shuffle time pretty high.

I love the glyph of Guard, allows 100% uptime vs physical attacks and allows 30% healing increase while up. This effects you healing spheres. So if you get a large group once guard is up just spin kick and move around a bunch to pick up as many healing spheres as you can. This will also help tons with spell casters in groups.

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@Krykey - I was under the impression that the Glyph of Guard removes the ability to absorb physical damage:

"Increases the amount your Guard absorbs by 10%, but your Guard can only absorb magical damage." (http://www.wowpedia.org/Glyph_of_Guard - I can't get to WoWHead/WoWDB at work.)

Edit: Evidently I had selective reading comprehension - your justification makes perfect sense to me now. Derp.

@Bently - Your post gave me some new ideas on how to utilize abilities I hadn't been using at all. (Specifically the backwards roll to Clash.)

Has it been decided whether or not Brewmasters should be dual-wielding vs. 2H? I prefer 2H because it's one swing with less of a chance of being parried/dodged/missing, but if hit/exp are maxed anyway it shouldn't make that much difference.

Edited by Xiashen

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I have read that it is 6 of 1, half dozen of another when it comes to 1H vs. 2H depending on ilevel. That said, I prefer 1H because it provides a much smoother (not more, but more reliable) stacking for elusive brew. I also just really enjoy the idea of DW tanking, but that is mostly a personal preference. It will likely come down to ilevel and stat weight when you have to choose, and like you said, so long as you stay at hit/exp cap then you're likely just fine with either one.

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