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Often, when I have no idea what to write about, there's something that I can
steal adapt borrow steal from the guild forums.
Today, our content is courtesy of one of our new monk tanks, Flintpaw:
|So, let’s say you show up for your normal raid night only to find that your big, bad, armor-clad tank has been replaced by a cuddly panda monk - in purple leather armor, no less.
The first step you must take is one that should be familiar to gamers everywhere: Don’t Panic (Imagine those words are rendered in big friendly letters)
Next, you have to remember the tanking stance for monks is called Brewmaster, a la Jackie Chan in “Drunken Master.” You remember that movie, right? (Really? Wow. Seriously, you should rent it this weekend. It’s awesome.) As a result, monk tanks move more than other tanks. This can be disconcerting for melee DPS and healers who rely on circle of healing effects. Once again, I refer you to Step One: Don’t Panic!
Why do monk tanks have to move so much? Well, some say it’s because we’re so soused that we can’t even stand up straight - but that’s a dirty lie! Any Pandaren worth his stout can handle the booze. No, we move so much because a lot of our survival comes from these Healing Spheres that only the tank can see. (They’re like Pink Elekks - but with an 14k to 20k healing effect.)
Unfortunately, these lovely green gems of life spawn randomly around the monk tank. Sometimes, all it takes is a jump to the left. (Or a step to the ri-hi-hi-hi-hiiight.) Of course, sometimes a healing sphere will spawn right in a boss’ um … nether regions … which means the monk has to get right up in … shudder … well, you get the idea. In any event, if the monk wants to live, the monk must move.
And here our troubles begin.
Let’s say, for example, that I need to strafe to my right to grab a sphere. Once I do, another sphere drops – also to the right. Which means if I want to grab it, I take another step to the right. But then I might see that a sphere dropped to the left of where I was, so it’s back I go … and round and round and round.
“But Flint,” I hear the imaginary voice in my head ask, “do you REALLY need to grab that sphere? Is it worth it to disrupt the melee DPS and possibly waste the mana of your healer who has to cast yet another Circle of Healing, Healing Rain, etc?”
Well, imaginary head voice, let me ask you this: Would you be better off with a living tank or a dead one?
Yes, a good monk tank will try to minimize the movement so as not to leave the lovely circles of healing. A good monk will also try not to turn the boss. But if the choice is between getting the tank’s health back up after a nasty spell or letting the melee DPS get off a few more hits … well, I hope you realize what the priority is here. (No, Jazzi, that’s the wrong answer…)
What can be done to help minimize the loss of DPS and mana? Well, I suppose that depends on how responsive your group is. Perhaps your raid leader would prefer that you simply say “left” “left” “right” or something in Vent. Maybe your Vent has too much chatter and that won’t work. I don’t know – but I do know that while a good monk tank goes out of his or her way to avoid moving too much, a GREAT monk will make sure the raid is aware of this new style of tanking before pulling the first boss.
And if you don’t talk to your raid about monk tanks are, who will?
|Team Kaels had our first official raid last Friday night, in which we dealt handily with the Stone Guard, the first boss in Mogu’shan Vaults. We met back again on Tuesday and knocked the boss down again very quickly, giving us a nice chunk of time to work on Feng the Accursed. This fight takes a tank out of their comfort zone, and the phases are very different, but once you learn a phase it becomes much smoother. He died and coughed up some nice purples. We are working on Garajal the Spiritbinder next, this tier’s troll boss. This one seems to be a big dps and coordination check, so with our stellar dps we ought to be able to drop him in no time.
Once you get your item level up above 460 (headless horseman starts today, his rings should be able to help you) then you’re going to be able to queue for LFR. I’ve got a few LFR tips, if you’re interested. Be aware when you jump to normal mode that many of the mechanics have been nerfed to oblivion in LFR, so what you learn running in raidfinder may not be of any use and may be actively dangerous.
There are 6 bosses in Mogu’shan Vaults. The Stone Guard in LFR should initially be tanked apart so you don’t get 3 explosions going off at once, but after 20 seconds or so just gather the dogs in the center and let everybody nuke them. Move them occasionally to let the melee pack get out of nasty stuff.
Feng in LFR isn’t too bad. When he casts epicenter, run away from him until you see the ground stop shaking underneath him. If you’re a tank (you should have queued as dps, the queues are shorter) and you get the Nullification Barrier ability, try to use it when he casts Draw Flames. Drop the flames somewhere that people aren’t standing.
With Garajal, I’ve been able to just stand there doing my rotation on all the LFRs I’ve run. If you really feel like it you can drop to the spirit realm by interacting with one of the totems, then you’ll have 30 seconds to go to town on the adds. But it’s possible to beat this encounter on LFR without a single person porting to the spirit realm.
Spirit Kings is pretty fun and easy on LFR. It’s a nice idea to get out of the way of Flanking Orders, but you can survive not doing it if your healers like you. Use very mild AoE whenever you get the mind control effect, and please don’t cast anything that stuns or spreads dots during this time. Kill the arrows pinning people to the ground when they come out.
Elegon is very pretty. Switch targets when DBM tells you to. When the bowling balls start heading to the corners, try to kill them. Once the bowling balls stop appearing, get to the outside edge quickly. Kill the crackly lightning things, don’t stand in the lightning.
I have yet to join an LFR group on live that gets past Will of the Emperor. People have been having such an easy time with the previous encounters that they get all pouty when they can’t just stack up and mow these guys down. The encounter is really just a long gauntlet of adds. Your priority is going to be the Emperor’s Courage. They fixate and can be really annoying if they hit a healer. Emperor’s Strength is your next highest priority, then kill Emp’s Rage. Courage puts up a shield that reflects everything that hits him from the front, so hit him in the back. Rage can be crowd controlled in any way you choose – stuns and slows are very nice. After these guys are all down then you can dps on the biggest guys. The tanks should each take one of the biggest guys and pull them to near the staircases so that they don’t stomp on the ranged and healer pile, which should be standing in the circle in the center. When the room fills with gas, everyone gets a 25% damage buff (including the monsters) so that’s a good time to blow cooldowns.
|Team RubiPam will finally get going tonight (Thursday) in Mogu'shan Vaults on the Stone Guard - we have been slower to get started than Team Kaels for a variety of reasons - Thanael is out for few weeks for family reasons, and Flint has been levelling his monk from zero to 90, which took a while, and several of us have been a bit slower to gear up. But we are going to take a crack at it tonight! I have seen Flint's monk tank in action in a few heroics, and he is awesome - and Elu levelled his warrior to be a tank especially when we need one, so it should be fun. And we have the benefit of Team Kaels' experience on our forums, so that should help us enormously.
The Saturday Night Massacre (the now official name of the Sat night casual raid) has been going great - Pamena was unable to be there this past Saturday but I hear that several guildies went and took down the Sha of Anger again, so woot! We had wanted to try the Darkmoon Rabbit, but he wasn't there when I checked earlier in the evening, and his respawn time is very uncertain, so we will get him some other time. Meanwhile, we may just try to do world bosses every Saturday for a while, since they drop such great loot. And when we get enough folks at gear level 460 and above, I'd like to try a guild LFR also - I did my first one, with Rubidium, last night on Pamena, and it's a nice way to see the encounters, although as Nina says, probably you don't learn much that carries over to normal mode.
I hear a third raid team may try to form - great news and best of luck!
|Tab 8 Report:
Contender's Leather Shoulders, lvl 90 leather