World of Warcraft Monk Tanking: Tools of the Trade (Part 1)
Playing a Monk tank is challenging with all the protection spells and damage removal spells you need to keep active. In the next series of articles, I will be exploring the tools I use which help to make me a sucessful Monk Tank.
One of the best ways to keep your workload down and you survive-ability up, is to use Macros. A macro in World of Warcraft is a list of spells grouped together on one key designed to fire off in a specific order.
This is not, however, a tutorial on how to create macros. If you would like more information on the subject feel free to check out this link: WoW Basics: How To Make a Macro
Macros keep your workload down and your survive-ability up.
There is a temptation, however, and it is to try to put too many commands on one macro. Because boss fights are dynamic, however, you shouldn't try to put every spell you know in one macro. Doing so will cause glitches in your spell rotation. For, as we all know, sometimes a spell wont hit your target leave you wanting for chi for your next spell.
At one time, I would strive to do as much with one button as possible. I even tried my hand at Lua programing so I could have a one hit wonder button that I could spam throughout the entire fight. Even tho I found the macro would work okay most of the time, the macro would fail at the most critical moments.
One Hit wonder macros don't allow for changing dynamics in a fight.
However, without any macros, I would suffer the most horrendous damage spikes because I failed to remember to cast Guard or I didn't have enough chi to cast Blackout kick to keep my shuffle buff active. A compromise was clearly in order.
Here is my macro for keeping the essentials up at all times. However, it's not every damage mitigation spell in my arsenal. Some spells like Elusive brew are best used manually.
/castsequence reset=target/combat Tiger Palm,Tiger Palm,Tiger Palm,Tiger Palm
/castsequence reset=1 Keg Smash,Zen Sphere
/use Chi Brew
This macro can save your Healer's sanity.
I use this macro in the beginning of the fight to apply Guard, Zen Sphere and Keg Smash for 2 chi. It also applies the 30% Armor ignore from Tiger Palm. After you get your 2 chi, use Blackout Kick to apply shuffle. Then use jab to build some more chi so you can use Blackout Kick again and keep your shuffle up.
I also use this macro as a filler when I have no energy to build chi and no chi to use. This is because Tiger Palm is a resource free hit with no extended cooldown.
When using this macro, spam the hell out of it as it takes advantage of cooldowns of other spells.
For example, if Keg Smash won't fire off because the spell is on it's 8 second cooldown, the macro will fire off guard if it's available. Or, if Guard is also not ready, the macro will fire off Chi Brew which will help to build your stacks of Elusive Brew.
This Macro will greatly reduce the number of things you must remember to do in a fight to survive damage spikes and save your healer's sanity.
In my next article I will explore the addons I use to help keep track of what is happening during a fight.