Friday, April 6, 2012

6 Things Every Monk Should Do (6-4)

As promised last time, here's a list of the 6 things every monk should make sure they know how and when to do regardless of specialization to make themselves well liked and better companions in dungeons, raids, arenas, and battlegrounds. And yes, the list is now 6, because I just love you all so much I added an extra one. This article quickly grew larger than I had anticipated, so instead I'm making it into two articles - numbers 6-4 are here, 3-1 will be up in a later article. (Possibly later today, since it's mostly written, but this is a pretty big wall of text right now.)

(Information in this post is based on the current Beta information on WoWHead and might be subject to change at any moment, especially before Mists of Pandaria goes live. I'll be posting an updated version when it does go live to bring things up to speed - this post assumes that the abilities I discuss here enter the game largely unchanged. Also, while I will touch on PVP in some cases, the nature of PVP is that it's a highly volatile and constantly shifting environment and much harder to apply general advice to, so this will focus a bit on on PVE - an article focusing on PVP abilities exclusively will be forthcoming, as will one with some advice that is only meant for PVE.)

6) Learn How We Roll

The ability Roll that monks will be getting is one that I'm particularly interested in. From the initial video it looks like it functions something akin to a Mage's Blink spell, being usable to hop forward quickly, but friends I have in my guild/know in person who have played the class report that it seems to work more like charge - unless you're already in melee with the opponent, at which point it takes you behind the enemy but doesn't turn you around. Only some times it does work like blink. Only when it doesn't. So right now the ability seems to be buggy and unreliable or is constantly changing in each build - so the analogy to blink works either way (ask a Mage if you don't get this joke.) Regardless of how it ends up working, practice with it. Get used to the distance it carries you, how it responds in different situations. Practice it as often as you can while soloing. (Not that I need to tell you to do this. I imagine 90% of monks will roll every chance they get while moving around just because they can. Or maybe that will just be me. But I expect to see tons of rolling members of every race besides Goblins and Worgen tumbling around Orgrimmar and Stormwind.)

See, the good thing about this ability is that it will likely be a great positioning mechanic - for DPS, it gets you behind the boss, for tanks, it gets you too the boss, for all specs, it will help get you out of fire or lava or acid or dark circles or whatever other nasty things the true evil of WoW, the ground, is covered with at that particular moment that you shouldn't be standing in. If the healer puts an AOE on the ground you should be standing in, or the DK puts down an Anti-Magic Zone, it will help you get into it. If adds spawn, it will help you get too/away from them. In PVP...well, if you've gone up against a blinking mage or a warrior with Warbringer, you know what it can do in PVP.

The bad news is that it sounds like it will carry you a fixed distance. That means that you run a high risk of rolling INTO fire, into a pack of uncleared trash, into adds, directly INTO the bosses cleave - if you don't know how it will move you, it could make things worse. Now, if it functions like Charge, you have less of a problem - it just takes you towards what you're targeting - but if it functions like Blink, you have to get used to where this spell will take you to make sure you're using it properly and well. (Improper use of roll in PVP will be less of a problem, since doing it wrong will typically just mean you die, but if you're a healer and you accidentally roll away form the Flag Carrier or you're defending the Lumber Mill and accidentally roll off the edge, you run a high risk of hurting your team or looking like a moron as you fall to your death.

So roll on everything when you're solo, and learn when you should roll when you're not. (This applies to loot as well, actually, but that has nothing to do with this ability).

5) We Have a Dispel. Use It (When you Should).

Pretty much every blogger that writes about more than just a healing spec begs members of their class to use any dispel they have, so I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon early. As of the current build, Detox gets rid of Bleeds and Poisons. Besides the fact that it'll make monks the new "most hated class to fight against" for rogues and feral druids, dispels that work on bleeds are few and far between - and while mobs that cause bleeds are just as rare, the ones that do are typically fairly nasty. If you're the tank, make sure to watch out for poisons and bleeds on yourself and keep this ability on your hot bar. If you're the healer, then you know to watch for things that need to be dispelled - and if you don't, you should probably start, since it'll make your life easier and everyone else's life longer. If your the DPS, dispelling when you see it - even if it's only on yourself, but preferably on everyone - makes life much easier for the healer and the tank, and if their life is easier, they are less likely to die die, and if they don't die, you are more likely to not die too.

Yes, you will spend a GCD to do so, and it will mean a reduction for your overall DPS, but if the group is complaining about your DPS being too low because you're making life easier for the healer and tank, odds are the only people complaining are the other 2 DPS members and the tank and healer will thank you (unless they're jerks, and anyone who pretends Tanks and Healers are any less or more prone to being jerks than DPS is either a liar or a self-important tank or healer.)

However, the "When you Should" caveat is important. If the fight is a straight DPS race to get the boss down before he enrages/builds up too many stacks of "Nasty Death" on the tank or other timer, then only the healer and tank should worry about dispelling - and even then, the tank should communicate to see if the healer is okay with the tank leaving dispels to the sole domain of healers, so the tank can add that little extra DPS he would spend debuffing. If no one else can dispel bleeds or poisons and it's a DPS race, ask - typically, the group will want you to just focus on punching until it goes down, but there will be exceptions. More important than that, however, there are times where debuffs should not be dispelled, especially poisons. Learn which ones need to stay on, and double check, especially in any Troll-Themed instance, since they're big on beneficial poisons, and have been since Classic. Trolls like the voodoo, and apparently poisons can be good mojo.

For PVP, as previously touched on, this dispel will help make you the bane of rogues and kitty druids. Since those two groups are some of the most often "Hate those bastards" commented upon in PVP, up there with Paladins, and part of what makes them so nasty are bleeds and poisons, using this ability will help make them less of a nightmare for your team and be a source of endless amusement for you, especially if you're used to finding fights against them to be pretty much "Oh! Now I'm dead." Use it for your team, and use it for the luls.

4)  Learn To Use Our Toolbox Of Control Abilities

I bundled these four together, though I could probably (and will probably) write an article dedicated to all of them individually. However, what's important here is that you have control abilities - an interrupt/silence, a snare/root, a disarm, and a classic crowd control. With beta reports indicating that dungeons are much harder - in part due to current tank design, which I'm hoping will be fixed, and in part to the fact that early expansion heroics are kinda serious business until we start to outgearing them - knowing how to control is vital regardless of role. Here's some things to keep in mind:

With the exception of our disarm, these all require melee range (except for talented paralysis). For DPS and Tanks, this is not a huge problem, since you should be in melee range anyway - unless the caster you want to interrupt is thirty yards away or the mob you want to CC hasn't been pulled yet. This is where knowing how to roll with things is vital (no, I don't think I'll ever get tired of roll related puns, why do you ask?) - it will help you close that distance much quicker than most classes could, putting you somewhere between other classes that can use similar abilities and ranged classes in terms of using these. Paralysis deserves particular mention here, and I'm going to put this in bold to make sure it's clear: If Untalented, Paralysis should NOT be used prior to pulling. Paralysis is not Sap. 

This applies to tanks even, since it'll likely pull the entire group and you'll have to draw them away from the paralyzed target before you can start using AOE's and that means you'll have almost no threat. Paralysis, without the talent, should be used in 2 situations: 1) PVP, at which point it becomes awesome always and 2) When a ranged attacker/caster needs to be CCed in combat and the tank isn't near it. Now, in the latter situation, a hunter with throw trap ready or a mage or shaman or...well, really any other class with a ranged crowd control ability...will probably be able to CC that mob faster than you will - if they notice it. However, if you see that there is a ranged mob not near other un-pulled mobs and no one's dealing with it, go roll on over and paralyze them and then roll back to the main fight. (this also applies to melee mobs that wander near the healer) Don't worry too much about being behind the target - 30 seconds should be enough once the fight starts.

Our Snare/Root is pretty straightforward, just remember that (as with any root), the mob will still attack whoever's highest on it's threat list that it can reach, so if you root it next to yourself or the healer and you are not the tank, it's going to attack whoever it can reach. Also, you spend 3 global cooldowns to apply it fully, so you're going to spend more time than you might like not DPSing. If you've ever played a class with a melee interrupt our interrupt is nothing new to you, and if you haven't it's pretty simple - if you can get up there to interrupt, do it, and try to set up an interrupt order with the group prior to combat.

Our disarm deserves special mention for a different reason - when used properly, it is also a DPS/Heal/Tanking cooldown, so make sure you're using it on the right target to get the most benefit out of it. This will probably require a good amount of research/trial and error in PVE (and it's hard to know if it will even be beneficial in that environment beyond the normal disarm benefits - especially keeping in mind how many mobs are immune to disarming in PVE), but in PVP it's much simpler - try to target a monk of the same spec as you with better gear. If that's not an option, go for someone who is the same role as you with better gear. If THAT isn't an option, just go for whoever is in range that is best geared.

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