Returning from Zen Meditation (Kind of)

•October 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hey there everyone,

As some of you may have noticed (everyone probably) I haven’t been around here much this past year. I’ve been dealing with some stuff, varying from stopping raiding for a bit, to starting a new job, to expecting a child so I haven’t been able to give this blog much thought.

I know some people have still been digging around through everything and reading, and I hope that you’ve enjoyed what I’ve put up here. To everyone that has been reading for a while now I would like to thank you for putting up with my writing every week and my insanity.

While I know this post seems to read like I’m going to stop blogging that’s not the case. I’m working on putting up a new blog, centered around much more then my Monk, as fun as playing him has been since Mists launched. The idea in my head at the moment is that it will be a bit more of a general Blizzard/gaming blog, with stuff dedicated to World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm (which is awesome, sorry if you haven’t got in yet) and maybe some Hearthstone and Diablo thrown in. I’m not really a Starcraft guy, but it might see some time if I get around to it.

I’ll try to post something similar to the guides I have been posting from my Monks perspective for most, if not all tanks. I’ve been playing my Protection Warrior recently and raiding with it (pre 6.0 Prot was broken). With the potential for Heroes guides/random musings about popular builds or something along those lines. Hopefully it will evolve into something that everyone enjoys and is fun to work on for me, but we shall see where we end up.

I have definitely enjoyed making this blog, and I do want to get back into it, so hopefully within the week (ish) I should have something else set up. This blog will still exist, and will have a link to the new blog, and I will post it here, but you can also follow me on Twitter if you want more up to date updates about everything.

Once again, thanks for reading this blog and I hope that I see (O.o) you all heading over to the new blog when it is created. If you can’t find it, you can follow me on Twitter at @matthews9292

Patch 5.4 – The Sky is… Not Really Falling part 3

•September 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Talent Changes

 

“Zen Sphere now deals 15% more healing and damage.”

This will make Zen Sphere a better choice when compared to Chi Wave and Chi Burst. It will probably be the talent I take for fights that have a high amount of tank damage.

 

“Chi Burst no longer requires a target. It now travels as a 40-yard line in front of the Monk.”

A quality of life change, We don’t have to target anything to use Chi Burst, so that means we can heal the raid stacked up behind the boss without switching targets.

 

“Chi Brew now restores 2 Chi, has a 45-second cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes), and generate stacks of Brew/Teas based on the Monk’s specialization.

Brewmaster: 5 stacks of Elusive Brew

Mistweaver: 2 stacks of Mana Tea

Windwalker: 2 stacks of Tigereye Brew”

So this change is one of the bigger Talent changes to come from in Patch 5.4 for us. Basically what it is doing is trying to make Chi Brew a more interesting choice for Monks in general, so instead of only giving Chi; Chi Brew gives us 5 stacks of Elusive Brew on a 45 second cooldown. While I don’t feel like this helps the talent at all for a normally geared Monk (Crit>Mastery), it might be more beneficial for a Monk running more Mastery then Crit, as more Elusive Brew stacks will reduce the damage that you take.

 

“Power Strikes will now activate from the following Chi generating abilities; Jab, Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3 targets), Crackling Jade Lightning, and Soothing Mist.”

This change makes Power Strikes a much more useful Talent as a whole, giving you more chances to proc the extra Chi, especially in AoE situations as Spinning Crane Kick triggers it.

 

“Ring of Peace has a new visual effect that properly depicts its area-of-effect, and now disarms both enemies and those attacking allies within the Ring of Peace’s area-of-effect for 4 seconds (up from 3 seconds); the silence effect for casting spells remains unchanged at 3 seconds.”

A new visual for Ring of Peace (which you can find here), and a change to how it works. For PvE this change doesn’t affect how we use it and I don’t have enough experience in PvP to make a statement about it.

 

“Healing Elixirs will no longer activate if the Monk is already at full health, and activate automatically when the Monk has less than 35% of their maximum health.”

This change makes Healing Elixirs a much more useful talent as a whole, not being used when you are at full health, and will automatically be activated when you drop to low health as a tank. This gives us good healing when we hit 35% health with this and Expel Harm.

 

“Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger now has a pet control bar for Xuen, and the talent is no longer on global cooldown for all Monk specializations. 

Brewmaster Monks now gain Vengeance when Xuen takes damage.”

This is a huge quality of life change for us, allowing us to stop Xuen from auto-taunting when you summon him through the pet control bar. As well, we will now gain Vengeance from any damage Xuen takes, which will be helpful for add fights (like Dark Animus).

 

“Rushing Jade Wind has been redesigned and replaces Spinning Crane Kick.

Rushing Jade Wind: The Monk summons a whirling tornado around them, dealing damage to nearby enemies (heals nearby allies for Mistweavers). Rushing Jade Wind has the same costs, Chi generation, and periodic rate as Spinning Crane kick, but, deals 80% of the periodic damage or healing, lasts 6 seconds, is instant, and not channelled.”

This is another big change, say goodbye to the ranged pull Rushing Jade Wind and hello to the Spinning Crane Kick on steroids Rushing Jade Wind. While Rushing Jade Wind is active, you can use all your other abilities, and will generate Chi when you are hit by 3 targets.

 

Glyph Changes

There are a few Glyphs that are being removed/replaced and some that are being added, most of the changes are good ones, however there is one that I am not a fan of, but I’ll explain later.

 

“Glyph of Afterlife now increases the chance to summon a Healing Sphere by 100% (up from 25% chance).”

This glyph change isn’t a Brewmaster one so you don’t have to really worry about it.

 

“Glyph of Crackling Jade Lightning has been replaced with Glyph of Nimble Brew.

Glyph of Nimble Brew causes Nimble Brew to heal the Monk when it clears a root, stun, fear, or horror effect.”

This is a good glyph, we get a free heal whenever we use Nimble Brew and the Glyph of Crackling Jade Lightning isn’t one that I have ever used.

 

“Glyph of Expel Harm has been replaced with Glyph of Rapid Rolling.

Glyph of Rapid Rolling makes the next Roll or Chi Torpedo go farther after using a Roll or Chi Torpedo.”

The new glyph is cool, you Roll further when you roll for a second time, and the glyph that it is replacing wasn’t one that I really used while raiding.

 

“Glyph of Retreat has been replaced with Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres.

Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres causes a healing sphere to be summoned near the Monk at no cost when their health falls below 25%. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds.”

This is the change that I am the most annoyed (If you can call it that) at. The new glyph is helpful because like Expel Harm and Healing Elixirs it is death prevention. However, the glyph that it is replacing is one that I really like having. I’ve been able to use it successfully when my co-tank can’t hold aggro, for example Heroic Jin’rokh.

 

“Glyph of Stoneskin has been replaced with Glyph of Detox.

Glyph of Detox causes Detox to heal the target when it successfully removes a harmful effect.”

The Glyph of Stoneskin is a useful one, for bleed effects which happen every once in a while, but the new glyph is very useful. You can heal other people when you cleanse them of any poison or disease, which can help out the healers.

 

“Glyph of Uplift has been replaced by Glyph of Targeted Expulsion.

Glyph of Targeted Expulsion allows Expel Harm to be used on other players.”

“Glyph of Targeted Expulsion now causes Expel Harm to heal for 50% as much when used on other targets.”

The Glyph of Uplift isn’t one that we ever used, but the new Glyph of Targeted Expulsion is potentially a useful one. We can use Expel Harm to heal someone else, for 50% of its normal value. There might be a use for it in the Immerseus fight, to heal the Contaminated Puddles.

 

“Glyph of Transcendence now reduces the cooldown of Transcendence: Transfer by 5 seconds (used to increase the range by 10 yards).”

I honestly think that this is a much more useful Glyph with the cooldown reduction instead of the increased range. The range on Transcendence isn’t great to being with, and the extra 10 yards doesn’t help it much.

 

So thats it from me everyone. I hope that this has helped you, and I hope you have a great time with the Siege of Orgrimmar.

Patch 5.4 – The Sky is… Not Really Falling part 2

•September 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Item Changes

 

“Capacitive Primal Diamond, and Legendary melee cloaks (Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen, and Gong-Lu, Strength of Xuen) now have a 40% reduced chance to activate its effects for characters that are in a tanking specialization.”

This change makes the DPS meta gem and Legendary cloak less desirable for us. However, I will probably still use them until I get to a point where I need the Tanking Cloak and Meta Gem, because even though the proc chances are reduced for Tanks, extra damage is still extra damage.

 

“Indomitable Primal Diamond’s effect now grants a 20% damage reduction to all damage taken (up from only physical damage), and its activation rate has been doubled.”

Like the change to the DPS Meta Gem, this change is to make the Tanking Meta Gem more useful for everyone by including Magical damage in the damage reduction and doubling the proc rate.

 

Tier Bonuses

 

“After Elusive Brew expires, the amount of damage you Stagger is increased by 6%. This effect lasts 1 sec per stack of Elusive Brew consumed.”

This change to the current Tier 15 2 piece bonus is to stop it being potentially better than the Tier 16 gear. This change will make it so that the Tier 16 gear will be better than the Tier 15 gear, even with the different set bonuses.

 

“When your Black Ox statue Guards another player, you also get a Guard for 8% of that amount.”

This is the 2 set bonus for Tier 16, Its nothing wonderful, but any extra damage reduction is always useful.

 

                “Purifying Brew also heals you for 15% of the amount of staggered damage cleared.”

This is the 4 set bonus for Tier 16. This bonus is actually fairly good, extra healing is always good. And it is easy to control because it’s tied to Purifying Brew. This bonus might make Mastery a better stat for us, because a large amount of Stagger damage means more healing from this bonus.

 

Monk Changes

 

Now we are going to look at the changes to the Monk class. This will be split into a few sections, Class Changes, Talent Changes and Glyph Changes. I will only be focusing on the Brewmaster changes, and not the Windwalker or Mistweaver changes.

 

Class Changes

 

                “Keg Smash now deals 18% less damage.”

This is a fairly self-explanatory, Keg Smash will now be doing less damage, but Brewmasters were doing a (probably too) large amount of damage during fights. As much as I enjoyed beating other raiders in my team for damage while I was tanking this is probably (although I say it with a heavy heart) for the best.

 

“Fixed a bug that caused the damage of some abilities for Brewmasters with Vengeance to scale incorrectly.”

This wasn’t something that I was aware of, but this doesn’t have a large impact on our class.

 

One more post after this, to try and cut down the size of each post.

Patch 5.4 – The Sky is… Not Really Falling part 1

•September 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

With Patch 5.4 being live in a few hours of this post going up I figured that now would be a good time to cancel the meditation I have been doing regarding these changes and tell you what I think about them. I’ll go through them point by point with my thoughts after each one or two. So let’s get to it.

 

Tank Changes

 

The first things that we have to look at are the changes to tanks as a whole. Ghostcrawler did mention a while ago that they were looking to change the way that Vengeance worked and they have.

 

“All taunt type abilities now increase all threat generated against the target while the taunt is active by 200%.”

This change is to smooth tank swaps between tanks that deal high damage (Brewmasters) and those that deal low damage (Warriors, Death Knights). So what this means is that during the 3 second fixate window (The debuff applied to the target) all threat that you generate is increased by 200%. With you gaining 50% of the current tanks Vengeance when you taunt this will mean you generate as much threat as the current tank, plus to 10% bonus you get for taunting.

 

“Characters in a tanking specialization now generates 40% more threat.”

“Vengeance now grants Attack Power equal to 1.5% of the damage taken, down from 1.8% (The tooltip said 2% but it was actually 1.8%).”

I feel that these two changes go hand in hand with each other. First of all, they reduced the Attack Power that we will gain from Vengeance by 0.3%, which will reduce the damage that we deal by a noticeable margin, but it won’t ruin us. To compensate for this damage nerf they have buffed the threat that we generate by 40%, which (I assume, I haven’t tested it) will keep us in line with the threat that we generate now.

 

“Tanks no longer receive Vengeance from many persistent area damage effects (standing in the fire) or from missed attacks (dodging and parrying an attack will continue to work as it has before).”

I think that you all have to agree that the idea of standing in the fire (or Sha energy in some cases) to take more damage to gain more Vengeance was a bad practice to get into and they have removed this. That means that you have no excuse for standing in the bad and making your healers lives more stressful. The last part of this is that if the boss misses you, for whatever reason you won’t gain Vengeance, not a big deal.

 

“Vengeance gains from being critically hit have been reduced by 50%.”

This was more noticeably done by Paladin tanks that would sit down right before a melee swing and get critically hit by a boss to gain higher Vengeance, which is an awful idea honestly. So if you do this now, you’ll take all the damage of a critical hit, but only gain the Vengeance from a normal hit. Again I feel that this is a good change overall for us, and for the healers that keep us alive.

 

“There are now diminishing returns on Vengeance gains while tanking multiple targets. Each additional target grants progressively less Vengeance.”

So this change is a little interesting, basically what happens is that the enemy with the highest DPS (more often than not, the boss) will cause you to gain the full Vengeance from the damage that they do, but any other enemies that are attacking you will give you progressively less Vengeance. I managed to find this summary of the change on MMO Champion from a translated post, so it might not be entirely accurate, but here is it; you can find the original translation here.

“Brief summary: You will get 1/N of the full Vengeance when hit by the mob within 5 seconds who has the Nth highest DPS. This “N” will be recalculated each time you are hit.

For example, you are tanking 3 mobs: one is the Boss and the other two are mobs. The Boss has 1.5 million DPS, one mob has 400K and the other has 300K. The system will now sort these mobs by their DPS:

1. Boss: 1.5 million DPS, so you will get 1/1 (100%) of the full Vengeance.

2. The first mob: 400K DPS, so you will get 1/2 (50%) of the full Vengeance.

3. The second mob: 300K DPS, so you will get 1/3 (33.33%) of the full Vengeance.

This mechanism will be recalculated when you are hit by even more mobs within 5 seconds(1/4, 1/5, 1/6,etc). Additionally, in the example above, if the first mob is not attacking you while the second mob is, you will get 1/2 of the full Vengeance by this attack instead of 1/3.”

Every mob after the first will give you less Vengeance by a half, a third and so on. This means that fights like Windlord Mel’jarak in Heart of Fear won’t give you the same benefit if you only use 1 tank instead of 2, as the Vengeance and therefore, the damage and healing, will be significantly less.

 

“So as not to affect Challenge Mode leader boards, the above Vengeance changes will not apply there. For Challenge Modes, Vengeance will continue to work as it did in patch 5.3.”

This change means is that for all of us that like Challenge Modes we won’t have a hard time trying for those top spots on the leader board after 5.4 hits.

 

Thats it for the Tanking changes for Patch 5.4 Check back here for Monk specific changes.

Tank Guide Thursday: All Brawn, No Brains – Iron Qon

•September 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Legends speak of the brutality of Qon and his quilen champions. The fearless mogu commander was dubbed “Iron Qon” by the Thunder King for his unrelenting resolve to claim victory after victory for the empire regardless of the cost.

If you haven’t seen the encounter before you can check out the Fatboss guide here.

 

Talents

The Talents that I recommend for this encounter are;

Tier 1 – I take Celerity for this fight, as 3 Rolls will get you out of the Windstorm quickly

Tier 2 – Take your pick here, but Chi Wave or Zen Sphere are the best choices.

Tier 3 – I use Ascension for this fight.

Tier 4 – The adds in this fight can’t be stunned or silenced so take your pick.

Tier 5 – The main tank damage in this fight is physical so take Dampen Harm.

Tier 6 – I take Invoke Xuen.

 

Glyphs

Glyph of Enduring Healing

Glyph of Fortifying Brew

Glyph of Stoneskin

 

The Fight

This fight is a 4 phase fight. Phases 1-3 Iron Qon rides on one of his Quillen mounts, and in phase 4 he faces you himself.

There are a few mechanics that Iron Qon keeps throughout the whole encounter and I’ll detail them here. The first ability he has is Impale. Impale places a DoT on the current tank, dealing physical damage to them every 2 seconds, this effect stacks. As a tank, you want to swap every 2 stacks to keep the tank damage as low as possible.

Iron Qon also uses an ability called Throw Spear. He hurls his spear at a random player, inflicting damage and when he is mounted on one of his Quillen (phases 1-3) the spear gains additional effects.

 

Phase 1 – Ro’shak, the Molten Flare

The first Quillen that you have to deal with is Ro’shak. There is a large amount of raid wide Fire damage in this phase, so cooldowns should be used. Ro’shak will gain Molten Energy as the fight progresses and will use Molten Energy when he uses abilities. If Ro’shak reaches 100 Molten Energy he will start castsing Molten Overload which will wipe your raid.

Periodically Ro’shak will cast Molten Inferno which will deal Fire damage to all players and reduce his Molten Energy by 10. When a group of 3 players is stacked within 10 yards of each other Ro’shak will cast Unleashed Flame, which will deal a large amount of Fire damage split between all players hit, reduce his Molten Energy by 30 and will place a debuff on them, increasing the Fire damage that they take, called Scorched, this effect stacks.

The key to dealing with this phase is to set up 3 groups of players (in 10 man) and rotate who takes the damage from Unleashed Flame. During this phase Ro’shak will empower Iron Qons spear, causing lines of magma to burst from the spear, dealing damage to anyone hit and placing a stacking DoT on them.

 

Phase 2 – Quet’zal, the Stormcaller

Quet’zal is the second Quillen that Iron Qon calls into battle. The main difficulty in this phase is the Windstorm, which pulls all players into the centre of rings of tornados. While players are in the Windstorm they take Nature damage every 2 seconds and have the Healing, Damage and absorption effects cast reduced by 80%. After the Windstorm some Rushing Winds will move around the room, stunning players hit and dealing damage to them.

Quet’zal will also cast Arcing Lightning on a random player, which will stun them and absorb any healing done to them. Arcing Lightning will also deal damage to anyone standing near the player affected. You can remove this by clicking on the player affected.

Quet’zal causes Iron Qons spear to create lines of lightning on the ground, and will stun anyone standing in them after 3 seconds.

 

Phase 3 – Dam’ren, the Frozen Sage

This phase is probably the easiest of the 4, the main mechanic of this phase is Dead Zone. Dead Zone creates a shield on 2 sides of Dam’ren, causing all attacks against him to miss.

Dam’ren will also reflect some of the damage that he takes back to the player with Frozen Resilience. Freeze is another ability that Dam’ren will use, debuffing a random player lasting between 1-5 seconds, which will inflict Frost damage to all players.

Like the other 2 phases Dam’ren will cause lines of Ice to erupt from Iron Qon’s spear, which will slow players movement, melee, ranged and casting speed by 25%. This effect will stack up to 4 times.

 

Iron Qon’s Last Stand

Once you have defeated all of Iron Qon’s quillen he will face you. He still has Impale and Throw Spear, and gains new abilities. Iron Qon will use Fist Smash, inflicting physical damage to all players for 7 seconds. The longer this phase goes on Iron Qon will gain stacks of Rising Anger which will increase the damage he deals by 10% per stack.

The Rushing Winds from phase 2 will still be moving around the room and Iron Qon will use them to his advantage. Iron Qon will either Ignite or Freeze the cyclones. Ignite Cyclone will cause the Rushing Winds to deal Fire damage to all players and Freeze Cyclone will entomb anyone caught by the Rushing Winds, dealing 5% of their maximum health every 2 seconds.

This phase has both a soft and hard enrage timer, and the longer this phase goes on the more damage Iron Qon will deal, making it harder for you to kill him.

 

Brewmaster Tips

The tips that I have for this fight are;

  1. Transcendence doesn’t have a long enough range to be useful to escape the Windstorm, so I prefer to use Celerity because 3 Rolls will get you out of the storm.
  2. Avert Harm is a good cooldown for the 4th phase, combined with Fortifying Brew so that you don’t die from the damage of Fist Smash.

 

So that’s it from me today everyone, I hope that you have learned something from reading these. Do you have any tips for these fights as a Tank? Let me know through comments below this post. If you have any feedback I would love to hear it.

As always if you have any questions, suggestions or comment you can reply here, you can contact me on Twitter at @matthews9292 or you can email me at monkdownunder@gmail.com

 
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