Monk AA Setup (Post GU62 / AOD Release / 320 AA Cap)

Discussion in 'Monk' started by ARCHIVED-Caethre, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. ARCHIVED-Caethre Guest

    Monk AA Setup (Post GU62 / AOD Release / 320 AA Cap)

    Right, time for the third one (already done Conjuror and Fury). Once again, I'll start with cut and paste the pro-forma, and then, into the analysis!

    I am not an expert. I am just another player. I will potentially revise anything I have said below if provided with a good enough rationale for a normal player's playstyle for doing so. I said potentially, this is afterall my own judgement.
    There is no "perfect spec", just a preferred one. Your mileage may vary.
    Any and all *constructive* comments welcome.


    I have been playing Monk for years now, since 2006 in fact, and she has been my main character the last three years. Having just grinded Lorianna from 300AA to 320AA over the last couple of weeks, reaching the new AA cap for the post GU62 / AoD release, it was time to sit down and go through the AA setup again, as I have not done this in a while.
    My first step was to head to these forums looking for any fresh advice. Now this forum here looks pretty dead, and the info here is ancient, but with this character I know what I am doing, so I set about defining my own new spec, based on my perception of my own needs. So, I decided to share it.
    Take note that this setup is intended for the following types of monk players:
    - Those who have 320AA. Well, it is a full spec after all.
    - Those who prefer a one-size-fits-all setup, who don't want to be using AA mirrors all the time.
    - Those who are not wanting to spend any points on the tradeskill tab.
    - Those who are soloers, groupers or pickup or casual raiders.
    - Those who are not crazy min-maxers
    - Those who have NOT capped out on all their gear (or probably on any of their gear!).

    In summary, it is spending 320 AA for a player who is playing a monk but for fun and not for a job.
    If you are one of the 1% of players wanting a hardmode raiding setup for some extreme hardcore guild, this ain't the thread for you, go ask someone else, cos that sure ain't me, never was, never will be.
    I'll add one more thing here.
    This is a hybrid spec meant to be used for all purposes, but it is biased to be primarily a spec for TANKING, and this means both tanking for heroic groups (including groups without the correct class makeup), and tanking for pickup and casual raids, aiming at more of a MAIN TANK spec, and not so much a combat support role. I make no apologies for taking skills that aid tanking ability at the expense of some utility and/or DPS - in some cases of course.
    Another monk player may make other choices, they are all perfectly valid. :)

    The AA Setup

    Follow the link:;c02s1...e@18a@2aa@1a@21

    Brawler Tab

    There are two lines that are very easy to select here, those being the left-hand line (formerly known as the STR line) line and the second-from-right line (formerly known as the WIS line).
    On the WIS line, ten ranks each in Crane Twirl and Crane Growth are superb choices, and Crane Flock at the bottom is a fantstic skill to have. Really this is all "no brainer" territory!
    On the STR line, ten ranks in Relentless Punches and ten ranks in Claw Reversal are both excellent choices, and Chi at the bottom is a great ability to have!
    Next, I really like to improve re-use, and I want ten ranks in Ambidexterity, so for me, I chose the second-from-left line (formerly known as the AGI line), putting in 4,10 here.
    At this point, then, with 67 AA spent, and wanting to save 20 AA for the bottom section, there are 13 AA left to spend on the main part of the tab. This is where it all becomes a little more debatable, and I have seen arguments for *all* the other three lines being chosen at various times in the past. A more DPS-oriented choice would now be to go for Mantis Bolt or Eagle's Fury.
    Personally, however, being defence/tanking oriented, I have for the time being decided to use the fact that the AGI line is already open, and I have taken 10 ranks in Monkey Dodge and picked up Altruism.
    The bottom section is then very easy. Eight ranks in Tiger Reflexes is a superb choice, as is eight ranks in Swift Wings. Both of these aid AE aggro control when tanking, and are instant choices for me. Then there is the two ranks of Brawler's Tenacity, probably the best skill we have bar none!

    Monk Tab

    I'll start here with the easy ones to choose:
    Crescent Strike 5
    Mend 5
    Will of the Heavens 3
    Mountain Stance 5
    Tranquil Vision 5
    Outward Calm 5
    Tsunami 5
    Dragonfire 5
    Taunts 5

    These nine skills are all tanking utility, and I use them non-stop when tanking for groups or in raids. With the exception of the last one (Taunts), I would strongly recommend each and every one of these choices to every monk tank. That last one is harder to be so convinced about, as taunts are pretty weak in game, but for the time being I still consider an improvement is still and improvement and take this as well.
    After these, it is time to start boosting some of the damage options. Some monks may choose slightly different combinations, and I may not have (finally) completed changing these slightly, but for the time being they are:
    Roundhouse Kick 5
    Waking Dragon 5
    Rising Phoenix 5
    Five Rings 5
    Rising Dragon 5
    Silent Palm 5
    Arctic Talon 3

    This means the things I do not choose are:
    Mongoose Stance (general threat REDUCTION? huh? No thanks)
    Sprint (garbage)
    Body Like Mountain (I *really* hate the root, movement/positioning matters, so I rarely use it, so I won't waste AA to improve something I hardly use)
    Frozen Palm
    Striking Cobra (these last two, have nothing against them, I just cant take all the DPS choices).

    I then go for:

    That is 79 AA spent.
    The "Evasion" skill is heavily underrated by many monk tanks. I see it as an absolutely fantastic ability for helping control our aggro when we are in a raid as the OT and fighting for aggro with the MT, but wanting to try to sit just below the MT. I use this *all the time* in such settings, and swear by it. :)
    A longer range taunt (Reprimand) is useful, and Combination is more DPS.
    This means I do not choosing Superior Guard. I know some monks like it, but always found it annoying to use, forever waiting for it to fire or finding I absolutely had to use some other combat art whilst it was up and so cancelling it, and this was happening so often that I decided rank it fourth of the four, and so do not take it now. If I was able to spend five more AA in this section, by putting 4 into the unselected damage skills and 1 into Superior Guard, I could have all four. However, that would leave only 16 for the bottom section, and I want to spend 17, so it won't fit. So, Superior Guard is dumped. For me, for now.
    At the bottom I choose:
    Numbing Blows 5 (easy choice!)
    Dragon's Rage 5 (no brainer!)
    Outward Tranquility 5 (again, no brainer, love the spell ward!)
    Provoking Stance (2AA for this one rank, very useful)

    The last four points I currently put into:
    Snow Blindness 3
    Combination 1

    Those could change, however.
    And that is the 100 done.

    Shadows Tab

    This tab is not too difficult to choose from. There are some stand out skills and a lot of poor ones, and only a few somewhere in the middle.
    Hearty Constitution 5
    Pet of the Gods 5
    Enhanced Mind 5

    Consummate Defender 5
    Battle Hardening 5
    Sneering Assault

    Tactical Precision 5
    Blazing Cobra 5
    Deflecting Blow 5
    Aversion 5
    Inner Focus

    Peel 5
    Mitigating Blows 5
    Focused Followup 1
    Mend 5
    Meditative Mending 3
    Bob and Weave
    Hidden Openings

    That's 70 points spent.
    Some notes:
    - On the Monk line, Peel and Mitigating Blows are total no-brainers, wonderful skills.
    - Taking one rank in Focused Followup gives a good return, further ranks are actually not worth it.
    - Mend needs to be up as much as possible. When last I respecced this tab, I was still getting some benefit from the 5th rank, but of course there is no need to take more ranks if you get enough re-use from other places to cap the improvement.
    - Meditative Mending I am not convinced by, but it was where I used the last 3 points!
    - Most of the other choices were fairly obvious. They are the ones that offer defensive assistence, more health or improved utility.
    - There are some others that I did not take that still may be of use (Tranquil Forewarning for Taunts and a rank or two in Rescue, to mention the obvious ones), but the points run out eventually of course.

    Heroic Tab

    Spirit and Body 10
    Ability Aptitude 8
    Lightning Reflexes 10
    Brawler's Tenacity 10
    Hostility 10
    Tag Team (2AA for the 1 rank)

    That's 50 points spent.
    Why these?
    The choice of Spirit and Body is easy, as that means Health, which is vital for any tank.
    Ability Aptitude is very important for a normal player at level 90, sitting in PQ gear or Thurgadin Gear, or Ry'Gorr, even with some x2 raid gear and the occasional x4 so-called "easymode" piece of gear. It hurgely hurts DPS (and hence aggro) to have very low ability modifier. However, if a player actually manages to pick up any of the sets of two jewelry pieces from the x4 raidzones, then each set gives +500 ability modifier. If you can pick up some of these sets, there is no longer the need for this AA choice. Infact, Lorianna has now just acquired her second +500 set, and so has now moved these points into Unrivaled Focus instead. However, most players will not have these, and I would strongly recommend having some points in Ability Aptitude in that case.
    Lightning Reflexes is the best choice on the second line, in my view. Getting those CAs and utility abilities to recycle faster is really important.
    Brawler's Tenacity is basically a "must have". It is a super ability, and having three triggers on the life save is fantastic!
    Now, I go for Hostility, because Hate Generation is the single biggest weakness of the Monk class when tanking for groups and raids, especially where one has non-ideal group makeups (this is very often the case for casual and normal players!). I find it very good at helping with aggro holding.
    Finally, and most controversially of all (to some), I stand by and recommend the choice of Tag Team as the bottom line skill for serious normal player monk tanks. This is to use on oneself, not for use on others. Most raiding monks will say "No, get Combat Mastery!", and for those in organized large guild forces where the monk is in a partial utility and offtank role, I can see why. However, I am not a raidguild monk, and I see myself as a main tank, not a group utility buffer. Whilst CM would indeed also assist with personal DPS (and hence hate generation), I find Tag Team is one of my most used abilities, that extra save for the "oh crap" moments, with both a total damage prevention for a short time and a large self-heal rolled into one. I have saved more desperate situations when main tanking for a group or casual raid with this selection than I care to count, and I am very happy with it, and happy to recommend it to other normal player monks.
    However, another monk's choice should be dictated by their style of play and what they find they end up doing, of course.
    Well, there you go, all done.
    *Constructive* comments welcome (particularly from casual and normal players, who this post is aimed at and designed for). :)
  2. ARCHIVED-Silzin Guest

    I am the primary off tank for a raiding guild doing DoV HM and Drunder EM. so will be better geared then some and not as good as others. the spec i use is below. i dont use Chi any more in favor for the additional snap agro of Mantis Leap. Crane Flock is a MUST.
    In the monk tree, i want all 4 end lines so i had to take a few things that are less then needed in the top half...
    As for shadow, there is almost no way you can go wrong in shadow when you get to 320 AA.
    Heroic, I love Hostility... i would love it more if it made much of a differince to me for agro, but that is besides the point. Unrivaled Focus is the first AA ANY monk should get when you can and never look back. and the Brawlers Tenacity AA as a must for any tanking monk. as for the end line, i have used all 3 at different times. i dont find myself needing Tag Team as much as some and it is unreliable as designed still. Stone Cold is more for a MTing brawler. and Combat mastery is very good for group dps.

    Here is my all around Spec.
  3. ARCHIVED-Saphire Guest

    Been a while since I posted on the official forums, but I figured I would post the spec I have developed and run with since coming back.
    This is my standard all-around spec.
    At least it I think it is since I don't have the game open right now to make sure of specifics. Now, for a bit of an explaination. I am an MT for my guild that has cleared the majority of Drunder EM content (working on third named in Vallon's), and a bit of DoV HM; so I am decently geared. I also run heroic zones and solo quite a bit, and this is the spec I use 99.9% of the time.
    I have decided to stay with Chi over Mantis Leap for a couple of reasons, first Chi-> Crane Flock-> Combat Mastery is awesome for pulling AE aggro, and I usually use an Ire proc rune and Anarchy war rune so between those Dragon Rage and straight DPS I can usually pull AE aggro (pre casting blue AEs also helps if you can learn to judge the distance that the mobs need to be so the AEs hit when the mobs are right in front or on top of you). Second reason is that it seems like almost every named in HM has co op strike and while it is not as bad as it used to be, and I can usually survive it for a bit, it is still annoying and chose not to run that risk and cause more issues for the OT trying to pull the adds when they pop and the healers having to heal through some co op ticks.
    Monk Tree: I maxed out the CA specific nodes cause lets face it, without doing that the CA hit rates are pretty bad... Depending on the group and buffs, i am usually at 93-97% hit rate from my CAs now, and more CAs hitting means more Combination triggers if you set up your hotbars in such a way that you will hit them in the order needed to trigger Combination. Superior Guard is awesome for blocking red text (use in conjunction with Tsunami to block the death touch from the banner mob in Tallons EM, can be used to block every red text on Bitelimb/Frostbeard HM, and many others) not as useful for grouping, but there are some places it can be used.
    Shadow Tree: I put 5 pts in Rescue on the first line cause having all my snaps up as often as they can be is a must as MT, plus if one snap doesn't work, then you can easily use a second without worrying if it will be up next time you need it as much. As for the physical damage reduction, People are sitting at such high hp lvls now that it is really a negligable reduction imo. I put 3 points into the Mend recast reduction basically cause I had 3 points left over and couldn't decide where to put them. The only time I use Mend anymore is to heal someone else, or on the rare occasion the healers are dead, BT and Tsunami and Bob and Weave are down and I am not wearing something with a mending adorn on it and I am almost dead...
    Heroic Tree: AFAIK Tag Team is still at the very least buggy if not outright broken as far as the hate swap part of it, and I rarely use the heal I aready have so another one won't help really, while Combat Mastery used strategicaly while in a group that is largely melee DPS; will add a nice boost to the group DPS and help make mobs dead faster. As for Hostility, I can see the reason people use it especially for heroic content it would be great if you are having aggro issues. But as it is an encounter taunt when it procs, it becomes less useful when holding one mob and having another tank grab adds, especially when co op strike is added in.
    So yeah, that's my 2cp.
  4. ARCHIVED-Silzin Guest

    I tryed out the Anarchy war rune and didnt see much agro from it compared to others. do u notice any significant agro from it?
  5. ARCHIVED-Saphire Guest

    Anarchy war rune is decent for aggro, but as it decreases the chance to hit on the mobs by 5% I use it for more than just aggro. Combined with how little we get hit as it is, the aggro is almost just a bonus. That is why I use both Anarchy and Virulent Ire.
  6. ARCHIVED-luinnil Guest

    As a note: If you use Virulent Ire in a raid situation you are probably going to get shivved. It's terrible on any fight that requires aggro on specific people and is a crutch you shouldn't need, especially given the truly ridiculous amount of snaps Monks have. I realize the person posting they use it says they're MT and can probably have enough pull to say they should be allowed to use it but I personally would send somebody back and tell them to go find a non-terrible adornment.
    Anarchy has been more than enough to help me hold aggro in a raid situation when I have to bust out my monk, and it's nice in groups too.
    I've been tempted to try out the damage reduction endline for Monk but Combat Mastery is a useful go-to for any situation and it's hard to give up.
  7. ARCHIVED-Saphire Guest

    Actually with Singular Focus now the Virulent Ire rune can be quite effective for holding one mob and only one mob. For example on Imperator Kolskeggr HM, I make sure I have Singular Focus active, the memblur becomes a non issue and DPS can go all out without worry of pulling aggro, and I don't have to worry about grabbing aggro on the adds by accident so the raid can usually just AE the adds down for the most part. It isn't a crutch, it is just another tool you can use to get the the job done if you choose to.
    As a side note though, I do keep it on a ranged weapon, so if need be; I can swap it to something else like Manalink mid fight if we can't run an ideal, or even our usual group set-up for some reason I can keep enough power to do my job most of the time. So yeah, Virulent Ire isn't the best choice for every situation, but it can be a useful tool if used when the situation calls for it.
  8. ARCHIVED-luinnil Guest

    That's probably the only effective way to use Virulent Ire (and kudos for doing it in a good way!), but it's very much a situational rune because you give up aggro control because only being able to be at the top is not control. So other people should be extremely cautious before using it unless they're always tanking in groups where they are also the only tank.
    Monks have a huge medley of snaps and in general I'd encourage people to use those instead (although I hate that Peel is so fickle about whether it will work, I wish I could just cast it for the threat sometimes :(), since it can be hard to have two really good ranged weapons so that you can sacrifice one for an Ire rune.

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