Tuesday, June 11, 2013

BM Monk: Finding Your Binding

I think one of the keys to playing a character well is getting comfortable with it.  For me that usually means testing what I have my abilities bound to.  I am not one of those people that says if you click you are bad because that is flat out false.  In PvP that most definitely holds true but in PvE I am sure I could do the same fight on my hunter and get the same results whether I click on the screen or click on my keyboard.  It really does not make much of a difference.  What makes the difference is getting comfortable with your abilities.

For me, and a new spec or class, finding that comfort zone is the hardest part of the game.  I really wish there were a way to save my set up for all specs so if I change and change back I did not have to redesign things all over again, but that is another story all together.

I've been playing around with my monk to test out brewmaster and I am having a hell of a time finding my comfort zone.  Although I only spent a few hours out and about killing things, which is not nearly enough time to get comfortable with some binds, I still feel as lost on my bindings as I was before I spent that time testing it out.

I've noticed that my ability to play a character is directly connected to the number of binds I have for them.  Not sure if that is the same for others and I am only basing this on my personal opinions of my ability to play the classes but the classes I am better at have more binds.  Take my poor hunter as an example.  He has binds for everything, macros for everything, and I know where they all are and can call them up on the fly without even thinking about them.  It is also the character I am best at by far.  Again, my own opinion of course.  Is it the fact I am so invested in it that makes me good with it or the fact I have so many binds that does?  You decide.  I say it is because I am well practiced, the binds only help, it was the practice that made me good.

Things like my rogue, which I do not like playing and am not really all that good at, has minimal keybinds.  I am not sure if the connection is I do not play it enough to know what else I should have bound or that the reason I am not really good at it is that I do not have things bound.  I'll leave that up to you to infer what you wish.

Usually when setting up a new bar I will throw my main abilities there and move them in a order that works for me as I am playing.  Putting things in priority order doesn't work really, not for me, and even more so not for a healer or tank.  But it is just a matter of practice and place until you get into a rhythm with your bindings

Sounds simple right?  Actually is isn't.  Finding your bindings is about how comfortable you are with where things are.  It is part of the reason I am not very comfortable with my paladin, there are a few abilities I still have not found the right place for them binding wise.  And my DK, I just can not find were to put its taunt.  Seriously.  I have yet to find a place where I feel comfortable with it in relation to my other abilities.

My monk however is new, so it is all starting from scratch and I am completely lost firmly outside of the comfort zone.  I have a whole slew of abilities I threw on my bars in blocks.  Offensive abilities, ones that build chi, ones that spend chi and of course my free one.  Defensive abilities, use on every cooldown, use often, use when needed, use in case of emergency.  Utility abilities I could use often, sometimes and rarely.  Aggro generation abilities.  AoE rotation abilities.  It just seems like there is a lot going on and I just do not have enough standard slots I feel comfortable learning with for it.

As far as what standard slots means for me it means main bar, some shifts, some alts and a bunch of letters here and there.  I don't use control on any character other than my hunter and even at that I only use it for the most rarely of rarely used things on my hunter.  So much so that even if I know my hunter like the back of my hand I sometimes forget I have things bound there, that is how rarely I use control.  Not sure why, just do not like it.

So with that in mind, so many things to do, it was time to start finding my bindings.

I went into the world, as I said earlier, and decided to pick on a few mobs.  I pulled normal quest mobs one at a time.  I am not going to get any information from this.  I went and pulled a nice bunch of normal mobs.  I would say it was about 12 mobs.  No biggie so far, nothing rang as true to me on where I needed to move anything just yet but I noticed that having tiger palm in a better position might work for me.  It is shift 3 at the moment and for something I am using that often it shouldn't be something with a modifier.  It should have a basic number or letter bind.

I then went to an area with all elites.  I needed stuff to last a little longer, something I might actually need to use some defensive abilities on so I can get to know how those cooldowns feel where they are binding wise.  I pulled one, did not really need to worry about anything, don't think my life even budged from 100% and if it did it was back there so quick I did not even notice.  I pulled a few more the next time but with the same results.

I then decided that a better test was needed and went to the top of townlong where that one rare is, that one quest mob with high health is, and a whole slew of elite guards that are around him and decided this is where I could really test some abilities.  I rounded them all up and started to mow them down in one huge pack.  Got a big bag of arms from the rare at the end too, cool huh?

Although I did not have to worry about aggro, one of the abilities I grouped as an aggro generation ability I learned I did not like where it was.  Dizzying haze is all fine and dandy but outside of pulling a few extra elite mobs to me with it I don't think it deserves the priority space I had given to it in my binds.  I can't see ever using it outside of the pull or on the rare occasion I need to peel adds off a healer.  Correct me if I am wrong there experienced monk people, but I do not see myself using this one a hell of a lot once the fight is underway and even more so can't see using it if there are no adds.

So I need to move it.  Just not sure where to yet.  That is how I decided on where my bindings are.  By using the character and finding what I used, when I used it, how I used it, and how often I need it.  As for that ability I was thinking it could be one of those click type abilities, I always have a few of those, but being it is something I need to place a target for it does not seem like it should be.  Clicking and going back to the field to place it would be a huge waste of time.  As anyone that reads here knows, I am not exactly a fan of wasting time.  So it needs to remain bound (even if it is only used once per fight), accessible, but not in priority.

And that is where I am having an issue finding my bindings for my monk right now.

After playing around with my monk a bit doing increasingly more challenging solo type stuff just to get a feel for it, it seems like most of my monk abilities I would classify in the same zone.  I need it bound, accessible, but not a priority.  Oddly enough this is the first and only class / spec combo where my 1-5, those easy access buttons, I can not decide what to put there.  Where do I start, what do I build around.  I can not find 5 buttons I think worthy of those prime spots.  Some fights it would be one thing, another it would be another thing, as I get more stats it would even a third different thing, against a raid boss it might be a forth thing.

And then there is the other end of the spectrum.  The cooldowns, I normally use Z, C, and things like that for the big coodowns on my tanks but I really do not have big cooldowns on a monk.  At least not that I have noticed.  Do I put some of the little things there like guard?

Finding your bindings are the key to playing a class well and sometimes it can be hard to find where you want things even when you are talking rotations that do not require a lot of buttons like mages or locks.  But when you have something like a brewmaster and I look at it and say there is so much I want to be accessible but nothing I would call priority I am kind of lost at where to even start.

I've at least tested every spec in the game (except monk healing) and I can honestly say there is no rotation that is even remotely as whacked out as brewmaster monk.  So many good things, no great things, make for one of those really odd combinations when it comes to binding.

Finding my bindings on other characters took a little time.  Finding my bindings for my monk when tanking might become a life time adventure.  Then again, I still occasionally change things with my hunters bindings.  I guess, if you want to play well, your bindings are an ever evolving thing.

Just wish I knew were to start on my monk.  I am seriously considering going the clicking route until they start to appear to me which abilities should go where.  It might actually be the easiest way.  If anything, you evolve from clicking into binding over time anyway.  It happens to everyone.  Maybe that is what I need to do with my monk and start from scratch.


  1. If you think BM has an awkward rotation just wait until you try MW. :) I'm currently playing around with it (semi-seriously) for the first time and, just, yikes.

    Anyway. BM keybinds. My suggestion, which may or may not be helpful, is to stay as close to WW keybinds as possible, especially since so many buttons are identical or similar. Here's how I have my bindings set for WW/BM respectively, maybe this will help you find your zen, my rotational hotkeys are 1-6, `, T, F, G, you'll probably need/want to sub for whatever your keys are:

    1: Jab/Jab
    2: FoF/KS
    3: TP/TP
    4: BoK/BoK
    5: RSK/Guard
    6: SCK/SCK
    7: */BoF
    T: SHS/SHS
    F: Roll/Roll
    G: FSK/Provoke
    `: EH/EH

    BoF is just a threat/dps button, use it sparingly or during important burst AoE phases (bats on Tortos, etc).

    * This slot in my WW bindings is from the healing ability talent tier, I usually use Chi Wave as a dps. When tanking I expect more direct heals so I don't have that healing tier button hotkeyed, I use it as a short cooldown instead.

    As you can see, most buttons are identical, the only times I sub in a different button for tanking, aside from the note above, is where an ability is dps-only.

    Those are all that I have hotkeyed for both... no modifiers, everything else is clicked.

    1. You want Black Ox Statue and Dizzying Haze as combat starters... put up BOS outside of aggro range of the mob (not sure it pulls 100% of the time but I've seen it happen) and start the fight with a DH or two, especially if there are adds. You *may* be able to use DH as a ranged pull/taunt for spawned adds while in combat but I haven't tried using it that way, for me it's just a combat starter to give me some snap threat and to put the debuff on the mobs (slow + 3% DR, basically). I also don't like that DH takes over my cursor, similarly to 'shrooms for druids. That particular mechanic annoys me so I use it as little as I can get away with.

      Once you're in the fight the focus is to keep up the Shuffle buff from BoK (so, try to hit BoK at least once every 6 seconds and stack it up hard when you aren't the active tank, far as I know it isn't capped time-wise, I've had it up to 1:30 before), keep the TP buff up (which isn't hard and should happen just from hitting TP during dead spots in the rotation), watch your Stagger and hit PB whenever it gets up high enough (you'll need to run some group content to figure out where you're comfy with, I tend to err on using PB more than I need to) and use EB once you're up to 10 stacks or so (caps at 15) and you're expecting a period of relatively heavy damage... I generally use EB when I'm about to taunt a boss off another tank to smooth the transition for the healers and then situationally.

      Guard is surprisingly useful in group play (it's semi-useless when soloing), it ramps up a lot with Vengeance... just make sure you have the Power Guard buff up before you use it, easiest way to do this is to just hit TP right before Guard. It has a decent cooldown so don't use it on CD, if possible save it until you have a decent Veng stack first and will be taking a big hit.

      PB and EB are your short-term situational CDs.

      Avert Harm is risky, I tend not to use it. Definitely don't use it if you're the active tank. Zen Meditation is useful but again, only when you aren't the active tank.

      Fortifying Brew is your only real 2-3m major cooldown, the combination of health, DR and +Stagger are useful and it lasts a while as tank cooldowns go.

      So, aside from the hotkeys I use, the important rotational and cooldown buttons are PB, EB, BOX, DH, AH, ZM, FB. I have the first two, second two and last three grouped together on my cooldown click bar.

      There are other useful buttons, of course... Paralyze, Nimble Brew, Grapple Weapon (more for PvP, I'd expect).

      I almost never hotkey buttons where there are wrong times to hit them... I mis-hit hotkeys a bit too often for those so I make them all click buttons. I'd consider putting PB, EB and DH on secondary hotkeys, though, maybe modifiers in your case. None of them really require quick reaction, though, PB and EB you generally plan for and DH is situational at best.

    2. This is fantastic thanks.

      I originally tried doing it near the same as WW but for some reason it did not flow as smooth. Most likely because I was trying to mix in to much of the other stuff. But in theory this would be the best bet.

      The DH thing does not really bother me much taking over the mouse, it is like D&D for the DK. You get used to it over time. I guess I was right however thinking it is something I should not worry about much.

      I used to hit hero all the time when I did not mean to. That is when I unbound it. So much easier to just click it. Saves me having to say I am sorry for hitting it.

      I don't know how you managed it but I must have cluttered things up a lot. You make it seem so simple and I have buttons all over creation.

      I am going to have to read through this again while I am in game and make some comparisons.

      Your main number buttons will give me a nice little basis to start off from. Thanks again so much. This should really help me get over some of the overwhelming so much going on at once feeling about it.

    3. It's not the same as DnD for the DK, though, since it's spammable... it HOLDS your cursor until you somehow cancel it. It's the cancelling part that I find annoying, half the time I end up removing my target as well and have to re-select. Big deal? Maybe not, but enough of one that I generally just avoid the button entirely. 'shrooms are the same way, once you've put 3 down your cursor should auto-release.

      Yeah, I have a process when I'm learning a new class or spec... start with minimal buttons and add as I go and try to stay as close to my standard toon button layout as possible (T=interrupt, G=taunt, `=oh shit, etc). When it came to BM, since I was pretty good at WW already at that point, I started from the common buttons with WW and just slowly added buttons from there.

      Either way, hope it helps. Once you learn MW you can return the favour. :)

    4. Ah, I get what you mean. I thought you were talking about the targeting part of it.

      I do the same when learning a damage dealer, even wrote a how to to teach people how to bind that were new to it that explains how to start small and add. I think I was just trying to consume too much at once with the monk. Not to mention tanks are different to begin with because they have more than just a rotation to worry about.

      Those common buttons in the same place as I am used to them will surely help. Like I said, I tried that and moved away from it. I should go back to doing it again.

      One step at a time. MW is a bit away at the moment. lol. I think once I get tanking down I will change my offspec to healing from DPS. I really do not like melee all that much.

      Remember grumpys rules to damage dealing. The only person that should ever be that close to a mob is the tank. And the rogues because we like to watch them go splat.

  2. Anon, Grumpy's former Guild Leader:

    I won't comment on the tanking part as I have never set up a monk as a tank. I will say that key binds are pretty much essential for my playing of any class. There are a few things that I leave in awkward locations and use the mouse click instead of the key bind, but virtually all my abilities, etc. are tied to a key stroke or keystroke combo.

    I have 1 thru = and the F1 thru F12 as my basic keybinds, with Shift, Alt, and Control modifying the two basic rows. Some things like my land mount is always Alt 1 and my regular flight mount as Alt 2 for all my characters. Alt = is always my hearthstone. Fishing is always Shift Q, though I may well just click it when I am being lazy and using only my right hand to play. In short virtually every button on my keyboard or some combination of buttons are used in playing WoW.

    My offensive and defensive abilities usually go on the primary keys 1 thru = and F1 thru F4 or so. Heals go from F5 thru F12. Less used abilities such as my Priest's focus shackle undead tend to go to button combos such as Shift 4. Levitate, Slow Fall, and Zen Flight are always Shift F12.

    I have found that I need to space abilities so I have a split second moving my fingers or I move faster than the game will accept. So depending on the length of the cooldown, I have to experiment with locations that give me a chance to time my finger movement with the cooldown. That only comes with actually playing the character over time.

    I know you probably recall us talking about this before, but I thought I would mention it again as I really enjoy making decisions like this.

    1. I've never bound the little things like mounts and fishing. I do mounts when a new expansion comes out only because you know me and my speed leveling. Outside of that I leave all the little stuff to clicking. There are only so many binds that are comfortable and I don't feel like I could ever waste any on something like that personally.

      I usually move faster than the global myself. I often times find myself spamming keys which actually has caused issues here and there and made me make mistakes. It is a bad habit I seem to keep falling back into.

      How you set things up to work for you in an important part of the game and like a science in its own. I enjoy trying to find that smooth spot too.

  3. Figuring out the right keybinds always is an interesting activity. And I totally agree that this is some kind of permanent process. When changing keybinds I no longer move the abilities on my bars but only assign the new keybind to it.

    Here are my BM-keybinds:

    WASD = Movement
    1 = Jab / shift-1 = Fortifying Brew
    2 = KS / shift-2 = lvl75 Talents
    3 = BOK / shift-3 = Elusive Brew
    4 = TP / shift-4 = Trinket1
    5 = PB / shift-5 = Trinket2
    6 = Dizzying Haze / shift-6 = Zen Meditation
    7 = Expel Harm / shift-7 = lvl90 Talents
    8 = BoF / shift-8 = Avert Harm
    Q = Roll / shift-Q = lvl15 Talents
    E = Spear Hand Strike / shift-E = lvl60 Talents
    R = Provoke / shift-R = Leer of the OX
    F = Guard / shift-F = Detox
    G = Grapple Weapon / shift-G = Nimble Brew
    Mousebutton-3 = lvl30 Talents

    There are way more, but those are not of interest right now. And I am pretty sure that I forgot something important. I have been wanting to change my movement keys from WASD to ESDF for a long time, but it has never happened till now.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    1. I too keep thinking of changing movement keys but never have. I do the majority of my movement with my mouse but sometimes have to use keys. Like when throwing my barrels when running on my monk. Moving with my mouse means I can not target it. So it is a bit of a mix and match there for me.

      Yes, that does help, thank you. Yours is somewhat similar to what the other person said. Give me more of a solid idea of priority.

      Looking at it monks really do not have much more than other classes but because it is all new is what it feels like so much to me.

    2. Well, it's like anything else, there's a basic "80% of optimal, good enough" rotation that's about half the total number of buttons, learn that first and then when you feel like you could be doing more, do more. If you try to learn 100% of everything at once you'll drive yourself nuts.

      I've never considered remapping my main movement keys, I need to be able to hit those and `-7 consistently, I'd have to completely re-learn pretty much everything if I did that. Can't imagine it's worth the hassle.

      The only change I've made is to move A and D (strafe) to Q and E, freeing up A and D for other things. I've trained myself to use Q and E by now but I haven't had the guts to map anything important to A and D yet. Maybe eventually. :)

    3. That is the best way to go about DPS. Do the 80% rotation and then start to include the goodies that make you better.

      I don't feel tanks, or healers, for that matter have that ability as much.

      As a damage dealer you can do 80K and do just fine or 100K and do better. As a tank you either can take the hit or not take the hit. How well you take the hit rarely matters. And to take it you need to do the right thing. (or have the right gear)

      Maybe I just put to much pressure on myself but while I do not mind doing 80% on my mage and saying screw alter time I don't think I could play 80% on my BM and say screw using guard.

      For learning however I think 80% could work. I am just trying to hard. I have to have everything right or I feel nothing is. It is a personal problem really. One I only face when tanking.

    4. I disagree with that. As a monk tank, with a competent healer, you could tank non-progression content with nothing but Jab, KS, TP, BoK and PB. Sure, you'll get hit a bit harder and more often, but most healers probably wouldn't even notice. As you said, though, if it would bug you not to be doing 100% then nothing can really help with that short of therapy &/or medication. Maybe have a few drinks before your next tanking session to take the edge off. ;)

      As a disc priest I can heal perfectly well with nothing but PW:S, Penance, Heal and PoH.

      I think you'll find pretty much all classes and specs have an 80% rotation that consists of 5 or fewer buttons. That's also one of the reasons that I get so annoyed when I come across people doing 50% or less of their optimal dps... it's far too simple to do 80%.

      One of the reasons I can actually play all 11 classes with a reasonable level of competence is that the first thing I do is figure out what the 80% rotational buttons are. Until I can do that, I won't play that toon in group content. It's also one of the reasons why I'm struggling with Mistweaver, it's the first class/spec I've come across that doesn't seem to have an 80% competency rotation, I seem to cap out at about 50% when I do anything less than a full rotation.

      A suggestion... if you know a somewhat undergeared Atonement priest (you don't want to make it too easy but you will need a bit of healing and dps help to have much chance of success), go 2-man a heroic instance or two with your monk tank. I found that helped a lot with getting comfortable with my rotation, especially offense vs defense as James mentions below. You need to stay alive but you also need to put out a lot of dps or you run into issues. Knowing when to put Chi points into PB vs BoK is a useful thing to know... personal limits, etc.

      It's funny, as useful as I find rotational guides like Icy Veins, Elitist Jerks and the like, I've never seen any come at it from the 80%+ perspective... someone needs to write those if they don't exist elsewhere. "DPS for Dummies: How to avoid being mocked in group content".

    5. I think that comes with knowing the class well and being comfortable with it. I can do a 5 button rotation on my hunter and most likely still pull over 80K which would beat roughly 95% of the player base. What is comes down to is me knowing I can do 120K if I just hit a few more buttons.

      Maybe I do need therapy. lol I just can not be content doing 80K when I know I can do 120K. Not in my nature.

      However... as a tank surviving is what matters most. As long as I survive I did good. Of course with help from the healer, but I did my job. So tanking I could slack off and do 80%.

      I can easily give you 80% guides for all classes. I play them all (mostly) and know them all and I know the better rotation but unless I am raiding with it I only do the 80% one. Like on my shaman. I never drop my totems. I just do the standard buttons. Hand on 1, 2, and 3, and I can zone out completely and still pull 70K in my healing gear. Now that is an 80% rotation that works. Helps when elemental rotation is only a couple of buttons anyway. When questing, dungeoning, LFRing, world bossing, etc, on alts in alt specs I play 80%. I still feel a little dirty doing it, but at the end I usually feel fine with it when things are all said and done and out of a 40 man nalak group my healing priest doing smite healing only is # 3 in damage done and # 2 in healing done even only playing at 80% or less in 483 gear.

      I went and soloed some of the 85 heroics on my monk to give it a try and not injure anyone in the process. Bought a healer with me just in case. Never really needed a heal on the ones I did. Not sure I would be able to do a level 90 one, do you think I could?

      Learning limits is really what is about when tanking. It is how I learned to tank on all my other characters. I think that is more my issue than anything else. I leveled all tanks as tank and quest as a tank. My monk I leveled as DPS and quest as DPS. So I never had the tank time I should have had.

    6. Sure, but everyone has limitations in just how many things they can deal with. I macro cooldowns to other cooldowns or rotational abilities a LOT. It's not that I don't realize it's costing me a bit of dps, it's that I know if I don't do that it'll cost me MORE dps since they won't be used at all.

      The 80% rotation is basically the same thing, it's realizing that I'd rather do 80% well than try to do everything and do even worse. I don't think it requires class knowledge, my warlock has NEVER run Aff but I'll bet I could come up with an 80% rotation pretty easily. Let's see...

      Actually, that was too easy... Agony, Corruption, Unstable Affliction, Malefic Grasp and Haunt. How'd I do? :)

      (that ignores the execute phase change as well as soul burn / soul swap but I'm pretty sure you won't end up below 80% optimal dps... actually, I may have to try that spec out sometime)

      Yeah, I could do it as well but I just don't think anyone has. All class guides that I've seen are either too simplistic (WoW Insider 101 guides) or too focused on maximizing dps. There should be an LFR version of the class guides, along the lines of the macro sections of the Ten Ton Hammer LFR fight guides.

      That's the other advantage of macroing CDs to rotational abilities, they get used even when soloing. :)

      With a healer? Sure, as long as you're LFR+ geared, but I'd bring one that can dps as well, hence the Atonement recommendation. You'll need the dps help to actually get bosses down, most likely.

      Yep, but monks are a bit twitchier than others in respect to learning limits and questing wouldn't help with that one bit. Most tanks have a choice similar to a heal vs a block/absorb (except DKs who get both with Death Strike... love DK tanks) but for monks it's a choice between clearing a sizeable DoT or extending/triggering a short but significant avoidance/mitigation buff. PB isn't always the right choice, you generally don't use it until Stagger is above a certain point but that point could be 10K/s or 100K/s or more depending on what you're running and how quick your reaction time is to deal with it. A monk tank using nothing but PB with his chi points is going to take a lot more damage than one who finds the right balance, monks take more damage than any other tank type if you look at end-of-fight numbers, I believe, but it tends to be quite steady if you handle it right. A good monk should be surprisingly easy to keep up despite (or because of) the small health pool and the different tools available.

    7. Kind of how I am on those alts. I would rather stick to the minimum and do as much as I can with them instead of trying to juggle things and doing worse or messing it up. So I understand the 80% theory there for sure.

      When I did the 85 ones I just had the healer stand back in case I needed them, they did not help because I ended up not needing them.

      I might have to give the 90s a try. I'll try them solo at first however, just like I did the 85s, with the healer waiting in case I need them. It might be an interesting way to get used to where I bound things so I can get them memorized.

      See, you said something there that intrigued me. One of the issues was how do I keep up the shuffle and clean out the staggered damage and you just said you can't do both.

      That is one of my problems. I am trying to do both and failing at doing it. I lose the one buff if I take time to drink my brew. No guides anywhere said that you can not do both. They all say use one to build the buff and one to clear the debuff. Never once do they say it is a balance. And that is where I was getting really stuck on.

      I could swear I read that you can get the buff up to a minute or two and I am always seeing it fall off. I was thinking I was doing something wrong. Either that or I am confusing two different buffs.

      So I am not doing anything wrong? If so, that is a huge relief and actually makes things much easier. I can try to time which one to use and when so I can get the maximum benefit from both.

      Funny how a small comment in passing really opens your eyes on something sometimes.

      Like I said, I am a beginner and have not really tanked with it and even reading the guides and the stuff I read online never mentioned that it was a choice. Just to keep them both done. I am so confused. lol

    8. Yeah, you might have a shot at soloing some heroic bosses... I failed on the few I tried at the time (their dps was higher than mine and I just couldn't kill them quickly enough) but I was more just learning the rotation at the time vs pulling out every trick to beat a boss. At this point I wouldn't be shocked if I could solo some heroic bosses as a dps... gear helps. :)

      Yeah, it's a dance between the two WHEN YOU'RE SOLO TANKING (that's impportant), generally speaking your chi is going to be used for one or the other so they're competing for resources. Where you eventually want to end up is using most of your chi to keep up Shuffle and only use PB when you have to, using chi for attack buttons also (I believe) causes more stacks of EB which has mitigation/avoidance benefits through crits. There's really a ridiculously cool synergy between all of the monk buttons.

      So, the solo tanking disclaimer. If you're RAIDING, and assuming there are periods where you aren't the active tank, THOSE are when you can just stack Shuffle to the moon. You won't be taking much damage so your Stagger will be low, you can put most or all of your Chi into stacking Shuffle. Then when you're actively tanking, you can stop worrying as much about BoK and spend more chi on PB and Guard. It's the equivalent of a DK maximizing his blood shield during a period of off-tanking.

      This is from Icy Veins, it's a good rule of thumb for BoK vs PB, especially at lower haste levels, I'm sure at some gearing level you'll be swimming in energy/chi:

      "Purifying Brew and Blackout Kick are the two abilities on which you will spend the vast majority of your Chi. Because of this, you will have to strike a balance between the two. Deciding when to use which ability depends on many factors, but in principle, you should try to keep 100% uptime on Shuffle and use Purifying Brew the rest of the time."

    9. Thanks, that really clears up a lot for me. I just did some "scenario" tanking. I moved a few binds around that I think will help. I did die instantly a few times however. Oops.

    10. Yeah... whatever you did that resulted in being inst-gibbed, try to do less of that. :)

    11. I have no idea what it was that happened but I will try to take that advice and not do it again. lol

  4. Monk is really fun as tank. Loads of abilities. Can go both ways - offensive or defensive, not many tanks have that flexibility.

    Now I have small hands so I am a terrible keybinder. I bind interrupt and taunt the same as on all my chars. I can't really reach even button 3 comfortably, so I plan around Q, E, R, F and mouse buttons.
    I used to have taunt on Shift+R before my accident but now I can't press them buttons reliably so I've changed it for the past year and a bit into Shift+wheel down. If there's more than one taunt, Shift+Wheel up. I know it's not comfortable to a lot of people due to hand size, but it is for me.
    I'd say bind it to the same bind as your Growl on druid.

    I found Dizzying Haze important to monk. Roll roll (R), throw barrels (F), stop, dps. In raids it's quite useful when you need to pick up adds on Megaera for example or kite bats on Tortos. You can even recall Elegon adds. You can throw those things even behind so it makes for easy-mode add picking up in any situation, be it raid or dungeon when someone pulls. Ofc there's so many ways to intercept, it's not needed but it's too easy not to use it.

    I bind most crap to Naga buttons, so, as I said, my 2 cents aren't worth much.

    1. I tried binding the interrupt and taunt the same on all and it was that way for the longest time but I changed as time went on. Not sure why, just feel comfortable with things being in different places sometimes.

      I use a trackball mouse which means mouse keys are not an option for me. I tried playing with a normal mouse so I could get all those extra buttons, I really want them, but I just can not use a mouse like that. I am not sure how anyone can. Perhaps if I practiced I could but I do not feel like learning all over again. First time trying to fly with a normal mouse I was all over the place, flying into walls, diving all over the place. No thank you. A trackball mouse gives me the movement ability I want and there is no one in the game that can move, change direction, to adjust on the fly as someone with a trackball mouse. I guess that would make me a good PvPer if I ever went that way but I don't see that happening. I did find a trackball mouse with 2 buttons. I use them for either modifiers or specific spells but even at that I use them rarely as it is not ideal if I need to move and hit one of them at the same time being I move with my mouse. Perhaps I need to get more in the habit of moving with my keyboard sometimes.

  5. I use the same pattern of keybinds for all my character types as much as they fit into the "standard pattern". First, a revelation here, I use the keyboard for *everything*, yes I keyboard turn. My reasoning is twofold - I program for a living on unix and use emacs - I'm most comfortable doing *everything* with a keyboard - I *hate* having to touch the mouse. It's so far away it slows me down. Second, I play on my laptop from my couch - no place for a mouse.

    I have all of my toolbars bound as 1234QWEASDZX, my hand stays centered on the qwe/asd section. Also, since I use emacs, I have bound the caps lock key to 'control', rather than crook a finger downward and because of emacs, I'm very fast at hitting control and a key. Also, my alt key is right next to the arrow keys, so a quick right thumb allows me to hit it as my left hand hits a key.

    My tool bars go as such: 1 is the thing I hit right before battle (shields, fairy fire, etc.) QWE is the standard rotation, meant to be done in order from left to right. Q is the 'setup' (shield throw, cobra shot, flame shock), W is the follow-up, and E is the 'spam' key (the most frequent thing I do in combat) - it's right under the index finger. 2&S are 'finishing moves' or "infrequent combat moves', A is always 'stop spellcaster', D is always 'instant AoE around me/infront of me'. 3 is 'frequent combat boost' (ferocious roar) or taunt for tanks and 4 is 'bigger combat boost'. Z&X are usually the wildcards for a class. control-S is always 'biggest instant combat heal', control-q is always 'biggest save my ass' followed by control W and control E for small 'save my butts', control 1 is usually 'bigger aoe' (earthquake, etc) control Z is always 'stealth, invisible, etc' control A is threat reduce, control D is 'backup instant aoe', F1 is ground mount, F2 is air mount, F3 is water mount, control 3 is 'big combat CD' like berserk, alt-3 is heroism, timewarp, alt-q and alt-1 are precombat long term things like lightning shield/flame weapon. alt-x is raid wide starting buff, motw, arcane brilliance. alt-S is biggest heal usable in combat, alt-d is regain mana/most useful potion.

    There are a few more, but that pattern is incredibly consistent across dps and tank setups - most abilities generally fall into the same 'function' groups, despite their slight differences. If you look at the way the keys are bound, you'll notice that my hands never move only my fingers. no modifier key is "use all the time", control is "use frequent enough in combat", alt is "almost never in combat".

    No hand movements mean that everything happens as I think about it, rather than after I move my hand and look to make certain I'm not hitting the wrong key. If I need to click or mouse on something, my mac's trackpad is right under my right thumb, easy peasy to use.

    And having consistance places mean I only need to know the variations between the setups rather than entirely different ones for each. Just how I do things best.

    1. The greatest tank I have ever seen play used his keyboard for everything. Never even used a mouse. Someone once asked, why does he not loot. He said, when they make a way for me to loot with my keyboard I will, I don't use a mouse.

      I use some type of pattern as well. Not as much for my tanks however. I tried that and it does not work. Too many working parts that work differently.

      I don't even have taunt in the same binding on all like I used to. They have all worked into their own feeling.

      For the longest time I did not even have taunt on my paladins bar, bound or not. I had righteous defense which was just a mouse click on healbot (yes I use it for targeting on all my characters) and as such I never needed to have a taunt.

      I think I need to expand my bar, so to speak, for my monk. At least to start, so I can get more of a feel for it.