Learning to tank: Monk or Paladin

90 Draenei Paladin
5130
When it comes to characters, I have serious commitment issues. I've read on these forums that Paladins are relatively easy to learn, which is cool. The problem is, I'm also interested in Monk tanking, which some people say is difficult and some say isn't that bad.

Is tanking on a Monk significantly harder to learn than on a Paladin? I don't plan on doing anything more difficult than LFR and soloing old raids for transmog gear, for now.

(I also would like to off-spec heal on whichever class I end up picking, if that makes a difference.)

Thanks in advance.
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90 Dwarf Warrior
11795
I don't think monk tanking is all that much harder, it just has less room for error. A bad paladin still does pretty well.

A bad monk dies a horrible death.
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90 Draenei Paladin
5130
I don't think monk tanking is all that much harder, it just has less room for error. A bad paladin still does pretty well.

A bad monk dies a horrible death.
How narrow is the line between "bad" and "okay"?
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14 Night Elf Druid
0
Monk tanking is painfully simple at its base. People try to make it too complex without even understanding the base concepts.

Here are the basics for Monk tanking: Keg Smash off cooldown, keep Shuffle up, Purify red stagger.

DONE.

Literally the only way you can be a "bad" Monk is to not keep Shuffle up. Okay, now, there are plenty of bad monks out there, but... yeah. It's PAINFULLY simple.

Integrating things like GotO orbs, Guard, Elusive Brew management, and cooldowns is the same learning curve as for other tanks; you simply have more ways to mitigate damage than a single binary active mitigation ability like Shield of the Righteous. The more ways you perfect, the less and less damage you take.

On top of this, a lot of the defensive abilities can be used interchangeably and there is no set "this is right for this situation." That's where the Monk skillcap comes in; deciding which ability is best to use in a situation, rather than whether to use it or not, is being good at a Monk.
Edited by Kangarooster on 4/20/2013 7:39 PM PDT
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90 Pandaren Priest
4455
I think we can safely say that if you are worried about the difficulty of a tank/heal toon and that is what is stopping you from choosing monk, Don't. Especially for the content you are talking about.

If you enjoy the play style of the monk you will excel at it, even if the consensus is paladin is simpler to pick up.

Check out the as yet unstickied guide

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7924333197

Krinu did a nice job with it, well at least for the classes I play. Can’t vouch for the others.
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90 Draenei Paladin
5130
Alright, I'm out of excuses to avoid learning how to play a Monk, so that'll do.

Thanks guys.
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97 Pandaren Monk
19815
as Kanga pointed out the "bread and butter" of monks is fairly simple. It's really about keeping shuffle up.

The problem that a lot of monks fail, is that they think that isn't important enough. Seriously, 8 out of 10 times a monk came here complaining he/she was squishy and provided logs, there were holes and holes on his/her shuffle uptime.

Unlike Shield Block, SoTR, Blood shield and Savage defense, shuffle isn't something that you "use it often" to mitigate dmg.

It's something that has to be up 24/7.

Once you get that ironed out in your head and get the muscle memory to "feel" the rotation (you know when you don't exactly need to pay attention in your rotation to actually do it?), having shuffle up becomes a no-brainer .. a consequence of playing well.

The difference, like kanga pointed out, is that monks are not that black and white ... past the bread and butter, they have a lot of shades of gray ..

So, between the bad monk and the "okay" monk, is really about keeping shuffle up, using KS on cooldown and purefying when needed (red/yellow if you can afford).

But the difference between the "okay" monk and the "top" monk is a grand canion.

concerning monk, pretty much all the info you'll need, you can find here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7591979125
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90 Draenei Paladin
5130
as Kanga pointed out the "bread and butter" of monks is fairly simple. It's really about keeping shuffle up.

The problem that a lot of monks fail, is that they think that isn't important enough. Seriously, 8 out of 10 times a monk came here complaining he/she was squishy and provided logs, there were holes and holes on his/her shuffle uptime.

Unlike Shield Block, SoTR, Blood shield and Savage defense, shuffle isn't something that you "use it often" to mitigate dmg.

It's something that has to be up 24/7.

Once you get that ironed out in your head and get the muscle memory to "feel" the rotation (you know when you don't exactly need to pay attention in your rotation to actually do it?), having shuffle up becomes a no-brainer .. a consequence of playing well.

The difference, like kanga pointed out, is that monks are not that black and white ... past the bread and butter, they have a lot of shades of gray ..

So, between the bad monk and the "okay" monk, is really about keeping shuffle up, using KS on cooldown and purefying when needed (red/yellow if you can afford).

But the difference between the "okay" monk and the "top" monk is a grand canion.

concerning monk, pretty much all the info you'll need, you can find here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7591979125
Alright, much appreciated. It's good to hear that the gap is between okay and great, rather than bad and okay.
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90 Pandaren Monk
12115
yea I'd have to agree. Pick the one you think you'll have the most fun with. If you're enjoying the class, you should naturally excel at it.

I think the reason I enjoy monk tanking so much is a) energy resource means its not a cooldown based class, which annoys me, and b) the keeping shuffle up mechanic reminds me a lot of the BC tanking days where you had to keep up shield block/holy shield to avoid getting crushed. I liked that style of tanking better than its successors. It's not "pull your hair out because you can't use your defensive ability at just the right time due to lack of resources" annoying, but its still active in the sense that I can't run in, hit something and then get up and walk away from my computer (which I was known to do in wrath).
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90 Gnome Monk
5530
Played a pally all of last expansion, took a break got him back up to 90 and tried a monk. Now my Pally is gathering dust because the monk is so much more engaging and fun. Its hard to get in a spot where im going to die, even with terribad healers my monk is very durable and has a lot of survival options
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90 Night Elf Druid
6080
learning to play any class is difficult that being said either. learn as you progress. I play a paladin mainly for one reason alone and thats because it has multiple specs. dps, tank, and healing. Monk has the same but i do not have monk BoA and i am trying to level as fast as possible to tank for my friend.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10455
Sounds like you made the decision already, but I'd say: go play a monk for a bit and figure out if you love it or hate it. The play style is so different from a paladin... My paladin is also collecting dust at this point.
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It's not quite clear; are you talking about learning to tank as you level? If so, definitely monk. Early level monks can Guard and laugh at everything, which gives you room to learn the mechanics of tanking itself. You get introduced to your survival abilities at a rate that makes sense.
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90 Human Death Knight
8900
You'd have to level a monk first.

If you lack a significant background in tanking, Monk tanking will not seem welcoming to you, while leveling.

But they are extremely addictive. My second Monk tank is almost 70. Never a dull moment.

I recommend leveling a Prot paladin for your first tank. If possible, group with someone who has had some experience tanking. I've recently leveled DPS characters too, and it's obvious in group who has or hasn't tanked before. The difference is marked, and having a friendly face looking over your shoulder would be a boon (additionally to help you to ignore the potential trash talk).
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93 Draenei Paladin
7980
Personally, I enjoy Paladin tanking myself, but I hold no ill will toward the other tank classes. I also have been working on multiple Warrior tanks and even a DK tank. Bear is starting to look interesting as my gf and I like the idea of each having a Guardian/Resto druid where we can swap out for fun.

I believe that our role is makes for a string common bond and the class/spec is merely how we each prefer to do it.

I think I was drawn to Prot Paladin early because of the "White Knight" concept, and thus far the utility of the class to help others, as well as myself, has been the appeal for me.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10455
Not sure if this matters to you, but I know it does to some folks: Monk tanks are the only tanks of the four I've played where use of weak auras or some other "status checking" add-on seems to be a requirement to progress past "ok tanking". Trying to track the time left on your stagger buff and the amount you have staggered from the normal UI is a challenge in itself.
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14 Night Elf Druid
0
Five tank specs. And no, you would be a pretty godawful Paladin, Warrior, Druid, or DK if you weren't tracking Sacred Shield, ShoR, Shield Block, Barrier, Savage Defense, or Blood Shield (not even including things like Bone Shield charges).

Tracking Shuffle is painfully easy. Stagger, not so much, but Blood Shield has (and still is) a much more vital thing to track in terms of tanking that still has absolutely no indication.
Edited by Kangarooster on 4/26/2013 12:24 PM PDT
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100 Pandaren Monk
12660
Five tank specs. And no, you would be a pretty godawful Paladin, Warrior, Druid, or DK if you weren't tracking Sacred Shield, ShoR, Shield Block, Barrier, Savage Defense, or Blood Shield (not even including things like Bone Shield charges).

Tracking Shuffle is painfully easy. Stagger, not so much, but Blood Shield has (and still is) a much more vital thing to track in terms of tanking that still has absolutely no indication.


He said the 4 that he played. That said, all of them except for Blood Shield are reasonably easy to track without any UI changes - though I'd still prefer something besides the default UI to keep track of them. Maybe DK's the one tank he doesn't have. =p

Stagger and blood shield/death strike, though, NEED something else. I know stagger gets those fancy alerts and different colors by default, but that's just some basic info. Nothing really shows you how much your death strike is going to do for you though unless you're really amazing at constantly doing math in your head while fighting bosses.
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90 Pandaren Monk
10455
My browser decided I shouldn't be verbose and just lost the whole post. But the TLDR version is:
I'm not talking about getting to be a good tank, a great tank or an excellent tank. Just talking about moving from the "guild healers hide when you ask to run a heroic when not overgeared" to "No one complains about your tanking on an average run." I think most folks use some sort of UI mod to get the most out of their class.

The first rule of Monk tanking is: thou shalt keep shuffle up. The default UI doesn't make that easy to track. The way they mitigate damage is purifying stagger. The default UI doesn't make that particularly easy to track either.

Blood Shield is a similar UI problem. However, you can get shockingly far with a simple heuristic of "hit Death Strike as soon as possible after you take a big hit". The equivalent heuristic for monks doesn't work nearly as well since purifying brew uses the same resource as Blackout Kick.

Tanking specs that are based on "hitting an ability when it is available" do just fine with the default UI. Yeah there is complexity sometimes in pooling the resources to make it available, but these are normally well represented in the default UI.
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100 Pandaren Monk
11255
Setting up a Weak Aura string and just doing what it says covers about 90% of what you need to do to be a good monk. I really just watch the icon string and do what it indicates. Here is a list of what it displays in order:

- Keg Smash off CD
- Shuffle buff missing or < 6 seconds remaining
- Tiger Power missing or < 6 seconds remaining
- Guard is off CD
- Expel Harm off CD and < 100% life
- Chi Wave off CD

Basically setting your UI up to make sure all of the above happens will make you a very solid BrM with little effort.

http://sunniersartofwar.com/brewmaster-weak-auras/
Great resource but tends to put a more junk on the screen than I like since I manage my own 3m/1.5m CD's myself around fight events.
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