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Art of War

A brewmaster monk blog.

Brewmaster vs Heroic Tortos: The Kiting Guide

As a brewmaster, you’re most likely going to be kiting bats for this encounter. It’s what you’re good at, might as well embrace it. The downside is that if you fail, it’s a guaranteed raid wipe. So don’t fail (I did — lots of times).

Differences Between Normal and Heroic

  • The bats hit much harder and are very difficult to tank. It can be done (especially with a paladin-hunter combo), but most guilds opt into kiting.
  • There are pink crystals scattered around the edges of the room. Attacking one will grant you Crystal Shell, a debuff that gives you a shield for 15% of your health. While it’s active, all healing you take will not actually heal you, but will contribute to the shield, similar to Spirit Shell. The shield caps out at 75% of your health.
  • The best way to utilize Crystal Shell is to melee it and activate the debuff when your health is above 90%. You don’t want to get the debuff at low health because you cannot get healed up and you’ll die much easier.
  • AoE attacks won’t activate it. I couldn’t even get Keg Smash to reliably activate the debuff, so use Jab instead.

Preparation

Consumables

You won’t have much time to do anything other than kiting, so stats don’t matter a great deal, other than stamina. The more health you have, the bigger your buffer before you get destroyed by Drain the Weak and the bigger your shield from Crystal Shell. Use stamina flasks and food.

Trinkets

As I mentioned above, you only care about stamina. Use stamina trinkets if you have them. Otherwise, use mastery.

Talents

Nearly every talent will be important. Some are no-brainers, some will depend on your raid composition.

Tier 1: Tiger’s Lust
The two roll talents are useful, but this sprint on a short cooldown lines up perfectly with each bat spawn. It’s useful for putting distance between yourself and your old group of bats and for getting close to your healers (where the new bats are bound to head).

Tier 2: Chi Wave, Zen Sphere, Chi Burst
I went with Chi Wave to be able to top myself off quickly when my crystal shell fell off, but all three talents are useful. Zen Sphere is good for AoE damage and healing if timed right. Chi Burst is good for ranged pulling and AoE damage.

Tier 3: Power Strikes
I deviated from my usual Ascension for the extra occasional Chi on demand. You won’t really care about chi generation here because you’ll be capped most of the time, but since you’re running around all the time and meleeing the crystals when you get a chance, Power Strikes is a faster way to get that Chi. This is especially important because Keg Smash does not always land on the crystals for some reason (I think because it’s classified as an AoE attack), so Jab is your most reliable way to both activate the shield and get Chi.

Tier 4: Charging Ox Wave
Getting into the melee range required for Ring of Peace or Leg Sweep is a death sentence, so you need your ranged stun. Best used as a new batch of bats are spawning to either control your old group or to slow down the new group before they gib healers.

Tier 5: Healing Elixirs or Dampen Harm
Healing Elixirs is a pretty controversial choice, but it is undoubtably useful if your shield falls off and you need to quickly top yourself off before activating a new one. However, the heal does not contribute to your crystal shield amount. Dampen Harm should reduce the damage done by Quake Stomp. Your choice depends on whether you have more trouble topping yourself off after the crystal shield falls off. If your healers can top you off very quickly, then go with Dampen Harm.

Tier 6: Rushing Jade Wind
A great tool for snap aggro on newly spawned bats.

DBM

Turn off every timer except the one for bat spawns and for turtle spawns. You don’t care about anything else, and it helps to clean up your UI.

Kiting

Before the pull, drop Transcendence and your Ox statue near the middle of the room. Taunting off your Ox Statue should be a last resort because Provoke will make anything hit by the taunt race toward you very quickly. Trancendence is there to help escape a bad situation or to help you get to the center faster when a new group is spawning.

The first group of bats will not spawn for a while, so you can start out dpsing the boss. Pay attention to the DBM warning, and when it goes off it’s time to head for your healers. Ask your healers to head to the middle whenever a new batch of bats appear, just to make it easier for you to pick them up.

The bats will nearly always head for a healer. I had a holy paladin with Righteous Fury active, though bats often ran for the druid healer, too. Because you can’t always predict who the bats will head for, keep an eye out for all of your healers.

To pick them up, get in range and throw Charging Ox Wave, then Rushing Jade Wind, then run away while spamming Dizzying Haze. It helps to have a rogue or hunter misdirect to you.

Once you have a group of bats following you, run around the edges of the room. This will give you the most breathing room and spinning turtles are less likely to find their way to the edge. Spam Dizzying Haze like crazy, and try not to get too far ahead of the bats. If they are far enough behind, they’ll start cutting corners, which makes it difficult to head to the middle whenever you have to pick up a new group.

The second and any following spawns are where it gets more difficult. You will most likely die if the group of bats reaches you, so you have to maneuver yourself such that your old group is still far away and your new group is within range. Use Tiger’s Lust to gain distance to move to the center. Then you can use your Charging Ox Wave on either group, though I usually used it on the new one just to prevent healer death. It helps if you can coordinate with any warlocks or other classes with AoE control abilities to help with this part. Then Rushing Jade Wind in the general vicinity of the new bats and high tail it out of there, throwing Dizzying Haze barrels behind you.

Whenever you get a new group of bats, avoid kiting them near the other tank until you have sufficient aggro. You’ll have around 10k vengeance if you’re lucky, whereas they’ll have much, much more, It’s easy for the boss tank to pull off you if you’re not prepared.

Save roll for dangerous situations, like to avoid a spinning turtle or to recover if you get caught by one. It can be tempting to use it while kiting, but you generally won’t need it until a mistake is made.

Keep an eye out for the spawn of new turtles. You don’t want to have to cross in front of Tortos as they spawn. If you do happen to hit the spawn at the wrong time, you can try to sneak behind the spinning turtles.

As you run around the room, Jab every crystal you come across. You do this because you need chi for the next bat spawn and to keep your crystal shield active in case it fell off.

If your crystal shield does fall off, Guard, then Expel Harm (or use a healing talent or healing elixirs) to top yourself off as you run to the next crystal. You can also use Expel Harm and your healing talents to increase your shield.

Near the end of the fight, things will get pretty hectic because more spinning turtles will be out and it’s nearly impossible to avoid them all. You can cast Charging Ox Wave and Rushing Jade Wind in the air.

It’s important to keep in mind, especially when things go crazy at the end, that if you get killed by bats it’s an instant wipe, but if you’re slow on picking up a new set of bats, the victim can be battle-rezed and the raid might be able to recover. For this reason, if you have to choose between getting too close to your following of bats or letting a healer die to a new set, choose the latter. I know it’s not a natural way to think as a tank, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made.

So to reiterate, when a new group of bats spawn…

  1. Circle toward the center and activate Tiger’s Lust.
  2. Locate your healers and face them.
  3. When the bats are in range, Charging Ox Wave, then Rushing Jade Wind.
  4. Run away while spamming Dizzying Haze behind you.
  5. Continue to run around the edges of the room until a new batch spawns.

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