First, a little update...
This week I am proud to say that our little groups first night of raiding ended with 6 bosses being one shot and then getting VERY close to getting the Shammys down. The second night we managed to progress through a whole 3 bosses! After a shaky and totally messy first attempt, we got the Shamans down on our second try, even though my co tank forgot to take Haromm off me in the beginning when I also had aggro on the two dogs, which of course resulted in a somewhat untimely death (oops!) a quick res from our druid healer saw me back on my panda feet and we got the kill :) General Nazgrim was relatively easy, having done the fight so many times on flex the group were very good at controlling the adds and being a monk certainly helps out during the extra adds at the end!! Malkorok was a very fun fight, an we will pretend I didn't get the entire raid wiped out by telling them to stack for the breath and then managing to get ALL of them hit by it on one particular attempt :D We had a few attempts on spoils at the end of the night, it is my intention to attempt to write a monk guide for this fight at some point, as it is the one fight in SoO I feel I have the experience and knowledge to do so on!!
Different bosses = different builds?
The more I experiment and play around with different stat weights, the more it becomes apparent that with the Brewmaster you can actually (If so inclined) build differently for each different boss. I'm not saying this may not be true of other tanks, however when I compare the Brewmaster to something like my DK who has a respectable enough gear score to face the first 4 bosses in SoO, there seems to be a lot less scope for me to change things up for each fight. I though I would pick these first 4 as an example for just how much maneuverability my Monk has.
For me this fight is a bit of a no brainer, and it's a great opportunity to utilise all our epic magic damage reductions like Diffuse Magic and Glyph of Guard these two spells between them actually mean that as Brewmasters we can do something rather special and take two of the blasts that would normally one shot most other tanks. With this said I will say that when I first attempted this boss with our main group I kept my Dampen Harm, as my gear wasn't all that great and I felt a little bit squishy.
The Fallen Protectors.
This is an interesting fight, as depending on who I am tanking, I build one of two different ways: For Rook Stonetoe, who deals a high amount of physical Damage I like to up my mastery a little, keep my Guard un-glyphed and make sure to take the Dampen Harm talent, which is awesome as it can actually be cast while stunned. For He Softfoot, who deals a mixture of physical and magical damage, I like to glyph my guard and depending on my mastery score, if it's high enough I will also take Diffuse Magic, as it pretty much negates all the nasty poisons he uses on his tank. I love the fact that by changing my build I can easily tank either one of these two bosses, whereas some tanks will struggle more with one or the other, i think this makes the Brewmaster a very powerful addition to any raid team attempting this boss, purely because they can cope with whatever boss is needed, giving the other tank free choice to pick whatever is easiest for him/her.
This fight took me a while to figure out, the best answer I could come up with was a high mastery build for my first few runs, as the amalgamation does hit pretty hard, and, if you're dozey like me and accidentally get caught in the titanic smash when you're in your mini proving grounds, a high amount of mastery will certainly save your backside from certain death, as that smash hurts!
The Sha of Pride.
Quite possibly one of the most boring fights ever for a tank, however for my first few runs I went with a high stam/mastery build as the raid seems to take more damage than the tanks so I tried to make it as easy on the healers as possible (I'm just nice like that)
I could go on and describe a build for all the other bosses as well, I may end up doing so at some time, but my point here was that for only 4 bosses, I can use different builds to ensure that my job as a tank is made as easy as possible, and that I'm not taking so much damage that my healers are yelling at me! This brings me nicely onto one of our other variables.....
Yes. Trinkets indeed. As soon as SoO was live, I sat down with my list of trinkets and Ask Mr Robot to decide which two would be for me, simple right? WRONG!!!! I sat there for ages reading through each one, looking at the different builds on Mr R and comparing them, and came away totally confused, and still with no idea what trinkets I should be looking to use. All the other tanks in my guild knew what they were after, and I was sat there 3 weeks into the patch still not knowing what my Bis trinks were. After a while I decided I wanted the Curse of Hubris from Garrosh and the Sigil of Rampage from the Spoils of Pandaria. So I was set and sorted. Luckily for me I picked up the Sigil in one of the normal mode runs with our main group, so i was halfway there, I eventually picked up my Curse from Garrosh on a flex run. Great, so I had my trinkets. It soon became apparent that because of the amount of crit i was running from my gear and gems (around 40%) I found myself never needing to use the Curse of Hubris, also it messes with the cd on my Synapse Springs, so...I was back to the drawing board again. Over the past few weeks I have been incredibly unlucky with trinket drops, however I have come to the conclusion that there are no two "staple" trinkets I should be looking for, and that I need to pick up a few of them, to interchange depending on the fight. On the whole I must say that personally I am quite disappointed in the tanking trinkets this tier, none of them really jumped out at me and said "ME!! You want ME!!!!" The one trinket I am particularly interested in trying out if it ever drops for me is the Juggernaut's Focusing Crystal, ok so the dodge isn't really a stat that I want but the healing would be fantastic for high damage fights. I am currently running with the Sigil of Rampage and Rook's Unlucky Talisman, I am really hoping Mr Blizzard decides to be kind to me with drops soon so that I can pick up a few of the others :)