Know Your Role
Melee DPS jobs have a unique mechanic in positionals. Certain actions will deal more damage when executed from the rear or flank of a target. Targets with continuous Target Rings will always take the increased damage from positional actions.
The Role Action True North allows you to disregard positional requirements for ten seconds per use.
While it is a loss to miss your Positionals, landing them should be your last priority, after you have met all of the other combat priority requirements of a melee DPS job. These are listed in order from largest to smallest loss of damage if you fail that level.
- Handle Mechanics
If you fail mechanics, you could cause a potential raid wipe and a fight reset. You do not want to be the cause of that. Nothing is more important than properly handling mechanics.
- Stay Alive
Don’t die. Plain and simple. If you have to sacrifice uptime to not die, you know the choice to make. Deaths cause much larger losses than missing a GCD or two.
- Maintain Uptime (ABC - Always Be Casting)
Stick to the boss like glue, assuming you meet one and two. Don’t let your GCD stop spinning.
- Land Positionals
And then, once you have one through three down, worry about maintaining proper positionals.
Defensive actions like Feint and Arm’s Length as well as healing actions like Bloodbath and Second Wind help you stay alive in solo and group content.
At its core, Monk’s rotation is about progressing through your three forms; Opo-Opo, Raptor, and Coeurl. At each step you have three different GCDs to choose from; a Pure Damage GCD, a Timer GCD, or an AoE GCD.
Your Pure Damage GCDs are Bootshine, True Strike, and Snap Punch, which simply deal damage with no additional effect.
Your Timer GCDs all apply some kind of buff or debuff that you want to keep up. Dragon Kick applies Leaden Fist, which increases the damage of your next Bootshine. Twin Snakes applies Disciplined Fist, increasing all damage dealt for 15 seconds. Demolish applies a damage over time effect that ticks for 18 seconds.
Your AoE GCDs are all only worth using at three or more targets.
As you level up, you’ll slowly gain access to new skills, fleshing out your rotation as you go.
From Levels 1 - 17 you only have access to Bootshine, True Strike, and Snap Punch while you get used to progressing through your forms.
At level 18 you gain access to Twin Snakes, the aforementioned buff. At this point you can start to practice alternating skills between combo cycles; using Twin Snakes to apply Discipled Fist on the first combo cycle, then using True Strike on the next cycle before Disciplined Fist needs to be reapplied.
At Level 30 you gain access to Demolish, your DoT. Following the same principle as before, you’ll apply Demolish on the first cycle, then use Snap Punch on the following cycles until Demolish needs to be reapplied.
At Level 50 you gain access to Dragon Kick, fully fleshing out your six core GCDs. As with the other Timer GCDs, you want to apply the Leaden Fist buff from Dragon Kick, and on the following cycle use a Bootshine to spend the Leaden Fist.
You’ll gain Arm of the Destroyer, Four-Point Fury, and Rockbreaker at levels 26, 45, and 30 respectively. As mentioned before, these skills are worth using when you can hit three or more targets.
At Level 15 you will gain access to Meditation, allowing you to build Chakra. You can build up to five stacks of Chakra, and then spend them on either a single target or a line AoE oGCD. Meditation should be treated as a downtime tool that you only use if you are unable to hit a target.
At Level 15 you can spend your Chakra on Steel Peak. This will upgrade to The Forbidden Chakra at Level 54.
At Level 40 you will gain access to Howling Fist. This will upgrade to Enlightnment at Level 74.
Steel Peak has a potency of 180 vs Howling Fists’ 100. This means Howling Fist is worth using over Steel Peak at two or more targets.
The Forbidden Chakra has a potency of 340 vs Howling Fists’ 100. This makes Howling Fist worth using over The Forbidden Chakra at four or more targets.
Finally, Enlightenment has a potency of 170. This breaks even with The Forbidden Chakra at two targets, becoming a gain at three or more targets.
BuffsRiddle of Fire is acquired at Level 68, increasing damage dealt. This skill should be pressed on cooldown.Brotherhood is acquired at Level 70, and is our raid buff. Brotherhood both increases the damage dealt by ourselves and the party while also generating additional Chakra. Again, this skill should be used on cooldown.Riddle of Wind is another personal buff, acquired at Level 72, greatly increasing our Auto-Attack speed. Yet again, this skill can merely be pressed on cooldown.
Perfect Balance and BlitzesPerfect Balance is gained at Level 50, and allows the execution of any three GCDs with all form bonuses applied. Until you hit Level 60, the best way to use Perfect Balance is to refresh your Disciplined Fist timer, Demolish timer, and execute the following Opo-Opo GCD, before pressing Perfect Balance and using it to alternate between Opo-Opo GCDs for three GCDs. This is because our Opo-Opo GCDs are our strongest GCDs.
Masterful Blitz is acquired at Level 60 alongside the Master’s Gauge, and can be thought of as a combo finisher to Perfect Balance.
The Master’s Gauge has two aspects; the three Beast Chakra orbs in the centre, and the two Nadi on either side. Using a GCD under Perfect Balance will fill up a Beast Chakra of the respective Form; Bootshine would give an Opo-Opo Chakra, Snap Punch would give a Coeurl Chakra, etc.
Upon building up three Beast Chakra, Masterful Blitz will turn into one of four different GCDs.By building up any three identical Beast Chakra (three Opo, Raptor, or Coeurl), you will be able to use Elixir Field, which will fill up the Lunar Nadi on the Master’s Gauge.By building up one of each different Beast Chakra, you will be able to use Flint Strike, which will fill up the Solar Nadi on the Master’s Gauge. Flint Strike upgrades to Rising Phoenix at Level 86.By building up two different types of Beast Chakra (two Raptor and one Coeurl, two Opo and one Raptor, etc.), you will be able to use Celestial Revolution, which will fill up the Lunar Nadi on the Master’s Gauge by default, but if you already have a Lunar Nadi then it will fill the Solar Nadi instead.When you have both a Lunar and Solar Nadi, Masterful Blitz will turn into Tornado Kick, regardless of the Beast Chakra you build. Tornado Kick upgrades into Phantom Rush at Level 90.