Lynncletica, my Grandmaster Mountain Light Monk, is far tougher than I ever imagined. She’s practically a tank now, and that’s high praise for a class that many consider to be…squishy.
It’s hard to be squishy when you’re focusing the power of stone, however, and Lynn proves it. She’s now almost as equipped as Syncletica was (recently TR’d) but with a few new twists. At 509 HP unbuffed and in Ultimate Earth Stance, Lynn has shown that she can take far more damage per second while dishing out damage and healing herself simultaneously for good measure.
I’ve mentioned her many solo runs into the Subterrane to get the Icy Raiment outfit. Finally, that paid off yesterday after, maybe 18 runs there. But an hour prior to that run, I and a fellow guildie, an up-and-coming Monk named Krekette, took a run through the Cannith Manufactury to score (for her) a pair of the Fabricator’s Gauntlets from the rare Iron Defender that appears there, while also getting its twin item, the Fabricator’s Bracers.
Now, I’ve always advised my fellow guildies with Monks to always get your Jidz-Tet’ka bracers made and in use throughout the lifetime of your Monk. The versatility of those bracers to augment Monk stances is always handy, even if you never get them upgraded to an Epic version. Frankly, I recommended them because, short of some Armored +8 bracers or a crack at some Levik’s Bracers for healing amplification, there wasn’t much better for a Monk to wear.
The Fabricator’s set has set me on a new path of enlightenment, at least for Lynncletica. In Ultimate Earth Stance, she generates far more threat than Syncletica. I don’t need Intimidate when I can just go b*tchslap a foe and have him chasing me for as long as I keep smacking him. The Gauntlets are the greater of the two: STR +6, Resistances +5 (awesome, as saves, not AC, define a Monk’s defensiveness), and Melee Alacrity 10%.
Many new Monks love Wind Stance for speed, but Lynn prefers power, which often takes down a foe faster due to the more powerful damage per strike and higher criticals. Why hit 10 times to kill when you can strike twice? That Melee Alacrity alone guarantees a near-retirement of a pair of Brawling Gloves she owns. The Fabricator Gauntlets are a perfect pair of gloves. The rare encounter that may drop these seems to love to give them to you; I own two pairs now, one to give to Syn to consider later in her second life.
The twin Bracers wet Lynn’s tanking whistle with Balance +10, Exceptional Balance +5, Incite 20%, and something called “Cannith Combat Infusion.” It’s a nice effect similar to the Madstone Boots where you get +4 to major stats, double-strike and +2 to AC for 10 seconds–but without the spell-barring effects of Madstone Rage. Oh, yeah, with additional threat from these, there’s no way that I won’t get and keep any monster’s attention.
It gets better. The Fabricators set can be unlocked from its Nearly Finished status with parts (ingredients) you gather by slaying through the Manufactury and in Cannith quests. When both unlocked items are worn, you get 25% stacking fortification and +2 to-hit and to damage. If this isn’t a Monk tank’s dream gear, I don’t know what is.
The Bracers required Krekette and I to be a bit attentive in trying to score them. They drop only from the chest of the Iron Fire Bomber, an optional, massive-looking CR28 Iron Golem boss you’ll find inside Blown to Bits. The good news is that the boss is really not difficult to beat at all; he simply has massive HP. The challenge involves why the Bomber got his name. He is courteous enough to warn 4 seconds before he randomly detonates, at point-blank range, his own kind of one of the many detonation packs you had successfully used to clear out huge crates throughout the quest. They do the same insanely fatal damage to you (1000-2000 points) if you don’t get clear.
Escape’s not a problem for a Monk with Abundant Step and Cannith Boots of Propulsion for speedy escapes. You just have to watch out for when the Bomber drops a det-pack. On one earlier solo run, he set a pack seconds after I freed him from his crate and the battle began, and I missed the cue to skedaddle. Lynn got predictably vaporized but a hireling resurrected her to complete the fight.
With care, Krekette and I beat the golem down. There sat my Bracers, finally! Took only 4 runs or so to get them. We did go next door to beat up the CR21 Warforged Titan as well and blew up all crates and killed one optional pair of rare WFs for a total of 5 chests. Not a bad day’s work. Still working on helping Krekette get her set.
After unlocking my set, I took them down to Garamol for yet another Icy run. I was feeling lucky today; I could feel it in my bones. The end fight was a little rougher with a couple of unexpected spawns (dammit, make sure Power Attack is OFF, stupid!) but Garamol fell again. This time, there they were, my prized pair of Icys. Too bad that the resistances from these and the Fabricator’s Gauntlet’s don’t stack…but if I need to switch to my Garments of Equilibrium, I won’t lose anything, either, with the bracers on.
I took one more detour to see how tough Lynn had become. With Icys and the Fabricator’s set on, I entered the Research Facility section of the Manufactury. That’s a L23-28 raid wilderness. I took Syncletica in there once…just once. The much more-damaging cannons there pulverized her (despite being more geared than Lynn as a whole).
Without a hireling, Lynn was able to clear all the L23 cannons in that initial hallway through perseverance, her smiting handwraps, Greater Ardor II potions, Haste potions and many retreats to heal up from Healing Ki and Wholeness of Body. I was feeling pretty cocky…until I opened the door to greet a CR28 Bladesworn Red-Named, who quickly illustrated to me (in conjunction with his posse of CR28 WF artificers and their repeaters) that Lynn has her limits.
But, my oh my, Lynn’s limits are greater than I have ever realized. I’m going to try tanking more often now! Stormreaver, it’s time we danced the dance of death. I’ll lead–watch your toes.