Some time ago, I wrote up my desire to build my Shintao Monk as a true tank, aggroing the bulk of enemies to ease party defense and increase total party offense.
That was way back in Update 23. With seven updates later and a lot more experience in raids, it’s time for me to revisit how Shintao Monks can be very relevant at their current design.
Lynncletica is active again. I will play her dominantly except when the capped and proven Zen Archer and Poison Master builds of Pynthetica and Ryncletica have high-level raids available. My goal is simply to get Lynn available to help in those same raids. I will also add the build to the Monk guide once completed.
It’s all too uncommon to find the raid leaders searching about for tanks in both “Temple of the Deathwyrm” and “Fire on Thunder Peak.” Other raids like “The Fall of Truth” also need a hand. I’ve seen Bards and Warlocks tank. I’ve done it once with Szyncletica as well.
But a tank should be able to create lots of Threat as well as survive and endure against bosses.
The key for Lynn’s success or failure involves several key abilities:
Very high Concentration. Thanks to the Ki Shout enhancement, this skill substitutes for Intimidate. Combined with high Threat-inducing items and Earth Stance, nothing should ignore the Epic Lynncletica on the battlefield. I can easily see 70 on my other characters, so an 80 or better should work.
High CON. More importantly than STR (critical for unarmed damage), a tank needs high HP. Monks only have 75% return on CON points to HP in relation to Fighters or Paladins. So it’s more important to survive than to cause damage. I want at least 1000 HP for Lynn, more if available. I envy the Fighters and Barbarians and Paladins that see 1200, 1500, and over 2000 HP. I would have to add a prohibitive amount of CON to come close to 1500, so using epic destinies with CON as an option, including as Twists, will help. Also helpful are items with Insightful Constitution, Profane, Exceptional and other bonuses. If I can reach a 40-50 CON, that should do it.
High fortification. Very easy to do now with Update 29’s gear. I should wear at least 250%.
High PRR. With a Sheltering 38 item (the Archon armors in the Legendary Tempest’s Spine/Hound of Xoriat offer this) and with some Twisted abilities like Improved Combat Expertise and other gear, I may see 150 PRR using the most defense-oriented epic destiny, Unyielding Sentinel.
Good, though not great miss-chance: At least 20 Dodge, 10 Incorporeality and 20 Concealment. I might be able to sacrifice AP for Ninja Spy’s Shadow Veil, but Ghostly is better than none.
Strong Reflex and Fortitude saves. I can’t add as much DEX as I’d like to see a 70 Reflex like Pynthetica holds, but getting close to 60 can help. High CON will help for a higher Fortitude.
Very high healing amplification. Between her Human Amplification and Shintao core enhancements, Lynn is a solid self-healer. But any Enhancement and Insight bonuses to this status will ensure that Healing Ki will be maximized to return 200+ HP per return. In most raids, Lynn shouldn’t require constant healing support. She will need Death Ward but can resolve most other issues through Elemental Curatives, Rise of the Phoenix and Unyielding Sentinel’s Resurrection power for supporting allies.
Threat generation. Earth Stance, Lynn’s preferred stance, generates higher Threat to keep things attracted to me. I’ll wear items or use enhancements or destinies to aid in this as well.
Special gear. There’s lots of it. But one’s caught my attention during the 10th anniversary of the game: Severlin’s Leaden Boots. They give high Stunning and Insightful STR for more damage. I’m building as many as I can, including the level 30 versions with Insightful STR +6 and Stunning +15.
From here, it’s a matter of conditioning my play style. The damage dealers should be those in my party, not me. If my hirelings or party members die, I blame myself. I should keep Ki Shout in use to keep enemies focused on me so enemies simply can’t reach my friends.
At level 10, the results are promising. My clerics are doing well enough that I may go to playing with a fighter-type or spell caster-type hireling since I can battle-heal them.
I have to remember that some enemies can’t be aggroed, such as undead and vermin such as spiders. Keeping a party safe against those kinds requires a different plan that I’m not as familiar with as I’d like to be.