The Art of the Monk Tank
Letís get this out of the way for the sake of peace. Your monk tank does NOT have a Taunt. If you pull aggro off him/her you will be tanking the mob until the tank has the energy to pass your threat again.
Yes I know youíre going to point at our Provoke spell but all that does is make the target rush towards the monk tank, it does NOT transfer the threat.
On the up side, your monk tank generates a huge amount of AoE threat so if you give him a chance you will never pass his threat generation.
We wear leather, so our tanking depends on our ability to dodge attacks. But we have a few extra spells to mitigate damage too, and gifts that Iím certain other tanks want too. Iím sure youíve noticed the orbs that appear next to monk tanks. These are free gifts that drop from Monks every so often from the Gift of the Ox passive. These can be wonderful heals, and will help your healer a lot if you run through them. Iíve seen a few tanks that simply ignore them. I know I do unless I see my health bar drop significantly. Then I walk through them and my healer loves me again.
We have a Stagger passive that makes 20% of any damage hit us over the next 10 seconds. A note for healers, a Monk tank needs healing after a mob is down. I know itís silly but I have died because the healer stopped healing and started looting after a boss was down because there was that much damage still coming in (yes it was a low level dungeon but it's good to know).
We also have a passive that gets triggered when we cast Blackout Kick (or Rushing Jade Wind if talented) the passive is called shuffle which gives us a 20% parry increase and increases your Stagger by 20%, which means if you get hit hard 40% of that damage will land over the next 10 seconds. We need to keep this up so make sure you use Blackout Kick every 6 seconds.
Other than that we have some fun spells, Dampen Harm (if you are a tank you WILL have chosen it from your talent tree) reducing damage to half the next three attacks that are going to hit you for more than 10% of your total health.
Expel Harm is a quick self heal, gives you 1 chi, and causes half of that heal in damage to a nearby enemy.
Zen Sphere is another fun one it HoTís you (or another party member) for a reasonable amount over the next 16 seconds. And if you time it right you can cast it again before it wears off it damages all enemies within 10 yards and heals all allies for twice the amount.
Keg Smash gives you another mitigation by weakening enemy attacks by 10%.
Zen Meditation has a long cooldown is not a mitigation if you are in a melee fight but if you are being attacked by several ranged mobs it will reduce damage received by 90% and redirect 5 spells at other party members to you. Limited use really for a tank but itís worth being aware of.
Guard is possibly the most important mitigator, itís a shield that lasts 30 seconds and mitigates a significant amount of damage. But more importantly it increases self heals whilst active by 30%.
So basically weíre a self healing tank.
So we donít have a taunt but what do we have? Well we have Dizzying Haze a small spell that uses 10 energy and generates huge threat. If we use it well we can really aggravate a ranged group before it reaches us (remember guys and girls that the mobs have to be in the targeted area to be affected, so if theyíre running towards you, cast ahead of them) I can cast this spell 5 times in quick succession by the time Iíve finished none of the mobs head for other party members. But doing that leaves you vulnerable as you need to build up energy again so you canít cast your mitigation spells for a while.
When the mobs reach you, then you cast Keg Smash followed by Blackout Kick once youíve done that you have all your passive mitigation spells activated (Stagger, Shuffle, Dizzying Haze and Weakened Blows).
After that you need to start on your single or Multi target rotation.
Yes we have interrupts (3 if you have chosen Leg Sweeps from the talent tree)
Spear Hand Strike is a single target interrupt.
Paralysis is a single target interrupt I tend to reserve for whirlwind casts.
And Leg Sweeps which will interrupt all enemies around you for 5 seconds.
Other helpful things
Statue of the Ox provides an AoE Provoke ability around the Statue so experiment with how you can make that useful, and if you have the Leer of the OX glyph will cause mobs within 40 yards of your statue to attack it.
PCG - Taurumon, Druid - Windblown, Monk