Guild Wars: Monk in sheep's clothing?

Quick GW question for those with more experience. I’ve been playing around with a Monk, which I think is a fun class and very necessary to have in the party. Of course, the big problem with it is that it has weak armor, and enemies (especially PvP enemies, but PvE to a good extent as well) always attack me first. Everyone makes a beeline for the healer, and there doesn’t seem to be any effective way to hold a line (e.g., it’s not like our front-liners can stop people from going by, or get a bonus attack as people blow by them to attack me in the back line or anything like that). So I had this thought, but wanted to run it by folks before I invest the time to work up a new character (I don’t have a ton of time for GW): Why not take something else, like Warrior, as my primary class?

The idea would be to go Warrior/Monk, but then spend almost all of my points developing Monk attributes and buying Monk skills, the same way I would if Monk were my primary class. I would plan on spending most of my time in the battle healing my team and buffing them, just like I do now, and would take mostly Monk skills into combat. I know that doing that would mean I lose the Monk’s “Divine Favor” special ability, which would hurt my healing efficiency somewhat. But it seems like I would gain a lot–more protection (heavier armor) plus the “camouflage” of looking like a warrior, so that enemies would probably ignore me for most of the fight, until they figured out that I was actually the party’s primary healer even though I don’t look like it. I could even see combining this with a friend who goes Monk/Warrior, and then spends all his points on Warrior stuff to try and make himself tough for combat. Enemies run right at him and find a really-hard-to-kill Monk, who is constantly getting healed by the secret REAL party healer, me. By the time they figure out what’s going on, hopefully we’re way ahead of them on health.

Am I overlooking something? What other disadvantages would there be to this? Do other people do this all the time?

The other point you missed is that as far as I can tell, a warrior/monk’s mana pool is smaller than a monk/warrior’s. So you wouldn’t be that effective as a primary healer.

I played a warrior/monk up to level 20, but got tired of the game before the Qt3 guild started its real pvp action (if it ever did) so I can’t tell you how it plays in real pvp that matters. In the groups I played in on the way to level 20, I found that my healing was severely limited by the combination of no Divine Favor and the restricted mana pool. I think Divine Favor makes a big difference in amount of points healed. OTOH, I used a fair number of points in axe mastery, so maybe if I had loaded all those points into healing abilities, I would have been better off. I was never a good primary healer, though, and when parties had to rely on my healing exclusively, we would at some point get wiped. Just not enough total heals in the pool.

In addition to fewer actual mana points, you get a slower recharge. The only two viable primaries for a healer (as far as I have figured out) are Monk (for the extra healing) or Elementalist (for the extra mana). You start with larger pool and faster recharge than if you choose a non-caster. One thing you could do is go Necro/Monk, as they are a caster with a large pool, caster’s recharge, and more armor than any of the other casters. You would be wasting your primary attribute, though, as Soul Reaping isn’t usually very useful. Particularly for someone who’s trying to keep people alive.

Good point about the faster recharge - I missed that one. The bottom line is that, as I think some others have pointed out in other Guild Wars threads, the warrior/monk is an excellent soloer because his limited healing is adequate for him only. So when running around with henchmen you don’t have to rely on unpredictable heals from Alesia. You can bail yourself out of tight spots pretty effectively. But for a primary healer, forget it. Towards the end of my time in GW, I was looking for player groups for the Ascension missions, and no one would accept my Wa/Mo as a healer when they were looking for healers for a group. With good reason.

I have a monk/warrior, and i was thinking about switching to warrior/monk. But in doing some experimentation, I have to agree w/ brooski – you lose much of your efficiency in the process, even though you get armor.

I think my biggest mistake was choosing warrior as my secondary class. I thought it would help make me more resilient, but at level 10, all I’ve really seen are unimpressive extra-melee damage skills and nothing to toughen me up. Am I missing something? Are there skills deeper in the game that can give me more armor or hp or something?

Monk/Necro is good because you can use the necro’s mana drain skills to keep your mana charged.

You do get defensive shouts and stances later in game that increase your armor etc.

You could probably do a lot as a Mesmer/Monk, too. You’ll get fast casting, and you can still drain mana from enemies.

We ran a build like this a while back in the 4vs4 team arenas with 2 m/w and 2 w/m where the m/w were the damage dealers and the w/m were the healers. Energy is of course your big problem with this build but we got around it in a couple ways… first each of the w/m cast succor on each other which essentially gives them each an extra pip of energy regen. Also they must wear the gladiator’s armor and carry a max +energy item in their off hand. Doing this, the build can be pretty effective but it’s hard to play and not necessarily worth the effort outside of amusement value.

Once you get to the endgame, (i.e. UW, FoW, etc), the enemies hit so hard that there’s little point in being a warrior primary anymore. Being a warrior in the UW means that instead of dying in 2 hits, you die in 4. Whereas a monk primary can use protection spells to drastically reduce the amount of damage taken in these areas.

In my opinion, warrior primaries are great until you hit ascended 20. I learned to hate my warrior quickly once i played these areas. I’d rather use a magic primary any day, or even a ranger. Trapping rocks.

You know that you can change your secondary class?