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Art of War

A brewmaster monk blog.

Apr 3 Patch Note Analysis and Clarification

Please reference the full list of Brewmaster-related patch notes. I’ve updated it with relevant tweets, too.

Vengeance / Resolve

What they said: “Vengeance has been removed and replaced with a new passive ability, Resolve. Resolve: Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 seconds.”

What it is: Resolve is sort of a mixture between old Vengeance and Death Strike. It is a shorter window, so you’re heals/shields will need to be used closer to high-damage events to get the biggest boost. You’ll get some Resolve from your stamina, and some from recent damage taken. To compensate for the loss of dps without Vengeance, our baseline dps is going up. It’s important to note that Resolve only increases self heals and shields.

What will change: We shouldn’t top damage charts any more due to Vengeance abuse, but we will be able to deal more damage in low damage-taken scenarios (i.e. you might be able to quest as a tank). We also gain some healing potential from stamina. If it all goes as planned, the only time you may want to soak some damage intended to be avoided is if you want to increase your defenses for another event in the very near future.

And because I know it will come up, I want to reiterate that our dps will be fine. All tanks are losing Vengeance and getting baseline and scaling damage buffs to compensate. In fact, tank dps across the board will likely be far more equivalent (which is a good thing).

Leveling Perks

Just talking about the interesting / non-obvious ones.

What they said: “Improved Guard: Guard now has 2 charges.”
What it is: Guard is inheriting the charge system used by spells like Roll.
What will change: We will be able to use Guard twice in a row. No word on what the cooldown of Guard will be, but if it remains 30 seconds this means we can use two in a row but will have to wait a full minute (two 30s cooldowns) for it to recharge. I like charge systems because they discourage using abilities on cooldown, or at the very least don’t encourage using abilities on cooldown.

What they said: “Enhanced Transcendence: The cooldown of Transcendence is lowered by 35 sec, and Transcendence: Transfer is now instant cast.” What it is: Bringing Transcendence down to a measly 15 sec cooldown, instant cast. What will change: With the loss of clash, Roll and Transcendence are intended to be its substitutes. And this hefty bonus removes much of the bulkiness of Transcendence. Let’s hope there are encounters to suite its specialness.

What they said: “Improved Stance of the Sturdy Ox: Increases the Stamina bonus of Stance of the Sturdy Ox by 20%.” What it is: More hp! What will change: I bring this up only because as the lowest health tank, this is going to go a long way in bringing Brewmasters up to match. Other tanks get buffs in similar areas (armor, active mitigation). Because of stagger and mastery, I don’t ever expect Brewmasters to stack stamina, but having more of a passive buffer to begin with is interesting.

Stats Changes

Primary Stats

What they said: “Agility no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with melee and ranged attacks or abilities. Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before. The amount of Dodge gained per point of Agility has been reduced by 25%.”

What it is: Normalizing primary stats, so agility vs strength vs intellect all do roughly equivalent things. Similarly normalizing weapon damage between casters and melee. We should only receive some attack power and dodge from agility, no more crit.

What will change: We won’t be able to look at agility as the “everything stat”. It will just be our attack power stat (plus some dodge that no one really cares about). The only stat that increases critical strike chance is critical strike. The relative weight of agility will change, of course, the relative weights of all our stats will be changing. Also, we will no longer benefit from strength or intellect.

Mastery

What they said: “Mastery: Elusive Brawler now also passively increases Attack Power by 12% (percentage increased by Mastery), in addition to its current effects.”

What it is: Mastery will provide a dps increase in addition to a defensive increase, similar to crit and haste (and later, multistrike).

What will change: Almost all of our stats should increase both defenses and offenses, though to varying degrees. Hopefully, this enables us to choose builds based on what defensive strategy we prefer (such as damage smoothing vs. avoidance vs. healing) instead of what increases our dps the most.

Ability Pruning

Avert Harm

Reasoning: All tanks lost their raid cooldowns, and they’ve hinted that damage dealers will lose theirs too. We still have ox statue, so let’s hope that stays.

Clash

Reasoning:

  1. Overlaps with Roll, the AoE control talent tier, and other movement abilities, and often overshadows them.
  2. Not class-defining skill. As cool as it looks, Clash was literally nothing more than Charge + Death Grip, two key skills from other classes. And to tie it into the first point, the design was not successful when the bastard child of two other class’s key skills overshadows our key ability (Roll).
  3. Roll and Transcendence are at least unique to our class. Transcendence is also getting some significant buffs that will hopefully aid it in its quest to make you forget about Clash.
  4. It’s unreliable (sometimes drags you to the middle, sometimes just pulls the boss with no movement, sometimes pulls you or the mob halfway) and it can go entire raid tiers without seeing use.

So what about the one thing it did do that wasn’t covered by Roll and Charging Ox Wave, the ranged control. That’s valid, and something to talk about. It doesn’t mean we need Clash, but we could use something to fill that slot (maybe in the form of a skill we already have.)

I’m not particularly attached to Clash (I mean I like it, but I don’t like-like it), but other people are, so here are some of my propositions:

  1. Make Ring of Peace targetable on enemies (again) and give it an interrupt (instead of the silence that is otherwise going away), to satisfy our tanky need to control casters.
  2. Or, give Spear Hand Strike more range.
  3. Or, make Clash a talent in the AoE control tier. That means we have to share it with the sober monks, but it fits in the theme. As a situational spell, it’s highly suited to becoming a talent. And honestly, Ring of Peace is going down the garbage can because it’s losing the silence and disarm and becoming a mesmerize, so why not just replace its stupid new form with an ability that at least has some uses in PvE.

Reminder on how to give feedback

  1. Keep it positive and constructive. “Clash is the only reason I played Brewmaster and I’m quitting now that it’s gone” is bad. “Clash was fun because it was a gap closer and I really liked the graphic.” is good.
  2. Don’t worry about numbers yet. There will be many numbers changes in the months to come, and the final tuning pass won’t happen until the very end. Don’t you dare say something like “How will Brewmasters compete when they’re doing so little damage at .”
  3. Don’t compare skills/classes in a vacuum. I.e. “Warriors get Gladiator stance, they’re going to do so much more damage than us!”.
  4. Figure out why you want a thing. It’s good practice to say “I don’t like this change because …”

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