Expansion Survival Guide for Brewmasters

Hey, an expansion is coming up! How to do it?

If you want to know more about the changes that came with the expansion patch, go here.


You can quest pretty well as a tank spec. Windwalker will probably be faster if you’re pulling one by one, though brewmasters can of course pull many mobs at a time. For the average player, questing with the occasional dungeon will be the most efficient way to 100.

Talent/glyph recommendations:

  • Glyph of Victory Roll, which grants you a charge of Roll whenever you kill relevant enemies, is pretty strong for leveling (and not much else).
  • Momentum, combined with Glyph of Victory Roll, you can have the sprint up quite often.
  • Power Strikes, since it will likely be up every one or two kills.
  • Healing Elixirs, since Dampen Harm and Diffuse Magic don’t have many opportunities for use, except the occasional dungeon.
  • Invoke Xuen for single target or cleave burst (unless you’re AoE pulling everything, then go with Rushing Jade Wind).


You’ll get these randomly as you level up through Draenor, and you’ll get them all by the time you reach 100.

Improved Breath of Fire: Your Breath of Fire spell now always applies its damage over time effect to the target.
Not a big upgrade, since Dizzying Haze (the prereq for Breath of Fire’s DoT previously) is almost always on your target. This perk will let you use BoF earlier in a pull.

Improved Guard: Guard now has 2 charges.
This is a huge bonus. It won’t actually give you more Guards or reduce the cooldown of Guard, but it allows you to use two Guards in a row if needed, or to use one Guard without worrying whether you’ll regret that decision because you need a second soon. As with any skill with charges, this perk essentially makes the cooldown less critical. You don’t have to worry about using Guard “on cooldown” or else waste it, as long as one is recharging.

Enhanced Roll: Your Roll now travels the same distance in 25% less time.
Long-time monks will notice this subtle change pretty quickly. Roll is already pretty fast, but finishing a bit faster won’t hurt.

Enhanced Transcendence: The cooldown of Transcendence is lowered by 35 sec, and Transcendence: Transfer is now instant cast.
A cooldown of 10 seconds on Transcendence will let you cast the anchoring spell far more often. Previously, the primary use of Transcendence was to cast the anchor once, Transcendence:Transfer to it, then wait 45 seconds until you could recast the anchor in a better place. (Planning your movement around Transcendence and the moving anchor was interesting, but only worked elegantly for a handful of encounters.) Now you can use it more similarly to a Warlock’s portal, except that you have to recast the anchor more than once.


While leveling, the only stats you should care about are agility and bonus armor. If something has more agility or more bonus armor, that’s an upgrade.

Once you approach max level, you can be more picky with your stats, while still prioritizing agility and bonus armor. I wrote a bit about predicted stat priorities already, but in short:

  • Bonus armor on rings, necks, and cloaks.
  • Haste? Get only enough that you don’t feel completely energy starved. For me, that’s around 13 energy per second.
  • Worried about burst damage? Mastery and Versatility are the most reliable secondary stats
  • Want more control? Multistrike and Crit, with their charges, allow more precise control of damage

Enchants and consumables offer easy-to-get stat customization, and are ideal once you start rolling through dungeons. There are many cheap enchants out there that won’t break the bank whenever an upgrade drops. Read Wowhead’s Enchanting Guide for more detailed info. (Hopefully I’ll have the brewmaster-specific info on my own guide soon.)


Once you hit level 100, you will unlock three new talent choices: Serenity, Chi Explosion, and Soul Dance. Serenity will be your talent of choice, though Chi Explosion and Soul Dance have their niches.


Serenity: You enter an elevated state of mental and physical serenity for 10 sec. While in this state, all Chi consumptions are instantly refilled.

Use at the beginning of pulls to build up a ridiculous duration on Stagger. Use it when you have at least 2 chi, then spam Blackout Kick and Purifying Brew like crazy while the buff is active. Activate on cooldown. Building a long duration early will give you lots of chi to use on Purifying Brew later. With this talent, the only time you’ll have to use chi on Blackout Kick is for damage or threat.


  1. At the beginning of a pull, Keg Smash to get 2 chi.
  2. Cast Serenity.
  3. Spam Blackout Kick and Purifying Brew (which is off the GCD and can be used once a second) until the buff runs out.
  4. Use Purifying Brew more frequently, and only worry about Blackout Kick for damage or threat.
  5. Cast on cooldown.

Chi Explosion

Chi Explosion: Consumes up to 4 Chi to cause the target to explode with Chi energy, causing additional effects based on Chi consumed:

  • 1+ Chi: Deals Nature damage to an enemy equal to X plus X per Chi consumed.
  • 2+ Chi: You also gain Shuffle for 2 sec plus 2 sec per Chi consumed.
  • 3+ Chi: Also purifies all of your staggered damage.
  • 4 Chi: The damage also hits all enemies within 8 yards of the target.
  • Replaces Blackout Kick.

This talent is unique in that it will actually make you worse at your role (if you consider your role to be preventing and reacting to damage). Instead, you take it when you don’t need to reduce damage, like for easy content. It’s also applicable for content that needs a dps boost, especially AoE damage, like Challenge Modes. In general, you want to use it at 3 or 4 chi because at a lower chi you’re stepping on Tiger Palm’s toes and you actually lose damage . Using at 2 chi is useful for getting a decent duration on Shuffle, but that’s it.


  1. Use at 2 chi if you need to build up Shuffle.
  2. Once you have a decent Shuffle lead (or if you don’t need Shuffle), use at 3 for single target dps, 4 for multi-target dps.
  3. Works well with Chi Brew if you want to cast it at range to pull a group.

Soul Dance

Soul Dance: You are now able to shrug off even spells, such that 30% of your normal stagger amount works against magic damage.

This is a really niche talent. Not particularly strong, but you do feel it when it’s active. Brewmasters typically struggle with sustained magic damage — stuff that comes too often for Guard/Zen Meditation/Diffuse Magic to cover. Soul Dance comes into play for those situations. If a boss is casting frequent magical spells at you, then use Soul Dance and let it shave some of that damage off. If a boss casts only enough magic that you can cover it with Guard/Zen Med/Diffuse Magic, then you’re better off with Serenity.

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