7.2 Brewmaster Survival Guide

Brewmaster Changes

Not many balance changes to brewmasters.

  • All tanks now get 0.65% damage increase per artifact point spent.
  • Player Taunts now increase all threat caused against the target by 400% (was 200%). Should be easier to grab threat and hold it after a taunt, even if your cotank has better legendaries than you.
  • All tanks no longer have a 10% damage decrease in PvP.

Artifact traits

At 35 points and after a questline you get after starting the Broken Shore, you unlock the 4th trait on older 3-rank traits and the new traits. The order to unlock new traits should be something like (with some variation depending on whether you focus on raids or mythics or personal preference):

Trait Unlock Order
Endurance of the Broken Temple -> Draught of Darkness -> Stave Off -> Quick Sip -> Hot Blooded -> Face Palm -> Overflow -> Potent Kick (and onward to the less interesting 4/4 traits)

The new traits unlocked in this order:

  • Endurance of the Broken Temple (1 rank) Increases damage by 10%, Armor by 35%, and Stamina by 10%. Standard compensation we get for “losing” our former paragon traits.
  • Draught of Darkness (4 ranks) Increases the damage of Blackout Strike by 5/10/15/20%. Pronounced “draft” for reasons. Clear damage boost, Blackout Strike still #2 in our single target dps rotation, same as before.
  • Stave Off (1 rank) Keg Smash has a 20% chance to trigger another Keg Smash. Both damage and defense boost. When Keg Smash procs, use it. It procs from Keg Smash itself, so it shouldn’t change your rotation too much, just Keg Smash x2 then continue onward into Blackout Kick and the rest.
  • Quick Sip (1 rank) Drinking Purifying Brew grants Ironskin Brew for 1 sec. Drinking Ironskin Brew purifies 5% of your Staggered damage. This is one I’m looking forward to playing with a while before I really understand the subtleties. On the surface level, it’s clear that both brews will continue to play into each other, such that purifying while taking lots of damage is especially valuable, and Ironskin while staggering will be more potent.
  • At 51 traits, you unlock the paragon trait, Concordance of the Legionfall, which grants a versatility proc.

Legendaries

  • Bad luck protection based on spec, so if you main brewmaster, getting a windwalker legendary will be more likely and won’t hurt your chances at getting another brewmaster legendary.
  • New BoE legendary crafted by Leatherworkers The Sentinel’s Eternal RefugeIf you don’t have many legendaries, this is a solid choice. Not the strongest, but if you primarily do solo content it’s just fine.
  • Sephuz’s Secret: Now always grants 10% increased movement speed and 2% Haste. When triggered, this bonus is increased to the current values of 70% movement speed and 25% Haste. Movement speed bonuses now stack with other movement speed bonuses. Makes Sephuz’s an even more solid choice for mythic dungeons, especially if you’re like me and frequently forget to CC enough to activate it. If you don’t have many legendaries, the passives make it at least passable in raids even if there’s nothing to CC/interrupt.
  • If you have either Cinidaria, the Symbiote or Gai Plin’s Soothing Sash, your odds of getting the other belt are significantly reduced. I’m not a fan of this change (mainly because I already have Cindaria, and I want Gai Plin’s), but the goal is clear: you won’t have to worry about getting two legendary belts.

Brewmaster Aesthetics

Artifact Skin

Once you unlock your empowered artifact weapon, you’ll become eligible for the solo artifact skin. You can access it via the Mage Tower (if it’s up) on the Broken Shore. Find more info on Wowhead’s guide. Here’s what they look like (pictures from Wowhead):

Class Mount

This won’t unlock for another 11 weeks, after you complete the Legionfall campaign. You can read about the questline here

picture from wowhead

Once you unlock the mount and all traits on one of your artifact weapons, you can purchase the pet Ban-Fu.

Transmog

Tier sets will be cataloged in the UI, along with accompanying achievements for collecting the whole set. (more info)

T20 pvp recolors available via battlegrounds/arena strongboxes.

T19 pvp recolors available for Mark of Honor purchase in Dalaran (Broken Isles) from Lieutenant Surtees and Apothecary Lee.

Generic Content

Dungeons

  • Cathedral of Eternal Night — Brand new 5 man! Available after a short questline, in heroic, mythic, and mythic+.
  • New mythic+s: Lower Karazhan, Upper Karazhan, and Cathedral of Eternal Night
  • Difficulty increased, max item level gear increased  (details)
  • Longer mythic+ dungeons (e.g. Arcway, Halls of Valor) reward proportionally more artifact power than shorter dungeons (e.g. Maw of Souls).
  • Changes to affixes:
    • Bolstering reduced to 30 yards (was 45 yards). The intent of this change is to allow more opportunities for crowd control.
    • Necrotic will now expire after leaving combat. Duration reduced by 1 second. (This has been in the game, but it was hotfixed so you might have missed it.)
    • Tyrannical damage bonus has been lowered to 15% (was 20%).
    • Fortified damage bonus lowered to 30% (was 40%).
    • Skittish threat reduction has been lowered to 75% (was 80%). This is a bigger buff than it seems, so skittish should be a bit easier on your less offensive tanks.
    • Sanguine radius increased to 8 yards.
  • New affixes:
    • Quaking: Periodically, players will “Quake”, inflicting damage equal to 20% of the player’s maximum health pool and interrupting spell casts of themselves and nearby allies. This will probably require spreading out and being prepared for interrupted healers.
    • Bursting: When slain, non-boss enemies explode, causing all players to suffer 10% of their max health in damage over 4 sec. This effect stacks. You’ll want to limit killing trash all at the same time.
    • Explosive: While in combat, enemies periodically summon Explosive Orbs that will detonate if not destroyed. This will require quick target switching, so be prepared to drag mobs to new orbs.
    • Grievous: When injured below 90% health, players will suffer increasing damage over time until healed above 90% health. Tanks will have to try extra hard to keep their health high, either with extra self healing or extra preventative damage reduction.

Solo content

Brewmaster 7.1.5 Survival Guide

Overview

Continue reading Brewmaster 7.1.5 Survival Guide

Vengeance and Brewmaster in Emerald Nightmare

I’ve cleared all of this raid on both vengeance and brewmaster, enough offer a decent comparison of the two specs I main. Both are roughly the same ilevel, with experience on the same bosses.

For Emerald Nightmare, I started bosses on my DH and took my brewmaster on farm. Originally this was because I am far more comfortable on my monk and I wanted to force myself to learn my demon hunter. It ended up being handy because the way a DH times their AM can more easily apply to the way a monk applies AM than the other way around. I can learn to time my Demon Spikes around an event, and that maps to Ironskin Brew pretty well. In contrast, a brewmaster is much more flexible, and can potentially use Ironskin much more often than a DH could do with Demon Spikes.

Continue reading Vengeance and Brewmaster in Emerald Nightmare

Microblog: Stagger is a Hell of a Drug

Tanking something that hits hard feels so damn good on a monk. When I see my stagger reach really high numbers, and I purify it mostly away, it’s like a drug. I get a little surge of happy brain chemicals, like you get with most games, but it’s built into the class.

On any other tanking class, you can imagine how much damage you just reduced. Maybe you got hit by the same attack without active mitigation up before, and now you see just how much more health you have remaining when you got your timing right the second time. But the feedback is nowhere near as obvious as on a brewmaster. You can see exactly how hard that hit was in how much stagger you have. And then you can see exactly how much damage you’re throwing off with every purify.

I always want more of it. When I see my stagger start to rise, I want to Purify at the highest point, before it goes back down. There’s some gambling there, trying to get the pool high before cashing out, or before losing it all. I crave that big purify.

Whenever I fight weaker bosses, that low level of stagger leaves me unsatisfied. Why should I ever purify such a small number? It’s such a chore, to have to purify in a dungeon when I just faced off against Guarm, a tiny 10% stagger compared to my earlier 110%. It’s like I built a tolerance to it, always craving a stagger that’s higher than the one before.

Brewmaster 7.1.5 Talent Changes

Throughout Mists and Warlords, our level 75 defensive talents have been exemplary. The choice between the three talents was always compelling and varied; the universally useful (but minor) Healing Elixirs, the strong damage reduction (but restricted uptime) of Dampen Harm, and the impressive magical damage reduction (but situational use) of Diffuse Magic.

But when the tanking paradigm changed in Legion, these talents suffered. In a world where big defensive cooldowns were neutered, and active mitigation was molded to fill that role, Diffuse Magic and Dampen Harm fell into disuse. Compared to Ironskin Brew, both abilities were ineffective. Diffuse Magic could reduce magic damage pretty well, but why waste a talent on it when Ironskin Brew is nearly as good, and most boss burst magic were designed to be countered by frequently usable active mitigation anyway. Dampen Harm could be used to reduce those giant physical attacks, but if it was used at the same time as Ironskin it was unlikely to even trigger. These two talents were built in a time when infrequent defensive cooldowns were necessary, and clung to that ideology even when tanks changed to value frequent defensives much more.

But, in 7.1.5, that’s all going to change!

Continue reading Brewmaster 7.1.5 Talent Changes

New WeakAuras for Brewmaster and Vengeance

I’ve been iterating on my auras for both my characters to be more useful to me. The old auras are still available if you look at the WeakAuras.online change log, I just won’t be updating them.

The biggest changes you might see if you import these are:

  • Health and reactive mitigation:
    • Soul Cleave prediction is now a bar that displays your estimated Soul Cleave compared to your max health. It’s designed to sit on top of the health bar so you can easily compare the two.
    • Stagger is still a bar, but it’s no longer color coded (since you typically don’t decide when to Purify based on color in Legion). It’s designed to sit on top of the health bar so you can easily compare the two.
    • I made these changes because in my experimentation, I found it incredibly useful to see the abilities whose relative importance depends on my current or max health displayed in the same way.
  • Proactive mitigation:
    • Ironskin (& Purifying) Brews are now displayed as “pills”, one icon per charge.
    • Demon Spikes, Empower Wards, and Soul Barrier are now grouped and displayed as “pills”, with Demon Spikes getting one icon per charge.
    • I made these changes to emphasize when I am full on charges of active mitigation, or when I am about to run out completely. Charges having their own icons emphasizes the psuedo-resource state of these abilities.
  • Item cooldowns have been moved to their own group (trinkets, artifact spells). I did this because the main defensive cooldown group was getting too busy, especially on the demon hunter. Also, since this group is made up of mostly trinkets, I can easily share it between my tanks.
  • Changes in style and position.

Legion Brewmaster Retrospective (so far)

So brewmasters aren’t so popular anymore, but they’re still as powerful as ever. How can this be? Why am I still playing one? Why does the community at large think they’re terrible? What can be done to fix it?

I’ve said before that if I were making choices solely based on progression, and not my irrational need to experiment with new things, I would be favoring my brewmaster in raids. And truth be told, I’m getting closer and closer to my ideal of playing my monk and demon hunter equally. The deeper we get into the expansion, the more my love of brewmasters grows, and it becomes ever more frustrating to see that not only do people fail to appreciate them the same way I do, but they think their strengths are actually weaknesses!

Maybe I need to do a better job of professing my love for this specialization, and so here it is: a whole lot of words about what keeps me playing a brewmaster and what could make playing one better.

Continue reading Legion Brewmaster Retrospective (so far)

What will I be playing in Legion?

Both Brewmaster and Vengeance!

I love both classes, and for entirely different reasons. I get very excited about Brewmaster’s ironskin/purify gameplay and the artifact Fu Zan. And I can’t wait to leap around and play with talent builds as Vengeance. There’s a lot to look forward to!

Continue reading What will I be playing in Legion?

Vengeance and Brewmaster Comparison

Vengeance and Brewmasters are two vastly different tanking specializations. Everything from their active mitigation to their fantasy are at odds, but despite that, many brewmasters are thinking of trying the new cool thing, so here is how they compare.

(This is not a guide that’s going to tell you what class is objectively best. That changes with balance tuning, and I’ve always encouraged people to play what they want. You’ll do the best playing the class that you’re motivated to master. This guide is just to help you figure out what that class might be.)

Continue reading Vengeance and Brewmaster Comparison