Challenge Mode Basics for Brewmasters

I haven’t completed my challenge mode set yet, but since Challenge Modes will be going away eventually I thought I’d share my notes with the rest of you.


  • Crit gear
  • Maximize sockets on that gear
  • Helm with dps non-legendary meta
  • Dual-wield weapons with from tier 14 or 15 with legendary prismatic gem slots: Legendary items don’t work, but the prismatic slot from the legendary quest line doesn’t have those fancy orange borders and it works just fine. Dual wield is usually a bit better dps than two-handed, but a two-hander is fine too.
  • Trinkets: You want something with pure stats, and not something with a weird on-use or proc (like the trinkets in T16), since those usually don’t scale down well. Trinkets I like to use are Terror in the Mists and Discipline of Xuen.
  • Hit and exp caps: same as a raid (+3 levels) for the bosses. You can do less, but dps on the bosses is important and hit/exp are our best dps stats before caps.
  • Gear that doesn’t work:
    • Legendary meta gems
    • Legendary cloak procs (the stats are still good, though)
    • Tier bonuses


  • Since you’re scaled down to entry level gear, mastery isn’t at a high enough level to be truly powerful, and Elusive Brew procs are actually few and far between. Most Brewmasters go with a full Crit > Haste > Mastery stat priority.
  • Talents
    • Rushing Jade Wind: Xuen is also pretty good for dps, but RJW makes surviving and burning down those dangerous trash packs even easier.
    • Ring of Peace (or Leg Sweep): I favor Ring of Peace because you’re less likely to run into diminishing returns like you do with Leg Sweep’s stun. Ring of Peace is also valuable because you won’t take a huge burst of damage after the effect ends as you usually do with stuns when swing timers are reset.
    • Chi Brew: 2 chi and 5 Elusive Brew at the beginning of the pull is a life saver. The beginning is the most dangerous for us Brewmasters, and since our crit and haste are so low, we need all the resource generation we can get.
    • Dampen Harm (or Healing Elixirs): I like Dampen Harm if I know a few packs have big spells that will trigger it, though the unfortunate truth is that not many mobs hit hard enough. If you don’t see it trigger, then Healing Elixirs or Diffuse Magic will be better choices.

Dealing with Big Pulls

Since one of the most common questions I get is: “How do I survive big pulls?”, this is probably an even bigger concern in Challenge Modes. I usually start with something like this:

  1. Pop Chi Brew as I throw Dizzying Haze at the group, or as I Clash into them.
  2. The first sequence of events has to go by pretty quickly since most of it is off the GCD:
    1. Keg Smash as soon as something is in range.
    2. Elusive Brew.
    3. Fortifying Brew or Dampen Harm.
  3. Blackout Kick
  4. Rushing Jade Wind
  5. Blackout Kick
  6. Pretty much continue the rotation as normal, using Ring of Peace when you need it.

Other Resources

  • Hamlet’s walkthroughs. Any video guide is helpful to point out where you need to use invisibility potions and what trash packs give you the biggest trouble. The actual strategy varies from group to group because your toolset depends on what classes are in your party.
  • The Inconspicuous Bear’s challenge mode guide. Because Vengeance works differently in Challenge modes and of course Arielle has got that covered.

Pre Challenge Mode To Do List

I like todo lists since there are always a couple small things to do that are destined to be forgotten.

  • Equip Challenge Mode Gear
  • Reforge to meet caps and crit > haste > mastery stat priority.
  • Talents: RJW, Ring of Peace, Chi Brew, Dampen Harm
  • Restock on Invisibility and agility potions.