I planned to post this yesterday, back when it was timely. But I got a fancy beer instead. We have miraculously few changes this patch. A dps nerf, a tankiness buff, some talent buffs. Most of what you might have seen in data mining is simply tooltip updates for hotfixes that happened a long time ago.
Sticking to brewmaster changes to keep things simple.
Multistrike Buff / Keg Smash Nerf
We recently found a significant bug with Tiger Strikes for all Monks, and wanted to explain the incoming fixes that will resolve it.
The bug itself was twofold. First off, Tiger Strikes was incorrectly able to trigger from unsuccessful autoattacks (such as those that miss, or have been dodged or parried). However, it was NOT able to trigger from Multistrikes. We’ll be fixing Tiger Strikes to its intended behavior: it will no longer activate on unsuccessful autoattacks, but will be able to activate from successful Multistrikes.
Fixing those bugs will result in an overall damage gain for all Monks, so we’ll be making a couple other adjustments:
- For Brewmasters, we’re going to reduce the damage done by Keg Smash by 20%. We felt that Brewmaster DPS was too strong already, and the Tiger Strikes fix only pushes them further.
- Windwalkers and Mistweavers were a little weak, which is why we’re increasing Rising Sun Kick’s damage amplification debuff from 10% to 20% in 6.1. The Tiger Strikes fix will be a small damage increase on top of that, but we’re going to keep an eye on where Windwalkers and Mistweavers end up as a result of it before making any further adjustments if necessary.
Basically, Blizzard found a bug, and fixing that bug would give us more uptime on Tiger Strikes, which means more multistrike, which means more damage and more Gift of the Ox. They realized that further buffing Brewmaster damage would bring tank dps out of acceptable balance, so they nerfed Keg Smash in return.
Despite the tears you may have seen, it’s a fairly small nerf to our dps. Depending on how much more multistrike the improved Tiger Strikes gives us, it might be close to a net change of 0 for single target. AoE damage will take a bigger hit, but it’s still probably less than 10%.
On top of that, more Gift of the Ox orbs! To me, a bad tank who cares very much about dancing around to pick up golden spheres and cares very little about dps, this seems like a straightforward win. Love me some ox orbs.
Will our stats change? Unlikely. Simulations didn’t know about this bug, so they assumed everything was working as it actually will be working now.
Chi Burst damage has been increased by 51%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.
Zen Sphere has been improved. Its detonation damage has increased by 97%, detonation healing has increased by 70%, but periodic healing has been reduced by 39%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.
I have high hopes that these buffs will make Chi Burst and Zen Sphere more competitive compared to Chi Wave, but the brewmaster community is really attached to Chi Wave so I doubt most people will take the bait. For myself, I’ll probably use Zen Sphere in the same places I’ve always used it: where I frequently and unpredictably drop below 35%. For comparison, the heal over time part of Zen Sphere was never significant, so a nerf to that is no great loss. (People will probably still call me bad for using Zen Sphere, but I fully accept that label.)
You’ll want to use Chi Burst for fights where you want a big burst of AoE damage with a little burst of AoE healing. Or maybe I should say “I” will, since the generic “you” will probably continue to use Chi Wave all the time.
Chi Torpedo damage has increased by 150% and healing has increased by 42%.
Ring of Peace now incapacitates all enemies for 5 seconds (up from 3 seconds).
Neither of these changes makes these talents more interesting for us Brewmasters. Stuns are still better for tanks, and if you want an incapacitate just glyph Breath of Fire.
Poor Chi Torpedo. The damage and healing is actually pretty good, but as a tank we can’t just roll around willy nilly. On top of that, RJW and Xuen are really good at what they do. Back in the day, I occasionally used Chi Torpedo to help with add pickup. But then the improved RJW came along (it used to be very similar to Chi Burst without the cast), and it was so much better at that job.
Minor Brewmaster Changes
Elusive Brew is now highlighted when the Monk has 15 stacks of it.
PvP 4-piece set bonus for Brewmaster Monks now only applies Guard to 1 additional ally within 15 yards (down from 2 allies).