Mage Tower Tank Challenge | Kruul | The Highlord’s Return – Brewmaster Monk

The second class around took a lot less time, but was still pretty difficult! Where the DH challenge tested my timings and burst damage management, the monk challenge tested my situational awareness and self healing.

Some things, like movement and ranged damage, were much easier on the monk. Some things, like healing and dealing with knockbacks, were much harder.


I won’t duplicate work by going over mechanics when these guides cover that already.


There are a lot of various successful builds out there for brewmasters. This is the one that worked best for my particular playstyle.


Sal’salabim’s Lost TunicPrydaz, Xaveric’s Magnum Opus

There’s a lot of possibilities here. Gai Plain’s is popular, but since I ended up using Gift of the Ox instead of Black Ox Brew, I just wasn’t purifying enough to get a nice amount of healing.

Prydaz is easy damage reduction. I used to for both my DH and monk, so clearly I have an inappropriate attachment to this legendary.

And good ol’ Sal’salabim’s, solid for dps and damage reduction. AoE damage is especially important here.



Royal Dagger Haft (920) + Gift of Radiance (900)

Dagger is normally not a stellar trinket, but I happen to have a high item level one and it’s not bad for dps, and the cheat death does allow longer attempts and protection against mistakes.

The stun from Gift of Radiance is useful for a ranged interrupt, especially in phase 2 to delay Annihilates. I’m lucky enough to have a 900 version of that, and finally this fight gave me a chance to use it.

Other Gear

  • Prioritized item level, which meant dropping T19 4pc.
  • Item level: 914
  • Artifact traits: 48


For every hour long string of attempts, I tried to gather these things:


  1. Stand at max range
  2. Potion when he crosses the green crack on the floor
  3. Pull with Crackling Jade Lightning to get Variss closer to Velen
  4. Invoke Niuzao (with taunt on to soak damage, you can sit in the puddle for many stacks with him tanking)
  5. Stay in for about 11 stacks.
  • Adds
    • Pull adds with Chi Burst
    • Tank on top of Variss if you can take more stacks, or outside the circle if you have to reset.
    • Unlike other tank challenges, the adds don’t need to be interrupted. They just deal damage, so they do need to die since we have a hard time healing that damage back.
    • Kill adds on top of Variss if you don’t have high stacks.
    • Kite/kill adds right outside circle if you need to reset stacks.
  • Interrupt Drain Life with Spear Hand Strike if in melee, Paralysis if at range (Paralysis briefly makes him immune to damage, which should be avoided if possible)
  • Leave to clean up eyeballs around 5 stacks. This was the cautious route, but I had plenty of time since I want Invoke Niuzao to be ready at the beginning of phase 2.
  • Use Transcendence to recover from knockbacks. Unlike DH, getting hit by a knockback was pretty bad and often not recoverable on the monk, so try to place Transcendence frequently so that it’s always within range.
  • Save orbs for healing yourself.
  1. Drums and Potion of the Old War
  2. Invoke Niuzao (with taunt). Taunt back to move the boss out of puddles, if necessary.

Delay as much as possible with Paralysis, Leg Sweep, and orbs (though be sure he’s out of puddles first).

  • Annihilate 1 &2 – Niuzao should be able to handle both.
  • Annihilate 3 & 4 – Ironskin is typically enough, though don’t forget about Fortifying Brew when health gets low.
  • Annihilate 5 – Hopefully you’ve killed it before #5, but if you haven’t you can still handle it with high enough health and Ironskin Brew.
  • Roll or simply run out of pools.
  • Transcendence near an orb for clutch healing.
  • Kite around the room to avoid infernals. Always be moving, since a knockback in the wrong direction could end in tears.
  • Pick up adds with Chi Burst. Kruul is the priority, but make sure you time Exploding Keg and Keg Smashes for the elementals, since the damage they deal adds up.
  • Don’t tunnel vision! You always need to be able to pick up adds if they spawn, and be aware of orbs.