After a truly embarrassing number of wipes (let’s just say it rivals the number of attempts I put into endgame bosses back when I was a competitive raider), I finally got this down. I’m not a particularly skilled player, but I am diligent. As long as you’re one of those things, you can do it too!
Despite the amount of sleep this robbed from me, I really enjoyed the challenge. I had to play around with a lot of different combinations and figure out what worked for me, a player with bad reactions and dps but a lot of patience. Everyone has a different strategy for these, but here’s what ended up working for me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Legion is returning to Azeroth, and demon hunters are coming to hunt it down with Vengeance.
This is a guide for the first few weeks of Vengeance, before we unlock level 110. As demon hunters unlock their talents between 99 and 110, they only get to experience two talent rows while stuck at 100. This simplifies the class significantly, so we’ll be playing a very different class between August 9th and August 30th than we will soon after Legion launch.
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.)