Stagger, yeah let's start there.
If you spec into brewmaster you might notice that we have significantly less health than all other tanks, and it might look scary at first. There is a solution to that called Stagger.
The way stagger works is that it reduces the initial damage of a hit while delaying the rest of it as a dot. You are then able to cleanse some of that to take even less damage.
This makes Brewmaster great for progression because it generally allows healers to focus more on the raid, rather than having to babysit you like other tanks.
On top of stagger, Brewmaster has always been a reliable way to get mystic touch in a raid.
While Brewmasters weakness lies in the lack of self-healing, celestial fortune somewhat makes up for it in a raid environment where you generally have hots and beacon healing rolling on you.
What has changed
Changes going into Shadowlands
- ironskin brew is gone and replaced by shuffle, which is maintained simply by doing your normal rotation.
- celestial brew has been added as a base spell, further empowered by using purifying brew, and works like other brews, so it’s cooldown is reduced through using keg smash and tiger palm
- keg smash now only reduces your brews by 3 seconds rather than the previous 4.
- spinning crane kick has been added. Works as filler like tiger palm except it’s for AoE and it doesn’t reduce the cooldown on brews.
- invoke niuzao the black ox has been made a base spell, which works both as an offensive and defensive ability.
- touch of death has also been added, and like Niuzao, this works both as an offensive and defensive ability.
- Exploding Keg has replaced invoke niuzao the black ox on the talent tree. Generally not taken except if you need it for its burst damage, or if you can negate certain mechanics.