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
Patch 9.2.5 (Season 4)
No changes have been made for Brewmaster.
With Season 4 bringing back the old raids from this expansion as fated, as well as a new(old) pool of dungeons for Mythic+, a whole bunch of their items has become worth acquiring as their item level has gone up.
This season allows you to acquire up to 3 Puzzling Cartel Dinar through killing raid bosses, allowing you to buy specific items from the 3 raids, essentially working as a form of bad luck protection, should you not loot them yourself.
The Gearing section will cover some items worth spending on in case you don't obtain them throughout the raid or vault.
Patch 9.2 Changes
This patch brings back tier sets and opens up for the long-awaited double legendary.
The second legendary is limited to a normal one and a covenant one.
You will initially get Cinch of Unity through the campaign but you will be able to recraft it onto any other piece with Memory of Unity by getting revered with the new faction and doing the covenant campaign.
Garb of the Grand Upwelling is our tier set, and you can find more about it in the gearing section.
Patch 9.1.5 Brewmaster Monk Changes
- Fallen Order (Venthyr Ability) now spawns an equal amount of off-spec Adepts (was random), and Adepts now apply Mystic Touch to their targets.
- Ox Adepts now throw a Fallen Brew at the Monk after spawning, grating the Monk an absorb shield for 10% of the Monk’s maximum health for 8 seconds
- Tiger Adept’s Tiger Palm damage increased by 200%
- Tiger Adepts now cast Spinning Crane Kick if there are more than 1 enemy within range
- While Tiger Adepts are active, the Monk and their allies gain 5% movement speed, stacking with other movement speed increasing effects such as the Monk’s Windwalking
- Way of the Fae (Night Fae Conduit) effect increased by 100%.
- Special Delivery now deals 100% more damage
- Ox Adept’s Breath of Fire damage reduction from Fallen Order (Venthyr Ability) now stacks with your own Breath of Fire damage reduction
- Crane Adepts from Fallen Order (Venthyr Ability) now prefer to heal the Monk over other friendly targets
- We mainly see some love for Venthyr Monks in this patch, putting that covenant a lot closer to the other 3 in terms of defense and offense
- On top of these Monk-specific changes, Blizzard has also removed the maximum target cap on a bunch of area-of-effect abilities, and for Brewmaster, that means Spinning Crane Kick and Rushing Jade Wind
Patch 9.1.0 Changes
No changes have been made to Brewmaster Monks, however like every other class, we received a new legendary for each Covenant, as well as an extension to the soulbinds.
- Call to Arms - Kyrian specific legendary crafted on Legs or Feet. Casting Weapons of Order will also summon your specs Celestial for 12 seconds. For Brewmasters, that means Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox.
- Bountiful Brew - Necrolord specific legendary crafted on Neck, Shoulders or Chest. Your abilities will occasionally cause a cast of Bonedust Brew at your target’s location.
- Faeline Harmony - Night Fae specific legendary crafted on Waist or Hands. The 6% chance for your abilities to reset the cooldown of Faeline Stomp is doubled. Enemies and allies hit by it also gain the Fae Exposure buff. This buff increases the damage taken or healing received from the monk by 8% for 10 seconds.
- Sinister Teachings - Venthyr specific legendary crafted on Wrist or Ring. Fallen Order summons an additional adept matching your specialization that lasts for 24 seconds. While any adept from Fallen Order is present, your critical strikes reduce the cooldown of the Fallen Order ability by 3 seconds.
Two new generic conduits were added to everyone.
- Adaptive Armor Fragment is the Potency Conduit. Your primary stat is increased for 15 seconds when healer by another play, with a cooldown of 30 seconds.
- Condensed Anima Sphere is the Endurance Conduit. When you take any damage, you heal for a percent of your maximum health with a cooldown of 10 seconds.
Patch 9.0.5 Changes
- Shaohao's Might now causes Tiger Palm to have a 40% chance (was 10%) to deal 300% of normal damage (was 250%) and reduce the remaining cooldown of your brews by 2 additional seconds (was 1 second).
- Mighty Pour now causes Celestial Brew to increase your Armor by 50% (was 25%) for 8 seconds (was 7 seconds), and causes Purifying Brew to have a 35% chance to not consume a charge (was 25%).
Both these legendary power changes are buffs, and while they seem strong, are still very lackluster. Mighty Pour might see some more use in very high keys.
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.