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 9.1.0 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.