I will start out by saying all the covenants are fairly close in power, however some slightly better at things than others.
Base Covenant Ability: summon steward is the base ability everyone gets when picking Kyrian as their covenant.
It gives you phial of serenity when summoned, and as stated restores health and removes debuffs including a bleed on you. This is great because it's on a separate cooldown with health potions and healthstones.
Monk Specific Covenant Ability: weapons of order is the monk specific ability you get as Monk.
When used it grants you 10% Mastery buff, it resets the cooldown of your Keg Smash (only 1 charge if you're wearing stormstouts last keg) and makes your Keg Smash apply a 8% stacking damage taken debuff, up to 4 stacks, that works on all of your damage.
Base Covenant Ability: door of shadows is the base ability everyone gets when picking Venthyr as their Covenant.
During pulls I’d call it practically useless for us, we already have great mobility and the cast time must make it awkward. Might have some very niche uses in specific boss fights, but the best I can see it being used for would be skipping packs in dungeons.
Monk Specific Covenant Ability: fallen order is the monk specific ability you get as Monk.
Press it and it will summon fallen monks that heals and does damage. The damage is okay and the healing is pretty weak, so basically a 3-minute burst cooldown.
Base Covenant Ability: Fleshcraft is the base ability everyone gets when picking Necrolord as their Covenant.
With the recent changes to Fleshcraft, it has suddenly become a pretty good defensive ability. Not only does it give you a rather substantial absorb now, it’s cast time has also been reduced and gives you a 20% damage reduction.
Monk Specific Covenant Ability: Bonedust Brew is the monk specific ability you get as Monk.
It's a targeted ability(like Ring of Peace) that debuffs anything it hits for 10 seconds, giving your abilities a 50% chance to replicate for 35% effectiveness. Since it’s a brew, it’s cooldown gets reduced like all our other brews, putting it closer to 30-35 seconds cooldown rather than the 1 minute the tooltip states.
Base Covenant Ability: soulshape is the base ability everyone gets when picking Night Fae as their Covenant.
Soulshape is a mobility cooldown. On activation it blinks you forward and increases your movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds, reactivating it during the 15 seconds allows you additional blinks. While it sounds good for mobility, it’s on the GCD, and will cancel with most offensive abilities used. For other tank classes, it might be worth it but since we already have great mobility I don't see it being very useful for monks outside of maybe open-world travelling.
Monk Specific Covenant Ability: faeline stomp is the monk specific ability you get as Monk.
This is an interesting one because it gives us an ability you can kinda work into your already somewhat boring/empty rotation.
It gives monks some, honestly, much-needed AoE damage, while also making Stagger 5% more effective against targets in the stomp.
While the damage might not be amazing, it’s currently looking to be the best option for AoE between all the covenants.
Now that we’ve gone over what the different abilities do, it's time to decide what to pick.
Here I’ll rank them for raid as well as Mythic+.
Raid: Kyrian > Necrolord = Night Fae =Venthyr
Mythic+: Kyrian > Necrolord = Night Fae =Venthyr
Kyrian, together with Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, should be your default setup for most content; however, everything is fairly close so pick what you feel you need in certain situations.
Soulbinds and Conduits
Currently, this is the best soulbind setup for the different covenants:
Forgelite Prime Mikanikos
Plague Deviser Marileth
Night Fae Soulbind
Nadjia the Mistblade
Theotar the Mad Duke
Here I’ll list the conduits as well as rank them from best to worst.
Potency Conduits are the most important conduits, therefore you're gonna want to try and pick 3 when choosing a path in soulbinds.
- Imbued Reflections (Venthyr specific)
- Bone Marrow Hops (Necrolord specific)
- Strike with Clarity (Kyrian specific)
- Way of the Fae (Night Fae specific)
Both Walk with the Ox and Scalding Brew are important, while Adaptive Armor Fragment falls short of Scalding Brew with the new set bonus.
Endurance Conduits are all uninteresting (almost pointless) conduits, but hey, it’s there so might as well use them.
- Condensed Anima Sphere
- Harm Denial
- Fortifying Ingredients
- Celestial Effervescence
- Evasive Stride
- Grounding Breath
Finesse Conduits are the last uninteresting conduits we get to pick from, that gives us a bit of extra… something?
General Monk Legendary Powers:
fatal touch - Interesting legendary if you can take advantage of the low cooldown.
invokers delight - Maybe, for some funky shenanigans at some point?
roll out - Maybe for some PvP? It used to give another Roll charge which I guess was nice from travelling in the Maw?
escape from reality - Again some kind of PvP thing?
Monk Covenant Legendary Powers:
Call to Arms - Good synergy with Mikanikos' last trait. However, it's important to note that with this covenant legendary, you should delay using Invoke Niuzao until after the ox from this one has despawned, as they don't both get to use the purified stagger pool for their stomps..
Bountiful Brew - It adds a bit of something if you happen to be Necrolord. A bit of damage during the buff and some not very needed brew reduction.
Faeline Harmony - Helps get more resets on Faeline Stomp, making the limiting factor of that ability by having to stand in it less awful. It has good synergy with Grove Invigoration and Bonded Hearts from Niya.
Sinister Teachings - Makes Venthyr not absolutely terrible. It's pretty good for AoE and decent for single target. Depending on usage, it will put your Fallen Order down to a cooldown closer to 1-1½ minutes.
While you initially get Cinch of Unity through the campaign, the belt is item level 265, so you want to recraft the covenant power onto a higher item level once you unlock Memory of Unity, which also allows you to choose which slot you want it in as well as what stats you want.
Brewmaster Specific Legendary Powers:
shaohaos might - Yeah, it was terrible, then it got nerfed. Can something get worse than terrible?
Charred Passions - Using this one means you have to use Spinning Crane Kick during the buff as a filler instead of Tiger Palm, meaning a loss of Brew reduction, so if you can afford it, it's worth it purely from an offensive perspective. Due to Spinning Crane Kick giving you Shuffle, using it also causes the cooldown on Invoke Niuzao to get reduced assuming you use Walk with the Ox conduit.
charred passions - Our best DPS legendary. Using this one means you have to use Spinning Crane Kick during the buff as a filler instead of Tiger Palm, meaning a loss of Brew reduction, so if you can afford it, its worth it purely from an offensive perspective. Defensively it doesn't do much.
mighty pour - A really bad “defensive” legendary power that I guess MIGHT have some use in super high mythic+ content?
stormstouts last keg - Our best legendary. It increases our Keg Smash damage and gives us an extra charge making snap threat much easier and helps us rotationally. On top of this, it also synergizes very well with the set bonus being added in 9.2
Cruciform Veinripper: One of the best weapons available. Even though it has some "restrictions," you will generally get enough use out of the proc to make it worth equipping as a tank. While it doesn't come as high item level as some other weapons, the proc makes up for it outside of very heavy aoe fights.
Zovastrum, the Unmaking: Alternative to double Cruciform Veinripper. Available at a higher item level, making it competitive, especially on aoe. It also has the advantage of being two-handed, so you don't have to acquire 2 Veinrippers through looting, trading, or spending Dinars on.
Reactive Defense Matrix: Maybe overall, the best trinket you can get your hands on as a Brewmaster with the increase in item level. While it might look like a defensive trinket, it's generally considered a DPS trinket with an added defensive bonus.
Shard of Annhylde's Aegis: Best defensive trinket available. Amazing for mythic+ and should be high on your priority list if you don't have one at all.
Cache of Acquired Treasures: Offensive counterpart to Aegis. Easily the most impactful item you can get offensively when it comes to Mythic+. Most of the time, you will be using it when it is Axe.
The items mentioned above I would consider the most important ones. They are items that you could consider early on, and no one would fault you for doing so. If you happen to be lucky with drops, you can consider spending them on other items such as:
Stone Legion Heraldry as it comes at a higher item level than others and increases in power the more people you have in your group wearing it.
Weave of Warped Fates if you don't happen to have a cheat death trinket, you want one, and it's the better of the 2 available.
Jotungeirr, Destiny's Call as a solid 2 handed option on shorter fights or for weapon swapping.
Salvaged Fusion Amplifier is another good DPS option if you're not actively tanking enough to get good uptime on RDM.
Garb of the Grand Upwelling is the tier set that we'll be able to get in patch 9.2.
2-set - Targets ignited by Breath of Fire deal an additional 4% less damage to you.
4-set - Keg Smash deals an additional 50% damage, heals you for 66% of the damage dealt, and grants 66% damage dealt as maximum health for 10 seconds.
The first bonus is not very interesting; however, it's still decent with almost 100% uptime and 4% extra DR.
The second bonus, however, is very exciting. It works well with the already most commonly used legendary, Stormstout's Last Keg. Not only does it give us a damage boost, but it also gives us a good bunch of maximum health and gives us a lot of self-healing built into our Keg Smash.
If you happen to get all 5 pieces, I would suggest simming it, as things will be different depending on what other off-pieces you have available.