Brewmaster Monk Tips and Quirks

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Table of contents

  1. Overview
  2. ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle
  3. Haste/crit/mastery
  4. ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard
  5. Purifying
  6. Opener
  7. 1H vs 2H
  8. Statue placement
  9. Talents - A deeper Knowledge


1. Overview


This is a guide to cover the most common questions and problems faced by Brewmaster (BrM) Monks. It will cover the most common mistakes and will give advice based on playing your character to its maximum potential and is aimed at raiding (LFR or better) monks not new (timeless) level 90 monks.


2. Shuffle


This is the first and one of the most important core abilities of a Brewmaster monk. ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle is a self-buff gained through the use of ability_monk_roundhousekick.jpg [/wowicon]Blackout Kick (BoK) and gives the monk an additional 20% to their stagger.

This is equivalent to 19,200 mastery rating (1% mastery = 960 rating).


Ensuring that your ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle uptime is as close to 100% as possible is very important. You should be using some add-on or weakaura to track your ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle (I personally use “Need to Know” to track my ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle and ability_monk_tigerpalm.jpgTiger Palm buffs).


The beauty of ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle is that its 6 second duration stacks so in period of low damage or when you do not have aggro in a boss fight you can be using all of your chi to stack up ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle. This will allow you to delay ability_monk_roundhousekick.jpgBlackout Kick in heavy damage phases and use your chi to ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard and purify (ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard and purifying is covered later in this guide).


 3. Haste/Crit/Mastery



Haste rating gives you the ability to generate chi through ability_monk_jab.jpgJab, achievement_brewery_2.jpgKeg Smash, SCK/ability_monk_rushingjadewind.jpgRushing Jade Wind and ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm.

The recommended talent choice of ability_monk_ascension.jpgAscension means that you do not require a high haste rating as a BrM. To be able to generate enough chi to maintain ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle/ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard/inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew you can have as low as 4500 haste. More than 4500 haste will provide you with a buffer for poor play but will not give you more survivability. If you are finding that you do not have enough chi because you are energy starved it means that you are either under geared for the content (taking a lot of damage so ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm and inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew usage is too high), your healers are bad (again too much ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm usage) or you are spending too much energy and chi on the wrong abilities.



Crit rating gives you faster ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew stacking to allow for a higher uptime on ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew and more damage that can be converted into absorbs through your statue.

In a 10 man environment Crit should be your goto stat after your Hit/Exp/Haste caps. In a 10 man environment the bosses do not hit hard enough and the damage taken is not enough to warrant mastery over crit. The extra tank DPS and raid ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard is more important than some extra mastery.

As I stated in the ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle section shuffle is equivalent to 19,200 mastery rating. A good ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle uptime will negate the need for more mastery given the base mastery rating, the inevitable mastery you will have on some gear and the ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle is more than enough for 10 man content.


25 Man content is a little different in that the bosses and damage is scaled higher. In this instance you will more than likely need to have “some” mastery to the point where you are not in 1 shot range. This will also be more specific to 25 man Heroic raiding as in 25 man normal there is still not enough damage to warrant a full mastery build.




should be used sparingly to a level that will give you a baseline survivability and effective health pool so that when paired with a ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle will give you enough stagger to survive the content you are raiding at.

For 10 man this can be as low as no mastery from gear as it is not required. In 25 man, especially Heroic content there will be times where mastery can be useful (Heroic Malkorok etc.)

There has been some talk of “Hybrid builds”. In my opinion this is suboptimal gearing. At a technical level any mastery more than what is required to stop a 1 shot hit after mitigation/ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard/ability_monk_fortifyingale_new.jpgFortifying Brew is a waste of stats, namely crit. Mastery has 1 effect, more stagger. Crit has multiple effects, more damage, more raid ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard, more ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew stacks.

For this reason I feel that any point spent in mastery over crit is a waste.


4. Guard

ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard is a useful damage reduction tool with a buff to ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm self heals. As it scales with attack power/spell_shadow_charm.jpgVengeance it is important that guard is not used on cooldown but is used pro actively to mitigate incoming magical damage primarily and then as a mini cooldown after this.

The questions you must ask yourself before you use ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard are:

  • Is it empowered from ability_monk_tigerpalm.jpgTiger Palm? – If no, don’t use it or ability_monk_tigerpalm.jpgTiger Palm first
  • Is there damage coming shortly that I need a cooldown for?
  • If I spend the 2 chi on ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard is my ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle going to fall off? – If yes, dont use it
  • Will ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm after the damage is taken be a better option due to the heal and the extra chi? (energy use>chi use)
  • Do I have massive spell_shadow_charm.jpgVengeance and can make use of a massive shield before the vengeance drops(eg. Malkorok: Blood Phase, Paragons: Korvens Viscous Assault)

BrM are very dependant on using the chi you have on the right abilities.


5. Purifying

inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew allows you to remove your stagger at the cost of 1 chi.

DO NOT OVERUSE THIS ABILITY. It can be very easy to see the glowing border pop up and hit inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew.

You should be tracking the stagger you have not only by colour but also how deep into the colour and how long it remains at that level. I use Elvui and it has a built in stagger bar on my character frame. There are also weakauras available to show you what your stagger is.

inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew at anything below a heavy stagger that will not reduce in the following few seconds is a waste of chi.

You can think of inv_misc_beer_06.jpgPurifying Brew as a mini cooldown of sorts and should not be used often or below heavy stagger.


6. Opener

So very often there are “OMG I am so squishy on the pull” threads.

Here is my opener when I am the tank that pulls the boss:

“can I get a PW Shield please”

/dbm pull 10

achievement_brewery_2.jpgKeg Smash > ability_monk_roundhousekick.jpgBlackout Kick > ability_monk_expelharm.jpgExpel Harm >ability_monk_provoke.jpgProvoke(only if there are dps getting close to pulling)>ability_monk_jab.jpgJab >ability_monk_roundhousekick.jpgBlackout Kick>[wowicon=ability_monk_tigerpalm]Tiger Palm

(If it’s a range pull I ability_monk_provoke.jpgProvoke /ability_monk_chiwave.jpgChi Wave as the boss is moving towards me then start at achievement_brewery_2.jpgKeg Smash)


When you aren’t the tank pulling the boss just get as much ability_monk_shuffle.jpgShuffle time as you can built up before you ability_monk_provoke.jpgProvoke.

Although it isn’t “optimal play” you can use ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm or ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard early on the pull if you feel you will die. There are not enough damaging abilities that if you use a CD on the pull you will be lacking too much at another time.

Communicate with your healers and have a bubble or HoT placed on you before the pull.


Another great tip is to place down a few ability_monk_healthsphere.jpghealth sphere near where you will be tanking and you can strafe through them for a quick topup.


7. 1H vs 2H weapons

The difference between a 1H and 2H are as follows.

A 1H will provide smoother stacks of ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew. It will also give you an extra Dancing steel enchant.

The 2H will give you a less smooth generation of ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew but when stacks are generated you will receive more. This is because of the difference in swing speed of 1H vs 2H.

Overall 1H gives you more dps due to extra enchant = more raid guards and possibly faster boss kill. 2H can give you more stacks of ability_monk_elusiveale.jpgElusive Brew early but once you have enough crit then this becomes a non issue.

For monks gearing up go with whichever weapon has the higher item level or gives you the most crit/hit/exp.


8. Ox Statue

This is a pretty straight forward tool. Makes sure you are placing your ability_monk_summonoxstatue.jpgOx Statue in an area that it will be in range of your raid to make sure you are getting the full use of your raid ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard.

Alternatively using its ability to AoE taunt can be useful for picking up groups of mobs. Although with the changes to ability_monk_rushingjadewind.jpgRushing Jade Wind if you are having trouble with AoE threat as a monk then there may be larger issues than statue placement.


9. Talents - A Deeper Knowledge

T1 - personal preference/situational



ability_monk_chiwave.jpgChi Wave - This is my personal favorite for a few reasons. Mostly because it is instant cast and is a smart heal (tool tip states it will prefer targets with lower health). Scales with Vengeance and heals wonderfully but also provides reasonable damage with no directional or positional requirements. 


ability_monk_arcanetorrent.jpgChi Burst - Personally i don't use this but it is not to be discounted and can be very useful due 2 reasons. 1 - ability_monk_arcanetorrent.jpgChi Burst ALWAYS heals the monk and 2 - You continue to dodge, parry and auto attack during its cast.

For fights where there is stacked phases it will provide great burst healing. The best example i can think of for this would be a Malkorok(Normal) Blood Rage phase.


ability_monk_forcesphere.jpgZen Sphere - Don't like it, don't use it, too reliant on positioning and GCD's.





T4 - Situational however a few notes.

ability_monk_ringofpeace.jpgRing Of Peace - Does not always interrupt targets so be careful. eg does not interrupt Gloom in Rooks Desperate measures.

ability_monk_legsweep.jpgLeg Sweep - Be careful using this on large groups of mobs (H Thok bats, Garrosh P1 adds) because it might be nice to stop them all from attacking but it will then synchronise their swings after that meaning that instead of getting hit by their melee swings over a second or 2 they will all be in time and can put you into a getting globaled range.



ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm - This and ability_monk_diffusemagic.jpgDiffuse Magic should be used depending on the fights mechanics or group makeup. ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm is perfect for fights where boss damage 'Stacks' or you can be stunned. Although getting stunned doesnt happen enough to make it a game breaking feature the 3 effective charges of ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm over a 45 second window is great.

Example: Harromm on Dark Shamans. Harrom melee swings you and stacks up his frost storm strikes ability. This can mean if you get a string of unfortunate RNG you receive a melee, a frost storm strike, tick of Toxic mist, foul stream, falling ash etc.... all in a very short window. ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm is perfect for mitigating the quick succession of a few hard hitting abilities.

Another example is Thok. Getting a stack of panic after a screech and a melee swing. Again a great time for the use of ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm.

The last amazing feature is should you use ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm and the subsequent attacks not trigger the effect it will stay active for 45 seconds giving a very large window to ensure that no charges are "wasted".


ability_monk_diffusemagic.jpgDiffuse Magic - This is a very powerful ability due the the weakness of monks to mitigate magical damage outside of ability_monk_guard.jpgGuard. It again has great uses in it ability to clear all magical effects AND reduce spell damage by 90%. This allows you to use this offensively by using ability_monk_diffusemagic.jpgDiffuse Magic then ignoring the next spell effect in or over the next 6 seconds. Examples: Corrosive Blast and sha puddles on Immerseus, the last 6 seconds of the Toxic mist Shamans debuff, laser burn on Iron Juggernaut etc.


ability_jasmineforcetea.jpgHealing Elixirs - This shouldn't be used because while it does provide you with some heals that can be nice for self healing it doesn't have the ability to be used offensively.


I would recommend switching between ability_monk_diffusemagic.jpgDiffuse Magic and ability_monk_dampenharm.jpgDampen Harm depending on your role or difficulties during each encounter.



ability_monk_rushingjadewind.jpgRushing Jade Wind - AoE King


ability_monk_summontigerstatue.jpgInvoke Xuen - Burst dps required


ability_monk_quitorpedo.jpgChi Torpedo - Never


I hope this can cover some of the more common or misunderstood areas of Brewmaster Tanking.


As always, Happy Killing smile.png

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Good job, well done, but let me correct you at this one:


This is equivalent to 12,000 mastery rating (1% mastery = 600 rating).


False: 1% Mastery = 960 rating.

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Cheers and fixed.


It strengthens my point even more smile.png

Yes, it does. ;D

If you allow me.... tongue.png



The beauty of ability_monk_shuffle.jpg Shuffle is that its 10 second duration stacks

BoK gives +6 seconds of Shuffle.



As I stated in the ability_monk_shuffle.jpg Shuffle section shuffle is equivalent to 12,000 mastery rating.




Healing Elixirs - This shouldn't be used because while it does provide you with some heals that can be nice for self healing it doesn't have the ability to be used offensively.

Well, its not quite true. I use Healing Elixirs quite a lot. There are a lots of fights especially on this tier, where neither Dampen Harm, nor Diffuse Magic has any use, for example: The Fallen Protectors, Norushen, Sha of Pride, Spoils of Pandaria etc. The damage intake on these fights are so low, you won't even purify your Stagger, there is little to no magic damage, but a few selfheal always comes in handy. The less your healers need to babysit you, the better.

Edited by Szensa

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Well, its not quite true. I use Healing Elixirs quite a lot. There are a lots of fights especially on this tier, where neither Dampen Harm, nor Diffuse Magic has any use, for example: The Fallen Protectors, Norushen, Sha of Pride, Spoils of Pandaria etc. The damage intake on these fights are so low, you won't even purify your Stagger, there is little to no magic damage, but a few selfheal always comes in handy. The less your healers need to babysit you, the better.


I would have to disagree here. Obviously more at a heroic level Diffuse Magic and Dampen harm have great use.


Fallen Protectors

Diffuse Magic is good for damage reduction in Suns desperate measures when you are tanking outside the "bubble", also for calamity, desecrated ground.



Diffuse magic can be useful in the tank test to mitigate a burst of corruption or even just to slow the effects of the icy fear late into the fight.

Dampen Harm can also be perfect for unleashed anger when stacks get higher before a tank switch.


Sha Of Pride

Diffuse magic is great for swelling pride, especially late into the final phase.



Diffuse Magic is great for removing torment or reducing the damage of the "big crate abilities" - Shadow bolt volley, jade tempest.

Similar use for Dampen Harm on the large crates with big abilities and melee swings.


I guess you can go with a personal preference but i have found healing elixirs to be less reliable and less of a cooldown type feel compared to diffuse magic and Dampen harm.

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Well, you have a point here, its only my personal preference. Maybe its because my ilvl is somewhat higher than the usual, which makes most of these fights trivial. I tend to use Dampen Harm on Thok, and there are kills, where it just fades before I could "use" any charges. tongue.png (We are 2 tanking him, so I only take 4-5 stacks of the debuff on P1.)

After all, you're right, DH and DM may have uses on those fights if you are not super geared, but at least on my gear level none of them hit hard enough to make DH/DM better than HE.


Edit: Your guide is supercool, I'm supporting it, I'm not trying to offend you or something. :p

Edited by Szensa

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Edit: Your guide is supercool, I'm supporting it, I'm not trying to offend you or something. tongue.png


No need to apologize.  We understand that there are preferences and unless we specifically mention it we don't look at the feedback as negative.

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Edit: Your guide is supercool, I'm supporting it, I'm not trying to offend you or something. tongue.png

No offense taken in any way at all :)


Feedback of any kind creates discussion and new thought processes and promotes better play.


We are a community that strives to help, have fun and discuss our ideas.


Happy Killing :)

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