Brewmaster Monk Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5
This page contains all the necessary information to select the top Azerite traits for a Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.1.5. If you have not already done so, you can find a guide on how to obtain the Heart of Azeroth in our Heart of Azeroth guide, as you will need it to unlock the traits.
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Brewmaster Monk
Sometimes when you obtain a higher item level Azerite armor piece, it will have significantly poorer traits than your current item. It is not easy to decide whether to replace it or not, but there are some quick guidelines you can follow. They are not perfect (there are many combinations of traits) but should do for most situations. Note that for players focused entirely on increasing their damage, simming via Raidbots or consulting the Bloodmallet tables (at the bottom of the page) are your best options. At the moment there exists a tough to solve problem in Brewmaster simming with Rushing Jade Wind, so sim with Special Delivery.
The first thing to remember is that you are free to switch Azerite armor depending on the content you are doing — if you are doing a Mythic+ dungeon it is an excellent idea to use a piece with Azerite Veins even if it has a poorer Outer Ring trait and lower item level. Gemhide is another example, being exceptionally powerful on Fetid Devourer's high physical damage but weaker on high magic damage fights like Vectis. For individual fight advice, see the Uldir page
- In Mythic+, losing Bulwark of the Masses, Azerite Veins or Impassive Visage is not good. You should consider wearing an item 15 item levels lower if it has one of these traits, and the other traits are not terrible. One copy of Boiling Brew has a similar value.
- For raids, Gemhide Impassive Visage, and Straight, No Chaser have a large value- though this varies on a fight to fight basis.
- If you lose two of the 3 good Outer Ring traits — Elusive Footwork, Training of Niuzao, Straight, No Chaser a pure item level upgrade will not be worth it until 30 items levels in most cases. Other traits still makes this a little uncertain.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Brewmaster Monk
2.1. Outer Ring Traits for Brewmaster Monks
Brewmaster currently has 6 specialization traits, listed in order of effectiveness below.
- Boiling Brew increases the DoT damage of Breath of Fire and gives a small chance to summon a Gift of the Ox orb whenever it deals damage. It is excellent for 3+ target DPS and solid defensively. The chance to gain an orb is not increased by having more than one copy.
- Elusive Footwork causes Blackout Strike to deal more damage and add an extra stack of Mastery: Elusive Brawler when it critically hits. It is a large DPS increase on single targets. You do not gain more stacks of Elusive Brawler with more copies of the trait.
- Training of Niuzao gives you more Mastery rating based on your current level of Stagger.
- Staggering Strikes makes every Blackout Strike reduce damage remaining in your Stagger pool by a small amount.
- Straight, No Chaser causes Ironskin Brew to increase your armor and occasionally not use a charge. Extra copies increase the armor granted, but not the chance to refund a charge.
- Fit to Burst causes your next 3 melee attacks to heal you after drinking Purifying Brew at Heavy (Red) Stagger.
Raid gear from Battle of Dazar'alor has new Azerite traits.
- Bonded Souls heals you and your nearest ally every 5 seconds for 15 seconds, as well as granting some Haste. This is a decent trait, and it will benefit your co-tank as well on some fights.
- Treacherous Covenant gives you Agility when above 50% health, and increases damage you take while below 25%. While this is okay for DPS, it is obvious that this is a hit to survivability, and should be avoided.
- Seductive Power causes an image of Bwonsamdi to spawn. Going close to this gives you a stack of increased Agility, but ignoring it reduces your stacks. The Agility is not enough to bother using this trait, and it will likely mess with boss positioning.
If your focus is increasing your survivability, in raids you should use one Straight, No Chaser and as many Training of Niuzao as possible. After this, grab Bonded Souls, one Elusive Footwork, and one Boiling Brew.
The Engineering helm AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles has 4 unique traits in its Outer Ring. You should select Synaptic Spark Capacitor, which provides good damage and some reasonable damage reduction occasionally.
2.1.1. Outer Ring Azerite Traits for DPS
If you feel you are having no trouble surviving, you may wish to choose a more DPS oriented trait. The generic traits are much more suited to this than the Brewmaster- specific ones. They have the additional benefit of working while playing Windwalker. Here are the ones to look out for in order of potency:
- Thunderous Blast deals Nature damage occasionally to one target, culminating in one larger burst. It is found on items in Vol'dun.
- Tidal Surge deals Frost damage to the target and slows them, though the secondary effect is not useful for Brewmaster monks. It is on some items from Stormsong Valley.
- Rezan's Fury deals some direct damage and places a 12 second bleed on the target. If you are killing enemies before the bleed fully completes this trait loses some value. It comes from items in Zuldazar.
- Filthy Transfusion places a DoT on the target which heals you for the damage dealt. It occurs on Nazmir items.
2.1.2. Uldir Raid Traits
Uldir, the first raid in Battle for Azeroth, has special traits on its Azerite armor. Having either one of these will grant you Reorigination Array, a bonus that is only active in Uldir granting you some of your highest secondary stat. You should definitely have one of these if you are raiding. Note that having 2 Uldir traits does not increase the value of Reorigination Array.
- Laser Matrix deals some damage split amongst enemies and healing split to your allies. The damage provided by this trait is very high, and should be the trait you pick to enable Reorigination Array if possible.
- Archive of the Titans increases your Agility every 5 seconds, stacking up to 20 times. This lasts as long as you are in combat. The bonus is solid, but it takes a long time to get to full strength.
Since Uldir is now old content, and high item level Azerite gear with two outer rings is available from Mythics and World Quests, you should not use Uldir gear.
2.2. Middle Ring Azerite Traits for Brewmaster Monk
Each Azerite gear piece has a choice between a generic trait which adds stats or deals damage to enemies, or a trait specific to your role. The tanking traits are, in rough order of effectiveness.
- Crystalline Carapace causes you to gain Armor and deal some damage to enemies when taking damage. This effect should have a 100% uptime in practice.
- Azerite Veins is a healing over time effect which can occur when you take damage but ends when you reach 100% health. Since Brewmasters are rarely at 100% health due to Stagger this trait is quite good.
- Ablative Shielding grants some Armor when you fall below 40% health, which decays as you take more damage.
- Winds of War increases your Dodge when you take damage, stacking up to 5 times. This trait is very poor- it drops off very often due to our naturally high dodge.
- Strength in Numbers occasionally increases your maximum Health for each enemy near you, up to 5.
- Shimmering Haven spawns a pool underneath you which increases maximum Health and Armor.
Azerite Veins is solid in 5-man and world content, where you will not be healed to full often. In raids this trait is not that good but passable. If you prefer to focus on raiding, use Crystalline Carapace or Ablative Shielding. Ablative Shielding used to be very poor for Brewmaster, but this was addressed in a hotfix. If your Middle Ring trait is anything other than those, you should pick the DPS/stat option.
2.3. Inner Ring Traits for Brewmaster Monks
The final trait selection is between a generic and class-specific defensive trait. The traits that are relevant to you are the following.
- Gemhide grants Avoidance and Armor when taking damage, and should in practice have a 100% uptime.
- Impassive Visage heals you when you take damage once every 6 seconds. This should proc on cooldown due to Stagger dealing damage twice per second.
- Bulwark of the Masses gives you a shield when you are near 4 or more enemies, once every 15 seconds.
- Resounding Protection grants a shield every 30 seconds.
- Exit Strategy causes Roll and Chi Torpedo to grant a large amount of Avoidance for 2 seconds. During this time, if you are hit with direct damage the cooldown on Roll is reduced by 5 seconds.
- Vampiric Speed grants some healing and speed when an enemy you have damaged dies (you do not have to deal the killing blow). Solid for world content.
- Strength of Spirit heals you every second while Fortifying Brew is active.
- Longstrider increases your movement speed slightly.
Gemhide and Impassive Visage should be your choices here. Bulwark of the Masses is a good choice in Mythic+ dungeons. Vampiric Speed is fun to use in the world but less good in dungeons and raids. If your item does not have any of these on it, seek to replace it.
Exit Strategy is an interesting trait that is difficult to evaluate. In rare cases it will be very good, but it is almost always beaten out by other traits. If you wish to use it, Celerity is the best talent pick for extra Rolls. To stop you moving or turning the boss, you should jump immediatly before rolling. This way you will remain almost stationary. If this trait is especially useful for any fights, the boss guide will mention it. Otherwise, use it if you find it fun or the other trait is terrible.
4. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Brewmaster Monk. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 21 Jan. 2019: Added Battle of Dazar'alor Azerite Powers.
- 14 Dec. 2018: Updated new traits.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Added new trait for Patch 8.1.
- 16 Oct. 2018: Altered some trait recommendations, improved upgrade advice.
- 21 Sep. 2018: Altered recommended traits and added Bloodmallet sims.
- 11 Sep. 2018: Made various updates to the page and added a section to help you evaluate potential item upgrades.
- 20 Aug. 2018: Added Engineering helm, DPS traits.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 31 Jul. 2018: Page added.
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