Brewmaster Monk Tank Gear and Best in Slot — Shadowlands 9.0.5
On this page, you will find the best gear and best in slot items for your Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft Shadowlands 9.0.5.
Gearing your Brewmaster Monk in Early Shadowlands
Although the bulk of your ideal pieces of gear will come from selecting items by opening the Great Vault every week and raiding Mythic Castle Nathria, this content will not yet be available at first in the Shadowlands. Instead, your initial items will largely come from Covenant-themed quests and dungeons that are not Mythic Plus.
Gearing as a Brewmaster is generally simple for most item slots: use the highest item level gear you can get, while trying to avoid Haste. However, a item that is 5 item levels higher with Haste will often still be an upgrade. Do not go entirely out of your way to avoid the stat. Rings are sometimes a different matter, as they do not contain Agility or Armor. However, unless you are trying to maximize your damage output, you can still safely equip a ring with a higher item level no matter what its stats are. To learn about the rest of your stat priority, see our dedicated page for it.
Gearing Strategy and Best-in-Slot for a Brewmaster Monk
When you are figuring out if an item is an upgrade before you have acquired the best-in-slot pieces below, it might be useful to simulate them. You can only do this to compare gear offensively as a tank specialization, however. If you are unfamiliar with what simulations are or how to use them, our Simulation page can help you learn more. Otherwise, as mentioned earlier, you can safely prioritize item level.
Please note that the following table does not include items with Legendary Powers that may offer better stats for a given slot, nor does it include items obtained from PvP. It also assumes that any items from dungeons have been obtained from the Great Vault at an item level of 226. Items from Castle Nathria are assuming their Mythic variants — item levels 226/233. Finally, many items are only "best-in-slot" by a small margin over their next-best alternatives.
|Head||Sadist's Sinister Mask||Sire Denathrius|
|Neck||Azure-Venom Choker||Spires of Ascension|
|Shoulders||Wicked Flanker's Gorget||Stone Legion Generals|
|Cloak||Crest of the Legionnaire General||Stone Legion Generals|
|Chest||Anima-Splattered Hide||Sanguine Depths|
|Wrists||Bands of the Undergrowth||Mists of Tirna Scithe|
|Gloves||Gloves of Obscure Rituals||Plaguefall|
|Belt||Spell-Woven Tourniquet||Huntsman Altimor|
|Legs||Fearless Challenger's Leggings||Theater of Pain|
|Boots||Enchanted Toe-Tappers||The Council of Blood|
|Ring 1||Ritual Commander's Ring||The Necrotic Wake|
|Ring 2||Entwined Gorger Tendril||Sanguine Depths|
|Weapon (2h)||Your Covenant's two-handed Versatility/Mastery item from Zenith Anima Spherule||Sire Denathrius|
|Mainhand (Dual Wield)||Your Covenant's one-handed Versatility/Mastery item from Zenith Anima Spherule||Sire Denathrius|
|Offhand (Dual Wield)||Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence||Plaguefall|
Enchants and Sockets
Once you have obtained a piece of gear containing a socket or needing to be enchanted, you will need to know how to modify it. Detail about these tweaks can be found on our dedicated gems, enchants, and consumables page.
Dual-wielding and Two-Hand Comparison
As you are acquiring weapons, you may have to at times decide between dual-wielding a weapon in each hand or equipping a single two-handed option. This decision may be a little more complicated than it first would seem, as there is a hidden buff —called Windwalker Monk Two-Hand Adjustment despite also affecting Brewmasters — which increases the damage of your abilities by 2% when dual-wielding. However, many of your abilities do not actually take a weapon in the off-hand into account for calculating their damage dealt!
What this all ends up meaning is that when dual-wielding, your autoattack damage is greater, but when using a two-handed weapon your ability damage is higher instead. But, if both of your dual-wielded weapons are enchanted, then they can make up this difference in ability damage. Of course, this assumes all three weapons involved are the same item level and have identical secondary stats.
To summarize: when deciding between dual-wield and 2h, you can safely choose either option if it results in a higher total item level or amount of secondary stats. If you would like to know the best offensive option for your current selection of weapons, then it is still recommended to simulate your character for the best item available.
Legendary Powers for Brewmaster Monks
One of the key features of gearing present in the Shadowlands is the return of various Legendary items. However, while Legendary Powers may be craftable, each power is restricted to a specific set of gear slots. This can heavily alter your priority for obtaining certain items if you are able to instead wear an item with a Legendary Power that you have already chosen your desired stats on. For example, a Legendary Power that can be created in the Helm or Boots slot is likely to be more useful as a Helm due to providing a greater number of stats and being able to "lock-in" those stats as the two you want most. More information about the Legendary Power Runecarving process can be found below.
If you would like to find out which Legendary Powers are available to create on your Brewmaster as well as which are worth crafting, please see the section of this guide dedicated to it.
Trinkets are a gear slot that can provide shifting value across different areas of content. They are also the easiest piece to alter how offensive or defensive-minded you wish to be. Because of this, you should keep many of the trinkets you obtain and be ready to swap them out when the situation calls for it.
Once available, Bloodmallet can be used to see a comprehensive grouping of all available trinkets for Brewmaster Monks organized by their damage capabilities. If the source of the trinket is not listed on mouseover, then it only appears in world quests and will be difficult to acquire.
Offensive Dungeon Trinkets
- Phial of Putrefaction, from Doctor Ickus in Plaguefall, can deal massive amounts of damage over time if you are able to properly stack the effect on a target. However, its value will be reduced in AoE.
- Decanter of Anima-Charged Winds, from General Kaal in Sanguine Depths, is another powerful option that is a bit more specialized in single-target due to its damage amount being split in AoE. That being said, the total damage dealt will increase per target hit, up to a total of 5.
- Shadowgrasp Totem, from Mueh'zala in De Other Side, is another choice with high damage potential that also can provide you with a small amount of healing. However, getting the most out of this trinket requires your enemies to be standing in a small area on the ground for its duration.
- Bottled Flayedwing Toxin, from Amarth in The Necrotic Wake, provides a passive damage increase so long as you remember to activate it every hour like a Rogue applying Deadly Poison might.
Defensive Dungeon Trinkets
- Blood-Spattered Scale drops from Hakkar the Soulflayer in De Other Side. Every two minutes it can be activated to deal Shadow damage split among nearby enemies and form an absorb for 10 seconds. Every target hit will increase the damage and absorb amounts, capping out at 60% higher damage/absorb on 5 or more. This can act as a significant extra defensive cooldown while also offering some offensive power.
- Mistcaller Ocarina, from Mistcaller in Mists of Tirna Scithe, is a unique option that allows you to fill something of a support role for your party by providing a chance to increase every member's Versatility. However, it must be used every 5 minutes to reactivate this effect and you will immediately lose it if the trinket is unequipped. You can also change which stat its buff will provide by purchasing items from Master Clerk Salorn in Ardenweald.
- Slimy Consumptive Organ, from Globgrog in Plaguefall, allows you to create a bank of potential self-healing as you take damage, maxing out at 9 stacks. However, the healing is fairly insignificant compared to a tank player's maximum Health.
- Darkmoon Deck: Indomitable, from Inscription, is easy to acquire for the power of its effect. However, the damage reduction is both low in general and prone to the randomness of the deck's top card when activated. Unless you are in dire need of an item level upgrade, this may be safely ignored.
- Bladedancer's Armor Kit, from General Kaal in Sanguine Depths, will increase your armor by a large amount for 2 minutes and deal damage to enemies that attack you during this time on a 5-minute cooldown. Although there is no cooldown on this thorns effect, it being Physical damage means that enemy Armor will reduce the value, and the low effective uptime of the Armor offsets the defensive gain.
- While Pulsating Stoneheart, from Echelon in Halls of Atonement, may provide a large amount of armor on a relatively short cooldown, its 50% snare effect while active will likely result in you taking additional damage from not being able to avoid a mechanic. Its snare effect also cannot be negated.
Notable Castle Nathria Trinkets
To stay brief, this list will only include noteworthy offensive and defensive trinkets available to your Brewmaster in Castle Nathria. If it is not on this list, it is likely not worth obtaining.
- Dreadfire Vessel, from Sire Denathrius, will likely be your offensive trinket of choice once obtained, offering a large amount of on-use Fire damage that is also on a low cooldown. As it comes from the end of the instance, it will also drop at a higher item level than most other trinkets.
- Skulker's Wing, from Shriekwing, is a weaker version of Dreadfire Vessel, having an identical cooldown on its effect, but instead dealing Physical damage. As it is from the first boss of Castle Nathria, however, it is easily obtained.
- Memory of Past Sins, from Lady Inerva Darkvein, has interesting potential as an offensive trinket, but requires teamwork to reach its true power. Although you only apply its Shattered Psyche effect 5 times yourself, the ability itself can stack up to 25 times! Therefore, if you have four other allies with this trinket as well, its damage will increase substantially.
- Splintered Heart of Al'ar, from Sun King's Salvation, offers a cheat-death effect on an 8-minute cooldown between activations. Although the damage it can deal is substantial, it also will harm your allies. In addition, its effect only applies if you would have died, so the best time to use it is during the progression of a boss. Once that risk is gone, this trinket may be safely ignored.
- Hateful Chain, from Sludgefist, offers another hybrid role in the trinket slot, healing you when you are more in need of it and dealing damage when you are healthy. While the healing is decent, this trinket will mostly be used for damage due to its high chance of activating.
- Stone Legion Heraldry, from Stone Legion Generals, provides a static amount of Versatility; but this value can be increased! For every member of your party that is also wearing the trinket, this effect will be increased by 5%. Overall, this is a very balanced option for both offense and defense, while also being obtainable at a higher item level than other alternatives.
- Sanguine Vintage, from Sire Denathrius, can be activated once per minute to gain an absorb for six seconds. Although the absorb is small, any portion of it remaining after this time will instead heal you for double the amount. As Stagger will likely deplete the absorb in this time, you will rarely benefit from the healing effect. However, its low cooldown is still fairly useful.
Valor and Upgradeable Items
Returning once again in Patch 9.0.5, the Valor currency can be obtained in a limited amount each week from a variety of activities. With every passing week of a Season, the total amount of obtainable Valor will increase as well and allow you to catch up if you are short of the maximum.
After earning enough of it, Valor can be used to upgrade any item obtained from a Mythic dungeon of any difficulty. These upgrades carry through all the way to item level 220, though you must also have achieved Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One in order to bring an item that high. As the choice of items to seek out and upgrade can be a highly Valor-expensive decision, the following items are recommended as a guideline. Remember, only dungeon items can be upgraded.
- Blood-Spattered Scale is the most immediate priority for an item to take to high item level, as it combines a strong offensive effect with a powerful absorb that can be used as an extra defensive tool in your arsenal.
- Phial of Putrefaction is an excellent passive trinket choice to pair with an on-use option like the Scale above, though it performs best in extended single-target combat.
- Decanter of Anima-Charged Winds works as an excellent alternative choice for AoE damage.
- Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence's effect increases with its item level along with the rest of its stats. This means an item level 220 version in your Off-hand slot could prove useful if you have not yet obtained two weapons from Mythic Castle Nathria.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Added a section about Valor and recommended items to upgrade with it.
- 23 Feb. 2021: Added a caveat about PvP to the best in slot table; modified certain trinket descriptions.
- 06 Dec. 2020: Updated with Castle Nathria gear and trinket recommendations; added discussion of dual-wield vs 2h.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Updated with Early Shadowlands gear recommendations.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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