Brewmaster Monk Tank Gear and Best in Slot — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find the best gear and best in slot items for your Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft Shadowlands 9.1.
Gearing your Brewmaster Monk in Early Shadowlands
Although the bulk of your ideal pieces of gear will come from selecting items within the Great Vault every week and raiding Mythic Castle Nathria, this content will not be feasible when first reaching Level 60 in the Shadowlands. Instead, your initial items will largely come from Covenant-themed quests and dungeons that are not Mythic Plus. Consider upgrading your Covenant Armor Set to Item Level 197 for an immediate power boost if you have the Anima to spare!
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 tables do not include items with Legendary Powers that may offer better stats for a given slot, nor do they include items obtained from PvP. They also assume that any items from dungeons have been obtained from the Great Vault at an item level of 252. Items from Sanctum of Domination are assuming their Mythic variants — item levels 252/259. Finally, many items are only "best-in-slot" by a small margin over their next-best alternatives.
Best Dungeon Items
|Head||Hood of Refracted Shadows||Halls of Atonement|
|Shoulders||Far Traveler's Shoulderpads||De Other Side|
|Cloak||Blighted Margrave's Cloak||Plaguefall|
|Chest||Anima-Splattered Hide||Sanguine Depths|
|Wrists||Bands of the Undergrowth||Mists of Tirna Scithe|
|Gloves||Gloves of Obscure Rituals||Plaguefall|
|Belt||Girdle of Shattered Dreams||Theater of Pain|
|Legs||Fearless Challenger's Leggings||Theater of Pain|
|Boots||Viscera-Stitched Footpads||The Necrotic Wake|
|Ring 1||Ritual Commander's Ring||The Necrotic Wake|
|Ring 2||Entwined Gorger Tendril||Sanguine Depths|
|Weapon (2h)||Quarterstaff of Discordant Ethic||Spires of Ascension|
|Mainhand (Dual Wield)||Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence||Plaguefall|
|Offhand (Dual Wield)||Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence||Plaguefall|
Best Raid Items
|Head||Cowl of Haunting Precognition||Fatescribe Roh-Kalo|
|Neck||Weathered Talisman of the Shadowmoon||Remnant of Ner'zhul|
|Shoulders||Spaulders of the Crooked Confidant||Kel'Thuzad|
|Cloak||Self-Replicating Tissue||Guardian of the First Ones|
|Chest||Witherheart Studded Breastplate||Sylvanas Windrunner|
|Wrists||Clasps of the Unfortunate Troubadour||The Tarragrue|
|Gloves||Loyal Kvaldir's Handwraps||The Eye of the Jailer|
|Belt||Windrunner's Baldric||Sylvanas Windrunner|
|Legs||Elite Aranakk Breeches||Kel'Thuzad|
|Boots||Daschla's Defiant Treads||The Nine|
|Ring 1||Tarnished Insignia of Quel'Thalas||Sylvanas Windrunner|
|Ring 2||Oscillating Ouroboros||Fatescribe Roh-Kalo|
|Weapon (2h)||Jotungeirr, Destiny's Call||The Nine|
|Mainhand (Dual Wield)|
|Offhand (Dual Wield)|
Domination Sockets and Shards
Domination Shards are a new type of gem introduced as drops from bosses within the Sanctum of Domination. Not only do each of the nine different Domination Shards provide a unique effect, but combining three of a similar type out of Blood, Frost, and Unholy will also enable a set bonus within The Maw, Korthia, and the Sanctum of Domination. However, these powerful gems can only be inserted into special Domination Sockets that will only be present on specific pieces of armor within the raid itself. For Leather users such as Brewmaster Monks, these slots are the Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Hands, and Feet.
Within these sockets you will want to place the following Domination Shards, but note that you must have a Chest with a Domination Socket in order to activate the Blood Domination Shard set bonus, Blood Link:
- Shard of Bek — Blood;
- Shard of Jas — Blood;
- Shard of Rev — Blood;
- Shard of Dyz — Unholy;
- Shard of Cor — Frost.
If you would like to know more about the remaining Domination Shards' effects, their set bonuses, or how to upgrade their powers into even more potent forms, please see our official guide detailing everything about this new system of Patch 9.1:
Enchants and Sockets
Once you have obtained a piece of gear containing a prismatic socket or needing to be enchanted, you will need to know how to modify it. Details about these tweaks can be found on our dedicated gems, enchants, and consumables page.
Choosing a weapon
Brewmaster Monks are unique in that they can opt for either a two-handed weapon or to dual-wield one-handed weapons. This results in a massive amount of potential choices to consider. Although you will often opt for whichever choice has the higher item level or more Weapon DPS, there is some nuance to bear in mind.
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. However, 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.
Poxstorm, Cruciform Veinripper, and Jotungeirr, Destiny's Call
Among the possible weapons to choose from as a Brewmaster, there are three that stand out for their unique effects; one is obtained from Mythic+ while the other two come from the Sanctum of Domination raid. While they all have their time of being the best weapon for a given scenario, it is important to recognize when to use each one.
Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence is a one-handed Sword from Plaguefall that causes your abilities to apply a DoT effect for 6 seconds. Even though its secondary stats are not the most appealing, this effect more than makes up the difference in damage and is recommended as the best generic choice among weapons.
Cruciform Veinripper, on the other hand, is something of an improved version of Poxstorm, Longsword of Pestilence that is obtained within the Sanctum of Domination. While it has no secondary stats, its DoT effect is much stronger as compensation. However, its effect can only trigger if one of three conditions are met:
- you are behind your target;
- your target is snared;
- your target is stunned or under the effects of crowd control.
Fortunately for Brewmasters, Keg Smash has a built-in snare component which means one of these conditions is always met. However, most bosses are immune to snare effects and will not reliably allow you to stand behind them, so this weapon's effectiveness is largely limited to Mythic+ environments.
Finally, Jotungeirr, Destiny's Call is a two-handed weapon that also does not have any secondary stats and comes from Sanctum of Domination. In exchange, it has a 3-minute on-use effect that grants you a massive amount of every secondary stat for 30 seconds. It is important to note that you cannot normally equip or unequip this weapon while you are in combat, and that attempting to unequip it while the on-use is active will immediately cancel its benefit. However, if you attempt to switch to a dual-wielded weapon in your offhand, you can bypass this restriction; this behavior may be unintentional and changed at a later date. As such, this weapon's primary purpose is to be used on-pull for one activation of the on-use effect, followed by swapping to your other weapons once the effect ends for the remainder of the fight. If this does not interest you, then you may ignore Jotungeirr, Destiny's Call in favor of obtaining other weapons of similar or higher item level.
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.
Bloodmallet can also 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.
- Ticking Sack of Terror, from Mailroom Mayhem in Tazavesh, the Veiled Market, offers large amounts of damage despite coming with Mastery as its only stat. This is because the explosion from it can both critically strike and be increased by Versatility. It also will still explode even if an enemy only has one stack of its debuff that then is allowed to expire.
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 shield 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.
- Codex of the First Technique, from So'azmi in Tazavesh, the Veiled Market, may be a trinket that offers Stamina rather than Agility, but its passive effect is potent enough to rival offensive trinkets of a similar item level. Note that its effect both reduces your damage taken by 10% while active, but also redirects the amount reduced back to the enemy that hit you!
- 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.
Notable Castle Nathria Trinkets
To stay brief, this list will only include noteworthy offensive and defensive trinkets available to your Brewmaster specifically from Castle Nathria in Patch 9.1. If it is not on this list, it is no longer worth obtaining.
- 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. The main reason this trinket is still relevant comes from its effect not requiring your death to occur. This keeps your threat intact, which can be very relevant in content where you are the only tank such as Mythic+.
Notable Sanctum of Domination Trinkets
As with Castle Nathria, this list will only include noteworthy offensive and defensive trinkets available to your Brewmaster specifically from Sanctum of Domination. If it is not on this list, it is likely not worth obtaining.
- Shard of Annhylde's Aegis, from The Nine, is thematically similar to the Blood-Spattered Scale, but almost better in every way in an AoE environment! It has a shorter cooldown, can absorb more damage, and its bonus explosion should you have taken enough damage does not split among targets. In addition, its damage reduction applies to DoT effects on you; the only requirement for damage to be reduced is that you are facing the enemy that applied an effect to you. This is most certainly the strongest defensive trinket of the instance.
- Reactive Defense Matrix, from Guardian of the First Ones, is a sort of hybrid defensive and offense trinket. When its effect activates, it both prevents damage and reflects it back to the attacker, but only works up to a small amount of damage reflected. It can additionally be "forced" to activate by dropping below 20% maximum health, but this part of the effect can only occur once every 30 seconds. While not as powerful as a dps trinket, it does allow you to be defensive without as big of a sacrifice in damage output.
- Salvaged Fusion Amplifier, also from Guardian of the First Ones, allows you to temporarily empower your weapons with a high chance to deal bonus Arcane damage. This effect has a proc rate of 20ppm and is further improved by Haste, giving it natural synergy with High Tolerance.
- Weave of Warped Fates, from Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, is another form of cheat-death trinket that functions similarly to a Restoration Shaman's Ancestral Protection Totem. If you die with this trinket equipped, you will have the option to revive yourself as a separate button next to "release spirit". Be aware that The 6-minute debuff between activations is not reset from further deaths and that since you must die to activate it, your threat will be removed from any enemies you were fighting.
- Relic of the Frozen Wastes, from Kel'Thuzad, has both a passive effect and an on-use with a low cooldown. The idea is to apply the 20-second Frozen Heart effect to multiple enemies and then use the trinket to deal bonus damage to them. Though its damage is underwhelming, the higher item level on this trinket makes it worth considering nonetheless.
Valor and Upgradeable Items
Having returned 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 246, though you must also have achieved Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season Two 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 246 version in your Off-hand slot could prove useful if you have not yet obtained two weapons from Mythic Sanctum of Domination.
- 21 Jul. 2021: Created separate tables of recommended gear for dungeons and raid; added discussion about weapons with bonus effects; added another offensive dungeon trinket to its respective list.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated recommended gear for Season 2; added Domination Shard recommendations.
- 19 Apr. 2021: Added mention of upgrading the Covenant Armor Set for a quick item level boost on a new character.
- 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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