Brewmaster Monk Tank Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2
Welcome to our Brewmaster Monk guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. Here, you will learn how to tank as a Brewmaster Monk in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your survivability.
Brewmaster Monk Overview
Brewmaster Monks are tanks that focus on surviving all but the most deadly amounts of damage, turning the bulk of it into a unique damage over time effect known as Stagger that can be removed with their other abilities. Through smoothing it out or dodging it entirely, this way of taking damage makes Brewmaster an incredibly desirable specialization for both progression raiding and dungeons. On top of this, a Brewmaster has considerable utility to offer and is incredibly mobile.
Note: the following guide will detail parts of tanking that are unique to Brewmaster Monks rather than general tanking strategy. If you are new to the role of tanking in general, it is recommended to look into our tanking guide first.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Guaranteed smooth damage intake from Stagger and Shuffle for both physical and magic damage.
- Incredibly mobile through the use of Roll, Tiger's Lust/ Chi Torpedo, and Transcendence.
- Unique abilities to help reposition enemies with Clash, Summon Black Ox Statue, and Ring of Peace.
- Baseline crowd control abilities such as Paralysis and Leg Sweep.
- The only source of the Mystic Touch debuff, shared with the other two Monk specs.
- Very forgiving to mistakes when playing.
Shadowlands Changes for Monks
We are maintaining a list of changes for Monks, so you can see what changed between Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands. The new expansion also introduces new character customization options with Covenants and Legendary Powers, for which we have Monk-specific pages that you can access below.
Overall, Brewmaster has only gotten stronger with Shadowlands' arrival, gaining bonus damage on Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox, Touch of Death adding a Stagger removal component, a shorter cooldown on Paralysis, the ability to move while channeling Zen Meditation, and even the return of the Clash ability to help reposition enemies.
Leveling and Getting Started as a Brewmaster Monk
While leveling as a tank specialization can seem a bit inefficient, it does come with its own set of benefits such as the ability to pull larger numbers of enemies while questing without having to be as concerned about survival, thanks to all your defensive skills. It can also give you valuable time to learn your rotation. Finally, it can be overwhelming to reach the level 60 cap and face the potential confusion of getting used to extra elements in your interface. Because of this, it is recommended to browse our list below of some basic Brewmaster addons and macros to make both your learning and leveling experiences easier.
Basics of playing a Brewmaster Monk
Being a tank specialization, your main job is to both stay alive at all times and to ensure that enemies are not attacking your other party or raid members. Brewmasters accomplish the first task by immediately delaying all damage taken with the help of their Stagger passive, improving its power with the help of Shuffle, and removing some of that delayed damage with Purifying Brew. In addition, plenty of potential damage is dodged entirely with the help of their Mastery, Mastery: Elusive Brawler.
As for keeping the attention of enemies, a Brewmaster converts their Energy into abilities such as Keg Smash, Tiger Palm, and Spinning Crane Kick that both deal damage and help work with the power of Stagger. Woven between this relationship of dealing damage to reduce damage taken are a number of abilities with no cost that work with other parts of the kit, such as Blackout Kick allowing you to dodge more attacks, Breath of Fire setting enemies hit by Keg Smash on fire, or instantly killing most enemies with Touch of Death!
If the above sounds interesting and you would like to learn about even more abilities available to a Brewmaster, then please read the Spell Summary, or if you would prefer a faster breakdown of the entire specialization, check out our Easy Mode for this guide.
Should you instead be a bit familiar with what a Brewmaster can do already, you would benefit more from heading to our breakdown of Talents and the rotation to get a more in-depth look at what to expect.
Gearing up as a Brewmaster Monk
While figuring out what to wear as an upgrade can be a challenging task, there are a number of tools out there to assist you with the decisions you face. If, for example, you are interested in a long term goal of best in slot items, please see our gearing page for an idea of what to look for.
Beyond that, there is also the matter of knowing what stats to go for on your way to that best item, or what improvements like enchantments, gems, or other consumables to use. Fortunately, we have pages dedicated to that sort of information as well to help you along the way.
Brewmaster Monk in Shadowlands
The Shadowlands have introduced a variety of systems to spice up your experience regardless of specialization. The most important system that every player will interact with in some way is the arrival of four separate factions known as Covenants. By pledging yourself to their cause, you will gain access to an ability shared by all members of that Covenant like Door of Shadows and a second ability that is unique to your class such as Weapons of Order. In addition, as part of a Covenant you will gain access to three unique Soulbinds, which allow you to borrow the power of an NPC member of the Covenant while also empowering your own abilities. This can be as simple as Plaguey's Preemptive Strike or as complex as a cheat death effect through Podtender!
In addition to choosing a Covenant, you will also have access to a wide variety of Legendary Powers to further alter how you play. Some of these effects may be familiar like Stormstout's Last Keg while others such as Invoker's Delight are entirely new. However, you will only have access to one Legendary Power at a time, so it will be important to learn which Powers are the most useful in a given moment.
End-Game as a Brewmaster Monk
Once you have made it to the highest possible character level, you can begin your real journey in the three major end-game activities of Raiding, Mythic+, and PvP. For whichever area you would like to focus more on — if not all three — we have guides to assist you on your Brewmaster and make it easier to perform at your very best. However, when it comes to serious PvP it is far more likely that you will be playing either Windwalker or Mistweaver, so they shall be shown instead.
An especially new piece of content in the end-game for Shadowlands is the release of Torghast, Tower of the Damned. This area functions as a new experience where every attempt at climbing the tower has the potential to be different as you learn more about the structure. You will also acquire materials to empower items with Legendary potential and even core aspects of your abilities may end up modified by various Anima Powers throughout your journey.
How to Improve as a Brewmaster Monk
After you have become familiar with playing as a Brewmaster, you may benefit from checking out our pages on common mistakes or questions asked by people playing this specialization. Not everything will be clear to everyone right away, and these pages can hopefully clear up any confusion more quickly and allow you to further improve.
Brewmaster Monk Viability in the Current Patch
Brewmaster was already quite strong throughout Battle for Azeroth, and in Shadowlands this pattern will very likely continue. It is the best tank for dealing with isolated large hits, making it excellent at certain bosses. In Dungeons, Leg Sweep is an exceptionally powerful stun, and we can kite in a pinch to get out of deadly situations.
In Ny'alotha, Brewmaster still maintains its strength, being one of the best tanks for most encounters due to their great strength against physical hits. This trend is likely to continue in Castle Nathria.
- 16 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Updated Level 15 Talent recommendations.
- 16 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Added two small sections about Charred Passions and Chi Wave.
- 16 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated tips for Sire Denathrius and talent recommendations for certain encounters.
- 14 Dec. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Improved advice for choosing Covenants.
- 09 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Added an advanced section for maximizing Touch of Death's potential.
- 09 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated Sun King's Salvation, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius tips/talents with new information.
- 07 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated all bosses with new information for Normal and Heroic.
- 07 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Added mention of Season 1's unique Affix.
- 06 Dec. 2020 (FAQ page): Added question about dual-wield versus two-handed weapons.
- 06 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated Weapon enchant recommendation to include dual-wielding.
- 06 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Castle Nathria gear and trinket recommendations; added discussion of dual-wield vs 2h.
- 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
- 25 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Added sections for Covenant and Legendary Power choices.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Removed Pre-Launch question about Covenants; Updated DPS improvement guidelines.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Adjusted certain Talent recommendations and descriptions; added link to Talents for Torghast.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for Shadowlands.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Early Shadowlands gear recommendations.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Added Covenant abilities into priority and a section of advanced usage.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Added a macro for Double Barrel and link to a WeakAura for tracking Black Ox Statue Health.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with new Shadowlands consumables.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Removed discussion of Awakened Affix. Added Covenant and Legendary Power recommendations.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Defensive Stats updated to emphasize balancing secondaries.
- 24 Nov. 2020 (this page): Added details of Torghast, Covenants, and Legendary Powers.
- 21 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Page updated with new Abilities and Passives gained between levels 50 and 60.
- 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page created.
- 19 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
- 14 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
- 08 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page created.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Page created.
- 11 Mar. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Removed mention of stacking damage bug on Jaina.
- 28 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated significantly for Mythic.
- 31 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added some Mythic details.
- 24 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Extensive updates to Mekkatorque, minor updates to other bosses.
- 20 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Page created.
- 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 16 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Mythic strategies for every boss other than G'huun, minor improvements and tips elsewhere.
- 19 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Altered Mythic tips.
- 11 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated after week one, and added early Mythic tips.
- 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Extensive rework for Uldir launch.
- 03 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added more content.
- 13 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 23 Jul. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated some talents and Legendary recommendations.
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