Brewmaster Monk Tank Guide — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated Yesterday at 00:52 by Sinzhu 19 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Brewmaster Monk guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. 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.

1.

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 Icon 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.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
X Weaknesses
  • -Lowest base Health of every tank specialization; this can result in being more vulnerable to DoT effects.
  • -Low self-sustain outside of Expel Harm Icon Expel Harm, but Celestial Fortune Icon Celestial Fortune works on almost every single heal received.
  • -Large number of keybinds to keep track of.
  • -May need to use Addons or WeakAuras to properly track Stagger Icon Stagger as the default UI is often insufficient.
  • -Somewhat low damage output; all offensive cooldowns are also defensive.
3.

Patch 9.1 Changes for Monks

We are maintaining a list of changes for Monks, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Brewmaster's specific changes this patch.

Overall, Brewmaster has only gotten stronger with Shadowlands' arrival, gaining bonus damage on Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox Icon Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox, Touch of Death Icon Touch of Death adding a Stagger Icon Stagger removal component, a shorter cooldown on Paralysis Icon Paralysis, the ability to move while channeling Zen Meditation Icon Zen Meditation, and even the return of the Clash Icon Clash ability to help reposition enemies.

4.

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.

5.

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 Icon Stagger passive, improving its power with the help of Shuffle Icon Shuffle, and removing some of that delayed damage with Purifying Brew Icon Purifying Brew. In addition, plenty of potential damage is dodged entirely with the help of their Mastery, Mastery: Elusive Brawler Icon Mastery: Elusive Brawler.

As for keeping the attention of enemies, a Brewmaster converts their Energy into abilities such as Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash, Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm, and Spinning Crane Kick Icon Spinning Crane Kick that both deal damage and help improve the power of Stagger Icon Stagger. Woven into 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 Icon Blackout Kick allowing you to dodge more attacks, Breath of Fire Icon Breath of Fire setting enemies hit by Keg Smash on fire, or instantly killing most enemies with Touch of Death Icon 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.

6.

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.

7.

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 Icon Door of Shadows and a second ability that is unique to your class such as Weapons of Order Icon 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 Icon Plaguey's Preemptive Strike or as complex as a cheat death effect through Podtender Icon 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 Icon Stormstout's Last Keg while others such as Invoker's Delight Icon 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 situation.

8.

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 are 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 ascent.

9.

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.

10.

Brewmaster Monk Viability in the Current Patch

Brewmaster remains quite strong in this stage of Shadowlands. It is the best tank for dealing with isolated large hits, making it excellent at certain bosses. In Dungeons, Leg Sweep Icon Leg Sweep is an exceptionally powerful stun, and we can easily kite in a pinch to get out of deadly situations with the help of Roll Icon Roll, Ring of Peace Icon Ring of Peace, and Transcendence Icon Transcendence.

In Castle Nathria, Brewmasters still maintain their strength of being one of the best tanks for most encounters due to their great sturdiness against Physical hits. However, it does have the lowest Maximum Health out of every tank specialization, which can prove dangerous on encounters with heavy-hitting damage-over-time effects such as Lady Inerva Darkvein's Warped Desires Icon Warped Desires.

11.

Changelog

  • 22 Jul. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added a general list of Anima Powers to pick from the Tormented Affix.
  • 22 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Updated tips for most bosses in all difficulties, including substantially more information for Sylvanas.
  • 21 Jul. 2021 (gear page): 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.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (mythic+ page): Updated with information regarding Shadowlands Season 2 and the Tormented Affix.
  • 05 Jul. 2021 (Sanctum of Domination page): Page added.
  • 02 Jul. 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Adjusted page formatting and wording for live release of Patch 9.1.
  • 02 Jul. 2021 (easy mode page): Adjusted Endurance Conduit priority in Soulbind tree and Conduit list.
  • 02 Jul. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated Soulbind trees to reflect a different Endurance Conduit priority.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (stats page): Elaborated on Agility's place among one's stats; revised stat priorities to only focus on Secondary stats.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (this page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (easy mode page): Expanded recommended Soulbind tree for Patch 9.1; added an additional recommended Potency, Endurance, and Finesse Conduit to pursue.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated recommended crafting slots and added a new recommended Legendary for AoE and Mythic+; added mention of four new Legendary Powers introduced in Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (talents page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (rotation page): Added Faeline Harmony to Legendary choice options and Covenant Ability Usage section; minor rewordings.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Torghast): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (gear page): Updated recommended gear for Season 2; added Domination Shard recommendations.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Adjusted the "Choosing your Covenant" section to more accurately reflect the options available in Patch 9.1; ensured all Covenants have at least two recommended Soulbind paths; expanded on Soulbind capabilities to reflect new traits.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (addons page): Added an extra note about the possible uses of a /cancelaura Macro; minor rewording elsewhere.
  • 28 Jun. 2021 (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 20 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Added new Legendary Powers and a preliminary analysis of them.
  • 17 May 2021 (Patch 9.1 Analysis): Page created with initial information.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (Legendaries): Added a second raiding recommendation to the table.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added a Mikanikos Soulbind tree recommendation for more damage-oriented Kyrian players; updated Soulbind tree Conduits to rank 7.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (gear page): Added mention of upgrading the Covenant Armor Set for a quick item level boost on a new character.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (addons page): Corrected Wago Link; added caveat about using Normalized Stagger in Shadowlands.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (enchants page): Added a generic offensive Weapon enchant choice.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (stats page): Further clarified Celestial Fortune's interaction with absorbs.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (mythic+ page): Added sections explaining the choice present in the Level 40 and 45 talent rows.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (rotation page): Rotation Priorities overhauled with options to tailor them to your chosen Covenant, talents, and Legendary Power; added further info to the Advanced sections of Invoke Niuzao and High Tolerance.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (talents page): Added minor clarification and rewording of some talent choices.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (spells page): Added further clarification to Spinning Crane Kick's Mechanics.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (this page): Revised Viability in Current Patch; minor rewording.
  • 19 Apr. 2021 (simulations page): Added a small caveat about WowAnalyzer usage.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Page reviewed for Patch 9.0.5; added small mention of the returning Valor currency.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Reviewed for 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added a section about Valor and recommended items to upgrade with it.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated recommended Potency and Endurance Conduit; changed recommended Level 35 talent.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Page reviewed for Patch 9.0.5; added small passage reaffirming Shaohao's Might is not a worthwhile Legendary Power.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Reviewed and updated for Patch 9.0.5; Fleshcraft and Marileth sections adjusted.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Corrected inconsistency in Pelagos images, updated Celestial Effervescence and general Endurance Conduit priorities
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (gear page): Added a caveat about PvP to the best in slot table; modified certain trinket descriptions.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (Legendaries): Updated Legendary Power recommendation for Torghast.
  • 22 Jan. 2021 (Torghast): Updated Anima Power categories, modified gameplay tips, and added a section on Corrosive Dosage.
  • 22 Jan. 2021 (rotation page): Added an advanced section for maximizing Invoke Niuzao.
  • 22 Jan. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Slightly modified Soulbind Trees, added new info to Walk with the Ox.
  • 22 Jan. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Updated tips for Inerva Darkvein, Council of Blood, and Sludgefist, along with minor talent recommendation changes.
  • 16 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Updated Level 15 Talent recommendations.
  • 16 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated tips for Sire Denathrius and talent recommendations for certain encounters.
  • 16 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Added two small sections about Charred Passions and Chi Wave.
  • 14 Dec. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Improved advice for choosing Covenants.
  • 09 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated Sun King's Salvation, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius tips/talents with new information.
  • 09 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Added an advanced section for maximizing Touch of Death's potential.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Added mention of Season 1's unique Affix.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated all bosses with new information for Normal and Heroic.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (FAQ page): Added question about dual-wield versus two-handed weapons.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Castle Nathria gear and trinket recommendations; added discussion of dual-wield vs 2h.
  • 06 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated Weapon enchant recommendation to include dual-wielding.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 25 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 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 (FAQ page): Removed Pre-Launch question about Covenants; Updated DPS improvement guidelines.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated with new Shadowlands consumables.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Added sections for Covenant and Legendary Power choices.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Defensive Stats updated to emphasize balancing secondaries.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Removed discussion of Awakened Affix. Added Covenant and Legendary Power recommendations.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Added Covenant abilities into priority and a section of advanced usage.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (this page): Added details of Torghast, Covenants, and Legendary Powers.
  • 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 (talents page): Adjusted certain Talent recommendations and descriptions; added link to Talents for Torghast.
  • 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 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats 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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