Brewmaster Monk Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands Pre-Patch 9.0.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
Within this page we will go over every single talent available to Brewmaster Monks. Many of them are only passive effects, but they all can have an impact on how the spec is played whether active or passive. To see how these choices fit into how you play as a Brewmaster, take a look at the Rotation section of our guide.
Talent Choices for Brewmaster Monk
|15||✓ Eye of the Tiger||✗ Chi Wave||? Chi Burst|
|25||✗ Celerity||✓ Chi Torpedo||✓ Tiger's Lust|
|30||✓ Light Brewing||✗ Spitfire||✓ Black Ox Brew|
|35||✗ Tiger Tail Sweep||✓ Summon Black Ox Statue||✓ Ring of Peace|
|40||✓ Bob and Weave||? Healing Elixir||✓ Dampen Harm|
|45||✗ Special Delivery||✓ Rushing Jade Wind||? Exploding Keg|
|50||✓ High Tolerance||✗ Celestial Flames||? Blackout Combo|
Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
Talent Cheat Sheets for Brewmaster Monk
While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.
This build is an excellent starting point as a "standard" raid setup. It is very highly recommended you read the individual talent points as Brewmaster Monks in particular can be pretty situational in their talent choices.
- Level 15: Eye of the Tiger
- Level 25: Tiger's Lust
- Level 30: Light Brewing
- Level 35: Summon Black Ox Statue
- Level 40: Bob and Weave
- Level 45: Rushing Jade Wind
- Level 50: High Tolerance
However, it is not enough to simply know the talents that usually work well in a raid environment. You also need to know what extra roles you can accomplish with their help as a Brewmaster. Fortunately, there is a page dedicated to what to do in Ny'alotha as one.
- Level 15: Eye of the Tiger
- Level 25: Tiger's Lust
- Level 30: Black Ox Brew
- Level 35: Ring of Peace
- Level 40: Dampen Harm
- Level 45: Rushing Jade Wind
- Level 50: High Tolerance
In addition to having a talent breakdown for Mythic+, we also have an entire section of this guide devoted to further Mythic+ tips and tricks, that you can quickly navigate to.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✔ Eye of the Tiger||✘ Chi Wave||? Chi Burst|
- Eye of the Tiger causes Tiger Palm to also apply both a buff (to yourself) and a debuff (to the target) called Eye of the Tiger. On you, it is an 8-second HoT, while on the target it is an 8-second DoT (dealing Nature damage). The DoT may only be active on one target at a time.
- Chi Wave is an active ability with a 15-second cooldown. It is essentially a chain-heal that bounces to the 7 nearest targets (within 25 yards). The bounces target allies and enemies alternatively. Each target that the wave bounces to is healed or damaged (Nature damage), depending on their alignment. The healing portion of Chi Wave is a smart heal, in the sense that it prefers healing low health players.
- Chi Burst is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown. It heals all friendly targets, and damages all hostile targets in a 40-yard line in front of you.
Eye of the Tiger is the best choice for self-sustain. It is also the most consistent option for dealing damage.
Chi Burst is the best choice for AoE, providing a nice burst of damage and healing. Using it efficiently requires some amount of consideration, however, as the distance it travels can accidentally pull more enemies. You can even help heal your allies if aimed appropriately.
Chi Wave can provide some decent self-healing, but typically only for solo content. If you use it in groups, it will also bounce to allies and barely end up healing you. Theoretically, it can result in slightly higher DPS than Eye of the Tiger. However, if you have to ever delay the casting of Chi Wave, even only a few times in an encounter, its value rapidly declines. This means Eye of the Tiger is virtually always a better option.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✘ Celerity||✔ Chi Torpedo||✔ Tiger's Lust|
- Celerity passively increases the number of charges of Roll by 1, and reduces its cooldown by 5 seconds.
- Chi Torpedo replaces Roll. It causes you to roll a moderate distance in front of you (further than Roll), increasing your movement speed by 30% for 10 seconds. This effect stacks up to 2 times.
- Tiger's Lust is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown, which removes all roots and snares from the target, and grants them 70% increased movement speed for 6 seconds. It can be used either on yourself or on an ally.
In this tier that revolves around movement, the choice depends on your preference and on the requirements of the encounter.
Tiger's Lust is a great choice for a movement speed boost, since not being linked to Roll makes it quite versatile. Removing slows and roots is excellent everywhere since these frequently show up in raids, dungeons and the world. It can often negate plenty of damage over time effects that also have a root or snare effect. For that reason, we recommend you have a mouseover macro to give it to a friendly player who needs help every now and then.
Chi Torpedo is a strong choice for encounters that require you to move a long distance for extended time, since it moves you further than Roll before even accounting for the bonus speed buff. This speed increase also stacks, so a high average speed can be achieved by using Chi Torpedo near the end of the buff duration. Just be careful not to misjudge a distance if you are used to Roll.
Celerity can be a good choice if you need to only move as far as a Roll will take you and do so often. However, the total distance you can travel over time with this talent is lower than either of the alternatives, so it cannot be recommended most of the time.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✔ Light Brewing||✘ Spitfire||✔ Black Ox Brew|
- Light Brewing reduces the cooldown of Purifying Brew and Celestial Brew by 20%, setting them at 16 and 48 seconds, respectively.
- Spitfire causes Tiger Palm to gain a 25% chance to reset the cooldown of Breath of Fire.
- Black Ox Brew is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown that instantly resets the cooldown on both charges of Purifying Brew and the cooldown of Celestial Brew, while also completely refilling your Energy.
Black Ox Brew — when used on cooldown — offers the most Brew usage per fight. It also provides a small damage boost by allowing more casts of Tiger Palm and Keg Smash throughout the fight due to the extra Energy that it generates. Since it is a Brew, Black Ox Brew even has its cooldown reduced by Keg Smash and Tiger Palm, which means it needs to be monitored carefully. The talent can suffer from giving you too many resources at once, asking you to spend some energy right away along with using a charge of Purifying Brew and your Celestial Brew to get them back on cooldown as soon as possible. It also suffers greatly from downtime, since you will then not be able to reduce its cooldown. Consider it a high-risk, high-reward option.
Light Brewing acts as a passive counterpart to Black Ox Brew for Brew availability. It is slightly behind Black Ox Brew in Brew generation when both are played optimally, but any small mistake or any fight downtime rapidly closes the gap between the two talents. However, since it provides no Energy it can result in slightly lower DPS than Black Ox Brew. You should use it in raid fights with significant time where you cannot attack anything, dungeons, or if you prefer a less-hectic playstyle.
Spitfire provides almost no defensive benefit and only a marginal DPS increase. Players doing content that does not challenge them at all who want a tiny bit more damage can use it. There is one extra benefit that applies to players in War Mode, which will be discussed in the appropriate section.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✘ Tiger Tail Sweep||✔ Summon Black Ox Statue||✔ Ring of Peace|
- Ring of Peace is an active ability with a 45-second cooldown. It forms a ring at the targeted location, which lasts for 5 seconds. During this time, most enemies who enter the ring will be knocked out of it. Has no effect on bosses and certain enemies resistant to crowd control.
- Summon Black Ox Statue creates a statue at the target location within 40 yards, and pulses threat to all nearby enemies within 20 yards. The threat belongs to the statue, so mobs will try to attack it if a more threatening target is not nearby. When using Provoke on your Black Ox Statue, all enemies within 8 yards of it are taunted to attack you. Beyond that, the statue has its own Health bar equal to half of your maximum health and will last until it is destroyed or times out after 15 minutes.
- Tiger Tail Sweep increases the range of Leg Sweep by 2 yards and reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds.
Summon Black Ox Statue can be a solid choice for any raid encounter with frequent adds that would otherwise be annoying to get the attention of. It will usually be the focus of any new enemy that spawns, so you can easily pick them up without stress. It can also be a solid way to pull packs in Mythic+, where the AoE taunt is excellent to save overeager DPS players. You should always make sure to be careful where you place your statue, since its threat pulse range can be misleading.
Ring of Peace is a fairly unique ability, and is useful in several areas of content. It can be used in raid encounters to stop enemies from getting to where they want to be, or it can be placed under friendly players to stop something from meleeing them, The knockback effect can even act as a makeshift interrupt by forcibly moving mobs that are casting. In Necrotic dungeons, you can cast it around yourself to obtain a few extra seconds of time to let the effect drop off. Be aware that some enemies are immune to its effects, however.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✔ Bob and Weave||? Healing Elixir||✔ Dampen Harm|
- Bob and Weave causes the Stagger to last 3 seconds longer, decreasing the damage each tick deals.
- Healing Elixir is an active ability with 2 charges and a 30-second recharge time that heals you for 15% of your maximum health.
- Dampen Harm is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown. For 10 seconds, all damage you take is reduced by 20% to 50%, with larger attacks having their damage reduced by more than smaller attacks.
The choice in this tier is situational.
Bob and Weave is a simple, reasonable passive option for general use when there are no large damage spikes to worry about. Extending the Stagger DoT by 3 seconds means that each tick does less, and each cast of Purifying Brew becomes a little more efficient by clearing more damage.
Dampen Harm is a good option if you find you need an additional cooldown to stay alive, especially when you are unable to use external healer cooldowns. Its damage reduction starts at a baseline level of 20%, but gets stronger as the damaging hit increases and caps out at a 50% reduction for attacks that would have hit you for 100% or more of your max Health!
Healing Elixir offers reasonable healing and can trigger Celestial Fortune despite not being able to crit, but it is often not as good as either talent alternative in raids and dungeons. It is usually the best talent to take while out in the world or in less intense content, since damage spikes are rarer and your Stagger does not reach quite as high levels. You may also want to consider using it when playing with a less-experienced healer or in a dungeon with the Grievous affix.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✘ Special Delivery||✔ Rushing Jade Wind||? Exploding Keg|
- Special Delivery gives your Purifying Brew, Celestial Brew, Fortifying Brew, and if talented, Black Ox Brew 100% chance to toss a keg at a nearby enemy which deals damage in an 8-yard radius and reduces the movement speed of those hit by 50% for 15 seconds.
- Rushing Jade Wind is an active ability with a 6-second cooldown. It deals damage to up to 6 enemies in an 8-yard radius around you over its 9-second duration. Both the duration and cooldown are reduced by your Haste.
- Exploding Keg allows you to toss a flaming keg on a 1-minute cooldown. Enemies hit by this ability will "miss" you with their autoattacks for the next 3 seconds.
Rushing Jade Wind is your standard choice here. It deals the most reliable damage of the 3 talents and fits into your empty global cooldowns nicely. There is also the major benefit of having constant AoE damage around yourself to help maintain threat on enemies.
Exploding Keg sounds great in theory, but suffers from a technicality. Rather than causing enemy attacks to miss for 3 seconds, their damage dealt by autoattacks is instead reduced by 99%. This distinction means that debuffs applied on successful attacks still work, such as Necrotic. With this in mind, along with its low damage, Exploding Keg becomes a fairly situational choice.
Special Delivery should be avoided unless a heavy slow is desired. It deals noticeably less damage than the other options at best and can easily miss targets due to having a 3-second travel time. You may even accidentally break crowd control abilities by having a keg land on the affected enemy.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Brewmaster Monk
|✔ High Tolerance||✘ Celestial Flames||? Blackout Combo|
- High Tolerance increases the amount of damage you Stagger by 5%. It also causes you to passively gain up to 15% Haste based on your current amount of Stagger damage — the higher the damage, the more Haste you gain.
- Celestial Flames gives you a 30% chance upon using any Brew-named ability to receive a buff for 6 seconds. While you have this buff, using Spinning Crane Kick causes it to also apply the Breath of Fire DoT effect to enemies hit and makes this debuff reduce the enemy's damage dealt to you by 10% rather than the usual 5%.
- Blackout Combo causes your Blackout Kick to empower your next ability (used within 15 seconds), as follows:
High Tolerance is recommended as the default choice for ensuring maximum survival as the additional Haste in combination with the added Stagger provides the most reliable and stable damage intake. It also grants the largest damage increase of the options, as even in only Light Stagger this talent provides a massive 8% Haste bonus.
Blackout Combo can provide a small defensive increase if exclusively combined with Keg Smash to give you more Brew usage, but currently makes the rotation too awkward to use with Blackout Kick's 4-second cooldown being at odds against Keg Smash's 8-second, Hasted cooldown. The same logic applies to trying to combo any of its other abilities at present.
In its current iteration, Celestial Flames does not actually work as the tooltip states and will be both an offensive and defensive loss if taken. Avoid it entirely for now.
War Mode Talents for Brewmaster
War Mode talents are PvP-centric options that activate out in the world when you enable War Mode in the talent pane. If you are comfortable with being flagged for PvP, some offer great benefits to questing.
You are permitted to choose 3 talents from the PvP Talents list. Here is a recommendation of those most helpful for questing:
- Double Barrel is an active ability which increases the damage of your next Keg Smash by 50% and stuns enemies for 3 seconds. This is great for larger packs, but does require a keybind that is not useful in Raids and Dungeons. It is off the global cooldown and can be cast at the same time as Keg Smash with the help of a macro if you want to passively benefit from it.
- Incendiary Breath alters Breath of Fire, doubling its radius and damage, but also its cooldown. It will also disorient any enemies hit. This is excellent, as often you will only get to use one Breath of Fire, so the increased cooldown will hurt less. The Spitfire talent can be combined with this honor talent for a noteworthy damage boost in open world content. The Breath of Fire effect from Celestial Flames is also doubled by this option.
- Hot Trub causes your Purifying Brew to also deal split damage to enemies around you, based on 20% of how much damage you have Purified. While this is often a small amount of damage due to low Stagger amounts in world content, it is entirely passive and does not require any special planning.
- Microbrew allows you to use Fortifying Brew more frequently without reducing its strength as your most powerful defensive cooldown.
- Eerie Fermentation, while not offering a strong benefit most of the time, will allow you to gain increased movement speed and a little extra defense against magic attacks while questing. Magic damage from players or NPCs is normally a little more dangerous to a Brewmaster.
- Admonishment is also worth mentioning. It causes your Provoke to increase the damage a target takes by 3%. However, this amount can increase all the way to 15% bonus damage for every unique player that attacks the target While this is not very useful while completely solo, if you are taking on elites with other people that happen to be in the zone or questing in a group it can be worth taking. Be careful using this on World Bosses — they will still attack you when you Provoke them!
For most situations, a solid combo is Double Barrel, Incendiary Breath — if you have Spitfire talented — , and Eerie Fermentation as these provide largely-passive benefits while increasing your damage-dealing and defensive potential.
While it can be fun to use a Brewmaster Monk's honor talents, if you are looking to PvP more seriously you will likely want to consider doing so as a Windwalker or Mistweaver.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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