Brewmaster Monk Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 18, 2024 at 21:00 by Sinzhu 27 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Brewmaster Monk changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Brewmaster Monk in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Brewmaster Monk. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Brewmaster Monk or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."

1.

Brewmaster Monk: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Brewmaster Monk. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about Brewmaster Monks in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including class changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Brewmaster Monk, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.

2.

The War Within Changes for Brewmaster Monk

2.1.

Core Changes

At its core, Brewmaster Monk's main playstyle remains unchanged. You will continue to make use of the Stagger Icon Stagger passive to convert a portion of your damage taken into a damage-over-time effect that you can then reduce with the help of Purifying Brew Icon Purifying Brew. Your entire kit continues to revolve around this relationship, whether that's casting Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash and Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick to increase Stagger's strength with Shuffle Icon Shuffle, or using Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm to reduce the cooldown of Purifying Brew. If you are familiar with this rotational flow, expect no serious changes to occur here.

Where there have been major improvements, however, are in the talent trees. Both the Monk class tree and the Brewmaster specialization tree have received major overhauls, adding new talents/pathing, making some effects baseline, changing 2-point nodes into 1-point, and pruning some of the "dead" branches. Listed below are some of the highlights from this rework:

  • Soothing Mist Icon Soothing Mist no longer has to be talented in the class tree, and additional movement improvements have been added such as Lighter Than Air Icon Lighter Than Air, Jade Walk Icon Jade Walk, Swift Art Icon Swift Art, and Quick Footed Icon Quick Footed.
  • Paralysis Icon Paralysis can now remove EnrageEnrage effects with Pressure Points Icon Pressure Points.
  • Bonedust Brew Icon Bonedust Brew and Summon White Tiger Statue Icon Summon White Tiger Statue have been removed, along with Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave becoming a passive effect. This results in three less keybinds to worry about, and potentially more if pathing around underwhelming cooldowns such as Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox Icon Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox.
  • Improved Purifying Brew Icon Improved Purifying Brew and Improved Celestial Brew Icon Improved Celestial Brew have become baseline effects.
  • Further Stagger Icon Stagger/Mastery: Elusive Brawler Icon Mastery: Elusive Brawler interactions have been added, such as Ox Stance Icon Ox Stance and Strike At Dawn Icon Strike At Dawn.
  • Potent healing talents have replaced the underwhelming Healing Elixir Icon Healing Elixir, in the form of Elixir of Determination Icon Elixir of Determination and August Blessing Icon August Blessing.

Remember, these changes are not everything that has been altered across the regular Brewmaster Monk talent trees. Expect to find a few additional surprises on the final trees when they are available!

2.2.

Systems Changes

Although the core gameplay of Brewmaster Monk remains unchanged. The War Within still has major implications for all specs thanks to the Hero Talent Tree system, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion. All this is in addition to the talent tree overhauls discussed above.

For the new Hero Talent Trees in particular, Brewmaster Monk gets to choose between two known as Shado-Pan and Master of Harmony. In the sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.

3.

Hero Talent Trees for Brewmaster Monk in The War Within

3.1.

Shado-Pan Hero Talents for Brewmaster Monk

As a Shado-Pan Brewmaster, "learn from your forebears and stand proud against your foes in defense of your friends and family. Bide your time and charge up your power before unleashing an overwhelming flurry of blows to overwhelm your opponents." This official description of the talents helps to sell what the Shado-Pan are all about. With them, your focus will be on building up stacks of Flurry Charge Icon Flurry Charge from performing your rotation, before eventually spending them in a barrage of Flurry Strike Icon Flurry Strikes. In between all of this are additional talents to enhance these strikes and your abilities to build your Charges.

Mentioned previously, this Hero Talent Tree focuses on Flurry Charge Icon Flurry Charges and Flurry Strike Icon Flurry Strike as its key passive. By dealing damage equal to a portion of your character's Attack Power, you will accumulate one of these charges up to a cap of 10. Then, once you have spent enough Energy, these charges will all be spent at once in a burst of damage to your foes. Beyond this, you will find additional modifiers to your damage dealt so you can build charges more quickly, such as the Martial Precision Icon Martial Precision and Efficient Training Icon Efficient Training nodes. Likewise, you will also be rewarded for spending your Flurry Charges, such as through the capstone talent of Wisdom of the Wall Icon Wisdom of the Wall.

Interestingly, the major strength of the Shado-Pan Hero talents lies not in its major Flurry Strike Icon Flurry Strike passive, but in the supporting nodes that enhance the rest of your kit. Martial Precision Icon Martial Precision, One Versus Many Icon One Versus Many, Efficient Training Icon Efficient Training, and Vigilant Watch Icon Vigilant Watch in particular all buff the three core abilities of your rotation (Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash, Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick, and Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm) by a noticeable amount. Your individual Flurry Strike Icon Flurry Strikes, by comparison, are underwhelming and mostly serve as a vehicle to buff everything else with Against All Odds Icon Against All Odds.

More damage is not the only thing on offer in the Shado-Pan Talents, however, as there exist a few defensive nodes as well. Predictive Training Icon Predictive Training, especially, is a powerful source of damage reduction, as you will more or less have 100% uptime on its effect in any AoE scenario due to your Mastery: Elusive Brawler Icon Mastery: Elusive Brawler triggering frequently.

Overall, you can expect the Shado-Pan talents to not substantially change how you play as a Brewmaster Monk. Instead, they will passively offer you power to the most important parts of your damage rotation, while granting additional damage reduction with no real downsides attached. This can make it very appealing to Brewmasters that are already overwhelmed by the spec's complexity, while still rewarding those willing to play around its few areas of optimization.

3.2.

Master of Harmony Hero Talents for Brewmaster Monk

Master of Harmony represents the other set of Hero Talents available to a Brewmaster Monk. These Brewmasters, per Blizzard's words, "chase physical perfection and the refinement of the body into pure strength, allowing them to tap into the flow of chi and natural cycles of power". With these talents, your damage and healing can be used to substantially fuel each other, building up a store of Vitality that can be drawn upon at will to bolster yourself.

Being a Master of Harmony is all about gathering "Vitality", which happens automatically from the Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony keystone of the tree banking a portion of your damage and healing done. You can store up to your maximum health in Vitality, with three separate buffs used to show how much of this maximum you have accrued:

  • Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony — 0-30% of your maximum health;
  • Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony — 31-60% of your maximum health;
  • Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony — 61-100% of your maximum health;

If you are familiar with Stagger Icon Stagger's three debuff levels, you may recognize that these percentages are identical to the thresholds for Light Stagger Icon Light Stagger, Moderate Stagger Icon Moderate Stagger, and Heavy Stagger Icon Heavy Stagger.

When you are ready to spend your Vitality, simply cast your Celestial Brew Icon Celestial Brew ability. At this time, your Vitality will convert to Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony, applying an additional damage-over-time effect to your damaging abilities, or an extra heal-over-time to your self-healing with a choice node. If you are familiar with a Fire Mage's Mastery: Ignite Icon Mastery: Ignite, you can think of this effect in a similar way. This will continue until you no longer have any Vitality remaining, or 10 seconds have passed. From there, this gameplay loop continues as you keep performing your rotation, with additional talents existing to strengthen the connection or emphasize the harmonious nature of your abilities acting in balance with one another.

Even without considering Vitality and spending it on further damage, Masters of Harmony also have access to further damage-enhancing tools. Among these, Overwhelming Force Icon Overwhelming Force is especially useful in its power to make your single-target Tiger Palm Icon Tiger Palm and Rising Sun Kick Icon Rising Sun Kick abilities cleave! In addition, there is the Balanced Stratagem Icon Balanced Stratagem passive, which increases the damage of your next Physical or Fire/Nature ability by simply using the other type first — sort of like a Windwalker's Mastery: Combo Strikes Icon Mastery: Combo Strikes. Finally, the Coalescence Icon Coalescence capstone causes any enemy afflicted with Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony's DoT to take additional damage from all of your abilities, along with a chance to increase the Dot's size by itself.

These talents are not without their share of defensive benefits, either. In particular, Endless Draught Icon Endless Draught grants you a second charge of Celestial Brew Icon Celestial Brew to work with, both improving your uptime on Aspect of Harmony Icon Aspect of Harmony and gaining access to an extra burst of defense in an emergency. On top of this, a Master of Harmony's Purifying Brew Icon Purifying Brew is also improved with Mantra of Purity Icon Mantra of Purity, removing more Stagger Icon Stagger with each cast and even contributing Vitality at the same time with Clarity of Purpose Icon Clarity of Purpose.

In comparison to the alternative Shado-Pan Hero Talents, a Master of Harmony Brewmaster will likely have more to think about in their gameplay. Ultimately, however, all of its effects are similarly passive and will take place whether you are focusing on them or not. There is room to optimize, certainly, but you also do not need to feel forced to do so in order to make these talents work. Instead, there exists room for a true Master of Harmony to make themselves known.

4.

Brewmaster Monk Season 1 Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Brewmaster Monk in The War Within. Any additional notes on their effects can be found in separate bullet points immediately afterward.

  • Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 2pcBlackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick and Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash deal 20% additional damage, and Shuffle Icon Shuffle also grants 3% damage reduction.
    • Shuffle Icon Shuffle should have 100% uptime when playing a Brewmaster, meaning a permanent 3% damage reduction is present with this bonus.
  • Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 4pcBlackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick increases your damage dealt by 1% for 15 sec, stacking up to 3, and has a chance to reset the cooldown of Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash and make its next cast cost no Energy.
    • The damage buff is shown through a buff called Flow of Battle Icon Flow of Battle
    • This reset chance is approximately 30%, and shown through the similarly-named Flow of Battle Icon Flow of Battle buff when it triggers.
4.1.

Brewmaster Monk Tier Bonus Strength

For the most part, these bonuses need no further explanation. 20% additional damage to Blackout Kick Icon Blackout Kick and Keg Smash Icon Keg Smash, two of your most frequently used Brewmaster abilities, is always welcome, and using them correctly translates to always having the Shuffle Icon Shuffle buff active. This means you should always have the extra 3% damage reduction provided by the Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Monk Brewmaster 11.0 Class Set 2pc bonus. Likewise, you can simply spend your Flow of Battle Icon Flow of Battle Keg Smash reset buffs as they occur and there's an opening in your rotation with minimal adjustment.

However, although these bonuses are fairly simple and self-explanatory, they have the potential to impact your talent choices as a Brewmaster. Due to being a specialization that features a lot of smaller buffs to individual abilities, adding just one more can suddenly push entirely different talent builds to the level of being not only viable, but even preferred. In particular, it may be possible to talent into usually "dead" options such as Anvil and Stave Icon Anvil and Stave, Scalding Brew Icon Scalding Brew, or even Fluidity of Motion Icon Fluidity of Motion with this set bonus equipped. Ultimately, the final decision will come down to how tuning works out when The War Within Season 1 begins.

As a final note, be aware that the 3% Flow of Battle Icon Flow of Battle damage buff only applies to damage from your abilities. It will not empower your trinket damage or any other gear effects'.

5.

Brewmaster Monk Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Keybind pruning has occurred, removing some abilities or making them passive (Bonedust Brew Icon Bonedust Brew, Summon White Tiger Statue Icon Summon White Tiger Statue, Chi Wave Icon Chi Wave).
  • +Significant revamp of the Monk class talent tree, removing the need to path through useless nodes such as Soothing Mist Icon Soothing Mist.
  • +Increased defensive power through an updated spec talent tree, adding new talents such as Ox Stance Icon Ox Stance and fixing formerly "dead" talents such as Anvil and Stave Icon Anvil and Stave.
  • +Paralysis Icon Paralysis can now remove EnrageEnrage effects.
  • +Roll Icon Roll can now negate fall damage with the Lighter Than Air Icon Lighter Than Air talent.
  • +A second charge of Celestial Brew Icon Celestial Brew can be obtained from Hero Talents.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Brewmaster remains one of the more difficult specializations to play well, and can have a steep learning curve.
  • -In spite of a reduction, there are still many keybinds to track.
  • -All tank specializations have received a substantial reduction to the damage dealt by non-tank trinkets when gearing.
  • -Hero Talent effects are almost exclusively passive and out of your control, occurring in the background.
6.

Changelog

  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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