How To Improve As Brewmaster Monk — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
Common Mistakes that Brewmaster Monks Make
While every specialization has easy-to-make mistakes, Brewmaster's unique position as a tank that takes constant damage over time due to Stagger instead of regular damage from each attack, lends it to being misunderstood by players new to the specialization. This section lists common errors made, along with strategies to both recognize and avoid them.
Poor Shuffle/Brew Management
The most common mistake made by Brewmasters is misusing their Brews. While other tanks seek to use their abilities just before periods of damage (like Shield of the Righteous for Paladins) Brewmasters are focused more on reducing the damage after it has been Staggered by first maintaining 100% uptime on Shuffle. This will smooth out the damage you take — if it drops off you will suddenly be taking a lot more damage up-front from each attack! Fortunately, provided you are using Keg Smash and Blackout Kick on cooldown, you should naturally achieve full uptime on Shuffle.
While Purifying Brew may feel like a long cooldown with two charges, your rotation will roughly cut it in half! However, it is also important to try to stay at a point where you have one charge available for a sudden spike of damage, but never have both charges sitting off-cooldown. Though Moderate Stagger (Yellow) will often be handled fine by healers — especially those that heal over time like Restoration Druids — you may find that you are often having to Purify at this lower Stagger amount to avoid sitting on both charges. On the other hand, even Heavy Stagger (Red) is not always threatening if you are the only one taking damage at the time. The hard part is striking a balance between knowing when your next big moment to Purify is coming and still using up spare charges in-between.
Celestial Brew usage does not have to rely on nearly as much of a decision-making process. You will simply use it more or less on cooldown, as you should have enhanced the absorb naturally from the stacks of Purified Chi generated by regularly using Purifying Brew. Just remember that damage you have already Staggered is also eating into the shield, so if you have created a large one during a time of relatively low damage, it may make more sense to not Purify and have less of the absorb go to waste by timing out.
As a Brewmaster, you have three rotational abilities which cost Energy: Keg Smash on a low cooldown costing 40 and Tiger Palm/ Spinning Crane Kick with no cooldown costing 25. Almost all players will make the mistake of overusing Tiger Palm or Spinning Crane Kick a little at some point. This happens when you do not have enough Energy to cast Keg Smash right as it comes off cooldown. However, players who do this too often will find it severely impacts their play. Keg Smash does very large amounts of damage and reduces the cooldown on your all-important Brews.
To avoid this, you should use Tiger Palm or Spinning Crane Kick two or three times between each Keg Smash at most, with the rest of the globals filled with Blackout Kick, Breath of Fire, and, if you have it talented, Rushing Jade Wind. If Keg Smash is coming up and you have only a little Energy, it is fine to not press anything.
If you find yourself in this position often, consider taking the talents Black Ox Brew (which will refill your Energy in a pinch, as well as your Brews) and Rushing Jade Wind (to fill empty globals where you might be more tempted to spend extra Energy).
Tiger Palm or Spinning Crane Kick
In theory, the decision between Spinning Crane Kick and Tiger Palm is meant to be easy: if you are fighting more than one target, then use Spinning Crane Kick instead. However, Spinning Crane Kick does not reduce the cooldown on your Brews while Tiger Palm does. While the Rotation section, linked below, goes into a little more detail about choosing between the two abilities, for now you should still use Tiger Palm more often unless you are having a hard time maintaining threat against multiple targets.
Gift of the Ox Orbs
When you take damage, you will generate small yellow orbs to your sides. Stepping over these will heal you. In raid situations, you will be spawning plenty of them, and they can be very helpful when you are taking a lot of damage or healers are unable to pay full attention to you. Orbs that expire will still heal you for their normal amount and you can have up to five active at a time. You can quickly see how many are present by looking at your Expel Harm icon; the number represents your orb count.
With how these orbs spawn, you should try and strafe left to right at times when you need some healing! It may look silly, but that is no reason to ignore them entirely in an emergency. You can also use Expel Harm to instantly collect all your orbs, no matter how far away. However, strafing can be more useful if you only need a little bit of healing. Expel Harm also costs Energy and has a cooldown, but rewards you with a bit of damage for your healing.
It is likely you are used to using Dampen Harm and Fortifying Brew when you need them, but there are other cooldowns available to you in a dungeon or raid setting: external ones from healers. If you are about to take a lot of damage from either a boss mechanic or accidentally letting your Shuffle drop, call for a specific external if you can! Healers will not always know the best time and may provide you with multiple at once if you just ask for help in general. This advice is mostly for those who play with a microphone and are comfortable using it, but it might be worth asking a healer beforehand to use a cooldown at a certain point. A list of these are:
- Restoration Druid: Ironbark (low cooldown damage reduction)
- Mistweaver Monk: Life Cocoon (large absorb and increase in healing received)
- Paladin: Blessing of Sacrifice (damage reduction, also harms the Paladin)
- Disclipline Priest: Pain Suppression (strong damage reduction)
- Holy Priest: Guardian Spirit (saves you from damage that would have killed you, and increases healing received)
- 28 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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