How To Improve As Brewmaster Monk — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, you will find out how you can improve at playing Brewmaster Monk in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We list the common mistakes that you should try to avoid and the small details that can greatly improve your performance.
1. 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 of the guide lists common errors made, and strategies to recognize and avoid them.
1.1. Brew Usage
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 should seek to maintain 100% uptime on Ironskin Brew. This will smooth out the damage you take- if it drops off you will suddenly be taking double damage from each melee!
One reason for players not using Ironskin Brew enough is over usage of Purifying Brew. You may feel like you are taking so much damage from your Stagger and purify too much. Again, remember that whenever your Ironskin drops, you will suddenly take much more damage. Yellow stagger will often be handled fine by healers, especially those that heal over time like Restoration Druids.
Another is poor tracking of Ironskin Brew - you may not have it active and simply not notice. To combat this, there is a display on the default Blizzard UI which tracks it. If you have this disabled you can enable it by pressing Escape, going to Interface, Names, and checking the "Personal Resource Display" option. It looks like this:
Marked in purple is the icon for Ironskin Brew, which changes based on time remaining. If it gets low or disappears, cast Ironskin Brew as soon as possible.
Many addons, such as WeakAuras, are also capable of tracking your buff uptimes if you do not wish to use this method.
1.2. Energy Management
As a Brewmaster, you have two rotational abilities which cost Energy: Keg Smash on a low cooldown costing 40 and Tiger Palm with no cooldown costing 25. Almost all players will make the mistake of overusing Tiger Palm a little, and not being able to cast Keg Smash immediately as it comes off cooldown - but players who do this too much will find it severely impacts their play. Keg Smash does very large amounts of damage and reduces the cooldown on the all-important Brews.
To avoid this, you should use Tiger Palm twice between each Keg Smash at most, with the rest of the globals filled with Blackout Strike, Breath of Fire, and if you have it talented Rushing Jade Wind. If Keg Smash is coming up and you have little energy, it is fine to simply 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 idle hands lead to you wasting energy).
1.3. 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, it can be possible to have a large amount of these, and they can be very helpful when you are taking too much damage or healers are unable to pay full attention to you. Orbs that expire will explode, healing you for a smaller amount if you are nearby.
While these are not so useful on fights where there is heavy movement, you should try and shuffle left to right when you need some healing! It may look silly, but that is no reason to end up stressing healers (or worse). You can use Expel Harm to collect all your orbs, including far away ones, but shuffling is a little better since it costs 15 energy.
1.4. Using Cooldowns
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 raid situation - external ones from healers. If you are about to take a lot of damage from either a boss mechanic or accidentally letting your Ironskin Brew drop, call for one - healers will not always know the best time. This advice is mostly for those who raid with a microphone and are comfortable using it, but it might be worth asking a healer before the raid to use a cooldown at a certain point. A list of these is:
- Restoration Druid: Ironbark (low cooldown damage reduction)
- Mistweaver Monk: Life Cocoon (small absorb, not great)
- Holy, Protection Paladin: Blessing of Sacrifice (also harms Paladin)
- Disclipline Priest: Pain Suppression (excellent damage reduction)
- Holy Priest: Guardian Spirit (brings you back to life if you die)
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
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