Brewmaster Monk Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Brewmaster Monk. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Brewmaster Monk community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Brewmaster Monk Guide
Peak of Serenity Brewmaster Veterans
Coming into the prepatch and while leveling through BFA, very little has changed. Your rotation will result from your action priority and center on maximizing casts of
to avoid overcapping energy and keeping
up when taking relevant damage while pooling/using excess brews on
to reduce stagger levels right after physical damage spikes or to avoid overcapping your brew charges if you’re close to your maximum ISB duration (currently 21 seconds).
There is a higher amount of talent diversity when it comes to what to pick for which situation, as well as bridging some very notable gaps in effectiveness of some talents. To name a few examples,
is now actually within competitive range of
if you can’t optimize your uses of
for whatever reason, and there is now a tactical choice between
aside from merely comparing damage output, due to the latter’s heavy slow.
While it isn’t that much magic defense,
has had the Hot Blooded artifact trait baked in, allowing us to retain one of our decent traits.
has also gained additional duration time, in the vein of Potent Kick.
Our shared brew cooldown for
has been notably reduced, to help balance around our loss of additional brew CDR from our artifact. This has the nice side effect of making our brews slightly more quick to refill when not actively fighting things. Over the course of a dungeon, this should result in a bit more brews available to us.
has been made a baseline tool, allowing us to have a far greater amount of utility, either via the aggro of Dave the Black Ox Statue or mob control via
We also now get
for a nice little addition of group damage utility.
Our rotation still has zero meaningful differentiation in moment to moment play (such as via procs), making it quite repetitive. This will only grow more obvious when we can no longer benefit from legendary effects at 116. The
talent is the only current way to add any randomness to our rotation, but it is currently undertuned.
With the removal of Mystic Vitality, and the general nerf to all forms of magic mitigation across tanks, there is currently a lot of things that can feel fairly scary as a Brewmaster, as there are a number of bosses in Legion that still do a notable amount of magic damage. As we move into content that better fits the changes to this mitigation, this should improve however.
have had their cooldowns increased, reducing some of our snap CC and movement abilities, though not super significantly.
’s most meaningful tool, the bonus to
damage, has been nerfed on top of us losing Face Palm, making a notable number of Brewmasters feel the opportunity cost of not having the damage reduction of
(which also has damage boosting components in the form of additional haste) is not worth it in most cases. Its
interactions are still valuable in some ways, though they fill a similar, but slightly different role than
. The core difference being pausing stagger in its entirety, instead of negating a big hit’s stagger damage. If the points where it can gain value happen less than once every 30 seconds, it might see use in those cases, though that is unlikely.
With the loss of Obstinate Determination in particular, Brewmaster self-sustain is quite low. Even when doing things perfectly fine on your end, your survival is very much in the hands of your healer(s). Obviously, good play will still matter, you will still need to do your job as a tank, but the self-sustain we had in expansions past is all but gone. There are several tuning knobs for this to be brought back up, however.
, our level 15 talents, and
can all be buffed to help step up our self-sustain.
is a strange beast, and while one could argue it is self-sustain, buffing it has a high likelihood of making Brewmasters extremely overpowered, largely because of just how much sheer damage it can basically allow us to ignore when timed well and used properly.
Some talents are not as competitive as others in their row. See the next section for specifics on Brewmaster talent health, beyond the aforementioned significant players.
currently have similar numbers as they did in legion.
needs to be cast perfectly on cd to benefit from picking it over
, which currently is not worth paying attention to.
remains the alternative, outperforming the other two as soon as you can consistently hit two or more enemies at current tuning.
also offers moderate healing to your party and can be used to generate threat on multiple enemies without slowing them. Reduced effectiveness when healing 6+ targets invalidates it as a significant defensive help in raid encounters.
This talent row remains unchanged.
will let you roll more frequently and freely,
increases the range covered by each roll while increasing your movement speed, which has been handy throughout legion for dungeon content.
allows you to speed up any friendly party/raid member, dispelling snares and roots from the target.
currently lasts 7 seconds with a 14 second cooldown, reduced by
reduces the cooldown to 11 seconds, making it the best choice whenever you're not sure to benefit properly and reliably from
. There is also the energy regen factor.
’s energy regen is generally more powerful in long-term engagements, as over time it basically ends up being on average a massive, passive gain. In quick, short-term engagements, it has less value as you spend more time not doing anything, thus it does not benefit from brew CDR, and you need to rely less on its energy gain since you are letting your energy refill naturally.
had its cooldown increased to 2 minutes on paper, currently resulting in an effective cd of roughly 75 seconds. With the reduced
cooldown and higher impact of
, we will likely alternate between those two.
has been brought in as a replacement for Gift of the Mists. While it appears like an offensive choice,
is currently too weak to justify using.
became a baseline spell for Brewmaster, putting us in a comfortable situation of having one of the few remaining AoE stuns available together with the utility granted by either
s will remain the default for leveling, questing and PvP.
remains the default talent for challenging group content, with
bringing back the effect of the
, also known as the stagger ring from Legion.
results in roughly 20% more stagger pooled at a certain time, increasing the effectiveness of
(Azerite Trait) and most importantly
will be decided by whether or not you can get away without
is now our only source of significant slow effects, making it a premier choice for M+ kiting on harder keys.
maintains its usefulness as an enhancer of our normal rotation and for DPS in situations which call for consistent AoE damage.
has effectively been unchanged, making him useful for damage throughput when you can maximize cast / uptime efficiency.
interaction was toned down, leaving it the premier offensive choice by just a tiny margin.
keeps its defensive value, while the offensive value has risen significantly compared to legion due to a drastic increase in melee damage, further increased by haste.
has been tweaked sufficiently to stand as a niche choice for dungeon and raid content, negating a large chunk of incoming stagger. Judging from interactions between healer and party and damage patterns,
will likely be used to bridge moments of heavy physical tank damage coupled with threatening group damage. It’s also worth noting that
might not appear as enticing to some due to its lack of benefits towards our damage dealt.
Brewmaster at its core really hasn’t changed much at all since 7.3.5. Some of its problems have been fixed, while other problems have arisen from changes. Most of the negatives should not generally impact you too significantly, however. The spec will feel very familiar. Overall, Brewmasters are still an extremely solid tank, becoming a bit better in our M+ game and definitely worth considering if you are planning on pushing raids in BFA.
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