Undocumented Changes to Brewmaster Monk Tier Set in Patch 9.2.5
Patch 9.2.5 landed recently and brought with it cross-faction grouping, a much-needed 18% threat buff to all tanks, and a bunch of class changes. Brewmaster Monk’s 4-piece tier set bonus (
) was changed with the patch, but those changes went undocumented by Blizzard, so here’s a breakdown of how they work.
The damage and healing components of the set bonus have not been changed, the only component that has been altered is the stacking health buff, and this has been changed in two different ways.
Health Per Stack
When you hit an enemy with
, you gain a stacking health bonus buff equal to 2/3 of the damage the
dealt. The buff stacks up to 10 times, based on the number of enemies hit. If you hit one enemy, you will need 10 casts to reach maximum stacks. If you hit 5 enemies per cast, 2 casts to max stacks. 10+ enemies: 1 cast.
Before - How It Worked in Patch 9.2
The potency of the buff was the damage of the most recent hit, multiplied by .66, multiplied by the number of stacks. If your most recent
dealt 1500 damage and you are at one stack, you gain 1000 health. If your most recent
dealt 1500 damage and you are at 10 stacks, you gain (1000 * 10 = 10000) 10000 health. The amount of bonus health was entirely based on the damage dealt by the most recent
and the number of stacks on you.
This meant that casting
during increased damage taken phases on bosses, such as the first boss of Mists of Tirna Scithe, or Lords of Dread during
, could cause you to get enormous extra health bonuses due to landing super-boosted
hits while you had 10 stacks.
It also meant that crits could substantially boost your health. If a fully-stacked buff gave you 20k health on a non-crit, a crit
would effectively double that bonus for the next 10 seconds – or until your next non-crit, which would then cut the bonus back down by 50%.
A health pool upwards of 300k was attainable – but was it actually useful? Aside from getting off enormous
casts, usually not. Most of the situations where a boss has an increased damage taken phase don’t overlap with the boss actually doing a lot of damage to the tank – usually it’s the exact opposite.
Additionally, this meant that casting
damage taken phases on bosses, such as the second boss of Mists of Tirna Scithe’s intermission phases, would cause your health to be reduced by clipping it with a
hit. Using that example specifically, you could immediately zero out your health bonus, even at 10 stacks, just by hitting Mistcaller with a Keg Smash while trying to kill the correctly-marked add. Not great.
After - How it Works in Patch 9.2.5
With Patch 9.2.5, the tier set has been changed to average the damage from the last 10 hits of
. Calculating everything off the value of the most recent
, then multiplying against the number of
stacks is a thing of the past.
This means those eye-popping bursts of bonus health from crits or hitting an enemy that takes extra damage will no longer be possible, and it does mean a small loss of bonus health while ramping up
in single-target and two-target situations. The defensive value of
will remain essentially the same against 3 or more targets.
Despite the loss of potential bursts of bonus health, the positives outweigh the negatives. Bonus health will be much more stable, and health values should no longer swing up and down by 20-30k depending on whether or not
crit. When fighting enemies that can go immune to damage during intermission phases, such as Mistcaller in Mists of Tirna Scithe, Artificer Xy’mox, or Anduin, clipping them with a
won’t instantly zero out the bonus health increase.
Health Changes When the Effect Falls Off
Before - In Patch 9.2
Any time that
would fall off – usually as a result of having to be out of range of a boss for more than 10 seconds (Jailer Phase 2), or a long walk between trash packs in a Mythic+ dungeon (Spires of Ascension flights), both your maximum health and current health would be reduced by the loss in bonus health from the buff.
Using round numbers for the example, suppose you have a base maximum health of 100k, and a bonus from
of 50k, for a current maximum health of 150k. You have a current health of 75k. The debuff falling off would cause you to drop back to 100k max health, and 25k current health -- effectively dealing 50k damage to you. This was, at best, frustrating, and potentially extremely dangerous. Mythic Jailer killed a lot of Monks with this interaction, including the one writing this.
This effect would also occur when your maximum health was recalculate downward due to a smaller Keg Smash than the previous one (a non-Crit following a Crit, or the first
after an 'increased damage taken' phase ended), you would lose
health equal to the decrease in maximum health. You could effectively take a random 20k damage hit any time you failed to crit with
After - In Patch 9.2.5
Suppose you have a base maximum health of 100k, and a bonus from
of 50k, for a current maximum health of 150k. You have a current health of 75k. The debuff falling off would cause you to drop back to 100k max health, and 75k current health – instead of the old value of 25k current health. Much better.
If your buffed maximum health value was 150k, your current health value was 125k health, and your base maximum health was 100k, then letting
fall off would simply drop your current health down to your base maximum health: 100k. This is all great.
and getting a slightly-smaller
buff will no longer lower your current health -- unless your health was above the new current maximum.
Mathematically, switching to a rolling average of the last 10
hits instead of the old method is not a significant buff or nerf on average, but it will increase consistency. Consistency is important when tanking. This is a buff, and it’s a good design, but it’s difficult to quantify on a numerical basis. It
better. That’s not something you can evaluate with a number.
The change to the behavior of losing temporary health from
by the buff falling off or refreshing to a smaller maximum health value is a direct buff, and it’s very good.
These changes fix a couple of the biggest complaints Monk players have had about
. They make health pools more consistent, make crit more reliable defensively, eliminate the punishment of accidentally clipping damage-immune enemies with
, and eliminate situations where you would suddenly lose health because you were forced out of melee range for more than 10 seconds by a boss mechanic, or you just couldn't crit at the right time.
This is great. My compliments to the devs responsible. TY, GG.
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