It’s time to show the world your Drunken Mastery! OK, that sounded bad – but as a Brewmaster Monk in Mists of Pandaria (Patch 5.4 – the Garrosh Finally Went Loony edition), you will indeed be tanking with the power of drink. New classes are always confusing, and the Monk’s no exception – but the Melting Pot is here to help you out with a quick, no-nonsense guide to the basics of Brewmaster tanking from level 1 to level 90, including your stat weights, reforging and gems, glyphs, talent choices, and of course ability rotations from the starting zone to the end of MoP. Let’s get going!
Updated 17th September 2013 for World of Warcraft Patch 5.4
Patch 5.4 Brewmaster Changes
Tanking With A Brewmaster Monk
Like all tank classes in Mists of Pandaria, as a Brewmaster you’ll be using abilities to damage and aggro monsters, and then another set of abilities to mitigate the damage they cause you. Your damage/aggro abilities also build up Chi energy, which is what you use for most of your damage-reduction abilities, making the Monk play rather like a tanking Rogue.
Aggro generation and Damage abilities
At level 90 (we cover levelling Brewmasters below), you’ll use the following priorities to aggro monsters onto you:
You can pull at range using Dizzying Haze or Provoke. After the pull, use Tiger Palm.
- **Top Priority:** If the Shuffle buff is about to go down, use Blackout Kick. If you have 2 or less Chi and it’s available, use Keg Smash.
- **Second Priority:** If you have taken any damage and it’s available, use Expel Harm.
- **Third Priority:** Use Jab. If you don’t have Energy for Jab, use Tiger Palm.
Your taunt is called Provoke – use it to pull or otherwise as a standard tanking taunt ability. You can also Provoke your Black Ox Statue to make it cast an AoE taunt.
It’s unlikely to happen, but if your Tiger Power buff drops, use Tiger Palm immediately.
Pull with Dizzying Haze.
Use your single-target rotation for up to 2 enemies.
For more than 2 enemies, use your single target rotation, but in addition, use Rushing Jade Wind whenever possible, and use Breath Of Fire when you have spare Chi.
Damage Reduction Abilities
Your Stagger ability transforms a lot of the damage you take into a Damage Over Time effect, which you can remove with the ability Purifying Brew.
Use Purifying Brew after you have taken heavy damage, and you have the Stagger DoT ticking on you. It will remove the DoT and effectively mean you didn’t take that damage.
Brewmasters are highly mobile even for tanks, with a number of fast-movement abilities:
- Clash – supremely useful ability half-way between Charge and Death Grip. You and the targeted enemy meet half way between your current positions. Use to pull or to get enemies off allies.
- Roll – Quick movement in whatever direction you face, a lot like a mage’s Blink.
- Transcendence – Pick a position then teleport to it at will. Supremely useful for kiting.
- Guard – Use whenever available as soon as you have Power Guard.
- Elusive Brew – Consumes stacks of Brewing: Elusive Brew, which will generate semi-randomly as you fight. Gives 1 sec of high dodge per stack. Use when you’re about to take heavy damage, or otherwise to keep stacks of Brewing: Elusive Brew below 15.
- Fortifying Brew – reasonably powerful, reasonably short-CD, simple damage reduction cooldown. Use when you’re about to take damage!
- Avert Harm – CD to reduce AoE damage to raid or party members – use it when people other than you are taking heavy damage.
- Nimble Brew – Removes Stun, Fear and Root effects. Surprisingly useful for raiding – keep it on your bars!
- Zen Meditation – Use to reduce the damage of a single attack on you whilst you’re channeling, or to redirect damage to you from your raid.
Cast Black Ox Statue before any boss or other significant fight. Make sure you’re in Stance of the Sturdy Ox.
Leveling as a Brewmaster Monk
In general, it’s recommended you level as Windwalker if you’re going to be questing or you want to level fast. Brewmaster is not a particularly good questing spec.
However, of course, it will let you tank leveling dungeons. Here’s how tanking as a Brewmaster changes through the levels:
- 14-25: You have no non-cooldown damage mitigation abilities at these levels. Don’t worry too much about spending Chi – just use Blackout Kick whenever you haven’t got anything else to do.
- 26-33: At 26, you gain Expel Harm – use it as above. Your aggro rotation doesn’t really change from here to level 90.
- 34-45: You now need to watch your Shuffle buff and use Blackout Kick to maintain it as above.
- 46-75: You get Spinning Crane Kick, making AoE tanking easier.
- 75-90: You gain Purifying Brew at level 75, and from here on use your endgame tanking priorities, as above.
Brewmaster Monk Talent Choices
Like all Mists of Pandaria classes, Brewmasters have flexible talents, and you should definitely experiment to find the best build in each situation. However, here’s a good general-purpose loadout to get you going. Note that when in doubt, we’ve chosen talents that require as little management as possible:
- Tier 1: Tiger’s Lust – sounds dodgy, but grants a significant movement increasing CD.
- Tier 2: Chi Wave – Gives you a healing spell usable on yourself and others.
- Tier 3: Ascension. Passive ability.
- Tier 4: Charging Ox Wave – gives you an AoE stun, very useful in dungeons or with add packs.
- Tier 5: Healing Elixirs. Passive ability.
- Tier 6: Rushing Jade Wind. Short-cooldown DPS effect that also maintains your Shuffle ability.
Tier 5 is very, very situational. Healing Elixirs is the easiest ability to use, but the other two are very powerful against raid bosses of various types, and you’ll almost certainly end up swapping this tier a lot.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Brewmaster Monks
The basic stat priority for Brewmasters goes Hit and Expertise to 7.5% each (2550 rating) > Mastery > Agility > Crit > Haste > Parry > Dodge.
- Reforging: Reforge to Hit first, then Expertise, then Mastery. Reforge out of Hit and Expertise above the cap, then Dodge and Parry, then Haste.
- Gems: If you have to, gem for Expertise to hit the cap. Then use Fractured (Mastery) gems in all slots.
- Meta Gem: Austere meta gems.
- Getting one- or two-shot? If you’re dying before healers can heal you, you need more Stamina. Gem blue sockets with Stamina gems until it’s no longer a problem.
Brewmaster Monk Glyphs
Glyphs are a very personal choice in MoP – there aren’t many automatic must-haves. Having said that, here’s a good selection:Major: Glyph of Leer of the Ox , Glyph of Fortuitous Spheres and Glyph of Fortifying Brew.
Minor: Your choice – they don’t affect your tanking.
Brewmaster Monk Enchantments
Use whichever enchantment works better with your level of reforging – in other words, don’t use Hit enchants if you’re over hit cap already! If a profession enchant gives you useful stats, it’s probably better than the equivalent generic enchant.
- Shoulder – Greater Tiger Claw Inscription
- Cloak – Accuracy or Greater Protection
- Chest – Glorious Stats or Superior Stamina
- Bracers – Mastery
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Gloves – Superior Expertise or Greater Haste
- Legs – Shadowleather Leg Armor
- Boots – Blurred Speed
- **Weapon** – Dancing Steel
If you want to get more in-depth about your abilities, talent choices and so on, here are some excellent options for more information.
- There’s an excellent Brewmaster guide over on the MMO Champion forums
- Icy Veins also have a Brewmaster guide up to their usual high standards
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
If you’ve found this article useful, please consider sharing it using the buttons below!