This is the basic brewmaster DPS guide. We will be elaborating on more advanced Brewmaster DPS considerations in later guides/blog posts.
The power of Blackout Combo
If you are feeling confident in your survival (and as a Brewmaster in 7.2 you should be), and feel comfortable without the added security that High Tolerance gives, Blackout Combo is by far the best lvl 100 talent for single target DPS, because of the massive increase in Tiger Palm damage by empowering it. The damage bonus from empowering Tiger Palms stack multiplicatively with the Face Palm artifact trait, meaning Tiger Palms on proc will do 9 times the base TP damage. This comes of at the cost of brew generation and BoF dot uptime, as you generally wont be aiming to empower BoF or KS when pushing for ST dps.
For Aoe, the main gain of Blackout Combo is empowering BoF to reduce its cd, while doing your empowered ST rotation between aoe spells.
The by far most important factor in your dps is your rotation and ability usage. Having bis relics or trinkets, but shoddy/random ability usage will do less dps compared a similarly ilvled, better played monk.
Brewmasters operate with a priority list of abilities based on their damage and rotational importance, but it can be treated as rotational cycles between each KS, with BoS, TP and BoF casts filling the globals between each KS. Our artifact ability, Explosive Keg, is our hardest hitting ability, but is on a fairly long cd, and wont be affecting your rotation much.
TL;DR, how do I DPS?
Spec Blackout Combo, Special Delivery, Black Ox Brew, Eye of the Tiger.
Hit KS on cd. Hit BoS on cd. Hit TP after BoS when KS is on cd. Use BoF as filler when BoS and KS are both on cooldown. EK can be used in the same way, as close to on CD as possible, but preferrably when KS and BoS are both on cd. The long cd on EK means you can hold it quite a bit without risking losing a cast of it over the course of a regular bossfight.
Note: You want to empower every TP, casting unempowered Tiger Palms is a DPS loss.
Advanced single target
Depending on haste levels, you will with current BrM often have BoS come off cd about half a second before KS. The advanced rotation would be to try to maximise BoS casts through a fight, while keeping KS casts high as well. This would mean ending a 2tp rotation cycle above with a BoS in some cycles (but not in others, this is up to your on the fly judgement)
This includes reacting to haste procs, and making rotational decisions on the fly. Do you want a third BoS in this cycle or is KS coming off cd just 0.2 sec after it, making hitting BoS before KS a dps loss? This is not easy. KS got a bigger damage buff in 7.2 through Stave Off than BoS got through its 20% damage trait, so hitting KS as close to on cd as possible is still a very high priority.
Hit KS on cd, and make sure to empower every BoF to get more BoF casts, do the ST rotation between KS/BoF. You might end up empowering some KS, but no matter, just fill globals and make sure you get off KS on cd and a BoF in each KS cycle.
Priority during Bloodlust
Lust will greatly shorten your KS and BoS cds. reaching 2 second BoS cd, or close to it, and KS nearing 5 seconds. This means much less space between each KS, tightening the rotation a lot.
Currently, casting BoF during lust will be a dps loss on ST, since it pushes your next KS cast back, costing you KS casts over time. As KS is your hardest hitting rotational ability, this is bad. So unless you are interested in the BoF dot for Hot Blooded DR during lust, leave it out during lust.
Gearing for DPS
Agility is by far your best DPS stat, so for main pieces, item level will be your first priority.
This goes for trinkets as well, with the exception of some outliers, the rule of thumb is that agility>secondaries, and 20 ilvls of agility on a trinket outweighs the stats and on other agi trinkets.
When comparing similar ilvl gear, aim to keep your “hard” secondaries (crit, mastery, versatility) fairly balanced.
Special mention: The proc from Choker of Barbed Reins from Attumen in Karazhan has been fixed and does no longer proc off stagger. Good news, you can now use whatever neck you want.
Currently both legendary trinkets are the pure BiS for dps.
General gearing rules are valid for trinkets; generally agi>all, and your lowest hard secondary will be your “best”.
Overbudgeted secondaries are better than on-budget, so for single target Eye of Command is the strongest of the agi+secondary trinkets.
The trinket from the new dungeon, Splinters of Agronax, performs very well on single target, and will be the best easily attainable trinket for ST dps.
These simulations were done with my gear and one open trinket slot, for comparison.
If in doubt about which of your trinkets you should use: Sim yourself. (see below)
Note on Nighthold DPS trinkets:
All DPS trinkets in NH have their secondary effects reduced by 50% for tank specs. This means your entwined elemental foci will give you approximately half the secondary stats through a fight compared to if you were in WW spec . Even so, as you read above, the high ilvl available in NH might make it better than your other trinkets, based on raw agility.
Simming for DPS:
While simming tanks for survival is not recommended, simming BrM for DPS works fine, as long as you use a custom APL. One such APL for BoC DPS can be found here.The standard APL in simc has not been updated for legion brewmaster, and might even crash your client in some versions.
For single target, using Old War over Prolonged is a 1% total dps gain. For any situation with more than 1 target, use Prolonged Power.
With the new buff to the feasts, they will be the best food for everything.
For anything else: Fishbrul for ST, your best secondary for everything else.
Enchants and Gems
Use one agility and enchant agility where applicable, and your strongest secondary where agi isnt available (rings). You can use simc to find your strongest secondary for enchants, see above.
All neck enchants got buffed in 7.1.5, Satyr is still the by far best ST enchant.