Brewmaster Monk Battle for Azeroth Guide

by

Welcome to PeakofSerenity's PvE Brewmaster Monk Guide. This guide is designed to be a basic, quick guide for Brewmaster Monks with just the information you need. For more in-depth, advanced, information follow the links to those pages in the "Further Reading" sections or in the "Advanced" section in the menu above. Navigate quickly to the section you need using the sidebar on the right.

This guide has been updated for Patch 8.3 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.

Talents

War Mode Talents

The only impactful War Mode talent for solo content is the Incendiary Breath talent when combined with the Spitfire talent.

Further Reading About Talents

 

Ability Priority

Brewmasters operate on a priority system. This means that you use whatever ability is available that’s highest up in the priority. With certain talent combinations, following this priority will result in a fixed rotation. For more information on how priorities are generated, read Babylonius’s Understanding Priorities article (This article was originally written for Windwalker monks, however the methodology holds true for all specs).

Single Target

  1. Black Ox Brew (if talented and <1 Brew charge)
  2. Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox (If talented)
  3. Tiger Palm (If the Blackout Combo buff is active)
  4. Blackout Strike
  5. Keg Smash
  6. Breath of Fire
  7. Rushing Jade Wind (If talented and not active)
  8. Chi Burst (if talented)
  9. Chi Wave (if talented)
  10. Tiger Palm (If energy > 55)
  11. Rushing Jade Wind (If talented)

3+ Targets

  1. Black Ox Brew (if talented and <1 Brew charge)
  2. Invoke Niuzao, the Black Ox (If talented)
  3. Keg Smash
  4. Breath of Fire
  5. Rushing Jade Wind (If talented and not active)
  6. Chi Burst (if talented)
  7. Blackout Strike
  8. Tiger Palm (If the Blackout Combo buff is active)
  9. Chi Wave (if talented)
  10. Tiger Palm (If energy > 55)
  11. Rushing Jade Wind (If talented)

 

Brew Charge Usage

  • Ironskin Brew – Keep this ability active 100% of the time when actively taking damage. Use only enough to maintain the debuff without wasting duration. Multiple uses of Ironskin Brew stack duration up to 21s, for this reason you should avoid using this ability if more than 14s remains on your buff.
  • Purifying Brew – Use any remaining charges after maintaining Ironskin Brew on this ability. Purify timing is most of the nuance with BrM and knowing when to use it will largely come with experience. You should use this ability to control your damage intake and keep it to a manageable level for your healer or healers. This ability should never be used at the expense of Ironskin Brew uptime.

Further Reading About Ability Priority

Gearing

“Best-in-Slot”

The concept of “Best-in-slot” lists is mostly obsolete with the advent of War/Titanforging and sockets. Gear should be assessed on a case-by-case basis rather than as a whole, using tools like SimCraft or Raidbots.

 

Stat Priorities

Defensive Stat Priority

Item Level > Mastery > Versatility = Critical Strike > Haste

Defensive stat priority for Brewmaster is extremely encounter dependent and can change for your character depending on your current gear and stats. Due in part to the scaling nature of Stagger in Battle for Azeroth, you will always want to use the highest item level piece in any non-jewelry slot, regardless of secondary stats. Encounters in Battle for Azeroth tend to be heavily biased towards melee and dodgeable damage, as such we recommend favoring Mastery while keeping a healthy amount of Versatility and Critical Strike.

Offensive Stat Priority

Item Level > Versatility > Critical Strike >= Haste > Mastery

Offensive stat priority for Brewmaster will depend very heavily upon your current gear, talents, and Azerite traits. While the above stat weights will hold true for most players, it is recommended to sim your Monk using SimCraft to obtain accurate, personalized weights. Bear in mind that while Agility is one of our weakest stats per point, you gain a significantly larger quantity of Agility than secondary stats with Item Level and our other secondaries are quite close in value. As a result, despite Agility’s low value, Item Level will generally win over a specific stat distribution for slots with Agility. As always, sim yourself to get the most accurate picture

Further Reading About Stat Priorities

 

Trinkets

Offensive Trinkets

DPS trinkets will depend very heavily upon item level. You should always sim yourself to determine the best setup among your available options. Bloodmallet maintains a list of recent sims showing a ranking of each trinket at various item levels. This can be used to identify which pieces to target with bonus rolls or trades.

Defensive Trinkets

The defensive trinkets in BFA are generally extremely lackluster. The relatively low impact of the trinkets is such that you will generally be best served with an offensive option. In the event that you need a defensive trinket for a particular use, your best options in raids and M+ are Lingering Psychic Shell and Bloodthirsty Urchin.

Further Reading About Trinkets

 

Azerite and Essences

The Azerite Trait setups listed below reflect what is considered optimal for general use with current available data. Note that most Brewmaster Monk traits are very close together in value (with limited exceptions) and as such item level differences can often trump the difference in power between individual traits. For more information about the Azerite system and how it relates to Brewmaster Monks, see the Brewmaster Azerite Guide in the Further Reading section below.

Credit to Emallson for the quick reference below.

Mythic+

Outer Rows: 1x Boiling Brew, 1x Straight, No Chaser, 1-3x Training of Niuzao
General Row: 1-2x Crystalline Carapace, 1-2x Azerite Veins
Defensive Row: A mix of Gemhide, Impassive Visage, and Bulwark of the Masses

Healing in Mythic+ is much more constrained than in a raid environment, which increases the value of traits that grant additional healing, like Boiling Brew, Azerite Veins, and Impassive Visage. For this reason, if you have a choice between Gemhide and Impassive Visage, it is generally recommended to choose Impassive Visage for Mythic+. Note that more copies of Azerite Veins increase the odds that you hit the 100% HP breakpoint and lose the HoT, so having 3 copies is likely to be worse than having 2.

Ny’alotha

Outer Rows: 1x Straight, No Chaser, 3x Training of Niuzao, and up to 1x Boiling Brew, 1x Elusive Footwork
General Row: 3x Crystalline Carapace
Defensive Row: 1-3x Gemhide, 1-3x Impassive Visage

Training of Niuzao is one of our only top-tier traits that doesn’t lose value from multiple copies, and should be your first pick after Straight, No Chaser most of the time. That said, Boiling Brew and Elusive Footwork are both valuable traits in their own right, but do not stack defensively and cannot compete with generic traits for damage, so you should avoid taking a 2nd copy of either. The new raid trait (Heart of Darkness) from Ny’alotha is not as good as these, but not a bad choice in general

 

Outer Row: 3x Generic Traits, 3x Training of Niuzao
General Row: 3x Generic Traits
Defensive Row: There are no DPS traits on this row

The damage given by our spec-specific traits is usually negligible compared to that of generic traits on both rows. If you want to maximize your damage, you should sim yourself. Trait damage is dominated by ilvl, so we cannot give universal advice for how good a trait is for DPS. Bloodmallet maintains a list of the current top-simming traits for each spec, which can be used to identify bonus-roll and residuum targets.

Raid DPS

Major: The Crucible of Flame
Minors: Conflict and Strife, Nullification Dynamo (Rank 3 only), The Formless Void

Raid Defensive

Major: The Crucible of Flame
Minors: Nullification Dynamo, Conflict and Strife, Strength of the Warden

Mythic+ (up to +20)

Major: The Crucible of Flame
Minors: Nullification Dynamo or Aegis of the Deep, Strength of the Warden, Conflict and Strife.

Mythic+ (above +20)

Major: Conflict and Strife
Minors: Nullification Dynamo or Memory of Lucid Dreams, Aegis of the Deep, Strength of the Warden.

Conditional Essences

  • Worldvein Resonance Major was majorly buffed in Patch 8.3. However, it is not remotely competitive with The Crucible of Flame for Brewmasters due to our lack of Agility scaling and/or cooldowns to use with the major. The bug as a minor also still persists, but so you are likely to be (effectively) capped at 3 allies with the minor as far as sims are concerned. Despite all of this, if it buffs melee enough you will wear it.
  • Nullification Dynamo becomes our highest-priority minor when a fight has a heavy DoT. As many fights in Ny’alotha have heavy magic damage, this essence is our only near-universal defensive pick.
  • In some dungeons, there is very little magic damage. In these cases, it should be replaced with Aegis of the Deep for lower keys or Memory of Lucid Dreams for higher keys.
  • Azeroth’s Undying Gift may see use as a defensive major if you need more frequent access to burst damage reduction than Dampen Harm allows.
  • The Formless Void Major may see use in Mythic+ to copy Essence of the Focusing Iris. Keep an eye on this space as the patch progresses.

Note that there simply aren’t good general-purpose defensive essences. Thus, your essence choices for defensive play will have to be tuned to specific bosses. Unless an essence lines up well with a bosses’ mechanics, you should just use a damage essence instead.

 

Further Reading About Azerite

 

Enhancements

Gems/Enchants

  • For gems and ring enchants, follow the stat priority for your character and situation.
  • Weapon – Versatile Navigation for most purposes, or Masterful Navigation if damage taken is exceptionally high.

Consumables

 

Miscellaneous

Racials

Race selection will have negligible impact with the exception of a few specific racial abilities. The Blood Elf racial Arcane Torrent and the Dwarf racial Stoneform are the most impactful utility racials. In general however, pick whatever race you prefer. The difference between the races will be largely negligible.

WeakAuras

There are very few required WeakAuras for Brewmaster. The most commonly used are to track Ironskin Brew duration and current Stagger damage.

Macros

AoE Taunt on Black Ox Statue with modifier

#showtooltip Provoke

/tar [mod:shift] Black Ox Statue
/cast Provoke
/targetlasttarget [mod:shift]

This macro will taunt your target or if shift is held (or any other specified modifer) will AoE taunt around your statue.

 

Changelog

  • April 28, 2020 – General Updates
  • June 30, 2019 – Updated Azerite Essence Recommendations and Stat Priorities
  • June 26, 2019 – Updated for 8.2 Release.
  • February 16th, 2019 – Updated Azerite Recommendations and Stat Priorities
  • December 11th, 2018 – Updated Azerite Recommendations and Trinket Recommendations
  • September 9th, 2018 – Updated Azerite Recommendations and Trinket Recommendations
  • August 11th, 2018 – Guide to Stagger and Brews added to Further Reading
  • August 11th, 2018 – Removed Legendaries and Tier Sets sections, Added Azerite section, Revised Trinket section to reflect the status of current theorycrafting
  • August 6th, 2018 – Updated DPS priority, Updated Talent recommendations, added links for Weak Auras
  • July 15th, 2018 – Talent guide added to Further Reading
  • July 9th, 2018 – Guide Created