Brewmaster Dungeon Guide
Welcome to the Brewmaster Dungeon Guide for Shadowlands! On this page, you will find an overview of how to tank Mythic+ Dungeons as a Brewmaster, as well as a breakdown of each of the dungeons in Shadowlands.
It is important to note that these guides are meant to be an entry into mid-higher level keystones from a Brewmaster-only perspective. They are by no means a comprehensive guide of every mechanic or ability that you will find in a dungeon, but instead offer need-to-know information for a Brewmaster wanting to get into pushing higher key levels. For a more complete, beginner-friendly overview, please check out the Dungeon Overview on Wowhead.com.
If you have any further questions about the guides or suggestions on how to improve them, you can always contact us in the Brewmaster Monk section of the Peak of Serenity Discord server!
Overview and What’s New in Shadowlands
In BfA, Brewmaster’s weakest point was our need to always be healed. As Brewmaster pushed into higher keys, we became more and more dependent on the healer to be healing us every global, and lacked in self-sustain. Shadowlands has given us an answer to this problem in the form of Celestial Brew. While this ability certainly isn’t going to make us all powerful tanks that never need healing, it does give us small windows of self-sustain, where we need minimal healing. This can take a lot of pressure off of the healer during moments of high party-wide damage, as well as high tank damage such as debuffs or enraged mobs.
How to use Celestial Brew Optimally for Dungeons
While usage of Celestial Brew in dungeons will be very similar to how we use it in all other content, there are a few extra things to think about. In raids, we usually have 4-5 healers. It’s a safe assumption that at least one of them can spot heal us as needed, and we have a lot of extra passive, aoe healing going out that Brew can soak up. In dungeons however, we have one healer available. In the past we’ve talked about considering healer attention when deciding when to purify, but Celestial Brew takes this to a whole new level.
When making our decisions about when to use Celestial Brew, we should always be aware of the other party damage going out. If there’s massive AoE damage going out on the whole party, using Celestial Brew to reduce the amount of party members your healer has to heal at once can be life saving. If there’s a debuff or a heavy dot on another party member, we can use it to make sure that our healer doesn’t have to turn their attention away from the player taking that damage to heal us.
All that being said, we still want to be using the ability as close to on cooldown as possible, without wasting it. But rather than pressing it immediately every time it comes up, making smart decisions about when to use it can take a lot of pressure off our healer, in the right situations.
Our main strength in dungeons is going to be our damage-smoothing from Stagger and Celestial Brew. Damage smoothing is adventagous for a couple of reasons. First, it means we can take large “tank buster” hits without having to worry about not having a cooldown or sufficient mitigation up. While other tanks have to worry about getting one-shot, we don’t. We can take large hits with just Shuffle, and then kite while our stagger pool is high. Second, it makes us more predictable to heal. This can be extremely important in dungeons, where you only have one person healing you. We have a smooth, predictable health bar that lets our healers plan out their globals and not have to panic-react to a giant drop in health nearly as much as other tanks, as well as healing rarely being wasted by overheals.
In addition to smoothing, Brewmaster has an excellent toolkit of utility and mobility for dungeons. Not only are we mobile and able to get places quickly, but we have a variety of mobility that gives us a LOT of tools to use. We can take Chi Torpedo for pure speed and kiting, or Tiger’s Lust as a fantastic way to break roots and help slow party members. Transcendence presents us ways to do unique pulls that other tanks can’t. We have an AoE stun, an extremely versatile Ring of Peace, or a mass taunt if we talent into it. And in Shadowlands, our dispel Detox gets a LOT of use. There are so many Poison and Disease debuffs in Shadowlands dungeons that we can dispel.
With damage smoothing being our top strength, it has to come with its drawbacks. At lower key levels where the damage intake just isn’t that high, you’ll hear healers rave about how much they love healing Brewmasters. But as we get to higher and higher key levels, that smoothness that gives healers plenty of time to react, starts to get overpowered by the sheer damage intake. When a solid chunk of our mitigation goes into smoothing damage, instead of negating it, we require a significant amount more healing than other tank specs. In raid this might not always be noticeable with multiple healers and our ability to soak up all AoE healing going out, but this is our core weakness in dungeons with only a single player responsible for healing us.
As we push into higher key levels, the damage intake becomes so high that our healers have to spend every spare global trying to catch up with the damage we’re taking. And while we generally don’t have to worry about anything one-shotting us, our primary weakness becomes, quite simply, taking more damage than the healer is able to heal back up, causing us to quickly bleed out. We have several tools to counteract this, as we’ll discuss further below.
Brewmaster utility in Shadowlands remains as strong as it has previously, even adding a few more items to our toolkit.
Leg Sweep: Having a baseline AoE stun is so valuable as a tank. It can be used to stop casts, reduce damage, or right before kiting to give yourself a head start.
Ring of Peace: Ring of peace is an extremely versatile ability. It can be used to help group up mobs that are spread, keep mobs away when you need to kite, keep fixated mobs from killing your party members, interrupt casts/stop abilities from going off, knock mobs out of sanguine/other ground effects, and the list goes on. Ring of peace is amazing for dropping necrotic stacks, and will gain even more value with the introduction of the new affix, Inspiring.
Summon Black Ox Statue: Our Black Ox statue “Dave” will usually be talented for threat, to give us an AoE taunt. He can also, however, be used to group up packs of casters that normally will not move in towards each other, as casters will not cast when they are only in combat with Dave. If you’re running him and have a caster pack, drop him in the middle first and let them all run in, then engage the pack.
Paralysis: Standard single target CC, but in combination with the rest of our toolkit, it allows us to “lock down” a mob that does several casts. We can use Paralysis to stop casts while Spear-Hand-Strike is on cooldown, until it is back up again, as well as to stop several non-interruptible casts. In combination with Ring of Peace, we can Paralyze and knock certain mobs away to skip packs.
Tiger’s Lust: Beyond the mobility that it provides us, Tiger’s Lust can be used to help party members deal with mechanics that they otherwise might not have a way to break.
Detox: Shadowlands dungeons have a LOT of poison and disease dispels. Don’t forget about Detox! We should be using it every time we can!
Provoke: While a taunt may not seem like a utility, Brewmaster is the only tank with a “speed taunt.” This can be extremely useful for positioning certain mobs when we need them to run in faster, or quickly yanking a mob out of Sanguine pools.
Clash: While not quite as useful as a Death Grip, Clash can still be a great option to get a caster into a pack, out of sanguine, or move a mob that otherwise cannot be moved.
Touch of Death: Touch of Death may seem underwhelming at first glance, but this can be such a useful ability for several dungeon mobs, particularly boss adds. There are several adds that various Shadowlands Dungeon Bosses summon that need to die absolutely ASAP, and Touch of Death can completely negate the mechanic. A few notable ones are:
- Shattered Visage in De Other Side
- Parasites on Tred’ova
- Fleeting Manifestations on Executor Tarvold
- Oppressive Banners on Xav the Unfallen
Check out the specific dungeon guides for more information on how to best use Touch of Death.
This is going to be our “general build” for dungeons, but there are several talents that we can swap out in various situations:
Tier 15: Our default here will usually be Eye of the Tiger, but we can swap it out with Chi Burst for more threat when needed.
Tier 25: This is largely personal preference, but Chi Torpedo tends to be stronger for kiting. I prefer to use it as a default, because it’s a bit more versatile for personal movement. However, we should swap to Tiger’s Lust for dungeons that have specific roots or snares on the party, unless every other party member has their own way to break those.
Tier 35: Ring of Peace should be our default as it is the most versatile utility that we have as Brewmasters. However, if we are badly struggling with threat, Summon Black Ox Statue can be used to give us an AoE taunt.
Tier 40: Dampen Harm should be our go-to for most dungeon content. Bob and Weave has a place in dungeons, but it’s not recommended for anything below the highest level of dungeons, where all avoidable damage/casts are being stopped by your party members. Bob and Weave is a slight gain in a very experienced group, but it’s not worth removing our only 2 minute defensive cooldown until we are absolutely sure that we don’t need it.
Mythic Dungeon Tools – Must have. This addon is absolutely essential for planning routes, communicating plans with party members and checking abilities of certain mobs. This is the first thing you should get as a tank wanting to do M+.
Interrupt Tracker – Must have. There are many versions out there, so find one that works for you, but this is the one that I prefer.
Auto Marker – This is an extremely handy tool for marking important mobs for interrupts, cc, and focus targets. I prefer this one because it will not override existing marks, meaning if someone else in your party has an auto marker and has already marked targets, yours will not change existing marks.
Zen Tracker/Omni CD – Extremely useful as a tank in charge of planning pulls. This can be used to track utility, so you know what is available and can call for it, as well as cooldowns, so you can plan out your large/scary pulls to line up with your dps’ cooldowns.