Welcome to PeakofSerenity’s Brewmaster Monk PvE Necrolord Guide. This guide is designed to be a more in-depth look at the Necrolord Covenant. Navigate quickly to the section you need using the sidebar on the right.
For information on how the Covenants compare to each other, see the PvE Quick Guide.
This guide has been updated for Patch 9.1 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.
The Necrolords offer a strong class ability that gains extra benefits from being a Brewmaster, paired with one of the best defensive signature abilities in the recently-buffed Fleshcraft. Until recently, it offered damage that was competitive with Kyrian—especially on 2-3 target cleave—while being arguably better defensively in a raid environment. However, recent changes to fix an unintended interaction between Bonedust Brew and the weapons in Necrotic Wake have undercut the offensive value. It remains a competitive option due to its defensive power and strength in cleave settings, but currently cannot compete on single-target encounters.
Class Ability: Bonedust Brew
Bonedust Brew provides a bit more damage that scales in AoE for limited investment. It additionally comes with a minor defensive bump due to the increase brew cooldown reduction attached to the debuff for Brewmasters.
They also provide everyone within the covenant the ability Fleshcraft, which lets you channel for 3 seconds to gain an absorb shield equal to 40% of your HP which lasts 2 minutes, and also provides 20% damage reduction while channeling. In most settings, this is much stronger defensively than Kyrian’s Phial and more useful for the already-mobile Monk than the Night Fae Soulshape.
Plague Deviser Marileth is the strongest Necrolord soulbind in single-target and 2-3 target cleave settings, with multiple powerful traits both defensively (Frictionless Coating) and offensively (Kevin). It is also one of the only soulbinds that gives up no value in order to run a 3rd Potency conduit, though our choices are not great for the slot so this is only a minor upside. The 6% damage increase provided by Kevin is very powerful, though the spawned pet can be inconsistent in applying the debuff in AoE settings with many targets.
While Emeni has lost the top damage spot in a raid setting to Marileth, she still provides multiple compelling traits that are difficult to actually quantify. Her traits that allow you to cast Fleshcraft while moving (trait) and grant you and your allies extra movement speed (Gristled Toes, Sole Slough) are compelling in their own right, and Pustule Eruption is an excellent damage boost to cap things off.
Bonesmith Heirmir’s soulbind has fallen behind its peers in Patch 9.1, gaining almost nothing from the new rows of traits. As a result, the power of Serrated Spaulders is no longer able to carry this soulbind’s offensive value. The defensive traits in this tree cannot make up the difference, especially as Marileth’s Frictionless Coating is likely to be better in practice than any of the defensive traits Hiermir offers.
Changes with Covenant
Use Bonedust Brew as close to on cooldown as possible. It is worthwhile to hold BB for a few seconds to line it up with Invoke Niuzao in order to benefit from Stomp, but due to the low cooldown on the ability you don’t want to hold it for too long or you’ll lose a cast entirely.