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Brewmaster Monk the Best WoW Tank build

Brewmaster Monk the Best WoW Tank build

Top tier tank specialization for Battle for Azeroth and Patch 8.2

Brewmaster Monk Raid Tank Build
Odealo's Pocket Guide
Updated for Patch 8.2.0

You can find all our Pocket Guides for other World of Warcraft classes right here: Best WoW Builds

Monk Class Icon WoW

Spec Overview

Brewmaster is the Monks specialization for tanking purposes. It is currently a top tier tank for Raids and Mythic+ progression. Monks are the best tanking class for taking large hits in Raids and when it comes to mobility. Their damage mitigation comes from dodging and parrying attacks, and also, their unique StaggerStagger mechanic, which makes a portion of incoming damage to be dealt over the next 10 seconds instead of getting applied instantly. 

 Pros  Cons
 Very reliable damage mitigation against big hits  One of the least self-sufficient tanking classes in WoW
 Amazing mobility  Not much to offer in terms of build diversity
 Good team utility  Mediocre performance when it comes to questing and lower tier content
 Steady damage intake which is easy to heal  

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Statistics Priority

  1. Agility - primary stat for Brewmaster Monk. It increases the Monk's chance to dodge, and the amount of physical damage staggered
  1. Versatility - increases your damage, healing, and reduces damage taken. Very important secondary attribute for Brewmaster Monk
  1. Critical Strike - increases your self-healing from Celestial FortuneCelestial Fortune and increases the damage you deal with attacks, and increasing threat generated
  1. Mastery - increases your dodge chance from Elusive BrawlerElusive Brawler which is a very important defensive mechanism
  1. Haste - increases your attack speed and global cooldowns. Haste is the least important attribute which can be omitted wherever possible


The Best Talent Choices

Eye of the Tiger
Level 15: Recommended choice - Eye of the Tiger
Eye of the TigerEye of the Tiger is the best talent choice for this tier. It makes Tiger PalmTiger Palm deal additional Nature damage and heal you. It's the optimal choice for self-healing
Chi BurstChi Burst is a linear skill which heals all allies and damages enemies. For each enemy hit, you also generate up to 2 Chi, making it a decent Chi generator and AoE heal. Chi WaveChi Wave has a very similar effect to Chi Burst. It grants a skill that cast a wave of Chi that bounces randomly between allies and enemies, healing or damaging the target. It's more commonly used in Dungeons and while leveling
Tiger's Lust
Level 30: 
Recommended choice - Tiger's Lust
Tiger's LustTiger's Lust - the best option for this tier. While all the Talents here are related to mobility, only Tiger's Lust gives you the ability to remove snares and slows.
CelerityCelerity reduces RollRoll cooldown and increasing its maximum charges by 1. On the other hand, Chi TorpedoChi Torpedo replaces RollRoll. It launches you forward a long distance and increases your movement speed for a short duration. Chi TorpedoChi Torpedo can be also considered a decent choice, which helps you engage your enemies faster or travel longer distances quickly in certain encounters.
Black Ox Brew
Level 45: 
Recommended choice - Black Ox Brew
Black Ox BrewBlack Ox Brew - is the optimal choice for this tier. It grants the most Ironskin BrewIronskin Brew and Purifying BrewPurifying Brew charges per fight making it the best pick for Raids.
LightbrewingLightbrewing is also a decent talent that increases the number of Brews you can use in combat, but in longer fights, it underperforms when compared to Black Ox BrewBlack Ox Brew. However useful it may seem, SpitfireSpitfire is the least useful Talen on this tier. It can reset the cooldown of SpitfireBreath of Fire, which deals a moderate amount of damage and reduces your target's damage output
Summon Black Ox Statue
Level 60: 
Recommended choice - Summon Black Ox Statue
I find Summon Black Ox StatueSummon Black Ox Statue seems to be the best crowd control spell on this tier. It's a great AoE taunt that builds up aggro from multiple enemies. It's the best pick for encounters where periodically adds are spawned, and when your healers and damage dealers need assistance.
All the other talents on this tier are also good for different purposes. Tiger Tail SweepTiger Tail Sweep reduces the cooldown of Leg SweepLeg Sweep and increases its range, which is a very powerful AoE stun. Ring of PeaceRing of Peace, on the other hand, can be extremely useful in specific encounters. It is a spell which creates a ring on the ground for five seconds, and most enemies will be knocked back when entering it. It's a situational spell, but can be a life-saver for your teammates.
Dampen Harm
Level 75: 
Recommended choice - Dampen Harm
Dampen HarmDampen Harm is the recommended pick for this tier. It grants very high damage mitigation for a short duration. It mainly saves you from big hits, which is what Brewmaster Monk excels at.
Bob and WeaveBob and Weave is also a great defensive talent which is a passive that increases the duration of StaggerStagger, lowering the damage you receive from each tick. It grants more steady damage reduction which is good for more casual use when you aren't expecting big damage spikes coming your way. Healing ElixirHealing Elixir is a skill with a 30-second cooldown and two maximum charges, which heals you for 15% of your maximum Life when used. It offers decent healing but is nowhere close to the other two talents when it comes to Raids and Mythic+ Dungeons.
Rushing Jade Wind
Level 90: 
Recommended choice - Rushing Jade Wind
Rushing Jade WindRushing Jade Wind - grants the highest sustained damage out of all the talents on this tier. It is a powerful melee attack which perfectly fits your global cooldowns rotation and is the preferred choice for both Raids and Mythic+ Dungeons
Special DeliverySpecial Delivery is merely an AoE slow, rendering it useless in the majority of encounters. Invoke Niuzao, the Black OxInvoke Niuzao, the Black Ox is a three-minute cooldown ability which grants additional burst damage for 45 seconds. In some encounters, it may grant slightly higher DPS output than Rushing Jade Wind Rushing Jade Wind, but the latter should be your primary choice for general use
High Tolerance
Level 100: 
Recommended choice - High Tolerance
High ToleranceHigh Tolerance - is the best choice on this tier which grants the highest damage mitigation and additional Haste based on your current level of staggered damage. This talent should be picked for both Raids and Mythic+ Dungeons
GuardGuard can also be rendered useful in certain encounters, which is suited for mitigating damage from big hits via StaggerStagger mechanic. Blackout ComboBlackout Combo is also a very decent talent, but very it's hard to master and be used efficiently. It increases the difficulty of your rotation and grants unreliable damage reduction mechanics by empowering certain skills after using Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike


The Basic Rotation

Below you will find the basic rotation for single target damage and tanking. Except for understanding Brewmaster's Monk skills usage, we have also included a brief explanation of how StaggerStagger works. It's one of the primary damage mitigation mechanic utilized by Monks, and you need to understand its basics to become a potent Tank for Raids and Mythic+ Progression.  

Single-target / dual-target rotation
  1. Keg Smash is your primary skill. While when it comes to single-target DPS, using Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike first may yield slightly better results (below 1% increase in DPS), but Keg Smash is best to be used as your opening skill in fights against two or three opponents, so we recommend sticking to this priority list to make the rotation less confusing
Keg Smash
  1. Blackout Strike should be your second ability on your priority list. It is a single-target attack that deals high damage and generates a stack of Elusive BrawlerElusive Brawler
Blackout Strike
  1. Breath of Fire is a good AoE skill that deals increased damage to enemies affected by Keg SmashKeg Smash. It should be cast on cooldown
Breath of Fire
  1. Rushing Jade Wind is a great filler in this rotation. Should be used whenever on cooldown
Rushing Jade Wind
  1. Tiger Palm is a mediocre skill, both in terms of offensive and defensive power, but can be used whenever you have no other skills available. Just make sure you don't waste energy for your next Keg SmashKeg Smash cast
Tiger Palm
Brewmaster Monk cooldowns
  1. Fortifying Brew should be used shortly before you are expecting a big damage spike. It increases your maximum life, the effect of stagger, and reduces damage taken by 20%
Fortifying Brew
  1. Zen Meditation reduces the damage of the next attack or ability against you by 60%. Best used against bit attacks/spell with a casting time which can be timed well
Zen Meditation
  1. Purifying Brew reduces your staggered damage by 50%. Purifying Brew shares cooldown with the Ironskin BrewIronskin Brew and should be used with caution and with a forecast of the encounter
Purifying Brew
  1. Ironskin Brew allows you to stagger more damage for the next 7 seconds. You should always keep one charge for Ironskin Brew to be saved for big incoming hits. It is much easier for healers to heal through staggered damage rather than big hits when your Ironskin Brew's effect expires
Ironskin Brew
Brewmaster Monk's taunting
  1. Provoke is your primary single-target taunt. It can be used on the Black Ox StatueBlack Ox Statue to taunt all the enemies attracted by it simultaneously
  1. Summon Black Ox Statue is a very useful AoE taunt granted by one of the recommended talents for this build. The skill allows you to summon the Black Ox Statue which attracts all enemies in radius, and by using ProvokeProvoke on it, you will taunt all the enemies near it
Summon Black Ox Statue
Stagger mechanism
StaggerStagger is one of the primary damage mitigation mechanics used by Brewmaster Monks. Stagger causes all damage dealt to Monk to be divided into two portions:
  1. damage applied instantly
  2. damage staggered and applied to you in the form of 10-second damage over time effect

The amount of damage staggered is based on your Agility and active buffs (High ToleranceHigh Tolerance talent, Ironskin BrewIronskin BrewFortifying BrewFortifying Brew) and 40% of the staggered damage can be instantly removed by using Purifying BrewPurifying BrewStagger greatly reduces all your incoming damage, and the damage you receive in the form of DoT is much easier to be healed during end-game encounters


Tips and Tricks for Improving your Gameplay

  1. Always make sure to save enough Energy to use Keg SmashKeg Smash when off-cooldown as it's the primary way to reduce the cooldown on your Brews and one of the primary sources of Brewmaster's DPS
  1. Always have your Keg SmashKeg Smash and Blackout StrikeBlackout Strike on cooldown. This is the number one rule to dish out the highest damage, and generate the most threat
  1. You should keep Ironskin BrewIronskin Brew up at all times. You can use excess charges on Purifying BrewPurifying Brew to reduce some of the staggered damage
  1. Study fights thoroughly so that you can accurately time your Zen MeditationZen Meditation and Fortifying BrewFortifying Brew and save the Raid from failing
  1. Gift of the OxGift of the Ox is the Brewmaster Monk's unique passive which will periodically spawn healing spheres around you. Remember to move slightly to grab them up for some extra self-healing

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This is the premiere version of our Brewmaster Monk Pocket Guide for tanking in Raids and M+ Dungeons. Please leave your suggestions in the comments section below. While we appreciate any feedback given, keep in mind that this guide is intended as a simplified, pocket version that covers up only the most important aspects of your favorite character classes and should be treated as an introduction to PvE tanking as a Brewmaster Monk. 

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.