"Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water.... Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Bruce Lee
Last updated: 5/4/2014
- Update: The lack of love for HTML continues. Beta will come eventually. Eventually. The format of my ability/talent/glyph tables is a mess, but the information is still otherwise accurate. I will fix the table of contents soon, but until then, Ctrl+F is an imperfect substitute. Bear with me.
- Avert Harm grants +20% Stagger to damage taken from all sources while active. All damage, including spells damage not redirected via Avert Harm. While this runs contrary to the tooltip, it is tested and verified. As such, AH can serve as a personal cooldown in scenarios in which it has no raid value due to lack of raid damage (e.g., solo tanking Malkorok Blood Rage) or range (e.g., solo tanking Thok).
- On 9/24 & 10/1, Brewmaster Monks received successive damage nerfs, starting at 10% and increasing to 15% total reduction to damage output. This applies to all damage dealt and is reflected on the ingame character panel. This sequence of nerfs is warranted, and we still do excellent damage - for tanks.
5.4 Monk Change Roundup:
- Vengeance was nerfed from 1.8% of damage taken to 1.5% of damage taken, and Vengeance from multiple mobs now features diminishing returns. Blizzard were concerned that Tanks had too powerful AM scaling and damage throughput, particularly when tanking numerous hard-hitting adds (consider Heroic Dark Animus).
- Keg Smash deals 18% less damage. An unfortunate but necessary change.
- Fixed a bug that caused the damage of some abilities for Brewmasters with Vengeance to scale incorrectly. A change to a peculiar scaling issue for Brewmasters. In effect, we have had our contribution from base weapon DPS increased significantly and our scaling from AP (and Vengeance) decreased significantly. Using a Heroic-Thunderforged ToT weapon at ~300k AP, this resulted in a roughly 10% loss of damage from abilities. This is an offsetting loss when considered against the across-the-board Vengeance reduction.
- Zen Sphere deals 15% more healing and damage. A good change for a mediocre talent. It's really still not worth picking up as a Brewmaster.
- Chi Burst no longer requires a target. It now travels as a 40-yard line in front of the Monk. Chi Burst now works like Rushing Jade Wind, but also heals. Casting on a specific target is no longer possible, but it is much easier to use now.
- Power Strikes will now activate from the following Chi generating abilities; Jab, Expel Harm, Spinning Crane Kick (when it hits at least 3 targets) and Crackling Jade Lightning. A small QoL improvement.
- Chi Brew now restores 2 Chi, has a 45-second cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes), and generates 5 stacks of Elusive Brew. This talent has become substantially more usable now, and can be worth more Chi per encounter than the alternatives due to the ability to frontload Chi on the pull and end the fight quickly, before the lower Chi/minute catches up. That said, it's still not so great.
- Ring of Peace's disarm now lasts 4 seconds, up from 3. A small improvement, and Ring of Peace now has a really cool new animation. Well done, art team!
- Healing Elixirs no longer procs when at full health, and will automatically proc when dropped below 35% health. This talent still isn't worth picking up over Diffuse or Dampen when you need them to mitigate a specific source of burst damage, but it's definitely better than it was. It may see use on some encounters or in trash time.
- Diffuse Magic is no longer on the global cooldown. A great usability change.
- Rushing Jade Wind now replaces Spinning Crane Kick. Rushing Jade Wind has the same costs, Chi generation, and periodic rate as Spinning Crane Kick, but deals only 80% of SCK's damage per tick. Rushing Jade wind lasts 6 seconds and is not channeled. One of the primary issues with using SCK is that it suspends EB uptime, and this circumvents that issue. As before, RJW is significant dps increase in AoE situations, and it is now a much better talent than it was.
- Indomitable Primal Diamond now reduces all damage taken by 20% (changed from physical only), and its procrate has been doubled This change will make the tank Legendary metagem the go-to choice when tanking progression content.
- Capacitive Primal Diamond and Fen-Yu, Fury of Xuen have a 40% reduced chance to activate for players in a tanking specialization. This, in conjunction with improving the stat distribution of the Legendary Agility Tank cloak and the previously-stated Tank meta improvements have put the Tank Legendary choices considerably ahead of the DPS Legendary choices for Brewmasters doing progression content.
Greetings, I am Llarold. I have been tanking in WoW for eight years. I want this guide to serve as a long-term resource for Monks of all experience and skill ranges, and for the assumptions and assertions made with regards to gearing and skill order to be supported mathematically. I am no mathemagician, thus I welcome all criticism, suggestions and support.
I believe that the Brewmaster Monk, in its present form, possesses the most control over mitigation, avoidance and elimination of incoming damage of any tanking class ever put into this game. We have an extremely powerful reactionary tanking toolkit, and our primary mitigation mechanic makes us the most effective class for living through tremendous bursts of damage.
We are active mitigation in its purest form to date. In many regards we are the counterpoint to Death Knights. They take large hits, heal back up and absorb the following hit. We absorb large portions of hits upfront and purify the damage away once it gets too high. Our greatest strength (handling spike damage) is their greatest weakness, and our biggest weakness (sustained spell damage) is one of their greatest strengths.
The amount of control we have over our fate means that we are more responsible for our own safety than any other tank class. This allows us to alleviate more pressure off of our healers, but also magnifies our failures and means that we must accept nothing short of excellence in our execution.
Stagger, Shuffle and Brew
Stagger is the mechanism through which we control incoming damage. While we have a baseline 25% damage reduction from Stance of the Sturdy Ox, we have no armor increase whatsoever. Consequently, we take much larger melee hits than our tanking counterparts.
Whenever a Brewmaster Monk takes physical damage, a portion of that damage is absorbed and put into a 10-second debuff (Stagger) that deals 10% of the total damage every second. If struck again while Stagger is up, the remaining damage is added to the newly absorbed damage and the duration reset to 10 seconds.
Tank deaths are usually the result of sudden bursts of damage coming in faster than healers can put out healing to replace (yes, players die when their health reaches zero). Healers should love Stagger, and here is why: While Stagger causes Monks to take more damage over the course of a fight assuming all avoidances are equal (they aren't at all!), it gives them much smoother and more predictable damage taken than other tanks.
[table] Stagger | Total health dealt per second
Light (Green) | < 3%
Medium (Yellow) | 3%-6%
Heavy (Red) | > 6% [/table]
Shuffle can easily be kept up 100% of the time, and doing so is fundamental to Monk tanking. The increase to Stagger value is additive, as is Monk Mastery - 4% increase to Stagger value baseline, +1% every 960 Mastery rating.
With Shuffle, a raid-buffed Monk with minimal Mastery rating on gear will take ~45% of damage from physical sources upfront with the remaining ~55% Staggered over the following 10 seconds.
Consider a Monk's damage taken from five 350k hits on a 2-second swing timer:
Monk: 25% passive damage reduction, 31% damage reduction from armor, 49% Stagger
Swing #1, 92373 Hit, 88751 Stagger
1 sec, 8875 Stagger
2 sec, 8875 Stagger
Swing #2, 92373 Hit, 71001 + 88751 = 159752 Stagger
3 sec, 15975 Stagger
4 sec, 15975 Stagger
Swing #3, 92373 Hit, 127802 + 88751 = 216553 Stagger
5 sec, 21655 Stagger
6 sec, 21655 Stagger
Swing #4, 92373 Hit, 173243 + 88751 = 261994 Stagger
7 sec, 26199 Stagger
8 sec, 26199 Stagger
Swing #5, 92373 Hit, 209596 + 88751 = 298347 Stagger
Damage from melee strikes: 461865
Total Stagger Damage: 145408
Total Damage: 607273
Purifying Brew completely removes Stagger from the Monk. PB is the skill that gives Monks control over incoming damage. There is an ebb and flow with Stagger and PB in which we take several hits, purify the Stagger away, take several hits, purify the Stagger away, ad infinitum.
Let's compare the prior damage taken using PB after the fourth melee hit:
Swing #1, 92373 Hit, 88751 Stagger
1 sec, 8875 Stagger
2 sec, 8875 Stagger
Swing #2, 92373 Hit, 71001 + 88751 = 159752 Stagger
3 sec, 15975 Stagger
4 sec, 15975 Stagger
Swing #3, 92373 Hit, 127802 + 88751 = 216553 Stagger
5 sec, 21655 Stagger
6 sec, 21655 Stagger
Swing #4, 92373 Hit, 261994 Stagger
7 sec, 0 Stagger
8 sec, 0 Stagger
Swing #5, 92373 Hit, 71001 + 88751 = 88751 Stagger
Damage from melee strikes: 461865
Total Stagger Damage: 93010
Total Damage: 554875
Being able to eliminate 100k damage that would have been taken over six seconds is not bad at all.
Now let's consider a DK under the same circumstances:
DK: 10% passive damage reduction, 52% damage reduction from armor, 140% Mastery
Swing #1, 151,200 Hit
Swing #2, 151,200 Hit
Swing #3, 151,200 Hit
Death Strike, 90720 Heal, 127008 Blood Shield
Swing #4, 24192 Hit
Swing #5, 151,200 Hit
Total Damage minus self-healing: 538272
Now, let's consider the total damage taken and the rate at which it is taken. The DK takes less damage over the course of ten seconds. How about over the first three attacks? The DK takes 453,600 damage in three hits, whereas the Monk takes 326,819.
In the following two attacks, the DK takes 175,392 damage, whereas the Monk takes
228,056 damage. The DK is averaging less damage per attack, but the damage taken is spiky, whereas the Monk's damage taken is smooth.
When to Purify
One of the biggest mistakes a novice Monk can make is trying to purify more damage than their Chi generation will allow and losing uptime on Shuffle due to lack of Chi.
Heavy staggers should be purified at once, but a medium stagger is not a serious threat, and purifying it is a service to your healers, not a life-saver. More importantly, you need to be aware of the value of your stagger, not just the color. All medium staggers are not equal, and this is why most overuse of PB occurs. To be clear, purifying medium staggers is not a bad thing at all. Doing so at the expense of allowing Shuffle to fall off or failing to use Guard at a key moment is. Purifying medium stagger is a low-priority use of Chi.
Stagger + PB also gives us AMAZING control over predictable, large strikes of damage (e.g., Thrash, single-tanked Massive Attacks). Stagger a 7-figure hit that would kill another class and purify immediately - all's well.
Ordinarily Stagger damage ramps upward as you take hits, but on occasion taking hits can result in a decrease in Stagger's damage per second. This is almost always a result of the abnormally high avoidance provided by Elusive Brew, and is a good thing.
I posited earlier that if all avoidances were created equal, Monks would be designed to take more damage over the course of a fight, but more fluidly. This is true. However, avoidance toolkits are not all equal, and ours is the best in the game.
Monks have as much as 28% passive avoidance via Dizzying Haze, Swift Reflexes and Shuffle, and we gain 30% dodge when using Elusive Brew = 58% avoidance from our kit alone. Dizzying Haze does not affect bosses, giving us only 25% passive avoidance against bosses, but the debuff is still useful for add fights.
Every time you land a white crit, you gain charges of Elusive Brew. The number of charges generated depends upon weapon speed.
You gain charges equal to (1.5 * WeaponSpeed / 2.6) for 1H weapons and (3.0 * WeaponSpeed / 3.6) for 2H weapons
In MoP, we have only three weapon speeds available: 2.6 1h weapons, 3.3 staves and 3.6 polearms.
[table] Weapon Speed | Minimum Charges per crit | Maximum Charges per crit
2.6 (1h) | 1 (50%) | 2 (50%)
3.3 (Staff) | 2 (25%) | 3 (75%)
3.6 (Polearm) | 3 (100%) [/table]
Elusive Brew uptime is a function of crit chance and haste, and its effectiveness is ultimately determined by the user. Elusive Brew has a laundry list of useful applications. It lets us live through certain-death mechanics such as Dread Thrash, gives us far and away the highest total avoidance, provides tremendous survivability in AoE tanking situations and generally provides good overall damage avoidance throughout the course of a fight. It is also a solid low-health cooldown that can save your life when you have no other cooldowns left.
The only clear wrong ways to use Elusive Brew are never using it or using when you are not being attacked.
The conservative rule is to hit it whenever you have 6 or more stacks of Elusive Brew, but you do not always need to wait that long to pop it. Being able to quickly read and react to a shifting battlefield is one of the most important attributes a tank can possess, and Elusive Brew is a powerful reactionary tool that can easily provide two or three dodges in a row during crunch time.
The strength of Elusive Brew is that it is avoidance on demand, meaning that you should use it when you need it most, not just whenever it is up. Monks excel in situations where we are forced to pool avoidance (forced tank swaps, full stops mid-fight). Being able to come out of a Will of the Emperor combo with 15-25 seconds of 80%+ avoidance is incredible. Taking a real raid example: compare my performance on my guild's first Heroic Will of the Emperor kill with my off-tank (Death Knight), I took nearly 55k damage more per melee swing than he did, but I parried 35 attacks and dodged 53. In comparison, he parried 24 and dodged only 5.
Unlike Shield Block and Savage Defense, which are gated by recharge time, Elusive Brew's only gating mechanic is gear. This means that EB receives a dramatic increase in potency under buffs like Heroism, trinket procs, agility potions, etc.
Here is a spreadsheet I made to demonstrate the relationship between Haste and Crit with regards to increasing avoidance through EB:
One final tidbit, I prefer not to Purify while under Elusive Brew unless it's a Heavy Stagger. By using EB you are virtually ensuring that you will not take two hits back to back (less than a 1 in 25 chance to eat consecutive swings while using EB). Consequently, if you are hit while using EB, it will most realistically occur after a gap of several seconds of no attacks striking. This can often cause the Stagger to recalculate downward, doing less damage per second. This is not an ironclad rule, just a good general strategy. EB and Purify are two methods of accomplishing a very similar goal.
Overlapping EB and Purify is like stabbing a man to death, then shooting his corpse fifteen times just to be sure. It's effective, but a bit excessive.
Effective Health vs. Damage Reduction
Effective Health and Damage Reduction are two methods of measuring similarly important concepts.
Effective Health is, simply, the amount of incoming damage you are able to take without dying, and should be compared to unmitigated damage taken. Damage Reduction is the amount that you reduce or avoid that incoming damage. Avoidance is damage reduction. Mitigation is damage reduction.
By increasing your damage reduction, you increase your effective health. The simple formula for determining EH is (Current Health / (1 - % damage reduction)).
Mastery increases our Effective Health by redirecting a greater amount of damage taken from physical damage events. It does not provide any damage reduction unless we use Purifying Brew. Even then, Mastery only provides damage reduction if PB is subsequently used to remove more damage than it would without that Mastery. This is not difficult, but it is a requirement for Mastery to actually provide damage reduction.
Effective Health is a valuable thing. It is a measure of our ability to survive large bursts of damage or periods without healing, and it is useful in understanding how we should gear and prioritize our cooldowns.
[table]Guard (with Power Guard) - Shields the caster for 16367 + 226.7% of AP | Fortifying Brew - 20% damage reduction, 20% Stagger increase, 20% health increase | Dampen Harm - The next 3 hits over 20% of the Monk's total health do 50% damage | Diffuse Magic - 6 seconds, 90% spell damage reduction | Zen Meditation - 8 seconds, 90% damage reduction, channeled, 5 charges, breaks when attacked[/table]
Guard is the primary Monk cooldown, and is basically Power Word: Shield on steroids. Guard scales heavily off of AP, meaning that it should never be used without a large amount of Vengeance to buff it up. An average raid Guard (I average 300k AP with Vengeance) will be on the order of 700k damage absorption. Guard also increases self-healing by 30% while it is up, and it works with everything (even GotOx orbs). There are plenty of ways to use Guard, and it is valuable as a self-healing increase to ensure you are at full health for a large strike or as a low-health lifesaver.
Let's take a typical tanking scenario: I take a big hit and drop to 25% health. I cast Guard and quickly Expel Harm while grabbing a few GotOxes. I am healed back to 50% health and have a 650k+ shield. Crisis averted, healers can get me back to safety. Let's try another: I am tanking Heroic Nazgrim. He is going to hit me with Execute in less than 3 seconds. I have 75% health, Guard is off cooldown, I have six seconds of Shuffle, a 500k Stagger, 2 Chi and just hit Keg Smash. I Guard, Expel Harm, Purify, Dampen Harm and grab a GotOx before the Execute lands and come through it handily.
Using Guard on cooldown is a rookie mistake. It may seem like this is the best total damage reduction, but not only is this not necessarily the case, total damage reduction is considerably less valuable than spike damage reduction. Hitting Guard on the pull is another common mistake. You should be prioritizing early Chi for getting Shuffle up and running. Take a few more hits, build some Vengeance and then Guard when you will get more out of it. Tracking your AP will help you get the most out of Guards. Track your AP.
Before moving on from Guard, your Black Ox Statue will cast Guard on a raid member every time you do 1600% of AP in damage. This equates to a tremendous amount of damage absorbed over the course of a fight. Always have Black Ox Statue down when fighting.
Fortifying Brew is a weird bird. It is the Monk Shield Wall, kind of, but it's also the Monk Last Stand. FB grants 20% damage reduction, an additive 20% increase to Stagger value and a 20% increase to health for 20 seconds. An odd ability, it nonetheless provides a substantial decrease to physical damage taken for the duration. It is not nearly as useful against spell damage.
Because of our mediocre health values, the health increase from this spell is not as valuable as the damage reduction and increased stagger values, but every bit counts when tanking. You might expect to purify more during Fortifying Brew, but the damage reduction will cut the incoming Stagger value considerably, yielding only about a 5% increase to Stagger. As such, you should not need to alter your playstyle.
Dampen Harm and Diffuse Magic
We are in the weird position of having two tank cooldowns in our talent tree. Fortunately, they are both excellent. Dampen Harm causes the next three attacks within 45 seconds that deal 20% or more of the Monk's total health to only do 50% damage. For burst damage, this is the true Monk Shield Wall. This skill helps us excel at absorbing large strikes (e.g., Overwhelming Assault on Blade Lord Tay'ak). The fatal flaw in this skill is that it has no value whatsoever against a rapid-fire stream of small strikes (e.g., The Stone Guard). The cooldown begins as soon as the spell is cast.
The other defensive cooldown talent, Diffuse Magic, gives us 90% magic damage reduction for 6 seconds and dispels all magic debuffs on the Monk. The latter has little implication in raids. This spell is the clearly spell-focused counterpart to Dampen Harm, and is useful in situations in which you will take a large number of smaller magic damage hits in a short period of time (Foul Geyser from Wavebinder Kardris on Kor'Kron Dark Shaman), will have no need to mitigate large physical hits (non-tower Galakras), or will take a hit of magic damage so large that 50% damage reduction is not enough (multiple breaths on Immerseus).
To compare, Dampen Harm should be your primary cooldown for taking large, predictable spikes of damage and can also help take some of the bite out of a hard-hitting boss, Diffuse Magic will utterly nullify six seconds of spell damage, and Fortifying Brew is strongest against a steady stream of physical damage.
Zen Meditation is very much like the Monk Army of the Dead. It provides 90% damage reduction for up to 8 seconds, but since it breaks as soon as your are hit with a melee attack, it will rarely see a full channel (not so bad since you cannot Keg Smash while channeling). It will redirect 5 spell casts on raid members to you during its effect and will end prematurely if all 5 casts are consumed. Use this to nullify a single large hit or a burst of magic damage (e.g., Iron Juggernaut's Flame Vents, Wavebinder Kardris' Darkstorm Bolt, Nazgrim's Execute, etc.). Highly useful during Malkorok's Blood Rage.
Avert Harm is our raid cooldown, and it is really strong under the right circumstances. For 6 seconds, the Monk diverts 20% of all damage taken by raid members within 10 yards to themselves. During this time, the Monk also Staggers an additional 20% of all damage taken. This includes spell damage and applies to damage taken from the redirect and directly from the boss. Avert Harm does not function as written. The effect will end prematurely if the Monk drops below 10% health. This ability has a long cooldown for a short duration and an extremely limiting range of only 10 yards. That said, it is an absurdly strong cooldown for stacking fights with large amounts of unavoidable raid damage. In 25's, you should always try to line up a personal cooldown (Zen Meditation is a great choice). This is less necessary in 10's, but be ready to Purify at least once during any well-timed Avert Harm.
Grapple Weapon can be used in a number of encounters in Siege of Orgrimmar, and in addition to a resource-free disarm, it provides a 5% damage reduction buff for 15 seconds. Not bad.
Nimble Brew removes stuns, roots, fears, horrifies and reduces their durations by 60% if they are reapplied within 6 seconds. It has a 2 minute cooldown. It's not highly valuable in Siege, but it has a few uses.
Monks have two major self-heals that will save your life over and over again if used correctly.
Gift of the Ox
All successful attacks have a chance to summon a healing sphere to your side, and only you can see and use the sphere. Just like with Guard, spheres are more valuable when your AP is high.
The proc chance on special attacks is 10%, and the proc chance on autoattacks is (.051852 * Weaponspeed) for 1h's and (.06 * Weaponspeed for 2h's).
[table] Weapon Speed | GotOx proc chance
2.6 (1h) | 13.5%
3.3 (Staff) | 19.8%
3.6 (Polearm) | 21.6%[/table]
The best way to use Gift of the Ox is to grab a sphere after you take a hit, and to leave a few in case you get chunked. If you have 2-3 Gift of the Ox spheres to your right, taking two steps to the right after a large hit is equivalent to popping a Healthstone. While you should make an effort not to overheal with GotOx, the worst thing you can do is leave them unused. They are free healing, just waiting for you to wiggle left and right after taking hits. Do not waste them.
SCK and GotOx
Spinning Crane Kick will blanket the ground in Gift of the Ox orbs. Monks have a tendency to be spiky in AoE tanking without a cooldown up, and GotOx can help out healers a great deal. GotOx orbs take a few seconds to materialize, so be mindful of rushing through them while SCK'ing. Always make use of your ability to spawn absurd amount of free heals in AoE. SCK precludes autoattacking, meaning that overuse will result in a drought of Elusive Brew. Be prudent.
RJW and GotOx
Rushing Jade Wind, which was added in 5.4, will produce substantially more GotOx orbs per individual cast than SCK, and will do so without tying up multiple GCD's worth of activity. As such, it is an amazing improvement in AoE tanking scenarios - beyond the considerable DPS increase.
Expel Harm was changed with 5.1 to be removed from cooldown when the Monk drops below 35% in addition to having no cooldown when used while under 35%. Truly awesome. Expel Harm now has no punishment when used above 35% health, and as a result should be used in place of Jab whenever it will not overheal. This ability should never be wasted as overhealing (yours or your healers), but can be used to generate a Chi when out of melee range. Below 35% health is when this ability really shines. It still has a large enough cost that it can't ever become spammable, but two quick Expel Harms after taking a large chunk of damage can send your health rocketing back to safe values.
If you have experience playing DK, treat EH like Death Strike and you should be gravy.
Healing Spheres are GotOx that cost 40 Energy and can be used by other players. Generally speaking, I have very little use for Healing Spheres. In some high-vengeance situations I have found them useful for healing my offtank (I sometimes set spheres for my offtank after taunt swaps) or for setting a heal in advance for myself in a burst damage scenario (ex: I prepare Healing Spheres for Thok phase 1). The use is limited, but Healing Spheres scale extremely well with Vengeance and can save lives in the right scenarios. If you are looking to optimize, set three Spheres for yourself before pulling.
[table]Roll - Quickly travel a short distance. 20 second recharge, 2 charges. | Transcendence - Severs the Monk's Body and Spirit at current location. 45 second cooldown. | Transcendence: Transfer - Body and Spirit switch locations. 25 second cooldown. | Clash - The Monk and the target charge at each other, meeting halfway and stunning enemies within 6 yards for 4 seconds. 35 second cooldown. | Provoke - You mock the target, causing them to rush towards you with a 50% increased movement speed. 8 second cooldown.[/table]
Monks are absurdly mobile. Our mobility and Dizzying Haze (A spammable, ranged, AoE, high-threat, no-damage snare? Holy crap.) make us really, really strong kiters. The time has not arisen for us to test our mettle, but when it does, we are the frontrunner for kiting adds to the moon and back.
Roll moves roughly 10 yards in whatever direction you are currently moving (even backward, looks hilarious) and takes about a second. Roll is completely unaffected by movement slows. You have no control of your character while rolling (off-gcd abilities will not function, e.g., Provoke). Roll does not work like Blink, meaning that you can Roll off of ledges or over 1 centimeter-high bumps in the ground. Roll does work like jumping, meaning that if you Roll out of a mechanic at the last possible moment, your body is still at the location you began your roll until you have recovered your character at the end of the roll. This means that split-second Rolls out of mechanics like Devastating Combo will usually not work.
For the first cast, Transcendence works similarly to a Warlock's Demonic Circle, but because your spirit is not in a fixed location like the summoned Demonic Circle, it gets weird on subsequent Transfers. A really cool concept and I suspect (hope) we will see a Twin Emperors-style fight later in the expansion in which this ability will really shine, but for now, it only has minor applications in a few encounters (it helped in learning Elegon and in phase 2 of Blade Lord Tay'ak).
Clash functions like Death Grip, not Charge, so casting it on targets immune to Death Grip will have no effect other than putting the ability on cooldown. Clashing a target affected by a crowd control will result in you running halfway to it while it remains stationary.
The AoE stun is quite useful and can cut a great deal of incoming damage while AoE tanking. For best results when Clashing into a group of mobs, select the target furthest away and aim to finish the Clash in the middle of the group. If using as a CC while AoE tanking, target the mob furthest to one side, take two steps in the opposite diration and Clash to AoE stun the whole group.
Not too much to mention here. Our taunt is special because it causes the mob to gain 50% movement speed. This is obviously useful for moving mobs quickly and will also work on untauntable enemies. It can also be dangerous, be wise.
Our talent preferences shift based upon fights. I will do what I can to explain the situations in which each option excels.
Level 15 Talents - Mobility
I said that Monks are mobile.
[TABLE]Celerity Allows you to Roll and Chi Torpedo more often, increases their maximum number of charges by 1, and reduces their cooldown by 5 sec. Celerity is a great choice for lazy people. Best when you need a lot of short bursts of movement during a fight. If you choose Chi Torpedo for any reason, you want Celerity. |
Tiger's Lust Instantly clears the target of all immobilizing and movement impairing effects, and increases their movement speed by 70% for 6 sec. 1 Chi, 30 second cooldown. Tiger's Lust provides better movement in crunch time than Celerity or Momentum. Yes, using it requires more work than either of the passive roll improvements, but active improvements are more powerful than passive effects - this is no exception. You can also cast TL on other players in your raid to give them a boost. I have done this with my slow-motion Pally offtank on Sha of Pride. | Momentum Every time you Roll or Chi Torpedo, your movement speed is increased by 25% for 10 sec. Stacks up to 2 times. Momentum is better than Celerity when you need to move a large distance at once, but it is still inferior to Tiger's Lust. Momentum is by no means bad, but it's stacked up against two options that are more useful in the majority of circumstances. Celerity beats it for regular periods of short movement and Tiger's Lust beats it for periods of long movement.[/table]
Level 30 Talents - Healing
Once these talents became free, they all became pretty excellent self-healing options. Chi Wave is the most useful and powerful option under typical circumstances, but in heavy stack-up or AoE scenarios, Chi Burst can be worth considering. Overhealing Sphere is pretty bad for Brewmasters.
[table]Chi Wave You cause a wave of Chi energy to flow through friend and foe, dealing (493 + 45% of AP) Nature damage or (493 + 45% of AP) healing. Bounces up to 7 times to the nearest targets within 20 yards. When bouncing to allies, Chi Wave will prefer those injured over full health. 15 second cooldown. Chi Wave does a decent amount of healing in a short window, and since it is a smart heal, it is seldom wasted. Chi Wave hits 8 times in total and can jump directly between the Monk and the boss repeatedly. This is the go-to spell in this tier. It's the best option for self-healing in crunch time, typically providing a six-figure instant self-heal. Potent and free, it's a great talent. Use it on cooldown for max dps, save it for self-healing against hard-hitting bosses. | Zen Sphere Forms a Zen Sphere above the target, healing the target for (99 + 9% of AP) and dealing (99 + 9% of AP) Nature damage to the nearest enemy within 10 yards of the target every 2 sec for 16 sec. Two Zen Sphere can be summoned at any one time. If the target drops to or below 35% health or Zen Sphere is dispelled or expires, the Zen Sphere detonates, dealing (144 + 26.3% of AP) Nature damage and (128 + 23.4% of AP) healing to all targets within 10 yards. 10 second cooldown. Zen Sphere values were nerfed into oblivion during beta and will never recover. With being able to cast ZS on two targets, it is much more suited to MW Monks than Brewmasters. When we need to self-heal, we want burst healing, not a pitiful HoT. The explosion when we get low is a nice addition, but it is still inferior to Chi Wave. | Chi Burst You summon a torrent of Chi energy and hurl it forward, up to 40 yards, dealing (662 to 1982 + 121% of AP) Nature damage to all enemies and (549 to 1643 + 100% of AP) healing to all allies in its path. Chi Burst will always heal the Monk. While casting Chi Burst, you continue to dodge, parry, and auto-attack. 30 second cooldown. Chi Burst is potent, but its cooldown is long. The values on Chi Burst are such that it is great for burst healing if you have positioning that allows it. Chi Burst provides great, infrequent burst healing and is good for immobile stack and burn fights like Ultraxion so long as you are able to throw the Burst through the entire raid. It is also quite valuable for damage in massive AoE scenarios.[/table]
Level 45 Talents - Chi Generation
This conundrum is dependent upon fight length and haste values, but the vast majority of Monks utilize Ascension. Although it is not a Chi generation increase at typical Haste values, the talent is a healing increase and a substantial usability increase with the fifth Chi slot (which should be baseline, hope for it in 6.0).
[table]Power Strikes Every 20 sec, you gain Power Strikes, causing your next Jab, Spinning Crane Kick, Soothing Mist, or Crackling Jade Lightning to generate 1 additional Chi. If you are already at maximum Chi, a Chi Sphere will be summoned near you. Power Strikes is the best option for undergeared Monks. At present, if you Jab when at 3 Chi, you will not generate a Chi Sphere. This has been identified as a bug and is slated to be fixed (if it has not already). As for timing, it reappears 20 seconds after you last gained the buff, not after you last cast Jab, making Jab timing not critical. Power Strikes provides more Chi per encounter than Ascension for players under roughly 7000 Haste. It is worth slightly more dps than Ascension (generally under 1k in Heroic raiding) because of the ability to trade roughly 3 Jabs for Tiger Palms each minute. It is more valuable than Ascension in Challenge Modes due to gear downscaling. | Ascension Increases your maximum Chi by 1, your maximum mana by 15%, and your energy regen by 15%. Ascension will provide considerably more energy throughout the fight. This directly translates into more Jabs and more opportunities to use Expel Harm. Unlike the other talents in the tier, Ascension scales with gear and buffs, so Haste procs and Heroism greatly increase the value of Ascension. I recommend switching to Ascension if you have at least 7000 haste. Between 6-7k Haste, the decision between Power Strikes and Ascension is based upon personal preference and fight length. Many Monks run Ascension below 6k Haste, and while this is technically not optimal for Chi generation, it is more convenient and comfortable than PS. Ascension is also potentially worth more healing via increased number of Desperate Measures Expel Harms and Healing Spheres. | Chi Brew Instantly restores 2 Chi and generates 5 stacks of Elusive Brew. 2 charges, 45 second recharge. Chi Brew provides less Chi per fight than the alternatives over the course of time, but the ability to begin a pull with 4 Chi puts it ahead of the other two on short fights. Its design runs counter to the ideal playstyle of Brewmaster, which is to get Shuffle up, then reserve Chi and energy for emergencies, casting Jab and Blackout Kick to avoid capping. The change to a two-charge system makes using Chi Brew less clumsy, but I still find it inconsistent with the Monk playstyle.[/table]
Level 60 Talents - Crowd Control
Leg Sweep is a great choice most of the time. Ring of Peace and Charging Ox Wave also have real value.
[table]Ring of Peace The ability forms an 8-yard Sanctuary around a friendly target for 8 seconds, instantly disarming and silencing enemies within the area-of-effect for 4 seconds. Enemies that use abilities other than auto-attacks or cast spells on allies within the Ring of Peace will be disarmed and silenced for 3 seconds. 45 second cooldown. Ring of Peace is pvp-focused, but it has uses in pve, namely situations in which you can disarm a group of small adds. It is valuable on fights such as Nazgrim, encounters in which you want to cc a group of adds that are not in melee range. Charging Ox Wave can do this as well, but Ring of Peace has additional value due to not sharing a DR with stuns, and providing disarm/silence against npc's that are vulnerable to these effects. | Charging Ox Wave A mighty Ox effigy rushes forward 30 yards in front of you, stunning all enemies within its path for 3 sec. 30 second cooldown. Charging Ox Wave looks cool and is on a shorter cooldown with a shorter duration than Leg Sweep. The stun wave is somewhat thin, but it is 30 yards long. It is excellent for stunning a group of adds outside of melee range, such as oozes on Dark Shaman. | Leg Sweep You knock down all enemies within 5 yards, effectively stunning them for 5 sec. 45 second cooldown. Leg Sweep has a deceptively short range. Other than that, it is supremely valuable when you need AoE CC.[/table]
Level 75 Talents - Defensive Cooldowns
I recommend Dampen Harm over Diffuse Magic unless facing a magic-heavy boss.
[table]Healing Elixirs Every 18 sec, you gain Healing Elixirs, causing your next Brew or Tea to also heal you for 15% of your total health. Additionally, if you are brought below 35% health, Healing Elixirs will automatically proc. Healing Elixirs causes Purifying Brew, Elusive Brew, Fortifying Brew and Nimble Brew to occasionally give a 15% heal. It has value in situations that do not hit hard enough to proc Dampen Harm and do not merit Diffuse Magic. It is a good laziness pick, but if you're lazy and need advice: stop being lazy, fool. | Dampen Harm The next 3 attacks within 45 sec that deal damage equal to 20% or more of your total health are reduced in half. Can be cast while stunned. 90 second cooldown. Dampen Harm is the right choice 90% of the time and should be your primary cooldown for mitigating large hits of damage. The cooldown begins as soon as the spell is cast. Dampen Harm is off the GCD for Brewmasters. | Diffuse Magic Reduces all spell damage taken by 90% and clears all magical effects on you, reversing them back to their original caster if within 40 yards if possible. Lasts for 6 sec. 90 second cooldown. Diffuse Magic will utterly nullify huge sources of magic damage. It is mandatory on magic-heavy fights. As of 5.4, Diffuse Magic is no longer on the global cooldown. Rejoice![/table]
Level 90 Talents - Damage
I recommend Xuen, the White Tiger for single target or cleave fights and Rushing Jade Wind for heavy AoE.
[table]Rushing Jade Wind Rushing Jade Wind replaces Spinning Crane Kick. It has the same period, the same cost the same Chi generation and deals only 80% of the normal damage of Spinning Crane kick per tick, but now lasts for 6 seconds and does not have to be channeled. It also has a 6 second cooldown. Rushing Jade Wind deals a considerable amount of damage on heavy AoE fights and, more importantly, increases GotOx procrate without sacrificing control of your character or losing EB procs. The duration and cooldown are reduced by haste. | Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger Invokes the White Tiger Celestial, summoning an effigy at the command of the caster. The effigy will assist you, attacking your primary target and also inflicting tiger lightning every 1 sec to 3 nearby enemies within 10 yards dealing (1,605 + 50.5% of AP) damage over 5 sec. Lasts for 45 sec. 3 minute cooldown. Xuen, the White Tiger is a fantastic dps cooldown. He does bug at times, but now that his autocasts on Leap and Taunt are player-controllable, he is considerably less problematic than before. Valuable for offtanking non-boss adds and a huge dps cooldown when timed correctly. | Chi Torpedo Torpedo a distance in front of you, dealing (2077 + 55.7% of AP) Nature damage to all enemies and (8408 + 38.5% of AP) healing to all allies in your path. Chi Torpedo replaces Roll. Chi Torpedo has value in one scenario: healing heavy raid damage during boss downtime, such as Megaera Rampages. While niche, make no mistake, Chi Torpedo can be a massively valuable raid healing cooldown when used correctly. Use in conjunction with Chi Burst. If you take Chi Torpedo, use Celerity as well.[/table]
None of our glyphs are essential. I've tried to order them by importance, but this is not gospel.
Why Glyph of Guard is Not Good for Self-Healing
Glyph of Guard is definitely useful for encounters that feature a substantial amount of spell damage, such as Lei Shi or Megaera. Back in Beta, a fair number of Monks attempted to justify using Glyph of Guard for physical damage encounters, so that they could keep Guard up nearly 100% of the time and reap the benefits of a constant 30% healing increase. This is a significant mistake.
Let's first quickly consider the uses of Guard:
- Provides massive Effective Health to survive burst damage.
- Provides a cushion of health when we fail to avoid numerous autos in a row and are in danger of being struck down.
- Provides our only sub-60-second cooldown damage reduction against spells.
- Increases our self-healing.
Using Glyph of Guard completely negates its ability to protect us from autoattacks and physical burst damage.
Let's do math!
Since Guard is worth a 30% increase to healing, in order for the increased healing of Glyphed Guard to be worth the lost absorption value of unglyphed Guard, you need to heal 1/.3 = 333.33% more damage than Guard would have absorbed in order reach an even trade. This does not accommodate for damage you would have healed while an unglyphed Guard was still active.
Let's get practical!
With Power Guard, Guard is worth 226.7% of AP, and grants 30% increased self-healing.
During the 30 seconds of a Guard, you can heal yourself with 2 Expel Harms, 2 Chi Waves and ~6.3 GotOx.
Expel Harm is worth 63.6% of AP, Chi Wave is worth 45% of AP per bounce, and GotOx is worth 50.52% of AP per orb.
For now let's assume that Shield and Heals are equal (they aren't, shielding is much better) and compare the amount of damage reduction I receive with and without glyphing Guard. For the sake of argument, let's assume I use EH and CW on cooldown, three bounces of each Chi Wave hit me and I eat 80% of the GotOx. Let's also assume that I never use Guard to increase my self-healing when it is unglyphed, and always do when it is glyphed, even though this is idiotic.
Unglyphed self-healing per 30 seconds:
2.267 + 2 * .636 + 6 * .45 + .8 * 6.3 * .5052 = 878.52% of AP self-healing
Glyphed self-healing per 30 seconds:
1.3 * (2 * .636 + 6 * .45 +.8 * 6.3 * .5052) = 847.37% of AP self-healing
As I said before, assuming I never receive a self-healing increase from unglyphed Guard is idiotic. I frequently use a Guard -> EH and GotOx grab to get out of sticky situations.
Let's use some logs to take unglyphed Guard uptime into account when considering self-healing.
Details for Llarold - 28-05 19:11 - Royal Militia - World of Logs
Horridon - 10 Guard casts, 79 seconds uptime, Average duration: 7.9 seconds.
Council of Elders - 11 Guard casts, 93 seconds uptime, Average duration: 8.5 seconds.
Durumu - 10 Guard casts, 101 seconds uptime, Average duration: 10.1 seconds.
Primordius - 10 Guard casts, 61 seconds uptime, Average duration: 6.1 seconds.
My average Guard uptime for these four fights was 8.15 seconds. At 8.15 / 30 = 27.2% uptime, let's take that into consideration with my unglyphed self-healing. 27.2% of a 30% increase is an 8.16% increase.
Unglyphed self-healing per 30 seconds:
2.267 + 1.0816 * (2 * .636 + 6 * .45 + .8 * 6.3 * .5052) = 931.71% of AP self-healing
Compare that to the glyphed self-healing value, and it's not even close. Add in that shields are more useful than healing (you can't be healed if you're dead thanks to an unshielded boss skill or auto), and the case for using Glyph of Guard against fights that aren't heavy on magic damage is untenable. Now, for fights that will consistently consume the entire Guard with spell damage, it's a fine choice, but then it's only worth taking for the 10% increase to its value, not the thought that it will last as a self-healing increase for 30 seconds. Using Glyph of Guard to sacrifice the shield for a self-healing increase is always the wrong decision.
[table]Fortifying Brew Reduces the Last Stand value of the ability and increases the Shield Wall component. This is a fair trade. Our health values are low to begin with and we have a fantastic low-health toolkit via Expel Harm, Guard and GotOx. A stronger damage reduction cooldown does more for us than the health increase we sacrifice for it. | Enduring Healing Sphere GotOx orbs only last 20 seconds by default, but they scale with this glyph to last 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Useful for any situation in which you will coat the ground with GotOx and don't have an immediate use for them. This glyph is useful for movement-based encounters in which we may blanket an area in GotOx, leave for a while, then come back. | Guard This has obvious value on fights like Megaera that feature magic damage all fight long. It also will not save you from melee hits at low health. I recommend this glyph only for the most spell-heavy fights. Using this glyph for increased healing is foolishness, and I chastise those who argue otherwise! | Zen Meditation Makes ZM more useful in AoE damage situations, or when taking magic damage while not in melee range (Blade Lord Ta'yak phase 2). I like this glyph a lot. Like the SCK glyph, I wish it were baseline[/table]
[table]Spinning Crane Kick Great glyph when you want to briefly SCK, but can't justify taking RJW. Fights like these are few and far between, but Heroic Thok is a good example. | Breath of Fire Turns a niche AoE dps ability into a CC as well. Not bad in 5-man instances or in situations in which you are capable of crowd controlling a number of targets. Useful for controlling adds on a few fights, such as Dark Shaman. | Leer of the Ox It can be useful for juggling a target for a few seconds, but since it will get your statue killed easily, I don't recommend it. | Touch of Death Useful in fights in which you need to quickly kill an add every 3.5 minutes. Highly niche. | Transcendence 20 second cooldown Transcendence is nice, but more a pvp concern.[/table]
Black Ox Statue - Always have Black Ox Statue down. Always. Always. Always. Start with it down and recast if you have to move out of range.
How to spend your GCD's
- Keg Smash on cooldown - Letting Keg Smash sit on CD is the same as wasting Chi!
- Blackout Kick if Shuffle is not up/will fall off in less than 2 seconds.
- Chi Wave/Chi Burst
- Tiger Palm if Tiger Power/Power Guard buff are not active.
- Blackout Kick at full Chi.
- Jab at Energy > 70 to avoid capping.
- Blackout Kick at 3 Chi (4 with Ascendance), to avoid capping with Keg Smash.
- Tiger Palm to fill.
Thanks to Tiger Palm, you should have zero free gcd's during a fight. You should never, ever be unable to use Keg Smash because you got too greedy Jabbing. You are safe to use Jab if Current Energy - 40 + Remaining Keg Smash CD (sec) * Energy per Second > 40. Basically, do not Jab within three seconds of Keg Smash coming off cooldown unless you are going to energy cap.
Chi Wave and Chi Burst are highly effective damage and healing globals, and should be used on cooldown under normal circumstances. The only scenarios in which you should hold Chi Wave or Chi Burst are during healing-intensive progression or when you need burst damage (e.g., Siegecrafter Blackfuse). Chi Wave is the optimal choice for dps and hps, and the easiest choice for healing.
In AoE, you can replace Jab with SCK if Keg Smash is at least 3 seconds from coming off cooldown. SCK completely locks you out of all other abilities while it is active, so be careful when you use it. You are safe to replace Blackout Kick with Breath of Fire if you will not let Shuffle fall off (6+ seconds of Shuffle remaining). I highly recommend appending the following to at least one of your important skills (interrupt, Expel Harm, Purifying Brew):
/cancelaura Spinning Crane Kick
How to use Purifying Brew
Purifying Brew requires decisiveness. Your stagger loses 10% of its value every second, so in order to Purify the maximum possible damage, you must Purify before the first tick of a recalculated stagger occurs.
That said, overuse of Purifying Brew can result in considerably more damage taken than underuse due to loss of Shuffle. Consequently, I only cast Purifying Brew when I can reasonably expect that I will not lose Shuffle as a result (Shuffle > 2 sec, 2+ Chi).
Here is my priority:
- Purify Heavy Stagger - Urgent!
- Purify Stagger > 40% of my health (if Shuffle > 6 sec or Chi > 2)
- Purify Medium Stagger before a predictable burst of damage to ensure I am topped (if Shuffle > 6 sec and Chi > 2)
- Purify Medium Stagger if below 70% health (if Shuffle > 6 sec or Chi > 2)
I also make a point to have Chi prepared to PB as soon as a large, predictable strike of physical damage lands (Talon Rake on Ji-Kun, Triple Puncture on Horridon, etc.).
Parsing as a Tank
Since switching to Death Knight in Cataclysm, I have become overwhelmingly convinced of the value and even necessity of tank damage output (I had tanked as Warrior since Vanilla until then, so...). With the changes to Vengeance in 5.0, clever tanks have been capable of absolutely destroying damage meters on fights that allow exploitation of Vengeance.
Monks have an extremely powerful toolkit for exploiting Vengeance, courtesy of Dampen Harm and Stagger. The Brewmaster damage kit is designed to excel on cleave fights, but we are competitive in single target and AoE if played well.
The primary rule of exploiting Vengeance is simple (it's also the Tank equivalent of heresy): Take unnecessary damage.
There are two obvious qualifications to this rule: Do not get yourself killed (duh) and do not do this without letting your healers know first. This should go without saying, but this is not acceptable behavior for progression raiding. Do this to make re-clearing interesting.
There are many, many ways to take unnecessary damage, so be creative. The simplest way to accomplish this is to simply sit down and take a crit. While this should not affect Vengeance, currently it does appear to result in increased Vengeance gain. Another example from this tier would be to take decapitate on Lei Shen and continue to tank him with the 100% damage taken increase debuff, using EB to avoid autoattacks coming in during that time. You gain Vengeance from avoided autoattacks, so using EB is never a dps loss. Your cup shall overflow over with Vengeance by this point, and your group can then stack up with you and continue the fight as normal.
The Brewmaster DPS rotation has only a few differences from the proper tanking rotation. For starters, you should not spend Chi on any spells other than Blackout Kick or Breath of Fire (AoE only). I still Purify Heavy Stagger and use Guard in case of emergencies, but both are a dps loss. Using Guard to live through unnecessary damage that would otherwise kill you is a dps increase. Stagger ticks do not contribute to Vengeance. Vengeance is calculated based upon the pre-mitigation, pre-absorption attack.
Keep Shuffle up - Shuffle is a passive dps increase due to Swift Reflexes.
Replace Jab with Expel Harm on cooldown.
Use level 90 talents on cooldown.
Fill with Spinning Crane Kick as much as possible without delaying Keg Smash (AoE).
Keep Breath of Fire up as as much as possible without losing Shuffle uptime (AoE).
Stat values do not exist in a vacuum. Gaining more of one stat affects the values of others. Consequently, I cannot provide stat weights that are accurate at any gear level. What I can do is provide some useful numbers and expound upon general value and gearing decisions from there.
The following values are taken from Venyasure's excellent spreadsheet and assume a reasonable balance of Haste, Hit, Expertise, Agility, Crit and Mastery.
I checked them against Mr. Robot (eh) and they held up. I recalculated, setting Agi = 1.
[Table] Stat | Adjusted Tank Agility Value
Agility | 1
Hit | .595
Expertise | .586
Haste | .583
Crit | .579
Parry | .458
Armor | .423
Dodge | .417
Mastery | .285
Attack Power | .171[/table]
I highly recommend you use the Spreadsheet on your own for more accurate values, but I can still make some very obvious value judgments from the numbers above.
Agility is far and away our strongest damage reduction stat, point for point. However, since it is budgeted at only 50% of secondary stats for gemming, we can clearly see that Expertise and Hit are our primary gemming goals, followed hotly by Haste and Crit. Parry and Dodge have low value to Brewmasters, and Stamina has no value to us whatsoever as a damage reduction statistic. While it provides us with greater effective health, we already have a phenomenal toolkit for taking large hits and scale poorly with Stamina, with Dampen Harm's value being detrimentally affected in some situations by acquiring more.
We are a low-health, offensively-oriented tank that eschews the traditional tank stat priority in order to actively mitigate, avoid, and eliminate incoming damage.
Less important, but more fun, let's consider our damage stat priorities.
[Table] Stat | Adjusted DPS Agility Value
Hit | 1.27
Expertise | 1.23
Agility | 1
Crit | .640
Attack Power | .329
Haste | .223
Parry | .0776
Unsurprisingly, hit and expertise capping are tremendous dps increases, and should undoubtedly be our initial gemming and gearing priority.
Just for general use, here is a table of stat ratings (values are for 1%):
[table] Stat | Value
Agility (Crit) | 1259.5
Agility (Dodge) | 1394.3
Crit Rating | 600
Haste Rating | 425
Expertise Rating | 340
Hit Rating | 340
Dodge Rating | 900
Parry Rating | 900[/table]
For purposes of calculation, a naked, unbuffed Pandaren Monk has 7.57% Crit chance.
Expertise Hard-Capping and Hit Chance
Examining the values of Hit and Expertise as damage reduction and output stats, there is no question that we must reach the caps.
Many players still adhere to the old method of reaching the expertise soft cap and going no further. For tanks, the concept of an Expertise soft cap is a relic of a bygone era perpetuated by people who have not ascertained a full understanding of the new boss Parry paradigm.
Boss mobs now have a 7.5% chance to parry, dodge and be missed. This means tanks have a 22.5% chance for our attacks not to land upon a boss.
Expertise Rating does not affect chance to Parry until chance to Dodge has been entirely removed. You do not get double value out of â€œpre-soft capâ€ Expertise.
340 Hit Rating or Expertise grant 1% Hit or 1% Expertise.
The first 2550 Expertise Rating removes the 7.5% chance to Dodge, and reaching 5100 Expertise Rating removes the 7.5% chance to Parry. Acquiring 2550 Hit Rating removes 7.5% chance to miss. If you are a Draenei, you only need 2210 Hit Rating to reach the Hit cap. If you are an Orc, Human, etc., then you only need 4760 Expertise Rating to reach the Expertise cap if you are using the appropriate weapons.
What this means is that unlike in the past, Expertise does not perform at double efficacy prior to reaching the supposed soft-cap. Think of Expertise after the dodge cap as though it were another statistic: Tankspertise.
Monks should aim to cap their Tankspertise. It is a Chi generation increase, it is a GotOx procrate increase and a dps increase. It makes Chi generation more consistent, which is important while tanking. In fact, I contend that consistency is the most important gain from Expertise, because a good Monk should be thinking ahead in their rotation by several seconds, and consistency is more important to predicting the future and reacting accordingly than simply having more Chi over time.
600 Critical Strike Rating = 1% chance to Crit.
Crit is a powerful stat for Monks. After capping Expertise and Hit, I and the majority of Monks would agree that it is our most powerful defensive stat, and it is unequivocally our most powerful offensive stat. 1% chance to Crit is worth roughly 3 times as much EB generation as 1% Haste. It is also worth roughly 3 times as much damage as 1% Haste.
Critical Strike is our strongest damage reduction, damage output and self-healing stat, but it is also our most unreliable. Having more of it will reduce the unreliability somewhat, but while heavy Crit is definitely the strongest overall build, it comes with a tradeoff.
425 Haste Rating = 1% increase to Haste.
If specced into Ascension, Haste is the statistic that results in the highest Chi generation increase - without Ascension it is second to Expertise. The amount of Haste a Monk needs is largely personal preference, but 8k is pretty much the ceiling. Any Haste beyond 8k is largely unnecessary. The Chi generation values of Haste and Expertise are extremely close, shifting gearing priority from one to the other results in only a .6% change in Chi generation. While the Chi generation difference is nominal, the play style difference of stacking Haste instead of capping Expertise and vice-versa is significant, and I recommend the gearing strategy of capping Expertise. Haste stacking is mathematically comparable for Chi generation and excels in some areas where Expertise-capping is wasteful (e.g., tanking adds), but it results in a pretty large loss in damage and GotOx orbs, and I do not recommend it.
Since 5.2, the value of Chi and Haste has proven lower than it had prior, and many monks in 25-man raiding aim for 4k (or lower) Haste and acquire Mastery or Crit in its place. This is an issue of personal preference, however given the disparity in autoattack damage between 10 and 25-man raiding, I definitely see the logic behind prioritizing Mastery in 25-H progression tanking.
The problem with simply attempting to maximize Chi generation is that it really provides minimal benefit to the player now that none of our heals cost Chi. With zero Haste, we can maintain full uptime on Shuffle and decent use of Guard and PB, and the tier 15 4-piece reduces our need for Haste to PB even further. There are other things to consider, such as while critical strike increases our overall healing value more than Haste, point for point, Haste is the only stat that increases our quantity of heals. This can be just as important as healing values, and often times moreso, especially when using Healing Sphere during spiky progression fights (I used a lot on Megaera).
Haste is our middle-of-the-road stat. It increases our healing, damage and damage reduction, but not as effectively as Crit. It is more reliable, and if you are still learning the ropes, Haste is undeniably the "safety net" of stats, as no other stat will help you recover from your mistakes as effectively as Haste.
960 Mastery Rating = 1% increase to Stagger damage ratio
Monk Mastery is an odd stat. Because it operates on percentage values, it is decidedly more valuable in 25 man than in 10 man raiding. On its own, Mastery provides no actual damage reduction, only damage redistribution. Redistributing damage is a good thing, a really good thing. It evens out spikes, which makes you easier to heal. This allows healers to not use as many mana-inefficient heals and makes the roles of healing and tanking less stressful overall.
A greater discussion that has arisen of late has been the relative value of Mastery between 10 and 25 man raids. I assembled a table on page 17, post 253 of this thread detailing the disparity in autoattack and physical ability damage between 10 and 25 man heroic raiding. I am convinced that Mastery's value is substantially lower in 10 man than in 25 man. This does not mean it is not worth stacking in 10, but what I established in a post on page 18 is that I am consistently responsible for 35-40% of my healing during progression, and that I am invariably my #1 healer. This is consistent with my entire experience playing a Monk, and Haste and Crit improve self-healing whereas Mastery does not. In 25 mans, a Brewmaster is not remotely as responsible for their healing values as in 10 mans. When considered along with the disparity in damage values, Mastery is much more useful for a 25 man Brewmaster.
You can find a good discussion of the value of Mastery as a form of Effective Health on page 11 of this thread. In summary, Mastery improves effective health more than Stamina, point for point, is cheaper to itemize than Stamina and has increasing returns. This means that the more Mastery you have, the more valuable it is. The one drawback is that Mastery does absolutely nothing for spell damage, making it useless in heavy spell damage fights.
Mastery is the most reliable stat in our arsenal, and it is valuable for unavoidable physical burst damage (Madness of Deathwing Impale, for example). It does absolutely nothing for our healing or damage output, and only increases our damage reduction if we Purify correctly. It increases our health pool relative to boss damage, nothing more. It is incredibly valuable for a specific, but common, purpose.
Elixirs vs. Flasks
The value of Armor as a damage reduction statistic is roughly 40% as valuable as Agility.
Mantid Elixir provides 2250 Armor (2730 for Alchemists), and can be used with Elixir of Perfection/Weaponry/Rapids for 750 Hit/Expertise/Haste (990 as Alch).
Compare to 1000 Agility from Flask of Spring Blossoms (1320 as Alch).
Using numbers from above: At 1391 Adjusted Tanking Agility Points (1720.8 for Alch), Elixirs are clearly superior to Flasks for tanking.
Again, from above: Elixirs clock in at 952 Adjusted Damage Agility Points (1257 for Alch), Agility flasks are slightly ahead for dps.
Use a combo of Elixirs for progression and an Agi Flask for farming and parsing.
2h or Dual Wield?
Dual wielding will provide less Elusive Brew generation. If you are choosing between equal items, 2h is slightly tankier and d/w is worth slightly more damage. Always take the best weapon setup available, regardless of 1h/2h. Dual Wield is worth slightly more damage, because although Dual Wielding has lower base dps on the weapons once the offhand penalty is taken into account, attack power results in dual wield doing more autoattack damage than 2h over the course of a fight, and having Dancing Steel on a second weapon is a marked uptime increase.
The critical strike cap is an important element of the decision between 2h and dual wielding, and it results in dual wielding being significantly behind 2h in terms of damage reduction. It is a function of glancing blow chance (25% against bosses regardless of weapon type) and white miss chance (18% if special hit-capped as d/w, 0% if hit-capped as 2h).
The critical strike cap for dual wielding is 60% on character sheet (57% on boss).
The critical strike cap for 2h is 79% on character sheet (76% on boss).
While 57% seems significant, it easily attained and will considerably limit the Elusive Brew procrate for a decently-geared 5.4 Brewmaster. This is particularly true during trinket and enchant procs (increased Dancing Steel is one of the primary features of dual-wielding).
The 76% critical strike cap is considerably higher than the crit chance required to average 1 EB procs per second (dependent upon Haste, but roughly 68%), meaning that the soft crit cap for Brewmasters is lower than the hard cap for 2h and higher than the hard cap for dual wielding. As such, this means that 2h is the preferred option for maximum damage reduction using a crit build.
Our Tier 16 set is Armor of Seven Sacred Seals - Item Set - World of Warcraft.
[table]2-piece bonus | When your Black Ox statue Guards another player, you also get a Guard for 8% of that amount.
4-piece bonus | Purifying Brew also heals you for 15% of the amount of staggered damage cleared.[/table]
The stat bonuses on our Tier 15 are good, and the socket bonuses are Red and Yellow sockets for pure Agility. I highly recommend matching up this tier.
Our set bonuses are good. On its own and as self-healing, that isn't particularly impressive, but coming in lump sums as self-shielding and on tier that's itemized really rather well, it's not bad. The 4pc is slightly playstyle-altering. In particular, it will cause you to want to PB when you are not at full health. This is not typically an issue already, but there are instances (such as taking a huge Ji-Kun Talon Rake, for example) in which you will want to PB before a tick lands even the hit that made the huge PB didn't break through all your shields.
To break down the values of the 2pc, let's construct a hypothetical scenario in which I have a constant 200k AP. Every time I deal 1600% of my AP, I cast a Black Ox Statue Guard, which Guards for 226.7% of AP with Power Guard. 1600% of AP is 3.2M damage. When I guard a raid member for 226.7% of my AP, I receive a Guard for 8% of that value. 226.7% of my AP is 453k, and 8% of that is 36k. As such, for every 3.2M damage I deal, I shield for 36k health. This is worth about 1.1% of damage into shielding. On one of my final Dark Animus kills I did roughly 37k self-healing per second throughout the encounter. While my damage and healing output would be considerably lower now thanks to the Vengeance nerfs, on that particular pull I did 331k dps, which would have provided me with 331k * 1.1% = 3641 HPS. This seems like an insignificant amount on its own, but consider it against my self-healing for the encounter: 3641 / 36000 = 10.1% self-healing increase. Not shabby.
As with last tier, really good set bonuses.
[table]Alchemy | 240 Hit/Expertise/Haste/Crit/Mastery and 480 Armor or 320 Agility
Blacksmithing | 640 Hit/Expertise/Haste or 320 Agility
Enchanting | 320 Agility
Engineering | 1920 Agility (10 sec/60 sec cd) - Burst 320 Agi
Inscription | 320 Agility
Jewelcrafting | 320 Agility or 320 Haste/Expertise
Leatherworking | 320 Agility or 750 Stamina at loss of 180 Agility
Tailoring | 4000 AP proc for 15 sec[/table]
Let's start with the frontrunners:
Blacksmithing is the single best profession, hands-down. 320 Agility is worth less than 640 secondary stats for a Monk, and you can choose which stats you need. No question, the best. Be a Blacksmith.
Engineering is quite good. Despite being equivalent to +320 Agi over the course of a fight (which would make it even with other professions), the on-demand nature of the glove tinker allows for situational use, which means the value can rocket upward. I would much rather have 10 sec of 1920 Agi after a taunt switch or a Devastating Combo than 320 useless Agility the whole time I'm not being pummeled. Bonus points for Rocket Boosts. You also get a mediocre starting trinket, a cool starting/transmog helm, and you can use the Auction House in Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
Alchemy is slightly ahead of the rest of professions for damage reduction and is even for dps. The difference in the increased armor and Hit/Exp/Haste is slightly ahead of 320 Agility (about 345 Adjusted Tank Agi). You also get a mediocre starting trinket. You get an extra hour on Elixir duration. During progression, they will be cleared by wipes before they expire. An extra hour on flasks for re-clears is nice.
I do not recommend other professions for Monk, but here are a couple that deserve special mention for being overrated:
Leatherworking gives a Stamina to bracers option that is really attractive to other tank classes. We aren't DK's, so stick with offensive stats. While you are at it, go BS and Engy or Alch instead.
Jewelcrafting design in this expansion is truly confounding. They appear to have designed the Serpent's Eyes before making the decision to double the value of secondary stat gems, and somehow in the iterative design process never returned to the value of secondary stat Serpent's Eyes. I have no idea how this has continued to slip through the cracks for almost six months now. Disgraceful. As it is, you have to drop 320 secondary stat gems for 320 Agility gems. They are worth using if you are a JC, but you should not be one. Just bad.
There are two really great options for Monk race, Night Elves and Pandaren. Other than that, everything is pretty mediocre. Trolls are far and away the best damage race for beast bosses. For everything else, Horde should definitely play Pandaren. Alliance have a pretty close choice between Pandaren and Night Elves.
Pandaren - Best Damage Race overall, Best Horde Tank Race
Monks from both factions can be Pandaren. You gain double value from food buffs, and should eat 300 Agility food for progression without exception. 300 Agility is worth 600 secondary stat rating with regards to gems. The 1% Expertise or Hit provided by other races is only worth 340 rating. Clear-cut victor, even using +250 Agi food (please don't). Provides reduced fall damage and a 2 minute CD Gouge. Male Pandaren also look amazing. Don't argue with me, because you will be wrong. Fat Man Pandas unite!
Night Elf - Best Alliance Tank Race
2% dodge increase, worth 1770 dodge rating (738 adjusted tank agility). Mathematically the best tanking race, no question. Sorry. Here is what's worth noting, Dodge is only useful against autoattacks. In the current tier, every boss uses a variety of spells and abilities that cannot be dodged. As such, the value of Dodge is considerably less in practice than it is on paper. Even at half value, Night Elf is worth 369 adjusted tank agility. It's definitely competitive with Pandaren as far as tanking goes, but it can't compete on damage output. It's your choice, but I certainly won't be playing a Night Elf.
1% expertise if dual-wielding maces. Always use the best weapon you have available, but ideally you should be using a 2h staff or polearm as a Brewmaster, making this pretty useless. Stoneform is a small defensive cooldown. Not bad, though.
1% Hit is nice and always useful. Gift of the Naaru is pretty mediocre, but Monks can always make use of more self-healing. Every bit counts.
1% expertise if you are dual-wielding swords or maces. Again, not great unless playing in non-ideal conditions. Rep gain increase is awesome, but useless in combat, and Every Man for Himself is really good when it's not completely useless (very rare in pve).
1% expertise if dual-wielding swords. See above. We don't get hit with many snares in raids, and we have Tiger's Lust if we do. Escape Artist is marginally useful for a Brewmaster.
4514 AP for 15 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown, 1% expertise if dual-wielding axes and 15% stun duration reduction. Among the riffraff of Horde-only races, they are solid, an inconsistent and situational competitor to Pandaren.
Troll - Special Mention, Best Damage Race against Beasts
Provides 20% Haste for 10 seconds on a 3 minute cooldown, equaling a 1.1% increase to total haste (472 Haste Rating) if used on cooldown. Not bad, not great. If fighting a Beast boss, Troll gains a 5% damage increase, which is absolute insanity. Must-play race against Beast bosses, decent otherwise.
2 second silence and 1 Chi every 2 minutes - .33 Energy per second. Actually not a bad EpS gain, but it doesn't scale with Ascension or Sturdy Ox Stance, so not great. Probably wonderful for PvP, I wouldn't know.
20% chance on autoattacks and spell casts to deal 12654 to 14706 damage to the target and heal for 100% of damage done. Interesting idea, does not scale with gear at all and by personal testing has a 15 second ICD. If it procced as soon as it came off ICD, this would account for about 55k damage and healing every minute. Every bit counts, but this is not significant or controllable.
The 5% base increase (~7400 health) is not bad, but since we really don't value health, it's not great, either. War Stomp is a poor man's Leg Sweep that shares the same DR, so it's not great.
How to Read a Brewmaster Parse
So, this is a new section that will be getting updated and expanded over the course of time.
When reading a Brewmaster parse, there are a number of things to consider before thinking about abilities, so let's go over them.
Uptime is crucial to reading a parse. It completely affects how we understand the parse in its entirety.
There are several elements of uptime to consider:
- Time on target - This is important for evaluating our offensive ability usage, which in turn affects our defensive skill usage (via Chi generation).
- Boss time on you - This is important for determining the effectiveness of your defensive abilities, assessing your damage taken and examining healing taken (especially self-healing). This is a particularly complex concept to consider for fights with taunt swaps or adds.
- Movement - Movement is The Great Complicator. It affects your ability to self-heal via GotOx, it affects your healers' ability to function and it can have a large effect upon your time on target.
- Buff uptime - This is a factor of preceding elements, and pertains primarily to Shuffle and Elusive Brew (t15 2pc, also).
Avoidance needs to be considered with respect to the boss' uptime on you, Shuffle and Elusive Brew uptime and your base avoidance chance when fully buffed. Adds complicate this considerably. Using SCK precludes EB generation, but significantly increases GotOx creation. EB is also worth considerably more avoided attacks while tanking AoE. Note that I do not say it is worth "more," as avoiding three boss attacks may be worth more damage reduced than avoiding thirty add autos - it just depends upon the fight.
The keys to consider when comparing the disparity between potential and actual avoidance are the amount of wasted Elusive Brew procs, the amount of wasted Elusive Brew uptime and downtime on Shuffle. Ideally these should all be zero. They won't. Elusive Brew gets wasted a lot on two-tank, one-target encounters, and bosses that regularly stop to cast spells at the raid will waste EB uptime. Movement or substantial downtime fights can create small issues with Shuffle uptime, as well as more serious issues with EB uptime and procs being wasted.
Chi Wave, Expel Harm, GotOx and Guard are the primary heals to consider, although damage removed from the group via Avert Harm (found under damage taken by spell), Black Ox Statue Guards, Healing Spheres, and very rarely Chi Torpedo are worth examining as well. Black Ox Statue will generally be your biggest heal, and we have very little control over it. Its tendency to chain-gun shields into a single target has mostly been fixed.
Expel Harm is probably the most important heal to consider. While it has a 15 second cooldown and should not be used to overheal (since it won't do damage based on overhealing), it can potentially be used more than X (X = fight length in sec / 15 sec) times per encounter due to Desperate Measures.
For damage purposes, Chi Wave should ideally be used X times per encounter, although waiting to use it after it comes off of cooldown in order to use the first bounce as a self-heal is reasonable.
There are a few ways to use Guard. For encounters that feature a very consistent spike of damage, such as Ji-Kun's Talon Rakes or Durumu's Hard Stares, Guard is great to precast and cut that damage down, so that it either winds up all in the shield, or only cuts slightly into your health pool. For encounters that don't feature a regular spike like that, you have two ways to use Guard. You can try to max its usage, aiming for Y (Y = fight length in sec / 30 sec) uses per encounter, or you can use it upon being spiked. I find a mix of the two to be the best way to handle Guard. I don't like using it at full health, as it negates the impact of any HoTs or Beacon healing I receive until it has been entirely eaten away, but I also want to use Guard as much as possible during an encounter. Average Guard value is just as important to consider as the number of Guards used, as well.
GotOx usage is an highly effective measure of a Monk's skill and situational awareness. To copy the table from way up above, the proc chance for autoattacks with a given weapon type is as follows (specials have a 10% chance to proc GotOx regardless of weapon):
[table] Weapon Speed | GotOx proc chance
2.6 (1h) | 13.5%
3.3 (Staff) | 19.8%
3.6 (Polearm) | 21.6%[/table]
Using this table, the number of autoattacks and specials landed in the encounter, you should be able to reasonably estimate the number of GotOx generated during the fight, and you can then compare this with the amount of GotOx used. Overhealing is inevitable with GotOx, but important to consider. Movement and boss time on target are especially important when considering the effective use of GotOx. On some cursory personal research, I have found that around 65-70% of the potential GotOx procrate is probably the upper bound for realistic use in a stationary fight. For movement-based fights, this can take a steep dive.
Provides a Stagger tracking bar that shows the total value and percentage of health being staggered. Also tracks Power Strikes' internal cooldown, or at least tries. Truly an indispensable addon.
A revival of an excellent but dead energy bar addon. The old version does not work for Monks. I currently use a hand-modified version of the old one, but this appears to work identically.
I feel this addon is absolutely necessary for playing any class in this game at a high level, and Monk is no exception. Proper use of Weak Auras will elevate your game.
Brewmaster Auras - Trackers for Stagger, Keg Smash and Elusive Brew, and trackers for t15 2pc and 4pc.
General Monking Auras - Trackers for Tiger Palm, Level 30 talents, a Chi Bar and a color-coded Energy bar I disabled after finding a fix for Comergy
Vengeance tracker - A simple tracker that checks your current Vengeance value and animates if it exceeds 30% of your health.
Selfcast/mouseover Tiger's Lust:
#showtooltip /cast [@mouseover,help] Tiger's Lust; [@player] Tiger's Lust
Purifying Brew/Chi Wave - Unmodded for PB, alt-mod for self-healing
#showtooltip /cast [mod:alt,@mouseover,help,nodead] Chi Wave; [mod:alt,@player] Chi Wave; Purifying Brew
- Abundant thanks to Tyvi for setting the standard for tank threads and promoting good tank philosophy.
- Special thanks to my healers for putting up with my DPS-lust.
- All thanks to Blizzard for creating an excellent game and an excellent class.
5/4/2014: Fixed a small typo in the priority queue section and made another addition. Will Beta ever come?
3/17/2014: Updated the preamble and made a minor change to priority queue. My hatred of HTML continues.
2/22/2014: Fixed an error in the Crit Capping section.
2/9/2014: Fixed an error in the level 75 talents.
12/10/2013: Made a few small changes and removals. Updated the latest news section.
11/27/2013: Updated a small error. Will reformat eventually. Eventually.
11/13/2013: Yet again, time to bungle.
11/12/2013: Weakaura information updated.
11/3/2013: Avert Harm information altered.
10/21/2013: New forum software. Composed scathing preamble. Rewrote to be more political. Began revamp. Removed the Lengthy Treatise.
10/7/2013: Fixed an inaccuracy.
10/3/2013: Added hotfix nerf info.
9/25/2013: Fixed an inaccuracy.
9/22/2013: Updated Monk Weakauras.
9/21/2013: Wowpedia recently made a change that broke all ability icon links, requiring that I alter every single link in my entire post. I'm not pleased right now.
9/11/2013: September 11th memorial update. Updated for 5.4.
8/30/2013: Added a small RJW buff.
8/21/2013: Added comments on recent changes, legendary procrate buffs/nerfs.
8/9/2013: Added and commented on Vengeance and RJW changes.
8/1/2013: Fixed a broken link concerning Comergy, now linking to Comergy Redux.
7/26/2013: Added new change to Zen Sphere and brief commentary.
7/25/2013: Fixed a few small errors.
7/19/2013: Added comments on Chi Brew, RJW and Chi Burst PTR updates.
7/9/2013: Added comments on new PTR Xuen and Keg Smash changes.
7/1/2013: Added comments on new PTR Chi Brew rebalance. Updated talent breakdowns. Read through most of the piece and rewrote some bits. Got bored and started skimming.
6/20/2013: Added comments concerning newly datamined PTR information.
6/15/2013: Refined some of my stat discussion, added a segment on crit, added a few t16 set bonus preview comments.
5/31/2013: Added a section decrying using Glyph of Guard as a constant self-healing increase.
5/28/2013: A couple fixes, added avoidance spreadsheet and started a new section on reading parses.
5/21/2013: 5.3 patch added, small corrections made.
5/20/2013: Added a small stat rating table.
5/17/2013: Small error fix.
5/10/2013: Minor number addition to GotOx 2h v. D/W.
4/30/2013: Fixed a tiny oversight that has been in since the beginning.
4/26/2013: Inconsequential wording fix.
4/23/2013: Little updates hither and thither.
4/20/2013: 4/20 edition. Screw Hitler! Initial 5.2 crap removed, EH vs. DR section added. Added Healing Sphere section. Other tidbits altered.
4/2/2013: Updated the "How to Spend GCD's" section.
3/29/2013: Fixed a laziness typo, added some talent stuff.
3/8/2013: Fixed a transposition error in the Long-Winded Treatise and corrected a broken link.
3/6/2013: Killing 5.2 preview crap and adding a "What Changed?" section as well as updating the sexy, sexy body of the text with new information.
2/13/2013: Added an overview for upcoming patch 5.2. Two weeks.
1/26/2013: Added brief Haste/Expertise discussion overview.
1/17/2013: Added new stupid patch notes. Nerfs can suck it.
1/13/2013: Updated Troll racial information.
1/9/2013: Added new PTR information, Black Ox Statue error fixed and added Venyasure's simulator.
1/6/2013: Made several minor legibility tweaks.
1/4/2013: Added a link to Sunnier's Weak Aura page and added Enduring Healing Sphere to the list of situational useful glyphs.
1/2/2013: Added some SCK tidbits. Added section on Provoke (under Mobility for now).
12/23/2012: Oversight correction, wording alteration, fixed a formatting error.
Click here to view the guide