Regional Flag5.4.8 Brewmaster Tanking GuideSource
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#1 - 2014/05/27 04:36:00 PM
Table of Contents
1. Introduction

2. Stats
    2a. Hit + Exp > Crit > Haste (6-8k) > Mastery > Haste
    2b. Hit + Exp > Crit > Haste > Mastery
    2c. Hit + Exp > Mastery/Stam = Haste (4-5k) > Crit > Haste
    2d. Comparison of the above.

3. Gearing
    3a. Gems
    3b. Enchants
    3c. Tier 16 set bonuses
    3d. Trinkets
    3e. Special note on Legendary Cloaks
    3f. Item upgrading

4. Talents and Glyphs
    4a. Tier 1 talents
    4b. Tier 2 talents
    4c. Tier 3 talents
    4d. Tier 4 talents
    4e. Tier 5 talents
    4f. Tier 6 talents
    4g. General overall builds
    4h. Glyphs

5. Mechanics/Abilities
    5a. Vengeance
    5b. Stagger
    5c. Shuffle
    5d. Gift of the Ox
    5e. Black Ox Statue
    5f. Guard
    5g. Elusive Brew
    5h. Purifying Brew
    5i. Fortifying Brew
    5j. Zen Meditation
    5k. Avert Harm

6. Rotations
    6a. Single target tanking
    6b. AoE tanking
    6c. Special note on Breath of Fire

7. Closing statement

1. Introduction

Hello there! I'm Tamrah, and i've been playing WoW since all the way back in the beta test for classic. I haven't been raiding progression content actively since the start of Cataclysm, but I do still regularly run PuGs on flexible and normal difficulty for fun. The reason i'm making this guide is because I see a lot of Brewmasters making some very basic mistakes, and there are guides for both Windwalker (PvP) and Mistweaver (PvE) here on the EU forums - but no Brewmaster! So I figured i'd try fill in the gap as best as I can.

2. Stats

2a. 7.5% Hit + 15% Expertise > Crit > Haste to 6-8k > Mastery > Haste

This is the first of the used stat priorities, and i'd say it's also most widely accepted as the "best" one. But what does best mean? Well, i'd say it is best for all-round raiding, flex, 10man normal/heroic, perhaps even 25man normal if you're geared. But for hardcore 25man normal/heroics, i'd prioritise mastery/stamina a bit more.

So - how does this work?

It's a little complicated at first glance. The massive amount of crit you get (raidbuffed I sit at around 56% I believe) ensures that Elusive Brew is up almost 100% of the time, which is an important tanking tool, giving you a huge amount of avoidance. With my baseline 19.02% dodge and 8.02% parry, plus 20% parry from shuffle and 30% from elusive brew, that adds up to 77.04% avoidance - more or less permanently.

When you do get hit, you can heal yourself with Chi Wave / Expel Harm / Healing Spheres / Gift of the Ox - more on these later - which will crit more often since you have, well, a lot of crit.
Other than that, a bit of haste (6-9k based on gear and personal preference, with Ascension) is good to keep your 'rotation' feeling smooth. Any more than that and you could have too much Chi, while you don't use Purifying Brew often enough. Any less than that, and you might have too little Chi, so you can't use Purifying Brew as much as you'd like.

2b. 7.5% Hit + 15% Expertise > Crit > Haste > Mastery

This priority is pretty much the same as the one above - you just don't try avoid haste even when you have your comfortable amount. Not much I have to say here other than I think it's unnecessary, and I prefer the one above.

2c. 7.5% Hit + 15% Expertise > Mastery/Stamina = 4-5k Haste > Crit > Haste

This priority is mostly for people that aren't comfortable with Brewmasters. The problem with Mastery is that it's quite inefficient - 1% mastery takes a lot more rating (the number) than 1% crit or 1% haste. However, if you struggle with your rotation, mastery/stamina gives a buffer by 'passively' smoothing out the damage you take. Getting a bit of mastery/stamina on your gear should help surviving 25-man bosses, too, but this build is generally considered inferior for top-level playing compared to the first one.

All I can say is that do not be embarrassed to use mastery/stamina if you struggle with surviving - they are fine stats that work on their own to help you out, despite not actually 'reducing' damage, while crit relies on the player. It's a nice way for you to get more comfortable with tanking before you go all-out crit. One final note - mastery gets better and better the more you get, so if you go for mastery, try go all-out with it (and try keep at least 4-5k haste as a general rule of thumb).

2d. Comparison
I think the first one - Hit + Expertise > Crit > Haste to 6-8k > Mastery - is the best right now. Crit is very powerful due to the ridiculous amount of avoidance you get, and then the bit of haste helps you out with extra energy for purifying brew / guard, and healing yourself if you need to. Finally, a bit of extra Mastery will help you out when those physical attacks -do- land.

This build should also work fairly well in 25-man normal/heroic content, but if you find yourself there and are struggling, you could swap a few enchants / gems around to get a bit more stamina and mastery from your gear.

Next up, gearing!

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#16 - 2014/05/28 09:40:00 AM
Nice work Tamrah!