Jason is a Brewmaster player that currently has the highest completed M+ in 7.3 on Raider.io, with a +23 Black Rook Hold. He participated in the Mythic Plus Invitational on his Monk Zqs, reaching the Global Quarter Finals with his team Friends with Affixes. He also streams Brewmaster M+ regularly on his Twitch channel.
Brewmaster wasnt the only spec you brought for the tournament. Which tanks do you keep updated on the live servers?
J: As of now I only have a brewmaster and guardian up to date. I’ve dabbled in other things but never for long, and don’t have relevant experience with other tanks.
Brewmaster has definitely been my main and served me well since I picked it up mid-Nighthold. We had such high tank turnover that I felt compelled to switch from my Mage to a tank role.
I picked up the Brewmaster in particular because I remember the playstyle being something I enjoyed from back in MoP and they were considered quite good at the time.
I had mained mage since mid BRF during WoD so switching to tank was quite new. The last time I had tanked seriously was during vanilla and BC where I mained a prot warrior but hadn’t touched tanking in quite some time so almost everything had changed.
Spec viability: BrM+Holy pala
What do you think Brewmaster brings for high keys, and m+ in general? Especially compared to the more “meta” m+ tanks like blood dk or guardian druid.
J: Brewmaster doesn’t bring a lot of utility to M+ in the way most people think of it. They have a 5 second stun or Ring of Peace, both of which can be highly valuable in high keys but only RoP is something totally unique to monk.
What a monk can bring is a singular ability to pull insane amounts of mobs or very dangerous mobs and come out the other side without putting the rest of the group in danger of loose mobs, or flopping.
Our other form of “utility” is to switch between very high damage and very heavy tankiness with our legendary choices. All tanks can obviously switch between trinkets to gain an edge offensively or defensively but few have options as powerful as Keg Smash Shoulders for offense or Soul Ring/Zen Med helm for defense. If for instance a Guardian druid were to try and imitate our defensive ability by switching to (for example) AHR and Survival Instincts ring, their damage gets cut to shreds. Our damage does not fall off as hard when going on defense and our offensive potential is arguably the strongest in all of M+.
You ran your highest m+ runs this season with a holy pala. When pugging, most Brewmaster players will prefer resto druids because of the synergy between hots and stagger, while holy paladins are often overlooked. Does your best healer player happen to play paladin, or are there other considerations behind this?
J: I have been running with Zach (Maset), the holy paladin, for a number of reasons. The 1st is that I had trouble finding a healer that would run with me consistently until Zach starting running with us. Brewmaster was still seen as a bit of a meme that required constant healing and didn’t provide utility. However when he started running with us I found myself feeling very good about running with a Holy Paladin compared to other healers even. The biggest reason is on very high keys where you still need to pull huge to make the timer and everything hurts, you want a healer that can just lay into you when you need constant heals. A Holy Pally is perfect for that role since that is 100% their forte. Resto druid is ideal when you’re taking light to moderate damage like on most boss fights or smaller packs since their hots will keep you afloat and often refresh on their own due to how often a brewmaster hangs out around 30-60%.
The Black Rook Hold +23
As a tank, what is the most challenging part of a +23 BRH? And did you take every charge from Smashspite yourself?
J: My biggest challenge in the Teeming/Quaking/Fortified 23 BRH had to be the hallway before the 2nd boss. In particular there is 1 pull that had 2 champions and because of that fact lasted quite a long time due to the health buff they give the group. We saved our 1st lust for that pull. However the pull following that one is the most dangerous in the entire instance.
Because of that, I am forced to save my defensive CDs through this 2 champion pull which could be quite a struggle, especially if the Arcanist in the pack was able to get any casts off. Once that pack is out of the way, I Paralyze the champion in the following group and then pull the entire rest of the hallway which is 1 Arcanist, 1 Cat, 1 Arcane Minion, 4 scouts, and 4 archers. The amount of incoming damage is insane and it is constant, especially during Knife Dance by the scouts. The next pull is no joke either considering I have no defensive CDs left and the healer won’t get a chance to drink. It consists of the Champion miniboss, the Champion I paralyzed the pack before, 2 scouts and 2 archers. In order to make this palatable I paralyze the Champion Miniboss when he gets to about even with the 1st CC’d Champion. The leftover Champion will do his bonebreaking strike and health buff as soon as he’s out and the other mobs will be too far to receive his health buff so they die much faster. I break out the miniboss about 10 seconds later so that he does the same, and we kill the 4 dangerous mobs before they ever get a health buff.
I did take every charge from Smashspite since we are capable of forcing a dodge every time he charges by using BoS and BoF to get stacks. Recently I have found that you can actually wear defensive legendaries and still force the dodge by turning your back to his melees a few seconds before the charge goes out so that you never dodge an attack and your stacks don’t reset just before the critical moment.
You do a lot of unusual trash pulls. Do you get these from your own experimentation or do you watch a lot of other m+ streamers for ideas?
J: Most of our “outside the box” pulls are homegrown ideas that I come up with. The group I run with will come up with ideas as well but as the tank you sort of dictate what you can and can’t do when it comes to large pulls. I try to push the limits whever I can, and through experimentations often come to a pull that is incredibly doable and saves a lot of time. A good example of this is in the hallway after the 2nd boss in BRH.
The pull started out as just the idea “I want to pull everything” and the logistics of it came later. The way I thought of this 1st strategy was I literally just asked “do you have BoP”. He did so this is what I came up with. Twitch clip of the pull
Obviously the pull wasn’t perfect but it had potential. However during our +22 just before our attempt on the +23, Zach used BoP during the 2nd boss fight to remove a glaive. Of course this made sense to me, the 2nd boss is an incredibly dangerous one and BoP removed multiple sources of danger as it also prevents that target from being charged while it’s on them. So instead of giving up on the pull, I decided to more methodically pull mobs and hit them with something to get initial threat and just move through the hallway as quickly as I could while doing so. We found that we didn’t need to go into the side room while doing this either and in fact it was much better when we didn’t. The result was this. This was more the result we were looking for. All we had to do was clean it up a little bit and it ended up being a core reason we were able to time multiple +23 BRHs.
What is your standard talent build, and how much do you tweak talents+gear between the different dungeons?
J: My talent choices are mostly the same for each dungeon.
Chi Torpedo has been my staple though I may experiment with Tiger’s Lust at some point. The mobility it provides is basically unmatched by any tank.
Chi Burst for long range add pickup (both healing threat and damage) as well as stronger damage in most packs than Eye of the Tiger.
Black Ox Brew is my standard for its offensive energy regen and defensive benefits.
Leg Sweep is the default though there are more than a handful of situations where Ring of Peace is not only useful but truly unmatched in what it does for you.
I choose Dampen Harm for every dungeon since BrM CDs are severely lacking. It helps bridge the gap between short CD trinket defensives and our big long Fort Brew CD. Mystic Vitality is an important talent though and required for a lot of packs and bosses throughout M+. This is where Soul of the Grandmaster comes into play. Using the talent ring to provide a steady reduction in Magic Damage lets you forego the talent when it’s not necessary but allows the option to take it for only some packs. Dampen Harm is ALWAYS useful since at that high M+ having a CD for a large pack is basically a necessity. Dampen Harm is a very large CD and it allows you to be far more aggressive in your pulls than you could be without since it essentially doubles our pool of CDs.
Rushing Jade Wind is default though I suspect this will change in the future with T21. Special Delivery is something I used in the MDI because of our access to full T19 but in the current tier it’s not as strong.