Improving Brewmaster DPS


The power of Blackout Combo

In 7.2.5, Blackout Combo is still by far the best lvl 100 talent for single target DPS, because of the massive increase in Tiger Palm damage by empowering it. The damage bonus from empowering Tiger Palms stack multiplicatively with the Face Palm artifact trait, meaning Tiger Palms on proc will do 9 times the base TP damage. This comes of at the cost of brew generation and BoF dot uptime, as you generally wont be aiming to empower BoF or KS when pushing for single target DPS.

The by far most important factor in your DPS is your rotation and ability usage. Having bis relics or trinkets, but shoddy/random ability usage will do less DPS compared a similarly ilvled, better played monk.
Brewmasters operate with a priority list of abilities based on their damage and rotational importance, but it can be treated as rotational cycles between each KS, with BoS, TP and BoF casts filling the globals between each KS. Our artifact ability, Explosive Keg, is our hardest hitting ability, but is on a fairly long cd, and wont be affecting your rotation much, generally used near cd as a filler.

 

The basics

Spec Blackout Combo, Rushing Jade Wind, Black Ox Brew, Eye of the Tiger.

Single target
Hit KS on cd. Hit BoS on cd. Hit TP after BoS when KS is on cd. Use BoF and RJW as fillers when BoS and KS are both on cooldown, and use them at the position in the cycle sequence each cycle; If RJW is your filler after the first bos+tp in your first cycle, it should be your filler after the first BoS+TP in the next cycle, too.. EK can be used in the same way, as close to on CD as possible, but preferrably when KS and BoS are both on cd. The long cd on EK means you can hold it quite a bit without risking losing a cast of it over the course of a regular bossfight. If you can use it with even one add up rather than just on single target, its worth delaying the cast a whole minute for it; its damage scales 100% per target.
Note: You want to empower every TP, casting unempowered Tiger Palms is a DPS loss.

 

Standard 7.2.5 DPS talents

 

“2TP” vs “3TP”
The standard rotation detailed above uses Two Tiger Palms between each Keg Smash. This is referred to as “2TP”.

 

Sample rotation:
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>
KS>BoS>TP>wait>BoS>TP>RJW>
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>
repeat

With legendary chest:
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>
repeat

 

The “3TP” rotation uses three Tiger Palms between each Keg Smash. If you have Face Palm relics in your weapon this will be higher average DPS than the 2TP rotation on single target. Yes, this means delaying Keg Smash every cycle. Since you delay Keg Smash anyway, you use less energy/second on average, which allows you to go even lower on Haste without ever getting starved on energy, gaining damage through raising your other secondaries. 3TP will be slightly worse brew generation than 2TP, and is a strictly single target rotation.

 

Sample rotation:
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>BoS>TP>
KS>BoS>TP>wait>BoS>TP>RJW>BoS>TP>
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>RJW>BoS>TP>
repeat

 

AoE
Hiting KS on cd, RJW moves to earlier in the cycle to make sure you get as much out of it as possible. Fill globals with your regular single target rotation between AoE abilities. Remember that Explosive Keg is your by far best burst damage in AoE, and should be saved if there is an add phase coming up within one minute.

 

Sample rotation:
KS>RJW>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>
KS>RJW>BoS>TP>wait>BoS>TP>
repeat

 

Priority during Bloodlust

With the 3 second BoS cooldown still being locked during Lust in 7.2.5, the rotation has changed a bit. Keep the dot from BoF up and use RJW as your general filler. You will notice BrM DPS being a bit lower during lust in 7.2.5. than it was in 7.2; this is due to less of your globals being used on empowered TIger Palms.

 

Sample rotation:
KS>BoS>TP>BoF>BoS>TP>
KS>BoS>TP>RJW>BoS>TP>
KS>BoS>TP>RJW>BoS>TP>
repeat

What changed in 7.2.5 for Brewmaster DPS?

Four main things:

  • Blackout Strike is now a locked 3 second cooldown, not scaling with haste. This leaves one free global in every Keg Smash cycle at 14.3% haste and below.
  • Special Delivery now procs on every brew, but does 30% of its former damage per brew. Total damage unchained.
  • Rushing Jade Wind now has a 50% longer duration than cooldown.
  • Invoke Niuzao damage upped by 50%.

The end result is that Rushing Jade Wind is the new standard DPS talent in the 90 row, for both single target and AoE, where Special Delivery used to be the standard option. Rushing Jade Wind fits perfectly in the free globals left in your rotation by the new Blackout Strike cooldown, removing the cost of opportunity of keeping 100% uptime on it.

At 14% haste and assuming 100% uptime on RJW, RJW does about ~70% more damage than Special Delivery. Do note that the 90 row will not make or break your dps; if you really hate keeping RJW up, spec SD. Difference in total dps will be ~4%.

Invoke Niuzao can be higher dps for short fights (~1 minute) and encounters with priority dps windows (Il’Gynoth).

 

Gearing for DPS

Agility is by far your best DPS stat, so for main pieces, item level will be your first priority.  If you are comparing similar ilvl pieces, try to keep your hard secondaries fairly balanced.
There is no “best” secondary, but there is one secondary that is always the worst, and thats haste. The three “hard” secondaries are scale off each other and affect each others efficiency; the more Crit you have, the more value you get out of Mastery, and vice versa. Whatever “hard” secondary (Crit, Vers and Mastery) is your lowest, will generally be slightly stronger than the other two on your next piece of gear.
14.3% haste is the cap for the “2tp” (two rounds of Tiger Palm per Keg Smash) rotation above, because this leaves Keg Smash with a 7 second rotation, and one free global for RJW between each Keg Smash. This does not mean 14.3% is a number you want to reach: It means haste is completely useless over this point. Its still bad under 14.3%

Relics and Crucible

The Face Palm trait is worth 100+ ilvls on the relic compared to any other main trait. That is not a typo. Over one hundred item levels. If you care about your DPS, do not put relics without this trait into your weapon. After ensuring that Face Palm is on the relic, the secondary Crucible trait is actually more valuable than the second main trait. As can be seen from this sim comparison.

Secondary trait DPS sims for single target

If in doubt about which relic to use or trait to pick: Sim yourself. (see below) Raidbots has an intuitive UI for simming your different relics against each other, and will be much more accurate than asking other players in the Discord to hand measure this for you.

Legendaries
Chest is still the best legendary for DPS, effectively doubling your BoF damage.
Between shoulders and trinkets on single target it comes down to what other items you are swapping out for the legendary; shoulders will be more valuable for cleave/aoe.

 

Trinkets
The general rule of Agi being by far your most important stat for DPS, goes for trinkets as well. With the exception of some outliers, the rule of thumb is that Agility>secondaries, and ~20 ilvls of agility on a trinket outweighs the stats on other agi trinkets, even when the higher ilvl trinket has a raid DPS trinket effect (which are nerfed by 50% for tank specs)
Overbudgeted secondaries are better than on-budget, so for single target Eye of Command is the strongest of the agi+secondary trinkets on equal item level.

If in doubt about which of your trinkets you should use: Sim yourself. (see below)

 

Note on Raid dropping DPS trinkets from Nighthold and later:
All DPS trinkets starting from Nighthold have their secondary effects reduced by 50% for tank specs. This is the case for Tomb of Sargeras and likely Antorus as well. This means your Entwined Elemental Foci will give you approximately half the secondary stats through a fight compared to if you were in WW spec, and your Engine of Eradication will proc half as often, and give half the amount of average Agility. Even so, as you read above, the high ilvl available in raids might make it better than your other trinkets, based on raw Agility.

 

Simming for DPS:
While simming tanks for survival is not recommended, simming BrM for DPS works fine. The standard simc APL has now been updated and works fine for BrM, but make sure you use the newest nightly build. How to SimCraft
Raidbots is an easy to use site that can simulate for you.
While no longer needed, this is a standard BrM DPS APL.

 

Consumables

Potions
For single target, using Old War over Prolonged is a 1% total DPS gain. For any situation with more than 1 target, use Prolonged Power.

Food
With the new buff to the feasts, they are the best food for everything, but you have to eat in WW spec to get the Agility. Remember to swap back before pulling!

For anything else: Fishbrul for ST, your best secondary for everything else.

Enchants and Gems

Use one agility and enchant agility where applicable, and your strongest secondary where agi isnt available (rings). You can use simc to find your strongest secondary for enchants, see above.

Neck enchants
All neck enchants got buffed in 7.1.5, Satyr is still the by far best ST enchant, and even performs well in AoE situations.