Patch 9.2 is upon us, and that means it is time for a round-up of all the changes to the spec that you need to be aware of going into the new raid tier and Mythic+ season. This is a tl;dr—we’re only going to give the highlights and answer common questions. We have detailed guides about the covenants, legendaries, talents, and rotation here on Peak if you are new to the spec or are catching up after a break.
Tier Set: Garb of the Grand Upwelling
Patch 9.2 marks the return of tier sets. This time they can be acquired from Mythic+ and PvP as well as raid via the Great Vault, and eventually from the new zone (Zereth Mortis).
- 2-piece Bonus (Breath of the Cosmos): You take 4% less damage from targets affected by Breath of Fire
- 4-piece Bonus (Keg of the Heavens): Keg Smash deals 50% increased damage, heals you for 66% of damage dealt, and grants 66% of damage dealt as maximum health for 10 seconds.
This set bonus is very good—especially in Mythic+, where the Keg Smash bonus scales up in AoE—but has no rotational changes for maximizing damage. You may occasionally find yourself holding Keg Smash for a second in order to use it as a budget Death Strike, but due to the low cooldown it is never worth holding it very long.
This bonus synergizes well with the Kyrian covenant and the Stormstout’s Last Keg legendary, both of which are currently among our best options. The interaction with SSLK is noticeable because it allows you to hold onto Keg Smash to use it as a heal without losing any casts of the spell overall.
Three key things have happened to shift covenant balance in 9.2:
- Addition of the Tier Set
- Gaining the Covenant Legendary as a 2nd equipped legendary via Unity
- The nerf to Bonedust Brew (it can no longer critically strike)
As a result, we now recommend Kyrian in all situations. It gains the most from the set bonus, has the potential for large gains due to the Call to Arms covenant legendary, and was already one of our best options prior to either of these gains.
Necrolord is a reasonable option, and may see use in high keys due to increased defensive power. However, with the Call to Arms legendary adding Invoke Niuzao to Weapons of Order, Kyrian may take over that space as well.
Venthyr has gained significant ground, largely due to getting the effect of Sinister Teachings “for free”, where previously you had to give up a valuable legendary to gain that effect. It is now stronger than Night Fae in single target and low target count situations.
Night Fae has gained the least, with Faeline Stomp continuing to underwhelm despite the covenant legendary. The covenant as a whole is carried by the incredible power of the soulbinds, which gain nothing in patch 9.2. As a result, it has fallen behind. However, it remains very good in AoE situations if you can stand in your Faeline—which effectively means low-to-medium keys and possibly certain AoE-centric raid bosses.
Legendary Selection & Crafting
With the Memory of Unity legendary unlocking on Week 5 of Patch 9.2, you will be wearing a covenant legendary and a non-covenant legendary very soon. The story quests in 9.2 give this on the Belt slot for free, but it can be crafted on other slots at Revered with The Enlightened. Our recommendations for the non-covenant legendary to use are as follows:
- Kyrian: Stormstout’s Last Keg (SSLK) in all situations.
- Necrolord, Venthyr, Night Fae: Stormstout’s Last Keg in Mythic+ and as a good default for raid. Charred Passions for maximizing DPS at a small defensive cost.
SSLK unfortunately conflicts with both the tier set and the default location of Unity. The optimal late-tier locations for these items has yet to be determined due to recent changes to raid itemization. Our recommendation for the start of the patch is:
- Stormstout’s Last Keg: Craft on Belt
- Unity: Recraft on a non-tier, non-Belt, non-Feet slot (requires Revered with The Enlightened). Ring is a solid choice due to the power of choosing optimal secondaries on a high-budget slot, with the downside of not getting a large chunk of Agility.
- Charred Passions: Craft on Feet
Most players won’t need to craft Charred Passions at all, as SSLK is better for damage when playing Kyrian and is better defensively and at least close in damage on every covenant.
This crafting setup avoids needing to craft SSLK multiple times depending on what order you acquire tier pieces in. Getting double legendaries AND 4pc tier bonus as early as possible is far more important than micro-optimizing the stat budget of your legendaries. Later in the patch, it will likely be ideal to recraft both on different slots once you’ve acquired all 5 tier items (wearing 4 tier items, SSLK on Shoulders or Gloves, and Unity on another high-budget slot).
Conduits & Soulbinds
There are no changes to Brewmaster Conduits or Soulbinds coming in Patch 9.2. Mikanikos remains the premier soulbind for Brewmaster, especially when you can reduce the cooldown of Weapons of Order to get additional value from both the cooldown itself and the covenant legendary.
However, Scalding Brew gains a decent bump in power with the 4-piece tier set bonus and becomes our 2nd-best potency conduit in most situations, replacing the Covenant potency conduit when you’re only using 2 potency conduits (such as Mikanikos).