Brewmasters in Antorus, the Burning Throne

by | Dec 9, 2017

So in contrast to the worries going in, Antorus is a raid that suits BrM very well. Big physical hits, and relevant white swing damage, as well as mobility and CC being valuable. The raid even drops actual tank trinkets this time around, which is nice, considering T21 is a bit of a letdown for BrM.

Not much has changed for Brewmasters. But Antorus brings around some new gearing possibilities. I will also try to give a quick recap for returning players and newcomers to the spec.


Tier set


Brewmaster T21 2P bonus – Breath of Fire has a 100% chance to generate an additional stack of Elusive Brawler for each target hit.
Brewmaster T20 4P Bonus – Every time you dodge an attack, the remaining cooldown of Breath of Fire is reduced by 1.0 sec.



This set is quite poor. Especially the 4P bonus is nearly completely useless for raiding. The 2P isnt quite as bad, it is a slight effective damage reduction against white swings. but at decent levels of Mastery, it will be overcapping you on Elusive Brawler stacks pretty quickly. Keep in mind that once you dodge an attack, all stacks of Elusive Brawler are consumed. This means that the defensive value of this set when tanking more than 1 target is nearly non-existant.
You should not take tier over any other raid member that actually wants set bonuses. Defensively 4P T20 is _much_ stronger than T21, even at a moderate to big ilvl loss. The harder you get hit, the better T20 is. Even better when combined with 2P T19 – T19 gives a big boost in EHP, especially vs physical attacks, and more damage into stagger to be purified means less damage taken overall.

If you dont have access to T20 or dont feel the need for it, just equip the highest ilvl offset pieces from Antorus you get your hands on (preferrably the ones without haste)



Stat Priority in 7.3/Antorus

Not much has changed here. Antorus is not as magic heavy as was feared, but BrM deals so well with auto attacks and physical mechanics that you might as well consider gearing for the stats that help you stay up against the magic mechanics like dog breaths and shadowy strikes from traitorous Dreadlords: vers and crit. But overall, gear for item level without going overboard on haste, and you should be good.



Note on Haste: You will generally get enough haste for your rotation and AM naturally through Fu’Zan, T20 and legendaries. If you feel really starved on brew, you can up your haste, but outside burst control its defensive value is still lower than the other secondaries in 7.3, especially when wearing T20.

Note on Avoidance: A lot of the tank mechanics in Antorus, like Shadow Strike, Foe Breaker, and Sweeping Scythe, are cone abilities and affected by Avoidance. Avoidance is very cheap and very effective, even after its scaling got nerfed in last patch. So keep some Avoidance pieces in your bags, even at a moderate item level loss they will be a defensive upgrade for the bosses where it is relevant.





Aggramar’s Conviction is the tanking Pantheon trinket. Huge Agility pool and a big Vers proc makes this a good trinket for DPS. Ironically it is not very good defensively. EHP tied to a random proc is seldom useful. Note that the Empowered effects only work in the Burning Throne, they wont work in your daily Mythic Plus runs.


Aman’Thuls Vision will do much better defensively than Aggramar’s, and proc your raids empowered Pantheon effects as often or slightly more often. Its DPS contribution will vary depending on the number of Empowered procs your raid can achieve.

Eye of F’harg/Eye of Shatug more Agility than a 900 Darkmoon Deck:Immortality, but less Armor, even from a Mythic version Eye. The option of switching to EHP on the fly in the form of Stamina and Versatility is nice, though.

Diimas Glacial Aegis big Armor on a short 1 min cooldown, that also slows enemies by 70% for 12 seconds. Especially good for M+ where it can help either kiting big packs, or facetanking big pulls with the armor boost. I will be coining Coven for this.

Riftworld Codex RNG type of proc, on an RNG proc timing. This is not a reliable trinket for progress raiding to say the least. It might be fun to use in 5mans, especially healerless runs. Seems to proc a lot less for BrM than for other tanks, probably because of high dodge rate.

Apocalypse Drive is just a horrible trinket for Brewmasters. Absorbs apply after stagger, and it punishes dodging by not getting its cooldown reduction effect if you dodge. Good for tanks that like haste, and getting hit. We are neither. Stay away.

Smoldering Titanguard gives a uniquely huge shield on a 2 min cd. Because of how absorbs interact with stagger (stagger has priority before other absorbs) you will end up with an enormous amount of stagger before this trinkets absorb is used fully. So it is a bit wonky to use as BrM. This isnt a trinket you would equip for general use, but rather to fulfill a very specific purpose. One use could be to save you from stagger+dot ticks waiting for healers after doing Imonar red bridge run.


“Best” legendaries in 7.2.5

As a tank spec there is no “bis” legendary that will be best for every situation like there is for certain other specs. Part of the Legion tank experience is knowing when to gear more defensively and when to go for pushing more damage, through both talents and gearing. This includes legendaries –

Jewel of the Lost Abbey will be our best general purpose defensive legendary. Already a very good defensive legendary, it has nice synergy with t20, allowing the set to purify more stagger by keeping stagger in the pool longer.

Soul of the Grandmaster: Allowing you to take Mystic Vitality and Dampen Harm at the same time can be good for bosses that involve relevant magic damage as well as periods or mechanics with heavy damage, but you probably wont be wearing this as your default defensive legendary in Argus

Other defensive legendaries are all situationally good, except boots, which are the weakest in the pack by far.

Stormstouts Last Gasp and Sal’Salabims Lost Tunic will still be the default DPS legendaries. Insignia of the Grand Army has no Agility, and 2nd tier Crucible traits are not impactful enough for it to be a valuable DPS legendary, even with three good T2 traits. Archimondes Hatred Reborn can also be competitive on single target. When in doubt – sim yourself. is very easy to use, so there is no excuse.


In the lvl 15 row, Eye of the Tiger is the default, as it is the best single target dps talent in the row.  Chi Burst can be swapped in for add fights like Eonar.

The only lvl 30 talent that has a specific purpose in Antorus is Tiger’s Lust, which can clear the frost debuff stacks on Coven. Otherwise its down to personal preference which is Chi Torpedo for most monks.

Blackout Combo remains the default lvl 100 talent for DPS. If you are using the regular 2 TP rotation, at 14% haste you will be working with a ~10 Energy deficit per cycle. This means you will run out of energy for KS after about 7 cycles, which is one of the reason BoB will remain the default for BoC. It is also by far the best brew gen talent in the row in any realistic scenario. Playing Brewmaster in Legion simply involves getting used to using Black Ox Brew. It is the default for good reasons.

Mystic Vitality isnt relevant for every boss, but needed for some, for example Fel Hounds and Varimathras. There are few encounters with  mechanics that require Dampen Harm in Normal and Heroic in the same way MV is compulsory, so MV will serve well as the lazy mans default. Else swap per encounter needs.

Ring of Peace, Black Ox Statue and Leg Sweep all have uses in Antorus. Ring of Peace on Coven especially, Leg Sweep on Portal Keeper and Aggramar. Statue can be used on Argus P3 to give tanks a second to pick up adds before they eat a healer.

Blackout Combo is the default spec, mainly for its superior single target DPS. More about DPS and how to use Blackout Combo on our page about Improving Brewmaster DPS.
Blackout Combos main defensive use, Stagger pausing by comboing with Ironskin Brew, is very helpful on Varimathras with the Misery debuff, especially on progression before you are overgeared.

High Tolerance will still be picked where you feel the need for extra tankiness, especially powerful in combination with T20 4P and/or the legendary ring. Most encounters in Antorus can be dealt with fine as BoC until moving into Mythic, but there is no shame in being safe.


Main T1/T3 traits:

Face Palm for DPS, ignore ilvl
Potent Kick for more brews and slightly longer ISB duration cap – ignore ilvl.
Hot Blooded for general DR% – ignore ilvl.

General recommendation would be to not equip relics that do not have Face Palm, either as a 1st or 3rd tier trait. Relics are static and a fairly long term investment, and with the offensive impact Face Palm brings, at little cost. You can always gear/spec more defensively where needed, but relics you are stuck with for a while. Doing damage is a part of contributing as a tank in Legion, and you want to have this option.

The best 2nd tier traits offensively are Torment the Weak, Shadowbind, Infusion of Light, Chaotic Darkness and Secure in the Light.

When it comes to choosing relics for DPS, Raidbots has a Relic Comparison Simming Tool that is easy to use and works well. Simming your choices will always be more accurate than reading off a list – your character isnt the list template.

The best 2nd tier trait defensively is in most cases Master of Shadows, Avoidance is very good.

What has changed?


The most important changes to BoC rotation is that Blackout Strike now is on a 3 second cooldown not scaling with haste, and Rushing Jade Wind being the new default DPS talent in the lvl 90 row. Luckily these two changes fit together nicely: BoS having 3 second cooldown leaves an open global in each Keg Smash cycle at <14.3% haste, and RJW needs one free global each cycle to reach 100% uptime.

Note that you ideally are gcd locked at this point, and any haste over 14.3% is completely wasted from a DPS perspective. The reason for this haste cap is that Keg Smash has a 7 second cooldown at 14.3% haste. You want at least 10% haste to not energy starve.


Standard 2TP RJW rotation:


“2TP” being 2x Tiger Palm combos between each Keg Smash.


Lust Rotation:


Lust rotation is a bit awkward at start with the new non-scaling BoS cooldown, and we lost a bit of dps during lust here, being unable to just alternate bos+TP and KS. We now use BoF every 3rd cycle to keep the DoT up, and RJW as filler in the other cycles. Positive is that you will have Hot Blooded DR up during Lust without it being a DPS loss.


3TP FP low haste rotation:


You need at least 1 FP relic for this to be a DPS gain over the standard 2TP. This rotation can work at as little as 8% haste. Any haste over this isnt necessarily wasted; depending on Stave off RNG for BoB cooldown energy can be tight. Haste quickly loses value beyond 8% and reaches minimum value at 11%.


Rotation without BoC:

Without BoC we strictly go back to a priority system, but you can do the BoC 2TP rotation with HT and it will perform well.

Priority will be KS>BoS>BoF>TP. Mostly make sure to hit Keg Smash and BoS as near as on cooldown as possible, and use BoF and TP as fillers as energy allows.