Welcome to PeakofSerenity’s Brewmaster Monk Talents Guide. This guide is designed to be a more in-depth look at the talent recommendations from the main PvE guide. Navigate quickly to the section you need using the sidebar on the right.
This guide has been updated for Patch 9.1 and is regularly updated when discussion, theorycrafting, or testing yields new information.
Tier 1-Level 15
- Eye of the Tiger (Passive) – Your Tiger Palm leaves a damage over time effect on the target for 8 seconds. You will be healed for damage dealt by this DoT, and it is limited to 1 target.
- Chi Wave – An instant cast spell that alternates between healing an ally and damaging an enemy in range, up to 8 times total. 15-second cooldown.
- Chi Burst – A spell that sends a projectile 40 yards in front of you after a short cast, healing any ally and damaging any enemy in its area. It has no target cap and a 30-second cooldown. You can also dodge while casting this ability.
Recommendation: In general, your choice within this row is simple: Eye of the Tiger will be the more ideal option for single-target fighting like raids and Chi Burst against multiple enemies such as in Mythic Plus. Although Chi Wave sounds nice in theory, it needs to be used exactly on cooldown in order to stay on-par with Eye of the Tiger’s passive damage and healing. Note that if you are running Eye of the Tiger in an AoE environment, you must occasionally use Tiger Palm to apply the debuff as Spinning Crane Kick does not interact with this Talent. You may also have to opt for it in single target if using the Charred Passions Legendary Power.
Tier 2-Level 25
- Celerity (Passive) – Improves the base functionality of Roll by giving it a third charge and decreasing its cooldown by 5 seconds.
- Chi Torpedo (Passive) – Replaces Roll and sends you a further distance upon casting. In addition, you will gain a temporary movement speed buff for 10 seconds that can stack up to 2 times.
- Tiger’s Lust – An ability you can cast yourself or an ally within 20 yards that will remove any roots or snares while also increasing movement speed for 6 seconds. 30-second cooldown.
Recommendation: Although your choice in this talent tier is largely subjective, each option has a moment of use. Tiger’s Lust can often be used to negate dangerous mechanics if they also have a root or snare component to them while also being useful for short sprints or helping allies. Chi Torpedo, on the other hand, will cover the most distance over time, as you can refresh and stack the increased speed buff by casting Chi Torpedo again as it is about to expire. However, it can be annoying to get used to its distance traveled compared to Roll. Celerity will rarely be chosen but can be useful in the rare environment where you need to move short distances frequently.
Tier 3-Level 30
- Light Brewing (Passive) – Reduces the recharge time of Purifying Brew and the cooldown of Celestial Brew by 20%, bringing their baseline timers to 16 and 48 seconds, respectively.
- Spitfire (Passive) – Tiger Palm has a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Breath of Fire.
- Black Ox Brew – A spell which instantly refills your Energy, both charges of Purifying Brew, and resets the cooldown of Celestial Brew on a 2-minute cooldown. As it is a Brew ability, both Keg Smash and Tiger Palm will reduce the cooldown of this ability.
Recommendation: This talent row is by far the most sensitive to numerical adjustments with regards to Purifying Brew and Celestial Brew recharge time. At current tuning, the difference in Brew charge generation between Light Brewing and Black Ox Brew is very small. While Black Ox Brew may in theory result in a higher amount of available casts of your Brews, it is also very dependent on your ability to reduce its long cooldown and to also use it on cooldown. If either of these things do not happen, then Light Brewing will remain the stronger defensive option. However, Black Ox Brew does also offer a slight damage increase by being able to restore your Energy, though some of it will naturally go to waste on every cast. Consider Black Ox Brew the high risk, moderate reward option and Light Brewing as your default choice.
Spitfire simply does not provide enough damage to compete with Black Ox Brew except in situations with a large number of targets for a long duration or when combined with the War Mode talent Incendiary Breath. This is due to the low relative damage of both Breath of Fire and Tiger Palm. To make matters worse, against large groups of enemies you are more likely to be making use of Spinning Crane Kick, which cannot activate the Talent at all!
Tier 4-Level 35
- Tiger Tail Sweep (Passive) – Increases the radius of Leg Sweep by 2 yards and reduces its cooldown by 10 seconds for a 50-second cooldown.
- Summon Black Ox Statue – You create a Black Ox Statue with half of your maximum Health which pulses threat onto all targets within 20 yards and has a 10-second cooldown between summoning. You can also cast Provoke on the statue to taunt all enemies within 8 yards of the statue.
- Ring of Peace – Place a ring at the targeted area, preventing enemies from entering it. Any enemies within it when it is placed are also immediately pushed out. 45-second cooldown.
As Leg Sweep is a baseline ability its talent replacement, Tiger Tail Sweep, acts to improve what is already a strong AoE stun. However, as the other two Talent options provide some fairly unique utility that can even be combined with Leg Sweep, it is not a recommended choice in most scenarios.
Summon Black Ox Statue provides an interesting piece of utility that is unique to Brewmaster Monks. It is notable for being both an exceptional tool for pulling large groups of mobs–often more than you expect if you aren’t careful–as well as being an AoE threat generation tool which is unmatched among tanks. This is due to the threat generation modifier from Provoke being applied to all enemies taunted when the ability is cast on the Black Ox Statue. In raids, Summon Black Ox Statue is an incredibly useful tool to help with controlling and grouping add spawns as the threat generation is both significant and constant and the radius is large. However, remember that every time you replace it, the amount of threat it has built up is reset.
Ring of Peace is also a fairly unique effect, being able to effectively knock targets away from an area of your choice for a long period of time. It can be used to deny enemies from reaching your allies, to keep enemies from going where they’re trying to get to, and even as an extra form of interrupt against casted abilities. Be warned, however, that its knockback effect will not work on certain enemies. In general, if they cannot be Death Gripped or otherwise knocked around, they will also be able to walk through Ring of Peace.
Tier 5-Level 40
- Bob and Weave (Passive) – Increases the duration of Stagger by 3 seconds.
- Healing Elixir – Heal for 15% of your health immediately. 2 Charges; 30-second recharge.
- Dampen Harm – Reduces incoming damage anywhere from 20% to 50%, based on the strength of the incoming damage, for 10 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown.
Bob and Weave is an effective defensive gain that requires no effort on your part to perform at its best. An extra 3 seconds of duration on the DoT from Stagger means that your damage taken will both be smoother and result in slightly more efficient casts of Purifying Brew that remove a little more Stagger per cast. However, within Shadowlands you are often sitting at lower, less dangerous levels of Stagger even in what is considered dangerous content. This, combined with a larger number of Purifying Brew casts available in a given fight, has resulted in Bob and Weave losing a substantial amount of its defensive value. It is still a viable option for those preferring passive defense, but unless you are in a fight of consistent, heavy damage, the other alternatives will prove to be more useful.
Healing Elixir can offer a significant source of self-sustain for your Brewmaster, as while the heal itself cannot critically strike, it can still activate Celestial Fortune and heal for more than its baseline amount! Consider taking this talent in any situation you would have run Bob and Weave, outside of the best-case-scenario for Bob and Weave mentioned earlier. Remember to not sit with both charges off-cooldown.
Dampen Harm adds an extra defensive cooldown to the Brewmaster toolkit which otherwise does not have many. Its damage reduction automatically scales up with the size of the damage taken, with hits for over 100% of your maximum Health automatically being reduced by 50%. However, if you do not have a time period in mind for making use of this cooldown, it is a poor choice compared to the other options.
Tier 6-Level 45
- Special Delivery (Passive) – Casting Purifying Brew, Celestial Brew, Fortifying Brew, or Black Ox Brew (if talented) launches a keg into the air which will land at your target’s location after 3 seconds, dealing damage and slowing enemies hit by 50%.
- Rushing Jade Wind – A spell which deals ticking damage to up to 6 targets in an area around the player. 9-second duration, 6-second cooldown, both reduced by Haste.
- Exploding Keg – Toss a flaming keg to a spot within 40 yards to damage enemies and have them “miss” with their autoattacks for the next 3 seconds. 1-minute cooldown.
Recommendation: While all three of these abilities deal damage, two of them also have a bonus utility effect to consider.
Special Delivery provides a 50% snare, which is fairly significant, but its kegs can miss if the target moves while they are in the air. You may also accidentally hit an enemy that has been crowd-controlled with an ability like Paralysis and break them out. Its damage is also too low outside of purely single-target scenarios.
Rushing Jade Wind provides a valuable source of passive AoE damage while also filling in a valuable gap of otherwise “empty” global cooldowns in the Brewmaster rotation. It also provides the highest offensive improvement of the row at all reasonable target counts and should be chosen by default in the vast majority of content.
Exploding Keg behaves slightly different to its tooltip description. Rather than having enemy attacks miss, they are instead reduced by 99%. While this may seem like a small difference, it does mean that effects which apply from successful attacks like the Necrotic Affix in Mythic Plus will still be applied to you. Its damage is also quite low until more than 20 targets are being attacked at once. Unless a specific mechanic is discovered to be negated with its effects, this talent is largely avoided.
Tier 7-Level 50
- High Tolerance (Passive) – Increases the proportion of damage delayed by Stagger and grants Haste based on your current quantity of Staggered damage.
- Celestial Flames (Passive) – Consuming a Brew ability (Purifying Brew, Celestial Brew, Fortifying Brew, and Black Ox Brew, if talented) has a 30% chance to apply a temporary buff. While this buff is active, Spinning Crane Kick will apply the Breath of Fire debuff and increase its damage reduction to 10% instead of 5%. In addition, the cooldown of Breath of Fire is reset when this buff activates.
- Blackout Combo (Passive) – Causes your Blackout Kick to empower the next ability cast with a bonus effect depending on what is used:
- Tiger Palm will deal 100% bonus damage
- Breath of Fire will only have a 12-second cooldown rather than 15 seconds
- Keg Smash will reduce the cooldowns of your Brew abilities by 5 seconds rather than 3.
- Celestial Brew will temporarily pause your Stagger pool, causing you to take no damage from it for 3 seconds. You can still receive more Stagger, but will not lose any during this time.
High Tolerance is, quite simply, everything a tank could want in a passive talent. It provides a passive increase in effective health and an improvement in both damage done and resource generation at times when needed most due to the Haste granted. This Haste also provides a noteworthy increase in damage by reducing the cooldowns of Keg Smash and Rushing Jade Wind while increasing your passive Energy generation to cast more Tiger Palm and Spinning Crane Kicks as well.
Celestial Flames is an interesting talent idea. Although it doesn’t provide much of an increase in damage by itself, it does allow you to maintain full uptime on the damage reduction of Breath of Fire while also improving it and even allowing for more casts of the ability itself. This can offer potential synergy with the Legendary Power Charred Passions, though it is still not enough to dethrone High Tolerance as the talent of choice in the majority of content. One rare area where its use may be considered is within Torghast, Tower of the Damned, as there are some Anima Powers that can increase the damage of Spinning Crane Kick–and therefore the damage of Charred Passions even further. It may also prove useful if in War Mode and making use of the Honor Talent Incendiary Breath.
While Blackout Combo has had its share of use since its initial release, with current ability tuning and the increase of Blackout Kick‘s cooldown from 3 seconds to 4, it cannot be recommended in any scenario. Attempting to use this ability will cause general difficulty in playing a Brewmaster with the proper rotation, and some of its interactions are downright counteractive.