Table of contents


Generalities Basics Advanced
My Monk and some stuff about me Statistics External’s CD
Glossary Weapon choice Trinkets
Races Rotation Macros
Purify Addons
Glyphs Logs analysis
Talents Gear
Enchants, Gems


My Monk and some stuff about me


Hello and welcome to this guide to the Brewmaster Monks, my name is Jira and I’m tanking for the guild <Prophétie> on Archimonde-EU.

I play my Monk since the beta of Mist of Pandaria and it’s still with pleasure that I stride the dungeons proposed by Blizzard.

I decided to do this guide because they are many “advices” on how to play Brewmaster but I’m not 100% satisfied with them. So it seemed necessary to light up this specialization with my thought.

I tried to be the most comprehensible as possible and to speak about all the facets of this class. I do not pretend that’s the Bible of Brewmasters but it is how I like to play my Monk and how I get decent results with him. Furthermore, all of this work is based on many talks with the international community (which is very active).


AoE = Area of Damage

CC = Crowd Control

DPS = Damage Per Second but also used for “Damage”

BoF = Breath of Fire (Spell)

RoP = Ring of Peace (Talent)

SCK = Spinning Crane Kick (Spell)

RJW = Rushing Jade Wind (Spell/Talent)

KS = Keg Smash (Spell)

ChiEx = Chi Explosion (Talent)

DH = Dampen Harm (Talent)

DM = Diffuse Magic (Talent)

DoT = Damage over Time

GCD = Global CoolDown

TP = Tiger Palm (Spell)

BoK = Blackout Kick (Spell)

WA = WeakAura


#1 : Survivability
#2 : DPS
#3: Compromise


Weapons : 1H or 2H?


Due to the recent change to Way of the Monk (+55% attack speed with 2h weapons), 2h weapons are superior to 1h weapons for generating Elusive Brew.


Weapon Type EB Charges Per Crit
1h 1.5
Staff 2.75
Polearm 3.0



Weapon Type EB gains compared to 1h’s
Staff +10-12%
Polearm +8%


Conclusion : Go with Polearm/Staff and forget Dual Wielding.


Single Target RotationMultiple Target Rotation (AoE)


If specced in Power-strikes : spam Expel Harm to start the fight with 4 Chi.


Single Pull (e.g : Blackhand)

  • 1. Pre-potion (armor)
  • 2. Blackout Kick
  • 3. Keg Smash
  • 4. Tiger Palm
  • 5. Xuen (if specced in)
  • 6. Serenity
  • 7. Blackout Kick till the end of Serenity


Chi Generators.

  • 1. Keg Smash on cooldown.
  • 2. Expel Harm whenever not at 100% health. When you are below 35%, Expel Harm has no cooldown and becomes the priority number one.
  • 3. Jab at ~70 energy to avoid energy cap.
  • 4. Tiger Palm as a filler. Necessary to maintain a 100% uptime on your buff.


Chi Spenders.

  • 1. Blackout Kick in order to build Shuffle uptime. You have to keep Shuffle uptime at 100%, it’s one of the most important thing to track (see Weak Auras section) as a Brewmaster.
  • 2. Purifying Brew to clear Staggered damage. See Purify (see Purify section) section.
  • 3. Guard for damage absorption.
  • 4. Touch of Death on a target below 10% HP or below your own health.

AoE Pull (e.g : Blast Furnace)

  • 1. Pre-potion (armor)
  • 2. Taunt the main target
  • 3. Drop your black Ox statue
  • 4. RJW
  • 5. Keg Smash
  • 6. Tiger Palm
  • 7. Serenity
  • 8. Blackout Kick till the end of Serenity


2 targets

Keep the same rotation as above and use Xuen as level 90 Talent.


3+ targets

Keep the same rotation but replace Jab with Spinning Crane Kick or Rushing Jade Wind.


  • Should I use SCK or RJW ?
    If you know that you will keep an uptime of 3+ target during the whole fight, go for RJW. If it’s more RNG, go for SCK and use it when there are 3+ target, otherwise use Jab.
  • When should I use Breath of Fire (BoF) ?
    Probably never, Chi cost compared to output damage is awful … The only benefit is when BoF is glyphed to disorientate enemies but in raid you won’t cope that type of mobs (contrariwise, take it for dungeons).



On a fight like Iron Maidens (Blackrock foundry) which is a 3 targets at start, using SCK or RJW is not worth because one of the target constantly blink/dash, plus the transition where only 2 targets remains.

In my opinion, it’s better to take Xuen here.


All I previously said is wrong if you’re specced into ChiEx but we will see further …



When to purify ?How to know if I purify well ?

Prima facie, Stagger mechanic might be complex but you’ll see that’s pretty simple after all. When you’re hit, a percentage of the damage taken is converted as a DoT (over 10 second) while the rest of the damage are directly taken.

If you let the DoT ticking until his end, you mitigate nothing but if you Purify the DoT before its end, you will mitigate a part of the damage.

Stagger + Purify represent the tanking mechanic of the Brewmaster. You have to know that Purify is off GCD, that’s allows you to mitigate damage whenever you want (for 1 Chi).


Then, there are 3 types of Stagger that you can see in your debuff list :

Stagger debuff color % of your max health per tick
Green > 0%
Yellow > 3%
Red > 6%


And there is how is calculated he % of damage reported as a DoT :

Stagger buff stakeholders Incoming damage staggered                   
Stance of the Sturdy Ox 30%
Mastery rating = 0* 5%
Shuffle buff 10%
Total 45%

* This percentage grows up in function of your mastery rating, that’s why stacking mastery is great regarding mitigation and survivability.


Now, exemple :


A boss hits you for 200K.

If you have Shuffle up, you mitigate 45% of the incoming damage : you take 110k flat damage and 90k damage are staggered over 10sec as a DoT.


  • If you do nothing during these 10 seconds :
    The 90k DoT will tick till the end, you didn’t mitigated anything.


  • If you Purify after 4 seconds :
    You take 36k damage. That’s mean you mitigated 60% of the DoT and 18% of the initial damage (200k).


  • If you instantly Purify after a hit :
    You will mitigate 100% of the staggered damage but your Chi generation won’t be sufficient to keep Shuffle up.


Conclusion : Everything is an appreciation of the situation, sometimes it’s necessary to purify as fast as possible and sometimes it’s better to delay Purify.
BUT, if you think that you take too much damage, maybe it’s because of your Purify efficiency : look what’s coming next !

Boosting your mastery will smooth your incoming damage because the staggering percentage will be bigger.

First, you have to use Warcraft Logs (link), it’s a website to analyse your logs.


Go to the Damage Taken overview and mouse over your bar; this will give you a mini-breakdown of the total damage taken, and the « mitigated » value there is how much was initially pushed into the stagger dot. Call this A.


Then go to damage taken by ability and look at the total damage done to yourself by Stagger. Call this B. (Don’t worry about the absorbed versus taken breakdown on this, that just means that you absorbed some ticks with Guard or something.)


So then (A-B) is the amount purified. Your purify efficiency (which is the metric we care about) is (A-B)/A, you got xx%.


  • If you’re specced into ChiEx : 60-70% Purify-eff.
  • If you’re specced into Serenity : 70-80% Purify-eff.


Now, exemple :


Entity Formula      Value         
Staggered damage (A) 7m
Stagger DoT (B) 2m
Amount of damage purified (A-B) 5m
Purify efficiency (A-B)/A 71%


Thanks to “Rocket” on MMOC forums for this.


External’s CD

I decided to include this section to my guide despite it’s a tanking-wise thing rather than a Brewmaster specific thing. But it’s so important and I see too many tanks ignoring external CD’s …

As a tank, you have a “Survival Kit”, for Brewmaster you can list these :


  • Guard (link)
  • Fortifying Brew (link)
  • Diffuse Magic / Dampen Harm (link)
  • Zen Meditation (link)


It might be not enough for specific fights where you have to mitigate many capacities (e.g : Acid Torrent on Oregorger) or very long fight with heavy damage on tanks (e.g : Mar’gok).

Thus, it’s very important to keep an eye on external CD’s and to call one when it’s necessary :

  • When there are heavy raid damages which are requires a lot of heal (healers may forget you ..)
  • Before a big ability, the less damage you take, the best it is.
  • To smooth your incoming damage if you are not lucky with your own mitigation.
  • Before that heals have to move.


And there is a spreadsheed I made to determine the amount of damage taken after an External :

Damage reduction


  • What are the possible external I can call ? And how to track them ?


 External CD’s name  Class  Mitigation value
 Vigilance  Warrior  -30% (12sec)
 Hand of sacrifice  Paladin  -30% (12sec)
 Ironbark  Druid  -20% + Heal bonus (12sec)
 Pain suppression  Disc Priest  -40% (8sec)
 Guardian spirit  Holy Priest  +60% heal (10sec)
 Life cocoon  Mistweaver Monk  Absorb + Heal bonus (12sec)

To track them, I personally use a combination of two AddOns (I’ll come back with more details in the dedicated section) :


Allows you to display the CD of whatever spell you want.



Hermes Download
I use a group to display mitigation spells that are active on me.










Glyph of Expel Harm (New)Glyph of Fortuitous SpheresGlyph of Keg Smash (New) Glyph of Zen MeditationGlyph of Breath of FireGlyph of GuardFortifying Brew
  • This one is “mandatory”.
  • This one is “mandatory”.


Level 15 - Movements
Level 30 - Healing

Level 45 - Chi
Level 60 - CC

Level 75 - Damage reduction

Level 90 - Damage CD / Single-Aoe

Level 100 - Playstyle



I know there are many, many possibilities regarding trinkets that’s why I had to do a section for this. First of all, I’m feeling the most comfortable when I have a on use trinket and a proc trinket, because having a on use trinket is pretty similar as having another survival cooldown.

To explain this mess I have to quote Totaltemic :

« Of those 4 options, Knight’s Badge caps out at 680 ilvl, cannot be warforged, have a socket, or have tertiary stats. It also has an anormally large part of its weight in the proc, so even a 680 Knight’s Badge is 81 Bonus Armor down from a 680 BFD. There’s basically no way Knight’s Badge can compete with BFD, especially not if it rolls a socket or avoidance.Then of the on-use trinkets, they’re really just kind of interchangeable aren’t they? You might argue that the Mastery passive is probably better because it helps with bleeds and the armor on-use can be used with CDs for even more DPS, but either way they’re basically the same. The difference is that one of them is 10 ilvls higher than the same version of the other, and Mythic Hans and Franz isn’t terribly much harder than Mythic Twins was. Can you really use both at the same time though? You probably could, but the level of micromanaging the trinkets to try to cycle each one each time you start tanking something is a little absurd.So at the end of the day, we only have 3 truly viable trinkets: Pol’s, Tablet, and BFD. Obviously if you’re going to use a BFD you’d want whichever of Pol’s/Tablet is a higher item level (which is eventually going to be Tablet either way), but then you kind of have to decide which is the lesser of two evils: a mastery proc, or an on-use trying to fit in with another on-use trinket. »

At this moment, Evergaze (trinket on Imperator Margok) is also a possibilty but with the 5ilevel upgrade, he become out of the table (as Pol’s).So, our best setup regarding trinkets is :


→ Tablet of Turnbuckle Teamwork

+553 Mastery

Use: Grants 1940 Armor for 20 sec. (2 Min Cooldown)


→ Blast Furnace Door

+476 Bonus Armor

Your attacks have a chance to grant 2530 Mastery for 10 sec.  (Approximately 0.92 procs per minute)





To deal with this section, I did a google spreadsheet available by clicking the button below. Here I just simplify what I did in the spreadsheet but you have to know that all of this is not 100% accurate as a BiS list for a DPS class might be (because for a tank there are multiple benefits from a stats : dps, survivabilty …). So I encourage you to go deeper in the spreadsheet and make your own appreciation of each items.

BrM Gearing Spreadsheet


Survival buildDPS buildCompromise build
Head Sorka’s Nightshade Cowl Iron Maidens
Neck Choker of Bestial Force Beastlord Darmac
Shoulders Flamebender’s Shoulderguards Flamebender Ka’graz
Cloak Ravenous Greatcloak Oregorger
Chest Unrendable Wolfhide Robes Beastlord Darmac
Wrist Bracers of Shattered Stalactites Kromog
Hands Handwraps of the Somber Gaze Iron Maidens
Waist Conductor’s Multi-Pocket Girdle Operator Thogar
Legs Shattering Smash Leggings Blackand
Feet Treads of the Dark Hunt Iron Maidens
Ring Razoredge Blade Ring Han’gar & Franzok
Weapon Head-Lopper Skullscythe Oregorger


Head Sorka’s Nightshade Cowl Iron Maidens
Neck Glutton’s Kerchief Oregorger
Shoulders Mantle of the Somber Gaze Operator Thogar
Cloak Drape of the Dark Hunt Iron Maidens
Chest Vest of Forceful Fury Gruul
Wrist Bracers of Shattered Stalactites Kromog
Hands Handwraps of the Somber Gaze Iron Maidens
Waist Conductor’s Multi-Pocket Girdle Operator Thogar
Legs Legwraps of the Somber Gaze Blast Furnace
Feet Furnace Tender’s Treads Blast Furnace
Ring Siege Bomber’s Band Operator Thogar
Weapon Tal’rak, Bloody Skull of the Thunderlords Beastlord Darmac


Head Sorka’s Nightshade Cowl Iron Maidens
Neck Choker of Bestial Force Beastlord Darmac
Shoulders Flamebender’s Shoulderguards Flamebender Ka’graz
Cloak Ravenous Greatcloak Oregorger
Chest Vest of Forceful Fury Gruul
Wrist Bracers of Shattered Stalactites Kromog
Hands Handwraps of the Somber Gaze Iron Maidens
Waist Conductor’s Multi-Pocket Girdle Operator Thogar
Legs Legwraps of the Somber Gaze Blast Furnace
Feet Furnace Tender’s Treads Blast Furnace
Ring Siege Bomber’s Band Operator Thogar
Weapon Head-Lopper Skullscythe Oregorger


Enchants, Gems and Consumables


Survival buildDPS & Compromise buildsWeapon enchant

Greater Mastery Taladite
+50 mastery

Neck : Gift of mastery
+75 mastery
Cloak : Gift of mastery
+100 mastery & Bonus Speed
Ring : Gift of mastery
+50 mastery

Greater Draenic Agility Flask
+250 Agility

Draenic Armor Potion
+1500 armor (25sec)

Greater Critical Strike Taladite
+50 critical strike

Neck :
+75 critical strike
Cloak :
+100 critical strike & Bonus Speed
Ring :
+50 critical strike

Greater Draenic Agility Flask
+250 Agility

Draenic Armor Potion
+1500 armor (25sec)

  • Mark of the Thunderlord : Critical strike enchant. Very nice for the DPS build and not that bad for the Survival build either. In my opinion, go for it.
Permanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase your critical strike by 500 for 6 sec. While active, critical heals and attacks may extend the duration.


  • Mark of Blackrock : Bonus Armor proc that procs when you are below 60% health. On the paper it’s a nice defensive enchant but I prefer Thunderlord because there are fights where you won’t go below 60% below that often.
Permanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase Bonus Armor by 500 for 12 sec. Effect can only occur when you are below 60% health.


  • Mark of the Bleeding Hollow : A Mastery enchant, not bad you want to push you survivability a little more. But it is still a waste (compared to the critical strike enchant) if it’s proc when you are not tanking/taking damage.
Permanently enchants a melee weapon to sometimes increase mastery by 500 for 12 sec.


There is nothing special to say here but I wanted to show a recap of each bonuses.


TranscendanceKick announceChi waveLevel 75 defensive talentsLevel 60 CC talentsTauntXuenHand of protection canceler

Shows your distance to your spirit when you cast Transcendence, and a little arrow pointing at where it is. Goes red when you’re out of range to cast Transfer.



And a macro to use for Transcendence: Transfer

#showtooltip Transcendence: Transfer
 /run if not WAT then WAT = { x=0, y=0} end; WAT.x, WAT.y = UnitPosition("player");
 /cast Transcendence: Transfer





Notes :

#1 The direction/color indicator will work regardless, but numeric distance is only accurate on a flat surface since the UI doesn’t have access to your Z coordinate.

#2 If you don’t use the macro for Transfer, it won’t know where your spirit went after you cast it.

(thanks Shamanberry)

/use Spear Hand Strike

You can replace the text “KICKED…” by whatever you want (like “222222222222” if you’re in a rotation kick)

 Automatically casts Chi wave on you securing at least the first heal, normal behaviour with ctrl (or shift or whatever you prefer) you can swap and  make the opposite if you prefer (ctrl=you first, normal = target first)

/use [nomod, @player] Chi Wave
/use [mod:ctrl] Chi Wave
/use Dampen Harm
/use Diffuse Magic
/run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell("MACRONAME", G"Dampen Harm" or G"Diffuse Magic")

Set MACRONAME to your macro name and put this in your spellbar. it will prevent the spell from moving when you change talents… not mandatory but kinda useful for lazy people.

/use Ring of Peace
/use Charging Ox Wave
/use Leg Sweep
/run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell("MACRONAME ", G"Ring of Peace" or G"Charging Ox Wave" or G"Leg Sweep")

Same as previous macro.

Normal taunt, taunting  your statue when holding modifier. (FYI, taunting the statue is a 10-yd AOE taunt around it).

/cast [nomod] Provoke
/target [mod:ctrl] Black Ox Statue
/cast [mod:ctrl] Provoke

No dark magic here, just making sure your bind won’t move when you change talents. (I am lazy)

/cast Invoke Xuen, the White Tiger

Keep this bind somewhere, you will always need it one day. for maximum security you can add this to one of your main spell (Taunt, KS, Jab..)

/cast Jab
/cancelaura Hand of protection
Thanks to Mazuno for some of these.




Weak Auras – What to track ?

WeakAuras is a powerful and flexible framework that allows you to display highly customizable graphics on your screen to indicate many things (buff, debuff, procs …).

It’s by far the least to have regardings AddOns, especially if you are playing Brewmaster and / or raiding, you will understand why.



Preview String Description Shuffle uptime.
Show your shuffle buff uptime, it’s one of the most important WA because keeping a 100% shuffle uptime is the basis of Brewmaster. Tiger palm uptime.
Show an icon if your Tiger Palm buff is not active, it’s also very important to keep an uptime close to 100%. Elusive Brew.
When not activated, shows the number of EB stacks. Then if you use them, it will show you the buff duration. Stagger tracker.
A very important one because it will track your stagger DoT with a color and percentage indicator (green, yellow,red) Chi counter.
I use this because of my custom UI. Serenity uptime.
Show an icon with the buff duration once you activate Serenity. RJW uptime.
Show an icon with the buff duration once you RJW. Powerstrike iCD.
Show the internal CD of power strike which allows you to anticipate and manage your chi. Kick CD.
Show your kick CD, nothing less nothing more. Chi Wave CD.
Show your Chi Wave CD, nothing less nothing more. Statue tracker.
Show if your Black Ox Statue is active or not, hit or not and her health bar. External’s CD.
Show a progression bar with remaning time and damage reduction while you are under DR CD. Resolve tracker.
Show your percentage of resolve which is a primal indicator for a tank (guard value etc)


Jira’s UI

Jira’s UI Download

Warcraftlogs : post raid analysis


Patch modifications

Patch 6.1 Hotfix (25/02/2015)

  • We’ll be fixing Tiger Strikes to its intended behavior: it will no longer activate on unsuccessful auto attacks, but will be able to activate from successful Multistrikes.
  • For Brewmasters, we’re going to reduce the damage done by Keg Smash by 20%. We felt that Brewmaster DPS was too strong already, and the Tiger Strikes fix only pushes them further.

Patch 6.1 changes (25/02/2015)

  • Chi Burst damage has been increased by 51%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.
  • Zen Sphere has been improved. Its detonation damage has increased by 97%, detonation healing has increased by 70%, but periodic healing has been reduced by 39%. Also fixed a bug that caused its damage and healing to vary based on specialization.

  4 commentaires pour “Guide Monk tank

  1. Totaltotemic
    12/03/2015 at 11:06

    This is the most well-formatted guide I have ever seen. It looks amazing, and is detailed with correct information too. Good work.

    • 12/03/2015 at 15:42

      Thanks for your reply Total, it’s nice to see you here 🙂

  2. 13/03/2016 at 23:41

    Hi There !
    Can you add a d/l link to your UI please ? The one on your site is not working, looping me on this page :'(

    Regards !


    • 22/08/2016 at 19:58

      Hi, sorry for the late answer :/

      Actually I didn’t take time to package it and its pretty out of date now …

      Maybe I’ll do an update once Legion is launch.


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