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  1. #1

    Brewmaster Survivability

    How good are brewmasters sitting in terms of survivability? I play a Mistweaver as main spec and have seen many Brewmasters in LFR/5 mans and our main heroic 25 raiding group uses a Brewmaster tank and I always see them get absolutely wrecked on big pulls and some bosses. Is there just some finesse to the class that some just aren't understanding or are they going to get hit like a truck almost all the time? I've seen our tank pull the trash before Shek'zeer on 25N and watch him get one shot almost instantly. I haven't seen an amazing Brewmaster at all yet. I've seen decent ones that can hold their own for a bit until they just get hit down to ~20% out of nowhere, so I was wondering if any experienced tanks could enlighten me on why they get hit so hard.

    I am 110% aware they can do amazing DPS as a tank, that isn't relevant to my questions. Not trying to be a dick, but almost every Brewmaster only brags about his/her DPS instead of trying to survive in fights.

  2. #2
    I'll answer this question to my ability:

    I play a Windwalker Monk in a hardcore 10 man heroic guild. When we are missing one of our main tanks, I switch to Brewmaster. As the gear used in both specs are 99% the same, it is not an issue (except for reforging expertise). A few days ago, I tanked Shek'zeer 10man heroic on our tries, and not had a single problem of taking extra damage. Heck, my damage taken totals were less than our Druid maintank.

    Brewmaster essentially plays like a DPS class, you have to keep your buffs up as your main mitigation comes from those. You also need to purify Stagger as much as possible, otherwise you are not mitigating damage properly. To do this effectively in a boss fight, you need stats like a DPS class. Haste and Crit. Not Mastery, Dodge or Parry. If you don't have enough haste, you can't have enough Chi to both keep your buffs up and to purify your stagger. Having crit helps you generate more Evasive Brew. On the other hand, if you max your mastery, too much damage gets staggered and you can't purify them properly, meaning it doesn't help your survival. So wrong itemization might be the problem of those random Brewmaster tanks you are encountering, but from personal perspective, I had no trouble tanking with my DPS gear (including Agi/Crit trinkets).

  3. #3
    Right, I know it's tracking Shuffle, Elusive Brew, Guard, and using Purifying Brew but it seems like if you don't have your defenses up and rolling you just get your shit kicked in. Guess it's just a skill issue then, kinda like DKs in Wrath *shudders*

  4. #4
    As a brewmaster tank, I'm often told I take less damage and deal absurd amount on DPS. Guess it's the player not the class, It's really your fault for letting Shuffle drop, Elusive Brew to be capped, Energy to be capped, Keg Smash to not be on CD for more than 2 seconds and purifying green staggers.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ludacritts View Post
    How good are brewmasters sitting in terms of survivability? I play a Mistweaver as main spec and have seen many Brewmasters in LFR/5 mans and our main heroic 25 raiding group uses a Brewmaster tank and I always see them get absolutely wrecked on big pulls and some bosses. Is there just some finesse to the class that some just aren't understanding or are they going to get hit like a truck almost all the time? I've seen our tank pull the trash before Shek'zeer on 25N and watch him get one shot almost instantly. I haven't seen an amazing Brewmaster at all yet. I've seen decent ones that can hold their own for a bit until they just get hit down to ~20% out of nowhere, so I was wondering if any experienced tanks could enlighten me on why they get hit so hard.

    I am 110% aware they can do amazing DPS as a tank, that isn't relevant to my questions. Not trying to be a dick, but almost every Brewmaster only brags about his/her DPS instead of trying to survive in fights.
    Bolded the important part. I think a lot of the time (because I do this myself and make a joke out of it), we kind of get arrogant about the high DPS, as you say. To get even more DPS, we pull more stuff. We get over confident. We get stupid. (EDIT: oh, I mis-read the bolded part. Thought it said 'pulled ALL the trash', like, at once. But it doesn't. Well the rest of the post still applies, so whatever)

    A well-played Brewmaster with a cool head will not take any more damage than any other tank. If anything, we will take less. The problem is it's very easy to get over-confident... This afflicts most tanks, but I think Brewmasters are the worst atm because we're the shiny new class.

    There are two other potential issues with Brewmasters which could explain what you're seeing: our relatively low HP compared to other tanks, and our lack of stun protection.

    If we get stunned, we get WRECKED. Hard. Our active mitigation is so reliant on us being, y'know, active (unlike a Blood DK who can have a fairly big absorb shield, for example), since it's avoidance based. Avoidance doesn't work whilst stunned, nor can we use Purifying Brew to get rid of Stagger. So the only thing we have whilst stunned is the Stagger mechanic (which isn't reducing overall damage taken, just reducing the burst damage), and our stamina/armor. Both of which are much lower than other tanks. We may have gotten lucky and gotten a Guard up before getting stunned, but y'know. The gist is we suck against stuns.

    The good news is that this is getting fixed in 5.2, but until then you'll need to be really on the ball and aware of your Brewmasters getting stunned.

    As for the low stamina? While we aren't the worst scaling tanks with Stamina, we generally don't prioritise it in any way (since it doesn't reduce damage at all, just gives healers more breathing room), so while other tanks are getting the stamina leg/shoulder enchants, we're getting the agility ones. We're also using agility trinkets while they're using stamina ones, that sort of thing.

    That said, a good Brewmaster will have stamina trinkets in his bags, maybe a couple other items gemmed/enchanted for high stam. So if the burst damage is an issue, tell your Brewmaster to use some stamina trinkets.

    Overall though... It's mostly L2P. A well-played, level headed Brewmaster will not take more damage than other tanks. If anything, we take less. But we do have some issues that make it LOOK like we're taking more damage (and in some situations actually do take a ton more), and those tend to be the moments that get noticed.
    Last edited by Kisho; 2013-01-03 at 09:10 AM.

  6. #6
    Brewmaster is more than fine everywhere except stuns that wrecks us (loosing 80% avoidance hurts :/ )
    The ones that get destroyed are usually the bad ones. I tanked Shekzer recently in LFR with some other brewmaster. He wasn't bad, but after the fight I checked recount and he took more than twice the dmg I did, even though I tanked more adds during P2 - reason? I was purifying while he was not - I saw him sitting on red stagger way, way too much.
    On the other hand yesterday - I tanked the dogs in Mogushan - and I took way more dmg than I ususally do, and felt really uncomfortable during this fight - and it's all because I was distracted and tired, I didn't keep guard enough, I was sitting on 15 stacks of elusive brew, I wasn't puryfing enough..

    I really think that Brewmasters are in good spot - not OP, not broken, have it's strengths (AoE threat nad dmg!), and weakness (stuns Q.Q), but the biggest problem - is usually just the player.
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  7. #7
    Mechagnome Kagdar's Avatar
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    I'm now the tank in my guild and i must say brewmaster tanking is really fun.

    It's alll or nothing. you either take almost no damage at all, or you just die. Our biggest weakness is magical damages... Elegon ugh! Trash to Elegon (the MT in our guild is a paly and he keep telling me i'm bad because he can soak the damage and i can't, i literally die in 2 sec unless i pop all cds [they have a cooldown fml] or avoid his damage [which i do now])
    Or really hugh spike damage : Twin Emperor I fell like i have to purify before i even go in moderate stagger or i will just die.

    Yes i'm geared, correctly reforged and gemmed. But imo stat priority is off for BrM. mastery/haste would make more sense. I hope they change it in future patches.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kagdar View Post
    It's alll or nothing. you either take almost no damage at all, or you just die. Our biggest weakness is magical damages... Elegon ugh!
    We're actually pretty good against magical damage, especially on a fight like Elegon when it's infrequent but on a regular timer. Between glyphing Guard, Diffuse Magic, and Zen Meditation, we tend to take a lot less damage than other tanks on magic fights.

    Trash to Elegon (the MT in our guild is a paly and he keep telling me i'm bad because he can soak the damage and i can't, i literally die in 2 sec unless i pop all cds [they have a cooldown fml] or avoid his damage [which i do now])
    Play to your strengths. Between Dizzying Haze and Roll we're excellent kiters, and considering that trash is MEANT to be kited...

    Or really hugh spike damage : Twin Emperor I fell like i have to purify before i even go in moderate stagger or i will just die.
    Then you're probably purifying too much, thus letting Shuffle drop off and taking much more damage as a result.

    Yes i'm geared, correctly reforged and gemmed. But imo stat priority is off for BrM. mastery/haste would make more sense. I hope they change it in future patches.
    We need to scale with DPS stats because we wear leather. There's no specific tanking leather, so the way they've set us up is actually pretty elegant IMO. Haste = resource gain and reliability. Crit = avoidance. Mastery = reduce burst damage. Works pretty well.

  9. #9
    I'll have to try it for myself sometime. I know one of my RL friends refuses to let a Brewmaster tank in his raid just because he always sees them taking ridiculous damage way too much. Why bring a Monk when you can have a DK/Pally/Warr? Feels like DPS is the only thing a Monk tank can bring, which sucks.

  10. #10
    brewmasters have alot of things to micro manage and there armour is low compared to the other leather tanks

    u need chi to activate midigation so when your running in to get that your gunna take all that damage in the face before u get some midigation up

  11. #11
    Yes we take lower damage then other tanks, over the course of the whole fight, the problem (besides obvious stun that will get fixed) we have is that we can get an unlucky streak, either by not critting, or just not avoid the damage, (did take 5 of 6 attacks from a dread thrash with EB up, and needless to say, ate the cake)

    so low hp, combined with avoidance based survival = risk of out of the blue deaths.
    in addition we dont have that many cd's to use. Dampen harm is so limited when handling packs like p2 sheekzer or windlord, and even trash/dread thrash on sha.

    I really hope that they see this (relatively minor) problem, and adjusts it. maybe the mastery buff is enough, or maybe they need to give us 5% extra stamina. buffing thoose 2 are my best suggestions anyway. another cd would be godlike, but we would probably be to strong in that case, maybe a glyphable dampen harm to make it a "regular tank % reduce cd" if we would like.

    overall, we are ok, fun to play, and can do all current content, the boring part is that it is so much easier for some other tank classes.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ludacritts View Post
    I'll have to try it for myself sometime. I know one of my RL friends refuses to let a Brewmaster tank in his raid just because he always sees them taking ridiculous damage way too much. Why bring a Monk when you can have a DK/Pally/Warr? Feels like DPS is the only thing a Monk tank can bring, which sucks.
    The problem is that other tanks have a lot more passive mitigation (armor), while we have more active mitigation. So you'll see a lot of bad Brewmasters who don't keep that active mitigation... well, active; as such you'll see a lot of Brewmasters taking a ton of damage, which could've been easily avoided.

    The good ones should stick out as well though, and are definitely worth the raid spot. But I can understand the whole 'why bother when other tanks are easier' mentality. We do bring more than just high DPS while tanking though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Divineknight13 View Post
    brewmasters have alot of things to micro manage and there armour is low compared to the other leather tanks

    u need chi to activate midigation so when your running in to get that your gunna take all that damage in the face before u get some midigation up
    An expel harm just before pulling can help with that. As in: Expel Harm before pull, Keg Smash, put Guard up, then Jab and BoK. There you go, majority of Active Mitigation up in 3 GCDs during the fight (Guard is off the GCD). It's not too bad once you get used to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by imoom View Post
    Yes we take lower damage then other tanks, over the course of the whole fight, the problem (besides obvious stun that will get fixed) we have is that we can get an unlucky streak, either by not critting, or just not avoid the damage, (did take 5 of 6 attacks from a dread thrash with EB up, and needless to say, ate the cake)
    The chance of taking 5-6 hits from Thrash at once is so, so, SO low. I mean, wow. You got really unlucky with that one, huh?

    To give a very rough idea of how low the chance is: Brewmasters are usually sitting around 75% avoidance with EB and Shuffle up. That means a 25% chance to be hit (there's also some avoidance suppression thing going on, but I'm keeping it simple to make a point)

    25% chance to be hit by 1 attack = 25%

    Then a further 25% chance to be hit by 2 attacks = 25% * 25% = 6.25%

    Then a further 25% to be hit by 3 = 6.25% * 25% = 1.56%

    Carrying on, 1.56% * 25% = 0.39% * 25% = 0.098% * 25% = 0.024%

    Numbers have been rounded, but you get the idea. 0.024% chance to be hit by all 6 attacks is... Well, tiny. Insignificant. It just isn't going to happen except once in a blue moon. 3 attacks, yeah, you'll see that (but even that is rare). 1-2 attacks will be the vast majority.

    And let's be honest: any tank that gets hit by all 6 attacks is going to die. If anything we have far less chance of it, so we're the best option in regards to the Thrash.

    so low hp, combined with avoidance based survival = risk of out of the blue deaths.
    in addition we dont have that many cd's to use. Dampen harm is so limited when handling packs like p2 sheekzer or windlord, and even trash/dread thrash on sha.
    We don't have many traditional cooldowns, true: however our Active Mitigation is FAR stronger to compensate. Proper timing of Guard can help a lot, as well as using EB properly and simply keeping Shuffle active.

    I really hope that they see this (relatively minor) problem, and adjusts it. maybe the mastery buff is enough, or maybe they need to give us 5% extra stamina. buffing thoose 2 are my best suggestions anyway. another cd would be godlike, but we would probably be to strong in that case, maybe a glyphable dampen harm to make it a "regular tank % reduce cd" if we would like.
    As proven by recent posts, our stamina scaling isn't the issue. We're actually pretty good for that. The problem is that we just don't bother with getting stamina (other tanks use the stam meta, stam shoulder/leg enchants, stam trinkets, etc., while we use agility in those slots), which makes us a much lower HP tank as a result. Keep some stam trinkets in your bags, maybe a couple other items to switch to, to address this deficiency and you'll be fine.

    overall, we are ok, fun to play, and can do all current content, the boring part is that it is so much easier for some other tank classes.
    Other tanks may have an easier time of it, but I much prefer the challenge in all honesty. That's what makes tanking so rewarding for me.
    Last edited by Kisho; 2013-01-03 at 02:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Field Marshal Sleuth's Avatar
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    I've been playing Protection Paladin for years. Back in Cata I had every tank class levelled and played them as alts since I needed to be sure, as a raid leader and main tank, what the other tanks could do.

    When MoP came out I took the opportunity to roll a Brewmaster as soon as I could, and I've been playing it as an alt ever since week 2. I'm very experienced with the current state of tanks for heroic modes (personally at 10/16 hc, as Prot Paladin) and I find myself thinking about Brewmaster a lot because of the broad depth of play and ability to mix and match a rotation however you like.

    Bottom line for me is that I absolutely love Brewmaster. Prot Paladin is the tanking equivalent of the Ying to Brewmaster's Yang. Let's look at base reductions when self buffed for the standard tanking rotations between the two.

    Paladin

    Brewmaster

    Compare the two passive affects. Paladins wear plate, with a bonus to armour (assume 55% mit.), meaning they will have approximately double the armour value that Monks. However, Monks get a full 25% all reduction in physical damage as passive, compared to a Paladin's 15%. Looking at stagger, Monks take a further 20% less passively per hit (assume purifying management is not a problem) then can add on another 20% from Blackout Kick meaning they will take only 60% * 75%, then add on armour to this (assume 25% mit.), as well as all magic being reduced by 25% flat out. Paladins can use SotR on a much more scarce uptime system for a base 30% physical reduction, making them take 70% * 85% on a melee hit, reduced by armour too.

    As I said earlier, they are very different ways of tanking, but the roots of each become apparent when you look at the melee hit from the ground up.
    A 100k hit, for example, will be (when unavoided):

    Paladin (passive): 100k * 0.45 * 0.85 = 38,250
    Paladin (active): 100k * 0.45 * 0.85 * 0.7 = 26,775

    Monk (passive): 100k * 0.75 * 0.75 * 0.8 = 45,000
    Monk (active): 100k * 0.75 * 0.75 * 0.6 = 33,750

    Chances for avoidance are:

    Paladin: ~30%
    Monk (passive): ~20%
    Monk (active): ~70%

    Further consider the chance to block for a Paladin meaning their passive melee hit mitigation is simply even lower by at least 30% on at least a 15% chance. Brewmasters cannot block, so you can see where this is heading.


    I could write all day about both tanks, since I haven't even considered Sacred Shield, Seal of Insight, Healing Spheres, Guard, etc etc. I didn't want to make this a comprehensive post and I've gone a little overboard anyway. In summary, you should see Paladin's health appear to be smoother than Monks, because their avoidance is that much lower, but when a Monk does get hit there should be plenty of avoidance after it to be healed in compensation, as well as personally being able to "wiggle" into healing orbs and heal up.

    * All calculations and approximations were pessimistic at best.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-03 at 10:56 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by imoom View Post
    (besides obvious stun that will get fixed)
    Can someone enlighten me on what fix this is? I don't see anything in the PTR 5.2 patch notes that support this other than the 25% boost to mastery points.

    It's not Nimble Brew you mean is it?
    Last edited by Sleuth; 2013-01-03 at 10:58 AM. Reason: 15% from Sanctuary, not 10% (but calculations were correct)
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  14. #14
    Nimble Brew and the mastery change, yeah.

  15. #15
    Field Marshal Sleuth's Avatar
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    I guess I should have said in my previous post that the difficulty of play to be able to be better than other classes (and believe me, you can be better than the other tanks) makes it a much more rewarding class and role to play.

    Paladin for me feels very passive and easy, and I would recommend anyone to play Prot Paladin as their first tank class. Monk is just flat out fun, but you definitely need to be prepared and ready for each fight.
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  16. #16
    Yeah, I've had that impression too. I tanked on a Paladin (not as my main, just as an alt I ran LFR and LFD with for fun and exotic mystery satchels), and in Cata I enjoyed it well enough. Thought it got even better with the 5.0 changes, was a lot of fun.

    Then I rolled a Monk. My god, the level of things you need to keep track of... Overwhelming at first, but you get used to it. Then you go back to your previous characters...

    Long story short, every single other character is ruined for me. I can't play them anymore. They're just so boring. Tried tanking normal Jade Serpent temple on my Paladin, for example. I yawned from start to finish.

    I need that challenge, and Brewmaster tanking has it in spades. Lots of fun!

  17. #17
    Field Marshal Sleuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisho View Post
    I need that challenge, and Brewmaster tanking has it in spades. Lots of fun!
    Definitely. But you have to keep in mind the viability of each - they each are better than the other for different fights, and at the cutting edge of progress I don't think Monks will be given much priority until their gear catches up.

    In the LFR and normals/catch-up heroics situations, Monks are definitely there right now and can pull off some amazing things.

    Such fun!
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  18. #18
    The only tank class I've played is a DK, and they have an active mitigation system but they also get a ton of self healing cooldowns as well as the typical tank cooldowns (shield wall, last stand, etc.). The main upside to a DK is there is wiggle room I guess since they wear plate and get more armor to absorb hits. You guys have more than answered my question about Monk tanks. Gonna give Brewmaster a go this weekend and see how it is. And I like super mathy posts like Sleuth made, really lets you kind of see how every tank is supposed to work.

  19. #19
    Stood in the Fire Yorgl's Avatar
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    The only environment where we actually suck is, unfortunately, Challenge modes.
    (Well, I prefer to be balanced in raids and suck in Challenge, as currently, than the opposite, bu still.)

    For those I switch to my DPS spec.

  20. #20
    @Sleuth, i ment Nimble brew, and the fact that dampen harm is castable while stunned, ontop of that some extra mastery should help.
    not perfect fix, but better atleast.
    and imo we do need something to help for when we have bad luck with crits and or dodge/parry. maybe the small mastery buff will help enough, maybe all the stats from 5.2 gear will suffice, either way, i find monks die more frequently "out of the blue". which from being a old prot paladin, and reading theck's theorycrafting is bad. Paladins go for expertise hardcap just for realiability, and even if we take low damage overall, we are prone to get some nasty unlucky deaths, which comes with the teritory of being a avoidance tank.

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