This week, we’ll be digging a little deeper into the tanking spec of the Monk class, the Brewmaster and looking over some of the signature abilities of the tanking spec and what sort of playstyle we can expect to see from it.
Many of the Brewmaster specific abilities seem geared towards not just a flat reduction of damage like the classes we work with now, but taking the damage dealt to you, dicing it up into more managable chunks instead of the big spikes and setting those up to hit you over time to make it a little easier to keep your health up.
For heading down the tanking spec, you’re given the Stance of the Drunken Ox right away which reduces the damage you take and gives you a chance to stagger any remaining damage which will cut any incoming damge by 50% and then dealing the remaining 50% after a few seconds.
This provides an immediate benefit to survivability as there is a much lower chance of being unexpectedly spiked to death before your healers can react.
This theme of abilities and talents to give your healers a chance to catch their breaths continues with Drunken Haze which has an additional effect of giving your targets a small chance of redirecting their attacks upon themselves, which, again, usefully lessens the burst of damage you might take in a given moment.
They also borrow from the paladin textbook of tanking by bringing to the table a number of abilities that help to reduce damage taken by any nearby allies as well.
Avert Harm is an ability that has the fairly low cooldown of 1 minute and reduces all damage taken by nearby allies by a certain percentage and then redirecting half of the damage they take to be inflicted upon you instead, which can be suicidal if used without cooldowns but with a little preparation and coordination, can be a very useful tool when it comes to raid utility.
Brewmasters are also capable of dropping statues which function sort of like the holy priest’s Lightwell, where allies can click on the statue to gain a short duration buff in the form of a bubble.
The Brewmaster is looking to be a bitmore of a raid utility focused tank.
While it definitely looks like the new tank will fill a certain niche role between the paladin and the warrior, it also means that they’ll likely be quite a bit more effective in larger parties (raids) as opposed to smaller ones where there are less people around to take advantage of the benefits that the class brings.
Keep that in mind as well as your preferred tanking playstyle before you maybe think about deciding to reroll as a Brewmaster come the next expansion.