Brewmaster Gearing: What to and What Not to Wear

Gearing up as a Brewmaster is a topic that has been debated on many website such as Noxxic, MMO Champion, The WoW Community Site, Elitist Jerks and many others. There are different camps in the community each proclaiming that their way is better than other ways, but the problem with Brewmasters is that gearing (Gemming, Reforging & Enchanting) really depends on your playstyle, the content your on and your raid team.

To start off, Brewmasters use Leather gear. We can use both one or two-handed weapons, but cannot use daggers, shields & two-handed axes, sword & maces.

Each stat will do something different for a Brewmaster tank & before we look at how to gear, we should really look at why we gear the way we do.

Stamina – Stamina increases our Health Pool and while in a raid (With the Fortitude buff) and in Stance of the Sturdy Ox we gain 18.4 Health per point of Stamina we have. As we gain more Stamina, we gain more Health, which means that we can take larger hits before we die.

Agility – Agility increases our Attack Power, our chance to get a Critical Strike & our Dodge Chance. Agility is a great stat for Brewmasters, as so many of our ability can scale with Attack Power(Guard, Chi Wave/Burst, Zen Sphere, Invoke Xuen and more), an increased Critical Strike chance increases our stacks of Elusive Brew and an increased Dodge Chance is a higher chance to dodge an attack. Agility as a stat isn’t really in the stat priorities listed below, but if you can, Agility and Haste gems are great for red sockets for Haste or Agility bonuses if you are at your appropriate caps.

Haste – Haste increases our Energy regeneration and because of this it is one of our best, if not our best stat. Haste also decreases the time between each of our melee swings and because of this, can result in more stacks of Elusive Brew. Chances are you will be stacking as much of this as you can get your hands on. At level 90 it takes 425 Haste rating to equal 1% Haste.

Critical Strike Rating – Critical Strike rating increases our chance to have one of our attacks to be a Critical Strike. For Brewmasters this is a DPS increase and it also gives us stacks of Elusive Brew each time one of our auto attacks crits. 600 Critical Strike rating is required to increase your Critical Strike Chance by 1%.

Mastery Rating – For Brewmasters our Mastery is a good for damage reduction, each point of Mastery we have increases the damage we can Stagger. So 1% increased Mastery is 1% more damage that is Staggered. The main problem with Mastery is that it takes 1200 Mastery rating to increase our Mastery by 1% and because of this high rating requirement Mastery isn’t amazing at the moment. This will probably change in later tiers on content.

Hit Rating – Hit rating increases the chance that we will hit an enemy with our attacks. At level 90, to make sure that your special attacks (Keg Smash, Jab etc.) will always hit your target you need 7.5% hit, which is 2550 Hit rating. Hit rating is a great stat for Brewmasters as it increases our damage, and if we miss a Jab, we don’t gain the Chi from it.

Expertise Rating – Expertise rating now has 2 distinct caps for it. From 0 Expertise rating to 2550 Expertise rating, you reduce the chance that an enemy will Dodge your attacks, from 2551 to 5100 Expertise rating, you reduce the chance that an enemy will Parry your attacks (These rating values are for a boss level mob). Expertise functions similarly to Hit, in that it is a DPS increase stat, and partially a survivability stat, because if the boss doesn’t take the damage from Jab then we don’t gain the Chi it generates.

Parry Rating – Parry Rating increases the chance that we have to Parry an attack (and gain Swift Reflexes). Parry is a mitigation stat and is a slight DPS increase due to Swift Reflexes. At level 90 885 Parry rating is required for 1% additional Parry chance, however, Parry rating suffers from diminishing returns, so the more you stack of it, the less benefit you will gain.

Dodge Rating – Works like Parry rating does, it increases our chance to avoid the damage of an attack. Dodging an attack isn’t a DPS increase for us though. It takes 885 Dodge rating to get an extra 1% Dodge chance. Like Parry, Dodge suffers from diminishing returns as well.


So with this (potentially) new knowledge about what each stat does for us here are a few “cookie cutter” ways of gearing, gemming, reforging & enchanting. They all try to offer different things, where it is Effective Health (EH), a higher damage output or the ability to generate large amounts of Chi.

The different methods of gearing, gemming, reforging & enchanting are;

  1. The Effective Health Build – This build is generally used by Brewmasters on the bleeding edge of progression. The aim of this gearing is to have high Stamina & Mastery to take the large hits going out in heroics. The Stat Priority for this spec is generally Stam > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Hit > Expertise > Parry > Dodge Or a slight variation on this, however Stamina and Mastery are the key. This isn’t a build I have used, as I am not pushing the edge of content.
  1. Expertise Cap Build – This build focuses on getting to the 15% Expertise cap (5100 Expertise Rating). The effect of this is that your damage is increased, your attacks will always do damage which will mean you will always generate Chi when you use an ability. Another reason to Expertise cap is to make use of out Gift of the Ox (GotO), which procs from our melee attacks, these Healing Orbs will heal us when we run over them, helping out healers. You will still generate GotO orbs without the Expertise cap, but you won’t generate as many. The stat priority for this build is Expertise (15%) > Hit (7.5%) > Haste > Crit > Parry > Dodge > Mastery or variations of this, I tend to rank Mastery above Parry and Dodge, but that is just me.


  1. Expertise “Soft” Cap Build – This build has many similarities to the Expertise Cap Build. The main reason for the “Soft Cap” (7.5% Expertise) is that you still hit with the majority of your attacks, and you can put the extra stats into Haste and Crit, which are very effective for survivability. The stat priorities for this build are Expertise (7.5%) > Hit (7.5) > Haste > Crit > Parry > Dodge > Mastery, again, I prioritise Mastery over Parry and Dodge in this build.


  1. Haste-Crit Build – This build relies on not actively trying to get to the Expertise & Hit caps, and reforging more into Haste and Crit to increase your Energy regeneration, your Elusive Brew stacks and Chi through the increased Energy regeneration. The stat priorities for this are Haste > Crit > Mastery > Parry > Dodge > Hit > Expertise, again, the priority list will change depending on what you want or feel you need.


So with these gearing strategies you want to make sure your enchanting and gemming complements them, if you aren’t going for the Expertise or Hit caps, having gems with Hit or Expertise isn’t a good idea. Same goes for an Expertise cap build and gemming for Mastery. For enchanting generally, Dancing Steel is better than River’s Song for us, as we gain more benefit from the Agility then Dodge.

What I am trying to get at with this long post is that there isn’t really a definitive way that you must gear (gem, reforge and enchant) your Brewmaster, the main factor comes down to personal preference. If you are in a 10 man guild like I am, I find that the Expertise build (either 7.5% or 15%) are the priorities I tend to use because I am survivable (Healers don’t complain about the damage I take) and I can compete with the DPS due to Vengeance and our huge use of Agility, Haste and Crit.

Tell me what you think guys and girls, how do you gear your Brewmaster? As well, if you want to send me your questions about Monk, Brewmaster or otherwise I am thinking about doing a blog post answering different questions you have. You can submit them by commenting on this post or sending a tweet or DM to @matthews9292.

As always, comments and suggestions are always welcome. Until next time.


~ by matthewsmonk on December 4, 2012.

2 Responses to “Brewmaster Gearing: What to and What Not to Wear”

  1. I have been going with the soft expertise cap method of gearing and have been having solid results. (in my humble opinion) but we have only seen 2 bosses so far. it is one of the things i really enjoy about the Brewmaster. having the option to be able to come at an encounter with 4 decent options.

    • I’ve been leaning towards the soft cap method as well at the moment. I feel like with the hard expertise cap method at the moment, you don’t have enough haste to use Purifying Brew as often as you would like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Monk Down Under

A blog about gaming and other things

Sunnier's Art of War

A blog for Brewmaster Monks

Zen Pilgrimage

A Monk's Journey


A blog for Brewmaster Monks

Spyker Monk in World of Warcraft

A blog for Brewmaster Monks

Journey of a Drunken Panda

A blog for Brewmaster Monks

%d bloggers like this: