Hello friends! So I've done some more dungeons and I'm fairly happy with the results. I've also had the chance to really experiment with the different talents and I'm pretty confident in my thoughts on them as well. Without further adu, let's dive right in!
Right now my Brewmaster is sitting at ilvl 803. She's getting there for Heroics but I'm still confined to Normals right now. That being said, Normals feel pretty good. While leveling, I got comments saying I was one of the easiest tanks to heal and I was very confident in my tanking. Once I hit 100, I noticed my stagger was hitting extremes much more often (averaging about 3-6 times per dungeon rather than 1 or so) and I felt notably squishier. I'm still currently in a leveling / world content build so I'm going to experiment with Light Brewing instead of Gift of the Mists to see if additional charges of brews would solve that. Fairly confident it should. The general consensus right now is that the brew talents of that tier will largely be what you'd want in higher difficulty content.
I'm a bit worried that because of this and the likely need to switch out Healing Elixirs for a proper damage reduction CD come hard content that we won't have nearly as effective self-healing as we might need, but I want to make the point that such is just a worry rather than anything amazingly grounded. I've noticed that self-healing from Healing Elixirs has saved my butt during Normals enough that it almost feels like it should be baseline. It fills this wonderful niche that is a short-CD defensive ability that Brewmasters rather lack. We've got the moment-to-moment stuff with ISB and PB which feels great. We've got long-CD's in Fortifying Brew and Zen Meditation.
I'd say we'd have a mid-CD in Explosive Keg but I've honestly not really felt the defense from it. Just having one auto-attack miss doesn't really feel very noticeable. I more or less just use it on cooldown for general damage reduction rather than anything more purposeful because of that. And To get off track a little bit, I think the reason why is because it has a high rate of mitigation over an extremely short period of time. While technically it's only a 20% nerf in terms of damage reduced from the original version (15% damage reduction over 8 seconds) it's lack of a real duration means that it doesn't really help enable healers to catch up with your damage intake as significantly. It's basically a 1.5 second gap from auto-attacks and then you go back to full damage taken sans other CD's and that just doesn't feel that strong or significant. But anyway, we're missing a mid-to-short CD that'd be able to regularly help out, but not be something we totally rely on for most incoming damage. I'm going to be trying some different stuff over the next couple days as I continue to gear for Heroics, and we'll see if I really do feel like I'm missing something without Healing Elixirs.
Getting back to it though, dungeons have been pretty fun and while the spike in difficulty at 110 was a little jaunting, I really can't say I've been struggling because of it. Brewmaster still feels engaging and entertaining and I feel like I'm on top of the things which it throws at me most of the time. There's these giant crystal elementals in Neltharion's Lair which truck me but they're one of the few things I've found. It's quite possible I just don't know how to counter them, though I didn't see anything that made a counter known. In any case though it's been pretty enjoyable. I'm looking forward to a couple more experiments and some Heroics, once I get enough gear.
This is a bit of a short post, but that's because I've got a LOT written up for Talents, which is coming tomorrow! Thanks for reading! I want to try something a bit different for comments and discussions. There's still my Twitter, but I've made a thread on ChiBurst to discuss this and tomorrow's topics. Hope to see you there, ChiBurst is an awesome site that we're trying to get a bit more love and attention.
So long for now, see you tomorrow.
~ The Brewing Scribe