Talents are in an alright place, I feel. Most of them I'm fairly happy with. I've had a chance to play with pretty much all the talents, so I'm pretty confident in my findings. I'm using this post as a combination of answering the question of "What talents should I pick?" as well as providing feedback on the various talents and talent tiers for any Blizzard devs who are sneaking a peek. This'll be a big post, so I'm going to have a table of contents to make it a bit easier to navigate.
Table of ContentsLevel 15
Also its animation is freaking gorgeous, so yeah. Sold.
- TalentedOrbChance = BaseOrbChance * (1 + 0.6 * (1 - (HealthBeforeDamage - DamageTakenBeforeAbosorbsOrStagger) / MaxHealth))
To bring some context to that, Gift of the Ox orbs now spawn when you take 100% of your max health in damage. What Gift of the Mists does is makes it so that any numbers going to that total will get a multiplier depending on what your health is at after the hit. Essentially, it means more Gift of the Ox orbs that you can scoop up physically or via Expel Harm.
So this is a bit complicated. My general testing (and player surveying) finds that Light Brewing is really your go-to for dealing with harder content. Your self healing becomes a bit less trustworthy at a certain point, so you need to talent into Light Brewing or Black Ox Brew to get more actual damage mitigation and burst reduction in the form of your brews. Gift of the Mists might see use in encounters which may require a bit more independence from tanks, where healers aren't able to babysit them, but that's a very hypothetical and in my opinion unlikely occurrence. Black Ox Brew is a strong contender if you're in a situation where you need to predictably use more brews in a short period of time than you are allotted. With everything Brewmasters need to manage in regards to brews, using Black Ox Brew for throughput is extremely difficult. If you're up for that challenge, the rewards are very promising however.
Ring of Peace has had a slight change in design with Legion. Instead of incapacitating enemies around the target of the spell and incapacitating enemies who cast a spell while in the ring, it now throws enemies out of the ring if they use a harmful spell or ability. The problem I have with this talent is that its design has clearly been changed to a tool that is intended to assist in peeling enemies off of the squishier members of your party, yet it isn't effective at that role.
It firstly feels as though it should have been an Honor Talent, as enemy players are far more likely to proc its effects than NPC's, for whom auto-attacking is much more frequent and relatively more dangerous to your squishies. So already, it's arguably a nerf compared to its previous incarnation, and it's competing with two of the most valued Brewmaster CC abilities that they possess. Secondly, while it has superior range to your Keg Smash, because it generates zero threat it doesn't even really peel enemies off the ally for that long and so you're better off crossing the distance with your very high Brewmaster mobility via Roll or any of the other ways we have to move rather quickly to just Keg Smash and taunt the enemies off your ally. Furthermore, it actually makes doing that harder as if there's multiple enemies engaged on an opponent (and the knockback is actually procced), it kicks them away from the center of the ring, and thus means there's a serious potential for your Keg Smash to not actually immediately land on all the enemies harassing your friend. Using Ring of Peace has an actual potential to impede your capacity to peel off of allies. I suppose you could also use it on yourself as a means of getting an enemy away from you so you could rest a bit, but you also have Roll which does similar and doesn't take up a talent slot and is less likely to make melee freak out and reposition as heavily. Honestly, I was never really much a fan of it anyway compared to the other options in previous expansions. I'm a bit sad that it's continuing that pattern in Legion.
Were I to pick a winner for this tier, it would be Leg Sweep. Dave will have his day in raid encounters with adds I'm sure, but in dungeons and world content the utility and power of Leg Sweep is too much for Dave to see much use.
The diversity of choice also feels rather poor for that tier as well. Stacking dodge on purifies is nice but you aren't going to get a significant amount unless you're purifying a lot of damage in a short time and if you're purifying a lot of damage, you're taking a lot of damage. That dodge I feel like wouldn't do very much because A) it comes in after the spike and thus can only help with maybe preventing another if the spike was melee damage and B) it's RNG so even if you get 30% dodge (which is very high for this talent), that's still a 55% chance (barring additional dodge aside from 15% base) that dodge isn't going to help you out. As tanks, our job is to be as consistent as possible when dealing with burst damage and thus dodge is not our friend. For this particular case, I could only see this talent being useful if there are regular points in an encounter where you get bursted down from bug bites... points where dodge's RNG can be smoothed out via many occurrences. Even if numerically it would provide better damage reduction, most tanks will pick one of the other two talents simply because they provide more consistency, which is what really saves our butts. Fortified Mind however is another iffy talent which relies very heavily on an encounter-to-encounter basis. Namely, because it in practice will roughly halve the CD of Fort Brew, it's only useful on an encounter where you'd need Fort Brew more than once every 5 minutes after exhausting Zen Meditation and Dampen Harm / Diffuse Magic. Which might happen, to be fair. Still, it's another one that on paper seems very niche. Which leaves the 5% stagger.
Honestly I wish something broke this tier up a bit. On the monk discord earlier, I had a brain fart and mixed up Special Delivery with Fortified Mind, thinking the former was on the 100 tier. Thinking about it for a bit, I wish it was. It would make that tier much more interesting in its choices, giving players the chance to trade defense for damage if they so choose. I realize that's something Blizzard has said they don't really want to do much this expansion, but I honestly think say, switching Elusive Dance or Fortified Mind for Special Delivery would be a very interesting two talent tiers. You could get defense in both, you could get damage in both, but it really makes those tiers very custom to the player and their desired playstyle, driving them further away from the "pick based on encounter" feel that they somewhat have (with the 100 tier having a stronger feel of this).
That's all for talents. Thanks for reading! Hopefully the next blog post will be about Heroic dungeons and my thoughts on Brewmasters there, as well as tanking World Bosses. If you want to discuss this post, feel free to jump onto ChiBurst!
See you next time,
~ The Brewing Scribe