Zen Meditation: Brewmaster secondary stats and when to use them

Which Brewmaster stats are the most useful? Which ones should you be searching for? And which stats end up being the most useful in any given situation? Generally speaking, the answer lies in our secondary stats — Versatility, Mastery, Critical Strike, and Haste. But some discussion of Agility and Stamina always comes into this conversation as well. As a general rule of thumb, you want a good mixture of all of your stats — but not all situations hit this rule of thumb.

What do our stats do?

First, let’s have a brief rundown on what stats do.

  • Critical Strike increases the amount of damage you do, as well as the amount of self-healing you do.
  • Mastery increases how often you’re able to dodge attacks, as well as your attack power.
  • Versatility increases your damage done, while also decreasing the damage you take.
  • Haste doesn’t just increase your energy regeneration, but also reduces the cooldowns for some of your more important spells (such as Keg Smash).

So each of these stats have some potential for your mitigation, but they also contribute to the amount of damage you do. While tanks rarely worry as much about the amount of damage they do, doing more damage in general helps your team. This is especially apparent in situations like farming, bosses with higher DPS checks, or even shaving off time on that Mythic+ timer. And the best part? You aren’t sacrificing much — if any — mitigation with these stats, save in a few situations.

Nighthold: All magic, almost all the time

Frankly, most spells aren’t marked for dodging. This greatly reduces the actual value of Mastery. For any fight in which we aren’t being hit by auto attacks or other things that are dodge-able, it’s worthless for your mitigation. Instead, it just increases your damage done. While some fights in Nighthold do have a physical portion (such as Spellblade Alluriel’s Annihilates), most of the fights — especially later fights — end up being more about reducing the amount of magic damage you take.

This greatly increases the overall value of Versatility for Brewmasters. I hear many people complain that Versatility is “bad” or who think they should be stacking Mastery. Frankly, when you aren’t taking much physical damage and the magic damage ends up being more likely to kill you, Versatility and Critical Strike become kings for reducing the strain on your healers.

Granted, you aren’t being bad if you still walk into Star Augur with a fair amount of Mastery. It won’t offer much mitigative value in that situation, but killing the boss a little faster does mean the boss has less time to kill you.

Become a Watcher

Mythic+

Then there exists, of course, Mythic+ dungeons. One thing that many people don’t seem to understand is what exactly presents the most danger to you in these dungeons. Many bosses likely do nasty magic attacks — and on Tyrannical, these can certainly kill an unprepared tank and healer.

However, one of the most dangerous things in Mythic+ dungeons — ignoring some affixes — are the trash mobs. Similar to how Challenge Modes used to be, bosses in Mythic+ end up feeling like more of a “break” because they’re far less likely to kill you. You’re already pretty familiar with most of their mechanics, and you usually don’t need to worry about someone pulling extra mobs — or worry about Necrotic or Raging, for that matter.

That’s a more wordy way of saying “all your stats matter.” In higher Mythic+ dungeons, you want to be able to do as much damage as you can, while also allowing your healer to DPS as well as heal. Seems a bit strange, right? Well, with gear, this comes much easier. But in the next tier of content, we’ll likely be pushing higher levels again that we’re a bit undergeared for. Because of this, and because all of your stats are pretty darn useful, you’ll still want a good mix of them. You’ll likely want to favor Mastery and Crit, but also make sure you have a good amount of Versatility — and enough Haste to still be able to press your buttons.

So what do I aim for?

Essentially, this is what you want to keep in mind, stat-wise, for every situation:

  • Versatility becomes more useful than Mastery for mitigation in high-damage fights.
  • Mastery remains stronger for most physical fights, but you should still have a good mix of stats.

What constitutes a “good mix” of stats? Think of it this way: you don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. As explained initially, all stats offer some damage and mitigation value. Having a stat around, such as Mastery, isn’t really that bad on a magic damage fight. You just don’t want Mastery to be the main thing you opt into in that situation. Let’s say that you can choose between equipping two “stat stick” trinkets for an encounter. (Note: do not take this as trinket advice! I’m simply providing a metaphor here.)

For a magic encounter, you’re going to want your Crit and Versatility stat sticks. They’ll be more useful to you, allowing you to heal a little bit extra, while also reducing the magic damage you take. The rest of your gear can still mix in some Haste or Mastery.

If it’s an encounter with dangerous physical damage, you’ll likely want your Mastery stat stick — and then either Crit or Versatility. That’s because all three stats end up being useful in various ways. Haste still has some usefulness, so you’ll still want to mix it into your gear, but you stop gaining any extra mileage out of Haste early on.

That’s really what your secondary stats come down to. You’ll want to shift a piece or two around for some encounters, but having more Versatility for magic ends up being more useful, while Mastery ends up more useful in other situations. So when you’re making a gear choice, just pick the highest item level. Try to not stack one stat too high. We aren’t in a world where only one stat ends up being useful; each stat serves as a unique piece to a greater puzzle.

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