Monks can fulfill three roles in the Mists; Tanking Melee DPS and Healing. The Brewmaster specialization fills the tank role.
The Brewmaster has two resources, Energy and Chi. Energy regenerates automatically and fuels your basic abilities, these abilities create Chi, which fuels your better, more advanced abilities. This obviously means that you’ll be weaving Chi generating and Chi spending abilities throughout your rotation.
Brewmasters also have a new damage mitigation mechanic called Stagger that is exclusive to them. For every physical attack taken, a percentage of the damage is not taken immediately but instead is turned into a damage over time effect that stacks. By itself, this does nothing except spread out the damage taken a bit. However, Brewmasters also have Purifying Brew, which completely eliminates the Stagger DoT effect. Used properly, this can allow you to avoid a good chunk of damage.
Just like the Windwalkers, Brewmasters are designed with agility in mind so your gear will be pretty similar to a Rogue or a feral Druid’s Agility leathers for armors and for weapons, you can dual wield fist weapons, swords, maces and axes or use a two-handed polearm or staff. Shadow craft armor with dual Venerable Mass of McGowan or the soon to be implemented Burnished Warden Staff seems like a good idea.
Jab: A basic, low-damage ability that grants you one Chi. Reliable for Chi, not much else.
Keg Smash: This is your everything; it gives you two Chi and applies the Weakened Blows and Dizzying Haze effects, which are huge for mitigating damage. They make enemies hit 10% less hard, miss 3% of the time, and move 50% more slowly.
Expel Harm: I love this thing, it heals you while damaging nearby enemies and gives you more Chi.
Blackout Kick: Currently, your most overpowered ability, in my opinion. This ability costs two chi but is the hardest-hitting instant strike in the monk’s arsenal, giving you a small heal and a chance to gain some chi back if you kill the target with it.
Purifying Brew: Instantly gets rid of all of your Stagger stacks, mitigating a lot of damage. Your main tanking tool.
First, make sure you’re in Stance of the Sturdy Ox, not Stance of the Fierce Tiger. If you mess this up, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Keg Smash is the key ability that starts everything and should be used on cool down, as it provides you with two Chi. Once you’ve got Chi, you’ll want to burn it on stuff to keep you alive. Use Blackout Kick to do so, as it will proc Shuffle. Shuffle will mitigate a lot of incoming damage.
If you need chi and Keg Smash is on cool down, though, use Expel Harm or the old reliable Jab. If your Stagger damage is getting high, though, use Purifying Brew to clear it. Finally, assuming the level 30 talents keep their strong healing effects, weaving one of them in when you have extra chi (I prefer Zen Sphere) will be a significant help.
Take Celerity here, Momentum is pretty good too but I’d take Celerity over it. Tiger’s lust doesn’t pay off in PvE though it’s a godsend in PvP.
Take Zen Sphere. 2 Chi, HoT on a single target, also does damage to closest enemy. The damage and healing from this is ridiculously overpowered.
Chi Brew is very nice, but I prefer to take Power Strikes. It’ll make your Jab generate extra Chi every 20 seconds.
Take Leg Sweep here. It’ll stun all enemies in melee range for five seconds. Charging Ox Wave is good too, but Leg Sweep is better since you’ll already be in melee range.
Dampen Harm will make your life a lot easier, literally. Halving the big attacks coming your way? Yes please.
Take Xuen here. Not only will it help you kill the enemy it also taunts them to attack it instead of you. Besides that it’s cool as heck.
Agility: Your primary stat, on par with Stamina. Provides dodge, attack power, and crit. Good for avoidance and dps.
Stamina: You need to stack this up to a point, just until you have enough of a healthpool that your healers can comfortably keep your healthbar happy without losing hair. No longer effects Vengeance.
Hit and Expertise rating: You need to get this up to 7.5% before much else. Decreases your chance to miss, or get dodged or parried. The last thing you want to do is to miss your Keg Smash and not get the 2 Chi it provides.
Haste: Provides faster auto attacks and faster energy regen, which leads to faster chi generation and more uptime on defenses.