Firestone Walkers Overvalued


First off, congrats are in order on the V2 tank sims. They seem much more reasonable than the old version, and the addition of the Blender has been a great addition.

I recently ran simulations of my Brewmaster Monk, and while the stat targets seem reasonable, it’s giving me what I consider to be highly questionable advice when it comes to legendaries when I run the BiB.

Right now, I have three legendaries, Jewel of the Lost Abbey, Archimonde’s Hatred, and Firestone Walkers. Generally speaking, the community considers Jewel, AHR, and Lost Tunic to be the best 3 legendaries for raiding, with Anvil-Hardened Wrists as a viable M+ choice. Firestone is generally considered one of the worst possible legendaries to get, since it only slightly reduces the cooldown on an ability that you only use in emergencies.

BiB, however, is of the strong opinion that, no matter what the situation. Krosis, Spellblade, M+, and 100% DPS blend, that Firestone is the best option.

This seems patently silly. At best, Firestone gives you 1 more big defensive cooldown per fight, and on a flight like Krosis, it’s only -2s every 8s, since you’re only hitting one target. Compared to Jewel, which improves the core Stagger mechanic and smooths your healing out, and AHR, which is a massive shield, on a fairly short cooldown, that also does good single target damage.

If anything, going 100% DPS focus should keep me using AHR, but BiB says my best possible DPS is using two legendaries that don’t provide any added DPS at all.

Is there some kind of issue/bug? Something in the simulation that’s causing Fortifying Brew to be highly valued over other mechanics?


I have to defer most of this to yellowfive, our tank sim expert. He’s been tied up with some code all day and is pretty bogged down this week, so we’re a bit slower to respond than usual. Sorry about that.

Just to double check- are you running BiB off of a custom gearing strategy? The ones that take an hour (or more for tanks) to sim? It sounds like you are, but just in case, here’s a guide on doing that:


No problem - I’m not in a hurry, I just got the results and was confused. It’s all going to change next week anyway, I suppose.

I am running it off a custom, using the V2 strategy. The BiB results are consistent across different strategies and Blender settings though, which makes me think it’s something about either the rotation using Fortifying more aggressively/often than I do, or the NPS/Death Chance model valuing large defensive cooldowns more than I think is reasonable.


Actually i’ve run Gearing V2 and the Firestone Walkers don’t event show of.
Can i know your “stats” in output of the sims ?


Can you link me to the strategy that you made, and post an addon export for your character? I can give it a try if I get a few spare minutes, see what’s up.


Here’s one of my strategies:

$50;US;Zul'jin;Mirathi;Just Awful;13;2;110;3:284,1:279,13:16;1;.s1;16;2123122;1277,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,81,167,1,1,99;1,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,4,1,1,1;147760b1482b3528b3572,140079b1542b1824b3337,137326b1542b3336b3417;.s2;17;1333132;931,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,349,80,170,98;1,1,1,1,1,1,1,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,1,1,1,1;143700b1542b1824b3337,137307b1532b3414b3528,137008b1487b1805b3528;.s3;18;3323132;800,1,19,1,1,2,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,261,247,35,173,95;3,3,3,3,3,3,3,1,1,1,3,1,1,1,1,3,1,1,2,1;140841b1472b3514b3528,144462b1547b3336b3416,140842b1477b3336b3514;.q1;128938s16b732x147760y-7681z-2753;4678s7b810b1876b110;28s13b-1996b1996b45;796s1b-2016b1780b81;12s3b-1876b1794b80;6s9b-1874b266b1610b110;2586s12b-1717b1719;489s11b-1973b1780b81;3332s5b-1936b1962b84;35s2b-2021b1830b177;3349s14b-55b71;156s6b-3487b1439b1962b84;71s15b-1981b1789b80;3262s8b-1919b1840b235;1s10b-2075b1840b235;.q2;128937s16b733x141274y-3967z-299;4679s7b809b1876b110;824s1b-1971b1780b81;12s3b-1876b1794b80;6s9b-1874b266b1610b110;2569s8b-69b71;506s11b-1973b1780b81;1796s13b-3377b1461b2026b45;1536s5b-2091b1962b84;29s2b-2041b1849b108;3355s14b15b71;156s6b-3487b1439b1962b84;71s15b-1981b1789b80;217s12b-1894b286b1529b231;3046s10b-2071b1840b235;.q3;128940s16b734x140841y3621z-3620;5008s17;492s1b823b1780b81;18s9b-1876b266b1610b110;2586s12b-1717b1719;489s11b-1973b1780b81;792s5b-1946b336b1706b14;9s7b-2056b2042b14;3s3b-3487b1416b2063b8;30s15b-2041b2029b12;962s13b-3487b1461b2026b45;1571s2b-2066b1830b177;3349s14b-55b71;156s6b-3487b1439b1962b84;3333s8b-2031b1840b235;1s10b-2075b1840b235;.r;_;.inv;2901;4047;46062;23051;34499;3444;6;2405;7503;1;182;1;1;1;1;1;11;2;1;1;3;1;312;7;3395;4;461;633b733x143700y-6393z-299;3b1x3833y3621z-3620;218;131;458;2436;16;1;4;13;6;1348;6;881b803b271b1528b79;2569b44b71;432b-3488b1495b1799b237;183;469;214b-2101b336b1706b14;6b-2071b2063b8;3b-2056b2042b14;0b-2071b2063b8;3b-3487b1416b2063b8;30b-2041b2029b12;0b-2071b2063b8;738b-1981b1870b111;224b-3487b1461b2026b45;466;16;3;2;43;2;327;4;61;3;31;1;1;1;1;280;1;10;5;204b-2091b1962b84;2b-2061b1976b85;3b-2041b2029b12;42b-2056b1864b107;25b-1961b1962b84;1b-2041b2029b12;30b-2041b1849b108;711;47;507b-1927b1820b236;242;158;1226;1438b-2031b1986b45;4b-2031b266b1720b45;1544b-2051b1872b134;5b-2011b308b1703;539;33;36;382b-2046b2046b44;1b-2090b2046b44;75;27$

Maybe it’s something odd due to me not having 4pc equipped? I’m not sure.


So with you gering strat i’ve go those leg :

I guess it’s because of the value of Versatility and haste.
First : the iLvl goal is at 875, this souldn’t be iLvl goal 906 or something around ?
On the same idear :

There are not suppose to be the same ?
For all fo my previous gearing is different between BiB and upgrade my guess is it’s normal.

I’ve watch this number for all my spec in upgrade finder, every spec is 1000 4300 1000 14500 for iLvl 875. I don’t thinks it’s good.


I haven’t even been looking at Upgrade Finder - I have the Firestone Walkers in my bag, so if you imported with my string, used that strat, and then hit BiB, it should have told you to drop Archimonde’s and equip Firestone.


Running simulations using each setup (and letting AMR choose the rest) comes up with these results:

Archimonde’s Hatred Reborn: 386,853 NPS
Firestone Walkers: 384,341 NPS

The difference there is well within a reasonable margin of error for the gearing strategy, so it seems that the selection it is making is not significantly hurting the performance metrics.

That said, gearing strategies are still sensitive to the effects you have equipped when running the strategy. Legendary effects, given their often large impact, are particularly difficult to estimate and compare withing one gearing strategy. The current recommendation when this sort of swapping occurs and you want to stick with the original setup is to lock the legendaries you used to generate the gearing strategy by clicking the changed slot in the BiB section and selecting the legendary you would like equipped there. Then you can hit save and update and it’ll keep that selection.


Yea, that’s what I figured was happening - I’m just confused, since the conventional wisdom so drastically discounts Firestone Walkers. It really doesn’t feel like they should be that close.

In practice, FSW is hard to get all that much value out of, especially compared to AHR. Looking at the rotation on the Wiki, it seems that Fortifying Brew is pretty aggressively used, upon cooldown, any time you’re about to take a big hit. In practice, with Stagger, you rarely need to pop it that regularly, and it’s better to save it for when you’re already low, and are about to take a big hit.

In short, the way the rotation is using Fortifying Brew gives you really big numbers when it comes to damage prevented, but it’s likely to prevent damage that would have been easy to just soak with Ironskin Brew and heal through, and save FB for a more urgent situation.

This makes FSW look like a much better legendary than it actually is in practice, at least in my opinion.


One thing to consider with AMR survivability sims is that in order to really challenge a tank set, the raw damage is automatically tuned up to give your character a real trial. It does this by adjusting the “Mythic+” level to give you a noticable chance to die, then tuning around this. This might lead to AMR results being tuned to a harder level of content than what you might usually approach on your character. This may contribute to greater value in cooldown reduction effects, since in the simulation you are regularly being put in “scary” situations, while in a normal fight those might be fewer and further between since a lot of the time you are really in no danger of dying. I have seen similar high valuation for the Royal Dagger Haft, which prevents a death but is considered by much of the tanking community to be of situational usage at best since in a lot of real situations you can easily cover all of the “scary” parts of a fight with your big CDs.

I guess in short, your explanation is spot on, in that the usage pattern for FB in the default AMR setup may not reflect the real-world usage. Any model is limited by the assumptions used, and this is one area where the default AMR model assumptions (that were made for good reason in order to provide sensitivity to the NPS measure) are probably increasing the value of this item in contrast to community assumptions.

That said, if you’re in a fight where there is consistently scary tank damage and you can use FB on CD (like Mythic Krosus for instance, which is pretty close to what the AMR strategy was built on), then the Walkers may be stronger in total death protection that the community gives them credit for.


I see what you’re saying - I have two counterpoints to that:

  1. I’m still confused why AHR doesn’t win out on a 100% DPS Blender setup, since it actually does damage, and Walkers do not.
  2. I would still contend that you don’t want to use FB that aggressively. The way the rotation works now, it uses it at the first available “big hit”. On a fight like Krosus, it’s better to hold it for when you have a few stacks of Searing Brand, to soak a 5-stack Slam, then to just use it on the first slam that comes up. It may also be more valuable to burn a Healer CD like Ironbark instead, since it’s a faster CD.

I’m not sure if this is something that could be rectified - maybe add more conditions onto the use of FB in the rotation?


When I alter the strategy to go full dps (2 rules, 0% CTD = 0% reduction and 100% CTD = 0% reduction) I get Walkers and AHR suggested, which makes sense to me since the stats on walkers are likely worth more than those on the ring, and AHR’s 3000 Agi is clearly going to be a ton of dps. I have not spent much time playing around with the blender though, so I could be doing something wrong there and would defer to an expert.

I started to respond to point 2 but looking at the sims themselves I’m not quite sure how the “big” hits are determined. I know there are definition in the boss script that say that, for instance, Searing Brand is considered “big” at 4 stacks, but the logs appear to be using fortifying brew elsewhere so I don’t think I have a full understanding there. In theory if you wanted to wait for such a situation, the real determinants are probably both that a big hit is incoming, and you are already at a high stagger level (that’s the thought behind waiting until you’re already taken large damage recently I assume?) so you double dip the DR on the existing stagger reduction as well. You can make this modification in the script (example) and do the comparisons to see if there’s a difference in valuation.


Something flagged as “predictable” is considered “big”, so I think Slams too for Krosus.


Yea, it’s definitely splitting hairs, but for tanks, it seems like it makes sense to come up with some way to hold big cooldowns for “dangerous” hits, as opposed to just “big”.

I simply don’t have enough major cooldowns like Fortifying Brew to be able to use them on things that are just “big”. For something like Slam, or Annihilation on Spellblade, they happen every 15-30s, so popping a 2+ minute cooldown on them is overkill, unless I’m already heavily staggered, or low on health, stacked on DoTs, or other some dangerous situation. I’ll run out of big CDs on ones I could have simply survived, and not have them later for when they’re actually at risk of killing me.

Maybe there’s some way to weave in the “Death Chance” stat? Only use your major CDs if you’re over X death chance?


Yeah – I wrote the protection paladin rotation, and they have a few more cooldowns than other tanks. But generally how I wrote the rotation is to never overlap defensives, and not to overlap a major defensive with my shield of the righteous AM, which is as strong as a major defensive. This results in really good coverage of “big” events with some kind of reduction, and actually makes a big difference in toughness.

Not sure how well a similar approach would work with brewmaster (or if we already do that or not)…


Yea, Brew really only has two major CDs - Zen Meditation at 5 Minutes, and Fortifying Brew at 7 Minutes, though FB benefits from Brew’s general CDR rotation on Brews, so it’s closer to 3.5 mins if you’re playing well. Even with Walkers cutting the cooldown a little, you’re probably only getting it to 2.5 mins in the optimal case.

What we have instead is Ironskin Brew, which you can keep at essentially 100% uptime. We don’t have “active mitigation” the ways other tanks do, it’s just “Keep ISB up all the time, and then do Purifying Brew whenever Stagger is high.”

I can poke around at some modifications to the Brew rotation, but I’m not really all that good at it myself yet - I’m still playing it as an alt-spec.


If you have an item that lowers FB cooldown, it makes sense to use it early in the fight, to the. Get another FB later in the fight, right?


That would be the idea - the issue is, we have so few major CDs, that it’s generally better to just hold on to it, to use it optimally, instead of just using it a lot. It’s only 15s of uptime for a ~3 minute cooldown, so it’s not like you can just pop it randomly and get good value.

The only other major CD is Zen Meditation, which is a 5 Minute cooldown, so it’s rare you’ll ever get 2 of those in in a fight, effectively.


It’s not to say that Firestone Walkers are objectively worthless - there’s clearly an optimal usage pattern you could do to take advantage of the shorter FB cooldown that would be decent.

In my case, however, the other options of 3 seconds longer Stagger, or a 30% shield on a 1.5 minute cooldown, both seem more effective in real world usage.

Jewel of the Lost Abbey is just amazing at smoothing your healing out, as well as increasing the effectiveness of your Purifying Brew by holding your Staggered damage around longer, allowing you to stack it higher more safely.

AHR adds a third “emergency cooldown” that’s, in many ways, as effective as FB, on a shorter cooldown by nearly half, and with some decent damage attached.