Disappointing Brewmaster Damage

Snapshot ID: ebbda9834a154e508f199840e5ebcbbf

I’ve noticed a significant decline in my performance since 9.2 started. In 9.1, my average parse for raid was 88.9 (heroic). Since 9.2 began, I’m hovering around 49.6 (again, heroic). So I’m trying to understand how to do better.

As far as I can tell, I’m set up for maximum damage. I’m Night Fae, which the guide says is the top DPS (and TUF) covenant. I set all my talents to maximize DPS, again according to the guide. My gearing strategy is set to all offense. I have the top damage legendaries, with the recommended secondary stats. I also have 2 damage reflection trinkets, which AMR says are second to none for damage. I don’t feel like I’m really playing any differently from 9.1, except that I’m now Night Fae instead of Kyrian. The only difference is that I now hit Faeline Stomp on cooldown instead of Weapons of Order - which is pretty frequently because of the Night Fae legendary.

For another point of comparison, our other tank is a brewmaster, and he’s blowing me out of the water on damage. He routinely does 25%-50% more damage than I do. His setup is completely different from mine. He’s Kyrian, he runs almost all different talents, he uses a different legendary, he runs DPS trinkets. To be fair, he also has 6 item levels on me (I started this tier as a mage, but that’s a whole other story). But I don’t feel like 6 item levels should make this huge of a difference, especially when AMR is telling me that I have a fantastic setup for damage.

Honestly, I’m doing OK. At 49.6th percentile, I’m the very definition of average. But it’s frustrating that my performance has dropped so precipitously since 9.1 and our other tank is putting out so much more damage than I am. I’ve thought about copying his setup, or maybe cribbing off of Icy Veins or Wowhead. But AMR has served me so faithfully since I started playing back in Legion. I’d really like to understand where I’m going wrong.

I’ll also include a link to last night’s logs. For last night, we both had our 4-piece tier bonus. Again, I was… fine (except when I died on Skolex). But I really want to be competitive here, not just OK.


Korra the Mediocre Brewmaster

Hmmm, looking at that log, here is what stands out to me (just using Halondrus to compare):
1.) I see no damage at all from Codex of the First Technique. That is an item which has the potential to be amazing, but apparently also the potential to be a total dud. I am a little unsure as to how it could have caused ZERO damage in a fight… but if you’re not seeing a lot of damage from it, I guess swap it out. Looking through your log, the damage is all over the place on that one. Maybe we’ll have to lower our estimate for that item if it is proving so unreliable.
2.) You only hit with faeline stomp 2 times out of 13 casts. The nightfae build is relying on Fae Exposure from the legendary being up a lot of the time. If you can’t reliably get those hits and keep up Fae Exposure, you’ll fall behind and this build will not reach its potential value.
3.) 30 casts of Keg Smash in a 4:37 fight seems low. I’d expect you to cast a few less than the other tank because you don’t have stormstout’s, but I’d expect about 10% less, not 30% less.

The Kyrian build might be less prone to variance. I’d say try to see what you can do about hitting those faeline stomps and swap out that trinket if it’s not working as we expected it to. The faeline stomps, in particular, should swing your damage significantly if you can get 50-60% uptime on fae exposure as we expect.

For some reason your Niuzao doesn’t seem to be participating in the fight any - not sure if you have a weird macro or something but that’s 5% of your damage gone.

The rest of this is feelycraft/lived experience since I’m not playing BrM this tier:

I played all of last tier with Codex, it’s very inconsistent. In a 100% uptime fight it’s very very good - but it has such an awful ICD that if you proc it at the wrong time you are very sad. So that explains a lot of that for sure - maybe not worth playing on downtime fights.

I’d reconsider playing Black Ox Brew in favor of Light Brewing for now while you focus on the other stuff - they have to be pretty close with Special Delivery. Once you get the rest of the stuff down (Faeline Stomp accuracy, Keg Smash casts)

I haven’t run any BrM sims this patch to check, but I’m wary about passing up the Niuzao conduit. And I’ve heard 4p makes Stormstout’s do more damage than Charred Passions, so I’d want to check that out myself to verify.

Good thoughts all the way around. I’ll add some of my own after another raid night.

  1. Maybe damage reflection trinkets aren’t appropriate for raid tanking. I’m thinking this is especially true for single target fights, where you only have threat half the time. Sure, there’s other damage going out, but it’s pretty minimal compared to taking direct hits from the boss. And that other damage may cause the trinket to proc at a very inopportune time. So I’m thinking I’m going to swap out both of the damage reflection trinkets for straight up DPS trinkets. However, the Reactive Defense Matrix appears to do pretty well, so maybe I’ll keep that one.

  2. Halondrus might be a bad test case for Faeline Stomp. Across all 10 kills from those logs, my hit rate with Faeline Stomp was 143/151, compared to the 2/13 for Halondrus. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he’s up on legs? Although I’m still curious how you would MISS with Faeline stomp - especially when you’re tanking. You’re literally facing the boss! :panda_face:

  3. I guess I could hit Keg Smash a little more often, but I think it would be pretty marginal. The nominal cooldown on Keg Smash is 8 seconds, so in a 4:37 fight, the maximum number of casts is 34 so 31 isn’t far off.

  4. I have no idea why Niuzao isn’t showing up in the logs. I pretty much hit it on cooldown. Combined with the huge variance in damage from the Codex of the First Technique (including no damage on Halondrus), that makes me a little suspicious of these logs. I don’t log, myself, but maybe I should start. I know the person who does the logs has been having some issues lately, but I thought that was all with the uploader. Makes me wonder if there are slightly larger issues at hand.

  5. I do wonder about the interaction between the four-piece tier set bonus and Stormstout’s Last Keg. It seems like that legendary will give you the most bang for your buck once you have the four piece set (which I do).

As an experiment, I’m going to switch to Necrolord for next week - with Shaohao’s Might to reduce the CD of Bonedust Brew. The AMR guide has it listed as second best, and it’s what I use for Windwalker, anyway. I ran a quick simulation of my existing Night Fae build versus a proposed Necrolord build and the Necrolord build came back with MUCH higher DPS: 6,449 vs 5,844. That’s a good 10% increase. We’ll see how it goes.

Korra the (hopefully less) Mediocre Brewmaster

Update after another week of raiding:

I fixed the missing Niuzao damage, though I don’t know how. It was almost as if Niuzao was permanently set to passive. I would summon him and he would just stand there. I fiddled around with the pet control bar but it never made a difference. Finally, on a whim, I decided to delete my game client and reinstall it. Niuzao is now magically doing damage, and it made a huge difference.

I’ve pretty much decided that the Codex of the First Technique (Codex) is a dud. Last night, I did the first half of raid with a 272 Codex and a 226 Reactive Defense Matrix (RDA). At our break, I switched out the 272 Codex for a 239 Tormented Rack Fragment (TRF). Unfortunately, the log only captured 3 pulls after break, so the sample size is painfully smally. But here are the results:

Before break
226 RDA: 271 DPS
272 Codex: 179.9 DPS

After break (only 3 pulls)
239 TRF: 318.3 DPS
226 RDA: 274.1 DPS

This is only damage directly done by the trinket. It doesn’t account for the fact that the Codex gives stamina instead of agility. My overall DPS went from 9137.8 before the break to 10721.2 after the break. Of course, there are other factors at work here, as well; I wouldn’t ascribe 100% of the increase to the trinket change. But it’s pretty significant.

This also leaves me rather skeptical of the RDA. Given that a 239 TRF already does more damage than the 226 RDA, I can only imagine that a 278 Phial of Putrefaction or Bottled Flayedwing Toxin (BFT) would perform much better. Unfortunately, my trinkets currently suck. The best I could offer is a 252 BFT. Maybe I’ll give that a try next week if I can’t farm up a better trinket.


PS: Link to logs: Warcraft Logs - Combat Analysis for Warcraft

Good to hear the damage is getting better for you!

Yeah I don’t know why the codex is performing so poorly in-game. We are (maybe already did, can’t remember) posting an update that reduces our default value of it, accordingly.

Based on that log (I don’t have one myself to generate logs and test with) it looks like the PPM might not match the spell info? The spell data says 2.5 PPM I think - but in their Skolex kill they got two procs in 4:16. There might also be something weird about what damage procs it or what damage it actually absorbs/reflects. I know that it is supposed to be way better for DK, since most of the DK damage intake is unmitigated - it could interact weirdly with the BrM kit.