Some Idiot's Guide to Brewmaster
March 9, 2016
Hello one and everyone! Safecyn here, bringing you my first ever guide to... anyone! Why'd I choose Brewmaster? Well, frankly, because, as I'm writing this, no guides have been written since 2013 and... a LOT has changed since then. I can only assume the Dotafire community is mostly teetotalers. As an overweight drunk, I feel it's my duty and responsibility to give the guy his much needed re-introduction.
But Safecyn, why should we listen to you? Are you any good at the game?
Ok fine, I'll admit it, I'm not good at this game. But I'm of the opinion that no one's actually good at Dota: there are just people that suck less than most. Like Dendi! And EE! And... all the pros really, heck, that's why they're pros...
This was a guide?
Oh, right! Brewmaster! This guy's awesome, you'll love playing him. His voice acting is great, his lines are funny, AND he has a decently high skill cap thanks to his ultimate, so you won't get tired of playing him! He's also a very flexible hero, able to be a tank, an initiator, a ganker, a semi-carry... even a hard carry depending on how you build him. So yeah, definitely give him a try.
And do remember, this guide is just suggestions based on my own experiences and understanding of the game, and shouldn't be followed to the letter (especially because, if you just look at the pictures, you'll end up buying two pairs of boots. Don't do that. Please? Ok, cool.) Being able to adapt to your specific game is what separates the pros from us rank amateurs. Feedback is appreciated, as long as it's constructive!
Also, since this has been up a while with reasonable success, I've added an in-game Steam build for this guide! Now you can be an Idiot any time you play. :D
Slams the ground, dealing damage and slowing the movement speed and attack rate of nearby enemy land units.
Attack Speed Slow: 25
Movement Speed Slow: 25
seconds on Heroes (8
A slam of Mangix' mighty keg starts the festivities.
Mana Cost: 90
Cooldown Time: 13
This is your bread and butter nuke, dealing good damage (even at level one!) as well as laying down that almighty slow. Just how almighty? Well, at level 1, the slow from this skill is already better than Sange
's maim, and better than Viper
's level 2 Poison Attack
. At level 2, this skill already slows opponents more than anything Lich
can throw out. At level 4, it's almost equivalent to a Rod of Atos
, except that it can hit an entire team, and it ALSO slows attack speed to a level equivalent to stealing someone's Hyperstone
, which is oft overlooked.
That's what I thought.
The catch, of course, is that the range is small, and centered around Brewmaster, which is why movement speed and positioning items are core on Mangix. It's also not terribly cheap, mana-wise, and you'll find yourself running low if you spam this too often early on. Another, lesser known catch that cropped up circa the 6.79 patch is that the slow is now purge-able, so Diffusal Blade
carriers can get out of it pretty easily. If they survive you being up in their face, that is.
Early game, you can use this skill to harass: try and use it when your opponent approaches the creep wave to last hit, and ideally grab one or two last hits yourself. Get in a few auto-attacks while they're slowed, then back off, unless you think you can get the kill. And even then, you may still want to back off, because a lot of first bloods come from people attempting to secure kills that they're sure they have, and then getting pummeled by a tower. I've seen things, man. Bloodseeker
in the jungle on bottom lane. Spirit Breaker
charging past a tier 2 mid. All of it, gone, like first blood in rain.
That's kinda morbid.
Ain't it? Anyways, during the mid to late game, the relatively low cooldown on this skill coupled with your hopefully bolstered mana supply will make both farming and pushing a breeze. Press Q to kill creeps, it's that simple.
Drenches an enemy unit in alcohol, causing all units in a 200 AoE of the initial target movement speeds to be reduced, and causing their attacks to have a chance to miss.
seconds on Heroes (12
Movement Speed Slow: 14%
Miss Chance: 45%
The Order of the Oyo's solution to all problems - another round!
Mana Cost: 50
So, you know how I was saying how one of Thunder Clap's biggest drawbacks is the small radius? It sure would be nice if Brewmaster had a skill that helped him get in range to use that spell, wouldn't it? Yeah. Yeah, it probably would.
This is where you yell 'oh wait', ri...
Shush. Anyways, this skill, man. It's good. Real good. A 14% slow might not seem like a lot, especially compared to the almighty thunderclap, but it's a 14% slow that lasts a whopping 8 seconds. EIGHT! When ganking and chasing most heroes, that's more than enough time to catch up and kill them, and if it isn't? Well, the cooldown is also 8 seconds, so you can spam this on an enemy indefinitely provided you have adequate regen.
The miss chance ain't nothing to sneeze at, either. See how it's 45% at level 1? That's already more evasion than a Butterfly
. I know, I know, it's not a fair comparison because one is a miss chance and one is evasion and butterfly gives a lot more stats and is always active and doesn't have a mana cost, yadda yadda, it's for emphasis, damn it!
The slow and miss chance is adequate for most purposes, even at level 1, which is why we take an early point in this and then skill it last. When would you prioritize this over drunken brawler? Well, if you're playing a very heavy gank game, or the enemy team has hard to catch heroes like Death Prophet
, and Spirit Breaker
(dem passive move speed buffs, man), it might be worth it for the extra slow, even if the scaling isn't the best. More likely, you're going to want to level this early if an enemy right clicker is starting to get out of control: Lifestealer
isn't that scary all of a sudden when he's missing over half of his attacks.
There's also been a pretty nice buff to this skill in the 6.79 patch, which gives it a small AOE of 200. This adds to its punch as an initiation ability, as you can potentially blink in, Thunder Clap, and then Drunken Haze a good portion of the enemy team all at once! Please note, though, that if your fingers aren't sufficiently fast, you'll probably get stun-locked right after you use Clap. Just... speaking from experience, over here.
Gives a chance to avoid attacks and to deal double damage as critical.
Dodge Chance: 10
Critical Chance: 10
Guaranteed Critical Strike/Evasion Timer: 16/14/12/10
When Mangix won his title as the Brewmaster of the Order of Oyo, he also claimed his place in the mastery of inebriation.
Let me get one thing out of the way, since I know this is the question that's probably on your mind. Even though Dotafire's database says that this skill doesn't stack with evasion... it does. As of 6.79, ALL evasion stacks diminishingly
, meaning that one source is checked, and if that source doesn't proc another source is checked independently of the first chance. Basically, 25% + 25% doesn't equal 50%, it equals 43.75% because it's (25% + (.25*75)%).
Does that mean you should get evasion on Brewmaster now? That's a question for a different section. Right now, we're focusing on skills, and boy is this a good one. A few levels with this let you hit like a truck and avoid damage like you're Faceless Void
. 25% evasion is a huge survivability asset, especially considering that it stacks with the blind chance from Drunken Haze (again, diminishingly). This skill can get so annoying to play against that enemy carries will have no choice but to buy a Monkey King Bar
At which point, this skill is reduced to a sub-par critical strike ability. So, y'know. Make sure your opponents don't get too much farm, and you're fine!
UPDATE: As of the 6.81 patch, this skill just got a whole lot more interesting! The following mechanic was added:
- If you have not attacked for 10 seconds, your next attack will always activate a Drunken Brawler critical hit
- If you have not been attacked for 10 seconds, Drunken Brawler will cause you to evade the next attack
UPDATE UPDATE: As of 6.82, there's now a timer associated with this bonus, making it weaker at earlier levels, but still good overall.
Guaranteed crits? Virtual immunity to being brutally murdered by Nyx Assassin's Vendetta
? Now this is what I'm talking about. Thanks for the love, Icefrog!
EDIT: It has come to my attention that Nyx Assassin
actually can't miss with Vendetta
. How did no one call me on this??? Ah well, it's here now.
Splits the Brewmaster into elements, forming three specialized warriors, adept at survival. If any of them survive until the end of their summoned timer, the Brewmaster is reborn.
Aghanim's Primal Split grants Thunderclap to Earth, Drunken Haze to Storm, and Drunken Brawler to Fire.The skills granted are at the same level as Brewmaster's skills. Cooldowns are independent of the original Brewmaster.
It isn't clear whether Mangix is consciously aware of his potent bond with nature, as it often occurs in the midst of a drunken stupor.
- Dodges projectiles while transforming
- All auras that Brewmaster possesses are active on Earth, if he's dead, Storm, and if he's dead, Fire.
- When the duration ends, Brewmaster will take the place in order depending on who is alive, Earth, then Storm then Fire.
- All spirits possess abilities.
Mana Cost: 125
Cooldown Time: 140
THIS SKILL. This skill has gotten some major buffs over the last two patches, the main ones being the new Aghanim's upgrade and the insane cooldown cuts: 140 used to be the level THREE cooldown on this skill, now it's level 1.
How you use this skill is by and large how people will judge whether you're a good Brewmaster or not. You can use it to dodge projectile stuns, survive ganks... oh, and it also gives Brewmaster a stun, a purge, a cyclone, a Shadow Blade
, and a Radiance
Only a little! Yeah, the bonus damage from invisibility isn't as high and the burn damage isn't quite as powerful, but still! It's good. Using this skill to its full potential requires you to know the ins and outs of each individual spirit, something that is no small task, believe me. I'll try and wrap my tiny mind around it and give you the best info I can, so bear with me, ladies and gents.
That was a pun, wasn't it?
Not admitting to anything. Before we dive into each individual spirit, though, there's a few things to keep in mind when using this ability. The first one being that your spirits have fixed strengths. They get marginally stronger with each level of your ult, but don't get any sort of bonuses from the stats of your items. They DO however, benefit from auras, which is why pretty much every aura item is a viable choice on Brewmaster.
Another thing to keep in mind is that each spirit has a bounty of EXP and gold that's separate from Brewmaster himself, meaning that a poorly used ult can end up giving the enemy team a lot more than if you'd simply allowed yourself to die. Sacrificing one or even two of the spirits for Mangix' life is, of course, the best course of action in pretty much every situation, but you NEED to make sure at least one survives. Take into account the composition of the enemy team, possible escape routes, and your own comfort with playing the hero before deciding to press that R button is all I'm saying. Oh, and do it all within the few seconds you have before you're completely burst down and destroyed.
UPDATE, 6.84: As of the latest patch, Primal Split
units no longer provide a bounty when killed! So now there's one less thing to worry about when you're deciding whether it's time to press that R button. Of course, there's still like, a billion other things, but still!
Care to give us an example?
Um... what? Dude, I told you I was bad at this game. First section. Don't go asking me for high-level advice like that, you knew what you were getting into when you started this guide.
... Can we just move on to the spirits now?
I thought you'd never ask.
Earth, Wind, and Fire
(Cousin of Riggy McRigrigged)
Hit Points: 1500
/ 159-171 (Piercing damage)
Armor: 5 (Heavy Armor)
Movement Speed: 325
Sight Range: 1800
Base Attack Time: 1.35
Hurl Boulder [Q]
Throws a boulder at a unit, doing damage and stunning it.
Damage: 50 (Magical)
Mana Cost: 100
[Image not available :(]
Immune to spells.
Provides a chance to do damage in a small radius.
/ 40 (Magical)
The Earth Spirit is the tankiest of the three, by a large margin. At max level, it has more than 1000 HP more than its two siblings, a good deal more armor, and on top of all that, it's magic immune! It even has a stun that has a really nice range to it: longer than Sven
's Storm Hammer
, for one. What's not to love?
He's slow. He's slow, and he's the default aura carrier, meaning that if your other spirits outpace him (which is a very real possibility), they no longer get the benefits of all the nice aura items you built. He's slow, and he's the one Brewmaster automatically jumps back into when the duration of the ult is over, meaning that if you're in full retreat, the enemy is going to be right on top of you when you come back.
But if he's so slow, the enemy will just kill him first, right?
Well... I mean, I'm not gonna lie. Probably. But that's actually bad play on their part, as by himself the Earth Spirit isn't a terrible threat. His damage is piercing, so it only does half to heroes, his stun does a measly 100 damage that can't be increased and gets reduced by magic resistance, and as for pulverize... I mean, just look at pulverize. Sure, it's a nice skill to get tacked on for free, but is that extra 40 damage a threat? It wasn't when it was universal damage, and now that it's magical? That doesn't piece spell immunity? Heck no.
Keep that in mind when playing AGAINST Brew: if you've got the enemy team on the ropes, and he pops his ult to escape, just follow the Earth Spirit, and only kill him if you can guarantee kills on the other two. When that low-health Brewmaster pops back into him and your entire team is surrounding him, you can almost HEAR the player on the other side let out a surprised little squeak.
Aghanim's Upgrade: Thunder Clap [D]
Getting the all powerful ult stick adds one more thing to Earth's bag of tricks: Thunder Clap
. This means that, as an ideal initation, you can blink in, Thunder Clap, use Primal Split, and immediately Thunder Clap again, as Brewmaster and Earth Spirit don't share cooldowns (Earth Spirit is automatically selected when you hit your ult, so there's no need to hit Tab). Just remember that this skill gets mapped to D during your ult, so it's QRD not QRQ. I've mucked that up enough times, believe me. Anyways, onto the next guy!
(Cousin of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah)
Hit Points: 1000
/ 159-171 (Piercing damage)
Armor: 2 (Heavy Armor)
Movement Speed: 350
Sight Range: 1800
Missile Speed: 1200
Base Attack Time: 1.5
Dispel Magic [Q]
Damages summoned units in a small radius and purges most buffs or debuffs.
Damage to summons: 500
Mana Cost: 75
Encloses a unit in a tornado, removing it from the battlefield.
on heroes, 20
Mana Cost: 150
Wind Walk [E]
Provides temporary invisibility. Gives bonus movement speed and attack damage when invisible.
Bonus damage: 100
Bonus movement speed: 50%
Mana Cost: 75
The Storm Spirit is cursed to be the middle child of the three. He's the second one selected when tabbing through, the second one to carry the auras and re-spawn Brewmaster if Earth dies, is the second fastest, the second most armored and just, in general, looks kinda pathetic when compared to the other two. His base attack time is also noticeably worse than the other two spirits, though he makes up for that a little with his range.
But where he shines, and what makes him by far the most difficult spirit to use, is his spells. All three of them are active abilities, and all of them are good. Cyclone is the one most people learn about first: free Eul's, right? Well, keep in mind you can't Cyclone yourself, so double-tapping does nothing. Also, unlike Eul's, this cyclone doesn't dispel anything.
Luckily, you have Dispel Magic which, you guessed it, DISPELS things. Did a crucial teammate just get hit with Frostbite
? Dispel Magic. Did the enemy carry just get buffed with Bloodlust
? Dispel Magic. Did Warlock
just summon four golems at once? Dispel Magic and... you know, it does some damage anyway. An important thing to note is that since Thunder Clap
can now be purged, Dispel Magic will remove it, so... don't do that. Being able to use this skill effectively is what separates a good Brewmaster from an average one, so keep it in mind.
Storm's last skill, Wind Walk, is basically a Shadow Blade
with less bonus damage and a boatload more bonus speed. No unit-walking, though. As you can imagine, you typically want to use this skill the same way you would a shadow blade: to make an escape, to catch up to a fleeing enemy, or to dodge an incoming stun, as the Storm Spirit isn't immune to magic. All in all, he's the caster of the group, and mastering him is to tackle a large step on the way to ultimate Brewmastery.
Aghanim's Upgrade: Drunken Haze [D]
The almighty ult stick gives the Storm Spirit one more button to press, but it's worth it. Why? For all the reasons I listed in the previous section, that's why, Drunken Haze is an all around baller skill. Just remember: Dispel Magic THEN Haze, not the other way around. Oh, and don't Haze the guy that you're going to Cyclone anyway. And remember that it's D instead of W, or you'll end up Cycloning the guy you meant to haze! And...
Yeah. Practice is probably the best advice I can give here. Not messing up the order of your skills while trying to not die AND trying to use the skills of two other spirits is way too complicated. Lucky for us amateurs, though, we don't technically have to worry about that. Bring out the last spirit!
(Should really be named Ember Spirit. Get on that Valve.)
Hit Points: 1200
/ 144-164 (Hero damage)
Movement Speed: 522
Sight Range: 1800
Base Attack Time: 1.35
Burns nearby enemy units.
Damage per second: 15
And Lo, Icefrog, in his infinite wisdom, decreed that having 6 active skills split between two units was sufficient, and was difficult enough for the minds of mortals to comprehend. Therefore, he bequeathed upon us the Fire Spirit, a unit who was useful simply by staying alive and right clicking enemies.
The catch of course, being that he has no armor and the lowest health of all three spirits. Though his damage is noticeably lower than those of his siblings, it's calculated as HERO damage, so it doesn't get reduced like the piercing damage of his compatriots. This actually makes his DPS the highest of all three spirits, especially with his passive, and a prime target for the enemy to take out. Good thing he runs at max move speed, eh? Provided someone tells him to move...
Aghanim's Upgrade: Drunken Brawler
The synergy here is actually somewhat amazing: the DPS spirit with no active abilites gets another passive that increases his DPS. Not only that, but evasion. Evasion! For a squishy guy like Fire Spirit, evasion is a godsend.
And there you have it! A hopefully complete look at each and every spirit that comes out of Primal Split
. Hope you learned something! I know I did.
But... you're the one writing it...
Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear.
Nothing. I just... kind of thought my resolve would weaken before getting to the Items section. This is like, the important one, you know? Make or break? Noob or Gosu? The recommendations I make here are what will determine whether this guide gets 5 green bars or one pitiful red one.
And you're a jerk. But you do have a point. Forward without fear, my friends!
This starting build is for farming safe-lane (or off lane, I suppose, but that's not ideal.) The idea here is pretty simple. Get some basic regeneration, plus some stats to help with last hitting. The nice thing about Brew is that, being a Strength hero, upping his damage also pumps up his HP, thereby increasing his survivability!
Shouldn't you still have a Healing Salve in there though?
Well, yeah... I mean, maybe? The Circlet
build is a bit greedy, I'll admit, as it's gearing to get you that Drum of Endurance
as soon as possible, but 4 tangos really does give a lot more staying power than 3, to the point where I barely buy salve on anyone any more. Brewmaster in particular has built in survivability thanks to his passive, so it's even more viable.
It's a valid point though. If the lane looks like it's going to be difficult (lots of stuns or high burst damage), or if you just don't feel comfortable without that Healing Salve
, feel free to swap out the Circlet
for a Salve and a Clarity
The classic 'Fast Bottle' build for mid heroes. I certainly didn't invent it, and I'm not going to fix what isn't broke. Despite being melee, Brewmaster can really excel in the mid lane: a bottle lets him spam Thunder Clap
for some wicked harass and a solid chance at getting kills, and Brew in general utilizes runes really well.
Let me be clear. I am not, by any means, suggesting that you get two pairs of boots on Brewmaster. But there is a choice to be made here, and it likely depends on what role you'll be filling in your game.
First though: Magic Wand
. It's almost self-explanatory, but I might as well justify it nonetheless. It's one of the most cost-effective items in the game, not only giving you some stats and some much needed item space, but that almighty burst heal and mana boon that can make the difference between life and death, whether it be narrowly escaping a gank or squeaking out that last bit of mana you need for a spell. Seriously, get it. It's good on any hero, and Brewmaster especially, because he'll gain charges while in Primal Split
mode! Finish up your Bracer
too, so that you can have that shipped out on the same courier trip.
address pretty much all of Brewmaster's early game mana issues, allowing him to spam his spells like crazy. They're also just a good item for a team to have in general, since everyone loves mana. These are very much for a Brewmaster that's going straight initiator or ganker, but shouldn't be entirely dismissed on carry brew either, particularly if you went safe lane and don't have a bottle: have to build that mana pool somehow.
Otherwise, pick up those Phase Boots
. The damage will help you farm better and make those crits from Drunken Brawler
sting even more, and the active allows you to catch up to enemies quicker for a good old Thunder Clap
. Not to mention that unit-walking through your own creep wave can save your butt if things go sour.
Now it's time to work towards that Drum of Endurance
. Drum is a good item on basically any hero, but Brewmaster in particular gets a little extra oomph out of it. The +9 to all attributes is never to be underestimated, and help solve your mana issues while making you tankier and quicker hitting.
The aura is what really shines on Brewmaster, though, as it will affect his spirits after he's used Primal Split
. That slow Earth Spirit is running a little faster, that Storm Spirit is hitting a little quicker, and that Fire Spirit is... doing his thing. The active charges can't be used during the ult, but are still useful for pushing, chasing, and teamfights where Primal Split
is on cooldown. It's an all around great item that addresses a lot of Brewmaster's needs, and should be picked up in nearly every game regardless of role.
Which brings us to our final question: to blink, or not to blink? Blink Dagger
is another item that's good on most every hero because of its sheer versatility, but it IS a 2150 gold investment into an item that gives no stats whatsoever, and can't be used when you're getting hit. Then again, any damage you take during Primal Split
won't reset the counter on the Blink Dagger
, so it can always be used immediately after your ult to aid in a getaway. An initiator Brewmaster needs this no questions asked, but a carry? If you've got a strong initiator on your team already, it may be a smart move to delay or outright skip Blink Dagger
in favor of a big ticket, late game item.
It really does depend on your game. Personally, I almost always get a Blink Dagger even when I'm playing carry Brew, but I've already admitted to being bad at the game. It's utility really is unmatched and allows for some clutch plays that can make or break a game, and so my general advice would be unless you know you don't need it, or you absolutely NEED a different item now and can't afford to put gold into it, get it, and Blink Clap Haze Ult Clap like crazy.
Caving into peer pressure, eh?
Oh, shush. This early game progression is perfectly viable too, thank you very much. Brewmaster's natural tankiness makes you survivable even without the health buff from Bracer
, and now that Blink Dagger
has no mana cost, you don't need that extra int from Drum of Endurance
to sustain your initiations.
Going straight for the Blink lets you be aggressive earlier on in the game, which is especially good when facing a hero that takes forever to come online like Spectre
, Phantom Lancer
, or Faceless Void
. It's a riskier build, though, as you're delaying those extra stats and movement speed you'd otherwise get, so think twice about doing it if you're the only hero on your team with any carry potential.
with maybe a
Note that the above reads Aghanim's Scepter
and ( Heart of Tarrasque
or Assault Cuirass
), not ( Aghanim's Scepter
and Heart of Tarrasque
) or Assault Cuirass
. I know, it's seventh grade math come back to haunt us. Moving on.
Brewmaster really does benefit from having more of each stat, which would make Aghanim's Scepter
a viable pick-up even if the upgrade to Primal Split
wasn't amazing. That ult upgrade though, pushes it over the edge to absolute core. The crushing teamfight presence that Aghanim's upgraded spirits give really can't be matched by any other item, if for not other reason than it lets Fire Spirit live longer and be able to crit with HERO damage. Two bouts of Thunder Clap
ain't a bad justification, either.
After this, tank up. You want to be able to survive the first wave of stuns and nukes they throw at you, as well as be able to delay your ult if the situation calls for it. Which to get, though, AC or Heart?
Well, in general, once you get past 2000 HP (or something around that mark) armor gives you more EHP than raw health, and since Brewmaster doesn't benefit from health in any special way (like say, Ursa
) there's a very nice argument to be made for an Assault Cuirass
. The extra attack speed really ramps up your DPS as it will proc more critical strikes, and the Assault Aura will cary over to your spirits during Primal Split
, giving them additional armor they desperately need and increasing their DPS as well.
Heart of Tarrasque
on the other hand gives more raw health and a nice solid chunk of damage, as well as some insane regen when you're not actively being damaged, which isn't all that ideal considering Brewmaster, even when carrying, tends to be a team's tank. Why get it instead of an AC, then? It's quite simple: Brewmaster regens health during his ultimate.
So let's say you start a fight as Brewmaster, eat a ton of damage, and then pop your ultimate to stay alive. After 4 seconds, since Brew is melee, Heart of Tarrasque
will start providing that insane regen again, even if his spirits are actively being hurt. A level 3 ultimate lasts 19 seconds, so 19-4 is 15 *2% health regen per second, gives a grand total of 30% health recovery! Coupled with his natural regen from his strength, and it's safe to assume you'll come out of Primal Split with a third of your health bar magically intact again, which can be pretty game breaking.
is by far the most controversial item listed here, except perhaps Butterfly
which we'll get to in a bit. There's certainly a case to be made for it, though. The components are cheap and useful in their own right, with Sange
adding to Brewmaster's already formiddable arsenal of slows, not to mention giving him an additional 26 damage. The evasion DOES stack, as previously mentioned, and I don't care who you are: it's annoying playing against someone that you'll miss 43.75% of the time.
The disarm active, as well, is an oft overlooked (again, by me) ability that is astoundingly useful for shutting down hard right clickers, though the mana cost puts some strain on Brew's already shaky mana pool: unless you got Arcane Boots
. With that in mind, this is a pick-up that's at least worth consideration on a tank or initiator Brewmaster. On a carry? Enh... unless you're going a super-reckless all evasion build and plan on getting Butterfly
as well, you might want to skip it. There are better items for Brew, when all is said and done.
Late Game Extensions
Late game items are always a 'play your own way' experience: now more than ever you need to buckle down, figure out what your best shot at winning is, and farm, farm, farm for it. This section is going to be more a general case for each item rather than a progression, and since I already made a case for both AC and Heart in the last section, I'll skip those, with the final note that getting both is perfectly fine, and makes Brewmaster a tank to end all tanks.
not only gives extra armor for some more tank ability, but effectively solves all of Brewmaster's mana issues for the rest of the game. The blast gives him one more nuke during an initiation, and the aura will, of course, carry over to your spirits, decreasing enemy attack speed in the area. Combine that with attack speed slow from Thunder Clap
and all of a sudden your enemies are attacking as slow as Tiny
. Well, ok, maybe not THAT slow, but close. Ish.
Boots of Travel
are a good option on any carry, and Brewmaster is no exception. The extra movement speed helps with his positioning, and the teleportation is always useful, whether you need to go back to base to help defend or get to a lane and flash farm real quick.
provides a good chunk of physical damage, not to mention that burn damage aura that, yes, works through Primal Split. If you're going Radiance, you probably want to pick a Heart over an AC during the mid game. Sure, the AC is more EHP, but the Heart is more TIME, and time is on your side when you're dealing 50 damage per second to everything around you. Makes farming and pushing a breeze too.
UPDATE, 6.84: Now that Radiance
causes enemeies to have a 17% miss rate alongside its burn damage, it's a far more attractive pickup on Brewmaster
than it was: not only will it stack with Drunken Haze and Drunken Brawler
(until the dreaded MKB pickup on the enemy team), but since its part of the burn aura, the evasion will work with your spirits as well! And who doesn't want just a little more insurance that your spirits will survive a fight, right?
. What is there to say about Refresher Orb, apart from that it doesn't JUST refresh your amazing ultimate? It gives you mana regen to help sustain your spells, it gives a little bit of attack speed to help improve your DPS, and it gives 40 damage, which is nothing to sneeze at.
It goes particularly well with the Heart/Radiance idea, as well, as all of a sudden you have not 19, but 38 seconds to both regen your health and dish out burn damage. 50*38 is 1900 by the way, and that's not including the damage from Fire Spirit's Permanent Immolation and, y'know, everyone's right clicks. It's an expensive as all heck build, but if you're going really, really friggin' late game you can probably afford it.
Which brings us to Butterfly
, which... I'll be honest, is on here because it's a fun idea, not necessarily a good one. If you get a Heaven's Halberd
and a Butterfly
and max out Drunken Brawler
, Brewmaster's total evasion comes out to 63.43%, and THAT's not even factoring in the 75% blind chance from Drunken Haze which DOES stack as well. (If you do factor it in, you get a cumulative miss chance of 90%, by the way.)
It would be obscene, if it wasn't immediately countered and made completely useless by good old Monkey King Bar
, the bane of Troll Warlord
, Phantom Assassin
and almost ESPECIALLY Brewmaster
. One would hope that, if you've manage to farm both a Halberd and a Butterfly, you would be winning so hard that the other team can't afford an MKB, but it's not a guarantee.
Nothing's a guarantee in Dota.
That's probably the wisest thing you've said in this entire guide.
Thank you! I think.
When I first wrote this guide, Brewmaster wasn't really all that popular a hero. It was sad times.
For who, exactly?
FOR OVERWEIGHT DRUNKS EVERYWHERE. But as I was saying, when I first wrote this thing there weren't any other guides on the hero, and his presence in the pro scene was virtually non-existent. But, to my surprise, when the meta began shifting towards the early to mid game, Brewmaster was all of a sudden meta, and then SUPER meta. First ban/pick material! I was so proud.
You're... not claiming credit for the upswing in Brewmaster picks, are you?
No! Yeesh, man, gimme some credit, I'm not THAT conceited. Where I'm going with this is that now that Brewmaster is big on the pro scene, I've gotten a chance to see what pros do with him, and it's taught me some things. In addition, I've got a lot of experience with Mangix under my belt now, so I've grown in understanding of the hero as well. As such, there are two items I'd like to discuss as additional options for everyone's favorite panda.
Vladmir's Offering. The question as to whether or not it's a good item on Brew was one of the first comments I received on this guide, and I initially wrote it off as not a bad item, but not one you'd want to get over others. However, after watching the professionals play Brew, I see them go for this item a LOT.
So, you were wrong? It's actually amazing for Brew?
Enh... I think I was more short-sighted and pub-oriented, which is a version of being wrong, sure. While the Vlad's aura isn't as useful on Brewmaster's spirits as other items you could get, where it DOES shine is when Mangix begins to fall off, and your hard carry needs to take over the game. Having additional lifesteal, damage, and armor can help your Spectre, Medusa, Sven or what have you edge out the opposing right-clickers, since Brewmaster by himself will eventually fall off.
The armor and damage is nice on the spirits though, particularly fire, who is as glass cannon as they come. It's essentially a more gold-efficient Assault Cuirass. I still wouldn't get a Vladmir's Offering if you're the only carry on your team, but if you're the space creator for your hard carry, it's definitely worth a look-see.
Which brings us to the other item on this list, Black King Bar.
It makes a lot of sense. It doesn't give an aura, but you want to make sure you can get Primal Split off all the time. Not sure why you didn't list this in your suggested items to begin with.
Well, it has to do with Brewmaster's primary role, being an initiator and a tank, yeah? The way I was thinking about it, and still think about it, is that as Mangix you want to jump in, soak up the first volley of spells, and then Primal Split to safety. And if your magic immune, you can't eat stuns for your team. They'll focus someone else, and then all of a sudden maybe the fight isn't as much in your favor anymore.
But guaranteeing your ultimate IS a big deal a lot of the time. It can be the difference between life and death at times for Brewmaster, so a Black King Bar can be a godsend. Against a team with one or two stuns it might not be that big a deal (tank and evasion are your friends), but against a lot of stuns, or against SILENCES... yeah... being able to split away to safety is a good idea.
Death Prophet and Drow Ranger have kicked your panda butt on more than one occassion, huh?
Surprisingly not! But I have nightmares about it. Gust, Frost Arrows, Frost Arrows, Frost Arrows... no, not the Mask of Madness, Drow! I'll be good, I swear!
Don't judge me.
6.84: Additional Considerations
We had a LOT of new items drop on us this patch, and it'll take some time to really get a grip on which items work best on what heroes, for sure. The game's always evolving, after all.
Lemme guess, you're going to recommend Solar Crest, right? In a new, evasion-crazy build with Heaven's Halberd and Butterfly?
Um... no? I... I know it's been a while, but you do remember Monkey King Bar exists, right?
Y... yeah. Of course I do. Shut up.
No, of the new items that Icefrog and Volvo blessed us with this patch, the one that caught my eye as a Brewmaster pick-up is Guardian Greaves. Not only do they build up from Arcane Boots (which, I'll be honest, is what I personally build almost exclusively on Brewmaster) but dat aura doh. Being able to keep that aura up on all your spirits helps them survive through the later game, plus having Guardian Aura on three units that ALL have to be killed? Great for your team, as well. Storm Spirit can even go invisible if he's the only one left and he needs to wait out the timer.
Also, while it's not a new item, Pipe of Insight's recent change made it a more appealing pick-up on Brewmaster this patch. It's always a good item to consider in games where you're fighting against high magical damage output, but now that it gives magic resistance in an aura? Super useful for stopping your Storm and Fire spirits from getting burst down as quickly (remember, Earth is the only one that's magic immune!).
Allies and Enemies
See? The items section wasn't that bad, now was it?
I guess not! We're through it! I think. Assuming I don't go back and edit something.
Um... highlighting heroes to avoid, and heroes that synergize well with Brewmaster's kit?
Sounds like a decent enough idea to me.
Let's be honest, though, who DOESN'T love Crystal Maiden
? Extra mana regen so I can spam my spells? Yes, please. A disable and a slow that let me walk right up to an enemy and smash them over the head with Thunder Clap
? Marry me, Rylai. We'll have the most beautiful cat/panda/human children the world has ever seen.
not only has Magic Missile
to hold people in place for you, but can use Nether Swap
to bring them literally right next to you if things line up correctly. But the real clincher? Vengeance Aura
. If you've learned anything from this guide, I hope it's that Brewmaster's spirits love them an aura, especially one that gives a boatload of extra damage. And speaking of auras...
is almost like giving Brewmaster's spirits a Hyperstone
. Almost. In addition to that, Primal Roar
is the longest single target stun in the game: if you can't catch up to someone with that, you weren't getting that kill anyways. Plus, they're both named B-master, and have a Primal ultimate! That's next-level strategy right there. Guaranteed progress on the road to 8000 MMR.
These heroes can force an entire team to stay in one spot, allowing Brewmaster to land a Thunder Clap
to end all Thunder Claps. Reverse Polarity
from Dark Seer
will near guarantee that the small AOE of Drunken Haze hits as many people as possible. Dark Seer even has Surge
, to help with your positioning! What's not to love?
I've decided to add Warlock to this list. Why? Well, for one, Shadow Word
lets an already tanky Brewmaster be super aggressive in his lane, allowing him to easily dominate. His Fatal Bonds
synergizes nicely with both Thunder Clap
and Primal Split
: remember, that Fire Spirit comes with a Radiance
! Then there's Chaotic Offering
to either initiate for you or follow up on yours, plus your Thunder Clap
will keep enemies in place long enough for him to really get the most out of Upheaval
. Warlock is strong in general, but the combo potential here is notable.
Keeper of the Light
is a useful ally to Mangix thanks to Chakra Magic
, and its ability to let you spam Thunder Clap
with virtually no limits, but that by itself isn't enough to put him on this list. No, what makes KotL especially synergistic with Brewmaster is the interplay between Recall
and Primal Split
, namely that if KotL uses Recall, and Brewmaster activates Primal Split before he's teleported to Keeper's side, Recall... still works.
You'll get the full duration of your ultimate, with all three spirits running around causing as much mayhem as possible, but when your ultimate ends, you won't go to where the Earth Spirit (or whichever spirit is left alive) is, you'll appear where Keeper cast Recall, even if he's moved since then. It's an obscure, interesting mechanic that can confuse the heck out of the enemy team, and make for some guaranteed escapes in otherwise hopeless situations.
hates silences. Period. If he can be caught out without Primal Split
, he is a sad, sad panda. Silencer
in particular even jeopardizes Brewmaster's mana pool just being around during a team fight, and in the early game his typical Curse of the Silent spam will leave you running on empty. Global Silence
is a quick way to ensure that you can't get your ultimate off, and even if you do it'll make your spirits completely unable to use their spells! Since it goes through Spell Immunity and all.
does not care how much health you have. At. All. One Life Break
and a few auto attacks and you're all but forced to panic ult, and panic ults... are never ideal. Prioritize armor over raw HP, and be grateful that your Earth Spirit is magic immune.
Another hero who doesn't care about your health, Necrophos
will straight up tear you a new one with Reaper's Scythe
. There will be no last second ultimates that completely turn around team fights with this guy in the enemy line-up... I mean, unless the guy playing him's a noob. Then you're fine.
eats tanky heroes like Brewmaster for breakfast, and good timing with his Rage
ability can render your entire kit pretty much useless. Drunken Brawler
will you help avoid his right clicks and a Heaven's Halberd
might actually not be a bad idea here... I mean, until he goes and gets...
No. Please, No!
Please! No! Run! RUUUUUUN!
MKB hurts. A lot. Is what I'm saying.
Discussion? What is there to discuss? Isn't this guide supposed to be the definitive, no questions asked, best way to bui... pfffft. No. Sorry. Couldn't keep a straight face.
Meany. Anyways, I've decided to add this section because, well, people have ideas! Good ones! So to save you from searching through the comments, I'll be putting some stuff up here! Ain't I the sweetest?
Why do you hurt me?
You won me on the catchy title :) and on the refresher :) .
I've recently seen some jungle brewmaster I think you should try a reference.
-- I've looked into this a good deal, trying various item builds, seeing what works and what doesn't. The theory behind it is pretty simple: by utilizing the evasion from Drunken Brawler and the miss chance from Drunken Haze, you dodge the neutrals' attacks and make dat money. Drunken Haze notably lasts for 12 seconds on creeps as opposed to the 8 seconds you get on heroes, so it sounds good, right? Get a Stout Shield, a Quelling Blade, a Tango and go to town.
Well, I've tried this. And... it's not great. Sure Brewmaster has 4 armor at level 1. Sure he's pretty dang tanky. But as far as I've seen, jungling isn't great for Brew for a number of reasons:
1) The neutrals still tear through him. It doesn't matter if you get Drunken Haze or Drunken Brawler at level 1, unless you get super lucky, you'll have burnt through most of your regen by level 2. This means that you have to get a Ring of Regen or a Morbid Mask pretty early, and work on a Vladmir's Offering first, which leads to the second reason:
2) It delays your blink. A lot. Technically, a Blink Dagger is not a required pick-up on Brewmaster but... I mean, it basically is. There's only a small percentage of games where you'll ever not want to get a Blink on Brewmaster, and don't ask me to give an example because I can't think of one.
Don't get me wrong, it's not impossible. If you double-pull your lane creeps you can jungle pretty efficiently while denying your opponents gold and XP, but you can jungle pretty much ANY hero doing that, plus until you've gotten it down to a science it can be really hard to pull off.
You're sure that's not just you?
Pretty darn? Either way, it's moot, because of the third big reason jungling brew isn't great:
3) It significantly lowers his early game impact. If you're in the jungle AFK farming, you know what you're NOT doing? Ganking. Pushing. Participating in team fights. Jungling not only makes Brewmaster put off getting Thunder Clap until the later levels, but it also limits his impact during the time he really shines: early to mid game.
But if he's in the jungle, doesn't that mean the enemy team won't be able to call him missing?
There is that. But remember: you're only really good as an initiator once you get that Blink Dagger, and we've already discussed how jungling puts that off. I guess where I'm coming down on this is that if you have to do it, you CAN. It's just not great.
I've noticed you haven't gone for Vlads at all. ~Do you not think its useful with the aura?
Also, What lane do you lane in as an initiator? Cant solo off-lane, Cant take hard carries farm. not really the best mid out there. I struggle to see where you will get enough farm to get an ok time blink dagger? (unless jungle is viable?)
I played this with some friends the other day and took safe lane solo, worked ok but needed help to secure my farm, as soon as i got blink dagger i left lane and let our weaver hard carry farm it up.
I'm thinking of pubs though, Cant get that kinda co-ordination with pubs. :)
--I'm pretty much just going to copypasta what I put in the comments for this one. I think it was pretty thorough:
It's true that Brewmaster isn't the BEST mid out there (certainly not in the same tier as Outworld Devourer or Viper), but he's still very viable. He can shrug off a lot of harass and dominate his lane pretty easily with a well-landed Thunder Clap, which not only opens the enemy up for right-click harass but pushes the creep wave and gives you solid rune control. So my advice would be to go mid for initiator or ganker Brew. I might write up a section about gameplay once I've got a few more games under my belt.
As for Vlad's... hmm... my decision not to put it in the builds isn't necessarily a reflection of the item itself: it gives his spirits a lot of good stuff, armor, lifesteal, a percentage based damage buff... it comes down to timing and item slot conservation, really. Blink/Boots/Wand/Drum is 4 slots filled already and even the best of farmers/gankers are going to be pushing mid game by the time they get all of these. To get Vlad's after all of that is needlessly delaying a better item, which means you'd need to get it INSTEAD of Blink or Drums. And I couldn't really justify that, because those items are way too good on Brew.
Update (10/10/14): Added Vlad's to item suggestions. Changed Vacuum cooldown from 28 to 28.00.
Captain Propane wrote:
A good guide, very reasonable and clear.
But I have a tiny question: what would you say about taking stats at level 2?
--It's an option, for sure, and one to be considered if you're going against a hero that can drain your mana like Silencer or Nyx Assassin, but for general purposes it's not really needed. The mana cost for Thunder Clap isn't TOO bad at early levels, and Brewmaster's mana pool is bad, but not abysmal, so he can use the spell a few times without completely running dry.
Brewmaster really is a hero that benefits from all stats, which is why I can see the appeal of this option. But in the early game, it's not entirely needed: the bonus health is wasted on an already tanky hero like Brew, and the bonus agility doesn't help with last hitting THAT much. The main reason you'd want to get this is the mana pool buff, then, which: as said above, isn't all that necessary either.
Ideally, you're not going to be your team's super hard carry, so your goal is going to be to farm up your core and then wreak havoc on the other team wherever you can. Your skills are quite powerful, and they're what allow you to wreck face so effectively, so skipping them in favor of stats ... nah. Some basic mana management and careful use of your skills early on should do you fine early game, and if you're still running out of mana Arcane Boots are always an option.
I want to ask your opinion about linken's sphere on brewmaster. I often build him with a linken's sphere. Sometimes I even finish it first before aghanims. It is due to the fact that void stone could fill in my huge mana hole. And it is cheap too. Ring of health could provide hp regen too. But one of the best thing about it is, as an initiator, brewmaster could block a spell with it.
+15 to all attribute ain't bad either. What do you think?
Linken's Sphere isn't an item I'd consider cheap right off the bat. The Ultimate Orb is a 2100 gold investment, and the recipe for this bad boy is 1325! Those are both really big, costly components which don't merit the moniker of 'cheap.'
But that's just semantics really, and the relative cheapness/expensiveness of an item shouldn't automatically preclude it from being picked. The +15 to all stats is no doubt a good pick up for a hero like Brew... until you consider that his spirits don't benefit at all from it.
I can see why this item might have some allure, but I don't really like it, and I'll explain why. There's the point that it doesn't give an aura for your spirits, and there's also the point that Brewmaster doesn't require mana REGEN as much as he requires a larger mana pool. He doesn't need to be able to spam his spells non-stop, just to be able to use them a few times throughout a team-fight.
The spell block from Linken's also seems pretty nice, but the transformation sequence for Primal Split already dijoints projectiles. Unless you are a) a professional, in which case I have no idea why you're asking me for advice, or b) up against cheating cheaters who use aim-bot, blinking in, slamming, and using your ultimate should dodge any stuns, and if not, Brew's natural tankiness and built-in evasion should help you soak up the first volley and Primal Split to safety.
As a final note, I really do think that Aghanim's Scepter is the first priority pick-up for Brew after he gets his Blink Dagger and his Drum of Endurance, but if you really feel the need for a mana buff, I'd recommend getting a Shiva's Guard. This item synergizes a lot better with Brewmaster's role, giving him the ability to tank more damage, giving him a much larger mana pool, giving him an additional initation nuke, and giving him an attack speed debuff aura that will carry over to the spirits during your ultimate! On top of all that, it's cheaper than Linken's Sphere. It really is a case of getting way more bang for your buck.
Few quick questions/considerations as I am new to Brew and try to learn how to use it properly:
1) I tried to found an updated and complete list of spells that can be dispelled by Storm's dispel, but couldn't. I'm not going to link them here now but I found some pages mentioning spells that can be dispelled, but I think they're far from being complete. Would you be able to make such a list? I think that dispel is one of the most under rated spell in Brew arsenal and learning how to use it at its full potential would make this hero much better.
2) Have you every considered force staff instead of blink? I'm always building blink in my games now, and probably it is the best option, I just considered that:
a) force staff is easier to build (same cost roughly but a nicer build up)
b) gives mana regen which brew needs
c) it's easier to use as an escape and can be used on team mates/foes, basically it is more flexible
It is of course true that blink has a bigger range and is faster for positioning, I'd just like to know whether you would consider force staff on brew instead of it.
This link should give you an almost complete list of everything that is dispelled by Storm's Dispel Magic. Note that Storm's dispel is considered a normal dispel, and not a STRONG dispel. Now, there aren't a lot of strong dispels in the game, so that probably doesn't change much about how you're thinking about the skill, but it won't remove everything that... say... Kraken Shell or Press the Attack will.
As for whether Force Staff is a good pick-up... I'll be honest, I don't really think so. For starters, a minor correction: force staff gives HP regen and intelligence, but doesn't actually give any mana regen, albeit indirectly from the additional INT. You're certainly right about the easier build up, though: Blink Dagger's biggest weakness is how much gold you need to save up to buy it.
The big reason why I'm against it, though, is that it's a very awkward pickup that doesn't really go well with Brewmaster's playstyle. Whenever a teamfight breaks out, Brewmaster is at his most useful in Primal Split mode, where he can't use items. Buying a utility item to use for helping allies in teamfights... you see what I'm saying?
As an initation tool, Force Staff is inferior because of both range and flexibility reasons: you can't reliably force staff from beyond the treeline and into the thick of things. The cooldown is significantly longer than that of Blink Dagger as well, so it isn't great as a chasing tool either.
The final nail in the coffin though, is that at the end of the day Brewmaster doesn't NEED an escape mechanism. He already has his ultimate for that, and if that's not enough for some reason, the length of Primal Split is enough, at all levels, that Blink Dagger will be off cooldown immediately after you jump back out, so good timing and quick fingers should be able to save you.
One more thing : with the 6.81 buff to E, it is also quite nice to put the 1st point in it (if you don't plan to go for first blood), as the guaranteed crit every 10s helps a lot to last hit (or harass), while the guaranteed evasion is cool against harassing heroes. I generally go E-Q-Q-W-Q-R-Q-E-...
This... yeah. This works too. I mean, ideally you're going mid, so whatever skill you pick first doesn't matter TOO much? But if you're going safe lane, I can definitely see getting a point of E first before Q. Mid lane, though, I think you might get more damage potential by hitting Q first, because you get that initial nuke PLUS one or two autoattacks.
Either way though, I agree that the recent buff makes it more valuable early on, and I've actually changed my suggested skill build to reflect this! In my games as Brew, I find myself going Q-E-Q-W-Q instead of Q-W-Q-E-Q, so I figured I'd make it official.
Proof of Concept
Ladies and gentlemen, I... have done something that I never thought possible.
Won a game of Dota?
More than that, my nemesis. I have taken my build, and my insight into this hero, and I have succeeded... in high skill bracket.
SINCE WHEN THE HELL ARE YOU HIGH SKILL BRACKET?
I! DON'T! KNOW! Here... just... look.
There is no way I'm seeing this right now.
Is this real life? Is it?
Well, you did just dedicate an entire section of this guide to showing off so... yeah, probably. That's the sort of conceited thing you'd do in real life.
And... that... wraps it up. Huh. This turned out looking like a legitimate guide, didn't it?
Ish? It looks like you actually put some thought into it, at the very least.
Awesome. I'm good with that. Let's hit that publish button and get 50,000 dislikes.
Drinks after this, then? First round's on me.
I take back all the bad things I ever said. You are a beautiful person and I love you.
On a serious note, thanks all of you for reading this guide. I'm open to suggestions and constructive criticism, so feel free to call me out on what I messed up! Safecyn, signing out. Bottoms up everyone.