ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

1.5 Brawler Guide
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Author:  Kirk [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:16 am ]
Post subject:  1.5 Brawler Guide

No updated brawler guide so i thought i'd throw my hat in the ring and go through the general way to build one. Brawler is very strong all-throughout the game , with solid damage output and a pretty stupid amount of tankiness even lategame.

First things first, so i have some evidence that i'm not completely full of it link to insane winner.

And tinkerless win if you really don't want tinkers, two very dumb deaths but still fine, extremely op gloves though, even just having cripple on its own would have been fine.


Cornac was made for brawler, eases up the generic strain, lets you pick up tinkers and 5 inscriptions, lets you pick up flexible combat earlier for an insane damage boost. Unless you have some aversion to Cornac for some reason, pick it and move on, no contest about being the best race.

Halfling is a solid second choice, solid life rating, racials don't require many points, however may run into some problems with grappling due to their size, carry around a +size belt if you are worried about that and its not a problem.

Doomelf has some very powerful synergy. I haven't played around them much but thanks to cath for reminding me about them, pitiless extending the axe kick debuff is just amazing. The early game is also very easy due to the double teleport, especially if you remember that it can go through walls. Status reduction is always nice, and the Crit multi reduction is even nicer as you already have some from reflex defense, which makes this a surprisingly tanky pick for race.

Thalore is acceptable, increased damage done, and reduced received is always nice, and the summons can give you breath room when you need it, the xp penalty is pretty harsh and makes the early game much more annoying.

Ogre is fine but pretty average, their racials are pretty generic hungry which doesnt mesh well with brawler also loving their generics, but the life rating and the boosts you get from the racials may make it worth for you. Xp penalty is not great. Being "big" size naturally is probably worth mentioning, but not really a big deal.

Any of the other races are suboptimal or have no notable synergy, so take whatever you want if the five above dont interest you. Except undead, especially skeleton, because skeleton brawler is a bad meme.


DEX>CUN for unlocks>STR

These three stats all scale glove damage, so you want them all maxed lategame, making sure you have 50 STR by level 30 for flex combat. With leftover stats shoveit into CON for some health/ healmod or maybe WIL for some extra stamina, which you chew through, really doesnt matter which you do, the effect is near negligible.


Cornac 2x Medical Injector 2x Heroism 1x Movement
Other 2x Medical Injector 1x Herosim 1x Movement
Tinkerless 2x Heroism 2x Movement 1x Regen/healing, your preference (only do this if you really hate tinkers or are a hipster)


Flexible Combat at 30, Pain enhancement systems at 42, no arguments, can go something different if you want but you can make that hipster choice yourself.


Cornac Inscription>Unarmed Discipline>Tinkers>Inscription>Grappling Reverse the last two at your discretion.
Other Unarmed Discipline>Tinkers>Inscription>Grappling Take the inscription before tinkers if you aren't confident in running with only 3 slots for so long, if not taking tinkers just replace with another Inscription slot (But really just take tinkers man)


Technique/Combat Techniques: 1/0/0/0 Early, 1/1/1/5 core, more points in Rush to taste.

Rush: Generally use it to run away, only use it to chase if you are 100% sure you won't need to run with it before it cools down. Range increases, and cooldown decreases with level so get enough that you feel comfortable with it.

Precise Strikes: You aren't really pining for accuracy or crit chance, so i never turned it on, some people like it, and if you are one of those, skill more into it and turn it on, but i will disapprove.

Perfect Strike: One point wonder, use it whenever you want to punch invisible things, or when your accuracy is too low somehow.

Blinding Speed: Instant speed gofast button, use when you want something really dead, don't bother picking it up until late, and keep in mind it has a LONG cooldown.

Technique/Combat Veteran: 0/0/0/0

Quick recovery: Such a small amount recovered that it's not worth the point, if you have a slow pc, put one point in here for faster resting, else ignore.

Fast Metabolism: Same as quick recovery, one point for faster resting but not necessary.

Spell Shield: Why does this still exist.

Unending Frenzy: Rework when? Just try to forget this and spell shield exist.

Technique/Pugilism: 4/2/3/4 early and core,up to 4 in spinning backhand for max range.

Double Strike: Your basic combo point generator, automatically replaces your auto attack if it's off cooldown and you are sustaining striking stance (Do that always). 4 is the breakpoint that lets it generate 2 combo points per usage, no need to max it.

Spinning Backhand: Your primary initiation tool, generates a combo point, or one per hit if you have level 4. Hits for a suprising amount of damage, as much as possible try to make it hit multiple things, acceptable to use in melee range for the lowered damage if you really need combo points.

Axe Kick: The first of the broken trifecta of abilities that let brawler win ANY 1v1 fight. 100% talent failure. No save check. Combo points. Perfect skill, get to 3 asap to max duration, solo rares/bosses should do nothing with this debuff applied.

Flurry of Fists: Brings you up to full combo points straight away, does A LOT of damage, especially once you get flexible combat. use as often as possible.

Technique/Finishing Moves 1/1/0/0 early 1/1/2/5 core, more in everything to taste.

Uppercut: This is a stun so obviously this is very nice, unfortunately needing to wait for other skills to generate combo points before you can stun makes this less reliable. This is still extremely valuable early, but late i found that i was needing my combo points for more important things, as well as outright killing things before getting around to using them on this.

Concussive Punch: Use this with as many combo points as possible to clear the screen. This thing will carry you early-mid game by clearing away any trash mobs that get in your way. I like getting a couple extra points early in this to make the early game a complete joke.

Butterfly Kick: Found myself not using this often, but it is extremely useful in a pinch as you can use it to move while pinned. more talent levels DRASTICALLY reduces the cooldown, 2/5 was all i ever needed, more to taste.

Haymaker: This thing hits very hard, and can easily one hit rares lategame, but i found myself using it more for the stamina regen by executing some trash mob, or specifically for the execute mechanic against tough to bring down enemies, rather than the base damage.

Technique/Tactical Expert 0/0/0/0 early, 1/1/1/5 core

Tactical Expert: Pretty negligible bonus, to get something worthwhile you need to be completely surrounded, which is obviously a terrible scenario and you should move out of it rather than tanking in it. Take and move on, maybe get a second point but i'm not sold.

Counter Attack: Cant complain, free damage, free daze/stun, doesnt scale extremely well from additional points but think of getting this to 2 or 3, not necessary but if you have spares why not.

Set Up: Takes a turn to set up, lasts few turns, the bonus is nice but i rarely found myself in the situation where it was worth spending a turn to use this.

Exploit Weakness: Actually lets you kill endgame rares, necessary to scale your damage, and it really does the job, Flurry of fists with flexible combat takes you most of the way to capping the debuff, and double strike afterwards almost always sets it to 40%.

Technique/Unarmed Discipline: 4/2/2/0 early 4/2/5/5 core

Combination Kick: The second move that lets you 1v1 anything in the game, stripping off 5 of any type of sustain is absurdly powerful and can negate most of the power of many rares. Make sure to remove dangerous sustains ASAP.

Relentless Strikes: Drastically increases your combo point generation, and helps stamina issues. 2/5 is the breakpoint for combo point generation, i like getting it to 3/5 for a nice amount of stamina regeneration. This makes flurry of fists a stamina generator, rather than using any.

Open Palm Block: This thing is nuts, the block effectively works like a damage shield, and its gets very large. One notable bonus this has over normal damage shields is items that give damage shield penetration will not penetrate this. Use this when you have combo points and are scared of taking damage.

Touch of Death: This thing either solos rares by itself, or does nothing, i'm not entirely sure how to feel about it. Make sure to wait until you cap the exploit weakness debuff before applying this.

Technique/Grappling: 5/4/1/0 core, more in takedown if you want the range.

Clinch: 30% of damage you receive being transferred to your grapple target is stupid good, and makes you near invulnerable while grappling something, as well as stopping them from running away from you. Remember to take note of the size of the enemy you are trying to grapple, if they are too big it cannot work. Sometimes has hard time sticking, even when the size categories are fine, still strong enough to always try to grapple dangerous enemies.

Crushing Hold: This thing is just insane. Flat damage reductions, silence and 50% global speed slow just negates so many enemies. Whenever you take grappling, get clinch to 5/5 and this to 4/5 straight away.

Take down: Used as a fairly short ranged gap closer, or just as a second grapple cooldown. 1/5 is all that is necessary, but more increase the range slightly. Very rarely would you use takedown on an already grappled enemy as it breaks the grapple, which defeats the entire purpose of taking this category.

Hurricane Throw: i dont see the point of this, if you have something grappled, you want them to stay grappled, probably some niche scenario where this is useful, but if you want to get away just rush/movement infusion away.

Cunning/Dirty Fighting: Keep locked.
Actually not worthless, but not stronger than the categories you do unlock.


Technique/Combat Training:

Thick Skin: 5/5, you easily get con due to unified body, taking less damage is nice.

Heavy Armour Training: 1/5, you need to be in light for most of your abilities to work so no massive armour for you.

Light armour:: 1/5 early, 2/5 is a nice breakpoint. More points luxury for more hardiness, but this increases it by very small amounts.

Combat Accuracy: 0/5 Skilling dex means you aren't pining for accuracy really ever, maybe float a couple points in here early, but remember to take them out.

Weapons/dagger mastery: No we are punchers.

Technique/Mobility: 2/1/2/0-3 early 2/1/2/3 core

Disengage: Really nice tool to run away, targeting is a bit awkward though, works fine with one point.

Evasion: Press this preemptively so you evade the damage, not reliable so use it before going low rather than after, and then not having enough life for it to roll the dice enough times to save you.

Tumble: a good instant panic button, very low range and not planning the use of this can destroy your stamina, but it lets you move through enemies so dont be afraid to use it.

Trained Reactions: Very nice damage reductions, but given that you arent using massive armour, this will proc more often that you would think, and can SHRED your stamina if you don't pay attention. 3/5 is a good balance of reduction vs how much stamina is used. If you find a really good heavy (not massive) chest armour, you can forgo this early as the flat reduction from armour could potentially be better than the TR damage reduction at this point, but don't forget that this disallows tumble, so don't rely on it if you go this route.

Technique/Unarmed training: 5/1/0/0 asap, 5/5/2/3 core. Extra reflex defense to taste.

Unarmed Mastery: This is your mastery, skill it up for damage.

Unified Body: Really exceptional later when you have a lot of stats, but early on its pretty inefficient and you're better off putting points in other generics.

Heightened Reflexes: Nice when it procs, lets you close the gap somewhat easier to ranged enemies, 2/5 for 100% increased speed.

Reflex Defense: This talent has quite a significant affect on your tankiness, the flat damage reduction from striking stance happens after resists, so it has a significant impact on how much it cuts down the damage. And of course, lowering enemy crit multi is always amazing.

Technique/Conditioning: 1/3/0/0 early, 1/5/0/0 core

Vitality: Pretty significant heal very early, but falls off pretty quickly, can help i guess.

Unflinching Resolve: This talent saves so much headache, getting a 50% chance to just shake off stuns and confusions early when you don't have your removal and protection is a godsend, and late game adding the rest just saves you from needing to blow your cleanses on everything. Don't rely on this to protect you though, if something needs to be gone now, remove it now.

Daunting Presence: Not worth the points or the stamina, skip.

Adrenaline Surge: I can imagine a world where this could be useful, but it's very far away, brawlers can get their stamina back up fairly easily through the use of relentless strikes, and you are already strapped for generics so i can't imagine taking this.

Cunning/Survival 1/1/1/0 early 1/5/1/1 core

Heightened Senses: Sure, infravision and some detection bonuses, not bad, not why you're here.

Device Mastery: In the hands of good players the most of talent in the game, charms on items and Artifacts can gives you such a massive advantage that using them so much more often gives you a massive advantage. The cooldown reduction also affects medical injectors which is frankly ludicrous.

Track: Lets you always have information of what you are going to walk in to, what's around the corner, just out of sight range, possibly where that mage teleported to; track is information, and information is amazing.

Danger Sense: One point wonder, gives some not too shabby bonuses for one point, no more though.

Steamtech/Physics 1/2/1/0 core

Smith: if you want crystal plating, get more in here, wouldn't advise though as your armour hardiness is going to be pretty grim.

Mechanical: 2/5 for kinetic stabilizers, if you don't value them, just get 1/5.

Electricity: Grounding strap, enough said.

Compact Steam tank: You don't use steam.

Steamtech/Chemistry 3/1/1/0 core

Therapeutics: need 3 to get all the relevant salves and fungal web.

Chemistry: Don't think you need anything chemistry, just on the way to explosives.

Explosives: Headlamp is great, i HIGHLY value light radius, so getting this early is so nice, and the accuracy is a help too.

Generic points>class points>whatever else. The class points aren't even that necessary but generics get really tight, so make sure you pick that up first.


Head: Headlamp; Light, accuracy, whats not to like. Focus lens is also good.
Back:Grounding Strap; stun/freeze res, and i guess some resists too. This is the only relevant thing in the slot.
Body: Armour Reinforcement is nice early as Light armour has trouble with armour hardiness, this helps. Switch to Ablative armour, or crystal plating later, possibly spike attachment.
Belt:Fungal Web; Free healing when you use salves, the other alternatives aren't good for you.
Gloves:Nothing that doesn't use steam, I used a Spring grapple just as a last resort, as you still get full steam on level up.
Boots: Kinetic Stabilizer; Because getting teleported away isn't fun. Not other alternatives, all use steam.

As for salves, just carry around all three elemental salves obviously, healing salve as a last resort. The real value comes from the Pain Suppressor Salve, which you get 100% uptime with just one medical injector with around 60% cooldown mod. This is just imbalanced, and will cap, or almost cap all of your resists all of the time.


In general you will aim to be using metal gloves, as they have significantly higher damage than leather gloves, but pay attention to the damage and mods of most gloves you come across. The most notable ability proc to look out for is Cripple, as this just procs an additional strong hit with your mainhand, which as a brawler is just another punch. Keep an eye out for artifact gloves too, as they can have extremely powerful, unique procs. Gloves of the firm hand is a pair of midgame gloves that will basically give you free passage until the late game due to free clinch and takedown procs. In the lategame, Dakhtun's are even more notable on a brawler than other classes as it procs displacement shield, providing a defensive buff, and greater weapon focus which can drastically escalate your damage.

If you want more information, check out Minmay's Glove Guide, as it is just absurdly detailed.


In general, you will just bump attack white mobs to death, with concussive punch to speed things up. Axe kick/combo kick/grapple will ensure your safety against dangerous rares, and flurry of fists will either outright kill rares, or set you up with a full combo point pool. Brawler is very simple to play, but can have many tricks to really drag out their potential.

If you have any questions or criticisms either leave a reply here, or for a (probably) faster response, @hellowhat on the official tome discord.

Author:  Cathbald [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Quality guide, would definitely go 2/1/2/3 right away in mobility though. 1 to 2 is huge on both tumble and disengage, and TR won't eat your stam since by the time it's level 3 you are 14 and put a point in relentless strikes and stam problems stopped existing.

I'd have put doomelf on the list over thalore, awesome tp, more crit shrug (with that and reflexe defense capping crit shruf off isn't that hard), you have plenty of debuff to extend with pitiless.

Author:  zion563 [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Awesome thanks!

Do you ever play a Berserker? I was looking for an up to date guide on one. The one that Bpat lists is ok, just a bit vague and I'm not sure how up to date it is. I am using talents etc that are weaker or stronger than the guide states etc. I also am a bit vague about the Racial traits (Shalore etc) that you should take to avoid taking others in other trees etc. I of course have been dying a lot figuring it all out which is fun, but I like the detail of your guides. I'm a player than doesn't like to be blind when starting an RPG. I also read instructions when I get furniture from Ikea (fat lot of good that does)

I am using ideas from your Bulwark guide to help actually


Author:  Kirk [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Yeah thats a fair point, ill add to go TR early unless you find some god chainmail that is better. And yeah, im trying out doomelf now, and the tp is really nice early, I think i just put doomelf lower when i found out that you couldn't pitiless touch of death, but in reality extending axe kick and your stun is probably better anyway.

Author:  anp [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Cool guide, though I found that Grappling is better to take earlier (at 10, so that you get damage that scales not out of gloves base, namely Take Down), also disabling those randbosses is OP

Also would like to mention that I go 1/0/0/0 in Technique/Combat Techniques since chances are that you will get the ring with activable global speed affix, which will give you free 7 class points cause afaik it doesn't stack with the blinding speed.

Author:  Kirk [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Early grappling really isn't necessary, you already do plenty of damage with the rest of your skills, and combination kick is better dealing with rares, and without relentless strikes you have pretty serious stamina issues in drawn out fights. And sure, you can rely on getting a random drop, but I prefer consistency, blinding speed is maxed fairly late anyway so you can hold it off further if you really want.

Author:  Cathbald [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

zion563 wrote:
Do you ever play a Berserker? I was looking for an up to date guide on one.

I won a month or so back on berserker, so I plan to write a guide for it, unless someone does it first. So far I have a word document titled "zerk guide" and nothing else :p

Author:  zion563 [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide


Sounds like me with chores

Author:  zion563 [ Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Cathbald wrote:
zion563 wrote:
Do you ever play a Berserker? I was looking for an up to date guide on one.

I won a month or so back on berserker, so I plan to write a guide for it, unless someone does it first. So far I have a word document titled "zerk guide" and nothing else :p

The Berserker guide (1.2) on Bpats link is so vague-lots of "take this level to your taste" and "improve if you like" type statements which for a new player doesn't help a bit. Also doesn't talk about when and what category points to take. I guess I just want stronger opinions and arguments instead of a really general style. I know huides are a lot of work though so why am I complaining-mainly because I figure if you are going to write one-have an opinion right?

I also have sorta just picked Berserker based on You Tubes etc as a good starter class so maybe I'm playing the wrong one. I have noticed in my many deaths that I need to have Regen and Heal infusions along with stronger defense early so far. Alos the shear amount of stats and comparing gear is daunting.

Anyway, I look forward to your guide if and when you do it! I think this game is so established that the threads get a bit dated. Also is there a place I can see changes from previous versions to newer ones?

Author:  GlassGo [ Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

And I just played/died with Brawler last two days! :mrgreen:

I wish you clarify about gloves - I think that metal gloves are better too, but not sure - light gloves strike faster, shouldn't it in theory close the damage gap?

Author:  Kirk [ Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

The tooltip attack speed for gloves are currently wrong, so metal gloves are 100% speed and light gloves are something like 125% from memory, it's not enough speed difference to make up for how much less damage light gloves have in general, but if you check my linked winner, it's gloves are light, but have good damage, with a cripple proc, making them really really good. So its more of that heavy gloves will ~usually~ be better, rather than a straight up rule, so check all your gloves.

Author:  GlassGo [ Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Yeah, at least you need gloves wuth second wind, I think this ego only for light gloves.

Author:  Kirk [ Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

What? Second wind proc from gloves are mostly worthless unless the fight stretches on for WAY longer than it should, and then you should get a better damage proc instead so it DOESN'T stretch on that long.

Author:  Cathbald [ Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

GlassGo wrote:
Yeah, at least you need gloves wuth second wind, I think this ego only for light gloves.

I think both glovesand gauntlets have the same egos but anyway :
by the time you are 14 and put a point in relentless strikes, stam problems stopped existing

Second wind is useless for brawler after level 14 because relentless strikes just give so much. It used to be a different skill and brawler used to have stam problem but not anymore. Ever.

I prefer gloves to gauntlets for more procs but will try Kirk's strategy for my new brawler and see how it goes, i never really gave gauntlets a chance.

Author:  GlassGo [ Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1.5 Brawler Guide

Cathbald wrote:
Second wind is useless for brawler after level 14 because relentless strikes just give so much.

Had lvl2 RS and it gave not so much - with Trained Reaction 5 at least...

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