There is Joy in Mudville
While I'm quivering with anticipation for The Shadow Odyssey, I glanced through the notes for LU50, which also goes out today. And while there's nothing specific to Illusionists, and only one small change to Coercers, there are several items of interest to Bruisers.
First, the defensive stances of all Brawlers have been improved defensively, with a bigger boost to parry and agility. The combination stances also boost parry. Parry boosts are nice because some percentage of parries can be turned into ripostes. We even have AA abilities that make our parries more frequent and deadly. So that's good, maybe it will mean these defensive stances actually get used.
I note that Shield Block chances have stopped being uncontested, and instead have become a multiplier. So Brawlers are getting something of a boost to avoidance, while plate tanks are getting a bit of a nerf. It kind of almost feels like someone was listening to my rant on avoidance vs. mitigation. Nahhhh.
The Bruiser raid-buff Brutality has been changed so that instead of providing a raid-wide damage adder, it increases base damage raid-wide. Since damage adders are limited to 50 percent of rolled damage, and most people can hit that cap with their own gear, this will be a lot more useful, and most groups and raids with Bruisers will see an immediate boost in DPS with this change.
Another big change is with the Brawler AA Strength line. Many of the abilities in this line could only be used when the brawler was completely unarmed. Which meant, for example, that they couldn't be used with the epic weapon. For example, Relentless Punches gave a DPS boost, only when unarmed. Claw Reversal gave an uncontested Riposte chance with no Parry precondition. Up to 5% at full power. But only when unarmed. It wasn't meant to be something that any high-level brawler would want to put AA points into, but something that could help the new brawlers level up without spending a lot on weapons.
But this expansion is adding more AA points, and making leveling of all lower level toons faster, so that's less of an issue, and it's been a sore point with Brawlers since, well, forever. So there is much rejoicing in Brawlerland, or, as I like to call it, Mudville.
The Bruiser level 80 signature ability, Divide and Conquer, has a position boost and is uninterruptible. I'm not sure if the position boost applies to the entire encounter, or just the half that you are snapping, but it couldn't hurt.
Bruisers now have 3 solid snap-aggro tools, since D&C will work on a single mob. And we have several "you can't touch me" abilities that last for a short period, cancelling stuns, roots, mezzes, stifles, etc. as well as a spell. And a better raid buff. So maybe they will be a little less unpopular with raiders.
After all, a bruiser could be a premier puller, since they excel at not getting stuck on the pull, can drag the mob around, and shake off a big leadoff spell, like a harm touch. Then they can FD and hand it over to a plate tank, who isn't as likely to get one-shotted. D&C might be good for soaking off a swarm for a few seconds. Much depends on the design of the raid encounters in TSO.
UPDATE: Karaya informs me, in comments, that the change to mezzing of possessed essences is a good thing, not a nerf. She oughta know. I've updated the text to reflect this.