Method Jdotb Q&A #13 - MDI LAN Finals, Shotcalling, Weekly Affix Advice
Our latest Q&A with Method Jdotb is now live which includes advice on the upcoming Mythic Dungeon Invitational LAN Finals, Shotcalling and Weekly Affix Advice!
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Method Jdotb Q&A #13
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Jdotb plays a Resto Druid and will be participating on the Method NA team in the Mythic Dungeon Invitational LAN finals. He has achieved multiple
and currently holds many of the top times in the NA Region. He frequently streams his Resto Druid gameplay. Find him here:
Why did we see a lot of teams streaming their practice during time trials and the early stages, but now teams have (mostly) taken their MDI preparations behind the scenes?
First let’s flip this question around and ask, “Why would anyone stream MDI practice in the first place?” It obviously isn’t going to help your team to show your opponents how you’re doing in each dungeon, which ones you struggle in and which ones you’re strong in, etc. There is zero reason to stream MDI practice from a competitive perspective.
So why do it? Because MDI practice is going to bring in a lot of viewers, and several of the players competing in the MDI are full time streamers. It’s painful for streamers to turn off their streams for long periods of time regardless of why, but it’s especially painful when the thing you’re doing off-stream is something that would make for great stream material. Several teams in time trials and regionals saw the viewership potential from streaming MDI practice and decided it was worth the competitive disadvantage to keep the stream up.
After regionals concluded, virtually no practice has been streamed. This is for a few reasons, the biggest being that the competition level has increased dramatically. Regionals featured some teams that realistically didn’t have a chance at advancing to global finals, so there wasn’t as much concern about tipping your strats and times. All the teams in globals are good, some exceptionally so, and even little advantages can be a difference maker at this level.
There are some other reasons, too. The prize pool in globals is bigger, so teams probably feel more pressure to perform well. The difference between first place and last place in regionals was less than a thousand dollars, but in globals the winner will make almost $10k per player compared to $500 for eighth place. There is also a paid trip to BlizzCon on the line for the top four finishers.
I think most of the streamers in the MDI at this point are hoping that turning off your stream for a few weeks to do well at globals will be repaid 10x over after the MDI is over. In earlier rounds, though, players probably figured it was worth cashing in on the present hype instead of betting that they’d make globals.
Which is more important, tank/healer synergy or healer/dps synergy?
Both are important in their own ways.
Tank/healer synergy in Legion is interesting because tanks do so much self-healing that often times the healer is more of a cheerleader than an active participant in keeping the tank alive. I routinely have people watching my stream that say something like, “Wow, doesn’t it make you nervous to see your tank hovering at 30% HP?” And the honest answer is no. Unless I know it’s a situation where big damage is imminent, I mostly just assume that my tank has it under control and will let me know if they need help healing.
This is especially the case with two of the most popular tank classes currently, Blood DK and Vengeance DH. Both of these classes have access to a Cheat Death ability -- Purgatory for the DK and Last Resort for the DH. If I’m playing with either of these classes and they still haven’t procced their Cheat Death ability, then I’m probably going to be even more aggressive with my DPS. What’s the point of having Cheat Death if you aren’t going to use it? So in Legion, a lot of the tank/healer synergy is just knowing when healing is actually required and when you can do other things.
DPS/healer synergy is a bit more straightforward. As a healer, you will begin to get a feel for which DPS classes are stout and which ones are squishy, and you’ll be able to guess who is going to need a cooldown for big boss abilities. You’ll also learn which classes can self-heal significantly (like warlocks and demon hunters) and thus be mostly ignored in situations where there isn’t a lot of burst damage. If a warlock isn’t in danger of dying in the next three seconds, they can probably heal themselves back to full on their own. You can save yourself a lot of global cooldowns and mana as a healer if you trust in that self-healing.
Ironically, perhaps the most important synergy as far as the healer is concerned is often with the tank/DPS. Most healers don’t have a great toolkit for crowd control and interrupts, and as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” i.e., it’s a lot easier to stun or silence a mob and prevent them from casting in the first place than it is to heal through the aftermath. As you get higher and higher in keys, certain damage becomes simply unhealable, and the only option is to either prevent it entirely or die. Tanks and DPS are typically the primary source of this prevention with CC and interrupts, and as a healer you’re often relying on them lock down mobs. If the tank/DPS synergy is lacking, you might never get to find out how good your tank/healer or DPS/healer synergy is.
Who is your cc/cooldown caller? Would you say that one role in particular is best for being the caller or does it just depend on the players on your team?
Technically any player can be your shotcaller, but realistically the tank is best suited for coordinating your CCs and cooldowns. The tank dictates the pace of the dungeon and can pull more or less depending on what cooldowns your group has available, and the tank can start kiting if possible/necessary to save cooldowns in some circumstances. So ideally you’d be running most of those decisions through the tank.
Having said that, you can still have someone else (usually a DPS) calling out CCs and interrupts if your tank isn’t particularly vocal or comfortable. Anyone in the group can track cooldowns if they’re willing, and there isn’t anything magical about the tank that gives them better knowledge of when to CC or which CC to use. There have been some very successful groups that have used non-tank shotcallers to great effect.
In my groups, Shakib (on live server) and Eman (on tournament realm) make our calls, and it works very well. Both of them are intelligent and know the dungeon mechanics inside and out, so it’s easy for them to watch timers and round up mobs simultaneously. All else being equal, I’d certainly strive to have your tank calling shots -- it’s the most natural fit for the group, and the tank is in the best position to call audibles if your CC or interrupts run out earlier than expected.
There has never been an MDI LAN before, can you share what you are most excited to see and what you are most nervous about? Do you think Blizzard has made positive changes since the Regionals period?
I’m really excited about global finals, but a lot of that is due to getting to meet people. There will be a lot of folks there that I’ve gotten to know either through running dungeons together or through streaming, and it’ll be a lot of fun to be able to go grab dinner and drinks with them. Obviously we want to win it all, both for our egos and our wallets, but getting to hang out with some of the top M+ competition and Blizzard esports team will be memorable regardless of our tournament fortunes.
My biggest anxiety right now is transferring my addons over to the LAN computers. We’re allowed to use pretty much any addon we’d like, but we have to submit them to Blizzard ahead of time. We’ll be given back our UI package when we show up on site, so if there are any issues with what we sent I’m not sure there will be any opportunities to really fix it. So I’ve definitely got my fingers crossed that there aren’t any issues with my addon folders.
As far as changes from regionals, I’ll be interested to see how Blizzard handles remake situations in globals. I get the sense from some of their recent communications that they will be much more hesitant to remake matches going forward, so I’m guessing you’ll need to see some really egregious bugs to trigger a remake. Hopefully all the matches are clean and we never have to find out, but I’m guessing there will be at least a couple instances in globals where the audience will wonder why X got a remake in regionals but Y didn’t get the same remake in globals.
Weekly Affix Advice
This week’s affixes are Sanguine, Necrotic and Fortified.
Dungeons Most Affected by Sanguine:
: Sanguine makes the hallway after Illysanna Ravencrest a nightmare. The Wyrmtongue Tricksters will die quickly leaving Sanguine pools, and the Wyrmtongue Scavengers will stand still casting Indigestion. Risen Archers will also stand still casting Shoot and Arrow Barrage.
: Tarspitter Lurkers show up in trash packs with lots of low health mobs (Vileshard Crawlers and Tarspitter Slugs). If the Lurker Submerges into a Sanguine pool it’s going to be a long fight. Blightshard Shapers and Rockbound Pelters are also casters that are liable to stand in Sanguine indefinitely.
Vault of the Wardens
: Vault has a few big pulls that can be annoying with Sanguine but the big threat is Spirits of Vengeance. If Sanguine drops under a Spirit, good luck getting it moved out.
Dungeons Most Affected by Necrotic
Maw of Souls
: Ymiron’s adds will quickly stack Necrotic into the unhealable range on the tank which is an issue when Dark Slash is coming and the tank can’t get topped off. Skjal’s adds are also a non-stop source of Necrotic, and Skjal takes a while to kill so the tank will need to find a way to clear stacks eventually.
Cathedral of Eternal Night
: the waves Necrotic Spiderlings that come with Nal’asha will keep Necrotic on the tank permanently while also continuously applying Sinister Fangs. Adds on Domatrax can be an issue for the tank if they’re aren’t dealt with quickly, and the same applies for Agronox.
: if the Strangling Roots on Oakheart are left up, the Vilethorn Saplings that spawn from them can quickly make a tank unhealable. A popular tactic on Dresaron is to spawn additional Hatespawn Whelplings from the eggs to increase damage for certain classes, but this becomes much more dangerous with Necrotic.
Vault of the Wardens
: Tirathon Saltheril’s adds can make resetting Necrotic difficult, and Inquisitor Tormentorum can be an issue depending on which cell blocks are active.
Dungeons Most Affected by Fortified:
Halls of Valor
: Valarjar Thundercallers and Runecarvers start to get lethal on higher keys, and the Storm Drake’s Lightning Breath has a chance to wreck the tank. Make sure to dodge the Ebonclaw Worg leaps. The four kings will all hurt, and tanking multiple of them will be iffy.
Maw of Souls
: Seacursed Soulkeeper’s Brackwater Blast will start needing personal cooldowns. Night Watch Mariner should be skipped as the damage is likely unlivable on higher keys. Shroud Hounds will kill someone if they leap to the same target. Skjal’s Give No Quarter will be deadly.
: Rockbound Pelters and Blightshard Shapers will shred the party with their respective casts. Rockbound Breaker’s Avalanche will be lethal. Stoneclaw Grubmaster’s Stone Shatter will probably kill anyone standing near the tank. Emberhusk Dominators do tons of damage to the three furthest players from them, so be prepared to pop cooldowns.
: Dreadborne Seers will start killing people Prophecies of Doom. Searing Wound from Wrathguard Felblades will require significant healing and can quickly overwhelm the healer if it goes out on multiple targets. If one person takes multiple casts of Arcanic Bane from Withered Fiends it will kill them, and the Withered Manawraiths will start doing real damage to the tank. The Plagued Rat packs are very dangerous for melee.
Dungeons Least Affected by This Week’s Affixes:
: no real opportunities for Necrotic to become an issue on boss fights in Upper Kara, and all trash mobs can quickly be moved out of Sanguine since there aren’t many casters.
Court of Stars
: you’ll need to watch out for Blazing Imps casting in Sanguine pools but otherwise this dungeon isn’t threatening with these affixes. None of the boss fights should heavily stack Necrotic.
Halls of Valor
: the tank will need to be careful if trying to do multiple kings at once this week, but otherwise Necrotic isn’t an issue in Halls of Valor. Some of the casters will need to be interrupted to move them out of Sanguine but you should have an interrupt rotation on those mobs regardless.
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