Method Jdotb Q&A #6 - Weekly Affix Advice & Sanguine in BRH
Our latest Q&A with Method Jdotb is now live which includes advice on streaming, the Sanguine affix in BRH, affix advice for Raging/Necrotic and more!
Check out our previous Q&As with Jdotb:
Method Jdotb Q&A #6
Want to ask Jdotb a question? Leave a comment below and we'll pick some questions for Jdotb to answer in the next Q&A!
Jdotb plays a Resto Druid and will be participating on the Method NA team in the Mythic Dungeon Invitational. 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:
I stream my guild raids every week, and find it difficult to pay attention to the raid while also interacting with my (small) audience. In order to grow my audience, I know I have to interact more. So how do you balance playing at a high performance level while also keeping your stream interesting?
Staying connected to your viewership during a stream is definitely something that all streamers have struggled with at some point (and most still struggle with it). I’m relatively new to streaming myself so I’m not going to pretend like I have all the answers on this topic -- I’ll just share my approach and maybe it’ll give you some ideas or at least put your mind at ease.
For starters, let’s cover the technical side. Before every stream I go into my Twitch dashboard and pop out a chat window that I drag onto my second monitor so that I can read chat without having to alt-tab. I also use the Better Twitch TV extension because I think it helps make chat a lot more readable. Next to the chat window I keep a Recent Events window from Streamlabs open to show Follows, Subs, Donations, Hosts, etc. These are usually the things you’re going to thank someone for so it helps to have them all in one window. Between those two windows, I feel like I’ve got most of the information I’ll need for stream interaction.
Next let’s talk about the actual stream content. When I first started streaming I was definitely guilty of not spending enough time talking with my viewers, but part of the reason for that was because I only streamed when I was doing high M+ keys. There are going to be times when the game you’re playing demands your attention for long stretches at a time, and your stream interaction will suffer for it. There’s no way around that. During your raids, for instance, the best you can probably hope for is to catch up on chat between pulls and answer short questions or use some chat commands to point people in the right direction.
I actually stumbled upon my solution to this by accident; I had a few streams where I was benched for a boss fight or no one was on to do keys so I just flew around Dalaran or fished. To my surprise, I had several people say something along the lines of, “I love it when you just hang out and chat with us.” I was confused at first because why would someone want to watch me do circles around the roofs in Dalaran, but the reality is that some of your viewers don’t really care what you’re streaming; they just want an opportunity to talk to you, and you don’t have to be raiding or doing keys or PvPing for them to tune in.
So my suggestion for balancing your performance vs. your responsibilities as a streamer is to not necessarily try to do both simultaneously but instead make time for each of them separately. I have streams where I only get to read chat about two minutes out of every 30, and then I have streams where I’m literally tabbed out of WoW long enough for my client to time out to the selection screen. Some folks can manage talking and playing at the same time, but you don’t have to.
I main Resto Druid. I find Raging/Necrotic weeks to be incredibly difficult. My usual tank is Bear Druid. Do you have any advice on getting through this affix combo when you can’t run with a Blood DK?
Necrotic is probably the most group-specific affix in the game by which I mean that there are a million ways to deal with Necrotic but every group does it a little bit differently. It’s also worth mentioning that Guardian druid is likely the weakest tank in the M+ meta right now and also not great at handling Necrotic, so class selection is playing a role in your struggles. But let’s talk about some tactics for Necrotic week.
The first thing you can do with Necrotic is just pull smaller. This is slow and feels bad, but it’s effective. Necrotic can only stack up as fast as the tank is being hit, and if there are less things hitting the tank then Necrotic will take longer to become lethal.
Sometimes you can’t (or won’t) pull small, and that leads to the second tactic: kiting. This is easier for some tanks than others, and your group comp will be important. Kiting is one of the reasons affliction warlocks are so popular right now -- Sacrolash allows a convenient perma slow on most trash mobs in the game. This is double important on Raging weeks when mobs will suddenly start trucking the tank right when the tank becomes the most vulnerable because of high Necrotic stacks.
Not all mobs can be kited which is where taunting comes in. Not all groups will have someone with a taunt available, but if you do then a common tactic for boss fights or pulls where one mob is especially dangerous is for a group member to taunt off of the tank long enough for Necrotic stacks to reset and have the tank taunt back ASAP. This can be risky, but if you time it correctly and position accordingly you should be able to avoid the scary boss/mob long enough for the tank to corral it.
For Raging weeks, you will probably want to save some AoE crowd control for the end of a fight rather than using all of it at that start. This can also help a tank drop Necrotic stacks or at least run away when Necrotic is an issue.
As I said at the start, every group will handle Necrotic a little differently, and your group’s classes will each have a few different tricks up their sleeves so spend some time thinking about ways you can help peel mobs off your tank.
As a streamer, do you worry about other groups stealing your MDI tactics?
“Worry” might not be the right word, but certainly I’m aware that if I stream a hot new strat during our MDI practice it will likely get clipped and shared with other groups. Is it ideal? No, but there are a few reasons that it doesn’t bother me significantly.
The M+ community has traditionally been very open with its strategies. Most teams have at least one person that streams, and if you want to see how someone did a dungeon there is likely a video you can get your hands on. My group has lifted more than a few strats from other groups, and most of the really cool stuff you see in M+ probably went through several iterations where one group started it, another group improved it, a third group perfected it, etc. I like to achieve personal success in dungeons, but it’s also fun to be part of a collaborative effort where you feel like all these groups finding ways to improve dungeons and sharing that knowledge with each other.
I have to admit that pride plays a role. Being able to design innovative strats is an important skill and will separate good teams from great teams, but I’d also like to believe that we can still outperform other teams even if they’re using our ideas. If I felt like our team was only competitive because of meticulous planning and coordination, it wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying.
The MDI obviously adds some additional considerations, though, because now there are cash prizes and not just raider.io leaderboards to worry about. Getting beat by a team that was obviously using something showcased on your stream would be not only embarrassing but also painful in the ol’ wallet. But as a streamer, I have to weigh the potential advantages of going dark for MDI practice against the consequences of taking my stream down for 5+ hours a night. While Blizzard has taken strides to ensure a decent prize pool for the MDI ($200,000 this time around), the reality is that the most you’re going to take home is $12,000 which is not exactly a life-altering amount of money. Given that MDI practice will likely stretch out over a couple months, a few popular streamers out there might lose more than $12,000 by not streaming MDI practice.
In one of my previous columns I mentioned that I’d like to see some more M+ tournaments that play out over one or two weekends instead of one or two months, and it’s mostly because of this streaming conundrum. Financially it doesn’t really make sense to take your stream down for the duration of the MDI, and it isn’t good for the growth of the M+ community to have all the top teams practicing privately for months at a time.
Do you have any advice on when you should just “stop” and give up on a key? I truly believe in playing WoW because it’s a game, it’s a hobby for me and I want it to be fun. Many people do not feel this same way. I don’t want to be that person who just leaves a PUG but I also am not willing to give up my joy of playing.
The convenience of the Looking for Group tool inevitably leads to issues like this one. The group formed without any consensus on how bleak the dungeon needs to look before it’s acceptable to leave, so you’re going to have five people with five different opinions on the matter. There is no right answer, and really you just have to use the golden rule: how long would you want someone to stick around in your key if you wanted to keep going?
Admittedly I haven’t PUGed in quite a while, but I had a few rules of thumb when I ran with random groups. First, I’d try to determine whether we had a legitimate chance of finishing the dungeon or not. It’s one thing if you’re frustrated because the group is going slow but another thing entirely if you honestly believe that the group will just wipe to Hyrja over and over. If you truly believe that the group isn’t likely to finish the dungeon, I think everyone would agree that you can ditch on the spot and not have any regrets.
If you think the group can finish the dungeon but it just won’t be worth the time invested, there are a few other considerations. I’d usually throw the question out to the group first, something like, “Hey guys, this is looking pretty grim. We sure want to keep going?” and see if anyone else is of the same mind as you. If two or three of you are in agreement that this group is FUBAR, I think you’re safe to leave. If it’s just you that seems to be ready to bail, you probably ought to stick it out a bit longer and see if things improve.
Another thing to think about is group itself. If you jumped in group with four people from the same guild and they promised a fast and easy run, you don’t owe them a lot of slack if things are going sideways. If, on the other hand, some group clearly took a chance on you (maybe your ilvl or raider.io score was low), they deserve some patience from you.
Your conscience is ultimately going to be the only thing that matters if you hearth in the middle of a run, and some runs just weren’t meant to be. But do try to put yourself in the shoes of your group before making your decision.
Can you give some advice on dealing with Black Rook Hold during Sanguine weeks?
Black Rook Hold and Sanguine go together like oil and water, and I’d be lying if I said I had foolproof ways to make sure Sanguine doesn’t tapdance on the grave of your key. Just to make sure everyone is following along at home, the issue with Black Rook Hold on Sanguine week occurs in the hallway after Illysanna Ravencrest. The trash includes Wyrmtongue Scavengers and Tricksters and Wrathguard Bladelords.
Many groups like to pull all the trash in this hallway at once because all the mobs are slowable and you can use the hallway to kite everything while you kill it. Sanguine makes this incredibly frustrating for a number of reasons: the Wyrmtongue Tricksters have less health than the rest of the trash and will die very quickly, meaning you’ll have Sanguine puddles very early in the pull; the Wyrmtongue Scavengers will often cast Indigestion causing them to stand in one place for a long time (if in Sanguine, they will heal easily heal to full) or they’ll start spinning around and chasing players which will often lead to them being dragged through Sanguine; and the Wrathguard Bladelords hit incredibly hard meaning the tank has to keep moving to avoid getting shredded.
When you combine all these, it’s very easy for this hallway to become a giant Sanguine puddle filled with mobs that are either standing still or moving erratically. It’s also rather cramped and presents several line of sight issues making it difficult for DPS to move into position.
My groups still routinely struggle with this pull, but there are a few ways to improve your odds of not spending four minutes on one pull.
Be mindful of the Wyrmtongue Tricksters, and either make sure you have some way to knock the rest of the trash out of the early Sanguine pools or a way to keep the Tricksters crowd controlled until the rest of the trash is dead. Focus on making sure the Wrathguards die as quickly as possible so the tank can get back in on the action.
Try to slow all the mobs and keep them tightly grouped so Sanguine is concentrated.If you see that a Scavenger is following you while spinning, try to lead it away from Sanguine pools.
Weekly Affix Advice
This week’s affixes are Raging, Necrotic and Tyrannical.
Dungeons Most Affected by Raging:
Maw of Souls
: Brackwater Blast from Seacursed Soulslavers will quickly become unlivable on Raging. Night Watch Mariner will quickly kill the group if a Lantern of Darkness goes off while Raging. Shroud Hound can quickly pick off ranged with Raging Shroud Strikes.
: Dreadborne Seers can instantly wipe a group with Raged Demonic Prophecies. Wrathguard Felblade’s Searing Wound will become nearly unhealable while Raged. Withered Fiends can kill party members with Arcanic Bane while Raged.
Halls of Valor
: Valarjar Thundercaller’s Thunderous Bolt will knock out party members while Raged. Ebonclaw Worgs will make quick work of ranged party members.
: Skeletal Usher Flashlights can easily wipe a group if cast while Raged. Spectral Apprentice’s Burning Brand does overwhelming damage while Raged.
Vault of the Wardens
: When Glayviana Soulrender Rages, the tank will get mauled.
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.
: 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 Tyrannical:
Halls of Valor
: Hymdall’s Horn of Valor will get dangerous, and Fenryr will start taking long enough that Ravenous Leap DoTs will have a chance to stack up and cause problems. But the real showstopper is Hyrja whose Expel Light and Arcing Bolt will start one-shotting people. Add in Eye of the Storm for good measure and you’ve got a fight that will likely require multiple battle resses at a minimum.
: Dresaron’s Down Draft and Earthshaking Roar combo will be difficult to keep up with, and the fight will now last long enough that you’re going to run out of healing cooldowns at some point. Xavius will start one-shotting people with Nightmare Bolt, and Feed on the Weak will be scary. Apocalyptic Nightmare might kill some people, and the extra Tyrannical health on Xavius means the second half of the fight will last long enough that he will eventually get some empowerment stacks and do even more damage.
Seat of the Triumvirate
: Viceroy Nezhar and L’ura both become fights that will likely last four or five minutes on higher keys. Viceroy’s random heavy single target damage will tax your healer’s mana. L’ura’s Growing Darkness becomes very dangerous with the extra Tyrannical health -- everyone in the group will be taking significant damage by the end of the fight.
Court of Stars
: Talixae Flamewreath’s Burning Intensity will deal heavy damage as the fight progresses, and her adds will become more and more difficult to keep CC’d. The Slicing Maelstrom from Advisor Melandrus will require a lot of healing in a very short window, and classes without good defensive abilities will struggle not to die every time it’s cast.
Dungeons Least Affected by This Week’s Affixes:
Eye of Azshara
: Most of the trash in Eye of Azshara gets kited every week regardless, so Raging and Necrotic don’t make the dungeon much different in that aspect. Wrath of Azshara can be tricky on Tyrannical, but the rest of the bosses are straightforward.
: Rockbound Pelters will need to be kited, and Blightshard Shapers have to be aggressively interrupted. Save all defensives for Raging with Emberhusk Dominators.
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