Titanforge Podcast's Thoughts on the Current State of Mythic+ in Season 3
Patch 8.2 brings a number of dramatic changes to the Mythic+ experience. The most notable ones are to Dungeon Scaling and the addition of the new seasonal affix, Beguiling. This article, written by Trell, Dratnos and Tettles, will discuss the State of Keys in these early days of Season Three!
This article is authored by the people at the Titanforge Podcast: Tettles, Dratnos, and Trell. Find their podcast on
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Dratnos’ Twitch channel
at 12:00pm PST (21:00CEST)!
Hello, my name is
. I am currently a Balance Expert in the
. I am a top Mythic+ player, competed in MDI #2, and am a raider in one of the top NA guilds, Might - Zul'Jin - Horde - NA. You can find me in the
, or on my
Dratnos raids as a Shaman in the hall of fame guild <Poetry Club> on Tichondrius-US. In Season Two, he completed the best run of any dungeon, a Tol Dagor +26 in just 29 minutes, on his Rogue. He creates the Weekly Route series on
, streams on
, and makes guide videos on
, guidewriter for Wowhead’s
section. I have been an avid Brewmaster player focused on high Mythic+ since around the time of the first Mythic Dungeon Invitational. I enjoy competing for the highest keys possible, and have been the #1 or #2 ranked Brewmaster player in the world during the last year. You can find me on Twitter
My Youtube channel
Live on Twitch
for more Brewmaster dungeon content. Feel free to stop by and say hello!
Recently, dungeon scaling was increased by +30% on base Mythic 0 dungeons in order to match the ~30% increase in power level that players will receive from the extra 30 item levels of gear this patch. Additionally, the +health and damage scaling in keys has been increased from +8% per level to +10% per level. This change looks quite small, and indeed it is for lower-level keys. Once you reach higher level keystones, however, this change will produce a noticeable effect where the difference between, say, a +20 and a +21 will be more dramatic.
You can find the full details of these changes and compare the relative difficulty of keys between this and last season in
Thoughts & Opinions
These changes are a little jarring at first - you zone into a +10, a level you were farming last season, and find yourself battling a dungeon harder than a +15 was last season - AND you have to deal with Beguiling now too! This will make things feel difficult and unforgiving at first, but as we learn to deal with Beguiling, and as we power up with new items from sources like the Eternal Palace, you’ll start to find yourself challenging keys at a similar level to what you could do before. At the higher end, the bigger steps between each keystone level will be noticeable and may mean we’ll cap out somewhere below the +26 that was the best run of last season.
Yeah, I think the important part is that eventually it will eventually even out like Dratnos said. While it feels incredibly difficult right now, by the end of the tier these changes will only really affect players doing bleeding edge level keys.
At this point it is hard to imagine surviving a level 25 or 26 key later on in season 3. Considering the power boost we will get over time, I feel like keys would settle around 23’s. There are always factors that come out of the woodwork though, and new strategies or meta changes could easily unexpectedly boost how high keys can be completed.
One more factor that keeps the keys significantly more challenging this season is the absence of Bwonsamdi and his incredibly powerful buff that he would provide your group. For low level groups, it gave you guys that little bit extra umph to finish the key and for higher end groups sometimes you would just “Bob Run” the key in order to make some of the more ridiculous keys at least completable. He will be missed.
Beguiling has replaced Reaping as the seasonal affix for Season 3. This affix is a huge change of pace from Season 2 - players now have the challenge of determining where emissaries spawn on any given week, how to deal with them, and how many must be dealt with to make 100% Enemy Forces by the end of the key. Each emissary has a different mechanic that it adds to the nearby pack. To learn more about the mechanics of these powerful new foes, check out
Here are some strategies that are effective against the emissaries:
Option 1: Fight the emissary and the pack at the same time. Eat the first cast unless there’s a very convenient line of sight spot nearby. For the second cast, you’ll want to use a defensive if you have one (line of sight if you don’t). Then either kill the emissary before the third cast or drop your stacks by lining, allowing you to then survive a fourth cast easily.
Option 2: Pull the enemies in the pack far away from the Void-Touched Emissary, or outside of its line of sight, and then once they’re dead go and handle the Emissary by itself (or with an easier pack that’s nearby!)
Option 3: Skip it entirely! Void emissaries have truesight, so you will have to employ some special tactics. Death skipping is possible with the use of a battle rez.
Shroud with a distract cast
to lower the true sight range on the emissary is also possible in certain places. You can also choose to stay in combat, forgoing pre-pots, rezzes, and the healer’s ability to regain mana by drinking. Do this carefully, and remember when you update your graveyard that you have the option to die to drop combat.
Option 4: If you have immunities like
, you can use them to immune the damage of the second and then the first and third only do the small amounts of damage.
Option 5: MDI style comps of all Night Elves and Rogues can use these abilities to drop combat with Void Emissaries very painlessly.
These emissaries are almost always dealt with in the same way: pull the pack, and use displacement abilities and/or damage the Enchanted Emissary to separate it from the other enemies. Be careful to not AoE until the enemies are outside of its aura. Keep the emissary away by having one or two members of the group knock it back by dealing damage directly to it. Enchanted emissaries will die in about 20 seconds, kiting the pack away from the emissary and hitting it with a few abilities will usually be sufficient.
These emissaries seem to be the easiest to deal with and give pretty free mob count, but can be skipped with stealth and shroud if need be.
Niche case: Enchanted Emissaries don’t snap (a behavior that many enemies have where they’ll teleport directly to the tank if they can’t find a path), so you can snap the pack they’re in and they’ll just sit there and do nothing.
Specific Abilities: Outlaw Rogues can turn on
and stand between the pack and the emissary and keep it knocked back while still damaging the whole pack.
Option 1: Cleave the emissary down with the rest of the pack. This will likely require the tank to use a CD to live any extra casts that are going off, but is possible in some packs.
Option 2: Use a chain of CC’s on the emissary to keep it still while pulling mobs away from the mob to be able to interrupt and stun them. Keep a careful eye on the emissary as each CC is limited to 8 second duration. After the pack is dealt with, the emissary can be killed off by itself, or more optimally cleaved with another pull or boss where it’s CC aura does not matter as much.
This emissary does not have truesight and can be skipped with stealth. It is completely dependent on the pack the emissary is near, on how worth it may be to pull it or skip it in any given circumstance. Since the aura prevents stuns, knocks, kicks and silences, the consequences of letting the mobs casts go through must be thought about before pulling. Conversely, some packs are completely unchanged with the addition of this enemy, such as the Static-charged Dervishes in Temple.
stand out as abilities that can keep this Hard CC’d indefinitely, just needing a re-cast every 8 seconds.
Thoughts & Opinions
Context is very important when deciding how to attack each emissary. Each of them has circumstances in which they’re at their most difficult to deal with: Void-Touched Emissaries when they’re out in the open, Enchanted Emissaries when they’re in confined spaces with enemies you don’t want to pull nearby, and Emissaries of the Tides when they’re in a group with important abilities that require stuns or kicks to manage.
When you encounter these emissaries in their most punishing habitats, you can’t afford to rush in guns blazing, and you’ll have to employ a strategy like the ones we’ve given above to minimize their impact, but when you find an emissary in a less threatening environment you need to adjust in the other direction and pull more quickly to defeat the timer.
One thing you also need to look for is whether it’s better to pull a pack that wasn’t part of the Season 2 meta or whether you should pull a “normal” pull that includes an emissary now. My suspicion is that when you have the option, you should avoid emissaries and pull other stuff instead, but this is something that’s easy to do only in wide-open nonlinear dungeons like Freehold and much less possible in the Kings’ Rests and Temples where the dungeon is just a straight line from start to finish.
In addition to linearity of the dungeons being hugely problematic, Beguiling more or less makes Rogues seemingly mandatory due to how important shroud is due to the influx of count obtained from the Beguiling mobs. If you saw that clip of the rogues distracting the Void Emissary to allow you to shroud by, that just kinda speaks for itself as for how important Rogues and Shroud will be in order to get appropriate amount of count in a lot of these dungeons.
You just really have to think about the consequences way more heavily now about what you actually are pulling because honestly 1 Beguiling mob in a pack regardless of which one is definitely harder than proccing Reaping into a pack of trash.
I am personally enjoying the challenge the beguiling mobs bring to each pull. I think over time it will start to feel natural and the weekly rotation on emissaries will keep things interesting. Unpopular opinion, but sometimes I miss infested and the intricacies it forced groups to think about. Also, it always feels great to find a really good use for your own utility,
Such as using a
to instantly separate an enchanted emissary from a big pack, or monk taunting (for the speed boost) a tides emissary out of the pack and separating with a
Using Premade Group Finder
Pugging using LFG has definitely gotten way more complex with the new seasonal affix. Overall Beguiling is a lot less intuitive over what reaping was in Season 2. Reaping would only make 4 or 5 pulls more challenging over the course of an instance where Beguiling empowers 10 - 15 pulls and require significantly more coordination, such as using some of the strategies listed above.
In general you are going to be looking to slow down the dungeons a lot more than before - it’ll usually be worth spending the 10 seconds to plan out each pull and make sure everyone’s on the same page. Combining multiple packs of mobs is going to be much harder to do in pugs this season, so you may have to remove those pulls from your gameplan. At the Titanforge Podcast this is referred to this as Ion Hazzikostas pulling, one pack at a time, the way the dungeon was intended.
Thoughts & Opinion
The week to week Beguiling pack differentiation is going to honestly end up being overly difficult for more casual players who do one or two keys a week just for their weekly. It will be really frustrating because not only will the Beguiling strategies have to drastically change, but you also have multiple layers of other affixes involved too that affect your decisions heavily. This just becomes even more exacerbated by LFG, because without voice communication just being coordinated on role specific stuff you should be doing is going to be significantly lacking.
This season, pugging keys much above +10 looks WAY harder than it was with Reaping - probably even harder than it was with Infested, at least for the first few months while everyone is learning the strategies for each emissary. Eventually, a metagame may develop where most pug players are on the same page about basic strategy to attack each dungeon’s emissaries, but until that happens, you’re in for a slog through each dungeon with a million opportunities for people to be on different pages.
I’d recommend now more than ever to try and play with people you know - even if you have a schedule that normally makes pugging easier for you, I suspect that you’ll have better outcomes putting in the effort to find some like-minded people available at the same time as you rather than bashing your head against the brick wall of the premade group finder this season.
The good thing about pugging keys this season will be that players will learn more about other classes tool kits by force. This is good for players to have to be engaged and thinking more about what all 5 players are capable of and helping each other out. The downside is that this can be very hard, probably much more difficult than reaping in put together groups.
A lot is changing in Season 3 in M+. There will be many strategy adaptations, route modifications, and new flavor of the month classes. Check out the Titanforge Podcast to see our high-end takes on some of these, and feel free to always ask us questions!
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