General Mythic+ Tips
As an accompanyment to this guide we've included some general tips on how to communicate with your group, information on each affix, as well as general pathing recommendations (including how to do skips)back to Mythic +
How to Use this Guide
- Where applicable, there are small icons that indicate changes based on different affixes and/or tips for handling the seasonal affix.
- This is not meant to be a basic dungeon mechanics guide and some very obvious mechanics (like "don't stand in fire") are not included.
- Each trash mob section has a dungeon journal indicator icon for any relevant interrupts, stuns, or dispels that you should be getting. This is meant to give you an idea of what mobs you should be marking and what your group should be focused on throughout each pull.
- For more information on marking and effectively dealing with these mechanics, please see the Communicating With Your Group section below.
- All class specific abilities have been color coded, in order to make it easier to skim through and find useful tips for your specific comp.
Keep in mind not EVERY single tip for every class is included in this guide, as the main goal is to optimize for tanks specifically. However, we are trying to include tips for everything that could impact your pathing/pulls as much as possible.
The affix schedule and rotation of affixes has seen heavy changes in Shadowlands, with both new and removed affixes changing the schedule, as well as almost every single remaining affix getting tweaks or changes in how it functions.
Teeming and Skittish have been removed, much to the relief of the tank community as a whole as these were affixes that affected tanks very heavily.
On death, trash mobs apply 1 stack each of a 4 second long Magic DoT that ticks once per second. This effect stacks and will refresh its duration if additional mobs die during this time.
- Has been changed into a Magic Effect which means it can be dispelled.
- This is especially important because it means healers can dispel it on someone who cannot immune it if you are doing a large pull.
- Priests (any spec) are especially valuable on Busting weeks because Mass Dispel essentially gives you a full clear of bursting stacks every 45 seconds.
- The damage per stack has also changed:
- It deals a flat amount of damage to scale up with key level, capping at +15
- At its top end (+15 and up keys) it will deal 1593 unmitigated damage per tick, per stack
- This change has lead to it being a higher % of your health pool in early-SL dungeons, however as we get more health and gear it will gradually deal less proportional damage than BFA dungeons.
General Advice: Keep an eye on mob health and plan for Bursting stacks. It is a common misconception that you should always be aiming to keep Bursting stacks low (around 3-4) to allow the healer time to keep everyone up. In reality, most healers can easily heal 6-8 stacks if it is planned and the DoT is not extended. Extending the Bursting stacks is what will get you killed when dealing with this affix so your general rule of thumb will be to kill as many mobs as possible in a 1-2 second period and then back off to prevent extending the high stacks.
Immunities that prevent the application of magic effects (such as DK's AMS or Paladin's Blessing of Spellwarding) will immune the application of new stacks but will not remove existing stacks. Immunities that clear magic effects (such as Rogue's Cloak of Shadows or Mage's Iceblock) will remove the stacks entirely and prevent the application of new ones for the duration.
While in combat, both trash and bosses will spawn Explosive Orbs that will detonate if not killed within 6 seconds. If they are allowed to detonate, their damage dealt is equal to 50% of your max HP.
- Explosive orbs now have a flat health pool of 160 regardless of key level. This will allow them to be one shot by almost every single ability, making them much easier to handle!
- They also spawn slightly further away from the mob that spawned them -- this seems counterintuitive but it actually makes the mechanic easier to handle as their nameplate will no longer get buried with the other mobs and they will be easier to see!
General Advice: There's not a lot of advice to offer past just killing the explosive orbs! In most groups it is more efficient for the tank and healer to handle the bulk of the explosive orbs as it leads to the lowest loss of group damage for them to swap off; that being said, dps should be helping when there are a lot of them spawning. They are not damaged by area of effect damage and must be directly targeted.
The damage can be line-of-sighted which can be very useful when pulling large packs.
Any player falling below 90% health applies a Grievous Wound bleed that will stack to 4 until they are healed back to above 90% health. Casting some direct heals on the player will remove one stack but if not healed past the 90% threshold, the Grievous bleed will continue to stack again.
- Has been changed to deal a static amount that scales with keystone level, capping at +15
- At its top end (+15 and up keys) it will deal 1593 unmitigated damage per tick, per stack
- Direct heals now remove 1 stack of Grievous
- This is currently a bit arbitrary as there are some heals that work and others that don't for each healer with no consistency some heal "types" working and others not (for example a Druid's Tranquility will remove 1 stack of Grievous per tick of the channeled heal, whereas a Holy Priest's Divine Hymn will not remove any stacks)
- Tank heals are in a similar boat of not having much consistency in what does and does not remove Grievous stacks. A fully compiled list of what works and does not work for each tank spec is on our to-do list to create but some major outliers are:
- Blood DK Death Strike healing DOES NOT work
- Vengeance Demon Hunter Soul Shard healing DOES NOT work
- Brewmaster Monk's Chi Wave DOES work and removes a stack per bounce
- Protection Paladin's Word of Glory DOES work
- Guardian Druid's Frenzied Regeneration DOES NOT work but their HoTs (Regrowth and Renewal) do work
- Healing pots DO NOT work (however the Kyrian Phial does work as it is classified as a bleed)
General Advice: There is not much you can do as a tank on this affix specifically to help, however be aware that your healer will be under much greater pressure on these weeks so keep your pulls on the smaller side. Additionally, in SL they've reintroduced Grievous coming up on weeks alongside Tyrannical again and these weeks are going to be particularly difficult. Weeks with Grievous are generally not good weeks to push keys and this is considered a very challenging affix due to the increased healer pressure.
Upon death, trash mobs leave behind a red void zone that lasts 20 seconds. They will deal 15% of max HP per second to any players standing in it and will heal all enemy mobs standing in it for 5% HP per second. These puddles can stack on top of each other, increasing the damage and healing affects proportionally.
- Sanguine puddles have been changed to only last 20 seconds (as opposed to 60 seconds in BFA)
General Advice: This affix is primarily on you as the tank to handle. Keep a close eye on mob health and slowly kite mobs away a small distance as they get close to dying. Be wary of mobs that stop and cast, especially if the cast is uninterruptible. If mobs are difficult to move (for example any type of archer) or impossible to move (for example tentacles that come out of the ground), move the other mobs away from them at low health to avoid placing the puddles on their location.
A common misconception about Sanguine is that slows make it harder to handle. However, if you get used to them slows can be extremely beneficial to control the micro-position of mobs relative to the puddles that spawn, and will allow you to be more efficient with your space by not over-positioning the mobs.
Trash and bosses will periodically spawn Volcanic Plumes on the location of party members. After 2 seconds the Plume will erupt dealing damage equal to 20% max HP to any player standing within 2 yards of it and shooting them up in the air.
- Damage on hit has been reduced from 40% of your healthpool to 20%
- Any player hit will get launched in the air, and take a small amount of fall damage (effectively taking them out of the fight for a few seconds)
- This change was implemented in order to put more of the emphasis on dps and tanks having personal responsibility for this affix, rather than putting the "punishment" for failure on the healer
General Advice: Obviously the main point of this affix is just...don't get hit by it. It has a preference for spawning on players further away from the mobs (usually ranged but can also be you if you're kiting) so in most situations it's not a major problem for a tank. Be careful when mechanics require your group to stay stacked up or if you are running an all-melee group. This is widely considered to be one of the easiest affixes.
Fortified - Trash mobs have 20% more health and inflict up to 30% increased damage (this is multiplicative with key level).
Tyrannical - Bosses have 40% more health and deal up to 15% increased damage (this is multiplicative with key level).
General Advice: As always these weeks change the difficulty of trash and bosses respectively. There is no overarching strategy to dealing with either affix and each ones difficulty will be heavily dependent on dungeon mechanics and the other affixes that are paired with it (for example Fortified and Bolstering is much more threatening than Tyrannical and Bolstering).
There are some odd interactions between Fortified and some bosses where their add summons are considered trash mobs and will be more dangerous even on non-Tyrannical weeks. As these are discovered this guide will make reference to that.
When trash mobs die, they buff any other enemy mobs that are in combat within 30 yards, increasing their maximum health and damage by 20%.
- Bolstering is a very difficult affix in certain SL dungeons purely due to dungeon design and mob layout. There are many pulls that force you to pull one scary mob with a high healthpool alongside numerous small mobs that will die quickly to cleave.
- This guide will add notes as often as possible to indicate which mobs do not Bolster other mobs but Blizzard has been changing these interactions throughout the beta cycle so there will likely be numerous changes to this throughout Season 1
General Advice: This is definitely another affix that slows your pulls down and actively encourages you to pull smaller. Most of the responsibility for managing mob health pools lies on your dps to properly swap targets to the mob that has the highest health remaining. In pugs or uncoordinated groups, it may be best to bind a skull icon to mark high health targets and encourage your dps to balance out healthpools.
It can actually be safe to do larger pulls on Bolstering weeks as long as all of the mobs have similar healthpools, giving your party the chance to evenly dps them down. The more coordinated your group, the easier this affix becomes.
Trash mob and boss melee attacks apply a stacking bleed that also reduces healing received and deals damage proportional to the amount of stacks.
- Each stack reduces the strength of healing and absorption shields by 2% per stack
- Any bleed removal abilities will remove this: Paladin, Dwarf, Dark Iron Dwarf, Kyrian Covenant
General Advice: This affix is almost exclusively on you as the tank to handle, and you will need to get comfortable with managing your healthpool and cooldowns to determine when you should start kiting. A common mistake on necrotic weeks is to start worrying about necrotic stacks either too early or too late. There is no magic number that you should start kiting at, and there are more variables to take into consideration than just always kiting at x amount of stacks.
Get comfortable monitoring your damage intake and communicate with your healer to find a sweet spot that works for you, as unnecessary kiting leads to a lot of lost dps for your group.
- Hunter's Tranquilizing Shot, Rogue's Shiv (with numbing poitson), and Druid's Soothe are very nice to have for these weeks, especially for higher damage mobs
- Raging never appears with Fortified, taking a lot of the danger away from the affix
General Advice: Be ready to kite once mobs start reaching 30% health but be careful of casters who will continue doing high amounts of damage to you even as you run away. For more dangerous mobs try and save stuns/cc for them if you do not have access to a Druid or Hunter to remove the enrage.
- It is highly recommended that you use a Quaking timer weakaura to track the next application of Quaking -- this will allow you to coordinate with your group when it is safe to stack up and when you should start prespreading.
- Quaking will only occur in 20 second intervals after the last application of the debuff -- it will apply to your party again either 20 seconds, 40 seconds, or 60 seconds after its most recent application.
General Advice: SL's ranged-heavy meta actually made this mechanic much easier as it is only difficult in melee heavy groups where spreading out is harder. Keep an eye on your group's position and get ready to reposition in a way that no one is getting hit by each other's quaking but your dps can still hit the mobs.
Seasonal Affix: Prideful
The new seasonal affix spawns a Manifestation of Pride every 20% trash percentage and engages in combat with players. Once defeated it empowers them with a buff lasting for 1 minute.
- The Manifestation of Pride will spawn every 20% trash (regardless of you still being in combat with other mobs or not)
- It has 2 major abilities to look out for:
- Belligerent Boast - avoidable - one player is targeted with a debuff that shows 4 red telegraphed lines coming out of them in different directions.
- After 4 seconds the lines will shoot out from the player, damaging and stunning any other players hit
- The best way to deal with this is to have the targeted player stand as still as possible while everyone else moves to ensure they won't be hit
- Bursting With Pride - group damage - while the add is alive it will do ticking damage to the group every 2 seconds
- This damage increases by 40% with each cast, essentially putting a soft enrage on the mob
- Belligerent Boast - avoidable - one player is targeted with a debuff that shows 4 red telegraphed lines coming out of them in different directions.
- Once the mob has been defeated, all players within range of it will receive a 1 minute long Prideful buff
- Increases damage and healing done by 30%
- Increases movement speed by 60%
- Restores 5% mana every second
- If you wipe while fighting this mob, it will go back to the place it originally spawned but its health pool will NOT regenerate.
- If you deplete a key, speak to the Natherian Inquisitor that will spawn in the area of the end boss. He will summon an extra Manifestation of Pride for you to fight and clear your bloodlust debuff.
General Advice: The management of this affixes comes down exclusively to pathing. It will also likely change based on the weekly affixes (especially Fortified and Tyrannical). Since the Prideful buff is so strong, it will allow you to burn through the more difficult parts of a dungeon in a controllable way. We highly recommend having an idea of what path you're going to take and how to best utilize the Prideful buff before starting the key.
Random trash mobs throughout the dungeon will have the Inspiring Presence buff giving all other mobs within 15 yards immunity to cc and interrupt effects (but not themselves).
- The layout of the mobs is random so there won't be too many specific tips in this guide for dealing with this affix
- Especially on higher keys when all abilities end up being very dangerous without cc's and interrupts, this affix can slow down your pulls a lot
General Advice: When encountering a pack with the Inspiring Presence buff you will want to use your knowledge of the other mobs in the pack to decide if you can do the pull without cc's or interrupts. If you decide that you cannot do the pull without cc, you need to use a hard cc (such as Freezing Trap, Sap, Polymorph etc) on the mob with the buff and pull the rest of the trash out of range (15 yards) to kill it before pulling the remaining mob and single targeting it down. Overall knowledge of the dungeons and the mechanics will be your best bet in properly countering this affix.
Spiteful Shades spawn from the corpses of trash mobs and fixate on random non-tank players.
- These mobs have the debuff All-Consuming Spirit which causes them to lose 8% health every second (meaning even if you don't touch them, they'll be dead in 13 seconds).
- They will move towards their fixated target and try to melee them for a LARGE amount of damage -- their melee damage scales with key level.
- The Spiteful Shades prefer to fixate on dps and healers but if none are available they will fixate on the tank.
- They can be cc'd, displaced, slowed, and stunned
General Advice: This affix is extremely dangerous, especially to your melee players as they will still be within melee range when the first Spiteful Shades begin spawning. On higher key levels their melee is close to a one-shot on non-tank players so make sure you are either very quick with stuns or your melee players are preemptively running out.
Try not to waste too much time actually dpsing them as this is a huge time-sink in your runs. You want to handle this affix in a similar fashion to Bolstering, kill all of the mobs at the same time and run away as a party, leaving the Spiteful Shades to slowly die on their own.
While in combat, enemies periodically summon tornadoes that will damage and do a knockback to anyone hit by them.
- The initial spawn point will look like a small gray circle, that spawns the tornado after 2 seconds
- They will slowly spiral out from their starting point and disappear after 10 seconds
- Because their starting point is generally next to the mob that summoned them, the tornados tend to be focused in melee range, making this another melee unfriendly mechanic
General Advice: This affix is pretty cut and dry with the only real advice being: try to avoid getting hit by the tornadoes. If you are running in a melee heavy group, consider moving the mobs around the area to periodically get away from larger clusters that spawn.
Due to the nature of SL’s nonlinear dungeon design and surplus of mobs/paths you can take through most dungeons there is no “perfect path” that can be applied to every group comp or even set of affixes. As a result, this guide will only make generalized suggestions in terms of pathing and we recommend that you find MDT routes that you and your group are comfortable with. The main two options for this are:
Our top recommendation would be to go to https://wago.io/mdt and find paths for the dungeon/week from streamers or other players that you trust. Import them into the tool and edit them to your liking based on your group comp. This will help you get exposed to numerous different options and you might learn some tricks or skips you didn’t know of before!
Alternatively if you are new to M+ or using MDT, go to https://raider.io/ and use the sidebar on the right to navigate to “The Weekly Route”. This will show you 2 sets of paths for each dungeon: a “basic route” and an “expert route” based on the current week’s affixes. The differential between the two is often explained on a dungeon by dungeon basis as it may require a specific class or ability in order to be used.
One of the most common roadblocks groups face when trying to follow an “advanced route” is lacking a Rogue to group stealth past difficult mobs. There are some alternative strategies to this listed below:
- Hunters and Mages have good movement abilities and can drop combat. They can run in alone and pull a pack to the side (if there isn’t enough room to kite it, make sure they use Aspect of the Turtle or Ice Block to survive) while the rest of the group runs past. Once the group is safely on the other side of the pack they can use Feign Death or Greater Invisibility to drop combat and come back to the group.
- Priests have Mind Soothe, which can reduce the range in which a mob aggros. Depending on the positioning of the pack, you may be able to sneak by with just one mob getting Mind Soothed.
- If there is enough room to move the mobs somewhere else and create a safe path, the tank can run and aggro them alone, leaving the group to cross safely. Once the group is safe and the mobs have reset, the healer can resurrect the tank.
- If the mobs don’t have true sight: Use invisibility potions instead!
If you cannot take either of these options but the mobs are a large enough pain that 4-5 deaths on the timer would be worth it to skip them, you can also do the following:
- If all you have is a brez, have everyone run through to a safe place, have the healer die first, put a battle rez on them and once the mobs have reset the healer can accept the brez and mass resurrect the group.
- If you have a Druid in your group, they can stealth past alone. Once the druid is safely on the other side the group can pulls mobs and die closeby, leaving the druid to resurrect everyone.
In short, this is just one example of an ability that feels “essential” when watching people playing at MDI-competition level, but can be tackled in numerous different ways. Be creative and flexible based on the strengths and weaknesses of your group to get through each pull.
Communicating With Your Group
One of the biggest things that can impact the success of a run is proper communication between group members. Due to class roles, tanks are often the default “shot caller” of a M+ run if no one else volunteers. As you are the one making the pulls, ensuring the path is followed, and setting the pace of the run it will often fall to you to communicate what you need to your team. The addons and weakauras mentioned in this section are linked on our M+ Tank Resources page.
Communicating with your Healer:
- This often comes more intuitively to someone in a tank role as we are used to communicating with healers in raid through calling for externals.
- Tracking your healer’s externals and cooldowns is just as important in a M+ scenario as it is your responsibility to ensure that you are both equipped with the right tools if you are making a larger pull than normal. Alongside this, ensure you are tracking when externals and other buffs are applied to you with a weakaura or unit frames so you can delay your own cooldowns if they are not needed.
- As you are running through the dungeon, one of the best things you can do to communicate with your healer is giving them a quick call out for upcoming packs. “I’m going to pull both packs and I will pop a major cooldown on pull, once it expires I'll need an external cooldown for the remainder of the pull”.
- Depending on the pull, this can encourage healers to plan their own cooldown usage based on how large you are pulling
- This also prevents overlapping of cooldowns to the point of inefficiency. Using the above example, I’m sure every tank has experienced using a major cooldown and then seen an external put on them at the same time. This is extremely inefficient if it’s not necessary and you lose quite a bit of potential mitigation by “wasting” one of them.
- Communicate with your healer on when to use your own externals and utility on group members. There are some mechanics that do extremely high damage to your group and you can utilize Blessing of Protection, Tiger's Lust, Anti-Magic Zone etc to help them out of it. However, as stated before, communication with your healer is important as they may already have a cooldown or other ability planned for that damage.
Communicating with your DPS:
- In many groups, communication between the tank and the DPS is very underutilized and as a result you are running the risk of wasting DPS cooldowns or increasing downtime.
- Similar to tracking healer cooldowns, it may be in your best interest to track major (>2 minutes) DPS cooldowns, especially if you run with a consistent group of people. By looking at how long they have remaining on their cooldowns, you can plan for larger pulls or ask them to hold it for further into the dungeon depending on your pathing.
- INTERRUPTS AND STUNS are easily the most important thing to communicate with your DPS about. By marking mobs and assigning each dps to a specific interrupt you can more safely pull larger packs and prevent missed interrupts or overlapping interrupts.
- A M+ Auto Marking weakaura will automatically mark dangerous mobs, allowing you to make more concise callouts on each pull, such as: “Rogue on Star, Mage and Hunter on Diamond, Mage go first, Hunter second, and I’ll be on Square”
- An Interrupt Tracking weakaura can be extremely helpful to call out interrupts on the fly, especially on dangerous mobs/bosses that require constant interrupts.
Getting to Know Your Group Comp
Becoming comfortable with the abilities each class has at its disposal can make your runs go smoother. Especially when running with different people on a regular basis, it is useful to know what classes are able to handle each mechanic. There is some information below that can help you become more comfortable with each class' utility and playstyle.
Magic Dispel: All Healing Specs
Disease Dispel: Monk | Paladin | Priest | Dwarf | Dark Iron Dwarf | Kyrian Covenant
Poison Dispel: Druid | Monk | Paladin | Dwarf | Dark Iron Dwarf | Kyrian Covenant
Curse Removal: Druid | Mage | Shaman | Kyrian Covenant
Enrage Removal (soothe): Druid | Hunter | Rogues (new for SL with Shiv and numbing poison)
Bleed Removal: Paladin | Dwarf | Dark Iron Dwarf | Kyrian Covenant
Magic Purge: Demon Hunter | Hunter | Mage | Priest | Warlock | Shaman | Blood Elf
A more detailed section coming soon!