In this installment on Improving Your Gameplay we are going to be looking at 5 man content! Dungeons have undergone some substantial changes over the years and will likely continue to be changed as the player base out smarts the current systems. In this installment, we will delve into ways to take your game to the next level via the Mythic Plus dungeons.
The advantage to 5 man content is that unlike raiding where you only have one opportunity to loot a boss per week Mythic Plus Keystone lockouts are endless. Every key successful or just completed will deliver some loot for a party member. This allows you to farm for certain pieces that improve your item level or stats.
An incredibly important part of having the best instance you can is having the right group composition. This goes beyond the foundational 1 tank, 1 healer, 3 dps. There are additional pieces to think about when making your 5 player killing squad!
Every class has a certain niche, and making sure that you’ve covered the bases effectively can drastically improve your group’s chance at succeeding. Making a group composed of 5 Druids may seem like a fast and powerful group, but having to use Drums instead of having Bloodlust is a 5% DPS loss; Conversely not having a Battle res (DK, Druid, Warlock, Hunter) can wipe you on the last Boss and force you to make the march of shame for a second pull. This doesn’t mean you don’t want a class that does not have a Lust/Brez utility, it just means that you should pay attention to making sure you have a plan for these situations (having a BM/Survival Hunter solves both issues).
Also to be taken into your considerations are the affixes. If the affixes punish melee or ranged specifically, you will want to lean more heavily towards one or the other DPS types. A prime example is Quaking where a full melee group can have a challenge getting out of each other’s way to minimize the Quaking damage while maintaining damage on the targets. Conversely, ranged can struggle with avoiding Volcanic in tight spaces (Maw of Souls). If you are unsure of what a melee or ranged comp would look like, hedge your bets and go with 2 of one and 1 of the other!
Tanks and healers of all classes are viable for Mythic Plus content. There are class biases at the extremely high keystone levels, everyone loves the unkillable DK tank and the HoTs for Days Druid… but a solid duo of Holy Priest and Protection Paladin played well will outperform a Death Knight/Resto Druid combination played by one armed monkeys any day of the week!
Slow down! You aren’t quite ready yet… When your group is in the instance there are a couple of things to do before starting the timer!
- Make sure you have completed the holy trinity (Food, Flask, Rune)
- Complete a Ready Check (/readycheck)
- Pull timer (/pull 10) as some classes can use CDs just before pull and get an extra advantage, like DHs and Meta
- Pass lead to the tank (they can mark priorities and use pull timers for bosses allowing pre-pots)
- Drop the Key in and go go go!
You are NOT a Turret!
Here’s the scoop. Mythic Plus is designed to challenge players to play at the highest level that they are capable. The mantra in raiding is “Dead DPS is NO DPS”. The same is true for 5 man content. Every time you die, you pull 5 seconds off of the timer making it more difficult to finish the instance in time (or with the maximum number of upgrades/loot). That said, there are a few additional things you can do to make the run more seamless.
Crowd Control > Damage
Alright we’re going! With the increased damage and additional health everywhere in these instances you are unlikely to be able to cheese your way to victory. This means that you will need to have your Crowd Control and Interrupt game on point! Any cast that can be stopped, or any time a pack of mobs can be stunned should be a priority over your damage throughput. Each time you stop incoming damage is saving you time down the road when your healer needs to stop the instance to regain mana! If you are in a guild group, Discord can really smooth out the interrupt and stun rotations because typing takes time, whereas saying a few words in VOIP can be done instantly.
Watch Your Toes
When you run a daily Heroic Dungeon (or Regular Mythic) it is no big deal to stand in fire, take on adds without the tank, or straight up cheat the mechanics. Once you start pushing Mythic Plus, that HAS to stop. There comes a point in time where your lack of personal responsibility will cause your group to wipe.
Pulling when the tank isn’t ready or running ahead of the tank. NEVER NEVER NEVER run ahead of the tank unless they are unsure of what they are supposed to be doing. If that’s the case, let them know that you can help them get Forces completed as smoothly as possible. Otherwise, DO NOT pull. You don’t know if the tank is waiting on a cooldown or maybe his cat is on fire and needs a minute. In addition, your healer often uses those moments to regain mana (drinking or eating) and won’t appreciate the Leeeeeeeroy Jenkins attitude while they are preparing to keep you alive for the rest of the dungeon.
Standing in fire is bad 99.9% of the time (If you aren’t sure when it’s okay, you need to ready the adventure journal more)! If you aren’t watching what’s underneath you, there’s a pretty good chance you are putting a strain on your healer’s mana. The more time they have to invest in healing avoidable damage, the more time they spend not doing DPS. Healer DPS is one of the best ways to speed up a keystone run. This extra damage will more than make up for any damage you lose avoiding mechanics in the long haul.
Maybe just maybe you outgear the dungeon and the throughputs make it so you can cheat mechanics. It’s advisable to use those instances to learn how to best handle the mechanics at hand so that you are comfortable with them when you push the instance to a high enough difficulty level where there are make or break mechanics.
The healer is there to keep you from dying but you play a part in your own survival. Your personal defensive cooldowns should be used when necessary. If the option is you dying right now or keeping it for a ‘just in case’ situation, you may want to stay alive now and let the healer know you have XX minutes until your personal CD is available to you. Once again, learning when the heavy damage is incoming will help you understand where your personal defensive is best utilized. Your personal defensive CDs can be a huge help if the tank dies, and you have to kite or ‘tank’ a mob while the real tank is coming back into the fray.
All of the following add-ons are available through the Twitch client.
Angry Keystones– Angry Keystones gives the user an interface that delivers some crucial information like remaining time for +3, +2, and +1 upgrades; the % of forces that each add will give (on the nameplate); which bosses are remaining and the current Forces percentage.
Astral Keys– This is a new toy for Bolstering. It tracks the keys of every user within the guild as well as your own account’s keystones. Incredibly useful if you are looking to farm a specific instance for certain loot as well as having a look around to see if someone has a key that you really enjoy running and want to help them complete it!
Deadly Boss Mods (DBM)– DBM is just awesome for everything PVE. DBM has timers built in for most major mechanics that one encounters in a dungeon or raid. Nice to know what the next boss action that’s trying to kill you is going to be!
Weak Auras 2 (WA)– WA is a huge database of resources that address almost everything you could imagine related to aiding you in your encounters. Once you’ve installed Weak Auras, you can go to wago.io and find auras. These auras can include class specific or instance/affix specific ones that help you with game play.
Raider.IO Mythic Plus Keystones– Shows you the raider.io ratings for any player who uses the add-on. It details highest completed dungeon, highest for a specific instance, Main toon’s score. More on Raider.io to follow.
This website is a very polarizing part of what Legion Dungeons have become. How often have you seen a Mythic Plus dungeon group looking for “2.5k+” or have the legendary “checking radier,io” in the listing? Like it or hate it, this site has become the meta for determining if someone is likely able to perform at the required level for the content.
How it Works
Raider.io (herein referred to as r.io) pulls data from the Blizzard API and gives a score based on how effectively a Mythic Plus instance was completed. The API will hold the top 500 runs of each dungeon for each realm. This means that as the week goes on, a scoring run will become more difficult as ranked runs become more plentiful. Life-Pro-Tip: Lower population servers have less scoring runs, if you are looking to get some runs to score grab a player from a realm you’ve never seen before!
Your score is an accumulation of the highest scoring runs of each dungeon you have completed within the current patch. The easiest way to get started on building a score is to complete one of each dungeon at a mid-level. Completing a +5 of each instance will give you a score of roughly 700. From there you can build to recording +10s to bump your score to 1400. And beyond that, +15s in each dungeon will see you reach the 2k mark! As the runs get more challenging the point allocations are increased. The system is not as easy to understand as 10 points per level, which means the above math is approximate. Keep in mind that asking for 4k raider.io score for a dungeon when your score is 650 is not likely to work… use these numbers as guidelines and not rules when making your 5 person squad!
The Site Itself
R.io has a few interesting functions that have made other ‘ranking’ sites have less impact. When you search a character on this site, you are not only given the dungeon score, but also take a look at your most recently scored runs. In additon to 5 man content, there’s also raid progress and a gear set on each character page. You can also take a look at the scores of any other player (including snooping on your fellow guildies).
The Most Important Part!
The absolute most important part to any type of content in World of Warcraft is to have fun doing it! If you dislike finding random people to run dungeons, raids or PvP with, ask your fellow guild mates! Conversely, if someone is barking in guild chat that they are looking for someone to run some content, please feel free to join in! We wouldn’t openly ask if we didn’t feel like it was going to be fun for everyone!