Method Jdotb Q&A #12 - Master Loot, Push Weeks, Necrotic Affix
Our latest Q&A with Method Jdotb is now live which includes advice on the weekly affixes, Master Loot, Push Weeks and the Necrotic Affix!
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Method Jdotb Q&A #12
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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:
What exactly is a “push week”? Why do they matter?
When you hear someone from the M+ community refer to a “push week”, what they mean is that the affixes for the week are favorable for achieving new world firsts. A lot of folks that run M+ regularly will go all in on push weeks and play for extended periods of time every day to try to make the most use of the “easy” week. You can expect to see new records in most dungeons being set multiple times as the week progresses.
The common denominator of a push week is the Fortified affix -- not every Fortified week is a push week, but every push week is Fortified. Because of the sheer amount of health that Tyrannical adds to bosses (40% !!!), it’s mathematically impossible to run dungeons faster on Tyrannical week than on Fortified regardless of how difficult the other affixes are. This has been a long-standing complaint from the M+ community because it makes Tyrannical weeks feel pointless for those that want to push keys as high as possible. It’s also frustrating as someone that wants to do M+ every day because a lot of the community will just disappear during Tyrannical weeks.
I’m not sure there is total consensus on what affixes are required for push weeks, but my personal flowchart goes something like this: Is it Tyrannical? If not, then is it Explosive or Bolstering? If no to both of those, then it’s a push week. Bolstering will slow a dungeon way down because it makes almost impossible the big pulls that are necessary to shave time off keys. Explosive doesn’t make big pulls impossible per se, but the chances that orbs will start spawning inconveniently during a big pull are high enough to make group wipes a routine thing. And many of the classes that are strong for pushing aren’t necessarily great at bopping orbs.
In the way that the race for world first happens with each new tier for raiders, the M+ race for world first happens each time a push week rolls around. The leaderboard is obviously much more temporary and fluid for M+ compared to raiding, but that’s half the fun.
Is is it better to sim for trinkets or just use “trial and error” when it comes to pushing high keys?
Simming trinkets (and legendaries) can give you a good ballpark idea of how strong something is. For instance, if you have five mobs neatly packed and you will get exactly one use of a trinket (which is a common scenario in M+), sims will give you a nearly definitive answer for what to use. And sims will give you an idea of the theoretical maximums of each trinket.
But obviously M+ can get weird in ways that you don’t often see in raids. Kiting is rarely a thing in raid encounters, but it’s a very popular tactic in high keys. If your trinket puts a stationary effect on the ground, it might be almost entirely worthless on kite pull. Same thing for trinkets with projectiles (e.g., Deteriorated Construct Core or Sheath of Asara). You can’t really build “aim” into a sim, so the value of these trinkets can vary wildly from what a sim will output.
There’s also the episodic nature of M+ compared to raiding. Boss fights in M+ will be shorter than their raid counterparts (unless you’re doing Tyrannical L’ura), and you will have several short back-to-back trash pulls. This makes it a challenge to decide whether to equip on-use trinkets (which incur a 30s cooldown when you put them on) or stick with proc trinkets (which can start proccing the moment you equip them). And you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to rotate on-use trinkets between pulls and eat the 30s equip cooldown or just keep the same trinket on the whole time and wait through the normal cooldown.
So sims are a good starting point and will let you know how the trinkets perform under ideal conditions, but you will quickly realize that certain trinkets are unuseable in some situations.
The Saprish fight just wrecks my main group on Necrotic weeks. Any strategy advice for this boss?
How you deal with Necrotic is very specific to each tank class and also each group’s makeup. Without knowing which classes you’re running with specifically, I can’t give much help on how to deal with Necrotic.
What I can do, though, is use this question to talk about dungeon selection in general. As you push keys higher and higher, you will begin to see that some classes are more suited to particular dungeons than others. Same thing with affixes -- some classes handle certain affixes better than others. And when you combine dungeons with affixes, you will sometimes run into problems that can realistically only be solved with specific group setups.
As an example, this week I found myself in a group with a vengeance DH, fire mage, affliction lock and subtlety rogue. When we were picking what keys we wanted to do, we quickly realized that some dungeons (Arcway and Neltharion’s Lair) were basically off limits. Those dungeons required crowd control that could lock down big groups of trash mobs for long periods of time, and no one in our group brought that kind of CC to the table. Any attempt to do big pulls with that group would have ended disastrously as soon as any mobs started casting.
It’s important to recognize your limitations as a group. Ideally, you’d switch classes around to make sure you don’t have any big gaps (e.g., someone has a group stun, someone has a slow, someone has a battle res), but if you run with the same group every time and no one is willing to reroll, then you may just have to accept that some dungeons aren’t feasible.
In your case, Seat may be doable on Necrotic, but you might also just chalk it up to a bad week and avoid the dungeon entirely. I actually can’t remember the last time my group did a Necrotic Seat, and that might be because we came to a similar conclusion.
How do you feel about Master Loot being gone in BFA?
Words can hardly express how excited I was when I read that master loot would be disappearing in BFA. It has long been tradition in progression raiding guilds for gear to be given first to DPS, then to tanks, and finally to healers. The logic being that DPS checks are common while healing checks are rare, and if you really need more healing you can just bring an extra healer. Whether this line of thinking is correct or not, most guilds that are clearing content at a reasonable speed defer to this loot system in varying degrees.
Because of the ubiquity of this approach to loot distribution, raiding as a healer usually meant being last in line for anything cool that dropped that wasn’t healer-exclusive (i.e., trinkets). You could probably expect to be one of the last people in your raid to get new tier or weapons. And because most top guilds shared this mentality, there wasn’t really an alternative. If you wanted to raid at a high level, you just accepted this fate.
Being a longtime healer, this status quo has chafed me over the years, and anyone that’s raided with me knows how I feel about being treated like a second class citizen when loot is concerned. But especially in Legion, where M+ has become my primary goal, gear is more important now than ever because it’s effectively the bottleneck on pushing higher and higher keys. Raid content is static, but M+ scales infinitely, so the need for gear in M+ is much more pronounced. If you’re wearing 940 ilvl, you will never compete with the groups rocking 970.
One of my favorite aspects of M+ has been that it’s permanently set to personal loot, and I can’t wait for BFA to take this approach with all content.
I’m a new Twitch Affiliate and I mostly stream keys. I appreciate my small but steady chat room (usually about 30 people a night) but find it exhausting that they want to constantly comment on my gameplay and make “helpful” suggestions. How do you politely deal with this?
There are a few ways you can subtly remind your viewers what you will and won’t tolerate (chat rules, etc.) but it’s also important to examine whether streaming is really your appropriate outlet. Streaming begins and ends with your viewers, and if you’re routinely finding your interactions with your chat “exhausting”, you might consider recording your runs and uploading them later. But if you’re confident that streaming is right for you, then overly-critical chatters are handled online pretty much the same way they’re handled in real life: let them go in one ear and out the other.
I try to acknowledge all of my viewers, usually by reading comments out loud (assuming chat isn’t flying). It’s pretty easy to read someone’s comment and follow it with, “Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that,” to let them know that you’ve at least considered what they said. You can then feel free to discard everything you just read and go about your business as usual. If the person continues to offer unsolicited advice, at some point you can just outright starting ignoring them. They’ll either get the point and stop, or they’ll move on to another stream. If they move on, don’t sweat it -- you clearly weren’t enjoying their presence.
It’s also tempting to fall into the trap of thinking you know better than your viewers, that since they’re here watching you instead of the other way around you must be better than them. I’ve received my share of worthless tips on stream, but occasionally someone drops a real knowledge bomb in my lap. It’s important to keep an open mind while streaming; there are always ways you can improve.
But mostly just be yourself on stream. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries with your viewers, and don’t be afraid to enforce them.
Weekly Affix Advice
The affixes this week are Raging, Volcanic 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 Volcanic:
General note about Volcanic: Volcanic is by far the least impactful affix in M+. While there are a few niche situations where Volcanic might be annoying, you will probably spend the week forgetting that Volcanic even exists.
: If you ever get a Volcanic patch under you during Medivh’s Flamewreath, it can be tricky to avoid it. Technically there will always be at least a little room to maneuver, but if you’re the healer and you’re trying to keep up with the damage it can be just enough to bump you off your game and wipe you.
Maw of Souls
: Harbaron’s Fragment will stun you for three seconds. This is enough time for a Volcanic to spawn under you and go off.
: If you don’t have a way to escape Devour from the Vicious Manafangs, Volcanic can spawn under you while you’re immobilized.
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:
Cathedral of Eternal Night
: Try to wait until just after Gazerax has used Blinding Glare to push him into Raging. If Raging Felblight Stalkers jump to the same target simultaneously, it will probably be lethal.
Eye of Azshara
: Volcanoes can spawn under Lady Hatecoil’s islands so keep your eyes peeled during Static Nova. Also be careful when stacking up on Wrath of Azshara for Crushing Depths. Stormwake Hydras can chunk the tank quickly when Raging.
Black Rook Hold
: Risen Archers get extra scary while Raging, so be sure to line of sight or outrange them. Risen Scout’s Knife Dance needs to be interrupted instantly while Raging.
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