The World of Warcraft Mythic Plus Invitational Takes Shape

Since first published about the World of Warcraft Mythic Plus Invitational (MDI) Proving Grounds, we’ve seen only 15 more teams (taking us to a grand total of 37) from the APAC qualify for the tournament realm that is soon to be upon us. With Blizzard confirming that the time trials will begin on the 27th of March, we have just under two weeks before we’ll get to see the worlds best compete on one of the biggest stages for WoW PvE players. Blizzard has also again once confirmed that any team that qualified in time during the two weeks of the proving grounds is eligible to compete, in comparison to last year’s top 8 drop-off.
In more important news however, Blizzard has announced the three dungeons that teams will need to complete in order to progress from the time trials into the regional group stage. Across three of the dungeons, the top 8 teams with the fastest combined times will qualify for the next stage of competition, with the three competition dungeons and affixes (modifiers added to the dungeon) being:

With a Tyrannical Upper Karazhan, the second (Shade of Medivh) and fourth (Viz’aduum the Watcher) bosses will push players to their limits, especially Medivh, being a boss that is considered one of the most demanding damage and healing checks. If you haven’t managed to keep up with the Mythic+ action, here is a rundown of the Keystone Affixes that will be featured in the time trials, and how they are going to affect the three keystones.

Dungeon 1 – Maw of Souls

When slain, non-boss enemies explode, causing all players to suffer 10% of their maximum health in damage over 4 seconds. (5% every 2 seconds) This effect stacks.
This is a tough affix for Maw of Souls, especially on Fortified (see details on that one below) where we’ll likely see a stealth skip on the Night Watch Mariner, Grimewalker and Shroud Hounds. This in turn will require teams to heavily compensate for missed enemy forces by clearing most if not all of the final deck.
Players will periodically Quake, inflicting 20% of the player’s maximum health as damage and interrupting spell casts of themselves and nearby allies.
This is one of the more basic affixes to deal with, especially with good practice. On a random timer, the quakes will mainly affect ranged DPS players which will cause issues as most compositions will expect to feature two ranged DPS. This is also a minor healing check, however considering most teams will contain both a Affliction Warlock (Ranged DPS) and Restoration Druid (Healer), it shouldn’t be too much trouble to get through.
Non-bosses have more health and deal 30% more damage.
This affix is definitely preferred for most dungeons, and is usually more favourable for Maw of Souls, especially at a keystone level that will be somewhat trivial for these teams, at a health and damage multiplier of only 612% (I know, “only”). Here we will be expecting to see Demon Hunter Vengeance (Tank) players to prevail, as their ludicrous self-healing and kiting ability allows healers to focus on more damage output and less on topping up players.
Overall, Bursting will be the only affix for this key that teams will even begin to struggle with. In this case, experienced teams with plenty of play time together will pull through as damage and execute management allow teams to make up extra time as possible to secure a fast time in order to qualifier for the next stage.

Dungeon 2 – UPper Karazhan

Non-boss enemies will enrage at low health, dealing double damage until killed.
Another very manageable affix, raging very much enforces the current “kite meta” that is seen in big pulls with high mobility tanks and soft crowd control classes. In these pulls the tank makes a large pull and maintains threat, while taking minimal damage allows the rest of the group to ignore any mechanics and burn bosses. Adding to that, with the dungeon on Tyrannical, most mob packs will be easily shredded for most teams.
Creatures have a chance to summon an Explosive Orb at a nearby location that will explode, inflicting damage 50% of the player’s maximum health as damage.
Standing in the way as a make or break affix, Explosive disallows teams to engage in huge mod pulls as letting as little as 3 orbs explode will wipe any group instantly. Teams will be forced into picking highly reliable classes for dealing with this, and often this will add another task for tank players, especially the Vengeance Demon Hunters.
Bosses have more health and deal 15% more damage.
While 15% doesn’t seem like much of a difference, at 741% scaling because of the key being at +24 the bosses will be sitting at a not so pretty ~852% modifier for their damage output and health pool. In this case, we will see a lot of the bosses sitting at over 1 billion health (1,000,000,000 for reference) which will test the stamina of both tanks and healers.
Tyrannical will definitely be the focus affix for this key, with all of the bosses featuring some sort of barely possible ‘one-shot’ mechanic. We’ll definitely be keeping in eye on the teams as they head into Shade of Medivh.

Dungeon 3 – Neltharion’s Lair

Shortly after death, non-boss enemies will leave a pool of blood on the ground, which grows to a 5yd radius over 2 seconds. This pool heals enemies and damages players for a % of their maximum health. The pool’s radius is 8 yds.
Considered the easiest affix to deal with, Sanguine is avoidable, low impact and an easily skipped mechanic. Tanks can quickly kite mobs away from the pool to avoid any healing, and other team members can partake in the overly easy play of just not standing in the big red circle on the ground. Any team that can’t easily avoid Sanguine probably hasn’t qualified for this part of the Invitational.
While below 90% health, players are afflicted with Grievous Wound.
Reflecting the most raw form of a healers ability, Grievous can stack up to five times at which point it will inflict 12% of a team members maximum health. Restoration Druids will shine through like a beacon of light at their reliable heals per second which mitigate the effect before it becomes an issue.
Non-bosses have more health and deal 30% more damage.
As mentioned above, Fortified is considered a very favourable affix to have. This is doubled by the fact of having Neltharion’s Lair as the chosen dungeon which is often considered one of the more completable instances. We will be expecting most teams to comfortably complete this dungeon through the time trials, and those that finish within a +2 timeframe will be who we expect to make it through to the time trials.
Overall Blizzard has chosen three very different dungeons for the time trials which will outline the strengths, weaknesses, and innovations of the teams coming into this challenge. As the time trials come closer and closer make sure to keep up with the #gotogame coverage as we bring interviews with the world best competitors, stage recaps and in-depth insights into dungeons.