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Shadowlands Mythic+ Representation for DPS, Tanks, Healers - Tyrannical, Bursting, Explosive Week
18/2/2021 em 02:51
As we start a new Mythic+ week with new affixes, we will look back to last week to analyze how different affixes impact the Mythic+ meta. For this, we will look at data provided by
, looking specifically at the spread of classes being used to time Mythic+15 and higher, and Mythic+20 and higher dungeons.
Representation Changes from Previous Tyrannical Week
When compared the the previous Tyrannical week, we can see that the number of keys completed has increased substantially. Bursting Explosive seem to be a way more lenient affix than Bolstering Necrotic. In general, this allows groups to larger pulls in many dungeons, as they don't need to worry about enemies bolstering or tanks getting too many stacks of Necrotic. This change allows for groups to reduce the time required for runs considerably due to shorter time on trash, even when spending more times at bosses due to Tyrannical.
Current Week - Tyrannical, Bursting, Explosive
Click here to see the charts in more detail on Raider.io
Previous Tyrannical Week - Tyrannical, Bolstering, Necrotic
Click here to see the charts in more detail on Raider.io
Class Overview for Mythic+
For this week, we ask three of our class writers about specs that are viewed as strong in the current meta, but still behind the main DPS specs: Shadow Priest, Affliction Warlock, and Retribution Paladin. Every week we will invite different writers from different specs to give more context about how their spec fares in Mythic+, so make sure to check every week to see if your favorite spec is featured. For this week, we asked our writers about what issues their specs are currently facing that hold them back when compared to the main meta Mythic+ specs.
Shadow Priest is in an interesting position when it comes to Mythic Plus, coming off a substantial rework to its resource system and multiple altered or in some cases brand new spells. Two major complaints about Shadow Priest in Mythic Plus throughout BFA were its long ramp up time and relatively high barrier to entry, due to needing multiple Azerite traits, optimal stats, and solid gameplay understanding to put out even passable damage.
Looking at Shadowlands, those two big BFA complaints have been mostly solved by the changes. Shadow is no longer reliant on high Voidform or Chorus stacks to deal damage, and has a much more simple and forgiving core idea driving its aoe damage and rotation. Even with this though, the rotation still has a lot of moving parts, especially in aoe, and can be difficult to play optimally in every situation across a dungeon.
Shadow’s damage output in dungeons on the whole is, while not on par with the top dps classes on aoe, not substantially behind them either. Shadow does also now have burst damage, but for aoe it is not as bursty as Marksman Hunters or Fire Mage on mass aoe.
Shadow’s largest damage based issues stem from its complete lack of a baseline aoe spender and unorthodox reliance on ‘cast while channelling’ abilities. These put the spec in a strange place where the damage toolkit lacks a way to effectively deal with 3-4 mobs at a time. Base damage over time effects have seen repeated nerfs across the board for the past 4 years for all classes, and it’s Shadow where this change in design direction is most felt. Vampiric Touch used to be Shadow’s main way to deal effective damage against small numbers of long lived targets, but it no longer has enough impact and leaves the spec trailing outside of massive pulls where searing nightmare can pull its weight.
One of Shadow’s biggest issues, and the major unsolved issue from BFA and even Legion before that, is utility. While it has gained a few small things, most notably Mind Soothe and Mass Dispel’s ability to remove bursting, it still lacks many things group leaders look for when selecting dps for their keys. The lack of strong mob control, battle resurrection, bloodlust, kiting tools, or ability to negate boss mechanics, on top of having a substantially below par interrupt leaves Shadow overlooked in favour of specs that do provide those things.
Shadow Priest currently sees roughly 5-6% representation in mythic plus until 20+ keystones. This is similar to most other classes that are not Druids, Mages, or Hunters, even despite the spec’s issues. Part of this could be because Shadow is a ranged spec, and ranged dps have relatively higher representation in Shadowlands Mythic Plus more generally compared to previous expansions. One thing’s for sure though, while Shadowlands did improve accessibility to Shadow Priest and remove the Stigma of being a ramp dps, the rework didn’t quite do enough to realise the potential the spec showed during beta.
Although Retribution is still a viable spec for Mythic+, it doesn't tend to be favoured for pushing high keys or in the MDI. There's quite a few issues that prevent it from competing at the highest level, and fixing only one or two of them probably wouldn't be enough to make it as good as the other best M+ specs.
In terms of damage Ret has strong burst, but it isn't quite as strong as the flavour of the month specs like Fire or Marksmanship. It also tends to rip threat from the tank during wings, as I'm sure everyone playing Ret in M+ has experienced, so you often need to wait 10+ seconds for the tank to establish threat before you can use cooldowns so you don't just die. The best AoE legendary, Tempest of the Lightbringer, also doesn't provide any damage increase on single target bosses, which means you have to decide between either optimizing damage for trash or for bosses. Ret's AoE is also largely target capped depending on the talents you use.
Although it has a lot of utility options, there aren't that many points where they're significantly useful for a group. Ret's hard CC, Repentance, doesn't work on many enemy types and other than that Ret only has a single target stun. It doesn't have an AoE stun or a group mitigation cooldown like Darkness, AMZ, or Rallying Cry, and all of its other utility can equally be brought by a Holy or Protection paladin instead. Although it has strong offhealing capabilities, you need to sacrifice damage to effectively heal due to Word of Glory costing Holy Power, and offhealing from DPS doesn't tend to be valued very highly in Mythic+.
Ret also has limited defensive options, which often need to be used either offensively like Shield of Vengeance or to prevent dying to threat like Divine Shield. Being a melee also naturally makes Ret a lot squishier and less desirable in general, since there's many mechanics that are a lot more difficult to see or dodge in melee than range, and new affixes like Storming and Spiteful are much more punishing for melee roles. Altogether there doesn't end up being a good reason to bring a Ret over another spec that can provide more utility or damage unless they're a very good player. Of course Ret is still totally fine to play in normal keys, and you can still push high keys as Ret if you enjoy it, but these factors prevent it from being seen regularly at the highest level of play.
Affliction is actually right outside of the meta at the moment - if there were a tier list, of sorts, affliction should be a very solid option inside the second best tier. It doesn't suffer horrifically from target caps, brings decent utility to the group in the form of healthstones and soulstone, and has decent priority damage, all of which are useful in a mythic+ scenario. However, in terms of effort required versus output gained, it suffers drastically compared to the top 3 ranged specs in mage, boomkin, and hunter.
Let's break this down. For a 5 target mythic+ pull, an affliction warlock needs to set up a pull by casting seed of corruption, casting agony manually on all 5 targets, Unstable affliction the priority target, cast whichever one of vile taint/phantom singularity you're specced into, cooldown+trinket, darkglare. Only once all of this ramp up time has passed does an affliction warlock start to do good damage. And if you're able to actually ramp this far and cast 4-5 malefic raptures, your damage will actually be pretty good. The main problem, however, is that in your ramp time, a fire mage has already gone through his entire combust and probably killed one or two of the mobs in the pull. the hunter's wild spirits is almost over. You're out of luck on getting the pie. Affliction ends up taking the niche priorty damage spec if they're in a group with one of these other specs.
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