How to Get into and Improve at Mythic+ Dungeons in Shadowlands

Last updated on Apr 08, 2021 at 09:00 by Petko 1 comment

This guide will walk you through every step you need to take to get into M+ dungeons in Shadowlands. We will explain how to optimize your interface, your character, and your playstyle to be able to complete high keystone levels.


Topics Covered in This Guide

This guide will break down ways to improve your experience in Mythic Plus, roughly in the order you would expect to encounter them when engaging with this content. If you are not familiar with the Mythic Plus system in general or would like to know more about how it has evolved in the Shadowlands, please see the additional guide below:

We will start by highlighting a variety of tools both in-game and outside of it to empower your character's performance. From there, we will discuss the process of joining or creating a group and what to expect. Then, we will go over tips that will be useful in the dungeons themselves, such as making use of unique Dungeon benefits based on Covenant choice, managing your rotation during a run, and methods for dealing with every single Affix you will encounter in your Mythic Plus career. Finally, there will be a brief discussion on the importance of routing.


Recommended Tools Before Getting Started



One of the most important aspects of Mythic+ is having a great overview and general understanding of the game, which can be enhanced by having several highly-important Addons. We consider these Addons the starting foundation for any Mythic+ player:


Weakauras (WA)

Weakauras, often referred to as "WA", is the most important Addon implemented within the game. Nearly every player, regardless of the content they are interested in, should have this Addon installed. If you have never seen or know exactly what the purpose of the Addon is here is a small sample of what it is capable of:

What the WeakAuras Addon can do

There are several essential WeakAuras that we consider must-haves in any Mythic+ Keystone level. However, the Wago site can serve as an excellent source to find additional auras that you may want to try as well. Certain auras we consider essential for Mythic+ are shown below:

  • Shadowlands-Dungeons — this group of auras will provide you with some general information on the most important spells and abilities in every dungeon of the Shadowlands. There are hundreds of spells and abilities throughout them all, but knowing which ones are the most important can be the difference between timing and depleting a key.
  • Dungeon-Targeted Spells — this is an extremely useful WA that warns about any incoming cast on you or any other party members on your nameplates. This can be especially useful in scenarios where you pull multiple mobs and you do not have the option to target each of them simultaneously. This way if you do not have any Interrupt or Disruption abilities available, you can use a defensive cooldown or immunity to reduce the incoming damage.
  • Interrupt Weakaura — many people may wonder why an Interrupt WA would be considered essential. To answer this question, one only needs to remember the importance of stopping an enemy's cast. Doing so can prevent you not only from taking damage, but also remove tons of pressure from the healer that may be able to then play more offensively rather than defensively once the casts are taken care of. Knowing who has an interrupt available or having a group member pre-assigned to an important cast can make-or-break the party's success in some dungeons. At times, a single cast going through has that much power.

Nameplate Addon

Having a Nameplates Addon will save you tons of time and trouble. If you have ever tried to kill an orb of the Explosive Icon Explosive Affix while fighting tons of mobs with standard Blizzard nameplates, you know it can be a challenge. Luckily, there are several options when it comes down to having customized nameplates. I myself prefer to have Plater, which allows me to have differently colored nameplates for any mob in the game as shown below.

What the Plater Addon can do

As an example of Plater's power, you can set any color you like and use customized scripts for Explosive Icon Explosive and Inspiring Icon Inspiring to help you distinguish their enemies from a regular one. In addition, there many more options that can give you similar advantages over standard Blizzard nameplates such as coloring a enemy's nameplate based on whether it is a tank player that currently has threat or someone else. While it may look complicated, settings profiles for this Addon can also be imported from Wago to find one that suits your needs without having to worry too much about the options seeming too complicated.


Mythic Dungeon Tools (MDT)

Mythic Dungeon Tools is a must-have for players of any skill level. This Addon provides detailed information about every enemy within the dungeon from their abilities to the amount of count/percentage they give for the overall "Enemy Forces" contribution. It is also an extremely useful way to plan a path prior starting a key, which will give the people within your party a better understanding of what you intend to do.

What the Mythic Dungeon Tools Addon can do

An additional feature of the Addon is that it can showcase the HP of each mob based on the dungeon level, so you know exactly how much HP a given boss or a specific mob has. Overall, this is a great tool and it is highly recommended to at least try it out!


The Addon is often used to determine an individual's skill level in Mythic+ based on a points system for completing dungeons in time at a given keystone level. This Addon will help you find people closer to your level of skill by finding similarities in your points generated throughout your dungeon completions.

A tooltip example of the Addon

The most common way to find people with this Addon is still through the LFG (Looking for Group) tool in-game, though it can also be used externally through their website. All in all, if you are trying to get into PUG groups this is the best way to get into it; find out who is on your level and team up!



Finally, I recommend you have LittleWigs, a detailed dungeon Addon that provides you with essential information for any incoming boss and trash ability. You can customize it to include or exclude the information you find crucial as well as incorporate a number of sounds to different, important abilities.



Macros are commonly used within the World of Warcraft community to help you simplify a complex sequence of spells by using a singular button for two or more actions at the same time. I consider the following 3 macros essential to have in a premade or pug Mythic+ group:


Camera Distance Macro

  • /console cameraDistanceMaxZoomFactor 2.6

This macro will increase your maximum camera distance — how far you can zoom out from your character — without installing any additional Addons. Simply use this macro, put it on your bars, and zoom out. As for why this ability is important, it can be extremely helpful to improve your vision in the area and avoid pulling additional enemies you may not be aware of otherwise.


Focus Interrupt Macro

  • /focus [@mouseover]
  • /cast [@focus,exists,nodead]{ability}

A Focus-interrupt Macro is essentially the "Holy Grail" of all macros in Mythic+. I highly recommend using one if you are not already doing so. The first part of the above Macro will set your focus on the enemy you are mousing over — I usually have this action bound to my mouse-wheel. Then, the second part of the macro casts whatever ability you would like on the focused target without actually targeting them. As this Macro is meant to be used for interrupting, you should substitute "{ability}" with your class-specific-interrupt ability, such as "Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear".


Target Marking Macro

  • /run SetRaidTarget("mouseover", 8)

This Macro is not mandatory, but it definitely helps if you are not using an external Addon to mark a specific enemy. It helps you with coordinating interrupts or identifying important target by placing a skull marker on the target and shows to your party that this is the mob you want to focus on. It is very useful in PUG groups where the biggest issue is playing as a team. You can change the marker applied by the macro by simply changing the number "8" to any other number from 1 to 7.


Prepare your Character

Now that you have the tools needed from outside the game, it is time to acquaint yourself with what will be happening in-game. Be it setting your talents appropriately for Mythic Plus, acquiring all sorts of consumable items, or even choosing the right profession, every little advantage can add up once inside a dungeon.


Look Into Your Class Guide

Although you likely have already looked into a guide for how to best play your chosen specialization, every single one may have wildly different talent choices that only apply to a Mythic+ dungeon. As such, it is important to have also read your spec's own Mythic+ section. This section of your specialization's guide may also have unique tips and tricks that go beyond the scope of what this particular page can advise. Be sure to give yours a quick glance, just in case!


Class or Spec-Specific Macros

Though this is similar to the earlier Macro recommendations, there may be certain Macros specific to your own specialization that can improve your character's performance. For example, combining your major offensive or defensive cooldown with a trinket in a Macro will save you from having to press two buttons; instead, you can just press one. Every on-use trinket is off of the Global Cooldown, so it can be used together with your major offensive cooldown — the main rule of making a Macro is that only one action can trigger the Global Cooldown when combining things together.

For example, a Marksmanship Hunter could use the following macro to combine their Trueshot Icon Trueshot cooldown with the Overcharged Anima Battery Icon Overcharged Anima Battery trinket:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast Trueshot
  • /use Overcharged Anima Battery

Bear in mind, some offensive cooldowns such as a Fire Mage's Combustion Icon Combustion are also not on the Global Cooldown and you could therefore add another ability that is on-GCD to the macro!. You can even further enhance this kind of macro by adding your racial ability to it, as most of them are also off of the Global Cooldown. As an example, a Troll player could add "/cast Berserking Icon Berserking" to the already existing macro under a new line.

While you are free to experiment and create your own Macros to suit your personal needs, your own specialization's guide also has a section devoted to helpful macros that may have some of these already written for you to use. Feel free to check it out!



This is a very important aspect of Mythic+. Even disregarding keystone level, having consumables will give you an edge over someone who does not. Certain professions can also help you get a slight advantage, more specifically Engineering. The following is a full list of what consumables I consider necessary to varying degrees when participating in Mythic+.


Flasks and Potions

  • Spectral Flask of Power Icon Spectral Flask of Power increases your Primary Stat — Agility, Strength, or Intellect — by 70. As Shadowlands has again increased the relative value of Primary Stats versus Secondary Stats, this one consumable acts as a long-lasting, potent boost to your character's performance. If nothing else in a dungeon, make sure to "flask up"!
  • Battle potions, more specifically Potion of Spectral Strength Icon Potion of Spectral Strength, Potion of Spectral Intellect Icon Potion of Spectral Intellect, and Potion of Spectral Agility Icon Potion of Spectral Agility are very powerful 5-minute-cooldown items that last for 25 seconds and further increase your Primary Stat of choice during that time. They are incredibly strong if combined with your cooldown abilities, Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust or the Prideful Icon Prideful buff from Prideful Icon Prideful. As the cooldown on using combat potions is 5 minutes, be sure to plan your usage accordingly!
  • Spiritual Healing Potion Icon Spiritual Healing Potion is a great tool to cover the lack of self-sustain of some classes or enhance those that already do have some. The concept of health potions in WoW have been around since Vanilla, and they remain a common consumable for any content in the game. Mythic Plus is no exception.


  • The strongest food in Shadowlands is Feast of Gluttonous Hedonism Icon Feast of Gluttonous Hedonism, which increases your Primary Stat by 20 for one hour. With its higher power comes its high price. It is not a cheap item to craft or buy, however, so make sure to save it for special occasions. Fortunately, there is also a cheaper version of feast in the form of Surprisingly Palatable Feast Icon Surprisingly Palatable Feast, so if you are short in gold you might want to consider this cheaper option.
  • If you would prefer food that is cheaper still, then the four personal foods that instead grant a Secondary Stat — Spinefin Souffle and Fries Icon Spinefin Souffle and Fries, Tenebrous Crown Roast Aspic Icon Tenebrous Crown Roast Aspic, Iridescent Ravioli with Apple Sauce Icon Iridescent Ravioli with Apple Sauce, and Steak a la Mode Icon Steak a la Mode — are also acceptable.

Optional Consumables

  • Stones (Shaded Sharpening Stone Icon Shaded Sharpening Stone and Shaded Weightstone Icon Shaded Weightstone) and Oils (Shadowcore Oil Icon Shadowcore Oil and Embalmer's Oil Icon Embalmer's Oil) are back in shadowlands and are quite cheap. One of these four items can be applied to a weapon for an hour at a time. Generally speaking, you should use stones if you are a Melee specialization and an Oil if are Ranged or a Healer.
  • Having a Veiled Augment Rune Icon Veiled Augment Rune is the final possible direct power increase from consumables. It provides you with an additional 18 Primary Stat which lasts for an hour, but is also removed on death. Its price is usually quite high, so you will likely use these sparingly and save them for when you really need it!
  • Heavy Desolate Armor Kit Icon Heavy Desolate Armor Kit marks the comeback of Armor kits in Shadowlands. This type of consumable originated back in Vanilla, but in recent years had been phased out until its return now. The Heavy Desolate Armor Kit increases your Stamina by 32 for two hours and is only applied to your chest slot. Sometimes you may find that you were barely killed by an attack which you would have survived if you had just a little bit more HP. As such, make sure to get yourself a few of these before entering a key!

Other Utility/Niche Items

  • Having a Potion of the Psychopomp's Speed Icon Potion of the Psychopomp's Speed can sometimes make the setup of certain dungeon pulls a little easier, especially if you are a tank. Keep in mind that this speed potion shares the same cooldown as an offensive potion, however, so make sure you plan accordingly. This speed potion can also be very useful when you want to skip certain pulls while you are under the effect of Shroud of Concealment Icon Shroud of Concealment and are not mounted.
  • Another excellent potion to have on-hand for many scenarios is Potion of the Hidden Spirit Icon Potion of the Hidden Spirit, which grants you invisibility for 18 seconds. This is particularly useful if you lack a Rogue's Shroud of Concealment Icon Shroud of Concealment. Keep in mind that this invisibility potion shares the same cooldown as an offensive potion, however, so make sure you use it accordingly.
  • Having a Tome of the Still Mind Icon Tome of the Still Mind is a convenient and useful way to swap talents or change your Soulbind path (but not your Conduits) according to the different dungeons without having to go to a rested area. It is highly recommended that you grab a few!
  • Having an Auto-Hammer Icon Auto-Hammer, Jeeves Icon Jeeves, or similar item can also prove very useful as an extra way to repair damaged or broken gear, especially in a case where you are unable to mount in the dungeon and therefore cannot access a mount with a repair vendor. An example of such a dungeon is Sanguine Depths, where you can barely mount at all. Here, if your items become broken due to wipes or general wear-and-tear from combat, you will not be able to repair them unless you exit the dungeon and then re-enter it. Doing so will likely cost you tons of time and potentially deplete your key.
  • Disposable Spectrophasic Reanimator Icon Disposable Spectrophasic Reanimator can act as a form of in-combat resurrection, which only a few, limited classes can otherwise provide. Having this tool allows you to run any setup of specializations without having to worry about whether or not a "battle res" will be available during combat. However, this item has two important things to consider. It cannot be used unless you have at least Level 50 in Shadowlands Engineering, and there is also a very small chance that the item will severely harm the user while reviving their target.
  • Dimensional Shifter Icon Dimensional Shifter is another tool exclusive to players with Engineering. It is a special Belt attachment that can be used to turn invisible for 15 seconds on only a 2-minute cooldown. However, it also has a somewhat low chance to backfire and render you unable to turn invisible by any means for 15 seconds while still being placed on cooldown. Because of its unreliability, Potion of the Hidden Spirit Icon Potion of the Hidden Spirit or a Rogue's Shroud of Concealment Icon Shroud of Concealment are the preferred ways to skip certain packs when necessary.

Finding or Creating a Mythic+ Team

Some would say the hardest part of playing in Mythic Plus is to get a group together. Many players are familiar with the sting of being declined to any number of groups, or of the struggle in creating their own. This is understandable, as World of Warcraft is ever-progressing game meaning that the flow of new players is constant. Some learn things faster than others, which is natural, but they also do not always have the means to play with people who match their current skill level. When I started to play Mythic+, I still had to start from timing +4 and +5 even when I am now at the very top of the game. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to efficiently find party members to play with.

  • Do not be toxic. I cannot stress this enough, but having a poor behavior in-game will result in people avoiding playing with you regardless of your skill level. Bear in mind that while having a consistent group of people to play with — often referred to as having a "team" — is way better than pugging, some people will fail to ever find one due to their behavior. At the end of the day, nobody wants a toxic teammate that insults them for every little mistake. How then should one approach a person making a mistake? I usually like to run a "retrospective" of what exactly went wrong after the dungeon is done rather than during. It is at this time that I would politely try suggesting to the player that they should have done this or that in a respectful manner.
  • During your "pug" experience you will find both good and not-so-good players. Make sure to add people that are keen on learning and also appear to have great communication and in-game skills, as BattleTags or Discord are the most common channels people use to form a more consistent group.
  • Communication and leading is part of every group. In one way or another, a leader is a designated person or people who focus on controlling the current situation by either "shot-calling" people to use their interrupts accordingly or creating the MDT routes.
  • Enjoy your time with the group of freshly-assembled people. Establishing a connection between complete strangers and leaving a positive impression of yourself and your skills in game makes it more likely for you to get re-invited to that party or added to its members' friends lists. When I say your overall impression matters, that also includes how you behave when the key is likely to be depleted. It is very unpleasant to be around people who shout or point fingers at the first chance they have to blame it on someone. This will not only make them never want play with you again, but you also might not even get into the PUG groups they are in from word-of-mouth. Please be patient to people, even if you know they made a major mistake that resulted in depleting a key.
  • Do not play only for "score". This is a advice I always give to any player within any skill group. score is often used to measure someone's skill and experience in Mythic+, but targeting specific keys because you can increase your score is a flawed approach. The more keys you can get your hands on and run, the more experience you will obtain from them and your performance level will increase. In addition, this is one of the better ways to actively find people to play with by consistently playing the keys that you believe are of your skill. An example of this would be that if you are doing between 14-15 keys, make sure to have done all 15 keys in-time before applying for 16-17; if you cannot find 15s, try to get into 14s and practice the pulls or bosses you think are the biggest difficulties for you.
  • You are likely to make mistakes, especially if you are just starting your Mythic+ adventure. One of the ways to improve that I found extremely useful was to do some self-reflection by either recording your runs or listening to feedback from your party members. Knowing how to DPS is important, but it is also important to execute mechanics and survive. The overall package is what differentiate good players from mediocre players.

Does "Meta" Matter?

One of the most common questions I have encountered since Mythic+ launched is whether or not it is important to be "meta". To answer this question, we must first understand the thought-process behind it. The first thing that needs to be addressed is how the "meta" is created. Who are the responsible people that decide which class or specialization will be good throughout an entire Season? It is a very common mistake of inexperienced players to assume that only the top-contending classes are suitable for doing the keys in-time. Even if only doing a +10 key, people will try to force the "meta" so they will have what they feel is a higher chance of successfully completing it. I have always encouraged class diversity and the motto "bring the player, not the class", which is why I often end up maining or playing classes that are considered "bad" because they are rare to see.

Does this mean that meta does not matter? No, not quite. But, it is important to remember that flavor-of-the-month classes — often referred to as "fotm" — are determined by the very best players of the game who often participate in tournaments such as the MDI (Method Dungeon International. There, having the best class is required in order to be competitive among other players that are also pushing the very limits of what the content has to offer.


Where "Meta" Is Not Necessary

If you are trying to run low to mid level keys, then the classes and specializations you choose to take are not of importance. Here low to mid level keys are usually considered 10-15 keystone levels lower than the highest completed keys in the world. As an example, if the highest completed key is +25 then low to mid keys would be considered +10 to +15 and so on. Here, any class can perform well enough to be able to time those keys; even the most wild and uncommon pick could be a great one.

You also do not need Covenant-specific buffs to time a low to mid level keystone. If you are going to Halls of Atonement, for example, and you do not have Venthyr in your party to control Loyal Stoneborn, that is totally fine. You will still time the key. The logic of needing a particular Covenant to succeed in a run only applies to the very top end of Mythic+ players — +20 keys and above. Of course having the right Covenant for the dungeon in your party will still speed up your run, but the point is that they are not so important as to be mandatory.


Where "Meta" Can Help

Where the "meta" actually matters is at the very high end of Mythic+, which I bracket from 20+ level onward. Here, having a good composition and ensuring you cover all four Covenants within the party is highly recommended. At this kind of keystone level, having experience and a high item level is also practically a given from the time invested along the way. As such, even normally simple mistakes can make a severe impact on the overall dungeon timer and be the difference between timing or depleting a key. It is here that the actual differences in how specializations perform when all are played optimally can really determine the fate of a run.


Covenant Choice and Covenant-Specific Buffs

Each Covenant provides unique buffs spread among all dungeons in the Shadowlands. Below, you will find a separate, comprehensive guide on how these Covenant-specific buffs work and how to accurately play around them for an extra advantage in a dungeon:


Rotation Management in a Dungeon

One of the main differences between the average player and the very best player is in their damage dealt. While having a higher Item Level will absolutely improve your performance in both damage and healing done, there is more to your performance than just knowing a rotation.


Cooldown Usage

Knowing when and how to use your cooldowns will make the biggest impact on your overall contribution in a dungeon. Here are few tips I like to give players looking to improve on this aspect:

  • Always think in advance. If you have a 2-minute cooldown and you use it in a pack of mobs, when will you have your cooldowns back? Will they be up for this important pull later, which could be the make-or-break moment that determines whether or not the dungeon is complete in time? One of the most common mistakes new players make is holding their cooldowns for too long or pointlessly using them when there will be a big pull coming afterwards. Prior to starting the key, ask your party leader or your tank to share the MDT route they intend to execute. Examining the route will allowyou to roughly estimate at what points each pack will die. The more time you spend in Mythic+, the more you will know the flow of the timer; boss "X" will take this amount of time and pull "Y" will be around this, as an example.
  • Overlapping cooldowns is another aspect of Mythic+ that is often ignored. This is one of the most common mistakes even for intermediate players. If one of your party members is using their offensive cooldowns on a given trash pack then you might want to hold yours for the next one unless it is absolutely necessary to use them at the same time. Times like those would be doing multiple pulls of enemies at the same time or when a boss is engaged. Overlapping cooldowns also applies to the defensive point of view, where someone might use their own defensive cooldown at the same that the healer has given them an external cooldown such as Ironbark Icon Ironbark or Blessing of Sacrifice Icon Blessing of Sacrifice. Make sure to communicate in advance on how to correctly approach a situation and rotate defensive cooldowns and immunities accordingly.

It is also possible that the Mythic+ section of your own specialization's class guide may have tips specific to what you are playing for cooldown-optimizing in a dungeon as well. Make sure to check it just in case!


The Importance of Dispelling

During a dungeon, there are a variety of buffs and debuffs that enemies will be applying to both themselves and your party. Many of these abilities can be removed with a number of dispel effects based on your party's composition, but some of them are more important to prevent than others. To find out which of these abilities are the most dangerous, along with learning what your character can assist with, please check out our Mythic Plus guide devoted entirely to Dispelling:


Approaching Mythic+ Affixes

One of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced people approaching Mythic+ is being unaware of how specific Affixes work and not knowing certain tips on how to diminish their influence on the dungeon. For the sake of brevity on this guide, please see our separate Affix guide to learn about the specifics of each one and general guidance on playing around them in a dungeon:


Routing a Mythic Plus Dungeon

The majority of players in Mythic+ underestimate the importance of good routing. Whether you are focused on timing keys at the +10, +15, or +20 and higher levels, it is essential to have a set plan in mind before running any dungeon.

A good route can save you tons of time, especially in uncoordinated — pugged — or otherwise inexperienced groups. To this end, we have a dedicated weekly article that provides MDT routes for each dungeon. These routes also include tips and tricks for affix combinations, Covenant bonuses, and even offer additional flexibility depending on your if your goal is to complete low, medium, or high keys. Moreover, we go through each and every affix, how to deal with them, and which dungeons are the easiest and hardest to complete each week. Finally, there are additional notes in each of the MDT routes themselves explaining why and how step of a dungeon is done while being described in as player-friendly a way as possible.

You can find both of these guides linked just below.



  • 19 Mar. 2024: No further changes required for 10.2.6 Patch.
  • 08 Apr. 2021: Guide added.
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