Mythic+ Affix Guide — Updated for Shadowlands Season 4 Shrouded Affix and Legion Timewalking's Infernal Affix
Affixes exist to make Mythic+ dungeons more interesting, rather than simply increasing damage and health requirements, by introducing dungeon-wide abilities that slow your group's progress through the instance.
Mythic+ Affixes are special effects that are active in all Mythic+ dungeons each week. These serve to make dungeons more difficult, and they will change your approach to them from week to week.
For more information on how Seasons and other Mythic+ systems function, check out our main Mythic+ Overview page below.
Season 4 Level 10 Affix: Shrouded
Season 4 introduces a new Mythic+ Seasonal affix: Shrouded. This Seasonal Affix will appear only on keystone level +10 and above and is the most pug-friendly affix you have played until now. So how does Shrouded work?
It is quite simple: Throughout the whole dungeon, there will be mobs that have Disguised aura around them once you engage them, the seasonal affix — Shrouded will trigger, spawning either of two mobs. The most common one is Nathrezim Infiltrator and the rare one, or so called, "mini-boss" is Zul'gamux. In addition, at the very beginning of each dungeon a broker will appear offering you 4 different, stacking bounties, of which you can choose to have only one:
- Bounty: Haste offers 2% per stack.
- Bounty: Critical Strike offers 2% per stack.
- Bounty: Versatility offers 1% per stack.
- Bounty: Mastery offers 69 Mastery rating per stack.
You will begin the dungeon with 1 stack as soon as you choose your bounty, and everytime you defeat a Dreadlord you will gain a stack depending on the type; Nathrezim Infiltrator will give you 1 stack and the seasonal mini-boss Zul'gamux will grant you 3 stacks. Keep in mind the mini-boss is really tough to deal with (read more below) and you have to be prepared to face it. Finally, the Dreadlords DO give mob-count. So what exactly do those 2 Dreadlords give? Let's find out:
- Vampiric Claws — Strikes the target inflicting Shadow damage and healing for 300% of the damage dealt.
- Nightmare Cloud — Creates a wandering Nightmare Cloud.
Coming into contract with a Nightmare Cloud will put you under Nightmare effect.
- Players affected by the Nightmare effect will be put into sleep until the cast goes away
- Carrion Swarm — Inflicts Shadow damage to enemies in front of the dreadlord and reduces healing received by 50% for 10 seconds.
A general strategy will likely be to chain the Nathrezim Infiltrators to existing packs and cleave them down, as they do not seem to hurt at all. Yes, they do scale with the keystone level, but as soon as you defeat them, the Broker (the same one as at the beginning of the dungeon) will grant you a stack of the already-chosen Bounty reward buff. It is important to note that the reward persists until the end of the dungeon, does not get wiped out when you die, and has no cap. In addition, you will receive Bounty Payment once the reward is allocated, granting you 6% health and Mana every 1 second for 5 seconds.
This is by far the harder Shrouded mob, and it looks like it has a set placement in each dungeon. We are not sure if those placements will be changing based on the given week or remain the same; this guide will be further updated once there is more public information on that topic. While defeating Zul'gamux is much harder, you will be getting 3 Bountry stacks, which might be tempting to include it in your route. Here are her abilities so you are well-prepared.
- Shadow Claws — Zul'gamux's claws are empowered, inflicting additional Shadow damage every 1 sec for 12 sec. This effect stacks, and is important to note that this effect can be Dispelled.
- Blood Barrier — Zul'gamux shields herself in a barrier of blood and begins siphoning blood from her enemies, inflicting Shadow damage every 0.5 sec and healing for a portion of that amount. Blood Barrier absorbs a large amount of damage and grants immunity to interrupts. A very common strategy is to hold small cooldowns and burst through the barrier so you can interrupt and stop the damage and her healing.
- Shadow Eruption — Unleashes a powerful Shadow Eruption inflicting Shadow damage and reducing healing received by 70% for 10 sec. It has a long cast time of 4 seconds which is enough time to get away from her and dodge the cast.
In addition to Zul'gamux, she will also spawn a Hypnosis Bat which will target a random player putting them into a state of Hypnosis. Keep in mind, you can always hard-crowd-control the Bat (for example: Blind or Paralysis if it overlaps with Blood Barrier to make the encounter easier for you.) The Bat also has several abilities to pay attention to:
- Hypnosis — Places the player in a Shadowy Barrier and sends the player into Hypnosis. Hypnosis inflicts Shadow damage every 1 sec and causes the player to become hostile to allies until the Hypnosis is broken. It is important to note that you still have control over your character once you are in the Hypnosis state, but you can also be cleaved/hit and damaged by your allies, so be careful where you are positioned.
- Shadowy Barrier — Shrouds the player in a Shadowy Barrier absorbing damage and keeping the player in a state of Hypnosis. You want to avoid getting close to the bat at all costs, and if you do, use all of your defensive to survive.
Once you defeat Zul'gamux, you will gain the Restoration buff that will give you 20% health and Mana every 1 sec for 5 sec.
I believe this is going to be one of the easiest affix to deal with. Not only will it be pug-friendly, but it will also lessen the impact of being well prepared with routes prior to starting the dungeon. With Encrypted, by comparison, once you gained Decrypted Wo Cypher from defeating a Wo Relic, you could create skips around the dungeon. Routes will be quite important to learn, but even if you just "press W" and kill everything in the dungeon you will only become stronger at the end. I would still avoid pulling multiple Shrouded mobs at first however; get used to the affix before you do anything complex and take it slow.
Legion Timewalking Affix: Infernal
Infernal is only available during Legion Timewalking events and it does not interfere with the already-established affixes of Shadowlands Mythic+. This affix will appear only at 10+ Legion Timewalking dungeons and above.
When this affix is active, there will be 3 Infernal Beacons allocated around boss locations. If a dungeon has more than 3 bosses, then this affix will have set boss locations that do not vary between runs. Upon "activating" them you will enable the forces of the Burning Legion to invade, spawning a variety of mobs; be aware that these beacons will also activate automatically if the boss near them is pulled! The beacon will also spawn 1 of the 3 random lieutenants available, each of them having some unique abilities, but also something in common. So how exactly does it work?
Regardless of which lieutenant you have, they all will periodically spawn 3x Blazing Infernal which have a passive Immolation aura that scales with keystone level. Upon killing an Infernal its aura will fade and spawn puddles on the ground that, upon soaking, grant you the Infernal Core buff. This buff causes the player to radiate Infernal Heat, damaging all enemies, including bosses and other Infernal mobs. Damaging an enemy with this buff also increases their damage taken by 1% per stack, with there currently being no cap on the stacks you can apply. As for the lieutenants, each of them has some unique features:
- The most important thing to remember for this Observer is to always interrupt its main ability Eye Beam, which otherwise hits hard.
- Observer Ongrax will periodically cast Observe Weakness that will apply a debuff to two players, increasing their damage taken by 50% and reducing their movement speed by 50%. Dispel this as quickly as possible, and be aware that the cast itself cannot be interrupted or otherwise stopped.
- Commander Borramus will periodically cast Battle Frenzy, which will Enrage him and all nearby demons. Tanks should be ready with strong defensive cooldowns. The cast itself CANNOT be interrupted.
- Borramus will periodically cast Fel Bombardment, which must be dodged.
- Pay attention for Vicious Dreadstalker spawns. They will fixate a random player and apply Shadow Bite upon reaching them. The best way to deal with these is to nuke them down quickly. You can also dispel the Shadow Bite as it is currently a Magical debuff.
- Infiltrator Deraxis will periodically cast Shadowy Ambush, targeting 2 random players. After four seconds, these players along with any others within 5 yards will be hit for heavy damage.
- Deraxis will also spawn Hungering Widow, which frequently cast Leeching Bite.
Final thoughts on the Infernal affix and useful tips
The Timewalking-only, Legion-based affix is quite interesting. It is easy to handle, which will be great if you are playing in uncoordinated groups (PUGs). You will also have the opportunity to create some risky strategies by pairing the Infernal affix with boss encounters if you would like to save some time! With that being said, here are some useful tips you want to keep in mind:
- If you activate an Infernal Beacon and manage to wipe, the Affix's enemies will fully regenerate their HP, meaning you have to start from 100%.
- If you decide to skip these beacons and engage the boss itself, the affix will trigger meaning that you will automatically fight its enemies with the boss, so do not skip them!
- However, there is some benefit in pairing the last remaining Blazing Infernal with any boss due to the Infernal Heat debuff. This can make each boss fight much easier, especially if you are fighting them with the Tyrannical affix active.
Fortified and Tyrannical
Every week, all Mythic+ Keys of level 2 or higher — in other words, every key — will be either "Fortified" or "Tyrannical". These two affixes alternate every week. These affixes are by far the most impactful on any given week, and will fundamentally affect how you approach the dungeon and how you set up your character in many cases.
Having Fortified present will increase the difficulty of non-boss enemies by 30% and their health by 20%. Pay attention to the size of each pull to prevent your group from being overwhelmed by the extra risk.
Tyrannical is an extremely dangerous affix, despite having been nerfed from 40% to 30% increased boss health. However, bosses still also deal 15% more damage on weeks with this affix. All in all, make sure to save your offensive and defensive cooldowns for the dungeon's boss fights when this affix is present.
Level 4 Affixes
March 03 update: The Bolstering affix received further nerfs by not interacting with bosses anymore, meaning you can pull any non-boss-enemies on top of the boss and that will not influence it; this is quite a good quality change, making Bolstering much more appealing to be played on any week.
Bolstering activates whenever most non-boss enemies die, increasing the damage of all nearby enemies is by 20% and their health by 15%, stacking with each death. This is a particularly troublesome affix for PUG groups and notoriously known to be one of the hardest. One easy way to deal with it is to watch the quantity of each pull. The more mobs you have, the harder it becomes for them to die at the same time. Knowing when to stop using AoE-damage abilities and focus more on priority-damage instead will also make this affix easier to deal with.
Bursting has been changed in Shadowlands compared to its effects in Battle for Azeroth. As a reminder, this affix causes most enemies to apply a stack of Burst to the entire party upon death. This effect stacks and its duration is refreshed with each additional stack. However, now, rather than dealing damage based on a player's maximum Health, it is a finite value that scales with the keystone level and caps out at +15. In addition, Burst is now considered a magic debuff and can therefore be dispelled by any Healer specialization. As a result, one of the most common strategies upon reaching high stacks is to use a Priest's Mass Dispel to remove all stacks of Burst from the party at once.
The Inspiring affix is one that is new to Shadowlands, and can add an immeasurable amount of extra difficulty in each group of mobs the affix is present for. It functions similarly to the Tides Emissary from the old Beguiling seasonal affix. Certain enemies throughout a dungeon will have the Inspiring Presence buff attached to them, granting immunity to interrupts and crowd-control effects to enemies within 15 yards. However, it is important to know that the Inspiring Presence buff does not apply to the mob itself. This means that one of the best strategies when this affix is present is to crowd-control the Inspiring mob and pull it alone after the rest of the enemies are dead, or to pair it with a pack of non-caster mobs.
October 29 update: Raging was significantly nerfed going into Patch 9.1.5 of Season 2 in Mythic+. The value has dropped from 75% to 50% increased damage as soon as the non-boss-enemies reach 30% health left. This is a great change and it will make playing combinations like Fortified and Raging much easier!
It is highly recommended to have an Enrage Dispel in your party in the form of a Hunter's Tranquilizing Shot, A Druid's Soothe, or a Rogue's Shiv when combined with Numbing Poison. Make sure to use your group's utilities to help with survival.
The Sanguine affix has changed dramatically since Battle of Azeroth in that the duration of each pool of Sanguine Ichor has been reduced to 20 seconds from 60. Its function is otherwise the same: when most non-boss enemies are slain, a pool of Sanguine Ichor is left behind that will heal all enemies within it for 5% of their maximum Health per second. In addition, a player standing in this pool will take 15% of their maximum Health in damage per second. Both of these effects stack if multiple pools are overlapped. One of the easiest ways to deal with this affix is by making use of knockback effects such as Thunderstorm, Typhoon, and Ring of Peace as soon as an enemy's death creates a pool or the remaining mobs in a pull approach any Sanguine Ichor.
Spiteful is another newly-implemented affix in Shadowlands. Whenever a non-boss enemy dies, a Spiteful Shade will spawn and fixate a random non-tank player. This is perhaps the hardest affix for players that play in melee, as each Shade's melee attack hits incredibly hard and can quickly prove lethal. However, their own health gradually reduces over time through All-Consuming Spite until the Shade eventually dies on its own. As such, a common strategy is to use crowd-control abilities to slow them down or to drag remaining enemies away from the Shades that have spawned.
Level 7 Affixes
Explosive has also been changed in the Shadowlands compared to Battle for Azeroth. Now, the Explosives will no longer scale with the keystone level meaning that their health will be the same whether you are running a +10 key or a +25. However, if an Explosion cast goes through it deals 40% of your maximum health in damage, so it is crucial to target the Explosives. Unfortunately, they are immune to damage from AoE abilities, so you will have to make use of single-target abilities instead. On an interesting note, stunned enemies are incapable of spawning Explosives which can make their use a valuable strategy. In addition, you can line of sight any existing casts of Explosion and completely negate the damage. Otherwise, pay attention to the pull size and always be mindful when this affix is present; the more enemies in combat, the more Explosives will spawn!
The Grievous affix has received some quality of life changes in Shadowlands. While this affix is active, players will still receive a Grievous Wound that deals damage and stacks whenever they fall below 90% health in combat. However, the damage from Grievous Wound is now a static amount that scales with each keystone level up to 15 rather than being based on the player's maximum Health. In addition, direct heals on the target also remove a stack of Grievous Wound. Heal-over-time effects will not. It is also important to note that Grievous Wound also can stack up to four times on a player. Therefore, having good self-sustain is crucial in weeks with this affix active to either remove stacks with your own healing effects or negate them entirely by climbing back above 90% health.
February 20 update: The Necrotic affix was recently nerfed going into Patch 9.2 by having the duration of the effect dropped from 6 seconds to 5 seconds. The affix has already been nerfed several times, with its duration almost halved since the release of the expansion. This is great news for all of the tanks out there that are uncertain about playing on Necrotic weeks!
Necrotic is arguably the toughest affix for tanks, causing a stacking Necrotic Wound debuff to be applied by enemy melee attacks. With every stack, your ability to be healed is reduced and the DoT ramps up. At 50 stacks you are immune to healing entirely. The most common strategy to mitigate this deadly effect is to kite away from melee as soon as you reach a reasonable amount of stacks. In addition, dropping out of combat immediately removes this debuff so a common strategy to do so is by using Shadowmeld if you are Alliance; Stoneform can also remove it. As Necrotic Wound is a Physical debuff, it can also be removed by a Paladin's Blessing of Protection. Just keep in mind to remove the blessing instantly after receiving it, otherwise all enemies will attack the next-highest threat target. Finally, a Kyrian's Phial of Serenity acts as an additional, Covenant-exclusive method of removing this affix's deadly debuff.
Quaking periodically appears every 20 seconds as a circle around every player, even when not in combat. If a player is casting when this Quake effect finishes 2.5 seconds later, they will be interrupted and locked out of that spell school for 4 seconds. In addition, if you are within the circle of another player when the affix occurs you will be hit for 40% of your maximum Health. Otherwise, it does no damage. It is important to pay attention to any nearby allies, as "clipping" eachother will punish your team severely. Similarly, a healer being interrupted by this affix at a key moment can be deadly. Otherwise, Stay spread and keep a reasonable distance between everyone. A common strategy to more easily handle this affix is to have a balanced composition between ranged and melee.
In Season 2 of Shadowlands and onward, Storming is fairly nerfed. Being hit by a Storming tornado now deals 12% of your Maximum Health rather than 15%. In addition, these tornadoes will despawn as soon as they hit a player. Tornadoes will also always go clockwise, which makes it slightly easier to sidestep out of their path. Finally, Storming tornadoes travel much slower, giving you more reaction time to avoid them!
A new affix in Shadowlands, Storming is quite tough for any melee players looking to play it. While present, tornadoes are created and spiral outward from enemies when in combat. Coming into contact with these will cause damage and knock you into the air. Similar to the Explosive affix, pulling large amounts of enemies at once will result in more of these tornadoes spawning at once. If you are a ranged player, stay out of melee and you will have an easy time dealing with it. In addition, when the mobs are under the influence of a stun they will not spawn any tornadoes!
Volcanic was slightly reworked coming into the Shadowlands. Its damage is now significantly lower, but at the cost of now launching you in the air and stopping your current cast if hit. Its effects are otherwise the same: when in combat with an enemy Volcanic Plumes will occasionally appear under players. This is one of the easiest affixes to play with, but it can turn deadly if combined with any other dungeon mechanic. One important note to keep in mind is that the more enemies you fight, the more spawns of Volcanic Plume you will see! In addition, these plumes can only appear under a player that is not in melee range of an enemy.
- 02 Aug. 2022: Fully updated for Season 4 and the new Shrouded seasonal affix.
- 03 Mar. 2022: Bolstering affix received further nerfs.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Fully updated for Season 3 of Shadowlands Mythic+.
- 29 Oct. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5, including the new Timewalking-only affix: Infernal.
- 09 Jul. 2021: Fully updated for Season 2 of Shadowlands Mythic+.
- 20 Jun. 2021: Necrotic nerfs reverted, mentioned Raging and Bolstering affix nerfs.
- 18 Jun. 2021: Updated with several new abilities introduced to the Tormented Seasonal Affix; updated Necrotic and Storming affixes to reflect their massive changes.
- 15 Jun. 2021: Added new Tormented Seasonal Affix.
- 27 Apr. 2021: Updated the ways to skip Prideful affix.
- 19 Apr. 2021: Guide Overhauled for Shadowlands Season 1.
- 31 May 2020: Updated the description of Urg'roth's abilities slightly.
- 10 May 2020: Updated the guide's descriptions and information about the Obelisk Mechanics of the Awakened Affix.
- 16 Jan. 2019: Guide added.
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