Mythic+ Affix Guide — Updated for Shadowlands Season 1 Prideful 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.
Throughout every "Season" in World of Warcraft, there will be a Seasonal Affix in Mythic+ that applies to all Mythic+ dungeons done within that Season on +10 and above. Along with Fortified and Tyrannical, this is the most impactful Affix and will shape the way you play in Mythic+ keys for the whole season.
For more information on how Seasons and other Mythic+ systems function, check out our main Mythic+ Overview page below.
Season 1 Level 10 Affix: Prideful
The seasonal affix for Season 1 of Shadowlands is Prideful and makes an appearance only after you have reached keystone level +10 and above. While this affix is active, a Manifestation of Pride will appear next to the group when every 20% portion of enemy forces — trash count — is met for a total of five spawns. This can happen even in the middle of a pull, so plan accordingly. While active, the Manifestation of Pride will use melee and two abilities:
- Bursting With Pride will pulse damage to the entire party every 2 seconds. Every pulse will deal 40% more damage than the last, stacking up to 20 times. The damage of this ability also scales with the keystone level. If you wipe, the stacks will reset.
- Belligerent Boast is cast every 7 seconds and will debuff a random player for 4 seconds. After this time the player will send four bolts north/south/east/west that deal damage and stun any player hit for 2 seconds. This stun can be dispelled. While the debuff is counting down, you can see where you will be firing, so move accordingly.
Upon defeating the Manifestation of Pride, the entire party will be buffed with Prideful for 1 minute. This buff increases damage and healing by 30%, movement speed by 60%, and restores 5% of a player's Mana every second. Success in a more difficult key often comes down to making the most of this buff's power to accomplish pulls that would otherwise be difficult or even impossible!
As Shadowlands Season 1 continues, there are still a large portion of players that are unaware how to best utilize and play around Prideful. Below are some tips of how to efficiently deal with this affix:
- First and foremost, it is important to understand that the deciding factor of how and when to best receive Prideful is whether the dungeon is Fortified or Tyrannical. On Fortified weeks, you want to incorporate the Prideful buffs into combinations of multiple groups of mobs since they have more health and deal more damage. In contrast, Tyrannical is exactly the opposite; it is highly recommended to instead have Prideful for every boss. Customize the route accordingly, based on the existing weekly affixes, and make sure to use this Seasonal affix as an advantage rather than a disadvantage.
- The damage dealt by the Manifestation of Pride scales with the keystone level and this scaling has no upper limit, so it is extremely important to save either offensive or defensive cooldowns once you approach it. One of the most common mistakes of inexperienced groups in Mythic+ is having to deal with the Manifestation for too long, potentially resulting in a wipe. The longer the fight goes, the harder it becomes. Make sure to communicate and plan your cooldowns accordingly.
- Another common mistake is that once you have the Belligerent Boast debuff on you, it is very important that you do not move. Rather, your party members should adjust based on your location unless it is absolutely necessary to move to prevent certain death. In an experienced group, this tip inverts and the Boast victim will do most of the movement since one person moving is less of an opportunity cost than four people having to move.
- If you are close to wiping once you fight the Manifestation of Pride, remember that the Prideful buff goes on targets even if they are dead. As such, do not release upon death unless the whole party is dead. I cannot stress this enough: missing out on a Prideful buff will severely punish you.
- You have the option to potentially skip the Manifestation of Pride. By using a Potion of the Hidden Spirit upon its spawn, you can avoid having to engage it; just make sure to have distance between the mob and your party members. Be aware that if the present week has the Spiteful affix in it, it is more difficult to do this, as the spawning of a Spiteful Shade can break your invisibility. You can get around this by using potion as soon as the final mob that delivers the count towards the Pride spawn dies. Another method of skipping a Manifestation is to defeat all the bosses within the dungeon and then finish off the required trash percentage. This way, you spawn the final Manifestation of Pride exactly when you complete the key.
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
Bolstering has not been changed from how it worked in Battle for Azeroth: when a non-boss enemy dies the health and damage of all nearby enemies is increased by 20%, stacking with each death. It 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.
Raging appears as soon as a non-boss enemy reaches 30% health and increases their damage done by 100%. 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.
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. Because of this, the most common strategy to mitigate the 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.
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.
- 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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