Mythic+ Affix Guide — Updated for Shadowlands Season 2 Tormented 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.
Upcoming Season 2 Level 10 Affix: Tormented
Season 2 is just around the corner and with it we have been introduced to the new Mythic+ Seasonal affix: Tormented. This Seasonal Affix will appear only on keystone level +10 and above and is similar to the Awakened Affix which was present during the last Season of Battle for Azeroth. So how exactly does Tormented work?
There are 4 lieutenants spread across the dungeon, which, upon death, drop additional powers similar to what Torghast has to offer. However, instead of being specialization-specific, they are role-specific — every DPS has the same powers, every Healer has the same powers, etc. As of now we do not know if the positions of the 4 lieutenants will swap on a weekly or bi-weekly cycle, just like the former Awakened Affix. We also know that if you do not kill a lieutenant, on the final boss encounter each lieutenant's aura is applied to the final boss, making it extremely hard to deal with. For now, we will take a closer look at what of each of those lieutenants do, and respectively, the auras they could provide:
Incinerator Arkolath is the most dangerous out of the lieutenants. Its pulsating Soulforge Flames aura will test the limits of your healer. This aura, after an initial adjustment, deals significant damage. This becomes extremely dangerous as soon as the key levels increase, meaning you will want to save cooldowns, both offensive and defensive, to be able to nuke it down fast. You will want to kill it every time and not leave its aura for the last boss. In addition to this aura, Arkolath has the following abilities:
- Scorching Blast is a 6-yard AoE fire zone that does
damage on impact and ticking damage for each second you spend in its zones. You
want to avoid getting hit by these, and avoid being inside of
the lingering fire patches at all costs. You will want a hefty amount of space
when you engage Arkolath as he will use Scorching Blast every 8 seconds.
- Each flame patch created by Scorching Blast stays around for roughly 25 seconds, so if you are limited in space always remember after on every third set of casts the first "fire zone" is about to despawn.
- Melt Soul is a magic debuff that must be dispelled as soon as it is applied. It goes on the highest-threat target, usually the tank, every 6 seconds.
- Inferno inflicts massive AoE damage to all players within 60 yards of Incinerator Arkolath. This makes the already-difficult lieutenant significantly harder.
Soggodon the Breaker
Soggodon the Breaker is otherwise known as a "tank buster" and is extremely dangerous for tank players. Its aura, Intimidation, causes players to take 50% extra Physical damage. A common strategy is to skip this enemy and have it enhance the last boss with its aura. If you decide, however, to fight it, here is what you should know:
- Crush is a "tank-buster" ability dealing a massive damage to the target with the highest threat; in most cases that will be the tank. If the target is not in melee, Soggodon will grip them back as they cast the ability — it cannot be kited!
- Massive Smash grips all players in melee and binds them with Binding of Misery. If you do not kill the Bindings and escape the root effect before he finishes his Massive Smash cast, you will take lethal damage. You can use immunities or effects such as Blessing of Freedom, Blessing of Protection, or Evasion to dodge the cast. The health of each Bindings of Misery also scales with dungeon level, so the higher dungeon you do the more health they will have, making it significantly harder to get out of them.
- Seismic Wave is a massive AoE that deals unavoidable damage to the whole party within 60 yards. Try to use your personal defensive cooldowns when you are in danger or self-sustain abilities after the inflicted damage to help your healer!
Oros Coldheart provides the easiest aura to take care of, Chilling Presence, which snares all nearby players by 50%. Do not let that fool you, as his abilities are extremely dangerous. As such, one of the common strategies as of now is to always skip this and let it transfer its aura to the last boss, meaning you will end up having reduced movement speed for the duration of the last boss. Oros also has 3 more abilities:
- Biting Cold is a DoT applied to a random target for 10 seconds and pulses in a 3-yard range around the victim. Make sure you are spread to not get cleaved and help your healer. Consider using a personal defensive cooldown when you get it.
- Frost Lance is a heavy-hitting frontal that must be avoided at all costs. You will also be knocked back should it hit you, so watch out for it!
- Cold Snap significantly increases the difficulty of the fight against Oros. The ability is similar to Storming but it deals a lot more damage, so make sure to stay spread and never get hit by one of the swirls.
Executioner Varruth is one of the toughest lieutenants to deal with. From his high melee attack damage, to his Thanatophobia aura reducing all healing receieved by 50%, Varruth will be a real challenge to any group looking to face him. However, with great danger comes a great reward, as Varruth often holds some of the best powers which are tied to Mythic+ affixes. He also has the following abilities:
- Carnage charges a random player within your party and applies a bleed to all players hit along the way. You can avoid its bleed by use of line-of-sight, but be aware that he is going to re-cast it. In addition, if you do this repeatedly he is going to end up just casting the bleed without actual charging in or doing melees. You can also use Stoneform, Phial of Serenity, or Blessing of Protection to remove the bleed effect if you have it, assuming you are a Dwarf, a Kyrian, or have a Paladin in your group, respectively.
- Sever is a heavy-hitting tank ability that must be properly mitigated to ensure the survivability of your tank.
- Wave of Terror requires a lot of team coordination. If you are not at least 8 yards away from an ally, you will get feared. You can counter the fear effect with an immunity, like Cloak of Shadows or the use of a Tremor Totem, but it is best to stay close to each other. In addition to the fear mechanic, you also receive unavoidable damage when he does the cast.
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 fundamentally changed from how it worked in Battle for Azeroth: when a non-boss enemy dies the damage of all nearby enemies is increased by 20% and their health by 15%, stacking with each death. Prior to Season 2 of Shadowlands, the health increase was also 20%. This lower value makes the affix slightly better to deal with, but 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 75%. Prior to Season 2 of Shadowlands, the value of the increased damage was instead 100%, severely impacting the difficulty of the affix. 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. 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.
- 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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