UPDATED for patch 9.2’s season 3
Now that we’re well into the expansion, the pool of dungeons has become intimately familiar to players that have been pushing their score. However, there’s a ton of small “tricks” you can pull off to make your run just that little bit smoother that newer players might not immediately think of. None of these tricks will make the difference between timing a key and depleting one, but every little bit adds up.
Disclaimer: this guide is intended to highlight the extra things a windwalker can do to make the run easier, and is not an extensive guide on m+ mechanics or strategies. That said, I couldn’t resist the temptation to throw in a few non-windwalker tips as well.
We have a great toolkit to assist a tank with kiting. Ring of Peace is a given, allowing for a 5 second pseudo-tank-immunity if placed correctly. Disable is an oft-forgotten spell which lets you slow any eligible target by 50% which is refreshed by melee abilities, including Spinning Crane Kick. Using this you can keep your targets slowed forever, if it’s worth the gcds spent to apply it to each target. You can also Disable a target that’s already slowed to apply an 8 second root. Activating Flying Serpent Kick‘s stomp ability also slows everything it hits by 70%, which can be a lifesaver for your tank on a cool 20 sec cooldown.
Tiger’s Lust is a great spell for mobility, but it’s easy to overlook its additional effect: breaking roots and snares (aka slows). This can be a lifesaver, as being rooted can be very dangerous while you’re trying to dodge area-of-effect spells. Some root spells even do a lot of damage themselves. You can also use it on your group members instead, if they get rooted by something.
You can find a list in the PeakOfSerenity discord server (#wind-resources-faqs channel) with all the spells that you can reflect with Diffuse Magic. Remember, you can dispel any magic-type debuff (the kind that all healer specs can dispel) with diffuse, but only the ones listed here will be applied to their caster. This can do a large amount of damage on higher keys.
Touch of Death‘s damage is not affected by any damage amplification or damage reduction. This means you may be able to execute a target that is taking reduced damage, like Ingra Maloch after casting Embrace Darkness. Shields will still absorb Touch of Death‘s damage, though.
On Inspiring weeks, a few particular packs are especially dangerous to deal with because the Inspiring mob is protecting other mobs with nasty spells. A prime example is the couple of Zolramus Necromancer packs in Necrotic Wake, protecting his Brittlebone Mages which will cast Frostbolt Volley. However, the Inspiring mob himself is not immune to ccs. This means you can place a Ring of Peace in between him and a Mage, knocking it far enough away to no longer affect the Mage, which will then be knocked the other way by the Ring. You can now quickly Paralyze the mage and pull the necromancer without it.
If you use Cruciform Veinripper from Painsmith Raznal, Disable can be a great way to keep your target eligible for the application of the DoT. However, Disable does cost a little bit of energy and a gcd, so I wouldn’t recommend spamming it on all targets just for veinripper.
The best Encrypted relic for us is always Urh, primarily to get more casts of Bonedust Brew, Storm, Earth, and Fire, and Invoke Xuen. The reduced cd on our main abilities like Rising Sun Kick and Fists of Fury is nice, but not decisive. The 15% haste from Vy and the damage proc just isn’t that attractive, so even when a double relic buff is possible (such as in Halls of Atonement) I would still recommend to kill Uhr twice. That said, listen to your tank or whoever is leading you through the dungeon to see if they want to kill Wo for a skip. And for the love of god, hold your big aoe cooldowns until after the chosen relic has died, to prevent random relic kills and potentially messing up the route. (Seriously, this happens so often, and yes it’s still your fault if you’re doing “equal” aoe dps.)
Paralysis + Ring of Peace skip
This combination is fairly well known, but there are some details that you need to know about before you accidentally fail the skip and people get mad at you.
Primarily, Paralysis doesn’t work like Sap or Imprison, and only freezes the target in place. It does not cause you to enter combat with your target, but it also doesn’t reduce the target’s aggro range, so you will body pull if you get close to it. You’ll need to cast Paralysis from almost max range to avoid this. This is why it is always used in combination with Ring of Peace , so you can knock the paralyzed target out of your path.
There is an interesting interaction that can be exploited as a fail-safe; while paralyzed, the target will only enter combat with a single person when they body pull. Other party members can run by the target even within body pull range after that. If you let a hunter or rogue be the first group member to body pull the paralyzed target, they can feign death or vanish after everyone has passed to make the skip successful after all.
Additionally, there is a bug when using the Finesse conduit Lingering Numbness; when Paralysis expires, the slow debuff will aggro the target and pull the group. Don’t slot this conduit into your soulbind if you intend to use this skip method.
In order to quickly ascertain if you failed a skip, I highly recommend installing a WeakAura which clearly shows you that you’re in combat. This way, you won’t be caught off guard by Paralysis wearing off and its victim coming at you with a bone to pick. Even better if everyone in your group has such a WeakAura, so everyone can see when they’ve pulled and can just run to die for a quick ress rather than pulling the pack later.
De Other Side
Rolling off the ledges allows you to “jump” a large distance, which may allow for skips. For example, you can avoid the two mobs right at the start of the dungeon this way. The Risen Cultists in the larger pack downstairs will wander around and can be paralyzed when in a favorable position to just walk past, or knocked with Ring of Peace if not.
You can also preplace Transcendence on Dealer Xy’exa to prevent fall damage after getting knocked up by Displacement Trap. Whirling Dragon Punch can also negate this fall damage, but that’s arguably not worth the loss of damage if you don’t also hit the boss with it. Additionally, you could place your Transcendence on the ledge before dropping down. That way, you have a backup if all the Displacement Traps are taken.
The Cosmic Artifice spell cast by Mueh’zala is a magic-type debuff, so you can dispel yourself with Diffuse Magic and manually drop the purple exploding orb off to the sides. It won’t do any damage to the boss, though.
Mists of Tirna Scithe
If you’re lacking a hard cc class or a priest, you’ll probably be expected to use the aforementioned Paralysis + Ring of Peace skip on some key levels. Specifically, this can be used to skip the Soulcleaver + Harvester pack right before the first Tormented miniboss, and the Spinemaw Gorger pack right after the third Tormented miniboss, after Mistcaller. I wouldn’t recommend using the latter, as the positioning makes it pretty sketchy.
It is possible to pull Tormented minibosses and additional trash packs through the mist wall with Xuen, by using Xuen’s pet bar. This is obviously a large dps loss and should be considered a last resort.
Although Diffuse Magic will reflect Anima Injection from Mistveil Stingers, it doesn’t quite work as you might expect. The large aoe circle will be on the mob, but the explosion will still hit your group, potentially oneshotting people. It’s much safer to hold on to Diffuse Magic and let the healer dispel you.
Diffuse Magic and Tiger’s Lust can both be used to remove the root effect from Bramblethorn Entanglement, which can be cast by Mistveil Guardians. Diffusing yourself and Lusting a group member (who cannot break roots themselves) is an efficient use of your tools.
Paralysis is one of the best tools to counter the mob spawned by Mistcaller‘s Freeze Tag, but keep in mind that it will break on any damage taken. As a backup, remember that a double tap Disable will root the mob for 8 seconds.
It can be easy to forget that, other than Spinemaw Staghorn, all mobs in this area can be stunned and knocked. This can be invaluable in a big pull when Acid Globule is being cast by several targets at the same time.
Halls of Atonement
All damage dealt by Halkias is avoidable, so you should have Touch of Karma available as an offensive cooldown. On lower to medium keys, you can safely take a single tick of the Refracted Sinlight to consume the Karma shield. On higher keys, simply running through the pools of Glass Shards will consume your Karma quickly and (relatively) safely.
If your mage or druid is nice enough to decurse your Curse of Stone on Echelon, you can use a preplaced Transcendence or a well-timed Roll to avoid his Stone Shattering Leap. You need to press transcendence or roll after he has started his leap, as he’ll lock onto your position upon cast. Note: if you play as an orc, your Hardiness racial passive allows you to wait for the curse stun to end and still roll/transcendence out just in time.
You can taunt the Ghastly Parishioners during the fight with High Adjudicator Aleez. This won’t make them attack you as it doesn’t override their fixation, but it does apply our trademark speed boost from Provoke, making them run into their vessel just a little bit faster.
We have quite a few defensive cooldown at our disposal, even more if you’re a Necrolord. This means you can soak the beams on Lord Chamberlain‘s Ritual of Woe on both of its casts. For example, you can use Fortifying Brew + Touch of Karma for the first cast, and Diffuse Magic for the second. This will be enough for all but very high (think 23+) tyrannical keys. Note: if you stand very close to the boss, you can soak two of the four beams by yourself. For some reason, this doesn’t actually do any more damage than soaking one beam, so it’s always worth doing.
There’s lots of poison and disease debuffs in this dungeon, and some of them are pretty nasty. Corroded Claws from Rotting Slimeclaws can kill an unsuspecting tank very quickly due to the stacking stat reduction. Dispel as much as you can!
Doctor Ickus‘ Slime Lunge can be easily predicted and thus avoided. He will always jump to the farthest player, and the lines he shoots out on impact will always form a plus sign aligned with his jump direction.
When Doctor Ickus spawns his Congealed Slime add, you can knock it away with Ring of Peace and Paralysis it while it’s out of range of the boss. Just make sure to communicate this with your group so they don’t hit the slime and break the Paralysis.
When Domina spawns her invisible Brood Assassins, you can make good use of the fact that Roll does not interrupt Spinning Crane Kick, allowing you to “sweep” across a large area, hitting the stealthed targets.
It bears repeating for Margrave Stradama: Dispel often! Her Infectious Rain can deal lots of damage, but dispelling a party member at 4 stacks while popping a defensive yourself can make the healer’s life much easier. Ideally you even coordinate with your healer, who might have a preference on who gets the dispel.
- Corroded Claws
- Wretched Phlegm
- Corrosive Gunk
- Vile Spit
- Plague Bomb
- Wasting Blight
- Burning Strain
- Cytotoxic Slash
- Infectious Rain
When a lantern is activated, it may be difficult for the tank to keep all targets neatly stacked in its area of effect. You can knock in any mobs that refuse to move in with Ring of Peace .
Mobility spells can be used to dodge General Kaal‘s Wicked Rush, avoiding the damage and the dangerous bleed it applies. You can even just strafe while she’s rushing at you which will often work as well. Remember that a premature Transcendence: Transfer may lead to the bleed being applied to your group members, so be careful!
Spires of Ascension
A few mobs will occasionally buff themselves with Imbued Weapon, which, when purged, will drop a forsworn weapon on the floor that you can pick up for a good amount of bonus damage.
If you use a WeakAura to track timers, or you have very quick reflexes, you can paralyze the Kyrian Dark-Praetors mid-jump to stop them in their tracks, keeping them close to whatever pack you’re fighting for better cleave. Naturally, Ring of Peace can nudge them back in as well.
There are quite a lot of spells that you can reflect with Diffuse Magic in this dungeon, more than in any other. Refer to the list I mentioned above to see which ones. Devos‘ Lost Confidence stands out as being especially valuable, probably the most valuable of any boss spell in m+. You might want to tell you group that you’re doing this, as the healer might otherwise snipe the dispel and your tank might get confused by the ominous looking ring that just appeared on the boss.
The pack at the top of the stairs in Oryphrion’s area is another Paralysis + Ring of Peace skip option, but it has some subtleties to it. As you need to place Ring of Peace on the floor, there’s a line of sight issue when you’re trying to place it just beyond the top of stairs next to the right-most mob. You’ll need to move pretty close to be able to place your ring, which is pretty risky. A relatively reliable approach would be to hug the wall, walk close enough to be in range of Paralysis (you still won’t be able to cast due to line of sight), jump + Paralyze, jump + Ring of Peace, then jump up on the ledge in front of the brazier.
Astronos‘ Charged Spear (and the other Forsworn minibosses after Astronos dies) will always shoot its projectiles in a plus-shaped pattern, aligned with the tilt of the spear itself. You can use this to see if you’re currently standing in a safe spot.
You can use the Paralysis + Ring of Peace combination to knock the Corpse Harvester on the right of the dungeon entrance away, so any group members can sneak in to grab the hammer next to him without body pulling.
It may be useful to Paralyze and Ring of Peace one the Brittlebone Mages away from its Zolramus Necromancer. You don’t need to kill it as it will die when the necromancer does, and this prevents it from casting its Frostbolt Volley.
When Amarth casts his Final Harvest, any cc-ed add will not explode. You can immediately paralyze one of the Reanimated Mages, as they will always spawn some distance away from the boss (and the cleaving melee players). You can also stun all adds at the last second with Leg Sweep to guarantee that none of them will explode.
Theater of Pain
The Paralysis + Ring of Peace skip can be used on the first pack of this dungeon, but their positioning makes it more difficult than most of such skips, making the “gap” between body pull range and the wall of spectators quite small. I wouldn’t recommend trying this unless you have a good sense of the body pull range and the distance you can knock a target with Ring of Peace .
If you track the timing for Xira the Underhanded‘s Opportunity Strikes, you can place Ring of Peace on top of the melee group (around 2 seconds before the spell hits) and have a decent chance at immediately breaking the stun.
The mobs in the Upper Barrow of Carnage cast a lot of disease and poison spells, so dispel often! The Blighted Sludge-Spewers’ Withering Discharge and Disgusting Burst apply especially dangerous diseases that can be fatal very quickly if not dispelled. These mobs will also attempt to leap at ranged targets, but you can restrict their movement by placing a Ring of Peace on the ranged dps/healer right after the pull starts. (The closer to the melee group you place it, the better, but if it’s too close they might leap over it.)
On some weeks, the Ancient Captain pack may be especially challenging. You can make the pull a lot safer by paralyzing the Ancient Captain and pulling the rest of the pack out of the range of his Commanding Presence.
Although Kul’tharok’s Phantasmal Parasite won’t deal any damage when Diffused, it’s still a big help to your healer if you do.
Tazavesh: Streets of Wonder
The first trash area contains a lot of mobs with casts, which can make it annoying for the tank to keep them stacked. Help him out by interrupting where you can. The Interrogation Specialist‘s Stasis Beam stuns his target during the cast, so that’s a high priority to interrupt.
Now, there are two main routes you can take in this dungeon: the left path, or the right path.
On the left path, you have to deal with Tracker Zo’korss, who casts Lockdown on the tank which you can break with Tiger’s Lust. The two Ancient Core Hounds will cast Ancient Dread, which applies a massive cast speed and haste reduction to your whole group and must be interrupted, and Lava Breath, which deals a large chunk of damage to targets in front of the caster, but a half-decent tank should be able to handle that. The Enraged Direhorn and Frenzied Nightclaws have some targeted abilities that you can play around. If you stand on one of the decorative edges on the sides of the stairs, the Direhorn’s Frenzied Charge will fail to cast, and the Nightclaws will immediately snap back to the tank after jumping to you with Frantic Rip.
On the right path, you can use Diffuse Magic to dispel Hyperlight Bomb. It doesn’t apply it to the caster, but it does help your healer.
I personally recommend the left path, since it’s easier on the tank and fast.
The Market Peacekeepers will charge to targets outside of their melee distance with Quelling Strike, which deals a fair amount of damage. Stay close to all peacekeepers in the pack to avoid getting charged at. They will also cast Phalanx Field, which reduces magic damage and reflects spells. Not a big deal for us specifically, but very bad for the group as a whole. Use Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace to stop the cast. The Veteran Sparkcasters will cast Scintillate, which deals a lot of damage and applies a debuff increases the damage of subsequent casts, and Hyperlight Salvo, which will very quickly kill its target on medium-to-high keys. Both are interruptable, but I would recommend holding your Spear Hand Strike for the salvo, since it deals way more damage and you can outlast the scintillate with defensive spells. Additionally, you can remove your own scintillate debuff with Diffuse Magic. If you’re lucky, this will also reduce the damage of the next hit.
During The Grand Menagerie encounter, you can use Diffuse Magic to clear Achillite‘s Purification Protocol, so that your healer can dispel the other one. You can use Tiger’s Lust to break Venza‘s Chains of Damnation immediately, removing the need to kill the chains. Depending on timers, it’s possible to break every chain, but that seems to be uncommon.
When you’re in the mail room, keep an eye on the Defective Sorters. You can stop their Open Cage ability with Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace to prevent the annoying stuns from the chickens running around.
On the gauntlet in Myza’s Oasis, you’ll get two waves of adds before the boss himself activates. The Disruptive Patron deserves special mention for his Teleport ability, which you can stop with the old Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace to keep him stacked.
Additionally, and I’m mentioning this because I just constantly see this happening on every level of key: you are supposed to maintain your damage buff throughout the fight with Zo’gron. At the end of his Suppression Spark casts, there will be one additional set of musical notes that will extend your damage buff for another 50(?) seconds, long enough to last until the next cast. You’re supposed to use the instrument ability to avoid the splash damage at the end (each dps charging out of the middle, the tank jumping up, and the healer sitting pretty on the drums).
While fighting So’azmi, you can preplace your Transcendence far away from where you’ll be engaging the boss. With some luck, you can use it to cross the Shuri ring or get back to the boss to interrupt his Double Technique. Remember that you can dodge his Quickblade by just strafing as he casts it, it has a very small hitbox.
Tazavesh: So’leah’s Gambit
We have a good toolkit to deal with the Murkbrine Scalebinders’ Invigorating Fish Stick with Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace. I’d recommend keeping one Scalebinder targeted whenever possible, to immediately stop its cast. You can also use Ring of Peace when the murlocs run away in fear, to prevent them from running into other packs.
While fighting Hylbrande, his summoned Vault Purifiers will cast Empowered Defense. This reduces damage taken by the boss by 50%, and this will continue as long as you can see the energy beam connecting the boss and the add. Make sure to stop it with Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace.
During the Boralus Harbor trash, specifically the Burly Deckhands, try to always stay further away from them than your tank. Their Haymaker ability will hit the closest target if the tank cannot be reached, and it’s a common pack to be kited. This ability can easily be a oneshot if combined with Super Saison and/or Enrage.
Timecap’n Hooktail is notorious as a melee-unfriendly boss, but it’s not so bad if you handle it right. When the adds spawn, check which one is fixated on you and bait it to the front of the boss with the other adds so the tank can hit all of them with Infinite Breath. You can help out with Ring of Peace to keep them close together if needed.
When you or anyone else gets hit by Anchor Shot, use Tiger’s Lust to mitigate the drag effect. When the boss turns or moves, she’ll cast Hook Swipe if anyone is behind her for more than a second or so, but this can be dodged by side-stepping.
In the last room, the Devoted Accomplices and Focused Ritualists have some very dangerous abilities. Make sure you use all of your available tools (Spear Hand Strike, Leg Sweep, Paralysis and Ring of Peace) to prevent any casts of Reinvigorate and Unstable Rift. The Hyperlight Bolt isn’t that important, you’ll want to save your crowd control spells for the other two. While fighting the Adorned Starseer, remember that Touch of Death can quickly kill a Wandering Pulsar.
You can use Ring of Peace and Leg Sweep to keep So’leah‘s So’ Cartel Assassins close to you. If they get a cast of Shuriken Blitz off, you’re most likely wiping.
While So’leah is preparing to cast Hyperlight Jolt, be careful: she occasionally still melee hits anyone within range, which can easily kill you if the tank is already standing close to a relic. We have fantastic mobility, so be ready to fly to the other side of the room to hit faraway relics with the Jolt on later casts.
Many thanks to everyone who offered additional tips that I hadn’t thought of, or clarifications of what I had already <3