M+ Dungeon Changes

Hey all! This is a thread about changes specific to dungeons in Shadowlands to bring all dungeons to equal footing.

What do I mean by that?

Currently, the most fun, most desirable and easiest dungeon is (without a doubt) Necrotic Wake. Getting a Necrotic Wake key at the start of the week feels great! Getting a Theater of Pain or Sanguine Depths key feels bad. Ideally, all dungeons are as fun / cool as this NW, which is difficult to accomplish. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try!

I’m going to list out of couple of changes to several dungeons with the hopes of bringing them to the same level of fun and excitement as Necrotic Wake. I’m going to list the TL;DR up here, then the explainations below:

  • Note: The Group listings are based on the MDT addon groups (i.e. G1, G2 etc…)

TL;DR for changes:

:drop_of_blood: Sanguine Depths :drop_of_blood:

  • Move the first Venthyr Anima cage from the current location to G6 (the first pack in the long corridor where the first boss is)
  • Kryxis the Voracious’s Hungering Drain (the interrupt thing) no longer applies a tick of damage if interrupted within 1 second of cast
  • Kryxis the Voracious’s Severing Smash no longer applies an orb to the tank
  • Grand Proctor Beryllia’s Fragments of Radiance (the yellow orbs that reduce the red explosion’s damage) now also reduces damage from Endless Torment (the AoE damage after the explosion that everyone takes)

:skull_and_crossbones: Theater of Pain :skull_and_crossbones:

  • 3 New dungeon-wide bonuses: Boon of Conquest (+5% physical damage done), Boon of Agony (+5% magical damage done) and Boon of Carnage (+5% health).
  • Killing Xav the Unfallen grants 2 stacks of Boon of Conquest (+10% physical damage done), 1 stack of Boon of Agony (+5% magical damage done) and 1 stack of Boon of Carnage (+5% health)
  • Killing Kul’tharok grants 1 stacks of Boon of Conquest (+5 % physical damage done), 2 stack of Boon of Agony (+10% magical damage done) and 1 stack of Boon of Carnage (+5% health)
  • Killing Gorechop grants 1 stacks of Boon of Conquest (+5% physical damage done), 1 stack of Boon of Agony (+5% magical damage done) and 2 stack of Boon of Carnage (+10% health)

Note: total bonus for all bosses killed: +20% physical damage done, +20% magical damage done, + 20% health, order of acquisition depends on group choice and group comp.

:space_invader: De Other Side :space_invader:

  • Haunted Urns (Night Fae urns) now also damage enemy mobs for 20% of their maximum health on activation (in addition to the stun)
  • If you activate a Haunted Urn during the Phase 2 of the Mueh-zala encounter, it will remove 50% health from all 4 Shattered Visages (allowing you to 1-phase on 23+ keys). Note: there are only 2 Urns that apply to this: the one near the Hakkar wing and the one near the Ardenweald wing
  • New Haunted Urn in the Mechagon area, in the room where 4.RF-4.RF is present (the robot dog)
  • Hakkar’s adds (the sons of Hakkar) have 50% reduced health and are now tauntable

:evergreen_tree: Mists of Tirna Scithe :evergreen_tree:

  • Replace Drust Boughbreaker (the big bois that hit the ground for AoE damage) in Group 8 (with the 4 Drust Spiteclaws) with 2 Drust Spiteclaws (the black swarmer dudes that everyone skips).
  • Replace Drust Boughbreaker in Group 9 with a Drust Soulcleaver (tank buster add)
  • Reduce the Drust Spiteclaw’s bleed damage by 50% (both the on-application and the bleed)
  • Drust Spiteclaw’s Dying breath (the 10% increased damage debuff) no longer applies to players, only to NPCs (including bosses)
  • Mistveil Stalker’s bleed upfront damage decreased by 50% (note: the DoT damage is the same, just the upfront damage)
  • Mistcaller no longer has a third Guessing game at 10% (only 2 phases, not 3)
  • Whenever a Night Fae claims a seed (those respawn points), applies the Mushroom buff to all players (the 10% increased primary stat one)
  • In Mythic+, Spinemaw Gorgers pulled into Tred’ova no longer turn into the MoTS Dungeon Achievement mob (where they heal to full). [This is just so that you can pull mobs into the last boss]

:angel: Spires of Ascension :angel:

  • Forsworn Skirmishers no longer jump away
  • Increase Orophyrion’s Drained (bonus damage phase where he recharges his energy bar) from 100% additional damage to 200% additional damage)
  • Provide 1 additional Spear of Destiny (Kyrian stun spear) on the Seat of the Archon platform (where Devos is)
  • Increase damage dealt by Archon’s Spear during the Devos fight by 50%

:vampire: Halls of Atonement :vampire:

  • Increase High Adjudicator Aleez’s Volley of Power (the interruptable AoE cast) damage by 200% (this is to make the fight slightly harder, since it’s kind of a joke even on +24 tyrannical keys)
  • Add 2 extra Loyal Stoneborns on Lord Chamberlain (the last boss)

:nauseated_face: Plaguefall :nauseated_face:

  • Bring back the 2 Rigged Plagueborers after the 1st boss room! That was such a nice strat for killing the 1st boss!!! (Why did you take it away :frowning: )

Detailed Explanations for Suggested Changes:

:drop_of_blood: Sanguine Depths :drop_of_blood:
In my experience, as the keys get higher, the 1st boss ends up becoming the biggest problem by far. On +23s, 80% of my keys break on the 1st boss. This change is meant to bring the Urn buff directly to the boss, rather than wasting it on dungeon mobs that don’t really need that much of a DPS increase. In addition, the third boss is very dangerous in higher keys, especially with her Endless Torment cast that does incredibly high unavoidable damage.

:skull_and_crossbones: Theater of Pain :skull_and_crossbones:
This dungeon wanted to do something different: focus more on small skirmishes with high-health, high damage big targets (i.e. the entire Xav wing, some of the Lich wing mobs, etc). There are very few pulls that you can combine in that dungeon (about 5 viable pull combinations to my knowledge).
This makes the timer very tight, and difficult to save time on since you can’t make a huge risky pull. Because you can’t change a lot of the pulls (i.e. the lich wing, you literally cannot combine them because of the seperate platforms, the abomination wing it is very risky to get more than 2 Withering Discharge casters, and the Xav wing is extremely risky to pull multiple big mobs with other trash).
This change aims to provide a speed boost while also provide groups with options: if you have more magic damage (i.e. mage, lock, boomy), go the lich wing for more magic damage and less physical, and vice versa for the Xav wing if you have more physical damage DPS (i.e. war. rogue, hunter). In extremely high keys, the Abomination wing may be needed first just to survive certain mechanics (i.e. the Lich’s DoT, Xav’s undodgeable jump damage done right before he casts Might of Maldraxxus (the 3 hit combo that you have to dodge) that almost one shots you on a +25 Tyrannical).

:space_invader: De Other Side :space_invader:
This dungeon is really long, but I think it’s fair. There are 2 main problems with it (in my mind):

  1. The urns are useful, but nowhere near as strong as the Kyrian orbs in NW or the Loyal Stoneborns in HoA
  2. There is a weird lack of urn in the Mechagon wing for some reason (every other wing has one)
  3. Hakkar can go to hell

These changes provide huge utility to the urns and make them very important to use correctly. They can also provide a bonus on Mueh’zala’s fight, where you can now 1 phase the fight on high Tyrannical keys by sacrificing an urn for it. For Hakkar, his adds are so annoying, and the Corrupted blood that he puts on you makes it impossible to bring the adds to the tank. It’s like if you had a mechanic that says “stand in this spot” and another that said “don’t stand in this spot!” at the same time.

:evergreen_tree: Mists of Tirna Scithe :evergreen_tree:

This is the longest list of changes because I feel like Mists has a huge potential in the first part of the dungeon that is completely lost. The Drust Spiteclaw’s 10% increased damage debuff should be in every strat!!

Sadly, it is not, and any key above +18 completely skips / shrouds / invis pots past these mobs. This is because:

  1. The bleeds they put are a near one-shot, especially when enraged
  2. Their debuff also applies to the tank, which suddenly makes him very squishy
  3. They are too far from the first boss to be used for that fight.

So let’s change that. Let’s make the beginning of Mists actually worth doing once again. Remove the giant Boughbreakers in G8 and G9, just keep the 2 right before the boss (those are enough). Also, nerf their bleed and prevent the tank from getting one shot by their debuffs. That way, those packs would actually be worth pulling. Because of the increased damage to other mobs, you could make giant add pulls! On Tyrannical, you could simply save them for the 1st boss and his gigantic 8 million health pool. Open the possibilities rather than just having us skip the entire beginning!

After that comes the Miststalkers. On high keys (~24+), the upfront damage one-shots you. The only thing you can do is stun them. While there is something you can do about that (stunning them), I don’t think that’s fair since you depend on stunning classes (rogue, war, pally, dh, etc.).

For the 2nd boss of Mists, that boss takes super long for no reason. It is a boring fight that is painfully long, nothing more. The 10% phase does not need to happen. Remove this headache please.

Lastly, the last change just allows you to pull mobs into the 3rd boss of Mists without running the risk of healing the Gorgers because of the stupid meta-achievement thing.

:angel: Spires of Ascension :angel:

First of all: this is a beautiful dungeon artistically. One of, if not, the most beautiful places that I’ve seen in WoW thus far.

That said, everyone hates the skirmishers. They are incredibly annoying because they jump back whenever you aggro them. That is incredibly annoying, please remove that.

The other annoying part is how long the last part of the dungeon is. Very few mobs with a LOT of health. Speeding that up will make this key more digestible.

The first part is hard of Spires is hard, but fair I think. Get your kicks correctly, dodge the obvious death balls on bosses, and it’s a fun ride.

Devos and Orophyrion though, those 2 need to have some kind of buffer for all that health. Devos alone, on Tyrannical, takes 4-5 minutes on 25+ keys.

:vampire: Halls of Atonement :vampire:

The first change here is actually a buff to the 3rd boss because that boss is an actual joke. We let a cast of Volley of Power go off for fun on a +23 Tyrannical, and it brought 3 players to half health. On a +23 Tyrannical with nothing else going on, that should have seriously maimed them.

The last boss of this dungeon, however, is kind of boring. The main thing is dodge the statues and soak the red lines. For the same reason as Devos, this boss needs to be shortened, which you could do by adding Loyal Stoneborns

:nauseated_face: Plaguefall :nauseated_face:

The only hard bosses in Plaguefall are the 1st and the 4th boss (because of the disease thing she puts on the group). Why on earth you removed the 2 exploding plagueborers right after the 1st boss, which you could pull into the 1st boss for big damage, I will never know. That is peak fun and M+ dungeon routing.

And if you were hoping we wouldn’t do that, I’ve got bad news for you, because now we just pull the red slime to the 1st boss instead.

Bring that back! That should never have been removed. Let us make cool pulls.


Lovin the MoTS changes, would make the first part of it actually doable

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For sure, I think it’s a damn shame that everybody skips those mobs at higher keys for fear of dps dying to the Spiteclaws.

I think with a little bit of changes, this part of the dungeon could be made really fun

Super busy this week, but wanted to drop in here real quick to say two things:

First up, this is a really well-written and easy to read feedback post, and the time you put into it is appreciated. I can’t promise any specific changes on the spot, but we’ll be discussing some of the issues you brought up here.

Secondly, I wanted to clarify our intent with the Plagueborer change, as the goal was not to prevent creative routing.

We’re huge fans of player choice and creative strategies, and this is precisely the sentiment from which Plagueborers came to exist in the first place. The problem arose from the combination of how powerful they were, plus how easy it was to take them anywhere in the dungeon - to the point that it felt like your own performance playing your class was nearly irrelevant next to simply optimizing Plagueborers (this is similar to the Tol Dagor cannon problem). This is a delicate line to walk any time we try to do powerful dungeon-specific effects (same with NW weapons), but we feel it’s worth it and hope to keep experimenting with stuff like this in future dungeons.


I actually (name pun intended) disagree with the “creative” use of Plagueborers. The issue was them being able to be snapped to specific locations, not as much the damage they outputted.

If we’re specifically talking about dungeons that are designed around optimizing their “gimmick” for a lack for a lack of a better way to express it. It’s Necrotic Wake. In my opinion, is the worst dungeon that’s ever been made because of the gimmick being anywhere near as powerful as it is.

The number one damage source for the dungeon is Kyrian Weapons.
The portal guys are unpullable (I don’t even know their names, I pulled them once and never pulled them again)
The first boss, depending on the affixes is a 9 pull with the use of a spear
On the drag to the 2nd boss, it’s a triple or quad pull depending on the affixes with the use of a spear
The casters that stun and do massive damage with gorsesplatter are countered by using an orb.

These optimization, save roughly 10 minutes from the timer. Which is why so many key pushers complete the dungeon with 5-7 minutes left on the timer. It’s easy to time, but you have to “solve” them differently around these mass pulls and have the burst DPS to do so.

I actually think this should be the discussion point.

Because I don’t know that many people that find them “fun” to begin with. You’re playing the gimmick more than you’re playing the dungeon. There were good balances where small optimizations from the dungeon you can save a minute or two, but a lot of the SL dungeons as a whole feel like if you waste or wipe on one specific pull or don’t optimize it in sometimes dangerous ways it adds 5+ minutes to the timer.


This is a great post. But lets all agree that nectoric and grevious should be removed from the game


Thanks! I was writing this at first and it looked like a giant text box, which I figured everybody was going to look at for about 3 seconds before closing it lol

Thank you so much! My hope was that I could spark some discussion on the matter. I know people may or may not agree with some of these changes, but I just thought I should post my thoughts.

I want to say that your dungeons are beautiful and well crafted! Very fun to play! It’s just tiny little things that could turn their grades from A to A+.

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NW weapons were brought up as a similar example of “we tried to do something different, and it wasn’t without challenges”. They do come with a lot of positives: unique texture for the dungeon, strategic choices, moments to feel powerful, etc.

The downsides are specific to higher M+, but they are valid and we’ve made changes to address some of this feedback (reducing weapon power, no longer losing them on death). It’s fair to say there are lessons to take with us for next time we try something like this.


I agree with many of these dungeons requiring changes to be more enjoyable and a lot of your suggestions are really nice. Largely, I’m of the opinion that NW, PF, and HoA are fairly well balanced and fun to play as they currently exist. However, SD, ToP, DOS, MoTS, and SoA could use some love. To add to your points, I think that some other changes that could be made, in addition to your suggestions, to improve the enjoy-ability of these dungeons are


  • I agree with everything you suggested


  • 1 to 3 min added to timer
  • 3-5 sec of immunity when you come up from the duel on Xav (so you can’t get 1 shot or perma slow bugged)
  • Reduce the tick rate (but not damage) of the parasite on Kul’Tharok


  • Reduce mask damage on fort weeks
  • Make masks dude’s summons unaffected by inspiring
  • Make hakkar adds tauntable as suggested
  • Add an urn to dog pull as suggested


  • Put a priority mob in each maze pull that, when killed, allows you to unlock the next room regardless of whether or not you’re in combat


  • Reduce Devos’s aoe bomb damage on tyrannical
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I fervently disagree with this.

The idea that a dungeon-specific affix / gimmick ends up being a playmaker is what makes / breaks a dungeon in terms of fun.

I’ll use an example: the MoTS Gimmick (NF skipping the first pull, the mushrooms and the save points) are functionally active only on the 1st one third of the dungeon (1st boss and part of the maze). The save spots rarely matter because in higher keys if you wipe you will not time that dungeon (very tight timer).

Compare that to NW where the Kyrian Goliath Orbs allows you to make a huge pull knowing that you’ll have constant damage and healing, which also forces range to position in melee, while also allowing you to pull the 1st boss w/ a bunch of adds. I guarantee you that high this completely changes the playstyle of the dungeon (from having to focus down a boss in single-target to focusing on AoE damage during a boss fight because a mass of adds are pulled with the boss for timesave).

This instance is only found in one other dungeon, and that is Halls of Atonement (1st boss w/ 5 adds in front of it, 3rd boss w/ the 4 mobs). Doing these bosses with adds in other dungeons is significantly more difficult / outright suicide, where multiple adds need priority focus otherwise they will one-shot someone (the Mistveil Stalkers when pulled with the 2nd boss of MoTS) or be a huge inconvience because they heal to full (i.e. Gorm Gorgers on 3rd boss of MoTS) or it’s just not possible to pull adds w/ the boss (i.e. Hakkar in DoS, Mechagon boss in DoS, last boss of PF, etc.)

In season 1, MoTS was a fun dungeon because of 2 classes: Fire Mage and Night Fae Balance Druids, which had an absolute bonkers amount of burst damage which could absolutely melt the 1st boss of MoTS. In addition, Fire Mage had very strong AoE, which was up for almost every pull in the dungeon, and Dragon’s Breath to interrupt the Mistveil Stalker’s Bite that would one shot you.

In season 2, especially in higher tyrannical keys (25+), the 1st boss of MoTS is pretty much guaranteed to be a 3 phase (~5 min long fight). This is because BiS comps have changed (from Rogue - Fire Mage - Boomy to Rogue - Frost Mage - Monk, which is lower in ST damage but better in AoE)

Unlike in NW, the Gimmicks of MoTS did not provide adequate buffer for that change in comp to account for that decreased boss damage, which leaves that dungeon as hard as it currently is.

I am of the opinion that MORE unique gimmicks make a key fun, because they can allow for more flexibility in comps.


If anything, Echelon for me needs some changes, idk what about that fight, but it just feels like way to much health to chunk through.

Jesus does that raging hurt on Fortified…

This is so true. I’ve gone back up before when he’s in mid-swing with that 1/2-the-arena swipe combo, and me and my partner get one shot. Man that feels bad.

True, or increase the shield’s damage reduction from 90 to 95% or something. Dying while inside that bubble feels baaaaad.

You save lust for Echelon and if you time right, you get the stoneborn (to the right as you go up the stairs, need the gargoyle on the right to be in stone form).
Also, big funnel classes (like arcane mage, which I main) have huuuuuuuge damage on that because of the lil adds

We do, but compared to other bosses in that dungeon, the health pool seems a little much. granted the mechanics are limited, but at the same time, I prefer some sort of consistency among boss encounters.

I like most of the stuff suggested in this thread, but what I REALLY want is for the damn freaking angels in Spires of Ascension to be sped up significantly when carrying us.


I have some suggestions

  • Remove the angels and replace them with the teleporters around Bastion that fly you to Hero’s Rest. Like the teleports near the end of Theater and Necrotic Wake and the one after Dealer in Other Side.
  • Get rid of the “wait your turn” if an angel is starting to carry someone. If I click you and I’m in range, start carrying me then and there. Not 2 seconds after because someone clicked before me.
  • Your suggestion, speed them up.

Now that his thread has blown up I’d like to take this opportunity to say, Big Brain Brainard’s guild is recruiting. We raid Tue/Wed and are on Illidan :smiley:


Think the biggest thing missed here is the travel time in DOS is obnoxious. It punishes creative routing. I would love to see the break down for how much time is saved getting anima powers from each wing then clearing the bosses vs just killing the boss with the available powers in the path. I get a lot of weird comments if i suggest just clearing each wing opposed to collecting the powers. Running through the long hall in both the wings for Arden and Hakkar sucks. Why arden doesnt teleport us to the start of the wing after killing the boss is mind boggling. Hey you have a Night Fae, you can jump across to different wings or something would be a solid addition.

In regards to why Necrotic Wake feels fun - IMO its because the power you gain isnt tied to a covenant and the dungeon is full of weapons. You can spear 3/4 bosses in necrotic which is a huge damage gain, 2 anima orbs, 3 hammers (underrated weapon) and you can degen pull with anima exhaust. Top has what, 3 banners to 5 bosses? DOS has no damage boost for its 4 bosses. You’re heavily punished in SD for screwing up urns. Getting an urn buff into a boss requires a lot of coordination. Something that is not true in NW. The damage gain in Halls is more of a bug (spamming the button on gargs) for 2/4 bosses. Spires is just… I personally dislike that dungeon. Dont know where to even start with it. Move the slimes before the last boss in Plague Fall please.

TLDR - make the power gains more like NW.


The issue I have is that certain covenants are downright mandatory in order to time some dungeons which ends up leaving some groups having to sit around or improvise trying to find somebody with that covenant.

  1. Sanguine Depths → The jars offer a huge damage increase that if played correctly can be kept up for large sections of the dungeon. Easily reduces the amount of time to complete the key by minutes.
  2. NW → The weapons and golem power-up are downright busted. You can do stupid big pulls with these powers.
  3. HoA → You can pull 4 gargoyles on-to the 1st boss and just demolish it.
  4. PF → You can get a +50% haste bonus from the slimes with a Necro.
  5. ToP → +10% versatility bonus isn’t really make or break.
  6. Mists & DoS → Not really mandatory.
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For Mists, the skip at the beginning is absolutely taken for granted nowadays, but the respawn seeds aren’t that impactful because the timer for this dungeon is already very tight, so a wipe is more than likely to cost you the key depending on the difficulty. The seeds before the first boss are also not that big of a deal and maybe there could be more around the dungeon.

For DoS, yeah, the urns are absolutely the least impactful covenant gimmick out of all 8 dungeons in my opinion. The stun is very minor except for helping with one of the masks and like mentioned by OP, there’s an entire section missing one of them.

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It would be an interesting statistic to see for how many people necrotic wake is thier highest scoring key. The variance between nec wake and top for example is far too high.

I would also like it of traveling back through the wings of dos was faster. Top got this right by having the wings finish near the start. They could just add a speed buff like they did in the legion dungeon that I can remember the name of. Half of valor maybe? Where if the boss is dead you get a speed boost im that wing to run back out with. Or have a click able things like in the ardeweald wing by have it take you right back to the start of the wing.

(also yay a blue we love it when you post :+1:)

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