Timewalking Mage Tower Challenges

Hey everyone! I literally resubbed just to try and do the Mage Tower so I could get the Spelltome mount (can’t believe we could have had it for free if only people hadn’t voted for the stupid walking shrub) but of course Blizzard screwed the pooch again with this too.

First of all let me point out that I did all of the mage challenges back when they were current content in Legion, and except for the Fire one which I skipped until the very end of the expansion because the mog was so ugly, I did them before they could be out geared.

So today as soon as I logged in I immediately went to the tower, well right after I changed my hair color to High Elf blond ROFLMAO, and started grinding away at the Arcane mage challenge. It’s by no means the easiest one but because I’ve always mained Arcane I have the highest skill with that spec plus I remember that fight the most. Well considering that I haven’t played the game at all for months and haven’t done the challenge for years I was surprised it only took me about 10-15 to get back into it and start making substantial progress. By the end of the first hour my best was getting the first of the 3 bosses to 20% since they share health that’s not too bad but frankly I don’t see how it can go beyond that given the wall of snowballing mechanics you hit at that point.

Unfortunately, that’s where progress ended because as it is right now the encounters are horribly overtuned. Or rather the encounters haven’t changed much at all but the players are incredibly undertuned because we have no access to Legion legendaries or Artifact weapons and their potent traits. To reiterate, the encounters remain tuned with having access to both legendaries AND artifact weapons so it’s like we basically go in naked.

Let me use the Arcane mage challenge in particular to illustrate this:

  1. Most people seem to think that the axes thrown by one of the bosses deal too much damage and while that might be the case the real problem is that mages simply have no damage mitigation in that encounter because virtually all of it comes from borrowed powers which are disabled there. So that’s a big problem right off the bat because greater survivability meant that you had more wiggle room and could afford to mess up a mechanic that cost you HP because the unavoidable damage could be significantly mitigated.

  2. The fight is decidedly not a DPS check but there is still a DPS threshold which if not met will cause mechanics to overlap and eventually kill you. Because virtually the entire fight revolves around constantly dealing with one mechanic or another and because you have to spend the vast majority of the fight kiting or otherwise on the move you simply can’t stand still and cast outside of the few seconds the main boss is sheeped or Frostnova is off cooldown so you can root them and they don’t chase you. This means that your spammable becomes AE and not AB which would be fine especially since the 3 bosses share their health pool but only if the AE we have access to now is the Legion version! In Legion not only did AE’s damage scale with Arcane Charges but the artifact greatly empowered it, most notably by echoing each cast and increasing its damaging radius substantially which meant that you could be out of reach of virtually all melee attacks while still being able to deal damage to multiple targets. You could also mass slow them with the artifact trait that made the effect of slow spread to all enemies around your target. This is on top of just the raw damage output that a fully upgraded artifact gave you. Obviously none of these factors exists right now because they are disabled in this version of the encounter but the encounter itself is not tuned down to account for it.

  3. Unlike with Legion there is no way to outgear this version because gear is scaled down. Getting a full set of Timewalking gear will offer a certain amount of a DPS increase but that’s it and that’s not really the issue.

All of this basically means RIP getting the mount unless they do immediate hotfixes to tune down boss health and damage or enable borrowed powers, whether the Legion or SL ones. Looks like I won’t even make it past the first week of resubbing, lol. See you all in 10.0!

But seriously, I wanted to sound off on here to give fellow mages a heads up if you are thinking about heading to the Mage Tower and also to open a forum for others to give their feedback and tips and tricks on how to beat the challenges.

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This is pretty much where I am right now. I can’t get Jarl Velbrand lower than 10-20%. I feel like I am cleaving like crazy. I’m polymorphing Sigryn right before she can finish casting Blood of the Father so that I can continue to cleave all of them. I just end up hitting the point where they all keep chaining their enrage abilities.

Just some things I want to note about my experience:

  • I am terrible at dealing with Jarl Velbrand’s Hurl Axe ability. It just seems like I am always choosing the wrong direction to take to avoid them. When I manage to dodge some, it seems like they tightly curve right back into me. The range at which the axes can hit you is larger than the axes themselves. I would love some pointers from anyone to help avoid damage from this mechanic.
  • Is it a bug that I can blink through arena wall? There were many occasions where I was doing great on an attempt then accidentally blinked through the arena wall. All of the NPCs despawn and you have to exit the instance to try again.
  • I may be wrong, but it seems like on some attempts where I hit the enrage those enrage abilities would just bug out. Sigryn will announce she is going to cast Blood of the Father but then nothing happens. Runeseer Faljar will cast Ancestral Knowledge and then start spamming Shadowbolt with no channel bar present.
  • It sometimes seems like Runeseer Faljar will only place 2 runes instead of 3. Maybe I am just getting lucky and having one spawn right under me. Also, I hate it when the graphic gets covered up by an NPC or the green stuff that Throw Spear leaves on the floor.
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It’s not you the trajectory is impossible to predict as the axes don’t travel in a predetermined trajectory like a straight line or a curve. Honestly you’re better off just quieting your movement or even just standing still and dpsing provided that the main boss is not chasing you.

It’s a bug in terms that it shouldn’t be happening but it’s always been like that and they never changed it all throughout Legion so it’s unlikely to be fixed now. In other words consider it a quirk, lol. Also, I would advice you to not use Blink unless absolutely necessary either to get to a rune that’s about to explode or to quickly get to a gap in the line of charging Valkyr. It’s tempting to use it to get some breathing room as the cooldown comes back fast enough but ultimately it’s more likely to get you in trouble and accidentally reset the encounter.

I’ve noticed that as well. This is new because I don’t recall it happening in Legion. Seems like it’s just a desync of the voice line and the actual casting of the ability. I’ve also had the shadow bolt guy talk about his ancestors and not do anything and one time I heard the voice line about “her father’s blood” while she was sheeped and only like 10 seconds after she had actually cast it which shouldn’t be possible since the ability has to have a cooldown of at least 20 seconds to match our sheep cooldown.

That’s because sometimes one of them will literally be cast right under you and immediately despawn before the visual ever loads. It really is super annoying if it spawns in a green patch and I honestly don’t remember them being that vivid of a fel green before. This might be an unfortunate case of updated graphics for fel fire having unforeseen consequences.

Hope this helps!

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I hit a wall with arcane as well. Yeah, I know it’s day one, but I kind of have the same experience that you both have. I got the mechanics down, but it hits a point where things happen faster than I can mitigate, heal or kite through :frowning:

My damage is fine. I do take my time, but I can’t seem to get past that point where things start overlapping and coming more often… I can’t poly fast enough, heal, kite dodge or cast anything at that point. There was really only 1 and I only mean 1 point where I actually got one down to 10% and just died immediately. I was not able to get back to that after 4 hours nows.

Unfortunately though it’s not going to get any better. Yeah it’s the first day but there’s virtually nothing you can do to improve your odds of success since gear is scaled down and you can never outgear it. Once you’ve gotten the mechanics down, which it sounds like you have, there’s really not much else you can do unless they enable borrowed powers of nerf the bosses HP and damage.

It’s really demoralizing especially for those of us who were hoping to get the mount which imo at least is the only worthwhile reward. Dead content before it’s even started because they couldn’t be bothered to balance it not to mention that it launched with only 24 hours of testing which is frankly laughable. Really validates my prior decision to quit the game until/if they get their act together and makes me regret resubbing.

I don’t want to go that far, but it ramps up and feels a bit like progress is stumped. I’m doing everything that I have to to survive first.

This is someone completing the arcane mage challenge before you could make it easier with armor from Argus. Some things that I notice:

  • They get hit by multiple Hurl Axes from Jarl Velbrand without nearly dying.
  • After they pass the point when all of the enrage abilities coincide, Jarl Velbrand does nothing but melee attacks and no longer enrages while Sigryn stops casting Blood of the Father.
  • After they pass the point when all of the enrage abilities coincide, Runeseer Faljar and Sigryn will alternate casting Ancestral Knowledge and Dark Wings respectively.

This is how I remember the fight proceeding when I did it in Legion. What I am seeing today is that once we pass the point when all of the enrage abilities coincide, all of them just start chaining their enrage abilites repeatedly. I feel the fight in the Time Walking Mage Tower is overtuned and bugged.


That’s exactly how I remember it too and it’s a far cry from what I witnessed in there today. It’s really eye opening to see the old version, I wonder if it’s like that for all of them? Most likely.

What I am not sure about, because I didn’t time any of the attempts, is whether this odd behavior starts only after a certain point because the fight was never intended to go on for that long but we are getting to that point when the bosses are still in the 20%s because we can’t do nearly as much DPS without the borrowed powers as we used to be able to do in the Legion version.

If I were a betting man I’d say that was it because exactly zero tuning was done. On the bright side, if that’s true and they recognize the fact, it’s an easy fix. Just reduce boss HP by 20-25% across the board to account for the lack of borrowed powers. I don’t see them doing it though, I’ve seen too much over the years to hold my breath for that kind of commonsense solution from them.

I just went in with SL gear for the arcane challenge. I didn’t play Legion so this was new to me. The most difficult part was the poly DR on Sigryn. I still don’t think I understand when she is immune so I just try to get her and the melee guy both in frost nova when she comes out of sheep to reset the DR timer whatever it is. Other things I did:

  1. I just face tanked both the melee and caster spamming AE when Sigryn was CCed far from them. The damage they do isn’t that great. The only part you have to start running away is when the melee goes berzerk. Alter Time or MI when shields are down.

  2. If you have a bad overlap like the angels and can’t get to all the soaks on the ground in time, ice block.

  3. Keep the melee add with slow debuff.

  4. Chrono Shift is good not only for speed boost kiting the melee add but getting to the soaks faster.

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Did you cleave them almost the entire fight with arcane explosion, arcane orb, and arcane barrage? Or were you mostly trying to single target them?

I noticed that your ilvl is 250. I guess the difference in stats between 250 and 230 is just as significant after the stat squish. Do we really need to have mythic gear on for this challenge to not be insanely difficult?

I read that some min/maxers were farming gear from even previous expansions or timewalking cause everything gets scaled to 50 so correct me if I am wrong but the ilvl doesn’t make a difference. It took a couple of hours of changing my strats after wiping is what I focused on most.

Yes and if the melee guy was throwing axes I just arcane missles, move, arcane missles, move, repeat even without clear casting. Arcane missles expends lots of mana so I try to generate clear casting procs so when he starts running at me I can use it while strafe kiting with slipstream. If I could have done the fight better it would be to know the soak timers cause I had to move away from RoP when I blew CDs.

If I get Sigryn CCed not close to the other two, I pull the melee guy to the caster and just start cleaving. One of the worse things you can do is break CC on Sigryn because poly has a 20 second CD. Priority DPS is the melee single target since he has the lowest health but hard swap to the caster when he is channeling with the shield.

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They share their health so it really doesn’t matter which one of them you’re prioritizing. Ideally you want to constantly hit all three of them, except when Sygrin if sheeped of course, with AE but you can’t do that effectively anymore because we don’t have the increase radius and damage that AE had in Legion nor do we have the mass slow. Both of those major traits made the encounter much more manageable as did the greater survivability that came from legendaries and the defensive artifact traits. Without them it’s much harder and since the mount is the only reason I am doing this there’s no way I am going to have enough time to do all 7 if I have to spend hours and hours per challenge banging my head against a wall that’s only there because they didn’t do their job of balancing the encounter with the timewalking restrictions in mind.

As things stand right now I have no insensitive to do any of the challenges if I can’t do all of them. I suspect that’s the case for most folks because the mount is the real carrot here. Not the transmog recolors and certainly not the feat of strength.

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Alright! I got it :smiley:


You are correct. I need to swap some gear I think. I lowered my crit chance and upped my haste and I ended up doing better on a few attempts. However, the script for this fight is indeed different than how it went when it was first released in Legion. There should be a point where Jarl Velbrand stops enraging and throwing axes and Sygrin stops using Blood of the Father. However it just keeps getting more frequent over time to the point where once you down Runeseer Faljar’s shield he throws another one up right after.

Just stick with the gear you have.

My opener I dunno if there is a more optimal one but I stand behind Sigryn and use AP, totm, TW, MI, trinket, and potion. Just get as much AE in around 7 on all three of them or so and dump barrage in totm, then arcane orb, dump barrage, AE x 4, and dump barrage before AP runs out. I don’t really care about taking damage even if I go really low because of the healing orb that will spawn soon. Then nova and poly Sigryn. At this point the melee guy should be 70-75% so I try to have as much head start as possible. Tbh I don’t know what even was critting or not but I didn’t mind the numbers so much as just consistently getting damage out while staying alive.

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I just got it! It is definitely hard, but not impossible. Once you are able to push your damage to the limit and down Jarl Velbrend, the fight proceeds as normal. Swapping out my high crit gear for more haste and versatility may have helped too. I knew it was not a waste to save all that Korthia/Maw gear.


See. Not so bad after all :smiley:

Grats! I hope you get use out of that mog at least, it goes well with the arcane challenge appearance, specifically the tint that you get for doing 10 different Legion dungeons after unlocking it as it uses a very similar color scheme.

I am already over it though. I tried the tank and healer challenges just for lolz and omfg are they overtuned! My hat is off to anyone who can complete all 7 but there’s no way I can do it unless they bring it more in line with the level of difficulty in Legion.

In fact I already canceled my subscription again earlier today. I am tempted to make a fuss and ask for my money back since I only got 1 day of play out of a 1 month subscription but frankly I’d much rather Bobby keep the money and choke on it if it means I can have one more month of calling out their bullsh*r on the forums. :v:t2::rofl:

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Gotta keep trying man i did arcane/frost so far and took me like 11 hours its hard but dont give up just keep practicing

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