MDI Time Trials Analysis & Cup Preview: AMER Division #2

Welcome back to another MDI Time Trial analysis article! If you missed the previous articles in this series, you can find all the previous articles in this series (and more) here! This weekend’s cup is the second in the Americas & Oceania region - let’s dive into the teams that made it and how the time trials went down. Beware - there are some spoilers about what happened in previous weeks below!

The Teams

Method NA are coming off a victory in the region’s first cup, and their time trial runs for this cup are intimidating, a full five minutes faster than anyone else.

Ethical made it to the Grand Finals last time, losing 1-2 against Method NA. They’ve improved from third seed to second this time around, and so far their tournament play has been consistently strong.

In the third seed, matching their third place finish last time, Complexity Limit are continuing to ramp! This is a team that is capable of some of the fastest runs in the entire tournament, but so far their bold strategies have resulted in inconsistency when it comes time for tournament play. However, as a team that is still fairly new, the two weeks between this cup and the previous one may have resulted in much bigger gains for these World First raiders than for the teams that have already ironed out their strategies.

The fourth seed is goosy bad, a team of vodka raiders who started last cup strong with the second seed, but finished the tournament in fourth place. Though they’ll face a tougher tournament bracket than before, this is a team of veteran MDI players that aren’t to be discounted.

Scripted Content will be making their cup debut this weekend, earning the fifth seed in this round of time trials after a ninth seed showing last cup. It’s an impressive jump in the standings that suggests this team is hungry for glory!

Big Dumb Gaming have climbed to sixth seed, and are hoping to improve on their previous cup, where they did not win a match.

One Last Chance qualified for the last cup as well, but they were unable to compete and dropped out before the tournament itself. This oceanic team has since made a roster change and remains loaded with storied veterans of MDIs past. They’ll face a round one pairing against their fellow Oceanic team, Ethical.

And finally, Fly Me Out are returning this weekend, squeaking into the tournament in the eighth seed. This team overperformed their seed last cup, but this time they’ll face the daunting prospect of a Round 1 Method NA pairing.

The Time Trial Dungeons

These are the dungeons that were played during the Time Trials:

Each team got unlimited practice runs and five official attempts for each dungeon over a period of five days. Awakened was the fourth affix active in every dungeon. Keystones were set to level 19,

The first dungeon was The Underrot with Tyrannical, Teeming, and Bolstering active. Bolstering throws a wrench into the normally Unholy Death Knight favored Underrot, and each team had to decide whether it was best to still try to execute massive pulls built around that Unholy AoE or switch to a set of medium sized pulls with an emphasis on Hunters for single-target damage.

The second Time Trial Dungeon was Fortified/Quaking/Necrotic Kings’ Rest. Last weekend, we saw a huge amount of Beast Mastery Hunters in this dungeon, but that was with Bolstering active. With that brake removed, most of the top teams opted to run a Death Knight in addition to two hunters to facilitate a few big pulls throughout the dungeon.

The final dungeon was Tol Dagor, and the active affixes were Tyrannical, Volcanic, and Sanguine. This is where the biggest shifts in the metagame were seen, as almost every qualifying team switched their tank from Prot Warrior to Vengeance Demon Hunter. This spec brings massive amounts of control against the Sanguien affix, with all three of their utility Sigils playing a role, especially in the parts of this dungeon where enemies like to flee. They also bring fantastic control to the cannon section, and their Chaos Brand also increases the damage of those cannon shots. Dps compositions were generally one Beast Mastery Hunter, one Unholy Death Knight, and one Outlaw Rogue, a spec that remains invaluable in Tol Dagor due to the doors it can open and the way it allows groups to move through the dungeon.

Be sure to catch the action this weekend - the tournament will start at the same time as the EU&Asia cup last weekend, which is one hour earlier than the first Americas&Oceania cup!

About the Author

Dratnos hosts the The Titanforge WoW Podcast. He’s also an Officer in the World 36th guild poptart corndoG, and a commentator for events such as the MDI and the Race to World First! He streams on Twitch, where he likes to review his friends’ logs.