An Inside Look: MDI Shadowlands Season 2

Get Hyped for the Shadowlands Season 2 Mythic Dungeon International (MDI)!

The Season 2 MDI is just around the corner. This season features some exciting changes in the format that dramatically improve the format for both players and viewers, and the metagame has been shaken up since last season with the introduction of the Tormented affix as well as class and covenant tunings!

Table of Contents

Schedule and Format Changes

Many improvements have been made to the schedule that are already proving to make the MDI more attractive to competitors. In particular, the number of Time Trial periods has been cut down from four to just one. Also, the Time Trial format has been modified to look a little more like the Great Push format, where keys are leveled up rather than just run for speed. However, there will be a cap on how high the keys can go, at which point teams will instead begin to compete for time.

The Season 2 Time Trials are coming very soon. They begin on Wednesday, August 18th and will end six days later. The top 24 teams out of the Time Trials will then qualify for the Group stage of the tournament, which will happen over the first three weekends of September. These weekends will look a lot like the MDI Cup weekends of the past, but notably, only 8 of the 24 teams will play in each one, with the top 2 finishers from each weekend Qualifying for the Global Finals.

One qualifying team from China will join the six teams from the rest of the world who qualify through the group stages, plus one last slot that will be awarded to the winner of a new “Last Stand” Tournament at the start of October. The Last Stand lets any team that didn’t qualify through other means have a shot at the Global Finals.

These changes represent large improvements for the players. Although the MDI Prize Pool remains around the same size as last season (it’s up to $380,000 this season), the decision to compete has become far more profitable for players who think they can win, as they now get their shot at almost all of that prize pool with just one Time Trial weekend, one Group stage weekend, and then the Global Finals, rather than last season’s format of four Time Trials + four Cup Weekends. Money aside, the lowered time commitment frees up competitors to do more streaming and reduces burnout.

So with that being said…who are the best MDI teams in the world?

The Best Teams in the World

The most exciting part of this season’s MDI from the perspective of a viewer has to be the number of high caliber teams that are looking to compete. There are already almost 300 registered teams, though several of those are likely just players looking for Tournament Realm access. If you want to sign up for the MDI, signups are still open.

Returning champions and recently crowned World First raiders, Echo, are the favorites, but their fearless tank, Naowh, is taking this season off. Despite having one roster change for this MDI season, Echo will still likely be the most formidable opponent of the tournament.

Most of the other top teams from last season of the MDI will also be returning, along with a few new types of team. For starters, some teams that previously competed in high keys on the live servers and more recently The Great Push have signed up for the MDI. It will be exciting to see how their key pushing skills transfer to the speedrunning format. Some new teams have also appeared on the signup page, composed of Raiders from high-end raiding guilds. Finally, if you followed Mythic+ back in BFA and Legion, you may recognize some returning players who have thrown their hats into the ring once again!

With 24 slots coming out of the time trials, the opportunities to compete have increased, but the level of competition appears to be increasing concurrently, so the action should be exciting to see!

Want to see the teams who have signed up for the MDI so far? Click here to check them out!

A New Meta

Last MDI saw a metagame comp congeal fairly solidly around the Vengeance Demon Hunter, Holy Paladin, Fire Mage core, with the remaining spots filled by specs like Elemental Shaman, Shadow Priest, Balance Druid, Unholy Death Knight, and Windwalker Monk. This season’s metagame of course remains unknown, so let’s take a quick survey of what it might look like!

For damage dealers, all of the specs mentioned above remain likely to see play. Windwalker Monk in particular deals an incredible amount of damage this patch, and may be promoted to core member of the group. The Mage slot may be ceded to specs like the Elemental Shaman or it may change specs (though counting out Fire in Mythic+ is always done at one’s own risk)! Havoc Demon Hunter is also a candidate for play this season, as it deals consistently high damage and brings the Chaos Brand debuff, along with having a powerful Covenant Legendary that further enhances its AoE burst.

In the tank role, Vengeance Demon Hunter remains strong, but depending on how high the keystones go, there may be a desire for the incredible sturdiness of the Guardian Druid. In terms of pure damage, Protection Paladins may also be able to shave the most time off the dungeon if they can survive the biggest pulls. There are also compelling strengths of the other three tank specs that make it honestly impossible to write any of them off at this point.

For healers, however, the likely answer appears to almost certainly be the Holy Paladin, as they continue to deal the most damage. If the keystone level gets high enough that other healers are able to heal something that a Paladin struggles with, this may change, but it’s likely that the MDI will be played at a level where Holy Paladin shines the brightest, with Discipline Priests perhaps seeing play in specific dungeons.

Closing Thoughts

The Shadowlands Season 2 MDI appears to be shaping up well. Between format changes, new and veteran teams entering the competition, and a potentially wider variety of classes in the meta, we are anticipating an exciting tournament this season.

If you’d still like to sign up for the MDI, click here before it’s too late!


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.