MDI Season 2: Big Brain Strats from Group B

This past weekend was the 2nd of the 3 Group Stage tournaments that are making up this Season of the Mythic Dungeon International (MDI). 24 teams qualified from the one Time Trials to move on to these Group Stages. The weekend prior, we saw the 8 teams of Group A battle against each other for the top prize, and next weekend will be the last 8 teams of Group C. But today all eyes are on Group B, as this was an amazing and intense weekend of competition!

The Group Stage tournaments do have a prize pool split amongst the competing 8 teams, with the winning team of each weekend earning $8,000.00. While winning that prize pool will always be nice, what the teams are really competing for are the two qualifying spots in the Global Finals to take place at the end of this Season, which has a total prize pool of $300,000.00! The teams of Perplexed and Team Name earned those honours in Group A, and this past weekend we saw Complexity and Obey Alliance clinch another two spots. The China Region gets one spot in the Global Finals, and that has already been earned by Aster.Y by winning the China Finals. Two more spots remain for the 1st and 2nd place finishers from next weekend’s Group C competition, and the final spot goes to the winner of the Last Stand tournament!

There is so much MDI action going on that it’s hard to keep up. To help you out, we have been running live coverage of every day of competition, and will be continuing to do so until the end of the Season! If you’re unable to watch it live, or just want a quick recap, check out our MDI Highlights Page.

But you’re here for the Big Brain Strats from the incredible teams of Group B! It is really quite something that we are halfway through Season 2 of the same dungeons, and these teams can still amaze and surprise us with innovative strategies and tactics. Check out the handful we have to show you from this past weekend!

Practice? Puts in the Practice

Sometimes we bring you Big Brain Strats that are mind-boggling in scope and innovation. Other times we bring you Big Brain Strats that are seemingly obvious, but are the kind of thing that most people don’t realize they can do in these dungeons, or just don’t think of. This is the latter, and it’s one of those little things that can have a big impact.

This past weekend, De Other Side was set at a keystone level of 21, with an affix combo of Fortified, Bursting, Storming, and Tormented. The keystone levels and affixes for each dungeon change for each Group Stage tournament, and this particular combination for De Other Side meant the trash was very difficult. Some of the most deadly trash mobs in the dungeon are the Death Speakers, which can easily cause deaths for your team. In their first matchup on Day 1 vs. Baguette, Practice? made use of their group composition’s utility to help combat the deadliness of the Death Speakers, by using the Mage ability Spellsteal. On top of its knockback and high damage abilities, the Death Speaker casts a buff called Death’s Embrace, which provides it with a 100% haste buff for 9 seconds. This is an interruptible spell, and typically speaking you always want to interrupt its cast. However, if you have a Mage on your team, you can let that cast go through for them to Spellsteal. It’s a very minor thing, but it can make a big difference!

Any Warlocks in the Chat?

We have another fun utility strategy to bring you from Practice?, this time in Halls of Atonement. If there’s one thing we love, it’s Warlock utility, especially in the form of super useful Demonic Gateway skips. In the below clip, you can watch as Practice? defeat Halkias, and then proceed to place a Demonic Gateway up on the balcony above. This allows them to avoid the trash on the stairs, and it’s also just slightly faster. After all, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line!

Ambition Gets Ambitious

There’s a lot to unpack in this next clip from GGWow-sponsored team Ambition. It may seem like a standard trash pull, but rest assured it is anything but. There is some next-level tech going on here, so pay attention!

After they have defeated the first boss in Spires of Ascension, Ambition’s healer Ellesmere BoP’s himself and runs around pulling all of the stealthed Forsworn Stealthclaws. He groups them up while the DPS all run around to avoid pulling any away from the group. The team’s tank, Nerf then uses Sigil of Misery on the group of trash to fear them and hold them in place. They then pull the Kyrian Dark-Praetor that stands at the edge of the platform alone, and over to a wall out of line of sight of the Forsworn Stealthclaw pack. The Kyrian Dark-Praetor has a charge ability. It does some pretty significant damage, but the worst part is that it doesn’t move back from where it ends up, instead it continues to cast its abilities from that location. By baiting the charge to the wall, and timing everything perfectly, Ambition is able to get the Kyrian Dark-Praetor in position and grouped up with the rest of the trash for them to AoE down, making it an extremely efficient pull.

On top of all that, they manage to pull Skirmishers and other mobs from the OTHER side of the dungeon. You can see it for a split second on the video, after Ellesmere mounts up to go pull the stealthed mobs, Nerf is visible in the background with a circle marker on his head, running back to his team after having pulled the far side group. The timing of all of this has to be meticulous, as those mobs end up reaching the team just as the fear effect on the Stealthclaws runs out, and they are able to execute an amazingly large and efficient pull. It’s a thing of beauty, really.

It’s the Little Things

Everyone who watches the MDI knows that every second matters. Teams spend hours upon hours trying to figure out new ways to increase their speed in each dungeon. As we have already seen dungeons this Season decided by as little as 2 seconds, any little tip or trick that a team can figure out to gain a second here, or a second there, is worth it.

In Sanguine Depths, the first Tormented mob that the teams kill is Incinerator Arkolath. He is located in the room prior to exiting to the outside where you kill the first boss of the dungeon, Kryxis the Voracious. The standard strat is to use shroud to stealth through this room, then pull Kryxis with all of the trash outside. After Kryxis dies, the teams turn back and kill Arkolath along with the trash in that room.

In the clip below, you can see that Ambition manages to kill Kryxis a few seconds ahead of Obey Alliance. However, as the boss was dying, Obey Alliance did a better job of dragging him backwards. This cuts down their travel time to Arkolath, and they end up pulling that room of trash almost simultaneously with Ambition. It might not seem like much, but again, it’s these little things that the teams do throughout the dungeon that chips away at their overall time. Small moves, but Big Brain Strats!

Ambition Ascending!

When a team starts to practice each dungeon and form their routes, they have to decide a number of things. One of these is the class composition they are going to play, and the covenants of each of those classes. There are some covenant abilities that can bring great utility to MDI-style dungeon pulling, and that work well in synergy with those from other classes. One example is the Kyrian ability available to Protection Warriors, Spear of Bastion, which tethers enemies to a chosen location. It has a number of uses in many dungeons, but check out the clip below as Dratnos explains how Ambition uses it to max efficiency in Theater of Pain.

Group C will be facing off this coming weekend on the Warcraft YouTube Channel. If you’re unable to tune in, make sure to keep up with all of the action on our MDI Highlights page, where we bring you live updates on every game!

This next and last Group will have the remaining 8 teams, including the defending champs of Echo and we cannot wait to see the Big Brain Strats! Stay plugged in to Raider.IO for all things MDI!


About the Author

Hulahoops has been playing WoW since Vanilla. She has recently shelved Retail to go back and re-experience TBC in all its glory, but will one day make her way back to the Shadowlands. In her hey-day, Hulahoops could be found raid-leading in Mythic Progression, or competing in the MDI with her team Angry Toast. Hulahoops is a Holy Paladin in every sense of the term: she moderates the Hammer of Wrath Paladin Class Discord, and she was a practicing Lawyer for 7 years. Judgment isn't just a spell! Hulahoops decided to put the law books away and follow her passion for gaming and esports by joining the team at Raider.IO. In her capacity as Production Manager, Hulahoops oversees events, content, and more!