Patch 9.1.5 - What's New for Mythic+ and Raiding?
With Patch 9.1.5 right around the corner, several core game systems are changing dramatically. In this article, we’ll go through the direct and indirect ramifications of these changes for Mythic+ and Raiding — both now, and for the future content patches of Shadowlands.
Table of Contents
AoE Cap is Gone!
The “AoE Cap” has been rolled back for most specs that were affected (with a few notable exceptions, such as Outlaw Rogue). Rather than having all or almost all of their damage stop at 5 or 8 targets, most abilities will now continue to deal damage beyond that point, but that damage will be reduced. For specs that had a hard cap at 5, this means going from 50% damage effectiveness at 10 targets to about 75%. While this is a massive increase, there is still a difference between those specs and the specs that are entirely uncapped.
The implications for the Mythic+ metagame are not entirely clear, though there are some likely winners among specs already doing well such as Frost Mage and Windwalker Monk. Regardless, the gameplay experience for most specs should improve and it’ll be worth experimenting with specs you may have written off in the previous patches!
For raid, this change is not going to be very important — the AoE cap was noticeable on a few fights like Sun King’s Salvation and Kel’thuzad, but it was rarely a pivotal weakness for specs and little will change with its removal.
Covenant Restrictions Lifted
Once you reach Renown 80 for any character on your account, you’ll be able to freely swap Covenants by visiting the ambassadors in Oribos. You’ll also be able to skip the Korthia campaign and Covenant campaigns you’ve already done on your account and boost up to Renown 40, though you will still need to earn Renown up to 80 to be fully set up.
This change has huge quality of life implications for players that want to maximize their character in multiple forms of content. Instead of having to choose between your BiS covenant for Raid, Mythic+, and PvP; or similar dilemmas for your different specs, you can now prepare all three and swap based on the content you’re doing. For some classes, this is more relevant than for others — Warlocks, for example, will feel little difference as they could already do everything at peak efficiency as Night Fae.
Even if you specialize in just one spec and only one form of content, this change still opens up new possibilities for you. For instance, groups will no longer need to jump through hoops to make sure they have players of all four covenants to cover the powerful covenant specific buffs in each dungeon, and can instead encourage (force) one player (the healer) to swap as needed.
Raiding players also have new options with this change, though the time it takes to go to Oribos and swap covenants means it won’t be something most raid groups will allow during farm clears. However, during raid progression, the power of flexibility will be huge for Mythic raiders, who gain access to flexing over to a slight DPS loss and gaining Soulshape for fights like Painsmith Raznal, or swapping between the one minute cadence of Resonating Arrow and the two minutes of Wild Spirits as the current fight demands.
Ultimately, there will be extra value to be gained by learning and preparing all of the potentially useful covenants for your class; but if you’re not interested, you will be able to be just fine by sticking with your preferred choice. The benefits of the swaps mentioned above will only be truly relevant at the very highest levels of the game and, below that level, the value of playing what you’re comfortable with and enjoy will likely outweigh those benefits.
Patch 9.1.5 brings Legion Timewalking! Six Legion dungeons are returning, and you’ll be able to do them with special Timeworn Keystones that can be obtained during the Legion Timewalking event. This event will run for two weeks the first time it’s up, and then one week like other Timewalking events in future.
Unlike other Timewalking events, Legion Mythic+ won’t let you use old expansion gear or scale your character down, but will instead scale the dungeons up to your current Shadowlands characters. You will be able to earn gear and progress towards your Mythic+ Great Vault slots, but Legion items won’t appear in the vault. There are a few potentially exciting items available here, although Blizzard has made some adjustments to make sure there’s nothing too powerful. Regardless, you can always take a look through the loot lists yourself and see if you can think of something they missed!
Legion Timewalking will also re-open the Mage Tower and allow you to earn a re-color of your Tier 20 Mythic armor set, plus a special mount if you can do all 7 challenges (which will require multiple characters). Learn more about Legion Timewalking from Blizzard’s official preview!
Alt Catch Up - Quality of Life Changes
There have been a few other features added to make playing alts (or returning mains) a little better in Patch 9.1.5. Korthia is gaining a few new ways to speed up your progression and, of course, the above mentioned Covenant flexibility and campaign swaps are huge for alts. Players will also be able to do Torghast all in one sitting, as rewards will no longer be timegated behind the weekly lockout. Additionally, Soul Cinder gains have been doubled, so legendaries will be much faster and easier to acquire. You will also be able to destroy any legendary and regain the Soul Ash and Soul Cinders used to craft it, though this process will be somewhat costly as you’ll need to purchase or craft another base item.
The Maw intro quest will be skippable for alts, and Threads of Fate is being upgraded to include Torghast leveling options with a daily quest. However, the experience balancing may be a little low for this option, and the Threads of Fate bonus objectives and World Questing experience gains have been rebalanced to be much stronger. You’ll also be able to transfer Anima between your characters if you need to.
Conduit Energy Gone
Also, they finally deleted Conduit Energy lol.
For more details on Patch 9.1.5, check out Blizzard’s Content Update Notes here.
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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.