The Weekly Route: Fortified, Bolstering, Skittish, and Reaping

This week’s affixes are: Fortified, Bolstering, Skittish and Reaping.

Bolstering is the affix that takes center stage this week, while the other affixes play more of a supporting role. Skittish, in fact, is a little easier to deal with this week than most, as on many packs you’re forced by Bolstering to manage your damage and all attack the target with the most health, which makes the tank’s job easier. Fortified really places all of the emphasis on these trash pulls, while boss encounters and Reaping waves will be a welcome break from the strain of handling Bolstering.

For some tips on handling Bolstering, check out this guide:



The Weekly Routes





For each dungeon, there are two different Method Dungeon Tools (MDT) routes available – a “Basic” route and an “Expert” route. The Basic routes follow a few restrictions: they don’t feature massive pulls, they don’t require special class abilities like Shroud of Concealment to facilitate skipping mobs, and they don’t require the use of death skips. They also don’t require you to leave anything crowd controlled for too long.

The expert routes, by contrast, often call for advanced pulls and skips. Sometimes, these skips require specific classes like Death Knight, Demon Hunter, or Rogue - but often they can be done by many different group compositions, just in slightly different ways. Every skip in these routes features a full explanation if you mouse over the corresponding number.

If you’re a coordinated team, you should start with the Expert routes and remove pulls/skips that you can’t do. If you need help making any such for your team's strengths and weaknesses, ask me when I'm streaming or get in touch with me using any of the contact info in my RaiderIO Profile!

Click on the COPY MDT IMPORT STRING button and you’ll be able to paste that string into the the "Import" window of your Method Dungeon Tools addon and get the route for yourself! Each of these routes contains annotations about how to do each pull and which enemies to crowd control, where to Bloodlust, etc. The annotations and drawings make these routes take a few minutes to Share using MDT’s in-game share function, so consider clearing them before sharing with your group-mates!


Atal'Dazar [back to top]



Atal’dazar can be rough when Bolstering is active if your group has trouble focusing damage. You can get particularly slowed when handling Toxic Saurid pulls - so this week, the Basic route is designed to pull as few of those as possible!

Be careful when pulling Gilded Priestesses with other enemies this week - the Priestesses may die earlier than the other mobs and spread around unnecessary Bolsters, so don’t kill them with Transfusion until the other enemies are ready to die as well.

As the metagame has shifted away from Death Knights, our Expert routes no longer plan to take control of an undead enemy and kill it after Yazma to avoid the final Reaping wave, but this strategy is still excellent if you have access to it!

Read more on Atal’Dazar Dungeon Abilities.






Freehold [back to top]



This week the crew you’re joining is the Bilge Rats, which means Captain Eudora will be friendly in the second boss encounter. This is the easiest lineup of bosses for that encounter, and coupled with Fortified, it trivializes an encounter that can be backbreaking on many weeks.

The trash encounters in this dungeon are going to be the main source of troubles for your group. Our Expert route plans to skip almost all of the trash near Skycap’n Kragg to avoid Bolstering up any Irontide Enforcers. Cutwater Harpooners can also be problematic this week: if they get Bolstered, they can start killing members of your group quite easily; and if they pull in a ranged DPS player, that player might then get killed due to Skittish, as the amount of threat needed to rip aggro from the tank is lower if you’re in melee range.

Read more on Freehold Dungeon Abilities.





Kings' Rest [back to top]



No matter the affixes, our Basic route in Kings’ Rest is always going to look pretty similar, due to the linear nature of the dungeon. The primary difference, week-to-week, is where Bloodlust gets the most value - on Fortified weeks like this one, we recommend using it on trash rather than bosses, and to especially try to have it available for the Shadow of Zul.

Like in Atal’dazar, our Expert route used to plan for a Death Knight to take control of an undead enemy and kill it after King Dazar to avoid the final Reaping wave. We now no longer assume your group has access to this, but it remains a powerful strategy if you do, and you should rework the Route to use it.

Read more on Kings’ Rest Dungeon Abilities.





Shrine of the Storm [back to top]



Bolstering Shrine of the Storm is never easy - one of the big problems is that there are challenging mini-bosses that are surrounded by enemies with very low health totals. It’s possible that these enemies are among those that will “no longer trigger on-death affixes” as of Patch 8.1.5, but if they aren’t, the best strategy to handle these mini-bosses is to skip all of them entirely, which is exactly what our Expert route does. This is a technique worth mastering anyway, as many top teams are using it every week to avoid the minibosses, enemies which slow down the dungeon and don’t offer enough count to make up for it.

Both of our Routes plan to skip the final Reaping wave by killing some Abyssal Eels after Vol’zith the Whisperer. Our Expert route also plans to skip the penultimate Reaping wave by triggering it during a death skip - this is tricky to execute on Bolstering week as it’ll dramatically increase the damage that goes out during the skip, so try to do it before getting in combat with too many enemies!

Read more on Shrine of the Storm Dungeon Abilities.





Siege of Boralus [back to top]



As usual, our Siege of Boralus routes are based off the Horde pathing and will require some modification if you’re Alliance.

Bolstering in this dungeon is very challenging, but also offers you the opportunity to abuse the Ashvane Spotters far more than is normally possible. Our Expert route plans to do just that, skipping ahead to the third Spotter and then backtracking, bolstering it up to massive size and killing almost half of the dungeon’s Enemy Forces with it. Our Expert route even plans to keep the Spotter around and use it to 1-shot tentacles during the last boss encounter. The challenges of this strategy are mostly found when dealing with large enemies like Ashvane Commanders, which have more health than their nearby friends and are also immune to damage from the Ashvane Spotter.


Read more on Siege of Boralus Dungeon Abilities.




Temple of Sethraliss [back to top]



This is a great week for Temple of Sethraliss - any Fortified week is good news for this keystone, and the small pack sizes make Bolstering less difficult to manage than in most dungeons. There are a few pulls that can be somewhat annoying with Bolstering, but luckily there’s enough flexibility in the Enemy Forces count that our Expert route can skip the worst offenders. Even though it’s a Fortified week, we recommend using Bloodlust primarily on bosses in this dungeon - especially the third one.

Like Kings’ Rest, Temple is a dungeon where our Basic route does not vary much week-to-week, due to the very linear path of the dungeon. Our Expert route plans to skip the final two Reaping waves - the first by triggering it during a death skip, and the second by triggering it as the final boss encounter finishes.

Read more on Temple of Sethraliss Dungeon Abilities.





The MOTHERLODE!! [back to top]



Bolstering and Fortified are two of the most difficult Motherlode affixes, and they require extremely tight technical play from your group. Many of the packs in this dungeon feature lethal enemies that also happen to have uniquely sized health pools, so managing your damage to prevent Bolstering problems is both difficult and mandatory to avoid boosting these enemies into one-shot damage range. You also can’t afford to slow down too much in here, as the total amount of damage you have to do to trash on Fortified weeks is quite high. Our Expert route plans to attack this with a few pulls that involve intricate crowd controlling of large enemies to facilitate clearing out all the smaller ones at once - if you can execute these kinds of pulls it will likely be your best chance at timing this keystone at higher levels this week.

Read more on The MOTHERLODE!! Dungeon Abilities.





The Underrot [back to top]



Bolstering is pretty manageable in this dungeon. The most obvious problems are pulling Underrot Ticks with any other enemies, but there are no such pulls that are mandatory. Other than that, Bolstering a Feral Bloodswarmer is a potential path to death - keep pulls involving these enemies small, and keep a good mix of easy and hard enemies in each of these pulls.

If you follow our Expert Route, you’ll also have a spot just after Cragmaw the Infested where you’ll be fighting several enemies but a Reaping wave will spawn after any one of them dies - it likely won’t be a problem this week since you’re already focusing on killing things evenly, but it’s worth noting.

Read more on The Underrot Dungeon Abilities.




Tol Dagor [back to top]




The Heavy Cannon strategy is alive and well - Bolstering can sometimes be a slight pain if you’re not careful and pull too haphazardly with cannons - AoE grouping effects like slows, mass grip, and Ursol’s Vortex are your best friend this week to keep cannon targets all in the blast zone at the same time. Since Season 2 began, our routes have been avoiding the arsonists in the corner of the Detention Block that could potentially get pulled during the Jes Howlis encounter - if your group often accidentally pulls these, make sure to kill them before the fight rather than Bolstering the boss!

This dungeon is also an exception to our rule for the Basic routes that no specific classes or abilities are required - the route is designed for a group with either a Rogue or a player with items from their profession that can open the doors. If you don’t have access to either of those, the dungeon is extremely linear and you should just pull the enemies that are in your way and avoid any that aren’t!

Read more on Tol Dagor Dungeon Abilities.





Waycrest Manor [back to top]



Devouring Maggots no longer bolster on death, so this dungeon is actually quite forgiving this week! Out in the courtyard, Matron Bryndle is a particularly tough target that is easily Bolstered by the three Jagged Hounds in her pull - be very disciplined with your damage to prevent that from happening, or have a DPS player get threat on the hounds while the tank pulls the Matron far away for bolstering stacks. This can also be an issue with another pull in the courtyard, but the witch in that pull is not immune to cc, so we recommend solving the problem that way instead.

Read more on Waycrest Manor Dungeon Abilities.









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About the Author


Dratnos is a Rogue main and host of The Titanforge WoW Podcast. He’s also an Officer in the World Top 50 guild Poetry Club. He loves playing all three Rogue specs, and creates guides to them along with other content on his YouTube channel. He streams on Twitch, where he likes to review his friends’ logs.