The Weekly Route: Fortified, Bolstering, Storming, and Thundering

This week’s affixes are Fortified, Bolstering, Storming, and Thundering. Fortified Bolstering is a combo that can lead to dangerous timers - one thing that can save some time is pulling less dangerous packs into bosses since bosses do not get Bolstered!

Our routes focus on being easy to execute and making good tradeoffs between skipping the worst enemies while not requiring complicated strategies that are likely to fail in less coordinated groups. For instance, we recommend skipping the fire dragon upstairs in Ruby Life Pools, and flying in to the last boss of Nokhud Offensive without pulling any trash, but don’t advocate any shroud or invis pot skips. There are also some annoying patrols that we generally prefer to pull rather than risk coming into the middle of combat later.

The Weekly Routes

Ruby Life Pools [back to top]

The trash in this dungeon has tanked some moderate nerfs over the season but is still quite deadly - make sure to either focus damage into the larger health mobs or pull them by themselves to avoid a Bolstering problem!

Nokhud Offensive [back to top]

We advocate a skip into the last area of this dungeon by flying in from the south and aiming for a channeling mob on a hill to the left of the path. This is very easy and reliable to execute once you know where it is, but you should make sure your group is familiar with it before starting the key!

Azure Vault [back to top]

Our route includes most of the enemies after the first boss, but some groups prefer to skip these enemies and instead let some of the early Shrieking Whelps casts go off. This can make pulls more efficient but also requires more coordination, so modify the route as suits your group!

Algeth’ar Academy [back to top]

Starting with a big pull in the plant area is a lot of fun but you may want to slow down to save Bloodlust for the first boss, even on Fortified.

Halls of Valor [back to top]

Our route includes some enemies like Ebonclaw Worgs that may not be efficient at higher key levels. Consider cutting this pull if you’re confident you don’t need the space for the boss encounter! In general, this dungeon will require you to make a few double pulls in order to beat the timer if the key level is close to your damage - we have recommended a few ways to do this in our route.

This dungeon has taken some substantial nerfs and should be much safer on the timer relative to other keys of the same level than it was in previous weeks, but if you want a bit of a buffer for mistakes you’ll still want to try and combine a few pulls here and there.

Court of Stars [back to top]

Since the last boss’s nerfs, the second boss is often the best place to make sure you have all of your cooldowns and lust for. Be sure to stack up well to avoid stray explosives.

Starting with a big pull into the docks is a great way to get lust on cooldown, but you can easily substitute this for a slightly easier to pull but harder to kill set of enemies just outside the door of the first building.

Shadowmoon Burial Grounds [back to top]

Void Spawns are very dangerous enemies - there’s one that’s sometimes pulled near the start of the dungeon that will absolutely wipe you this week, especially if it gets bolstered. Only pull the two void spawns at the end of the dungeon, and focus one down quickly! You’ll need to find an enemy or two off the standard path to get your count to full - our route suggests one patrolling Exhumer for this but you can cut this enemy if you accidentally pull anything else earlier.

Temple of the Jade Serpent [back to top]

The end of this dungeon is NASTY with a tough boss into tough trash pulls into another very tough boss. The good news is that the second boss has been nerfed to the point of being relatively easy now, so you can often make it to the end of the dungeon with all of your battle rezzes intact and a bit of room for error.


About the Author

Dratnos hosts the The Titanforge WoW Podcast. He’s also an Officer in the World 22nd guild poptart corndoG, whose raids he streams on Twitch, and is a commentator for events such as the MDI and the Race to World First!