Mythic+ 101: What to Know For Your First Keystone

Welcome to Mythic+ 101! This educational series aims to provide new players with the foundation they need to get started in Mythic+. In collaboration with the Mythic Plus Friends Discord, we have compiled an array of 101 content series of articles and information to help you on your journey to the vast content and progression system of Mythic+.

Mythic+ is a system that was introduced during World of Warcraft: Legion. Mythic+ was born through merging Challenge Mode Dungeons, which were introduced in Mists of Pandaria, combined with a similar scaling difficulty system of games like Diablo 3. The result was a PvE progression system that players dubbed “Mythic Plus”, “Mythic+”, or sometimes just “M+”. Mythic+ is arguably one of the biggest additions to the game in the last decade, and its popularity seems to know no limit.

In the previous chapter of this series, we talk about the reasons why so many players love Mythic+. In this next chapter of our Mythic+ 101 series, gain some foundational knowledge to get you started in Mythic+, such as dungeon preparation, Affixes, or which addons might be useful as you go deeper down the rabbit hole.

Table of Contents

  Getting Started

To start things off, you will need to set aside enough time to complete the dungeon without having to take a break. Each dungeon has a different time limit, and you do not want to leave your group hanging because you have to leave halfway through the run, or are unable to finish the dungeon if it goes a few minutes over the timer.

Once you start a Mythic+ dungeon, the keystone immediately loses a level, and only by finishing the dungeon and its objectives in time, will you be able to raise your keystone level. I.e. if you start a +7 dungeon, it will turn into a +6 once you start. If you fail the dungeon, or do not finish it in time, it will remain a +6, but if you finish the dungeon within the timer, it will be raised to anywhere from +8 to +10, depending on how fast you manage to complete it. The new keystone cannot be the same dungeon as the one you just finished.

Each dungeon has its own set of benchmarks for the time required to complete a dungeon. If you’re really speedy, you can cause your keystone to upgrade by up to 3 key levels!

DungeonDungeon Timer+2 Key Increase+3 Key Increase
  Vortex Pinnacle30:0024:0018:00
  The Underrot30:0024:0018:00
  Neltharion’s Lair33:0026:2419:48
  Brackenhide Hollow35:0028:0021:00
  The Halls of Infusion35:0028:0021:00
  Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr35:0028:0021:00

Failing the timer is commonly referred to as “depleting” the key. When you deplete a key, your keystone’s level becomes one level lower than your original keystone. If you deplete a key, but finish the dungeon's objectives, your keystone will be of a new dungeon as well. If you do not finish the objectives, your keystone will be of the same dungeon.

Note: If you have a key that is too high for your group to manage, you can intentionally deplete the higher key by resetting the dungeon after you’ve familiarized yourself with your group’s capabilities and the dungeon mechanics. This process is commonly used by groups in order to build familiarity with everything they need to do in a dungeon at a slow pace, before doing it as fast as possible after resetting the key and downgrading it a single level.

  Weekly Affixes

Mythic+ is an advanced version of a Mythic dungeon with difficulty scaling based on the keystone level used at the start of the dungeon. There are also up to a total of three modifiers known as “affixes” that are active in a dungeon that will bring additional challenges to your run. The set of three affixes that are present in keystones rotate each week.

The first affix begins for keys at level 2+ and cycles between Fortified and Tyrannical on a weekly rotation. These two affixes are the staples of Mythic+:

The second affix begins for keys at level 7+ and cycles between:

The third affix begins for keys at level 14+ and cycles between:

You can find a comprehensive list and explanation of all the affixes on our Dragonflight Season Affixes page.

  Weekly Routes

For each set of affixes, Bunten provides our RaiderIO Weekly Route where you can find strategies, helpful tricks and downloadable strategies for every dungeon each week.

While the Weekly Route is aimed at beginner and intermediate level players, we also have our Play Like the Pros, compiled by Biggerfish, that focuses on higher-level play and routes, as shown by some of the best Mythic+ players in the world!

  Dungeon Mechanics

One of the most important ways to prepare for your first Mythic+ run is to study the dungeon mechanics. In each dungeon, you will be faced with both an array of boss and trash mechanics to manage.

To learn more about the mechanics of bosses in each dungeon, check out your in-game Adventure Guide to read about the dungeons boss mechanics.

In order to learn more about trash mobs in dungeons, the addon Mythic Dungeon Tools (MDT) provides useful information such as the trash mob abilities and even what kinds of crowd control work on them.

Open your MDT addon in game and right click any mob to see this display

As we explain later in this chapter, MDT is also widely known as the Mythic+ bread-and-butter addon for the creation and sharing of Mythic+ strategies and routes, so you should definitely check it out. For more information on how to use the Mythic Dungeon Tools addon effectively, please visit the Mythic+ Friends Discord Academy chat where you can gain access to on-demand support from our members.

  Addons & WeakAuras

There are many useful addons that can enhance your Mythic+ experience and help you learn dungeons and mechanics more quickly and effectively. Addons can be either installed manually, or through an addon manager like CurseForge or WowUp.

Below are some of popular addons that can help you get started:


The Raider.IO Addon allows you to view Mythic+ experience and Raid progress of players in the Dungeon Finder, and provides you with a way to track your own progress in a much more detailed fashion. With the help of this addon, you can make decisions on who to invite to your party based on a wide variety of information, drastically improving your odds of beating your next Mythic+ dungeon.


Boss Timer addons provide a way for you to get visible and audible alerts when important trash or boss mechanics are being cast in dungeons. These addons also provide you with timers for a variety of special abilities, so you can prepare for specific mechanics before they are used..


Nameplate addons are very helpful for customizing the standard interface nameplates, in order to make it easier to see the enemy health- and castbars, allowing you to more effectively target individual enemies in dungeons. These addons make it easier to coordinate Crowd Control (CC) and interrupts, which are some of the most important skills to hone if you want to engage and succeed in Mythic+.


Keystone Addons provide enhancements to the base Mythic+ UI for tracking the remaining time in the dungeon, death count, and other useful information such as the exact mobcount you currently have.


WeakAuras (WA) is an incredibly versatile and useful tool, that can help you pay more attention to specific mechanics, cooldowns or really anything you desire if you know how to code or find them. We have compiled a short list of WeakAuras that will be useful when playing Mythic+, but there is a vast amount of WeakAuras out there to find and configure. is one of the best places to find all kinds of WAs that might help you improve your gameplay!

You can open the settings by typing /wa, where you can select and configure each Weakaura individually.

  • Causese’s Dungeon WeakAuras: A variety of different WAs that warn you of dangerous abilities or debuffs by Causese.
  • Mythic+ Auto Marker: You can set up this Weakaura to help you mark enemies with icons like the Skull, Triangle, Moon etc. This can help immensely with assigning interrupts or CCs.
  • Targeted Spells: Mainly used by healers, this WA helps keep track of any spells enemies cast on a random player. This includes dispellable debuffs or high-damage spells, so you will always be prepared for who will be the target of these.


There are many types of consumables that you can make use of during Mythic+. While you may not need to use each of these consumables in each run, being prepared gives you an edge that can help you progress through your Mythic+ journey. Be mindful that while historically some items from previous expansions were still able to be used, now in Shadowlands you will need to use current expansion consumables in most cases.

Flasks, food, and potions provide an extra edge to your performance to help you complete dungeons within the time limit. Here are some other notable items and consumables that are useful for Mythic+:


  • Refreshing Healing Potions: These will immediately replenish a portion of your health, and do not share cooldowns with either offensive combat potions or Healthstones. Health potions are the only potions that do not share a timer with other combat or utility potions, so it’s definitely a good idea to keep a stack of these in your inventory at all times!
  • Healthstones: Much like health potions, healthstones also operate on an independent cooldown and refill a large portion of your health on-use. However, keep in mind that healthstones can only be utilized if you have a Warlock in your party.
  • Potion of the Psychopomp’s Speed: Speed potions give you a significant movement speed boost for a short duration of time, which can be particularly useful for Tanks to be able to gather up trash mobs from the dungeon and bring them to the group.
  • Potion of the Hushed Zephyr: Invisibility potions provide a way to let you skip past certain trash mobs inside of a dungeon, which can be essential for meeting the timer.

Important: Invisibility Potions share a cooldown with your regular offensive combat potion, so you should generally only use one if it part of your group’s pre-planned dungeon strategy


  • Auto-hammer: This provides a way to repair your gear while in a dungeon. Needing to exit out of a dungeon to repair your gear can waste a tremendous amount of time, and easily cause you to miss the timer.
  • Tinker: Arclight Vital Correctors (requires Engineering bracers or helmet): This item allows you to provide an in-combat resurrection, which is normally restricted to just Death Knights, Warlocks, and Druids.
  • Personal Space Amplifier (requires engineering): This is one of many belt enchants that Engineers can use on their own belts in order to allow it to have an on-use effect. This particular one allows you to knock back a single enemy on a 10-minute cooldown, which can be quite helpful on Sanguine weeks or when there is a single mob that just doesn’t want to stack up with the rest of his friends. There are many more belt enchants from previous WoW expansions that all have situational use, so if you are an Engineer, don’t sleep on these!.

  Finding Your First Group

You will always be able to find many different types of Mythic+ groups in the in-game dungeon finder, but there are also Discord servers that provide a great way to search for players to group up with and befriend.

The Raider.IO addon and website are often used in these situations to help find players of similar experience and skill level to run your dungeon with.

  Additional Tips

Coordinate with your group on the route you will be taking ahead of time. Many of the dungeons in Shadowlands are considered non-linear, meaning that you can choose what order in which you’d like to kill certain bosses and/or trash mobs. Therefore, make sure your whole group is following the same plan to help reduce the chance of mistakes. As mentioned previously, the Mythic Dungeon Tools (MDT) addon is an excellent tool to help you and your team plan a strategy in advance!

In fact, utilizing MDT to make strats ahead of time also helps your group plan for Enemy Forces count (trash) in the run. Be very mindful of trash count because it is possible to accidentally defeat all the bosses in some dungeons before you’ve cleared enough trash. If this happens, you will be required to “backtrack” and clear more trash before you meet the Enemy Force criteria to complete your keystone.

You will be unable to swap talents or gear once you begin a Mythic+ dungeon. As such, make sure to update your talents and gear before the start of the dungeon.

More Mythic+ 101 Articles


About the Authors

Seliathan has been playing Rogue for over half his life, since the initial release of WoW over 18 years ago. After a long career of Raid Leading, Theorycrafting, and pushing Mythic+, Seliathan enjoys creating all kinds of PvE content on Twitch, co-hosting the Tricks of the Trade Rogue podcast, contributing to Raider.IO as Staff Writer, and writing guides for Icy Veins.

VitaminP (VP) is the Content Manager of Raider.IO and has worked for the organization since the formation of the News Section in November 2018. Although VP is currently focused on pursuing her Masters of Business Administration, she specializes in tanking classes and has loved doing competitive Mythic+ on and off since early Legion.

MarianasTrench (Mari/Marinara) is a Marksmanship Hunter main who loves to play all classes in Mythic Plus and raiding. He is a staff member at Mythic Plus Friends, and the Guild Master of Dualism. While he loves Mythic raiding and higher Mythic+ content, he also enjoys helping other players get involved and expanding the Mythic+ community through the Mythic Plus Academy at Mythic Plus Friends.