Hello and welcome to the first RaiderIO MDI Team Spotlight! My name is Samantha aka Vitaminpee
and with this series, we hope to help you learn more about the people in the tournament. This week, I interviewed Trell
, and Dylemma
from No Girls Allowed
. Despite being a newly-formed team, they managed to snag the #4 spot in the first West Cup
this past weekend. You may also remember them as “that one team who used a Brewmaster Monk” instead of a Protection Warrior for some of their dungeons. Please check out the links at the bottom of this article to follow their Twitch streams and watch their Time Trials and key pushes live!
“We knew that being a new team would mean many struggles in learning to play together, but we did very well despite the lack of practice time and playtime prior to this Summer MDI. A big part of having efficient practice time is team synergy.”—TrellVitaminP: Hi guys! Can you please tell us a little more about yourselves? Trell
: My name is Trell/Jeremy and I am 26 years old. I have a career in IT outside of WoW, (which is not nearly as fun as doing Mythic+ and MDI), and currently work for an oil company in Dallas, Texas. I am also an avid saxophone player and have a degree in music performance.Undad
: My name is Eddie and I’m a stay-at-home dad right now minus the kids! My girlfriend has been insanely supportive in letting me go ham on these tournaments before going back to work. We live in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania which is like smack dab between Philadelphia and NYC. We have been in this area our whole lives. Outside of WoW, I mostly just watch shows and streams and chill.Edelweiss
: My name is Katie. I am 28 and currently reside in Kentucky. Most Monday through Fridays I work in a physician’s office. My interests outside of WoW would mostly include pets. I have a dachshund, Maggie, and my old mare that I used to show Eventing with as a teenager. Cistara
: My name is Connor. I’m 25 years old and I am a software developer by day. Some of my interests outside of WoW include cars/motorcycles, basketball, and hiking.VitaminP: So really…HOW do you manage working full-time jobs and competing in the MDI? How do you organize your time?Trell
: This is a constant struggle for me. At one point there, I was working full-time, Mythic raiding with a top ~10 US guild, and doing MDI. There is straight-up not enough time for all 3 of those activities, so I decided to drop Mythic raiding first. Even the balance of working while competing in MDI is tough, as practice time is limited right off the bat and puts a handicap on the team. The key to being successful is using our limited time to practice very wisely. Reducing downtime between runs/pulls, planning breaks in advance, mapping out strategies during the day while people are at work, and more little things here and there. Time management is important for any team, and if we want to compete against the highest level teams, we have to go hard.Edelweiss
: A lot of my life is just time management, which I loathe. Most of the time when I log out at night to go sleep and leave while my teammates are still talking in discord, it is because I am attempting to get ahead on things for the next day. Taking care of the little things in advance can allow for quite a bit of time saved later. Undad
: Well, I quit my job a bit ago after saving up a bunch to take some time off so, thats nice! I honestly don’t know how Trell and Edel manage. Cistara
: Personally, I work from home and set my own schedule, so my schedule for this MDI has been fairly flexible. In previous season cups and prior MDIs, it was just finding other things I could sacrifice during the weeks of MDI to allow for more practice time, whether that be raid, requesting time off at work, or anything else along those lines.VitaminP: This most recent MDI shocked a lot of people when Trell played a Brewmaster Monk for a few dungeons. We’ve seen Trell compete as Protection Warrior in Time Trials this past spring and in several dungeons in this recent Cup as well. Was Brewmaster a comfort-pick or have you guys been working on a lot of strats that involve its utility?Trell
: Protection Warrior is still the best tank for MDI for many reasons. It still does a ton of damage, takes zero incoming damage on any size pull as long as it’s Physical damage, and has the very important Spell Reflect
for many bosses and trash mobs. I play Warrior when I have to in order to be competitive, but otherwise, I would much rather play Brewmaster. In several dungeons, I start on Brewmaster to see if I can make it work or find a strategy that is unique to Brew. Most of the time, the sad truth of tank balance forces me to log off and onto my Warrior, but at least I was able to make Waycrest Manor work for Brewmaster in this past MDI Cup. I was able to do quite a few good pulls on Brewmaster, namely Lord and Lady Waycrest with Matron Alma, and a big Transcendence
skip past the captain/guard area. The time of our Waycrest run seemed worth it to bring the brew, and I am very glad I got to bust it out for the live cup as well.Dylemma
: In terms of time for a dungeon, I think they are actually very close despite Prot Warrior maybe looking better on the meters. This heavily changes depending on the dungeon of course, if there’s a dungeon where a Prot Warrior is Spell Reflecting massive damage constantly, then Prot Warrior, on top of everything else, completely outclasses Brewmaster. The advantage of running Brewmaster this time around was with how OP outlaw rogue was. You get that 5% physical damage from Mystic Touch
for your rogues as well as bringing your own utility like Ring of Peace
etc that you are missing from not having that Windwalker Monk. I don’t think Brewmaster is really worth playing anymore now since Rogue was nerfed. Prot Warrior vs. physical damage is just god tier, which is most of the incoming tank damage in dungeons outside of some extreme cases like Kings’ Rest etc. But thanks to Spell Reflect, you can just turn your magic damage weakness into basically a strength :) Prot Warriors can tank more mobs and take way less damage. They take less damage, they do more damage, and it’s as simple as that.Cistara
: I’m not Trell but I’d say it’s a bit of both. Brewmaster isn’t nearly as behind Protection Warrior as people think—especially in some dungeons (but in other dungeons, the gap is wider due to the type of damage intake). So if you combine the amount of utility Brewmaster Monk provides with Mystic Touch, Ring of Peace, Transcendence, and it being a comfort pick for Trell, it made a lot of sense to look at where it was strong (or excelled) and then incorporate it into our team comps.Undad
: Typically our thought process goes, “is there anything about this dungeon that makes Brew better than Prot?” And if the answer’s yes, then we play it. It being a comfort pick for Trell is just a bonus!
Trell the Alaska explorer, MDI competitor, and ladies: he's single.VitaminP: You guys appear to have created a team by merging Learn to Fly (Edel, Dylemma, and Undad) and the Gamer Dads (Trell + Cistara). How did this come about and how long has it taken you to gain synergy with each other?Undad
: Edel, Dylemma and I knew we wanted to play together again this season, but unfortunately, two of our previous teammates Revofevi and Drazztic both wanted to take a step away from WoW after the Spring 2019 MDI ended. We all knew how solid Trell and Cistara were and that they both had some previous MDI experience as well, so we reached out to them and now here we are. It’s honestly pretty wild how quickly the squad has clicked. Realistically, we started playing together 3 weeks before this past Cup, and to pull off a top 4 finish was a pretty big feat for us. This gives us a lot of reasons to be very positive about our potential and excited to push into the top 3!Trell
: The players from Learn to Fly and The Gamerdads have long known one another and competed against each other in the Spring MDI Cups. Both of our teams lost some members afterwards, so we reached out to each other and merged for the best interest of everyone. We knew that being a new team would mean many struggles in learning to play together, but we did very well despite the lack of practice time and playtime prior to this Summer MDI. A big part of having efficient practice time is team synergy. I have to say, our team is very good at recovering from mistakes during a time trial run or a live Cup match. This surprised me because that usually comes after playing with people consistently for a while, but our natural synergy is already showing.Edelweiss
: The merging of our teams just made sense with how little time we had to form before sign ups. I think there was some apprehension from both sides, but when you’re on a time crunch, you just have to look at experience and what is the most realistic option in terms of success. In regards to synergy, I think we are picking up well with one another. It can be difficult to gauge intentions based on inflection over discord..but it is something we are working on. VitaminP: Building onto that, how do you guys come up with and further modify strats? What is the method to your madness? Do you have clearly defined “roles” where certain players shotcall certain things or do you have one defined shotcaller? Trell
: Strategies come from many different sources. Dad, Dylemma and myself design our routes right off the bat and the whole team contributes to agreeing on a route or deciding whether we need to change it mid-practice or not. Just like any other team, we work on our own routes and then modify them as time goes on based on times posted by other teams.
Typically in an MDI team, the shotcaller is the tank or sometimes a dps player. As the tank, I do my fair share of shotcalling. Each of us help shotcall at certain times, which definitely promotes synergy since all the responsibility is not laid on one player. The whole team is very vocal and helps each other out.Undad
: It’s a pretty fluid and dynamic process for us right now. Typically, I’m our early riser so I put together preliminary MDTs for us to start practice with while everyone else is either at work or sleeping. Then from there, we either modify stuff as we practice to get faster, or sometimes the original path is good enough it doesn’t need changing. As for calling, Trell, Dylemma, and I tend to be the most vocal pack to pack and it usually depends on who has the easiest job that pull. That person will usually be shot-calling, and then it varies depending on the next pull, etc. That’s not to say Cistara and Edel aren’t vocal, as they’re insanely helpful on particular packs in voice comms, just that the role is typically taken by us 3 cause we don’t know how to shut up.Cistara
: All of us will shotcall different things. The biggest thing about a new team is just communication, so we’re all calling kicks/CC’s and communicating what is happening, what should happen next, etc. The only time that there is a very clear defined role is when each DPS has an idea for something we should do, Trell just says he’s going to make a call and we all roll with it.Dylemma
: I have been obsessed with MDT (Method Dungeon Tools
) since it launched. Making paths and being creative is just something I enjoy a lot. A few of us come up with pathings, we take what we like and run it from there. If something goes wrong with what we wanted to do in the dungeon, we talk it over and see if we want to change or think of ways to make the pulls easier on ourselves. I wouldn’t say there's roles—there’s places where different situations call for different things. Different people help with different things in different situations; that’s all I can sum it up to. For example, if the tank needs to really focus on himself for a pull, then I or someone else might call kicks for the tank.
Edelweiss, healer for No Girls Allowed and just one of the boys.VitaminP: As I’m sure you’d expect, there has been a decent amount of controversy over your team name No Girls Allowed, including an issue over the hashtag people could use to vote for your team on Twitch when fans made win-lose predictions. Do you guys have anything to say about people’s reactions? What was the idea behind the name?Trell
: Haha, we made the team name as a simple joke for sure. The joke is there are no girl gamers in the West tournament (that we know of) except for our healer, Edelweiss. We are champions of equality, one could say. Edel is a good friend of mine. The cherry-on-top to all the uproar over our name was when we discovered that the abbreviation for our team name could not be typed out in Twitch chat, as it got automatically deleted by moderation! We busted out laughing when we saw that happening. The mods quickly changed the abbreviation to #GIRL though, so it’s all good now. Edelweiss
: Personally, it was a joke. I go out of my way at times to make it seem like I’m one of the boys. People say “guys and Edel” to which I usually respond, “No..I’m a boy too.” Then they hit me with the assumed side-eyes. Cistara
: It was a joke—A way to poke fun at the fact that we’re (as far as I’m aware) the only West team with a girl on our roster. If you took offense to it, you should probably do a bit more research and try not to get offended by everything you see. Undad
: I mean, we have the only girl competing in the West tournament on our team and our name is ironic and fun because of that. In my eyes the name was sort of a jab at people who overreact to dumb stuff, and then those same people overreacted to our name, so mission accomplished :)VitaminP: What can we expect to see from you guys in the next West Time Trials/Cup? Are you working on any new comp changes after the most recent round of nerfs/buffs?Cistara
: We’ll definitely be looking at running different comps, since the triple Outlaw comp probably won’t be the best in most scenarios, but it could possibly see some play. We’re going to look at incorporating Windwalker for sure and maybe some Death Knight or Warrior DPS, but that’s yet to be seen and will most likely be very dungeon/affix dependant.Dylemma
: It’s really hard to say. Outlaw in the damage department definitely got a heavy nerf
, but they were so far ahead it kind of just brings them back to reality/slightly below most DPS. But you bring Rogues/Outlaw for the insane utility/conveniences that the spec has. No class in the game can even come close to competing with what Rogue brings to a dungeon, specifically Outlaw. You won’t be seeing triple Rogue anymore though unless you cannot do what you want without 3 Shrouds. Death Knight was already pretty good for MDI and they got buffed, so I would expect a lot of Death Knight play from teams in more dungeons than usual. The more common comp is generally going to be back to double Rogue + Windwalker Monk again though. The 5% damage buff monk brings and Ring of Peace is too good not to bring in most cases, as well as Windwalker damage being very respectable and competitive with Rogue now. Trell
: The nerfs to Outlaw Rogue definitely brought their damage down a lot, but will it really change group compositions that much? I personally don’t think so. Maybe now there will be 2 Rogues on each team instead of 3, but there will be at least 1 Rogue at minimum. We might see more Windwalker Monks and Unholy Death Knights (the Season 2 meta all over again). That is my realistic prediction, at least.Undad
: We’ll certainly be experimenting with other comps, but I’m of the mindset that Outlaw is still the best M+ spec in the game even post-nerf. Windwalker will likely be a more common pick as opposed to 3x Rogue and I expect some Death Knight and Warrior DPS may sneak into upcoming comps as well.VitaminP: How do you guys feel about nearly taking a win from Method EU? Has this given you more confidence going into the next cup?Undad
: It was both a confidence boost as well as heartbreaking. The confidence boost came from knowing we had the best Shrine path in the tournament if executed properly. However, we lost maybe 2+ minutes from really small mistakes that I wish we could go back and fix in hindsight.
I think all of us have believed we could hang with the big boys if we were able to mesh together quickly enough, and Cup 1 showed us that we have a lot of potential as a team. So yeah, we’re super psyched for next Time Trials and Cup to try to break through into the elite!Trell
: We were very close to taking a map off the Method EU lads. Our Shrine of the Storm route was great, so it was a bummer we had 2 mistakes that cost us about a minute+ of time. Watching other Shrine keys in this Cup, I think we might have had the best route, which is definitely a confidence boost. I think we have some good potential!Cistara
: Yeah definitely, we were very proud of our Shrine route. We messed up two things in the Cup run that we didn’t have happen in practice, so we could have gone considerably faster (1-2 minutes), which definitely shows us that we’re doing some things right and just need to make small improvements going forward to be able to compete with the top teams.Edelweiss
: Definitely. I 1000% caused one of the mistakes we had in Shrine. I targeted the enforcer to make sure I had the correct one and set it as my focus. My trinket, Leviathan’s Lure, then pulled the enforcer and the Deepsea Ritualist pack next to it which resulted in at least 30/45 seconds lost. We have a very fast shrine route if everything plays out well.Dylemma
: I don’t feel any different. I’ve never had the mindset of “oh lord these players are so mighty, how will we ever win?” I’ve always felt that beating any team is a possibility; I personally wouldn’t play if I didn’t think so. I’m in it to win. Yes it’s fun playing and everything, but my goal is always to win and I am fully confident in doing that. Given our time constraints, I will say it’s definitely not an easy task. No excuses, though. We will always give it our best and that’s all you can ask for at the end of the day.
“The most important thing to the competition is time efficiency during practice. Being able to quickly identify whether a pull is just too hard, or needs a little practice is an invaluable skill that can’t really be taught, yet it helps so much when it comes to prepping for 6 different dungeons in 48 hours.”—UndadVitaminP: What aspects do you hope to improve upon for the next Time Trials and West Cup? What have you learned through the experience so far and have you encountered any unforeseen obstacles that you didn’t think about prior to competing this past weekend? Undad
: I think for me, the Spring Season MDI taught me a ton and now I sort of feel like a veteran already. The most important thing to the competition is time efficiency during practice. Being able to quickly identify whether a pull is just too hard, or needs a little practice is an invaluable skill that can’t really be taught, yet it helps so much when it comes to prepping for 6 different dungeons in 48 hours. Mostly, what we’ve learned from this first cup and time trials is how to function as a team. It’s obviously a stressful environment under the circumstances, so getting to a state where you can differentiate criticism from flame doesn’t happen instantly when you’re playing with new people. I’m really proud of how quickly all 5 of us were able to get to that place and I think it helped us to improve super rapidly.Edelweiss
: One of our biggest issues last MDI was time wasted. We had dungeons where we only focused on one or two pulls in a dungeon and just tried to piece the rest together last minute. I think we are getting a lot more value out of our time this go around, even on a more restricted schedule. Trell
: Since all of us have competed in MDI before, we all knew what to expect and how the whole process generally works. The only new obstacle for me personally was playing nearly back-to-back matches on Sunday, which was very taxing. By the last match we played against Method NA, I was super tired and did not play well. I’ll be better prepared for that scenario next time around. Cistara
: Just being able to roll with the punches even if you don’t necessarily agree on everything your teammates do/say. Keep an open mind and communicate as much as possible. Dylemma
: With the current format for MDI, being efficient with your time and knowing what you want to pull and try out day 1 is key. When you’re at the caliber of the top 1-6th place teams, it’s all about having the best strategy possible and executing it non-stop until you perfect it. This comes with a lot of hours put into the game practicing over and over. You can always improve being more efficient with your time as well as learning from other teams, what went right for them, what went right for us and learning from that. Sometimes you make pulls that make sense on paper but in reality are much harder and less efficient because of the difficulty. Keep it simple; find a balance between hard and easy while also being efficient. Those are 3 keys things I look for. VitaminP: Is there anything else you want our viewers to know about you or your team? Undad
: It is important that everyone knows that Edel has a different left and right from everyone else. SO for example on a boss like Michimba in Kings’ Rest, Trell will call to move left after the fire, and then I have to ask, “Is that Edel’s left or my left?” and then we die to fire.Edelweiss
: Hahaha. I’ve tricked these guys into carrying me. Trell
: We are a bunch of chill guys and girl(s)! Dad and I stream regularly, so please feel free to come by and say hello or cheer us on. We are looking forward to the next cups—our goal is to make it to Blizzcon.
About the AuthorVitaminpee
mains a Brewmaster and loves to do competitive Mythic+. She is the Social Media Manager for Big Dumb Gaming
and is attending Graduate School to pursue her Masters of Business Administration. She is a partnered Twitch streamer
and Discord Partner who plays all tanks at max level and loves pushing keys with her friends.