MDI Time Trials Analysis & Cup Preview: EU/Asia Division #1

The Mythic Dungeon International (MDI) is upon us, and the first Cup of the 2020 Season is happening this weekend! Learn more about when it’s happening and how to watch here! This weekend will feature teams from the EU & Asia Division, and eight fantastic teams have qualified after competing in a set of Time Trial dungeons.

The Teams

Let’s set the stage by introducing, from fastest to slowest qualifying times, the eight teams! The First Seed is Perplexed, which is a powerhouse team of four former Abrakeydabra players joined by Wolfdisco.

In the Second Seed, half a minute behind Perplexed, are the defending MDI champions, Method EU! This team has undergone no roster changes since taking home the championship at Blizzcon last year, and they have a history of consistent excellence in clutch situations even beyond their impressive Time Trials performances.

The Third Seed is Self Reliance, a team that features players who push impressive keys on the live servers and a set of DPS players that can each play basically all of the most popular MDI specs.

In Fourth, Deplete from Beyond is another new combination of MDI veterans, with Drjay and Rentari joining forces. Drjay is known for his Mage gameplay, and they’ve already put the blue class to work in the Time Trials!

The Boys are the Fifth Seed, a group of very high key pushers who have competed together before, and who teamed up to put some characters at the very top of the live leaderboards in previous seasons, with Petko known for his remarkable Elemental Shaman play. During the Time Trials he played Beast Mastery Hunter, but the chances are good that if we do see an Elemental Shaman in this tournament, it’ll be him!

Paint for Fem are another returning MDI team who made it to the Sixth Seed in the Time Trials. Fem is their eponymous hero, but other players on the team are well known, including Sjele who is a world class Warlock in addition to a capable MDI multiclasser. In the Time Trials, every single player on this team played more than one spec.

In the Seventh Seed, The Doppler Effect have qualified using a Mage in all three of their Time Trial runs! This is going to be an exciting team to watch as they try to take down Method EU with the power of Combustion.

The Eighth Seed is Poulukka, another team you may recognize from previous MDIs. Don’t let the seeding fool you - this team should not be counted out, and aside from the top two seeds, every qualifying team’s three combined runs total within five minutes of each other.

The Time Trial Dungeons

These are the dungeons that were played during the Time Trials:

Each team got unlimited practice runs and five official attempts for each dungeon over a period of five days. Awakened was active in every dungeon (and, presumably, will be for the rest of the tournament). Keystones were set to level 19,

The first dungeon was Freehold, with Bolstering, Explosive, and Tyrannical active. Freehold is normally a dungeon that encourages Unholy Death Knight comps in the MDI, as those comps can melt massive pulls in a matter of seconds. Both Bolstering and Explosive throw a wrench in this plan, however, so only two teams chose to run Unholy Death Knights, though one of them was Perplexed with the fastest time in the dungeon by the better part of a minute. Almost all of the other qualifying compositions were Prot Warrior, Mistweaver Monk, one Outlaw Rogue, double Beast Mastery Hunter, with The Doppler Effect playing their signature Fire Mage/Havoc Demon Hunter instead of the Hunters.

Beast Mastery Hunters are poised to do very well in this tournament. There are a few dungeons, like Freehold, where Unholy Death Knight can blast off if the affixes are favorable, but for the unfavorable affixes and the other dungeons, Beast Mastery offers high, flexible, and reliable DPS at any number of targets without relying on cooldowns or much pathing adjustment on their behalf.

The second Time Trial Dungeon was Fortified, Teeming, Quaking Mechagon Junkyard. This was these teams first shot at the wide open half of Mechagon in an MDI setting, and all of the qualifying teams again landed on Prot Warrior/Mistweaver Monk compositions, usually accompanied by a pair of Unholy Death Knights to blow up massive pulls, and either a Havoc Demon Hunter or a Beast Mastery Hunter to provide more consistent damage and support.

Notably absent from this dungeon’s top eight runs was even a single Rogue, as teams felt they needed the higher damage offered by the other specs more than they needed the Rogue utility toolkit. This is a huge shift from previous MDI seasons, when Rogues were in almost every group in almost every dungeon.

The final dungeon was Siege of Boralus with Fortified, Raging, and Bursting active. Here we saw the widest range of comps, with Paint for Fem busting out the wildest one we’ve seen so far:

Demon Hunter tanks have a history of use in specifically this dungeon due to the power of Sigil of Misery to crowd control enemies for a long period of time even while damaging them using an Ashvane Spotter, but this is also the only Holy Paladin or Demonology Warlock run from a qualifying team in these Time Trials. Most other teams opted for the standard Prot Warrior/Mistweaver Monk combo, though The Boys ran a Resto Druid, which is remarkably the only qualifying run with that healer spec, which was until recently the dominant MDI healer. The DPS comps were somewhat diverse, with most teams opting for a Rogue and at least one Beast Mastery Hunter, but the third slot varying between Hunter and Demon Hunter. Even some Mages, a Death Knight, and of course Sjele’s Warlock made it onto the list.

That’s it for this article - let’s see what happens this weekend when the teams meet head-to-head on these and many other maps!

Related Interviews

- Method EU Team Spotlight (MDI 2019 Blizzcon Finals)
- Paint for Fem Team Spotlight (MDI 2019 Summer Season)
- Drjay Player Spotlight (2019)
- Sjeletyven Player Spotlight (2019)
- Ashine Player Spotlight (2019)
- Anda Player Spotlight (2020)

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.