Quick background: Hi everyone! I’m a semi-casual player (personal aims are AotC/KSM). This is my first season learning about keys properly after quitting midway through legion. I threw gold at boosters at the end of BfA to get geared (and to see what a 15 was like) but didn’t want to do so again. Throughout the climb I was just surprised how much more attentive I had to be with my own class utility as it related to each individual pull, and I found myself breaking down each pull to make sure our group got through them safer, instead of just thinking ‘how do I time this whole key?’ and focusing on dps all the time. DPS seems to come naturally from knowing your rotation, but knowing my utility helped me time keys. Now that I have KSM, I’d like to share what I learnt along the way for all you enhancement players looking to push into 9.05. Hopefully this will be of some help! I’m not planning to push any higher than 15. I’m sure there’s more to learn to push them but I don’t know how yet. I have found 16s to be very tough but I’m very happy with where I’m at. Either way, please see this as just a few helpful suggestions if KSM is your goal, and not a calculated, precise manual. If you’re looking for specific class related questions, the Discord Earthshine, and other great streamers may be more a better place to ask (If it’s okay to recommend, I recommend Waves).
Disclaimer: I know how hard it is to pug so I must say that I owe timing 5/8 of the dungeons for the first time to a wonderful group that has invited me to run with them. Doing so has helped me see which spots were pain points in those dungeons. However, I have pug’d those dungeons afterwards for vault successfully on other days (except sanguine. I’m never going back).
This mini guide will be split into 3 sections, 1st is general pug tips I stick by (you can skip this but I think it has helped me), 2nd is dungeon specific tips as an enhancement, 3rd is a run down of our important utility abilities as they relate to affixes. Skip to whichever you want.
Quick things to get out of the way:
Ilvl: I just hit 216 this week, with most of my 15s completed at 215.
Raider.io (if you’re interested in gear): https://raider.io/characters/us/stormrage/Lollerblazed
Our role and on being picked for pugs: From my experience, enhance is in a nice spot for m+ and we get picked. We fill the role of boss killers (burst), healer support, tank support, and additional utility to top it all off. I don’t play any other class and I don’t really like to compare classes much because of how little I know about them.
General pug tips
These may be obvious, feel free to skip right to the next section if it is.
1. Invite your tank first, THEN ASK what comp he is comfortable playing with – At the end of the day, we’re just a dps, and we rely on the tank to guide us to where we can pew pew. Always be kind, and ask if there’s a class he/she’s more familiar with, or one they’ve seen more success with. Different players just know different things, it’s as simple as that, so help your tank out as much as possible.
2. Say hi to your group at least – This may sound silly but it is one that has truly helped all my runs be smoother. Many runs have the expectation of join, go go go, without interaction, this is the most nerve-racking feeling ever and it leads me to so many mistakes. I find just having a chat beforehand makes this far less prominent, and helps my run. The last thing you want is to be too nervous that the first thing you end up saying is ‘oh shit sorry’ after accidentally lusting at the wrong place.
3. Do the coordination at the start if you can – Dungeons like NW weapons, kick markers can and are best decided before you go in. One of the most basic things we do are being kick machines. if your tank/leader is marking (hopefully), actively call at the start that you’ll take circle or star, and just stick to it if you can. Something along the lines of ‘I’ll take all circles from no on’ works to save time. We are too squishy to be talking during the key, I’ve learnt this the hard way.
4. Have fun. Don’t play if burnt out, it’s not worth it.
Dungeon specific tips
In this section I will run through each dungeon and my utility preparation for the main packs. I’ll divide the dungeon up into the most general pulls I’ve been seeing, as if it was a 10+ key. The reason for this is because I added spots where I found were latest to use my offensive cd’s before a boss, and these are affected by pride timings (each pride adds around 30-40 sec). If this doesn’t apply, the utilities mentioned stay relevant nonetheless. Please bear in mind I’m writing as if the tank will pull each pack in a ‘standard’ way, rather than chain pulling 4-5 packs at a time. Your cd’s will obviously not be up if you clear that fast, but in my pug experiences, it has been safer to just go with the ‘standard’ routes. However, depending on your group, adjust as you like. Many of these groups are multiple pulls categorized together for simplicity, but should be recognizable if you’ve run the dungeon enough. I will also have tags for utilities at the end of each mini section(where it’s obvious to use, like Ascendance for bosses, I won’t write it in). These utilities are listed if they play a more helpful/timely role than usual, but if they’re up other times and can help, go ahead and use them.
The codes are:
AH: Astral Shift
CT: Capacitor Totem
CV: Chain Harvest (If you’re Kyrian or Nightfae, I’m assuming substitute with your ability’s covenant healing in channel-able situations. But I have not played as either so please don’t hold me to this.)
EB: Earthbind Totem
EE: Earth Elemental
Hex: umm hex 🙂
GotN: Gift of the Naaru (if you’re draenai because Alliance is better hehe)
HS: Healing surge
TT: Tremor Totem
SW: Spirit Wolf
– Pull 1 (Corridor): Here is where you do big damage, synch your dps cds with popping the lanterns. Make use of capacitor well. You shouldn’t use earth elemental here even if the pull seems large, it will also make tank kiting, seeing traps and avoiding thrusts more difficult. – AD, CT
– Pull 2 (Spiders before Kryxis): If you didn’t Ascendance at the start, now is too late to do so before the first boss. Capacitor is great here, so is earth elemental for the big pull before 1st boss. Astral shift if you must if spiders get too big, pride is up next so you will have it up again before 1st boss’ casts. – AH, CT, EE
– Kryxis: Be prepared to save a 5 stack of maelstrom to help anyone squishier when the bubbles are popped. Astral here and you should be fine, healing surge another if it looks dicey. – AH, GotN, HS
– Pull 3 (Up to 2 Grand Overseers): Call first kick on Grand Overseers, we can get every other cast. Astral and heal others again if dangerous. – AH, HS
– Pull 4 (Head custodian Jav): Now would be latest to pop Ascendance before 2nd boss, a bit earlier on a Grand Overseer can work too. Earth elemental and capacitor can be very helpful here. – AD, CT, EE
– Pull 5 (Ring): You shouldn’t have too many problems here as you’re a kick machine.
– Executor Tarvold: On fortified, this is easy because of your burst. On tyrannical, in order of priority, you should use your health pots, self heal then astral for Castigates on you. The earlier castigates are easier on your healer because not much else is going on, so you’re lucky if it targets you on that. The 3rd add may need Astral shift if it’s taking longer to down, this is when dps cooldowns for the group are most likely all spent. Ideally, you’d be able to save up your Astral for the 4th. Make sure you have at least 5 maelstrom saved up for chain harvest on tyrannical weeks for the 4th add that spawns at the same time as Castigate, this means waiting to 10 before casting a lightning bolt. Pre hot the healer mid way with Gift. – AH, CV, GotN, HS
Grand Proctor Beryllia: This is probably my hardest fight because those shooting stars one shot. Have 5 maelstrom saved up for chain harvest whichever Rite of Supremacy burst is dangerous (usually the 2nd). – CV
– Pull 6 (Gauntlet): Earth elemental, capacitor and supporting heals are your best friend here. Stay alive and you can help your tank a ton when things are dicey. – CT, CV, EE, GotN, HS
General Kaal: Dps race. One stack of bleed isn’t problematic, 2 stacks is where you should look to your healers mana and cd’s and self heal, by the 3rd it’s time to use Astral shift to delay your death as much as you can. Don’t be tempted to use Astral shift for the blurs, just practice side stepping out at the right time. – AH
Halls of Atonement
– Pull 1 (Right section statue): On a +14/15, I will always lust regardless on tyrannical or fort at the start with a 3 pack pull, because Echelon is the hardest boss. Our capacitor totem has the same cast time than loyal beasts so if you see the houndmaster casting, it’s already too late to drop it. Earthbind/stun the bears instead when needed (and every bear enrage throughout the dungeon) and save the earth elemental for later. Chain harvest is your friend for when statue casts Thrash – AD, AH, EB, CT, CV
– Pull 2 (Left Top Hill statue): Pretty straightforward, stun casters, kick collect sins, chain harvest for thrash if needed. Your astral shift may not be up yet but you shouldn’t need it. – CT, CV
– Pull 3 (Left Bottom statue): Depending on how the tank approaches their route, the pain points will be different. If your tank drops from the ledge to the pack below, be prepared to use earth elemental immediately here to save any extra pulls (it’s very easy to pull another pat here). If the stairs is taken, it’s a bit safer and save earth elemental for the 3rd statue before pride where it can get chaotic. – CV, EB, EE
– Pull 4 (Pack in front of Halkias): Nothing special, put everything said above together. Loyal on fortied or save for boss on tyrannical.
– Halkias: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 5(Whatever packs before Echelon): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Echelon: Lust at the start but save dps cooldowns for the first wave of adds, ascendance’s aoe + burst goes a long way to melting them. The first pack usually always melts, don’t cc this with capacitor yet. Always kick the furthest add if it’s still casting far away. There will come a time where add spawning does not line up well with the curse. Save your capacitor for then when your group does not have anymore grips/kicks/cc to buy more time (iirc it’s the 2nd/3rd wave). When Echelon casts his curse, you have 2 choices, cleanse the one with the circle to guarantee he can get to the adds (usually go with this), or cleanse the healer so that he can continue healing. Your chain harvest is best used when adds are taking longer to kill and there’s sustained damage all round. This too, is usually the 3rd wave. Astral shift when there’s heavy add damage. If you miss the dispel or you know someone is not going to survive the jump, use gift or insta-healing surge if you can on them before you turn to stone. – AH, CT, CV, CZ, HS, GotN
– Pull 6 (3 bears room): Can hex a houndmaster. Nothing else special as enhancement. – Hex
– Pull 7 (Inner room): Earth elemental at the start, use capacitor to subdue casts. – CT, EE
– High Adjudicator Aleez: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 8 (AoE room): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Lord Chamberlain: Split your defensives between the 1st and 2nd soak. I usually do health pots/self healing for first, astral shift for 2nd. Your earth elemental cannot soak a pillar (it goes through it I think), and it’s probably even dangerous to pop it because it can cover the space where someone usually stands and can make your team think someone is there. It’s your judgement whether you think a 3rd soak will happen, use your chain harvest wisely. If only 1 person needs topping up for the soak, throw a 5 stack healing surge instead of using your group-wide chain harvest. Finally, to dodge things safely, I would suggest backing off a bit to wait for the pillars to come together. If this happens within the lust window, I would use ascendance here to maintain good damage on him from ranged. – AH, CV, HS, GotN
– Pull 1 (Mushroom packs before boss room): Your kick aligns with Fungalmancer’s wonder grow. Capacitor can be used to stop storm, but don’t do it in the mushroom bomb. – CT
– Pull 2 (2 Mini globgrog’s): Use earth bind here on the little ones and pray your tank kites – EB
– Globgrog: Your burst goes a long way for this boss. Use earth bind for small adds each time and capacitor as follow up. From most runs, I found the first wave of small adds need to eventually be killed, and the boss can be focused by the 2nd/3rd wave (depending on dps). – CT, EB
– Pull 3 (Path to stair): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 4 (Tentacles river): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 5 (3 islands before Doctor Ickus): Use capacitor to subdue casts. Other than that, nothing special as enhancement. – CV
– Doctor Ickus: Save lust and cooldowns for 1st bomb add. Chain harvest if group needs. Nothing else special as enhancement.
– Pull 6 (River): If you’re taking the middle island, save earth elemental for this big pull, and capacitor for bulwark. Kick and pop ascendance to burst it all down. This may be the latest to do so before Domina Venomblade (may have to test this more). – AD, CV, EE
– Pull 7 (Ambushers and Defenders): Your capacitor totem lines up for every other stealthling, and covers their radius perfectly. Be on top of this and your group can handle other cc. Save your doom winds for the bulwark so you can sundering it immediately. – CT
– Domina Venomblade: Zoom out when you fight because capacitor comes in handy here a lot, try to target overlapping hiding webs to bring out adds. Use crash lightning on closer webs to bring them out of stealth (don’t save it and miss dps though). Save your chain harvests for gathered adds and astral shift at the 3rd ish wave of adds or depending on healer’s needs. Your Spirit wolf and Spirit walk is perfect for saving people too far out/getting in range to throw a capacitor down, allowing you to zip out and bring them back with you. – AH, CT, CV, SW
– Margrave Stradama: Due to timing issues, your ascendance should be up for 2nd phase rather than 3rd, use your burst here to push that phase. If too many dps hold off cooldowns because they want to align it with lust, you’re going to put too much pressure on the healer (if she gets the 3rd infectious rains off in P2, it’s getting too long). Other than that, save chain harvest for painful infectious rains. – AH, CT, CV
Theater of Pain
– Pull 1 (Raging bull): Save astral shift if your group doesn’t have soothe. Earth elemental to help your tank and capacitor when you need. – AH, CT, EE
– Challengers: Because of your short kick cd, focus on Paceran and kick Plague bolt every time he teleports away to bring him back. Someone else can take Sathel’s Searing Death. Nothing else special as enhancement, your cleave should get you top dps or close huehue.
– Pull 1 (Ghosts): Usually done in 2 pulls, split your cc between them. Definitely have your capacitor and earth elemental up for the larger pull and don’t rush your capacitor usage. Use sundering from your doom winds window to break up stun from the 1st. Chain harvest is a life saver, but ideally you’d like to have either this or astral shift up for the portal guardian next pull. – AH or CV, CT, EE
– Pull 2 (Portal guardian + 1st platform): Support your group with healing surge and chain harvest when up, save astral shift for the next portal guardian. Platform is easy with your kicks. – HS, CV
– Pull 3 (Portal guardian with Bone magus): This is the most dangerous pull, focus the Soulbinder while kicking the bone magus’ bone spear. Capacitor totem and chain harvest is a god send during Soulstorm casts, and so is earth elemental if you managed to save it. Healing surge if you must to save others here. – AH, CT, CV, EE, HS
– Pull 4 (3rd platform): Whether it’s the Bonereaver or Darkspeaker, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem as enhancement. Cleanse curses when you can. – CZ
– Pull 5 (platform before boss): The usual kill order I go for is Soulbinder > Bone Magus > Darkspeaker. Cleanse here as much as possible and support your team with your usual kit. You should get pride right after so consider making your heals a priority if your healing is spent after the dangerous pack – CT, CV, CZ, EE, HS, GotN
– Kul’tharok: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 1 (Mini boss 1): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 2 (Mini boss 2): Nothing special as enhancement. The beginning of this pull is probably the latest to use Ascendance before Xav. – AD
– Pull 3 (Ancient captain pack): This is a painful pack, pop earth elemental to support your friends. Delay your capacitor for when the captain is dead or when archer damage is getting heavy. Use astral shift and chain harvest. – AH, CT, CV, EE
– Xav the Unfallen: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Pull 1 (1st room) Always have a Blighted Sludge Spewer on focus and kick Withering Discharge. Stack and capacitor to keep them together. – CT
– Pull 2 (Big back downstairs before bridge): This is another dangerous pack in the dungeon, especially with the skip beforehand. Save your earth elemental, chain harvest and capacitor here and healing surge here if needed as well. – AH, CT, CV, EE
– Gorechop: Stun adds when they’re together if you can. Spirit wolf often to get into positions fast. – CT, SW
– Mordretha: There is only 1 crucial moment to watch for in p3, when the second wave of adds spawns at the same time as the gripping portal. Save your chain harvest here particularly for your tank to heal him up the moment the adds spawn because he’ll be lowest. There are several seconds for you to decide whether you should throw a healing surge up as well before this moment if you have the maelstrom/really think he won’t survive the burst (or gift instead to not use maelstrom). The first wave can be dealt with by kicks and early dps. Save your capacitor totem for the 2nd wave of adds, you can place this as the circle is getting darker so it stuns immediately when they spawn, freeing you up to cast chain harvest the moment they pop. – CT, CV
Mists of Tirna Scithe
– Pull 1 (Up to 1st villager): Be careful about being hit here and be fast to cleanse the Dying Breath curse if you need. Capacitor totem and kicks for Harvest Essence are important. – CT, CZ
– Pull 2 (Soul cleavers/Thrashing dudes): Save astral shift and chain harvest for the thrashing. Nothing else special as enhancement. – AH, CV
– Ingra + Maloch: Tremor totem whenever Ingra casts Repulsive Visage. Everything else should be straightforward dodge, kick and burst in lust window. – TT
– Maze: Because of the RNG nature of this place, I’ll just generally describe how I use my utility here. In most packs, there will only be 2 mobs that need kicking, pick one and stick to it. Save capacitor to stop bucking rampage or to generally stop packs from casting/tank damage. Use earth elemental for a larger harder hitting pack (2 defenders). Use chain harvest for when raid is taking damage from Mistveil stalkers, or if group needs in general. More likely, bad pride timings can pose more difficulty and your astral shifts, chain harvests may be more useful here. – AH, CT, CV, EE
– Mistcaller: This fight isn’t much of a problem if approached calmly. Save chain harvest and astral shift for the 2nd or 3rd illusion, whichever is harder on your healer. Call for your group to come a bit closer to be in range of it, but if not possible, getting yourself, the tank and another is already worth it. Use earth bind, followed up by capacitor, whenever the fox is not cc’d. AH, CT, CV, EB
Pull 3 (Bugs): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Tred’ova: Save your kick for parasite. Don’t interrupt the long cast if your group doesn’t need because you can dodge easily. Save your heals for yourself or group needs, but bottom line is, you should pay attention to your own health because of the running needed and possibility of out-ranging the healer. Healing surge yourself if that happens.- AH, CV, HS
De Other Side
– Pull 1 (2 warlords pack): Whether on fortified or tyrannical, split between 2 or 1 pull, I will always lust here to have it up by Hakkar/midway through Hakkar. Capacitor totem goes a long way, earth elemental if you need but can be saved for next big pack. CT, EE
– Pull 2 (Deathspeaker pack): Kick shadowcore, purge off any death’s embrace. Earth elemental on these packs. Same applies to the later one. – CT, EE, PG
– Pull 3 (Enraged spirit): Use capacitor totem on a group of enraged masks to despawn them. Save astral shift/chain harvest for Rage. – AH, CT, CV
– Pull 4 (2 warlords + pride): Nothing special as enhancement.
– Atal’ai Devoted: Thankfully, these pulls usually align with our doom winds window. Use your sundering when the casts are halfway and they should be dead before the end of the 2nd cast.
– High Priests/Voodoo Hexers: Pick either one and kick their heal or hex. Use capacitor totem when their grouped up. – CT
– Atal’ai Deathwalker: Purge the spirit when it dies. – PG
– Hakkar: Astral shift before blood barrier. Nothing special as enhancement.
– Dental Drill and 4.RF 4.RF: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Headless spinny boys and bombs: Use capacitor on spins, and earth bind on the bombs. – CT, EB
– Lubricator: Rotate kicks with group. Nothing special as enhancement.
– Sentient Oil: Earth elemental can soak some damage here, Use capacitor and kick when you can. Chain harvest if you need. – CT, CV, EE
– Manastorms: Lust when Millificent comes out. Nothing special as enhancement.
– (Varied): This place is a balance between the healer/tanks pride timings and supporting their needs, use earth elemental where there’s a larger group or when tank needs help with pride. I’ve seen different routes so I’ll give a general layout on how I use my utilities. Save capacitor totem for larger pulls or an accidentally pulled hatchling (check with tank if he wants the shriek to go off). Dispel your friends when it’s safe. Chain harvest when it gets dicey but you generally don’t need to use it until prides.
– Xy’exa: Nothing special as enhancement.
– Mueh’zala: There is time for 1 doom winds before he casts Shattered reality. If you’re confident your platform can be killed with just spirit wolf or without even it, save your ascendance for Mueh’zala. Nothing else special as enhancement.
My favoured spears are 2 on Amarth (2nd boss), 1 on Stichflesh (3rd boss), hammer saved for Nalthor’s shield (4th boss).
– Pull 1 (Jumpy bois to left and right): I find immediately popping all cds is the only way it’ll be up for 1st boss again, any later has bricked me – AD
– Pull 2 (Pack hugging right wall before pride): This pack can hurt on the tank with bad affixes, pop your Earth elemental when you need, and don’t forget to capacitor this pack – CT, CV, EE
– Blightbone: Straightforward burst with positioning
– Pull 3 (Corpse Harvester before stair): Simple kicking and capacitor
– Pull 4 (Necromancer): Consider astral shifting here for the archers, capacitor if you have it – AH, CT
– Pull 5 (Marauder pack + skip + subsequent similar packs): Pick a caster and stick to kicking it, drop tremor totem when marauder casts even if you think it may be kicked, just feels safer. If your group does Nur’zudah, you should purge Dark Shroud immediately every time. Other than that, make use of Earth elemental if pull gets dicey, but watch which direction the marauder faces if it taunts. – EE, PG, TT
– Amarth: Focus kick a mage. Wait a second longer when the adds are gathered before you capacitor totem, you may be able to cut them off more than halfway through mid cast. Save your astral shift for the 2nd or 3rd wave of adds, and get a word in before the boss for the group to stick a bit tighter so your chain harvest will heal everyone. – AH, CT, CV
– Pull 6 (Necropolis): Make use of your kicks to make sure the pack you’re fighting is gathered. You should have time to fit 2 earth elementals before Stichflesh, pick the worst packs. – CT, CV, EE
– Stichflesh: With a spear, you can generally 1 phase this by bursting.
– Nalthor: Nothing special as enhancement.
Spires of Ascension
– Pull 1 (Corridor): Pop your dps cd immediately if you want them up before 1st boss. Your kick aligns perfectly with the goliath’s cd, ask to target it. You can also go for the Forsworn Mender’s heal or Forsworn Castigator’s Burden of knowledge. Purge the weapon off the mender. Be liberal with astral shift if you get burden of knowledge cast on you or a goliath was not kicked. – AH, PG
– Pull 2 (Pack before Kin-Tara): This pack, and like packs further on where there’s a variety of packs, are where you can consider popping earth elemental. Other wise hexing a mender, chain harvesting at dangerous times, and being careful with where you stand should keep you and others safe.
– Kin-Tara: Nothing special as enhancement. Astral shift immediately if you get speared.
Left or Right wings: Because routes can differ, I’ll describe how I generally tackle the different types of packs in no particular order. However, as a general rule, I would try and make sure I have my earth elemental up for the final pack right before Ventunax because wiping here would most likely break the key.:
– Forsworn Stealthclaws (doggos): If it’s the large pack to the right, use earth elemental, capacitor totem and earth bind totem to support your tank. – CT, EB, EE
– Etherdivers (birdies): If a the large pack of them, use capacitor totem at a timely moment to get most interrupts in. Time sundering with doomwinds to do the same. Watch your tank’s health. – CT, HS
– Forsworn Squad-leader packs: Here is where I usually would use earth elemental. Across the entire route to the 2nd boss, you should have the time to pop it twice. If you popped it for the doggo’s, then it may only be up two platforms later. If so, use it on the big pack before the boss because you want to make sure you don’t wipe there. If you saved it and went left, popping it midway on the 2nd platform on a big pack may be a good time. A combination of capacitor, astral shift, timely chain harvest’s and good kicking from the group should be able to get you through without it. If your tank needs to kite, you can drop earthbind totem to give some leeway. – AH, CT, CV, EB
– Ventunax: Be prepared to use healing surge on your healer to keep him up if he gets targeted too many times by blink. Use astral shift if you think you’ll be hit even by 1 orb. Otherwise, don’t waste it! Prioritise staying alive and using self heals when you need. – AH, HS
– Pull before Oryphyrion: Generally follow the tips before, if you’re killing the Usurpers, line of sight them behind the pillar and use capacitor to stop them from throwing spears. Can also prehot someone with gift of the naaru before you rush to the pillar, and use chain harvest after if needed. – CT, CV, GotN
– Oryphyrion: Soak if your tank needs with astral shift, watch out for ticking damage on you afterwards. Nothing else special as enhancement. – AH
– Pull (3 Mini bosses): This is a tough section because we’re so squishy. Save earth elemental if you can for the latest mini boss, and be liberal with your self heal and chain harvest for your group. – AH, CV, EE
– Devos: You can use Door of shadows, spirit walk and spirit wolf to get to orbs fast. Avoid getting too many debuffs on you, and astral shift after the 2nd spear where the raid damage is high. Save chain heal for this part too if you need, but during the orb collection, you can stand and use healing surges to top other people up if you’re doing nothing. – AH, CV, HS