The MDI begins in a few short weeks! Last year's MDI champions Method EU and runners up Method NA will be fighting their way through a series of Regional cups in order to secure placement in the Battle for Azeroth finals. If they can make it to the finals, they'll have the opportunity to play against each other in a rematch of last year's Blizzcon finals, where Method EU emerged victorious, but in order to earn a spot in the finals, they'll need to navigate the new world of Corruption effects and the Awakened affix. On the tournament realms, players have access to any Corruption they want, and are equipped with a Rank 15 Legendary cloak, giving them a tremendous amount of flexibility when deciding what corrupted items to wear. In this article, we'll take a look at each of the different Corruption effects and discuss which MDI specs will be interested in using them.
You can also check out this as a video on the Method YouTube channel:
The Best of the Best
This Corruption was recently nerfed in big pulls, which will help prevent it from being everyone's best choice, but it will definitely see use from most Tanks, since its damage scales with the player's health. Some DPS, like Outlaw Rogues and Havoc Demon Hunters, may also find space for this Corruption, though it'll depend on the affixes and the dungeon. Here's a look at Method EU's Naowh putting Twilight Devastation to work on the Tournament Realm.
For single target damage, this effect is extremely strong, especially for Tanks and Healers, who get less damage from the stat-based Corruption effects. Since its power scales with the item level of the piece, it benefits from the availability of a few item level 485 items that drop from Mythic N'zoth and Mythic Carapace of N'zoth, and since it only costs 15 Corruption to pick up, it's possible to sneak in one copy of this effect into many budgets even if the player isn't interested in stacking it.
This unique Corruption effect is tied to an Agility fist weapon. Its damage is very strong, and it scales nicely into AoE, so expect to see almost every Havoc Demon Hunter, Windwalker Monk, and Outlaw Rogue equipping two of these.
Beast Mastery Hunters are likely to show up in this MDI, and they'll be wielding a bow that drops from Prophet Skitra to get access to this hunter-specific Corruption effect that grants them massive reductions to their cooldowns.
After Whispered Truths, Beast Mastery Hunters will spend the rest of their budget on this powerful Corruption which synergizes very strongly with their crit-stacking build. It also functions at the same high power level in both Single Target and AoE situations.
This is a BiS Corruption for Fire Mages and Unholy Death Knights. Fire may or may not show up in the MDI, but Unholy certainly will, often with two players per team, so expect to see a lot of this Corruption stacked on those players.
Many specs benefit quite a lot from the first copy or two of this Corruption, but due to Haste's value quickly hitting diminishing returns for many specs, there are relatively few that want to stack it, and none of those specs are ones that are likely to show up in the MDI.
This is the only Stat from All Sources Corruption that I'm unsure will show up in the tournament - though it's certainly not a bad effect. It needs to be better than the alternative ways to spend Corruption, however, and I don't see that being the case for many specs currently. The case where I think this is most likely to see play is on Tank specs opting for a defensive build for difficult dungeons, affixes, and/or if the keystone level is set at a fairly high level. This would likely be combined with Surging Vitality, the Versatility proc.
A little bit of Crit Damage can round out a Corruption build for a few specs, notably Outlaw Rogues, who may use their last 20 Corruption on a Tier 3 version of this effect.
A Tier 1 copy of this Corruption works nicely for Prot Warriors as it helps increase Shield Block uptime, and it is very cheap at only 12 Corruption. Holy Paladins are also somewhat likely to be interested in this effect, but again only at Tier 1, as for some strange reason the Tier 2 version of this Corruption is far less efficient in terms of power relative to Corruption cost.
This is something that would maybe see play if Fire Mages show up, as one copy of this effect can be quite potent for them.
At only 8 Corruption for the Tier 1 version of this effect, this is the cheapest Corruption available, and so may be "free" to slot into some builds that find themselves 10 Corruption below the next drawback. It also may be worth doing some work to fit into a build if the dungeon or affix (Explosive, for example) present a lot of damage that can be reduced by Avoidance.
Unlikely to See Play
Racing Pulse and other Stat Procs
There's one of these for each stat, and they're generally not better than the other Corruption effects that players could choose instead (again, with the possible exception of Surging Vitality for defensive tank builds).
Playing with a Healer is required by MDI rules this time around, so the possibility of 1 Tank, 4 DPS compositions does not exist, otherwise it would maybe be possible using this corruption.
This has been repeatedly nerfed, and now is only really competitive in raid environments and only for Tank specs. They'll instead opt to use Gushing Wound or Twilight Devastation, depending on the dungeon and the affixes.
Many effects don't scale well into AoE, but none scale quite as poorly as Infinite Stars, which actually does less overall damage rather than just less damage per target in an AoE setting. This effect is very bad in the MDI environment and will not be played.
This is a slightly worse version of Gushing Wound for the purposes of the MDI, but since players have complete freedom to wear any Corruption effects, this will not be played.
Obsidian Skin & Other Ny'alotha Weapons
There are a handful of other unique Corruptions available in Ny'alotha, but besides the Whispered Truths and Lash of the Void effects mentioned above, none are tuned highly enough or scale well enough into AoE to be likely to appear in this tournament. Some of these effects also suffer from being on item level 475 weapons for specs that can instead equip item level 485 Mythic N'zoth or Carapace of N'zoth weapons.
I hope you've enjoyed this preview of the Corruption effects that will be on display in the MDI. It'll be exciting to see what players, including those from Method's teams, come up with, and how much they decide to risk when it comes to the Corruption drawbacks. I expect they'll stay below 60 Corruption for the most part, as the Cascading Disaster drawback is when things start to get really deadly, but they'll certainly experiment with all sorts of different numbers and different combinations of Corruption. I can't wait to see what happens!