Just finished pugging every 20 in time, my thoughts on this season as a tank.

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The sanguine depths route is a popular name for the final boss of the game Dark Souls III. In this fight, the player has to defeat the boss using only two weapons.

Hey all!

I chose to establish my own objectives for the patch as a retired legendary raider. Initially, it was only KSM and AOTC, but after finishing those three weeks into 9.1, I decided I’d go for the next best thing, which was completing all eight Keystone Hero accomplishments. I didn’t have a committed squad, so although I had one or two buddies with me on a few runs, there were always a few randoms in the mix. I wanted to offer my views on stand-out dungeons in the hopes of assisting those who are new to the pugging realm. All of this is from the viewpoint of a Vengeance DH.

63r9xo7spnk71 - Just finished pugging every 20 in time, my thoughts on this season as a tank.

Unlocked proof of 8 TPs.

Considerations in general


The 20s are a whole different animal from the 15s and 16s. Things you never gave much thought to before suddenly become crucial, and the overall “slow and steady wins the race” approach, which will always get you a clean but slower run at slightly lower levels, is no longer universally relevant unless you have absolutely insane DPS. In terms of DPS, I believe the common consensus is that Tyrannical is a more difficult affix than Fortified, although I’m not sure I agree anymore. The total damage needed to finish a dungeon is considerably greater on Fortified keys, and although I’m sure certain dungeons are tougher on Tyrannical, I found this affix to be easier in general than Fortified.

I’ve also observed that if the key isn’t timeable, 20s are usually abandoned. This struck me as odd at first, but since all you care about is your rating, it makes obvious that a dead run isn’t worth completing.

Having said that, the incentive system for completing more than 15s appeals to me. I believe that if completing all 20s, 25s, and so on resulted in further aesthetic prizes, it would simply serve to reinforce the already malignant shopping culture. A teleport to the dungeon entrance is a great little quality of life item that isn’t too difficult to get while still being a useful unlock. It’s all about personal accomplishment and evaluation, which I find quite appealing.

This season was the most straightforward in recent memory, and it definitely seemed more straightforward than season 1. While I was still smacked about by some monsters (Obliterators in Halls of Atonement, hahaha), tanking keys was much simpler. You don’t have to go far back in my comment history to see me offer a dumb-ass opinion about Shards not having much of an effect on tanks; don’t trust every Reddit troll. They definitely do, and they offer a significant boost in HPS and DPS throughput that is much more valuable than stamina, armor, or the primary stat.


Thank you, three-week-old me! That’s fantastic!




Per Dungeon Attempts:

NW: 1

DOS: 1

TOP: 2

HOA: 1

PF: 2


SOA: 5

SD: 3


Necrotic Wake is the easiest dungeon. There’s no genuine debate here; this is simply a novelty dungeon made even simpler by Kyrian’s ridiculously powerful ability. If you’re searching for your first out of your comfort zone key, I strongly suggest starting with this dungeon. Because good weapon usage will bring you to the finish line quickly, the DPS need is considerably lower.

Spires of Ascension is the most difficult dungeon. Staying in Bastion, I expected this to be a very easy run, but reality smacked me in the face when I was four runs in and my best try was a depleted twenty. It’s understandable; the garbage in this dungeon is very harsh on not just the tank, but the whole party. With Foresworn Castigators spamming high damage hits on random targets, Usurpers and Skirmishers throwing spears into your dome, and the covenant ability of this dungeon being mediocre compared to almost every other one available, this place was a victory well earned once it was completed, and I’ll never set foot in a dungeon with a higher SOA again.

Mists of Tirna Scithe, a sleeper dungeon! I’m not sure whether it was because of the groups I ran with, but this dungeon took me the second-longest time to complete. Spiteful is especially irritating in Mists since it locks you in battle throughout the labyrinth problem, yet the timeframe in this dungeon is very tight. I recognize that there are a number of cheats that make this dungeon simpler, such as lock gate skips, wall pulls with pet classes, and so on, but even in my timed run, finishing this place with 1 minute left was a close race.


Metadata, routes, and competitions


I was completely guilty of just wanting the best of the best courses in my groups when I first started out. My favorite comps to run with were boomkins, mages, holy paladins, and windwalkers. Sure, there are a number of excellent players in those classes, but there are also a lot of flavor of the month rerollers that lack time and expertise on the spec, resulting in them only being able to play at 90% efficiency. I soon discovered that your competition just requires a little logical reasoning. As a DH, I’d naturally boost magic damage users, and during stormy and spiteful weeks, I’d definitely avoid running with more than one melee DPS. A Sub rogue, Fire mage, Enhancement shaman, and MW monk were used to timing the Mists that proved to be the most effective for me. By no means are these classes terrible, but they’re also not the kind of combination you’d come up with while putting up your perfect S-tier blaster squad. In reality, a lot of stubborn one-tricks playing low-key specs are generally very excellent at using all aspects of their kit as well as delivering amazing damage/healing, and will sometimes pull something out of their bag of tricks that makes you go “Holy shit that works?”

What I’m trying to convey is that when it comes to assembling your team, you shouldn’t be overly focused on obtaining a particular class or spec. When I’m not kiting, I’m fairly dependent on my healer to keep me alive, but although I have my favorites, I’ve timed a 20 with every single healer class keeping me topped. For example, I’d rather have a 2400 holy priest than a 2150 venthyr paladin. My usual advice is to have one melee DPS for two short cd kicks, one lusting RDPS, and one flexible slot, depending on what your comp lacks.

Finally, I’d want to discuss routes. While it’s important to remember the basic path for each dungeon, it’s much better to have an open mind and not become too attached to your own ideas about how a dungeon should be run. There will always be individuals with more experience than you, so don’t be afraid to ask them to teach you something you didn’t know previously. Before Executioner Tarvold in Sanguine Depths, I had never utilized two separate lanterns; today, it’s my primary way solely because a mage I played with suggested it as a tactic. I just know that I don’t know anything, therefore be a sponge for new ideas and willing to adapt.


TL;DR Happy Fuck Spires of Ascension, I did every key, don’t be a metaslave, let others educate you.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me! Thank you for taking the time to read this, and best of luck with your 9.1 objectives!

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