Getting KSM with PUG


PvP player for 15 years who never did any serious PvE content, I achieved Dungeon Keystone Master (KSM) on during Shadowlands Season 2, only with public groups!

KSM screenshot.

Here is how I did it...

Progressively Increase Mythic+ Key levels

Since I did not know any mechanics, the first problem to solve was to get used to the dungeons. I ran each of them at a certain key level, starting from the bottom, before going to the next tier, building progressively my Mythic+ rating at the same time:

Below Keys lvl 5
  • Learn dungeon basic mechanics for trashes and bosses
  • Learn the routes
  • Up keys to level 5 or 6
Keys Lvl 5 to 6
  • Time all dungeons at level 5 or 6
  • Increase Ilvl to at least 220
  • Learn dungeon basic mechanics for trashes and bosses
  • Learn the routes
  • Get used to dungeons level 4 affixes:
    • Bolstering : Group and kill trashes at the same time, the biggest has to die first
    • Bursting : Kill trashes 1 by 1 to avoid getting more than 2 stacks of Burst
    • Inspiring : Kill the trash with the golden aura asap
    • Raging : Avoid getting multiple trashes under 30% life
    • Sanguine : Get trashes and yourself out of the red/purple pool to avoid getting damage and heal the enemy
    • Spiteful : Kite the shades to avoid melee damage when enemies die
Keys Lvl 7 to 9
  • Time all dungeons at level 8 or 9
  • Increase Ilvl to at least 226
  • Get used to dungeons level 7 affixes:
    • Explosive : Kill fire orbs asap!exp
    • Grievous : Avoid getting damages and overheal the tank to get rid of the grievous wounds stacks
    • Necrotic : Tanks runaway at 20-25 necrotic stacks and others use CC and snares to help him not get hit while the stacks fade away
    • Quaking : Distance from each other when a white circle appears under your character, especially from the tank for melees
    • Storming : Avoid getting hit by tornadoes, they always move clockwise
    • Volcanic : Distances and heals should get closer to enemies to avoid making volcanos appear, and avoid them when they are here
Keys Lvl 10 to 12
  • Time all dungeons at level 11 or 12
  • Increase Ilvl to at least 229
  • Get used to dungeons level 10 season affix (The 4 minibosses)
  • Learn route changes due to level 10 season affix
Keys Lvl 13 to 14
  • Time all dungeons at level 13 or 14
  • Increase Ilvl to at least 233
Keys lvl 15 and above
  • Time all dungeons at level 15 minimum
  • Continue building equipment above 233 Ilvl to get stronger
  • Get that KSM!
  • Show off on your mount in Oribos

Make own groups with own keys

Running a Mythic+ dungeon with a public group can have a pretty random outcome. Since it put me in control, creating my own group and running my own keys drastically increased chances of success .

A group composition should follow this scheme:

When forming a group, I picked mates with at least similar experience and equivalent equipment as mine . Here is the table that I used to help me chose partners based on the key level, their Ilvl, and Mythic+ rating:

Key Lvl Min Equipment Ilvl Min Mythic+ Rating
5 213 0
6 216 500
7 220 500
8 223 750
9 223 750
10 226 1000
11 226 1200
12 229 1200
13 229 1500
14 233 1500
15 236 1800
16 240 1800

Whereas the equipment level does not reflect the player experience, the Mythic+ score does! Chose mates with an equivalent Mythic+ score as yours .

Build character right

Know what is your character stat priority, what legendary and trinket to use, the talents to pick and the covenant/soulbind choose . Fortunately, is the good place to find this:

When looting a new item, here is the priority on how I chose whether I equip it:

  1. Does it have my character's first stat priority?
  2. Does it have a better Ilvl than the currently equipped one?
  3. Doest it have my character's second stat priority?

The reason I chose the first stat priority over Ilvl is that it is what is defining the character gameplay look and feel. My Protection Warrior really feels slow and boring with low haste.

Use Addons

Addons greatly help with mechanics, routes, or targeting. I used the WowUp app to install and manage add-ons. Here are the addons I used:

Deadly Boss Mods (DBM) Live notifications about dungeon fight mechanics, things to do, avoid, or cut.
WeakAuras Set up various notifications based on game events. The one useful for Mythic+ dungeons is the one that put an icon to key targets: Mythic+ Auto Marker
Mythic Dungeon Tool Tool to simulate what route to take. Pretty useful if you are a tank.

Be friendly

Mythic+ Dungeon is something done with other people. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. In both cases, I had a better experience by being friendly and polite with others, here is why:

  • I made friends with strong fellows that taught me how to play better
  • I made friends that ended playing consistently with me
  • I made friends who were playing like garbage, helped them get better, and eventually been successful at timing other dungeons

The point is being friendly and polite will contribute to building a pool of players that will help to reach that KSM!

Being mean with less knowledgable or weaker ones brings nothing to the table. If a group is a mess, try to make the best of it, there is still a chance to loot an item, and helping people will increase chances to form better PUG in the future.