(Guide last updated 12/19/2021, be sure to check the latest Blizzard posts before investing any gold into this info)
Ridiculous looking? Certainly. But quite effective!
Sorry for posting about WoW again, but like many gamers, I pretty much just go where my friends are.
The latest WoW patch, 9.1.5, provides a few minor bits of new content in the middle of a protracted drought. One of the most compelling bits is the return of the Mage Tower challenges, which are a series of single-player boss encounters.
Unfortunately, likely due to the extremely hostile conditions at Blizzard right now, this content was released with little to no effort put into tuning it to a reasonable difficulty level. Some challenges, such as the Discipline Priest, take 3x as long as they did when they first came out in Legion, and have much less forgiving mechanics to boot.
Many of the challenges are still doable with normal Shadowlands gear, but if you find yourself unable to progress past the last 10 or 20 percent of a boss encounter, you can give yourself a pretty sizable boost by taking advantage of gear and consumables that scale strangely when you enter the mage tower.
You can build out a full set of hyper-optimized Timewalking gear, but your time and gold would (IMO) be better spent focusing on picking up the following items, then working on your strategy/gameplay to cover the rest:
Unblinking Gaze of Sethe (intellect trinket off a boss in the middle of Warlords of Draenor’s Hellfire Citadel raid on normal, heroic, mythic difficulty) – This does a ludicrous amount of damage, even for melee DPS and tanks.
Ravaged Seed Pod (melee AoE DPS trinket from the first boss of The Emerald Nightmare from Legion, available on Raid Finder, Normal, Heroic, and Mythic difficulties) – This also does outrageous damage. For Tugar on Destruction Warlock specifically it can make the Bile Spitter adds very manageable.
Ghost Iron Dragonling, crafted with a Relic of the Past 5 to get to item level 54, and with +16 stat gems added by a Cataclysm Engineer, has excellent stats AND randomly summons a dragon that will deal 5+ percent of your total damage. Be sure to buy a pre-gemmed dragonling if you don’t have any friends with older engineering skills, because it could cost upwards of 100,000 gold to level your engineering skill to the point where you can gem this yourself.
Note that as of 12/19/2021, Shadowlands’ cheaper +18 to secondary stat food provides the full +18 benefit in Timewalking, so in a happy coincidence it’s arguably the best food AND the cheapest
While practicing mechanics, I recommend you use cheap Warlords of Draenor flasks, potions, and drums. These should be craftable and/or farmable with minimal effort.
Once you’re getting the boss down to ~5%, you can give yourself a very expensive temporary boost by farming or purchasing Greater flasks from Battle for Azeroth content and Potions of Unbridled Fury.
You can also use War-Scrolls from Battle for Azeroth Inscription, but each of these takes roughly 35 of any BfA herb to craft, so you’re probably better off selling the scrolls/herbs than wasting them on a tiny power boost.