Engineering has had its ups and downs in viability throughout the last few expansions. In Shadowlands, engineers bring a solid chunk of utility to mythic+ via the cardboard assassin. Most of the other enchants engineers bring only really benefit them unfortunately. However, this belt enhancement from the Cataclysm days is truly invaluable in dungeon groups.
The cardboard assassin is an engineering enchant from Cataclysm that goes onto your belt. When used it functions like a druid’s Force of Nature or a shaman’s Rock Elemental. It will continue to taunt nearby enemies for 5 seconds providing much appreciated breathing room to your tank. This dummy will not taunt bosses but can be used to soak devastating abilities from trash mobs.
This is extremely useful on the Stitchwerk mobs in Necrotic wake for their innate tank buster abilities. Also, it can be used when your tank gets overwhelmed by a big pull without any cooldowns available.
To learn this pattern, you just need to learn cataclysm engineering and get lucky with crafting random patterns. It is learned through the random discovery method so it may take a few tries. Once learned, however, it can be enchanted onto your belt for the low cost of one Tinker’s Kit.
In addition, the Cardboard Assassin can be used back to back if you have multiple engineers. More importantly, the cooldown is only 5 minutes so it can be used fairly often throughout a run. With all that said, if you have a full group of engineers with this enchant, you can give your tank 25 seconds of breathing room. Not only is this enchant incredibly easy to obtain, it also is incredibly valuable in high level keys on fortified weeks.
The cardboard assassin isn’t the only utility engineers bring to keys! This tip, however, is slightly less important but will save a few seconds if your group is bad at frogger. After entering the Mechagon area and killing the first few packs of mobs, you will come across a conveyor belt of slimes. Inside the doorway to the left is an interactable console. Coincidentally, engineers can interact with this button and disable the slimes in their tracks. After doing so, you and your group can just walk across the gaps unscathed.
In addition to the above two big uses for engineering, they also have access to a special battle res. This opens up a lot of dungeon group options for engineers. These Disposable Spectrophasic Reanimators are craftable through shadowlands engineering and require the following to make:
Being able to combat res as any class is very valuable in mythic+. Fortunately, the only main downside is having to be standing on someone’s body to use them. Additionally, there is a very low chance using one of these will kill you instead. The reward here will often outweigh the risk.
In conclusion, shadowlands is a very good time to pick up engineering as one of your primary professions. They have access to a number of other personal use gadgets such as the wormhole generators, portable repairs, and even a mailbox as well. Their utility in mythic+ is surging and it seems to pay for itself in the long run. Hopefully blizzard doesn’t look towards nerfing the cardboard assassin anytime soon.