How to get around the Maw faster: from teleports, to Ve’nari’s shop, to rerolling a Druid
Getting around the Maw can be quite the arduous experience, and while rerolling Druid or race-changing all your toons to Worgen to gain their ability to mount in the Maw may be tempting there are some ways to get around that aren’t as expensive or time-consuming.
The first thing to note is that there are mount options available for other races besides Worgen and classes besides Druids — they’re just not easy to get. One is the Mawsworn Soulhunter, which is a very rare drop from the Shadehound Hunt in the Beast Warrens section of the Maw. This section can not be opened until your reputation with Ve’nari is Ambivalent and you complete the quest Rule 6: Concealment is Everything. The Shadehound Hunt itself is up for half a week every other reset so you’ll only have three-and-a-half days each fortnight to attempt. Note: The Shadehound Hunt is up right now for you mount-hunters!
The other mount acquisition option is to complete layer 8 of the Twisting Corridors in Torghast, which rewards the Corridor Creeper mount. However, this is expected to be a difficult challenge and it’s not even available in-game yet.
Increasing your movement speed on the ground
Since the mounts are not easily obtained, we need to look for other ways to speed up. Besides the normal array of class and covenant abilities that buff speed, the Maw provides a temporary mount in the Shadehound. Killing a Mawsworn Outrider leaves behind a Shadehound that you can interact with and ride for 60 seconds at normal mount speed. Note that this mount provides no immunity or invisibility, so the normal rules of stunning and dismounting apply — and being dismounted will cost you the buff. Note that you don’t need to be in on the Outrider kill, as it leaves behind a Shadehound that anyone can interact with, so if you see one standing there, grab it for the boost.
If you’re looking to increase your movement speed permanently while in the Maw, you can farm and equip the Inscrutable Exiles Garb set for a 10% bonus with just 2 pieces. That said, the relatively low ilevel makes them less than desirable once you’re in heroic dungeon gear, so hopefully Blizzard will add a method of upgrading the pieces to keep them relevant.
If you have stygia, Ve’nari has wares
The Maw’s resident Broker provides other options for getting around. Once you’ve unlocked all of them, you may find yourself navigating the main quest section of the Maw so handily that you may not even miss having a mount! Ok, that’s a lie, but it’s a nice thought isn’t it.
The first item you get in the initial Ve’nari quest chain is the Cypher of Relocation, which will teleport you back to Ve’nari’s Refuge from anywhere in the Maw. It only has 5 charges, so be sure to verify you have one in your bags before you journey out. When you use up all your charges, you can go buy another from Ve’nari. It’s also important to note that there’s a 20 minute cooldown, so you won’t be able to zip back that often during your adventuring session.
When your reputation with Ve’nari reaches “Apprehensive” she will sell you the Oil of Ethereal Force, which will give you a 14 second boost in movement speed while also shrouding you from most enemies. While the boost is not persistent, it is longer than most Dash-style class abilities and coupled with the invisibility makes it a useful tool in navigating some sections of the Maw.
At “Tentative” Ve’nari will let you buy the Animated Levitating Chain that unlocks various grappling hook points throughout the Maw. While not a boost in speed per se, it can be helpful in getting out of places like the River of Souls or to get up to the Stygian Interceptor rare without going the long way around.
Why run when you can teleport in style?
Ve’nari also unlocks teleportation methods to help quickly get around the Maw. At Apprehensive you can purchase the Encased Riftwalker Essence to unlock two pairs of Chaotic Riftstones. Because you can only transit between the members of the pair — in other words, you do not have a choice as to your destination when you use one; you can only teleport to the other member of the pair and back again — as well as not having an anchor convenient to Ve’nari’s Refuge, the Riftstones are not as useful when first unlocked.
Once you reach Tentative with Ve’nari and purchase the Animaflow Stabilizer, you can teleport from Ve’nari’s Refuge up to the Tremaculum section. Unlike the Riftstones this teleport is one way, so you can not use it to return to Ve’nari’s Refuge. Once you’ve unlocked this, though, the value of the Riftstones increases, as the dropoff point for the Animaflow Teleporter is relatively close to an endpoint for both pairs, making travel between quests a lot faster. In addition, opening up the Beast Warrens unlocks a second destination therein for the Animaflow Teleporter, making it a lot quicker to join Hunts.
One final teleportation method I’ll mention here is the Wormhole Generator: Shadowlands, usable by any character trained in Shadowlands Engineering. As it’s a Toy, you only need to craft or buy it once (it can be purchased from the AH) for your account. It only has a 15 minute cooldown, so you can use it to quickly navigate between the zones of the Shadowlands instead of relying on flight paths.
Selecting the Maw as your destination when using it will bring you south of the Tremaculum, providing very close access to much of the daily quest sections of the Maw especially in conjunction with the Chaotic Riftstones. While I don’t recommend abandoning 15 years of Alchemical Training just for one extremely convenient device, if your Maw-traversing characters have an available profession slot, training in Engineering just to use the Wormhole Generator is not a bad idea.
The Maw is a treacherous place, but hopefully the tips in this article will help you navigate around it easier. One day, we’ll all possess a mount we can use in the Maw, but until then, it doesn’t hurt to know which shortcuts to take.
Originally published 12/24/2020, updated 12/29/2020
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