Skip to main content

How to craft legendary items in Shadowlands

best wow shadowlands legendary gear
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Looking to craft your first piece of WoW Shadowlands legendary gear? World of Warcraft's newest expansion has pulled players into the afterlife. And as well as reuniting with legendary heroes from Azeroth's past, players are able to craft their own legendary gear pieces to help them tackle the challenges ahead.

Each class and specialisation has a variety of legendaries to choose from. Among the new powers, you'll recognise old favourites from Battle for Azeroth's Azerite traits, essences, and corruptions. You might also spot some old tier set bonuses from earlier expansions. But all of these powers have been dusted off and given a fresh coat of paint for the legendary crafting system in Shadowlands. 

You may already have had a taste of some of the new legendary powers if you've spent any time in the WoW Torghast dungeon. A few of the temporary WoW Anima buffs found there replicate the effects of certain legendary powers, so you'll have an idea of how they work before you start crafting.

If you're ready to enhance your character, whether you play a tank, healer, or damage dealer, read on to discover everything you need to know about WoW Shadowlands legendary crafting.

How to unlock the Runecarver 

Embrace the grind with these WoW guides

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Best WoW addons: What to download for 2020
WoW beginner's guide: Start your Azeroth journey
WoW class guide: The best for you
WoW leveling guide: Get from 1-50 fast
Best WoW Covenant: Which to choose
WoW Shadowlands guide: 7 top tips
WoW Torghast guide: How to beat it

At the bottom of the endless dungeon of Torghast in The Maw zone, the Runecarver is bound. You’ll eventually be sent to him by doing the initial series of quests from Ve’nari, the Broker that operates in a shrouded cave inside The Maw, after you hit the maximum level of 60. Follow those quests to the end and you’ll free one of his hands, prompting him to promise you powerful help—if you help him find his lost memories in return.

Collecting Memories of the Runecarver 

Recovered Memories of the Runecarver are scattered all over the Shadowlands, and you’ll find them by doing endgame content. Some come from Torghast bosses. Some come from the bosses in dungeons. Some come from the Castle Nathria raid, while others drop from World Bosses, and can be earned in PvP.

Each time you find a memory, you can return to the Runecarver, select him, and right-click on the item to add it to your collection. To see all of the powers you’ve collected, open the Adventure Journal menu—alongside dungeons and raids, you’ll see a new button for Powers.

Memories are class-specific, so you won’t get Memories for a monk if you’re a paladin, but they are not specialization-specific, so if you’re a Protection paladin, you’ll get the Memories for Holy and Retribution, too.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

WoW Shadowlands legendary crafting: Soul Ash cost 

You’ll continue the questline with Ve’nari after you unlock the Runecarver, and eventually, she will send you to Torghast: First for a trial run, then for a real one, to look for signs of your lost faction leaders. If you continue through that questline, you’ll receive Soul Ash as part of your first 'real' run of the dungeon.

Almost all the Soul Ash you collect will come from completing wings of Torghast. Right now, all eight layers are available in each of two wings, awarding a total of 1140 Soul Ash per week. Quests add more to that total.

Soul Ash has also rarely been found as a currency reward from high level Adventure-table missions in your Covenant Sanctum.

The Soul Ash cost for legendaries is as follows: 

  • Rank 1 (item level 190): 1250 Soul Ash
  • Rank 2 (item level 210): 2000 Soul Ash
  • Rank 3 (item level 225): 3200 Soul Ash
  • Rank 4 (item level 235): 5150 Soul Ash

Base items and their differences

The base armor piece you’ll use is crafted by players and purchasable on the auction house. The item level of the base piece will determine the item level of the legendary you make. It might be tempting to jump right in and buy a Rank 4 base with 235 item level, but remember that it also takes a lot more Soul Ash to make higher-level legendary items. It’ll take 1,250 Ash to make a level 190 Legendary: That 235 will set you back 5,150. See above for the list of Soul Ash costs.

Choosing a slot for your legendary gear

When you find a Recovered Memory of the Runecarver, it will indicate which slots it can be used on. For example, that Soulforge Embers legendary for hunters can be crafted as a ring or shoulder armor. In general, crafting your legendary as armor will give you a larger stat boost than making it as a ring or neck piece, and beefier armor pieces will have larger stat budgets than others.

That’s not always true, however. For some classes, the legendary item is so much better in terms of stats than what they can find in the Castle Nathria raid in a particular slot that it might be worth crafting even if the total amount of stats on the piece is sub-optimal. If you care enough to truly maximize your results, I recommend using the many simulation tools out there to figure out what the result of one slot versus another would be.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Crafting your legendary

When you've obtained the Recovered Memory you want, you will then collect a base item for the slot where it will go, the necessary Soul Ash and two Missives. Those are player-crafted Inscription items that set which secondary stats the item will have, such as Critical Strike or Versatility.

You’ll have a quest to take all of them to the Runecarver, and he will open up an interface for you that allows you to plunk in all those items and craft your new armor. You can craft as many legendary items as you like, but you can only equip one at a time.

Upgrading your legendary

To upgrade your legendary, you’ll need the existing piece, the new base item at the new item level (which you must purchase again), and the difference in Soul Ash between the two. Return to the Runecarver with these and he’ll help you craft a new Legendary at the new item level.

This means that it’s almost always worth crafting Rank 1 of a legendary you plan to use over the long term. You’ll have to buy the higher base item, which will set you back some additional gold, but you don’t waste any Soul Ash, which is the harder currency to obtain.