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How to craft legendary items in Shadowlands

best wow shadowlands legendary gear
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Want to know what's changed with legendary crafting in WoW's 9.1 update? Chains of Domination is here and has brought several changes to the legendary gear in Shadowlands. If you've been playing for a while, you'll already know that each class and specialisation has various legendaries to choose from, and 9.1 introduces covenant-specific legendaries into the mix.

The latest patch also introduces a new Shards of Domination power system, so if you need to recraft any of your current legendary items, you'll find that some of these changes make that much easier. So 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, including what's new in 9.1.

9.1 changes

WoW Shadowlands legendary crafting: What's changed in 9.1 

The Chains of Domination 9.1 update has brought about several changes to legendary crafting. As well as new covenant legendary items, you can now upgrade your current legendaries to Rank 6 (the maximum was rank 4) using a new currency, Soul Cinders. This can be obtained by running layers 9 -12 in Torghast and completing Assaults in the Maw. 

Additionally, you now earn slightly more Soul Ash for your first run of Torghast wing each week, and you will get a reduced amount for subsequent runs during the same reset. Previously, you wouldn't earn any additional Soul Ash for repeating the same layer in the same week, so this should help you catch up if you need to recraft one or you're levelling an alt.

Unlocking the Runecarver

How to unlock the Runecarver 

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.

Memories of the Runecarver

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Collecting Memories of the Runecarver 

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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.

Soul Ash and Soul Cinders

WoW Shadowlands legendary crafting: Soul Ash and Soul Cinders 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 twelve layers of both wings will award a total of 2080 Soul Ash (up from 1140) for your first run per week. Quests add more to that total and you can earn more—at a reduced rate—with Torghast reclears. Soul Ash can also be 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

In 9.1, you can now upgrade legendary items to rank 6, but you'll need to collect Soul Cinders to do so This can be obtained from Torghast layers 9-12 and as well as Assaults in the Maw. 

This is the Soul Cinders cost for higher ranks:

  • Rank 5 (item level 249): 1100 Soul Cinders
  • Rank 6 (item level 262): 1650 Soul Cinders

Base items

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 and/or Soul Cinders 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 and Soul Cinders costs.

Gear slots

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. 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 can be found on raid gear in a particular slot, so 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.

Another thing to consider when choosing slots for your legendary gear is the new power system introduced in 9.1. This Shards of Domination guide should help you work out the best gear slot for your legendary, depending on your armor type.

Crafting and upgrading

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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 Soul Cinders if you're going for rank 5 or above) 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 or Soul Cinders 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 won't ever waste any Soul Ash or Cinders, which is the harder currency to obtain.