How to upgrade gear in Dragonflight 10.1 will be confusing at first because Blizzard has revamped the gear upgrade system, changing a lot such as adding new gear tiers and ranks, adding a new currency, and introducing a Crest system. I will explain how this new system works so you can start gearing right away in the new patch.
New Item Tiers & Ranks
The new upgrade system classifies certain ilvl gear under new tiers and ranks to determine what can be used to upgrade them. The higher the upgrade the more valuable currencies you need. Each tier of gear has 8 ranks. Lower-level gear is any gear in between ranks 1-4 and higher-level gear is anything that is ranks 5-8. Now let’s see what the names are for each tier of gear.
- All ranks of Explorer and Adventurer gear up to rank 4 is ilvl 376-398
- Adventurer gear ranks 5-8 and Veteran gear up to rank 4 is ilvl 402-411
- Veteran gear ranks 5-8 and Champion gear up to rank 4 is ilvl 415-424
- Champion gear ranks 5-8 and Hero gear up to rank 4 is ilvl 428-437
- Hero gear ranks 4-5 is 437 to 441
- Mythic gear cannot be upgraded and is ilvl 441-450
Now that we know about the different categories of gear, how can you upgrade it? Well, there is an entirely new system replacing the Valor system players are used to.
Flightstones is going to be the new common currency players will have access to. Unlike Valor, which can only be obtained through completing Mythic+, Flightstones can be obtained through world content (such as killing rares, WQs, and events), dungeons, and raids. This makes Flightstones an easy to farm currency, the catch is that players can only hold 2,000 Flightstones at a time. Flightstones will be used in every upgrade tier when upgrading a piece of gear.
New Gear Upgrade Crests
Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crests are the lowest tier upgrade token and are created by combining 15 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest Fragments. Players can obtain these fragments from defeated LFR Aberrus bosses, Mythic Keys 2-5, world quests, treasures, and from Spinsoa. Spinsoa is an NPC that players can trade Unearthed Fragrant Coins to for boxes of Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest Fragments or Drake’s Shadowflame Crest Fragments. This can only upgrade Explorer gear or low level Veteren Gear. These Crests can be turned into Enchanted Whelpling Crests by Enchanters through the Work Order system. The recipe requires 1 Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest, 30 Chromatic Dust, 5 Vibrant Shards, and 1 Resonant Crystal. Enchanted Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crests can upgrade crafted gear to ilvl 395-408.
Drake’s Shadowflame Crest are the next tier up and their fragments can be obtained from defeating Normal Aberrus bosses, Mythic Keys 6-10, Zaralek Cavern Weekly Events, Weekly Quests, Rare Elites, Fyrakk Assaults, and Spinsoa. Timed keys will award 12 fragments and untimed ones award 5. Drake Crests can upgrade higher-level Veteren gear or lower-level Champion gear. Drake crests cannot be enchanted to improve crafted gear.
Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest is similar to the Primal Focus items players could obtain in season 1. To get this item players must collect Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest Fragments by defeating Heroic Aberrus bosses and Mythic Keys 11-15. Timed Keys will drop 12 fragments and untimed ones drop 5. Once players have 15 fragments they can combine them to create the Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest. Unlike Primal Focus they are not just for crafted gear. These can be used to upgrade higher-level Champion gear or lower-level Hero gear. Enchanters can make Enchanted Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest with 3 Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest, 60 Chromatic Dust, 10 Vibrant Shards, 2 Resonant Crystals, and 1 Dracothyst. The Enchanted Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest can upgrade crafted gear to 424-437.
Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest is similar to Concentrated Primal Focus and their fragments can be obtained from Mythic Aberrus bosses and Mythic Keys 16+. Timed keys drop 12 fragments and untimed keys drop 5. These Crests can be used to upgrade Hero gear to 441 and is the final Crest. The Enchanted Aspect's Shadowflame Crest requires 4 Aspect’s Shadowflame Crests, 80 Chromatic Dust, 15 Vibrant Shards, 4 Resonant Crystals, and 2 Dracothysts. This can upgrade crafted gear to ilvls 434-447.
There are two important things to know about the Crest system. First, players will only be able to get 150 of each type of Crest Fragment in the first week of season 2. Like Valor these Crest Fragments are capped, and this cap will increase by 150 every week. Second, once you have used a Crest to upgrade a specific gear slot then you will no longer need Crests to upgrade future items in the same slot. For example, let's say you upgraded some shoulders with an Aspect's Shadowflame Crest, but then you get shoulders with better stat weights. To upgrade these new shoulders will cost 50% of the original Flightstone cost and requires no Aspect's Shadowflame Crest. This allows players to not focus so much on waiting for their BiS item, and upgrade what they have.
Due to how this works you want to try and get as high of an ilvl piece as possible before you upgrade it to save you on Crests overall. You want to prioritize upgrading to a rank 8 rather than going up one or two ranks at a time to optimize your Crest usage. Or players can decide to stock up their Crests to boost their crafted gear to 447.
New Spark of Shadowflame
Spark of Shadowflame is replacing the Spark of Ingenuity as a required item for crafted gear. This item does increase crafted gear ilvl to 411-424 depending on the skill of the crafter. Players will get this item just like they got the Spark of Ingenuity, through quests that become available every 2 weeks. The first Spark of Shadowflame is obtainable in the first week of patch 10.1. Currently there is no cap planned for Sparks of Shadowflame.
There is everything you need to know about how to upgrade gear in patch 10.1. Remember to plan your upgrades carefully in the first few weeks of the patch, and good luck on your adventure.