Welcome to the wild World of Warcraft’s Dragonflight Patch 10.1, where you’ll find the mysterious Zaralek Cavern, thrilling campaign quests, and more cosmetics and achievements than you can shake a stick at. But let’s be honest; we’re all here for the pièce de résistance: the shiny new gear upgrade system in Embers of Neltharion. Check information about all the activities in Zaralek Cavern Guide.

Word on the street is that players weren’t too keen on the old Valor system, what with having to pick between enjoying the game and boosting their gear. So Blizzard whipped up a new system that’s a bit more player-friendly, with multiple upgrade paths and overlapping progression to cater to everyone from fresh-faced adventurers to grizzled veterans. Read more about all the updates in our WoW 10.1 Changes Guide.

So buckle up, dear reader, as we embark on a journey through this brave new world of Shadowflame Crests and gear upgrades galore. Say goodbye to the days of mind-numbing farming and hello to a more dynamic, challenging, and (hopefully) enjoyable gear progression experience. Let’s dive in!

We’re also recommend to view our Mythic+ Compendium, with all the Dungeon tactics and M+ Loot.

Also, keep in mind that this article mainly focuses on the breakdown of the new shadowflame crests system and gives you a broad understanding of how the system works; take a look at our Dragonflight 10.1 Gearing Guide if you’re looking for a comprehensive plan of action for the first week of the new content!

Also we’re recommend you to read our guide about DRAGONFLIGHT SEASON 3 PVP

Developer Insights and Goals of the Embers of Neltharion Upgrade System

The Embers of Neltharion upgrade system is here, and you might be wondering why the folks at Blizzard decided to mix things up. Let’s dive into their thought process and see if we can understand it all.

Kicking the Tires on the Old System

Remember the good ol’ days of the Valor system? You know, when you had to choose between grinding your soul away for character power or having a blast playing the game. Blizzard finally caught on to the fact that their players weren’t exactly thrilled with this predicament, and they decided it was time for a change.

Making Progress Fun (For a Change)

So, Blizzard took a long, hard look at their gear upgrade system and thought, “Hey, what if we made this enjoyable for our players?” Enter Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests, the new currencies that are supposed to make your gear-upgrading adventures in Dragon Isles feel less like a chore and more like a proper challenge. With multiple upgrade paths to suit everyone, from newbies to seasoned veterans, it looks like Blizzard is trying to make gear progression more engaging this time.

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No More One-Track Minds

We’ve all been there: grinding the same content repeatedly because it’s the “optimal” way to gear up. The devs want you to broaden your horizons and experience all of Azeroth’s wonders. By tying different upgrade paths to activities like Mythic+ dungeons, World events, raids, and PvP, they’re hoping you’ll venture out and explore more of what WoW Dragonflight is all about. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

The Embers of Neltharion gear system is Blizzard’s attempt to make gearing up less of a snoozefest and a more challenging and enjoyable experience. It might not be perfect, but hey, at least they’re trying something new. Let’s hope they keep listening to player feedback so we don’t end up in another gear-grinding rut.

Shadowflame Crest

What Are Shadowflame Crests?

The other important currency introduced in Patch 10.1 is Shadowflame Crests. While Flightstones are the bread and butter of the upgrading process, Shadowflame Crests are the special sauce that gives your gear that extra oomph(even for crafted gear). Read more about flightstones in our Flightstones Farming Guide.

Shadowflame Crests are specifically required for higher-level upgrades, as they come into play when your gear reaches a certain threshold. You can think of these Crests as an extra layer of progression, ensuring that players who tackle more challenging content are rewarded accordingly.

These Crests come in various types, corresponding to the difficulty of the content you complete and how well you perform. So, if you’re consistently pushing yourself to overcome greater challenges, expect to see more of these precious Crests in your loot, but not for a gold.

The main takeaway is that while Flightstones are abundant and can be earned through various activities, Crests are designed to stop the most hardcore players from upgrading their gear too quickly. So, to max out your gear’s potential, you’ll need to gather both currencies and tackle the challenges in the Embers of Neltharion expansion.

How To Get Shadowflame Crest

How to Obtain Shadowflame Crests?

Acquiring Shadowflame Crests is refreshingly predictable, as they are guaranteed to drop every time you complete specific content. There’s no need to worry about chance or luck here; there is a set amount of Crests for every activity, and you get precisely as many as you should.

While there may be some variance in quantity when it comes to certain outdoor content, you can rest assured that these valuable Crests will come your way, as long as you’re not hitting the cap.

Crest TypeDescriptionItem Level UpgradeObtained FromFragments per Activity
Whelping CrestNewbie crest, used for early gear upgradesUp to 411 ilvlOutdoor content, Mythic dungeons (up to +5), LFR raid, event currency trader (2 crests/week)WQs: 3-5 (basic), 7-10 (elite); Dungeons: 5 (untimed), 12 (timed); LFR Raid: 10 (normal bosses), 15 (end bosses)
Drake CrestSemi tier crest, used for mid-level gear upgradesUp to 424 ilvlOutdoor content, Mythic dungeons (+6 to +10), Normal raid, event currency trader (2 crests/week)Rares: 1; Quests: 15; Dungeons: 5 (untimed), 12 (timed); Normal Raid: 10 (normal bosses), 15 (end bosses)
Wyrm CrestHigh tier crest, used for advanced gear upgradesUp to 437 ilvlMythic dungeons (+11 to +15), Heroic RaidDungeons: 5 (untimed), 12 (timed); Heroic Raid: 10 (normal bosses), 15 (end bosses)
Aspect CrestTop tier crest, used for top-level gear upgradesUp to 441 ilvlMythic dungeons (+16 to +20), Mythic RaidDungeons: 5 (untimed), 12 (timed); Mythic Raid: 10 (normal bosses), 15 (end bosses)
Shadoflame Crest - New Currency Weekly Limit

What’s the Weekly Limit on Crests?

Each week, you can earn up to 150 Crest fragments for each type of Crest. To craft one complete Crest, you’ll need 15 fragments. If you miss the weekly cap, there’s no need to fret; you can catch up to the total cap at any time.

Shadowflame Crest Types

Shadowflame Crest Types in Dragonflight Season 2

In Dragonflight Season 2, you’ll find four different types of Crests:

1. Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades higher-level Adventurer and lower-level Veteran gear or crafts an optional reagent for crafted gear.

2. Drake’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades higher-level Veteran and lower-level Champion gear.

3. Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades higher-level Champion and lower-level Hero gear or crafts an optional reagent for crafted gear.

4. Aspect’s Shadowflame Crest: Upgrades Hero gear to item level 441 or crafts an optional reagent for crafted gear.

The type of Crest you’ll need for each upgrade depends on the target item level. For example, if you’re upgrading Raid Finder difficulty gear, you’ll need one Whelpling’s Shadowflame Crest per upgrade. You’ll need one Drake’s Shadowflame Crest per upgrade to upgrade the item level of Normal difficulty gear. For Heroic difficulty raid gear, you’ll use Wyrm’s Shadowflame Crests; for Mythic gear, you’ll need an Aspect’s, Shadowflame Crest.

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You’ll mainly find these Crests in their corresponding content levels, with additional opportunities to earn Whelpling’s and Drake’s Crests through outdoor gameplay.

CrestUpgradeItem Level Range
NO CrestUpgrade Explorer Rank 1-4376 – 385 ilvl
NO CrestUpgrade Explorer Rank 5-8389 – 398 ilvl
NO CrestUpgrade Adventurer Rank 1-4389 – 398 ilvl
Shadowflame WHELPLING CrestUpgrade Adventurer Rank 5-8402 – 411 ilvl
Shadowflame WHELPLING CrestUpgrade Veteran Rank 1-4402 – 411 ilvl
Shadowflame DRAKE CrestUpgrade Veteran Rank 5-8415 – 424 ilvl
Shadowflame DRAKE CrestUpgrade Champion Rank 1-4415 – 424 ilvl
Shadowflame WYRM CrestUpgrade Champion Rank 4-8428 – 437 ilvl
Shadowflame WYRM CrestUpgrade Hero Rank 1-4428 – 437 ilvl
Shadowflame ASPECT CrestUpgrade Hero Rank 5441 ilvl
How Many Shadowflame Crests Can You Possess At Once

How Many Shadowflame Crests Can You Possess At Once?

Shadowflame Crests and Shadowflame Crest fragments are stored in your reagent bag, which can stack to a high limit, ensuring they won’t clog your bags.

There is a weekly cap on the number of Crests you can earn, though. You can acquire ten Crests of each type per week, which limits you to ten upgrades per week within each item level category. This cap is intentionally set higher than most players would typically earn, and it increases over time, allowing for catch-up if you don’t reach it in a week.

You’ll also obtain new epic gear as you play the game and engage in activities that reward Crests. If the gear you acquire is of a high enough level, you won’t need Crests for further upgrades. Consequently, you’ll quickly reach a point where the Crest cap becomes virtually irrelevant, as it will be higher than the maximum number you could use during your gearing process.

Shadowflame Crest Item Level Upgrade

Using Shadowflame Crests for Gear Upgrades

Shadowflame Crests come into play when upgrading your gear for level 402 and above items. Upgrading your character’s gear up to 398 can be done solely with Flightstones. However, for upgrades beyond that point, each step will require a specific Crest, depending on the Track and Upgrade level of the target item.

To provide you with a clear understanding of the number of Crests required for each upgrade, we have prepared a comprehensive table. This table illustrates the Crest amounts needed to upgrade items to their next level, considering the different Tracks and Upgrade levels. Refer to the table below to plan your gear upgrade strategy accordingly.

Shadowflame Crests And Crafting

Shadowflame Crests and Crafting

Shadowflame Crests serve a dual purpose, as not only do they upgrade gear, but they also function as crafting reagents. Stored in the reagent bag, they are utilized by enchanters to create Enchanted Shadowflame Crests, which are available through crafting orders. These Enchanted reagents determine the item level range of crafted items.

The crafter’s skill remains significant, as higher quality crafts result in higher item levels. Once the gear is crafted, players will use the existing enchanted Shadowflame crests recrafting system to upgrade their gear via the Auction House. What is a nice option if you are gearing a new character. Just imagine you can upgrade your epic quality gear with the enchanted aspect’s shadowflame crest to a 434-447 item level range without doing any world quests or killing raid bosses.

May I Upgrade my PvP gear with shadowflame crests?

Unfortunately, in World of Warcraft, Dragonflight Season Two unique upgrade path was reforged mainly for PvE equipment. And there is no way you can upgrade your pvp gear even with the enchanted aspect’s shadowflame crest.

What Epic Quality Gear requires the Shadowflame Crests for Upgrade?

You will need the Shadowflame Crests to upgrade items from Adventurer to Hero rank.

What is the best way to Farm the Shadowflame crests?

It all depends on the Shadowflame Crest fragments you need. For example, whelpling’s shadowflame crest fragments may be farmed by completing world quests and other outdoor activities. However, higher shadowflame crests require harder PvE activities to be completed. For example, if you require Wyrm’s shadowflame crest to upgrade gear, we recommend you farm mythic keystone dungeons. The rarest and hardest to get Shadowflame Aspect Crest, as they are used for the most powerful gear to be upgraded. You will need to complete +16 mtyhic+ dungeons or Mythic raids to get them.