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DiabloAug 1, 2015 2:00 pm CT

Overview of Kanai’s Cube in Diablo 3

Last week, I said I’d fit Kanai’s Cube in another day, because its seven services cover as much ground as the other three artisans. Not much has changed since we first saw it on the PTR, and Blizzard has recently previewed the Cube as a major feature of patch 2.3.0.

Accessing the Cube

Whether in New Tristram, the Hidden Camp, Bastion’s Keep, or the Survivors’ Enclave, you’ll find Zolton Kulle hanging around the waypoint in Adventure Mode as if he were a merchant or artisan. He’ll offer you a quest to go to the Ruins of Sescheron in Act III to find the Cube. Once you get to the Ruins, you’ll have to find the blue map entrance at the other end leading you to the Elder Sanctum. In the Sanctum, you’ll need to dodge axe pendulums and fight more monsters to find the Cube sitting protected on a pedestal, and Kanai’s ghost will appear to let you take the Cube. Zolton Kulle will then appear to you so he can diss the old Horadric Cube as you gain access to the Kanai’s Cube artisan.

Also in the Elder Sanctum zone is a subzone called The Immortal Throne. This the grand hall of the barbarians, and if you encounter Skular as an event in the Ruins of Sescheron, he will stop following you here as he stands watch with the other ghosts over Kanai’s throne. When you approach the throne for the first time, an error message “The time is not right” appears, so this subzone may later have a tribute or achievement event attached to it. Kanai’s Cube is the reboot that became a tribute, after all.

When you next get back to town, wherever Zolton Kulle is floating, the Cube will be on its own pedestal nearby for you to access. Once you unlock the Cube on one character, it appears on other characters of the same core (softcore, hardcore, seasonal, etc.).


The Cube’s interface

The Cube’s UI menu is a simpler version of the old Horadric Cube back in Diablo 2. There are only seven recipes for Kanai’s compared to the many for the Horadric Cube, but you still put the items required into the big center box, and once you hit transmute, the new item will appear in this same box. The 3×3 box is big enough even for the largest recipe in terms of materials. If you put a stack of materials in that is larger than required for the transmute option, then any excess materials will be returned to your inventory unused. Open the recipe book by clicking the book icon button next to the transmute button. Click through the recipes using the arrows at the bottom of the recipe screen.

The three slots at the bottom are for weapons, armor, and jewelry. These represent the three passive legendary powers you can have activated on your character after extracting legendary powers using the Cube. For example, here I’ve equipped the legendary powers of the Furnace (weapon), Tasker and Theo (armor: gloves), and the Oculus Ring (jewelry) on my Witch Doctor. Clicking on a slot here will open up a library pane of available extractable legendary powers for your character in that slot.

Extract legendary power

The first recipe of the cube is the most prominently featured in Patch 2.3.0 news so far. You can equip the legendary effect as if you were using the item itself. This means you can have passive legendary effects that are useful like the Spaulders of Zakara (“Your items become indestructible”) or powerful like the Ring of Royal Grandeur (“Reduces the number of items needed for set bonuses by 1 (to a minimum of 2)”) or even flat-out silly and cosmetic like the bow Cluckeye (“50% chance to cluck when attacking”).

Extracting a legendary power involves destroying a legendary item, but it allows you to equip the maximum-strength legendary power as a passive on your character. You can equip three total legendary power effects, one from each category: weapons (includes off-hand items), armor, and jewelry (rings and amulets). Once you extract a legendary power, it’s kept in a library of effects shared across your characters. You can only extract and equip legendary powers from items your character can use, so items may disappear and reappear from library as you switch characters that can or cannot equip different weapon or armor types. You select a legendary power to use by clicking on its lit-up button in the library so that it shows in the main Cube UI. You can change legendary powers in use at any time by checking back with the Cube in town.

Extracting a legendary power requires these materials:

  • The legendary item you wish to extract the power from. This item will be destroyed in the process, much like salvaging.
  • One (1) each of the five new legendary materials found by completing sets of bounties: Khanduran Rune (Act I), Caldeum Nightshade (Act II), Arreat War Tapestry (Act III), Corrupted Angel Flesh (Act IV), Westmarch Holy Water (Act V).
  • Five (5) Death’s Breath.


Reforge legendary

The second recipe will reroll a legendary item, as if you were getting it dropped again. Enchants will be removed, so you can enchant a completely different stat later if you want to. This can turn regular legendaries into the more powerful Ancient legendaries — or vice versa, so be careful!

The cost of materials is pretty steep, probably to prevent endless rerolling until you get the perfect combination of Ancient and stats:

  • The legendary item you want to reroll. This version will be destroyed, but you’ll receive the same item with different stats after transmutation.
  • Five (5) each of the five new legendary materials found by completing sets of bounties: Khanduran Rune (Act I), Caldeum Nightshade (Act II), Arreat War Tapestry (Act III), Corrupted Angel Flesh (Act IV), Westmarch Holy Water (Act V).
  • Fifty (50) Forgotten Soul.

Upgrade a rare item into legendary

The third recipe allows you to turn a rare or yellow quality item into a legendary quality item. The item to change must be both level 70 and equippable by the transmuting character. This only works for rare or yellow quality items; putting a normal (white) or magic (blue) quality item in will not do anything.

This recipe may be useful for a fresh level 70 character looking to get into endgame quickly, as you can turn your 70 yellows into oranges fairly easily this way. However, your favorite legendary is not guaranteed, and you may get a legendary of that item type that you don’t wish to have.

The materials requires are:

  • The rare (yellow) level 70 item that you can equip. You’ll get back a legendary of the same item type, so if you put in a 2H Axe, you’ll get a 2H axe back.
  • Twenty-five (25) Death’s Breath.
  • Fifty (50) Reusable Parts.
  • Fifty (50) Arcane Dust.
  • Fifty (50) Veiled Crystal.

Convert set item

The fourth recipe will convert a set item into another item of the set. This will be useful when you can’t get a fourth distinct Marauder’s piece to save your life, but you’ve got three of the Gloves sitting in your stash.

You’ll need the following materials:

  • The set item you wish to convert. You’ll get another random set item.
  • Ten (10) Death’s Breath.
  • Ten (10) Forgotten Soul.


Remove item level requirement

The fifth recipe removes the item level requirement of an equippable item, presumably for another character to use. This is useful if you’re rolling another seasonal character and you will to get them set up with powerful equipment. Unfortunately, you need an already powerful character to even gather the materials for this recipe. The recipe requires not only the equippable item you want to transmute but also a level 25 Gem of Ease, which means you have a character capable of running Greater Rifts. You’ll get reliable upgrade chances for a 20-25 level gem at Greater Rift levels 30-35, which is the difficulty equivalent of Torments 7-9 (Torment 10 will be the highest Torment possible in patch 2.3.0).

Convert gems

The sixth recipe will convert nine of one gem color into nine of any other gem color. You will need the nine gems of the color you don’t want and the Essence of the color gem you do want. The Essences are sold by Squirt the Peddler in the Hidden Camp town of Act II. This will be most useful when you make a set of Flawless Royal gems and want to convert them into a different color for another character with a different favored stat choice.

Convert crafting materials

The final and seventh recipe will convert the common crafting materials into each other. You’ll need one (1) Death’s Breath, one hundred (100) of the crafting material you have too much of and one equippable item of the quality you wish to convert into. Here’s a quick conversion guide:

  • Want Reusable Parts? Use a normal (white) quality item.
  • Want Arcane Dust? Use a magic (blue) quality item.
  • Want Veiled Crystals? Use a rare (yellow) quality item.
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