A quick guide to the Netherlight Crucible
The Netherlight Crucible is a way to combat bad RNG with a little more RNG while making you stronger. Basically, before patch 7.3 if you got a Relic with a trait you didn’t like, you’d throw it away. Now, if you get that Relic, you have a chance to add a better trait to it, making it not as useless. The Netherlight Crucible doesn’t replace traits, it just adds another one to it, along with Light and Void traits to help you with damage and healing.
To open up the Netherlight Crucible, you need to complete the Argus story through the final chapter right before you get sent to the new dungeon, Seat of the Triumvirate. The quest sends you to finish infusing the Netherlight Crucible and you receive an achievement. Then you can get started upgrading your Artifact Weapon. Once you have completed this chain on one character, the Crucible will be unlocked for all characters on your account.
When you first unlock the Netherlight Crucible, you have “Tier 1” available immediately for all your current relics and any relics you swap out. This means you can add 5 item levels to each relic, for a total of 15 item levels on your Artifact Weapon. The additional tiers are opened up with the Concordance Artifact Traits, with a new tier every 3 traits.
Netherlight Crucible Tiers
- Tier 1: Adds 5 item levels to each relic
- Tier 2: Choice between a random Netherlight Crucible Void or Light trait that helps your DPS or healing
- Tier 3: Choice between 3 random Artifact traits for your weapon
- Tier 1 (5 ilvls per Relic): Immediately open
- Tier 2 (Netherlight Crucible traits)
- First relic Tier 2 choices: unlocked with 60 Artifact traits
- Second relic Tier 2 choices: unlocked with 63 Artifact traits
- Third relic Tier 2 choices: unlocked with 66 Artifact traits
- Tier 3 (Additional Artifact traits)
- First relic Tier 3 choices: unlocked with 69 Artifact traits
- Second relic Tier 3 choices: unlocked with 72 Artifact traits
- Third relic Tier 3 choices: unlocked with 75 Artifact traits
If you only main one spec, you have it simple as far as unlocking all the traits. Just keep pumping Artifact Power into your weapon until you hit 75 traits. After that you can move on to off-specs if you so desire, or just keep putting it into your main spec. For those who juggle multiple specs, you may need to swap between them, or focus on one for more power.
Netherlight Crucible Paths
This is where it gets tricky, depending on how much you want to min/max or optimize your character.
The basic gist of it is that you choose either a Void or Light trait, which then affects what Tier 3 Artifact trait you can choose. The Tier 2 traits were adjusted in a tuning pass the day before the patch, bringing them more in line with each other. Depending on how RNG works out, sometimes you may prioritize Tier 2, and sometimes you may just choose whatever Tier 2 trait will get you to a desired Tier 3 trait. The Tier 3 trait options can be any trait from Relics, but will never include the same trait currently on that Relic.
There’s no undoing the traits after you choose them, so make sure it’s the one you want when you click that button. When you get a new Relic, however, you get new choices. You can preview what traits new relics will have in a preview window before actually putting it into your Artifact Weapon. This will bind it to you, though, so you can’t just preview it and then trade it to someone else if it doesn’t have any good options for you. Since the options are random, two of the same Relics will give different results.
DPS classes are most likely more concerned with the maximum damage possible for each trait. They’ll want to look at both Tier 2 and Tier 3 to decide which path is more lucrative. Healers have it easier, since the Tier 2 traits don’t affect playstyle as much. They’ll probably be able to just go in whatever direction their favorite Tier 3 traits are. If you want to know the nitty gritty details and min/max to the best of your potential, you’re best off simming the traits or using resources in the various Class Discords. Wowhead also has a detailed guide available for more detailed information. Otherwise, you’re probably fine picking whatever trait appeals to you, at least until your next relic.
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