What are the best recipes to use in Kanai’s Cube?
Season 20, the Season of Forbidden Archives (aka — Kanai’s Cube-o-Rama) is coming soon to a Diablo 3 near you. Usually, we’d be using the Cube to store and use up to three extracted Legendary powers at once; one from a weapon slot (main-hand, off-hand), one from an armor slot (chest, waist, legs, feet, hands, arms), and one from a jewelry slot (ring, amulet). Season 20 unlocks all slots — want three ring effects? Go for it.
But other than the first recipe (Archive of Tal Rasha), do you need to care about Kanai’s Cube? Yes. Yes, you do. Realistically, each recipe is helpful in its way, but a few stand out. Let’s dive into the recipes you need to know to get the most out of your Kanai’s Cube.
Upgrade rare items with Hope of Cain
The third recipe in Kanai’s Cube, Hope of Cain, is particularly useful at the beginning of a season. If you’ve completed the Challenge Rift as recommended in our Season prep guide, you have the necessary resources to both craft a level 70 rare item at your skilled-up Blacksmith, and upgrade that rare to a Legendary quality item. This combo is your path to starting the season with one power in the Cube; you won’t be able to add a second until level 61. Your magic combination for Hope of Cain is:
- (1) Rare Item
- (25) Death’s Breaths
- (50) Reusable Parts
- (50) Arcane Dust
- (50) Veiled Crystals
Now you’ve got your Legendary item. What are you going to do with it?
Extract Legendary powers with Archive of Tal Rasha
You’re going to be using Archive of Tal Rasha at least three times to strip a Legendary power (written in orange text on an item) from a Legendary item. For example, let’s say you want to cube (store the power in Kanai’s Cube for use) a Goldwrap belt, which is pretty typical for speed farming Nephalem rifts. Goldwrap’s Legendary power is “On gold pickup: Gain armor for 5 seconds equal to the amount picked up,” which is terrific for survivability when combined with the Boon of the Hoarder Legendary gem. Combine the following to extract the Legendary’s power:
- (1) Legendary item (in our example, Goldwrap)
- (1) Each of the Horadric Cache act materials: Khanduran Rune, Caldeum Nightshade, Arreat War Tapestry, Corrupted Angel Flesh, and Westmarch Holy Water
- (5) Death’s Breaths
This part is significant: extracting the Legendary power with this recipe destroys the Legendary item. This cost is not a problem if you use one that does not have amazing stats. Accidentally popped the perfect Primal Ancient in there? Whoops.
Augment Ancient and Primal Legendaries with Caldesann’s Despair
Speaking of Primal Ancients, did you know there is a recipe for increasing the primary stat on Ancient and Primal Ancient legendaries (set items included)? Of course, you read the header of this section! The last recipe available in the Cube, Caldesann’s Despair, is honestly a bit convoluted in application but also very worth using if you’re 1) trying to make the leaderboards for Greater Rift clears or 2) need to complete the Conqueror journey task “Power Amplification” to add a 50+ augment.
This recipe has a big pre-requisite; you need a Legendary gem leveled to a minimum rank depending on the type of item you want to augment:
- Weapon: Rank 30+ gem
- Jewelry: Rank 40+ gem
- Armor: Rank 50+ gem
Realistically, you want the gem to be ranked as high as possible as you gain +5 primary stat for each gem rank. However, if you’re trying to knock out your Conqueror task, combine the following in your Cube:
- (1) Rank 50+ Legendary gem
- (1) Ancient or Primal Ancient Legendary item (ideally something from your gear, you want to benefit from this!)
- (3) Flawless Royal gems for the primary stat you are adding: Ruby (Strength), Topaz (Intelligence), Emerald (Dexterity), or Amethyst (Vitality).
This recipe is another instance where it consumes all items (in this case, all the gems) in the augment process. You come out with a shiny, newly-augmented version of your Ancient / Primal Ancient Legendary. The minimum if you are completing “Power Amplification” will be +250 of the stat.
Another important caveat when using this recipe is the Legendary gem you are using. The following Legendary gems have rank caps, which will impact the maximum amount of stat you can add:
- Boon of the Hoarder — Rank 50
- Esoteric Alteration — Rank 100
- Iceblink — Rank 50
- Legacy of Dreams — Rank 99
- Mutilation Guard — Rank 100
This cap isn’t a concern if you’re only trying to knock out “Power Amplification,” but essential to keep in mind if you are looking to maximize your stat boost.
What about the other recipes?
Technically, there are ten recipes in Kanai’s Cube. The others have their uses but tend to be high cost or only situationally useful. They’re worth knowing, but you probably won’t use them all that often in your D3 time.
- Law of Kulle (Reforge Legendary items) — Applying a lot of resources (5 each of the act cache materials, plus 50 Forgotten Souls) reforges a Legendary or Set piece, granting different attributes. Using this recipe can result in an Ancient or Primal Ancient version; conversely, it can also remove Ancient or Primal Ancient status from an existing item!
- Skill of Nilfur (Convert Set item) — Changes a Set piece to another in the same set, but only works on gear sets with three or more pieces (sorry, weapons sets). Have two legendary helmets, but need boots? Combine the extra item, 10 Death’s Breaths, and 10 Forgotten Souls, but remember that the resulting gear cannot be Ancient or Primal Ancient.
- Work of Cathan (Remove level requirement) — combining a rank 25+ Gem of Ease (will be consumed) with a Legendary or better item removes the level requirement. Honestly, it tends to be faster to use your Gem of Ease to level up quickly.
- Darkness of Radament (Convert gems) — Use 9 Flawless Royal gems and one “Essence of” whatever gem you want to convert to (purchased from Squirt the Peddler in Act 2) to switch types of gems. For example, (9) Flawless Royal Amethysts + (1) Essence of Topaz = (9) Flawless Royal Topaz.
- Pleasure of Iben Fahd (Convert crafting materials) — Similar to Darkness of Radament, take 100 of a particular crafting item, an item of the rarity of crafting item you want, and a Death’s Breath to convert to the needed crafting item. For example: (100) Arcane Dusts + (1) Death’s Breath + (1) Rare item = (100) Veiled Crystals.
Kanai’s Cube is one of those game features that can be as easy or as complicated as you want to deal with in D3. Use it in good health!
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