Do I look like a bank to you? Where to find and spend the currencies of Shadowlands
Every World of Warcraft expansion has introduced new currencies. As expansions go on, new ones are typically added with each patch — and by the end of an expansion, you may have a rather confusing currency collection, with bags full of odds and ends used to buy various things at various vendors. Shadowlands wants to prove itself, and started off with a hefty amount of currencies, all from different sources and all used to purchase different rewards.
What are these different currencies? Where do they come from? What are they spent on? Let’s break down all of the currencies you can find in Shadowlands and what each one is used for.
Anima is the main currency of Shadowlands
Anima is the lifeblood of the Shadowlands. In the figurative sense that what you have in the Anima Reservoir helps decide what you can do or buy, and in the literal sense that Anima comes from the life force of once-living creatures.
How to earn Anima
Many Shadowlands activities will give you small amounts of Anima:
- World Quests will usually reward Rare Quality tokens of 35 Anima each, and the reward will say how many tokens are rewarded — usually between 1 and 4 (between 35 and 140 total Anima). World Bosses and elite World Quests reward an Epic Quality token worth 250 Anima, which gets you a long way towards your weekly Anima goals.
- Adventure Command Table missions typically reward Uncommon Quality Anima tokens, worth 5 Anima each. These will reward 6 or 8 tokens, for a total of 30 or 40 Anima — but it costs 10 Anima to start the mission, plus an additional 1 Anima for each Troop added. You have to spend Anima to make Anima. Although, the total will go towards the weekly quest to earn 1,000 Anima.
- Dungeon and raid boss both drop Anima, up to 35 per boss, and weekly dungeon quests in Oribos award 175 Anima each.
- There are also Anima rewards for some quests, for opening treasures, and killing rares. Going out and doing activities in the four Shadowland zones will net you Anima.
However, World Quests are your most reliable source of Anima, particularly epic World Quests with their 250 Anima tokens.
How to spend Anima
What do you spend all this Anima on? First, make sure to put the Anima into your Anima Reservoir in your Covenant Sanctum, as that is where you spend it from. It isn’t enough to loot Anima tokens, you also have to deposit them in your Reservoir.
From there, you can use it to upgrade features of your Covenant — Transport Network, Anima Conductor, Command Table, and the special feature like Queen’s Conservatory or Abomination Stitching. Each of these costs one thousand Anima to unlock, five thousand for the first upgrade, ten thousand for the second upgrade, and then the special feature has two more upgrades for a total of another twenty-seven thousand Anima. You can also spend Anima on sending your champions on adventures and upgrading your covenant gear.
Then there are cosmetic rewards. So many! Covenants sell recolors of the covenant gear that comes from the campaign. There are pets. There are mounts. There are back transmogs. Not just from the Covenant, but other reputations, like Marasmius or Stichmasters in Maldraxxus. With all of the things Anima can be spent on, and with how little Anima there is to get right now, it can feel like there is a drought. But often a resource feels like this at the beginning of an expansion, and as time goes on it feels like there is a flood. Hopefully that will be the case here.
The Maw currencies
How to earn (and spend) Redeemed Souls
Acquired from: Weekly Covenant quest
Used for: Covenant upgrades
One reason to head into the Maw each week is to rescue Redeemed Souls. There is a quest to rescue a certain number — initially five each week, but eventually the quest goes up to ten. Once rescued, they are deposited in to the Anima Reservoir. Covenant upgrades cost Redeemed Souls as well as Anima. There is no source for these outside the weekly quest — except there was a one-time additional quest from Ysera in Ardenweald that rewarded an extra three to Night Fae Covenant players. Redeemed Souls seem to be a gating mechanic, to ensure that players that spend time earning extra Anima still cannot upgrade their Covenant any faster than other players. Once earned, players decide where to spend these, but they can only be used for upgrades. There are no cosmetics to purchase with these.
How to earn and spend Stygia
Acquired from: Activities in the Maw
Used for: Purchases from Ve’nari
The other currency in the Maw is Stygia. This is all over the place. It’s earned by looting mobs. It is given as quest rewards. It comes from mining nodes. It is impossible to do anything in the Maw and not earn it. However, unlike other currencies, it is also possible to lose it. When you die, you lose a percentage of the Stygia you have. The more you have, the more you lose. If you can return to your corpse — which is marked on the map with a gravestone — and loot your corpse, you reclaim it all. (Assuming you don’t die again before looting.) Once you reach Tier 5 with the Eye of the Jailer for the day, you stop earning Stygia.
Stygia buys items from Ve’nari. Some are on-use effects for the Maw. Some provide permanent upgrades to the Maw. Some are permanent upgrades to Torghast, which are account-wide. You’ll know that the account-wide item is in effect, as it will not be available for purchase on that character. There is no limit to how much Stygia you can hold, but it is better to spend it as soon as you have it, so you don’t lose as much upon death.
How to earn and spend Catalogued Research
Acquired from: Quests and Relics in the Maw
Used for: Choice of Reward
And then there’s Cataloged Research, a currency specific to the new Archivist’s Codex faction in Korthia. This faction is committed to researching and document relics from the Shadowlands, with a focus on Korthia. The Archivists use a ranking system similar to Ve’nari rather than the normal reputation system, and as you rank up you’ll find they have many items for purchase, including a mount and ilevel 239 gear. Most importantly, this faction can upgrade your Conduits and sell sockets so you can add Shard of Domination to gear.
How to earn and spend Phantasma
Acquired from: Running Torghast
Used for: Buying upgrades for your current Torghast run
While running Torghast, there will be a lot of Phantasma floating about. It comes from looting mobs. It comes from breaking pottery. And it comes from Anima cells that reward Phantasma. It only has one use: on Floors 3 and 6 there are Brokers who offer items and abilities for sale for Phantasma.
This is a temporary currency with no function outside of Torghast, and any unused Phantasma vanishes when leaving, whether you complete the full run or not. There is no reason to hold onto it. Spend it, as much as you can. How you spend it is all about preference. Do you buy Anima cells to share with the group? Do you want that power that costs 300 Phantasma? Whatever is most ideal for you.
Did I say there was no reason to hold onto it? That’s sort of a lie. There is one reason. The achievement For the Hoarder! requires you to complete Torghast with 1,000 unspent Phantasma. Either do this on an easy run where you don’t need to buy anything, or wait until one where you have the power that causes skeletons to drop ten times as much Phantasma. In such a run, you wind up with far more than you can spend. It will all still vanish when you leave, but at least you have an achievement to show for it.
How to earn and spend Soul Ash
Acquired from: Completing Torghast layers
Used for: Crafting and upgrading Legendaries
The other currency from Torghast, and the main reason you are there, is Soul Ash. Completing a wing on Layer 8 will reward 570 Soul Ash, for a total of 1140 Soul Ash when you run both available wings in a single week.
On top of this, the quest Bolvar gives — at least so far — every week rewards extra Soul Ash, ranging between 50 and 200. There are occasionally Adventure table missions that can reward Soul Ash, but they require a fairly high-leveled group of champions to complete. (We have some tips on completing Soul Ash missions.) Those are the only sources for Soul Ash, and it is only needed to create and upgrade the legendary gear.
How to earn and spend Soul Cinders
Acquired from: Running Torghast Layer 9+
Used for: Legendary Upgrades
Patch 9.1 added another Torghast currency, Soul Cinders. These are earned from completing the new Layers of Torghast, and are needed for Ranks 5 and 6 of the Legendary, and beginning in Patch 9.2, Rank 7. Otherwise, they operate like Soul Ash, just more scarce, as they only come from the higher Layers.
How to earn and spend Tower Knowledge
Acquired from: Torghast high scores
Used for: Torghast upgrades
Patch 9.1 added another Torghast change, the perks system. These upgrades cost Tower Knowledge, which you drop into the Box of Many Things. Unfortunately, how much Tower Knowledge you earn is based on your Torghast score. To maximize it, you’ll want to beat the par time, kill and destroy almost everything, and keep a streak going. The higher your score this time, the easier it will be next time with your newly unlocked rewards.
Something is going on with Revendreth. They have not one, but two currency systems there, outside of the Venthyr Covenant.
How to earn and spend Infused Rubies
Acquired from: Looting and killing in Revendreth
Used for: Shopping at specific vendors, opening certain treasure chests
To even start earning Infused Rubies, you need to complete the quest The Endmire, which is near the beginning of the zone if you’re doing the leveling quests, but isn’t required to complete the zone, so you could have missed it. Once you’ve finished the quests, Rubies can drop from lots of sources in Revendreth and its dungeons: treasure chests, elites, mobs in Hall of Atonement, and from Tribute of the Court, the reward for Revendreth World Quest Callings. There are vendors in Revendreth who only sell things for Infused Rubies and even some treasure chests that require Infused Rubies to open. Keep an eye on this currency, as you can only carry 100 at a time.
How to earn and spend Sinstone Fragments
Acquired from: Collecting Sinstones
Used for: Earning Avowed reputation and buying faction-specific items.
The second currency is Sinstone Fragments. Like the Rubies, you have to do a quest before you can start earning: An Abuse of Power. Completing the little quest chain will allow the collection of Sinstone Fragments, and earning reputation with another faction, The Avowed. There are three types of Sinstones: Inquisitor, High Inquisitor, and Grand Inquisitor Sinstones. Around the Hall of Atonement area — but not in the dungeon — kill mobs until you have collected a large amount of Sinstone Fragments, which you can turn in for Inquisitor Stones. These stones are used to summon and kill the Inquisitors. From the Inquisitors you receive High Inquisitor Stone Fragments. Summon and kill High Inquisitors for Grand Inquisitor Stone Fragments. All of this is for reputation.
Besides needing the fragments to get the stones to kill the necessary people for reputation, the fragments are also used to buy the items the Avowed faction sells. This is an important reputation for Alchemists, as they sell the recipe to transmute Shadestone, needed to craft a cauldron. There are also toys, a title, and a back transmog.
Zereth Mortis currencies
How to earn and spend Cosmic Flux
Acquired from: Looting and killing in Zereth Mortis, in raids and Mythic+
Used for: Tier sets and Legendary upgrades
There is a new currency to upgrade your Legendary, Cosmic Flux. This comes from the new Layers of Torghast, Layers 13 through 16. However, unlike the other Torghast currencies, this is not limited to Torghast. This also comes from quests, rares, the World Boss, and treasures in Zereth Mortis. This is also reward from Mythic Dungeons, rated arenas, and the new Sepulcher of the First Ones raid. Further more, this is not just for the Legendary. New Season 3 gear can be converted into tier gear, to offset any missing pieces from the raid.
How to earn and spend Sandworn Relic
Acquired from: Looting treasures and killing specific rares in Zereth Mortis
Used for: ilevel 246 gear sets
There are gear sets, one for each type of gear — cloth, leather, mail, and plate. These sets are nothing special, gear-wise. But they have a unique look, and are mostly for transmog. To obtain them, they must be purchased with Sandworn Relics. These come from specific rares and a lot of different treasures throughout Zereth Mortis. There is no rush on these, no way to upgrade them, and they are easily outmatched by gear from previous patches. Take your time, find relics while questing, complete the transmog over the course of the patch.
How to earn and spend Cyphers of the First Ones
Acquired from: Looting and killing in Zereth Mortis
Used for: Upgrading Cypher of the First Ones System
Zereth Mortis introduces a new system, Cypher of the First Ones. While this increases player power, and some cosmetic differences, out in the world in Zereth Mortis, this does not add any benefits to player power in raids or dungeons. It was promised that raiders and mythic+ dungeon runners can skip this system entirely if they so choose. This will give a little robot sidekick, Pocopoc. Doing daily quests in Exile’s Hollow, and upgrading Pocopoc is the only way to earn more Cyphers to add into the system.
This wasn’t even the end of the currencies currently available in Shadowlands, though we have covered the biggest ones.
How to acquire and spend Grateful Offerings
There are also Grateful Offerings. These come from the Anima Conductor, one of the upgradable features of the Covenant. Every day, you can click on the Anima Conductor to open up an additional Rare, World Quest, Treasure, or time-consuming Daily Quest that will reward Anima and 2 or 3 Grateful Offerings, for the low, low cost of 25 Anima. After doing this ten days in a row, that selection will be up permanently, without having to select it, or spend Anima on it. The Covenant Quartermaster offers cosmetics, such as armor, pets, or mounts, that will cost a combination of Anima and Grateful Offerings. This is only used for cosmetics, and not anything that increases power.
How to acquire and use Valor Points
Patch 9.0.5 is adding a new currency, Valor Points. Valor Points come from both Mythic+ Dungeons and from completing Callings. There will be a cap to how much can be earned in a week. However, they have only one use — upgrading gear received from Mythic+. How high the gear can be upgraded will depend on the achievment earned for doing Mythics. Completing all Mythics will allow the player to upgrade gear to ilevel 200. Completing all at Mythic +5 will allow gear to be upgraded to ilevel 207. Timing all Mythic+10’s will allow upgrading to ilevel 213. And the ultimate achievement, Shadowlands Keystone Master: Season One, Timing all of them at +15, will allow you to upgrade gear to ilevel 220. Not completing all the Mythics makes Valor kind of useless.
How to acquire and use Attendant’s Token of Merit
The Great Vault has a choice of gear. If none of the gear is a suitable upgrade, then there’s always the option of Attendant’s Token of Merit. Each one can be used at the nearby vendor, Ko’tul, to purchase 500 Cataloged Research, 500 Stygia, 250 Soul Ash, or 175 Anima. It is a currency to purchase different currencies.
Kyrian’s Medallion of Service
On top of all this, each Covenant has something else to collect for their special feature. There are the different Spirits for the Queen’s Conservatory, and Malleable Flesh is more of a crafting reagent than a currency for Abomination Stitching. But for the Kyrian Covenant, the Medallion of Service, needed to participate in Path of Ascension, is a currency that goes into the currency tab. This costs one medallion each time an attempt is made.
On top of all of the above, we still have good old-fashioned gold to spend. And Honor and Conquest. And of course, Timewarped Badges.
Originally published 1/5/2021. Updated 2/10/2021
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