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WoWJun 23, 2021 10:00 am CT

Shards of Domination will let you enhance (some of) your raid gear with powerful new rune effects

A new raid is just over the horizon, and soon players will be battering down the doors of the Sanctum of Domination, rummaging through the nightstands and pockets of the most fearsome minions the Jailer can throw at us. Along the way, some of the fancy new armor that we’ll be collecting will come with a new type of socket unique to the Sanctum of Domination. You’ll be able to socket these items with Shards of Domination — potent gems that are dropped by the bosses found throughout the Sanctum.

There are nine Shards of Domination in total spread across three distinct flavors — blood, frost, and unholy. If you collect all three gems of a set and use them together you’ll get a powerful buff that is only active in Torghast, the Maw, and the Sanctum of Domination. The gems themselves will still provide their individual benefits elsewhere, you just won’t get the power for having three of a kind. Each set of three Shards has a damage-focused gem, a healing-focused gem, and a utility gem.

There are five pieces of gear that each class can use so you’ll be able to build out your set to include the additional shards that fit your role. Each armor class will use the same trio of helmet, shoulders, and chest pieces. While the different armor types will each use a different pair of slots to get to five total pieces.

  • Cloth: belt and bracers
  • Leather: boots and gloves
  • Mail: boots and belt
  • Plate: gloves and bracers

As you continue to rampage around the Sanctum of Domination killing bosses and taking their stuff you’ll be earning Stygian Embers. This new currency will allow you to upgrade your Shards of Domination five times. Serving as a nice power boost the more time you spend in the raid. By the end of the patch, we’ll have a pocketful of gems powerful enough to rival the Infinity Stones!

If you decide that you want to swap some of the gems around later on there’ll also be an item that lets you pop the gem out. Preserving the gem, and allowing you to mix up which Rune word you have active for any given encounter. The Soulfire Chisel is sold for 2,500 Stygia in Korthia and is 100% reusable. Apparently, Bonesmith Heirmir is really good at their job!

How does your legendary fit into all of this?

Now here comes the downside, since these sockets are only available on five very specific pieces of gear — there is a chance that your current legendary of choice might be occupying one of those slots. So now you’ll have to make one of a few different choices. You can continue to use the same legendary slot, which means that you’ll still be able to use four Shards of Domination in your armor, and get the bonus for using three of the same rune — you’ll just be missing out on one of the possible gems. In the long run, you probably won’t notice the missing gem, unless you’re a top-tier raider.

Your other option is to switch the slot that you’re using for that Legendary power. Since there will be new ranks for Legendaries coming with this patch, and Blizzard is increasing the Soul Ash you’ll get from Torghast, it might be the easiest time yet to swap your Legendary to a new slot.

This doesn’t feel like a system that we’ll be carrying out of this raid into 9.2, but I am happy that it exists. Just like Corruption at the end of Battle for Azeroth, this sounds like something that will force me to swap up my gear and think about having a set specific to the content I’m running. With how easy it is to gear up through Mythic Keystones and the Great Vault, gear for the entire expansion can feel a little static.

Without even looking at the new trinkets coming in Tazavesh or the Sanctum of Domination I know that they’re going to have to compete against the Blood-Splattered Scale from De Other Side. It’s a really strong trinket — doing damage and gaining protection, with more damage and protection for more targets. That’s everything I want as a tank! The dungeon gear can feel the same way, I know that there are pieces with my preferred stats on them, I can just wait to get another upgrade from my Great Vault. The odds are good that without systems like the Shards of Domination forcing me to change things up I’d still be wearing the stinky shoulders from Plaguefall going into the next expansion.

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