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DiabloDec 23, 2021 3:00 pm CT

How to get Hellforge Embers and upgrade Soul Shards in Diablo 3 Season 25

If you’re playing Diablo 3‘s Season 25, you’re probably already hard at work collecting Soul Shards, the Season-only gems that can be socketed in helms and weapons which grant powerful bonuses based on one of the seven Evils. In the fiction of the game, these shards are literally pieces of those Demon Lords’ souls, freed when the Black Soulstone was shattered by Malthael and used against the Nephalem at the end of Reaper of Souls. But for you, they’re useful buffs that will help see you through Season 25.

And much as the Angel of Death tried to, during this Season can use the power of these seven Evils to charge up our journey, socketing powers from one of the three Great Evils — Mephisto, Baal, and Diablo — in our helmet items while socketing powers from one of the four Lesser Evils — Belial, Azmodan, Duriel, and Andariel — in your weapon.

But to fully unlock the power of these Soul Shards, you’ll have to upgrade them: your shards drop at Rank 0 but can be upgraded all the way to Rank 3. This means that each Soul Shard goes through four ranks to get to its final, most powerful form. You can buy new ranks with Hellforge Embers, a special consumable item available this Season. But how do you get Hellforge Embers? Let’s take a look at where these drop and how many you’ll need to fully upgrade your Soul Shards.

The Embers of the Hellforge

Hellforge Embers are world drops in Diablo 3 Season 25. Players generally report that the Hellforge Embers drop more at higher difficulty settings, such as Torment 16 or Greater Rifts at or above 120. They also seem to drop from any ordinary activity: from regular Nephalem Rifts, from the Cow Level (shh, it’s a secret), from Greater Rifts and just about anything else. From what other players are saying, they drop more frequently than the Ramaladni’s Gift weapon socket item, so collecting Embers shouldn’t be the worst grind. If you’re not seeing any Embers, keep increasing the game difficulty and pushing harder Greater Rifts, and they should start dropping more often. I recommend trying to get to Greater Rift 90 and above as quickly as possible for the most efficient means to farm them.

Once you have the Hellforge Ember, using it is simple — simply click on it in your inventory and apply it directly to the Soul Shard you’re upgrading. It only costs one Ember per rank, so you’ll need a total of three Embers per Soul Shard to maximize their power.

All Soul Shards have a unique power based on the shard type at rank 0, then unlock additional stat bonuses at rank 1 and 2,  and finally a second, randomized unique power at rank 3. The three helmet slot Soul Shards — Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal Shards — grant these stats as they rank up:

  • Rank 1: Attribute augments to % Life, cooldown reduction, resource cost reduction, % extra gold from monsters, or % experience
  • Rank 2: Primary attribute augments a single stat such as Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Vitality, All Resistances, or % reduced damage from ranged attacks

So to fully unlock the power of these Soul Shards, you will need to get them to Rank 3. The weapon Soul Shards — Belial, Azmodan, Duriel and Andariel’s Soul Shards — work in a similar fashion, but grant different stat bonuses than their helmet slot cousins.

  • Rank 1: Attribute augments to damage, % critical hit damage, % increased damage vs. elites, life per hit, or thorns damage
  • Rank 2: Attribute augments to single damage type stat — Cold, Fire, Lightning, Poison, or Physical

How many Hellforge Embers do I need to upgrade my Soul Shards?

Each Soul Shard requires three Embers to upgrade it from rank 0 to rank 3. This means that to fully upgrade your character’s combination of Greater and Lesser Evil Soul Shards, you’ll need six Hellforge Embers.

If you want to be able to swap between Shards — or you get a drop with better random stats or powers — you’ll need to keep collecting Embers. If you get the perfect Shards on your first drop, you may be set for the entire Season. But if you get stats you don’t quite like, or don’t get the Shards you want immediately, you’ll need another three Embers per Shard to unlock its full power.

And that’s basically all there is to say about Hellforge Embers — they drop from pretty much any content, you’ll get more of them at higher difficulty levels, it costs an Ember per Rank on the Soul Shard you’re upgrading, and you’ll need at least six of them to get one helmet Soul Shard and one weapon Soul Shard fully upgraded and their second power unlocked.

Happy hunting in Sanctuary, friends.

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