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DiabloDec 23, 2021 4:00 pm CT

How to harness the power of the demons and collect Soul Shards in Diablo 3 Season 25

In Diablo 3 Season 25, you’ll be using the power of the seven Evils against them by collecting Soul Shards that contain a fraction of the Demon Lords’ own power. These Shards are basically gems that can only be socketed in your helm or weapon slots, but they’re a little more difficult to get than standard Legendary gems — and before you can harness their power, you’ll have to find and collect these Soul Shards.

There are seven Shards in total, three for the Prime Evils (which can only be socketed in helms) and four for the Lesser Evils (which can only be socketed in weapons):

  • Baal’s Fragment of Destruction: You move unhindered through enemies. Each enemy you pass through will be marked by destruction for 7 seconds. Each marked enemy that dies removes 1 second from one of your skills on cooldown. If the Mark of Destruction expires before the enemy dies, you lose 2% of your maximum health as damage. Marks are not applied if you are below 35% health.
  • Mephisto’s Shard of Hatred: You deal 15% reduced damage while you have 3 or fewer enemies within 25 yards. If more than 3 enemies are within the same distance, you deal 10% increased damage per enemy.
  • Diablo’s Sliver of Terror: Your cooldowns are increased by 25%. For every skill on cooldown, you take 12.5% reduced damage and deal 75% increased damage.
  • Andariel’s Essence of Anguish: Every time you deal poison damage to an enemy you increase your cooldown reduction, movement speed, and damage received by 5% for 10 seconds. Max 10 stacks.
  • Azmodan’s Stain of Sin: You deal 25% less damage. When you kill an Elite enemy, you spawn a pool of blood that increases the damage non-elite enemies receive by 250% and lasts 7 seconds.
  • Belial’s Dregs of Lies: Reduce the damage of enemies hit by 33% for 5 seconds. Damage you deal is reduced by 50%.
  • Duriel’s Remnant of Pain: Your Critical Hit Chance is reduced by 15%. Attacks against incapacitated enemies are automatically critical hits.

Each Shard comes with a single fixed power (listed above) and a selection of stat bonuses and additional powers pulled at random from a table based on the Shard type. Check out more details on their randomized powers in our Soul Shards post.

The randomization means you may need to spend some time farming to pick up the perfect Shards, but fortunately, it’s very simple to get Soul Shards — if  somewhat time intensive to collect them all (or collect them all with your favored stats). But don’t panic, because soon you’ll be out there farming for Soul Shards and getting the perfect combination for your character. Here’s how to farm Soul Shards in Diablo 3 Season 25.

Collecting Soul Shards is simple: Kill everything you can (but especially bosses)

Soul Shards are a random drop from any monster you kill, with a higher chance from bosses (particularly final act bosses) and Rift Guardians. Like Legendary gear, you’ll also see more of them on higher difficulty levels or Greater Rift levels. For your best chance at snagging the right drops, your goal is to work your character up to where they can safely run Torment 16, and then jump straight to bosses in Adventure Mode, run Rifts, or otherwise kill as many monsters as you can. Once you’re geared enough, you can jack up your Greater Rifts to above 75 and start burning your way through — the drop rate seems to increase once you hit 75 and keeps climbing until GR 90 or above, where it stabilizes. But as long as your difficulty is the highest Torment you can sustain, you can farm for Soul Shards.

Some players report great success farming in the Realm of Greed or the Cow Level, others swear by Rifts. With random drops like this, we’ll always see players who are sure they drop most in certain places or game modes, but — aside from hitting up bosses and playing on higher difficulty levels — it’s likely just as random as it seems.

If trying to get a specific Soul Shard — say, the Baal or Azmodan one — you should target bosses in specific acts:

  • Baal’s Fragment of Destruction: Act 3
  • Mephisto’s Shard of Hatred: Act 5
  • Diablo’s Sliver of Terror: Act 4
  • Andariel’s Essence of Anguish: Act 1
  • Azmodan’s Stain of Sin: Act 3
  • Belial’s Dregs of Lies: Act 2
  • Duriel’s Remnant of Pain: Act 4

But if the wrong Soul Shards or poorly itemized Soul Shards keep dropping instead, you can use Soul Shards in Kanai’s Cube to empower your gear with the Caldesann’s Despair recipe, where Soul Shards can fill in for Legendary Gems. So even if you keep getting a bunch of the wrong Soul Shards, they still serve a purpose.

Upgrade your Soul Shards to increase their power

All Soul Shards drop at Rank 0, where they’ll have one unique power based on the Shard type. But you can further empower them by using Hellforge Embers, a Season-25 only consumable that you’ll also have to farm. Each Shard has three ranks and it unlocks different, semi-random stat bonuses and powers as you increase its rank.

Here’s what you get for higher ranks onPrime Evil Soul Shards for your head slot item:

  • 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.
  • Rank 3: A second unique power, chosen randomly from three different options based on the Shard type.

And here’s what you get for higher ranks on Lesser Evil Soul Shards for your weapon slot items:

  • Rank 1 — Attribute augments to damage, % critical hit damage, % increased damage vs. elites, life per hit, and thorns damage.
  • Rank 2 — Attribute augments to single damage type stat — Cold, Fire, Lightning, Poison, or Physical.
  • Rank 3 — A second unique power, chosen randomly from three different options based on the Shard type.

Again, if you’d like full details on what different Shards can do at higher ranks, there are more details on their randomized powers in our Soul Shards post.

So to sum up the best ways of farming Soul Shards:

  • They’re a random drop from pretty much everything in the game, but drop more frequently from act bosses and Rift Guardians.
  • The drop chance goes up with game difficulty, so higher Torment levels and Greater Rift levels should improve your chances.
  • Certain types of Shards tend to drop in certain acts, so if you want specific Shards you may want to go to Adventure Mode and farm specific bosses.

Your goal for farming as many Shards as possible as fast as possible should be to run the highest difficulty you can sustain and the greatest mob density you can endure, particularly targeting the final bosses of acts or Rifts. Just like with any other loot, the faster you can kill mobs, and the highest difficult you can kill them at, the faster you’ll earn Shards.

Season 25 is all about unlocking the power of the Evils with Soul Shards, so you’ll want to set about collecting them — and the Hellforge Embers required to upgrade them — as soon as you can. Have fun, kill demons, collect Soul Shards, and enjoy Season 25, which is already live.

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