Update on Aug 23: Azerite gear can now be traded (announced in a dev Q&A on Aug 23, and the change will be live the week of Aug 28’s reset).
This Azerite guide is for all of you data junkies out there. For those of you who can’t get enough information about Azerite gear and need to know more, more, more! While I’m at it, I’m going to overachieve the heck out of this, and share it all in an infographic.
So here it is: your BfA Azerite Infographic
For those of you who don’t like infographics (do you hate puppies too???), or if you want longer explanations, keep reading for the text version.
Azerite guide: the basics
Update: August 2: Blizzard posted an Azerite overview, enjoy!
If you haven’t been in the beta, you might not have seen the interface to pick powers on Azerite gear. So let’s start there.
This is an example Azerite Power picker on an epic Hunter item. It consists of 3 ‘loops’ and a center node, for a total of 4 powers.
You get to choose 1 power in each loop, starting with the outside loop. When you pick a power, it locks into the ‘key’ section of the graphic.
Items for the Head, Shoulder and Chest slots have Azerite Powers.
What are some of the ‘rules’ for Azerite gear?
- Epic Azerite gear gives you 4 powers, Rare quality gear gives you 3.
- Each item has specific Azerite powers – they are not randomly assigned (so no “RNG” randomness).
- Azerite gear has more primary stats (including Stamina) than those slots usually had in past expansions. But they have no secondary stats.
- Azerite gear cannot be Warforged, Titanforged, have an extra socket, or minor stats.
- Azerite gear CAN be traded, starting in a hotfix / update the week of Aug 28. The game launched with Azerite gear not being tradeable, which they talked about in a Blizzard Q&A: they said people shouldn’t to feel pressure to trade an item that might have an interesting Azerite trait on it. In a Q&A on Aug 23, they announced the decision to make Azerite gear tradeable.
- You can redo your Azerite power choices for a cost: starting at 5 gold (on the beta). This cost doubles every time you respec an item, and it is not tied to each item (at least not currently on Beta). So if you respec your chest, it will cost 5 gold. Then your helm will cost 10 gold. If you redo your shoulders, that will be 20 gold. The cost degrades over time: every 2 days, the cost is cut in half. (Update Aug 8: Blizzard’s Azerite post said the cut in half every 2 days, instead of the previously stated 3).
A little more about the gold cost to respec:
It starts out small, and doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Let’s see how many respec’s it takes before the cost gets out of control:
- 12th respec: 10,240 gold
- 16th respec: 163,840 gold
Whew, that doubling effect can really add up!
In-depth look at the Azerite Power picker
I added some labels to this Azerite picker for a Hunter item. Let’s take a look at what types of powers you’ll find on these items.
The example above is not unique – all items seem to follow a few patterns:
- Outer loops have spec-specific powers and 1 generic power that works for all specs. This unlocks first. If an item is shared between specs, you might pick the generic power (or you might not!)
- Utility powers are grouped in the same loop (Loop 3) – so you aren’t choosing between a damage power and something else. This inner loops appears to always have 2 defensive power options, for all specs.
- The center always gives +5 iLevels to the item, and unlocks last.
After spending way too much time researching Azerite Powers, I found a few more patterns:
- About 50% of all of the Azerite powers are stat buffs.
- Each spec has about 5 Azerite powers that modify their spec’s spells directly, possibly changing how you would play.
An Azerite guide wouldn’t be complete without consideration for all types of classes. I am guessing that some of you might be wondering what the powers look like on an item for hybrid classes. They follow the same patterns, here’s an example for Druids.
Rare gear – 3 powers
Epic gear from raids get all the glory. But as you level up, you’ll start out with Rare quality Azerite gear. So it’s worth taking a look at these as well.
Rare Azerite gear lets you pick 3 powers, instead of 4 like the Epic ones. They follow the same pattern as the Epic gear, however rare gear doesn’t have Loop 2 (which has powers for each role).
The rare items have the outer loop, with spec-specific powers and a generic one. It also has the inner loop (loop 3), which has defensive abilities. Lastly, it also has the center node for +5 iLevels.
Specific powers & scaling
Each item has specific powers – they are not random (as mentioned earlier). But let’s take a closer look.
- The LFR version of Tunic of the Sanguine Diety has the same powers as the Mythic version.
- The Mythic version is higher iLevel, so the stats and powers scale with iLevel.
The powers scale with iLevel, just like trinket procs scale with iLevel too. Every Azerite Power has some component that scales with item Level. If you read the recent Blizzard Azerite post, they talk about the Overseer’s Riot Helmet and how the stats scale. Someone asked in the comments how the Azerite Power, Tradewinds, also scaled.
Azerite powers scale like trinket procs. Every Azerite power has some component that scales. Let’s look at Tradewinds.
At item level 340, (Mythic 0) here’s how much Mastery you get:
At item level 385, (Mythic 10), here’s how much Mastery you get:
It also scales with the ‘center’ node that gives the item +5 iLevels.
You can play with all of these on the beta simulator by either selecting the different iLevel versions for raid gear, or changing the Mythic+ setting for Mythic+ gear. You don’t have to simulate these if you don’t want to – you can just play with the ‘paper doll’ character builder to look at all of the tooltips, which scale with the item level. (Normally you can do this on our optimizer, but we don’t have that available in beta form right now, it only has live data).
How to unlock Azerite Powers
The Heart of Azeroth is a necklace that you will always wear (if you played Legion, think of it as the ‘new’ artifact weapon). It doesn’t have powers on it, however it levels up as you collect Artifact Power (AP) – not to be confused with Azerite Powers.
- Your necklace gathers Artifact Power (often abbreviated as AP). I will use AP to make this distinction.
- Azerite gear has Powers on them (you could also call them Traits, but the game calls them Azerite Powers, so I have too).
- Up to this point we have been talking about the Azerite Powers (traits) that you get on gear. Now we’ll talk about gaining AP.
Each ‘loop’ on an Azerite item has an unlock requirement tied to the level of your Heart of Azeroth. The unlock requirements are listed on the item tooltip. Here’s an example for a Normal mode Uldir Helm – you can see four unlock levels listed, one for each ‘loop’ (including the center node).
The outer loop on an item unlocks first, and as the loops get closer to the center, the unlock levels increase.
For example, if you got the helm in the example above, from Normal Uldir, the outer loop unlocks when your Hearth of Azeroth is level 16, the next loop at 19, the inner loop at 22, and finally the center node that gives you +5 iLevels unlocks at level 25.
Each slot has a slightly different Heart of Azeroth level requirement, but there is a pattern. (As you can tell, there are a lot of patterns with Azerite gear).
- The Head slot has the ‘base’ unlock requirement for items of the same ilevel / from a similar source.
- The Chest slot requires 1 Heart of Azeroth level higher. So if a Helm’s loops unlock at 16, 19, 22, and 25, the Chest unlocks at 16*, 20, 23 and 26.
- The Shoulder slot requires 2 levels above the Helmets, unlocking at 16*, 21, 24, and 27 in this example.
- *The outer loop for raid gear all seems to unlock at the same level 16. The rest of the loops require 1 more level for Chests and 2 more levels for Shoulders.
Here’s a chart for the unlock levels for the Head slot:
If your Heart of Azeroth is level 25 and you get a helm from Normal Uldir, all ‘loops’ would be immediately unlocked. If you got a helm from Heroic Uldir, loops 1, 2, and 3 would be immediately unlocked, but the center node would not be unlocked until your Heart of Azeroth was level 28.
Question from a user: “Does the Heart of Azeroth levels get ‘spent’ to unlock each loop, or does it globally unlock all items?” Great question, as your Heart of Azeroth levels up, it stays that way. You do not ‘spend’ levels to unlock things. It’s a global unlock.
Note 1: drops from Normal dungeons scale with your player level, like they did in Legion. At lower levels, they unlock at levels 3, 5, and 7. The Dungeon Journal also seems to indicate that the Helm, Chest and Shoulder slot rewarded in Normal dungeons, all unlock at the same levels (an exception to the ‘slot’ rule I just mentioned). This appears to only be the case for Normal mode Dungeons, and perhaps Azerite items that drop as you are leveling up.
Note 2: LFR Azerite gear currently has the same unlock requirements as Normal Uldir, according to the in-game dungeon journal. It is unclear if this is intended or not.
Note 3: Mythic+ does not reward Azerite gear, however the weekly reward chest for Mythic+ does. Blizzard said the idea is that epic Azerite gear is not completely farmable and it is behind ‘gated’ activities like raid lockouts and the mythic+ weekly chest.
How much AP is needed to unlock each Heart of Azeroth level?
This data is from the Beta and may change before it goes live. Blizzard has mentioned wanting to keep AP requirements from getting out of control like in Legion. It is unclear if the numbers below are meant to be final or not (because the requirements grow exponentially right now).
Blizzard has a ‘catch up’ mechanic as well, but I do not know the specific values for it.
“Over time, the amount of Azerite required to level the Heart will decrease, allowing players the ability to catch up if they’ve fallen behind.” -Blizzard
When you are done leveling, your Heart of Azeroth might end up around level 10. Things have been changing fast in the beta, and the sample might not be typical of your average player.
How much AP per source?
The Island Expeditions are intended to be a major source of AP. World of Moudi shares how much he got on the Beta from those Expeditions. He also explains each source in more detail – wondering what an “Emissary Reward” is? Don’t worry, he tells you in his AP farm/grind post. Below is a list of AP rewards from some of the sources:
- Daily random Heroic Dungeon: 300 AP
- Heroic dungeons: 35 per boss and 75 for the end boss
- Normal dungeons: 25 per boss and 45 for the end boss
- World boss: 650
- Emissary reward: 500
- World quest: 200
- Daily random battleground: 255
- Island PvP mode win: 250
Also, Blizzard’s Azerite post specifically called out Magni Bronzebeard.
“You’ll also want to make sure you take part in the World Quests given by Magni Bronzebeard. He’ll be an important part of empowering your Heart of Azeroth. As you build your reputation with him from friendly to exalted, you’ll be rewarded with Azerite as well as a chance to receive Azerite armor along the way.”
Optimizing Azerite gear
Just a quick little note to tell you the obvious: Mr. Robot will help you optimize your Azerite gear. You’ll be able to do this in BfA with Best in Bags, Best in Slot, the Upgrade Finder, and simulations as well. We’ll have how-to’s and guides for this as BfA nears.
Other resources to check out for BfA data…
I’m always on the lookout for good sources of info and helpful people that you might not know about yet (although I know some of you do!). I like sharing those sources because I figure other people will find them useful as well.
- World of Moudi – each expansion, I find him to be one of my main go-to resources. He’s very data oriented, which is right up my alley. Not to mention, he is super helpful.
- HazelNuttyGames – I first stumbled upon her boss videos last expansion. For BfA she has a lot of interesting video content, from BfA Gold Inflation to rewards from Island Expeditions. She’s happy, enthusiastic, and she’s one of my favorite Warcraft YouTubers.
- I found this BfA spreadsheet (made by Flintar) with a ridiculous amount of data for all things BfA.
- Here’s a very thorough video guide on Azerite powers, by Selwen, that shows a lot of the user interface for it as well.
Lastly, a huge thanks to the folks at WoWDB, MMO-Champion, and World of Moudi for providing a bunch of the numbers I needed. I couldn’t have made a complete Azerite guide without you. <3
If you have any remaining questions, feel free to ask them over on this forum thread.
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