A comprehensive overview of what tier sets are, how to earn them, and their bonuses.
You may have heard a lot of buzz about the return of tier sets in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in patch 9.2. Unfortunately, if you are a new player or returning after a long time, it may be unclear what that means or how you go about taking advantage of it. In this guide, I want to give you all the information you need to start collecting a tier set to make your character stronger.
We’ll talk about how to get tier items in a moment and what powers they offer for your class, but let’s start by talking about what they are…
What are tier sets?
Tier sets are class-specific armor that make your character’s abilities stronger. When you equip 2 pieces of armor from the set, you will get a 2-set bonus that makes you stronger. Equipping 4 pieces gives you another boost in character power on top of the 2-set bonus.
The bonus you receive for your abilities depends on what specialization (spec) you are playing.
For example, if you are playing a Fury Warrior, earning a 2-set bonus will give you an extra charge of Raging Blow and deal 10% more damage. After equipping 4 pieces, your Raging Blow would give you a 20% chance of gaining Recklessness for 3 seconds. When you add the extra 10% damage to the power spike from Recklessness, you can see that tier sets can really make a difference!
Here is what the tooltip looks like for the Breastplate of the Infinite Infantry — the warrior tier set chest.
As you can see from the image above, your tier gear bonuses will update when you change specs. You don’t have to worry about farming up several sets if you frequently play more than one spec.
What tier set item slots are there?
Not every item slot is eligible for the tier bonus. In patch 9.2, 5 slots can count toward your set bonus, including:
How do I get tier sets?
There are three ways to get tier sets in patch 9.2. You can get them from tokens dropped by bosses in the Sepulcher of the First Ones (SFO) raid, your Great Vault, or the Creation Catalyst.
Let’s take a look at each of these closer…
Tier Set Tokens from Raid
The first way to get tier gear is from tokens dropped by bosses in the SFO raid. After receiving a token, you can click on it to create a piece of equipment specific to your class. Like all other gear in the raid, the difficulty will determine the item level.
Here are the item slots you can get tokens for and the bosses that drop them in the raid:
|Hands||Lihuvim, Principle Architect|
|Legs||Halondrus the Reclaimer|
|Shoulder||Lords of Dread|
To make things even trickier, tokens are divided into 4 types — Mystic, Venerated, Zenith, and Dreadful. The type of token dropped will determine which classes can use it.
- Mystic Tokens – Druids, Hunters, and Mages.
- Venerated Tokens – Paladins, Priests, and Shamans.
- Zenith Tokens – Monks, Rogues, and Warriors.
- Dreadful Tokens – Death Knights, Demon Hunters, and Warlocks.
Token Drop Chance
As far as drop chances go, each boss will drop about 1 token for every 10 members of your raid. This means that a raid group with 20 players could expect to see about 2 tokens.
Tier Sets from the Great Vault
In addition to collecting tier from the raid, you can also earn tier pieces through your Great Vault. This is great because you don’t need to raid to get tier gear!
If you only do PvP or Mythic+, and you unlock one or more vault slots, you will have a chance to receive a tier piece at the item level you earned. As an important side note, if you aren’t happy with the item level of your tier reward in the vault, you can use valor or conquest to upgrade it in the future!
Creation Catalyst – Tier Set Crafting in Patch 9.2
The last way to earn a tier set is by crafting it yourself using the Creation Catalyst in Zereth Mortis. This is an excellent option for players who don’t do PvE or PvP (or those who do but have bad luck).
But how does it work?
How to Unlock the Creation Catalyst
To unlock the Creation Catalyst, you’ll need to complete the Zereth Mortis storyline through the third chapter — Forging a New Path. After doing so, you should notice a quest called The Catalyst Awakens being offered by Vilo in Haven.
Pick up the quest and make your way to the Catalyst Gardens. The Creation Catalyst is a building that floats above the central pool of the Catalyst Gardens. You can fly into the catalyst or use the teleporter directly underneath it to complete the quest to unlock the catalyst!
How to use the Creation Catalyst
You can use the Creation Catalyst by clicking “Transform” after placing a piece of gear in the console in the middle of the room. Transforming a piece of equipment will require the Cosmic Flux currency you get in Zereth Mortis. The amount of needed cosmic flux varies based on what slot you are trying to transform.
Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with each gear slot.
Tier pieces are only available in the shoulder, gloves, chest, helm, and leg slots as a reminder. Using the Creation Catalyst to transform your bracers, cloak, belt, or boots will gain different stats, but you won’t be given the tier bonus.
Additionally, the Creation Catalyst has “charges” which limit how many items you can transform each week. At release, the catalyst allowed for 1 transformation a week. As the patch progresses, it will recharge faster, allowing for more transformations.
Luckily, if you are behind, any unused charges will accumulate for you.
Where to get gear to transform in the Creation Catalyst
Unfortunately, not every piece of equipment is eligible to be converted to tier in the catalyst. Only gear earned during Shadowlands season 3 can be transformed.
More specifically, the following sources of gear can be converted into tier pieces:
- Sepulcher of the First Ones raid
- Mythic and Mythic+ items earned in Season 3
- Cosmic Gladiator Gear
- Sandworm Relic Gear (purchased in Pilgrim’s Grace, Zereth Mortis)
- Drops from World Boss Antros
Note that cypher equipment earned in Zereth Mortis is not eligible to be transformed. For players who choose not to do PvE or PvP, the only routes to earn tier are from Antros and Sandworm Relic gear.
What tier set bonuses does my class/spec get?
Each class and spec combination has its own bonus provided by tier gear. The first bonus will kick in when you have 2 pieces of the tier set. Equipping 4 items from the set will provide your second bonus.
To help you figure out what your tier bonuses are in patch 9.2, I’ve put a list for every spec in collapsible menus below: