Guild Wars 2 Ascended Gearing Guide
Guild Wars 2 Ascended Gearing Guide by SconeOfDoom
So, recently, my guild and ally guilds have been getting some new members, and while some are experienced, there are also some who have very little. While I’ve done my best to explain things out to them, I also figured, lazy person that I am, that if I just typed it out once, I could then direct them to it at a later date to save myself trouble! So I’m creating a guide.
Warning- This will be a VERY long guide, as I’m including every way to gather ascended items reliably, and giving my reasoning on which you should prioritize and why. Since it’s so long, though, I’ve tried to include very clear-cut formatting, so that you can skip through sections as needed!
Note on Links- Many of the links in this guide do not work as intended. This is due to a complication between Reddit’s formatting and links that end with ) – Essentially, for any links that end with ), Reddit ends the link without including the ) at the end of the URL. I have checked all the links in this guide now, and commented where you will need to manual add a ) to the end of a link. Sorry for the inconveniece! Credit to Killsystem813 for letting me know!
The purpose of this guide is to outline what I believe to be the current most efficient way to go about getting your first set of fully ascended gear. This will include both gold and time cost! Once you get your first set, chances are that things will change, since it both becomes easier to get certain pieces due to being able to build up excess currencies, and if you do higher end content like T4 fractals and raids, your odds of having ascended items or boxes drop is greatly increased. Also, I will do my best to update this at any time a new way to get ascended equipment arises (think fractal lobby update with Bling-9009 and new LS3 currencies). This guide will also touch upon other, probably less efficient ways of gathering ascended equipment, and I will make sure to cover why I believe these to be less efficient. Also, since ascended gear is heavily related to fractals, I will also briefly cover how to maximize your infusion slots quickly in order to progress into higher fractals.
Why Should I Care About Ascended Gear??
First things first, ascended gear currently boasts the strongest stats in the game, offering about 5% increased stats for weapons and armor, and almost 8% increased stats for trinkets. In addition to increased stats, all ascended items offer something known as infusion slots. The purpose of these infusion slots is for specific items known as infusions (who woulda guessed?), and provide a few things, but most importantly, they provide you with the only way of accumulating Agony Resistance,or AR, which you need in order to do higher tier fractals. The highest fractal, scale 100, suggests a requirement of 150 AR, and you can get up to 18 infusion slots with maximum ascended, fully infused gear. Note- I do not consider underwater Ascended gear such as breathers and weapons to be relevant in the slightest. At the moment, the only fractal that requires underwater combat is Aquatic Ruins, which, at its highest level, takes 107 AR. While underwater, you lose your usual Head gear and Weapon, but, assuming that you have less than 28 AR in those 3 slots, which you should have, then agony is not an issue!
I am including this here because this is heavily related to why most players will be attempting to get fully-ascended gear in the first place! Per character, you can have up to a maximum of 18 infusion slots, but realistically, you don’t actually need this many, depending on how crunched you are for time or gold. As stated previously, the maximum AR requirement is 150, but that’s actually not the case. The way Agony works, you lose approximately 1% of your health every time agony is applied, increased by about 1% for each point under the requirement you are. Essentially, all you have to do is reach the threshold. There is also a consumable potion that gives you +10 AR (increased to +15 if you have the matching mastery), so the real requirement is 140. I would also not recommend crafting above +9 infusions, considering that if you have all 18 infusion slots, you can reach 162 total AR, which is more than you will need. You can reach the 140 mark with only 16 slots, which means you can skip out on getting two slots.
Attuning and Infusing Gear– Credit to Geriatrics for mentioning that I should include this!
I mentioned that you can get up to 18 slots. However, out of 14 equipment slots (weapon, armor, trinkets), only 13 of those give infusion slots (Note- Amulets do NOT give infusion slots!), meaning the extra 5 have to come from somewhere. That somewhere is attuning your rings, and infusing your rings and backpiece. To attune your rings, you need 1 Agonized Essence, 1 +1 Agony Infusion, 1 Philosopher’s Stone, and then the ring istelf. Combine them in the Mystic Forge to get your attuned ring! To infuse your rings, you need your ring, you need 1 Shard of Crystallized Mist Essence, 3 Globs of Coagulated Mist Essence, and 5 Vials of Condensed Mist Essence. You can also upgrade 1 shard to 3 globs, vice versa and so on via the Mystic Forge. These can only be obtained by having them drop in fractals, or by purchasing them with fractal relics. Either way, it may take a while before you can infuse your rings. To infuse your backpiece, you need 250 ectos, a Gift of Ascension (requires 500 fractal relics), a glob or shard, and the backpiece. Other recipes exist for specific backpieces, such as Mawdrey and Spinal Blade backpieces. Infusing your backpiece is also quite expensive, so I recommend not infusing it until you want to, and instead attune both and infuse one of your rings.
Important Note- Attuning and Infusing your gear results in you losing any Agony Infusions you have slotted. Be sure to purrchase the removal tool from the correct fractal vendor and remove any infusions before you attune or infuse.
Slightly Less Important, But Still Important Note- I say it later in this guide, but most ascended trinkets are unique, meaning that a character cannot have two of the same items equipped. While this doesn’t matter most of the time, if you are farming your trinkets from LS3 maps or such for post-HoT stat trinkets, say you purchase two of the rings with berries. If you attune one but not the other, then technically, they are different rings, meaning you could equip both. If you ever want to reach max AR without potion, you will need two different rings, but using this method you can speed up getting ascended rings by attuning one!
What Gear Should I Focus On First?
The first step towards answering this is deciding on which class you want to play. Until you play the game for a while, chances are you will be stuck with just one class who has enough ascended gear for high end content for a while. Make sure you pick the class you want. Then, you may also have to decide on how you want to play it. There are some classes, such as Ranger or Engineer, that have multiple ‘meta’ builds in high end content. You don’t have to follow these builds, but I do recommend that, like these builds, you follow one theme, such as building a full ‘Healing Druid’ instead of mixing healing gear with power gear, as you generally hinder yourself if you do so. There are also 2 sections of gear to worry about- your trinkets, and then your armor/weapons. I’ve devided them like this because the method of acquiring trinkets is similar among trinkets, but different from weapons/armor, and vice versa. So I will be putting them in two separate sections.
Note On Post- Heart of Thorns Stat Combinations
There are certain stat combinations in the game that were released during and after Heart of Thorns. In general, these stat combinations can also be more difficult to obtain, since the number of ways that you can get ascended trinkets with these stats is limited to methods also released during and after HoT. Make sure that as you read this guide, you are certain that you are working towards items that will actually give you the stats you want!
Now, Onto the Good Stuff!
- This link will provide a master list of all ascended trinkets that you can currently craft or purchase, but does not include directly on the page the precise ways of acquiring them, nor which ways are best, in addition to leaving out most from collections or achievements. I touch on both of those points in this following section, in order to hopefully get you the correct trinkets as soon as possible!- Ascended Trinkets Wiki Page – Ascended Back Item
Note- For pre-HoT, focus on first 3 methods and use method 5 for a backpiece. For post-HoT, you can combine all methods, except when you need post-HoT stats, in which the first 3 don’t apply.
Note 2- Almost all ascended trinkets are ‘Unique.’ What this means is that you can only use one of that exact trinket per character. For example, if you attempt to equip two ‘Althea’s Ashes’ on the same character, it won’t work. Always take care when purchasing ascended trinkets to ensure that you don’t accidentally get 2 of the same!
- Method 1- Fractals!
For every daily fractal that you do, you get 1 Pristine Fractal Relic from the reward chest. Even if you have no AR, you can do up to fractal scale 21 if you buy the AR potion. This means that most days, you should be able to do 3-4 fractals that give you reward chests. Once you get 10 Pristines, then you have enough to buy an ascended ring! Essentially, after 3-4 days of doing just T1 fractals, you should be able to get your first ring. Note- these rings only use pre-HoT stat combinations. If you were looking at something on Metabattle or qT’s raid guide that says you need Vipers or Magis or something, sorry, you’re out of luck! Assuming you don’t need certain stat combinations, then this is my most recommended way to start getting ascended trinkets, as Pristines only have niche uses, allowing for you to save other currencies for harder to get items. Also, fractal reward chests have a lot of drops, and among them are primarily rings, but also rarely amulets or accessories. The higher you go, the more likely you are to get them, but also the more likely you are to already have them, so don’t rely on drops to get your stuffs.
- Method 2- Laurel Merchants!
The only way to get laurels in the game is through log-in rewards and achievement chests. While they can be used for many things, outside of ascended trinkets it’s mostly just fluff. You can get up to 55 laurels every 4 weeks. While you can purchase rings, accessories and amulets from them, I recommend buying the amulet first. Not only does the amulet require less laurels, but there are also easier ways of acquiring the other trinkets. If you haven’t been carelessly spending your laurels or if you didn’t power-level your first character to 80 in under 3 weeks, then you have enough for your first amulet. An amulet costs 30 laurels, but costs 20 if you also have some WvW tokens at your disposal and you buy from a WvW laurel merchant. Note- Similar to the fractal vendor, you can only purchase pre-HoT stats from laurel merchants! You can also buy rings for 35/25 laurels, but since these are harder to get than rings, don’t waste your laurels. You can also get accessories for 40 laurels plus 50 globs of ectoplasm, but that’s around a 15g value, and unless you’re really hurting for accessories, I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Method 3- Guild Merchant!
Guild Merchants sell a number of useful items. Chief among them are ascended recipes and ascended accessories. Focusing on accessories, they cost you 5 gold and 12 commendations. If you’re in a rush, then there are other ways to get ascended accessories faster, depending on your guild. If you participate in every guild mission over a week, then you are guaranteed 12 commendations, and this actually becomes probably the most efficient way of gettin accessories, depending on the missions. Usually, though, it can take 2-3 weeks to acquire enough commendations, making it very cost-effective, but also forces you to wait. Note- Commendations can only be used to purchase pre-HoT stat combinations!
- Method 4- LS3 Map Currencies!
Oh baby, let me tell you, I love me the new LS3 maps. Assuming that you have access and are willing to farm a bit, these are by far the quickest way to get most of your ascended accessories. Also, since they are released post-HoT, they come with every stat combination available! With one character’s worth of farming, you can get at least 4 accessories by the end of a week, or more if you work in other characters! I will touch on each map briefly in order of release date so that I can add to this as more episode are released.
- Bloodstone Fen- The new currency here is the Blood Ruby. These are probably the hardest to farm, but they are also require the lowest amount to get your trinket, and these are the only ones that offer stat swapping! That’s right, after you choose the stats, you can purchase an item that will allow you to reset all of your Bloodstone trinkets at once so you can choose them again. Like I said, though, I find these to be the hardest to farm, since the drop rate from the nodes seems to be only about 30%, and only 3 events drop them, although these events can be repeated on other characters. On one character, though, expect to only end up with about 20-30 rubies. I would recommend getting the amulet first, as it’s the only amulet you can get from LS3 maps at the moment, and it only takes 125 rubies. You can also get a ring for 100, and a backpiece for 200, but I would recommend not ever going for the backpiece unless you like the look or value the stat swapping.
- Ember Bay- This area makes for more reliable farming than Bloodstone Fen. The new currency here is Petrified Wood. There are also 4 events that drop wood, and most of them are fairly quick. Unlike rubies, while there are less wood nodes, they are more likely to drop when you gather them (I’ve found it to be around 80% or so). Also, Ember Bay released the first ever Repeatable Renown Hearts, and upon completing each (there are 5), you can buy a bundle of 3 wood for Karma! In addition, these can be repeated on as many characters as you have available. On one character, I generally end up with about 30+ on any given day, but that can be increased easily. You can choose to go with either the accessory for 150 or the backpiece for 200 based on your need, but outside of LS3 maps, backpieces are generally harder to obtain.
- Bitterfrost Frontier- If you weren’t already excited, you should be now. Here, the new currency is the Fresh Winterberry, and my goodness are they easy to get. While there are no guaranteed drops from events, if you do the meta, at the end they have a chance to drop from the Icebound Chests. Even if you totally ignore the meta, you can get almost 70 or more a day just from gathering the nodes and from purchasing 4 bundles of 5 berries, one from each Renown vendor (yup, 4 vendors). The items you can get are a ring for 200, accessory for 300, and backpiece for 400. I would recommend the ring first, and then purchase the other two based on need. If you are only farming LS3 maps on one character, generally you will have enough berries to get the ring and one other item before you can get a second from rubies or wood.
- Method 5- Crafting!
This only applies to backpieces and two amulets (credit to NotAnonymousAtAll and KioJonny for bringing these to my attention!), and in general is not the way to go for backpacks. Given that you can now farm LS3 maps in order to buy ascended backpieces, it’s no longer necessary to craft an ascended backpiece. Also, to craft one generally takes 100g or more, and only supply you with pre-HoT stats. If you don’t need a post-HoT stat combination and would rather spend 100 gold than farm Ember Bay or Bitterfrost Frontier for an hour a day for a week, then go ahead, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The one trinket you can craft is the Vial of Salt amulet, and requires just over 20 gold to craft, making it a cheap option if you want to save your laurels (Note- Vial of Salt only selects pre-HoT stats!) The other amulet is the Triforge Pendant, which requires you to craft the exotic version or buy it from the TP first. It costs almost 400g to craft, or 450 to buy then finish, and only gives celestial stats.
Bonus Note- There is a backpiece known as Mawdrey, and you can get it if you have access to LS2. Upon completing it, you also get Mawdrey II. While this is also fairly expensive (over 100g), Mawdrey 2 consumes 50 Bloodstone Dust and gives you a loot bag out of it. If you’re willing to invest the gold, it’s a good option for a Bloodtone Dust sink so you can stop throwing it out or hoarding Bloodstone Bricks! Credit to Artumes for reminding me about my own backpiece!
- Method 6- Raid Vendor!
Why am I including this in a beginner’s guide to getting fully ascended gear? Well, simply because I said I would cover everything. From raids, you can get up to 150 Magnetite Shards every week. It takes 250 shards and some gold in order to get an ascended trinket (or 600 and 20g for a backpiece), and I would not recommend using them on trinkets. Since it will automatically take you longer to get 250 shards than it would to farm enough Fresh Winterberries for any trinket you can buy using them (assuming you farmed them daily), that’s already a setback. Also, if you’re already raiding, chances are you won’t be reading this guide. Last but not least, armor pieces cost 150-400 shards, and weapons cost 250 or 500 shards, in addition to some gold, but you can’t farm them like you can trinkets. Weapons and armor involve significantly more gold investment, but if you have the gold already, take much less time. So, I would generally save any shards you get for weapons and armor. With that being said….
- Method 7- PvP and WvW!
Credit to CptGia for being the first to mention these, and everyone else who’s also pitched in on it as well! Ascended rings have a chance to drop from any WvW rank reward chest! You might get a couple in the first 10 ranks, or you might get none for the first 25. It’s not a reliable way to gain the rings you want, since there’s no guarantee that you will get any over the first many ranks. I also don’t know if they give you specific stats or if they are stat selectable, but if they aren’t selectable, that makes them even less reliable if you’re going for the stats you want. Also, it’s come to my attention that you can have ascended rings drop from certain PvP reward chests. I don’t know which ones drop said rings, but someone suggested they were the champion loot boxes. These fall under what I said earlier about the WvW rewards as well.
- Method 8- Achievements and Collections!
I hoesntly don’t know all the achievements that grant ascended trinkets. However, Iume brought it to my attention that you can get Sinister and Nomad trinkets for completing LS2 story. Since other people have also been telling me what I missed, I’m just going to start linking their wiki pages, so that you can find out exactly how to get them. Also, some of these trinkets can be quite easy to get, and some can be quite hard. Enter at your own risk!
Note- The relevant achievements are linked, followed by the tinket and which stats the trinket has for easy viewing/skipping!
- LS2 Story Achievements- Upon full achievement completion of each Living Story Episode, you get either a Sinister or Nomad ascended trinket. Links below for specific episodes, in episodic order.
Note- Thanks to Dasque for letting me know, once you unlock each of these trinkets individually, you can purchase copies of them from vendors for Bandit Crests. You can also purchase a second Sinister ring upon completion of all episode achievements.
Note 2- These links are some of the ones that don’t work. Be sure to add a ) at the end of each URL after you take the link to view the page!
Gates of Maguuma – Nomad ring
Entanglement – Nomad accessory
The Dragon’s Reach, Part 1 – Nomad ring
The Dragon’s Reach, Part 2 – Nomad accessory
Echoes of the Past – Sinister accessory
Tangled Paths – Sinister ring
Seeds of Truth – Sinister amulet
Point of No Return – Sinister accesory
- Dungeon Collections- After you collect every weapon and armor skin available from dungeon vendors (37 total), you are awarded with a chest containing an ascended accessory. While costing no gold, it costs a lot of time invested. Credit to Phoenix_Feather12 for pointing these out
Ascalonian Catacombs – Sentinel accessory
Caudecus’ Manor – Assassin accessory
Twilight Arbor – Magi accessory
Sorrow’s Embrace – Carrion accessory
Citadel of Flame – Carrion accessory
Honor of the Waves – Magi accessory
Crucible of Eternity – Sentinel accessory
The Ruined City of Arah – Assassin accessory
- Heart of Thorns Story Achievements- Upon completing full achievements for each act of Hoeart of Thorns (1-4), you receive a different ascended trinket. Credit again to PhoenixFeather12
Act 1 – Marauder amulet
Act 2 – Marauder amulet
Act 3 – Marauder amulet
Act 4 – Select stat amulet (Only HoT stats, aka 4 stat combinations)
Ascended Weapons and Armor!
Note- Unlike Trinkets, the method for getting ascended weapons and armor is the same for both pre- and post-HoT stats. If you ever acquire an ascended item that has the wrong stats, you can also swap its stats with the Mystic Forge.
Links to the wiki pages for ascended weapons and armor. These pages will tell you all possible stat combinations for ascended weapons and armor, as well as what methods you can use to acquire them. Use these pages to decide which stats you want, and then use this guide to determine the best way to get them! Credit to Lon-ami
- Method 1- Crafting
This is your go to method for obtaining your first set of weapons and armor. In order to craft ascended items, you have to reach reank 500 in the crafting discipline used to craft whatever weapons and armor that you need. Generally speaking, if you want to craft everything for your character, you will need to train 3 or 4 disciplines to 500- your armor type is a must, and then you will most likely need at least 2 our of Weaponsmithing, Artificing, and Hunstman, if not all 3. I’m also going to break this down a bit further. Fair warning, though, as this is the longest section, but I am also including two guides on leveling your crafting and then actually crafting your stuffs in the most gold-efficient way possible! Also, in order to craft your things, you will need to get ahold of the recipes. Recipes either cost 1 guild commendation or 5 laurels and 3 gold. If you spent 20 laurels on an amulet, that leaves you with 35 for the rest of the month for recipes, assuming you choose laurels, meaning you can get a full armor recipe set and one weapon. By the time you finish these, you should have enough laurels for any more weapons you need.
Crafting Leveling- gw2crafts.net
Ascended Crafting Items- gw2efficiency.net
Note- For GW2 Efficiency, estimates were used after selecting the option ‘No’ for daily cooldowns and using the crafting price ‘Sell,’ since that is also the instant purchase price, in order to give ‘maximum cost’ estimates, rather than the most efficient. These estimates can easily be reduced by placing buy orders, using your own materials, and crafting daily components on your own!
- Crafting Armor- Leveling your armor crafting to 500 for the armor type that your class uses is almost a 100% must. While there are certainly other ways to get ascended armor, for your first set, chances are you will have very little access to said other ways. There is one exceptions, but it’s actually much more expensive, but more on that later. It will cost you about 60, 100, or 70 gold to level your armosmithing, leatherworking, or tailoring, respectively. Then, using berserker stats as an example (Zojja’s for the ascended version, currently the most common ‘meta’ stat for power builds), if you instantly buy all the components to craft a full set of armor from the TP, will cost you around 550, 630, or 575 gold for armorsmithing, leatherworking, or tailoring, respectively. This brings the total to about 610, 730, or 645 to level the three crafting professions from 0 to a full set of armor. It’s quite pricy, so you better start saving now, or asking for favors. That being said, if you craft your daily components (even if you buy the mats to do so) and get a few T6 materials to drop, it can significantly reduce that number (crafting the dailies alone reduces the cost by over 150 gold!!) Crafint the dailies requires you to spend more time, however. I would recommend crafting the daily components until you have enough gold and mats stocked to finish your full set just by buying the rest off of the TP. If you’re impatient, though, you can always still just buy them as soon as you can afford them, but still craft the dailies as you go to save as much as possible.
- Crafting Weapons- While I don’t recommend crafting weapons 100% like I do armor, I still think that crafting your weapons is a strong choice. It takes about 100, 115, and 100 gold to level your artificing, hunstman, and weaponsmithing, respectively. Also, if you already did your armor, chances are you will need to use a second character to craft your third or fourth professions. (Bonus tip- level these professions on another character that you plan on using in the future, but don’t have at 80. Crafting provides you experience, so unless you need it to get Mastery Point unlocks ASAP, it’s essentially wasted on characters that are already 80!) Moving on, again using berserker’s stats for example (remember, Zojja’s) without crafting daily components, it will take you anywhere from 80 to 120 gold per weapon. If you craft them all, unless you’re playing something like staff Elementalist, expect to craft 3 or 4 weapons across all 3 professions.
- Method 2- Fractal Vendor!
Now, this vendor might seem very good, but I assure you, it’s actually quite deceiving. To buy armor or weapon boxes, it requires fractal pages, integrated fractal matrices, and liquid gold. To start, I’m going to ignore the pages altogether. I’m also gonna break this into two parts, like before.
Note- With the introduction of the Nightmare Fractal, if you are somehow able to complete the challenge mote, it grants you 1 Integrated Fractal Matrix (Don’t know if per day or per week). If you are able to complete this fractal every day/week, it significantly reduces the opportunity cost of buying the fractal boxes. However, it requires 150 AR, and as such, is not factored strongly into gearing characters, instead just being mentioned here.
- Armor Boxes- Each integrated fractal matrix requires 10 normal stabilizing matrices, as well as 15 fractal relics. As of the time of this writing, each stabilizing matrix trades for over 30 silver on the TP, meaning each fractal matrix is worth a little over 3 gold, not including the fractal relics. To get a full set of armor, that would require 117 of those integrated matrices (over 350 gold to buy!), in addition to 354 liquid gold. What this means is that, to buy all the stuff, it would cost you over 700 gold for a full set. By the way, this also doesn’t include the 132 fractal pages you would need. ANet just released a T3 Daily recommended, which means you can now get 3 pages daily. So you would need to do all 3 Recommendeds for 44 days straight to get enough pages for a full set (this also assumes you have T3 AR, but you probably don’t, since you’re just starting your first set!). This is in addition to that it would cost more to buy the a full set of boxes (if you include the matrix prices) than it would to level all but leatherworking from 0 to 500 and then craft a full set after buying everything at max price on the TP. Even if you happen to have the 1170 stabilizing matrices you need, they would sell for more than 300 gold, meaning that the cost would still be 650 gold for the boxes, and if you instead put that gold towards crafting the daily components mentioned aboved, it is guaranteed to be cheaper to craft! TL;DR- Until Stabilizing Matrices go down in price, never buy an ascended armor box if you are just starting your first set, since you won’t have the mats lying around!
- Weapon Boxes- After reading that previous section, you might wonder how much worse it is to buy yhe wapon boxes. Honestly, my personal preference still lies with crafting, but that’s because I just feel the need to have all professions at 500 anyways. Now, all weapon boxes will cost you 60 liquid gold, 20 integrated matrices (valued at a little over 60 gold), and 24 pages. Essentially, each weapon you buy will cost you about 120 gold and a minimum of 8 days of fractaling, but realistically more than that. If you save your weapons for last, so you can get some pages, this actually isn’t a terrible deal. However, this is only good in the short term, or if you only plan on making 1-2 characters, and therefore only need 3-8 weapons or so. If you were to craft the daily components, the average price of a Zojja (Berserker) stat weapon is about 80-85 gold (anywhere from 65-100 gold per weapon). At 85 gold, assuming that you need to level all 3 weapon professions (315 gold), and you craft 9 weapons, the cost evens out as of this writing between crafting and buying boxes.
Note- This largely comes down to personal preference, in my mind. The price of stabilizing matrices may drop in the future, making this comparison relatively irrelevant, as the boxes could by far be cheaper. However, if you plan on using just the boxes, know that it will take you at least 8 days per box, where as crafting you can skip the time-based component if you are willing to pay more gold!
- Method 3- Raid Vendors!
Similar to trinkets, chances are that if you are working on your first set, you won’t be raiding, or at least won’t be with a group that get maximum Magnetite Shards every week. That being said, if you are somehow able to get some shards, armor boxes cost anywhere from 150 to 400 shards, and 5 to 10 gold. Weapons cost 250 or 500 and 15 or 30 gold, depending on whether they are 1 or 2 handed. This is technically the cheapest way to guarantee yourself ascended weapons/armor, although it would take you 9 weeks in order to get a full set of armor (unless you get drops such as miniatures, which you can trade in for 40 additional shards, for example!). So, most of you reading this shouldn’t worry about it. Save any shards you get towards other things or buying armor pieces here and there for future characters.
- Method 4- DROPS!
Let me tell ya, nothing is more exciting than getting an ascended box to drop, outside of those super-rare items like Ghostly Infusions or the Chak Egg Sac. However, these drops are fairly rare. You can get boxes or random wapons/armor from World Bosses such as Tequatl, or you can get weapons boxes from T2 or higher fractals, and armor boxes from T3 or higher. Of course, the chances get better for higher tier fractals as well. All this said, ascended armor and weapons drops are very rare, and not a reliable way to plan for gearing a character, especially since you can get the same armor piece or weapon over and over again (I once had a friend get 3 shoulder boxes without getting anything else in-between!).
Note- Once you finish gearing your first character, though, this option becomes much more viable. If you do Daily T4 fractals over a month, chances are you will end up with at least a couple weapon or armor boxes, unless you are extremely unlucky. Over an almost 2 month period, I received 6 amor boxes (unfortunately I got double shoulders) and 2 weapon boxes, and I ran T4 fractals almost daily. So while not guaranteed, it’s there as a supplemental supply!
- Method 5- PvP and WvW Rewards!
Unlike the rings that can drop, anything you get from PvP/WvW will most likely be in boxes, meaning that you can select their stats (either from all stats or a select portion), and you can even swap them. That being siad, unless someone can confirm, I’m under the impression that they are random drops, meaning that while you will get some if you PvP/WvW, it may or may not be a reliable way of getting boxes, since it’s based mostly on RNG.
- Method 6- Achievements!
Thanks to Iume again for bringing this to my attention. You can get at least 3 armor chests from collection achievements, once each from completing the Ambrite weapon, Bioluminescent, and Leystone Armor collection achievements. You can also complete the Machined weapon collection for a weapon box. Also, there are the specialization collections that give an ascended version upon completion. Like before, links are below. Unlike before, all ascended weapons and armor can have their stats swapped, so I won’t bother listing available stat combinations, as they can be changed for usually 5 gold or less. As I have not done these collections, I cannot speak to how easy or hard they are, but generally speaking, assume they are harder than just crafting.
- Collections for Armor Chests- Self explanatory, these collections result in an armor chest each.
- Collections for Weapon Chests- Just the Machined collection, that I know of! Note- This is one of the links that will not work. Be sure to add a ) to the end of the URL and it will take you to the correct page!
- Specialization Collections- Each results in an ascended version of the weapon type you unlock when you unlock the class’ Elite spec. To finish these, you have to have the Exalted Gathering and Nuhoch Detection masteries, 300 airship parts each, fully trained Elite spec, as well as the competed Machined collection for the weapon type (for example, Machined Staff collection to get the staff, Bo). While cheaper in gold than crafting, if you don’t have the relevant masteries these are out of reach.
Bo – Thief/Daredevil Staff
Dark Harvest – Necromancer/Reaper Greatsword
Fix-r-Upper – Engineer/Scrapper Hammer
Glint’s Bastion – Revenant/Herald Shield
Horologicus – Mesmer/Chronomancer Shield
The North Wind – Elementalist/Tempest Warhorn
Wild Abandon – Warrior/Berserker Torch
Ydalir – Guardian/Dragonhunter Longbow
Yggdrasil – Ranger/Druid Staff
And That’s It
I said that like this was a short post, but in reality, it’s an extremely long one, but that’s because I tried to include every known way to get ascended items, and I covered each in depth. If I did leave anything out or didn’t make my reasoning on why I prefer one method over another, feel free to let me know! Like I said, I will also update this as releases come, to make sure that it stays up to date. Any and all feedback is also appreciated! I did this mostly for guildies I’m in contact with so that I don’t have to explain everything all over when we recruit a newer player, but all the information can still apply to veterans as well.