David Hollingsworth
David Hollingsworth
David has written for games media outlets for the last seven years. With his first major esports role being with Esports News UK covering mostly UK League of Legends. David is also a member of the British Esports Association and is an advisor to them on World of Warcraft Esports. More recently David has worked for Esports Insider and Red Bull as an esports journalist.

WoW: Shards of Domination Explained Shadowlands 9.1

A Dranei Paladin stands at the gates of Oribos
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Just how does this latest gearing system in WoW work exactly?


The newest gearing system to come to World of Warcraft in 9.1, Shards of Domination appears to be preparing players for the return of tier sets in 9.2. While on the surface, Shards seem simple, the upgrade system and how to obtain the Shards isn’t clear within the game. In this article, we’ll go over how to obtain your Shards, where to put them, and how to upgrade them once you do.

How do Shards of Domination work

Shards of Domination are a unique upgradable gem with special bonuses that drop from bosses with the Sanctum of Domination raid. These gems will go into new armor found inside the raid and can be used to improve your damage, healing, and defensive ability.

Shards come in three types: Blood, Frost, and Unholy. Each of these has three Shards, for a total of nine total Shards across the entire system. Each gem is unique, so you can only benefit from each effect once. When you obtain three of the same color gem, however, you’ll activate the set bonus for that color.

How to acquire Shards of Domination

You can obtain Shards of Dominations off bosses in Sanctum of Domination. You can only receive a Shard that you don’t currently have. The one exception to the raid drop rule is the Shard of Rev, which will drop from the World Boss Mor’geth in Desmontaeron.

What gear has domination sockets

For Sanctum of Domination, specific slots will come with set gem slots depending on your armor type. To start off, everyone will find a socket in the following; Helm for Unholy, Shoulders for Frost, and Chest for Blood. Then, you’ll need to acquire the two other socketed slots that you can slot the final two Shards into to complete you set:

  • Cloth: Bracers & Belt
  • Leather: Gloves & Boots
  • Mail: Belt & Boots
  • Plate: Bracers & Gloves

This will give you five slots in total, allowing you to activate one of the three set bonuses.

How to upgrade Shards of Domination

Once you obtain your Shard of Domination from the raid, you’ll want to look to get it upgraded. You’ll need to head to Bonesmith Heirmir (pictured below), she can be found in Korthia at 63,25, and she’ll be the NPC you need to upgrade items.

The skeletal figure of the Bonesmith Heirmir, the NPC who will upgrade your itemsYou’ll find Bonesmith Heirmir at 63,25

Each Shard has 5 levels of upgrade, each Shard starts at level one regardless of where you obtain the Shard from. Once you purchase an upgrade from Heirmir, you’ll be able to purchase the following upgrade from her. Below you’ll see the cost of each upgrade.

  1. Normal    --
  2. Ominous        5  Stygian Ember
  3. Desolate      15  Stygian Ember
  4. Foreboding  30  Stygian Ember
  5. Portentous   50  Stygian Ember

The in-game icons for various shards, appearing as blue, red or purple crystals

As you can see, Shard of Dyz is ready to upgrade to level three

The upgrade currency, Stygian Ember, drops from inside the raid, with each boss likely to drop one or two per kill, depending on difficulty. You can also obtain 10 per week in Korthia via the Shaping Fate weekly quest.

Obtaining Domination Sockets Outside the raid

Each armor type will have one item obtainable outside the raid that has a Domination Socket on it. You’ll need to be honored with the Death’s Advance faction and have a spare 2000 Stygia.

How to unsocket Shard of Domination gear

If you ever need to replace your Shard of Domination socket in an item, you’ll need a special item to make sure you don’t lose your gem. First, you’ll need to head to Heirmir (shown above) and purchase the Soulfire Chisel (shown below).

The in-game icon for the Soulfire Chisel, a steel chisel wreathed in blue flame, an item needed to remove and replace your shards

Note; this is a reusable item, so you won’t need to purchase one each time you need to place a Shard.

What are the nine Shards of Domination

In total, we can obtain nine different Shards, three for each of the three types (Blood, Frost, Unholy). Below is an overview of what each does, bear in mind the values increase as the level goes up.

Blood Shards of Domination:

  • Shard of Bek  (Blood Shard): Your damage is increased by 1.5% when you have 50% or more health than your target.
    Ranks: 1.5%, 1.88%, 2.25%, 2.63%, 3%
  • Shard of Jas (Blood Shard): Incoming healing you receive is increased by 0.7%. Your maximum health is increased by 300.
    Ranks: 0.7%, 0.9%, 1.1%, 1.3%, 1.5%
    Ranks: 300, 375, 450, 525, 600
  • Shard of Rev  (Blood Shard): Your Leech is increased by 30.
    Ranks: 30, 37, 45, 52, 60

Frost Shards of Domination:

  • Shard of Cor (Frost Shard) Your damage is increased by 1.5% for 20 sec after attacking an enemy you have not yet damaged.
    Ranks: 1.5%, 1.88%, 2.25%, 2.63%, 3.0%
  • Shard of Tel  (Frost Shard)l: Your critical hits cause their target to absorb the next 171 damage dealt to them within 6 sec.
    Ranks: 171, 213, 256, 299, 342
  • Shard of Kyr (Frost Shard): Gain 660Absorb every 5 sec, up to a cap of 3300.
    Ranks: 660, 825, 990, 1155, 1320
    Ranks: 3300, 4125, 4950, 5775, 6600

Unholy Shards of Domination:

  • Shard of Dyz (Unholy Shard): Damaging a target increases your damage done to that target by 0.25% for 4 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
    Ranks: 0.25%, 0.31%, 0.37%, 0.44%, 0.5%
  • Shard of Zed (Unholy Shard): Your helpful spells and abilities have a chance to grant your target an Unholy Aura, draining 166 health from nearby enemies every 2 sec for 10 sec.
    Ranks: 166, 208, 250, 292, 334
  • Shard of Oth (Unholy Shard): Your Speed is increased by 30.
    Ranks: 30, 37, 45, 52, 60

The Warchief Sylvanus in her black and gold armor as she appears in the Shards of Domination raidSylvanas is the final boss of the newest raid

Domination Shard Set bonuses

Blood Shards of Domination Set Bonus
Blood Link - While inside the Maw or Torghast, damaging an enemy establishes a Blood Link. This link pulses every 3 sec, dealing 540 / 810 / 1080 / 1450 / 1620 Shadow damage and healing you for 100% of damage dealt. If your Blood Link would overheal you, it instead heals a nearby ally.

Frost Shards of Domination Set Bonus
Winds of Winter - While inside the Maw or Torghast, each time you deal a critical strike, the Winds accumulate 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18% of that effect, up to a cap of 180 / 270 / 360 / 450 / 540 per critical strike. Every 20 sec, the Winds unleash, dealing Frost damage equal to the total accumulation and surrounding you in the Winds for 20 sec, absorbing 100% of damage dealt by the Winds.

Unholy Shards of Domination Set Bonus
Chaos Bane - While inside the Maw or Torghast, your spells and abilities have a chance to drain a Soul Fragment from your target, granting you 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 Primary stat for 30 sec and stacking up to 15 times. When you reach 15 stacks, unleash Chaos Bane, dealing 1500 / 2250 / 3000 / 3750 / 4500 Shadow damage split between nearby enemies and granting you 300 / 450 / 600 / 750 / 900 Primary stat for 15 sec.

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