Patch 9.0.5 went live early last week and with it came the long awaited return of valor points in Shadowlands. With this, players are finally able to upgrade their mythic+ rewards with a farmable currency. Previously, you had to wait and hope you got something useful from your Great Vault for the highest item level obtainable. This change gives much more player agency towards properly itemizing their character.
Valor points have disappeared and reappeared quite frequently throughout WoW’s run beginning back in Wrath. Originally, there were two types of currency, Justice Points and Valor Points. Valor was previously only awarded for challenging content like raids whereas Justice was awarded for 5man content. This has since been simplified to only Valor Points existing in current WoW and they are awarded for multiple types of content.
Valor points this time around are currently obtained from two different sources, daily callings and mythic+ dungeons.
The amount of valor points earned from each activity are as follows:
Mythic+ is the easiest way to quickly accumulate a surplus of valor points by spamming a lot of lower level keystones. Because of this, many players have begun forming “Valor farm” groups where they spam keys in the +2-5 level.
Currently, the level of the keystone doesn’t matter. This means that you will get 135 valor from the end of the dungeon chest regardless of if you complete a +2 or a +15 keystone. Efficiency is the name of the game here for most!
Valor Points are farmable up to a weekly cap which accumulates week to week. This first week started off with a cap of 5000 valor points and will increase by 750 each week. In the event that you don’t fully reach your cap one week, don’t worry as it carries over. For example, if you earn 2500 valor this week, next week’s cap will be 3250. Likewise, if you hit the full 5000 cap, next week you will only be able to earn 750 valor total. This exists so there isn’t much pressure to run the 37 +2 keystones it would take to cap out on week one.
Fortunately, there is no cap for how many total Valor Points you can hold at one time. In the early days of patch testing, there was a limit of 1500 but this was scrapped entirely.
Raiding currently does not award Valor Points and it is unknown if it will be added in the future. However, it seems unlikely purely based on the fact the upgrades only pertain to dungeon drops.
In order to upgrade your gear with Valor Points, you must go to the upgrade vendor either in Oribos or in your Covenant Sanctum. The vendor in Oribos is the same as the pvp upgrade vendor, Aggressor Zo’dash (34.55,56.55). Similarly, the vendors in each covenant sanctum is the same vendor used to upgrade the covenant storyline gear.
There are currently 12 total ranks to upgrade ranging from item level 184 all the way up to 220 however the later ranks require specific achievements. It is also important to note that gear obtained prior to March 9th will not be eligible for upgrades. Unfortunately, this means you will have to farm your BiS once again if you wish to raise the item level.
The item level ranks are as follows:
Ranks 1-5 require no achievement for upgrading and can instantly be done provided you have the valor points on hand.
Upgrading an item from rank 5 to rank 7 will require a new achievement called ‘Shadowlands Keystone Explorer’ which entails timing each dungeon at a +5 or higher.
Ranks 8 and 9 require the ‘Shadowlands Keystone Conqueror’ achievement which is all dungeons timed at +10 or higher.
The final ranks require ‘Shadowlands Keystone Master’ which is all dungeons timed at +15 or higher.
Fortunately, Blizzard thought ahead and these achievements count as being account-wide. This means your alts can upgrade their new gear all the way to 220 as long as they have the currency to do so without having to complete a +15.
Valor point upgrade costs remain static across each rank and only vary based on item slot.
For example, if you are upgrading a 184 trinket up to a 220, it will cost 400 valor for each of the 12 ranks.
The upgrade costs for each slot are as follows:
Since the costs are static, the most efficient way to upgrade is to get your ideal gear from +15’s (12-14 is a safe alternative as well) as those will only need to be upgraded 3 times to reach cap. Additionally, the best way to acquire valor is to spam lower level keystones to get the most for your time investment.