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A lot of new stuff on the 8.1 PTR this week. One of the most anticipated and discussed additions is Thaumaturge Vashreen. In Tides of Vengeance, he will offer us all sorts of solutions for our Azerite Armour concerns!

Thaumaturge Who?

Thaumaturge Vashreen made his entrance in Legion patch 7.2. He was stationed in Deliverance Point on the Broken Shore. During our adventures on the Broken Shore, we could collect a currency called Nethershard, which could then be traded for gear tokens. It was meant as a catch up system for alts and a way to fill in low item level slots due to bad RNG.

In Legion Patch 7.3, he moved from Deliverance Point to the Vindicaar, where he would offer his services once again, this time for Veiled Argunite.

He will make his return in Battle for Azeroth patch 8.1 and join his fellow Ethereals in Boralus or Dazar’alor. This time his wares are not just a catch up, but also a way for players to optimize their end-game Azerite Armour setup.

The Need for Vashreen

Since the launch of Battle for Azeroth, the Azerite Armour system has been a hot topic. Opinions are widely divided, but most players agree that the system needs some finetuning at best, and a complete overhaul at worst.

The introduction of Thaumaturge Vashreen this expansion will definitely allow players to expand their current Azerite Armour kit. It will even allow us to target specific pieces, for a price of course.

I’ll just give my own situation as an example. As a Hunter, I want to play Beast Mastery as well as Survival. I did some digging on Blood Mallet and found out I would need 10 different Azerite Armour pieces. Allow me to break it down.

2 Helmets: one for single target, one for AoE/cleave
4 Shoulders: two for Beast Mastery (single target and AoE) and two for Survival (single target and AoE)
4 Chests: two for Beast Mastery (single target and AoE) and two for Survival (single target and AoE)

This is just for a class playing 2 specs. Imagine what a Druid must be going through wanting to play all 4 of their specs. Of course, I could overlap, which is what I’m currently doing. This example is a min-max situation, which is what most Mythic raiders do anyway.

So let’s be honest here, 10 Azerite Armour pieces are not easy to come by these days, especially at max item level. Thaumaturge Vashreen will offer us an extra method of acquiring these pieces of gear, but don’t expect to suddenly be swimming in Azerite Armour.

Azerite Impurity

The currency with which we will pay Thaumaturge Vashreen for his goods is called Azerite Impurity. There are two methods of acquiring this currency.

First off, you get Azerite Impurity from your weekly Mythic+ Cache. The amount you get will scale exponentially with the highest Mythic+ Dungeon you completed the previous week. This will give players an extra incentive to do more higher keystones.

Second, you will be able to get Azerite Impurity from disenchanting or scrapping Azerite Armour. The amount will scale with the item level of the Azerite Armour sacrificed. Important note: there’s no point in hoarding all your current Azerite Armour, only pieces acquired once patch 8.1 is live, will yield Azerite Impurity.

The numbers on the PTR are of course provisional and will probably change multiple times before the patch goes live. Several statements by the developers have indicated that a high-end player will be able to get a specific item from Thaumaturge Vashreen every month or so. With the costs of a specific item being almost 3 times that of a token of the same item level, you might want to take your chances. After all, if you’re after more than one piece for a specific slot, you might want to take a token or two instead of one single specific item.

Everything Has A Price

Just like in Legion, Thaumaturge Vashreen does not offer his services for free. After all, he is an Ethereal. He offers several types of items.

The caches he offers are divided among different item levels and slots. He offers caches for item level 355, 370 and 385 helms, shoulders and chests. The items you get from these caches are randomly selected from all dungeon drops.

Besides the caches, he also offers specific items at item level 385. Again, these are all the Azerite Armour pieces from dungeons, scaled up to the maximum item level.

As you can see on the screenshots, the price difference between the specific items and the caches is huge! This is why a serious contemplation has to be made for cache vs. specific item. If you play multiple specs and are after several items for a slot, you just might want to buy 3 caches instead of 1 specific item.

A Final Word of Caution

Please don’t make the mistake many people have already made on social media and the forums. Do not see this as a cure-all. In this day and age, a lot of gamers have adapted a mentality of instant gratification. Micro-transactions and boosts have gotten rid of the need to grind, farm and wait.

Those who expect to have all the Azerite Armour pieces at item level 385 within 2 weeks will be sorely disappointed. That’s not the point of this new system. Players aren’t given Azerite Armour at an increased rate, we’re just given more control over which pieces we do get when we get them.

As I mentioned before, opinions are divided and they always will be. Personally, I think this is a solid solution going forward. Especially with the new raid tier coming in patch 8.1, we will definitely be more prepared and better outfitted for the challenges to come!