Heart of Azeroth Guide for Battle for Azeroth (BfA 8.1)
In the latest expansion of World of Warcraft, Battle for Azeroth, the Heart of Azeroth and Azerite armour were introduced. The Heart of Azeroth is a legendary neck item that is used to unlock and advance the Azerite system. This system assigns traits to pieces of gear in the Helm, Shoulders, and Chest slots that increase aspects of your character's performance, depending on their location within the tiered-ring system.
The Heart of Azeroth is the only neck item that can be obtained in Battle for Azeroth (and so will always be used by all players), while every Helm, Shoulder, and Chest item in Battle for Azeroth has some combination of Azerite traits on it.
1. Obtaining the Heart of Azeroth
Prior to starting your journey through the Battle for Azeroth zones, you will need to have completed the Battle for Lordaeron scenario, which will unlock the questline to earn the Heart of Azeroth. The questline will take you to Silithus, where you will meet Magni and enter the Chamber of the Heart of Azeroth. Here, you will discover and empower the Heart, earning you your new legendary necklace and unlocking questing in Battle for Azeroth.
2. Levelling the Heart of Azeroth
When you first receive the Heart of Azeroth in the chamber, you will receive an item level 280 piece of gear. It will always have your spec's main stat, Stamina, and all the secondary stats, except Versatility. Just as you did in the chamber, you will need to empower the necklace with Azerite, which can be obtained in a multitude of ways throughout Battle for Azeroth, such as:
- one-time quests while levelling;
- world quests at maximum level;
- the mission table;
- Battlegrounds and Arena matches;
- Warmode caches found in world PvP;
- killing rare NPCs;
- dungeons and raids of all difficulties;
- Warfronts and the quests to complete them;
- Island Expeditions.
These are just some of the ways that you can earn Azerite, but it is essentially found in almost every activity in the game, as long as you are in Kul Tiras or Zandalar.
2.1. Azerite Catch-Up System
As you continue to advance in Heart of Azeroth levels, you will require more Azerite to get through each level. In Legion, a system known as Artifact Knowledge would increase the amount of Artifact Power (now Azerite) you would earn in order to speed up the levelling process for those that were behind.
In Battle for Azeroth, the Artifact Knowledge system is still present in effect, but it works slightly differently. Rather than reaching the huge numbers that were happening in Legion, the amount of Azerite required to level your Heart of Azeroth is reduced each week by 30%. This allows players that are just returning or levelling alts to quickly get their Heart up to a competitive level.
3. Increasing the Item Level of the Heart of Azeroth
Each level of the Heart of Azeroth gained through Azerite grants it another 2 item levels. This means that, if you get your Heart to level 20, it will have gained an additional 40 item levels. For each item level, the main and secondary stats on the item will increase.
Azerite is not the only way to increase your Heart of Azeroth item level; the Champions of Azeroth reputation will also increase the item level, depending on what your current reputation level is with them.
3.1. Champions of Azeroth Reputation
For each reputation level you reach, you will gain an additional 15 item levels, except for when you reach Exalted (when you gain no item levels). This means there is an additional 45 item levels to achieve through this reputation.
If you are only concerned with item level, then the only requirement for this reputation is Revered.
You can find out more about this reputation in our Champions of Azeroth guide.
4. Obtaining Azerite Armour
Once you have obtained your Heart of Azeroth, you will be able to earn and activate Azerite armour pieces while leveling and at maximum level. These pieces of gear have multiple traits on them that provide offensive, defensive, and utility bonuses that can impact the way in which your class will perform.
Depending on the piece of gear, its quality and its item level, the piece of gear will differ in the following ways:
- If it is a rare piece of gear, it will have 3 rings of Azerite traits to choose from. An epic piece of gear will have 4.
- The item level will impact certain aspects of the traits, increasing the power of them to suit the increase in item level.
- The item level will change the required Heart of Azeroth level to unlock the rings of traits on the piece of gear.
Azerite armour can be obtained from a variety of sources, with item levels varying based on the difficulty. The current item level and loot system is as follows:
- Normal difficulty: these will award item level 310 Azerite armour pieces at level 120.
- Heroic difficulty: these will award item level 325 Azerite armour pieces.
- Mythic difficulty: these will award item level 340 Azerite armour pieces.
- Mythic+ difficulty: Azerite armour cannot drop in these dungeons, but it can
be obtained from the weekly cache obtained by completing a Mythic+ dungeon. The
item level of the pieces increases as the difficulty does, as shown below.
- Mythic +2 and +3: item level 340.
- Mythic +4, +5 and +6: item level 355.
- Mythic +7, +8 and +9: item level 370.
- Mythic +10: item level 385.
- World Quests: these will award up to item level 325 pieces of Azerite armour, with emissaries granting caches containing up to item level 370 pieces of gear.
- World Bosses: these will reward item level 355 pieces of Azerite armour, with the Warfront bosses granting item level 370 Azerite gear.
- Raids: currently, Uldir drops Azerite gear according to the following
difficulties and item levels:
- Looking for Raid: 340 item level.
- Normal: 355 item level.
- Heroic: 370 item level.
- Mythic: 385 item level.
4.1. Azerite Trait Rings
The traits found on Azerite armour are separated into 4 main categories, depending on which ring they belong to. They are as follows:
- Outer Ring: these traits contain the most impactful traits for most classes, with all the content, zone and specialisation-specific traits being on this ring.
- Middle Ring: these traits are shared between roles, with traits that directly impact the output of DPS and healers, or reduce the damage intake for tanks.
- Inner Ring: all the traits here are defensive traits, regardless of your role or spec.
- Centre Ring: this trait is the same for all players, on all pieces of gear. It will be the Azerite Empowered, which will increase the item level of that piece of gear by 5.
The gear will always move through the rings in the same order when assigning levels for the Heart of Azeroth to unlock traits. The Outer Ring will always have the lowest requirement, while the Centre Ring will have the highest.
4.2. Unlocking Azerite Trait Rings
Each ring will have a set Heart of Azeroth level that it unlocks at. This level requirement is determined by the item level of the piece of gear and it will increase as the item level does. Currently, Uldir raid gear has the following level requirements for the 4 rings, depending on the item slot.
For the helm slot, it is as follows:
- Raid Finder (340): Level 13, 17, 21, and 25.
- Normal (355): Level 16, 19, 22, and 25.
- Heroic (370): Level 16, 20, 24, and 28.
- Mythic (385): Level 16, 21, 25, and 31.
For the shoulder slot, it is as follows:
- Raid Finder (340): Level 15, 19, 23, and 27.
- Normal (355): Level 18, 21, 24, and 27.
- Heroic (370): Level 18, 22, 26, and 30.
- Mythic (385): Level 18, 23, 27, and 33.
For the chest slot, it is as follows:
- Raid Finder (340): Level 14, 18, 22, and 26.
- Normal (355): Level 17, 20, 23, and 26.
- Heroic (370): Level 17, 21, 25, and 29.
- Mythic (385): Level 17, 22, 26, and 32.
The Heart of Azeroth levels listed above are in the same order as the ring list we added above this section. The Outer Ring requirement caps at Level 16-18 (depending on the gear slot), which is intentional from Blizzard, as they wanted players to unlock the main damage increase from the Outer Ring traits without needing to farm a great deal.
4.3. Resetting and Changing Azerite Traits
If you have made a mistake in your trait selection, want to swap specs, or have just been hit by a hotfix to a trait, you will no doubt want to change the active traits on your Azerite armour.
In order to do this, you must visit the Azerite Reforger, located next to the Transmogrification NPC in Boralus (Alliance) or Dazar'alor (Horde). You can reset your chosen powers here and allow yourself to either swap spec-specific traits or select completely new ones on all rings.
It is important to note, however, that the price of doing this can increase hugely if you do it multiple times. Every time you reforge a piece of Azerite gear, you will double the gold cost of doing so. The first use of the Reforger will cost only 5 gold, but this can quickly add up to tens of thousands of gold.
This cost will slowly decay, halving every 3 days, but this is very slow compared to how quickly it can increase. Make sure you pay attention when making Azerite trait choices, so you do not waste gold on doing it again. To avoid the cost of resetting your Azerite traits, you can simply keep multiple sets of gear and swap between them when you are doing different content. This also works when playing multiple specs.
5. Choosing the Best Azerite Traits
Each of our guides has an Azerite traits section in which you can see the top-performing choices for your spec, as well as a ranking system that will allow you to make the best decisions when comparing pieces of Azerite armour.
Below is a list of our Azerite trait pages, with links to each spec for your convenience.
- Death Knight
- Demon Hunter
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