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Gold Capped: How to farm Maelstrom Crystals

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Gold Capped, in which Basil "Euripides" Berntsen aims to show you how to make money on the auction house, and Insider Trader, which is all about professions. Email Basil (new address is basil@wowinsider.com; old one no longer works) with your comments, questions or hate mail!

The Maelstrom Crystal used to be disenchantable from an easily crafted epic. This was hotfixed, and the prices have unsurprisingly shot through the roof. People still want their gear enchanted, however, and for some reason these things keep appearing on the auction house. Where are they coming from? How can you get them? This article will discuss the current cheapest methods for getting them.

Everything I talk about, I cribbed from someone

My sources are many and mysterious, but today I'm going to let you in on a little secret. My very best source of information is often the "count" field in Wowhead. What it's saying is that of all the people who run their data collection addon (an effectively random cross-section of the playerbase), here is the number who reported having gotten one of these. Sorting by it is not always statistically useful because it will show data based on old systems. For example, it will take a while for something to overtake the alchemist's stone now that it can't be disenchanted any more. Still, assuming you're well informed, it can be a very useful tool for research.

Just the facts, please

Right, on to business. Here are the best two sources I've seen for Maelstrom Crystals.
  • Chaos Orbs can be turned into epics by a few professions. Most notably, blacksmithing's Elementium Stormshield and Elementium Earthguard, as well as any of the engineering killshades, only require a single orb. The engineering ones are BoP so are only an option to engineers who also happen to be enchanters.
  • PvP and PvE epics are available for conquest and valor points. Valor points are probably not best used for making shards, because so long as people are willing to pay tens of thousands of gold for the BoE boots, that'll be more money for your points. The cheapest conquest-bought epics are often turned into shards, though.
Next content tier, this batch of epics will be available for justice points. This will likely replace Blizzard's JP sink that it's introducing in this patch, depending on how many JP are needed to get the (for example) relics.

Maximize your profits with more advice from Gold Capped, plus the author's Call to Auction podcast. Do you have questions about selling, reselling and building your financial empire on the auction house? Basil is taking your questions at basil@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Economy, Time Is Money, Cataclysm

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