A quick guide to how the new Kanai’s Cube works, based on first hand playing experience overnight, after defeating the invincible 4+ hour game creation queue! Kanai’s Cube Hands-On Tutorial short version:
- Fetch the Cube from the Ruins of Sescheron dungeon; Act Three, Adventure Mode only.
- Bliss out to the soothing conversation of Zoltan’s Kulle story, bro.
- The cube has seven recipes, all of which could use a bit better documentation and functionality. (There are also some secret recipes, enabling you to open a Portal to Greed’s Domain or the Not The Cow Level.
- Bounty farm in ALL FIVE ACTS, because the powerful Cube recipes require at least 1 each of the five new materials that can only be obtained from Horadric Caches in each act.
- Spend way too long looking over every legendary item in your stash, trying to figure which to melt into the cube for the bonus property.
- Activate 3 properties and immediately obliterate your best Grift to date.
The cube properties are awesome and very impactful, even when you’re not sure which you want to roll with. I didn’t have any real impactful weapon adds to my physical damage Natalya’s (dual wielding Nats/Calamity), but adding a Unity (F/R equipped) and Hexing Pants greatly improved my character’s performance. Without changing any gear, I took a char that could struggle ugh a GR45~ on the live realm at great personal danger, and just by adding the 3 properties via the Cube I did GR48 in 9 minutes, with almost no feeling of danger. (When I have time to play some more, clearing 50+ will be no problem, even without gear switching.)
The item bonuses via Kanai’s Cube are awesome, even better than I’d hoped. They’re so good you’ll farm even those endless Act Five bounties with a smile. (Or at least without a frown.)
- Also see the Kanai’s Cube Q&A for lots of answers to specific cube questions, such as why you can’t double dip the same property.
Finding Kanai’s Cube
First of all, you need to find it. The Ruins of Sescheron is the area you need, and it’s found in Act Three, only through Adventure Mode. The only game I was able to create, there was a Cursed Chest bounty in that area, and after clearing that I explored more of the second level and found the Cube inside part of the crumbling castle. I assume the Cube is there every game, while the bounty in that area is RNG.
There’s nothing to fight or kill to get the Cube; you just have to find it on the large and maze-like map, click it, and then when you return to town the Cube is on a stand next to Zoltan Kulle, in town.
Here are some screens of that portion of the adventure:
Click through for all the rest, including the 7 Cube Recipes, screens showing all the weapons, jewelry, and armor you can use with a Barb or a DH, more about the interface, etc.
Kanai’s Cube Recipes
Once you view the Cube in town, there are seven recipes, the best of which require you to farm Horadric Caches from ALL FIVE ACTS in order to acquire the materials.
Recipe #1: Extract Legendary Power.
This is the biggie, where you stick a legendary item + the other materials into the cube. They are consumed by the transformation, but the item you convert becomes selectable via the weapon/armor/jewelry icon. You need 1 material from each Acts 1-5 Caches.
Playing this game on T7 (which I could not have told from T6, if I hadn’t known) I got 4 of each material in each cache, and doubled that when the act was a bonus act. So after doing all five acts, I had enough materials to convert 4 items into the Cube. I’d liked to have done some more for experimentation, , but with 4+ hour queues to create a game, I had no way to refresh the Bounties.
Recipe Two: Reforge Legendary.
This one is hideously expensive, requiring 5 of each material from each Cache, plus 50 Forgotten Souls. I didn’t have enough materials to try this, but it seems like the long term “sink” where players can forever reroll an item, hoping to get ideal stats and Ancient.
The odds of Ancient are the same as gambling: 1/10.
This and the reroll set item recipes generate a new item each time, so you can’t do this with the one you’ve got equipped since the stats would constantly be changing. This recipe #2 would be something you’d work on long term; likely trying to roll a particular Legendary Weapon or armor to Ancient with great stats, while probably using another copy of the same item for your play.
Recipe #3: Upgrade Rare Item.
This recipe turns a rare item into a random legendary item of the same type, at a very affordable cost of 50 Death’s Breath, and 50 each of the white, blue, and yellow salvage materials. None of the new Cache materials are required, and a player with at least 1000 of each of these materials could pick up every legendary amulet they found or gambled, and transform 20 rare amulets into a random legendary amulet. Or do the same with two-handed maces, or rings, or Fist weapons, etc.
This puts some value on specific types of Rare items (for the first time ever in D3?) and seems to be the “SuperKadala” sort of feature the devs teased months ago.
This works a lot like the Convert Legendary Item recipe, with a much lower price of just 10 Souls and 10 Death’s Breaths. Those + the set item convert the set item into a different item from the same set.
The recipe never makes the same item again (since there aren’t any one-item sets), but can be used with two-item sets. I did just that, burning about 300 Souls/Breaths while changing a Danetta’s Spite into a Danetta’s Revenge, and then back again. Literally, it took me around 32 rolls to finally get an Ancient, which I’m going to hope is just bad RNG, and not a sign that it’s actually less than a 10% chance of Ancient.
This recipe is fairly cheap to use, requiring no Cache materials, but in most sets the odds of getting an upgrade to the item type you want is very low. The strategy is convert the item type that you do not want to upgrade. For instance if you had a great roll on Ancient gloves in your six-piece set, (or were not using one slot of the set) every time you found another of those gloves you’d roll them in this recipe, hoping for Ancient helm or chest or whatever, but knowing that gloves would never just reroll as gloves.
An interesting recipe that requires just the item in question + a level 25+ Gem of Ease. Twinking grows ever easier in Diablo 3, eh?
It’s even easier than you think, since the new Greater Rifts no longer have an upgrade Key option, so every time you finish you have to try to upgrade a Gem. HAVE TO, or else you can’t close the portal. Over time players will end up upgrading all sorts of spare or odd gems, or maybe just upgrading a series of Gem of Eases to feed into this recipe.
This recipe allows players to convert 9 of an unwanted gem into… I’m not sure. I guess 9 of the same quality of random gems of every other type? This wasn’t testable since the “Create ________” materials can’t be found at this point. At least I didn’t see any, the Jeweler didn’t have anything new, and they didn’t come out of any Caches.
Update: They can be purchased from Squirt the Peddler in Act 2.
This one promises to convert one type of crafting material into other type(s)? Like the gem convert, this one isn’t working yet. At least I couldn’t make it work, even though I had the listed ingredients.
Update: It does work, but it’s a little tricky. It converts the type of material (white, blue or yellow) into the type of item. I.e. if you put in a stack of 100 yellow mats and a blue helm, it will output 100 blue mats. You can use items purchased from vendors.
On that topic, I have to point out the not-yet-optimized interface. Obviously the PTR is brand new and I’m sure we’ll see fixes, but currently the recipes are all kind of annoying to operate. You’ve got to manually click everything into the cube. Not in the exact amount; you can put your whole 1143 stack of Souls in and the game will automatically deduct 10 or 50 (depending on the recipe) and put the rest back into your stash. But you still have to get all the materials and items out of your stash, carry them over to the Cube, right click them in, etc. And Kulle and the Cube are not near the stash in any of the towns.
The system now works like the Diablo 2 cube where you have to actually place items into it, because nostalgia. But it would be a lot more convenient if your materials were just pulled straight from the stash; at least the stackable materials, since you obviously want to specify which specific item you’re using and transforming via the recipe.
The cube should be part of the Stash interface, or at least located right beside it in town so you didn’t have to run back and forth. It would also be nice if the stackable materials were pulled right from your stash, instead of needing them in your inventory.
Gathering the Cache Materials
As mentioned previously, most of the new Materials can only be obtained from Horadric Caches. There are five types of materials, each one found only from one act. I assume the amount of materials scales to the difficulty level, but I only had time to play one game, and on Torment 7 I got 4 materials in each Cache, plus another four in each bonus cache.
As the patch notes explains, there is now just one Bonus Act at a time, and that changes every hour, counting up in orderly fashion. I predict that players will actually watch the clock and plan their farming (and split farming) for the times when the slow acts (such as Act Five) are in double bonus time.
Seriously; come Patch 2.3.0 if I log on at 3:25pm and Act Four is the current bonus act, I’ll start trying to round up players in clan chat to do some split farming in Act Five at the hour. You really need thee materials for the Cube recipes, and if you can get double at the same time by playing in a specific hour, you’re going to do it.
On the whole, very fast movement farming builds are going to be hugely important once Patch 2.3.0 goes live, since gathering the Cache mats is essential for Cube usage. Split Farming, super fast movement builds, etc. Prepare yourselves.
Other Cache Material Crafting
If the above Kanai’s Cube Recipes weren’t enough, all of the level 70 weapon and armor crafting requires one or two of the new Cache materials as well. All these recipes are new and must be found again (which isn’t hard with the +2000% drop rate on the PTR, but will be more of a challenge in the actual game.)
You see a few of the level 70 crafting recipes below, and they’re all like this, eating up 1 or 2 of the precious Cache materials per craft.
New Gem Properties
Just for the hell of it, here are the new gems. The patch notes said all gems were to be condensed into fewer types, and they certainly have been. The 1-14 levels of gems below Marquise have been turned into 1-4 levels, while from Marquise up to Imperial and Royal, nothing has changed.
The Jeweler learns to upgrade these four low levels, and the Marquise and Imperial levels from training, but you must find the recipes for Imperial+ upgrades.
Demon Hunter Cube Items
Every class has slightly different items available through the Cube. Class-specific items are the obvious difference, with special bonuses for the Demon Hunter via Cloaks and one-handed Xbows, along with other legendary items that only boost one skill for one class, like the DH with the Crashing Rain belt. All classes follow the same rule, and there are other more general rules, like Demon Hunters not getting two-handed weapons, and thus The Furnace not appearing as an option for the DH in the Weapons tab.
This means that even if you find a Furnace with another class, it will not be available to your DH via Kanai’s Cube, same as how your DH could use a Calamity via the Cube, but no other class on your account could, even if you’d already enabled that property for the DH.
You can see all the possible items for each slot, whether you have them on your character or not. Hovering over the item boxes shows what property that item will grant you, and also shows the lack of RNG in the numbers, with any item of the type enough to enable the highest possible quality RNG of that item.
Extracting the Power
The extraction requires adequate materials and several clicks. There are achievements for your first extraction, of course.
Barbarian Cube Options
The Barbarian sees somewhat different item possibilities than the Demon Hunter. Lots of Barbarian class weapons and armor, no bows, two-handed weapons (like The Furnace), etc. But they also share the valid items, so I can enable Hexing Pants on my Barb and get the full benefit, even though the ones I extracted were found by my Demon Hunter, had Dex for the mainstat, etc.
There you see the process and the options for two of the classes. It’s pretty easy to do in-game, requiring just some time farming through all five acts, and the rewards are huge. Like I said at the top, my DH went from GR44 up to GR50, and that’s far from maxing out her potential. With slightly different gear (Natalya’s fire, equipping Nat’s Xbow + Balefire Caster, with Calamity’s proc coming through the Cube) I’ll add a huge boost of additional damage, essentially giving that build +20% damage (via Calamity’s proc). And that’s on top of the huge damage boost and resource cost reduction from Hexing Pants, and the huge survival bonus from Unity (at least when I’m playing solo).
As so many of you guys got at in the Kanai’s Cube Theorycrafting post, there are multiple amazingly powerful options with this item, many of them far bigger than the benefit my DH is getting here.
There are a ton of options and diversifications as well; one thing I was looking at for while trying to figure a better weapon boost for my DH using Physical with Natalya’s, were the one-handed weapons that DH’s never find via Smart Drop. I was wondering if there was some amulet or axe that chilled or otherwise rooted or debuffed enemies, so I could combine that with Bane of the Trapped to get the huge damage buff up full time.
I had no such luck, but was also considering how I could change my build around since with the Hexing Pants via the Cube, I was always almost at full Resource, on both Hatred and Discipline. Thus Reaper’s Wraps weren’t doing much for me, so I was wondering what other Bracers I could switch to. (Fire Natalya’s uses StrongArm, but that’s useless for Physical Natalya’s.) And also thanks to Hexing Pants, I was hardly having to use my 6th skill, Preparation, which I usually needed for Discipline refills in emergencies or for fast Vaulting movement. Could I change it out for something different, maybe Spike Trap, to get a damage buff? What about pairing that with Chanon Bolter‘s cube power?
I didn’t have time to experiment more, but it gave me a sense of the second and third level interactions we’ll see with the Cube’s powers. Players will find all kinds of items that that enable different Legendary Gems, or let them change up their gear since they don’t need so much RCR or CDR anymore, or players will find items that only work when combined with another item, or three items that all synergize perfectly, etc.
Theorycrafting Kanai’s Cube is fun, but actually playing experimenting with it in the game and seeing how much your play style can change/improve after adding just one or two item properties, is amazing. If you’ve got the time, hop on the PTR and dig into the options. If you ever manage to create or join enough games to farm up the necessary Cache materials, the possibilities are everywhere.
Update: Added Nobbie’s video for good measure.