Kanai’s Cube Hands-On Tutorial

Locked and loaded.

Locked and loaded.

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:

  1. Fetch the Cube from the Ruins of Sescheron dungeon; Act Three, Adventure Mode only.
  2. Bliss out to the soothing conversation of Zoltan’s Kulle story, bro.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 DiabloWikiKanai’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.

cube-recipe-pg1Recipe #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.

cube-recipe-pg2Recipe 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.

cube-recipe-pg3Recipe #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.

cube-recipe-pg4Recipe #4: Convert Set Item.

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.

cube-recipe-pg5Recipe #5: Remove Level Requirement

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.

cube-recipe-pg6Recipe #6: Convert Gems

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.

cube-recipe-pg7Recipe #7: Convert Crafting Materials

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.

Cube Operation

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

Bonus Acts yield Bonus Caches.

Bonus Acts yield Bonus Caches.

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.

Act 4 bonus cache.

Act 4 bonus cache.

Act 4 Cache

Act 4 Cache

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.


You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.
  1. There’s actually some more stuff that the cube does, which was in the DiabloFans datamined thread, but not in the official patch notes. Kanai’s Cube can also open portals to Greed’s Realm, and probably the Not-the-Cow-Level. The datamined thread said that the recipes are “Puzzle Ring + 1 regular item” for Greed’s Realm, and “Bovine Bardiche + 1 regular item” for Not-the-Cow-Level. I was able to get a Greed’s Realm from Kanai’s Cube from just the Puzzle Ring, without needing a second item; I didn’t test it, but I’d assume that if the Greed’s Realm portal worked, the Not-the-Cow-Level portal will too. Assuming I ever get into game, this is something I will test once I get a Bovine Bardiche.

    • If that's true, then it's really cool. I did not get a chance to play the not-the-cow-level 🙁

      • The Greed event can be triggered by transmuting a Puzzle Ring by itself, but The Vault has been adjusted to 5 items total (~3 of which are legs on PTR) for the boss chest; I have tested and confirmed this. I haven't done the Not A Cow Level yet, having no Bovine Bardiches to test with.

        • I’m curious as to what you mean by the “Greed event” vs “The Vault,” since AFAIK they’re the same event. I definitely know that you can open a portal to Greed’s Realm with the Puzzle Ring, since I did it last night, so what’s the Vault, and what do you need to transmute to get there? Thanks for the information. I love that there’s secret stuff about Kanai’s Cube that people are starting to figure out.

  2. Can you wear the same legendary you extracted and get double the bonus?  For instance can you extract a RoRG and then enable the power while wearing a RoRG to reduce the number of set items for bonuses by 2 instead of 1?

  3. Diablo servers are busy, estimated wait time 21 hours………….

    • Depends what game you trying to start with – copy from your account, starting new character, Hardcore or Softcore. The best results you`ll get with Hardcore game and copy from your account (if you got HC one).It will show you around 2-3 hours and you might get into game after 30 min. Don`t pay attention to clock.

      • The best approach is to join a clan with a lot of players, since often someone will have a game open that you can join.  Our Diinet PTR is newly-created but was up to 70ish people this morning, and I had eager takers for my game when I logged off… though everyone trying to play softcore was suffering interminable waits.

  4. I wonder if it would pay to farm horadric caches right now in anticipation of the patch, or if the legendary materials will only appear in caches acquired afterward.

    • NO. Only new dropped will give you those new legendary materials for CK.Also they drop plans which previously been dropped from Goblins – for Legendary Items we all been able to craft our selves.

  5. Sorry to invade your thread, Flux, but since the waiting times on the patch 2.3 PTR are now unholy, I've made a quick video guide about the same topic for everyone interested.

    ^Title: Diablo 3 RoS 2.3: Ruins of Sescheron & Kanai's Cube – Pet Witch Doctor EditionDescription: ?The Diablo 3 Patch 2.3 ??PTR? just went online, and in the following video, I want to show you a quick overview of its highlights, the new Ruins of ??Sescheron? zone and ?Kanai?'s Cube, a new artefact that works similar to the Horadric Cube from Diablo 2 but has much more power.I'm using an average Torment 4/5 Pet Witch Doctor (from Season 3) here because he's a great example how you can get your hero 2 notches up on the difficulty scale with relatively little effort. Enjoy!To the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sokz4aX_VzM

  6. Does the cube work with old legendary stats that have changed with recent patches, like Homunculus?

  7. Good write-up, thanks. But one thing I've not seen answered anywhere: you have 10% chance to reroll a non-ancient to an ancient, so does that mean you have a 90% chance to turn an ancient to a non-ancient if you just want to reroll the stats on your ancient item?

    • Yes. You don't exactly reroll stats, you generate a new version of the item, totally random, as if it just dropped or was gambled. It's not like enchanting, where you just tweak one stat.

  8. Thanks for the very thorough write up. My queue times, unfortunately, are infinite as I use a Mac…no PTR for me so far, but definitely very interested in all the new stuff. I'm of two minds regarding the cube – all the power and flexibility you can get from it seems amazing, yet a lot of it seems to shortcut the RNG of finding items. Perhaps I shouldn't complain about that myself since I finally found my first Kridershot recently…but isn't a big thrill of Diablo games getting that lucky drop? Hopefully the powers of the cube help compensate in other ways.

  9. I'm guessing it is a PTR only thing but right now on the PTR the bonus act rotates through all 5 acts if you do them in the right order.Meaning you start a game and say act IV has the bonus marker. Do the 5 bounties in act IV, talk to Tyrael, and get the bonus cache. Now check the map–a different act will have the bonus marker. You can get all 5 bonus caches if you follow the map indicator.Like I said, I don't know if this was something to assist with testing on the PTR or a change made after the patch notes were written.

  10. Bane of the Trap procs itself so the damage buff is already always up.

    • BotT creates a small melee-range slow aura around you that procs the damage bonus – this is why people refer to BotT as 'proccing itself'. But this does not apply if the mobs are outside this aura radius, as is likely the case if you're a DH. So you need something else to apply CC to mobs to get the damage bonus.

      • This.  Proximity is the key, especially with a DH, especially when you're often using Zei's and Bane at the same time, so obviously you don't want to be close.

  11. I got home from work, found the shortest queue time in Adventure mode (Torment IX was a paltry 4 hours 44 minutes), took a nap, went running, and voila, I was in!  I think it only ended up being about 3-4 hours.  Anyway, this is my first time participating in the PTR, and I am amazed!  The bounties are…fun now!  Now perhaps it was influenced by the 2000% increased legendary drop rate, but still.A few notes that might not have been mentioned (apologies if they were).  These aren't all cube related.1.  I was on Torment 9 and got (4) crafting materials from the cache and (4) from the bonus cache.  It sounds like Flux got the same for Torment 7.  I will be farming bounties on lower torments if that's the case.  Hopefully they fix that so you get more as the difficulty increases.2.  One significant change on the bounties is that now the "kill the boss" bounty is back.  The cool thing is that after you do the "kill the boss" bounty in each act a "Diablolic Hoard" chest pops up and I think I got minimum 10 legendaries each time (I think one I got 12 or 14).  My first impression is that it was a Resplendent Chest on steroids.  The most drops I got out of any Resplendent was 4 legendaries.2.  There seems to be a bug where I the gem plans for the highest tier gem combos disappeared and the plans would only drop 1 each from a bonus cache, so I hope I don't need to make any flawless imperial gems anytime soon.3.  Double goblins is activated.  I noticed that the goblins now will escape, even if they aren't active on the map anymore.  This is a bit disappointing.4.  Conduit Pylons seem to be significantly stronger now and I think they last longer, although I can't confirm the latter.5.  I did not notice a rift 25 second timer after completion, at least on Greater Rifts.  I was always full of legendaries after Nephalem Rifts that I never noticed if there was a counter on those.6.  On Torment 9, 3 of the 4 Keywardens dropped Infernal machines, so it isn't 100% on Torment 9 at least.  But no keys, so that's a win regardless.

    • Ughh… Hard returns don't work when you post?

    • I did a couple of bounties last night with my new Monk on T5 and I got 3 stack of materials. Not 4, as on T8. I've seen people report 4 stacks on T10 also. 

      Probably it's something like 1 stack on T1-T2, 2 on T2-T3, 3 on T5-T6, and then 4 on T7+?

  12. Some additions to your post: The material you are missing for the gem convert recipe is sold by vendors, I believe the little girl in the A2 quest hub that also sells the other crafting plans.I also believe I read somewhere that the bonus act changes to the next one once you finish it (I would try myself if I could log in -.-). Meaning you just always start with the bonus act in a game – once you are done with it, another act becomes the bonus act etc. – until you have done all 5 as bonus-acts and have to make a new game.

    • I can confirm that the little girl in Act 2 sells the essence of the gems to convert gems.  It's 2,000,000 gold and the essence is *consumed* upon conversion of those 9 gems.I can also confirm that the act bonus does change after you complete all 5 bounties in a given act, so you don't have to wait until the next hour to do one.  Just check the map, I don't think it goes in order necessarily.

      • I need to test again to see how the bonus act goes. In my game it was bonus in Act 1 to start, and then I also got the Bonus for Act 4 and Act 5. (I did A2 and A3 but no bonus.)

        I was doing a lot of other testing of Rifts and Grifts and talking to people in clan and taking screenshots, but I wasn't in the game for 5 hours, for the bonus act to cycle through all 3. Pretty sure it went right to Act 4 after I finished Act 1, and then went to Act 5 after I finished Act 4.

        At any rate, I think long term people will have enough mats from some acts, Act 1 at least, that they won't always do it on bonus. While the slower acts, 3 and 5 especially, people will always do when they're on bonus? Or if you get on and they are in bonus, people will create new games to do them multiple times during the bonus hour?

  13. The act-specific crafting mats seem to drop in groups of 4 no matter what torment difficulty you're on.  I've tried it on T7 and T9, 4 each time from every cache across all acts.Has anyone bothered to try on T1?

  14. Still not sure what the point of sub-Marquise gems are, given that socketing has no level requirement. I'm amazed that they've never made "gem dust" an ingredient.

    • Just a bone to throw to a new player on their way up to 61 and Marquise land?  And I guess the start of a new season, finding Marquise gems at level 15 would be OP, for those 3 or 4 hours of early play time.

  15. Can we extract the same property more than once. The Depth Diggers for example vary from 80 to 100% additional damage. If I extract from a 80% item, can I later re-extract from a 100% version?

Comments are closed.