Game Guides

Shadowlands Patch 9.1 – How to Use Shards of Domination

Yet another system attached to player power.

by Brandon Adams


Shards of Domination are a new system added in Shadowlands Patch 9.1 that are a cross between traditional gem sockets and tier set bonuses. On the surface Shards of Domination and Domination gear are both easy to understand, but there’s a bit of nuance to each that’s important to understand if you want to get the most out of the system. Oh, and you may need to recraft your Legendaries.

Shards of Domination are powerful gems that drop from the Sanctum of Domination raid.

The new Shards of Domination are powerful gems that drop from the Sanctum of Domination raid. These can only be slotted into Domination sockets, found on Domination gear that drops primarily from the raid (a few pieces of Domination gear can be purchased from the Death’s Advance quartermaster).

These gems come in three flavors: Blood, Frost, and Unholy. You can tell the type of gem by the color. Blood is red, Frost is blue, and Unholy is green. Each Shard of Domination has a unique effect that is activated when slotted, yet slot three of the same type and you can unlock an even more powerful bonus (assuming you have the Domination gear for that particular bonus)

To break it all down, there are only five slots Domination gear can drop in. Helms, Shoulders, and Chests drop for all gear types. The final two Domination gear slots for each armor type are:

  • Cloth: Bracers & Belt
  • Leather: Gloves & Boots
  • Mail: Belt & Boots
  • Plate: Bracers & Gloves


There are only 9 total Shards of Domination, and you can only socket one of each. So, since there are only 5 pieces of Domination gear per armor type you will only ever have one Shard of Domination bonus activated at a time. The bonus for 3 Blood, 3 Frost, or 3 Unholy shards is assigned to specific slots. Chest has the Blood bonus, Shoulders the Frost, and Helm the Unholy. Additionally, the bonus only works in the Sanctum of Domination raid, the Maw, and Torghast.

If you want to remove a Shard of Domination from a piece of Domination gear you need to purchase a Soulfire Chisel from Bonesmith Heirmir in Korthia for 2500 Stygia. This is a permanent item, so once you buy it you can remove Shards of Domination as you see fit (as long as the chisel is in your inventory). Furthermore, you can use Stygian Embers dropped by raid bosses and from the Korthian weekly to upgrade Shards of Domination at Bonesmith Heirmir, up to rank 5. The higher the rank the better that Shard’s effects and bonus will be.

To wrap this all up, since there are only 5 pieces of Domination gear per armor type, you may have to recraft your Legendary if a Domination piece is now your BiS. This isn’t too hard to do (as you can read in our guide here), but it does take time to farm up the Soul Ash required. As a silver-lining, if you were planning to upgrade your Legendary to ranks 5 or 6 it will take you the same amount of time to farm the new Soul Cinders whether you are upgrading an existing Legendary or crafting a new one, since you’ll grab the requisite Soul Ash in the process.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Patch 9.1, Chains of Domination launches June 29th (NA) and June 30th (EU).

- This article was updated on June 30th, 2021

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