In Black Desert, you can use a system called enhancement to augment the stats on your gear. If you’re successful in the attempt, your gear will get a new enhancement modifier, allowing you to get an edge on the competition with better AP and DP.
As usual, it comes with a unique downside. If you fail in enhancement, your weapons and armor will degrade in durability or may be outright destroyed in the case of accessories. The maximum amount of durability reduction varies depending on the enhancement level, and you can no longer enhance your gear if it’s below 20% durability after repeated failures. When this happens, you can either use the same gear from the Forge or repair its durability using a Memory Fragment.
Fortunately, there’s also a safeguard measure against RNG: increasing enhancement rate, which accrues a certain number of stacks whenever enhancement fails, increasing your chances of success if RNG isn’t going in your favor. With this system, you can work to build stacks by using cheap and easy-to-repair gear then using those stacks on enhancing expensive items.
◈ The goal of building stacks is to minimize the cost of repairing durability
Fundamentally, you build up stacks to recoup the penalty of your enhancement attempts. The amount of durability lost when an enhancement fails is the same whether the gear used is cheap or expensive, given the enhancement level is held constant. What’s different is the cost involved in repairing the durability for various items.
There’s simply too much risk involved in enhancing an item without any insurance because accessories like Ogre Ring may be destroyed or Duo or above weapons and armors may lose enhancement levels in the process. That’s why it’s in your best interest to build stacks in order to reduce the repair cost and to get a better shot at a successful enhancement.
Granted, you do lose out on something in building stacks because it requires Black Stones when repairing durability and working on stacks. However, if you consider the alternative cost of durability repair on more expensive items such as Memory Fragments and Artisan’s Memory, the difference of potential costs is immense. Even if you end up spending more money than you anticipated, it’s much better than losing enhancement levels on Tet and Pen gear.
◈ How to build stacks
- Black Stone and/or Concentrated Magical Black Stone (source materials)
- Reblath gear (for building 20-25 stacks)
- Grunil gear (for building 20-40 stacks)
- Enough Silver to cover gear repair costs
Stack building process
Keep enhancing and repairing a cheap equipment piece until you have the desired stacks.
The core of stack building is to increase enhancement rate by purposefully failing to enhance cheap items, so you can later use the stacks on expensive gear. This is why you’ll first need some cheap gear to enhance, along with some Black Stones.
Reblath and Grunil gear are commonly used for this purpose. You can easily find Rebalth gear in an unlimited quantity from the blacksmith in Velia, so you don’t have to worry about repairing durability. Grunil gear is better for building high stacks because Reblath ends up easily succeeding in enhancement when it gets to about 20-30 stacks.
Once you have your required materials ready, you can begin your stack building process. The process itself is quite simple, as you only have to keep enhancing cheap gear. At low enhancement levels, you’ll end up successfully enhancing the equipment and resetting the stacks. That’s why the real work starts when Reblath’s enhancement stacks get to be around 13-14.
If your Reblath got to +15 and you still don’t have enough stacks, use a character with negative karma to get killed by guards. Characters with negative karma have a chance to lose enhancement levels on death. Using this method, you can get your +15 Reblath back to +14.
After you built about 20-25 stacks with your +13-14 Reblath, it becomes difficult to get more stacks. Although it’s technically possible to get over 30 stacks with Reblath, you may also lose the stacks you’ve worked on since the chance of success gets very high. If you feel that you still don’t have enough stacks for your main gear, you can use Grunil gear to build up some more. Specifically, Duo-Tri Grunil gear give you additional stacks, so you can use that to your advantage.
It’s worth noting that you can choose the enhancement type with Grunil, unlike Reblath, which has a fixed type. You can either prioritize enhancement chance or item durability. For the purpose of building stacks, choose to prioritize item durability because it offers lower chances of success with lower possible durability loss.
◈ Optimal stacks to use on the main gear
Although there isn’t concrete data on the precise impact of stacks, many players have devised a certain threshold. Regarding boss weapons and armor, it’s estimated that 20-26 stacks are optimal for +15 to Pri; 26-32 stacks for Pri to Duo; and 42-56 stacks for Duo to Tri. For enhancing Tet and above, it’s really anyone’s guess, but most players assume that 50-60 stacks are required.
Enhancing accessories is a different story. It’s commonly accepted that widely available items like Witch’s Earring, Mark of Shadow, and Necklace of Shultz the Gladiator require 20-26 stacks for Pri; 26-32 stacks for Duo; and 30-45 for Tri. Here are items listed in ascending order of breakthrough chance: Ring of Crescent Guardian & Serap’s Necklace; Tungrad Earring & Ogre Ring; and Laytenn’s Power Stone & Basilisk’s Belt.
If you’ve gotten close to a desired number of stacks but are too afraid to continue, Valks’s Cry will come in handy because it will grant you up to 10 stacks in addition to the ones you already stored. Keep in mind that Valks’s Cry gives additional stacks, so only use it when you’re finished with building stacks.
Now it’s time to enhance the gear that matters. In case you didn’t already know, boss gear from Kzarka, Nouver, and Dim Tree Spirit all have a fixed breakthrough type, which means that you don’t have to worry about choosing the right enhancement options. If the gear you want to enhance offers breakthrough options, go with the one that prioritizes breakthroughs, so that it gives you better chances of success with a higher possible durability loss.
◈ Don’t waste excessive stacks on low-level enhancements
Building stacks can only help with success rate, which means that it’s not an exact science. Some players accumulate an ungodly amount of stacks despite having more than enough stacks to begin with. When that happens, it’s highly recommended that you save them for a later day.
Let’s say my best gear at the time is a Pri-Kzarka weapon, and I end up getting 50 stacks built up. 50 is a lot of stacks, considering most people use them for Tri. It’d be wasteful to use them on a Pri weapon. In this case, you can save those stacks in one of two ways.
The first way is to build stacks and enhance the item on a new character while leaving the character with stored stacks alone. For example, character A built 25 stacks to enhance a gear from Pri to Duo using Reblath or Grunil but kept failing even though the stack count got up to 45. At that point, transfer the gear to character B and repeat the stack building process. When character B successfully enhances to Duo, you can attempt the Tri enhancement right away after transferring the item back to character A.
Another way is to extract fail stacks by purchasing the Blacksmith’s Secret Book from the blacksmiths in each city. Using this item extracts the accrued stacks to Advice of Valk. Note that each Secret Book can only store up to the number of stacks designated on the item (e.g. if you have 46 stacks, you can use the Blacksmith’s Secret Book – 50, but not the Blacksmith’s Secret Book – 40).
Advice of Valk can instantly increase enhancement rates by the value attached to it and allows people who don’t have multiple characters to keep a high number of stacks. However, stick to using alts to build stacks because Blacksmith’s Secret Book will set you back several million Silver. Only extract stacks when absolutely necessary.
You may be turned off by the idea of saving stacks since it feels like you’re starting the process all over again. But unless you’ve sworn never to enhance your gear in Black Desert, saving up excessive stacks for high enhancement levels will pay off in the long run.