Sand to Gold: A Silverwastes Monetary Guide

As of April 28th, players adventuring in Dry Top and the Silverwastes will have a chance to receive a Portal to the Heart of Maguuma, which will grant those who receive one access to the Heart of Thorns closed beta, provided they have also signed up for the Heart of Thorns newsletter. However, if you’re going to bang your head against the wall in pursuit of one of these rare beauties, why not make a profit on the process?

Though it remains the newest zone to date in Guild Wars 2, the Silverwastes has been with us for several months now. Dry Top was introduced shortly before it, but let’s face it, Dry Top is less than fun at the best of times. Since the implementation of the Silverwastes, the arid wasteland has developed quite the reputation as one of the most viable farming locations in the game. Today, you’re not only going to be learning why, but also how, as we turn your quest for closed beta access into the goldmine that it was always destined to be!


Don’t fret, the bar for entry here is relatively low. The major issue we’re going to cover in this section is the state of your inventory. First off, the loot is going to be absolutely pouring in as you complete content in the Silverwastes, so it is recommended that you invest in 18 slot bags at the minimum. These cost between two and three gold a piece on the Trading Post, but can also be crafted for a more or less equal cost. For the purposes of this guide, we will be assuming that you have your starter backpack plus four bag slots, which is plenty of space as long as you stay on top of managing your loot efficiently.

Next, it is very helpful, though admittedly not entirely necessary, to pick up one 18+ slot invisible bag. The purpose of this bag, generally placed in the first or last bag slot in your inventory panel, is to keep your inventory organized and certain items easily accessible. In this instance, we will be devoting this bag’s space to items of the “rare” variety. Rares flow thick and fast in the Silverwastes, and after a full event cycle, you will most likely find yourself in possession of three or more. At first, this doesn’t seem particularly alarming, but if you plan on running several event cycles, the amount of rares in your inventory can become a little vexing. Place them in your invisible bag, however, and you no longer have to worry about their whereabouts when compacting your inventory or spam-selling junk to merchants.

The next item on our checklist, the Mystic Salvage Kit, is also going to be helping us keep our rares in check. Mystic Salvage Kits have 250 uses and the same salvaging bonuses as Master Salvage Kits, which makes them an ideal item of choice for those of us who spend extended periods of time in the Silverwastes. They can be crafted in the Mystic Forge by combining one Fine Salvage Kit, one Journeyman’s Salvage Kit, one Master’s Salvage Kit, and three Mystic Forge Stones. The reason these kits are so fantastic is their high rate of Ectoplasm return from salvaging rare items (that and their high number of uses). With this item, you will be able to do all of your rare salvaging without having to leave the zone! A viable alternative is, of course, selling any rares you obtain on the Trading Post, but we’ll get to that later.

Lastly, and this generally goes without saying, be sure to be well stocked on Crude or Basic Salvage Kits (basics are recommended for the higher number of usages), Orichalcum quality gathering tools, or their Gem Store equivalents. These items are all accessible from the Silverwastes, but it’s best to jump in fully prepared.

Also, it should be noted that builds aren’t much of an issue here. As long as you’re running a set-up that you play well and are comfortable with, you should be able to handle most situations that come your way, as long as they aren’t too extreme.

Gathering Loot


The first part of the event cycle in the Silverwastes is called Foothold. While not the most lucrative part of the event chain, it is the longest and will most likely be where you will be spending most of your time. This overarching event consists of a progress bar indicating the Pact’s level of preparation for an offensive assault on the mordrem. This is done by defending and upgrading the four fortresses that can be found in the Silverwastes. The more the forts are successfully defended, upgraded, and held simultaneously, the faster the progress bar fills up. There are also escort events in which players must escort supply caravans WvW-style between the forts.

The key thing to remember when farming this phase for monetary gain is that the event rewards are paramount. You want to complete as many events during this phase as you possibly can so that you can earn vast amounts of A: Bandit Crests, B: Bags of Gear, and C: Silverwastes Shovels. A random amount of Bandit Crests, up to 25, will always be rewarded upon event completion, and Bags of Gear are a common but not guaranteed reward. Silverwastes shovels are a bit less common, but they are a nice little bonus when they are awarded because of what they do. We’ll talk more about why these things are important later, but right now let’s focus on attaining them.

The most efficient way of amassing large amounts of loot during the Foothold phase is to circle the map in a constant loop and tag any event you see sufficiently enough to receive credit upon its completion. However, this method can be counterproductive to initiating the later phases of the Silverwastes meta event, and is often frowned upon. Nevertheless, it is the most efficient way to earn large amounts of loot during this phase. Alternatively, setting up shop at one of the four forts and defending it is still highly lucrative, as there are regular defense, escort, and rebuilding events that will keep the rewards flowing in nicely. At the end of the day, it is debatable which is the superior method for attaining wealth, as the latter will initiate the later, more profitable stages of the Silverwastes meta event chain more quickly, while the former will earn you much more goodies during the foothold stage, but will also prolong it.

Once the Foothold phase comes to an end, you should possess a large quantity of Bandit Crests, a fair few Bags of Gear, and a Silverwastes Shovel or two. The crests and shovels are helpful for farming Lost Bandit Chests, which is arguably the best money you will ever make in Guild Wars 2. The Bags of Gear, when opened, will give you three pieces of gear of fine quality or better, and often contain rare quality gear. They have been known to contain exotic gear on occasion, but this is not something that should be counted on. In the interest of conserving inventory space, it is advised that you save up your Bags of Gear until you leave the Silverwastes, and spam-open them later. This will also save your immediate salvage kit uses for miscellaneous drops.

Players should also be aware that fortresses with higher defense levels have increased potential to spawn legendary mordrem bosses which, when killed, drop exotic Heirloom Seed Pouches. These bosses should be killed on sight, as amassing Heirloom Seed Pouches is a key part of profiting in the Silverwastes.


The next phase in the Silverwastes event cycle, Breach, is the shortest of the four phases at only five minutes. During this phase, which automatically begins once the Foothold progress bar is completely full, five champion level mordrem bosses will spawn in Sarlaac-style pits beneath each fort. The nice thing about this phase is that you’ll profit whether or not you win or lose. If your map manages to defeat all five bosses, you will receive champion loot bags and a Key of Greater Nightmares, which is going to come in handy later. If you do not win, however, you will receive champion loot bags based on the number of bosses your map does manage to defeat, and no key. The key will grant you a great deal of fantastic loot later down the road, so it is highly recommended to try and successfully defeat all five Breach bosses.

However, success in this endeavour is entirely dependant on how coordinated your map is and how well all the players know the boss fights. In order to increase your chances of a successful Breach and better rewards, it is recommended that you be active in map chat, pay attention to commanders, and know the particular boss fight you choose to partake in, a guide to which can be found here. All hail Dulfy, our benevolent goddess.


So now that we’ve squeezed as much loot as we can out of Breach, let’s see what we can do with the Mordrem Vinewrath. The Vinewrath presents an interesting challenge, in that the money you earn from it can be all over the place, depending on how it goes. The fight itself consists of three lanes that all lead to the same boss room, which contains the Vinewrath. Players must defend a siege entity in their lane as it attempts to breach the chamber. The lanes always break through to the chamber in the same order: the south lane enters first, then the middle lane, then the north lane. Once the players from one lane are in the boss room, they will fight another champion of Mordremoth, rather than the Vinewrath itself. Defeating this champion will hurt the Vinewrath, progressing the fight and earning all players across all lanes rewards. For this reason, it is recommended that players participate in the entire event rather than just tagging it near the end. You will progressively earn Bandit Crests, champion loot bags, Bags of Gear, and Bandit Skeleton Keys as each lane is conquered, the latter being very important to your profit later on.

Now, if you manage to conquer all three lanes, congratulations, because you’re in for a treat. However, if the event fails, there is no reward at all and everyone on the map will be killed. Assuming your map was successful in defeating the Vinewrath, a large reward chest will spawn in the boss room, containing another Key of Greater Nightmares, a Bag of Rare Gear (a guaranteed rare item), and other miscellaneous loot. In addition, three to four Lost Bandit Chests will spawn around the main reward chest, which can be opened with the Bandit Skeleton Keys you earned during the Vinewrath fight. We’ll go over the contents of these later, but for right now, know that they are the key to your fortune and should not be neglected.

In essence, be sure to participate in the entire event for maximum profit. Many people AFK Vinewrath, merely tagging a few mobs at the beginning then collecting the rewards at the end. However, they miss out on the rewards for conquering the individual lanes, which amounts to a significant amount of loot in terms of your total haul from the whole cycle.

Labyrinth and Post-Vinewrath

Shortly after Vinewrath comes to an end, whether the event succeeded or not, the Tangled Labyrinth beneath the Silverwastes will become accessible to players. To earn rewards in the labyrinth, you’ll want to head to the Hidden Depths Waypoint. From there, the first thing to do is grab the transformation buff from the glowing plant near the entrance. This will grant you immunity to the Bioluminescent Lurchers that patrol the labyrinth. The buff duration is finite, but there are numerous renewal nodes scattered throughout the labyrinth.

Once you’ve received this buff, you should head straight to the center of the labyrinth to open the Greater Nightmare Pod. This will consume the Keys of Greater Nightmares you earned in Breach and Vinewrath. The pod can be opened as many times as necessary, and will grant you three champion loot bags, one or more rare items, and a chance at rare Carapace Armor per interaction. After you’ve done this, you have a couple of options.

The first option is to stay in the labyrinth and farm Lesser Nightmare Pods. For the record, this is the most profitable option. These pods will grant you Essences of Nightmares, 25 of which can be combined with a Bandit Skeleton Key to make a Key of Greater Nightmares. Lesser Nightmare Pods are relatively common throughout the labyrinth, and it is not particularly difficult to tool around the labyrinth with the transformation buff and open them. In addition to Essences of Nightmares, these pods can also contain tier 6 crafting materials, which are highly sought after and a major money maker. The labyrinth will be open for 15 minutes, and in this amount of time you should be able to accumulate enough essences for another Key of Greater Nightmares, which you can use to open the Greater Nightmare Pod once more.

If you don’t fancy this, however, you can always go kill champions in the Silverwastes proper. After Vinewrath, numerous modrem champions will spawn throughout the map, which can be killed for champion loot bags. Most of the time, there will be a small to medium sized group of players farming these guys for their bags. While this method is unlikely to be more lucrative than remaining in the labyrinth, it is much more reliable and predictable money-wise.

Lost Bandit Chest Farming

This farming method can be even more profitable than speed running dungeons with a committed map of players. To efficiently farm Lost Bandit Chests, you really need to be in a chest farming map. These are maps in which the entire player populus is dedicated to farming these chests rather than doing the event cycle. While it is debatable which is better money, the event cycle or chest farming, chest farming will garner you a larger supply of champion loot bags at a much faster rate than the event cycle. Since champion loot bags contain pretty much everything that is right and good in the world (save for Bloodstone Dust, of course), it is recommended that if players find themselves in a chest farming map, they capitalize with urgency.

So how is this accomplished? Well, first of all, let’s go back to all those Bandit Crests that have been building up in your inventory this whole time. Why? Because they are the key to everything! Well, actually, they are the key to the keys. Bandit Skeleton Keys can be purchased from the Bandit Crest merchant in Camp Resolve for 5 crests per key. After a single event cycle, you should end up with well over one hundred crests, so these keys are not hard to obtain. If you’re looking to make money, Bandit Skeleton Keys are without a doubt the best thing to spend your crests on.

Additionally, remember those Silverwastes Shovels that were that we may or may not have received during Foothold? This is where those are going to come in handy! Once you’ve spent all your crests on bandit keys, you will want to open the LFG tool. What you will be looking for here is anyone advertising a “chest train,” “chest farm,” or anything else of the “chest” description. As a general rule, it is considered rude to join a chest farming map and not bring any Silverwastes Shovels with you, so make sure you have at least a few shovels to contribute to the cause. Once you’ve successfully transferred into a chest farming map via the LFG tool, you’ll either want to head straight for the commander tag, which is generally displayed by the player leading the chest train, or, if there are multiple commander tags visible on the map, ask in map chat which tag marks the chest train.

Once you’ve caught up with the train, you will notice that they stop rather often around little mounds of dirt on the ground, which then suddenly turn into Lost Bandit Chests that you can use your keys to open. This is achieved by a player using one of their Silverwastes Shovels on the mound of dirt. To use a shovel, simply double click it in your inventory, then hit the “1” skill to dig. Be sure to be facing the dirt mound you are trying to dig up. The “2” skill can be used to locate mounds, but this is generally unnecessary in a chest farming zerg with so many eyes searching for mounds. With this information in mind, simply follow the zerg around and around the map, collecting chest rewards!

Lost Bandit Chests make such good farming objects because their loot is not only spectacular, but also reliable. Each chest will net you a guaranteed champion loot bag, which is where most of the profit comes from. Considering that each chest takes 10-30 seconds to locate and dig up with a dedicated zerg, this is easily the fastest method of acquiring champion loot bags in the game. In addition to your champion loot bag, you are guaranteed 1-5 Lumps of Raw Ambrite, 1-25 Bandit Crests, and 3-50 Piles of Silky Sand. Lost Bandit Chests are also the best source of farming Obsidian Shards, 500 of which are needed for a legendary weapon. Up to 10 of these beauties can drop from a single chest! The chests can also grant various other goodies, such as Carapace Armor, Mini Mordrem, Twisters in a Jar, and Sinister and Verata’s weapon and armor recipes.

A single lap of the Silverwastes with an organized chest farming zerg will net you somewhere around 30-35 chests, and take roughly 10-20 minutes, depending on the zerg. Happy hunting!

Loot Management

So now that you’ve farmed up all this loot that you barely have room for, let’s see what we can do about turning it into coin. The focus of this guide is to make gold, after all, so even though much of this loot can be stored and used for other purposes, we’re probably going to be selling most of it.

If you farmed up a reasonable amount of champion loot bags, Bags of Gear, and Bags of Rare Gear, then you will most likely have to manage your loot by the inventory-full as you open all of them. That being the case, we’ll start with a list of things that should be thrown directly onto the Trading Post:

  • Lump of Raw Ambrite – 80-90 copper each.

  • Sinister and Verata’s Weapon/Armor Recipes – 1 silver – 1 gold each.

  • Twister in a Jar – 30-40 silver each.

  • Mini Mordrem Thrasher/Teragriff – 1-2 gold each.

  • Endless Mordrem Thrasher/Teragriff Tonic – 10-20 silver each.

  • Tier 5 and 6 Crafting Materials – 2-70 silver each.

  • Exotic Weapons/Armor/Trinkets – As a general rule, if the item is worth more than 2 gold on the Trading Post, sell it. If not, salvage.

  • Lodestones/Cores – 5 silver – 3.5 gold each.

What you should be left with after this purge are a bunch of blues, greens, and rares. There is still debate over whether to salvage rares into Ectoplasm then sell the Ectoplasm, or simply sell them directly on the Trading Post for 20-40 silver each. This is really up to you, but consider salvaging them, as you will receive runes, sigils, and tier 5 and 6 basic materials in addition to Globs of Ectoplasm. The money you earn from the sigils and runes, generally 2-5 silver a piece, as well as the materials, combined with the money earned from selling the Ectoplasm, should amount to slightly more than if you had simply thrown the rares on the Trading Post. Less clicking too.

Blues and greens are fairly straight forward to deal with. All items that are not medium armor should be salvaged with crude, basic, or Gem Store salvage kits. Medium armor, on the other hand, salvages into thick and hardened leather, which is borderline worthless. Instead, all pieces of medium armor should be sold directly to an NPC merchant. After you’ve salvaged all your blues and greens, go ahead and throw the materials on the Trading Post. Again, it is debatable which is more profitable, salvaging these items or listing them, but with the high price of silk, plus the decent amount Orichalcum Ore and Ancient Wood you’ll end up with, salvaging is likely the better option, and is far less time consuming.

As mentioned previously, any items of exotic rarity exceeding the value of 2 gold should be sold on the Trading Post for optimal profit. Items worth less than this, such as many of the exotics received from champion loot bags, should be salvaged, as the Ectoplasm, Dark Matter, and materials will most likely fair you better. Exotic items should be salvaged with a Black Lion Salvage Kit if possible. However, if you do not possess such a Black Lion kit, a Mystic Salvage Kit will suffice.

Depending on which you do more of, the event cycle or chest farming, you can earn anywhere from 8-20 gold an hour in the Silverwastes. The important thing to remember is that, as with any farm, time investment is key. Be prepared to dedicate many hours to the methods outlined in this guide if you intend on seeing serious results. The money will come, but don’t think it will be easy. Oh, and good luck on getting into the beta!

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