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The Pirate's Guide to Magic Find Gear

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October 6, 2012 - 8:02pm -- Sardu
Magic Find Guide

If there’s one thing Guild Wars 2 has no shortage of, it’s pirates. Whether living or undead, they have a strong presence in the game on numerous maps. And while player characters won’t be sailing the high seas in search of lost treasure, we do regularly draw some heavy influence from our pirateering brethren. Part of the fun of scampering around Tyria and defeating the native inhabitants is to see what kind of shiny loot they have, after all.

One of the ways to increase your chances of obtaining the shiniest loot possible for your efforts is through items, consumables, or temporary buffs that provide an increase to Magic Find. There is a tradeoff, however, as Magic Find found on accessories, armor, or weapons will replace a more vital combat attribute.

In this guide we’ll go over your different options for putting together a cost effective set of magic find gear, outline the various types of consumables and buffs that enhance it even further, and explain how it impacts your chances of obtaining higher quality loot.

Magic Find Item Armor and Weapons

There are a few ways of easily identifying items that have + Magic Find, with the most common being based on the prefix or suffix of the item name. Some items will have Magic Find as an innate attribute when you obtain them as drops as a replacement for one of the combat attribute enhancements on the item. Magic Find gear can also be crafted which gives it a unique and easily identifiable prefix as well.

The following list of prefixes will help you quickly identify Magic Find items:


Crafted items up to level 55 can be produced using a Pillaging insignia (armor) or inscription (weapons) which will add +1% Magic Find.


Crafted items with a requirement of level 60 or higher will begin using an Explorer’s insignia (armor) or inscription (weapons) to add +3% Magic Find.


Weapons with a requirement of level 60 or higher and armor for level 72 and above can be found or purchased that will grant +3% magic find. Please note that while Traveler’s weapons will come in all quality levels beginning with common (blue), Traveler’s armors will only be rare or exotic.

Because there is no difference in the amount of + Magic Find added to crafted armor and weapons between the different qualities, your best bet is to stick with masterwork or rare items if you’re looking to complete a full armor or weapon sets. While producing or purchasing a full exotic Explorer’s set is entirely possible, these items are currently selling far below the market value of the materials used to produce them (up to a full gold less than what other exotic crafted pieces are currently selling for).

Crafted Light Magic Find Armor

For example, based on current market values you can produce a full set of level 80 masterwork quality magic find armor for well under a gold assuming you've gathered some of the materials yourself. In comparison, the cost to produce a single exotic piece of level 80 magic find armor can run you anywhere between 1 to 2 gold depending on the equipment slot.

Magic Find Accessories

Much like armor and weapons, accessories - amulets, earrings, and rings - can be found, purchased, or crafted that will contain a bonus to magic find. In general, the items crafted by the jeweler discipline tend to be your best bet since they will already have an upgrade slotted, and can be produced very cheaply.

The gems used to craft magic find accessories can also double as upgrades in their raw form. These include:


Sunstones can be used to add a direct 1% magic find as an upgrade item, or 2% when used to craft accessories. These will only be used in crafting at lower skill levels.


Opal will be used in most crafted accessories and can add 3% when slotted as an upgrade. This will be increased to 4% for the exotic Exquisite Opal Jewels. When used to produce rings, earrings, or amulets, exquisite opal jewels will add a total of 7% on each item (3% core attributes +4% in the upgrade slot).

Unlike armor and weapons, there is a 1% increase to magic find when going from rare to exotic quality levels on accessories. So a full set of masterwork or rare opal accessories at level 80 will grant 30% magic find, while a full exotic set will give you 35%.

Exotic Opal Earring Materials

Magic Find Runes

There are currently four rune sets that you will want to focus on if you’re looking to maximize a full set of + Magic Find gear. Three of these can be crafted or purchased through the trading post, while one set will only be available via dungeon tokens (Noble's) and cannot be traded with other players.

Magic Find Runes

Scavenging runes are currently selling for insane amounts, and can easily cost you up to 15 gold for a full set of 6. While this will likely go down over time, your best bet is to stick with Runes of the Pirate which also gives you the highest increase to magic find. Since they can be crafted and their market value continues to drop based on the availability of materials, they can be crafted or purchased for under 2 gold for a full set.

Runes of the Noble can only be purchased from Seraph Outfitter Eva in Lion's Arch using dungeon tokens from Caudecus's Manor. Each rune will cost you 120 tokens for superior quality, or 720 tokens for a full set. As an alternative, you can purchase the level 80 armor set for 1,380 tokens which has the Runes of the Noble already slotted.

Magic Find Sigils

There is currently only a single sigil type that can be slotted into weapons to grant a bonus to + Magic Find:

Superior Sigil of Luck

Instead of granting you a direct increase to magic find, you will need to defeat enemies to build up a stacking bonus. Once you've reached 25 stacks, however, you will gain a 15% bonus to magic find provided you aren't downed during combat.

Magic Find Consumables

Magic Find Boost

There are also a number of consumables that can grant you a temporary increase to magic find. First up, there is a magic find boost that will grant you +50% for one hour. These can randomly be found when opening Black Lion Chests, or purchased directly from the trading post for 150 gems each, or 550 gems for 5.

A more cost effective alternative would be a variety of foods produced by the chef crafting discipline. There are too many different types of crafted foods to list them all here, but an example of one that is cheap to produce in quantity even at lower crafting skill levels is Lemon Bars. These will grant 10% Magic Find for 30 minutes, and the recipe will produce 3 at once, so a very quick and cheap way to add some magic find.

Understanding Magic Find Percentages

For this article I set my level 80 ranger up with a full set of crafted magic find armor and weapons. The total boosts came out to:

  • +21% through armor and weapons
  • +50% via Runes of the Pirate
  • +30% via crafted Opal (rare quality) accessories
  • +15% via Sigil of Luck (upon reaching 25 stacks)

So before adding any consumables, world bonuses, or influence banners into the mix, you can have a base +101% Magic Find, increased to +116% once you’ve defeated at least 25 creatures. This can go up to +119% if you opt to equip Exquisite Opal accessories, though given the high cost - roughly 10 gold for a full set at the current market values - you’re probably best off sticking with masterwork or rare quality on those.

Since boosts and consumable food buffs can stack, it’s entirely possible to stack magic find well over 100% even without equipping a full set of magic find armor, weapons, and accessories. Before you start thinking that this is the path to instant riches and infinite wealth, there is another very important variable percentage you need to factor in; creature drop rates.

Say you have an even 100% magic find through items and consumables. If the creature type you’re fighting only has a 1% chance to drop a rare quality item, your magic find gear will only increase that to a 2% chance. That can still help increase your chances on rare item drops, but will by no means guarantee that you will actually see any increase at all.

As an A/B comparison to help illustrate what this means, I spent 1 hour each on two different characters fighting the same creatures in Frostgorge Sound. Character A had a roughly 125% increase to magic find via items and consumables, Character B had no magic find at all.

In the same time spent fighting the same group of creatures, there were no noticeable differences in drop rates between the two characters. Each had exactly one rare item drop, with the remainder of the drops being fine crafting materials and basic / common quality items.

Icebrood Loot

Both characters also roughly filled their 20 slot backpack with low quality items and crafting materials, and walked away with roughly the same vendor value for items not salvaged for materials.

Finally, I also ran the full Claw of Jormag meta-event on both characters. In both cases I only received common (blue) quality items out of the reward chest once the dragon was defeated, so the magic find gear produced no noticeable increase to my chances of getting rare items from the chest.

Now, it’s entirely possible that my control group of creatures have a naturally low (think 1% or less) chance to drop rare items, so the magic find gear had no obvious impact. Other creature types may produce better results, and I’m still compiling data on whether or not magic find has any impact on what’s found in the various types of bags dropped by humanoids.

One thing worth noting in the meantime is that creatures that spawn during dynamic events do tend to have a naturally better chance to drop higher quality items, at least based on my in-game experiences. A perfect example would the Champion of Grenth event in Cursed Shore where I commonly walk away with some rare crafting materials and at least one rare item when doing the full event chain. As such, there is a good chance that you will see better results with magic find gear when running larger dynamic events than you will when fighting random creatures outside of event areas.


chaosgyro's picture
Submitted by chaosgyro on

Seems like a lot of effort and gold spent to maybe, just maybe, effect at all.  


I sincerely hope that once ANet is relatively done with their first good pass of bug fixing that they will have a look at the level of gold sinks, rewards, etc.  I understand not wanting much inflation, but right now they have the market under such strong deflationary pressure that it's liable to collapse at any moment.

Sardu's picture
Submitted by Sardu on

Over the next couple of days I'll be compiling more data for a companion article to this one that focuses on testing drop rates with and without magic find used. While my initial findings didn't necessarily yield any positive results, my control group characters need to run through a wider variety of content still.

As for the economy, I can understand your concerns. That's another topic we'll be addressing this week at some point in greater detail, and part of why I decided to conduct my random experiments with magic find in the first place. :)

Wasselin's picture
Submitted by Wasselin on

This is very interesting. I'm very interested to see the results... it seems like in some cases it might actually be beneficial to wear gear that increases the amount of monsters you are able to kill over a certain amount of time. 

Kitsunegirl's picture
Submitted by Kitsunegirl on

i may be mistaken in this, but I think that magic find increases just your general drop rate for stuff, not an increase in your chance of finding "epic lootz" or whatever the mouthbreathers are calling it now days. xD

I use magic find at least on one item equiped, or more depending on if I get things to apply magic find... and I usually end up with a hoard of drops.


Of course you could be triggering that farming throttle, or whatever it is that Anet has been using since GW1.

cristizmf's picture
Submitted by cristizmf on

How did you compute +50% magic find from runes ? I see no combination gives a boost over 25%. The best combinations seems to be 5 pirate runes + 1 traveler to get +35%.

Nyth_'s picture
Submitted by Nyth_ on

(1) gives +10% / (3) gives +15% / (5) gives +25%. For a total of 50% magic find.

You probably overlooked the 5 piece bonus.

Jonny Morrow's picture
Submitted by Jonny Morrow on

I always found that magic find did seem to increase the drop rate of fine craft materials for me. But I never really tested it. Maybe I should smiley

Qix213's picture
Submitted by Qix213 on

Good guide, love the cost comparisons especially.  One small thing you missed though.   You can equip 5 of one MF rune (excluding scavenging) and 1 of another for a total 60% from  armor runes.

Relgg's picture
Submitted by Relgg on


Did you ever write your follow up article on this?  I am very interested to see if it is worth spending the gold to go full magic find.


Jolene Hawke's picture
Submitted by Jolene Hawke on

i am new to all of this with my armor it has a 1/4 dose that mean that i can add 3 more to that piece?


or is it you have so many of the same rune equipped?