With the release of patch 5.1, a new interesting feature was introduced into Mists of Pandaria, the item upgrade system. With the new system, players can gain additional strength by upgrading gears. The upgrade will cost Honor and Valor point for PvE gear or PvP gear.
The basics of the patch 5.1 item upgrade system: new Ethereals could be found at anywhere to upgrade your gears. They are near other Ethereals which allow you to do Transmogrification, Reforging, and Void Storage.
Gears including armor, weapons and trinkets of or above item level 458 can be upgraded. When trying to upgrade your items, a new line will be shown on your screen which displays your upgrade level 0/1 or 0/2.
It should be noticed that item upgrades are neither refundable nor reversible. So be careful of putting which item to upgrade. But enchants and gems in a piece of gear being upgraded are not affected.
Item Type Upgrade Cost Ilevel Increased
PVE Rares 1500 Justice Points +8 ilevels 1
PVP Rares 1500 Honor Points +8 ilevels 1
PVE Epics 750 Valor Points +4 ilevels 2
PVP Epics 750 Conquest Points +4 ilevels 2
As mentioned in last part, you just need to find an Ethereal and, the item upgrade NPC, and talk to him. Drop the item you are considering upgrading into the display box and it will show you what the upgrade will cost and how the stats will improve.
Please note that trinket procs will be upgraded as well as stats on them; however at this time the proc upgrade does not show in the preview.
If you have extra justice, valor, honor or conquest points, now they could be used to upgrade your gears. This new item upgrade system allows you to power up valuable weapons, armors, especially those you want to keep but need to be better. But it will be a great cost of your points to upgrade items. Be wise of spending them on which item to upgrade. If there aren't any gears that worth to be upgrade, you'd better use your points to purchase ilevel 489 gears instead of upgrading gears you already possessed.
The most recommended items to upgrade should be your weapons. This will bring the most benefits to you. The later one is trinkets. Then come to your helm, chest or legs. The fourth one is shoulder, glove or boots. If you still have anything else in your upgrading list, they should be the last one to be done.