The first time I won an Essence of the Cursed Conqueror off Garrosh back in November, I was obviously quite excited. These "wildcard" tokens could be traded in at the Shrine for any other tier token, a really cool idea. It was the Flex version, but I'm pretty sure it was the one that gave me my Holy 4-piece.
However, I also noticed something strange. The Essence was upgradable.
I didn't think anything of it at the time. I certainly didn't want to waste Valor Points upgrading it and then immediately losing those VP by turning in the token, since I was getting regular upgrades at the time and needed all the Valor I could get. So I turned it in, got my 4-piece, and moved on.
However, fast-forward five months. TTGF had killed Garrosh, our raiding had died down, and now we were basically just playing out the tail end of the expansion with challenge modes or weird self-inflicted "heroic" modes. We weren't doing full clears anymore, but I still needed normal-mode Tier Shoulders for Holy, and a normal-mode Tier Helm or Chest for Ret, so I began pugging Normal mode raid kills via oQueue. And what do you know, on a Garrosh pug I ended up with another Essence.
However, THIS time, I had Valor Points flowing out of my ears. I'd upgraded every Holy piece. I'd upgraded every Ret piece. I'd upgraded numerous off-set Ordos or Warforged pieces on the SLIGHT chance that I'd end up using them, sometime, in the future...for BOTH specs. And I'd still been hard-capped, 3000/3000 Valor, for weeks.
So of course, this time I upgraded the Essence.
Turns out it actually upgraded the token's item level, too, as visible in the actual upgrade window.
I turned it in for the Shoulders of the Cursed Conqueror token...which, huh, was also 2/2 upgraded.
And what do you get when you hand in a 2/2 tier token? Well...
So that's mildly interesting. The Valor Points you invest in upgrading a tier token aren't lost at all, they upgrade your eventual tier piece too. I'm just not entirely sure what the point is?
I suppose this would be handy if you were waiting to trade in a token just in case you got a different tier token later on...and you were Valor hard-capped and needed to spend some so future VP gains wouldn't be wasted? I guess then this would be mildly useful? That's all I can really think of, though.
Ah, the things one does when you're bored in the game and have nothing better to spend your time and Valor Points on.