This thread will detail and describe the way that I save/manipulate/use Crystals in order to craft gear. This is, IMO, the best/most efficient method.
First, all of the crystals.
These are all the crystals in ascending order. Before anyone yells HAXOR!, these are NOT my crystals.
The feat for converting and salvaging crystals is a great way to get higher level crystals. This is the method I use.
X signifies a crystal that I DO NOT TOUCH. They will be the most important in creating your dream set, and will often require hundreds or more.
<--- is a crystal that gets salvaged down until it becomes an X crystal.
---> is a crystal that gets converted up until it becomes an X crystal.
There are exceptions. Some X crystals will become no longer needed at some point. When they do, they can then be salvaged or converted to the closest crystal which you still need. I always keep a minimum of 1 crystal, just so they stay in a nice, neat order.
Now onto actually crafting pieces.
Step 1. Crystal Affix
Look for regular epic items that have a decent Item Quality, 5%+. Those items make great base items. I always begin with an empty, disenchanted completely with Quartz, item. The first affix to get, is going to be your crystal affix from Obsidians. If the affix you want isn't on your list, pick a random one and then disenchant it back off with Quartz. This is why I start with empty items, they will most likely become empty anyway trying to get your crystal affix. You CAN begin with a legendary item, however I would only do that if it already has the crystal affix you want on it.
NEW Step 2. Mythic Affix
Now is when you are going to want to apply the Mythic affix to ensure you still have the room. Add your 4 sockets and the mythstones, and then you can continue to add the other affixes. Once a Mythic affix has been added, you're stuck with it. It CANNOT BE REMOVED. Choose wisely and carefully.
Step 3. Set and Legendary Affixes +Sockets
These can be applied in either order, as an undesired affix can be removed simply with remove affix, Kyanite. DO NOT disenchant with Quartz after your crystal affix is set, remove affix with Kyanite ONLY! Sockets can be added at any point, there's really no significance to when you add these. Once you have your set and all your legendary affixes that you want you can then...
Step 4. Epic Affixes
Now add the rest of the epic affixes that you need with Topaz. You should now have a full item with all 6 affixes.
Step 5. Change Epic Affixes
All of your epic affixes can be changed to the ones you want with change affix, Sapphire. If all six of your affixes are the affix that you want, it's time for...
Step 6. Rerolling Crystal and Legendary Affixes
Before beginning this part, your item should be maxed level from Peridot, and max IQ from Emerald. That is going to save you lots of crystals and time. You can reroll all affixes with a Diamond. What you are looking for here is only to max your crystal and legendary affixes, if another of your epic affixes ends up perfect rolled in the process, then you're a step ahead of the final part.
Step 7. Rerolling Epic Affixes
The only part left now should be to reroll each epic affix you have with Fluorite.
Sometimes you may need to change the special, talent, and nature. These can be changed at anytime, first or last. Once this is done, you should be left with a perfect piece of your dreams. Only 5 more pieces to go.
I usually will craft every piece at once, step by step. Then, once you are done with the crystals for each step, they can be salvaged or converted to a more useful one.
Hopefully this helps. Happy building!
I would like to thank the thinkers that think they thunk the thoughts they theorized.