Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Professions (Part 2)

In the World of Warcraft, fortunes are made on patches and new expansions. Each new expansion and patch brings the opportunity for you to get gold-capped. Will you be the next in Mists of Pandaria? Now is the time to prepare! This series is about preparing for the next great gold rush in WoW: Mists of Pandaria!

Be sure to read part one of the professions post for the strongest and weakest professions, plus a word on gathering professions.

Strong But Declining
These professions will start off with strong initial sales, but will decline to more normal levels after a few months. They will not remain as strong as Jewelcrafting and Enchanting, but should be a better gold/hour investment than the gathering professions and Engineering.

People are willing to pay for shortcuts in Warcraft, and that means high-end gear that can be sold will be bought by someone. I remember getting 200-300% profits, not counting procs for transmute specialization in the early days of Cataclysm thanks to the demand for first-tier (359) epics. While the profits eventually declined for Truegold, they remained high in Volatiles. This is likely to happen again for the high-end metal (Mists-Truegold) and there will likely be a fallback plan as well.

In addition to the Mists-Truegold, however, you'll also have gem transmutes. If the cooldown remains off, you can transmute as many common "green" quality gems into rare "blue" quality gems as you can get materials for. This will help your Jewelcrafter make even more gold (if you have one) or still turn a tidy profit selling the gems to other Jewelcrafters.

Potions, especially healing and mana seem to be in decline in Cataclysm (no health/mana pots drop from mobs), thought they've remained profitable if you're a good shopper for raw materials. I'm uncertain what to expect from potions in Mists, but I think they'll continue to be small profit items overall compared to other markets. Flasks could see a surge if the guild cauldrons aren't updated to Mists-level buffs. If they are, you'll likely see a surge at first, then decline as guilds get their people leveled and stocked with cauldrons.

Recommendation: Because of the daily limit on transmutes, they will remain extremely profitable throughout launch and into the 2nd content patch. While the initial leveling at launch may be high, there's probably enough profit to support 3-4 alchemists. If you're looking for a good pairing, Jewelcrafting and Herbalism are good partners for Alchemy.

I initially wrote this post before the Mists of Pandaria Press Tour. At the time, glyphs didn't seem to be in line for a major overhaul. Now, however, it looks like we'll be seeing a large surge with the extremely large number of datamined new glyphs entering the market. Read the full list at MMO-Champion. My big question now is if these sales will be limited to after Mists of Pandaria launches by requiring the new herbs/inks to create, or if they'll use older inks, allowing us to sell them during the pre-launch event where they patch in the new systems, but don't open Pandaria for a few weeks.

There will be money in creating Darkmoon Decks and Cards. Darkmoon trinkets have historically been best-in-slot for the first tier of raiding in an expansion, but have often remained strong contenders into the 2nd and even 3rd content patch. Mists should be no different as people look to spend some of their amassed wealth on top-level trinkets. Expect to burn through a lot of herbs creating the cards, as well as doing lots of wheeling and dealing with other scribes for the cards you're missing, but the payoff could be huge. Darkmoon business alone could get you to the gold-cap.

In addition to the decks, expect a surge in Mysterious Fortune Cards due to a shortage on the market. Blackfallow Inks will be in short supply as the farmers rush into the new content and Mists-level herbs. While the Mists-level herbs can be down-converted into Blackfallow, they'll cost significantly more. Smart scribes (and non-scribes for that matter) will stockpile Blackfallow Ink as well as MFCs for sale after the supply dries up a few days or weeks into Mists.

Recommendation: One scribe will do. Books of Glyph Mastery and research are the current limiting factors on Inscription. You'd be insane to want to do that more than once.

Blacksmithing has lots of niche markets, but very few wide-appeal ones. They are, however, the only game in town when it comes to enhancing belts. The belt buckle enhancement is needed anytime someone upgrades their waist slot, and you'll be the one making them. Prices fluctuate throughout the expansion, but generally remain quite profitable.

You'll also want to craft and post some rods for enchanters to use right at launch. Be the first to get some up and you could command a premium price. Enchanters will need a new rod in order to start leveling their profession and making the new enchants. You'll want to supply them.

Tank Plate and all the weapons are traditionally strong sellers for Blacksmiths as well. Guilds will want to outfit their tanks as quickly as possible to begin running heroic dungeons and raids. Tanks are usually among the first to get guild support for gearing and enchanting, so you should see some strong sellers here. Weapons of any kind can be the most difficult and painful slot for people to fill, usually because there's strong competition for them. They also are responsible for some of the biggest DPS gains, so people are going to want them. You'll likely be limited by the number of Mists-Orbs (like the current chaos orbs) you can obtain, should Blizzard keep the existing paradigm of them dropping from dungeons.

Recommendation: One Blacksmith is sufficient.

PVP gear is going to become less critical for people getting into the PVP scene, plus it will be a lower iLevel than equivalent PVE gear, so it won't be as useful for bypassing the iLevel restrictions on dungeons and Looking For Raid.

Tailoring should continue to see profits into Mists of Pandaria with the leg enchants for casters, as it is currently the only source of the enchant. The smoother upgrade path of Dungeon/Heroic/LFR/Normal Raid/Heroic Raid will help keep a steady supply of upgrades flowing.

Another point in favor of Tailoring is the bigger and better bags that will arrive in Mists.We'll almost certainly see one larger than the current Embersilk Bag and wealthy pack-rats everywhere will rejoice at paying a steep premium for 2-4 additional slots in their inventory.

Recommendation: One tailor is sufficient, though a 2nd could be beneficial for the first tier of crafted items if there's a similar cooldown to Dreamcloth in Mists.

Leatherworking has many of the same issues that come with tailoring. The gearing issues for PVP should be mitigated by the larger pool of people needing the gear (Caster/Melee Leather plus Caster/Melee Mail). Monks using leather will also be a nice boost.

Also like tailoring, this is the only source of leg enchants for melee classes, so there should be a steady supply of income from them as well. Mining bags in the early part of Mists should be strong with the added number of people farming to take advantage of the initial surge in prices, but should taper off quickly after that.

Recommendation: One Leatherworker is enough, but don't worry if you don't get there.

Overall Recommendations
If I'm ranking all the professions and putting them into slots on a character heading into Mists of Pandaria, I'd go with the following order:

1. Jewelcrafting / Alchemy
2. Enchanting / Alchemy
3. Inscription / Herbing
4. Blacksmithing / Mining
5. Tailoring / Alchemy
6. Leatherworking / Skinning

One caveat to this is that you might consider going Inscription / Blacksmithing in slot 3 so that slot 4 can be a dedicated farming Mining / Herbing alt that you use for the first couple weeks.

Read the entire series!
  • Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Alts
  • Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Professions (Part 1)

4 comments: on "Mists of Pandaria Preparation: Professions (Part 2)"

  1. You forgot the boom in demand for leather at the start of the expansion due to Monks, and the fact that it'll provide items for 4 different classes - Rogues, Druids, Hunters, and Monks, of which 3 (Monks, Druids and Hunters) will be popular. Monks will provide a surge in demand for Glyphs and leather at the start of the expansion (low level leather as well), which will peak in the first week of release, then slowly decline afterwards. It was a nice analysis, but the writer forgot about the main selling point of the new expansion - The Pandarian Monk.

  2. @Bizdis:

    You're right, the surge of leveling Monks will add some value to the inscription profession (which will probably retain demand longer than you think as some people will roll Monks on day 1, others will wait until their "main" is at max level before starting).

    In my analysis, I did factor in Monks as part of the "Caster/Melee Leather" classes, though not has highly as you (and possibly not as high as I should have).

    Monks will certainly benefit Leatherworking, but I'm not sure it's substantial enough to warrant a Leatherworker if you don't already have the other recommended professions.

  3. New reader here, I love your posts on MoP prep!

    I've begun getting ready myself, with low and slow buying up of stock, though I'm holding off on major stashing until we get more info on possible deflation. I've also been considering my prof setup. I have 4 85's, so I set it up to have all crafting profs currently:


    I'm planning on adding 2 more, do you think Skinning/Alch and Herb/Mining would round this out well? I know for sure I need a Miner for smelting, and I feel the need for a Skinner for unusual skins. What I'm not sure of is Herbalism. I hate gathering, so would a third alchemist be better if I don't really plan on farming?

    I'm glad you give LW a fair shake. Too many people overlook it, even though it gears fully 40% of the WoW population.

    I totally understand your view on Eng. For me its a PvP/PvE Hunter awesomeness profession, so I take what profit I can, but focus my efforts elsewhere.

  4. @Kalven: Unless you're going to devote serious time to farming, adding a third gathering profession (in this case herbing, to your already planned mining/skinning) probably isn't your best investment. If Alchemy/Inscription are your primary means of making money, herbing can be nice to get the rarer herbs you need for a product, but you should be able to secure the resources on the Auction House without much difficulty after the first few weeks.

    For the time investment, Alchemy transmutes is your best bet for easy profit without much work.

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