With Burning Crusade Classic on the horizon (launching June 1st), now is the time to make the most of your professions. Even if you’re not interested in the expansion and prefer to just stick with Classic, it’s a good idea to gear up, amass as much wealth as possible, and get some solid mileage out of your chosen professions.
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In this guide, we’ll be going over the best professions in WoW Classic, the unique benefits of each one, and which ones you should be running for your class.
Overview of the Best Professions in WoW Classic
To be clear, any combination of professions is viable. We simply want to point out that certain profession combos synergize more than others — for example, certain gathering professions can provide raw materials for crafting ones. Furthermore, certain crafting professions can provide more advantages to your class depending on the unique craftables you can use and Bind on Pickup.
You can learn two professions at a time on a single toon. At any point, you can open your skill menu and click the small cancel circle to forget one of your current professions. You’ll have to start over from Skill Level 1 if you want to pick it back up, so choose wisely!
Now, with all this in mind, let’s begin our breakdown of the best professions in WoW Classic!
1. Crafting Professions
We’ll begin with the tried-and-true crafting professions.
Utilizing the variety of herbs growing around Azeroth, Alchemists craft a plethora of elixirs, potions, and flasks to augment and aid adventurers. Additionally, they have access to valuable transmutations to convert materials into equivalent or more valuable items for other crafting professions. With elixirs and potions in constant demand from end-game players, Alchemists will always have steady work and great relevancy no matter what phase the Classic server is on.
Do note, however, that there are two caveats for folks who want to craft flasks (flasks offer potent buffs that persist through death and last 2 hours). You’ll have to fight your way to one of two Alchemy Labs in either Scholomance or Blackwing Lair to craft them. Additionally, the main ingredient is a Black Lotus, an herb that is Bind on Pickup until the Zul’Gurub patch (currently, the Classic server does not have this limitation, but it’s coming).
To that end, we STRONGLY recommend pairing Herbalism with Alchemy.
Expert Blacksmiths hammer away at the earth’s precious metals, forging raw ores into powerful weapons and armor. With access to creating some of the most iconic weapons in the game, such as Arcanite Reaper and Nightfall, Blacksmiths perform an essential service in helping players gear up to tackle raids. Additionally, they provide some of the early best-in-slot armor options for plate and mail users, as well as access to elemental resistance. They also create sharpening stones for melee DPS and keys capable of opening various locked chests and doors for non-Rogues.
While work has slowed down for Blacksmiths towards the end of Classic, the progression server will undoubtedly reignite strong demand for best-in-slot gear at the start of each phase.
At Level 40 with a Skill Level 200, Blacksmiths can further define themselves by specializing as either an Armorsmith or Weaponsmith, granting access to some of the best recipes in the game.
Be sure to do some research to decide which route is the best for you, so you don’t accidentally lock yourself out of something you wish to craft for yourself. Naturally, Mining pairs incredibly well with Blacksmithing to provide a constant flow of ore and bars to work with.
Enchanters obtain reagents to enchant gear with powerful persistent or proc-based effects by breaking down uncommon and higher-level gear. Nearly every gear slot can be enchanted in some way. Thanks to the need for gear upgrades by players, Enchanters are in high demand by both end-game players and those who are still leveling. Additionally, Enchanters can create powerful weapon oils that greatly benefit spellcasters and wands that serve as solid non-mana reliant damage for casters while leveling.
Do note, however, that you can only enchant your own gear or gear that other players put in their non-transferred trade window. Vellums that you can enchant and sell will not be available until Wrath of the Lich King. Additionally, the material cost for end-game enchants can be pricey, as you’ll be competing with others who need the gear. We recommend pairing Tailoring with Enchanting, as you do not need a secondary Gathering profession to obtain cloth and can disenchant your Tailoring creations for more Enchanting reagents.
One of the most diverse and unique professions in the game, Engineering provides a wide variety of utility items such as teleporters and Goblin Jumper Cables, powerful explosives with stun effects, and situational but devastating spell reflection trinkets. Additionally, Engineering provides access to one of the strongest trinkets in the game — one that summons Arcanite Dragonlings to help you in combat!
For Engineers who hit Level 30 and a Skill Level of 200, you can choose to specialize in either Gnomish or Goblin Engineering. Both offer powerful items, with Gnomish focusing more on equipment and Goblin on consumables. Do note that most items crafted by Engineers require the user to have a sufficient level in Engineering to use. Gnomish Engineering tends to have Bind on Pickup items, so it may be worthwhile to have your main pick up Gnomish while an alt learns Goblin and just mails the items to your Gnomish Engineer. Naturally, it pairs well with Mining to supply the materials needed to craft.
By turning the hides and skins of various beasts into armor, Leatherworkers create varied armor sets for leather and mail wearers. Additionally, they can produce armor kits that reinforce specific gear slots and provide extra armor. That said, keep in mind that you can’t have both an armor kit and an enchant on the same piece of gear.
At Level 40 and with a Skill Level of 225, Leatherworkers can select a specialization between Dragonscale, Elemental, and Tribal Leatherworking. Dragonscale armor is exclusively mail armor with a focus on resistances. Elemental armor is all leather-based with a focus on fire resistance. Finally, Tribal armor is the most sought after as it provides some of the most powerful pieces in the game, such as the Devilsaur armor set for DPS and the Hide of the Wild for healers. Naturally, this profession pairs well with Skinning to supply it with reagents.
Tailoring is arguably the easiest of the crafting professions to level, as all characters can obtain cloth from looting humanoid enemies. Tailors can convert the reagents into mighty cloth armor, with the best pieces being Bind on Pickup and providing a set bonus for Tailors specifically. Additionally, high-level Tailors can create a piece of Mooncloth — a reagent for potent recipes — once every 4 days, as well as create up to 18-slot sized bags.
As Tailoring does not require any other profession to level, it can go quite well with any other choice that catches your attention. Min-maxers will often go for Engineering for the extra utility or Enchanting to steadily amass more reagents.
2. Gathering Professions
Next up, let’s take a look at the best Gathering professions in WoW Classic.
The lifeblood of the economy, Herbalism provides a constant flow of reagents to the multitude of players desperate for the buffs created through Alchemy. If you see an herb and have the right level to pick it, simply walk up and click on it. The only caveat? You usually need to slog your way through multiple enemies. And if it’s exceptionally valuable, it’ll probably be surrounded by massive packs of mobs, meaning you’re in for a ride.
But hey, at least you have Find Herbs as a skill that you can activate for herb nodes on your mini-map. Just make sure to re-enable it after you inevitably die because you got too greedy when you saw a Black Lotus.
Speaking of which, Black Lotus herb nodes are the single most valuable node in the game. While Blizzard has increased the possible spawn points, there is usually only one up at a given time, and they are in incredibly high demand by raiders for flasks. Once the progression server launches, start hoarding these even if you’re not an Alchemist. They’ll stop being Bind on Pickup once the Zul’Gurub phase launches, and you’ll be able to trade them for massive amounts of moola.
Before we begin, make sure to have a Mining Pick in your inventory. Since most ore nodes are located alongside mountains, cliffsides, and hills, you’ll be spending a lot of time at the edges of a zone looking for ore. Mining provides the raw materials needed by Blacksmithing and Engineering, and unfortunately, they need a lot. Expect your mining routes to be emptied if another player is in the zone doing the same thing, as the pathing is much more static and circular than Herbalism nodes.
Additionally, expect to find yourself drowning in varying tiers of stone as a byproduct of your mining. Blacksmiths can turn these into sharpening stones, but the market is typically flooded with them. On occasion, you’ll obtain gems as well. While we’re still in Classic, most gems are used sparingly in recipes, with only a handful of high-tier ones in demand. Thorium nodes will quickly become your best friend at high levels as the primary end-game ore.
Before we begin, make sure to have a Skinning Knife in your inventory. Simply keep killing beasts and skinning them afterward. Once you’ve hit the point where you’re not gaining more Skinning levels, head to a higher-level zone and repeat the process. On occasion, you’ll obtain hides instead of just leather, but these aren’t much use without being cured via Leatherworking.
Unfortunately, leather isn’t in very high demand except for some specific pieces. I particular, end-game mobs such as Devilsaurs in Un’goro Crater, the raid boss Onyxia, and the dungeon boss The Beast in Upper Blackrock Spires all provide unique pieces of leather used in the best Leatherworking recipes.
Top Choices for Each Class in WoW Classic
Now, we’ll be looking at professions in vanilla WoW from another angle: some recommendations for the best professions for each class.
As you might notice, Engineering pops up a lot. Frankly put, it is by far the best profession for PvP due to the additional CC options it provides. As for PvE, top-end raiding mandates that almost everyone has it for the extra AoE DPS. Imagine 40 players simultaneously dropping a grenade worth 400 damage instantly.
However, for the sake of diversity, we’ll go over alternative recommendations and pairings that fit each class.
Best Professions: Herbalism and Alchemy
As befitting of a class centered around nature, the two professions that involve gathering and utilizing plants are strongly recommended for druids. With the Druid’s Travel Form not being cancelled by herbing, it becomes a very strong pick by ignoring mount up time. Naturally, Alchemy pairs nicely with Herbalism by being able to provide all the necessary reagents. Additionally, the high value Black Lotus herb is bind on pickup in the early phases of Classic and will give you the opportunity craft flasks before anyone else.
Best Professions: Skinning and Leatherworking/Engineering
With their pets being able to hold aggro and tank, Hunters make an excellent class for farming skinnable mobs. In particular, the elite Devilsaur mobs in Un’Goro Crater can be soloed by a sufficiently geared hunter. Naturally Leatherworking pairs well and provides the hunter access to multiple mail armor options. However, Engineering is also incredibly valuable for the CC some explosives provide to gain enough distance to escape the ‘dead-zone’ where hunters can’t use their ranged abilities.
Best Professions: Tailoring and Engineering
Tailoring provides some of the best cloth pieces of armor in the game as well as access to some set bonuses that require maxed out Tailoring. In particular, Robes of the Archmage is a bind on pickup craftable. Engineering is also incredibly useful for Mages, as the Arcanite Dragonling further enhances their fire damage, though you will need a Mining alt to steadily provide ore.
Best Professions: Mining and Blacksmithing
With the Paladin’s easy access to mounts and Crusader Aura, they make for an excellent choice on riding around the edges of a zone and mining ores. With Blacksmithing providing some excellent gearing options for plate users, such as the Arcanite Reaper or Lionheart Helm, it should be clear why this combination of profession pairs well for Paladins.
Best Professions: Tailoring and Enchanting
Similar to Mages, Tailoring provides a unique bind on pickup craftable in the form of Truefaith Vestaments, one of the best early epics for Holy Priests and strong set bonuses later on. Enchanting will provide you a constant access to powerful buffs, and as Priests are desirable for dungeons, you will constantly have access to drops that need to be disenchanted.
Best Professions: Engineering and Herbalism
If there was any class that must have Engineering, it’s Rogues. The CC utility provided by explosives makes the rogue’s kill and lockdown potential just that much stronger. Stunning an enemy for just long enough to get back into stealth is priceless. Plus, the niche spell class reflection trinkets cover for some of their biggest weaknesses in being kited. Herbalism is rather easy pickings when you can just stealth to any herb and helps provide the raw materials you need to utilize your Blind and Vanish abilities. Plus you can gather Swiftthistle for your Thistle Tea energy brews.
Best Professions: Mining and Engineering
The Shaman’s Ghost Wolf form helps out greatly in moving quickly from place to place, meaning that you get from ore node to ore node rather quickly. Engineering just further enhances your damage and burst potential, with the Arcanite Dragonling also helping out if you utilize your fire spells.
Best Professions: Tailoring and Engineering
For much the exact same reasons as Mages, you want Tailoring for the unique Bind on Pickup it provides, Robe of the Void, and easy access to larger bags for to hold your soul shards. Once again, Engineering provides you access to the Arcanite Dragonling which synergizes incredibly well with your fire spells. The CC potential from explosives is also great to make some room if your enemies resist your Fear ability.
Best Professions: Mining and Blacksmithing/Engineering
Similar to the Paladin, Warriors benefit from the multitude of weapons and armor they can craft with Blacksmithing. However, as the premiere PvP class, Engineering turns your overkill into even more overkill. Especially as you can chase down your enemies with your Charge and push them within Execute range more easily with explosives.
The Best Professions for Raiding
So now we’re at this point, where we start min-maxing professions to determine which will give you the single greatest edge for your class. Let me preface that if you’re playing a toon casually and don’t plan on doing end game content, simply grab a gathering profession and the respective crafting one that fits your class. This’ll provide enough resources for casual gameplay and deliver some gold, besides.
Otherwise, pick up Engineering, regardless of your class. By utilizing the Engineer-exclusive grenades/explosives, you can consistently increase your damage output by an additional average of 400 every 2 minutes (regardless if you’re a DPS, healer, or tank).
Furthermore, as we mentioned earlier in the Engineering section, the Arcanite Dragonling is a massive boost for DPS classes early on. If you’re a fire-damage-based class such as a Mage or Warlock, it increases your damage even further by applying a stacking debuff that increases the amount of fire damage taken. This can be a massive advantage on certain raid bosses that are vulnerable to fire damage. Additionally, Gunters can craft their own best ammunition as an Engineer, saving lots of money in the long run.
Tanks will also find great value from Engineering, as the AoE damage from the explosives greatly help you hold aggro. Shield-based tanks can also craft a Force Reactive Disk, which on occasion emits an AoE blast of damage.
For cloth armor classes (Warlock, Mage, Priest), I recommend picking up Tailoring for the Bind on Pickup pieces that you can craft. Throughout the various content phases of Classic, there is usually a fantastic piece of gear that you can craft only for yourself, and it often outperforms raid gear. Examples include the Robe of the Archmage (Mage), Truefaith Vestments (Priest), and Robe of the Void (Warlock).
Sadly, Leatherworking and Blacksmithing don’t have much in the way of solid Bind on Pickup options, so classes that would use the armor from them don’t get any particular benefit besides easier access to the gear.
Alchemy mainly provides easier/cheaper access to the constant slew of potions and elixirs required while leveling, with Enchanting performing a similar role. However, Enchanting does offer a Bind on Pickup trinket called Smoking Heart of the Mountain, and it’s a godsend for Druid tanks. Though if you’re really trying to max-min, you could (in theory) reach 265 in Enchanting, craft the trinket, and then drop the profession to pick up another one. However, we don’t recommend that due to the sheer time-cost of leveling Enchanting.
Sadly, the gathering professions offer no combat benefits in Classic.
The Best Professions for PvP
Engineering Strikes Again
Once again, like in raiding, Engineering is considered an absolute must. The extra damage output from the grenades/explosives is simply too good to pass up, but even more importantly, the stun effects from the better ones are invaluable. BLocking an enemy down 5 seconds for free in PvP is an absolute godsend, and profession items are not restricted in Classic PvP.
Additionally, some of the Gnomish and Goblin Engineering specializations see more play here. Items like the Goblin Rocket Boots can be invaluable for escaping enemies or running the flag back to base in Warsong Gulch. The Gnomish Death Ray, in particular, can be hilarious for one-shotting enemies, assuming your class can lock the enemy down long enough to get the cast off.
There are also PvP-oriented spell reflection trinkets that can turn the tide of battle against casters. While niche, if you have one of them equipped (such as the Ultra-Flash Shadow Reflector), you can easily reflect a warlock’s shadow spell back at them… such as their Fear ability. I’m sure you can see the value in that.
Potions Are Key
Once again, the value of other professions in PvP is similar to those in raiding. That said, we do strongly recommend having an alt with access to Alchemy.
That way, you can craft yourself useful consumables like Free Action Potions to get yourself out of the multitude of CC in Classic.
The Best Professions for Making Gold
Gold Farming With Herbalism
The gathering professions are the most reliable way to make a steady stream of gold. Herbalism takes the top spot, followed by Mining, and then Skinning trailing a fair way behind. With herbs being in constant demand for elixirs and potions, it should come as no surprise how valuable they are — especially given that some herbs are required for rogues to use their Blind and Vanish abilities.
Transform Resources Into Armor With Mining & Skinning
Miners will see the bulk of their profits come from the Thorium ore deposits used to make all the end-game crafting recipes for Blacksmithing and Engineering.
As mentioned in the Skinning section above, Skinners will only see large profits from selling the unique hides from bosses and Devilsaurs.
Steady Money From Alchemy & Enchanting
As for crafting, alchemists will make the most steady amount of money as long as they can keep the material costs below the actual final product. That’s because items such as the Free Action Potion and stat-boosting elixirs are in very high demand. Additionally, their Arcanite Bar transmute is incredibly sought after by Blacksmiths for some of the best recipes.
Enchanters can also make incredible money off their wares, especially when they’re the first people on the server to obtain the recipe. Most end-game recipes come as either a rare drop from bosses or require reputation grinding with factions to purchase. Disenchanting rares and epics and just selling off the raw enchanting material is also a steady way of generating income.
Good For Combat, Bad For Your Pockets
Engineers, unfortunately, can’t reliably sell the explosives as they require an Engineering level to use. However, the ammo and unique BoE items they create can go for high prices. Additionally, they craft the single best ranged weapon attachment in the form of Biznicks 247×128 Accurascope. Luckily, this can be sold for a tidy profit.
Blacksmiths will want to focus on selling some of the BiS armors and weapons, such as the Lionheart Helm and Arcanite Reaper. The sharpening stones and keys also see some demand, but the market will probably be oversaturated there.
Leatherworkers will want to focus on selling the Devilsaur armor set, as it’s one of the BiS sets for any attack power-based class. Additionally, raid essential items like the Onyxia Scale Cloak go for a fair bit too. Good luck getting the specific leather you need, though.
Tailors can make a decent bit of money by selling off their Mooncloth transmute or high-quality bags. After all, every adventurer needs to hold loot! Just don’t expect to see too many sales in gear, as most casters will be running Tailoring themselves for the BoP gear pieces.
Become a High Grounder
And that’s it for our best professions in WoW Classic guide. We hope this has helped you and stick around for our future guides on The Burning Crusade when it releases on June 1st! And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter. As always, maintain the advantage here at High Ground Gaming.