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Best Professions in WoW: Shadowlands Ranked Least to Most Useful

Truly there is no rest for the wicked. Even in the Shadowlands, we find ourselves tolling away at our crafts to create items that help us kill the dead (again). With the realization that we can’t escape work even in death, we’ll be ranking the best professions in WoW: Shadowlands.

Our rankings will be based off how much mileage you can get from a profession, what options it opens up for you, and how profitable it can be.

We’ll also be splitting up the crafting and gathering professions, as the former are only useful for supplying raw materials nowadays. Additionally, we will not be going over fishing and cooking, as every character can pick them up and are considered more to be side activities than main professions.

Alright, let’s get started on the best professions in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands.

3 Gathering Professions Ranked

If you’re an explorer and like to spend time surveying the land, you’ll enjoy one of these three gathering professions. The three below are ranked from worst to best.

#3 Mining

Providing ores for blacksmiths, engineers, and jewelcrafters to work with, Mining has to sit at the bottom of our list for the best gathering professions in WoW. The three crafting professions mentioned are either lackluster or don’t require too much ore to work with, meaning the demand for reagents is somewhat low.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Additionally, reaching ore nodes tends to require going out of your way to find spawn clusters/locations, as only certain regions of each zone will be teeming with nodes. Plus, you have to do some research to see which zone-specific ores are actually selling on your server.

#2 Skinning

With only leatherworkers needing the skinned hides of your foes, it may be a bit of a surprise to see Skinning listed higher than Mining. However, Leatherworking provides some very useful consumables that are in constant demand, so the leather you obtain from Skinning will actually sell.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Plus, you can easily farm leather by simply bringing a well-geared toon to a spot that has fast-respawning skinnable mobs and just AoE farming them. A particularly good location is the Shardhide Den to the west of the main base in Korthia.

#1 Herbalism

With alchemists and inscriptionists burning through herbs on a constant basis to provide players with powerful and convenient consumables, it should come as no surprise that herbalism is the best gathering profession in WoW.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

While each zone has its own unique herb, herb nodes can be found all across the area. Simply heading to locations during your journey will provide you plenty of opportunities to pick herbs. Most importantly, druids can gather herbs while staying in Travel Form. Besides saving time on not having to mount up, you can easily hover out of enemy mobs’ range while grabbing the herb.

You’ll easily be able to sell any herb you pick and rake in the profits, so go and pick flowers to your wallet’s content!

8 Crafting Professions Ranked

Below, you’ll find a ranking of the crafting professions from worst to best.

#8 Jewelcrafting

Unfortunately, the dead denizens of the Shadowlands don’t seem to appreciate the fine art of jewelcrafting very much (which explains why there’s only a handful of recipes that have any relevancy). 

While the stat gems that jewelcrafters create are in high demand as players obtain more and more gem sockets, there is very little diversity to the profession. The standard +16 to secondary stat gems are the only ones that see any market traffic. However, due to how simple it is to obtain the base gems that are crafted in to usable items, the stat gems’ prices have plummeted.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

The entire situation is made worse by the fact that there have been no new gem recipes since the launch of Shadowlands. Beyond creating the base item for legendary rings and necklaces, there’s nothing particularly interesting that jewelcrafters can make this expansion, removing any unique value the profession could provide.

Unfortunately, the situation is made even worse when you look at the profession’s legendaries. Getting the materials together to level up the legendary crafting is incredibly inefficient cost-wise (possibly the most inefficient of all crafting professions), as you’re looking for specific essences that are obtained via RNG when prospecting ore.

Jewelcrafting provides an essential service to players by creating stat gems, but there are already so many jewelcrafters in the market that it’s not worth picking up yourself. If you need a specific gem or legendary ring/necklace, simply buy it from the auction house. For now, Jewelcrafting will have to sit at the bottom of our list for the best professions in WoW.

#7 Blacksmithing

One would expect Blacksmithing to be higher on the list, as the profession traditionally can craft armor for the three plate classes in the game and even weapons for everyone. Unfortunately, most of the armor and weapons you can make this expansion are solely designed to be low-tier catchup gear.

While you can technically set the iLvL of the piece of gear you’re crafting with a Crafter’s Mark, by the time you can obtain the recipe, your gear’s iLvL will probably out-scale anything you could create. Annoyingly, you can’t even set any crafted weapon’s stats with missives, if you were thinking of making one.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Thankfully, Blacksmithing provides the option to create sharpening stones to temporarily boost your weapon’s attack power. Regrettably, most people will be using weapon oils from Alchemy instead for their stronger effects. You cannot stack both sharpening stones and weapon oils, sadly.

As is the case with all other professions capable of crafting legendaries, it’s not worth the effort and resources to raise your legendary crafting level to a meaningful point if you’re starting just now. If you need a plate legendary base piece, simply buy it. 

The material costs for Blacksmithing are also higher than most other professions, as you need zone-specific ore that’s usually only found in certain locations. These conditions mean the cost of ore will be higher, making the profession more expensive despite the limited value Blacksmithing provides.

Tragically, there are no unique BoP items that Blacksmiths can create this expansion either, rendering the profession even less useful. There is some hope that Blizzard will add a new useful weapon recipe in future patches, bringing the profession back in to some relevancy.

#6 Tailoring

As one of the big three armor crafting professions, Tailoring runs into many of the same problems as Blacksmithing. The only major difference is that the materials are so much easier to obtain, as literally everyone obtains cloth simply from killing and looting humanoid mobs.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Due to the sheer surplus of cloth reagents, Tailoring is possibly the only crafting profession that we consider feasible to level your legendary crafting. Cloth is going for record low prices on most servers’ auction houses, and the demand for legendary cloaks is sky-high due to players not wanting their legendary to overlap with a slot that could equip a domination socket from the raid.

Additionally, tailors can craft thirty-two-slot bags for fairly cheap. Since every player needs bag space, up to twelve per toon if including bank slots, there’s constant demand. It’s also rather safe to assume that there will be a recipe for an even larger bag in future patches, giving Tailoring something else to look forward to.

#5 Inscription

Sitting in the middle of the pack for best professions in WoW is Inscription. Having lost the ability to create buff scrolls to supplement groups without certain classes, Inscription instead gained the ability to create stat missives that can imbue crafted pieces of gear with specific stats. 

Image: Blizzard via HGG

With each legendary gear requiring two unique stat missives, inscriptionists have made a killing from the system. Additionally, some players have been crafting their unique-equipped 230 iLvL piece of gear from Korthia, meaning missives have risen in popularity recently.

Additionally, Inscription enables the crafting of tomes that allow players to swap their talents on the fly while outside of rested areas. This is incredibly valuable for raiders who need to change their talents for each boss fight and ensures constant work for inscriptionists. Plus, you can craft Vantus runes that let players gain a versatility bonus against a specific raid boss once a week. As long as there are progression raid teams on your server, expect these to be constantly selling.

#4 Enchanting

The odd one out, Enchanting is one of the few professions that gained more relevancy since the previous expansion. With more gear slots now able to take enchantments, enchanters now have much more work than before.

Every player who wants to be remotely competitive and progress in content will seek out the powerful augments that enchanters provide. It’s not uncommon for someone to obtain a new piece of gear and immediately ask if someone in the group is an enchanter. Enchanting is constantly in high demand and useful at all stages of the game.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Unfortunately, Blizzard has not released any new recipes since the start of Shadowlands. While this isn’t too bad given that players are constantly replacing gear and thus needing new enchants, it does mean that the supply of Enchanting reagents is surpassing the consumption rate. Disenchanting gear into reagents is often less cost effective than simply vendoring the gear piece. Enchants are selling for less and less on the auction house, as every enchanter has a surplus of reagents and are trying to find buyers.

If you choose to pick up Enchanting, expect it to mostly be for personal use and guild mates. Being able to send an enchant to any of your toons at will and stockpiling a guild bank with useful enchants is quite nice.

#3 Leatherworking

The last of the armor-crafting professions, Leatherworking also suffers from the same issues as Tailoring and Blacksmithing. However, its value does not lie in being able to craft armor, but instead in the two utility items it provides access to.

Drums of Deathly Ferocity provide groups access to a weaker form of Heroism/Bloodlust for those lacking classes capable of casting the spell. Given the difference the ability makes in clearing content, the drums are in high demand for those who aren’t willing/unable to find a class capable of doing so.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

Even more importantly though is the Heavy Desolate Armor Kit. This item provides a two-hour stamina bonus to any player who slaps it on their chest piece. As it does not override an enchant slot, any player looking at progression content will want it for the extra survivability it gives. These are a massive money maker and are in constant demand on every server. It also provides a very useful leather sink to prevent a server from overflowing with the reagents.

All these factors combined together make Leatherworking the best armor-crafting profession in WoW.

#2 Engineering

The one profession with the most amount of unique and BoP benefits in the game. While other professions severely lacking in unique benefits, Engineering provides a plethora of fun tools that provide damage, convenience, and utility. 

Image: Blizzard via HGG

With access to three different explosives, you have a few ways to deal an extra 3k damage to your enemies every five minutes. You can also build and use wormholes to teleport around the Shadowlands more quickly. Plus, you have access to a unique Engineering-only auction house in Oribos! Additionally, you have access to special belt enchants that can provide useful features such as invisibility or a reflection shield.

You can also create one of the best enchants for hunters’ ranged weapons and a special companion pet designed around the Kyrian’s phalynxes. Unfortunately, those two items are the only things you’ll be able to really sell, as majority of Engineering’s crafts require players being an engineer themselves to utilize.

If you’re looking to squeeze every last bit of damage and utility out of a profession, then Engineering is one of the best professions in Shadowlands.

#1 Alchemy

Finally we’re at the number one choice on our best professions in WoW list. With the sheer diversity of useful consumables it can produce, Alchemy sits at the top. The various flasks, potions, and oils that alchemists create are forever in demand and are consumed at an incredibly rapid pace.

Image: Blizzard via HGG

The difference that popping a potion in an intense fight can make it staggering, with many progression groups mandating their members to use as many potions as possible in every encounter attempt. Having a flask running is also a given, as the sheer stat bonus it provides is equivalent to equipping another piece of gear. Weapon oils are another given, as they provide bonus effects constantly while fighting and can be enhanced even further by popping potions during burn phases.

With how quickly players burn through Alchemy consumables, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to make a profit. Even more so if you take the time to grind out the reputation to purchase the recipe for creating Shadestones, a reagent necessary to make flask cauldrons that’s time-gated by a one-week cooldown.

You’ll always gain something of value with Alchemy, making it the absolute best profession in WoW right now.

Become a High Grounder

And that’s it four list of the best professions in WoW: Shadowlands. If you have any thoughts regarding our list, please feel free to leave a comment below. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for more guides like this!

Happy gaming!

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