wotlk classic best professions & profession bonuses featured image
  • Author: Pride
  • Date: September 22, 2022
  • Expansion: WotLK Classic

Wrath of the Lich King introduces a new profession, Inscription. There are also a lot of profession changes, with the intent of improving the balance between the different professions. Most professions are pretty competitive as a result, as they provide useful combat bonuses to your character.

This guide will list all available professions, detailing what bonuses they offer for your character, and explaining how powerful, or not powerful, those bonuses are.

For PvE content, we’d recommend the following professions:

For PvP content, we’d recommend the following professions:

Best Professions

Just like it was the case in previous expansions, some professions are better than others in Wrath of the Lich King. In particular, most classes will choose to use Engineering for their first profession slot, while the second profession slot will typically be Tailoring for casters and healers, or Jewelcrafting for physical DPS and tanks.

Engineering returns to its seat as the king of professions in WotLK, after being briefly dethroned in TBC. It offers so many incredible gadgets, that it is hard for other professions to even come close to Engineering.

The main benefit that Engineering offers is unique glove enchants. These do not stack with regular glove enchants, but they’re so powerful that this drawback usually doesn’t matter, as nearly everyone will use them.

  • Hyperspeed Accelerators: An on-use effect that grants +340 haste rating for 12 seconds, on a 1 minute cooldown. If we calculate its average benefit, that means this enchant yields an average of +68 haste rating over a fight’s duration, which makes them the best glove enchant by a decent margin for most classes. However, that average is slightly deceptive — in WotLK you generally want to stack multiple cooldowns together for a massive damage increase, making the Accelerators even better in practice than they are on paper.
  • Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket: An on-use effect that deals 1654 to 2020 Fire damage to an enemy, on a 45 second cooldown. This translates into a modest ~92 DPS before any other modifiers for most classes, which is nifty but sadly outclassed by the Hyperspeed Accelerators in PvE. In PvP however, this enchant is simply incredible, and is the main reason why most players will choose Engineering for PvP.
  • Reticulated Armor Webbing: A passive enchant that grants a massive +885 armor. The enchant of choice for tanks.

Engineering can enchant other slots besides gloves however:

  • Nitro Boosts: A boot enchant which passively grants +24 crit rating and an on-use effect which massively boosts your movement speed for 5 seconds, on a 3 minute cooldown. The movement speed boost cannot be used in the a rena, but it is incredibly powerful in PvE — most players in a raid will have this enchant. Note that they do not stack with regular boot enchants.
  • Mind Amplification Dish: A helm enchant which passively grants +45 stamina and an on-use effect which allows you to (potentially) mind control your target, on a 10 minute cooldown. The mind control part can be fun though it isn’t very relevant in raids and cannot be used inside the arena. However, this enchant actually offers 8 more stamina than the reguler head enchant that tanks use (Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector), so this is actually the enchant of choice for tanks, if they don’t need defense rating.
  • Frag Belt: A belt enchant that comes with an on-use effect that allows you to throw a free Cobalt Frag Bomb, dealing 750 to 1000 Fire damage, on a ~6 minute cooldown. This isn’t the strongest effect out there, but it can be very nice on AoE fights. Stacks with Eternal Belt Buckle, cannot be used in the arena.
  • Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator: A belt enchant that comes with an on-use effect that allows you to stun every mechanical enemy within 30 yards for 3 seconds, on a 1 minute cooldown. A fun effect, but not too useful.
  • Springy Arachnoweave: A cloak enchant which passively grants +27 spell power and an on-use effect which slows your falling speed for 30 seconds, on a 1 minute cooldown. The spell power part makes it a great cloak enchant, and the slow fall effect can be very fun!
  • Flexweave Underlay: A cloak enchant which passively grants +23 agility and an on-use effect which slows your falling speed for 30 seconds, on a 1 minute cooldown. A physical version of Springy Arachnoweave essentially, but nobody really wants to use this as their main cloak enchant as agility isn’t a super desirable stat for anyone, unfortunately.

Engineering also offers some nifty item level 200 epic helmets. These are very strong items to start your character off, specially since you can acquire the materials outside of raids. However, they lose their importance when you get raid gear, and unfortunately Blizzard doesn’t add new Engineering helmets in later phases like they did in TBC, so they become obsolete in phases 2 onwards.

But the bonuses don’t even end there. Engineering has access to powerful explosives, such as Saronite Bombs, Cobalt Frag Bombs, Global Thermal Sapper Charges and Explosive Decoys — these are very useful in AoE-focused raid fights, but cannot be used inside the arena. Engineers also get an on-demand vendor, repair bot and bank access on a 1 hour cooldown in Jeeves, and the powerful (even after being nerfed!) Gnomish Lightning Generator trinket.

Finally, Engineers get 2 faction-specific ground-only mounts in WotLK: the Mekgineer’s Chopper for the Alliance, and the Mechano-hog for the Horde. Some may see this as a “nerf”, as Engineering got a unique flying mount in TBC, but these mounts are so cool, that you’ll likely see them all over the place!

Jewelcrafting will typically be the 2nd profession of choice for tanks and physical DPS classes, thanks to the raw stats it offers. It’s also incredibly strong for healers and caster DPS classes, though they will typically opt to pick up the slightly superior Tailoring instead.

To begin with, Jewelcrafters get item level 200 rare trinkets. With the exception of the caster DPS and tank trinkets, these aren’t very good, but they are nice for a fresh level 80 character without particularly decent trinkets anyway, particularly the aforementioned caster DPS and tank trinkets.

The main benefit of Jewelcrafting that causes the profession to be superior to others however, are the unique Dragon’s Eye gems that Jewelcrafters can socket into their gear. You can socket 3 of these into your gear, which will result in massive stat bonuses.

For some examples, with Jewelcrafting you can choose between the following bonuses: +214 attack power, +117 spell power, +153 stamina, or a +102 boost to strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat, such as crit, haste, expertise, armor penetration, etc.

As you are replacing normal gems in your gear, this means that you gain the following overall bonuses. Note that in Phase 3, epic gems become available to players, which means that the value of Jewelcrafting decreases a little, but it still remains the best profession for most classes that prefered it in earlier phases anyway.

  • Phases 1 & 2: +108 attack power / +60 spell power / +81 stamina / +54 strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat
  • Phases 3 & 4: +84 attack power / +48 spell power / +63 stamina / +42 strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. Thus we can see that Jewelcrafting is significantly better than most professions in Phases 1 & 2, and still a small bit stronger than most professions in Phases 3 & 4.

Some examples of Dragon’s Eye gems you can craft as a Jewelcrafter:

Tailoring will typically be the 2nd profession of choice for healers and caster DPS classes, thanks to the incredible cloak enchants. Tanks and physical DPS classes will typically prefer Jewelcrafting or other professions, as Tailoring unfortunately isn’t all that great for them.

The main benefit of Tailoring are its Tailor-exclusive cloak enchants, known as embroideries. These unfortunately don’t stack with regular cloak enchants, which reduce their usefulness slightly.

  • Lightweave Embroidery: A random proc which gives you +295 spell power for 15 seconds with a 45 second internal cooldown. This translates into a possible +98 spell power bonus on average if it procs exactly every 45 seconds, or a +74 spell power bonus on average if it procs every 60 seconds.
  • Swordguard Embroidery: A random proc which gives you +400 attack power for 15 seconds with a 45 second internal cooldown. This translates into a possible +133 attack power bonus on average if it procs exactly every 45 seconds, or a +100 attack power bonus on average if it procs every 60 seconds.
  • Darkglow Embroidery: A random proc which restores 400 mana with a 45 second internal cooldown. This translates into a possible +44 mana per 5 bonus on average if it procs exactly every 45 seconds, or a +33 mana per 5 bonus on average if it procs every 60 seconds.

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. Given the trade-off of losing your regular cloak enchant, this means that the attack power and mana regen embroideries are unfortunately not all that good. The spell power embroidery however is absolutely incredible, on average offering almost double the benefit that Jewelcrafting does in Phases 3 & 4 — hence most caster DPS and healers will opt to pick up Tailoring as their second profession.

Besides the embroideries, Tailors can craft spell power cloth gear. However, none of that gear is bind-on-pickup, meaning any player can use it and thus the only benefit you get as the Tailor is being able to craft the gear for yourself, thus saving some gold. On top of that, Tailors also get a cheaper version of the spell power leg enchants that they can craft for other players, in Master’s Spellthread and Sanctified Spellthread, which further save gold for you as the tailor.

Finally, and perhaps most importanly for collectors, Tailors also get unique mounts in WotLK! Specifically, we get 2 upgraded versions of the Flying Carpet mount: Magnificent Flying Carpet & Frosty Flying Carpet. You can finally fulfill your fantasy of being a powerful wizard!

Useful Professions

The following professions are very good, but offer a slightly lesser benefit compared to the best professions. If you’re not focused on making your character 100% optimal, you can use any of these professions just fine, and in many cases they’re very decent to have for their money-making potential and utility.

Blacksmithing is a very interesting profession, as it is basically the opposite of Jewelcrafting: it starts off slightly weaker than other professions, but gets buffed in Phase 3 when epic gems are added to the game, at which point it becomes one of the best professions around.

The main benefit of Blacksmithing is the ability to add 2 extra gems into your gear: 1 on your wrists (Socket Bracer) &1 on your gloves (Socket Gloves). This in turn allows you to socket 2 extra gems of your choosing into your gear, which will provide the following benefits:

  • Phases 1 & 2: +64 attack power / +38 spell power / +48 stamina / +32 strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat
  • Phases 3 & 4: +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +40 strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina, thus Blacksmithing is slightly weaker than them in Phases 1 & 2, and ties them in Phases 3 & 4. That’s not the whole truth however: the only other profession to offer a bonus to strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat is Jewelcrafting, which offers a significantly higher bonus in Phases 1 & 2 (+54), but a very similar bonus in Phases 3 & 4 (+42). Thus classes who want to prioritize those stats, such as Fury Warriors, DPS Death Knights, etc, will prefer Blacksmithing (or the slightly superior Jewelcrafting) over other professions.

Furthermore, Blacksmithing gives you absolute freedom to choose what gems you want to use, allowing you to pick the stats that you need in your current situation. For instance, other professions give you a nifty +46 spell power, but with Blacksmithing you could choose to use 2x Veiled Ametrine instead if you need some extra hit rating for your cap, which isn’t an option you have with most other professions.

Besides the sockets, Blacksmiths can craft strength, tanking or spell power plate gear. However, none of that gear is bind-on-pickup, meaning any player can use it and thus the only benefit you get as the Blacksmith is being able to craft the gear for yourself, thus saving some gold. On top of that, Blacksmiths can craft Titanium Skeleton Keys, which allow them to open lockboxes and locked doors without needing a Rogue.

Inscription is an average profession as far as character stat bonuses are concerned. However, it is very decent at generating gold for you.

The main benefit of Inscription is shoulder enchants. These do not stack with regular shoulder enchants, but they are a flat-out superior version, so every Scribe will be using them.

Thus, you essentially get a choice between +80 attack power, +46 spell power or +40 dodge rating.

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. This makes Inscription just average for classes that prioritise attack power or spell power, meaning Rogues, healers and caster DPS specs. For tanks and specs that prioritize strength, agility or a rating stat, however, it will unfortunately be a sub-par profession. To make things slightly worse, you are locked into those 3 bonuses — Inscription doesn’t offer the freedom that better professions do.

Inscription sadly offers no other exclusive perks to the Scribe, as the only other things you can craft are glyphs, scrolls, vellums and Darkmoon Cards, which can all be sold on the Auction House, for anyone to use. However, glyphs are always needed, and Darkmoon Cards will be in incredibly high demand in Phases 1 & 2, with the Nobles Deck in particular typically selling for exorbitant prices. This makes Inscription a very solid money-making profession, so you could pick it up on your Rogue, healer, or caster DPS caster with no problem, as it’s only a tiny bit weaker than other professions.

Enchanting is an average profession as far as character stat bonuses are concerned. It is also pretty average as far as gold generation is concerned.

The main benefit of Enchanting is ring enchants. There are no other enchants for rings in the game besides these Enchanter exclusives, and you can enchant both of your rings. You get a choice of 3 different ring enchants:

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. This makes Enchanting just average for classes that prioritise attack power, spell power or stamina, meaning Rogues, healers, tanks and caster DPS specs. For specs that prioritize strength, agility or a rating stat, however, it will unfortunately be a sub-par profession. To make things slightly worse, you are locked into those 3 bonuses — Enchanting doesn’t offer the freedom that better professions do.

Enchanting sadly offers no other exclusive perks to t he Enchanter, as the only thing you can do with it is enchant the rest of your gear, which any other Enchanter player can do for you anyway. However, Enchanting sees a major quality of life boost to its gold-making potential in WotLK: players with the Inscription can craft enchanting vellums (f.e. Weapon Vellum III / Armor Vellum III) which we can enchant and then sell on the Auction House as scrolls for other players to use, f.e. Scroll of Enchant Weapon – Berserking. This makes making gold as Enchanting significantly easier than before, as you can now just post your enchants on the Auction House, which is very handy as enchants are always in demand.

Leatherworking sees a major fall from grace in WotLK, going from being a must-bring profession, to an average profession as far as character stat bonuses are concerned, while its gold making potential is still pretty poor.

The main benefit of Leatherworking is bracer enchants, called Fur Linings. These do not stack with regular bracer enchants, but they are a flat-out superior version, so every Leatherworker will be using them.

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. This makes Leatherworking just average for classes that prioritise attack power or spell power, meaning Rogues, healers, and caster DPS specs. Meanwhile, it is very slightly above average for tanks, who typically stack stamina. For specs that prioritize strength, agility or a rating stat, however, it will unfortunately be a sub-par profession. To make things slightly worse, you are locked into those 3 enchants — for example, you cannot opt to go for the Enchant Bracers – Expertise enchant as a tank if you find that you need more expertise, which is a very unfortunate limitation.

As a small added bonus, there are resistance-boosting Fur Linings as well, each boosting your resistance to a specific school by 70: Fur Lining – Arcane Resist, Fur Lining – Fire Resist, Fur Lining – Frost Resist, Fur Lining – Nature Resist and Fur Lining – Shadow Resist. Unlike previous expansions, there aren’t any fights that require resistances in WotLK, so this bonus isn’t very useful all in all, specially as you sacrifice your regular bracer enchant anyway. However, they can be OK for your tanks on some specific fights.

Besides the Fur Linings, Leatherworkers can craft leather & mail gear, with agility or spell power. However, none of that gear is bind-on-pickup, meaning any player can use it and thus the only benefit you get as the Leatherworker is being able to craft the gear for yourself, thus saving some gold. On top of that, Leatherworkers also get a cheaper version of the leg enchants that they can craft for other players, in Nerubian Leg Reinforcements and Jormungar Leg Reinforcements, which further save gold for you as the Leatherworker.

Alchemy sees a pretty substantial buff in WotLK, which makes it a very competitive profession. It offers average to below average stat bonuses, but its gold generation ability is still incredible.

As an Alchemist, you gain access to the Mixology passive effect, which increases the effectiveness of flasks and elixirs you consume and increases their duration to 2 hours, but only if you can craft them yourself. This results in a different bonus depending on the flask you choose to use.

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. This makes Alchemy above average for classes that prioritize spell power (healers & caster DPS), and fairly below average for classes that prioritize attack power (Rogues) and stamina (tanks). For specs that prioritize strength, agility or a rating stat, however, it will unfortunately be a sub-par profession.

You need to be using a flask to gain this effect, so unfortunately you gain no benefit whatsoever from Alchemy while you’re just running around questing or doing dungeons without a flask on. Furthermore, you cannot use flasks in the arena, so Alchemy would normally be useless in PvP. Thankfully Blizzard addressed these weaknesses, as Alchemists can craft a unique flask just for themselves, the Flask of the North, which can be used inside the arena, and does not get consumed when used, but offers a smaller benefit: +80 attack power, +47 spell power or +40 strength. It does not stack with a normal flask, however.

Alchemy has a host of useful smaller bonuses besides Mixology and the Flask of the North. First off, there are 3 Alchemist-exclusive trinkets: Mighty Alchemist’s Stone (physical DPS), Mercurial Alchemist Stone (caster DPS / healer) and Indestructible Alchemist’s Stone (tank). These are decent for a freshly dinged level 80 character, but they get replaced quickly. The increased healing and mana potion effect is significantly more useful in WotLK than it was in previous expansions however, thanks to the new Endless Healing Potion & Endless Mana Potion which never get consumed, and are exclusive to Alchemists.

The stat related bonuses end there unfortunately, but on the other hand, Alchemy is one of the best professions for gold generation in WotLK. As you may have noticed from the flasks linked above, flasks now only last 1 hour, so the doubled duration that Alchemists get thanks to Mixology will save you a lot of gold over the expansion’s duration. Flasks are always relevant, and only you can make & sell them, with a nice profit potential thanks to specialization procs. Even better, in Phase 3 Alchemists get the ability to create epic gems, which are another constant revenue stream.

Blizzard made an effort to buff gathering professions in WotLK, so they’re not just dead weight professions that you take on alts you don’t care about. Miners gain the Toughness passive, which offers a +60 stamina boost.

For comparison, other professions typically offer +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. This makes Mining a very solid profession for tanks, as they typically stack stamina. However, for non-tanks this stamina bonus will unfortunately be extremely weak, as it cannot help you deal more damage or healing.

On the flipside, Mining is an incredible gathering profession, as the ore you mine can be used by Blacksmiths and Jewelcrafters. If you do decide to take Mining, we recommend that you take it on a tank character, as you can make use of the stamina boost, or a Druid, Rogue, Hunter or Paladin (in that order) character, as they make the best miners due to their class abilities.

Blizzard made an effort to buff gathering professions in WotLK, so they’re not just dead weight professions that you take on alts you don’t care about. Skinners gain the Master of Anatomy passive, which offers a +40 crit rating boost.

For most specs this will be noticeably weaker than what other professions can offer: +80 attack power / +46 spell power / +60 stamina / +32 (Phases 1 & 2) or +40 (Phases 3 & 4) strength, agility, spirit, or any rating stat. Certain classes have very good crit scaling, so Skinning won’t be all that bad for them, but for classes that don’t particularly care for crit rating, this will be a pretty weak profession.

Skinning is still not a particularly good gathering profession as far as gold generation is concerned, as the Auction House is typically flooded with skins. If you do decide to take Skinning, we recommend that you take it on a DPS character, as they can kill things and thus skin them faster.

Sub-Par Professions

The following professions do not offer any DPS, healing or tanking related benefits and are thus not considered viable. We recommend against taking them on your main character, saving them for an alt character if you absolutely want to take them.

Blizzard made an effort to buff gathering professions in WotLK, so they’re not just dead weight professions that you take on alts you don’t care about. Herbalists gain the Lifeblood spell, an on-use effect which heals you for 3600 HP over 5 seconds, with a 3 minute cooldown.

This benefit is somewhat decent, and it can be nice to have while levelling, farming or questing. It can even be used inside the arena, where it can come in clutch. However, if we’re being honest, it’s generally not strong enough to save your life in a raid or inside the arena, so it will be useless in most situations where you’d need it. Tanks would much rather have the +60 stamina boost that Mining offers if they’re going to take a gathering profession, while everyone else would be much better off with one of the other professions for their DPS / healing boosting effects.

On the flipside, Herbalism is possibly the best profession in the game as far as gold generation is concerned, as herbs are used by Alchemy and Inscription, and are always in demand. This makes it a good profession to have on an gold-making alt, particularly a Druid, Rogue or Hunter.

 

About the Author

Pride

Classic WoW is my jam, with a passion for PvP. Most know me as Baranor, the ret paladin guy, but I'm secretly a druid main, don't tell anyone. In my free time I play Switch games, particularly JRPGs. Some day I'll be making my own games and I humbly hope you play those too!
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