Dec 032010

(Inspired by Keeva’s post at Tree Bark Jacket, for restos, and Reesi’s post at The Inconspicuous Bear, for bears. Subscribe to their blogs!)

As I did with factions previously, I figured I’d take a look at profession bonuses come Cataclysm. I’ll evaluate each profession in two categories: raiding utility and personal utility (which includes time-savers, money-savers/makers, or just-for-fun items).

Note that in regards to utility, I’ll only be looking at the exclusive bonuses to each profession. For example, being a Blacksmith lets you make Eternal Belt Buckles for an additional belt socket…but you could just buy one off the AH, so that’s not really important to me (It may be for you, however.) As the secondary professions are non-exclusive, I won’t be considering those.

Finally, realize that profession bonuses are probably only worth about 1% DPS (each). If you’re a casual player and don’t want to mess with professions, or you like your professions and you don’t want to min-max them for raiding, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.


Raiding Utility:

Personal Utility:

  • Double duration on flasks (Mixology)
  • Potion/Elixir/Transmute Mastery (15-20% chance to proc a free potion/elixir/epic gem when creating them; procs can chain)
  • Gem/Element Transmute CD’s
  • Turn into a rideable dragon


Alchemy is a very good profession. The Mixology benefits scale off the flask used, so it works well when sharing gear between cat and bear sets. The double flask duration and epic gem transmutes are huge money-savers/makers. The alchemist stone is pretty poor for everything but bears and possibly trees, but it’s pretty decent for an entry-level trinket (and it’s good for PvP too). Finally, a DRUID as a RIDABLE¬† DRAGON IS FREAKING AWESOME. It fits with the shapeshifting motif of the class, and is just, well, cool (much more appropriate than a silly rocket). Bonus: You can offer to fly friends/guildies/unsuspecting strangers somewhere, and instead fly way up high, make impossible demands, than dismount/shift to Swift Flight Form and follow them down. :)


Raiding Utility:

  • Two extra gem sockets (presumably filled with rare agi gems, for +80 agi)

Personal Utility:

  • None


BS used to be a desirable profession because the extra sockets allowed flexibility with choosing what stat to increase. With most of the profession’s giving primary stat bonuses, though, the flexibility’s not as helpful.


Raiding Utility

  • Ring enchant (+40 agi or +60 stam x2, for +80 agi or +120 stam for cats or bears)
  • Disenchant unwanted items for group/raid

Personal Utility

  • Disenchant unwanted items for self


Meh. Enchanting (rather, disenchanting) is a pretty decent money-maker; all the quest reward gear you find can be disenchanted and sold on the AH for 2-3x times their vendor value, and it’s great when soloing old content, but that’s about it.


Raiding Utility

Personal Utility

  • Teleport to Gadgetzan
  • Many pets and mounts
  • Many fun items
  • Electrostatic Condenser
  • Portable mailbox/repair/merchant


Engineering is more of a fun/utility profession than a standard raiding one. I’m sure someone will do the math on the other stuff, but right now, there’s no good lvl 85 melee DPS increase (no lvl 85 version of the Accelerators). Unless they come out with more glove tinkers or reduce the failure rate, I can’t recommend Engineering as a raiding profession.


Raiding Utility

Personal Utility


Not much here for ferals. Inscription has one great epic BoP trinket, but it’s a caster item. Druids make great Herbalists, though, and Inscription goes well with Herbalism. (Yes, I’m reaching.)


Raiding Utility

Personal Utility


JC is nice. It’s a fair choice for a profession, with a good trinket and some fun utility as well. Fire Prisms look to be better money-maker then they were in LK, but that remains to be seen, and the daily JC quest will probably be worth a good bit of gold if you’re willing to forgo getting patterns for a bit. (I wish all the crafting professions had something like this, actually.)


Raiding Utility

Personal Utility

  • Cheap personal leg armors


Currently,¬† Leatherworking is, by a large margin, the best raiding profession for ferals. Currently, crit is worth slightly less than 1/3rd the value of agility, which makes that 65 crit bonus equal to ~20 agility. That means the bonus from LW is +110 agi, vs. +80 from the others. I foresee this being changed; either a better bracer enchant will be introduced, or the LW embossment will be reduced to +80 agi and made able to stack with a bracer enchant. Don’t forget about the Drums of Speed; they still work, and will be helpful for Cataclysm’s raids.


Raiding Utility

Personal Utility

  • Cloth cooldowns


I’m not completely sure how to gauge the usefulness of the proc. If the uptime is around 25%, it’s worth around 75 agility, so it’s pretty well balanced, itemization-wise. It should stack well with other procs, too, but timing it can be challenging. If the uptime is higher, then it could blow other stuff out of the water. Of course, with big procs comes big threat.

Gathering Professions (Personal Utility is obvious here, good money-makers)

  • Herbalism: ¬†Lifeblood (480 haste for 20s/2m = 80 static haste = 23 static agi)
  • Skinning: Master of Anatomy (80 crit = 23 agi)
  • Mining: Toughness (120 stam = 0 dps value, indeterminate survivability value)


None of the gathering professions are great for DPS, but that’s kind of the point.

Overall Ranking (Raiding):

  1. Leatherworking (+110 agi) — BiS profession for feral tanks and DPS
  2. Alchemy/Blacksmithing/Enchanting/Inscription/Jewelcrafting/Tailoring (+80 agi) — All pretty equal, tailoring still semi-TBD
  3. Engineering (TBD) — They made a new caster tinker, so I imagine they’ll make a new melee tinker…pretty bad until then
  4. Herbalism/Skinning (~23 agi) — If you must. Skinning provides mats to power LW, and Druids are great Herbalists in flight form.
  5. Mining (0 agi) — great for tanks; 0 DPS value, until you survive a raid AOE with 100HP. :)

I think my recommendations would be LW, and one of Alchemy/JC/Tailoring (which I see as superior money-makers for the average raider). I’ve been Alch/LW since early LK, and I plan to stay that way. I’m sure I’ve missed stuff from some of the other professions…let me know in the comments!

 Posted by at 5:31 pm

  19 Responses to “Cataclysm Profession Analysis”

  1. I think another advantage for Leatherworking in terms of personal utility is that in WotLK, some BiS feral items were crafted by leatherworking patterns that dropped from raiding or were purchasable.

    I would assume that might continue later tiers in Cataclysm.

    The ability to craft your own BiS items without searching for for a crafter or paying an absurd fee is nice utility in my opinion.

    • Very true. I debated as to whether to cite that, but since I was limiting the scope of the list to “exclusive” bonuses, I decided not to.

      (FWIW, It’s been my experience that 90% of crafters will happily craft anything they have the recipe for for only a small tip…which essentially sets the cost of the item = the cost of the mats. You’re not paying the LW, you’re paying the skinner.)

  2. Looking forward to the LW stuff. Enjoy messing around with professions…adds depth to the game…but as you mentioned time becomes a factor. Really nice post by the way. Very informative…very well written. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the feedback. :)
      Good point about time. Any profession can make money if you research and find niches that have more demand than supply, or if you’re willing to consistently check the AH to find cheap mats (to lower your supply cost). In general, though, most crafted items on WoW sell for about the cost of the mats, or less for common skill-up items. I cited Alch/JC/Tailoring because the CD on the rare mats those professions can create artificially limits supplies of the material, which raises prices far above the cost of the mats.

  3. ….phew. I’d forgotten that the wrist enchant was changed from AP/SP/Stam to Str/Agi/Int/Stam. I mean, I knew it was changed, I just didn’t put two and two together. >.<

    Okay, I take back half of what I said about Engineering being comparable to Leatherworking.

    One thing that may be of value: The Elementium Dragonling,

    Engineering-only trinket, buffs Mastery and has a cooldown effect. Slightly terrible for the same reason that the Alchemy one is i.e., Mastery. No clue on its active DPS value at this time, though. =T

  4. For a feral tank, LW/Alc seems really nice in the flexibility department for juggling stats with the wrist enchants both being viable, and the min/maxing with double elixirs and mixology. Personally I’m staying LW/JC since I have other alchemist toons and really don’t wanna spend the gold to redo another profession.

  5. Due to an old guild necessity I’m a Tailor/LW Feral and I can say that the swordguard embroidery does proc a fair bit with the resulting threat in crease which caused me to lick the floor several times

  6. Engineering-Enchants with Stats do not stack anymore with regular Enchants, so nothing to gain here.

  7. Really great post, saved me a ton of research time, so I dropped a little donation as thanks :)

    I would, however, argue that Engineering has benefits that aren’t measurable in terms of raw dummy dps.
    Postboxes and repairbots really saves time during raids, and I’ve even once used it to give the raid one extra dpser, since a hunter in our group realized, just after pull, that his gun was broken

    On top of that you get extra dpstime and survivability with the beltrockets.
    I’ve also found that on mobile fights I’m the only melee that can keep up with the ranged dpsers. Probably not only due to this, but with the speed they give you, any movement between far away adds and the boss will be almost instantaneous
    AND: Loot-a-Rang, probably one of the best inventions, ever.

    • Thanks for the donation!

      Mail/repair: yeah, they’re helpful, but you only need one engineer in the raid for those.
      Boosts: Very nice, but they apparently fail MUCH more now (though that may be because it’s tuned for 85). If they change that, and add a glove tinker for melee (there might be one that wowhead hasn’t seen yet), then I’m sold.

  8. […] pretty bad for cats. Any non-gathering profession should be pretty good, except Tailoring. See my profession guide for a bit more detail. @Hast: As always, use a simulator to get results tuned for your gear and […]

  9. Arrrrgh….Im currently JC/BS….am now gonna have to lvl LW from scratch (being the sad min/maxer I am) and no doubt they will publish a new wrist enchant shortly after I max it :)

  10. With Engineering are you not overlooking the gems? They are far superior to the JC gems, I know you can only place 1 of each typ in an item at a time, but still.

    • They’re actually not real gems, they’re only part of a customizable helm where we get to choose our ratings, which is of course really nice in itself.

      • Ahh ok. Thank you.

        I got one more thing. Has someon tested yet if the High-Powered Bolt Gun can be used while shifted without getting shifted out?

  11. Is this post still pretty updated and good
    up through the 4.0.6 patch?

    • I think the only changes to professions that have been made after this post are:

      The glove tinker now gives agi on use
      There is an alternative enchant to LW, so it is no longer needed to max out Agi

      Other than that it seems up to date

  12. The reason i ask is that Elitist jerks seems up to date as well ( and they put Jewelcrafting above leatherworking and their leatherworking #’s are very different from here….

    • sorry for the spam. I’m just wondering who has the correct Leatherworking numbers for today’s playing
      after 4.0.6 patch

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