One of the big questions that players always ask when a new expansion is looming, it what professions should they pick to make some serious gold when the expansion is launched.  This is a key factor for many players, especially those that do not raid, as they want to make some big gold while they can to fund themselves for the rest of the expansion.

This happened every expansion as players can make really large sums of gold on materials, crafted items, or transmutations.  This is especially true early on where items go for a lot more than they will later on in the expansion.  For the first month or so items tend to go for 4-5 times what they will a few months later. 

A really good example of this is the transmutations that Alchemists can do.  Early after the Cataclysm release truegold transmutes would sell for over 1,500 gold, and that was with the purchaser supplying the materials.  Currently in Cataclysm truegold goes for only about 350 gold, and the materials to craft it cost in the area of 200-300.

So which professions will have the best chance of making the most gold in Mists of Pandaria, find out below.

Gathering Professions

Early in any expansion gathering professions can make a lot of gold.  If you want to rake in big funds quickly your best bet is to have two gathering professions, however long term this can hurt your character and your gold earning potential as the cost of materials drops very sharply after the first few months.

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These stacks went for 500 gold or more in the opening days of the expansion, capitalize at their peak price, and buy for your own needs later on.

Herbalism – This is an awesome profession as herbs go for a lot of gold when sold for use in either alchemy or inscriptions. When players are leveling either professions they need a huge number of herbs and will generally end up purchasing them to level faster. 

Once players have leveled to the new skill cap of 600 in inscription they will generally focus on making the Darkmoon faire cards for gold.  Since so many players make so many of these cards there will be huge demand for herbs for several months after the expansions release. 

Mining – Mining is another good professions for making some quick gold.  Better yet it tends to hold up for a long while after an expansions release.  This is because of two reasons.  The first is that there tend to be less mining nodes than herb nodes and this means that ore is a bit more rare.  The second is that because of that rarity and because players will always need gems the ore sells throughout the expansion to jewelcrafters to find gems in.

Skinning – While generally viewed as a poor professions for those looking to make a quick buck, I disagree.  Early on skinning can make a huge amount of gold very quickly.  The reason is that leather is a renewable resource, meaning that you don’t have to go and find nodes, you just need to find a place where there are things to kill and skin.

The key to making gold with skinning is to find someplace where there are lots of fast spawning beasts to skin.  Since right after an expansions release the respawn rates are cranked way up so that players are not bottlenecked on quests, this is generally pretty easy.  For example when Cataclysm launched I made a small fortune selling leather that I got from skinning all the eels right above the sunken ship in the first little area in Vash’jir.  Everyone was there for questing and there were thousands of dead eels per hour.  I just swam around and skinned for hours on end, and made amazing amounts of gold.

Skinning long term though is the poorest of the gathering professions since there is only leatherworkers that need it.

Crafting Professions

Crafting professions are also a good way to make some gold, however I feel that they are longer term propositions.  Short term it is almost always better to sell off your materials than to turn them into items for sale.  This remains true for about the first month or so. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are ways to make gold with the professions, as outlined below, but to do so you need to give up a ton of time and effort early on to level them and get to the skill cap.  Over the past expansions I have found it better to sell the mats off for the first few weeks, and then worry about crafting.  Your choice is your own though as you can make it work, it’s just a bit harder and depends on which professions.

Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring – While the high end items that blacksmithing, leatherworking, and tailoring provide will sell for large amounts of gold early on, as they do in any expansion, check the prices carefully.  Generally you will get just about the same by selling of the materials as the items, and sometimes more! 

The issue is that all the high end crafting materials are always in such demand that it costs more to make the item than they are worth, or than what you can buy them for.  There are many players out there than spend the time to make or find all the high level materials for themselves, and then undercut the market.  By them doing this, you can easily just sell the materials for a profit and pick up the items you want. 

Getting items is a whole other issue though, if you want them that badly, go ahead and craft them, but this guide is about how to profit from professions early on, and generally that isn’t done with these three until at least a few weeks and generally a month or more into the expansion.

The exception here for gold making potential here is with tailoring, and here is why.  It is very easy right now to stock up on a whole lot of cloth and make a ton of bags for sale as soon as the expansion hits.  Sure there will be bigger bags available in all likelihood, but all the new characters out there will need bags as soon as they are created and that is where you can cash in big time.

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These cards made players a lot of gold in WotLK and Cataclysm, there is no reason to doubt they will again in Mists of Pandaria.

Inscription – This is a profession that can make a whole lot early on by turning herbs into inks and then into Darkmoon Faire cards. These cards sell for a lot early on, and continue to sell for a lot until about half way through an expansion, and sometimes even longer. 

This is one of the professions that I do aim to level quickly just so that I can turn around the cards on the auction house while they are at peak value.

Jewelcrafting – This is a profession that always seems to be able to make money, if for no other reason than everyone always needs new gems when they get new gear.  Early on you can charge huge amounts for gems since not many players will be able to create the new ones yet.  However since the materials are so costly and you can make just as much selling off the ore that you mine, I believe it better to wait a few weeks until you max and focus on gems.

Alchemy – Alchemy is a profession that can make a huge sum of gold right after launch by maxing out and providing transmutes for sale.  Right after the Cataclysm launch truegold transmutes went for huge amounts of gold, even with the purchaser providing materials.  There is no reason to believe that this will be any different with the Living Steel transmute in Mists of Pandaria.  Transmutes to make the new meta gems can also provide gold early on.

Final Words

My opinion on making gold with professions right after the launch of Mists of Pandaria is that you mainly focus on gathering early on.  Once the first few weeks have passed and you have already made 100’s of thousands in gold, then switch over to the crafting professions.

There are a few exceptions to this as outlined above, and there are other strategies besides mine that work as well.  The most important thing is to realize the huge potential that is there and do something to capitalize on it.  Even if you only make 100,000 instead of 500,000 in the first month or so, at least you will have made something, and therefore be far ahead of those that missed this great opportunity.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.