Ten Ton Hammer's Alchemy Guide

Alchemy Guide - Potions, Elixirs, and Flasks

This is an extension to our Alchemy Guide. It goes over the finer points of various Potions, Elixirs, and Flasks. From how elixirs and flasks stack to when best use a potion this guide serves as a one stop information station for everything related to the various consumable goodies available through Alchemy.

Return to the Alchemy Guide to read up more about Alchemy itself.


Stacking Elixirs and Flasks

Elixirs and Flasks are in one of four categories:

  • Battle Elixirs – Elixirs/Flasks that increase your offensive ability. They also increase your ability to heal more. Example: Elixir of Firepower.

  • Guardian Elixirs – Elixirs/Flasks that increase your defensive ability: Example: Elixir of Major Defense.

  • Flasks – Count as both a Guardian and Battle Elixir.

  • Other Elixirs – Elixirs that don’t do either of these. Example: Water Breathing Potion.

You can only have one Battle and one Guardian Elixir up at one time. Alternatively, you can have one flask up instead. The choice is yours, although the majority of the time a flask will be more powerful then doing two elixirs. There are always exceptions though.

Potions are not included in the elixir limit, although potions have a much higher recharge time and a generally lower duration (maxing out at about 3 minutes). Elixirs will generally last half an hour to a whole hour.


Cauldrons are discoverable recipes that allow an Alchemist to create a cauldron on the ground that can dispense potions to your party/raid. The raid/party simply has to right click the cauldron to receive the potion in which they can then use. The potions created are like any summoned item and disappear on logout. It’s only useful for giving potions directly to your party/raid. They can be used a max of 25 times and last on the ground for 5 minutes.

Efficient Potion Usage

Effective use of potions in battle is very important due to their generally long recharge time and the high expense of most potions. Most MMORPGs are unlike Diablo 2 where you attempt to spam the potion button as much as possible. No, potions in World of Warcraft are tactical choices in the dance of battle. Use one too early and you may find that you wasted the potion. Use it too late and well, your luck may not be as good as you think.

Generally for any non-group situation you should use a potion whenever your health is at a point where you’re at a risk of dying but are pretty confident that you can win the battle. Worst thing out there is to either die with the enemy two hits from being dead or using a potion and dying anyway. So you have to kind of get the feel for what your character is capable of. Walking back is harder then getting the money up for potions so if in doubt use it anyway.

For group situations you’re in a different scenario all together. Assuming that a healer is in your party, it’s always best to trust their judgment. When you fall below 10% go ahead and use the potion if you don’t think they’re casting a spell. The only problem is, if they heal you and that potion wasn’t necessary but a few seconds later it does become necessary then… well you see the point. This is the kind of stuff that comes with experience though.

If you’re caster and your health is low, then yeah use a potion. You can’t expect the healer to heal you in a timely manner as you aren’t the tank. Now, if nothing is attacking you and your health is low then wait. Unless you expect to get hit by something you shouldn’t need to use the potion.

Like all things in any kind of game, practice makes perfect. Playing through the game normally will teach you these viable lessons. Don’t sweat the details too much, just have fun playing.


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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

About The Author

Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.