Professions for new druids

One of the choices a new druid has to make is thinking about what profession to pick up. If this is your tenth character, then you probably already decided what your professions are, and this doesn’t matter for you.

However, if you are newer to the game, or don’t know that much about the profession system, then it can be hard to find the right professions for you.

mining-scenesFirst, everyone can pick up First Aid, Fishing, and Cooking. These are freebies, and don’t count towards your 2 professions. You can turn all the cloth you pick up into bandages to heal you up without using mana. Bandages even work in cat & bear form!

Second, to choose your professions, you need to think about what your goals are:
A) To make money?
B) To make gear for yourself as you level?
C) To have useful professions for end-game raiding?

When I was leveling my first character, I went with B (making stuff I could wear), and then I got frustrated with being poor all the time and went with an option from C that could both be useful for end-game and make money.

If you choose A (making money) above anything else, then go with 2 gathering professions:

  • Mining (lots of professions use the metals you dig up),
  • Herbalism (flower picking is pretty profitable), or
  • Skinning (less useful, but you can’t track both herbs & ore on your map at the same time, and it feels more “druidy”).
  • Selling the raw components that help other people level up their crafting professions is a pretty good way to fund what you need. Mining and herbalism (overall) usually make the most profit, but skinning also slows you down less in your leveling, since you have to kill animals to get the skins.

If you choose B (gear) above anything else, then you want a crafting profession that can make things you can use, and the gathering profession to supply it.

  • The most obvious choice here would be leatherworking (paired with skinning). Druids can wear leather armor, so sometimes you would be able to make gear you can wear.
  • One less obvious choice, that can still be useful, is: Jewelcrafting (paired with mining) – you can make trinkets, rings, & necklaces that may be hard to find other places, wheras leather gear is pretty abundant as you level.

If you chose C (useful once you hit end-game raiding) you want things that will give you extra stats, and/or things that will supply your consumable needs:

  • Jewelcrafting paired with mining – You get better gems for yourself to increase your stats, you can cut gems that help your raid memebers, and you get trinkets that last for a while, depending on your spec.
  • Alchemy paired with herbalism – Potions are always needed in any raiding guild. Flasks you use last longer, so you save a ton of gold from having to buy potions and flasks on your own.
  • You could also go with enchanting (with any gathering profession), since everyone’s gear has to be enchanted as you pick up new stuff. You also get to enchant your rings, which is something only enchanters can do.
  • Inscription paired with herbalism: Makes glyphs that everyone needs. You get an end-game shoulder enchant, which means you don’t have to work on getting Exalted with the Sons of Hodir rep at level 80. You can also sell herbs and/or use them to get potions made by one of your guild’s alchemists.

Other professions I didn’t discuss  yet are:

  • Engineering: I haven’t found this very useful for druids, however it has some fun PvP toys.
  • Blacksmithing: Not useful for druids, since we don’t wear plate armor.
  • Tailoring: Makes cloth armor and bags. Not really useful for a leather wearing class. You are better off using all your cloth to make bandages to skill up first-aid.

Any way you go, you want at least one gathering profession, and then either a second gathering profession or a crafting profession to actually make things out of what you gather.

For more information on professions, there is a lot of good information on WoWWiki’s professions page.

Edit: And Averna at Nerf this Druid seems to have beaten me to posting about professions (I didn’t see it until after I posted this, and I actually wrote & saved my post earlier in the weekend). Averna takes a look at things mostly from the persepctive of end-game resto druids.

Posted in Leveling

13 comments on “Professions for new druids
  1. Gorashe says:

    Great guide! As I am starting up my druid alt (he is profession-less at the moment) these are some good tips. I must correct your assessment of Inscription – while the original design added an additional major glyph slot for Scribes, somewhere between Wrath beta and launch they removed it in favor of Scribe-only shoulder enchants. They are end-game only but provide a pretty hefty stat boost over the Sons of Hodir enchants.

  2. Lissanna says:

    @Gorashe – Oops. I don’t actually have an inscriber of my own, and didn’t realize they changed it…

  3. Elleiras says:

    The shoulder enchants are 100% of the reason I chose inscription for my shaman, and most likely for my up-and-coming druid as well. The Sons of Hodir dailies are soul-crushing!

  4. Lissanna says:

    Okay, now that I know about the shoulder enchants being useful for end-game raiding, I moved the inscription up to being useful for end-game raiding.

  5. Ramlet says:

    Don’t dismiss blacksmithing. Although I cannot imagine taking it on my a druid (just does not feel right), you get the bonus of adding 2 sockets to your gear.

    This is one of the most flexible options since there are gems for everything and it does not prevent you from getting normal enchants since the new sockets stack with other enhancements.

  6. Lissanna says:

    In terms of long-term planning, picking up professions just because of bonuses they give at the current max level is just something I can’t recommend for new players.


  7. Gorashe says:

    @ Lissanna – I agree. As a fairly hardcore raider I can wax poetic about the benefit of having JC and Inscription as my chosen professions but in no way would I recommend that path to a new player. The benefit of something like Leatherworking or Tailoring to a new player is much higher (making armor/bags is a great help) while a profession like Inscription doesn’t really provide new players with anything they can’t get at an AH (as opposed to low level leather from LW which is often harder/more expensive to buy).

  8. Natvandrer says:

    Actually…if you are levelling as a balance, I would actually think Tailoring would prove quite useful, if it was paired with Enchanting.

    Not as useful as Skinning and LW’ing….but not as useless as you suggests.


  9. Aelinna says:

    It’s fair to say that ANY option C choice has a good chance of being invalidated. That chance depends greatly on levelling speed, those with the time to dedicate to raiding can probably max well before the next expansion. So imho it’s pretty fair to pick profs based on the current state of play. My feeling is that the bonuses aren’t going to change too much any more anyway, they’re relatively balanced atm apart from perhaps Engi.

    First toons should always take double gathering profs. It’s far more efficient to make money and buy what you need than try to craft it yourself. Usually skinning should be one of them because you can only have one kind of tracking active at once and you’re guaranteed to kill a lot of beasts.

    The most cash-and-power efficient option for a hardcore raider is to take mining/JC. When they hit 80 and have enough mats to max BS, drop mining and powerlevel. The extra-shiny gems in the bonus slots pulls BS/JC ahead of any other combo.

    The other main option, for those more focused on quality of life, is herbalism/alchemy then dropping herb for inscription. In this case you’ll need enough herbs to keep yourself going with research for a while, ie a LOT. However in return you get to skip Hodir dailies, have double-length flasks, bonus flasks from procs and make cash selling glyphs on the AH. While you’re levelling you get the little heal, which saves mana and can be surprisingly useful in a pinch.

  10. Togusan says:

    I have skinning and LW and i’m hating skinning right now because arctic fur drop rate is crap(seems nerf after nerf after nerf).

    So im planning to drop skinning, what should i get?

    For some reason i dont want to drop LW.

  11. Ohken says:

    Actually, inscription is a good money-maker while leveling if you’re willing to play the auction house. Aside from skill-up recipes, glyphs all sell for 5-20g. The level required to make the glyph doesn’t matter, because the prices have fallen to the level that it’s worth the inscriber’s time to bother. Imagine that: a low-level toon gets the rate that a high-level toon’s time is worth.

    With only a few exceptions (jewelcrafting and enchanting), Blizzard has made leveling with most professions profitable enough that you should pick based on what is the most fun. Similarly for combat goodies. Herbalism isn’t good for a raiding healer, but it’s an exception to the rule.

  12. Sissily(Andorhal) says:

    I have LW and Skinning, I’ve found it pretty handy, it only costs 1 artric fur for bracer enchants.

    Plus, if your not using armor kits that your making they sell well. Just yesterday I went to the AH, Bought mats for the non epic armor kits and rolled about 8g for mats to about 25-30g for the kit in 2 minutes.

    They’re are a couple good patterns that don’t cost you much to make. Keep in mind that its also great for building the offspec set for feral.

  13. Krewd says:

    The best min/max profession for end game raiding right now is JCing, by a long shot.

    JCing provides it bonuses in prismatic gems, making it really easy to get socket bonuses while hitting whatever target stat you need. Further, the JC BOP trinkets are great, some of them lasting as BiS until 25 man Ulduar. Further, the benefits are far more flexible – for a bear tank, for example, LW or Enchanting give you stamina or AP, while JCing can give you Agility, Expertise, Dodge, Hit, or whatever else your present gear is lacking.

    BS is actually a fine min/max (somewhat distant) second choice, because the extra sockets provide similar flexibility and enable easy metagem activation. That said, you won’t use any of the gear, so it’s a painful choice.

    I have Enchanting/LW, because I had those to start and I don’t have the time or inclination to switch (also, JCing may be the FotM, but who knows if that will be the case in 3.2 much less 4.0)

    LW is nice because it allows you to make your own gear, which is useful for gearing up to heroics. There’s also a lot of cheap leather out there right now, since a lot of 80’s have moved past the phase where crafted armor is great but are in dungeons where skinning is pretty easy. The self-only bonuses and BOP items don’t stack up to JCing, however, and there’s no equivalent to the profitable daily quests that JCing offers.

    Enchanting always comes in handy for your own gear, if that’s what you like, and the self-only bonuses are similar in incremental benefit and flexibility to LW. The most profitable aspect of it I’ve found as a relative casual is disenchanting, including BOPs, AH items, and cheap crafted items from LWing. Enchanting always makes a nice second profession.

    One thing to note is that the gathering professions only provide one bonuses – Stamina for Mining, Crit for skinning, the self-healing spell for herb. Given that you’re a Druid, you’ll probably have multiple gear sets to multiple purposes, so the crafting professions are much better from this perspective – stack stam on your stack stam bear set, Agi for avoidance bear or kitty, SP for resto, spell hit or whatnot for moonkin.


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