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Insider Trader: Alchemy, the final stretch

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

While alchemy is certainly not the most flashy or popular profession out there, alchemists are an integral part of the game, and any guild worth its salt has at least one, preferably several, working to supply guildmates and fill the guild bank with stacks of consumables and transmuted items.

This week's leveling guide will feature the usual cheapest route, and the most useful, to 375 for solos and casuals.

For those of you who will be working for your guild (and hopefully are also being financed, or supported by herbalists), we'll show you how to reach 375 by making the most useful items. They might cost more, but your guild will be requiring them anyway, so you might as well get your skill points that way, rather than making stacks of items you won't be using.

There are several very helpful guides to maximizing your alchemy skill while being cost-efficient. Here are the ones I found most useful:
If you are a casual player, and are not helping your guild to any grand degree, then chances are, you will want to gain your skill-ups using the cheapest and/or most useful methods possible. The following is the most cost-effective means of reaching 375, with the most useful alternatives included.
  • 300-325: [Volatile Healing Potion] is simultaneously the cheapest and most useful potion for this skill range, assuming that you are not a mana user. Each potion will cost you 1 [Felweed], 1 [Golden Sansam] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 326-350: [Mad Alchemist's Potion] is an extremely cost-effective means of reaching 350, and is useful to boot, to both mana users and health pot junkies. Requiring only 2 [Ragveil], which can be farmed in abundance in Zangarmarsh, among other places, and 1 [Crystal Vial] per potion, you'll be more than halfway to 375 before you know it.
An alternative, and also fairly cheap route to 350 requires that you are already questing in Netherstorm and Shadowmoon Valley, and are therefore roughly level 67-70:
  • 326-350: [Super Healing Potion] is useful and sells well on the auction house. Each potion requires 2 [Netherbloom], found in Netherstorm, 1 [Felweed] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 351-375: The recipe for [Major Dreamless Sleep Potion] can be purchased by the Alliance at Allerian Stronghold, Terokkar, and by the Horde in Thunderlord Stronghold, Blade's Edge Mountains. While this is an extremely cheap means of reaching 375, purchasing food and water is a cheaper alternative to using this potion, and thus you may or may not have success selling it at the auction house. While you can use it in combat, it takes you out of action for 12 seconds. Each potion requires 1 [Dreaming Glory], 1 [Nightmare Vine], found in Shadowmoon Valley, and 1 [Imbued Vial].
If you would rather use mana potions, or are not ready to peruse Netherstorm yet:
  • 340-up to 370: The recipe for [Super Mana Potion] can be purchased by the Alliance in Telredor, Zangarmarsh, and by the Horde in Thunderlord Stronghold, Blade's Edge Mountains. If you are a mana pot junkie, or find a strong market for these on your server, you may wish to use it to skill up directly to 370. Each potion will require 2 [Dreaming Glory], 1 [Felweed] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 371-375: The cheapest means would be to use the [Major Dreamless Sleep Potion] as described above.
Of course, there is much more to alchemy than simply regenerating health and mana. For a slightly more expensive, but potentially more useful route, there are many alternatives. Of course, there are seemingly limitless potions for buffs of all sorts, from resistances to increased stats, and we simply cannot list them all.

Alchemy for profit, free skill-ups, and "for the guild!":
If you are a casual who partially took up alchemy for the money, then you might be able to get away with skilling up using transmutes. Again, there are other potions that will sell, especially to raiding guilds, but they are too numerous to mention.

If you are heavily supporting your raiding guild, then chances are, cost-effectiveness is not a strong factor. Rather, you should be making what your guild is going to be using the most. Luckily, some of the most usable raiding consumables are also the above-mentioned mana and healing potions, but there are other items you will need to craft as well.

While many of these recipes will require reputation with various factions, your guild should be willing to help you attain the necessary status.
  • 325-355: You may want to check the market on your server to see if you can make a profit selling the odd [Mercurial Stone]. Required by Jewelcrafters, you may also find you have a job making them for your guild, which can often mean that you won't be providing the materials. You can also try offering to make them in trade with the JC'ers mats. Each stone costs 1 [Primal Earth], 1 [Primal Life] and 1 [Primal Mana].
  • 360-375: Cauldrons are a very useful item to bring into raids, or sell to raiders. Unfortunately, the only way to gain access to the recipes is through discovery. Along that vein, we have written a detailed guide to acquiring, making and using cauldrons. The main point worth noting here is that you have a chance to discover the cauldrons, each providing BoP resistance potions, while making the corresponding [Major X Protection Potion]. Because of this, you may want to take advantage of the skill points awarded through making those resistance potions. Each potion will also get you a skill point from 360-375.
Transmutes are going to be another source of money, or a great help to your guild. Because they are very materials-intensive, and have a long cooldown, I recommend requiring that your clients bring their own mats. These recipes may also require faction reputation.
  • 350-375: Once honored, you can purchase [Recipe: Transmute Skyfire Diamond] from Honor Hold or Thrallmar.
  • 350-375: If you achieve honored status with the Cenarion Expedition, you will be able to purchase [Recipe: Transmute Earthstorm Diamond].
  • 350-375: There are several primal transmutations, and it will be up to you which ones you acquire and actually use. There is one that you should acquire regardless, and make often; [Recipe: Transmute Primal Might]. Come patch 2.4, this recipe won't even have a cooldown on it. It can be purchased from alchemy supply vendors in Silvermoon, the Exodar, and Shattrath.
If you are baffled by the discovery system, or simply want to learn more, check out our detailed guide to discovery, which includes how to make one, what you can discover, your odds of a discovery, and how to increase your chances.

Raid-specific potions:
Whether you will be supplying your own raiding consumables, your guild's, or simply looking to make a profit, you need to know which potions are in highest demand. Once you have determined what you will need to make, you might as well make some while you can get skill points, because they will not necessarily be cheap.

Healers are more likely to be consuming potions during raids, especially while the group is learning to fight a new boss, and once the heal team is pared down when the status hits farm. Here are the most notable healing consumables:
  • 310-340: [Elixir of Healing Power] will require 1 [Golden Sansam], 1 [Dreaming Glory] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. In fact, this is a fairly cheap elixir, and can be obtained from your trainer.
  • 315-345: [Elixir of Mastery] will require 3 [Terocone], 1 [Felweed] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. This recipe is also obtained from your trainer. Handy that!
  • 300-330: Another trainer gem is [Adept's Elixir], which will require 1 [Dreamfoil], 1 [Felweed] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 320-350: [Elixir of Draenic Wisdom] requires 1 [Felweed], 1 [Terocone] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. It, too, can be acquired from your trainer.
  • 355-375: For this one, you will need to either farm the auction house, or get very lucky, as it's a drop. [Elixir of Major Mageblood], ideal for healing through longer fights, costs 1 [Ancient Lichen], 1 [Netherbloom] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. This one is not so cheap!
Check out Marcie Knox's great guide to raiding consumables for healers for more information.

For other raiding consumables, consider the following:
  • 345-375: [Elixir of Major Defense] requires 3 [Ancient Lichen], 1 [Terocone] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. The recipe can be purchased by the Horde in Thunderlord Stronghold, Blade's Edge Mountains, and by the Alliance at Telredor, Zangarmarsh.
  • 345-375: If you can reach Revered with the Scryers, you'll be able to start making [Elixir of Major Firepower]. Each elixir requires 2 [Mote of Fire], 1 [Ancient Lichen] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 330-360: Once honored with Honor Hold or Thrallmar, you can make [Elixir of Major Agility], requiring 1 [Terocone], 2 [Felweed] and 1 [Imbued Vial].
  • 365-375: [Ironshield Potion] is another one to consider making. Each one costs 2 [Ancient Lichen], 3 [Mote of Earth] and 1 [Imbued Vial]. Unfortunately, this drops of a one Captain Skarloc in the Old Hillsbrad Foothills, on either normal or heroic mode.
Of course, what ends up being useful to you or your guild, and what sells well on your particular server, will vary considerably. It is always best to do your research by talking to other alchemists, checking out the forums for your server, and using Auctioneer.

Further reading:

Filed under: Alchemy, Buffs, Making money, Guides, Leveling, Features, Economy, Walkthroughs, Guilds, How-tos, Items, Patches, Insider Trader (Professions)

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