Tailoring has always been a solid profession choice, especially for casters. You can create some of the best, epic-quality gear for your character with your own two (digitized avatar's) hands. You can even create some serious bank notes by selling leg enchants and bags. It's never been the most profitable profession -- but in every expansion, it's been a solid money maker.
A number of tailoring patterns have finally started appearing on the Mists of Pandaria beta. But is the outlook for the upcoming expansion as golden as it's been in the past? The outlook is a bit cloudy (misty? haw haw haw), but we'll still see if we can make some sense of some of the major changes coming to the profession in just a few months' time.
Just how major are these changes, you might ask? Major enough that it's worth considering whether or not it's time to give tailoring up for good.
The tailoring basics
Traditionally, tailors get the materials needed for their profession by looting corpses. That tradition continues in Mists of Pandaria, where humanoid mobs (and some select others) will drop Windwool Cloth, this expansion's version of Embersilk. And again, per tradition, you'll need to create Bolts of Windwool Cloth by stitching five Windwool Cloth together. That simple act will help you level tailoring in the early going of MoP. Creating Bolts of Windwool Cloth will provide skillups through to 535. And before you ask, yes, I expect that tailors will be privy to a higher rate of cloth drops than non-tailors.
Some good news: High-level tailors no longer look to be limited by Dreamcloth cooldowns. The premium cloth for this expansion, Imperial Silk, is created by combining two Bolts of Windwool Cloth and three Spirits of Harmony. That's a double-edged sword for full-time auctioneers, because Spirits of Harmony are not purchasable on the Auction House; they're bind on pickup. You can create them by combining 10 Motes of Harmony, a recent addition to the beta with a healthy enough drop rate.
To make serious money off tailoring, you're going to need to do your own farming. For auctioneers who spend a lot of time slaughtering the baddies, that's terrific news. If you never leave the Auction House, you may want to consider changing professions at this point. It's going to be hard to profit off of tailoring without doing legwork yourself.
The ugliness of random
Much of the tailoring leveling process in Mists of Pandaria will require you to craft pieces from the Windwool set. From hood to boots, there's a piece available for just about every clothing slot on your caster. There doesn't appear to be a set bonus for wearing Windwool from head to toe, though this may be added before MoP goes live.
Here's the bad news, though: Each of these you craft will be blessed with a random enchantment. The concept of the random enchantment is something that Blizzard seems to love; it's the way crafting works in Diablo III. Personally, I loathe it. There's nothing less fun than crafting nine pairs of pants you don't want just to get that 10th pair that's itemized perfectly. Thankfully, many tailors grab enchanting as a second profession -- you'll get a lot of use out of that disenchant button, I guarantee it.
As the leveling process currently stands, you'll have to create a lot of Windwool gear to grind your professional skill to the max. That means there will be an absolute glut of Windwool greens on the Auction House in the early months of MoP, all likely listed for less than what it cost to create them.
Pant and cloak enchants
Once you start getting your hands on enough Spirits of Harmony to create Imperial Silk, you'll be able to seriously up your crafting game. The best sellers will no doubt be the desperately needed intellect-plus-spirit Greater Pearlescent Spellthread and intellect-plus-crit Greater Cerulean Spellthread for endgame raiders, both of which can be created from just one Imperial Silk.
Tailors will also do well selling the lower quality Cerulean Spellthread or Pearlescent Spellthread to those looking to enchant temporary gear. Both of them can be made with just four Bolts of Windwool and one Spirit of Harmony.
Generally, bags are one of the best-selling items a tailor can make. After all, everyone needs bags to quest and to store stuff in their banks.
Currently, tailors in MoP will get access to one new bag pattern, and it's a doozy: the 24-slot Royal Satchel. It's an epic-quality bag, and given that each one requires 12 Imperial Silk, these bags are going to sell for an astronomical price. After all, there are 120 Windwool Cloths and 36 Spirits of Harmony sewn.
"But wait," you might say, "a 24-slot epic bag? Isn't the currently craftable Illusionary Bag a 26-slot bag?" Yes, it is. But the interesting thing about the Royal Satchel is that it doesn't bind on equip. You can use it and then trade it between characters -- or even sell it, if you want. Is that tradability worth the premium materials? Time will tell. I'd expect very few of these will get made until the end of the expansion, very similar to the current Illusionary Bag dynamic.
The most important point here is that the Royal Satchel is the only MoP bag currently found on the beta. So if you currently have a max-level tailor, you should seriously spend your time buying up all the Embersilk you can and crafting all the bags humanly (goblinly?) possible. Use those Dreamcloth cooldowns to make 26-slot bags for the high rollers. Make Embersilk Bags with your leftovers. Hold on to your bags until the second or third week of MoP when your competition burns through their bag stash, and then cash in.
Maximize your profits with advice from Gold Capped. Want to know the very best ways to earn 10,000 gold? Top gold making strategies for auctioneers? How about how to reach 1 million gold -- or how one player got there and then gave it all away? Fox and Basil are taking your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.