Professions for the Hunter

I’m sitting at home with a chest infection, and the server is down for maintenance, so I thought I would take the time to write you a long article about professions in WOW.  I have recently been trying to get every cooking recipe in game, but I am still 2 short, so that doesn’t make for much of an article.  I am also madly squirreling away herbs in order to power-level inscription when it comes out.   I was going to write you an article on inscription, but it has been done so well by El of El’s extreme anglin, that I thought I would just point you there.  I enjoy the professions in wow (even fishing), so I thought I’d write something about all of them instead.  I’m aiming this at both those new to professions and those looking forward to professions in the expansion.  Of course, I have added in some advice to the hunter on the best professions for our class, and a sneak preview of some of the recipes from Wrath that are of interest to  hunters.  If you are just interesting in the WOTLK stuff, scoot to the bottom for a teaser of some of the recipes.

Professions 101

Professions or trade skills in WOW allow you to gather and produce things that can be used by you and other players.  You can sell the products of your profession on the auction house (ah) or directly to other players, or just make them for yourself and your friends.

There are two types of profession – primary professions and secondary professions.  You can choose up to two primary professions.  In addition, you can also learn all three secondary professions.

Primary professions are usually sub-divided into two sub-types, production professions, where you make things; and gathering professions, where you, err, gather things.

For a good introductory guide and overview of the professions see the WOWWIki website here

For a list of all the trainers see here.

The professions are:

1.  Primary Professions

a) Production professions







Jewelcrafting (was introduced in the Burning Crusade)

Inscription (new in WOTLK)

b) Gathering Professions




2.  Secondary Professions



First Aid


So which professions are best for a hunter?

First of all, I would recommend that you take all three secondary professions (cooking, fishing, and first aid), regardless of which primary professions you choose.

First aid allows you to make bandages which you can use to heal yourself and can also apply to your pet.  You cannot eat in combat, but can bandage, so if you are hurt, but you pet now has aggro back, you can stop and bandage yourself.

Cooking allows you to make buff food, e.g. food which gives you extra agility.  You can also cook food for your pet.  You pet usually prefers cooked food to raw food.  Cooked food can make you a lot of money on the ah, especially at higher levels, where raid food such as Golden Fish Sticks, which give a healing bonus and Spicy Crawdads, which give +30 stamina, sell really well.

Fishing goes hand-in-hand with cooking.  You can cook the fish you catch, which helps you level cooking.  Some of it gives nice buff food, which can be used or sold.  If you have a pet that eats fish, you have easy access to free food.  Fishing can also make you good money, even at low levels, fishing up oily blackmouths (used by alchemists) and deviate fish.  You can also fish up treasure from pools of wreckage, including money, scrolls, bales of cloth, armor, lock boxes, etc.

With the primary professions there are two routes you can take.  You can either take two gathering professions e.g. skinning and herbalism.  Or you can take a production profession like leatherworking and a gathering profession that supports it, in this case skinning.  Some people at end game choose to swap their gathering profession for a second production profession, and then either buy all the materials from the ah, or use an alt to gather them for them.  I wouldn’t recommend this as you are leveling.

The advantage of taking two gathering professions while leveling, is that they usually take up less time (than a gathering and a production profession), and they make money rather than drain money.  Production professions can end up making you a lot of money, but they often don’t make much money as you are leveling them up.  You might find some items that sell well, but you have to spend a lot of money on recipes, training and materials, and make a lot of items that don’t sell or aren’t useful just to level.  One tip, if you do take up two gathering professions, I suggest you choose mining and skinning, or herbalism and skinning, as mining and herbalism both have a mini-map tracker to show the nodes, and it is hard to keep switching between the two (plus all the things you are tracking as a hunter).  Personally, I prefer herbalism, but that’s just me.

The advantage of taking a production profession and a gathering profession while leveling, is that you can make things that you can use as you go.  Yes, you spend money leveling up, but you save some money you might otherwise have spent on the ah, buying gear.  You can make yourself some nice things, some of which are not available without the profession.  Production professions can also be a lot of fun.

Overall, though, my advice would be take two gathering professions, plus all three secondary professions, while leveling, and then swap to a primary profession if you wish, some time after level 60, when you feel you have enough money to power level.  Unless, that is, you just want to enjoy the fun of producing early on, then go for it, and enjoy :>)


OK, so I want to be a producer, which production professions are best for hunters?

If you are heavily into PVP engineering is a good choice.  There are a number of twink items, such as googles for level 19 twinks, only available to engineers, plus bombs, and gadgets that can help you kill enemies or survive for longer.  Engineers also make guns and ammunition.   And of course, if you really must have a flying machine in game, it’s the only way to go.

Tinuviel is an alchemist and herbalist.  Both as useful for all classes, are fairly easy and cheap to level, and can make you a lot of money.  For myself I make Mad Alchemists Potion, a cheap alchemists only rejuvenation potion, Fel Mana Potion (hunters aren’t really affected by the negative side-effects), Elixir of Major Agility, and Elixir of Draenic Wisdom.  Anelf gets a regular supplies of Healing Potion and Super Mana Potion.  While Bluebear fights over the Major Agility, and get Elixir of Fortitude.  There are lower level versions of most of these potions as you level up.  I also make decent money selling flasks.

Another popular hunter choice is leatherworking and skinning.  Hunters wear leather until level 40, and then mail afterwards.  But leatherworkers also make mail at higher levels, so this is the profession for you if you want to make clothes for yourself.  Anelf is a leatherworker, she made me a whole set of Tough Scorpid armor for my early 40s, which has lots of agility on it (yes it also has spirit, and probably isn’t the very best you could get, but we were young and poor with no high level sugar daddy’s to help us out, so this was good easily accessible stuff).  Leatherworkers can specialize into one of three specialist fields when they reach 225 leatherworking (at level 40+).  The field for hunters is usually dragonscale leatherworking (although some survival hunters may choose elemental leatherworking for the leather rogue gear with lots of agility on it).  Harrylime is a dragonscale leatherworker.  The patterns and dragonscales are hard to come by, escpecially as nowadays not many people are raiding Blackrock Mountain or Onyxia’s Lair.  At level 45 Harry was able to make himself some kick-butt BOP trousers that will last him till level 60 (or forever, since he seems content to sit at level 52 for the moment).

Blacksmithing on the other hand is not recommended.  For the amount of investment to level, you would find very little worth using as a hunter.  Blacksmiths make low level mail at lower levels (when you wear leather), and mostly plate armor at higher levels (when you need mail).  You can specialize as an armorsmith later on and make swords or axes, but the profession is mainly aimed at plate wearers, with some enhancement shaman pieces.

Enchanting and tailoring tend to go together.  Usually this is because they are chosen by cloth wearers, but also because tailors make green items early on that can be disenchanted to help level up enchanting.  Neither also need a special gathering profession.  They are OK for a hunter, but not a recommended pair.  Enchanting is useful for everyone, and will be even more useful when the expansion comes out, as inscribers will be ale to make scrolls that enchanters can write their enchants to, so that these can be sold on the ah.   Tailoring is not very useful for a hunter, sure you can make yourself some bags, and the odd cloak, but that’s about it.

Jewelcrafting is a useful profession at high levels when slotted gems are good to have.  However, it is can be expensive and difficult to level under the currently system, especially if you are a completist and want to collect all of the patterns.  Most of the things a jewelcrafter makes can be bought from the ah or from your friendly jewelcrafter.  However, the jewelcrafter can make a number of trinkets that only he or she can use.  Soupdragon, my shaman is a jewelcrafter, although it was useful to have a jewelcrafting alt, I would be hesitant to recommend this as a profession to anyone.

Inscription is the new primary profession being introduced in WOTLK.  It is expected that this will become available in patch 3.0 (the pre-expansion patch), due to hit around mid October.  You will not need to buy the expansion to level from 1-375 Inscription.  Inscribers make glyphs.  Glyphs are new to the game, they enhance a players spells or abilities, and are class specific, e.g.  there are glyphs that decrease the cooldowns on spell such as multi-shot, bestial wrath, and deterrence, and glyphs that increase the damage of spells like steady shot and Hunters Mark.   There will be some incriber-only glyphs, but how good these are compared to those that can be learned by everyone, we don’t know yet. Inscribers can also make shoulder inscriptions for themselves only, vellum to allow enchanters to sell their enchants, scrolls, like scroll of agility, inscriber-only off-hands, and some darkmoon-faire like tarot cards.  They can also make scrolls of recall (20 min cooldown) which summon you to your hearthstone locations (the first rank of this isunpredictable above level 40).  These sound a bit mad; you are trying to go to Dalaran and end up in Gadgetzan arena.  Fun or frustrating?  Later ranks sound more reliable. It sounds like a useful profession for most classes, although it may slightly favor casters at the moment (with the off-hands).  One great thing for hunters that inscribers can make is the certificate of ownership, this allows you to change your hunter pet name.  It is hard to say whether this is a must have profession, or just one where it would be useful to have an alt, guildmate or friend who is an inscriber.  I intend to make Bluebear (my feral druid) my inscriber.  She leveled with two gather professions, so can drop one to make room.  El’s Extreme Anglin has branched out and produced an excellent introduce and resource for inscription – see here.


OK, so I went gathering, now I want to swap at 70 to a production profession and power-level, how do I do that?

First, read a power leveling guide on your new profession and start gathering together the materials you will need.  I say do this first, before dropping one of your gathering professions, as you might find you need something you can gather to level your new profession, for instance, if you drop mining for alchemy, you might need to gather some mithril ore before you do, it is used in a couple of potions.

To drop a profession and learn another, open your character window and go to the skills tab.  Click on the profession you wish to unlearn.  At the bottom of the window you will see the profession come up , with a little red button to it’s right.  If you click this you will unlearn the profession.  Make sure you really want to unlearn it.  If you make a mistake, you will have to level it up again from level 1, and will have lost all your recipes and skills.

Now you have a free profession slot, go to the appropriate trainer, and learn you new profession.  

Follow a power-leveling guide for the quickest and most cost-efficient way of leveling up your profession.  I usually use the TenTonHammer power leveling guides, but if someone can recommend better ones, please post a comment.


I’m a completist I would like to get every recipe in the game for my profession, any advice?

Seek counseling!  And then if your still set on it, find a rich backer (i.e. a high level alt, not gold seller please).   It is easier to do this for some professions than others.  

Tinuviel now has every cooking recipe in the game (including horde ones), except for two (and Soupdragon has one of those).  The ones I am missing are the delicious chocolate cake, which is a rare drop from the daily cooking quest (which I do most days,  but have not got the drop yet) and the recipe for Dirge’s Kickin Chimaerok Chops, which  is part of the quest chain for opening the gates of Ahn’Qiraj, and requires several old world raids (so I think I might just live without it!)  How do I know I am missing only these two?  Well, because I have a superb little addon called Ackis Recipe List.  This addon scans your recipes, and tells you which ones you don’t have, and also tells you where you can get them from.  To get all of the horde recipes, Tinuviel has a little help from Harrylime.  Harry ran around buying horde only recipes, and doing horde only quests that gave a cooking recipe reward (like dig rat stew) and then transferred them across to the alliance, via the neutral ah.  I also made a bit of money, as I bought a couple of extra recipes and sold them for a small profit on the alliance ah (thereby making some other completists happy).

Tinuviel doesn’t have every alchemy recipe in the game, as some are gained by discovery only.  Meaning, you have a small chance of discovering them while making another potion or transmute.  Soupdragon doesn’t have every jewelcrafting recipe in the game as the higher level ones that are random world drops are horrendously expensive on the ah.  There are lots of them going for around 500G average, on my server.  As she doesn’t raid, she doesn’t see any recipes that might be BOP dropping only in raid instances.

To be a completist you need luck, perseverance and patience.  Plus, for the primary professions you need to be a high level raiding toon, who has the chance to roll on BOP recipes that drop in instances.  You need a lot of money, to buy the expensive world drops from the ah and vendor recipes, and you need to be doing you profession a lot, if it is one like alchemy with a random discovery mechanic.  You also need to grind reputation with different factions for some recipes.


You mentioned, Ackis Recipe List, are there any other recommended trade skill addons?

There are few well known ones.  Obviously, Auctioneer almost goes without saying.  If you want to sell your crafted items and buy materials and recipes, this is nearly a must have.

I am several of my guildies use Craftlist2.  This excellent addon, allows you to whisper any alt of the character with a trade skill to find out if that character knows a particular recipe.  Soupdragon is the main jewelcrafter in my guild.  I mainly play Tinuviel, and regular get whispers like /t Tinuviel !craft spell hit.  This brings up a list of all the things each of my alts can craft which involve spell hit.  It will show a Great Dawnstone from Soupdragon – a gem with +8 spell hit, which is probably what they are looking for, plus some tailoring items from Giltine my tailor.  If they had just specified hit, they would have got lots of engineering stuff from Smilla, plus Spicy Talbuk from Tinuviel, a food that gives +10 hit rating.

For gathering professions, you can use an addon which remembers where you found a mining node or herb and shows this on your mini-map.  I use Cartographer-Herbalism for this, but many people use Gatherer.


What are the yummy new profession changes and recipes coming up in WOTLK?

I obtained some of this information from wotlkwiki check back for updates here.

Obtaining recipes

One thing worth mentioning, is that they may be changing the mechanic by which you acquire recipes in some cases:

From the Blizzcast #4 (podcast) transcript:

…we’re going to be easing off the [professions recipe] world drops, I’m not sure about getting rid of them entirely but moving on to other systems. One of the system we’re considering as well is – so you have profession dailies for all of your professions, and what those end up being I’m not sure, but then when you do that daily you get a token. Then on this vendor there’s maybe 20 recipes, and they cost maybe 25 tokens each. So you’ll start making decisions on how you want to spend those tokens and that will help differentiate you from everyone else just by your decisions rather than what you happened to have found or bought off the Auction House.

Jewelcrafting Daily Quests were added to Dalaran in Beta Build 8788 see here, rewarding aDalaran Jewelcrafting Token which could be used to purchase a variety of recipes (many of which were already in-game). 

Cooking dailies awarding tokens that can be used to purchase cooking recipes are linked here.  I haven’t found ones for other professions yet.

From the WWI (World Wide Invitational) Dungeons & Raids Panel:

The developers plan to improve recipe drops in dungeons and raids. They are pretty rare right now, as specific plans may only drop off one boss at really low drop rate, and this can be frustrating for players. This doesn’t mean they won’t put unique plans on hard to reach bosses, but they want most plans to be accessible (earlier bosses, easier dungeons, etc). They believe it should not feel like such a grind to get that one rare pattern.

More recipe plans will also be available from Faction vendors. This is something they did a lot of in The Burning Crusade, but not all trade skills were represented.

Broadcasting your tradeskills to others

Also, there will be a similar mechanic in the game to the CraftList2 mentioned above:

The expansion will add the ability to shift-click and link your Professions from the general tab of your Spellbook into Trade/Guild/Etc chat panels.When someone clicks on your link, a panel similar to the Crafting panel will open, showing all of the recipes that the linking player is able to craft, as well as the materials they require.

This will allow other players to browse a crafter’s available patterns much more easily.


Buffs to players with certain professionals

One interesting thing is that they are giving traders a passive or active skill dependent upon their profession.  This is particularly focussed on professions like alchemy and gathering professions which previously did not have many BOP advantages to the professional.

Alchemy – Mixology is a new passive bonus gained by alchemists learned from a profession trainer at skill level 50. It increases the stat bonus of elixirs by 25% and the duration by 100% (elixirs last 2 hours). It increases the stat bonus of flasks by 50% and the duration by 100% (flasks last for 4 hours). It has no effect on potions.

(*Alchemy and potion use has also received a nerf – A new Debuff has been added whenever a player drinks any type of potion. In build 8770, the debuff icon is currently gone, but the effect remains.  It is unclear whether this is a bug or not (and whether the effect is also supposed to be gone, or whether the icon is also supposed to be there – if anyone has an update on this, post a comment).  “Potion Sickness” prevents the player from drinking any other sort of potion until the player gets out of combat.  The Debuff will have an obvious impact on all aspects of the game, especially raid encounters with long boss fights.   It may also have an impact on the profits alchemists make – if people are drinking less potions – they will be buying less potions.)

Blacksmithing – none as yet (although are able to make sockets in their own gloves and bracers.)

Enchanting – none as yet – although are able to sell their enchants and make some epic BOP wands.

Engineering – you can make motorbikes, enough said!

Inscription – shoulder enchants and inscriber only discovered glyphs

Jewelcrafting – gem perfection – This ability allows players to craft “Perfect” versions of uncommon quality gem cuts with slightly better stats. 

Leatherworking – Leatherworkers will be able to craft a number of armor pieces (just helms for now, but possibly more later) which grant buffs on use similar to some current jewelcrafting neckpieces, giving stamina buffs to all party members.

(* although leatherworkers are receiving a lot of love – there was a nerf to drums – 

  • Leatherworking drums now give a two minute debuff that does not allow the party members to receive any further drum buffs.
  • Drums affect all nearby raid members
This was because high end raiding guilds were all re-speccing as leatherworker to use sets of drums, one after the other, to defend some end game bosses.  It was a good strategy while it was allowable in game.)

Tailoring – Northrend cloth scavenging – Gives a tailor the ability to find additional cloth on northrend humanoids.

Herbalism – Herbalism now gets a new Healing Over Time Spell available only to Herbalists. When this effect is used it is possible to gain Herbalism skill points (up to a certain level of skill) and it causes small flowers to bloom around the player. (See screenshot at right.)

There are Currently 6 ranks so it can be assumed it will first be obtained early in one’s Herbalism career.

When you cast this, you get little flowers springing up in the ground around your feet.  I think at level 70 with herbalism 375, Tinuviel has rank 4 of this spell on the test realms.  It’s an instant cast and doesn’t require mana or interfere with any other cooldowns, so its a nice little boost.

Like felblossom in BC, there are also some herbs that only herbalists can use to produce beneficial effects: 

  • Fire Leaf: (Requires Level 70 and Herbalism 325) Use: Reduces your armor by 100%, but increases your attack power by 400 for 10 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
  • Fire Seed: (Requires Level 70 and Herbalism 325) Use: Makes you vulnerable to magic, but increases your spell power by 200 for 10 sec. (1 Min Cooldown)
Herbalism will also be used by inscribers, could make it a more lucrative profession, but could also mean there are more herbalists and more competition for herbs.

Mining – Miner’s revenge (unconfirmed) – Hurls your pick axe at the target, inflicted 45 to 55 physical damage, ignoring any armor. (Unconfirmed as possible mining skill) (5 min cooldown, 30 yd range).

Toughness – All your hard work spent mining has made you exceptionally tough, increasing your maximum health by 300 (at 375).  There are 6 ranks.

Skinning – Master of Anatomy – Skinning all those dead animals has broadened your anatomical knowledge, increasing your critical strike rating by 15 (at skinning 375).  There are 6 ranks.

Inscription – for a list of abilities see here.

Jewelcrafting – no specific buff, but new trinkets, for a list of abilities see here.


New Recipes

I will just mention a few here,  we don’t know about them all yet, and some could be subject to change.  I have just picked out those that seemed interesting or useful to hunters, I could well have missed some those, this is not an exhaustive list, just a teaser.  I have taken most of these from WOWhead’s WOTLK site – using a filter to look at profession spells about 376.


(oh so tempting to switch, but I don’t like mining as much as herbalism, and I reckon I am going to need mana potions more than ever)

Motorbikes! and alliance version

Gun – Mark ‘S’ Boomstick

Scope – heartseeker scope  and Sun scope

Goggles – Truesight Ice blinders

Gnomish Army Knife

Saronite Arrow Maker

Unsafe bullet machine


Elixir of Mighty Agility

Crazy alchemist’s potion

Mighty Alchemists stone (Not a huge upgrade on the epic Assassin’s Alchemists stone, but does not seem to use up another alchemists stone to make it, according to source, could it be that you can equip this and an Assassin’s Alchemists Stone?)

Not many recipes added on wowhead yet – for a fuller list see Crafter’s tome here.

Fishing and cooking

There’s some interesting stuff here.  Lots of new fish and recipes.

For a full list of cooking recipes see Crafter’s tome here.

There are a lot of recipes that add attack power, crit, or haste, but only one I can see that adds agility (my preferred flavoring –Dragonfin Fillet

Spicy mammoth treats – for you pet (stamina and strength, in one snack, yeay)

Feasts for your whole party Gigantic Feast and Small Feast (the size refers to the after-affects not the amount of food)

New uber fishing pole that allows underwater breathing.

See El for everything else fishing here.


(Anelf’s a leatherworker – yeay for me, at least for the BOE stuff)

Is getting some nice buffs in WOTLK.  

Fur lining – frost resistence

Swiftarrow armor -e.g. hauberk

Giantmaim armor – e.g. legguards

Nerubian Quiver

Dragonscale Ammo Pouch

Trappers Travelling Pack

Mammoth Mining Bag

Pack of endless pockets (inscription bag)



Get to add a gem slot to there own gloves and bracers

And make belt buckles which add a gem slot to anyones belt


Enchanters at last get to sell their enchants on the ah!

Enchant bracers greater assault

Enchant gloves greater assault


Titanium Impact Band

Titanium Impact Choker

Invigorating Earthsiege Diamond (meta)

Relentless Earthsiege Diamond (meta)

Swift Skyflare Diamond (meta)

Delicate scarlet ruby


Flying carpet mount! and magnificent flying carpet mount!

and speciality specific carpets.

Glacial bag – 22 slot bag

Red Lumberjack Shirt (what?  I like collecting shirt patterns :>)  – if only I could find a rich purple shirt pattern :>( too many dying kodos have had a quicker death from me due to that pattern – before I l realized it was a true world drop, that is)


We pretty much covered this above – but this one is worth repeating – certificate of ownership


Where will I find trainers to level up my skills when I hit Northrend?

A list of the trainers for each profession can be found by going to wotlkwiki and clicking on the profession icon you are interested in.


Useful websites on professions

WOWWiki – overview

WOTLKwiki – professions in the expansion

El’s Extreme Anglin – Fishing uber website

WOWhead – list of all profession recipes with filter

El’s Extreme Anglin – also with inscription

TenTonHammer – reasonable guides and good power leveling guides

Crafter’s Tome – recipes and guides

WOWinsider – latest news when this article was written.


I’m done, stick a fork in me and call me a Small Feast.


2 responses to “Professions for the Hunter

  1. I think engineering is a good profession for a hunter to pick up. In the event of a raid wipe, the hunter can feign death then use jumper cables to hopefully rez a healer or pally.

  2. I myself have skinning/leather working been stuck at 301/375 lw for awhile so I have to get cracking before the next expansion! Most of the patterns on my server are out of site in price. And I have been on 3 servers in the last year all because of RL friends finally we are on our last server /cheer all 10 of us! I just have too much todo with 2 toons in the last 40 some odd days! At least get my pally to 58 for the flood of death knights to level at the same time level my hunter to 80 to get in early on the raiding this time around cause I haven’t seen much end game content cause I have only seen Kara, TK, Gruuls, and Mags. Well sorry to bable just bored at work again. Abruzzi out!