Choosing your two professions will not have an enormous impact on your dps like say… messing up your rotation would. But it is yet another way for you to maximize your potential and why wouldn’t you want to do that? On top of improving your dps, each profession provides you with additional ways of earning yourself some gold. And you will need gold to raid on a serious level, there will be lots of repairs, reforging to be done, flasks, potions, enchants and gems to be bought. Having said that, this guide will not delve into the gold-making opportunities that each profession provides.
Because, this is a short guide to the direct dps-increases each profession provides and also a listing of some fringe benefits that are relevant to us hunters.
Note: Some of these dps-increases can be hard to quantify properly and with that, compare to other dps-increases. For these cases I’ve converted the increase in dps into Agility using Femaledwarf with a very standard SV build with tier 11 raid gear. This will not be an exact comparison for everyone in every single gear combo and spec, but it will work as a rough average.
Gathering professions have traditionally been weaker than crafting professions when it comes to dps-increasing buffs and Cataclysm hasn’t really changed that. Having said that, the on-use cooldown that herbalists get has been improved significantly with a haste buff and is now providing a bit of a dps-increase rather than nothing at all.
- Lifeblood – Heals you and gives you 480 Haste Rating for 20 sec (2 min cooldown). Timed correctly with other damage-increasing cooldowns this is very valuable, if used improperly without stacking any other damage-increase it’ll still provide roughly the equivalent of 47,5 Agility.
- No dps increase. You get +120 Stamina through Toughness, but that’s it.
- +80 Critical Strike Rating through Master of Anatomy (this is roughly equivalent to 25 Agility).
Crafting professions is where it’s at if you’re looking to maximize your dps-output. Towards the end of Wrath of the Lich King Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing were the two best options. This was due to the ability to socket more Armor Penetration gems which provided more dps than any other stat. Other professions were still providing attack power, crit or other uninteresting stats.
Now with Cataclysm, Armor Penetration is a thing of the past and most professions are providing roughly the same dps-increase through +80 Agility. This is not the case across the board however…
- +80 Agility through Mixology if you’re using a Flask of the Winds or through Flask of Enhancement.
- Regular flasks last for 2 hrs instead of 1 hr, cutting your flask bills in half.
- Able to craft a very good trinket for yourself.
- +80 Agility through two extra sockets in bracers and gloves.
- Able to craft one pre-raid weapon for yourself without having to haggle for Chaos Orb prices.
- +80 Agility through two ring enchants.
- Synapse Springs – Glove tinker that grants you a procc of 480 Agility for 10 second every minute, this averages out to a 80 Agility increase.
- You can make your own specialized goggles Deadly Bio-Optic Killshades with cogwheel options of crit, haste and hit. Unfortunately these are not better than the t11 headpiece Lightning-Charged Headguard and once you get into heroic t11 the goggles will be far worse. The benefits here are being able to craft an epic yourself before starting raiding and being able to pick the stats (which is beneficial when it comes to using hit or not for example).
- Situational cooldowns through belt tinkers: Nitro boost that gives a big speed boost for a short while, defensive cooldown or invisibility while out of combat (all three of these are however prone to fail with horrible outcomes). Plus the cloak tinker Flexweave Underlay that gives you a parachute.
- Fantastic raid buffs through the portable repair bot Jeeves and portable mailbox MOLL-E for retrieving more flasks, potions, etc, in the middle of a raid.
- Able to craft your own pre-raid ranged weapon without having to haggle for Chaos Orb prices.
- +80 Agility through Swiftsteel Inscription (it gives +130 Agility and +25 Mastery, but it’s only 80 Agility more than the enchant available to everyone)
- +81 Agility through 3x Delicate Chimera’s Eye in three red socket slots (you get +67 Agility per gem but it’s only 27 Agility more per gem than the +40 Agility gem available to everyone).
- Able to craft some pre-raid gear for yourself.
- +80 Agility on bracers through Draconic Embossment (this replaces the +50 Agility enchant available to everyone).
- Able to craft leg enchants for yourself very cheap instead of the very pricey version available to everyone.
- Able to craft some epics for yourself without having to haggle for Chaos Orb prices.
- +1000 Attack Power procc for 15 sec through Swordguard Embroidery (this replaces the +65 Critical Strike Rating enchant available to everyone which is roughly equivalent of 15 Agility). This proc is roughly equivalent of 78 static Agility which means this proc is worth 58 Agility more than the regular cloak enchant.
And now to rank them…
Jewelcrafting is ahead by a mere 1 Agility, after that it’s all pretty much the same with most professions providing 80 Agility. Dead last comes Mining and then just over it Skinning, with Herbalism just between the bottom section and the top section.
Even though Engineering doesn’t provide a straight-up superior dps-increase to the other professions I would still make the case that at least one of your professions should be Engineering. Because it provides several raid buffs and situational cooldowns, which are immeasurable in their awesomeness. And besides, the dps isn’t lower than any of the other options (except for Jewelcrafting).
As a rule of thumb we can say that all crafting professions, besides Tailoring, provides the same dps increase and are all good stuff.
|+47,5 > Agility||Herbalism|
None of these provide any direct dps-increase in a raid, but archaeology can actually directly improve your dps in a dungeon. The thing about these professions though is that none of them will take one of your primary profession spots away, these are just an added bonus and there is no downside to leveling them. In fact, you will find that each one of these have some use which does justify leveling them.
- You’re able to buff your party through various means in Cataclysm 5-man dungeons using keystones. Read more about it here.
- You gain the ability to cook your own buff food such as Skewered Eel or provide the entire raid with buff food with Seafood Magnifique Feast.
- You gain the ability to make your own bandages and to heal yourself with them. The best bandage available is Dense Embersilk Bandage.
- You’re able to fish up Fathom Eel and other fish so that you can cook your own buff food without paying a dime.