Alchemy: A Beginner’s Guide

So you want to be an Alchemist?

This is a great profession for any class, but even better for those classes without the ability to buff themselves. This includes Warriors and Rogues, but spellcasters can also benefit from the easy supply of mana potions. Alchemy is a very lucrative profession for those of you looking to make good money. Potions are consumable, so you’ll have no problem selling large quantities of them. And especially at higher levels, players realize the value of potions to aid them in their combat efforts and will generally try to keep a handy supply of their favorites.

Companion Skills

The best complimentary skill by far is Herbalism. Due to the high value of potions themselves, the required herbs tend to be very expensive. If you don’t take Herbalism it will be quite costly for you to purchase your herbs. Plus you will be missing out on a secondary source of income since you’ll always be able to sell any surplus of herbs you have for very good money, depending on the herb. You should also seriously consider developing your Fishing skill. This is a Secondary profession that does not count towards your two profession limit. Since a fair number of Alchemy recipes require fish, it makes sense to add this to your crafting repertoire.

Now that you’d made up your mind to train in Alchemy, you should find yourself a trainer. Any major city should have one of these, just ask a guard. There are also some trainers located in towns in various newbie zones, so if you happen to spot one you can use him or her as well.

In addition to the herbs I hope you’ve already collected, you’ll need vials to make your potions with. These are sold by the Trade Vendors who can be found in most small towns around Azeroth. Here is a list of the various vial types used by Alchemists:

  • Empty Vial
  • Leaded Vial
  • Crystal Vial
  • Imbued Vial

Don’t forget to check any vendors you run across for new recipes, there are a number of these NPCs who will have a few recipes in their inventory, usually on the last page. Some recipes are available in Limited Quantity. If you know a certain vendor has the recipe you want, but you don’t see it in stock, come back and visit him another time. He may have it again later. Timers vary on the limited stock items, ranging from 1 hour to 24 hours.

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All the potions you make will have a cooldown timer. This means that another potion cannot be used until the timer is expired. The timer for all potions is 2 minutes, players will be unable to use another potion during that time. It’s a good idea to use buff potions (Elixir of Wisdom, Troll’s Blood Potion, etc) before you enter combat so that you’ll be able to use “emergency” potions (Healing Potion, Mana Potion, etc) during combat if something goes wrong. Also bear in mind that some potions have an individual timer in addition to their global timer, so be sure you’re familiar with what those are if you plan to rely on them in risky situations.

When you reach 150 skill in Alchemy (Level 20 also required), you’ll want to find an Expert trainer. For Alliance players, you should seek out Ainethil in Darnassus. Horde players need to locate Doctor Herbert Halsey in the Undercity. At 225 skill (Level 35 required), you’ll be ready to become an Artisan alchemist. The Alliance trainer is located at Feathermoon Stronghold in Feralas, her name is Kylanna Windwhisper. The Horde Master trainer is Rogvar, who can be found at Stonard in the Swamp of Sorrows.

Once you reach 225 Alchemy, you’ll get the first set of your Transmute recipes. Transmuting is a very important alchemy skill, and in strong demand with other players. The first two recipes for transmuting are found in Gadgetzan from Alchemist Pestlezugg. He also sells the recipe for the Philosopher’s Stone that’s required for the transmuting process. The Black Vitriol needed for this recipe is a gem which is mined from Mithril and other high level veins of ore. You should have no trouble finding it on the Auction House at a fairly low cost, since your transmuting stones are the only usage of this particular item. Once you’ve made the Stone, you’ll need to have it in your inventory any time you want to do a transmute.

There’s not much demand for the initial transmutes, but they become more lucrative at higher levels of Alchemy. Other crafters will need to use your transmuted goods within their own profession, so you’ll always have a market for them. It’s not unusual to charge 5-10 gold as a fee for one transmute. Part of the reason that you’ll be able to charge so much is because of the long cooldown period on your transmutes. Here’s a chart for those:

Transmute Cooldown
Elemental Fire 15 minutes
All Essence Transmutes 24 hours
Iron to Gold 24 hours
Mithril to Truesilver 48 hours
Arcanite 48 hours
All Primal Transmutes 23 Hour (Shared)
Meta Gem Transmute (Earth/Diamond 1 Day


There are a few quests involving Alchemy, and while none of them are required, doing some of them will gain you new recipes. The first is in Teldrassil (Night Elf starting zone) and requires you to bring eight potions to Syral Bladeleaf in Dolanaar in exchange for some herbs as a reward. The Horde also have a newbie level quest they can do which starts in Silverpine Forest. Speak with Apothecary Renferrel in The Sepulcher and he’ll give you the quest for the Discolored Healing Potion recipe. The next quest is in the Badlands, given by Lucien Tosselwrench. You can find him just east of Kargath towards the western edge of the zone. The quest Liquid Stone is available to all players at level 37, but only Alchemists can actually use the recipe for Lesser Stoneshield Potion which he gives as a reward.

The final quest is actually a chain involving the Scholomance dungeon. You must speak with Eva Sarkhoff, just outside the instance and she’ll give you the first quest. After each step you should return to Eva and she’ll give you another quest. When you’ve completed all three of her quests, she will reward you with a trinket which allows you to see the various ghosts on the island of Caer Darrow. One of the ghosts is a vendor who sells the recipe for Major Mana Potion, an extremely valuable recipe. It’s a long and difficult quest line, but worth the trouble for this recipe.

Herb Bags

If you have Herbalism as your other Primary craft, be sure to take advantage of the special Herb bags that are now available around Azeroth. Depending on which size you purchase, they are much larger than regular bags and you’ll be able to carry more herbs with you. You can also use Herb bags in your bank slots, so why not get two?

There are a few high end Alchemy recipes (skill level 300) which require an Alchemy Lab. This is a special location found in dungeon instances where you would have to go to make these special potions (similar to a smith’s Forge). The recipes that require an Alchemy Lab are the Flask recipes. There is one Alchemy Lab inside of Scholomance and one in Blackwing Lair, both of which require fighting elite mobs to access. For those with the Burning Crusade expansion, there’s also an Alchemy Lab in Shattrath City that is freely accessible.

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