Last week we looked at the pre-raid BiS items available from tailoring. Today we will do the same for Blacksmithing, focusing on the items that can be sold to other players.
Plate, mail and weapons
As a blacksmith the gear you can craft is plate and mail armor and a bunch of different weapons. Plate armor will of course only be relevant for warriors and paladins, and mail armor is only relevant for hunters and shamans. So let’s take a look at each group of items and find the best ones. A lot of these items are quite expensive and you may want to not craft them and rather advertise in trade. Personally I prefer crafting as it means the item can sell while I’m AFK, but it means you take a risk.
The specializations you choose will impact what items you can craft. Most of the plate armor will only be available if you chose armorsmithing, and the best weapons will require you to be a weaponsmith. Overall the choice depends mostly on how likely you think you are to be able to obtain the Lionheart Helm recipe, which is the single most sought after blacksmithing item in the game.
Plate armor is going to be relevant for either one or two classes depending on if you are alliance or horde. There’s a wide variety of specs though with paladins having 3 and warriors having two with very different itemization. All the relevant plate armor crafts require you to be an armorsmith.
The Big one in the plate armor category is the Lionheart Helm. This one is BiS for a long time and one of the best crafted items in the game. The recipe is a random drop, but it can be traded. It is however very rare, so don’t expect to get this easily. If you do will likely make a killing as the item is the best plate DPS helm, even including raid gear.
Whitesoul Helm is a good option for healing paladins. The recipe is a tradeable world drop and should not be too expensive. The same holds true for the Dawnbringer Shoulders, which is also trained from a world drop recipe. If you are horde then both of these recipes are of course completely useless as there are no paladins to sell to.
For paladin tanks the Enchanted Thorium Helm and Enchanted Thorium Leggings are options, but not the Best in Slot item for their respective slots. The recipe is obtained from combining the two halves of Advanced Armorsmithing 3 and turning it in in Dire Maul. The two parts from from Urok Doomhowl in LBRS and Black Guard Swordsmith in Stratholme Undead.
Overall plate armor has a bunch of items to offer, and armorsmithing should be quite attractive from a gold making point of view, but it does rely quite a bit on the Lionheart helm.
Mail armor is usually only relevant for hunters and Shamans, even if paladins and warriors can wear it. Obviously this makes it significantly more interesting for horde blacksmiths than alliance ones.
Elemental shamans want the Wildthorn Mail, as it’s best in slot pre raid chest piece. The recipe is a random world drop that can be traded on the AH. Once again it requires armorsmithing so you will have to choose between armor and weapons.
Healing shamans don’t care about any blacksmithing items on the other hand. This is also the case for enhancement shamans and hunters, who both prefer mail armor crafted by leatherworkers.
If you want to craft the top end weapons you will have to choose weaponsmithing. Some weapons will be even further gated behind the subspecializations in weapon types. The advantage is that weapons can potentially be relevant for more classes, but overall the number of pre-raid BiS crafted items is fairly small.
Generic weaponsmith weapons
There is only one generic weaponsmith item that is pre-raid BiS and it’s the dagger Heartseeker. The dagger is however so expensive to craft that I don’t think anyone will ever buy it. The upgrade over a much easier to get raid drop or just the BoE Scarlet Kris is just too small to ever make it worthwhile.
Master Axesmiths get some of the best weapons in the game. Annihilator is a rare axe with an armor reducing debuff that is optimal to always include in your raids. The recipe drops from Quartermaster Zigris in LBRS. The Arcanite Reaper is BiS for ret paladins. It is also a great weapon for arms warriors looking to gear up for PvP or PvE, but it is extremely expensive at 20 arcanite bars. The recipe drops from Bannok Grimaxe in LBRS. Both plans can be traded, so you can likely find them on the AH.
Hammersmithing and swordsmithing
Right now there are no relevant sword or hammer recipes that are pre-raid BiS. Both specializations will offer some recipes that may be useful, particularly the various dark iron weapons obtained from the Thorium Brotherhood at honored, but they are not Best in Slot. They can tide players over however as they are not prohibitively expensive in their material costs, but they do require a trip into BRD to craft them.
Overall armor crafting is much better for alliance blacksmiths as paladins care significantly more about crafted armor from blacksmithing than shamans do. Axesmithing is really the only worthwhile weapon specialization and it will really require phase 3 and the addition of Nightfall at Exalted with thorium Brotherhood to be a better option than armorsmithing looks like. A lot of the weapons are VERY expensive to craft which makes them essentially useless sadly.
Alliance players should have a better time with a significantly larger population of plate wearers, so there is actually a case to consider other professions on Horde.
As usual we rely on 120% crafting as the minimum price and we post one of each. The setup includes all the items discussed in this post that are actually on pre-raid BiS lists. Good luck!