With Phase 5 the war effort to open the gates of Ahn’Qiraj will be active. This will require players to turn in a huge number of materials that are taken out of the economy.
Don’t try to sell to players turning in
In my phase 5 post I said i would not suggest trying to invest to sell to players looking to turn the items in. Most hardcore guilds have already started farming or planning for the farm to open the gates as fast as possible. They are unlikely to bother buying many materials, and the reward for turning in for you personally is low so I expect most players will farm their own materials to turn in.
Materials needed in end-game recipes
Some of the items required however are useful in end-game recipes. When the available supply for sale goes down as more of the nodes and mobs are farmed by players looking to keep their materials I expect prices can go up for many items like this. Of course there are never any guarantees when trying to invest for the future, so don’t spend more than you can handle losing.
Some of the items are not only needed for turn-ins but are also used in new relevant recipes. This is a double-whammy situation and these materials are your absolute best bet for trying to invest.
We will now take a look at the materials needed for the war effort that are also useful in some form of end-game relevant crafting recipe. We will only focus on consumables as demand for these items is much higher and more likely to see an impact by the change in supply.
Purple Lotus is used in the upcoming Mana oil recipes that are most likely coming with phase 5. In addition both sides will have to turn in Purple Lotus so the supply will be limited on the entire servers. This makes it a prime candidate for investing in.
Stranglekelp/Free Action Potions
These remain amazing in PvP and PvE. Don’t be afraid to stack up on these if you are alliance. Stranglekelp can only be farmed from nodes in the open world, so I expect that Free Action Potions might meet a real bottleneck for a while.
Thorium Bars are used in a lot of useful engineering recipes, including thorium shells. 24 000 bars will be a blow to the amount available so if you need ammunition you may want to stack up ahead of time. Same goes for thorium grenades if you use those, or thorium widgets if you plan to get the Darkmoon Faire necklace.
Mithril Bars and Mageweave Cloth
Mithril and Mageweave is used in Sapper charges which hardcore raiders and PvPers alike use a lot of. These are incredibly good and a reduction in supply will make these more expensive. Both materials or the finished Sapper Charges are good candidates to stock up on now on horde side, before they get too expensive.
Firebloom is in the same category as Purple Lotus. It will be used in the new Wizard Oil recipes, the Elixir of Greater Firepower, and turned in for the war effort. In addition to this it is already used by Engineers to craft rocket helmets through the Goblin Rocket Fuel. Stocking up on this while it is cheap can be a great idea as it will be much harder to get a hold of enough Firebloom once p5 rolls around.
When will this matter
I expect hardcore guilds start farming now. When the announcement comes with a specific date for AQ I expect these items will be farmed much harder by hardcore guilds leading to less supply from randoms. This is where it makes sense to sell your stock if the price goes up. Once the gates are open supply will return to normal fairly quickly, so at that point it will be over.
Keep in mind that investing is always risky, so don’t buy for more gold than you are OK with losing.