Legendary base items have been an incredibly interesting market so far in Shadowlands. With Rank 4 now available this market is essentially fully unlocked. It’s very expensive to level. We continue with the second cheapest main profession today with Blacksmithing
Base legendary basics
The base legendary items are used together with soul ash and missives to craft a legendary. There are four different variants for each slot, each corresponding to a higher item level, with higher material costs and a better item.
You can craft a higher rank directly, or you can upgrade a rank 1 item to a higher rank by adding a new base and paying the difference in soul ash. This means that all ranks of the base item can be useful to players. Right now players have access to enough Soul Ash for a rank 4 legendary, and alts will be crafting what they can get.
Getting the recipes
The rank 1 recipe for each item requires you to max your profession and get to level 60. You unlock the recipes from doing the Torghast intro questline up to where you give the Runecarver his first memory. He will then give you quests to take back to your profession trainers that unlock the rank 1 recipes for training.
The higher rank recipes are obtained by crafting the lower rank 1s. You need to craft 15 of the lower rank to increase your rank.
Can you make a profit?
Sadly it is very hard to figure this out. Leveling to rank 4 is expensive, and most rank 1s are selling for less than materials cost. The Rank 2s and 3s are profitable on many realms, but this will vary a lot.
You can do the math on rank 4s to see if you think you will make back your gold. With Blacksmithing I have spent about 10 million on ores, and made a little over 10 million from base legendaries. Of course I have spent a good chunk of the ores on Crafter’s mark 2 gear as well, so I am likely profitable, but it is hard to sell
Saving gold on shards and flux
You can save 25 gold per Orboreal Shard by farming exalted with The Ascended or just being a goblin. There is a vendor in Hero’s Rest that sells them with a vendor discount, which is absolutely key. Some other reputations also sell Orboreal shards, so check the wowhead page for whichever you have the most rep with to see where you can get it. For Blacksmithing you will also need a lot of Luminous Flux, which you can get in Hero’s Rest or back in Kul Tiras/Zandalar if you are exalted with those professions.
Running a successful Blacksmithing base legendary operation
You will most likely have to level enchanting to get cheaper access to Enchanted Elethium ore. The difference can often be as high as 100 gold per enchanted bar, which is huge. Without access to discounted crafting materials you are unlikely to be able to compete long term.
To craft Blacksmithing legendaries you need absolutely huge amounts of Shadowghast Ingot. On my realm these sell consistently for 20-30 gold more than the cost of crafting them, so you will want to craft these yourself. This means you need to buy ore in bulk and utilize AFK time to run craft all and craft bars. With the need for enchanted Elethium Bars as well this adds to a lot of crafting time per legendary, so this is not the lowest maintenance market. Keep materials on you so you can do craft all whenever you have something else to do for 5-20 minutes as this will quickly add up.
By far the strongest slot so far has been the plate greaves. This is the main slot for amongst others UH DKs, which is the most in-meta plate DPS class in the game. The breastplate has been the second best for me followed by shoulders, boots and helmet in an even footing.
We restock the same way as with tailoring. Look through your auctions with the normal UI and look for any slot/ilvl combinations you are missing and go for that one. Players may not upgrade as they go from this point on, but blacksmithing legendaries are not that expensive, so I think a good chunk of players will do it even for their alts.
Should you do it?
I would only suggest entering base legendaries if you already have at least a million gold and you are willing to take the risk. There is no guarantee you will make your investment back, so you need an appetite for risk.
The TSM Setup this time is fairly involved. Since TSM does not like the various ranks I have had to create separate operations for each rank. There is no crafting operation, as TSM cannot effectively restock. You will have to craft with the base UI to pick the right ranks and keep track of your stock manually. Hopefully they add full support down the line, but currently TSM will only work well to post your items. Keep in mind that the settings assume you are crafting your items yourself.
What do the strings in the operation mean
The operation strings take the matprice() of the various materials needed for a base legendary. This will use the default material price method to value your Shadowghast Ingots and Enchanted Elethium Bars. The setup also assumes you can get the full discount for shards and flux, so if you cannot then you should change the value in all the operations to whatever your current price is.