In the latest Shadowlands Beta builds Blizzard has made several changes to legendary crafting. This has a significant impact on the optimal strategy for professions, so let’s take a look.
Legendaries in Shadowlands are crafted by combining a base item, missives to choose secondary stats and a legendary power that you unlock from various sources. The base legendary items are crafted by the various armor crafting professions. They come in 4 ranks, and you unlock the higher rank version by crafting the rank below.
In addition you need Soul Ash that scales based on the rank of the base item you use.
Soul Ash caps and gains
Blizzard has changed the Soul Ash Cap and gains. You can now earn a maximum of 1140 Soul Ash in one week from Torghast. A rank 1 legendary requires 1250 Soul Ash to craft. In addition there are some one-time rewards. You will be able to get a rank 1 week 1. Week 2 you can go to a rank 2 legendary. I expect many players will choose to save for a rank 2 directly week 2 to save gold, whereas the more hardcore players will get one ASAP to speed up initial gearing.
In an earlier build the base legendary item recipes were all obtained from the profession trainer. In the latest build the source has been moved to the Runecarver in Torghast. This means you need to level to 60 on any character you want to craft base legendary items on. Since you don’t need them week 1, you have time to powerlevel multiple profession alts if you want to take full advantage. I am certainly planning to that.
Reduced vendor costs
The Orboreal shards had their vendor price reduced from 1000 gold to 125. It also looks like the required number of items were reduced. This cuts the cost floor significantly and the value will now be primarily driven by the value of materials, which primarily will be bought and sold from other players.
Material costs are high
I did not mention this in my post, but the overall material costs for the base legendary items are really high. Nothing else comes even remotely close, so they will drive a significant portion of the overall demand for materials early on. You will have to churn through a lot, particularly to level the higher ranks of the recipes as the material costs increase for each level.