Prospecting shuffles have been a thing since prospecting was introduced. In this post I’ll go over my approach to prospecting and maximizing the value of the results.
Shadowlands prospecting basics
When you prospect shadowlands ores you get two types of materials, gems and essences. The gems can be used by jewelcrafters to craft socketable gems and BoE rings and necklaces. You also get essences that are used to craft base legendaries with jewelcrafting. There are three gem types, that you get in equal proportions from all ores. For the essences you will get equal proportions of each essence from Laestrite and Elethium. The zone specific ores, will each give one specific essence.
We want to find a way to utilize both the gems and essences. The essences is quite easy, as we will use all of those to craft base legendaries. You get relatively few, and will quickly end up with a bag stuffed to the gills with gems you don’t know what to do with. The saviour for me has been the Crafter’s mark 2 recipe for jewelcrafting. This is relatively cheap, particularly considering how many gems you get from prospecting. You can then use the crafter’s mark both to craft 168 jewelcrafting gear, as well as pairing it with another profession to craft 168 gear from that one as well.
Which ore should you prospect?
I would suggest primarily doing Laestrite ore. It is the most time consuming, but it will give you equal quantities of each essence. Elethium is usually too expensive, it gives about 5 times as many essences per ore than Laestrite, but often costs as much as 10 or 15 times more, making it useless for prospecting. Most likely you will eventually run out of Essence of Torment and Rebirth as legendary rings sell a lot better than necklaces. When you do you can refill by prospecting Sinvyr and Phaedrum ore respectively to get just one type of essence.
TSM has the prospecting value implemented for all shadowlands ores, which makes it very easy to check if it is profitable to prospect it. If the prospect value in the tooltip is higher than the current price you should go ahead. It will usually be the case, unless the ore price has spiked up recently.
Pairing with blacksmithing
Personally I have jewelcrafting paired with blacksmithing, which is great as you don’t have to move Shadowghast ingots around. I usually do crafting sessions where I craft 20 of each 168 item after I’ve done a larger prospecting session. There’s a lot of intermediate crafting with this shuffle, but it can all be done with “craft all” so you can go afk while your character is crafting. You can just as easily pair jewelcrafting with leatherworking if you prefer for access to even more slots to craft. This would mean you could go through even larger amounts of ores.