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, so let’s start by looking at the cheapest professions: tailoring.
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.
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. I have personally spent about 2 million gold on Tailoring, and I have sales worth 4 million so far, so it has been great for me, but I leveled so I could sell at inflated Rank 2 and 3 prices when they were relevant.
Saving gold on shards
You can save 25 gold per Orboreal Shard by farming exalted with The Ascended of just being a goblin. There is a vendor in Hero’s Rest that sells them with a vendor discount, which is absolutely key.
Running a successful base legendary operation
Keep items in stock
All the ranks have sold for a profit for me personally, with significant swings around the weekly reset when players typically hit new Soul Ash tresholds. This means you want to keep most of your items in stock at all of the available ranks.
You will most likely have to level enchanting to get cheaper access to Enchanted Lightless Silk. This is a huge time sink, and by far the most annoying portion. I have personally saved about 50k so far doing this, which is not crazy, but it does add up.
TSM cannot keep track of what items you have in terms of specific ranks. The way I do it is I open the normal WoW UI and look through my auctions. Then I note down any slot and rank combinations I’m missing and craft 2-4 of those and mail them over to my banker. This ensures I can keep a nice flow and is the easiest way I’ve found to do it so far. I only bother with rank 2 and up as rank 1s are still being dumped for less than crafting on my realm.
Luckily the materials are easy to get as you just need Lightless Silk, Shrouded Cloth, Soul Dust and Orboreal shards. I like to keep a bunch of Shrouded Cloth in my mailbox so I can craft a bunch of stuff whenever I buy more Silk.
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 and are not suited for flipping base legendaries.
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 Shrouded Cloth and Enchanted Lightless Silk. The setup also assumes you can get the full discount for shards, so if you cannot then you should change the value in all the operations to whatever your current price is.