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First off, it is important to note that Blacksmithing is not one of the more profitable professions. It does not start to pay off in a considerable way until the high levels and even then, its usefulness as a money maker pales in comparison to gathering professions. However, Blacksmithing can provide you with some very powerful armor and weapons if you have the patience to stick with it.
Again, Mining is not a requisite for being a good Blacksmith; it’s just really helpful and will save you a lot of gold in material costs.
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Where to find Blacksmithing Plans
Aside from trainers, Blacksmithing Plans are found as random drops, through the very rare vendor and through Faction Vendors. Note that most of the Plans found through Faction Vendors are highly specialized. Cenarion Expedition specializes in Nature-Resist armor, Thorium Brotherhood specializes in old-world Fire-Resist gear, etc. If this is not important to you, it will save you time and money to simply skip many of the Reputation-related Plans.
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Vendoring vs Auctioning
Many of the items you will create to level your Blacksmithing will invariably be useless in the Auction House. A good rule to follow is the “Rule of Thrice.” Place an item you craft in the Auction House three times. If it doesn’t sell any of the three times, vendor it. If it sells one out of three times, drop your price. If it sells two out of three times, things are just right. If it sells all three times, raise the price.
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Grand Master: 351-450
Note: all Blacksmithing items can be made at skill level 440.
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A Final Note
The items presented here are not the only items you can make to level; they are merely the easiest and cheapest to make that will get you the skill points you need. Feel free to make any items you need for yourself along the way.
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The Early levels: Levels 1-75: Rough Sharpening Stones, Rough Grinding Stones, Copper Chain Belts
Enjoy these early stages. Blacksmithing will never be this easy again. Simply mining Copper Veins will give you all you need to make these. Start with the Sharpening Stones, move to the Grinding Stones, then to the belts. Keep 10-15 of the Grinding Stones you make; you will need them later.
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Levels 76-125: Coarse Grinding Stone, Silver Rod, Runed Copper Belt, Rough Bronze Leggings
Save every Coarse Grinding Stone you make. Again, you will need them later. Once you hit 75 Mining, you can make Bronze Bars with 1 Copper Bar and 1 Tin Bar. Do this whenever you get some. Note that most Rods usually sell well at Auction, since they are almost always in demand for Enchanting.
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Levels 125-200: Heavy Grinding Stone, Golden Rod, Green Iron Bracers, Green Iron Leggings, Golden Scale Bracers
Again, keep your Heavy Grinding Stones. They are used in many Plans, and are handy to keep around. Also note that most of the Green Iron gear typically sells well at Auction. If you are leveling Mining as well, make sure you harvest a lot of Iron at this stage. You will need around 300 Iron Bars to get to 200 Blacksmithing.
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Specializing at Level 200: Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing
Once you reach level 200, you must specialize in either Armorsmithing or Weaponsmithing. Both of these paths are comprised mainly of Bind on Pickup plans, meaning you will not be able to sell the specialized equipment you make.
The only characters who should take Armorsmithing are: Shamans, Paladins and Warriors. The high-level armor is composed exclusively of Mail and Plate. Paladins and Warriors are the only classes that can wear plate and the Armorsmithing Mail plans are all geared for Shamans (unless your Hunter needs more Intellect.)
Unlike Armorsmithing, Weaponsmithing is useful for any melee-oriented class. Weaponsmithing allows you to further specialize in Axesmithing, Hammersmithing and Swordsmithing. The differences between these are mainly up to preference; the stats are somewhat similar on the high level equipment and can be useful in different situations and with different specs. Specialize in whichever type of weapon you like using the most.
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The Later Levels: Levels 200-275: Truesilver Rod, Solid Grinding Stone, Heavy Mithril Gauntlet, Steel Plate Helm, Dense Sharpening Stone, Mithril Coif or Mithril Spurs, Thorium Bracers
If you can find or buy the Plans, Mithril Spurs can get you from 235-255. They cost less to make than the Mithril Coif and almost always sell well on the Auction House since everyone likes to ride faster. The rest of the items require copious amounts of Iron, Mithril and Thorium. Hit up the Badlands for your Iron and Mithril, head to Un’Goro for your Thorium.
Save your Solid Grinding Stones. You will need them for later.
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Levels 275-350: Imperial Plate Bracers, Thorium Boots, Fel Weightstone, Fel Iron Armor (Belt, Gloves, Breastplate, Boots), Adamantite Cleaver, Lesser Rune of Shielding
Once you finish with the Imperial Plate Bracers and Thorium Boots, head to Outland and start farming Fel Iron. Note that the rest of the Imperial Plate set can be a good substitute for the Thorium Boots. It will cost more to make but they always sell better.
Craft all of the Fel Iron Armor set. Depending on your server economy, this may be better off being sold to a vendor. Pick up the Lesser Rune of Shielding Plans and make them until they turn grey. These are quite useful, sell well and are very cheap to make.
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Levels 350-420: Cobalt Armor (Bracers, Belt, Helm), Reinforced Cobalt Chestpiece
The Cobalt Armor is easy to make and will get you to around 375. You will need to farm Venture Company Excavators in Sholazar Basin to find the Plans for the Reinforced Cobalt Chestpiece. It takes some time, but is well worth the effort.
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Levels 421-450: Daunting Handguards, Daunting Legplates, Savage Saronite Hauberk
The last few steps of Blacksmithing are amazingly, quite simple. You will need about 280 Saronite Bars and around 25 Eternal Earths to craft the Daunting Handguards/Legplates and the Savage Saronite Hauberk. While there are other items you can craft, these ones require the cheapest of the Eternals, Earth.
Again, note that all the Blacksmithing Plans can be created at 440. 450 is really just a bonus.
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Apart from the satisfaction of reaching the highest peak in your profession, you are rewarded for reaching level 450 by having a huge host of items to make, all of which are Bind on Equip. That's right, every single Blacksmithing plan in Wrath of the Lich King is Bind on Equip. You can, for the first time, sell every item you can make in the new content. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start selling your epics!