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The Death Knight Tank and You: Professions Part 1

November 17, 2009

“Munch, I am going to grab some water, do NOT touch the frag belt I just modded, alright?” Says a goggle-wearing Death Knight…

What part of do NOT touch did you not understand!?
The part… with you being … a Blood Elf…

Welcome class, my regrets for your classmate, he should have known not to stand near Munchy in the middle of an explosives lab. Worry not, Gnomes will be even more replaceable once we get access to Goblins! Trust me, he will be in good hands.

As any character, you should pick up two professions. The first reason for this is to simply make some quick cash, because face it, you can not repair all that plate gear on you without any cash, students! Secondly, professions have an indirect and/or direct effect on our performance as a Tank. Each profession has gear that can be created for any player in WoW, but they also give special bonuses for you to boot!

There are 3 gathering skills (skinning/mining/herbalism) and 8 crafting professions, each of these gives a flat-out buff, special ability, or gear enhancement specifically for the player. Any combination of these has a chance to be beneficial for a class in WoW, but as a Death Knight Tank, what should we be looking for out of our professions’ bonuses?

Well, with 24 different combinations of skills available to a single player,  and the ability to only pick 1 of those combinations, it can be quite a challenge to pick which is beneficial to both your income of Gold and increased performance as a Tank. Let us cut into this so-called chase and explore which skills will be beneficial as a Tank, but do remember, you are entitled to your own opinion! (Just your opinion may not be most beneficial as a Tank).

Note: The benefits listed are based upon 450/450 skill in them!

Gathering Skills

Simply put, each of these skills allows us to take from the world. Whether it be picking flowers, finding ore inside of a rock, or ripping the skin off of an animal, each acts as a base for practically every single profession in the entire game. All are simplistic to level up, as well as great ways to rake in the cash.

Pickin’ flowers eh? Fine, if you want to frolic amongst the Priests you may. As a Herbalist the ability Lifeblood is granted to your worthless soul! Once clicked it allows you to be a Resto Druid for 5 seconds, every 3minutes. This meaning that you can heal yourself for 3600 HP with a bunch of pretty little flowers placed all around you. How  useful! Hell, another free Heal is never a thing to pass up, so in that case it is  certainly an O.K. profession to fill in the void.

As a Herbalist, your Herbs are needed by Scribes and Alchemists in order to create potions, flasks, glyphs, and scrolls. Since there is constantly a great market for all of these items it will rake in the cash substantially. Even if you do not AH your findings and instead use them to craft your own items you will be able to save a KILLING on some very pricey Raid Flasks/Glyphs!

Elno’s Word: Alright, it is certainly an easily defended choice of profession. The Lifeblood ability produces a noticeable amount of HP, and it is very simple to level. Is it my top choice? No, but it is definitely a good option to consider as a Tank.


If bashing a rock, armed only with a tiny pick, does not sound manly to you, then I have absolutely no clue what would be. Out of all of the gathering skills combined it is the proud owner of the most useful “ability” for a Tank. Toughness at its max level of 450 adds an extra 60 STAM to your stats. A little over 600 HP by leveling one of the easiest trade skills in this entire game? Sign me the hell up!

From a money perspective, you will be able to mine Ore needed by Jewel Crafters, and turn that ore into bars for the Engineers and Blacksmiths (Jewel Crafters as well) on your server. Titanium and Titansteel bars will sell for an absolute killing, and the gems you gather as you scour the regions for these nodes will be able to be turned into useful gems to place into gear.

Elno’s Word: Honestly, I would be hard-pressed not to take up Mining as a Tank. It is practically brainless to level, produces an excellent amount of cash, and gives 60 STAM to boot! What is not to like about this?


The Native Americans used practically every part of any animal they would kill. It is a damn waste to leave that Rhino laying there to decay! Luckily Skinners will take these rotting carcasses and recycle them into useable pieces of fine leather. The bonus it gives, however, is the least-desired out of all of the Gathering Skills. Master of Anatomy, despite having a badass name, is not desired for a Tank. We do not need Crit, if it comes off of the 2H that is perfectly fine, but we should not be gemming/enchanting/leveling trade skills solely to get the extra Crit. However, as a DPS the extra 40 crit is not half bad.

As for being a tycoon as a Skinner, your audience is not horrible. You get Leatherworkers and maybe a Tailor to consume your dead animal skins as they make “stylish” clothing articles for everyone to wear. Yes, you are the sole reason RPers look so good, congratulations!

Elno’s Word:  Despite being useful, I would rather pick flowers than skin wild beasts, the benefits are just not worth my time. Although it is the easiest Gathering skill to level, a Tank should not be touching this with a 10 ft pole.

We can dance if we want to!


At this point in time of WoW there are 5 different Trade skills to choose from. All of which have their uses and perks in-game. Most of the trade skills require gathered materials that one (or more) of the three Gathering skills can acquire, because of this many people level a gathering skill and a trade skill that cooperates with it well. The perfect synergy, but what Trade skills (if any) will we be choosing!?


What could be less many than picking flowers for a living? Why making dresses of course! First of all, as a Death Knight we do not even bother wearing Cloth, and as a Tank this goes double do to the lack of useful Stats and armor. This is solely needed for the clothies, and just incase you have not noticed, we wear PLATE, especially as a Tank. The only use we would be getting out of Tailoring will be the bags, so if you are that dead set upon leveling it, go make a Priest for Christ’s sake.

Tailors can make leg enhancements for everyone, but as a perk for a Tailor these leg enhancements only cost a mere 1g thread to create. These enhancements are called Master’s Spellthread and Sanctified Spellthread; they give 50 spellpower and 30 STAM, and  50 spellpower and 20 Spirit respectfully. Just to burst your bubble, despite the fac that we do have Spells as Death Knight Tanks, they do NOT scale based upon spellpower, instead they work off of our Attack Power. That perk? Useless, but hey, you can make a Magic Carpet mount which makes it totally worth it! (Seriously, it is pretty epic)

Edit: Thy whom make bags also have an embroidery for their cloaks, on top of the Spellthreads for their legs. Shadowguard Embroidery, Darkglow Embroidery, and Lightweave Embroidery would be their names, and of course the mats are pretty cheap and worthwile. However, if you are a Tank, it is TOTALLY not worth your time to go for any of these. First, Darkglow and Lightweave are completely useless because once again, we do not use spellpower and do not even have Mana as a rescource. Shadowguard is not half bad however, but for the amount of time to get to that point in Tailoring is just not worth a 400 AP chance on hit proc on my cloak.

Elno’s Word: For Christ’s sakes, I know it is extremely easy to level, but there are absolutely no perks into leveling Tailoring. Even if it was useful, do you really want to be THAT GUY who makes dresses at the Ebon Hold?


Everyone who wishes to accomplish anything end-game will find your name and make you their new best friend, seriously. You are the guy that can boost their performance, and you can make a killing off of doing so. As an Enchanter you suck the life out of all of the useless Green/Blue/Epic items of the world and turn them into useful materials needed to put powerful spells in your’s and other’s gear. So pick up that rod and let us get to work!

As a perk for Tanks, you can Enchant Ring- Stamina to both of your rings. 30 Stam x 2 = 60 Stam! Yes, about 600hp solely off of Enchanting, and that is pretty frickin’ sweet. Plus, you do not have to go out of your way to buy mats for your own personal enchants, so you will be guaranteed to save a killing off of that.

Elno’s Word: YES! 600 HP extra is certainly a magnificent bonus, just a small price to pay for being the “enchanting bitch” and staying at the bank after Raid nights enchanting guildy’s gear. Trust me, it is made of pure win, and some arcane.

Conclusions Part 1.

As I said earlier, you can make great cash off of any of these gathering skills/trade skills, but which ones should you choose from a Tanking perspective? So far Mining, Herbalism, and Enchanting are the only “viable” options that we have explored so far. Do not worry though, next week we will take an in-depth look into Black Smithing, Jewel Crafting, Engineering, Leatherworking, Inscription, and Alchemy. I hope to see you all there!

Do you have a Death Knight Tanking question you want answered in The Death Knight Tank and You: weekly miniguide? Drop us an email at !

Happy WoWing!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    November 17, 2009 6:44 PM

    rogue def cap?

  2. Llamaeggs permalink
    November 18, 2009 11:05 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong (wouldn’t be the first time), but doesn’t tailoring give some form of tanking cloak-enhancement? But I’m in agreeance with you… roll a priest for tailoring.

    • November 18, 2009 3:06 PM

      Ah okay, I over-looked that totally. The only one that is even useful to DK’s as a whole is the Shadowguard Embroidery, which procs with 400 AP with a chance each hit.

      400 AP for a Tank is not worth the while to still pick up Tailoring, but I will edit that in the post!

      Thanks again!

  3. November 18, 2009 3:20 PM

    I went with mining and enchanting, fwiw. Enchanting is nice for Cataclysm levelling and gear-churn at L85.

  4. November 18, 2009 3:50 PM

    My mining is maxed and I will be keeping that. I have the whole next week off work … I think I will bite the bullet and level a crafting prof to go with it. Probably JC because I don’t have one of those yet.

    • November 18, 2009 3:57 PM

      DO IT! I’ve been sorely tempted to drop Engi for that, but then I hit my rocket boots and giggle. Delicious gems come to me!

      • November 18, 2009 4:13 PM

        Hehe. I’m so tired of having to buy gems for my mage, I figure I can kill two birds with one stone.

        My priest has engineering. I really should level him. Shadowcopter ftw! It’s only 13 levels away since he’s 47 … hm …….. /tempted. When do I get Mind Sear again?? Ooh 60 is penance too though. I’d have to dual spec. bah.


  1. The Death Knight Tank and You: Professions Part 2 « Plagued Candles

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