WotLK Classic Inscription Profession and Leveling 1-450 Guide
Inscription is the new profession introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. It provides players with powerful glyphs, scrolls, vellums for Enchanting, Darkmoon cards and epic off-hand items of pre-raid quality, and shoulder enchants. This guide will show you how to level Inscription from level 1 to 450.
Inscription is a very well-rounded and useful profession that turns herbs into pigments with its unique Milling ability, which are then used to craft items that provide benefits in many areas of the game:
- Vellums — Scribes can create enchanting vellums that Enchanters can use place their enchantments on and then sell them in the Auction House. This means that it is no longer necessary to search long and hard for a suitable Enchanter who can make your enchants.
- Glyphs — Glyphs are items created by Scribes that can modify many abilities of a given class in unique ways. Each class can have up to 6 glyphs active at once, divided into 3 major and 3 minor glyphs.
- Scrolls — Inscription can create a variety of buff scrolls that can be used as an aid to levelling or even as buffs in raids.
- Darkmoon Cards — Darkmoon cards from Vanilla, TBC, and WotLK can be crafted by Scribes.
- Off-Hands — players with Inscription can create powerful off-hand items.
- Shoulder Enchants — Inscription provides more powerful shoulder enchants than the regular ones available.
While Inscription has a lot of benefits, it needs to be said that this profession might not be considered the best for raiding, but it is very close to. If you are optimizing your character(s) for raiding, depending on the class, it is possible that Inscription is slightly worse than other professions. Note, however, that to reach the maximum profession level of 450 in WotLK, you need a character of at least Level 65.
Inscription Training and Trainers
Skill levels 1-300 (Apprentice to Artisan) are taught by trainers in the capital cities of each faction. Talking to any city guard will open a dialogue window which can lead you to the profession trainers by showing a red flag on the map and an arrow on the minimap.
Skill levels 300-375 (Master) requires Level 50 and can be trained in Hellfire Peninsula. Alliance players should be looking for Michael Schwan in Honor Hold, while Horde players will learn the arts from Neferatti inside the Thrallmar tower.
Becoming a Grand Master (level 375-450) requires Level 65 and will require you to venture out to Northrend:
- Alliance players have two options
- Horde players will want to seek out one of their two trainers instead
- The neutral trainer is Professor Pallin and is accessible by both factions in Dalaran.
In order to level Inscription efficiently, you will want to craft items that appear Orange or Yellow in your Inscription crafting window. Orange items guarantee a skill-up while Yellow have a high chance of granting a skill-up. Crafting Green items for leveling Inscription should be only considered when you can sell the crafted items on the auction house for profits. Gray items never give skill-ups.
There are many ways to level Inscription. Please remind yourself that you should always consider the value of the items you use for leveling a profession. The material cost and the Auction House value of your crafts can differ from server to server, and even from day to day. In consequence, this guide suggests items that are more likely to be useful and will have a higher chance of selling in the Auction House.
Preparations and Information About Pigments
When you seek out an Inscription Trainer, buy a Virtuoso Inking Set. Further, you will need herbs to mill for pigments with the Milling ability. Milling destroys 5 herbs of a type to give you 2-4 Common pigments and, depending on the herb type, 1-3 Uncommon pigments. Common pigments are used for the basic inks and Uncommon pigments for the special Uncommon inks which are sometimes needed for leveling Inscription. Higher level herbs also require a higher Inscription skill to be milled. The following table shows you which herbs mill into which pigment type at what rate, and the required Inscription skill:
|Pigment||50% Uncommon||25% Uncommon||Req. Inscription skill|
That means you gain an average of 3 Common pigments per cast of Milling (in other words, per five herbs). For the Uncommon pigments, you gain an average of one pigment per mill from the herbs in the 50% column, and an average of half an Uncommon pigment per mill from the herbs in the 25% column.
- Common pigment — 0.6 per herb
- Uncommon pigment — 0.1 per 50% herb, 0.05 per 25% herb
Calculating the Number of Herbs Required to Obtain Pigments
While it might sound a little bit difficult at first, this information can help you to find out how many herbs you need to buy for a certain amount of pigments. If you need 20 Golden Pigments, for instance, you will need to buy 20/0.6 = 33.33 herbs. However, since milling is restricted to 5 herbs at a time, you need to buy 35 Kingsblood, Liferoot, Grave Moss, or Wild Steelbloom.
For gathering Uncommon pigments, such as 7 Burnt Pigments, check the table above. If Milling Kingsblood and Liferoot, you need to divide 7 by 0.1, resulting in 70 of these herbs being required (since 70 can be divided by 5). If you want to mill Grave Moss or Wild Steelbloom instead, divide 7 by 0.05 to get 140, which means you need to buy and mill 140 of these herbs to gain an average of 7 Burnt Pigments.
To summarize: the basic formula for herbs needed is the number of pigments you want divided by the Pigment Number (0.6 for common pigments, 0.1 for 50% Uncommon, and 0.05 for 25% Uncommon). If the result does not end with 0 or 5, round up to the next number ending with 5 or 0.
Ink Types and Ink Trader
From the pigments you gain from milling, you can make 16 different inks, Common inks from Common pigments and Uncommon inks from Uncommon pigments. Here is a list of which inks you gain from which pigments and how many herbs you need on average for one ink:
|Ink type||Pigment needed||Possible Herbs||Average Herbs Required|
|Ivory Ink||Alabaster Pigment||
|Moonglow Ink||2x Alabaster Pigment||
|Midnight Ink||2x Dusky Pigment||
|Hunter's Ink||Verdant Pigment||
|Lion's Ink||2x Golden Pigment||
|Dawnstar Ink||Burnt Pigment||
|Jadefire Ink||2x Emerald Pigment||
|Royal Ink||Indigo Pigment||
|Celestial Ink||2x Violet Pigment||
|Fiery Ink||Ruby Pigment||
|Shimmering Ink||2x Silvery Pigment||
|Ink of the Sky||Sapphire Pigment||
|Ethereal Ink||2x Nether Pigment||
|Darkflame Ink||Ebon Pigment||
|Ink of the Sea||2x Azure Pigment||
|Snowfall Ink||2x Icy Pigment||
|Ink type||Pigment needed||Possible Herbs||Average Herbs Required|
The information above can be useful if you want to integrate or avoid Uncommon inks in your inscription leveling process. It gives you an idea of how many green inks you can expect from milling certain herbs for Common inks.
Any of these inks can be bought from Jessica Sellers in Dalaran for 1x Ink of the Sea, except for Snowfall Ink, which requires 10x Ink of the Sea. The Uncommon inks can often be used to skill up, as many of the Uncommon pigments are considered worthless.
Inscription Leveling Guide
Move to one of the Inscription trainers in the major cities of your faction and learn Inscription. After each of the steps below, make sure to check your Inscription trainer for new recipes and learn them. Whenever you need to make new inks, be sure to have the required pigments or herbs for milling in your inventory. The whole guide is divided into segments for each time you have to use new herbs for milling and tries to avoid leveling with Yellow skill recipes. The amount of herbs needed is the average amount needed, so you might end up needing more or less. This is because of variance when milling. Unless mentioned in bold, go with the cheapest herb type for each segment.
Skill Ups 1-75
- Mill for or use the 70 Alabaster Pigments.
- 1-20 — 20x Ivory Ink (20x Alabaster Pigment)
- 20-35 — 20x Scroll of Spirit (20x Ivory Ink, 20x Light Parchment)
- 35-55 — 25x Moonglow Ink (50x Alabaster Pigment)
- Learn Journeyman Inscription from the trainer.
- 55-75 — 22x Armor Vellum (22x Moonglow Ink, 44x Light Parchment)
Skill Ups 75-100
- 40x Dusky Pigment (70x Bruiseweed, Stranglekelp Briarthorn, Mageroyal or Swiftthistle)
- 11-21 Light Parchment
- 0-10 Verdant Pigment
- Mill for or use the 40x Dusky Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 75-80 — 20x Midnight Ink (40x Dusky Pigment)
- 80-81 — Learn and use Minor Inscription Research (1x Moonglow Ink, 2x Light Parchment)
- 81-85 — 4x Any Orange skill glyph (4x Midnight Ink, 4x Light Parchment)
- 85-95 — Craft as many Hunter's Ink as you can from the Verdant Pigments you have received from milling.
- 85-100 — 5-15 Any Orange skill glyph (5-15x Midnight Ink, 5-15x Light Parchment)
Skill Ups 100-150
- 90x Golden Pigment (150x Kingsblood, Liferoot, Grave Moss or Wild Steelbloom)
- 35-45x Common Parchment
- 10x Burnt Pigment from the milling above or from the Auction House.
- Mill for or use the 90x Golden Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 100-105 — 45x Lion's Ink (90x Golden Pigment)
- 105-125 — 20x Any Orange skill glyph (20x Lion's Ink, 20x Common Parchment
- Learn Expert Inscription from the trainer.
- 125-135 — Craft as many Dawnstar Ink as you can from the Burnt Pigments you have received from Milling. You will need at least 10x Dawnstar Ink later.
- 125-135 — 0-10 Any Orange skill glyph (0-10x Lion's Ink, 0-10x Common Parchment)
- 135-145 — 10x Any Orange skill glyph (10x Lion's Ink, 10x Common Parchment)
- 145-150 — 5x Strange Tarot (10x Dawnstar Ink, 5x Lion's Ink, 5x Common Parchment)
Skill Ups 150-200
- 90x Emerald Pigment (150x Wintersbite, Fadeleaf, Goldthorn or Khadgar's Whisker)
- 45-55x Common Parchment
- 10x Indigo Pigment from the milling above or from the Auction House.
- Mill for or use the 90x Emerald Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 150-155 — 45x Jadefire Ink (90x Emerald Pigment)
- 155-165 — 10x Any Orange skill glyph (10x Jadefire Ink, 10x Common Parchment)
- 165-170 — 5x Scroll of Intellect III (5x Jadefire Ink, 10x Common Parchment)
- 170-175 — 5x Any Orange skill glyph (5x Jadefire Ink, 5x Common Parchment)
- 175-180 — Craft as many Royal Ink as you can from the Indigo Pigments you have received from milling. You will need at least 10x Royal Ink later.
- 175-180 — 0-5x Scroll of Agility III (0-5x Jadefire Ink, 0-10x Common Parchment)
- 180-195 — 15x Any Orange skill glyph (15x Jadefire Ink, 15x Common Parchment)
- 195-200 — 5x Arcane Tarot (10x Royal Ink, 5x Jadefire Ink, 5x Common Parchment)
- Learn Artisan Inscription from the trainer.
Skill Ups 200-250
- 90x Violet Pigment (150x Blindweed, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Arthas' Tears, Firebloom, Purple Lotus or Sungrass)
- 55-65x Heavy Parchment
- 10x Ruby Pigment from the milling above or from the Auction House.
- Mill for or use the 90x Violet Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 200-205 — 45x Celestial Ink (90x Violet Pigment)
- 205-215 — 10x Any Orange skill glyph (10x Celestial Ink, 10x Heavy Parchment)
- 215-220 — 5x Scroll of Intellect IV (5x Celestial Ink, 10x Heavy Parchment)
- 220-225 — 5x Any Orange skill glyph (5x Celestial Ink, 5x Heavy Parchment)
- 225-230 — Craft as many Fiery Ink as you can from the Ruby Pigments you have received from milling. You will need at least 10x Fiery Ink later.
- 225-230 — 0-5x Scroll of Agility IV (0-5x Celestial Ink, 0-10x Heavy Parchment)
- 230-240 — 10x Any Orange skill glyph (10x Celestial Ink, 10x Heavy Parchment)
- 240-250 — 10x Weapon Vellum II (10x Fiery Ink, 10x Celestial Ink, 20x Heavy Parchment)
Skill Ups 250-290
- 80x Silvery Pigment (135x Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom, Dreamfoil or Golden Sansam)
- 25-40x Heavy Parchment
- 0-15x Sapphire Pigment from the milling above or from the Auction House.
- Mill for or use the 80x Silvery Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 250-255 — 40x Shimmering Ink (80x Silvery Pigment)
- 255-260 — 5x Scroll of Spirit V (5x Shimmering Ink, 10x Heavy Parchment)
- 260-275 — 15x Any Orange skill glyph (15x Shimmering Ink, 15x Heavy Parchment)
- Move to the Outland Trainer. Learn Master Inscription from the trainer.
- 275-290 — Craft as many Ink of the Sky as you can from the Sapphire Pigments you have received from milling.
- 275-290 — 0-15x Any Orange skill glyph (0-15x Shimmering Ink, 0-15 Heavy Parchment)
Skill Ups 290-350
- 100x Nether Pigment (170x Ancient Lichen, Mana Thistle, Netherbloom, Nightmare Vine, Dreaming Glory, Felweed, Ragveil or Terocone) We recommend using the herbs printed in bold for more Ebon Pigments, and you probably need more of these herbs, as 45 Pigments are required.
- 10x Heavy Parchment
- 40-45x Resilient Parchment
- 45x Ebon Pigment from the milling above or from the Auction House.
- 45x Primal Life
- Mill for or use the 120x Nether Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 290-305 — 50x Ethereal Ink (120x Nether Pigment)
- 305-310 — 5x Scroll of Strength VI (5x Ethereal Ink, 10x Heavy Parchment)
- 310-320 — 10x Any Orange skill glyph (10x Ethereal Ink, 10x Resilient Parchment)
- 320-325 — Craft as many Yellow skill glyphs as needed to reach 325 skill (5-10x Ethereal Ink, 5-10x Resilient Parchment).
- 325-330 — Craft as many Darkflame Ink as you can from the Ebon Pigments you have received from milling.
- 325-330 — 0-5x Any Orange skill glyph (5x Ethereal Ink, 5x Resilient Parchment)
- 330-340 — 10x Greater Darkmoon Card (30x Darkflame Ink, 30x Primal Life, 10x Ethereal Ink, 10x Resilient Parchment)
- 340-345 — 5x Glyph of Ambush (5x Ethereal Ink, 5x Resilient Parchment)
- 345-350 — 5x Greater Darkmoon Card (15x Darkflame Ink, 15x Primal Life, 5x Ethereal Ink, 5x Resilient Parchment)
- Move to the Northrend Trainer. Learn Grand Master Inscription from the trainer.
Skill Ups 350-450
- 164x Azure Pigment (275x Adder's Tongue, Icethorn, Lichbloom Deadnettle, Fire Leaf, Goldclover, Talandra's Rose)
- 111-126x Resilient Parchment
- 2x Icy Pigment for your first Northrend Inscription Research, 2 more Icy Pigments per Inscription Research.
- Mill for or use the 164 Azure Pigment, keep the Uncommon pigments.
- 350-355 — 82x Ink of the Sea (186x Azure Pigment)
- 355-375 — 20x Any Orange skill scroll (20x Ink of the Sea, 40x Resilient Parchment)
- 375-380 — Craft as many Snowfall Ink as you can from the Icy Pigments you have received from milling. You will need these for Northrend Inscription Research later.
- 380-385 — Craft as many Yellow skill glyphs as needed to reach 385 skill (5-10x Ink of the Sea, 5-10x Resilient Parchment).
- 385-386 — Learn and use Northrend Inscription Research (3x Ink of the Sea, 1x Snowfall Ink, 5x Resilient Parchment).
From 386 to 400 you have to skill with either Yellow or Orange skill glyphs, or with Northrend Inscription Research. The glyphs cost 1x Ink of the Sea and 1x Resilient Parchment each, so at least 14 Inks and Parchments. At 400 skill, you can learn your Inscription-specific shoulder enchant, which is either Master's Inscription of the Axe, Master's Inscription of the Crag, Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle, or Master's Inscription of the Storm.
Further, the skill level of 400 also unlocks Darkmoon Card of the North, Iron-bound Tome and Faces of Doom, which are decent pre-raid off-hand items for casters. The Darkmoon Card of the North creates a random Northrend Darkmoon card and requires 6x Snowfall Ink, 3x Ink of the Sea, 3x Eternal Life, and 1x Resilient Parchment. The Darkmoon cards can be combined into a complete set and give the powerful trinkets Darkmoon Card: Greatness — there are four different versions of this card with +90 Strength/Agility/Intellect or Spirit — Darkmoon Card: Death, Darkmoon Card: Illusion, and Darkmoon Card: Berserker!. The two Epic tomes mentioned above require 5x Snowfall Ink, 2x Ink of the Sea, 1x Frozen Orb, and 10x Resilient Parchment each.
- 400-425 — 25x Any Orange skill scroll (25x Ink of the Sea, 50x Resilient Parchment)
- 425-430 — Craft as many Yellow skill scrolls as needed to reach 430 skill (5-10x Ink of the Sea, 10-20x Resilient Parchment).
From this point on, you will have to learn new glyphs from Book of Glyph Mastery and Northrend Inscription Research, and skill with that. At 440 skill, you may also skill with Runescroll of Fortitude for 1x Snowfall Ink and 5x Resilient Parchment per craft. Each of the two Inscription research types is on a 20-hour cooldown and should be used all the time in order to learn all glyphs. Darkmoon cards will remain Orange until 450 skill, but they are expensive to make.
Congratulations! You are now a Grand Master Inscriptionist! You now have the skill to learn all possible glyph recipes and create whatever you like.
Inscription is just one of the many professions you may choose to level in Wrath of the Lich King Classic. To learn more about the other options available, we recommend checking out our overviews of all professions and their unique bonuses below.
- 09 Oct. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 4
- 16 Sep. 2022: Adjusted rare pigment number.
- 07 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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