I had a request the other day to review professions in light of their benefits to Death Knights. Needless to say this will be a long post. For the min/maxers in the crowd you will need to compare the benefits of each profession against its closest substitute. For example, how much better are the Inscription Shoulder Enchants than the exalted Sons of Hodir ones? Questions such as these will help you decide which two jobs you want.
I will try to break the walls of text down enough that their crits don’t kill you. I’ll review the 3 gathering professions first and then cover the crafting ones. I am also assuming money is no object and you are making your decision based purely off of benefits.
It’s safe to say all three gathering professions are moneymakers. If you are willing to devote an hour a day to these you can rake in big bucks. But that’s true for any class, so the question becomes how do these directly benefit the Death Knight.
Skinning – At max skill you get Master of Anatomy rank 6. This gives you an extra 32-crit rating. DK Tanks can skip this but DPS may be interested,
Herbalism – Lifeblood allows you to restore 2,000 health over 5 seconds at max skill. This doesn’t have a lot of benefit for DPS and even when tanking, the likelihood that this skill is the difference between living and dying is incredibly small. This provides less than 1% of health per second for most tanks.
Mining – Cap mining and you’ll pick up 50 stam. For tanks this will translate to 550 health in Frost Presence, Taurens will get even more. As a tank you are better off with this health buff than Lifeblood from herbalism.
Hope you saved a lot of gold. After you get your epic cold weather flying leveling these to cap will cost you. However, these will provide much more benefits than the gathering professions ever will so min/maxers take heed.
Alchemy – The first benefit is Mixology, which doubles the duration of flasks and elixirs you can make as well as buff their effects. Wowhead comments indicate buffs between 20% to 50%. That means your Mighty Strength gives at least 10 more STR than the usual one etc. There are also two nice trinkets currently, one for DPS and the other for Tanking. Neither is best in slot, but they are nothing to sneeze at either.
Blacksmithing – As of patch 3.08 there are no craftables in BS that a Death Knight would kill for that are Bind on Pickup. Therefore the only benefit this has for us is the ability to add 2 gem sockets, one to your bracer and one to your gloves. If you are a tank and stacking stamina you can easily surpass the stam that Alchemy has to offer with these two slots. Needless to say, two extra gems can be a great boon to DPS as well.
Enchanting – As with most crafting professions there are very few benefits you can’t get off the auction house. For enchanting, what Deathknights will look for are the two enchant Ring spells, 24 Stam for Tanks and 32 AP for DPS. Since these are the only way to improve your rings you will realize the full gains from these.
Engineering – The beauty of this profession remains its helms. You can get some of the best DPS and Tanking helms as early as level 72. Titansteel helms for DPS and Tanking, which you can buy from any Blacksmith, will surpass these in quality. There is also a good trinket that is really nice for tanks and can be fun for DPS as well. The sonic booster grants 81 stam but can occasionally buff AP by 430.
Inscription – The only reason to take this profession is the best in class shoulder enchants. Getting Exalted with Sons of Hodir is nice, but these chants for Tanking and DPS blow them out of the water.
Jewlcrafting – BoP Trinkets for Tanking and DPS, check. Sweet sweet JC only gems, check. The trinkets aren’t best in class but they are very good, it’s the 41 stam and 27 str gems that should get your juices flowing. That’s 17 more stam and 11 more strength than any non JC gem. Add in the fact that these will fill any color and your golden.
Leatherworking – How does 114 AP sound to your wrists if you're DPS, 90 Stam sound better for tanking? If this sounds good, get yourself some Fur Linings and prepare to be OP.
Tailoring – DPS might be interested in the 300 AP proc cloak enchant but there is nothing for Tanks.
Let's see how the professions stack up on some key stats.
Jewlcrafting - 51 Stam (17 more stam per gem x 3 prismatic gems)
Leatherworking - 50 Stam (90 fur lining - 40 enchant bracer)
Mining - 50 Stam
Blacksmithing - 48 Stam ( 2x24 stam extra gems)
Enchanting - 48 Stam (2x24 stam ring enchants)
Jewlcrafting - 66+ AP (11 extra str per gem x 3 prismatic gems)
Black Smithing - 64+ AP ( 2x16 Str gems)
Leatherworking - 64 AP (114 AP - 50 AP wrist enchant)
Inscription - 64 AP (114 AP - 40 from Sons of Hodir)
Enchanting - 64 AP (2x32 AP ring enchants)
Skinning - ~36 AP (Crit rating 32 x EJ APE factor)
I didn't include trinkets since they can be replaced by drops. These two rankings also do not do justice to the buffs to Elixirs and Flasks.
Thanks to all the commenters in helping to clarify this post.
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