Game: Wrath of the Lich King
Content Type: Gaming Guides
Herbalism is one of the most essential gathering professions in World of Warcraft. It involves gathering herbs which are used as reagents for Alchemy and — since its introduction in TBC — Inscription. Given that neither of those benefits one class specifically, when paired with a crafting profession, Herbalism is suitable for anyone to learn.
Outside of your own immediate use, these herbs are also constantly in demand, as flasks, potions, and pigments are essential to completing content at all levels of the game. Of the gathering professions, Herbalism is one which allows you to make a high amount of profit compared to the time you spend farming. Unlike Mining, the other lucrative gathering profession, the respawn time on shrubs is relatively quick, meaning areas can be farmed for a longer period of time or by a higher number of players than with ores.
An Herbalist’s most valuable skill is Find Herbs, which is learned automatically after training Apprentice Herbalism. Like other gathering profession auras, Find Herbs will indicate on your minimap where gatherable nodes are. As you level through Outland and Northrend using a flying mount, Find Herbs becomes invaluable for a speedy, streamlined leveling process.
Similar to other professions, Herbalism can be leveled alongside your character. Nodes will appear in level appropriate areas and can be used as reagents for items that will scale with your stats. For that reason, Old World and Outland trainers are listed below.
The purpose of this guide, however, is to explain the process for power leveling Herbalism. If you are leveling Inscription or Alchemy alongside this, the materials you collect for this may not match up exactly with those you need to power level both concurrently, but any difference can easily and quickly be made up.
As with most professions, Blizzard made all Old World Herbalism trainers able to teach players to Artisan after patch 3.2. So, to start head to any major city and learn Apprentice. Each has low level herbs in the surrounding area, and 1 – 250 can be completed on either Kalimdor or in the Eastern Kingdoms. As such, when zones are listed the continent is also listed in parenthesis after.
Once you’ve reached the end of Artisan and need to pass through the Dark Portal, you’ll find Herbalism trainers in your faction’s first questing area. For Alliance, this means speaking with Rorelien at Honor Hold, and for the Horde, you’ll need to find Ruak Stronghorn in Thrallmar. As Outland only contains Master level herbs, once you’ve trained, you won’t need to return for additional skills.
Like Master trainers in Outland, Grand Master trainers will be with the other profession instructors in your faction’s Northrend starting zone. For the Alliance at Valiance Keep, this will be Kirea Moondancer, and Tansy Wildmane in Warsong Hold will do the same for the Horde.
If you’re leveling in Northrend at cap, or with access to Dalaran, all players can also train with Dorothy Egan, who can be found in the Magus Commerce Exchange. Unlike crafting professions, however, training with Dorothy in Dalaran doesn’t offer any distinct advantage over training in Borean Tundra, as the herbs available in Crystalsong Forest are not the fastest way to hit 450.
To quickly reach 450, you will have to gather specific herbs in the zones which they grow. Unless otherwise noted, the fastest way to do this is to complete a circle around the outer borders or perimeter of the zone where they are located. These circles are often called “circuits”, and they are the most streamlined way to find nodes.
To start leveling, head to a trainer in any major city and learn Apprentice Herbalism. Make sure to immediately turn on Find Herbs, and leave the city.
From levels 1 – 50, you’ll be gathering Silverleaf, Peacebloom, and Earthroot. Silverleaf and Peacebloom can both be collected from skill level 1 and will spawn abundantly in the areas immediately outside of your capital.
After reaching skill level 15, you’ll be able to collect Earthroot as well. To speed up the leveling process, this is when you should broaden your circuit to the border of your respective zone. As these are low level herbs and occur in uncontested zones, there should be little hostile competition to collect them, and you should be able to finish this step of the process relatively quickly.
Once you hit skill level 50, return to your capital and train Journeyman. From here, you’ll need to leave your starting zone and continue gathering elsewhere.
After learning Journeyman, Darkshore (K), Hillsbrad Foothills (EK), and The Barrens (K) offer the quickest paths to leveling through 100. Completing circuits with special attention to each herb’s specific spawn environments will let you breeze through this section.
Starting at level 50, you’ll be able to collect Mageroyal. Nodes usually spawn at the base of trees or near rivers and streams. In the Eastern Kingdoms, Mageroyal nodes are less plentiful than in Kalimdor, but there should still be enough to consistently level after completing a couple of circuits. Once you reach skill level 70, you’ll also be able to collect Briarthorn from the same zones. This herb spawns at the base of hills or mountains, and it can usually be found near mining nodes.
100 – 115: Bruiseweed
Starting with Bruiseweed, herbs from different level ranges will appear more frequently as you farm, and you will need to start heading into contested zones to find nodes. While it is possible to stay in the Hillsbrad Foothills if you’re gathering in the Eastern Kingdoms, those in Kalimdor will need to go to Stonetalon Mountains or Ashenvale. The Barrens are also a potential spot, but if you’re farming alongside leveling, it’s likely that you’ve moved past this zone already.
115 – 125: Wild Steelbloom
After reaching 115, you can start gathering Wild Steelbloom. The flower has fewer spawns on Kalimdor than in the Eastern Kingdoms, balancing out the difficulty caused by Mageroyal, and the in-game sprite is quite small which makes Find Herbs even more useful.
After reaching 150, return to a trainer to learn Expert.
Between 160 and 225, the next three herbs all grow in the same zones. At 160, you’ll be able to collect Fadeleaf. At 170, you’ll be able to find Goldthorn, and then at 185, Khadgar’s Whisker will be collectable. To find these you can stay in Stranglethorn Vale (EK), or look elsewhere in Swamp of Sorrows (EK), Feralas (K), or Dustwallow Marsh (K).
At any point after reaching 170 head back to a trainer to learn Artisan.
After reaching 210, there are a variety of ways to reach 275.
For those in the Eastern Kingdoms, you’ll need to go to The Hinterlands where you’ll start collecting Purple Lotus. Continue until you reach 230, and then begin gathering Sungrass as well. Once you reach 250, complete the final stretch by farming Ghost Mushroom. These spawn almost exclusively in the area around Skulk Rock, so waiting for respawns may take longer than the other steps of the process.
If you’re farming on Kalimdor, you should continue collecting Khadgar’s Whisker until you reach 220, and then head to Felwood. Once there, begin farming Arthas’ Tear until you reach 250, and then start looking for Gromsblood. 2 or 3 circuits around the whole zone should take you to 275 and allow you to continue to Outland.
At 275, you can either continue farming Old World Content to 300 and head to Outland or you can head directly through the Dark Portal and train up to Master.
Once you cross through to Outland, until you reach 300, you will need to collect the Old World herbs that spawn in Hellfire Peninsula. Coming in at skill level 275, you’ll already be able to gather Golden Sansam and Dreamfoil. These should take you to 280, when you’ll also be able to collect Mountain Silversage. These all spawn throughout the zone, so completing circuits is still the best way to gather them.
If you choose to stay in the Old World, your best option for reaching 300 is to head to the Western Plaguelands in the Eastern Kingdoms, and gather Dreamfoil, and Mountain Silversage, and Plaguebloom once you reach 280.
After training Master Herbalism, you’ll start gathering Felweed in Hellfire Peninsula. Just like in the Old World, completing circuits around the zone will be the fastest way to gather these nodes, but with the addition of flying mounts in Outland, farming should go much faster. Once you reach 315, start collecting Dreaming Glory as well.
Depending on where you spend more time questing, there are multiple ways to reach skill level 350. In Zangarmarsh, you can begin by collecting Ragveil. It is possible to reach 335 — when you can start collecting Flame Cap — by completing circuits around the zone, but there is an especially high concentration of Ragveil nodes in The Dead Mire. Flame Cap nodes are evenly distributed throughout the zone, however, so simply flying circuits will work, too.
If you’re questing in Terrokar Forest, collecting Terocone is a very promising option. The advantage is that it has significantly more spawns than either Ragveil or Flame Cap, but it does become green sooner than Flame Cap does.
Either way, once you reach 350, you can head to Northrend and learn Grand Master.
Once you reach Grand Master, capping your Herbalism becomes a little more complex than the Vanilla or TBC content. While there is less area to cover, the location of herbs is less streamlined and requires you to move between zones more often.
350 – 375: Goldclover
To start off in Northrend, you’ll need to gather Goldclover. It spawns abundantly and can be found in any zone in WotLK besides Icecrown. Given that it is in the starting area of the expansion, there may be a bit of competition to collect it, but the spawn timer is so short that it should not be an issue.
Reaching 425 is the most complex part of getting to 450. If you’re questing in Sholazar Basin, it is possible to gather Tiger Lily starting at skill level 375. It exclusively spawns on the banks of rivers and lakes, making River’s Heart and its tributaries the best locations to farm. Then, when you hit 400, you’ll be able to collect Adder’s Tongue, which grows throughout the zone, meaning you can just complete circuits until you reach 425.
If you end up questing in Zul’Drak, it’s advisable to continue collecting Goldthorn until you reach skill level 380. Then, you can collect Talandra’s Rose. The complication arises because you cannot collect Talandra’s Rose until you reach 425. At some point, you will have to move to Sholazar and start gathering Adder’s Tongue. Collecting Talandra’s Rose isn’t entirely inadvisable, as it is used in Alchemic and Inscription recipes, but it does make the process slightly less streamlined.
To cap, the last two herbs you’ll need to gather are Lichbloom and Icethorn, which are both found in the same zones. In either The Storm Peaks or Icecrown, begin by gathering Lichbloom until you reach 435, and then add in the Icethorn nodes as well. Though the timers on these nodes are a little longer than elsewhere in Northrend, making circuits around either zone should be relatively quick with a flying mount.
And with that, you’ve capped! Keep reading to find out about one of the most valuable herbs in WotLK: the Frost Lotus.
The last herb that you’ll be able to gather in Northrend is the Frost Lotus. It has a small chance of dropping when you gather from regular nodes, so you may have already encountered it as you leveled. But, it’s essential to a number of high level recipes in WotLK, making it incredibly valuable on its own. Alchemists use it to create trinkets and endgame flasks, and Tailors need them to create specialized herb bags.
By themselves, Frost Lotuses are actually quite difficult to gather, and their spawn points are often highly competitive. The primary locations are in Wintergrasp, along the shorelines of the lakes in the center of the zone. If you are on a PvP server, or if you are just flagged, watch out, as Frost Lotuses are incredibly valuable, and if not gathered, they must be purchased from the AH or with a Frozen Orb. The final spawn location is within Ulduar, in the Conservatory of Life. Like in Wintergrasp, the node can be quite deadly to reach, but should be attainable during the course of a normal raid.