Game: Wrath of the Lich King
Content Type: Gaming Guides
In World of Warcraft Skinning is the most focused gathering profession. While others, like Mining and Herbalism, farm materials used for multiple professions, collecting Leather and Hides from mobs only allows you to pursue Leatherworking as a primary, crafting profession. Because of this, it’s recommended that only Shamans, Hunters, Rogues, and Druids pursue both as a profession combination if they’d like to craft their own gear.
In WotLK, Blizzard added two endgame Skinning items that you can trade directly for BoE, Rare and Epic Leatherworking patterns. Arctic Fur and Heavy Borean Leather can buy you recipes like Pattern: Giantmaim Legguards, Pattern: Revenant’s Breastplate, or Pattern: Polar Cord. Using these two as currencies and for crafting can potentially lead to exorbitant prices for stacks of them on the AH. This can turn into huge profits or a massive expense, depending on your server’s economy and your willingness to farm.
All you’ll need to begin is a Skinning Knife, and you’re ready to go.
Like most professions, Blizzard made trainers in any capital city able to teach you Apprentice through Artisan Skinning. All you need to do is ask a guard and follow their directions.
After crossing through the Dark Portal, your Master trainer is going to be in your first questing area. The Horde will speak with Moorutu in Thrallmar, and the Alliance will speak with Jelena Nightsky in Honor Hold. If you have access to Shattrath, any player can also find Seymour in Lower City. Because Skinning depends on the level of the mob you’re killing, however, there’s no distinct advantage to using a neutral trainer.
In Northrend, Alliance players will find their Grand Master trainer, Trapper Jack, in their fist questing area, Valiance Keep, just like in Outland. The Horde, however, will have to venture to Taunka’le Village which is northwest of Warsong Hold towards the Sholazar Basin border. There, they’ll find Tiponi Stormwhisper, who can teach them Grand Master Skinning. If you’ve taken up Leatherworking, you can also find your trainer, Awan Iceborn, in the Village.
If you have access to Dalaran, you can also learn Grand Master from Derik Marks, but like with Outland, there is no distinct advantage offered by using the neutral trainer.
In Vanilla, leveling Skinning is a fairly time intensive process. Like other gathering professions, the materials will appear in level appropriate areas, but because the leather comes from mobs, you’ll need to go to zones with skinnable creatures in specific level ranges to increase your skill. If you’re questing, this should happen naturally, but if you’re using this as a power leveling guide, zones in which you can complete “circuits”, or loops, are listed below and marked with K for Kalimdor or EK for Eastern Kingdoms.
- To begin, all you need to do is leave your capital city and kill beasts in the surrounding zone, irrespective of faction or continent. They should all drop Ruined Leather Scraps or Light Leather.
After you’ve reached 65, return to your trainer and learn Journeyman Skinning.
- Medium Leather is skinned from mobs levels 15 – 30. While it can be found in any zone in that level range, these are especially filled with beasts:
- Heavy Leather is skinned from beasts between levels 30 and 45, and can be farmed in:
Once you’ve skinned enough Heavy Leather to reach 150, you should go learn Expert Skinning.
- Continue collecting Heavy Leather until you reach about 175 or 180. You can continue in the same zones as above.
- After, you can start collecting Thick Leather, which is generally dropped by mobs between 45 – 52. Most higher level zones should have whelps or other beasts, but these are especially easy to farm in:
When you reach 225, it’s time to train up to Artisan and start wrapping up the Vanilla content.
- Until you reach between 235 and 240, you should keep farming Thick Leather from the zones above.
- Then, it’s time to find Rugged Leather. It’s skinned from mobs 52 – 60, and the easiest zones to farm for it are:
After you’ve skinned enough to hit at least 275, you can cross into Outland and become a Master. If you want to stay in Old World content until you hit 300 to avoid some of the competition for mobs in TBC, that’s also entirely possible.
- Hellfire Peninsula – On the path out towards Terokkar
- Netherstorm – Making circuits in Eco-Dome Midrealm
- Nagrand – In the plain between Halaa, Garadar, southwest of Throne of the Elements, farm Talbuk Thorngrazer
Once you’ve reached 375, it’s time to take the zeppelin to Northrend and complete your leveling.
Like in TBC, the zone sizes and single type of leather drops from mobs in WotLK makes farming go much faster. If you’re level capped, or have come across either of the areas below while questing, these spots in Sholazar and the Storm Peaks can help you reach you skill cap quickly. They also double as great spots to farm Borean Leather to make Heavy Borean Leather. If you haven’t reached them yet, you can skin beasts in Grizzly Hills or Howling Fjord.
375 – 450: Borean Leather
- Sholazar Basin – Hardknuckle Forager and Hardknuckle Charger between Lifeblood Pillar and Skyreach Pillar
- The Storm Peaks – Rhinos and Wyrms between Temple of Storms and Terrace of the Makers
Endgame (Heavy Borean Leather and Arctic Fur)
Once you’ve reached 450, the value of Skinning lies in your ability to farm Heavy Borean Leather and Arctic Fur. You can use these two materials to buy high-level Leatherworking patterns from Braeg Stoutbeard in Dalaran. The gear these patterns create can boost players iLvl before raiding or offer an initial edge in other endgame content; all the gear is also BoE, meaning it can be sold on the AH for potentially huge profits.
For 3x Heavy Borean Leather, the Epic patterns you can purchase are:
- Pattern: Polar Vest
- Pattern: Polar Cord
- Pattern: Polar Boots
- Pattern: Icy Scale Chestguard
- Pattern: Icy Scale Belt
- Pattern: Icy Scale Boots
You can also trade 10x Heavy Borean Leather for 1x Arctic Fur.
For 2x Arctic Fur, you can purchase: