Inscription Guide Revised – Levelling

Note: this post contains spoilers for Patch 3.0.

This is the second of a two-part guide to Inscription, the new tradeskill being introduced in Wrath of the Lich King.

Last Update: 10 October; WotLK beta build 9056.
If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

For the full list of Inscription recipes and the complete Inscription Guide, download the guide as a PDF file here: inscription12.pdf. (The full guide is in PDF form because frankly, it’s almost impossible to format all those tables as a blog post.)

Otherwise, read on for the “short” version!

If you’re coming late to the Inscription party you might want to read Part 1: Introduction of my Inscription guide, covering Scribe abilities, how glyphs work, where you’ll find trainers, and what Milling is.

Recipes and Discovery

Inscription Trainers will train Inscription recipes from 1-350 in 3.0.2 and up to 425 in Wrath of the Lich King. (The skill cap is 450.) There are no Inscription recipes known on any vendors yet, nor any recipe drops from mobs. All trainable Glyphs are Major Glyphs.

Minor Glyphs are learnt through discovery, similar to the Alchemy system introduced in The Burning Crusade. You can begin this process by learning Minor Inscription Research from the trainer at 75 skill; this makes random scrolls and gives you a high chance of discovering a new minor glyph.

Northrend trainers also teach a 385 Inscription recipe requiring level 75, Northrend Inscription Research. This recipe ‘compiles your experiences from the day, creating a random assortment of inscribed works. You are very likely to discover new major glyph recipes this way’.

Both Research recipes have a 20-hour cooldown.

Inks, Pigments, and the Herbs That Make Them

  • Ivory Ink: 1x Alabaster Pigment
  • Moonglow Ink: 2x Alabaster Pigment
  • Midnight Ink: 2x Dusky Pigment
  • Hunter’s Ink: 1x Verdant Pigment
  • Lion’s Ink: 2x Golden Pigment
  • Dawnstar Ink: 1x Burnt Pigment
  • Jadefire Ink: 2x Emerald Pigment
  • Royal Ink: 1x Indigo Pigment
  • Celestial Ink: 2x Violet Pigment
  • Fiery Ink: 1x Ruby Pigment
  • Shimmering Ink: 2x Silvery Pigment
  • Ink of the Sky: 1x Sapphire Pigment
  • Ethereal Ink: 2x Nether Pigment
  • Darkflame Ink: 1x Ebon Pigment
  • Ink of the Sea: 2x Azure Pigment
  • Snowfall Ink: 2x Icy Pigment + 2x Azure Pigment


  • Alabaster Pigment: Earthroot, Peacebloom, Silverleaf
  • Dusky & Verdant* Pigment: Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, Swiftthistle
  • Golden & Burnt* Pigment: Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, Wild Steelbloom
  • Emerald & Indigo* Pigment: Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, Wintersbite
  • Violet & Ruby* Pigment: Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, Sungrass
  • Silvery & Sapphire* Pigment: Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • Nether & Ebon* Pigment: All Outland herbs
  • Azure & Icy* Pigment: All Northrend herbs

* – these pigments are uncommon milling results that may appear along with the normal pigment.

Averaged across all herb types (and based on over 1500 trials), milling 100 Herbs (5 at a time) is likely to produce about 54-55 pieces of the common pigment, and 6 or 7 pieces of the uncommon pigment (except Alabaster-level herbs, which don’t have an uncommon pigment). This may vary by pigment type and herb type, although I haven’t done enough tests to be sure yet.

Levelling Inscription

This is the levelling path I recommend.

Note: keep all inks you make, as you’ll need almost all of them (except the Darkflame Ink) for later skillups. Anything marked with a * is a component you should have made in a previous step.

1-18: Ivory Ink x17
– 17 Alabaster Pigment

19-35: Scroll of Int/Spi/Stam x17
– 17 Ivory Ink (from previous)

36-55: Moonglow Ink x25
– 50 Alabaster Pigment

56-75: Armor Vellum x20
– 20 Moonglow Ink (from previous)

76: Minor Inscription Research
– 1 Moonglow Ink (from previous)

77-80: Midnight Ink x25
– 50 Dusky Pigment

81-95: Any orange Glyphs x15
– 15 Midnight Ink (from previous)

96-100: Any orange Glyphs x5
– 10 Midnight Ink (from previous)

100-105: Lion’s Ink x79
– 58 Golden Pigment

106-120: Any orange Glyphs x15
– 15 Lion’s Ink (from previous)

121-145: Any orange Glyphs x25
– 50 Lion’s Ink (from previous)

146-150: Any yellow Glyphs x5+
– 10-14 Lion’s Ink (from previous)

151-155: Jadefire Ink x74
– 148 Emerald Pigment

156-175: Any orange Glyphs x20
– 20 Jadefire Ink (from previous)

176-195: Any orange Glyphs x20
– 40 Jadefire Ink (from previous)

196-200: Any yellow Glyphs x5+
– 10-14 Jadefire Ink (from previous)

201-205: Celestial Ink x74
– 148 Violet Pigment

206-215: Scroll of Recall II x10
– 10 Celestial Ink (from previous)

216-225: Any orange Glyphs x10
– 10 Celestial Ink (from previous)

226-245: Any orange Glyphs x20
– 40 Celestial Ink (from previous)

246-250: Any yellow Glyphs x5+
– 10-14 Celestial Ink (from previous)

251-255: Shimmering Ink x62
– 124 Silvery Pigment

256-260: Scroll of Spirit V x5
– 5 Shimmering Ink (from previous)

261-290: Any orange Glyphs x30
– 60 Shimmering Ink (from previous)

291-295: Any yellow Glyphs x5+
– 5-7 Shimmering Ink (from previous)

296-300: Any green Glyphs x20
– 20 Shimmering Ink (from previous)

301-305: Ethereal Ink x114
– 228 Nether Pigment

306-325: Any orange Glyphs x20
– 20 Ethereal Ink (from previous)

326-355: Any orange Glyphs x30
– 60 Celestial Ink (from previous)

356-360: Any yellow Glyphs x5+
– 10-14 Ethereal Ink (from previous)

361-365: Any green Glyphs x20
– 40 Ethereal Ink (from previous)


  • Note that 295-300 is a problem area; the only recipes which are orange up to 300 skill require Ethereal Ink, which you can’t make until 300 skill. The guide assumes you won’t use these recipes. If you have access to a more advanced Scribe you can ask them to make the Ink for you, which can save you a lot of Shimmering Ink.
  • There may be some occasions where you can capitalize on a cheaper recipe due to incorrect costs – for instance, among the glyphs that cost 2 inks each there’s the occasional glyph costing 1. I haven’t included these in the recommended path as I expect these errors to be fixed before Inscription goes live – but if they’re not, do make use of them!

There are some points where you can’t guarantee the best choice of what to make:

  • Do you make an orange item, or try and skill up on greens with a far smaller mats cost?
  • If you get lucky with rare pigments from your milling, you can get ‘free’ skill points from making items with the rare pigments and inks.

However, I’ve tried to take these factors into account wherever possible.

Finally, where the recommended path relies on yellow or green recipes to skill up, I’ve tried to allow enough materials to make sure you get the necessary skill points; however, I can’t guarantee the outcome of something random. I have generally assumed that 5 skillpoints requires ~7 combines for a yellow recipe, and ~20 combines for a green recipe.

Stopping at 365
Please note that this guide covers powerlevelling to 365, and not 375 or 450. This is due to the following factors:

  • The recipes learnt up to 350 skill will go grey at 3655 skill.
  • There are no recipes beyond 350 until you reach Northrend; levelling beyond 365 skill is not possible until WotLK is released.
  • Most people who use guides of this nature want to know what to stockpile before the profession is implemented, not what to gather in Northrend as they level.

Note that there’s no benefit to going past 350 skill until WotLK is released; if you’re not interested in maxing out your skill level just for the sake of it, you can halve the number of Outland herbs you need.

Picking Which Glyphs to Make
Note that there are no “higher level” versions of a Glyph available; each spell has one Major Glyph available. This means that almost every Glyph you make while you level may be useful even to high level characters; it’s not like grinding other professions where you make bagfuls of lowbie items that you’ll just wind up vendoring. Thus, when you have choices available about what to make, you may wish to consider:

  • which Glyphs you’ll want to use yourself
  • which Glyphs your guildmates or friends might need
  • which Glyphs are considered powerful/useful by high-level players of each class; these will sell well
  • which other items might be useful to stockpile for use or sale (such as the vellums for enchanters, which should be in fairly high demand)

A Final Caveat
Inscription is still in a state of flux! Until it goes live, there’s no guarantee that Blizzard won’t change all the recipes around tomorrow. This is a recommended levelling guide based on the PTR/beta build when it was written, with updates written in where possible, but as always there can be no guarantees that this will be entirely accurate when 3.0.2 goes live.

Shopping List

The bottom line: based on all of the above, here’s what you’ll need to level Inscription as high as possible when 3.0.2 goes live.

  • 150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
  • 100x Briarthorn, Bruiseweed, Mageroyal, Stranglekelp, or Swiftthistle
  • 285x Grave Moss, Kingsblood, Liferoot, or Wild Steelbloom
  • 270x Fadeleaf, Goldthorn, Khadgar’s Whisker, or Wintersbite
  • 270x Arthas’ Tears, Blindweed, Firebloom, Ghost Mushroom, Gromsblood, Purple Lotus, or Sungrass
  • 235x Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom
  • 490x Any Outland herbs

Note that this is a cost increase for every tier of herbs except the Earthroot tier (which remained the same) and the Dreamfoil tier (which now requires less herbs).

If you’re only going to 350 to get all the recipes, not maxing out your skill level, you can halve the number of Outland herbs you need.

Remember: the numbers required can be made up of any of those herbs. For instance, if you need 150 Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf, you could have 45 Earthroot, 10 Peacebloom and 95 Silverleaf. Just make sure they’re in multiples of 5, as you can’t mill less than 5 of a herb.

51 thoughts on “Inscription Guide Revised – Levelling”

  1. You cannot possibly e serious. That’s… that’s gotta be over 1000 herbs. Oh my lord. I don’t think the asian in me can sustain that kind of farming. Oh dear.

  2. @Matticus – well, the problem is that for several stretches, one has to skill up on green recipes, so it takes a loooot of mats.
    @Catrabela – ouch. :/ Well… there’s always time to pick it back up again?

  3. The first version of the guide from the wiki had it at over 1000 herbe 1-300. I am gathering about 10% over the wiki guide to be on the safe side.

  4. @Medros: Old guides were based on the last iteration of Inscription, which had quite different mats costs for some stretches of levelling.

  5. This is very similar in numbers to the guide I read at some other website, not sure which it was though. My bank alt has most of these Materials in his bank already. I’m either going to sell them all on the AH, or level Inscription with my paladin. It takes up quite a bit of bag space, I’ll tell you that much!

  6. Thanks for putting this up. We’re already working on stocking for guildies, and this will help the focus. You rock, and you’re on my Christmas card list, now, too.

  7. Thank you Siha for this guide – it is very useful. I am currently stockpiling herbs ready for the patch, and it looks like I need to farm a few more! I shall be coming back to this post when the patch hits to refer to your levelling guide as well.

  8. @Flaime: Milling now comes for free as part of learning Inscription, so it’ll be available from from skill 1. That’s one of the things Blizzard’s been tweaking a lot lately, so many sources still show it as being learnt at 30 or 35 Inscription.
    @wowblogger: Well, one of the big advantages is scribe-only shoulder enchants; they’re _way_ better than the ones available for everyone else from factional vendors. Last time I looked (although this might have been changed) they had twice as many stat points on them.
    @everyone else: glad people like the guide – hope it’s helpful!

  9. She was only at ~200 anyway so it won’t take long to grind it back up. Makes it more interesting in that I’ll be grinding both at the same time I suppose. Or I could just go get the herbs with my shaman :D

  10. This was exactly what I was looking for as I just rolled up a new team and one of them has herbalism. Now I know that I can’t pass up any herbs that pop up on my tracking map.

  11. Can I just ask for a clarification.
    On your shopping list you state
    150x Earthroot, Peacebloom, or Silverleaf
    60x ……..
    Does this mean 150 of each herb or 150 evenly divided between the three stated herbs?

  12. 150 of any of the herbs – so you could have 45 Earthroot, 10 Peacebloom and 95 Silverleaf.

    (Just have to do it in multiples of 5, as you can’t mill less than 5 of a herb.)

  13. Another question- when you say any outland herb, do you include the cheap plentiful ones? Could someone follow your guide with 360 felweed?

  14. Outland herb means outland herb. Had that not meant Felweed, I’d have said so. :)

    So, to clarify = “Outland herb” = Terocone, Felweed, Dreaming Glory, Ragveil, Ancient Lichen, Netherbloom, Nightmare Vine, Mana Thistle. Maybe Flame Cap, I don’t know (but I doubt it).

  15. From a post I read about inscription it said that Ancient Lichen, Black Lotus, Flame Cap, Fel Blossoms and Nightmare seeds would not be used. Have you seen this change?

  16. I’m pretty sure that I successfully milled some Ancient Lichen, so I think that’s considered a normal herb, but I doubt the others will be millable.

  17. Thanks for this guide :D I got stuck on the part where you need 15 Fiery Inks for Fine Vellum.

    I plan to powerlevel as soon as 3.0 hits :) Knowing about a few of the stumbling stones ahead of time will save me from additional farming I hope.

  18. you guys are all whining about how many herbs you need…. if this guide is only prepared for a 10% increase, then im prepared for a 20% increase from this guide. i now have almost 2000 herbs, 1500 PreBC and 500 BC herbs, im SET and prepared for this xpac, ARE YOU!

  19. I’ve been keeping track of Inscription changes myself through several beta builds and you’ve done a great job of organizing a lot of info.

    In beta build 9014, Minor Inscription Research no longer requires level 75 to perform. I did it on my level 73 spriest last night. : )

    Also in build 9014, the bottom left major glyph is now locked until level 80. So we’ll only have two major glyphs to use when the 3.0 patch hits October 14th.

  20. I just noticed that some of the pigment costs for inks are different in game than what you have in your pdf. The inks seem to follow a pattern of the common ink taking two common pigments and rares taking one rare pigment now.

  21. Changed to what, how bad does it effect the guide?

    Also is there like a good spot to farm Dreamfoil, Golden Sansam, Icecap, Mountain Silversage, Plaguebloom?

    But How bad were the changes to it?

  22. For Dreamfoil et al, I recommend Hellfire Peninsula, especially if you have an epic flying mount on your herber. It has nearly as many dreamfoil and sansam nodes as Azshara (the best herbing zone in old world) and you can fly, so that makes it lots faster.
    As for the changes, I haven’t checked out the new build yet. I will, though.

  23. Please keep me updated as it comes so i can contiune to farm…yay farming !!

    But thank you for doing this, its a great service to us all

  24. Okay so I have been thinking about this, how are we going to make money on this?

    I guess everyone on the server is going to need the major glyphs, so what is everyone thinking about charging? 10-25 gold per?

    Also, once the hype is over, and everyone has their glyphs, what do we do then, I have been thinking about this, i hope im wrong.

    Could someone fill me in please? thank you

  25. after the hype is gone?
    Every Character in the game is going to need 6 glyphs… theres tons of new players and characters and alts made every day, there is always going to be a market for inscription, besides think about pvp and Pve glyphs. maybe when you change your spec your going to need to change your glyphs around, its costly right? (i hope) so yea, that AND the scrolls for enchanting to save an enchant, thats never going to get old. im charging 75g for 1 of those, just cause a mongoose enchant costs you 120g to get in the first place.

  26. If you update this guide prior to launch, can you include a section showing incremental purchases to make from the previously published version (1.1)?

  27. 10-25 gold per? Are you nuts?
    Take a step back and think about what you would pay to have your Holy Light have an AOE component or your Flash of Light having a HoT. Would you pay 10g? 25g? You’d do it without batting an eye. Would you pay 50g? Heck, I would. I’d slow up around the 100g mark, so 75g sounds more right. Esp. considering how much some herbs cost right now. Selling a Major Glyph for 25g is LOSING you money.

  28. @stupid mage
    Prices only reflect the usage of an item for a short period of time. It soon becomes a supply/demand thing where people are willing to make them for cost plus a small fee.

    We saw this when those belts were selling for a 2x or more markup- the prices quickly (a month or two on my server) regulated to the cost of the mats plus a markup that varied depending on how much supply there was on the AH.

  29. I do not see an answer to the most important question. What do we call ourselves? Inscriber, Inscriptionist, Inscripter, Glyph Maker, Inscription Guy/Gal??

  30. Thanks for this – it’s the only updated guide and mat list I’ve been able to find and it’s proven invaluable to me. Appreciate the work you put into it.

  31. Tomorrow is launch day!!! YAY!
    im so anxious that i cant barely sleep, its 12:25 AM and i still just cant wait.
    TYVM for your guide, ill post after i hit 375 scripting,
    @ Laoke – toatly love the “scribe” thing, im callin myself 1 already =D

  32. Great work Siha and scribe is consistant with DnD terms.
    i can see the trade spams already “looking for a scribe pst.”

  33. Hey, G.morning all.
    im DLing the patch as i type this and i must say, i feel like i little kid who put a tack on the teachers chair, just as shes walking into the room, but still didnt notice you….
    RIGHT B4 SHE SITS ON IT…. thats what im feeling right now… the calm before the storm, but im not that calm, sorta almost about to burst with excitement.

  34. “Every Character in the game is going to need 6 glyphs…”

    And potentially 12 if I understand what they’re currently planning to do with dual specing correctly. (ie: each spec can be glyphed out separately)

  35. Has anyone come out with an addon for milling? Going from 1-360 in under 15 hrs of milling is nuts… After the 500th stack I was about to cry, there has to be an easier way to do it… It’s easy as heck to do, not too bad on prices, but yikes on the single

  36. Just some feedback, I actually cut short on a couple of stretches by making cards. In doing so I was gaining skill both from making the cards but also turning the uncommon pigments into their inks at the right times, and saved a lot on the regular inks in the process. The whole stretch of Lion’s Ink was bridged with about 45ish Lion’s ink (mainly between 120 and 145) instead of 79, just by leveraging the uncommons.
    Stupidly, I forgot to actually write down the exact numbers but I made 11 mysterious tarots and 10 strange tarots during the stretch. The dawnstar ink was yellow when I started out and netted me a couple of skillups too.

  37. Getting smarter: 175-180ish (depends on your luck with milling): royal ink
    Arcane tarot only turns yellow at 200, so you can save 15-20 Jadefire inks in that stretch

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