I finally got around to moving my Shaman to Pandaria in World of Warcraft. I was a lazy Shaman during Cataclysm, only leaving Orgrimmar on special occasions. He’s my primary Jewelcrafter and backup Alchemist and leveled from 80 to 85 by doing the Jewelcrafting daily quest. While I still perform the daily, the Jewelcrafting recipes and rewards that MoP provides are too enticing to pass up.

Getting my Shaman over to the Jade Forest doesn’t mean he’s still not a lazy Shaman. He’s spec’d as Elemental/Restoration, and I don’t bother gearing him up with two sets of gear. I prefer to focus on picking up spirit-friendly gear, heal regular instance PUGs, and casually quest in my Elemental spec. It’s slow and inefficient, so it’s perfect for me.

If you’re into raiding, you’ll want to make sure you have your best-in-slot chest piece. This can be an interesting choice on how you want to spend your time gearing up when you hit level 90. You can hope that you stumble over Galleon with 39 other people in Valley of the Four Winds. Good luck with that. You can also consider Leatherworking for a number of options. Two epic-level items can be crafted for Resto Shamans, but one requires Blood Spirits and the other does not. While the crafted Robes of the Setting Sun is an upgrade over the Lifekeeper’s Robe, they are very similar and either one will probably be your pre-raid chest piece that you end up going with.

Armor of the Single Cloud 90 Galleon World Boss 16,347
Stormbreaker Chestguard 90 Crafted Leatherworking 16,254
Robes of the Setting Sun 90 Golden Lotus Revered – 2,250 Valor 15,356
Lifekeeper’s Robe 90 Crafted Leatherworking 15,066
Uncasked Chestguard 90 Yan-Zhu the Uncasked Stormstout Brewery (Heroic) 12,454
Crackling Chain of the Golden Lotus 90 Battle Axe of the Thunder King (Quest) Vale of Eternal Blossoms 11,283
Mountain Stream Ringmail 90 Justice Quartermaster 2,250 Justice 11,147
Shivbreaker Vest 90 Lilian’s Soul Scholomance (Heroic) 10,113
Contender’s Scale Chestguard 90 Crafted Leatherworking 9,378
Earthmover Armor 88 The Point of No Return (Quest) Townlong Steppes 9,031
Patchwork Flesh Armor 90 An End to the Suffering (Quest) Scholomance (Heroic) 8,578

My good buddy Rexor has been telling me about this fantastic way to flip cheap, Mists of Pandaria-level Enchanting materials for nice profits in World of Warcraft. I understood his fascination with this scheme: taking advantage of players that don’t understand how Enchanting materials — or the profession, in general — work in the new expansion. If you’re making gold, the two best markets to be in are selling items that are confusing to players, or selling items in high demand to lazy and/or desperate raiders. The Sha Crystal conversion covers both of these markets.

With MoP, we are introduced to a new tier of Enchanting mats just as we were in the previous expansions. The Sha Crystal is the epic-level Enchanting mat, currently used in five Enchanting recipes. The enchants produced when using Sha Crystals are only necessary when players reach end-game, or when they pick up an item that they probably won’t upgrade for some time. While most players are busy leveling alts, battling pets, or tilling their farm, you can spend a few moments with me and figure out whether or not you want to make some gold with Enchanting.

The Conversion

Before we can confirm whether or not the Sha Crystal conversion market is worthwhile to you, we need to understand the conversion itself. Basically, it takes the following quantities of materials to “craft” one Sha Crystal:

Spirit Dust Mysterious Essence Small Ethereal Shard Ethereal Shard Sha Crystal
Spirit Dust 1 5 25 125
Mysterious Essence 1 5 25
Small Ethereal Shard 1 3 15
Ethereal Shard 1 5
Sha Crystal 1
Reading the table from left to right, you can see how many of the material on the left it takes to craft the item in the column heading. For example, it takes 125 Spirit Dust to “craft” a Sha Crystal, converting (or “upgrading”) all of your dust along the way.

The Formula

Now for the fun part. How do you know which material you should use to create your Sha Crystals? It’s easy! Simply multiply the base material by the number needed in the column to the far right (listed under “Sha Crystal”). If that number is below the market price for the crystal itself, buy it up. If it’s not, or it doesn’t present a significant profit to offset your time, then don’t do anything or sell some of your crystals.

The Spreadsheet

Nobody wants to spend their time calculating Enchanting material cost when they could be out in the world doing pet battles. If you review my post on using IQY data to retrieve market price information, you can create a spreadsheet using the conversion information and formula that will interact with current market prices. Here’s a sample of my data using the Horde auction house on Earthen Ring (US):

378.49 367.86 259.88 334.09 447.19

As you can see, the average market price for one Sha Crystal is 447 gold. In this example, you will gain the most profit from buying 15 Small Ethereal Shards, converting them to five Ethereal Shards, and converting those to a Sha Crystal. With this information, you now have the power to drive down the price of Sha Crystals all by yourself.

The ancient Chinese military general Sun Tzu said it best:

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Now, I have no idea what this means. What I do know is that if you are a Protection Warrior looking for best-in-slot pants, you’ll need to work on your Klaxxi reputation. At revered, you’ll unlock access to Kovok’s Riven Legguards. If you reach level 90 and don’t want to wait on your Klaxxi rep, you can either spend 2,250 Justice points on the Leggings of Ponderous Advance or pick up the Blacksmith-crafted Masterwork Spiritguard Legplates. You can then insta-queue for heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple and hope Vizier Jin’bak drops his pants, the Sap-Encrusted Legplates.

Kovok’s Riven Legguards 90 The Klaxxi Revered – 2,250 Valor 13,505
Sap-Encrusted Legplates 90 Vizier Jin’bak Siege of Niuzao Temple (Heroic) 11,693
Masterwork Spiritguard Legplates 90 Crafted Blacksmith 10,072
Leggings of Ponderous Advance 90 Justice Quartermaster 2,250 Justice 9,783
Mogu Warlord Legguards 87 Townlong Steppes 8,382
Temple Guardian Pantaloons 88 Townlong Steppes 7,804

A crafter should always know the value of his tools and materials. This is true for crafters making goods to skill up and for those creating items to sell on the auction house. Material value can be easily seen in the game by using the World of Warcraft addon LilSparky’s Workshop (LSW).

What is LilSparky’s Workshop?

Simply put: this addon calculates the cost to create an item and lists the item’s market price next to it. This is powerful information when determining what items to craft when attempting to make gold on the auction house. This addon supports auction house scanners AuctioneerAuctionLiteAuctionMaster, and Auctionator.

Configuring the AddOn

Assuming you have one of the four support scanners, LSW will start working right away with no configuration. It will modify any of the following trade skill interfaces:

If you right-click on the value or cost column, you can select auction, vendor, or disenchant pricing model. By default, the greatest value returned from the three models will be used for that item.

Using the AddOn

You should see both the value and cost columns in your trade skill interface. Your potential profit is the value of the crafted item, minus the cost. LSW formats the value text in bold for items with a profit greater than zero. I use AdvancedTradeSkillWindow (ATSW), and sort my craftables by “difficulty.” I can then eyeball items with a higher profit and make those while leveling a profession.

I haven’t found a way to use LSW and ATSW together to return items sorted by greatest potential profit first. Skillet, on the other hand, will allow you to sort by LSW values, including “LSW: Profit.” The ability to sort by profit is extremely helpful if you are mass producing items.

Download the AddOn

You can download LilSparky’s Workshop from WowAce. The current version as of this post is r138 (September 29, 2012). This addon is not current on Curse or Wowinterface.