Cataclysm Preparations

It is time to prepare your World of Warcraft character for Cataclysm.  As a Retribution Paladin, what you carry in your bags may differ from other classes, and I am going to tell you what I will be taking with me on my journey to level 85.  This is a longer post guys, you are forewarned!

Blizzard has done a great job of creating content in expansions that doesn’t require you to be fully maxed out in terms of gear and professions.  However, there are still a few preparations you can make that can give you a quick edge in the leveling process.

What I am going to cover in terms of preparing for Cataclysm includes: quests, food, potions, flasks, scrolls, profession materials, and gear.

Quest Log

Quest Log will be full of completed quests at a maximum of 25.  Each player can choose whichever quests they want, be it normal PvE quests or daily quests.  My choice will be dailies, since I have done all the WotLK normal quests.

My daily quests will include:

  • Ebon Blade dailies (6)
  • Argent Tournament dailies (9)
  • Sons of Hodir dailies (6)
  • Icecrown dailies (2)
  • Dalaran Cooking/Fishing dailies (2)

I will log out before Cataclysm near the Ebon Blade quest givers and turn in there.  Next, I will fly to the Argent Tournament and turn in their respective quests, followed by a trip to whichever 2 Icecrown random dailies I choose to complete.  From there, I head to Storm Peaks to turn in SoH quests, then fly back to Dalaran for the final two turn-ins.  One of my guildies reminded me to set my hearth to somewhere other than Dalaran, since the portals will be gone!  Thanks, Cloud!  After I turn my Dal quests in, I’m off to Stormwind!

I know some of these quests aren’t max XP, but honestly, I’m doing this for quickness and ease.


Equipping my bags for Cataclysm is something I have done for every expansion.  The goal is to keep essentials for leveling while maintaining enough free space to not have to keep traveling back to quest hubs to unload trash.

I recommend carrying at least four 20-slot bags.  If you can’t get your hands on the 20s, 16-slotters will work as well.

The buffs and gear I am going to carry with me may not be the most powerful options, but that’s not the point.  Blizzard has made our attacks and abilities so strong, that minor buffs really aren’t needed and won’t make much of a difference while leveling.

Nevertheless, I will still carry enough buff and support items to give me that small edge:

Enchants – Purely for support, and I doubt I will use them all.  But if I find upgrades along the way, I will be able to enchant them quickly.  Because my main is not an enchanter, I won’t be able to enchant with Cata enchants, and it’s highly unlikely I will be traveling to the AH to get upgrades.

Gold – I am recommending 5k to 10k gold, mainly because things are going to get very pricey.  If I do need to visit the Auction House, I’d like to prepare myself for inflated prices. (Plus, I’m a sucker for splurging on new items when expansions come out)

Off-set gear – I am choosing to off-spec as Protection for the beginning parts of Cataclysm, since I believe that will get me into groups the quickest.  I will still run as Retribution, but when I need speedy runs, tanking will be the route for me.

Also, for any runs I decide to do while leveling, depending on queue times, I might see more frequent action as a tank.


Here comes the tricky part.  Getting a jump start on professions in Cataclysm won’t be cheap, and it definitely won’t yield a profit.  However, for those with the right professions, it is possible to jump from 450 to 455, or even 460 in some cases.

Most of the professions with epic quality crafted gear can make those pieces until 460.  However, I am not going to recommend doing that because it is a complete waste of resources, and chances are, the resulting items would be sold dirt-cheap.  Also, some just flat-out cannot be leveled past 450 in their current state.

I have compiled a list of WotLK profession creations that can help get a jump on the Cataclysm profession leveling.  I also have a list for those that, in most cases, shouldn’t be attempted.

Professions to NOT attempt to level to 455 or 460 with:

  • First Aid
  • Fishing
  • Mining
  • Skinning
  • Herbalism
  • Tailoring
  • Jewelcrafting
  • Inscription
  • Engineering

Professions that CAN be attempted to level to 455 or 460:

  • Cooking
  • Blacksmithing
  • Leatherworking
  • Enchanting
  • Alchemy

CookingFish Feasts are RED to 455, and YELLOW to 460.  For 10 attempts, you will need:

Blacksmithing Titanium Plating is RED to 455, and YELLOW to 460.  For 5 attempts, you will need:

Alchemy – Any end-game flasks are YELLOW to 457.  Types of flasks to make:

Leatherworking – Drums are YELLOW to 455.  Drums of Forgotten Kings and Drums of the Wild, for 5 attempts you will need:

EnchantingEnchant Bracers – Major Stamina is RED until 460.  For 10 attempts, you will need:


  1. Aszmo says:

    I don’t know why you included Mining to the Not list..
    We will be out and about and gathering mats, it will be very easy to get skill points in it especially when we’ll all be able to fly.

  2. Khor says:

    Ah, this is for materials and stuff you can get ready before the new content is released. Nothing miners can smelt will skill us up immediately upon release.

    This information is specific to what you can skill up as soon as you log into Cata for the first time 🙂

  3. Sion5 says:

    Also, gathering now award XP, something I didnt notice until recently, but I remember each node being worth about 4k at 72 so worth diverting for in my opinion.

  4. Fulgora says:

    Aszmo, I am pretty sure he means skilling up with WotLK items on hand, and for mining that would be smelting WotLK ores.

  5. Fulgora says:

    Lulz…. I should try refreshing the page before commenting after it was loaded for about half an hour. XD

  6. Shogan says:

    You suggest making sure our quest log is complete with 25/25 dailies. Now surely there will be a daily or two in the new started areas and beyond, so would it not be better to save about 5-10 of these for some that we would come across as they would yeild higher XP?

  7. Khor says:

    @ Shogan – If they are available before Cataclysm goes live on Dec. 7th, I’d do your 25 dailies whichever way you want 🙂

    Just so long as you have 25 dailies completed and ready to turn in the minute you log on to Cata for the first time!

  8. Darthal says:

    Just wondering why this is really necessary, particularly flasks and enchants? Unless you are trying for first 85 in which case good luck

  9. Quo says:

    TY! This kind of information I have especially been waiting for these past months 😉 I was thinking to do my leveling by dungeons. And do it as a tank so would indeed get in much much quicker than as a retri.

  10. RetForever says:

    I have been looking for a good cata prep guide in the past few days, so thanks for all the useful info! Filling up the quest log with completed quests is definitely a must if you want a jump start.

    I’d be interested to hear what you think are the best items to buy with our 4k justice points at level 85. In the past I have had a bad habit of purchasing upgrades that can be easily farmed from heroics/easy raid bosses.

  11. Khor says:

    @ Darthal – None of this is really necessary. Not a single bit. This is just extra stuff you can do if you feel like getting a small head start before Cata.

    If you had the option, would you rather flask up for 120 attack power, aka ~ +60 strength, or go without?

    No, it won’t make or break your leveling, but it doesn’t hurt to have it, eh? 😉

  12. Chellyn says:

    you think of everything Khor you are my HERO lol

  13. Sarlex says:

    I just want to thank for your blog. I discovered it by glooging and have learned so much from each post.

    Thanks again!

  14. Khor says:

    Thanks guys!

  15. tk says:

    I have heard (but don’t have in a blue post) that we will all appear at our hearthstone location after both the shattering of 4.0.3a and loading Cata, just to make sure we don’t zone into somewhere that isn’t a zone anymore.

    Any confirmation of this one way or the other?

    It’s not a big deal since I have a tabard and a wormhole to get me to icecrown, but I was curious, since I plan to reset my stone to SW when the Dalaran portals go away…

    Great post, thanks

  16. Cloudruler says:

    Khor something to remember is that Dal will not have portals…….. so having your hearth set to there would not be optimal. I would do the dailies you suggest and just fly from point to point. After all are finished hearth to SW!

  17. lordmogg says:

    Im confused. So what your saying here Khor is that when Cata comes through your going to continue to flex the Lich King Dailys? Even though there are going to be new zomes opening?

    Or is there going to be a pre cata time when you can level up a bit?

    I don’t get much time to play sometimes so I will always be a casual grinder so I think ill just see how it goes.

  18. Khor says:

    @ Cloud – Great point, man…thank you!

  19. Khor says:

    @ Lordmogg – Let’s put it this way…

    Tomorrow, I will log into WoW and clear my quest log. I will complete 25 daily quests, but I will NOT turn them in. I will hold them and all the quest items until the day Cataclysm goes live. When I log into Cata, I will immediately spend my first 10 minutes turning in those 25 quests, giving me an immediate XP boost now that my experience can accumulate again. When I start leveling to 85 afterwards, I will already have 3 or 4 (or maybe more) bars knocked out on my way to 81.

  20. Darthal says:

    Quite true, needless to say i already have stocked up quite a bit 🙂

  21. Zonama says:

    I Was Able To Stock Up Well For My Goods Potions And Food Were Easy But Now Question Remains Will There Be More Things To Level On Your Professions Such As New Nodes For Mining Or New Armor For Blacksmithing?

  22. Empact says:

    Khor, your the man. Thank you so much for this information. I never thought about stacking quests like this for XP. I’m so going to do all of this!

  23. HolyShoteR says:

    Khor , you said u role tank for faster queue in dungeons, how will you deal with the loots ? after all you will need to gather DPS or Tank equips , i’m think about role as tank too but i’m concerned about the equipaments that i will need as a DPS in 85 , so what’s the plan?

  24. Creamyo says:

    @HolyShoter, You can just reque and do that dungeon again if say a Ret Item drops and you’re tanking, I see no problems.

    @Khor, thanks for all these guides, without you I’d be pretty much up sh1t creek.

  25. Lorticus says:

    Khor, thank you very much for all the extremely useful information posted on your site.

    One more hint I could add is to read Consider’s post at Elitist jerks forums (unholy dps) since unholy’s primary stats (strength>hit>haste>crit>expertise>mastery>agility) are very similar to our class stats.

    There is detailed information about pre-heroic, pre-raid gear and professions. Looks like leatherworking (130 strength bracers enchant) and jewelcrafting are the best professions for strength bonuses.

    P.S. I am following your advice Khor and started filling my quest log with completed dailies to turn them in once Cata hits. Keep up the good work!

  26. Tirannus says:

    khor I need your advice,

    The best ret in the world “Iiris of Paragon” has tailoring and leatherworking as his professions “Seems like Tailoring and Leatherworking are the best professions for ret pala with current stat values. Tailoring being about 90 dps better and LW 50 dps better than one of these regular professions (insc/enchanting/alchemy/bs).”

    I currently got JC and Ench but I really don’t want to change my professions to the ones he has got, since I would get more out of JC and ench (combination of convenience, money making and dps gain) but at the same time I think choosing the most optimal dps gain is essential for top end raiding.

    Could you please make a new topic about this.


  27. Khor says:

    @ Tirannus – That’s an interesting thought. So many of us are NOT specced for LW and Tailoring. I’d do a post on this but I am not sure myself which is best. I will defintitely do a professions post for Cataclysm, but I think I would like to wait and see what comes out live on the servers when Cata launches…at least before I post up info on this.

  28. Dean says:

    Do scrolls stack with flasks?

  29. Zonama says:

    yeah will scrolls stack? Also with the food doing the cooking dailys till launch will be a help so u can get a jump start on food buffs with the newer meals coming out.

  30. Khor says:

    Yes, they stack…flasks give attack power, scrolls give strength, so it’s two separate stats.

  31. ÏronBE says:

    @Khor Actually i tried today (December 4th) and Flasks and Scrolls DO NOT stack, the scrolls count as a battle elixir and the flask overwrites the scroll.

  32. Khor says:

    Uh oh, I didn’t know that! Thank you!

  33. EGOprime says:

    @Khor — I am speechless. I was looking for something such as this: a way to get a jumpstart on things, but more importantly, have a direction when I first log on so I am not standing around staring while the rest of my guild gets prepared.

    The fact this is from a retribution paladin website, and I, myself, am a ret pally, makes it all the sweeter.

    I salute you, sir.

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