Discovery is a mechanic used to learn certain Alchemy, Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Tailoring, Leatherworking and Blacksmithing recipes.


You have a small chance to discover a recipe from a specific list of discoverable recipes every time that you perform a transmutation or that you make a potion, elixir, or flask that was introduced in the Burning Crusade or Wrath of the Lich King. The discovered recipe is learned automatically. Non-factors include physical location, level, and skill level.

When you discover a recipe, your character will perform an animation, and a message describing your discovery will be visible to nearby players of both factions.

Discovery of Burning Crusade recipes

Cauldron Recipes

The Cauldron recipes will only be discovered when making a related item. For example, producing enough Major Shadow Protection Potions will allow you to discover the corresponding  [Cauldron of Major Shadow Protection]. It appears that discoveries of cauldron recipes occur with a much higher frequency than other discoveries. Comments on Thottbot for the cauldron recipes report that only 1-5 batches seem to be required before the discovery is made. One estimate for the discovery rate is 30%.

Note: there appears to be no Cauldron of Major Holy Protection.

Non-Cauldron Recipes

For the non-Cauldron recipes, the following requirement applies:

  • It is generally believed that you can only make a discovery when using a Burning Crusade or recipe.
  • Flasks and potions are known to be discoverable while creating TBC and WotLK elixirs, flasks or potions.
  • Primal transmutations are known to be discoverable while performing TBC transmutations. It does not seem to be possible to discover them by performing WotLK transmutations.

Discovery of Wrath of the Lich King recipes

Elixir and potion recipes

Performing  [Northrend Alchemy Research] causes an elixir or potion recipe to be discovered. Unlike in Burning Crusade, where discoveries were made by creating elixirs or potions, Research is the only confirmed way to discover WotLK elixir or potion recipes.

Transmutation Recipes

When performing  [Transmute: Titanium], one of the eternal elemental transmutations, or one of the epic gem transmutations, there is a high probability of discovering a new eternal elemental transmutation recipe. Performing one of the lower level transmutations will not give a discovery.

Discovery of Mists of Pandaria recipes

Only three MoP alchemy recipes are learnable from trainers:  [Master Healing Potion],  [Alchemist's Rejuvenation] and  [Zen Alchemist Stone]. The other 32 MoP alchemy recipes are learnable through discovery. It is believed that crafting any MoP alchemy recipe has a chance to discover any other MoP alchemy recipe, as long as you meet the minimum skill requirement.

Alchemy Myths

Based on reported examples of discoveries:

  • You don't have to be physically located in Outland or Northrend
  • You don't have to have a mastery
  • You don't have to have 375 or 450 Alchemy skill
  • You don't have to have reached level 70 or 80
  • You don't have to use a yellow or orange recipe (even grey recipes have been reported to trigger discoveries)
  • You don't have to be making a related potion (for example, to discover  [Flask of Pure Death], you don't have to make a  [Major Shadow Protection Potion] or  [Elixir of Major Shadow Power]).
  • You can discover WotLK recipes by transmuting titanium.

It is believed by many alchemists that transmutations are discovered while transmuting and that new potions and flasks are discovered while making potions, flasks, or elixirs. However, there are several reports of discovering a transmutation recipe while making an elixir or potion, and vice versa. It may be the case that the item made doesn't affect what is discovered at all, or it may be that the chance of discovering a new transmutation is reduced when making a potion.

The exact chance to discover a new recipe is not known, and cannot be known without disclosure from Blizzard or extensive analysis collected from logs. From discussion on the official World of Warcraft professions forum, and via comments about the recipes on third-party web sites, most players believe the discovery chance is tiny. One estimation was 0.01% prior to patch 2.1. In the patch notes for 2.1, the discovery rate was described as being increased significantly. However, the new chance is still not known. One estimate is 0.1%, but there is no evidence for that number.

Immediately prior to the release of patch 2.1, Blizzard introduced a hot fix to prevent discoveries from occurring. This was reportedly to prevent an exploit where alchemists who repeatedly tried to create potions with no bag space would still make discoveries even though no potion was created nor potion ingredients consumed.

Patch 3.3.0 introduced a bug which prevented discovery through  [Transmute: Titanium], however this bug was corrected in Patch 3.3.3.


Inscription recipes can be discovered from researching:

Removed from game The subject of this section has been removed from World of Warcraft.


Mists of Pandaria

  • There are 68 MoP superior quality gem cuts, each of which can be learned exclusively through the discovery / research system.
  • These six recipes share a daily cooldown. Each uses 3 uncut rare gems to learn a random cut for the appropriate gem type (as well as producing two random MoP cut gems) and several  [Shattered Gem Fragments]). If all cuts have already been learned for a given gem type, MoP gem research instead teaches another random MoP rare gem cut.
  • Additionally, at 550 skill, it's possible to learn  [Secrets of the Stone], which costs 3 Spirits of Harmony, has no cooldown and teaches a random MoP rare gem cut, as well as producing two random MoP gems and several  [Shattered Gem Fragments].


Mists of Pandaria

  • In Patch 5.2.0, the  [Imperial Silk] recipe was changed to produce a [Silkworm Coccoon]] and randomly teach one of 40 recipes added in 5.2.0 (4 Falling Blossom headwear and footwear patterns and 36 Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's patterns). Song of Harmony also produces Imperial Silk, but does not teach any tailoring patterns.
  •  [Celestial Cloth], added in Patch 5.4 has a daily cooldown and randomly teaches one of 40 tailoring patterns (4 level 553 belt and legwear patters, 36 Crafted Malevolent Gladiator's gear patterns). Bypassing the cooldown with Accelerated Celestial Cloth doesn't teach any tailoring patterns.


Mists of Pandaria

  • Two patterns were added in Patch 5.2.0: Magnificence of Leather and Magnificence of Scales. They share a daily cooldown, produce 1  [Magnificent Hide] from 20  [Exotic Leather] or Prismatic Scales, and randomly teaches one of 83 leatherworking patterns (8 level 522 leather and mail helms and boots, 76 pieces of level 458 Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's gear, and the  [Magnificent Hide Pack] pattern). Crafting Magnificent Hide with the regular Magnificent Hide pattern (the one that uses 50 Exotic Leather and has no cooldown) doesn't teach any patterns.
  • The  [Hardened Magnificent Hide] pattern, added in Patch 5.4.0, has a daily cooldown and randomly teaches 82 patterns (8 level 553 belt and pants patterns, 76 level 476 Crafted Malevolent Gladiator's patterns). Bypassing the cooldown with Accelerated Hardened Magnificent Hide doesn't teach any patterns.


Mists of Pandaria

  • Crafting a  [Lightning Steel Ingot] teaches one of 38 random blacksmithing plans (6 level 522 Haunted Steel helms and boots, 32 level 458 Crafted Dreadful Gladiator's pieces). Crafting Lightning Steel Ingots has a daily cooldown.
  • Creating a  [Balanced Trillium Ingot] using the daily cooldown teaches one of 41 random blacksmithing plans (6 level 553 belt and leggings designs, 35 pieces of level 476 Crafted Malevolent Gladiator's gear, including shields). Bypassing the cooldown with Accelerated Balanced Trillium Ingot does not teach any recipes.


A discovery system is used for cooking in the WoD beta.  [The Joy of Draenor Cooking] scroll raises maximum cooking skill to 700 and teaches two recipes:  [Grilled Saberfish] and  [Saberfish Broth]. Cooking any Draenor recipe has a chance to produce a random BoP cooking recipe scroll in addition to producing food.