Gearing Up for Cataclysm: Cleaning out the Banks

Psychocandy in the Druid T2 set (a.k.a. one of several old skool gear sets taking up most of her bag space.)

With Cataclysm only a few short weeks away, it’s tome for you to face up to the unholy mess that is your personal bank vault. And it’s also time for Officers to evaluate the Guild bank vault. This guide to efficiently cleaning out your bank assumes you have a bank alt. If you don’t have one already please go roll one now. Thank you.

Personal Banks

To get started cleaning out your personal bank, start by moving around all the items you have accumulated. I suggest grouping them like this:


  1. Old gear with sentimental value (like me and my old tier sets and favorite weapons)
  2. Off spec gear
  3. Old gear you are keeping around for hit swapping purposes
  4. Old gear you aren’t using anymore and didn’t get around to tossing out
  5. BoE gear that is higher level than you are

Keep all those in bucket 1. Keep those in bucket 2 only if you have used your off spec in the past 3 weeks. Throw out category 3 items since you can reforge and will be getting all new gear in a month anyhow. Bucket 4 should have already been DEd or sold by the time you are reading this sentence. Send items in bucket 5 to your bank alt.


  1. Flasks, fish feasts, and buff foods for your current spec.
  2. Speed pots, Wild Magic pots, health pots and mana pots.
  3. Cooked mana/health non-buff food such as Sauteed Goby.
  4. Fun consumables that turn yourself or other people into other things (i.e. savory deviate delight, etc.)
  5. Level 75 vendor water/food.
  6. Elixirs.

Keep items in categories 1-3. Keep items in category 4, in moderation, unless they are only usable in Dalaran. And no you really do not need 6 stacks of pygmy oil. You really don’t. Minimize how much of each item you have on your character (max of 1 stack); send overflow to your bank alt. Throw out items in categories 5 and 6. You’ll be getting far better ones soon, and are likely to use up your old flasks while leveling rather than using those elixirs anyhow.


  1. Vanity pets.
  2. Alt gear and weapons

Make sure you only have, across your account, 1 of each of the BoA vanity pets (Or two if you are contemplating a one character server move.) Delete the rest. Mail all remaining BoA vanity pet items and all BoA gear to your bank alt.

Reputation and Quest Items

  1. BoE currency that can be turned in for quests or rep rewards (ex: Relics of Ulduar, Arcane Tomes, etc.)
  2. BoE quest items.
  3. BoP quest items.
  4. BoP currency that can be turned in for reputation or items (Argent Dawn insignias, champions’ writs)
  5. Items needed for quests currently in your logs.
  6. Quest items leftover from completed quests.

Mail all items in categories 1 and 2 to your bank alt. Keep items in category 3 such as Blood of Innocents from Scholomance, or the blue ring that allows you to summon Vael in UBRS if they have sentimental value for you. Throw out items in category 4 unless you are actively engaged in that reputation grind currently. Don’t hang on to a half dozen slots of items you know in your heart you will never ever turn in. Especially if it’s from BC times and earlier. Keep items in category 4 if you are really going to do the quest before Cataclysm hits. If not, toss them out along with all the items in category 5.

At this point, you should have 3-4 bags free on your main character (we all have a certain amount of gear, consumables, and toys we like to carry around with us), and hopefully well-organized bags in the bank with plenty of room for your Cataclysm goodies.

Toys and Other Fun Stuff

  1. Irreplaceable or hard to replace items (the Timbermaw bear transforming rod, the piccolo of flaming-everyone-at-the-mailbox-wants-to-kill-you, etc.)
  2. Wands
  3. BoE and common items

Fun stuff has a tendency to be the downfall of many banks. A leather ball here, a stack of snowballs there, and pretty soon your inventory is full. But this game is ABOUT having fun, so keep all items in category #1. Try to trim down the  number in category 2 (I have a whole bag of Halloween wands, blossoming branches, and a Manabonk wand on more than 1 character. That’s OK.) Mail items in category 3 to your bank alt or unsuspecting guildies, or throw them out.

Profession Materials

  1. Items for use at my current profession level.
  2. Items leftover from my profession leveling.
  3. Excess items made while leveling my profession.

Keep a moderate amount of items in category 1 if you think there is a good chance you will need them. For example, if you are an enchanter, hang on to some materials. But if you are  a max level tailor for example, liquidate those extra materials. Send all items in categories 2 and 3 to your bank alt.

Bank Alt Vaults

Now that you have sent your bank alt a ton of stuff as part of the process tidying up your bags, it’s time to get organized. Most personal bank vaults with which I’ve been acquainted (i.e. I’ve asked impertinent questions about this on twitter and in game) tend to top out at about 3 tabs and a full set of Frostweave bags. The tabs start to feel a little too steep after that, so it is not entirely uncommon for serious auctioneers to have a second bank vault for keeping their storehouse of goods at the ready. But I digress.

You’ll want to evaluate each item as you unpack it form the mail as a keep or a sell.

Keep and Organize

  • Profession materials that can apply to professions you might level in the future on alts
  • BC and later reputation items that you will use on alts
  • Consumables
  • BoA items
  • Rare quality or better gear for future alts


  • Profession materials specific to the profession you’ve most recently leveled and that you do not intend to level again (i.e. engineering materials)
  • Uncommon quality BoE gear and weapons
  • Epic quality BoE gear and weapons
  • Enchant scrolls and excess materials
  • Epic gems
  • Buff foods and scrolls

Keep Until Cataclysm Then Sell

  • Your stockpiles of lowbie profession materials such as mageweave cloth and wool cloth and mithril ore
  • Extra glyphs (prices are currently going lower than the herb cost on many glyphs)
  • Excess reputation items you won’t use
  • Excess profession items such as fishing lures and raw food that you don’t need
  • BoE toys and fun items (there is often a mini surge on this sort of stuff around the holidays)

Guild Banks

I’ve seen guild banks that truly became the receptacles for all the junk the guildies couldn’t sell. Guild banks that had so many and such strict rules that it was not uncommon to receive an item mailed back with a note about how it was not adequate for the guild bank and to please not place it there again. I like a happy medium between those two extremes.

First, you need to evaluate what items guildies actually contribute to — and withdraw from– the guild bank. If the all access tabs are stuffed to the gills with junk, and only the Officers-only extra special items ever leave the bank, consider not having as many slots open for general swapping. In addition to the tips for bank vaults above, guild banks will also want to take these thoughts into consideration:

  • Make sure you have enough room to allow guildies to share recipes and profession materials, and group them together by profession.
  • If you can afford it, consider having an entire tab for glyphs, and organize them by class, then by type.
  • Buy as many bank tabs as the guild can afford. It’s a lot easier to keep tabs organized if there is room to move things around and to add in more items.
  • Organize gear by armor proficiency to make it easier for folks to see there is something they could use.
  • Consider selling or raffling off those reputation items needed for crafting, and the epic BoEs that are gathering dust in the Officers tab. After Cataclysm, they are not likely to be requested– or to be able to be sold for any significant value.
  • Assign an officer to keep an eye on the bank and weed out any items in overabundance.

7 thoughts on “Gearing Up for Cataclysm: Cleaning out the Banks”

  1. Thank you for the guide – I need to get down to the long haul organization.
    What do you say about formerly pricey crafting mats for WotLK, like frost lotus and eternals? Will the price go up when goblins/worgen get to Northrend? They’re barely worth more than vendor price these days.
    My problem is soul-bound stuff! I would have gone insane long ago if I didn’t send everything I possibly could to a bank alt. I have 3 full sets of gear in my bags that I actually use on a nearly daily basis. (MS, OS, PVP). I collect tier. I can’t throw away beloved old weapons. I have like 10 tabards and I don’t even really LIKE tabards.
    I guess once Cata hits, I will finally be able to toss my full-set of Herald of the Titans gear. Sigh, finding a group for that. I finally threw out all the AQ40 2.5 boss drop pieces, admitting I just didn’t like that set much. Packratitis is so terrible.

  2. I have seen frost lotus as low as 4g recently. I don’t think folks will use it for leveling up alchemy since Blizz always dumps in some catch up recipes to bridge the not-quite-maxed to new recipes gap. Fel Lotus and Black Lotus both couldn’t be given away after the new patches hit iir. Eternals you might want to hold on to — I think more leveling recipes that folks will need to power through will still call for those.
    I still have my Zandalar 3-piece set, even tho after trying it on I realized I don’t have a good skirt or pants to go with it and would never wear it. I think it may be the next set to get the heave-ho. I think I have been somewhat good with not holding on to things unless I really love them on the druid because she can DE them. Somehow, that’s the virtual equivalent of getting the RL spring cleaning bug.

  3. I managed to avoid getting the Zandalar set, just got the recipes for posterity. Oh, and a few really cool weapons that I don’t want to toss quite yet. Snakestaff! I can absolutely see that being an Enchanter feels more fulfilling than just deleting or vendoring gear.
    Meh, 4G! I will just have an alchemist turn my spare herbs into flasks, I think, so I can level with them.

  4. I will never toss out Will of Arlokk — it’s my favorite staff. I still have a few of the old hard to get trinkets too, for sentimental reasons. To remind me of past raiding lives.
    And ditto on using flasks as nice leveling enhancements.

  5. I would assume by now, the market is saturated with stuff and prices are at the lowest. Before I decided to quit the game, I started selling mats and stuff around march when raiding was still high and prices were still good. I think I accumulated around 30K gold, and still have a massive amount of things to sell, like enchanting mats, but I stopped playing before I could sell everything.
    Here’s a few tips:
    1. If you are not in dire need of space and gold, save enchanting mats for later, leveling enchanting always needs massive amounts of mats and past expansion mats are very expensive, since very few people care to farm them.
    2. Frost lotuses might be more profitable in the form of emerald bags, back when WRATH came out, i bought a few fel lotuses and sold them like this at very high prices.
    3. Frostweave, like enchanting mats is needed in massive amounts to level tailoring, if you have some, save it and sell them later.
    4. Actually most any material needed for crafting might be more valuable after the expansion for people trying to level new professions. The only exception I can think of this are regular herbs, a herbalist / alchemist can easily provide everything he/she needs for leveling purposes.

  6. Hey Luli.
    Are you coming back to the game for Cataclysm? Or still enjoying your Summer and Fall off?
    Pricing for crafting mats is varying widely, server-to-server and profession-to-profession. Wool and mageweave cloth are still off the charts most places, for instance, and enchanting materials are holding steady. But you can’t reliably and profitably sell the high level crafting materials. And from past experience, those specialty cloths don’t rebound in price after the expansion.
    Emerald bags, and all the large crafting bags, can be profitable, but the servers I’m on I’ve found it hard to move them — it either has taken weeks to sell it or there has been significant undercutting wars from the other tailors. So overall haven’t found it to be worth it unless I am swimming in extra materials none of the alts need. But certainly an idea for folks to explore.
    I’m going to be a contrarian on the Frostweave cloth — it’s been a poor seller throughout Wrath, and the new expansion brings with it enough filler recipes that tailors are not going to be using the old recipes for 425-450 tailoring which was the real cloth suck. It’ll be the equivalent of the Netherweave cloth — which stuck at 3g and under a stack for Wrath.
    The herb market has continued to be pretty strong due to the changes to inscription — each glyph a scribe makes now takes about 15 herbs for the 3 required inks. ~60 herbs on average to make 5 glyphs.

  7. WOW would need a massive overhaul for me to be able to come back, it’s just tailored to take too much time.
    There is too much grind that needs to be done daily in the game to enjoy the endgame in a casual successful way.
    I loved my time in raids, but I don’t want to commit 70% of my free time to the game, specially since most of that time is spent not raiding, but doing boring stuff.
    I miss the games where you could just play half an hour and accomplish something, like good old Starcraft, (might pick up SC2 now).
    I’m looking forward to Star Wars: The Old Republic, if Bioware can achieve a good game and keep the grind away like they have say they want to, I might try it out.

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