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The apothecary profession is arguably the trade skill with the most utility, allowing the player to create dyes, potions, and items for talisman making. In this guide only creating potions and dyes will be dealt with.
The first step in becoming an apothecary is picking the right gathering profession. In general, butchering and cultivation are the gathering professions that provide the most main ingredients for apothecary use. Also the player might want to think about scavenging, as it provides access to stabilizers. Each one of these gathering professions has it's trade offs though. The upside of taking butchering as the gathering complement is that farming ingredients is very simple and easy. The player finds the mob that drops the desired ingredient, kill it, butcher it and then loot it. This process is rather fast with the downside being that the player will often level their butchering skill faster than their overall level. Cultivation takes a little longer to level than butchering but it doesn't require the player to keep their overall level at pace. Also cultivating provides the player with the chance to yield pigments that can be used in dyes.
The next step is to acquire training for the apothecary skill. Trainers for the Destruction side are in The Inevitable City and The Blight Isle. The trainer for Order is in the City of Adunei.
The last step is to start making apothecary items: potions and dyes.
Any potion created by apothecaries needs three things: container, main ingredient, and stabilizer. Containers vary in levels, rarities, and can be acquired from vendors, drops and public quests. Containers act as a buff for the critical success rate for potions, the better the container the higher the buff. A critical success while making a potion means the player creates a potion that is beyond what their current skill level dictates. The main ingredient determines what the potion that is being brewed does. To find out what a main ingredient does just mouse over the item and the tool tip will prove informative. Finally stabilizers are used to increase the chance of success of the potion. The most basic stabilizer, water, can be bought from vendors but if the player seeks to acquire higher level stabilizers they need to scavenge, kill the mobs that drop the stabilizer, or purchase them from the auction house.
Dyes are made with a similiar process that potions are made. The player needs a mortar and pestle, fixer, and pigment. The mortar and pestle acts like the container, the fixer is the stabilizer, and the pigment is like the main ingredient.