I am a level 21 Blood Elf Frost Mage and I was wondering: What are glyphs?

Where do you learn them in horde area and what should I be doing with them?

4 Answers 4


Glyphs are kind of like meta-talents, that can be changed on the fly, without a full respec. They generally modify a specific spell or talent in some way, and come in three categories:

  • Prime Glyphs modify a spell or talent in a way that is directly related to it's effectiveness in combat, such as reducing it's cost, cast time or cooldown, increasing it's duration, damage or healing (sometimes under special conditions), or providing an additional special effect of some sort.
  • Major Glyphs can be considered 'utility glyphs'. These glyphs generally provide useful combat effects that don't translate into a direct increase in throughput. Some will improve your defensive capabilities, others affect crowd control. Still others, provide a tradeoff, increasing the direct damage of an ability, but removing a DoT effect (useful for PVP).
  • Minor Glyphs provide cosmetic effects or minor out of combat conveniences, such as removing reagents, or allowing a Mages polymorph spell to display a different graphic.

Max level characters have a total of 9 Glyph slots. 3 Prime, 3 Major, and 3 Minor. These are gained while leveling, one of each at level 25, again at 50, and again at 75.

Glyphs are produced by the Inscription profession. They can be bought relatively cheaply from the Auction House, or any of the other usual channels (trade chat, dealing with friends and guild mates, etc.). To learn glyphs, once you're at an appropriate level, simply purchase them and right click the item to use it. Once a glyph is learned, it can be 'equipped' by going to the 'Glyphs' tab of your spellbook. You can switch between glyphs freely, so long as you have either Vanishing Powder (if below level 80) or Dust of Disappearance in your inventory. Both are easily purchasable from an Inscription Supply or Reagent vendor in nearly any town or city.


Glyphs are enhancements you can add to your character. They are created by scribes using the inscription profession. You can buy them on the AH, or from a scribe.

See http://www.wowwiki.com/Glyph for more info.


Glyphs are used to modify your spells and abilities.

Here are some more specifics:

  • Glyphs are split into 3 categories: Minor, Major, and Prime.
  • Glyphs are class specific.
  • Glyphs have level restrictions.
  • Glyphs are created through the Inscription profession.
  • Once you learn a glyph, you have it in your spellbook forever.
  • You can only have a certain number of glyphs equipped at a time: 1 of each type at level 25, 2 of each type at level 50, and 3 of each type at level 75.
  • Changing equipped glyphs requires Vanishing Powder at levels up to 80 and Dust of Disappearance for characters over level 80. This doesn't apply if the glyph slot is empty.
  • Each talent specialization you have has its own glyphs (same number of each as listed above). This is intentional, as glyphs tend to affect just one spell.

Minor glyphs are reserved for small stuff, sometimes cosmetic. When Wrath of the Lich King came out, there were exactly 6 minor glyphs per class, although this has since changed when new cosmetic updates were introduced. The recipes for these can only be learned by Inscribers using the Minor Glyph Research skill. Unintuitively, this skill is grey at the level an Inscriber needs to be in order to learn Death Knight minor glyph recipes, which is between 300 and 375.

Major glyphs form the bulk of the glyphs you can get. Most of the time, these adjust spell damage, and quite a few of them have downsides. These are learned by Inscribers at specific levels until they reach 375ish skill, at which point Northrend Inscription Research must be used to learn new Major Glyphs recipes.

Prime glyphs came around with Cataclysm... Blizzard changed the most powerful of the Major Glyphs to Prime Glyphs. These are learned the same way Major glyphs are.


Glyphs are used to augment your abilities.

You have to either make them via inscription or to buy them off the auction house.

Here is a full list and reference: http://www.wowwiki.com/Glyph

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