Reader Question: Why is it called the "Obsidium Shuffle"?

In this video I answer a reader question about why we call it the "Obsidium Shuffle".

Full question and answer after the jump.


Hey Flux, I'm a regular reader of your blog as well as several other gold blogs and have a question about Cataclysm ore shuffling.  I see that's it's usually referred to as the obsidium shuffle instead of just "cata ore shuffle" or some such.  Do you know if there's a particular reason for that?  Are the results from obsidium simply a lot more profitable than that of elementium/pyrite?  Thanks in advance for any insight you could provide on this. 
Handera of Cenarius

The main reason is that most people are/were shuffling to get Cataclysm uncommon (green quality) gems. These can be used to make jewelery (for disenchanting), transmuting into rare (blue quality) gems, meta gems and for use in the jewelcrafting dailies. 
Because it was the uncommons you wanted and not the rares it was usually more profitable to prospect Obsidium which has a less-likely chance to give rare gems. 
In general Obsidium gives many uncommons with a few rares. Elementium gives mostly uncommons but more rares than Obsidium. Pyrite generally gives rare gems and Volatile Earth. 
That's why it is most often called the "Obsidium Shuffle" rather than the "Ore Shuffle" or "Elementium Shuffle". That said these days due to the slightly increases value of rare gems you can pretty much use Elementium and Obsidium ore interchangeably in your shuffle. 
Hope that helps and thanks for listening,

If you would like to learn more gold-making terms head over to our Gold-Making Glossary. Also if there is a term you're not familiar with that isn't in the glossary please be sure to let us know so we can add it.

If you have a question you'd like answered send me an email at

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  1. Unless they changed something I believe prospecting pyrite gives you volatile earths

  2. @Tatsu You are correct. I put Life by mistake. Fixed.

    @Jokine We call it a goatee (or pukinparta in Finnish?).

  3. Whoah! Put on a beenie and you'll look just like Cheech!

  4. "Obsidium Shuffle" was coined during the beta because of the large number of gems it produced, both for crafting and for simply vendoring. We tried finding something that started with "O" to go with it but nothing worked out. (The "Saronite Softshoe Shuffle" was at least catchy.)

  5. Pukinparta means santa's beard lol

  6. I'm not sure if this is common on other realms, but on Grizzly Hills (US) Elementium has always been cheaper than Obsidium, which I found to be odd until someone explained to me that botters were farming it more than obsidium, and they were the ones dropping the prices down on it so much. Of course now that they're gone prices have pretty doubled, making the ore shuffle expensive on my realm (ores go for around 3g each on average right now.) I don't mind getting rares of course, I cut them and sell them on the AH for 20-100g each, depending on the cut.

    Has anyone else experienced this one their realm?


  7. So, you look kind of like one of the manager's at my work. lol

    Also it is quite funny that he said Santa's Beard.