How to Use Glyphs in "World of Warcraft"

by Shea Laverty ; Updated September 22, 2017

Glyphs are a huge component of "World of Warcraft's" character optimization. Glyphs come in two types: major and minor. Major glyphs can dramatically change spells, giving them new or boosted effects. Minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic changes to existing spells, there almost entirely for fun. To get the most out of glyphs, you need to know how to use them, how to change them as needed and which ones are right for you.

Learning and Activating Glyphs

Initially, glyphs come as an item that teaches your character the glyph itself. To activate the glyph, you need to open the Talents menu with the "N" key and click the Glyphs pane. You'll see six empty circles -- this is your set of active glyphs. Select the glyph you want to activate from the list to the right, then select the appropriate glyph slot for its type, major or minor. There are three major and three minor glyph slots. You learn one major and one minor each at three intervals: level 25, level 50 and level 75.

Deactivating or Changing Glyphs

Active glyphs must be removed to be replaced. There are two ways to do this, neither of which are free. First, there are items you can get that clear one glyph slot each. Level 80 characters use Vanishing Powder, 81 to 85 use Dust of Disappearance and 86 to 90 use Tome of the Clear Mind. You can also see your class trainer and request to clear all of your glyphs. This is the costlier of the two options, but clears all of the glyphs regardless of level. The cost scales higher the more times you use this method, so use it wisely.

Obtaining Glyphs

Glyphs are made using the Inscription profession. If you're a scribe, then you can make your own glyphs using your inks and parchment. If you have a friend or guild-mate who is a scribe, they may be able to make the glyph for you. You can also advertise in the General and Trade chat in cities that you are looking for a scribe, or check to see if the Auction House has the glyph you need.

Choosing the Right Glyphs

There are a ton of glyphs for each class, and not all of them will be right by your specialization or play style, or even a specific boss encounter. Each glyph has a description, telling you precisely what it does, as well as a note if it is meant only for certain specializations. You can also find many resources online for optimizing your glyphs, such as Icy Veins, Noxxic and user-built guides on Wowhead.