WoW Garrison Build Order Guide

WoW Garrison Build Order Guide by junhanic

tl;dr at the start:

  • This is with getting a maxed out garrison and high level followers along with the benefits they give asap.
  • Tier 1 war mill Corrected. Probably better to keep the barracks
  • Tier 2 lumber mill/trade post. Upgrade if affordable
  • lvl 96 salvage yard, upgrade to lvl 2 soonish
  • Resources seem plentiful while lvling up, but you will run short at 100, don’t waste them.
  • Make sure you have ~2100 resources when you hit 100
  • Use an addon(or just explore) to make sure you get rares/resource chest while lvling
  • Prioritize resource missions, then use xp/resource as a measure of which missions to take.
  • Try to keep your top lvl followers around the same lvl range without letting any get far ahead(unlocking missions you can’t complete is a waste).
  • This is a work in progress and being improved based on everyones feedback. If you have a better suggestion, don’t downvote, comment!

Read below for more detail and the reasoning behind

I made a few mistakes from 90-100 on my garrison and so probably have most people. I had to dig a lot deeper than some of the guides which often lack detail, and few of them go into any deep discussion and often give dubious advice that may or may not be good depending on whether your motivations match those of the writer. There’s also some details I too am not aware of and would be good if we can figure it out together!


These suggestions are based on the motivation of getting my garrison to max size asap as well as getting a strong varied team of lvl 100 followers, while supporting a crafting profession. Earning gold is not a motivation for me right now.

There may be alternative strategies, but guides I’ve seen really are not very useful for getting a good team of followers fast and did not help me avoid some of the pitfalls I hope to help people with.

edit: I’d also like to thank everyone contributing their info and questions here, and if I was less busy would want to link it all up and collect it together. But I gotta play the game too! Anyway, lots of the work here is from contributors in the comments and I’m trying to verify/update the post according to them.

Suggested build order by level:

New garrison:

  • Replace your barracks with a war mill as soon as you can reasonably afford it.
  • Having a lvl1 war mill will raise the chance to upgrade followers you get. The earlier you get this, the more rare/epic followers you get. It takes a lot longer to level a follower from 100 uncommon -> 100 epic than it does to get 90->100. Some would argue to keep the barracks, but patrol missions aren’t that common, and the slight extra xp efficiency from 90->100 doesn’t make up for the huge gaps you skip by starting followers at rare/epic.
  • It appears that war mill upgrading followers is a misconception and not the case:
  • With this in mind, choice for large plot is far more open. You will eventually want a T2 war mill, but changing it immediately is up to you, and it may well be better to hold onto the barracks for the patrol missions.
  • You can either build an enchanters hut or a profession relevant small plot. Right now on some realms, DEing quest drops may be a loss, so seriously consider not bothering with it. Since you will get a second small plot soon, getting a craft relevant plot and holding onto stuff to DE is fine too.

Lvl 2 garrison:

  • Get a lumber mill or trading post. Seriously. It’s 120 extra resources a day at lvl 1 if you keep the orders rolling, and while early on that doesn’t seem like much, once you hit 100, and have collected all the treasures, and done the quests, it’s one of your primary sources.
  • Use your second small plot for whatever you like, probably trade or enchanter hut. Inscription hut is kinda popular since you can craft darkmoon cards and you’re gonna need to start getting those cooldown items.

Lvl 96(salvage yard):

  • Replace one of your small plots with a salvage yard. If you really want to save resources, you could even not build your second hut until this(particularly valid if you’re power-levelling and there’s not a big time gap between 92-96)

Lvl 100:

  • Hopefully if you haven’t wasted too much resources on replacing plots, unnecessary upgrades and unnecessary missions, you should be able to upgrade to a a t3 garrison now.
  • What you spend your second medium plot on is more flexible since you’ve bought the most expensive upgrade now. That being said, you still need a lot of resources, and a double whammy of lumber mill + trade post is going to bring in lots, especially now there are no treasure chests/rares left to loot.
  • Third small plot is also very easygoing. So long as you have a salvage yard what you do with the other 2 plots isn’t going to make too big a difference. Using them to get geared up is certainly not going to go wrong.
  • If at this point you don’t have a war mill, get one, upgrade it to lvl 2, and start using excess resources on work orders.
  • Added: using your second large plot for a barracks at this point may be a good idea. You will eventually want those 5 extra followers, and you need to start working on the patrol missions.

Gathering resources

You’re going to need 2000 resources the moment you hit 100, as you want that second medium plot asap, along with other benefits.

Keep work orders running on the lumber mill/trading post, try to pick up all the resource chests and kill all rares(there’s a handy addon that will mark them all), and do all the relevant quests.

** Spending resources **

Pre-100 resources seem really plentiful so it’s really easy to spend them. Just keep in sight the fact you want 2000 + building costs for the medium+small plots you get with t3 garrison the moment you hit 100. Choosing which missions to run, and what buildings to upgrade should be done with this in mine. Spending resources at the trading post at this point is not a good idea, nor probably is spending them at a T2 war mill until you have the t3 garrison.

Followers and missions

The stuff the guides generally forgot to write

  • Assigning a follower with a relevant skill to a work order producing hut will give a chance of increasing production. Exactly how may vary by building or accounts are mixed, and this requires testing(if someone knows, please post) but the more reliable sources seem to say 50% chance of double for a lvl 90 worker increasing to 100% for lvl 100.
  • Rarity increases abilities and traits.
  • The missions you get are based on your highest level follower.

Levelling up followers

  • You want to take every resource mission.
  • So long as you have the resources for it, you want to really take every mission you can afford to with the follwing in mind:
    • Underlevel followers get only half-xp. So try to put on level appropriate guys to avoid waste
    • Multiple follower missions are more efficient resources->xp.
    • Really, until lvl 100 you want to prioritize missions with an xp bonus. But some player item missions are only 2-3 hours, use 3 followers and give a good base xp, so are worth taking even if the item itself is just getting sold de’d
    • If it’s 10 hours try and plan ahead to keep the guys you need for it available before you go sleep/go to work and then assign them. Of course if you want to assign tasks before work, figure out when you need to assign them so you can still do it in the morning. 10 hour 3 follower missions are extremely efficient xp/resource though they are not as good xp/time.
  • Once you have your T3 garrison you may consider being more wasteful with resources, you can go for efficiency of xp/time instead of xp/resource.
  • Due to the way missions are given out try to avoid one guy getting well ahead in levels. Try to keep a few guys leveling up in lock-step.
  • This also means you should be careful when a quest reward will give you a high lvl follower. If all your guys are lvl 95 and you get a lvl 98 follower, suddenly you’ll have a lot of missions you can’t do. Getting lvl 100 missions is pointless if you can’t complete them.
  • At some point getting an inn to T2 and hiring followers with the traits “epic mount”(halved mission time) and scavenger(“increase resources from missions) should be done. In fact, for the scavenger, this might even justify getting the inn before getting your lumber mill.

** Gearing up followers **

Most of the stuff that applies to lvling up applies here too. Unfortunately I find myself stuck with only 2 lvl 100 followers and unable to apply most of this because my lower level followers are having a hard time lvling(because I got the lvl100 guys too early and am thus getting bad missions for lvling up with). So this part is mostly theorycraft

  • Feed work orders to your T2 war mill, with adjustments to your Medium plots of needing more resources.
  • Always have a salvage yard and upgrade it to lvl2 asap

** Outstanding questions **

  • How are missions assigned? I have a sneaking suspicion that you are awarded new missions less frequency if you have a backlog. Early on I was keeping my mission list near empty all the time, and by the time I completed them, new ones appeared. While saving resources for my T3 fort, I found that the frequency of new missions popping up dropped. This is going to be pretty critical to choosing a strategy for picking missions: should we just spam them even with only a moderate chance, or should we only take the optimal ones.
  • Can we “downgrade” missions by deactivating high level followers(reactivating costs cash and is limited to 1 per week or day?)
  • When do we get the follower bonus to work orders? Must they be assigned for the full duration? Can you swap out another follower or will even momentarily taking someone off make the current order not give extra yield

tl;dr is at the top.

Let’s hear everyone elses strategies and ideas.

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