Ok, I’m fibbing a bit here. I only got to 311 this morning, but since I’m assuming no recipes will change before 315 I’m just counting it anyway :P
I brought some thorium bars with me, so I decided to get as many points as I could before I dipped into my precious fel iron stock. Luckily I had an enchanter with me, so I had her create 6 enchanted Thorium bars to use in my first expansion recipe “Enchanted Thorium Blades”. This is a thrown weapon with +6 agility which uses 6 thorium bars, 2 enchanted thorium bars and 1 rugged leather. So I made three of these before I ran out of enchanted thorium. Clearly I should have planned better and brought a bigger stash of dream dust! This recipe is still orange at 311 so you could probably crank out at least 15 of these with non-expansion mats if you want to power up your smithing.
Another option is the Imperial Plate set, which is what I did next. The helm, boots, chest and leggings are all still orange at 311. It takes more thorium than the blades, but you can get by with no extra mats if that’s easier for you. I made several pairs of boots before I ran out of thorium, but I’m sure this could easily be used up to 315 skill.
After that I made a few fel iron items. When you first visit the trainer in Honor Hold, he gives you 2 plate recipes and 2 mail recipes. I made myself a Fel Iron Chain Coif (382AC, 33 STA, 21 INT, 42 attack power) since I wasn’t real happy with the helm I had. There is also a pair of Fel Iron Chain Gloves, but they require level 61 which I am not. Instead I made a few pairs of Fel Iron Plate Gloves (524AC, 24 STR, 21 STA) which also require level 61. I sent one pair to my tank and the rest are going up on the auction. I actually have enough fel iron to make one more item, but since it was obvious that I wasn’t going to hit 315 I decided to wait and collect more ore.
I should mention that both of these new armor pieces are part of a set. The plate set has 5 pieces and gives a +150AC bonus for 2 and +20 defense for 4 of the set. The mail set has 4 pieces and gives a +14 crit bonus for 2 and +8 mana/5 sec for 4 pieces of the set. I hope that the ability to make set armor increases the marketability of blacksmithing armor vs loot drops.
Another thing smiths should be aware of, in order to smelt fel iron in bars you’ll need 2 ores for each bar. In the early stages of smithing, Blizz seems to have eased the burden by having recipes require only 4 bars of fel iron, but at some point that will ramp up. So be prepared to do a lot of mining to support your crafting.