Hey guys! I know a lot of Alchemists out there do their daily transmute cooldown, and most likely make Truegold every time. I'm here to tell you that contrary to popular belief, it's not necessarily the most profitable transmute you can make, especially if you're not a transmute master.
Living Elements is a highly misunderstood transmute. After me suggesting it, you may be thinking, why gamble at getting a worthless transmute of Volatile Earth when I can just make the guaranteed profit of Truegold? The answer is simple. Transmute: Living Elements will actually give you a specified Volatile, if you do it in the right Cataclysm zone. A Blizzard post about this can be found here.
To sum it up, I've included the following table:
|Volatile||Corresponding Cataclysm Zone|
What should catch your eye is that you can transmute 15 Volatile Life to 14-16 (15 on average) Volatile Air by doing this transmute in Uldum. For my server I buy Life at around 5 gold, and Air goes for 20 gold. On average I'll make 15 gold each and 15 at a time for a 225 gold profit. Run the numbers on your server and see which transmute is more profitable for you! I've found if you're a potions/elixir master this is usually the best way to go, but as a transmute master, the proc is still random (for example doing it in Uldum will get you 14-16 volatile air and maybe 2-3 of a random Volatile from the table, Air included) whereas the Truegold proc is guaranteed to proc more Truegold.
Note for Your Under 83 Alchemist
If your alchemist is under level 83 and/or doesn't have the portal to Uldum yet, there is an easy path to Uldum from Dalaran, given you have the proper flying training. Just get a port to Dalaran, and head over to The Violet Citadel. Up the stairs in The Violet Citadel is a portal to The Caverns of Time. Take this and you will be one zone north of Uldum. Fly south to Uldum, and enjoy your extra profits!