Potions, elixirs, transmutation, reinforcement and enhancement of physical objects, is what involved in Alchemy. It is seen as a sort of scientific magic; when crafting items like potions involves distilling the ingredients (by extracting the “latent mana” from them rather than more mundane chemical compounds) and generally enchanting raw materials with magical properties.
Alchemists were at the forefront of science and technology, and they essentially invented modern chemistry and discovered important natural and supernatural laws such as Equivalent Exchange during their unorthodox experiments.
Alchemy is still a respected field on Kaf, jobs include producing restorative and buffing potions, transmuting gems into more valuable gems and metals into more valuable metals, giving specific permanent magical enchantments to nonmagical items of high enough quality.
The biggest drawback to any form of Alchemy is that it tends to require a lot of preparation. Trying to gather the reagents is never easy so alchemists prefer to let their assistants do this part of the job.
Another advancement from traditional alchemy besides chemistry is the creation and use of magic technology, termed Magetech. Magitech, specializes in controlling or improving existing technology with mana but can also be used to create unique magical machines, devices or “artificial” creations such as golems.
The major advantage of magical artifacts and magetech is that they are reliable and solid, assuming you know what the item does and how to use it. Typically, there’s no chance of botching a spell, so long as the sword/wand/staff/whatever is used properly. They are often usable by everyone as well, although if the artifact is damaged or cursed, you are basically playing Russian Roulette every time you use it. The downsides to artifact-based magic are the breakage, like previously mentioned; in addition, it tends to take a lot of preparation and hard work to craft magical items, particularly if they are of any significant power. Finally, the power isn’t actually yours, you’re just borrowing it. If something happens to the item (misplaced, stolen, broken, destroyed, develops a mind of its own), then you are in trouble.