OPTIMAL COVENANT CHOICES FOR EACH DPS SPEC
Your choice of Covenant will influence all aspects of the endgame that is unlocked after you complete the main Shadowlands storyline and reach level 60. Each Covenant grants abilities and traits that you may use to finalize your build, but some of them are more useful for certain classes or specializations than others. DPS specs are especially diverse, but anyone playing them will be interested in finding additional ways of maximizing their damage potential.
Frost Death Knights can work best with the Night Fae, thanks mainly to Death’s Due – an area of effect attack that upgrades Death and Decay while also adding an extra target to Obliterate. Death’s Due also weakens enemy attacks and increases your strength for up to eight stacks that can accumulate twice as fast if you are dualwielding. On top of that, the Niya Soulbind offers several potent DPS-boosting traits. Meanwhile, Unholy Death Knights get the greatest utility out of the Necrolords, whose Abomination Limb class spell can vastly increase their Runic Power regeneration on top of pulling over and tearing apart nearby foes. Once they have earned enough Renown, Bonesmith Heirmir becomes their best Soulbind option due to his impressive critical strike bonus trait in Row 8.
The Venthyr have the most to offer to Havoc Demon Hunters, starting with their Sinful Brand class spell. This spell deals heavy damage to one target over time while also inflicting powerful debuffs, making it ideal for fighting bosses. When cast with Metamorphosis, it becomes a multi-target effect, increasing the build’s versatility. Nadjia the Mistblade has a very convenient haste-on-kill trait early in her Soulbind tree, with plenty of other useful picks later on. That said, the Kyrians’ Elysian Decree Sigil makes them a highly competitive option in target-rich environments.
Kyrian presents the most well-rounded option for Balance Druids thanks to the flexibility afforded by the Covenant’s Kindred Spirits spell, which lets you exchange role-based bonuses (such as damage or absorption) with allies. That makes it especially useful when dealing with tricky opponents in Castle Nathria or dungeons. The Mastery boost from Pelagos’ Combat Meditation trait enhances it further since it contributes to the bonus. Night Fae wins out for Feral Druids. Convoke the Spirits casts 16 semi-random healing or damaging spells, partly influenced by current form, potentially inflicting an unrivaled if the unpredictable burst of harm on single or massed opponents. You can further bolster its effects with the Conflux of Elements Conduit.
Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, and Survival Hunters alike benefit the most from working with the Night Fae. Their Wild Spirits spell not only deals ground-targetted area-of-effect damage but also places Hunter’s Marks and duplicates any damaging abilities used by your Hunter or their pet for up to five additional targets. It offers a great way to swiftly clear away waves of opponents, which can be especially handy in Mythic+ dungeons. All three Night Fae Soulbinds can synergize smoothly with this ability: while Niya and Dreamweaver may greatly increase your survivability, helping you sustain the offensive, Korayn’s Wild Hunt Tactics improve the efficiency of opening bursts.
Night Fae are also nearly always the optimal choice for Mages because of their Shifting Power ability, channeling which simultaneously damages nearby targets and reduces all your ability cooldowns. Being able to cast Evocation more often means that Arcane Mages will not have to fear running out of mana, while Fire Mages will gain a massive increase in firepower. The latter is true to a lesser extent for Frost Mages, whose best area-of-effect spells also have notable cooldowns. The Venthyr may be a better option for a Frost spec focused on raiding or PvP, however. Their Mirrors of Torment class ability harries an individual enemy with damage and debuffs while also powering up the caster’s Frostbolts via Brain Freeze.
Windwalker Monks can gain a lot by aligning themselves with the Kyrians. The Weapons of Order class power reduces costs and cooldowns on key abilities while providing a substantial Mastery bonus. Pelagos’ Soulbind is ideally positioned to support this ability by attaching further Mastery boosts through the Combat Meditation first-row trait and the Strike with Clarity Conduit. The result is a massive damage burst that may be further improved by a Legendary Power such as Invoker’s Delight. That said, the Necrolords may narrowly edge out the Kyrians when it comes to fighting enemy waves. Their Bonedust Brew ability greatly simplifies that task by duplicating the effects of heals or attacks on any covered targets, while their rich Soulbind selection offers more flexibility than do the Kyrians.
The Venthyr are the most promising option for Retribution Paladins, though unleashing their full potential requires completing the Covenant campaign. All three Soulbind options are solid choices due to their varied stat bonuses, increasing the build’s flexibility. While the Ashen Hallow class ability can be tricky to use optimally, its effects can be nothing short of spectacular. It creates a circle that damages enemies, heals allies, and allows you to cast the Hammer of Wrath on anyone with twice the usual impact. This ability works well with the signature Door of Shadows teleportation spell, moving the Paladin to where their powers can have the most effect.
Shadow Priests have a nicely balanced selection of Covenants, but the Necrolords appear to be the most balanced choice. Their Unholy Nova class spell does damage over time to nearby enemies, heals allies based on enemy numbers, and lets them heal themselves by hitting affected opponents. Timing is crucial if you are to ensure that your enemies live just long enough to help you, so coaching may be invaluable for mastering this build. All three Necrolord Soulbinds are quite helpful, though Emeni’s Lead by Example trait, which buffs the party whenever you use the class spell, is available from the start and helps in endgame progression.
Rogues are another class that derives universally applicable advantages from association with the Night Fae. Assassination, Outlaw, and Subtlety specs alike can put the signature Soulshape ability’s speed boost and short-range teleportation to devastating use. Their class ability, Sepsis, is a solid damage-over-time power that is easy to use in any scenario. The Soulbinds of Niya, Dreamweaver, and Korayn are ideally suited for early Covenant progression, surviving in difficult environments like Torghast, Tower of the Damned, and quickly inflicting heavy damage in high-end dungeons respectively.
Primordial Wave makes Necrolords the most efficient and interesting choice for an Elemental Shaman. This class ability can be used to heal allies or harm enemies, afflicting the latter with Flame Shock. The Shaman’s next Lava Burst would then also hit all targets with Flame Shock, vastly improving their wave-clearing ability. Emeni is once again an extremely helpful Soulbind from the very start. The Venthyr is unmatched with an Enhancement Shaman due to their powerful Chain Harvest class ability. Its effect jumps from target to target, healing friends and harming foes. Critical strikes lower its cooldown; their likelihood increases with the Lavish Harvest Conduit that you can acquire by defeating a world boss in a world quest.
Thanks to their solid Soulbinds and easier access to Potence Conduits, Night Fae provide Affliction Warlocks with the flexibility needed to take on all types of PvE content. Soul Rot, the class spell, is a versatile multi-target attack that inflicts more damage on one target while providing Drain Life; Niya’s Grove Invigoration trait synergizes with it by further raising your health and Mastery. Soulshape provides much-needed mobility. Demonology Warlocks gain the most from Necrolords, due mainly to their Soulbinds’ stat boosts, though the Decimating Bolt class spell is a valuable addition to the Warlock’s single-target output. The Kyrians’ Scouring Tithe does good damage to an individual enemy and rewards over-time kills with five Soul Shards. Together with Kleia’s bonuses, that makes the Bastion-based Covenant perfect for Destruction Warlocks.
Both Arms and Fury Warriors work well with Venthyr, who offer the best single-target boost of all Covenants in the form of Condemn. This class ability replaces Execute with a more versatile move which can affect targets that still have most of their health and adds a damage debuff. The Massacre Talent and the Ashen Juggernaut Conduit further increase its power and useability. The Kyrians can be a formidable alternative for raids and rated battlegrounds alike due to the superior crowd control enabled by the inescapable tether effect of their Spear of Bastion class ability. The Phial of Serenity acquired through Summon Steward is a precious healing and dispelling item that definitely outshines the other signature abilities when it comes to sheer utility.
While this guide examines the very best options for specific activities, most DPS specs have a solid choice of Covenant abilities and Soulbinds. That gives you the freedom to choose between them according to your own playstyle preferences or sympathies. Whether you wish to slay monsters in the Maw or fellow players in the Arena, the Covenant you go with will give you a considerable edge that may just prove decisive.