For the first time in Light knows how long, the four covenants of the Shadowlands stand united once more against a common foe. As gratitude for your aid, they have agreed to lend their powers and aid to you, but you must choose to align yourself with one. That ushers in the question: “What is the best covenant for each class in WoW?”
Whether you’re a new player or a returning veteran, your covenant choice is one of your most important decisions in the Shadowlands expansion. It determines what ability your class is centered around and what buffs you can gain access to from your Soulbinds.
With that in mind, we’ll be going over which one is the best covenant for each class in Shadowlands! We’ll discuss our reasoning for our choices, what Soulbinds we recommend, and if there are other viable alternatives.
Let’s get started.
Due to the multiple possible combinations, we’ll be focusing on which covenants are considered best for PvE. The amount of variance depending on matchups in PvP warrants its own article, and we’ll cover that if there’s enough interest.
At the moment, this article covers patch 9.1. When 9.1.5 drops, there might be changes, but we’re not expecting anything too major. If there are, we’ll update this article accordingly.
Covenant Default Ability
Each of the four covenants offers a unique consistent ability regardless of which class you play. Depending on your class and role, this ability may or may not be often used, but it’s nice to have on standby just in case you need it.
Additionally, depending on which soulbind you use, each ability tends to be augmented in some meaningful way.
- Kyrian: Summon Steward — Call forth a steward who provides you with a three-charge Phial of Serenity. This item heals 20% of your HP and purges all diseases, poisons, curses, and bleeds from you with a three-minute cooldown.
- Having an on demand heal and cleanse is invaluable for every class no matter the situation, and this item can be used to cheese multiple mechanics.
- Necrolord: Fleshcraft — Channel for three seconds to create a shield equal to 40% of your HP for two minutes.
- Incredibly useful before large pulls, you can also use it as a defensive during certain mechanics as channeling the ability also provides 20% damage reduction.
- Night Fae: Soulshape — Blink forth fifteen yards on activation and gain 50% move speed for its twelve-second duration. You can reactivate the blink every few seconds during its duration.
- Fantastic for slower classes or when you specifically need a blink to dodge a mechanic.
- Venthyr: Door of Shadows — Channel for 1.5 seconds to teleport to any location within thirty-five yards.
- Despite having a cast time, using this ability will usually get you further faster than most other speed boosts.
Without further ado, let’s get into our WoW: Shadowlands best covenant for each class list!
Best Covenant for Death Knight
Unsurprisingly, the undead army-themed Necrolords overall are considered the best covenant for Death Knights. Abomination Limb has value in virtually every scenario you can think of while providing solid damage and allowing you to reposition enemies with the extra grips.
Each spec benefits greatly from the additional recharge of their main buff (Bone Shield, Rime, Runic Corruption), and the soulbinds are diverse enough to be considered good across the board. You’ll be able to easily swap to whichever one is best suited for your situation and spec.
Your presence will be especially appreciated for any fight where your team wants to group up and AoE down adds immediately (cough Painsmith cough). The shield from Fleshcraft will make you simply even meatier as a plate class and helps with your role as a soak class on certain mechanics.
As for the other covenants, they’re all fairly viable for death knights. You’ll see varying success with all covenant choices at high level play.
- Blood and Frost (Single-target) should also consider going Kyrian instead.
- Blood naturally benefits immensely from having another heal/cleanse on hand as a tank. Additionally, Shackle the Unworthy is fantastic for reducing percent damage from afflicted enemies and can be spread to multiple targets if you use Mikanikos as your soulbind.
- Frost focuses more on the sheer damage output from Shackle the Unworthy. The mastery buff you gain from activating your covenant ability with Pelagos as your soulbind lines up perfectly with the cooldown on Obliterate.
Best Covenant for Demon Hunter
With a damage spec (Havoc) and a tanking spec (Vengeance), what demon hunters want will differ greatly from what the covenants have to offer.
Havoc has two equally viable options in the Night Fae or Venthyr. Both offer incredibly strong single-target abilities that can be spread to nearby targets as well.
- Night Fae: Offers The Hunt, which provides a bit more personal survivability. It heals you for a portion of the damage done. If you use the soulbind Niya, you’ll be putting out a little bit more DPS than Venthyr as well.
- Venthyr: Offers Sinful Brand, which helps the group with surviving. All afflicted enemies have their attack/casting speed reduced which can be a life saver in intense damage phases. Theotar tends to be the best soulbind at later renown stages.
Unfortunately the default covenant abilities for Night Fae and Venthyr aren’t very valuable to demon hunters, as they’re already an incredibly mobile class. Though for Venthyr with Theotar, Door of Shadows can be used to break free of snares.
Vengeance will be going almost exclusively Kyrian. As is tradition, the Phial of Serenity is fantastic for tanks. The Kyrian ability, Elysian Decree, is amazing for constantly generating threat in both single-target and AoE situations while dealing far greater damage than any of the other covenant abilities.
The extra souls you get from using the ability are just a straight up bonus to helping you stay alive.
Best Covenant for Druid
Naturally, the nature-based class would gravitate towards the nature-themed afterlife of the Night Fae. Thankfully for them, Night Fae is pretty much hands down the best covenant for druids!
Convoke the Spirits is the name of the game, and the reason why Night Fae reigns supreme. Being able to dump out 16 spells over the span of a four-second channel is incredibly powerful. Even more so if you align all of your stat-boosting cooldowns with the ability.
Thankfully, the ability takes your spec into consideration and uses the appropriate spells.
- DPS: You’ll do a huge burst of single-target damage with a decent amount of AoE mixed in.
- Healer: Mana efficient and quick AoE healing across the board.
- Tank: You get everything – damage, defensives, and healing.
The mobility from Soulshape is just a bonus for a class with access to different shapeshifting forms.
Niya is pretty much your go-to soulbind in most scenarios. Healers may consider Dreamweaver, and tanks can use Korayn for multi-target fights.
As for alternatives, we can’t really recommend them in most cases. The others might be perfectly viable, but Night Fae just outperforms them tremendously. The one exception is possibly Venthyr Balance. Incredibly situational, for this to consistently beat Night Fae requires you to effectively have forty seconds of uninterrupted casting while running the covenant legendary. This is incredibly difficult to achieve given most fight mechanics.
Best Covenant for Hunter
Previously, every hunter went Night Fae, as their covenant ability was straight up busted in damage output. Thanks to balance challenges and new renown levels, some covenant diversity has cropped up.
Marksman and Survival will find the Kyrian to be their best covenant for similar reasons. Both specs are centered around critting enemies with high burst abilities.
- 30% boosted crit chance against enemies afflicted by Resonating Arrow will make a huge difference in your damage output.
- Low cooldown on the ability (one minute) is the icing on the cake.
We recommend using Mikanikos as your soulbind for most situations, especially at high renown levels. His passives are simply too good to pass up.
Beast Master can comfortably stay with the Night Fae. Their major cooldowns line up comfortably with the two-minute cooldown on Wild Spirits and synergize with the passives of their best soulbind, Dreamweaver.
- However, Dreamweaver is incredibly dependent on standing in the buff circle of flowers he provides to gain a massive haste buff.
- Expect to be soaking even more mechanics as you can DPS constantly on the move and use Soulshape to get around even faster.
As for alternatives, it’s pretty much Kyrian or Night Fae regardless of spec. Venthyr is somewhat viable for single-target, but is completely lacking in AoE coverage.
Best Covenant for Mage
The first pure DPS class on our list, but there is little overlap in recommended covenants for the three specs.
Frost definitively wants to go Venthyr as its best covenant. By doing so, frost mages gain access to Mirrors of Torment. This ability has insane synergy with the spec, as activating it allows frost mages to gain three procs of Brain Freeze (their best damage proc)on top of its own damage.
- You will have to change your usual rotation after casting Mirrors of Torment. We recommend Flurry > Ice Lance > Ice Lance to get max value from the Brain Freeze procs.
As for soulbinds, you can choose between Nadjia or Theotar. The latter technically pulls ahead if you manage to get an ideal stat from his Party Favors passive but can be somewhat troublesome to use.
Fire gains the most value from the Night Fae, largely because of the utility effect from the covenant ability. While Shifting Power does offer very strong AoE damage, it’s the cooldown reduction on all of your other abilities that’s truly valuable.
- The more cooldowns you use before popping Shifting Power will result in better value.
- The raw damage from the ability synergizes well with fire mages’ AoE presence.
We recommend going with Dreamweaver as your soulbind once you hit Renown 54 for superior damage boosts and a cheat death mechanic. The extra blink from Shapeshift doesn’t hurt either.
Arcane is a bit odd, synergizing the most with the Kyrian. With a focus on nuking down priority targets, Radiant Spark only enhances this further by boosting the next 4 direct spells by a stacking 10%.
- Maximizing damage requires lining it up with a fully charged Arcane Blast and Arcane Barrage.
Pelagos is your go-to soulbind. The boosts to mastery are simply too good to pass up.
Regarding alternatives, it’s best to stick with the recommended ones. The suggested ones strengthen the role of each spec and allow them to capitalize on their strongest aspects and ability procs.
Best Covenant for Monk
While monks are fairly flexible with their covenant choice, with only Venthyr being questionable, the overall best covenant for all three specs is definitely Kyrian.
Weapons of Order drastically boosts mastery for all three specs while providing powerful resets and cooldown reductions on your main abilities.
- Windwalker: Spam your main damage abilities more with reduced chi costs and cooldown reduction.
- Mistweaver: Reset Essence Font and gain extra heals on the start and end of it.
- Brewmaster: A massive damage boost while providing plenty of mastery. Simple but effective.
As for soulbinds, DPS and tank monks will definitely want Mikanikos for the damage boosts. Healer monks will gain the most from Kleia, providing even more heals with their crits.
Alternatives covenant choices are mainly Necrolords with some picking up Night Fae. These two covenants offer a far easier ability to use. However, monks that stick with and master Kyrian have the highest output potential.
Best Covenant for Paladin
Much like monks, the Kyrians overall hold the position as the best covenant for paladins. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise given the themes of the Kyrian. However, their counterpart in the Venthyr is also a very strong contender for paladins.
The Kyrian offer Divine Toll to effectively echo their main ability across multiple targets while rolling the slot machine to have the ability also repeat multiple times on their target.
- Retribution: Laugh maniacally when the conduit Ringing Clarity procs for multiple Judgment casts on your target. Then mash their face in with the holy power generation.
- Holy: Great AoE healing via multiple Holy Shocks. Especially good for emergency holy power.
- Protection: Throw multiple Avenger’s Shields to generate massive AoE threat and silence all nearby casters for repositioning.
Pelagos is your best soulbind for DPS and tanks to take advantage of the mastery boosts. Kleia is the best for healers, especially if you crit often.
Meanwhile the Venthyr grant Ashen Hallow, damaging all enemies and healing all allies within it. Also you can spam Hammer of Wrath without regard to health and do twice the damage.
- The playstyle tends to be the same for all three specs: spam Hammer of Wrath when available.
- The cooldown is very long, so pop it for heavy damage/healing phases early on if possible.
- Door of Shadows helps tremendously with paladins’ lack of mobility.
Similar to Pelagos, Nadjia is the best one for DPS and tanks due to her passives. Theotar is your go-to choice if you’re a healer.
We strongly recommend sticking between choosing either Kyrian or Venthyr. The other two are… lackluster.
Best Covenant for Priest
Depending on your spec, you’ll be choosing Kyrian or Night Fae as the best covenant for priests. If you expect to be swapping between DPS and healing, we recommend basing your covenant on your healing spec.
Shadow and Holy gains the most overall benefit from the Night Fae. Fae Guardians spawns three adds that provide additional effects depending on the last spell you cast.
- Wrathful: Follows Shadow Word: Pain target, grants insanity/mana per direct attack.
- Guardian: Follows Power Word: Shield target, reduce incoming damage by 20%.
- Benevolent: Follows Shadow Mend, cuts major ability cooldown in half (Void Erruption)
You’ll want to be running Niya for her passive mastery stacks. The movement boost from Soulshape is also fantastic for a rather low mobility class like priest.
Discipline gains the most from the Kyrians, as Boon of the Ascended reinforces your role of dealing damage to heal allies. Activating the ability replaces your Smite spell with Ascended Blast. This new ability does drastically increased damage and heals nearby allies at the same time. At the end of Boon of the Ascended, you unleash a massive detonation dealing even more damage and healing dependent on how many casts of Ascended Blast you got off.
- Using the covenant legendary allows you to get the cooldown of the spell even lower for more spam.
Mikanikos is your desired soulbind, as his ultimate passive grants a sizeable chunk of damage and the potential to lower the cooldown of Boon of the Ascended even more depending on how many enemies are hit.
The Necrolords are also acceptable, with Shadow priests gaining the most as an alternative.
Best Covenant for Rogue
Similar to paladins, Kyrian or Venthyr will be the best covenant for rogues, depending on their spec. Regardless of which one they choose, their covenant ability will be the cornerstone of their kit.
Assassination should go Venthyr without a doubt. With the desire to gain as much haste as possible and the ability to generate combo points incredibly quickly via crits, Flagellation just lines up perfectly with the spec.
- Each combo point spent while an enemy is afflicted with Flagellation does more damage.
- The covenant legendary lowers the cooldown on Flagellation for each combo point too.
- Gain up to thirty stacks of a haste buff depending on the number of combo points spent.
Theotar will be your go to soulbind for the passive stat buffs from Party Favors.
Outlaw benefits the most with the Kyrian and their Echoing Reprimand ability. It deals a large burst of initial damage and supercharges one of the rogue’s combo points. Using a finisher on the supercharged point makes the ability hit like you spent seven combo points.
- Sinister Strike is a great way to reliably generate the right number of points.
- Try to use Echoing Reprimand while buffs are active and capitalize on the supercharged point.
Mikanikos just gives too many free stats with his passives to pass up as a soulbind.
Subtlety has the flexibility of choosing between Venthyr and Kyrian with similar output. In both cases you’ll want to build the covenant legendary and play around its signature ability. Additionally, your soulbind choices will be the same. It mostly comes down to playstyle with the Venthyr edging a bit ahead on DPS simulations.
Best Covenant for Shaman
Another case of split covenants, but this time between the Necrolords and Night Fae. The caster specs gravitate more towards the Necrolords with the melee spec preferring the Night Fae.
Elemental and Restoration both benefit tremendously from the Necrolords’ Primordial Wave ability. It simply does a burst of damage/healing to your target and enhances the next cast to target multiple nearby enemies/allies.
- With its short cooldown, it should be used as often as possible.
- Great for both single-target and AoE pressure.
Go with Heirmir for your soulbind choice in both specs. The passive benefits from her first ability are fantastic and critting enough times will further bolster your crit rate every minute.
Enhancement should seek out the Night Fae for their Fae Transfusion. Certainly the longest cooldown on the shaman’s covenant abilities, but also provides the highest single-target damage. Additionally, it sets up burst windows by granting you 3 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon.
- Requires some forethought for when to use as you have to channel it.
- Provides strong AoE presence and some extra healing to your allies.
Niya and Korayn are viable as soulbinds, preferably for single-target and AoE situations respectively.
The alternatives are not fantastic, but Enhancement can play around with Kyrian for less flashy but more flexible variant of the Night Fae ability.
Best Covenant for Warlock
Despite being practicers of fel-magic, warlocks will definitively find the Night Fae to be the best covenant for them across all three specs. Though it’s less about the signature ability you get from the Night Fae and more so that the other covenants are rather underwhelming.
The Night Fae offer you the ability Soul Rot. It’s a decent enough ability that afflicts your main target and a couple more nearby enemies with a mini-burst of damage followed by a DoT. Additionally, it lets your next Drain Life target all enemies afflicted with Soul Rot, but this part isn’t very useful unless you need to top off on health.
- Affliction will benefit more from the lingering DoT than the other two specs due to Malefic Rapture.
Niya is your go to soulbind across the board, largely due to the mastery buffs and additional DoT she grants. As a bonus, your Soulshape is incredibly useful for when you don’t feel like burning your warlock gate or teleport circle cooldowns.
As an alternative, only the Necrolords have any real value. Their covenant ability Decimating Bolt isn’t bad for Destruction and Demonology, especially for single-target execution phases. However, it’s definitely less flexible than Soul Rot so proceed at your own caution.
Best Covenant for Warrior
Our final entry on our list and another case of each spec having a radically different best covenant.
Fury warriors resonate the best with the Venthyr, as they grant Condemn. This ability is a juiced up variant of Execute that allows warriors to use it while enemies are above 80% HP as well.
- Best single target covenant ability.
- Provides a small absorption shield, which is surprisingly useful against passive damage.
Nadjia will be your soulbind of choice. With the spec’s playstyle, activating Thrillseeker won’t be hard at all. While you probably won’t need Door of Shadows given access to Charge and Heroic Leap, it can come in handy when you need the extra mobility.
Arms should seek out the Night Fae to compliment its burst window play even further. Ancient Aftershock is highly flexible for both single-target and AoE situations, providing powerful on demand damage.
Niya will be your go to choice, providing ample single-target pressure. Soulshape might see some use, mostly for when you just need more run speed for an extended period of time.
Protection gains the most from its covenant choice, as the Kyrian provide everything a tank wants. The Phial of Serenity is obviously fantastic for someone holding aggro, and the covenant grants the Spear of Bastion. This amazing crowd control ability pins all nearby enemies within a small circle, deals a fair bit of damage, and generates tremendous rage/threat all at a distance.
- Grouping enemies is ideal before using it.
- Can be used to great effectiveness for kiting dangerous enemies.
Mikanikos will be your soulbind of choice. Besides being able to summon Bronn to aid you, you should be able to maximize the value gained from his ultimate passive.
As for alternatives, all three specs can comfortably run Necrolords as well for a middle-of-the-ground approach. It provides an AoE presence to allies, buffing their mastery and movement speed, while generating rage for yourself.
Join the High Ground
And that’s it for our guide on the best covenants for each class in WoW! We hope it has helped you make an informed decision. Have thoughts on a different covenant/class combination? Join High Ground Gaming and leave a comment below!