While leveling in the Shadowlands, you will encounter four different Covenants; each desperate for your help. In exchange for your aid, they will provide you with a general and a spec-specific ability, as well as a variety of cosmetics such as mounts, pets and armor sets.
Picking the right Covenant is a hard and important decision. This guide will help you decide what the best Covenant is for Death Knights.
Your first character of the expansion will need to level through all four Shadowlands zones (Revendreth, Maldraxxus, Bastion and Ardenweald) and pick a Covenant at level 60. Subsequent alts can pick a Covenant at level 50 and do not need to complete all questlines.
All Shadowlands Covenant Guides
What Covenants are there?
There are 4 Covenants in the Shadowlands
- The Venthyr in Revendreth. Their Sanctum is Sinfall.
- The Necrolords in Maldraxxus. Their Sanctum is the Seat of the Primus.
- The Kyrians in Bastion. Their Sanctum is Elysian Hold.
- The Night Fae in Ardenweald. Their Sanctum is the Heart of the Forest.
Can you switch Covenant?
Yes, you can quite easily leave your Covenant and join another Covenant that you have not joined before. Simple speak to the leader of the Covenant you wish to join in Oribos.
If you left a Covenant and wish to rejoin it, the process is a bit more difficult. The Covenant sees your leaving as a betrayal, and you will have to prove your worth by completing dungeons, world quests, daily quests and more.
Rejoining a Covenant requires two weekly quests, thus takes a minimum of two weeks.
General Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant has a Signature Ability. This is an ability that all members of the Covenant get, regardless of race, class or specialization.
Venthyr Covenant Ability: Door of Shadows
- Wend through the shadows, appearing at the targeted location
- 1 minute cooldown – 35 yd range – 1.5 secs cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability: Fleshcraft
- Form a shield of flesh and bone over 4 seconds that prevents damage equal to 20% of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield, up to 50% of your maximum health.
- 2 minutes cooldown – 10 yd range – 4 seconds channel
Kyrian Covenant Ability: Summon Steward
- Call your steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 20% of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects.
Your Steward additionally offers access to a selection of useful amenities, each once per day.
- 5 minutes cooldown – instant cast
- The other abilities of the steward are predominantly temporary buffs to stats, movement speed or flat dps/hps increase.
Night Fae Covenant Ability: Soulshape
- Turn into a Vulpin, teleporting 15 yards forward and increasing movement speed by 50%. You may reactivate Soulshape every few seconds to teleport a short distance forward.
While out in the world, this effect has a 12 seconds duration before it wears off, but lasts indefinitely while in a rest area.
- 1.5 minute cooldown – instant cast
Death Knight-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Death Knights: Swarming Mist
- A heavy mist surrounds you for 8 sec , increasing your chance to Dodge by 10%. Deals (20% of Attack Power) Shadow damage every 1 sec to enemies within 10 yds. Every time it deals damage you gain 3 Runic Power, up to a maximum amount of 15 Runic Power.
- Costs 1 Rune – 1 minute cooldown – instant cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Death Knights: Abomination Limb
- Sprout an additional limb for 12 sec. Every 1 sec, it deals (25.76% of Attack power) Shadow damage to 5 nearby enemies and pulls an enemy to your location if they are further than 8 yds from you.
- Blood: The first time the limb pulls an enemy gain 3 Bone Shield charges.
- Frost: The first time the limb pulls an enemy gain Rime.
- Unholy: The first time the limb pulls an enemy gain Runic Corruption.
- Abomination Limb can only pull the same enemy once every 4 sec.
- 2 minutes cooldown – 20 yd range – instant cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Death Knights: Shackle the Unworthy
- Admonish your target for their past transgressions, reducing the damage they deal to you by 5% and dealing (178.5% of Attack Power) Arcane damage over 14 seconds. While Shackle the Unworthy is active on an enemy, your direct-damage attacks that spend runes have a 50% chance to spread Shackle the Unworthy to a nearby enemy.
- 1 minute cooldown – 30 yd range – instant cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Death’s Due
- Replaces Death and Decay
- Corrupts the targeted ground, causing [(3.6036% of Attack power) * 11] Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area. Death’s Due reduces damage enemies deal to you by 1%, up to a maximum of 8% and their power is transferred to you as an equal amount of Strength.
- Blood: While you remain within the area, your Necrotic Strike and Heart Strike will hit up to 0 additional targets and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds. Scourge Strike will hit up to 4 enemies near the target and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds.
- Frost: Necrotic Strike and Scourge Strike will hit up to 4 enemies near the target and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds. While you remain within the area, your Obliterate will hit up to 1 additional target and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds.
- Unholy: While you remain within the area, your Necrotic Strike and Scourge Strike will hit up to 4 enemies near the target and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds and your Obliterate will hit up to 1 additional target and inflict Death’s Due for 12 seconds.
- Costs 1 Rune – 30 seconds cooldown – 30 yd range – instant cast
Best Covenant for Blood Death Knight
The Night Fae Covenant is the strongest – time for ‘Butterfly DK’. Death’s Due (the Night Fae ability) does amazing damage and makes your enemies deal reduced damage to you. The Venthyr Covenant is a good alternative option, and even Kyrian could be considered. Just don’t pick Necrolord; the damage is awful, it offers no extra survivability and could even be annoying in Mythic+ for certain affixes (such as Sanguine or Bolstering).
November 23rd update: Night Fae was nerfed, and is no longer the strongest options for Blood DK. Both Kyrian and Venthyr are now strong options, with Kyrian being a safe choice for all situations, while Venthyr outperforms the other Covenants in Mythic+ and AOE fights.
Necrolords is actually quite decent for Blood DK’s in Arena and Battlegrounds, but you probably don’t want to pick it because of how bad it is in PVE. If you play both PVE and PVP on your Blood Death Knight, just pick the one you want most for PVE. For PVP Kyrian, Night Fae and Venthyr are all pretty equal.
Best Covenant for Frost Death Knight
Frosts Death Knights can consider both Night Fae and Venthyr for raiding and dungeons. The Night Fae Covenant provides you with a steady DPS increase. The Venthyr Covenant synergizes very well with your Breath of Sindragosa, increasing your burst DPS. Which one is better comes down to each specific raid or dungeon encounter. I would pick one based on your personal preference; Venthyr if you like burst, Night Fae if you want a more smooth and evened out damage increase.
November 23rd update: Venthyr is still very strong and seems the safest pick. Night Fae can slightly outperform it for 2H frost DK’s in AOE situations. Kyrian does good single target damage, but can’t keep up with Venthyr and Night Fae in mythic plus. Necrolord is just bad.
Necrolords is strong for Frost DK in Arena and Battlegrounds, but you might be hesistant to pick it if you play PVE content with your DK as well. The other three are currently quite equal in their performance in PVP. Conclusion: pick Necrolords if you only play PVP, and pick the one you want most for PVE if you play both PVE and PVP content.
Best Covenant for Unholy Death Knight
The Night Fae Covenant is the clear-cut winner for Unholy Death Knights in raiding and mythic+. Venthyr is a strong alternative option. Kyrian and Necrolords are both kind of meh – they aren’t bad but they can’t compare to the other two Covenants.
November 23rd update: Things have changed – a lot. Necrolord is now the BiS Covenant, with Venthyr being a very close second. Kyrian can be good on single target, but really falls off for AOE situations. Night Fae is now the worst (though not horrible).
Necrolords is strong for Unholy DK in Arena and Battlegrounds, but you might be hesistant to pick it if you play PVE content with your DK as well. The other three are currently quite equal in their performance in PVP. Conclusion: pick Necrolords if you only play PVP, and pick the one you want most for PVE if you play both PVE and PVP content.