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 Mages.
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.
Table of Contents
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
Mage-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Mages: Mirrors of Torment
- Conjure 3 mirrors to torment the enemy for 25 sec. Whenever the target attacks, casts a spell or uses an ability, a mirror is consumed to inflict (60% of Spell power) Shadow damage and their movement and cast speed are slowed by 15%. This effect cannot be triggered more often than once per 6 sec.
The final mirror will instead inflict (151% of Spell power) Shadow damage to the enemy, Rooting and Silencing them for 4 sec.
- Arcane: Whenever a mirror is consumed you gain 4% mana
- Fire: Whenever a mirror is consumed your Fire Blast cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds
- Frost: Whenever a mirror is consumed you gain Brain Freeze
- Costs 4% of base mana – 1.5 minutes cooldown – 40 yd range – 1.5 seconds cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Mages: Deathborne
- Transform into a powerful Skeletal Mage for 20 sec. While in the form of a Skeletal Mage, your Frostbolt, Fireball, and Arcane Blast hit up to 2 enemies near your target, and your spell damage is increased by 10%.
- Costs 5% of base mana – 3 minutes cooldown – 1.5 seconds cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Mages: Radiant Spark
- Conjure a radiant spark that causes (76% of Spell power) Arcane damage instantly and an additional (41.2% of Spell power) damage over 10 sec.
The target takes 10% increased damage from your direct damage spells, stacking each time they are struck. This effect ends after 4 spells.
- Costs 2% of base mana – 30 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – 1.5 seconds cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Mages: Shifting Power
- Draw power from the ground beneath, dealing [(47.36% of Spell power) * 4 / 1] Nature damage over 4 sec to enemies within 18 yds. While channeling, your Mage ability cooldowns are reduced by (– 3000 / 1000 * 4/1) sec over 4 sec .
- Costs 5% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 4 seconds channel
Best Covenant for Arcane Mage
For Arcane Mage, the Kyrian, Night Fae and Venthyr Covenants are very close to each other in terms of DPS output. The current numbers show that Night Fae pulls ahead slightly, but the difference is minimal. The Necrolord Covenant lags behind, only pulling it’s weight in AOE situations (but even then doing similar damage as Night Fae).
November 23rd update: Nothing much has changed, Night Fae still does the most damage for arcane mages, with both Kyrian and Venthyr being viable alternative options.
For Arcane Mage in Arena, both the Venthyr Covenant as well as the Night Fae Covenant are strong options. For players who purely play PVP I would recommend taking Venthyr; for arcane mages that play both PVE and PVP Night Fae might be the better choice of the two.
Best Covenant for Fire Mage
The Night Fae Covenant is by far the best for Fire Mages in raiding and mythic+. The class ability, Shifting Power, is a channeled spell – meaning that Fire Blast can be cast while you channel this ability. Venthyr comes second, with Kyrian being a close third. Do not take Necrolord if your aim is to do high damage; it vastly underperforms compared to the other Covenants.
November 23rd update: Night Fae is still by far the best Covenant for mythic+ and AOE situations, but Venthyr and even Necrolord can do a little bit more damage on single target. I’d still pick Night Fae as it seems the safest option overall.
For Fire Mage in Arena, both the Venthyr Covenant as well as the Night Fae Covenant are strong options. For players who purely play PVP I would recommend taking Venthyr; for fire mages that play both PVE and PVP Night Fae might be the better choice of the two.
Best Covenant for Frost Mage
In almost all PVE situations, both Kyrian and Venthyr perform very well for frost mages. The difference between the two is minimal. Both Night Fae and Necrolord do well in AOE situations, but cannot hold their own for single target. The Necrolord Covenant will possibly be viable for single when combined with the Grim-Veiled Robe legendary, but the sims as of now are inconclusive.
November 23rd update: All Covenants perform well for frost mage; you really can’t go wrong. I would love to give you a ‘best’ pick, but it’s very hard to call one better than the others. Enjoy the luxury of choice and just pick whatever covenants has the mounts or transmog you like most.
Venthyr is the strongest Covenant for frost mages in Arena and Battlegrounds, with Kyrian being a strong contender. Both Necrolords and Night Fae underperform in PVP situations.