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 Priests.
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
Priest-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Priests: Mindgames
- Assault an enemy’s mind, dealing (300% of Spell power) Shadow damage and briefly reversing their perception of reality. For a 5 seconds, the next [(Spell power * 450 / 100) * (1 + Versatility)] damage they deal will heal their target, and the next [(Spell power * 450 / 100) * (1 + Versatility)] healing they do will damage their target. Generates up to 40 Insanity.
- Discipline/Holy: Reversed damage and healing restores up to 4% mana
- Shadow: Reversed damage and healing generate up to 20 Insanity
- Costs 2% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – 1.5 seconds cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Priests: Unholy Nova
- An explosion of dark energy infects enemies within 15 yds with Unholy Transfusion, and heals up to 6 allies for (119% of Spell power).
- Unholy Transfusion: Deals (250% of Spell power) Shadow damage over 15 seconds. Allies who damage this target are healed for (4% of Spell power).
- Costs 5% of base mana – 1 minute cooldown – instant cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Priests: Boon of the Ascended
- Discipline/Holy: Draw upon the power of the Ascended for 10 seconds, granting access to Ascended Nova, replacing Smite with Ascended Blast and increasing your movement speed by 50% . Upon expiration, releases an Ascended Eruption.
- Shadow: Draw upon the power of the Ascended for 10 seconds, granting access to Ascended Nova, replacing Mind Flay with Ascended Blast and increasing your movement speed by 50% . Upon expiration, releases an Ascended Eruption.
- Ascended Nova – Release a powerful burst of anima, dealing up to (69% of Spell power) Arcane damage based on the number of enemies, and (38% of Spell power) healing to up to 6 allies within 8 yds.
Grants 1 stack of Boon of the Ascended for each target damaged.
- Ascended Blast – Blasts the enemy with pure Anima, causing (260% of Spell power) Arcane damage and healing a nearby ally for 120% of the damage done.
Grants 5 stacks of Boon of the Ascended.
Generates 6 Insanity
- Ascended Eruption – Explode for up to (352% of Spell power) Arcane damage to enemies and (222% of Spell power) healing to allies within 15 yds, based on number of targets. Damage and healing increased by 3% for each stack of Boon of the Ascended.
- 3 minutes cooldown – 1.5 seconds cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Priests: Fae Guardians
- Call forth three faerie guardians to attend your targets for 20 seconds.
- Wrathful Faerie: Direct attacks against the target restore 0.5% Mana or 3 Insanity. Follows your Shadow Word: Pain.
- Guardian Faerie: Reduces damage taken by 10%. Follows your Power Word: Shield.
- Benevolent Faerie: Increases the cooldown recovery rate of a major ability by 100%. Follows your Flash Heal (for Holy) or Shadow Mend (for Discipline and Shadow).
- Costs 2% of base mana – 1.5 minutes cooldown – instant cast
Best Covenant for Discipline Priest
In raids and mythic+, the Venthyr Covenant is the absolute winner for discipline priests. Seriously, pick Venthyr. Kyrian can kinda be ok in mythic+, though not as good as Venthyr. Necrolords and Night Fae just shouldn’t be picked.
November 23rd update: Kyrian seems slightly stronger than before, outperforming Venthyr in Mythic+ by a small margin. My advice is to go Kyrian if you mainly play M+, and to pick Venthyr if your main focus is raiding.
Like in PVE, the Venthyr Covenant is also the strongest for discipline priests in Arena and Battlegrounds. Kyrian offers some good burst healing and dps, but the lower cooldown of Venthyr makes it more suitable for keeping constant pressure on your enemies.
Best Covenant for Holy Priest
Both Night Fae and Kyrian are viable options for holy priests in mythic+ and raiding. Necrolords falls behind, but has its use in AOE situations. While Venthyr is the clear-cut winner for discipline priest, it is by far the worst Covenant for holy priest.
November 23rd update: Night Fae received a nerf while Necrolord was buffed. Holy priests who mainly play PVE can pick both Necrolord and Kyrian now, with Necrolord being a bit better in Mythic+ and Kyrian pulling slightly ahead in raiding situations.
Venthyr is the absolute worst pick for holy priests in PVE, but is the strongest Covenant for holy priests in Arena and Battlegrounds. This puts holy priest players who like to play both PVE and PVP content in a tough spot, having to pick one of the two game types to be better in.
Best Covenant for Shadow Priest
Shadow priests don’t really have a best Covenant – it is more a case of which is the least bad. The Kyrian Covenant seems to be the worst of the bunch, not excelling in any situation. The Necrolord Covenant offers a mediocre DPS increase in AOE situations and is probably the least bad of the bunch for mythic+. Night Fae can do some OK damage on single target fights. Venthyr was buffed, but still underperforms compared to Necrolord and Night Fae.
November 23rd update: Some numbers got shuffled around and now Necrolord looks kind of decent for shadow priests, at least for fights with multiple targets. The Kyrian Covenant also received a buff, but with the very erratic tweaking of its numbers Necrolord is probably the safest choice for shadow priests.
For shadow priests in Arena and Battlegrounds I recommend Venthyr – I guess. I’m sorry, they’re all pretty bad and none of the four Covenants really deserves a recommendation at this stage. Let’s hope Blizzard takes a good look at shadow priests soon.