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 shamans.
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
Shaman-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Shamans: Chain Harvest
- Send a wave of anima at the target, which then jumps to additional nearby targets. Deals (310% of Spell power) Shadow damage to up to 5 enemies and restores (315% of Spell power) health to up to 5 allies.
For each target critically struck, the cooldown of Chain Harvest is reduced by 5 seconds.
- Costs 10% of base mana – 1.5 minutes cooldown – 40 yd range – 2.5 seconds cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Shamans: Primordial Wave
- Blast your target with a Primordial Wave , dealing (65% of Spell power) Shadow damage and apply Flame Shock to an enemy or heal an ally for (65% of Spell power).
- Elemental: Your next Lava Burst will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock for 80% of normal damage.
- Enhancement: Your next Lightning Bolt will also hit all targets affected by your Riptide for 100% of normal damage.
- Restoration: Applies Riptide to an ally. Your next Healing Wave will also hit all targets affected by your Riptide for 60% of normal healing.
- Costs 3% of base mana – 45 seconds recharge – 40 yd range – instant cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Shamans: Vesper Totem
- Summon a totem at the target location for 30 seconds. Your next 3 damage spells or abilities will cause the totem to radiate (64% of Spell power) Arcane damage to up to 6 enemies near the totem and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies near the totem for (73% of Spell power) health. Casting this ability again while the totem is active will relocate the totem.
- Costs 10% of base mana – 1 minute cooldown – 40 yd range – instant cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Shamans: Fae Transfusion
- Transfer the life force of up to 4 enemies in the targeted area, dealing [(94% of Spell power) *3 / 0.5] Nature damage evenly split to each enemy target over 3 sec.
Pressing Fae Transfusion again within 20 sec will release 15% of all damage from Fae Transfusion, healing up to 8 allies near yourself.
- Enhancement: Fully channeling Fae Transfusion generates 1 stack of Maelstrom Weapon.
- Costs 7.5% of base mana – 2 minutes cooldown – 40 yd range – 3 seconds Channel
Best Covenant for Elemental Shaman
Elemental shamans won’t need long to decide which Covenant to take for raiding and mythic+: the Kyrian Covenant is by far the strongest. The Kyrian ability (Vesper Totem) does strong AOE damage, but will also be modified by a Kyrian Soulbind to do double damage on your closest target, making it competitive for single target fights too.
Both the Necrolords and Venthyr Covenants are viable alternatives. They don’t quite bring the same overall damage increase, but will outshine the Kyrian Covenant on certain bosses.
The Night Fae Covenant is currently too undertuned to be considered.
November 23rd update: Necrolord, Venthyr and Kyrian are now all pretty cose to each other. Some players expect Necrolords to pull slightly ahead, but the sims as of now are inconclusive. Night Fae is still bad, so don’t pick that (if you care about your damage, that is).
With the current tuning, none of the Covenants really stand out for elemental shaman in Arena and Battlegrounds. The Necrolord Covenant has great potential in arena, helping you put split pressure on 2 targets at once. Kyrian does the most single target damage, provided you can get close enough to your main target.
Best Covenant for Enhancement Shaman
With the Chain Harvest ability being affected by Maelstrom Weapon, the Venthyr Covenant is the best by miles for enhancement shaman in dungeons and raiding. It’s almost too good to be true – so proceed with caution, as the nerfhammer is likely to follow. Kyrian is a good alternative option with decent single target damage potential. Both Necrolords and Night Fae are undertuned.
November 23rd update: Not much has changed. Venthyr hasn’t been nerfed (yet?), and is still by far the strongest option for enhancement shammy. Kyrian is still a viable alternative, especially for single target damage. Necrolord is still bad and Night Fae is even worse than before, so I wouldn’t recommend them.
Venthyr is currently the safest Covenant choice for enhancement shamans in Arena and Battlegrounds. Some early data suggests that the Night Fae Covenant is viable too, with other data contradicting this because 1 stack of Maelstrom Weapon for a full channel just isn’t good enough.
Best Covenant for Restoration Shaman
Kyrian, Necrolords and Venthyr are all strong options for resto shamans in raiding and mythic+. Necrolord seems to be just a tad better than the other 2, because of the low mana cost of Primordial Wave compared to the other abilities. Night Fae is mediocre at best at the moment; the healing isn’t enough to justify it’s high cost and long channel time.
November 23rd update: No changes to resto shaman were made. Pick either Kyrian, Necrolord or Venthyr and you’ll be just fine.
Necrolord is a safe choice for resto shammy in Arena and Battlegrounds. The Venthyr ability is also strong in PVP, but requires careful mana management because of it’s high cost.