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 warlocks.
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
Warlock-specific Covenant Abilities
Each Covenant also gives you access to a class-specific combat ability.
Venthyr Covenant Ability for Warlocks: Impending Catastrophe
- Call forth a cloud of chaotic anima that travels to the target enemy, dealing (20% of Spell power) Shadow damage to enemies in its path. When the anima reaches the target it explodes, inflicting either Curse of Weakness or Curse of Tongues and dealing (105% of Spell power) Shadow damage over 12 sec to all nearby enemies.
- Curse of Weakness: Increases the time between an enemy’s attacks by 20% for 2 minutes.
- Curse of Tongues: Forces the target to speak in Demonic, increasing the casting time of all spells by 30% for 30 seconds
- Costs 4% of base mana – 1 minute cooldown – 40 yd range – 2 seconds cast
Necrolord Covenant Ability for Warlocks: Decimating Bolt
- Affliction: Hurl bolts of decimating magic at your target, dealing [4 * (30% of Spell power)] Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next 3 Shadow Bolts by 100%.
Decimating Bolt’s damage, and the bonus to Shadow Bolt both increase as your target’s health decreases.
- Demonology: Hurl bolts of decimating magic at your target, dealing [4 * (30% of Spell power)] Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next 3 Shadow Bolts or Demonbolts by 100%.
Decimating Bolt’s damage, and the bonus to Shadow Bolt and Demonbolt both increase as your target’s health decreases.
- Destruction: Hurl bolts of decimating magic at your target, dealing [4 * (30% of Spell power)] Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next 3 Incinerates, Drain Souls, or Shadow Bolts by 100%.
Decimation Bolt’s damage, and the bonus to Incinerate, Drain Soul, or Shadow Bolt both increase as your target’s health decreases.
- Costs 4% of base mana – 45 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – 2.5 seconds cast
Kyrian Covenant Ability for Warlocks: Scouring Tithe
- Deal (60% of Spell power) Arcane damage instantly and (90% of Spell power) over 18 sec . If the enemy dies while affected by Scouring Tithe, you generate 5 Soul Shards. If they survive, Scouring Tithe’s cooldown is refreshed.
- Costs 2% of base mana – 40 seconds cooldown – 40 yd range – 2 seconds cast
Night Fae Covenant Ability for Warlocks: Soul Rot
- Wither away all life force of your current target and up to 3 additional targets nearby, causing your primary target to suffer [(100% of Spell power) * (2)] Nature damage and secondary targets to suffer (100% of Spell power) Nature damage over 8 sec.
For the next 8 sec, casting Drain Life will cause you to also Drain Life from any enemy affected by your Soul Rot, and Drain Life will not consume any mana.
- Costs 0.5% of base mana – 1 minute cooldown – 40 yd range – 1.5 seconds cast
Best Covenant for Affliction Warlock
The strongest Covenant for Affliction Warlocks in mythic+ and raiding is Kyrian, though Venthyr is also a viable choice. The concept of the Night Fae ability seems very strong for affliction lock, since it syngergizes well with Inevitable Demise and Malefic Rupture. Unfortunately the Night Fae ability is undertuned, making it a poor choice overall.
November 23rd update: Kyrian is still the strongest option for affliction warlocks.
Both the Kyrian and Venthyr Covenants are a strong choice for affliction warlocks in PVP situations, with Venthyr dealing a bit more damage but Kyrian generating more Soul Shards.
Best Covenant for Demonology Warlock
Demonology warlocks have 3 good options for raiding. Venthyr, Necrolord and Kyrian are all strong performers with the differences between them being minimal. Legendaries might give one or two of them a slight edge, but for now the choice between the 3 comes down to personal preference. Do not pick Night Fae – it doesn’t even come close to the other three.
November 23rd update: Necrolord comes out slightly stronger for demo locks in single target situations after Blizzard fixed an interaction with Demonbolt. Night Fae performs better than before, but still falls behind on the other three.
Both the Kyrian and Venthyr Covenants are a strong choice for demonology warlocks in PVP situations, with Venthyr dealing a bit more damage but Kyrian generating more Soul Shards.
Best Covenant for Destruction Warlock
The Kyrian Covenant is very strong for destruction locks, especially since the Kyrian ability (Scouring Tithe) can be applied to a second target with Havoc. On 2 target cleave fights, Kyrian is the absolute winner. For single target Kyrian and Necrolord are very close to each other. The Venthyr Covenant performs well in mythic+ and in AOE raid fights, but is not great for single target damage. Still, it could be a viable choice for destro locks who mainly do dungeons instead of raiding.
November 23rd update: Kyrian still outperforms the other Covenants for destro lock, though the difference is smaller than before.
Both the Kyrian and Venthyr Covenants are a strong choice for destruction warlocks in PVP situations, with Venthyr dealing a bit more damage but Kyrian generating more Soul Shards.