World of Warcraft Shadowlands is Blizzard's eighth expansion of the game. This is considered to be the best one yet because it fixes a lot of problems that the game community pointed out in the previous expansions. It also brings a lot of new things to the game that makes it feel great again! One of the new features is the revamped leveling experience. This new system is well thought out and it works in such a way that all the players can enjoy the process, no matter if they are old-time veterans or brand new rookies joining the game for the first time. But that's not all, the endgame experience in the Shadowlands is based around the new Covenants system. That is what makes it arguably the best expansion yet. The Covenant campaign takes you on a wild ride through the new Shadowland zones. The maps are some of the best they’ve ever made and each of them has its own unique personality, characters, and story. Here, you will learn about the Covenant, what they are, how they work, and how important are they in general.
What Are WoW Shadowlands Covenants?
The Shadowlands is the afterlife realm in World of Warcraft. When someone dies his spirit is brought here to be judged by an ancient being called the Arbiter. Then the soul is sorted into one of the 5 domains, depending on how he lived his life. These domains are called Covenants and they are represented by the five ruling powers of this word. Mysteriously the Arbiter has ceased to function causing all the souls to go directly into a domain of the eternal suffering called The Maw. In the lore, these factions are trying to end the chaos that is happening in the Shadowlands. Each one of them controls a unique zone and you as a player will go through all four of them on your journey to max level. And at the end of it, you will have to befriend one of them and join their ranks. By doing so you will obtain special powers unique for each of the Covenants.
How Many Covenants are in Shadowlands?
In Shadowlands there are four Covenants. Kyrians, Necrolords, Night Fae, and Venthyr. Each one of them has a unique theme and storyline. Every faction also controls a unique leveling zone.
- Kyrian - This faction is located in the zone Bastion. All characters from the Kyrian Covenant have lived their lives in service to others. And now are ready to sacrifice themself for the greater good in the Shadowlands.
- Necrolord - The characters from the Necrolord Covenant have lived in constant pursuit of power. Now they will use their knowledge in order to become even more powerful. They are considered as the military for of the Shadowlands. They are located in the zone Maldraxxus.
- Night Fae - In the Night Fae Covenant controls the zone Ardenweald. Everyone who had a deep connection with nature in their life is now broth here. The main goal of the soul broth to this Covenant is the protection of the wild forests in the Shadowlands.
- Venthyr - This faction is located in a zone called Revendreth. Everyone brought in this Covenant was intrigued by the dark powers while they were alive. Now they help the souls of the dead atone for their sins in life.
What Covenant Should I Pick in Shadowlands?
Chousing the right Covenant in Shadowlands is a very important decision and it will shape your gameplay for the rest of the game. It’s all about how you prefer to play the game and depending on that, your choice of Covenant will be different. If you are a more casual player, who is more interested in the lore, you might choose a Covenant that you think will suit your character or class better. But if your goal is to be as good as you can get, then you might want to choose the Covenant with the best abilities and conduits for your characters and class. However, if you decide to go that way, you need to be prepared to change it quite often. As with any other abilities in the game, these specific Covenant spells might get changed and you need to be ready for that.
Each Covenant will give you access to two new abilities. One of them is covenant specific, meaning that everyone in that covenant will gain access to that ability. The other one is both covenant and class-specific. This means that your character will have one new ability to add to your rotation plus one new movement ability.
Specific Covenants Abilities
There are four Covenants Specific Abilities, one for each Covenant. All of them are designed around out of combat use but can be used in PvP or PvE situations too. Here you can see what these four abilities do in-game.
- Unburden - This is the ability that you get by joining the Kyrians. When activated, you get increased movement speed, slowed falling speed, and propelling you forward. It also reduces the radius at which enemies can detect you.
- Transcend the Flesh - You get this ability by joining the Necrolords. When you receive healing or heal your allies, you gain a small percent critical strike for a few seconds.
- Soulshape - When you join the Night Fae you get access to this ability. When activated your character turns into a spirit fox for a few seconds. It also increases his movement speed and causes enemies to ignore it. If you are in a Rest Area you can stay in that form as long as you want. You can also choose between a few different spirit animals besides the fox.
- Door of Shadows - By joining the Venthyr you receive this ability. When activated you can choose where to teleport your character. This ability has a certain range that you can teleport into.
Class-Specific Covenants Abilities
Each class will receive one more ability specific to your class. However, each ability can vary a little bit depending on your specification too. The idea behind these class-specific spells is to give you another ability to use in combat. It is also meant to reflect the theme of the Covenant that you have chosen. Some combinations between your class, specification, and Covenant can prove to be better than others. But as we already said, this will depend on what you want and the Covenant that you have chosen.
What Are Soulbinds?
Another new feature, that came with the new expansion, is the Soulbinds system. But what exactly are they? Soulbinds are NPC characters from your Covenant that you can bind your soul with. You get to access the Soulbind's power in the form of a small talent tree that will benefit your character. The effects you get depends on the different Soulbinds and the conduits you place in their talent trees. And with each path, you have different options that you choose from depending on your playstyle. You will gain access to the Soulbinds as your progress in the Covenant campaign and fully unlock them with your Renown progress, but more of that later.
What Are Conduits?
Conduits are part of the Soulbind tree system. They are the way you customize your little talent trees that we previously mentioned. You can earn these Conduits from quests, dungeons, raids, PvP vendors, and more. They slightly enhance your class and specification by giving you passive buffs and they come in three different types:
- Potency - They improve your power in your role.
- Endurance - They improve your defensive statistics.
- Finesse - They improve your overall utility.
These buffs can drop with different quality starting from uncommon to epic. The better the quality the more potent the effect will become. Keep in mind that they are specific to your class speck. It is also important to know that you can only use a Conduit once per Soulbind. For example, if you have three Finesse Conduit slots open in your Soulbind tree, you can't use the same Finesse Conduit only once. However, you can socket the same Finesse Conduit in a different Soulbind tree. But what about changing them? Don’t worry about that, is a simple process but it does have some minor restrictions. First, you need to go to the Forge of Bonds in your Covenant sanctum and open your Covenant tree. This is the only place where you can tinker with your conduits. To replace a conduit in any of your available slots you just need to drag and drop it. However, it will consume one of your Conduit Energy (shown in the picture below). You can have up to ten of it, and you gain one Conduit Energy every day, so go nuts and experiment.
What is Renown?
Another new addition to this expansion is the Renown system. This is reminiscent of the Reputation system in Battle for Azeroth and resembles a battle pass. You will be able to level up to a certain level every week and with each new level unlocked you will receive different bonuses like Soulbinds, Soulbinds Trait Rows, Sanctum Upgrades, PvP items upgrades, flying achievements, mounts, transmog gear sets, small stats increases, and more. The Renown system also has a catch-up mechanic so don’t worry if you want to level an alt. If you find yourself behind with your levels just join some normal gameplay activities like dungeons, raid, or arenas as they will reward you with bonus Renown levels to help you catch-up.
What is Anima?
Anima is the main currency in World of Warcraft Shadowlands. You use it for a lot of things such as upgrading your covenant sanctum and buying items from the Renown vendor. Earning Anima is also one of the ways to get more Renown levels. Every week you will get a quest to collect 1000 Anima and upon completion, you will be rewarded one Renown level. You need Anima for a variety of different things, but the question is how to get it. Here are a few ways that you can earn Anima:
- Some world quests, you will reward you significant amount Anima.
- Hidden Chests and Treasures will also give Anima.
- Your calling quest is a great way to earn Anima too. They are daily covenant quests from your covenant, and there is a chance that the reward chest you get from them contains Anima.
- Another great source of Anima is from the two weekly dungeon quests. These quests a located below the innkeeper in Oribos and reward 250 Anima each!
- Normal and Heroic dungeons also give Anima for every run you make.
- A great passive source of Anima is the Mission Table. You can teg it as a reward for some of the missions you complete.
- One of the largest sources of Anima comes from PvP. You have weekly quests that reward a significant amount and on top of that, you get Anima for every Random or Epic Battleground you win.
- You will also have a weekly World PvP quest that rewards anima as well.
Sanctum Reservoir is the place where you can upgrade your Covenavt sanctum. You have four upgrades, Transport Network, Anima Conductor, Mission Table, and Covenant Special Feature. You can upgrade these up to three times, and each upgrade cost will cost Anima and Redeemed Souls.
- Transport Network-This allows you to teleport in the different parts of your Covenant zone. Each rank gives you more options to where you can teleport to. The last rank also gives you a one-way portal from your Covenant to the capital Orbs.
- Anima Conductor-The Anima Conductor is a powerful device located in your Covenant Sanctum. When it is operational, you can use it to deliver anima at different parts of your Covenant every day. This enables a temporary improvement to your zones such as additional world quests, new daily quests, special mobs, or treasures.
- Mission Table-The Mission Table is based on the same system that was in the game a few expansions back used in the garrisons. This time it's slightly different and it is made to be better and more interesting. When you upgraded for the first time your Mission Table will open and you will find a list of missions that you can participate start. You can further upgrade your Mission Table with Anima to unlock better rewards that you can win from each mission.
- Special Covenant Feature-These are special mini-games unique for each Covenant. Each one of them offers different activities and gives unique rewards. These activities depend on the Covenant that you have joined. For example, players from the Kyrian Covenant have a mini-game where you control one of your Soulbinds and fight with it. The Necrolord Covenant has a profession-based feature that allows you to create a companion that gives you additional weekly quests and rewards. Players from the Night Fae Covenant have a special activity where they can collect spirits and bring them to the Queen's Conservatory, in order to tend and nurture them. For the Venthyr Covenant, you have a weekly event in the form of a party, where you have to entertain your guests.
How you Change your Covenant in Shadowlands?
Chousing a Covenant is indeed very important, but it is not a choice that is permanent. You can always leave your current one and join another. For example, if you chose a covenant but after some time you realize that you don't like it you can easily join a different one. You just go to any of the other Covenants and join it the same way you did with the first one. However, if you want to join a covenant that you have left already, things get more complicated. In order to go back, you need to complete a special quest first. You will be asked to do a long questline and after completing it you need to wait until the weekly reset. After that, you will receive a new quest similar to the first one. Once you have completed that quest too, you may join this covenant again. The next important question is what happens with your transmog gear and your mount. You keep all of them in your inventory, but you can't equip it. You can only use the mount and transmog from your current Covenant.
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