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by Published on 2020-07-10 03:45 PM

Necrolord Covenant: A Closer Look Inside the Might of Maldraxxus
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Among the necrolords, strength is rewarded and weakness cast aside. The souls of the ambitious and contentious are forged into an immortal army charged with the defense of the Shadowlands.

In the birthplace of necromantic magic, those who master the powers of death turn legions of ambitious souls into relentless armies. Should you join the Necrolords, you will take on the role of protector of the Shadowlands and carry the weight of a divided house upon your shoulders. But are you the one that prophecy has foretold?

If you’re a believer in the power of might? Then the Necrolords Covenant just may be where you place your loyalties within the Shadowlands.

Covenant Campaign (Spoilers Inside!)

The Necrolord Covenant Campaign finds famed warrior Draka and her forces outnumbered at the Seat of the Primus. Their tenuous control hangs in the balance as the combined forces of the House of Rituals, House of Constructs, and the House of the Chosen move against them. With your help, Draka undertakes a bold plan to bolster their forces. You’ll need to take steps to build alliances, steal a necropolis, and construct an army of abominations to face the true enemy behind all of the troubles that plague Maldraxxus.

Renown Rewards

As you’re put through your paces and prove your mettle to the Necrolords through their Covenant Campaign, you’ll build Renown. Increasing Renown will provide you access to unique rewards from your Covenant. Learn more about Renown in our Covenant Systems article.

In your pursuit to earn Renown, you’ll go into the Maw to recover wayward souls and bring them to your Covenant Sanctum; some will even embark on Adventures on your behalf.



Pictured: cloth (left), leather (center left), mail (center right), and plate gear (right).



Pet, Mount, and Back Attachments

Covenant Sanctum: The Seat of Primus


When you join the Necrolord Covenant, you’ll gain access to the Seat of Primus, a unique Sanctum available only to their members. As their seat of power, it’s here that you’ll meet with key figures, take on new quests, and store Anima. As you progress through the Necrolord campaign, you’ll also have opportunity to upgrade additional features within your Sanctum.

Each of the four Covenants have features that they share among them, but they also have a feature that is uniquely their own. For the Necrolord Covenant, it’s the Abomination Factory.

Abomination Factory


During the first weeks of the Necrolord Covenant Campaign, you’ll be introduced to Rathan and Emani, who you will work with to establish a small community known as the Butchers Block. It’s here that various constructs loyal to the Seat of the Primus gather and where you’ll unlock a new crafting system—Abominable Stitching.

You’ll need to gather a variety of resources to begin your journey into mastering fleshwork and bringing a variety of constructs to life. Each of these constructs will become residents of the Butcher Block, adding their own unique personalities, quests, and (in some cases) companionship on your adventures.

Mixing Pools

We hope you’re not too squeamish, because there’s literal buckets of slime in your future if you choose to join the Necrolord Covenant. You’ll work with other players to convey buckets of colorful slime to a mixing pool, which will summon a repeatable boss event based on which colors you’ve coordinated.

Abominable Transportation

The Necrolords have a truly unique method of traversing around Maldraxxus. With a little elbow grease and a few extra spare parts, you can utilize the Abomination Factory to create a friend to carry you wherever your adventures take you. Whether you want them to carry you on their shoulders (complete with their tiny top hat), or just want to tool around through the immaculately maintained fields of Bastion, you’ll travel in ultimate style.

If staying on the ground isn’t your thing, you may want to set your sights on the Necropolis high above. It makes a circuit around the zone and may inspire a little goblin ingenuity.

Necrolord Adventures

In Adventures, you’ll put your tactical skills to the test by sending your allies into the Shadowlands and lending aid to the Necrolords Covenant. While this feature is available to each Covenant, the allies you recruit and the missions you give them will be unique to the Covenant. You’ll need to get to know the strength and weaknesses of those you send out with the scouting map.

Anima Conductor

Players can enable additional content with their Covenant’s realm by investing Anima into specific areas in Maldraxxus. When you restore Anima to a location, it revitalizes the area, allowing you to access new quests, make it easier for you to unearth wondrous treasures, or lure out powerful foes to slay for rewards. Different areas are tied to different content unlocks.

  • House of the Chosen – Find a unique Covenant treasure.
  • House of Constructs – Fight an enemy champion.
  • House of Plagues – Access a Covenant World Quest.
  • House of Eyes – Access a set of Covenant daily quests.
  • House of Rituals – Get access to powerful necrolord enhancements.
  • Theater of Pain – Fight an elite enemy champion.

The Strongest of Soulbinds

Once you’ve proven your worth, you’ll unlock the ability to Soulbind with one of several select characters in the Covenant, who will share their distinctive powers with you in the form of a variety of traits and bonuses.

The warforged necrolords you assisted in Maldraxxus will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with a few example powers they can bestow upon you.


Plague Deviser Marileth is as eccentric as he is brilliant, and created some of the most efficacious potions in all of Maldraxxus. When the House of Plagues was destroyed, Marileth was driven mad in the aftermath. Marileth’s creative solutions prove vital to the war effort . . . despite the occasional side effect.

Travel with Bloop: While standing still, you slowly build stacks of Bloop’s Wanderlust. At maximum stacks, your movement speed is increased for a couple of minutes.

Ultimate Form: Fleshcraft renders you immune to crowd control.


Emeni, the Slaughter Daughter was assembled in the stitchyards of Maldraxxus. In life, she was a powerful noble who slaughtered hundreds of her siblings to claim the throne. She respects your strength and prowess as you work together to exterminate their mutual enemies. A legend in her own right, her notoriety rises even higher as she binds her soul to the Maw Walker’s.

Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: When you use your Necrolord class ability or spell, gain a stack of Emeni’s Magnficent Skin. Using Fleshcraft consumes your Emeni’s Magnificent Skin to slightly increase your maximum health per stack for a significant duration.

Runescribed Bone: Each enemy you defeat grants you one stack of Runescribed Bone, slightly reducing magic damage taken per stack. At max stacks, your Soulbind traits are empowered for a moderate amount of time.

Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: Releasing stacks deals some Shadow damage to nearby enemies, slightly increased per stack.

Cartilaginous Legs: Shield amount doubled.

Hearth Kidneystone: Cooldown reduction doubled.

Gristled Toes: Movement speed now slightly to moderately increased.

Gnashing Chompers: Haste increase doubled.

Sulfuric Emission: Fear duration increased for a couple of seconds.


Bonesmith Heirmir is the Primus’s apprentice and among the oldest mortal souls in Maldraxxus. With eons of training and practice, she is the foremost expert on forging weapons and armor made of bone and steel. The arsenals she creates keep the House of the Chosen and you fully equipped to face the enemies that surround them.

Resourceful Fleshcrafting: Defeating an enemy slightly reduces Fleshcraft’s cooldown.

Forgeborne Reveries: Upon death, your armor continues to fight, allowing you to fight for an additional amount of time. During these seconds, your damage and healing done is reduced moderately and you cannot receive healing.

Might of the Necrolords

When you join the Necrolord Covenant, you’ll gain two new unique abilities—one signature ability and one class ability.

Signature abilities are available to all Covenant members regardless of class, race, or specialization.

Fleshcraft

Form a shield of flesh and bone that prevents damage equal to a portion of your maximum health. Standing near the corpse of a defeated enemy when the ability is cast will create a larger shield.

Covenant class abilities provide additional combat-oriented gameplay options that are tailored to the theme of that Covenant.

Covenant Class Abilities

Death Knight: Abomination Limb

  • Sprout an additional limb for a limited time, dealing Shadow damage to nearby enemies. If an enemy is farther away from you, they are pulled to your location.

Demon Hunter: Fodder to the Flame

  • Commission a duel to the death against a Condemned Demon from the Theater of Pain. Vanquishing your foe releases its demon soul and creates a pool of demon blood. Fighting within the pool increases your attack speed by 20% and reduces the damage that enemies deal to you by 10%. Fleshcraft treats the Condemned Demon as a powerful enemy.

Druid: Adaptive Swarm

  • Command a swarm that heals or deals Shadow damage to a target and increases the effectiveness of your periodic effects on them.
    Upon expiration, travels to a new target within range, alternating between friend and foe up to a set number of times.

Hunter: Death Chakram

  • Throw a deadly chakram at your current target which will rapidly deal additional Shadow damage.
    Each time the chakram deals damage, its damage is increased and you generate a small amount of Focus.

Mage: Deathborne

  • Transform into a powerful Skeletal Mage for a period of time.
    While in the form of a skeletal mage, your Frostbolt, Fireball, and Arcane Blast hit a few additional enemies near your target, and your spell damage is increased.

Monk: Bonedust Brew

  • Hurl a brew created from the bones of your enemies at the ground, coating all targets struck for 10 seconds. Your abilities have an additional 15% chance to affect the target a second time with 25% effectiveness as either Shadow damage or healing.
    • Brewmaster: Tiger Palm and Keg Smash reduces the cooldown of your brews by an additional 1 second when striking enemies affected by Bonedust Brew.
    • Windwalker: Spinning Crane Kick refunds 1 Chi when striking enemies affected by Bonedust Brew.
    • Mistweaver: Gust of Mist provides additional healing to allies affected by Bonedust Brew.

Paladin: Vanquisher’s Hammer

  • Throw a hammer at your target, dealing Shadow damage and empowering your next Word of Glory or Templar’s Verdict:
    • Holy: Word of Glory automatically triggers Light of Dawn.
    • Protection: Word of Glory automatically triggers Shield of the Righteous.
    • Retribution: Templar’s Verdict automatically triggers Divine Storm.

Priest: Unholy Nova

  • An explosion of dark energy heals nearby allies and infects nearby enemies with Unholy Transfusion.
    Unholy Transfusion deals Shadow damage over time. Your allies who damage this target receive healing.

Rogue: Serrated Bone Spike

  • Embed a bone spike in the target, dealing Physical damage over time until they die. Deals additional damage and generates a Combo Point for each other active bone spike.
    A charge of Serrated Bone Spike is refunded to you when the target dies or is healed to full.

Shaman: Primordial Wave

  • Blast your target with a Primordial Wave, healing an ally or dealing Shadow damage and applying Flame Shock to an enemy.
    • Elemental: Your next Lava Burst will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock.
    • Enhancement: Your next Lightning Bolt will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock.
    • Restoration: While an ally is targeted, Primordial Wave will cast Riptide. Your next Healing Wave will also hit all targets affected by your Riptide.

Warlock: Decimating Bolt

  • Hurl a bolt of shadow magic at your target, dealing Shadow damage and increasing the damage of your next Incinerates, Drain Souls, or Shadow Bolts.
    Decimation Bolt's damage and the bonus to Incinerate, Drain Soul, or Shadow Bolt both increase as your target's health decreases.

Warrior: Conqueror’s Banner

  • Brandish the banner of the Necrolords, increasing your movement speed and causing Mortal Strike, Raging Blow, and Shield Slam to grant you Glory. Killing an enemy grants additional stacks of Glory.
    Reactivating this ability plants the banner in the ground, granting an increased amount of maximum health and additional attack speed to you and your allies within range of the banner. Lasts additional time per Glory, up to a maximum amount.

We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview gives you some insight on what the Necrolord Covenant has to offer—or what you can offer them. Learn more about Maldraxxus in our previously published article.

Rewards, mechanics, and abilities are still in development and subject to change.
by Published on 2020-07-10 03:40 PM

Shadowlands Preview: Soulbinds

Shadowlands Preview: The Maw

Shadowlands Preview: A Look at Covenant Systems

Kyrian Covenant: Prepare to Ascend
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As you journey through the Shadowlands, you will find yourself swept up in the dark tides of the war between the kyrian and Forsworn of Bastion—and your place in kyrian history will not be forgotten.

If you choose to walk in the path of service and pledge yourself to the Kyrian Covenant, the friendships you forged during your time in Bastion will be ready to take the next step.

Kyrian Covenant Campaign (Spoilers Inside!)
The battle for Bastion has come to a head. With many of the kyrian left dead in their fight against the Forsworn, the Archon has authorized the use of the last bits of anima to ascend some Aspirants—their final hope in the last stand against the darkness. You will come to their aid by traveling across the realms of Death, completing crucial tasks and bolstering their ranks so you can clip the Forsworn’s wings once and for all. With each victory under the Kyrian Covenant banner, you’ll gain Renown, which will reward you with power and special cosmetics.


Renown Rewards
As you progress through the Kyrian Covenant Campaign and complete tasks for your new allies, you’ll build Renown. Increasing Renown will provide you access to unique rewards from your Covenant.


Contributing to the Kyrian Covenant will reward you with several cosmetics including back attachments that rival the beauty of kyrian wings.


Kyrian Covenant: mail (left), plate (center left), cloth gear (center right), and leather (right) transmog sets.

In your pursuit to earn Renown, you’ll go into the Maw to recover wayward souls and bring them to your Covenant Sanctum; some of these souls will even embark on Adventures on your behalf!

Learn more about Renown in our Covenant Systems article.


Covenant Sanctum: Elysian Hold


When you join the Kyrian Covenant, you’ll get access to Elysian Hold, a unique Sanctum available only to their members. The hold is their seat of power and home to many of the key figures you’ll be working with throughout their Covenant Campaign. Over time, you’ll be able to upgrade Sanctum features through your ongoing adventures in Shadowlands. It’s also here that you’ll bring Anima to deposit into the Covenant’s reservoir, take on new quests, and more.

Each of the four Covenants have features that they share among them, but they also have a feature that is patently unique to them. For the Kyrian Covenant, it’s the Path of Ascension.


Path of Ascension


All members of the Kyrian Covenant can access the Path of Ascension, helping their Soulbinds test their mettle. You will play as either Pelagos, Kleia, or Mikanikos, each of whom has a unique set of tools to combat the monstrosities they must face in the trials ahead. You’ll help your Soulbinds by gathering the materials necessary to summon or capture a boss, as well as tools to help them equalize the playing field.

To combat a boss, you must first capture their memory in a soul mirror. Once a boss’s memory has been captured, you can challenge them in the arena as many times as you wish.

Once you’ve finished your prep, you’ll play as a Soulbind of your choosing and fight! Victorious Soulbinds will be rewarded with blueprints to craft improved gear, signature ability upgrades, and cosmetics.

For those who desire ultimate glory, seek out and complete challenges to unlock special rewards, including mounts.


Travel System: Kyrian Gateways
You’ll be able to access a Bastion-specific travel network from the comfort of Elysian Hold. Dissolve into pure anima to flit between points of interest instantly. There are three tiers of Anima Transport that you’ll unlock over time by restoring Anima to your Sanctum. Here are some examples:

Step of Faith (Tier 1)
Allows travel to Elysian Hold, Hero’s Rest, Aspirant’s Rest, and the Temple of Courage.
After arriving at a location, cast Unburden, greatly increasing movement speed and propelling you forward.

Leap of Power (Tier 2)
Allows travel to Sagehaven, the Temple of Purity, and the Seat of Eternal Hymns.
Unburden duration increased by 100%.
Your Summon Steward ability can now create an Elysian Beacon, granting you access to the network in the field.

Eternal Paths (Tier 3) Allows travel to the Temple of Humility and Exaltation Rise.
Unburden additionally reduces the radius at which enemies will detect you while active.
Your steward’s Elysian Beacon can now be used by party members.


Kyrian Adventures
Put your tactical skills to the test by sending your allies into the Shadowlands and lending aid to the Kyrian Covenant. You’ll need to be strategic about how you take on these combat puzzles, which Kyrian Covenant allies you’ll send to face them, and how you’ll utilize their skills to claim victory.


Anima Conductor
Players can enable additional content with their Covenant’s realm by investing Anima into specific areas in Bastion. When you restore Anima to a location, it revitalizes the area allowing you to access new quests, making it easier for you to unearth wondrous treasures, or luring powerful foes which can be slain for rich rewards. Different areas are tied to different content unlocks.

  • Purity’s Pinnacle – Find a unique Covenant treasure.
  • Temple of Courage – Fight an enemy champion.
  • Temple of Humility – Access a Covenant World Quest.
  • Eternal Forge – Access a set of Covenant daily quests.
  • Eonian Archives – Get access to powerful kyrian enhancements.
  • Citadel of Loyalty – Fight an elite enemy champion.


Meet Your Kyrian Soulbinds
Once you’ve proven your worth, you’ll unlock the ability to Soulbind with one of several select characters in the Covenant, who will share their distinctive powers with you in the form of a variety of traits and bonuses.

The noble kyrian you befriended in Bastion will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each, along with a few example powers they can bestow upon you.


Pelagos trains diligently for ascension even in the face of challenge and adversity. Along with Kleia, his other soulbind, Pelagos is quick to befriend you as you seek an audience with the Archon and confront the Forsworn threat. Despite the trials he faces, Pelagos pushes ever forward, steadfast and optimistic.
Bond of Friendship: Defeating enemies slightly reduces the cooldown on your Steward’s non-Phial services per enemy defeated.
Combat Meditation: Using your Kyrian class spell or ability increases your Mastery slightly for a moderate amount of time and occasionally expels Sorrowful Memories. Walking through Sorrowful Memories extends this effect by a short time.


Kleia met you while she was still an aspirant. She demonstrated to her soulbound companion Pelagos and the rest of the kyrian that she wants to push forward and best any trials they faced. A caring mentor to Pelagos and you, she will do whatever she can to protect her friends and Bastion.
Ascendant Phial: Phial of Serenity renders you immune to Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects for several seconds.
Valiant Strikes: You and your nearby allies’ critical strikes grant you stacks of Valiant Strikes. Once you maximize your stacks, you heal nearby allies for 5% of their maximum health over 10 seconds.


Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, a steward of Bastion, showed promise from his earliest days and quickly rose to the rank of Forgelite Prime. He was the primary inventor of many of Bastion’s most iconic creations. Recognizing the potential of the Maw Walker, he became a formidable ally to help you get to the bottom of the anima drought and take on other threats.
Charged Additive: Phial of Serenity also knocks nearby enemies away from you.
Bron’s Call to Action: After using a significant amount of spells and abilities, your next spell or ability summons Bron, who attacks and heals your targets.


Power of the Kyrian
When you join the Kyrian Covenant, you’ll gain two new unique abilities—one signature ability and one class ability.

Signature abilities are available to all Covenant members regardless of class, race, or specialization.

Summon Steward
Call your Steward to bring you a Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore some of your health and remove all Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed Effects.

Your Personal Steward
You get to choose your own special steward to call upon from an entire flock, including one of these three:
Pico: A clarinet player who toots as much as he hoots!
Farra: This hammer-wielding Steward isn’t afraid of a fight; just look at her splinter a training dummy!
Bumos: A baker at heart, Bumos has a confection to make—he always has a slice of cake or two ready for you!

As you progress through the Covenant Campaign, your Steward will grow in power alongside of you, by being able to use the Travel Portal or even craft special items in the Path of Ascension.

If you decide that you want a new traveling companion, no need to ruffle your feathers—you’ll be able to choose a new Steward at Hero’s Rest.

Covenant Class Abilities provide additional combat-oriented gameplay options that are tailored to the theme of that Covenant.


Covenant Class Abilities
Death Knight: Shackle the Unworthy
  • Admonish your target for their past transgressions, reducing the damage they deal to you and dealing Arcane damage over time.
  • Shackle the Unworthy's cooldown is reduced when you damage the affected enemy with a Rune-spending attack.

Demon Hunter: Elysian Decree
  • Place a Kyrian Sigil at your location that activates after a short time. The sigil detonates to deal Arcane damage and shatter Lesser Soul Fragments from enemies.

Druid: Kindred Spirits
  • Form a bond with an ally. On a cooldown, you may empower the bond for a period of time, granting you an effect based on your partner’s role, and granting them an effect based on your role.

Hunter: Resonating Arrow
  • Fire a resonating arrow to the target location and fill the area with echoing anima. The effect causes your attacks to ignore line of sight to enemies in the area, and you have an increased critical strike chance against them.

Mage: Radiant Spark
  • Conjure a radiant spark that causes Arcane damage instantly and additional damage over time. The target takes a percentage of increased damage from your direct damage spells, stacking each time they are struck. This effect ends after a number of spells.

Monk: Weapons of Order
  • For a short duration, your Mastery is increased by a percentage. In addition:
    • Windwalkers’ Rising Sun Kick cooldown is reset instantly, and your Rising Sun Kick reduces the cost of your Chi abilities.
    • Brewmasters’ Keg Smash cooldown is reset, and enemies hit by Keg Smash take increased damage from you (stacks up to a set amount).
    • Mistweavers’ Essence Font cooldown is reset instantly and heals nearby allies on channel start and end.

Paladin: Divine Toll
  • Instantly cast Holy Shock, Avenger's Shield, or Judgment on several targets within range (based on your current specialization).

Priest: Boon of the Ascended
  • Gain the Boon of the Ascended, granting access to Ascended Nova and Ascended Blast, and increasing your movement speed. Both abilities damage your enemies, heal your allies, and build power that will erupt in a powerful explosion of damage and healing at the end of Boon of the Ascended’s duration.

Rogue: Echoing Reprimand
  • Deal Arcane damage to an enemy, extracting their anima to Animacharge a combo point.
  • Damaging finishing moves that consume the same number of your combo points as your Animacharge deal damage as if they consume 7 combo points.

Shaman: 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 Arcane damage to enemies near the totem and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies near the totem. Casting this ability again while the totem is active will relocate the totem.

Warlock: Scouring Tithe
  • Deal Arcane damage instantly and additional Arcane damage over time. If the enemy dies while affected by Scouring Tithe, you generate additional Soul Shards. If they survive, Scouring Tithe's cooldown is refreshed.

Warrior: Spear of Bastion
  • Throw a Kyrian spear at the target location, dealing Arcane damage instantly, dealing additional damage over time, and generating Rage.
  • Enemies hit are tethered to Spear of Bastion's location for the duration.

We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview gives you a taste of what the Kyrian Covenant has to offer. Learn more about Bastion in our previously published article.

Rewards, mechanics, and abilities are still in development and subject to change, so be sure to check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.
by Published on 2020-07-10 02:39 PM

Shadowlands Preview: A Look at Covenant Systems
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
In Shadowlands, players will be able to quest through four new zones ruled by ancient and powerful Covenants. Upon reaching the max level of 60, players will be able to join one of these Covenants as they continue to explore the Warcraft universe’s afterlife and the many mysteries and adventures that it holds.

While Covenants have many facets that make them unique, they all share a few key systems.

Choosing a Covenant

As you progress through Shadowlands, you’ll play through each of the four new zones where the Covenants hold dominion, learning about what each Covenant stands for and experiencing some the powers that they offer. Once you’ve completed the narrative campaign and have reached max level, you’ll receive a quest in Oribos allowing you to choose which Covenant you’d like to belong to and begin your new journey as a member.

  • Kyrian: The kyrian are steadfast guardians of the afterlife who bear the souls of the dead into the Shadowlands. Eternally devoted to duty and service, only the worthy may enter their ranks.
  • Necrolords: Among the necrolords, strength is rewarded and weakness cast aside. The souls of the ambitious and contentious are forged into an immortal army charged with the defense of the Shadowlands.
  • Night Fae: The night fae tend to fallen nature spirits who slumber within the tranquil forest. Those with a deep bond to nature may join their cause, ensuring that the rejuvenated spirits can one day rejoin the eternal cycle.
  • Venthyr: The venthyr are aristocratic overseers of souls burdened with excessive pride and wickedness. They guide troubled souls upon the rigorous path to atonement, harvesting anima to keep their realm strong.

Choosing your Covenant is a weighty decision, and not to be made lightly. While it will be possible to switch Covenants, once you have betrayed a Covenant by leaving them, they will not readmit you easily. However, your loyalty will earn you a host of benefits, including access to a unique Covenant Campaign, Soulbinds, a Covenant Sanctum, and more.

Note: For players who like to play more than one character—once you’ve reached maximum level with one character and chosen a Covenant for them, you’ll be able to immediately choose a Covenant for any additional characters who reach Shadowlands.

Covenant Campaign

When you choose a Covenant, you’ll gain access to a unique Covenant Campaign that delves deeper into the story of your chosen Covenant. You’ll begin by setting up your Covenant’s Sanctum and gaining access to some initial services.

Your Covenant will begin sending you out into the world to begin aiding them in a variety of tasks and collecting Anima. As you progress through the campaign and complete the tasks at hand, you’ll begin to gain Renown.

Renown

As you progress through your Covenant’s story, you’ll build Renown and increase the amount of trust your character has earned within the Covenant. Renown is earned by performing worthy actions through the Covenant Campaign, returning Anima to the Sanctum, and by rescuing souls from the Maw.

Increasing your Renown will grant specific rewards at each Renown Level, including:

  • Unlocking a new row of power for a Soulbind character.
  • Increasing the item level of items you receive from World Quests.
  • Increasing the maximum potential level of the features within your Sanctum.
  • Earning legendary recipes for the runecrafter in Torghast.
  • Earning unique Covenant-themed cosmetic items such as mounts, pets, a title, back attachment transmog, and transmog armor.

Each week, you will pick up two quests in your Sanctum. Each of these quests will award you a Renown level.

  • The first quests ask that you deposit a certain of Anima into your reservoir in your Sanctum.
  • The second weekly quests send you to the Maw to recover souls from the clutches of the Jailer.

Completing each chapter of your Covenant Campaign will also provide an additional Renown Level, so these will be quests that you want to focus on.

Note: If you fall behind or are leveling an alternate character, you’ll be able to earn additional Renown from endgame activities such as dungeons, raids, PvP, and Callings until you’ve reached the current maximum.

Covenant Sanctums


Each Covenant has a unique Sanctum available to their members. It is their seat of power and home to many of the key figures you’ll be working with throughout the Covenant Campaign. Over time, you’ll be able to upgrade Sanctum features through your ongoing adventures in Shadowlands. There are five main features in each Sanctum. Four of these are shared between each of the Covenants, with a fifth being unique to each individual Covenant.

It’s also here that you’ll bring Anima to deposit into the Covenant’s reservoir, take on new quests, and more.

Here are the four shared features within the Covenant Sanctum:

  • Adventures: Put your tactical skills to the test by sending your allies into the Shadowlands and lending aid to your chosen Covenant by tackling the unique challenges facing them. You’ll need to be strategic about how you take on these combat puzzles, who you’ll send to face them, and how you’ll utilize their skills to claim victory.
  • Transport Network: Players will be able to access a zone-specific travel network within their Sanctum. These travel networks are specific to each Covenant.
  • Anima Conductor: Players will be able to enable additional content within the zone by investing Anima into activating a specific area.
  • Soulbinds: Within your Sanctum, you’ll meet three key members from your Covenant. You’ll be able to choose one of these to Soulbind with. Soulbinding allows you to gain access to traits that enhance your skills so that you can effectively combat all who stand in your way.

Soulbinds

Once a player chooses a Covenant to join, they will unlock the ability to Soulbind with one of several select characters within that Covenant, who will share their distinctive powers with the player in the form of a variety of traits and bonuses. Which character you’re currently bound to can be changed while in any rest area or with a Tome of Clear Mind, while modifying a Soulbind’s traits requires you to be at the Forge of Bonds in your Covenant Sanctum. You will be able to unlock access to an additional Soulbind through your Covenant Campaign.

When you’ve chosen a Soulbind, you’ll gain access to their Soulbind tree, which contains two types of nodes: Soulbind Traits and sockets for Conduits. Traits are passive abilities and buffs that are themed to each specific Soulbind character, and Conduit sockets allow players to further customize their own abilities.

Conduits

Conduits are a new type of item that players can obtain and socket into Soulbind trees to enhance their class and Covenant abilities while bound with that character. There are three types of Conduits: Potency (damage/healing), Endurance (survivability), and Finesse (utility). A given Conduit can only be placed into a socket of the matching type.

Learn more about Soulbinds in our article.

Covenant Class Abilities & Signature Abilities

Each Covenant has unique class abilities and signature abilities available to players who choose to join them at max level. As you level up on your initial journey through each of their domains, you’ll get to experience these abilities firsthand—before you ultimately choose the Covenant you wish to dedicate yourself to.

  • Signature Abilities are available to all players who join the Covenant regardless of class, race, or specialization. This ability helps players explore and engage with the world in new ways and provides a unique tool to help solve the problems encountered in Shadowlands.
  • Covenant Class Abilities provide additional combat-oriented gameplay options that are tailored to the theme of that Covenant. Every Covenant offers an ability for each class.

This is but the beginning of your journey into the Shadowlands—and with time and perseverance, you’ll be well on your way to being a contributing member of your chosen Covenant.
by Published on 2020-07-10 02:17 PM

Shadowlands Preview: Soulbinds
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
During your travels in the Shadowlands, you’ll meet key members from each Covenant—Kyrian, Necrolord, Night Fae, and Venthyr—and, if you choose to walk in their path, you’ll be able to Soulbind with them. Soulbinding allows you to gain access to traits that provide bonuses or enhance your skills so you can effectively combat all who stand in your way.

After hitting max level, you’ll be able to choose to pledge yourself to a Covenant and forge a deep bond with some of their key members, who’ll lend their powers to use as your own. In practice, each Covenant will allow you to form this link with one of three Soulbinds. The first two Soulbinds are available as soon as you join a Covenant and do a little bit of questing—no other activity or currency required. The third Soulbind is unlocked when you complete the Covenant Campaign quest line.



Soulbinds have 8 rows of traits that augment your abilities or boost your combat prowess.

You can unlock new rows of power for your Soulbinds as you increase your trust with your Covenant through the Renown system . For example, if you join the Night Fae, reaching Renown Level 5 will unlock Niya’s third row of traits, and Renown Level 6 will unlock Dreamweaver’s third row. Similarly, a player who joins the Necrolords would get Marileth’s third row at Renown 5, and Emeni’s third row at Renown 6 as well. For the full list of current abilities Soulbinds have to offer, check out the Kyrian, Necrolord, Night Fae, and Venthyr Covenant previews.

Connect Your Souls

Kyrian Soulbinds

The noble kyrian you befriended in Bastion will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.

Pelagos trains diligently for ascension even in the face of challenge and adversity. Along with Kleia, his other soulbind, Pelagos is quick to befriend you as you seek an audience with the Archon and confront the Forsworn threat. Despite the trials he faces, Pelagos pushes ever forward, steadfast and optimistic.

Bond of Friendship: Defeating enemies slightly reduces the cooldown on your Steward’s non-Phial services per enemy defeated.

Combat Meditation: Using your Kyrian class spell or ability increases your Mastery slightly for a moderate amount of time and occasionally expels Sorrowful Memories. Walking through Sorrowful Memories extends this effect by a short time.



Kleia met you while she was still an aspirant. She demonstrated to her soulbound companion Pelagos and the rest of the kyrian that she wants to push forward and best any trials they faced. A caring mentor to Pelagos and you, she will do whatever she can to protect her friends and Bastion.

Ascendant Phial: Phial of Serenity renders you immune to Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects for several seconds.

Valiant Strikes: You and your nearby allies’ critical strikes grant you stacks of Valiant Strikes. Once you maximize your stacks, you heal nearby allies for 5% of their maximum health over 10 seconds.



Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, a steward of Bastion, showed promise from his earliest days and quickly rose to the rank of Forgelite Prime. He was the primary inventor of many of Bastion’s most iconic creations. Recognizing the potential of the Maw Walker, he became a formidable ally to help you solve the anima drought and other threats.

Charged Additive: Phial of Serenity also knocks nearby enemies away from you.

Bron’s Call to Action: After using a significant amount of spells and abilities, your next spell or ability summons Bron, who attacks and heals your targets.



Necrolord Soulbinds

The warforged necrolords you befriended in Maldraxxus will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.

Plague Deviser Marileth is as eccentric as he is brilliant, he created some of the most efficacious potions in all of Maldraxxus. When the House of Plagues was destroyed, Marileth was driven mad in the aftermath. Marileth’s creative solutions prove vital to the war effort… despite the occasional side effect.

Travel with Bloop: While standing still, you slowly build stacks of Bloop’s Wanderlust. At maximum stacks, your movement speed is increased for a couple of minutes.

Ultimate Form: Fleshcraft renders you immune to crowd control.



Emeni, the Slaughter Daughter was assembled in the stitchyards of Maldraxxus. In life, she was a powerful noble who slaughtered hundreds of her siblings to claim the throne. She respects your strength and prowess as you work together to exterminate their mutual enemies. A legend in her own right, her notoriety rises even higher as she binds her soul to the Maw Walker’s.

Runescribed Bone: Each enemy you defeat grants you one stack of Runescribed Bone, slightly reducing magic damage taken per stack. At max stacks, your Soulbind traits are empowered for a moderate amount of time.

Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: When you use your Necrolord class ability or spell, gain a stack of Emeni’s Magnficent Skin. Using Fleshcraft consumes your Emeni’s Magnificent Skin to slightly increase your maximum health per stack for a significant duration.

Emeni’s Magnificent Skin: Releasing stacks deals some Shadow damage to nearby enemies, slightly increased per stack.

Cartilaginous Legs: Shield amount doubled.

Hearth Kidneystone: Cooldown reduction doubled.

Gristled Toes: Movement speed now slightly to moderately increased.

Gnashing Chompers: Haste increase doubled.

Sulfuric Emission: Fear duration increased for a couple of seconds.



Bonesmith Heirmir is the Primus’s apprentice and among the oldest mortal souls in Maldraxxus. With eons of training and practice, she is the foremost expert on forging weapons and armor made of bone and steel. The arsenals she creates keep the House of the Chosen and you fully equipped to face the enemies that surround them.

Resourceful Fleshcrafting: Defeating an enemy slightly reduces Fleshcraft’s cooldown.

Forgeborne Reveries: Upon death, your armor continues to fight, allowing you to fight for an additional amount of time. During these seconds, your damage and healing done is reduced moderately and you cannot receive healing.



Night Fae Soulbinds

The cunning night fae you befriended in Ardenweald will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they bestow upon you.

Niya is a sylvar who was tasked with guarding and caring for the wildseeds in her grove. You met her in a time of tragedy as her grove was left to wither so that its anima could be reclaimed. As she journeyed with you, Niya learned the hard truths of survival admidst the drought. An expert hunter and tracker, her skills will aid resolving the drought, and the other threats to Ardenweald.

Sylvari Mantle: When Soulshape ends, you are concealed until you move.

Grove Invigoration: When you use your Night Fae class ability or spell, gain a moderate amount of Mastery, slowly fading over a few minutes.



Dreamweaver is a calm and serene faerie who’s adept at peering into the dreams of nature spirits who slumber within the forest’s wildseeds as they await their rebirth. Dreamweaver helped you form a bond with one particular wildseed whose sleeping spirit reached out. His healing powers provide support as Ardenweald is besieged by outside forces.

Field of Blossoms: When Soulshape ends, you increase the movement speed of nearby allies for a moderate amount of time.

Podtender: When you would take damage that would kill you, instead rejuvenate within a wildseed, regaining a moderate amount of your maximum health over a few seconds. If the pod takes more than a certain amount of damage during this time, you die. This effect may only occur once every several minutes.



Korayn, a huntress of the Wild Hunt, is a strong-willed leader and ferocious fighter. Tasked with protecting the forest from the most dangerous and elusive threats, she will not rest until her quarry is slain and Ardenweald’s safety is secured. When Hibernal Hollow came under attack, it is Korayn’s leadership and resolve that helped win the day.

Wild Hunt’s Charge: While out of combat, your Soulshape’s teleport becomes a charge, stunning your target for a few seconds and ending your Soulshape.

Final Moments: Your healing and damage to targets below at low health is slightly increased. When an ally dies, this benefit is significantly increased for a moderate amount of time. This enhancement may only occur once every few minutes.



Venthyr Soulbinds

The proud venthyr you befriended in Revendreth will form a special bond with you if you join their Covenant. Below are descriptions of each along with example powers they can bestow upon you.

Nadjia the Mistblade is the self-proclaimed greatest duelist to ever wield a blade, who rebels at stagnation and longs for the next new experience. Wherever there is trouble, you can expect to find Nadjia there at the heart of it. She is ready to turn her skills to the defense of Revendreth at your command, and her entertainment.

Agent of Chaos: Door of Shadows disorients all nearby enemies at the target location for a few seconds when you appear.

Thrill Seeker: While in combat, you gain a stack of Thrill Seeker every couple of seconds, or some stacks on killing an enemy. When stacks reach their limit Thrill Seeker is consumed to grant you Euphoria, speeding up everything you do moderately for several seconds. Thrill Seeker decays rapidly while you are not in combat.



General Draven served Revendreth for eons as commander of the Stone Legion. He is on the frontline of any battlefield, will fight with honor to the very end, and never leaves a soldier behind.

Enduring Gloom: Door of Shadows grants you a shield that absorbs damage equal to 15% of your maximum health. Lasts 8 seconds.

Call to Action: Using your Venthyr class ability or spell grants some Versatility to you, and your nearby allies for a moderate duration of time.



Theotar the Mad Duke knows all too well that insanity is no excuse for bad manners! Exiled from traditional aristocratic circles so he formed his own court of outcasts to gossip with. Whether weaving powerful magic through his favorite teapot or animating dredgers to carry his umbrella for him, Theotar wields the incredible power of Revendreth in his own, eccentric way.

Watch the Shoes!: Door of Shadows frees you from roots and snares.

Soothing Shade: Your spells and abilities have a chance to call Tubbins and Gubbins to your side for a moderate amount of time, parasol in hand. Standing in the shaded area grants you some Mastery.



Conduits

The Forge of Bonds also allows you to augment your Soulbinds with Conduits, socketed passives that enhance your Class and Covenant Abilities. Here are examples of Conduits for Warriors.

Warrior Conduits

Warrior (all specs): Execute increases the critical strike chance of subsequent Executes for a moderate amount of time, stacking substantially.

Warrior (Kyrian, all specs): Spear of Bastion’s instant damage and Rage generation are significantly increased.

Warrior (Necrolord, all specs): Brandishing the Conqueror’s Banner (Covenant Ability) immediately grants you a moderate amount of Glory (used to prolong the duration of your banner), and while the banner is planted your Strength is moderately increased.

Warrior (Night Fae, all specs): Ancient Aftershock’s damage and Rage generation are significantly increased against the first target struck.

Warrior (Venthyr, all specs): Condemn’s damage dealt and prevented are moderately increased for each nearby enemy.

Warrior (Arms): Overpower has a chance to apply Colossus Smash for a few seconds.

Warrior (Fury): Recklessness now last moderately longer.

Warrior (Protection): Last Stand significantly increases your Rage generation.

Conduits are still in development and subject to change.

Swapping Soulbinds

You can choose between Soulbinds in rested areas or with a Tome of the Clear Mind or Codex of the Clear Mind to vary your play style for the battle ahead. Soulbind traits and Conduits can only be changed at the Forge of Bonds, located inside your Covenant Sanctum.

We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview excites you for the Soulbinds.

Soulbinds, Conduits, and Renown Levels are still in development and subject to change, so be sure to check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.
by Published on 2020-07-10 02:06 PM

Shadowlands Preview: The Maw


Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
To be cast into the Maw is to be doomed to a bleak eternity. In this tumultuous, hopeless land, the vilest souls in the cosmos are imprisoned and tormented forever. Should the ancient evil chained here break free, all of reality will be consumed.

Return to the Abyss

The Maw is where you’ll begin your journey in the Shadowlands—and after you’ve traveled through the realms of Death, you will once again be called upon to return and face its horrors. Here, you will engage in an ongoing conflict with the Jailer to restore balance to the Shadowlands. Your ventures and accomplishments in this dreadful place will help you better understand your enemy and gain power to withstand his relentless assaults. However, every triumph draws the watchful eye of the Jailer, who will send his forces to assail you until you succumb to darkness.

Before the emergence of mortals who could walk the Maw, the Mawsworn knew their enemies had no hope of escape. But with the power to leave and enter as you wish, you are a threat who must be taken down.

When you defeat enemies in the Maw or complete quests, you will earn Stygia that you can use to purchase Cyphers—powerful tools and buffs—to aid your survival within this terrible place as well as Torghast, Tower of the Damned. One of the Cyphers you can purchase from Ve’nari ensures that you will always get to pick from at least two Anima Powers from any source that grants them. For those who wish to take a bit of the Maw with you on your travels, you’ll also be able to trade in your Stygia for cosmetics, including pets.



Ve’nari is a mysterious broker who lives among the shadows and, through unknown means, has managed to survive. For a long time. She is the closest thing you’ll find to a friendly face in this realm.

Should you succumb the Jailer’s forces in the Maw, some of your precious Stygia will slip through your fingers. However, if you are daring enough to return to the place where you fell, you’ll be able to reclaim your lost Stygia.

Soul Salvation

Since the Arbiter went dormant and stopped directing souls to their just afterlives, all have instead been damned to the torment of the Maw. Many souls in the Maw are already too far gone, but a few possessing strong enough will to endure the Maw’s torments can still be saved. If you free these souls and bring them back to your sanctum, then not only have you righted a cosmic wrong, but you’ve also recruited a new member to your Covenant!

The Jailer’s Domain

The entities that roam the Maw are powerful enemies not to be trifled with. You will need to use every ability, tactic, and trick at your command in order to survive.


Mawsworn

The Jailer’s minions who bring pain and punishment to the most wicked of souls.

Mawsworn Avenger: Circling the skies above, these winged warriors use their spears to impale intruders.
Mawsworn Shadowcaster: Powerful magic wielders, Mawsworn Shadowcasters lob powerful bolts of dark energy to destroy those who oppose the Jailer’s will.


Death's Essence

Soul energy trapped within the Maw for untold ages coalesce into malevolent manifestations that wander the dark reaches of the Maw.


Charred Behemoth

These brutish iron-clad creatures crave carnage and use their brawn to pulverize everything that stands in their way.


Soul Seeker

Acting as eyes for the Jailer, Soul Seekers keep an ever-watchful gaze over the realm for any suspicious activity and will eliminate intruders—no questions asked.


Soul Eater

Malicious beasts that lurk the Maw, these savage terrors rend their prey with wicked talons, relishing the screams of their victims before consuming them soul and all.


Blazing Stygia

Once master assassins and scouts of the fallen House of Eyes, aranakk now find themselves bannerless nomads. While their necropolis lies in ruins, they still retain their sense of purpose and are willing to share the secrets they’ve unraveled from the tangledBurning hatred coalesces as Blazing Stygia that mindlessly pace back and forth, unleashing their fiery fury upon hapless souls.

Eye of the Jailer

As you progress through the Maw, slaying Mawsworn and dismantling the Jailer’s forces, the Jailer will notice your presence. Completing quests, opening treasures, and defeating rare enemies in the Maw will attract the Eye of the Jailer. The master of the Maw will torment you with increasingly treacherous punishments—including siege fire that will deal devastating damage and assassins that will hunt you down. There are five different Threat Levels. Once you reach Threat Level 5, your life will be siphoned until you fall, and you will not be able to re-enter the Maw again until the next day.

We look forward to sharing more information as development continues, and we hope this preview prepares you for the Maw and all it has to offer.

What mysteries are you most looking forward to unveiling in the Maw? Join the discussion on the forums.

Rewards and mechanics are still in development and subject to change, so be sure to check back for periodic updates on worldofwarcraft.com as we approach the release of Shadowlands.

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