Best Covenant for Destruction Warlock in Shadowlands - Shadowlands 9.0.5
A core choice at the start of your journey in the Shadowlands will have you decide where your allegiance lies; would you rather support the Kyrian of Bastion, the Necrolords of Maldraxxus, the Night Fae of Ardenweald, or the Venthyr of Revendreth?
Choosing a covenant is the most important decision your character will make in Shadowlands, as the covenant abilities and soulbinds will significantly impact your spec's gameplay and performance. Through this choice, your rotation changes, certain bonuses appear in dungeons for your entire group, and you are able to follow the story in different paths.
In this Shadowlands guide, we will help you choose the right covenant for your playstyle, based on how much they impact your performance as a Destruction Warlock, updated for .
If you need to learn more about the basics of Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits, we have other pages that explain the mechanics of these new systems:
explains basics of the Covenant system and rewards
How to Change Covenants?
details how to swap covenants, which requires special tasks over time.
explains the basics of this new system including how to unlock and swap Soulbinds.
details these items which allow an additional level of customization to your Soulbind, and how you can upgrade and replace them.
allows you to create your own soulbind path including conduits to share with friends.
Furthermore, if you are interested in a list of class-specific abilities for your Warlock, we have compiled several references:
Warlock Covenant Abilities
details the class-specific abilities unlocked upon choosing a specific covenant.
lists all available warlock conduits, organized by type, and their ranks.
NEW Best Covenant
NEW Twisting Corridors
NEW Night Fae
Rotation, Priority, and Abilities
Macros & Addons
NEW Castle Nathria Tips
About the Author
This guide is written and maintained by Loozy who plays a Warlock in the guild
on Kazzak EU. I began playing Warlock during Siege of Orgrimmar and have been raiding actively ever since. I became involved in guide writing during Legion where I took part in starting the website
Lock One Stop Shop
a website by Warlocks for Warlocks.
Best Covenants for Destruction Warlock
As a quick recap, we've created the table below to highlight the notable differences between Covenants. Don't hesitate to click the headers to go to their respective guides!
Best Raid Covenants
Nadija the Mistblade
Best Dungeon Covenants
Nadija the Mistblade
Best Destruction Warlock Covenants for Raiding
The Castle Nathria raid has many different types of encounters and currently there are multiple viable options when it comes to choosing your covenant.
Very strong covenant ability. The soulbinds within the Night Fae covenant are also the strongest options. You can get an early potency conduit slot through Dreamweaver and later swap to Niya who is the strongest Soulbind out of everyone. It is currently my suggestion to pick Night Fae.
Very strong covenant ability on single target and two targets. Starts lacking when introducing more targets. All 3 soulbinds are both viable and strong.
Has a lot of potential if you're able to proc the 5 shard generation from
. Weaker soulbinds than the above options.
Destruction Warlock Covenants for Mythic+
Both Kyrian and Night Fae are very strong options for Mythic+. The Kyrian ability
works on both boss fights and trash packs. It's a strong dot with good uptime on bosses and offers a nice burst of Soul Shards on trash packs.
A decent option for Mythic+ is also the Night Fae Covenant, which offers the
ability. This ability is on a relatively short cooldown (1 min) and adds a nice bit of burst to your AoE on-demand burst.
Destruction Warlock Covenant Popularity
Below you can see the data on what are the most picked Covenants for Destruction Warlocks. This data updates automatically and comes directly from Blizzard's API.
Destruction Warlock Covenant Analysis
Currently, Kyrian is the strongest Covenant due to the combination of this spell and the Soulbinds within this Covenant. This ability is very strong, especially for Destruction. Some things to note about
This spell is also duplicated by
. This adds a lot of power to this spell.
If your target dies while affected by
, the cooldown is not resat. This means you can't just alternate between low health targets.
This is both a strong option on single, two targets, and heavy cleave.
Not the most interesting Covenant ability, but he can provide potions, sell food and drinks, help you change your talents for free, and even play you a song!
damage by 10% for 10 seconds if a target dies while affected by
. Keep in mind, if a target dies while affected by this dot, you gain 5 Soul Shards, meaning you're able to cast at least 2, probably 3 buffed bolts. This is a decently strong conduit in situations where you'll be able to proc this often.
This ability is an interesting one as it can apply either
to an entire group of mobs on a relatively short cooldown. The damage of this spell isn't bad, but doesn't compare favorably to the alternative Covenant class abilities.
A decent addition to your mobility kit, but nothing game-breaking. It's worth noting this ability can also be modified through quite a few Soulbind traits:
- Nice little sprint after teleporting.
- Can be useful if you need to cc large groups of mobs, potentially to stop their casts.
- Allows you the potential to get out of a sticky situation.
- Adds a nice twist to the ability. Adds a charge, but increased cooldown.
- Adds a layer of defensiveness to this ability.
Clearly, Venthyr revolves around the Covenant ability quite a lot, but this isn't enough to make this Covenant a viable choice.
Not very interesting; this ability is already underperforming significantly compared to the alternative Covenant abilities.
This ability was made more attractive by having its health cost removed and damage on the main target buffed, but it's capped to 4 targets and it's unlikely you will end up using the
part of this ability. If you were to argue in favor of this ability, the defensive value it adds through the healing is actually quite decent. Overall, the damage this dot deals isn't bad either, especially not in dungeons where you're able to constantly apply it to 4 targets.
This class ability is absolutely amazing! It grants you a blink on a 1.5 minute cooldown and is just such a great addition to our kit. Through the Soulbind tree, it actually becomes slightly more interesting. First off
adds utility to your group. 10% movement speed however isn't very much and it's certainly not on the same level as a
adds a nice layer of defensive value to this spell.
can turn your
into an engage type ability that gives the ability an interesting twist.
Nice damage increase to this ability. The radius increase means it could possibly hit a target it would have otherwise missed which is obviously also nice.
This ability is very strong on single target, and especially during execute phases where you're able to gain even higher % increases on your
damage stacks. As mentioned above, this ability was nerfed when combined with
. This nerf makes this spell less attractive on multiple targets, but still very strong on single target.
This ability is situationally a very nice defensive boost. While it can be annoying to channel, there are a few Soulbind options that make it a bit less annoying such as
. That being said, reaching this Soulbind perk takes you away from a Potency conduit slot, which is not ideal.
The Soulbind tree for Necrolord is decent overall. It offers perks such as
, which makes for a nice boost to your stats. Another noteworthy mention here is
, which makes you immune to crowd control effects while casting
. This could potentially be very strong in certain scenarios.
Not very strong.
's strength isn't as much in its missiles damage, but rather in the empowered
. That said, this is by no means useless and still a decent buff to the abilities damage, especially during execute phases.
Destruction Warlock Covenant and Soulbind Guides
Now that we have highlighted each Covenant's strengths and abilities for you to decide which is best, you can read our in-depth Covenant guides below. These pages detail the best soulbind paths for Shadowlands PvE as well as optimal covenant ability usage for each covenant.
Kyrian Destruction Warlock GuideNecrolord Destruction Warlock Guide
Night Fae Destruction Warlock GuideVenthyr Destruction Warlock Guide
Destruction Warlock Soublind Simulations
Here is a preview of how Destruction Warlock Soulbinds stack against each other in terms of raw power, powered by
. Make sure to check the individual Covenant pages for more details about each of them.
Thanks for reading our class guides! If you have any feedback about the guides, feel free to leave a comment in the section below and we will reply as quickly as possible. If you'd like to talk with any of our writers directly you can do so by joining our
and finding them there!
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Been playing this game since 2005 now and just made an account on here for the first time ever just to say how disappointed i am in being FORCED to play Kyrian due to progression requirements.
The covenant does not fit my undead warlock in any shape or form, nor do i like their lore, look, feel, or anything about them. Blizzard should've made all covenants on par when it comes to damaging abilities so players will end up choosing what they like and not what they're supposed to.
Was looking forward to playing Necro, but i guess it is what it is and yet again we're forced to deal with another F up on blizzard's behalf and play this !@#$ty covenant.
Now let's just hope they don't nerf Kyrian after we're all well into the expansion or buff the rest because that would be F'd up!
What's the point with this when we really don't have a choice? For instance, no raid guild is going to accept any destro who chose Venthyr.
And I bet you'll !@#$ it up in later updates/fixes, forcing us to change covenant to stay relevant.
I truly don’t care if Kyrian outputs 5% more dmg within raiding and mythic+. I’m going Venthyr. Why? Bc it’s a game and I want to have fun. Not told how to have that fun bc of numbers....not competing with my lock with a bunch of rando’s or even guildmates. And I surely don’t run with pro level mythic+ guilds. Have fun and play how YOU want. Not what everyone else says is optimal.
yep, going venthyr
Loozy so Kyrian the best but you with Night Fae ? 🤦♂️
I keep hearing people praise Kyrian for locks, but I dont see it. I feel like everyones taking crazy pills. I'm thinking with destro it sucks. I know with havoc its descent. But for destro ST I think its worse than immolate. Using it on a raid boss is a just a maintenance dot that you have to refresh over and over. Nothing dies so you dont get the shards. Immolate has a shorter cast time, deals more damage, and generates shards. Scouring tithe just seems terrible in a raid situation for destro.
If Kyrian gives the most dps, then Kyrian it is.
I honestly am indifferent about the covenants. Why would anyone invest so much sweat and tears into this is beyond me.
Great article and most helpful. Thanks!
Is it just me, or does it feel like they made kyrian the best choice for a lot of classes because they knew no one would pick them otherwise?
In the "spread sheet" ,he says that Night fae are "very strong" for m+,same as Kyrian,but in the "Destruction Warlock Covenants for Mythic+" he says they are "decent".
So,which one is it lol
, a toy.
Hey Loozy, I'm not trying to call you out, but your recency bias is showing. You admitted that you started playing warlock
after curses were pruned
, and now that
they are back
you don't think they are worthwhile because they don't add DPS to your meter. Debuffs were a huge part of raiding before nearly all of them were taken out in the multiple ability pruning rounds Blizzard did. Now that we have an AOE smart debuff application, it won't be long before this is required for raids since it reduces the damage taken by the raid-which reduces the mana spent on healing by the raid, thereby increasing overall raid DPS. Second and third order effects are real and happen well beyond what your damage meter indicates.
Can't help but feel like necrolords are waaay underestimated in the sims for destro locks. I frequently see DB buffed incinerates crit harder than chaos bolts on bosses in single target or cleave, and absolutely wreck in the execution phase. 11.5k incinerate ain't no joke.
Not to mention that well timed fleshcraft takes a lot of stress off healers and negates a lot of raid/party wide damage. Dark pact plus fleshcraft can put a whopping 15k shield on you, and is easily cast in boss fights during phases where you need to LoS or before a pull or phases where boss can't be attacked.
Great all around in rated and world PvP too.
TBH I just play this game for fun. Like IDC about DPS rotations or if i'm doing bad/people get mad at me. I am not a hardcore person, i just like doing what is fun. And people will probably get mad at me for saying this since i know a lot of people who did this, but a night fae warlock is STUPID. The abilities aren't that good, and Ardenweald is just ass-y... I mean all you do is go around and pick flowers, and kill a couple trolls and possesed guys, where as in Bastion you have bad guys working for the maw and it is currently one of my favorite zones in the whole game. Maldraxxus is good too because the only good guys are Draka, and some others and you have to find where the Primus went in order to get back the Army in which ALL OF THE SHADOWLANDS WOULD FALL without. And then there is revendreth. REVENDRETH IS F*CKING AMAZING even tho i did not go venthyr. I LOVE the gothic themes and the story is EPIC where Denathrius is the reason that ALL OF THE SHADOWLANDS is having their drought in anima, and Lord Chamberlain and all of the betrayals and stuff is fantastic. All their abilities are very good too. I'm necrolord and LOVE Decimating bolt and Fleshcraft, Impending catastrophe and door of shadows are really good fr locks. Also, the Kyrian ability is super good, it resets its cooldown if the target doesn't die, and give ALL 5 soul shards if it does die. Soooooo this has nothing related to what i said at the start but whatever. I do have a strong opinion even if i dont care about doing bad DPS lol. Downvote if you don't like this, IDC. Also To me Kyrian doesn't really fit a warlock too but yeah.
like games are made to be fun not to take over your life *AHEM* ASMONGOLD *AHEM*
Why did you fail to mention that Decimating Bolt is also duplicated by Havoc? I know it does not give you more incinerate buffs but heck with the Fatal Decimation conduit it can pack a serious punch.
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