Blood Death Knight Tank Covenants For M+ (shadowlands)

Covenants provide an array of packaged benefits to players. Each aspect of covenants will be reviewed, compared, and then the covenants will be looked at as a whole.

Recommendation

(Venthyr)/Theotar

Using [Watch the Shoes!] and [Wasteland Propriety] (use [Leisurely Gait] at low renown levels to always have [Spirit Drain] equipped)

Signature Abilities

To start, each covenant provides access to signature abilities that are given to all classes.

Kyrian:

[Phial of Serenity] – A supplement healing potion that provides the added benefit of removing Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed effects. 

Extra Details: 

  • The three minute cooldown doesn’t begin until you leave combat.
  • A potion with 3 charges can be generated every 5 minutes.

Necrolords:

[Fleshcraft] – This ability provides a reasonably-sized absorb shield and a damage reduction effect while it is channeling. Absorbing corpses reduces the cooldown of this ability. 

Extra Details: 

  • You can dodge and parry while channeling this ability.

Night Fae:

[Soulshape] – This is a powerful movement speed buff combined with a recastable blink effect. However, the form is lost whenever another cast is used.

Extra Details: 

  • The blink occurs on cast and is available for additional casts on a 4 second cooldown.

Venthyr:

[Door of Shadows] – This long range targeted teleport.

Comments:

[Phial of Serenity] can be extremely useful when you are frequently dealing with dangerous debuff effects it can remove (such as when dealing with the [Necrotic] affix). The mitigation provided by the healing effect is insignificant relative to incoming damage, but it’s something.

[Fleshcraft] provides a small amount of mitigation with its absorb shield and some temporary EHP with its damage reduction effect. It’s not overwhelmingly powerful, but it’s a solid benefit.

[Soulshape] seems to provide some much needed general-use mobility, which can also be used as an instant disengage from enemies with its blink effect and can greatly help when setting up multi-group pulls.

[Door of Shadows] is a little clunky for tanks since it is not instant cast and you can’t dodge or parry while casting it, but it’s still a nice mobility tool that can address some of our movement speed needs and it can be used for quick disengages.

None of these signature abilities are universally strong, but they can all be a nice benefit under the right circumstances.

Class Abilities

Each covenant provides access to class-specific abilities.

Kyrian:

[Shackle the Unworthy] – A single target DoT effect that reduces the damage a target does to you that can be spread with rune-spending abilities. 

Extra Details: 

  • The DoT has a 50% chance to spread when targets are hit with rune-spending abilities.
  • If you hit multiple targets with a [Heart Strike] that all have the DoT, you have a 50% chance to spread the DoT for each target hit, though it can only spread once per [Heart Strike].
  • The DoT spreads at its current duration.
  • Unlike other Death Knight DoT effects, this fully scales with haste.
  • The DoT effect also ticks once, immediately, on debuff application.

Necrolords:

[Abomination Limb] – An AoE damage ability that pulses damage and constantly spams a damaging [Death Grip] on applicable targets. Generates up to 9 [Bone Shield] charges over the duration.

Extra Details: 

  • Every tick of damage has the ability to [Death Grip] a target between 8 and 20 yards away from you (prioritizing the closest target in this range).
  • The same target cannot be gripped more than once every 4 seconds.
  • The [Death Grip] does the same amount of damage as the normal AoE ticks.

Night Fae:

[Death’s Due] – An upgraded [Death and Decay] that causes each [Heart Strike] used in the AoE ground effect to apply a buff/debuff for 2% Strength and 2% personal damage reduction, stacking up to 8% each.

Extra Details: 

  • The duration of the buff *and* debuff is 12 seconds and these durations get refreshed with every [Heart Strike].
  • You get a stack of the buff effect for every enemy hit by each applicable [Heart Strike].
  • Other than the buff/debuff and visual effects, this ability functions *exactly* like [Death and Decay] for Blood.

Venthyr:

[Swarming Mist] – An AoE damage ability that pulses damage, generates RP based on the number of targets hit, and provides some additional dodge.

Extra Details: 

  • This ability ticks once immediately on cast.

Comments:

[Shackle the Unworthy] will generally provide the most single target damage of the class abilities, but its mitigation ability is fairly small. When targets are added, the DoT can slowly spread to additional targets at a reduced duration, so both the damage and mitigation of this ability do not scale as well as the other options.

[Abomination Limb] provides a moderate amount of mitigation through [Bone Shield] generation and it can provide the most AoE damage of the class abilities with enough targets. Granted, this combination of mitigation and damage, on its own, does not differentiate itself too much from the competition. An additional benefit of this ability is its continuous [Death Grip]s. However, it’s rare that we’ll be able to make use of these [Death Grip]s in a particularly useful way in M+.

[Death’s Due] provides a solid and consistent amount of mitigation, EHP, and damage. However, the buffs and debuffs associated with [Death’s Due] are slow to ramp up, limited in effectiveness on 6+ targets, movement constraining, and very high maintenance compared to other options; all of these downsides cause a loss of value in M+ content where individual pulls may not last long, may have more than 5 targets, may require movement, and may already require some degree of multi-tasking involved. Once it ramps up, the fact that its benefits are consistent and that is provides a respectable amount of EHP is useful; these two things are the main benefits it has over other covenant abilities, since the mitigation and damage increase, on its own, does not stand out. 

[Swarming Mist] provides moderate mitigation and damage when used on a single target, but it provides an extremely large burst of mitigation and good damage when the target count gets high enough. The main issue with the abilities mitigation is that it overloads you with so much RP in a short period of time with multiple targets that it’s hard to make efficient use of it all, since it can provide as much as 145 RP while you continue to use other rune-spending abilities. Still, the fact that it is very controllable means that smart use of this ability can amplify its value.

Alone, all of these abilities provide significant bonuses, much more than the signature covenant abilities. However, soulbinds are also influential.

Soulbinds

Only Soulbind traits that affect combat will be mentioned in this section.

Kyrian:

(Pelagos)

Conduit Slots:

1 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Focusing Mantra])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Road of Trials])

0 Finesse Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Phial of Patience])

Notable Core Traits:

[Combat Meditation] [Shackle the Unworthy] gives you a Mastery buff that also creates orbs which extends the buff duration

Extra Details: 

  • Three orbs spawn over the duration that extend the buff for 3 seconds each.

[Let Go of the Past] – Alternating abilities provides a stacking magic damage reduction buff.

Extra Details: 

Notable Elective Traits:

[Phial of Patience] – Your [Phial of Serenity] generates extra healing based on 35% of your health at the cost of providing [Phial of Serenity] healing over 10 seconds.

(Kleia)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Mentorship] / +1 with [Resonant Accolades])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Ascendant Phial] / +1 with [Bearer’s Pursuit])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Pointed Courage])

Notable Core Traits:

[Valiant Strikes] – Your critical strikes provide buff stacks that are automatically used to heal low health allies (or yourself).

Extra Details: 

  • You give healing to allies within 8 yards that trigger the heal.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Ascendant Phial] – Your [Phial of Serenity] also provides temporary Curse, Disease, Poison, and Bleed immunity.

[Resonant Accolades] – Your healing abilities provide an additional HoT when healing targets above 70% health.

Extra Details: 

  • This includes healing that *brings* you above 70% health.
  • Leech effects are not included.

[Pointed Courage] – Your critical strike chance increases based on the number of nearby enemies and allies.

Extra Details: 

  • You do not receive any additional parry from this critical strike.

[Cleansing Rites] – You generate a shield outside of combat.

(Forgelite Prime Mikanikos)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Forgelite Filter] / +1 with [Soulsteel Clamps])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Charged Additive] / +1 with [Hammer of Genesis])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Sparkling Driftglobe Core])

Notable Core Traits:

[Bron’s Call to Action] – After using a certain number of spells and abilities, you summon an NPC that does some damage and healing.

Extra Details: 

  • Most, but not all, offensive abilities generate a charge.
  • Bron periodically uses an [Anima Cannon] that does single target arcane damage.
  • Bron frequently uses [Vitalizing Bolt] to heal allies.
  • Bron uses [Smash] to deal respectable arcane damage in a frontal cone.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Charged Additive] – Your [Phial of Serenity] as an AoE knockback on use.

[Forgelite Filter] [Phial of Serenity] auto-triggers when you drop below 35% health.

Extra Details: 

[Hammer of Genesis] – A haste buff is generated when damaging enemies for the first time.

Extra Details: 

  • This buff can only be applied once per combat per target.

[Sparkling Driftglobe Core] – An AoE stun is triggered when you drop below 35% health.

Extra Details: 

  • This trait has a hidden 1 minute cooldown.
  • The stun is applied in an 8 yard AoE.

[Resilient Plumage] – This ability triggers a damage reduction buff whenever you take fall damage.

Kyrian Comments:

The main benefit of Pelagos is the periodic burst of mastery rating provided by [Combat Meditation]. The magic mitigation from [Let Go of the Past] doesn’t hurt, but it usually isn’t particularly valuable. About half of the potential benefit of [Combat Meditation] is associated with chasing three orbs around once every cast, which is something of a movement constraint. Pelagos is recommended if you have chosen this covenant, because of his higher mitigation and damage throughput.

Kleia’s healing from [Valiant Strikes] is respectable, but its not enough to compete with Pelagos for mitigation. The fact that it can target allies can be a good thing when you don’t need the healing, but otherwise it will just reduce the healing potential on their lower health pools. One unique utility available with Kleia is the 8 second debuff immunity that she can give to [Phial of Serenity], which means she has some more utility against [Necrotic].

Mikanikos has some interesting benefits, but, unless you have a way to maintain high uptime on [Resilient Plumage], it’s hard to make an argument for using him.

Necrolords:

(Plague Deviser Marileth)

Conduit Slots:

1 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Ooz’s Frictionless Coating])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Travel with Bloop])

0 Finesse Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Plaguey’s Preemptive Strike])

Notable Core Traits:

[Volatile Solvent] – Moving near corpses causes you to gain creature type-specific buffs. 

Extra Details: 

  • You can generate multiple of these 2 minute duration buffs at the same time.

[Ultimate Form] – When channeling [Fleshcraft] and for 3 second after fully channeling [Fleshcraft], become immune to all forms of crowd control and regenerate extra health.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Travel with Bloop] – A stacking buff ramps into a long duration movement speed buff while you are standing still.

Extra Details: 

  • Every 3 seconds, you gain a stack of [Bloop’s Wanderlust] if you are standing still at that instant and you lose a stack of [Bloop’s Wanderlust] if you are moving at that instant.
  • After gaining 10 stacks, you gain the movement speed buff as soon as you move.
  • You cannot gain stacks of the initial buff while the movement speed buff is active.

[Ooz’s Frictionless Coating] – Gain a shield when falling below 50% health.

Extra Details: 

  • This ability has a hidden 30 second cooldown.
  • The absorb total scales with versatility.

[Plaguey’s Preemptive Strike] – An increased damage done debuff is applied to enemies when you first damage them.

Extra Details: 

  • This debuff can only be applied once per combat per target.
  • If a target was damaged, even if the debuff wasn’t applied since it was already on *another* target, you can no longer generate a debuff on that target until combat resets.

(Emeni)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Emeni’s Magnificent Skin] / +1 with [Gristled Toes])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Emeni’s Ambulatory Flesh] / +1 with [Gnashing Chompers])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Sulfuric Emission])

Notable Core Traits:

[Lead by Example] – Using [Abomination Limb] gives a small primary stat buff to nearby allies and a large personal strength buff to yourself that gets stronger based on the number of allies buffed.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Emeni’s Magnificent Skin] – Gain a temporary increase in maximum health whenever you use [Fleshcraft].

[Emeni’s Ambulatory Flesh] – You can now use [Fleshcraft] while moving.

[Gristled Toes] – Your movement speed is increased for each nearby enemy.

Extra Details: 

  • Enemies and attackable neutral targets within 8 yards count towards this trait, even if you are not personally in combat with them.

[Gnashing Chompers] – Gain a temporary stacking haste buff whenever you kill an enemy.

[Sulfuric Emission] – Fears nearby enemies when you drop below 20% health.

Extra Details: 

  • This ability has a hidden 1 minute cooldown.
  • This ability fears enemies within 8 yards of you.

(Bonesmith Heirmir)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Resourceful Fleshcrafting] / +1 with [Heirmir’s Arsenal: Gorestompers])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Serrated Spaulders] / +1 with [Heirmir’s Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Heirmir’s Arsenal: Ravenous Pendant])

Notable Core Traits:

[Forgeborne Reveries] – When you die, this trait keeps you alive for 10 more seconds while lowering your damage and healing output. This also provides you with strength and armor if you are wearing enchanted items.

Extra Details: 

  • Upon “death”, your health is returned to 100% health and you die after 10 seconds.
  • All buffs, debuffs, resources, and threat are retained when this ability triggers.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Serrated Spalders] – Apply a shadow DoT to targets who hit you in melee range.

Extra Details: 

  • The debuff is applied to a target whenever you are damaged by that target.

[Resourceful Fleshcrafting] – Defeating enemies reduces the cooldown of [Fleshcraft].

[Heirmir’s Arsenal: Ravenous Pendant] – Gain a stacking delayed heal buff after defeating enemies.

[Heirmir’s Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone] – Your critical strikes eventually cause you to gain a buff that increases your critical strike tea.

Extra Details: 

  • You cannot gain stacks while the ability is on cooldown.
  • critical strike gained through this trait does not contribute to parry.

Necrolord Comments:

Bonesmith Heirmir has some strong damage-specific benefits with [Serrated Spalders], in particular. [Forgeborne Reveries] also provides a marginal amount of strength and armor, which also comes with the handy ability of keeping you alive for 10 additional seconds when you die. All in all, this soulbind will has a slight edge in EHP and the advantage in damage compared to the other two.

Plague Devisor Marileth is mostly just providing self healing through [Ooz’s Frictionless Coating] and miscellaneous/unreliable benefits through [Volatile Solvent]. In total, this soulbind provides more mitigation than Bonesmith Heirmir, but less EHP and damage (not including [Volatile Solvent] buffs)

Emeni’s benefits are limited to a primary stat buff for yourself and allies through [Lead by Example], as well as a temporary increase in EHP from [Emeni’s Magnificent Skin]. She does not provide a concrete advantage over the other options.

Night Fae:

(Niya)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Run Without Tiring] / +1 with [Niya’s Tools: Poison])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Stay on the Move] / +1 with [Niya’s Tools: Burrs])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Niya’s Tools: Herbs])

Notable Core Traits:

[Grove Invigoration] – A stack-based mastery and health buff effect that accumulates when using [Death’s Due].

Extra Details: 

  • The accumulating buffs each have their own durations that cannot be refreshed.
  • While it’s possible to generate stacks with procs from normal ability use, these procs will not give you stacks if you currently have one.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Run Without Tiring] – This trait gives [Soulshape] a HoT effect.

Extra Details: 

  • The healing from this trait does not scale with versatility or critical strike.

[Stay on the Move] – This trait reduces the cooldown of [Soulshape] and further reduces it when defeating enemies.

[Niya’s Tools: Burrs] – This trait randomly procs a DoT/snare on enemies.

Extra Details: 

  • The DoT effect does not scale with haste.

[Niya’s Tools: Poison] – This trait applies a DoT when successfully interrupting an enemy cast and also provides some additional damage when the enemy is already affected by the DoT.

[Niya’s Tools: Herbs] – This trait randomly procs a haste buff on targets you heal.

Extra Details: 

(Dreamweaver)

Conduit Slots:

1 Potency Conduit ( +1 with [Soothing Voice])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Social Butterfly])

0 Finesse Conduit (+1 if selected / +1 with [Empowered Chrysalis])

Notable Core Traits:

[Podtender] – This ability will prevent your death by locking you in a seed for 10 seconds where you’ll heal 30% of your max health. 

Extra Details: 

  • Enemies will attack your party members while you are in your seed.
  • If none of your party members are in combat, enemies will attack the seed.
  • While in the seed, you will maintain all buffs, debuffs, and resources, but you are unable to die (with the exception of the seed dying) or perform actions.
  • If you have [Purgatory] talented, [Podtender] will trigger before it and if the seed dies while you are in it you will die without [Purgatory] triggering.

[Field of Blossoms] – A ground-based buff effect that gives haste and triggers when using [Death’s Due].

Extra Details: 

  • The ground effect spawns directly on top of you.
  • As long as you stay within 4 yards of the ground effect’s center, you will get the buff.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Social Butterfly] – This trait will provide a versatility buff that alternates between you and two other allies when two other allies are within 8 yards.

Extra Details: 

  • This trait initially triggers on yourself when two allies are within 8 yards and the trait has not proc’d on yourself in the last 10 seconds.
  • At the end of the initial self-buff, up to 2 allies within an 8 yard range of yourself are given the secondary versatility buffs.

[Soothing Voice] – This trait will provide an additional front-loaded snare on targets when your [Chains of Ice] and [Asphyxiate] expire.

[Empowered Chrysalis] – This trait converts overhealing done or received into a temporary absorb shield.

(Korayn)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Horn of the Wild Hunt] / +1 with [Face Your Foes])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Wild Hunt’s Charge] / +1 with [First Strike])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Hold the Line])

Notable Core Traits:

[Wild Hunt Tactics] – Damage dealt to high health targets and healing done to low health targets is enhanced and also gives you a movement speed buff.

Extra Details: 

Notable Elective Traits:

[Horn of the Wild Hunt] – Increases ally movement speed when [Soulshape] is active.

[Wild Hunt’s Charge] – Your [Soulshape] a single target charge/stun ability instead of [Flicker] when out of combat.

[Face Your Foes] – Your damaging abilities apply a short duration debuff that reduces the damage a target does to you when it is facing you.

[First Strike] – Damaging enemies before they damage you gives you a temporary critical strike buff.

[Hold the Line] – Take reduced physical damage if you haven’t moved recently.

Night Fae Comments:

Niya provides the strongest benefits for mitigation, EHP, and damage. [Grove Invigoration] provides a consistent source of extra mastery and health, which provides all of her mitigation and EHP benefits. Additionally, she has [Niya’s Tools: Burrs] available for significant extra extra damage.

Korayn offers a small damage boost with [Wild Hunt Tactics] and has access to a strong reduction effect with [Hold the Line], but having to stand still for 5 seconds to get benefits from a trait is very restrictive in an M+ environment; more likely than not you would not be benefiting from this trait. Without being able to benefit from [Hold the Line], there’s not much of an argument to be made to take Korayn over Niya

Dreamweaver provides a reasonable (but movement restricting) haste buff through [Field of Blossoms], in addition to either an increase in healing efficiency from [Empowered Chrysalis] or a versatility buff through [Social Butterfly]. Being forced to take [Podtender] is a bit iffy; while a cheat death is nice, it leaves your group vulnerable to further deaths while you’re stuck in stasis for 10 seconds (which also locks you out of getting battle resurrected in a shorter amount of time in a situation where you died straight-up). Even without the cheat death complications, Niya provides superior benefits.

Venthyr:

(Nadjia the Mistblade)

Conduit Slots:

0 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Agent of Chaos] / +1 with [Familiar Predicaments])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Fancy Footwork] / +1 with [Exacting Preparation])

1 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Dauntless Duelist])

Notable Core Traits:

[Thrill Seeker] – This ability periodically gives you a haste buff while in combat.

Extra Details: 

  • The stacks decay by 1 every 2 seconds when out of combat.
  • This ability considers you as being in combat when [Control Undead] is active.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Agent of Chaos] – This ability adds a 6 second AoE disorient to [Door of Shadows].

Extra Details: 

  • The disorient breaks on damage.

[Fancy Footwork] – This ability adds a personal movement speed buff to [Door of Shadows].

[Exacting Preparation] – This ability increases the effectiveness of your food, flasks, and weapon enchants (including runeforges).

Extra Details: 

[Dauntless Duelist] – This ability applies a debuff to one enemy when they are damaged, increasing damage done against them and decreasing the damage they do to you.

Extra Details: 

  • Once the initial debuff target dies, the debuff can then be applied to a new target.

(Theotar the Mad Duke)

Conduit Slots:

1 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Token of Appreciation])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Watch the Shoes!] / +1 with [Refined Palate])

0 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Leisurely Gait] / +1 with [Wasteland Propriety])

Notable Core Traits:

[Soothing Shade] – An AoE buff zone randomly spawns near you that gives mastery.

Notable Elective Traits:

[Watch the Shoes!] – Break roots and snares when using [Door of Shadows].

[Leisurely Gait] [Door of Shadows] has 2 charges, but has a longer cooldown.

[Refined Palate] – Combat potions last longer.

[Token of Appreciation] – Gives an absorb shield to allies that target you with helpful spells.

[Wasteland Propriety] – Apply a group-wide versatility buff when [Swarming Mist] is used.

Extra Details: 

  • Ally buffs are applied in a 30 yard radius.

(General Draven)

Conduit Slots:

1 Potency Conduit (+1 with [Hold Your Ground])

1 Endurance Conduit (+1 with [Superior Tactics] / +1 with [Move As One])

0 Finesse Conduit (+1 with [Built for War] / +1 with [Enduring Gloom])

Notable Core Traits:

[Service in Stone] – Damage taken at low health is reduced. Also, your death triggers a delayed AoE damage and healing effect.

Extra Details: 

Notable Elective Traits:

[Built for War] – Gain a stacking strength buff when at high health that is removed when your health gets low.

[Superior Tactics] – Interrupting an enemy or dispelling an ally increases critical strike temporarily.

Extra Details: 

  • Death knights have no methods of dispelling allies.

[Hold Your Ground] – Standing still for a period of time grants a stamina and healing done buff that begins to fade once you start moving.

[Enduring Gloom] [Door of Shadows] grants you a shield based on your maximum health.

Venthyr Comments:

Theotar is the most well-rounded option and is generally the best option, since he provides both a versatility and a mastery soulbind trait. While the [Soothing Shade] buff has some movement constraints, only a fraction of its potential uptime is needed for Theotar to outperform the other options on mitigation and damage, especially after taking [Wasteland Propriety] into account.

Nadjia provides a minor periodic haste buff and some other potential utility, but she is mostly lacking compared to Theotar other than the fact that she isn’t constrained by movement. [Dauntless Duelist] isn’t well suited-towards multiple target encounters and [Exacting Preparation] only provides limited value. The AoE CC on [Door of Shadows] is a unique utility that can have value, but it is often not enough to make up for her lack of benefits in other areas.

General Draven does not provide much extra value in terms of mitigation and damage, but he does provide a *lot* of EHP if you are willing (and able) to stand still for large periods of time. Because the buff persists for 6 seconds after moving, you are allowed some amount of periodic movement without losing the [Hold Your Ground] buff. Still, the movement restriction is very constraining. Even with movement, he’ll provide some degree of EHP with [Service in Stone].

Overall

Recommendation: (Venthyr)/Theotar

Basis:

First, we have the (Kyrian) package. Here’s a summary of overall benefits assuming Pelagos is used as a soulbind:

Altogether, (Kyrian) benefits provide an average blend of mitigation and damage, with some minor EHP benefits. It has added gameplay considerations to use rune-spending abilities on targets with [Shackle the Unworthy] to spread the debuff and to move around collecting three orbs every minute to get ~50% of the potential benefits of [Combat Meditation]. The benefits from [Shackle the Unworthy] taper off as the target count increases, but [Phial of Serenity] can become a lot more valuable when it has the ability to remove dangerous debuffs (such as when [Necrotic] is active). Outside of Kleia potentially being used for *even more* debuff protection, non-Pelagos options aren’t worth much consideration.

Why isn’t it selected? While an argument can be made to use this covenant on [Necrotic] weeks (especially if pulls are being performed make kiting resets difficult), (Kyrian) is consistently behind other covnenats for both mitigation and damage in almost all situations.

Second, we have the peculiar case of (Night Fae). Here’s a summary of overall benefits assuming Niya is used as a soulbind:

Combined, (Night Fae) benefits a potentially strong blend of Mitigation, EHP, and Damage, but it also has the most gameplay considerations/restrictions of any covenant to reach its potential. In particular, [Death’s Due] requires a not-negligible ramp time, it is unable to reliably maintain debuffs on more than 5 targets, there is some risk of losing stacks due to forced movement at the wrong times, and it adds some rigid/high maintenance priorities to our rotation. Any of these four restrictions, alone, is worrisome, and together they are especially so. [Soulshape], however, does provide some nice movement utility.

Ultimately, the main issue with (Night Fae) is that a large majority of its benefits rely on [Death’s Due], which suffer from enough restrictions that their overall benefit will generally not be greater than (Venthyr) in a dungeon setting, especially when multiple targets are present. It’s a bit of a shame, since (if the restrictions could be worked around) (Night Fae) is capable of providing superior steady-state benefits to all of the alternatives and it is a competitive option in long, single-target encounters where the [Death’s Due] buff/debuff can be maintained with good uptime.

Third, let’s talk about why (Necrolord) wasn’t considered. Here’s a summary of overall benefits assuming Bonesmith Heirmir is used as a soulbind: 

(Necrolord) generally provides a stronger blend of mitigation and damage than (Kyrian). Bonesmith Heirmir allows for a surprising amount of damage with [Serrated Spaulders], [Fleshcraft] is a bit difficult to utilize because it’s a long channel, and [Forgeborne Reveries] provides a nice bit of extra utility if you happen to die. While it has a small damage advantage over (Venthyr), (Necrolord) is not being recommended since its mitigation is significantly below (Venthyr) (particularly on multiple targets).

Fourth and finally, we have the recommended covenant, (Venthyr). Here’s a summary of overall benefits assuming Theotar is used as a soulbind:

All in all, (Venthyr) provides an insane amount of controllable mitigation, a minor amount of EHP, and respectable damage. The gameplay considerations are staying in the [Soothing Shade] AoE when it procs, which isn’t *too* restrictive on player movement and the losses from having to unexpectedly move isn’t nearly as consequential as (Night Fae). On a positive note, most of the benefits of (Venthyr) come from [Swarming Mist], which benefits greatly from being a controllable cooldown-based ability with none of the burdensome conditions that are associated with other strong covenant-related bonuses. As such, the mitigation benefits of (Venthyr), in particular, are much greater in multiple target situations than they are on a single target, which are generally the situations of most concern in dungeons. Even so, the (Venthyr) mitigation and damage combination is still competitive even on a single target. The teleport provided by [Door of Shadows] also has situational value. Alternatively, General Draven provides an EHP-heavy alternative with [Hold Your Ground] at the cost of having to stand still a lot more often and at a loss of some mitigation and damage, but it’s unlikely that the benefits will be worth the movement restrictions as well as the loss of mitigation and damage.

What if we aren’t at max renown?

Recommendations are mostly unchanged with lower renown, but here’s a list of the full effects:

  • (Kyrian) doesn’t lose a whole lot, which makes it relatively stronger early on, but it still won’t be the preferred option in multi-target situations.
  • (Night Fae) loses [Niya’s Tools: Burrs] or [Niya’s Tools: Poison], which is a significant damage loss.
  • (Necrolord) isn’t able to access Bonesmith Heirmir immediately, which means the damage-oriented option for this covenant will not be available immediately.
  • (Venthyr) loses [Wasteland Propriety], which is a minor loss to mitigation and damage, but it still has [Swarming Mist] and [Soothing Shade], so not much has changed. Until max renown, Nadjia becomes a more competitive option with Theotar, but she’ll still generally underperform Theotar. General Draven loses [Hold Your Ground], so he, specifically, is in a much weaker state.

 

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