- Author: Mila Grish
- Date: March 18, 2020
- Expansion: World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft Shadowlands offers an entire new world open to characters of level 50 and above. The Shadowlands brings us the “undying city” Oribos as a new player hub, the doomed land of The Maw, and four new exciting zones, each a home to one of the four mysterious sects of the Shadowlands.
These sects are called Covenants and in this guide we will introduce you to each one of them and point you towards our separate guides for each sect that will offer even more information. First, however, we will review some basics in order to explain this new feature’s central role in your journey to the new level cap.
Making the Choice
Before you hit the maximum level of 60, you will get to explore each zone and its Covenant in order, as you adventure through the lands of Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth. After you acquaint yourself with each area, you will be confronted with a very important choice: you will have to dedicate your characters to one of the four orders. This decision will define your future storyline, will give you cosmetic rewards themed after your chosen Covenant, will give you exclusive access to your Covenant’s Sanctum, and a set of unique abilities along with a talent tree.
Beware that switching your characters between the Covenants in the future will undo a lot, if not all of your progress, and you will not be able to keep the abilities or cosmetic items granted by your previous order. Even if you choose to experience the Shadowlands expansion through four or more characters, the time and effort that you will need to invest towards each Covenant will mean that you will need to choose wisely. While some of this pressure should be alleviated as you get acquainted with each Covenant before you have make your pledge, we hope to dive into each of the available sects to help you make an informed decision.
The Four Covenants
Each of the four realms of Shadowlands is associated with a Covenant that has to perform its sacred duties in keeping the hereafter functioning properly, albeit each comes with its own approach and particular ambitions.
Shared Covenant Rewards and Benefits
Joining one of the orders will give you access to that Covenant’s Sanctum, an exclusive area that you can access with other players that pledged themselves to your Covenant. There, you will be able to accept unique faction quests, embark on missions, and begin your journey into the campaign to restore balance in the Shadowlands, with millions of souls and their anima, life energy, at stake.
Covenant Abilities and Soulbinds
You will also unlock a unique ability of that order, and one more ability that will depend on your class.
The faction-specific ability won’t always be a combat skill at its core, such as the Venthyr and Night Fae abilities, aimed at increasing your speed or mobility in ways thematically appropriate to your chosen order. You will get an option to customize some of the appearance features of these abilities (the Night Fae’s Soulshape ability, for example).
Now, the second ability you will get will result from the combination of your chosen Covenant plus your class. This means that every class can get a different ability based on their chosen order.
See sub-sections below for more information!
You will get a few choices of Soulbind talent trees within your order that you will need to invest into in order to unlock new tiers of power, but will be able to switch between far more easily.
Every Covenant will offer several Soulbind denizens for you to bond with. As a result, they will share their powers with you through a talent tree you can invest resources into to progress.
Covenant Armor, Battle Pet, and Mount
All of this will come with a unique mount, a battle pet, as well as faction-specific armor and back attachment appearance.
Now that we have discussed the elements shared by all four orders, let’s review each one in detail.
“Steadfast guardians who carry the souls of the dead.”
Kyrians dedicated themselves to ferrying souls to eternity, with those who can prove their worth in Bastion trials given a chance to carry out an even higher calling among the Archon’s most devoted. However, with the Maw claiming so many souls and the unrest spreading through the Shadowlands, the order’s duties are now in jeopardy.
You can read more about the order’s look and unique abilities in our Kyrian Covenant Guide!
“Necrotic soldiers who wage war throughout the cosmos.”
The mighty order’s longtime leader has vanished, leaving his necrolords fighting for the chance of ruling over his legacy. The former process of selecting the most ambitious and fierce souls to populate the Necrolord armies is now split between the five contenders who are gathering their personal guard and armies, larger than any which existed before. The question of internal unrest is becoming more and more real.
You can read more about the order’s look and unique abilities in our Necrolord Covenant Guide!
The Night Fae
“Defenders of nature who uphold the cycle of rebirth.”
The order of the Night Fae was hit most from the soul-drought, since the mystic Night Fae depend on the anima from those deeply connected to nature to keep their land from withering away and slumbering spirits from getting lost forever.
You can read more about the order’s look and unique abilities in our Night Fae Covenant Guide!
“Eaters of sin who harvest anima from wicked souls.”
The Venthyr’s grand purpose is carrying them towards destruction. Sworn to punish those decadent souls spared from the Maw with years of penance, the Venthyr are themselves becoming arrogant and corrupt. Those with worry in their hearts look to the order’s master Denathrius, as the need for change in leadership continues to grow.
You can read more about the order’s look and unique abilities in our Venthyr Covenant Guide!