Beast Mastery Hunter Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.0.2
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Beast Mastery Hunter. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.
This page assumes that you are already familiar with Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits. If that is not the case, we have a number of pages that can help you get up to speed:
- Covenants Guide, which explains what Covenants are, what perks they bring, and how you can join one;
- Hunter Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Hunters gain by joining each Covenant;
- How To Change Covenant?, which tells you how you can switch Covenant (rejoining a former Covenant will require you to perform a number of tasks to regain their trusts);
- General Soulbind Guide, which explains what Soulbinds are and how you can pledge yourself to them to open up their Soulbind tree;
- Hunter Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Hunters.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
There are several things to know about Soulbinds and Covenants before you read the rest of this page and its recommendations:
- The first thing to know is that these recommendations are based on maximizing your performance on the first week of Mythic Castle Nathria.
- This means that these are based on a maximum Renown of 13 with every Soulbind, which limits the Conduit slots and Soulbind Abilities which are unlocked.
- Past the fourth week of the Shadowlands, we will start unlocking more Conduit and Soulbind Ability slots, which will cause this page's recommendations to change.
In other words, the best Covenant/Soulbind is not a static thing. The ideal combination will change with time. Eventually, there will be a final best combination once all Soulbind Abilities and Conduit slots have been unlocked, but this is months into the future.
In the Summary below, you will find separate BiS Soulbind/Covenant combinations for Mythic Raid Week 1, and the Full Tree which will not be possible to achieve until around late January 2021. Often these will be the same setup, in which case the Soulbind Tree displayed will be the same across categories.
|Raiding (Mythic Raid Week 1)||Night Fae||Niya||Beast Mastery Hunter Niya Raiding tree|
|Mythic+||Night Fae||Niya||Beast Mastery Hunter Niya Mythic+ tree|
Why Night Fae is the Best Covenant for Beast Mastery Hunter
It also generally has the best defensive options of all the Covenants. For single-target, Kyrian is roughly 2% behind, Necrolord is 5% behind, and Venthyr is 7% behind. On AoE, this gap grows strongly in Night Fae's favor, leaving Necrolord and Venthyr very far behind.
Covenants for Beast Mastery Hunter
Night Fae: Wild Spirits
Night Fae is the best Covenant for Beast Mastery Hunters, providing the best single-target, and by far the best AoE DPS output compared to the other Covenants. It also has some solid defensive capabilities in its different Soulbinds.
Kyrian: Resonating Arrow
Kyrian is the second-best Covenant for Beast Mastery Hunters, providing competitive single-target with Night Fae. However, its AoE is much weaker than Night Fae, and so is its burst. It also only has one strong Soulbind in Pelagos, with nothing special in terms of defensive abilities.
Necrolord: Death Chakram
Necrolord is the third-best Covenant for Beast Mastery Hunters. It does not have any particular strengths over Night Fae and Kyrian, so there is not much to say about it beyond this.
Venthyr: Flayed Shot
Venthyr's Flayed Shot ability is purely geared towards single-target, but despite this, it is the weakest of all the Covenant Abilities, even for single-target. For this reason, we do not recommend it for any scenario.
Soulbinds for Beast Mastery Hunter
Important note: When evaluating the Soulbinds, we have not included the final Soulbind Ability in their trees which has a major impact on their viability. This is because we will not unlock these Soulbind Abilities until we reach Renown 30-34, which can be potentially months into the future. The guides are designed for you to have an optimal character in the first week of Mythic Castle Nathria, but keep in mind that these descriptions may completely change in a few months once we unlock the last row of Soulbind Abilities.
Night Fae Soulbinds
- Niya is the best choice for most situations because of Grove Invigoration being so powerful.
- Korayn is a tad worse than Niya, but an acceptable choice for single-target. Wild Hunt Tactics can also amplify your burst in Mythic+ scenarios.
- Dreamweaver is essentially equivalent to Korayn for pure single-target, but has a lot of defensive/survivability benefits, such as Podtender, so it is arguably a better Niya-alternative for this reason alone.
- Pelagos is the only truly competitive Kyrian Soulbind, offering Combat Meditation from the beginning and quickly leading into your first Potency Conduit.
- Kleia is extremely poor for Kyrian and should never be chosen.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is 2-3% worse than Pelagos, which is significant, but passable in most situations.
- Bonesmith Heirmir and Emeni are equal, but Emeni's Lead by Example should be better in situations where you are stacked with allies, which is common in Raids.
- Plague Deviser Marileth is the worst Necrolord Soulbind and should not be chosen in pretty much any situation.
- Nadjia the Mistblade and Theotar the Mad Duke are equal, but you should pick Nadjia in most cases because Theotar's Soothing Shade requires you to stand still in its effect, which is inconvenient.
- General Draven is a terrible choice currently, being over 2% behind the others and having no major strengths otherwise.
Best Conduits for Beast Mastery Hunter
Best Potency Conduits for Beast Mastery Hunter
This section only covers which Conduits you should pick. For detailed explanations on what all of the Hunter Conduits do, check out our Hunter Soulbinds and Conduits Page below.
- Spirit Attunement (Night Fae), Enfeebled Mark (Kyrian) and Empowered Release (Venthyr) are always the best Potency Conduits if you are playing these Covenants. Necrotic Barrage should be avoided as Necrolord, however.
- One With the Beast and Bloodletting are very close to each other for your second Potency Conduit slot, and we recommend simming your situation on Raidbots to make this choice. With low Haste (sub-13%), Bloodletting can beat out Spirit Attunement.
Best Endurance Conduits for Beast Mastery Hunter
Marksman's Advantage can be extremely powerful in certain niche Tarlo from the Trueshot Lodge Hunter Discord has made a helpful document that shows which mechanics it is effective against in Castle Nathria.
Best Finesse Conduits for Beast Mastery Hunter
- 16 Dec. 2020: Added note about Bloodletting competitiveness with low Haste.
- 25 Nov. 2020: Reordered sections.
- 19 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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- Soulbind Swapping Tips/Reminders
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- Legendary Soul Ash Calculator