Blood Death Knight 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 Blood Death Knight. 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;
- Death Knight Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Death Knights 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;
- Death Knight Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Death Knights.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
By default, We advise this all-purpose Pelagos (Kyrian) tree for Raiding, Mythic+, and Torghast as a Blood Death Knight. For more in-depth information about Soulbinds and Covenants as Blood Death Knight, please continue to the Choosing the Right Covenant section below.
Best Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Conduits are very similar to Azerite Traits in that they are something that you specifically target to enhance your character. They are also shared among all covenants with the exception of one Potency Conduit, which is Covenant-specific and interact with the Class ability from that Covenant. These are Ringing Clarity, Hallowed Discernment, Righteous Might and The Long Summer. You will always want one of these as a Blood Death Knight.
Best Potency Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Best Endurance Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Best Finesse Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Conduits for Blood Death Knight
The Conduits mentioned under each sub-section are ranked from best to worst.
Blood Death Knight Potency Conduits
- Proliferation (Kyrian) increases the duration of Shackle the Unworthy by 3 seconds and increases the damage dealt quite significantly — a must have for any Kyrian Blood Death Knight.
- Impenetrable Gloom (Venthyr) increases the dodge of Swarming Mist by an additional 3% and increases the damage dealt by a sizable amount — must have for any Venthyr Blood Death Knight.
- Withering Ground (Night Fae) increases the damage dealt by Death's Due by a large amount — a must have for any Night Fae Blood Death Knight.
- Brutal Grasp (Necrolord) simply makes Abomination Limb deal increased damage — a must have for any Necrolord Blood Death Knight.
- Withering Plague increases the damage done by Heart Strike; nice and simple. At Rank 7 (Mythic Nathria) this is a 24% increase!
- Debilitating Malady increases the damage done by Blood Plague by a quite small margin. At Rank 7 (Mythic Nathria) this equates to a 1.8% increase (stacking 3 times) on a spell that deals 8% Attack Power on its own. Small increase to a small damage dealing spell.
As you can see from the list of conduits above, there is not really much to pick from, which is why it is not essential for a Blood Death Knight to use 2x Potency where available.
Blood Death Knight Endurance Conduits
- Meat Shield increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 3 seconds. This seems like a potency conduit, but it is classed as Endurance, so that is a free win for us! It will also increase your health by 2% each time you parry within the active time of Dancing Rune Weapon for 15 seconds (stacking up to 2 times).
- Reinforced Shell increases the size of Anti-Magic Zone by 15% and the duration based on conduit rank. This conduit is great if you require it for a specific encounter.
- Hardened Bones at high ranks this transforms Lichborne into a minor defensive cooldown by reducing the damage you take scaling with conduit rank. At Rank 7 (Mythic Nathria), this will reduce your damage taken whilst Lichborne is active by 9.6%.
- Blood Bond adds a party wide heal when you use Rune Tap. A nice bonus but you would never go out of your way to spend a rune to heal the group. The heal is not large enough to attract this kind of play, so it is simply a perk rather than anything special to drastically change the way the ability functions.
- Insatiable Appetite. This conduit increases the MINIMUM healing of Death Strike. This would be of value in scenarios where you have taken no damage in the last 5 seconds and in a majority of gameplay scenarios this is not going to be the case as when you need healing... you have taken damage. Such is the way of how the spec works. Avoid.
Blood Death Knight Finesse Conduits
- Spirit Drain allows your interrupt to generate runic power. Embrace your inner demon hunter and generate resources when you interrupt! At Rank 7 (Mythic Nathria) this will generate 16 Runic Power (1 runic more than a standard Heart Strike for free).
- Chilled Resilience reduces the cooldown of Icebound Fortitude. This is yet another conduit that should be Potency but is classed as something else. At Rank 7 (Mythic Nathria), it reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds!
- Fleeting Wind gives a small speed boost to the start of your Death's Advance. The power of the above Finesse Conduits mean that this one unfortunately will not see regular play.
- Unending Grip adds a slow to your Death Grip, a slow that using Heart Strike does too as a standard interaction. Only useful at high ranks in PvP really, as you do not really grip something to you in PvE that is trying to escape. It is usually you trying to escape from them and bringing them to you is not the right move.
Choosing the right Covenant
Before going more in depth about Covenants it is important to understand that any of the 4 Covenants can be played as Blood Death Knight. There will definitely be better and worse options but the choice will not be hindering your daily activities.
While all of the Covenants have their place some simply perform better on a day to day basis than others. Kyrian and Venthyr are the two that stand out the most for Blood Death Knight due to their powerful class abilities and Soulbinds.
- Kyrian — Good for all content styles and highest single target DPS
- Venthyr — Strong AoE damage and on demand full runic bar in M+
- Night Fae — Strong single target damage reduction and generic covenant
- Necrolord — Very niche in PvE, great for PvP
Kyrian For Blood Death Knight
Kyrian is a great option for Blood Death Knights.
Shackle the Unworthy deals a large amount of damage over time, provides you with 5% damage reduction and has as a small chance to spread from Rune Spending Attacks ( Heart Strike and Marrowrend). It will spread the debuff at the remaining duration and will spread to a target within 8 yards of you without a debuff.
Summon Steward summons an owlkin steward. You can speak with your steward and he will offer you a range of services, the most important of which are Phial of Serenity. This potion restores 20% of your health and more importantly removes all diseases, poisons, curses and bleeds on you. Being able to remove any of these is a huge benefit of being a Kyrian.
While Pelagos, Kleia and Forgelite Prime Mikanikos all provide their own strengths, Pelagos is your go to Soulbind. Combat Meditation is a powerful throughput increase, and Let Go of the Past is a consistent piece of Magical Damage Reduction.
Mikanikos unfortunately is a very weak Soulbind. Would avoid using until a rework happens.
Venthyr For Blood Death Knight
Swarming Mist functions very similarly to Bonestorm where you are surrounded by a mist that will deal damage and generate runic power. The runic power generated is as follows: 10 for the Rune spent to cast it, and each tick grants 3 Runic Power per enemy hit (up to 15 Runic Power per hit). 9 ticks total. This means that it will generate 37-145 Runic Power per cast. It also gives you the ability dodge when you use it!
Door of Shadows is a targeted teleport. If you have played Overwatch before you know what to expect. Pick a location that is within Line of Sight and after a 1.5-second cast you are teleported there. Typical uses of this are to cover large distances of space, traverse vertically, skip packs in M+, etc.; possibilities are endless!
Nadjia the Mistblade provides you with a mini bloodlust in the form of Thrill Seeker and increases the effectiveness of consumables with Exacting Preparation. Nadjia will be picked when you need more DPS.
General Draven provides you with more personal defensive utility than the others Service In Stone stacks with Will of the Necropolis, Enduring Gloom provides you with a health shield when you use Door of Shadows and Hold Your Ground provides you with more stamina when stood still. Draven will be picked when you need more Effective Health for Raid Progression.
Theotar the Mad Duke is a bit of a mix of Nadjia and Draven but focuses purely on providing these benefits to others. Soothing Shade provides you with a random chance to spawn a Parasol which grants you with Mastery and Wasteland Propriety provides you and the group with Versatility when Swarming Mist is used. Theotar will be picked when the group benefits outweigh your own benefits.
Night Fae Blood Death Knight
Night Fae is the generic pick for Blood Death Knights, it works well in both single-target and AoE environments.
Death's Due replaces Death and Decay and provides it with a new benefit! When you use Heart Strike on a target within your Death's Due, it will gain a stacking debuff, which reduces the damage it will deal to you by 1% per stack, and you will gain a stacking buff which will increase your Strength by 1% per stack. Both the buff and debuff stack to 8 and have a 12-second duration. Each additional stack applied refreshes the duration back to 12 seconds, this means that you will need to cast Heart Strike at the end of Death's Due to make sure the buff/debuff does not reset.
Night Fae Soulbinds
Dreamweaver was previously a good pick in previous iterations, however you are unable to avoid Podtender now, which ultimately makes it a less than ideal pick. When Podtender triggers, you lose all threat, are unable to be resurrected until the effect is over, and worst of all you just have to sit there and watch whatever killed you kill others.
Because of the issues above with Dreamweaver, we would recommend Niya. Grove Invigoration provides you with additional health/mastery whenever you cast Death's Due, which is a nice bonus. The last row is intentionally left blank as this choice is yours to make. Niya's Tools: Poison if you can reliably land interrupts is a very potent DPS increase, this combined with Spirit Drain gives you even more reason to interrupt! Alternatively Niya's Tools: Burrs can be used for a very competitive amount of DPS when the target can be slowed.
Necrolord For Blood Death Knight
Necrolord is our last Covenant. Whilst it does not have the clear PvE benefits of the other Covenants, it can still be strong when used correctly.
Abomination Limb is the Necrolord Class Ability. When activated it will deal damage to all targets to nearby targets and attempt to grip a target that is 8-20 yards away from you. Each target can only be gripped once per 4 seconds. The first target gripped will provide you with 3 charges of Bone Shield.
Fleshcraft looks appealing at first — a shield thats up to 50% health every 2 minutes. This ability comes with some downsides however. You are not able to dodge/parry during the 4 second channel. This channel can be interrupted. You are rooted in place when channelling. The upside is that each second it captures a portion of your max health to put into the shield, so if you happen to have Vampiric Blood active you will have a larger shield. However, it is not worth using Vampiric Blood for this purpose..
Plague Deviser Marileth provides you with some interesting effects. Volatile Solvent makes your Fleshcraft stronger based on what type of corpse was used for it. 120 mastery for humanoids, 2% primary stats for beasts, 5% stamina for demons, and a 5% heal for undead. Ooz's Frictionless Coating provides you with a 15% shield every 30 seconds (it triggers when below 50% health, but as part of normal play as a Blood Death Knight its every 30 seconds at least). Ultimate Form is the end Ability where you will regenerate Health during and after Fleshcraft and be immune to Crowd Control.
Emeni will be your go to pick. Lead by Example provides you and nearby allies with primary stat when you use Abomination Limb. Emeni's Magnificent Skin provides you with a max health buff for 30 seconds after using Fleshcraft. The final Ability Gnashing Chompers provides you with stacking haste when an enemy is defeated, great in Mythic+, not so great in most raiding scenarios.
For Mythic+ you would opt to have the end Ability of Heirmir's Arsenal: Ravenous Pendant:
For everything else you would go down the route of having Heirmir's Arsenal: Gorestompers as your end Ability.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Fixed broken Soulbind link.
- 20 Nov. 2020: Updated with latest changes.
- 17 Nov. 2020: Page created
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