Demonology Warlock Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.0.5
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Demonology Warlock. 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;
- Warlock Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Warlocks 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;
- Warlock Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Warlocks.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
|Raiding||Night Fae||Niya||Demonology Warlock Niya Raiding tree|
|Mythic+||Necrolord||Bonesmith Heirmir||Demonology Warlock Heirmir Mythic+ tree|
|Torghast||Necrolord||Bonesmith Heirmir||Demonology Warlock Heirmir Torghast tree|
In terms of overall performance across multiple situations, every Covenant is relatively close, with Necrolord edging out by a small margin as the best option after unlocking full trees.
Please refer to the best Covenant section for more information on how to pick the best Soulbind, and why Night Fae is the better Covenant.
Best Conduits for Demonology Warlock
In the list below, you will find the best Conduits, organized by type. For more information, please refer to the Conduits section of this page.
- Best Potency Conduits: Borne of Blood and Fel Commando are generally the best, and most versatile combination. Tyrant's Soul is a viable option for pure single-target and Carnivorous Stalkers sees play in Dreadlash From the Shadows builds.
- Best Finesse Conduits: Demonic Momentum for additional mobility in raid and Fel Celerity for the rest of the content where your pet may die or needs to be replaced by a different one.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Diabolic Bloodstone is the most impactful option while doing instanced content, especially raid, but beware that multiple warlocks will reduce the effectiveness. Resolute Barrier is an alternative, especially when doing solo content or when the incoming damage comes in spikes.
Why Night Fae is the Best Covenant for Demonology Warlock
Night Fae is the most versatile and competitive PvE option for Demonology Warlock early progress, when Renown level is low. It offers the best mobility across all 4 Covenant choices, which is always welcomed, and the flexibility to offspec Affliction or Destruction while retaining optimal Soulbinds.
The Covenant ability Soul Rot while not particularly synergistic, unlike Necrolords, still does solid damage and can be used in conjunction with Grove Invigoration or Field of Blossoms to increase Tyrant damage. The low cooldown Soulshape offers unparalleled mobility and its advantage should not be underestimated.
Last but not least, Night Fae are extremely accessible, offering the second Potency Conduit at Renown rank 13 on Dreamweaver, for the opening of Mythic Raid Week, giving a distinct advantage over other Soulbinds and Covenants.
For additional thoughts and information on the other Covenants and their Soulbinds please read section further below.
Night Fae Soulbinds
Night Fae offer 3 very capable and competitive Soulbind options due to strong unique Conduits:
Korayn is tied with Niya for the highest damage output full Renown, with the added benefit of stronger burst on high health % targets, especially powerful with Implosion in dungeons when transitioning to the next pull, or during a boss if Bloodlust is being used on pull.
Below are detailed the best Soulbinds, with a focus on the trees. For more information about exactly which Conduit to use, please refer to the Conduits section of the guide.
Best Conduits for Demonology Warlock
This section only covers which Conduits you should pick. For detailed explanations on what all of the Warlock Conduits do, check out our Warlock Soulbinds and Conduits Page below.
Best Single-Target Potency Conduits for Demonology Warlock
Best Cleave / AoE Potency Conduits for Demonology Warlock
Demonology specific Conduits are extremely powerful and generally effective in a plethora of scenarios. By far the most important and impactful is Borne of Blood, allowing you to gain both the benefit of additional Hand of Gul'dan damage and summoning extra Wild Imps.
Best Finesse Conduits for Demonology Warlock
Finesse Conduits are mostly mobility and utility focused and therefore are affected by the type of content the player is facing and what situation is more likely to happen.
When there is a desire for additional mobility, especially in raid, Demonic Momentum helps managing long distance movements.
If there are frequent pet swaps, Fel Celerity can help mitigate the otherwise atrocious Pet Summon cast. Mostly situational.
Shade of Terror can be considered when additional crowd control is needed on targets affected by multiple periodic damage effects, and Fear would otherwise break instantly.
Best Finesse Conduits for Demonology Warlock
Endurance Conduits offer various means of survivability and their effectiveness depends once again on the type of content the player is facing:
- Resolute Barrier is best used during solo activities or when there are frequent spikes of incoming damage.
- Diabolic Bloodstone offers noticeable sustain in group activities, as long as other members are using the Healthstones provided by the player and not other Warlocks.
Other Covenants for Demonology Warlock
Kyrian: Scouring Tithe
Kyrian have a strong single-target ability, but it is somewhat neutered by the very demanding upkeep, which ultimately costs 3 shards per minute. While the DPS of Scouring Tithe itself is among the highest, the fact that you are renouncing 1 shard every 20 seconds makes it prohibitive on setups with lot of active abilities and can potentially interfere with Tyrant setups. That said, the Soulbind is decent, especially with Kleia and Pointed Courage.
Necrolord: Decimating Bolt
Once the default pick for any Warlock specialisation, Necrolord are now tied for the best Covenant option, trading mobility for superior output at later Renown levels, with an emphasis on single-target scenarios. Emeni Soulbind remains powerful, especially in group content when multiple people are sporting it, but the newly buffed Bonesmith Heirmir is the surprise winner. A very compelling choice, especially when paired with Destruction as off-spec or when played as single spec.
Venthyr: Impending Catastrophe
Venthyr are the 4th and last option, as numerically the worst performers (although by a small margin). The Covenant is carried by Nadjia the Mistblade powerful Conduits, which can almost make up for the fact Impending Catastrophe is barely worth casting post 15% buff. Theotar the Mad Duke and General Draven are following Nadjia, but never manage to catch up. Door of Shadows is a weak mobility option due to its cast time, but an option nevertheless, unlike what Necrolords or Kyrian can offer.
Other Soulbinds for Demonology Warlock
Below, we go over the Soulbinds of other Covenants and in what situations you might consider them. The advice below applies to all Renown levels unless otherwise specified.
- Pelagos ironically is the worst pick of the 3.
- Kleia is the best overall, largely carried by Pointed Courage.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos manage to stay 1% ahead of Pelagos.
- Emeni is virtually tied with Marileth when no buffs are involved.
- Plague Deviser Marileth is few points percent behind Heirmir and can see play in dungeons where Volatile Solvent can be used to a great extent.
- Bonesmith Heirmir is the top performer across all Soulbinds and Covenants when no buffs are involved.
- Nadjia the Mistblade is overall the strongest option, being vastly superior in cleave and slightly ahead until 5+ targets.
- Theotar the Mad Duke is the worst of the 3 before tying up during heavy AoE situations.
- General Draven is around 1% behind Nadjia until 5+ targets situations when it can compete, mostly due to Nadjia's ability becoming as irrelevant as the others.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated potency Soulbind lists to reflect the buffs to Dreadstalkers in Patch 9.0.5.
- 23 Feb. 2021: Updated raiding Soulbind.
- 03 Dec. 2020: Minor clean-up and updated Impending Catastrophe viability.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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