Demonology Warlock Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1.5

Last updated on Nov 01, 2021 at 15:16 by Motoko 11 comments
General Information

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.

1.

Introduction: Prerequisites

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.
2.

Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits

Focus Covenant Soulbind Advised Tree
Raiding Night Fae Niya Demonology Warlock Niya Raiding tree
Mythic+ Night Fae Korayn Demonology Warlock Korayn Mythic+ tree
Torghast Necrolord Bonesmith Heirmir Demonology Warlock Heirmir Torghast tree

Depending on the Renown and the type of activity done, the choice falls between Night Fae and Necrolord:

For raiding, Niya is hard to beat, offering both mastery and HP% increase after using the covenant signature ability Soul Rot Icon Soul Rot.

In terms of overall performance across multiple situations, both Covenants are relatively close, with Necrolord edging out by a small margin.

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.

Patch 9.1.5 removed the Conduit energy limit, allowing for unlimited Covenant and Soulbind swaps, enabling to swap between Necrolord and Night Fae without any penalty. Night Fae still retain the better performance on paper in both single target and cleave, however Necrolords are a close second option and can be considered not just for a stylistic preference.

2.1.

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.

3.

Why Night Fae is the Best Covenant for Demonology Warlock

Night Fae is the most versatile and competitive PvE option for Demonology Warlock. 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 Icon Soul Rot while not particularly synergistic, unlike Necrolords, still does solid damage and can be used in conjunction with Grove Invigoration Icon Grove Invigoration or Field of Blossoms Icon Field of Blossoms to increase Tyrant damage. The low cooldown Soulshape Icon Soulshape offers unparalleled mobility and its advantage should not be underestimated.

For additional thoughts and information on the other Covenants and their Soulbinds please read section further below.

3.1.

Night Fae Soulbinds

Night Fae offer 3 very capable and competitive Soulbind options due to strong unique Conduits:

Dreamweaver is the best option at lower Renown level, having the fastest access to additional potency conduits, and is a close second in single-target.

Niya edges out in both single-target and pure AoE over Dreamweaver.

Korayn offers similar output with the added benefit of stronger burst on high health % targets, which is especially powerful with Implosion Icon Implosion and First Strike Icon First Strike in dungeons when transitioning to the next pull, or during a boss if Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism 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.

  1. Niya Tree
  2. Dreamweaver Tree
  3. Korayn Tree
4.

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.

4.1.

Best Single-Target Potency Conduits for Demonology Warlock

  1. Borne of Blood Icon Borne of Blood
  2. Tyrant's Soul Icon Tyrant's Soul
  3. Carnivorous Stalkers Icon Carnivorous Stalkers
  4. Fel Commando Icon Fel Commando
4.2.

Best Cleave / AoE Potency Conduits for Demonology Warlock

  1. Borne of Blood Icon Borne of Blood
  2. Carnivorous Stalkers Icon Carnivorous Stalkers when Dreadlash Icon Dreadlash is talented
  3. Fel Commando Icon Fel Commando

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 Icon Borne of Blood, allowing you to gain both the benefit of additional Hand of Gul'dan Icon Hand of Gul'dan damage and summoning extra Wild Imps.

4.3.

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 Icon Demonic Momentum helps managing long distance movements.

If there are frequent pet swaps, Fel Celerity Icon Fel Celerity can help mitigate the otherwise atrocious Pet Summon cast. Mostly situational.

Shade of Terror Icon 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.

4.4.

Best Endurance 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:

  1. Resolute Barrier Icon Resolute Barrier is best used during solo activities or when there are frequent spikes of incoming damage.
  2. Diabolic Bloodstone Icon 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.
5.

Other Covenants for Demonology Warlock

5.1.

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 Icon 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 Icon Pointed Courage.

5.2.

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.

5.3.

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 Icon 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 Icon Door of Shadows is a weak mobility option due to its cast time, but an option nevertheless, unlike what Necrolords or Kyrian can offer.

6.

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.

6.1.

Kyrian Soulbinds

  • Pelagos is the best overall pick.
  • Kleia with the new trees just falls short compared to the other 2.
  • Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is the second single-target option, slightly behind Pelagos after Bron fix not being affected by Demonology Mastery.
6.2.

Necrolord Soulbinds

  • Emeni has turned into the worst of the bunch, after new Patch 9.1 soulbind trees.
  • Plague Deviser Marileth is the new best single- and 2-target option, just ahead of Heirmir, and can see play in dungeons too, where Volatile Solvent Icon 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.
6.3.

Venthyr Soulbinds

7.

Changelog

  • 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 08 Jul. 2021: Added detailed soulbinds for other covenants.
  • 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 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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