Destruction Warlock Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Dragonflight 10.0.2
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Destruction Warlock. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.
Please be aware that as of the Dragonflight Pre-Patch and Dragonflight expansion, all Covenant abilities, Soulbinds, and Conduits will only function while within the Shadowlands. This page will temporarily remain as a reference.
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
Covenants are generally close in terms of performance with some favouring specific types of content:
Necrolord are the preferred choice due to superior single-target while still maintaining good AoE potential.
Kyrian can make use of Havoc to refresh Scouring Tithe's cooldown and gain 5 shards at the same time, making that Covenant a strong contender for dungeons and situations where adds are dying frequently.
Night Fae offer a much needed mobility for one of the most immobile spec in the game, and are close to Necrolords in terms of overall output, while offering the benefit of an early 2 potency Conduit Soulbind with Dreamweaver.
Please refer to the best Covenant section for more information on how to pick the best Soulbind, and why Necrolords is the better Covenant.
Patch 9.1.5 removed the conduit energy limit, allowing for unlimited covenant and soulbind swap, enabling free swapping between the covenants. Necrolord and Night Fae are very close in terms of performance, with Night Fae offering better stacked cleave. Kyrian is currently very situational as a choice but nevertheless not far behind.
Best Conduits for Destruction 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: Fatal Decimation and Ashen Remains for single-target, at 2 targets Duplicitous Havoc is the clear winner and with more targets Infernal Brand becomes increasingly appealing. Soul Eater offers a strong alternative up to 4 targets. Soul Tithe has the potential to perform with frequent cleave and targets dying.
- Best Finesse Conduits: Demonic Momentum for additional mobility in raid and Fel Celerity for the rest of the content where pets may die or need to be replaced by a different one.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Diabolic Bloodstone is the most impactful option while doing instanced content, especially raids, 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 Necrolord is the Best Covenant for Destruction Warlock
Necrolord is the most competitive PvE option for Destruction Warlock. It offers very strong output across the board in most situations,especially single target. It offers 2 solid and competitive Soulbinds, enabling a certain degree of flexibility and the possibility to off-spec Demonology with optimal Soulbinds.
Despite the nerfs, the Covenant ability Decimating Bolt is still the most powerful tool available to Destruction Warlock for both single-target and Havoc Cleave. Please notice the buff effectiveness is lowered to 40% when talented with Fire and Brimstone.
While Fleshcraft does not add any sort of mobility, baseline Demonic Circle and the associated Finesse Conduit Demonic Momentum can help mitigate the issue, along with Burning Rush.
For additional thoughts and information on the other Covenants and their Soulbinds please read section further below.
Necrolord offers 2 very capable and competitive Soulbind options, due to strong, unique Conduits:
Plague Deviser Marileth is the best single-target choice with the added benefit of additional buffs through the recently buffed Volatile Solvent.
Bonesmith Heirmir is the close second-best option.
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 Destruction 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 Destruction Warlock
Best Cleave/AoE Potency Conduits for Destruction Warlock
Talent Notes for Cleave/AoE Potency Conduits
There are a few considerations to be made regarding specific talents:
- Duplicitous Havoc performs at its best between 2 and 4 targets, whenever you frequently cleave with Havoc.
- Infernal Brand value might spike on lower target count, depending on talent setup, but is in general a very solid and well rounded pick that retains value when additional targets enter the fight.
Best Finesse Conduits for Destruction 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 Endurance Conduits for Destruction 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 Destruction Warlock
Kyrian: Scouring Tithe
Kyrian have a strong single-target ability that can be used in conjunction with Havoc, in order to secure both the ability reset and the 5 shards if the Havoc target dies during the debuff. That possibility alone can propel the value of the Covenant past Necrolord, but remains quite situational, especially considering it does not generate shards normally, meaning it is hard to justify when competing against Incinerate.
Night Fae: Soul Rot
Arguably the second most appealing option, Night Fae, offers superior mobility, capable stacked cleave and a set of unique Conduits only slightly behind Necrolord ones in terms of overall output. While it may lack in overall damage, it is easily compensated by the accessibility of Dreamweaver and the higher flexibility, allowing it to take any of the other 2 specs without the risk of suboptimal Soulbinds. While Soul Rot may not be the most exciting ability, nor the most synergistic, it does the job well enough and offers additional sustain if the situation arises.
Venthyr: Impending Catastrophe
Venthyr are the 4th and situational option, leaning towards AoE with an uncapped Impending Catastrophe. Door of Shadows is a decent mobility option if you can stomach the cast time, but the biggest positive factors are the Nadjia and Theotar Soulbinds which sadly still lack a way to control the damage amplification.
Other Soulbinds for Destruction Warlock
Below, we go over the Soulbinds of each other Covenant and in what situations you might consider them. The advice below applies to all Renown levels, unless otherwise specified.
- Pelagos is the best cleave soulbind, being slightly behind in both single-target and AoE scenarios.
- Kleia is the best option across the board, ever so slightly behind in single-target, but getting stronger and stronger with more enemies.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is technically the better single-target option by a tiny margin.
Night Fae Soulbinds
- Niya is a well-rounded option, fighting for the top spot in any situation.
- Dreamweaver has the quickest access to additional Potency and is the option at full tree.
- Korayn is especially strong in Mythic+, where it is possible to retain a very high uptime on First Strike.
- Nadjia the Mistblade is the second-best choice.
- Theotar the MadDuke is the new best option across every scenario.
- General Draven is the third option, far behind the other 2.
- 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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