Elemental Shaman Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1.5

Last updated on Nov 01, 2021 at 15:10 by Stormy 51 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 Elemental Shaman. 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;
  • Shaman Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Shamans 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;
  • Shaman Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Shamans.
2.

Best Covenant / Soulbind for Elemental Shamans

Focus Covenant Soulbind Recommended Tree
Raiding Necrolord Bonesmith Heirmir Heirmir Tree
Night Fae Niya Niya tree
Mythic+ Night Fae Korayn Korayn Tree
Necrolord Bonesmith Heirmir Heirmir Tree
Night Fae Korayn Korayn Tree

For more information about Elemental Shaman Covenants, please read our Covenants and Soulbinds analysis section at the end of this page.

Note that since Patch 9.1.5 you have the possibility of freely switching from Covenant to Covenant once at max Renown, without cooldown, and Conduit energy has been removed so you can swap conduits around as much as you want..

3.

Best Conduits for Elemental Shamans

We are giving more detailed information on Conduits below. For a complete overview, you can visit our Shaman Conduits list.

Recommendations for Mythic+ are hard because most Covenants and Conduits are close and have different advantages. Necrolord/Bonesmith Heirmir or Night Fae/Korayn will almost always be best, but depending on dungeon/strategies other Covenants/Soulbinds may be stronger.

Important note: Switching Covenants is not free. Moving to a Covenant for the first time with each character sets your progress on anything Covenant-related to zero. Moving back to a Covenant you previously left puts you back where you were, however. However, to return to a Covenant you previously left takes two quests, with at least a full week in between the two quests, so choose carefully.

4.

Elemental Shaman Conduits

No matter which Covenant you pick, you will be able to gather and use every Conduit, except for the Potency Conduit which enhances your Covenant class ability.

Generally, when given the choice, you should pick Potency Conduits, because they are the ones increasing your damage.

4.1.

Elemental Shaman Potency Conduits

Two of these can (and generally should) be chosen once you unlock their slots at your chosen Soulbind. By order of preference:

  1. If you are Kyrian, pick Elysian Dirge Icon Elysian Dirge first, if not, pick Call of Flame Icon Call of Flame.
  2. For Necrolord and Night Fae, Tumbling Waves Icon Tumbling Waves and Essential Extraction Icon Essential Extraction should be your second Potency Conduit. Venthyr's Lavish Harvest Icon Lavish Harvest is much weaker for single-target but is worth using for cleave/AoE. Kyrian get Call of Flame Icon Call of Flame second.
  3. Pyroclastic Shock Icon Pyroclastic Shock is unreliable and largely useless on adds or multitarget, but remains a usable conduit in some situations.
  4. Shake the Foundations Icon Shake the Foundations is good for heavy AoE, especially at higher ranks, but gives no benefit for single-target damage.
  5. High Voltage Icon High Voltage is a decent DPS increase and also helps a little with mobility, because you cast more Earth Shock Icon Earth Shocks.
4.2.

Elemental Shaman Endurance Conduits

  1. Vital Accretion Icon Vital Accretion provides an extra defensive cooldown which synergizes well with Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift.
  2. Refreshing Waters Icon Refreshing Waters is great for solo content and PvP, decent in dungeons and mediocre in raids. Still helpful.
  3. Astral Protection Icon Astral Protection is quite niche and should generally not be picked unless you have a specific reason to use it.
4.3.

Elemental Shaman Finesse Conduits

  1. Thunderous Paws Icon Thunderous Paws provides extra movement speed in the first seconds after using Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf. This is great when moving around in any type of content.
  2. Spiritual Resonance Icon Spiritual Resonance grants a few seconds of Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace while affected by Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust. How useful this is entirely depends on the fight, going from useless to excellent. Handy for solo play and great in PvP.
  3. Totemic Surge Icon Totemic Surge reduces the cooldown of you utility totems. Just like the previous Conduit, this can be amazing or useless, depending on the situation at hand.
  4. Crippling Hex Icon Crippling Hex requires your targets to be able to be hexed, and is only useful if they deal significant damage immediately after the Hex Icon Hex wears off. This is mainly a PvP Conduit although it could be handy for Mythic+ and solo play, but your other options are likely better.
5.

In-depth Covenant Analysis

Firstly, all Covenants are viable. The difference between best and worst Covenant is less than 100 DPS, and the difference between best and worst Soulbind overall is less than 200 DPS, from a strict single-target DPS point of view.

5.1.

Covenant Class and Signature Abilities

  • Kyrian has Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem, which is the most flexible and overall strongest Covenant class ability. Its single-target damage when combined with Elysian Dirge Icon Elysian Dirge is especially valuable. The Kyrian signature ability Summon Steward Icon Summon Steward calls a friendly NPC to your side, from which you can get a Phial of Serenity Icon Phial of Serenity, which functions as an additional Healthstone which also removes most harmful debuffs. This is good in any situation, and on encounters with problematic debuffs can be quite fantastic.
  • Necrolord's Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave is the only Covenant ability which directly interacts with Elemental's kit, making it the most interesting, especially because even though its strength is by nature in multidotting situations, it is also the strongest Covenant ability for single-target. Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft is quite unique and extremely strong in many situations, especially as it synergizes well with Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift and Vital Accretion Icon Vital Accretion.
  • Venthyr's Chain Harvest Icon Chain Harvest is quite bursty with a long cooldown; it easy to use but somewhat lackluster in single-target. By nature, it is most suited to dungeons and group PvP. Door of Shadows Icon Door of Shadows brings much-needed burst mobility, which is very useful in every situation.
  • Night Fae's Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion is pretty powerful after several buffs and finally feels right to use, especially if your party/raid is somewhat stacked. Soulshape Icon Soulshape takes a bit of practice to use well but it is very fun and powerful. In some situations, it is incredibly strong.

To summarize, Kyrian has the most flexible and all-around strong Covenant abilities. Necrolord's Class Ability is strong in most situations that are not 5+ target AoE, and Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft is almost always very helpful and on some encounters it could single-handedly make Elemental viable. Venthyr's Class Ability rarely delivers its full potential, but its burst mobility could be invaluable on some encounters. Similarly, Night Faes' abilities strength lies in the Signature Ability, which in some situations is straight-up formidable. It also has exceptional burst potential with the new Covenant legendary Seeds of Rampant Growth Icon Seeds of Rampant Growth.

5.2.

Necrolord Elemental Shaman Soulbinds

Bonesmith Heirmir is the most powerful Soulbind at max Renown, and Heirmir's Arsenal: Ravenous Pendant Icon Heirmir's Arsenal: Ravenous Pendant could be a useful alternative for solo content. Emeni's Lead by Example Icon Lead by Example is very strong but overall the Soulbind is outmatched by Heirmir at max Renown. Plague Deviser Marileth has a niche whenever you can get powerful buffs with his Volatile Solvent Icon Volatile Solvent ability, and offers an earlier extra Potency Conduit slot for people catching up.

5.2.1.

Elemental Shaman Heirmir Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.2.2.

Elemental Shaman Emeni Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.2.3.

Elemental Shaman Marileth Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.3.

Kyrian Elemental Shaman Soulbinds

Pelagos is a great all-rounder Soulbind that you can use on all types of content. Kleia is a defensive Soulbind and several of its abilities can save lives, making it potentially better than Pelagos for high Mythic+. Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is a good soloing Soulbind and has a niche on situations where you will be taking fall damage periodically, as Resilient Plumage Icon Resilient Plumage is amazing whenever you are able to reliably activate it. At max renown, Mikanikos is probably the strongest soulbind.

5.3.1.

Elemental Shaman Pelagos Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.3.2.

Elemental Shaman Mikanikos Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.3.3.

Elemental Shaman Kleia Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.4.

Venthyr Elemental Shaman Soulbinds

Nadjia the Mistblade is good for soloing and Mythic+Torghast due to Thrill Seeker Icon Thrill Seeker. Agent of Chaos Icon Agent of Chaos can be very handy and her abilities also give you room to customize the Soulbind to your needs.

Theotar the Mad Duke is an...odd Soulbind which does a variety of odd things. If you like what you read, feel free to use this Covenant. In the right situation, it can even be quite strong, and having 2 charges of Door of Shadows is fantastic.

General Draven has a lot to unpack. Service In Stone Icon Service In Stone can be a lifesaver in dungeons and powerful in PvP, and synergizes amusingly with Reincarnation Icon Reincarnation Move As One Icon Move As One and Enduring Gloom Icon Enduring Gloom are both quite handy in different situations. Built for War Icon Built for War is great in PvE while Superior Tactics Icon Superior Tactics is great in most situations where you can reliably interrupt enemies regularly.

5.4.1.

Elemental Shaman Nadjia Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.4.2.

Elemental Shaman Theotar Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.4.3.

Elemental Shaman Draven Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.5.

Night Fae Elemental Shaman Soulbinds

Niya is a single-target damage-focused alternative as Niya's Tools: Burrs Icon Niya's Tools: Burrs does significant damage.

Korayn is fantastic for solo content and dealing with many successive enemies. It is also amazing for Mythic+ and other group contents where you can keep First Strike Icon First Strike up almost all the time.

Dreamweaver still has the unique benefit of Podtender Icon Podtender, which allows you to cheat death while learning encounters. This is also excellent in Mythic+ especially when you are still in the discovery phase. You can pick Soothing Voice Icon Soothing Voice for a significant buff to your ability to Crowd Control. Otherwise Social Butterfly Icon Social Butterfly is worth picking over a second Potency Conduit.

5.5.1.

Elemental Shaman Niya Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.5.2.

Elemental Shaman Korayn Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

5.5.3.

Elemental Shaman Dreamweaver Soulbind

We suggest following this path:

6.

Changelog

  • 01 Nov. 2021: Mentioned 9.1.5. covenant/conduit energy changes, adjusted recommendations for Kyrian conduits.
  • 13 Jul. 2021: Adjusted defensive conduit recommendations.
  • 09 Jul. 2021: Updated covenant recommendations.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 14 Mar. 2021: Fixed a link issue with the Heimir tree.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 03 Mar. 2021: Updated optimal Covenant recommendations and the commentary on many Covenant abilities. Removed obsolete paragraphs about early-expansion optimization.
  • 23 Feb. 2021: Adjusted Heirmir & Niya's recommended trees.
  • 22 Nov. 2020: Adjusted some descriptions and recommendations on Soulbinds and some Conduits.
  • 21 Nov. 2020: Page added.
Show more
Show less