Enhancement Shaman 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 Enhancement Shaman. 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;
- 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.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
Right now, Venthyr and Nadjia the Mistblade is the overall best pairing. It is worth noting that all of the Covenants for Enhancement are quite close together, so there is not a "wrong" choice here. For more details please look at our specific section about the best covenant.
Best Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Below is a list of the ideal Conduits organized by their type (those being Potency, Endurance and Finesse). Note that Conduits are not hugely impactful for Enhancement. For more specifics on each one refer to the Conduits section of this page.
- Best Potency Conduits: Unruly Winds, Magma Fist (single-target), Elysian Dirge (Kyrian Only, single-target), Tumbling Waves (Necrolord Only, single-target), Essential Extraction (Night Fae Only, single-target), Focused Lightning (at higher ranks).
- Best Finesse Conduits: All very low impact, so is a personal choice for given content types.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Vital Accretion and Refreshing Waters are both quite powerful, if you can only pick one preference depends on content type.
Unruly Winds is the only universally worthwhile Potency Conduit availaable to Enhancement. If your tree includes a second Potency slot, Magma Fist wins out on single-target or can be replaced by Elysian Dirge if playing Kyrian, but are both very low impact. Focused Lightning starts out extremely weak at Rank 1, but scales very well with item level so will eventually be a good pick in all situations.
Due to Enhancement's survival concerns, both of the Endurance Conduits listed can be useful depending on situation. Vital Accretion opens up a powerful extra defensive tool that has a lot of uses in raid encounters. The self healing Refreshing Waters provides via self-cast Healing Surge is a great all-round improvement especially in solo content and dungeons, so warrants a pick too.
Why Venthyr is the Best Covenant for Enhancement Shaman
Currently Venthyr is the best overall Covenant for Enhancement Shaman. While Chain Harvest is more AoE focused, it has the most flexibility in different content types as an extra burst tool. Pairing this with a very flexible Soulbind in Nadjia the Mistblade allows you to specialize further with different Soulbind options.
Given that we are not big fans of Potency Conduits, some of the benefits of other trees are muted and we are more interested in the strength of the individual traits. That means the strength of some of Nadjia's options push it firmly ahead and being able to switch between Exacting Preparation or Dauntless Duelist depending on encounter is great.
We cover our thoughts on the other Covenants and their Soulbinds in this section further below.
Venthyr Abilities: Chain Harvest and Door of Shadows
Chain Harvest is extremely simple to play with, treating it as a combination of Chain Lightning and Chain Heal on a long cooldown for a high burst of damage. This just slots in as a Maelstrom Weapon spender on cooldown, trying to hit as many targets as possible, and scales with all aspects of Maelstrom Weapon itself making it instant and deal increased damage/healing. Critical Strikes also provide a small amount of cooldown reduction, but early on not enough to make a significant difference to the frequency of use. Lavish Harvest is the Covenant specific Conduit and improves the Critical Strike chance, but with the long cooldown, it is far too low impact to get much out of.
Door of Shadows provides a short cast displacement that teleports you to your target location. While this could see some niche uses in some situations, Enhancement does not have a significant issue with mobility so is unlikely to change a lot.
- Nadjia the Mistblade starts off strong and only gets stronger at higher Renown due to the opening trait Thrill Seeker. This is your default pick.
- Theotar the Mad Duke has some good options and is an alternative, with some good endgame traits and can be used.
- General Draven is a more defensive oriented choice and has some good traits, but performs worse.
Follow the path below for the ideal all-round Nadjia tree. Note that in raids and single-target situations, or if you are not using consumables you will likely swap from Exacting Preparation over to Dauntless Duelist.
Best Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Here we only discuss Conduits which are currently worth picking. For more detailed information on all of the Shaman Conduits, check our Shaman Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Most of the Enhancement Conduits are fairly low impact, so you have a fairly small pool of things worth picking, especially for AoE situations.
Best Potency Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Ideally you should take Unruly Winds. This has good synergy with the Forceful Winds talent and even our legendary Doom Winds, and is the only choice that has meaningful gains in both single-target and AoE.
Three of the Covenant specific Conduits are options, but all of them are very focused on single-target. Those choices are Elysian Dirge for Kyrian, Tumbling Waves for Necrolord and Essential Extraction for Night Fae.
For Venthyr, since the Covenant Conduit is weak, Magma Fist is a single-target alternative to these if you have a second Potency slot available.
Focused Lightning starts off extremely weak at Rank 1, but at roughly Rank 8 it starts to perform well and only gets better due to its high scaling. That makes it a bad pick early, but will eventually be worth taking.
Due to how low impact all of these Conduits are then we often avoid taking a second Potency slot. With that said though, this is a guideline and we advise using Raidbots to sim your setup with your Conduits available for your own character.
Best Endurance Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Endurance represents the defensive Conduit options, and that is something Enhancement tends to want more of.
Vital Accretion provides a strong extra defensive tool when Earth Elemental is active, but this fades if it dies. This means it is ia great choice for raids, but lower impact in Mythic+ where it will often taunt something and die before you get much out of it. Refreshing Waters amplifies our self-healing which is already quite good now in Shadowlands, and is more flexible without being tied to a long cooldown. Both of these are great picks.
Best Finesse Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Finesse Conduits are linked to more utility oriented effects that are attached to spells we do not cast too frequently. These are very low impact and your choice here is mostly personal.
Ones of note are Thunderous Paws and Crippling Hex. The former gives a small burst of extra speed when we enter Ghost Wolf which can reduce our time spent there, but not by much. The latter creates options for extra survival in Mythic+ and solo situations when we can actually make use of Hex.
Other Covenants for Enhancement Shaman
Kyrian: Vesper Totem and Summon Steward
This is very close with an ideal Kyrian setup. Vesper Totem has good flexibility in different encounter types and has some extra off-healing benefits due to the charges being separate. However, due to the weaker Soulbinds it falls 1-2% behind in all situations compared to Venthyr.
Vesper Totem as an ability is deceptively simple, it summons a totem that has 3 damage charges and 3 separate healing charges, with one charge being expended each time you use an equivalent ability to trigger a pulse around it. These charges are independent of each other and the cooldown of the ability begins when it is placed. It can also be re-cast to move it off the global cooldown to a new location. Treat this as an extra burst tool both in single-target and AoE, trying to make sure you hit as many targets as possible. Elysian Dirge when taken just improves the weakest part of the ability which is single-target, but not a massive boost.
Summon Steward provides you with 3 charges of Phial of Serenity when summoned, which heals you for 20% of your max health and removes all Curse, Poison, Bleed and Disease effects on you when used. This is one use per instance of combat, but does not share a cooldown with other effects like Healthstone. A simple extra boost to survival that can save you in a pinch, with bonuses in situations where you have debuffs to cleanse.
Necrolord: Primordial Wave and Fleshcraft
The ideal setup for Necrolord as Enhancement will generally be equal to Venthyr in pure single-target situations, but in AoE will fall up to 10% behind depending on target count. While there are some good Soulbind options here, the difficulty of execution for a low payoff makes this the least flexible of our choices.
Primordial Wave is the most complicated ability available to Enhancement, but also the most limited. It applies Flame Shock to your target on a 45-second cooldown, and grants a 15-second buff that causes your next Lightning Bolt cast to hit all shocked targets an extra time. While this works in single-target, it does not interact with Stormkeeper and in AoE we want to avoid casting both of these spells whenever possible. The supporting alternative in Fire Nova as well is simply too weak to really save it, so it falls behind when extra targets show up.
While Fleshcraft looks nice on paper as a survival tool that Enhancement wants, the opportunity cost and requirement to stand still and channel is really not ideal. Finding the space to make use of it and also having that shield block something dangerous is not easy, it has potential for some encounters but is not easy to get use out of.
Night Fae: Fae Transfusion and Soulshape
With a complete tree Night Fae will be 1% ahead in pure single-target situations, but 6%+ behind in AoE. This tree relies on some Soulbind choices that come later and pairing it with the Doom Winds effect, and the ability can be quite dangerous to use as a channel in melee. While this has advantages in some scenarios, the lack of flexibility is the cost you pay for that.
Fae Transfusion as an ability is a meteor, which pushes it really hard into being a single-target focus. While the burst damage this does is powerful, the downside of having to channel in melee can sometimes be a big problem when paired with such a long cooldown. That it also has weaker AoE potential makes this a very focused pick, but for short bursts of damage on a target this is a very powerful cast.
Soulshape has a lot of overlaps with Ghost Wolf which makes it a lot less interesting for us. The blink effect Flicker is useful and will probably find niche uses for instant mobility in some raid encounters, but in general this is quite low impact.
Other Soulbinds for Enhancement Shaman
Important Note: When evaluating Soulbinds, bear in mind that many options rely on having a complete tree to reach their full potential with lots of strong effects locked behind final Renown levels that are only unlocked months down the line. This means that what is recommended here could change between now and then, and is taken into account when evaluating the options.
- Pelagos starts out strong and is the best early pick, but falls off quite badly at max Renown due to the tree structure.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos is slightly behind Pelagos in single-target and AoE, but the unreliability of the opening trait makes it a weaker choice.
- Kleia has no real offensive benefit early but has some useful utility. Will improve a lot with higher Renown.
- Bonesmith Heirmir is the ideal pick assuming you have gear enchanted, and comes with the benefit of the opening trait being very strong.
- Emeni is slightly worse, though the benefit of buffing your group with Lead by Example should not be ignored.
- Plague Deviser Marileth is a really weak pick and while it has some survival effects, is just too far behind to consider picking.
Night Fae Soulbinds
- Niya wins out in all cases here due to the opening traits power and flexibility in different situations.
- Korayn is slightly behind and the DPS traits are more conditional, causing this to lose out to Niya.
- Dreamweaver is much more defensively oriented and Podtender has a lot of potential, however the offensive benefits of the tree rely too much on it being complete.
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