Enhancement Shaman Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.2.5
Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as 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
With Patch 9.1.5, all Covenants are now freely swappable, so you can switch at any time. Due to Enhancement having almost complete freedom with Covenant picks, the table below lays out the situations where each choice will excel:
|Kyrian||Burst AoE||Forgelite Prime Mikanikos||Enhancement Shaman Mikanikos Tree|
|Necrolord||Funnel/Multi-target||Bonesmith Heirmir||Enhancement Shaman Bonesmith Tree|
|Night Fae||Versatile||Dreamweaver||Enhancement Shaman Niya Tree|
|Venthyr||AoE||Theotar the Mad Duke||Enhancement Shaman Nadjia Tree|
The only strong recommendation is to make sure you have at least Night Fae available for single-target, and then one of either Necrolord or Venthyr for multi-target situations, though all three have their own strengths and weaknesses.
With Patch 9.1.5 having opened up free Covenant swapping, you now have much more freedom to select Covenants that are more specialized at certain types of damage. Enhancement is in the lucky position of having all Covenants have a strong reason to be played, with only Kyrian falling behind after double Legendaries are unlocked. Which you pick is mostly dictated by the type of damage you are aiming to do, and there really is not a single pick that covers all the bases right now. Because of that, each Covenant has its own section below explaining why and when you would pick each.
Best Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
Below is a list of the ideal Conduits organized by their type (those being Potency, Endurance and Finesse). For more detailed information on all of the Shaman Conduits, check our Shaman Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Best Potency Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
- Focused Lightning
- Elysian Dirge (Kyrian), Tumbling Waves (Necrolord), Essential Extraction (Night Fae) or Lavish Harvest (Venthyr AoE)
- Magma Fist (with Hot Hand), Unruly Winds (with Doom Winds), Chilled to the Core (with neither).
Your first pick in every situation should always be Focused Lightning, as it drastically improves our Maelstrom Weapon spenders. After this, you should take the respective Covenant Conduit between Elysian Dirge for Kyrian, Tumbling Waves for Necrolord, Essential Extraction for Night Fae, and Lavish Harvest specifically in (AoE situations) for Venthyr. Your third pick is based on build — Magma Fist if playing Hot Hand, Unruly Winds if playing Doom Winds, or Chilled to the Core if playing neither of these.
Best Endurance Conduits for Enhancement Shaman
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. Condensed Anima Sphere is a lot of free healing without any conditions at all and is the ideal second pick, and lastly Refreshing Waters amplifies our self-healing which is already quite good, even if it costs us DPS to make use of.
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.
Why pick Night Fae as an Enhancement Shaman?
Night Fae provides some very well-focused Soulbind options and provides the highest potential single-target builds, both allowing for good sustained and, when double Legendaries come into play our best source of burst. The synergy between all of the systems in play and how well Fae Transfusion fits into that with Seeds of Rampant Growth and the new set bonus means that this is a staple in Patch 9.2. The only significant change this patch is it now favours Dreamweaver as its Soulbind, as the spec is even more Haste hungry than it was previously.
Night Fae: Fae Transfusion and Soulshape
Fae Transfusion as an ability is a meteor style damage split, 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 occasionally cause issues if you do not plan ahead. With that said, the power it has when used correctly is undeniable and the Essential Extraction makes it available more frequently, also allowing you to trigger Soulbinds and the Seeds of Rampant Growth effect, making it mandatory whenever you play this Covenant.
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 can add some extra instant mobility in some raid encounters, so it is nice to have access to.
Night Fae Legendary: Seeds of Rampant Growth
This adds in a large burst of Critical Strike following each Fae Transfusion which is the main benefit of the legendary. While the cooldown reduction for Feral Spirit is nice, it is not something you heavily play around if it causes delays in the cast, there are simply too many other things tied into the cast itself to warrant it.
Night Fae Soulbinds
- Dreamweaver - Ideal Enhancement Tree: is now the go-to pick because of how much value we place on Haste, and the strength of Field of Blossoms. While this can be annoying to play around, we do not need full uptime to still get a lot out of this, and this even comfortably fits in 3 Potency slots.
- Niya - Ideal Enhancement Tree: gives a solid boost to damage via Grove Invigoration following each Fae Transfusion, which is also the period we are dealing the most damage thanks to Seeds of Rampant Growth. A solid pick, but given it is Mastery it locks you into certain builds.
- Korayn - Ideal Enhancement Tree: has only one real selling point which is First Strike which, while very good, does not have the same punch in Patch 9.2 because Doom Winds struggles to fit into Night Fae builds. It also forces us out of a third Potency slot which the Covenant relies on thanks to Seeds of Rampant Growth. It is still a good AoE pick if there are enough targets spawning to get good uptime on the buff.
Why pick Necrolord as an Enhancement Shaman?
Patch 9.2 changes the game for Necrolord in a big way, largely because its biggest drawback was always how difficult it was to set up extra Flame Shocks in AoE situations to leverage the power of Primordial Wave. Now this can be done easily, this comes out as one of the best multi-target options with a good supporting build, enables some good funnel options, and is even competitive in single-target, making it an excellent all rounder.
Necrolord Abilities: Primordial Wave and Fleshcraft
Primordial Wave is the ability that requires the most setup for Enhancement. 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 for 150% of its normal damage. When extra targets are present you want to aim to have as many Flame Shocks active as possible (spreading it with Lava Lash) for a large burst of damage with a follow up Lightning Bolt. Tumbling Waves is the Conduit which, while RNG the amount of things built into the button itself makes it worth using in any situation you play this Covenant, even moreso after double Legendaries unlock.
The Fleshcraft is a very powerful defensive option that is a selling point to playing Necrolord. It provides a significant absorb shield over a 3-second channel, and reduces damage taken by 20% while channeling making it an extra emergency defensive we lack. It also has a small cooldown reduction aspect, reducing it by 1 second whenever moving near an enemy corpse.
Necrolord Legendary: Splintered Elements
Splintered Elements gives extra Haste when you consume the Primordial Wave effect, meaning it scales with extra targets up to 6 based on the number of Flame Shocks active (as this is the target cap). This can result in extremely high surges of extra stats and plays well into the funnel aspect of the Covenant, while also working very well with some other Legendary options that have a strong benefit from burst Haste.
- Bonesmith Heirmir - Ideal Enhancement Tree: provides the most flexible option just by virtue of the flat stats given by Forgeborne Reveries, and how powerful Carver's Eye is in AoE scenarios.
- Plague Deviser Marileth - Ideal Enhancement Tree: is a good single-target option that has extra synergy thanks to Kevin's Oozeling and Tumbling Waves that aligns with the highest burst windows given from Splintered Elements.
- Emeni - Ideal Enhancement Tree: is the weakest of the three, but still solid just because of Lead by Example pairing up well with Tumbling Waves. The rest of the tree however leaves a lot to be desired.
Why pick Venthyr as an Enhancement Shaman?
Venthyr leans heavily into AoE situations, and while it is a good bit weaker in single-target the power of Chain Harvest and the ease of use is the reason this is worth considering. After double Legendaries come into play this even further solidifies that.
Venthyr Abilities: Chain Harvest and Door of Shadows
Chain Harvest is extremely simple to play with, just treat 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 making it instant and deal increased damage/healing. Critical Strikes also provide a small amount of cooldown reduction. Lavish Harvest is the Covenant-specific Conduit and improves the Critical Strike chance, and is only worth using after double Legendaries unlock and the focus becomes more on the frequency of Chain Harvest casts.
Door of Shadows provides a short-cast displacement that teleports you to your target location. While this has some extremely niche uses, Enhancement does not have a big issue with mobility so it does not really change much about your gameplay.
Venthyr Legendary: Elemental Conduit
This power causes Chain Harvest to apply Flame Shock to every enemy hit, and Riptide to any ally healed. Patch 9.2 also added in some cooldown reduction, causing each Flame Shock Critical Strike to reduce its cooldown by 1 second which is the real strong part of this. The frequency of casts this provides in some cases can be extreme, sometimes dropping its cooldown by up to 90% with everything involved, and some double Legendary combinations such as the Elemental power Skybreaker's Fiery Demise play into this even harder. It also heavily alters the stat priority, giving a much heavier leaning toward Critical Strike, but is extremely focused however on dealing one type of damage: AoE at 5 targets.
- Theotar the Mad Duke - Ideal Enhancement Tree: is the standout Soulbind exclusively because of the interaction between Wasteland Propriety and Elemental Conduit. The uptime provided by us is very high, and while Soothing Shade is average, we get Party Favors for a permanent stat bump.
- General Draven - Ideal Enhancement Tree: provides an AoE alternative based on the strengths of both Built for War and Battlefield Presence, but only leaves room for two Potency slots.
- Nadjia the Mistblade - Ideal Enhancement Tree: is fairly average now that our Conduits are desirable, but the power of Thrill Seeker paired with Fatal Flaw is still there.
Why pick Kyrian as an Enhancement Shaman?
Kyrian will likely start the patch out strong due to the strengths of the Soulbinds available and how flexible Vesper Totem without interfering with the rotation. However, when double Legendaries unlock it starts to fall behind. This is largely because there are no strong synergies with Raging Vesper Vortex and other Legendaries or parts of the preferred builds. While it is nice to have access to the extra burst tool, this factor pushes it down to the weakest Covenant.
Kyrian Abilities: Vesper Totem and Summon Steward
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 is the Conduit, and is always worth taking especially with some Soulbinds considered, and is mandatory after double Legendaries unlock as it also applies to the bonus pulses from Raging Vesper Vortex.
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.
Kyrian Legendary: Raging Vesper Vortex
This adds two bonus pulses to Vesper Totem that detonate for every 3 charges consumed. This has no strong interactions with anything and is largely free damage. The only extra factor to consider is that this pushes you into playing Earth Shield, as hard casts of this trigger the healing pulse and is the easiest way to set off the second hit without wasting Maelstrom Weapon charges.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos - Ideal Enhancement Tree: remains the best option, especially when you add in double Legendaries which raises the value of the Effusive Anima Accelerator cooldown reduction thanks to Raging Vesper Vortex.
- Pelagos - Ideal Enhancement Tree: Due to the large amount of Mastery related traits on the tree this serves best as a single-target build around Witch Doctor's Wolf Bones, and can do that well.
- Kleia - Ideal Enhancement Tree: has some good options, but where it slots in does not really beat either of the alternatives because it clashes with triple Potency, even with how good Pointed Courage is.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 21 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2 with new recommendations.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5 and free Covenant swaps.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.0.5 — Venthyr still ideal.
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