Feral Druid 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 Feral Druid. 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;
- Druid Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Druids 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;
- Druid Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Druids.
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 Feral having some good options, the table below lays out the situations where each choice will excel:
|Kyrian||Group Utility||Forgelite Prime Mikanikos||Feral Druid Mikanikos Tree|
|Necrolord||Sustained||Bonesmith Heirmir||Feral Druid Bonesmith Tree|
|Night Fae||Burst/Versatile||Niya||Feral Druid Niya tree|
|Venthyr||Burst||Theotar the Mad Duke||Feral Druid Theotar Tree|
Despite Patch 9.1.5 granting the option to freely swap Covenants, Feral remains one of the few specializations strongly encouraged to play only one and this remains true in Patch 9.2. Night Fae provides such a large benefit via Convoke the Spirits and its Legendary Celestial Spirits that it is hard to fault, and is firmly recommended. It is also the biggest winner from double Legendaries being accessible, which locks it in even more. For details on what makes it the strongest choice, you can check the specific Night Fae section here
For the remaining 3, Kyrian works as a support tool thanks to the Kindred Affinity Legendary which, while it comes at the cost of your own output, can be applied to the strongest DPS in your group to make them even stronger. Necrolord provides a sustained damage profile more oriented around Bleed effects, and Venthyr adds a very strong, but infrequent extra burst cooldown.
Best Conduits for Feral Druid
Here we have a list of the ideal Conduits you should aim for organized by their type (Potency, Endurance and Finesse). Feral has some choices with Conduits depending on the type of content you are doing, so you will likely be switching depending on what you are doing. For more detailed information on all of the Druid Conduits, check our Druid Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Best Potency Conduits for Feral Druid
Feral generally picks three Potency Conduits, with one being dictated by your Covenant:
- Covenant Conduit: Kyrian takes Deep Allegiance, Necrolord takes Evolved Swarm, Night Fae takes Conflux of Elements, and Venthyr takes Endless Thirst.
- Taste for Blood
- Carnivorous Instinct
With all Shadowlands systems these three are usually your picks in all situations, especially with some of the double Legendary combinations being taken.
Best Endurance Conduits for Feral Druid
Endurance Conduits provide defensive choices on your Soulbind tree Conduit slots, which is always helpful, especially for Raid encounters.
Well-Honed Instincts is hard to fault as an emergency heal when you drop low is rarely going to be useless and is likely going to be the default pick due to how unconditional its benefits are.
Condensed Anima Sphere is just a lot of passive healing intake which is really appealing given it has virtually no downsides. Always a solid choice in any situation.
Tough as Bark grants a flat reduction to the cooldown of Barkskin which already has a low cooldown and high duration. Extra uses can either be extremely strong or useless depending on how frequently you need it, but having the option is really useful.
Ursine Vigor adds even more bonus health when switching to Bear Form which, given that Feral has access to flat damage reduction tools, can be a really strong tool to pair together to survive lethal mechanics.
Best Finesse Conduits for Feral Druid
Of the three types, Finesse Conduits are the least useful. These are tied to unusual effects or utility tools, and as such your choice is going to be up to what you think will gain the most value.
The only Finessse Conduits of note are Front of the Pack and Born Anew. The first is just extra group/raid mobility and a bit of extra range to make sure you catch everyone with Stampeding Roar, while the second is a small benefit if you need to use Rebirth in combat.
What makes Night Fae the Best Covenant for Feral Druid
For most high end group content, especially Raids, Night Fae wins out by a good margin, especially after double Legendaries are unlocked. This is due to the value of high burst single-target damage in most encounters, alongside some excellent Soulbind throughout the trees. Convoke the Spirits allows you to do a huge amount of damage on a 2-minute cooldown that can regularly be lined up with high damage windows without worrying about downtime, or make use of damage amplification windows. It also has some small benefits of working with other niche utility such as burst healing if paired with Heart of the Wild if required.
Combined with this, it also gained access to the Covenant-specific Legendary Celestial Spirits in Patch 9.1 which when double legendaries unlock is always active. The lower cooldown when paired with the Conflux of Elements and Niya Soulbind Grove Invigoration effect gives very powerful burst every minute.
Night Fae: Convoke the Spirits and Soulshape
Convoke the Spirits for Night Fae gives a really powerful instant burst of damage, with the catch of being a bit RNG with what spells it uses. For a single cast this will in most situations deal an extremely high amount of damage quickly, but the long cooldown makes it slightly less flexible than some other choices so needs to be planned around.
The ability itself will cast 16 abilities from the following pool:
This will attempt to smart cast to an extent, trying to avoid refreshing Bleed and DoT/HoT uptimes targets, and trying to maximize Ferocious Bite casts. Note as well that Feral Frenzy has a lower chance to trigger per cast. The RNG here is quite high, but its compression of so many spells into a short window without any Energy costs makes for a really powerful burst that should be used often or saved for high damage requirement windows in encounters. The Conflux of Elements Potency Conduit is also very a powerful means to amplify this burst even more in certain encounters.
Soulshape's base form is not super useful because of the base movement bonus that Cat Form gives. The on-cast ability Flicker however does have uses to allow you to quickly reposition, but the impact is limited due to the mobility in the base kit.
Night Fae Soulbinds
Night Fae comes with some excellent Soulbind choices for different scenarios, and can be flexible depending on which type of content you are doing. All come with good options to allow for double Potency Conduits too, should you need to find room for the additional burst of Conflux of Elements.
- Niya — Ideal Feral Tree: improves your Convoke the Spirits casts via Grove Invigoration immensely and with Bonded Hearts working so well with the short burst from Convoke it means Niya remains the go-to pick for Feral.
- Korayn — Ideal Feral Tree: and the entire Soulbind hinges off the strength of First Strike paired with Wild Hunt Tactics making it a good Mythic+ option, with niche effects in some raid encounters.
- Dreamweaver — Ideal Feral Tree: is overall the weakest option, but Field of Blossoms can still be useful as a follow-up buff after your Convoke the Spirits casts. It also provides a reasonable 3-Potency option
Kyrian: Kindred Spirits and Summon Steward
Kyrian slots in more as a support option that gains the majority of its value from the Kindred Affinity effect which, thankfully in Patch 9.2, can be paired with another choice lowering the downsides slightly. With that said, the effect was nerfed this patch which means the benefit rarely makes up for the loss of playing a better Covenant option.
Kindred Spirits links you to another player — though you can also cast this on yourself if solo — that can be empowered every minute off the Global Cooldown for 10 seconds, causing 20% of each of your damage to be stored in a pool for the other player to consume. Any damaging abilities do this, and the buff duration resets each time it increases, meaning you have 20 seconds to consume it all. Since this syncs up very well with both Tiger's Fury and Berserk you will ideally be using it on cooldown and pairing it with a high DPS ally that has similarly low cooldowns to get the most out of it. The Potency Conduit Deep Allegiance pairs with Forgelite Prime Mikanikos' Soulbind tree to bring the cooldown as low as possible for extra activations.
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. This is a simple extra boost to survival that can save you in a pinch, with bonuses in situations where you have debuffs to cleanse.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Ideal Feral Tree: is the best option in Patch 9.2 due to Effusive Anima Accelerator, especially after double legendaries are unlocked. It only improves in AoE situations with the extra cooldown reduction as well, bringing Kindred Spirits down to roughly a 30-second cooldown.
- Pelagos — Ideal Feral Tree: the starter Combat Meditation activations that trigger with each Kindred Spirits are strong, alongside some bonus Mastery from Better Together and a high Agility proc from Newfound Resolve makes this a solid all-around pick.
- Kleia — Ideal Feral Tree: is one of the few Soulbinds that does not take 3 potency slots thanks to how good Pointed Courage is. This whole tree brings some good support options and a lot of Crit to the table so is competitive.
Necrolord: Adaptive Swarm and Fleshcraft
Necrolord brings a sustained damage profile via Adaptive Swarm which is more single-target focused, but can open up to being more Cleave oriented when double legendaries unlock with Unbridled Swarm. Unfortunately given that it is all focused on sustain and requires setup time it falls too far behind alternatives.
Adaptive Swarm is a very single-target-oriented ability and mostly is just cast on your target on cooldown to maintain the amplification on your Bleed effects. This does benefit from pandemic and will pool up extra charges when you refresh it, so it should be maintained on the target you are focusing. The Potency Conduit Evolved Swarm is appealing, and any situation where you are playing Necrlord this should be taken.
Fleshcraft adds a very powerful defensive tool, granting a large shield over a 3-second channel that also reduces all damage taken by 20% while channeling on a 2-minute cooldown. It also comes with a cooldown reduction aspect, with its cooldown reduced by 1 second per enemy corpse you walk over. Feral already has a wealth of survival tools, but adding an extra one — especially one so powerful — is still appealing.
- Bonesmith Heirmir — Ideal Feral Tree: is generally the ideal tree for Feral due to the flat benefits from Forgeborne Reveries and one of the few Covenants that takes only two Potency slots, as Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone is worth the pick.
- Plague Deviser Marileth — Ideal Feral Tree: provides a good single-target oriented option thanks to the high uptime Mastery benefit from Volatile Solvent. Kevin's Oozeling rounds this out with extra damage each Adaptive Swarm, but duration is low which does not lean well into the sustained damage aspect.
- Emeni — Ideal Feral Tree: the starter Lead by Example is ok, but is more burst-oriented while being attached to a button that is more focused on sustained damage. The remainder of the tree is pretty average.
Venthyr: Ravenous Frenzy and Door of Shadows
Venthyr gives Ravenous Frenzy which is an extra cooldown that should be layered on top of Berserk when possible. This gives a ramping damage increase and can enhance an already good burst window, even in AoE situations, but it does come with the downside of making sure you keep actively casting or it will stun you and fall off. You can make use of some instant utility spells such as Soothe to keep it active if you are out of Energy and about to trigger the negative effect in an emergency. This is a more difficult to use version of Night Fae's niche, with less impact making it a weaker pick.
Door of Shadows provides a short cast displacement that teleports you to your target location. There are some niche situations where having access to this may open up some alternative strategies, but Feral already comes with a robust mobility toolkit so will not change much.
- Nadjia the Mistblade — Ideal Feral Tree: comes with Thrill Seeker that provides a small burst of extra damage, but the followup Fatal Flaw effect is extremely good, alongside having a strong single-target trait option with Dauntless Duelist. Is a good pick, but not as flexible as alternatives.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Ideal Feral Tree: is the ideal Feral pick as it comes with the best traits while still being able to fit in 3 Potency Conduits. Soothing Shade does have positional requirements but is a lot of burst Mastery, and 3% of a stat for free with Party Favors is solid.
- General Draven — Ideal Feral Tree: is a more defensive option but has some solid AoE picks in Built for War and Battlefield Presence. Unfortunately it needs to sacrifice a third Potency to grab these so is the weakest of the 3.
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 20 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5 with Covenant information.
- 07 Aug. 2021: Added section regarding Celestial Spirits under Night Fae.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5; updated to focus on Night Fae and added extra Soulbind explanations for other Covenants.
- 22 Dec. 2020: Updated sections relating to Night Fae and Kyrian.
- 10 Dec. 2020: Changed best Raiding and Torghast Covenant to Night Fae.
- 26 Nov. 2020: Added note that choices are very close and Night Fae is within margin.
- 21 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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