Feral Druid Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1
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
|Raiding||Night Fae||Niya||Feral Druid Niya Raiding tree|
|Mythic+||Night Fae||Korayn*||Feral Druid Korayn Mythic+ tree|
|Torghast||Night Fae||Korayn*||Feral Druid Korayn Torghast tree|
It is important here to emphasize that there is not a wrong choice with any Covenant for Feral currently, however:
Night Fae is often the best choice currently, especially in single-target or burst-focused areas such as Raids, and can work well in Mythic+ depending on affixes. Kyrian is an alternative with Kindred Spirits assuming you have a strong partner for more AoE-focused group content such as Mythic+, but the overall package falls behind because of how strong of a burst tool Convoke the Spirits is. Niya and Korayn are your two Soulbinds of choice as a Night Fae depending on which content type you are doing due to the strength of their later traits. If you are looking for more details, check our specific section below about Night Fae.
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
Your first pick is decided by content type. Single-target/raid-oriented situations lean heavily toward Taste for Blood paired with Sabertooth. In AoE and Cleave/Mythic+ situations Carnivorous Instinct pairs very well with Predator.
For Covenant Conduits, there are two worthy picks that accentuate the profile the ability grants in Endless Thirst and Conflux of Elements. The former has huge value to amplify the damage window granted by Ravenous Frenzy, and the latter is a massive amplifier to your short Convoke burst windows making them both specific, but very powerful options.
Sudden Ambush is a universal flex pick that can do well as a second Potency Conduit choice, but is less specialized relative to the other options. It can fit in more easily in Patch 9.1 with the additional Potency slot available, but will depend on content being done.
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.
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 tends to win out. This is due to the value of high burst single-target damage in most encounters in Shadowlands, 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. This can be paired with the Conflux of Elements and the Niya Soulbind's Grove Invigoration, along with the final row trait of Bonded Hearts. This ups the frequency of a huge burst window that is amplified even further by all of these effects, alongside being more flexible than some of the more focused Legendary offerings available to Feral.
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 alongside the very strong Niya's Tools: Burrs for extra single-target damage. Patch 9.1 also gave a second Potency slot to allow you to pair Conflux of Elements and Taste for Blood, 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: This entire Soulbind hinges off the strength of First Strike paired with Wild Hunt Tactics making it a strong Mythic+ option, with niche effects in some raid encounters. Unfortunately, it gained very little in Patch 9.1 but the strength is still there.
- 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 and the newly added Dream Delver in Patch 9.1 is one of the better new Night Fae traits.
Other Covenants for Feral Druid
Kyrian: Kindred Spirits and Summon Steward
Kyrian can still show up as a solid option assuming you have a good partner to pair with and capitalize upon the effect of Kindred Spirits. This is more leaning toward AoE situations where the extra frequency of burst windows can be made use of, such as in Mythic+. It pairs best with allies with cooldowns that align with it, alongside using your own Tiger's Fury windows to amplify it. Unfortunately for raid situations, while the frequency is nice, the intensity is not enough to outshine Night Fae.
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 is a more specific choice that specifically pairs with Forgelite Prime Mikanikos' Soulbind tree for AoE situations to allow for significantly higher uptime.
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.
- Pelagos — Ideal Feral Tree: Comes with some very strong new traits in Patch 9.1 with both Better Together and Newfound Resolve to pair with the opening Combat Meditation trait. These are all strong procs that tie in well with the more frequent damage windows, making it a solid all-rounder pick.
- Kleia — Ideal Feral Tree: With even more access to Critical Strike boosts in Patch 9.1 through Light the Path Kleia has improved, but unfortunately not enough to keep up with the other options that got even more.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos — Ideal Feral Tree: One of the most-improved Soulbinds of the entire Patch 9.1 update as both Soulglow Spectrometer and Effusive Anima Accelerator are very strong additions. This works well both in single-target situations or especially in Mythic+ if taking Hammer of Genesis.
Necrolord: Adaptive Swarm and Fleshcraft
Necrolord can win in pure single-target situations, but Adaptive Swarm is extremely focused in what it is good at and does not provide the same burst advantages or flexibility that Night Fae does. Therefore, it starts to fall behind quickly with extra targets. It does have a couple of good Soulbind choices, but this does not alleviate the inflexibility of the spell given.
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. For pure single-target, the Potency Conduit Evolved Swarm is appealing, but nonetheless worse than the alternative choices you could take.
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: Previously a standout option due to both Forgeborne Reveries and Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone, unfortunately Patch 9.1 added little in the way of strong new effects. It is still the best option here, but nothing new that changes much.
- Emeni — Ideal Feral Tree: Great opening trait in Lead by Example and Patch 9.1 granted a strong extra option with Pustule Eruption if you are able to channel Fleshcraft on cooldown. Unfortunately, she gained less than what was needed to really save Necrolord for Feral.
- Plague Deviser Marileth — Ideal Feral Tree: Is the weakest of the bunch and Patch 9.1 did not help much either. Although Kevin's Oozeling is a small bump, it is just not enough to save the lackluster options on this tree.
Venthyr: Ravenous Frenzy and Door of Shadows
Venthyr gives Ravenous Frenzy which is an extra cooldown that can be layered on top of Berserk, sharing the same cooldown. 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 right now.
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: still the standout option if you are playing Venthyr Feral. Thrill Seeker has been improved via Fatal Flaw, and there are now two Potency slots available to make use of Endless Thirst without sacrificing Dauntless Duelist.
- Theotar the Mad Duke — Ideal Feral Tree: Unfortunately the flaws Theotar has in terms of gameplay are too much to make it worth the risk over Nadjia. Soothing Shade is good, but static and can be wasted, and the new Party Favors can either provide the wrong stat or be wasted if you switch off the Soulbind before the item is available again.
- General Draven — Ideal Feral Tree: still comes with a good defensive package in Service In Stone and Regenerative Stone Skin, however the offensive options are very conditional. Both Built for War and the new Patch 9.1 trait Battlefield Presence require you to stay healthy and have multiple active targets to get use out of, so Nadjia remains the go-to.
- 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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