Feral Druid 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 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+||Kyrian||Pelagos||Feral Druid Pelagos Mythic+ tree|
|Torghast||Night Fae||Niya||Feral Druid Niya 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. You can also leverage Balance Affinity with Convoke the Spirits for mass AoE windows if needed. Kyrian is close behind with Kindred Spirits, and is a strong alternative for more AoE focused group content such as Mythic+ to allow for more frequent bursts of damage on multiple targets. Niya and Pelagos are the two Soulbinds that excel due to the opening traits in Grove Invigoration and Combat Meditation granting significant Mastery boosts to your burst windows. If you are looking for more details check our specific sections below about Night Fae and Kyrian.
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 more details check our Conduits section on this page.
- Best Potency Conduits: Sudden Ambush, Taste for Blood (single-target), Carnivorous Instinct (AoE), Endless Thirst (Venthyr).
- Best Finesse Conduits: All niche benefits, your pick depends on preference and content you are doing.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Well-Honed Instincts, Tough as Bark, Ursine Vigor.
All of the options in Potency are quite useful, with Sudden Ambush being the strongest and most versatile allowing you to get extra Stealth empowered Rake casts even in AoE situations. Taste for Blood and Carnivorous Instinct switch depending on the encounter type, generally you will pair the former with Sabertooth and the latter with Predator.
Endurance picks are mostly quite good for Feral too, and what you pick depends on what you need most in an encounter. Tough as Bark means more uptime on Barkskin, and more damage reduction uptime is always welcome. Ursine Vigor adds another layer of defense if you are forced to switch to Bear Form to survive, and Well-Honed Instincts is a free heal in emergencies which will consistently gain value.
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 within Castle Nathria, alongside some excellent Soulbind choices right from the start of the campaign. 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 (which is fairly common within the raid), or make use of damage amplification windows such as Destructive Impact on Sludgefist. It also has some small benefits of working with other forms for mass AoE with Balance Affinity, or burst healing on fights such as Kael'thas should you need it.
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 that it compresses 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 Conduit Conflux of Elements is useful if you are looking to amplify your damage in this small window, but is otherwise weaker than alternatives.
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 has the advantage of being the earliest available route to double Potency Conduits with Dreamweaver, but the opening trait is Podtender which is a more defensive choice. The very first Trait acquired in Niya's tree, Grove Invigoration, is powerful enough to compete and makes your strong burst windows even stronger.
- Niya is more flexible with a good opening trait that boosts both single-target and AoE, and is the best early all-rounder that grows even stronger with a complete tree.
- Dreamweaver takes a bit longer to reach full power, but has the advantage of getting two Potency Conduits much earlier than the alternatives giving it an early advantage. The full power relies on completing the whole tree however.
- Korayn comes with a strong opening trait that also provides more frontloaded burst to pair up with your Berserk window, and is a solid pick, but much less flexible. With a complete tree the power of First Strike is currently incredible as well, making a great Mythic+ option.
What Makes Kyrian Strong for Feral Druid
As an alternative to Night Fae, Kyrian still shows up as a strong option. This is more leaning toward AoE situations where the extra frequency of burst windows can be made use of, for example in Mythic+. Kindred Spirits is not the most exciting ability but being able to pair it with a strong group member with similar cooldowns and Tiger's Fury works well. It also has some uses in Castle Nathria with many fights having one minute timers between bursts, aligning well but not quite providing the punch that Night Fae does.
It also provides a Soulbind with access to a decent damage increase trait in Combat Meditation alongside two Potency slots which Feral is aiming for in any tree. While the alternative soulbinds are weaker, this suits the spec fine on its own.
Kyrian Abilities: Kindred Spirits and Summon Steward
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 Conduit Deep Allegiance should generally be avoided due to the cooldown reduction desyncing the ability for very little extra gains.
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.
- Pelagos starts off with a good opening trait and unlocks a Potency Conduit quickly, along with a second at Renown 21.
- Kleia is much more utility oriented and while some of the effects are nice, there are no offensive choices unless you sacrifice a Potency Conduit which is not ideal.
- Forgelite Prime Mikanikos has a reasonably good opening trait but it is far too infrequent to make consistent use of compared to Pelagos, though you can still grab two Potency Conduits here.
Best Conduits for Feral Druid
Here we only discuss Conduits which are currently worth picking. For more detailed information on all of the Druid Conduits, check our Druid Soulbinds and Conduits Page.
Feral has a solid suite of Conduits, some being specialized for different situations with some other flexible choices to pick.
Best Potency Conduits for Feral Druid
First pick should always be Sudden Ambush due to it allowing for an increase in both single-target and AoE. Additional stealth empowered Rakes contribute in any scenario assuming you manage the procs.
Taste for Blood will provide the highest single-target benefit on the Conduit tree, working well with Sabertooth, having a higher focus on maintaining Bleed effects to empower Ferocious Bite casts. This will be a regular pick in Raid situations.
Carnivorous Instinct provides a really strong benefit so long as you can get consistent resets from Predator, making it fit perfectly with Mythic+. Assuming that you have chances for resets, this slots in as the best second Conduit for AoE situations.
Most Covenant Conduits do not outdo the regular options, aside from Endless Thirst. This is not far behind either of the second options, but has the benefit of flexibility and enhancing your burst windows so definitely has a place in certain encounters.
Best Endurance Conduits for Feral Druid
Endurance provide defensive choices on your Soulbind tree Conduit slots, which is always helpful especially for Raid encounters.
Well-Honed Instincts is hard to fault 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.
Only ones of note is 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, while the second is a small benefit if you need to use Rebirth in combat. Neither are going to make much difference though.
Other Covenants for Feral Druid
Necrolord: Adaptive Swarm and Fleshcraft
Necrolord is only slightly behind in pure single-target situations, but unfortunately Adaptive Swarm is extremely single-target focused and it starts to fall behind quickly with extra targets. It does have a couple of good Soulbind choices, but it does not alleviate the inflexibility of the spell given.
Adaptive Swarm is a very single-target oriented ability and mostly is just cast on cooldown on your target to maintain the amplification on your Bleed effects. This does benefit from pandemic and will pool up extra charges when you refresh it, so should maintained on the target you are focusing. For pure single-target if you are using Necrolord does make the Conduit Evolved Swarm appealing, but worse than the alternative choices you could take.
Fleshcraft adds an extra survival tool and while Feral does have downtime that makes the channel a bit easier to fit in, a full 4 seconds is very long for a quite low impact shield. Finding room to safely channel this in melee too will often make the benefits null when there are easier to use defensive tools in Feral's toolkit.
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 really close to Kyrian and in most cases a perfectly fine 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.
Other Soulbinds for Feral Druid
Important Note: While we have tried to evaluate Soulbinds fairly, keep in mind that there are a lot of options that have good effects that require a high Renown level. Due to the time until those are unlocked, we have opted to compare these without the final row considered and will update this closer to the time when these are unlocked.
- Bonesmith Heirmir is the ideal pick assuming you have gear enchanted, giving access to two Potency slots and a really strong opening trait in Forgeborne Reveries.
- Emeni comes in slightly behind, but Lead by Example comes with the advantage of buffing your group as well so is still a good pick.
- Plague Deviser Marileth has basically no offensive benefit outside of the Potency Conduits, so does not warrant a pick outside of some of the small defensive benefits.
- Nadjia the Mistblade comes with a solid opening trait with Thrill Seeker and two Potency Conduits, so is a consistently good pick that also scales up with enemy deaths, which Predator loves.
- Theotar the Mad Duke is roughly equivalent to Nadjia but the extra requirement to position around Soothing Shade makes it slightly more awkward to make use of. It does come with the benefit of more access to Endurance Conduits however.
- General Draven is far more defensive and as such has no real benefits outside of the two Potency slots, so is not recommended.
- 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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