Marksmanship Hunter 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 Marksmanship Hunter. 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;
- Hunter Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Hunters 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;
- Hunter Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Hunters.
Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch 9.1
As of Patch 9.1 the recommended Covenant for Marksmanship Hunter HAS CHANGED. However, remember that your Covenant choice can impact your entire class instead of just one specialization and that what was previously recommended should still be good enough for whatever content you encounter.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
Note that with these rankings, we are assuming that you are at Renown 57, which unlocks the full Soulbind Tree for all of the Soulbinds. Just below this table, we have listed the best Soulbinds depending on your current Renown.
Effects of Renown
As your Renown with any Covenant increases, you will gain access to new Potency Conduit slots and Soulbind Abilities. This means that as you increase your Renown, the best Soulbinds will change. Above we have offered the best Full Renown Trees (57 Renown).
There are factors other than just Renown involved in Covenant and Soulbind strength. At lower gear and general character progression levels, Night Fae tends to be better. But more item level, a higher ranked Enfeebled Mark, and the Legendary Rae'shalare, Death's Whisper all help Kyrian pull more and more ahead as gear gets better.
For this reason, it is beneficial to sim your Covenant and Soulbind choices on Raidbots' Top Gear to find out what is best for you right now, although it is also wise to look forward in your Renown and gearing process, which is what this guide helps you with.
This ranking is primarily based on Single-Target damage. The attached numbers indicate the approximate single-target DPS loss compared to the top choice.
While Venthyr generally has slighty more pure single-target output than Night Fae, its AoE is significantly worse, and it has a less bursty damage profile, so we still prefer Night Fae over Venthyr overall.
This ranking is primarily based on AoE damage, but single-target damage is also considered. We cannot really offer a DPS% gap here, because this is not based on a single metric, but rather a bunch of simulations of different scenarios that are relevant to Mythic+. We generally consider Mythic+ to be 66% AoE focused, and 33% single-target focused.
Kyrian and Night Fae are extremely close here. The main downside of Night Fae is that its strong AoE output depends on its Fragments of the Elder Antlers Legendary, which does not work at all on 5 targets, making Night Fae potentially very weak on large pulls, which are the bread and butter of going quickly in Mythic+.
This ranking is based on a mix of single-target and AoE damage. We cannot really offer a DPS% gap here, because this is not based on a single metric.
Best Conduits for Marksmanship Hunter
Best Potency Conduits for Marksmanship Hunter
- Enfeebled Mark/ Empowered Release/ Spirit Attunement
- Deadly Chain (ONLY for AoE/Mythic+)
- Sharpshooter's Focus
- Powerful Precision
- Necrotic Barrage
- Brutal Projectiles
The choice of Sharpshooter's Focus over Powerful Precision only applies when you are making full use of the extended Trueshot duration. There are situations in both Raids and Mythic+ where you will not be able to stand still for the full duration, for example. If you are not making FULL USE of the final seconds of Trueshot, then you are better off just going with Powerful Precision.
Best Endurance Conduits for Marksmanship Hunter
- Marksman's Advantage
- Resilience of the Hunter
- Condensed Anima Sphere
- Rejuvenating Wind
- Harmony of the Tortollan
Best Finesse Conduits for Marksmanship Hunter
- 12 Jul. 2021: Updated the optimal Soulbind and Covenant, and the relative differences between Covenants.
- 06 Jul. 2021: Updated the ranking of the Condensed Anima Sphere Endurance Conduit.
- 01 Jul. 2021: Several changes.
- Removed the Renown stepping where Pelagos gets better at 46. Night Fae is better until Renown 57.
- Added the Condensed Anima Sphere Endurance Conduit to our rankings.
- Simplified the Covenant/Soulbind table slightly and clarified that it is based on max Renown.
- Added a note that it is recommended to sim your Covenants and Soulbinds to find out when you might want to switch.
- 30 Jun. 2021: Updated the optimal 40-Renown Covenant and Soulbind for Mythic+.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 18 Apr. 2021: Removed note about Kyrian having equal/more single-target damage than Night Fae, as this has not been the case since early in the tier.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated the descriptions of some Covenant, Soulbind, and Conduit recommendations to reflect Patch 9.0.5 changes.
- 07 Feb. 2021: Updated the recommended Soulbind trees since Burrs was nerfed to no longer proc multiple DoTs.
- 04 Feb. 2021: Updated the recommended Soulbind Trees as we now know that Burrs can affect multiple targets from a single proc.
- 02 Feb. 2021: Updated the recommended Soulbind Trees for Renown 30+, splitting them up by Fortified and Tyrannical Mythic+.
- 30 Jan. 2021: Several changes.
- Cleaned up the Conduits section slightly.
- Moved Deadly Chain up to be on-par with Sharpshooter's Focus for AoE-heavy scenarios.
- Altered our Endurance Conduit recommendation to Marksman's Advantage by default for most players.
- 17 Jan. 2021: Removed some deprecated sections and updated the optimal Soulbind Trees.
- 16 Dec. 2020: Updated the Conduit Tier List and altered the Tier names to S, A, and B.
- 26 Nov. 2020: Updated some Soulbind viability descriptions.
- 13 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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