Protection Warrior 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 Protection Warrior. 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;
- Warrior Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Warriors 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;
- Warrior Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Warriors.
Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits
We advise this all-purpose Pelagos (Kyrian) tree for Raiding, Mythic+, and Torghast as Protection Warrior. For more in-depth information about Soulbinds and Covenants as Protection Warrior, please continue to the Choosing the Right Covenant section below.
Best Conduits for Protection Warrior
Conduits are something that are shared between all Covenants. There is only one exception to this and these are the Potency Conduits that boost your Covenant class abilities. If the Conduit you are looking for is not mentioned here then read below to find out the reason why.
Best Potency Conduits for Protection Warrior
- Piercing Verdict / Destructive Reverberations / Veteran's Repute
- Adaptive Armor Fragment / Show of Force
Best Endurance Conduits for Protection Warrior
- Stalwart Guardian (synergy with Anger Management and The Wall)
- Unnerving Focus — In Mythic+.
- Condensed Anima Sphere
Best Finesse Conduits for Protection Warrior
Conduits for Protection Warriors
The Conduits mentioned under each sub-section are ranked from best to worst.
Protection Warrior Potency Conduits
Piercing Verdict is a really strong option for us as it increases the damage and Rage gained by Spear of Bastion. Spear is only on a 1-minute cooldown meaning that we will be gaining a lot of extra Rage over the course of the encounter which in turn leads to more mitigation/damage.
Destructive Reverberations provides us more damage on Ancient Aftershock while also reducing the cooldown of it. While the damage part is great the cooldown reduction actually de-syncs the ability from the rest of our kit. It still leads to higher Rage/damage gains so the clunkiness is worth it.
Veteran's Repute provides us a solid Strength boost for the duration of Conqueror's Banner. This becomes especially strong when combined together with Glory which increases the duration of Conqueror's Banner by a significant amount.
Show of Force makes your Revenge increase the damage of your next Thunder Clap. To get the maximum out of this you should try to use Revenge before Thunder Clap to get the damage increase. Abilities like Shield Slam should still take priority over casting Revenge unless you are purely going for AoE DPS without worrying about survivability. Something to keep in mind is that when running Unstoppable Force then you more than likely will not be able to buff up each Thunder Clap during the Avatar window.
Adaptive Armor Fragment is just a primary stat buff with a 50% uptime. The only downside to this is that you need to have another player to heal you in order to trigger it. It is not a super strong Conduit but most of our Potency conduits are mediocre at best.
Harrowing Punishment makes Condemn hit harder and provides a slightly bigger shield for each enemy near you. Considering we are not always able to use Condemn due to Rage limitations and the buff itself being pretty underwhelming (especially in single-target) it is just not that good.
Ashen Juggernaut makes Execute even stronger. Unfortunately Execute also costs Rage making keeping the buff up almost impossible for Protection Warriors. As the 20% threshold is often one of the hardest parts of the encounters we will be forced to use the majority of our Rage on mitigation like Shield Block and Ignore Pain leaving very little left.
Protection Warrior Endurance Conduits
Stalwart Guardian reduces the cooldown of your Shield Wall. This Conduit on its own is nothing special but when paired together with Anger Management and The Wall it becomes a decent defensive option. These have the potential to make a normally 4 minute cooldown Shield Wall into a 1- to 1.5-minute cooldown.
Unnerving Focus causes Last Stand to increase your Rage generation. While Last Stand is on a 3-minute cooldown, picking Bolster makes it a 2-minute cooldown causing this Conduit to increase in value. Unfortunately getting the maximum out of this 15-second window is pretty hard as it requires a lot of planning on when to use your biggest Rage generating cooldowns. You should also be using Last Stand pretty much on cooldown to get the most Rage, but this is not optimal. This should be taken over Stalwart Guardian in Mythic+ scenarios.
Condensed Anima Sphere heals us any time we take damage for a percentage of our max health. While this effect can only occur once every 10 seconds, it does add a lot of healing over the course of the fight due to us as tanks constantly taking damage.
Brutal Vitality causes your damage dealt to increase your active Ignore Pain. This is a nice passive Conduit that we do not have to think about. While we are using Ignore Pain frequently in our rotation, we can not guarantee that we will be in range of enemies to actually damage them and gain the value of this Conduit.
Fueled by Violence makes Deep Wounds heal us. Due to Revenge applying Deep Wounds, it is safe to say that we will always be benefiting from the healing provided by this Conduit. Unfortunately Deep Wounds does not do that much damage meaning that the healing is also quite low. This gains value in AoE situations due to having multiple enemies to debuff.
Indelible Victory makes your Victory Rush also have a healing over time effect. It is a very lackluster effect that is made even worse by the fact that Victory Rush can be used only after getting a killing blow on the enemy. It gets slightly better when paired with Impending Victory but it is still one of the weakest Conduits.
Protection Warrior Finesse Conduits
Inspiring Presence increases the health provided by Rallying Cry by quite a bit. Rallying Cry by itself is already a considerably powerful cooldown, but together with this Conduit it becomes even better. It especially shines in group environments like Raids and Mythic+.
Safeguard makes Intervene reduce the damage taken by the target. This Conduit has the potential to be strong in heavy tank damage fights where you can use it on your co-tank as a extra external cooldown to keep them healthy.
Disturb the Peace lets us use Shockwave a bit more often. Paired together with Rumbling Earth in AoE situations, it provides us with a very short cooldown AoE stun. Something to keep in mind in group content like Raids and Mythic+ is that other classes also have abilities that stun meaning that there is a higher chance for diminishing returns.
Choosing the right Covenant
Before going more in depth about Covenants it is important to understand that any of the 4 Covenants can be played as Protection Warrior. There will definitely be better and worse options but the choice will not be hindering your daily activities.
While all of the Covenants are definitely usable there are some that shine more than others. Kyrian and Night Fae are the two that stand out the most for Protection Warriors due to their powerful class abilities and Soulbinds.
- Kyrian — Best for Raiding / Mythic+
- Night Fae — Competitive alternative to Kyrian in Mythic+ and Raids
- Venthyr — Usable in Raiding but falls off in Mythic+
- Necrolord — Solid option in both Raids and Mythic+ for boosting your group's overall damage. Shines in co-ordinated groups.
Kyrian Protection Warrior
Kyrian is the best option for Protection Warriors. It provides us with two very powerful abilities that help cover some of our class weaknesses fairly well.
Spear of Bastion is a damaging ability that generates 25 Rage baseline and also tethers enemies hit to its location. While being solid on single-target fights it mostly shines in AoE situations like Mythic+ and Torghast. Being able to tether enemies to a set location for its duration helps us control them more efficiently and kite if needed. Due to it being a 1 minute cooldown it can be rough to line it up with our other cooldowns like Ravager, Avatar and Booming Voice but it is still a strong ability even by its own.
Summon Steward summons a servant to provide you with various services but the strongest of them is the Phial of Serenity. This restores 20% of your health and more importantly removes all diseases,poisons, curses and bleeds affecting you. These are all the various damage types that most tanks struggle with and Protection Warriors are no exception. Being able to remove any of these deadly abilities on demand is just too strong to pass up on.
Mikanikos is going to be especially great in AoE like Mythic+ with Effusive Anima Accelerator. Unfortunately Bron, summoned by Bron's Call to Action, acts like a Guardian which means that he can aggro additional enemies so this is something to keep in mind.
You can also use Kleia. Valiant Strikes, Ascendant Phial and Pointed Courage make Kleia a solid choice, especially in group content. You can also go for a more group-oriented route by picking Mentorship and Resonant Accolades.
Night Fae Protection Warrior
Night Fae is another strong option for Protection Warriors. Much like Kyrian they provide us with 2 very beneficial abilities but unfortunately these are a lot more situational.
Ancient Aftershock is a frontal damaging ability that generates Rage and continuously knocks down enemies standing in its effect. It generates a lot more Rage than Spear of Bastion in AoE but it does this over 12 seconds rather than instantly. It also deals more damage than Spear of Bastion in AoE but this requires the enemies to remain standing in the ground effect it leaves behind. While the 1.5-minute base cooldown of this ability lines up well with Avatar, Ravager and Booming Voice it can easily be de-synced when choosing to use Destructive Reverberations. While being extremely strong in AoE it falls behind on single-target where both the Rage gain and damage suffer.
Soulshape is the second ability Night Fae provides. This is a simple movement tool that lets you teleport a short distance and increases your movement speed. While not being as strong as Phial of Serenity it can still have its uses when trying to avoid mechanics or kite enemies in Mythic+, Torghast and Raids.
Night Fae Soulbinds
Niya is the most offensive option of the choices. Grove Invigoration will provide us with some extra Mastery and Health which is further enhanced when ever we use Ancient Aftershock. Niya's Tools: Poison and Niya's Tools: Burrs are both solid, DPS-focused options.
Korayn's Wild Hunt Tactics and Face Your Foes are both extremely useful. First Strike should be used in Mythic+, as the extra crit is active at the start of each pack as long as you damage the enemies first.
Dreamweaver's Social Butterfly and Field of Blossoms can both be very solid options if you can play around the positioning requirements. You are unfortunately also forced to pick Podtender which is not optimal for tanks due to the 10-second inability to do anything.
Venthyr Protection Warrior
Condemn is a strong single-target damage choice for us. It replaces Execute, makes it deal Shadow damage and be usable on enemies above 80% health and below 20% while also providing a small shield. Having 2 Execute windows is really strong in Raids as it deals a lot of damage and the shield it provides is a nice bonus. The downside to this is that it costs Rage. As tanks our main goal is to reduce our damage taken and staying alive. Due to us having access to limited Rage we might not have enough resources to keep on using Condemn while also trying to keep Shield Block up. This means that we would have to make a decision on either dealing more damage or using our defensive abilities.
Door of Shadows is a targeted teleport with a short cast time. Much like Soulshape its main uses can be found in avoiding mechanics. Due to it having longer range it can potentially also be used to skip some packs in Mythic +.
Nadjia the Mistblade provides us with Thrill Seeker, which grants us a solid haste boost and either Exacting Preparation or Dauntless Duelist which can both be extremely beneficial in Raiding scenarios. While going for Dauntless Duelist, we are forced through multiple Finesse Conduits, which is not always optimal while going for Exacting Preparation gives us an extra Endurance slot.
General Draven on the other hand enables us to pick multiple Endurance Conduits while also providing Service In Stone which reduces our damage taken when low on health and Enduring Gloom that grants us with a shield every time we use Door of Shadows. Built for War can be used for generic scenarios while Hold Your Ground can be used for the extra health when needed. He is the tankiest of all the choices here and should be used only when the situation requires it.
Theotar the Mad Duke is a solid middle ground between Nadija and Draven. Soothing Shade and Refined Palate / Wasteland Propriety are all useful in certain scenarios and the Conduit slot choices are also well placed.
Necrolord Protection Warrior
Necrolord's' main strength comes from being able to boost your groups damage with Conqueror's Banner. It does require some pre-planning in order to line it up with your DPS players' cooldowns for the maximum benefit. While you are increasing your groups overall damage, it does come with the downside of reducing your own personal damage.
Conqueror's Banner provides a huge Mastery buff to you and your 2 nearest allies at the time of casting it and also increases movement speed by 30% for 15 seconds. For personal gains, this ability is mediocre but it really starts shining when playing in a coordinated group. When used together with your DPS players' cooldowns, it increases your group's overall damage output by a large margin. It is also really strong in Raids as Raid encounters are fairly scripted, meaning that you know exactly when to use it for the maximum benefit. On top of the Mastery buff, it also grants us 4 Rage per second for its duration. The usage of this ability does require some positioning, as it only buffs your 2 nearest allies.
Fleshcraft is a channeled cast that provides you with a shield every 2 minutes. The main strength of this ability comes from the 20% damage reduction received while channeling this ability. This provides us with another defensive cooldown, which can be really strong in certain scenarios.
Emeni will provide us with a versatile kit for various situations. Lead by Example paired together with Veteran's Repute will increase our Strength by a marginal amount. While Conqueror's Banner has a long cooldown, running Glory increases the duration of Lead by Example by a significant amount. Gnashing Chompers will increase our Haste every time we defeat enemies. While gaining extra Haste after the enemies are dead is not that beneficial, you can still maximize the effect of it by chain-pulling.
If Emeni is not for you or if you are more focused on Raiding then it would be advisable to pick Bonesmith Heirmir. The increased Critical Strike from Heirmir's Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone is a decent boost to our damage, but it locks us in with triple Endurance Conduits. An alternative to this would be to pick Heirmir's Arsenal: Gorestompers which gives us an extra Potency slot for some increased damage. Forgeborne Reveries might just help you get a kill on the Raid boss in the extra 10 seconds. Serrated Spaulders will also provide you with some extra damage.
Plague Deviser Marileth has some solid choices like Volatile Solvent and Ooz's Frictionless Coating that will provide you with a shield once every 30 seconds if you drop below 50% HP. If the fight makes you drop below 50% of HP constantly due to the sheer amount of damage then it is worth considering picking up Marileth for the extra shield.
- 17 Jul. 2021: Updated Conduit choices and Endurance rankings.
- 01 Jul. 2021: Updated Potency conduit rankings.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated Necrolords' Covenant abilities and overall viability.
- 16 Jan. 2021: Updated Covenant conduit trees to prioritize Stalwart Guardian and Unnerving Focus.
- 07 Jan. 2021: Modified Nyia's Tree and added explanation about Unnerving Focus priority.
- 14 Dec. 2020: Updated information about Covenant options.
- 08 Dec. 2020: Added suggestion for Unnerving Focus in Mythic+ content.
- 22 Nov. 2020: Added alternative Soulbind paths for all the Covenants.
- 15 Nov. 2020: Page created.
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