Restoration 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 Restoration 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
There are a few things to know about the advice on this page:
- The following recommendations are based on maximizing your healing output, ignoring everything else unless stated otherwise.
- Everything is based on a maximum Renown with every Soulbind and Conduit unlocked.
|Raiding||Night Fae||Dreamweaver||Dreamweaver Tree|
|Mythic+||Kyrian||Forgelite Prime Mikanikos||Mikanikos Tree|
|Mythic+||Necrolord||Bonesmith Heirmir||Heirmir Tree|
||Night Fae||Korayn||Korayn Tree|
Best Covenant for Raiding as Restoration Druid
As things stand right now, Night Fae offers not only numerically stronger throughput, but also mechanically better way of delivering healing and damage. While Venthyr can compete during extreme burst situations in a raid environment, it will fall behind on overall healing; on top of that, its class ability has a longer cooldown. Necrolord can provide better damage output than Night Fae, and it is the best PvP covenant. Kyrian is so significantly behind both in terms of total throughput and as a cooldown that it is not even worth considering for any raid boss.
Due to Night Fae using its Covenant legendary for raiding ( Celestial Spirits) and no other Covenants using their respective Legendaries, the gap between Night Fae and the rest becomes even larger once we are able to use two Legendaries. To top things off, the Restoration Druid 4-Piece has much better synergy with Night Fae too.
Another factor when choosing a Covenant is its signature ability. Night Fae and Venthyr provide movement abilities, while Kyrian and Necrolord provide survivability increase in the form of absorb shield and self-healing ability respectively. As Restoration Druids are great in both of these departments, we feel that this part of the Covenant system is largely irrelevant and treated as an extra bonus, rather than something meaningful.
For more information about Restoration Druid Covenants, please read our Covenants and Soulbinds analysis section at the end of this page.
Best Covenant for Mythic+ as Restoration Druid
With both the Venthyr Legendary and Covenant ability being extremely poor in Mythic+, we can safely conclude that this Covenant will never see play. Night Fae provides smaller damage increases. While it offers very easy gameplay and incredible healing capabilities, this is just not something Restoration Druids lack in Mythic+ content.
Unbridled Swarm for Necrolord offers a significant healing increase and a good damage increase on trash, with a smaller increase on single-target. The Kyrian Legendary provides a direct damage modifier to DPS players in your group while also adding a substantial amount of stats to you (as long as you do not bond with any Kyrian players). While the effects are significantly nerfed in Patch 9.2, it is still a strong Covenant choice, especially considering the stronger Soulbind option in Mikanikos compared to anything Necrolords can offer. These two Covenants are close to each other in terms of power.
Best Conduits for Restoration Druids
We will list below a summary of our best Conduits, by type. If you are interested in the full details, continue reading through the next section of the guide. Please refer to our Druid Conduits list if you want to see all Druid Conduits.
- Best Potency Conduits: Unstoppable Growth (healing), Deep Allegiance (Kyrian-only; Healing and damage) Conflux of Elements (Night Fae-only; Healing and damage), Evolved Swarm (Necrolord-only; Healing and damage).
- Best Finesse Conduits: None of Finesse Conduits provide tangible throughput benefits. Born Anew can give a small damage buff to player you resurrect and Born of the Wilds allows Night Fae Druids to line up Convoke the Spirits and Heart of the Wild better.
- Best Endurance Conduits: Well-Honed Instincts (procs a HoT when you drop below 40% Health). Ursine Vigor and Innate Resolve can provide situational survivability increase.
In the section below you can check a more in-depth analysis of each Conduit.
Restoration Druid Conduits
Regardless of which Covenant you pick, you will be able to gather and use the same Conduits, with the notable exception of one Potency Conduit that enhances your Covenant class ability.
Restoration Druid Potency Conduits
- Unstoppable Growth is the best Conduit for healing. It increases the healing of your Wild Growth by 9-12% (depending on the item level).
- Evolved Swarm is a good Conduit if you are playing Necrolord. It significantly increases the power of Adaptive Swarm.
- Conflux of Elements is a flexible Conduit that provides both damage and healing.
- Deep Allegiance is an extremely strong Conduit if you are playing with the Kindred Affinity Legendary.
- Fury of the Skies is a damage Conduit, but provides an extremely low amount of it. It is almost always better to opt into a healing Conduit over it unless you are planning to almost never cast healing spells.
- Endless Thirst is weaker than the other Covenant Conduits listed above.
- Flash of Clarity provides significant increase to your clearcasted Regrowths. This Conduit also affects every single Regrowth cast under Innervate if you have Clearcasting buff up.
- Floral Recycling and Ready for Anything are absolutely terrible and you should never run them for anything.
Restoration Druid Endurance Conduits
- Well-Honed Instincts is clearly the best choice. It can proc while you are not in Bear Form, does not shift you into Bear, and provides both good survivability and throughput. Unfortunately, this Frenzied Regeneration does not work with Mastery: Harmony in any way.
- Innate Resolve has good synergy with Well-Honed Instincts. It is not particularly impressive, but does not require any input from your part to work.
- Ursine Vigor increases your Health and Armor for a brief period after shifting into Bear Form. This can be extremely helpful to soak deadly mechanics or survive one-shot abilities in dungeons.
- Tough as Bark reduces cooldown of Barkskin. The cooldown reduction is not great, but can help line up Barkskin with some boss mechanics. Do not pick this by default, but absolutely consider using it for certain bosses. If this Conduit allows you to cover more mechanics with Barkskin, then it actually becomes your second-best Endurance Conduit.
Restoration Druid Finesse Conduits
- Born Anew makes your Rebirth slightly better. Pretty mediocre power to have since it does not help the target survive straight after the ressurection, but it provides some small amount of damage.
- Born of the Wilds is the best Mythic+ Finesse Conduit if you are playing Heart of the Wild in Mythic+.
- Front of the Pack is the choice for raiding in most scenarios. It will let you more easily hit people with Stampeding Roar.
- Tireless Pursuit is probably the worst Finesse Conduit. You should not be spending too much time in either Cat Form or Travel Form in the first place, and you will not need movement speed after you arrive at the destination.
In-depth Covenant Analysis
We will give a short overview of each Covenant below before giving in-depth analysis of each of them.
- Kyrian has Kindred Spirits. The tooltip does not say how this ability really works. For a proper explanation, read a description below.
- Venthyr gives you Ravenous Frenzy. It is essentially another 3-minute cooldown. For 20 seconds spells you cast increase your damage and healing by 2%, and haste by 1%, stacking.
- Night Fae has Convoke the Spirits. You will cast 12 semi-random spells mostly based on your form from a predetermined list of allowed spells. We will explain how this works exactly below.
- Necrolord gives you Adaptive Swarm. It is both a DoT and a HoT, alternating between jumps.
Raiding Covenant Analysis for Restoration Druid
The main reason why Night Fae is so strong for Restoration Druids in raid content is because Convoke the Spirits blows all other Covenant abilities out of the water. First of all, it is a cooldown that has incredible synergy with the rest of the kit, especially with Flourish and Incarnation: Tree of Life (or Restoration Druid 4-Piece). Ravenous Frenzy is the only other Covenant ability that works as a major cooldown, but it is very weak on its own, has a longer CD, and gives less overall throughput. Kindred Spirits and Adaptive Swarm are both extremely weak to the point of barely affecting your healing at all on their own in raid environment. Adaptive Swarm provides a large amount of single-target healing, especially when paired with Verdant Infusion, but you are going to be doing a ton of healing without Adaptive Swarm on single-target as-is. Kyrian is only good because of the Covenant Legendary and that relies on your partner to gain stats and do damage with its help. Your actual throughput will take a major hit, mostly in your cooldown windows.
Mythic+ Covenant Analysis for Restoration Druid
As for Mythic+, Restoration Druid's base kit is so strong healing-wise, that we do not need more healing most of the time. For that reason we are generally looking at Covenants from DPS perspective. Kyrian will provide one of the highest damage due to synergy between Forgelite Prime Mikanikos, Deep Allegiance, and Kindred Affinity. The effect will be stronger the higher the damage players you are linking with can do. It is especially good when paired with specs that have low cooldown burst abilities and play with the Night Fae Covenant. The best specs to bond yourself to will usually be melee (Demon Hunters or Warriors), but some ranged specs like Frost Mages can be good with the bond too.
Necrolord is another strong option for Mythic+. As opposed to Kyrian, you will have to rely on doing more damage yourself. The Draught of Deep Focus Legendary offers exceptional synergy with Adaptive Swarm, making your single-target damage exceptional. Furthermore, with double Legendaries, Necrolords offer high sustained group healing.
Night Fae remains a decent option for healing, but falls behind on damage compared to both Kyrian and Necrolord.
Night Fae Restoration Druid Deep Dive
Convoke the Spirits may look very random on first glance, but it is not so in practice. It will always cast 7-9 spells based on the form you are currently in: healing spells in caster/Tree forms; damage spells for Cat and Moonkin forms; a mix of damage, healing and defensive spells in Bear form. The other 3-5 spells will be considered "off-spec" and cast from other forms, usually those will be damage spells like Moonfire and Wrath if you are in caster or healing spells if you are in any other form. In general, Convoke will avoid overwriting existing HoTs/DoTs whenever possible, it will try to Swiftmend or Regrowth low Health players and there is even a low chance Convoke the Spirits will cast Flourish, Full Moon, Pulverize or Feral Frenzy based on the form you are in.
The Celestial Spirits Legendary reduces the spell distribution of Convoke the Spirits proportionally: you will cast 5-6 spells based on your current form and 3-4 spells from other forms. However, you will have a much higher chance to cast Flourish, Full Moon, Pulverize, or Feral Frenzy. They will be cast roughly once in two casts. Check out our Restoration Druid Legendaries page for more information about Celestial Spirits.
Soulshape is a great movement boost, and it provides a short cooldown blink, which can be used to jump over dangerous encounter mechanics.
Night Fae Restoration Druid Soulbinds
Niya is the preferred Soulbind choice in dungeon content for healing. It allows you to do more burst healing via the Grove Invigoration trait and Niya's Tools: Herbs gives a small throughput buff to players in your group.
Dreamweaver is a great raiding Soulbind due to Podtender, which allows you to cheat death while learning encounters. Unfortunately, Podtender does not reset after death, so you will proc it on every wipe unless you manage to kill yourself by jumping off ledges or getting overkilled by large amounts otherwise. On top of that Empowered Chrysalis is better than a Potency slot, which adds throughput. While Podtender and Chrysalis are great, Field of Blossoms can often be very hard to use.
Korayn is basically a Soulbind for solo play or for dungeon content where you want to focus more on damage than on healing.
We suggest following this path for raiding:
Necrolord Restoration Druid Deep Dive
Adaptive Swarm can jump to friendly targets from friendly targets if there are no viable enemy targets for it to go. The main problem with Adaptive Swarm is multiple Swarms combining into one when there is a single enemy target, such as a boss. This reduces the effectiveness of the ability, but it still provides a very high healing increase for the global you use on it. Furthermore it is the highest personal damage covenant.
Fleshcraft does provide a sizable, long lasting shield that scales with your health pool, making it a decent ability. There are quite a few Soulbind abilities that make it stronger too.
Necrolord Restoration Druid Soulbinds
We suggest following this path for dungeons:
Kyrian Restoration Druid Deep Dive
Kindred Spirits is a quite complicated spell.
- First part is bonding with a partner: it is a 2.5-second cast, so you will not be swapping this around in combat often.
- Second part is an actual empowerment of the bond. If you put the bond on yourself, upon activation you will do 15% increased healing for 10 seconds. Putting this on anyone else makes you replicate 30% of your total healing on your partner for 10 seconds.
- Third part is what you receive back. Depending on their role, you will get different benefits. A tank will also redirect 40% of the damage you take to them for 10 seconds. Bonding a DPS player allows them to energise you with their damage. 20% of all of it will stack on you as a refreshable buff that lasts 10 seconds (end result is usually a ~20 second buff). You will use this accumulated throughput for everything. Every spell you cast will consume part of the buff, up to 15% of the power of the spell. For example, a DoT ticking for 100 damage will consume 15 from the buff and do 115 damage. A HoT ticking for 250 will consume 38 from the buff and do 288 healing. If there is not enough value accumulated in the buff, then it will empower by as much as it can.
However complicated Kyrian bonding is, it is a very insignificant part of the Covenant's power. Using Kindred Affinity is basically a requirement to make Kyrian work. Most often you will want to bond Night Fae players due to the Haste buff. You should avoid bonding other Kyrian players, because Mastery buff provides no damage.
Summon Steward calls a friendly NPC to your side, from which you can get a Phial of Serenity. This serves as a second Healthstone, with which it does not share cooldown with. It also removes most harmful debuffs from you when used. Overall, this is a good ability from which you can always gain some benefit, and which has a few very strong niche uses.
Kyrian Restoration Druid Soulbinds
We suggest following this path for dungeons as Kyrian:
Venthyr for Restoration Druid Deep Dive
Ravenous Frenzy is a fairly mediocre cooldown on its own, so you will most likely look to pair it with Incarnation: Tree of Life. Combining two 3-minute cooldowns like this will result in very high raw throughput, which might not be needed on every fight due to high overhealing.
Door of Shadows allows you to teleport to a nearby location. This is a great mobility boost, although it does have a high cooldown and a cast time.
Venthyr Restoration Druid Soulbinds
Below is our chosen path and Conduits for this Soulbind for raiding:
- 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
- 18 Feb. 2022: Updated for Patch 9.2.
- 06 Nov. 2021: Slightly updated the description of Necrolord covenant.
- 03 Nov. 2021: Fixed Soulbind paths for Venthyr and Kyrian Druids.
- 01 Nov. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.5.
- 08 Aug. 2021: Adjusted Soulbind recommendations for Night Fae Druids.
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 01 May 2021: Updated Soulbind recommendations.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 02 Mar. 2021: Updated Soulbind recommendations for Night Fae.
- 20 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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