Restoration 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 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 of 40 with every Soulbind and Conduit unlocked.
|Raiding||Night Fae||Niya||Niya Tree|
|Mythic+||Night Fae||Niya||Niya Tree|
||Night Fae||Korayn||Korayn Tree|
Why Night Fae Is the Best Covenant for 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 raid environment, it will fall behind on overall healing; on top of that, its class ability has a longer cooldown. Both Kyrian and Necrolord are so significantly behind both in terms of total throughput and as cooldowns, they are not even worth considering for any PvE content.
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.
The powers of Soulbinds are somewhat similar, with Niya being slightly better than those of any Covenant.
For more information about Restoration Druid Covenants, please read our Covenants and Soulbinds analysis section at the end of this page.
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), Conflux of Elements (Night Fae-only; Healing and damage), Fury of the Skies (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.
Sometimes you will be given a choice between Conduit types while filling out a Soulbind. Unless the choice affects Soulbind abilities beyond immediate choice, you should always choose Potency over anything else and Endurance over Finesse.
Restoration Druid Potency Conduits
- Unstoppable Growth is the best Conduit for healing. It increases the healing of your Wild Growth by 8-10% (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. You can use it in dungeons over Unstoppable Growth if you care more for damage than for healing.
- Deep Allegiance and Endless Thirst are weaker than the other two 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 might be the best Mythic+ Finesse Conduit if you are playing Heart of the Wild and Night Fae. It will let you line up every second Heart of the Wild with Convoke the Spirits.
- 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.
The main reason why Night Fae is so strong for Restoration Druids 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 both in Mythic+ and in Raiding. You can use it as a DPS cooldown or healing cooldown depending on situation. When healing, it puts out a ton of HoTs that can be extended by Flourish or empowered if you use it in Incarnation: Tree of Life. Secondly, it provides the highest amount of both healing and damage overall. 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. 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.
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 halves the spell distribution of Convoke the Spirits: you will cast 3-4 spells based on your current form and 2-3 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 both raid and dungeon content. 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 can be 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. On top of that Empowered Chrysalis is better than a Potency slot, which adds throughput. While Podtender and Chrysalis are great, Field of Blossoms is very mediocre. You will only play Dreamweaver on encounters with low healing requirements and when your death may have high impact on whether a particular pull is a wipe or not.
Korayn is basically a Soulbind for solo play and should not be used in group content.
We suggest following this path for raiding:
Use this path for dungeons:
Necrolord Restoration Druid Deep Dive
Adaptive Swarm is unfortunately pretty underwhelming for both damage and healing. It can easily disappear if there are no viable targets in range, greatly reducing its efficiency. On top of that, it even costs Mana, while other Covenant abilities do not. Overall, the spell is worth pressing, but there are even baseline spells that perform better ( Wild Growth and Efflorescence).
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 both dungeons and raiding:
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.
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 both raiding and 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:
Use this path for dungeons:
- 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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